Tag Archives: Truth

I Rarely Sleep With Liars

25 May

I’m not one to fall for silly lines. I can’t count the times I’ve been told I was the “first” or the “only true” or the “most bendable” love a man has had, and I have always seen right through his strategy. Men are often confused by what they see as women’s unrelenting commitment to truth. Of course, truth is important to women, as it should be for all right-minded people regardless of the layout of their pubic areas.

But truth is a complicated concept, and a brief explanation of the nuances between the different kinds of truth is warranted.


No one wants this. It’s too ugly. Although witnesses in court cases are threatened with a needle in the eye, neither the prosecuting nor defense table really wants anyone telling the whole truth. The last time you waterboarded someone, you probably asked them to tell you the whole truth. What if their truth was actually “I will say whatever you want me to say to get you to stop doing this”? You’d look a fool. Anyone with a lick of sense can see that this kind of truth isn’t helpful to any situation or military conflict.


Now obviously this route is neither correct nor seemly. We all know this: telling one lie leads to another lie and another and then it’s a pack of them. Not only is it horrible, but it’s also very difficult to keep track of. It’s one of the great lessons of childhood—remember the itsy bitsy spider who weaved the web of lies because she was practicing to deceive the old woman who swallowed the fly? Your grandmother didn’t tell you that story for nothing, you know.


Generally this is the appropriate level of truth for almost all situations. Details do one of two things: hurt another person or make you look like a twat. An appropriate fact would be “Yes, I saw the defendant hanging around the office building”; there’s no reason to add “so I invited him in and gave a passkey to the safe.” It’s a subtle balance, and you’ll often be pressed to give as many details as you can, but resist.

Let’s look at a couple typical scenarios men and women find themselves in where the “truth” often plays a key role.

Do I look fat in this?

Don’t say: “Yes, you look fatter than I’ve ever seen you. Take off the offending item immediately and hide your shame. You shall not be attending the ball with me tonight.”

Don’t say: “What on earth are you talking about? You look thinner than Angelina Jolie” (if she actually does, immediately get her to a medical professional).

Do say: “It shows off the real you, and that’s the you I love.”

Did you cheat on me with that woman?

Don’t say: “I did, and it was the most fantastic shag of my life, partly because of the illicit nature of the encounter and partly because she let me do that thing you said you’d die before letting me do again. Therefore I intend to keep seeing her, but I don’t see any reason to let my cheating change our relationship at all, so would you make me a sandwich, please?”

Don’t say:  “I don’t know what you are talking about. Someone has clearly Photoshopped that picture of me having sex with her in my dental chair afterhours when I claimed I was away at an orthodontist convention.”

Do say: “I did because I am a small man in more ways than one. If you forgive me, I’ll be forever indebted, but I’ll also understand if you change your Facebook relationship status to single and get new locks on the house.”

Of course, the easiest way to deal with the truth is to take a little care in advance. If you’re about to do something that one day you may need to tell a lie about, the most sensible approach is just not to do it. Don’t take the money from the till. Don’t text a photo of your erection. Don’t marry a fat woman. It isn’t too difficult to understand.

But men are fallible creatures and seem to get themselves into troublesome situations at the drop of a hat. You’re welcome for my helpful advice.

More Fool You

1 Apr

Words. Essentially the idea behind them is that you scrawl a few symbols next to each other onto a piece of paper, and if someone familiar with your language sees them, they’ll be able to read that word and know exactly what you mean. Let’s look at an example:


If you speak English, you’ll know that those symbols put together mean this:

However, if you’re of a certain age with an obsession for pop culture references, this might have come to mind instead:

Or, god forbid, this:

So now we see that words can be a little more complicated than we first thought.

There are thousands and thousands of words in English and at least 100% of those words have more than one meaning. Last night after tea, I had a delicious pudding that many of you may be familiar with—gooseberry fool. It was light and creamy and just so dreamy that I confess I had seconds.

Yet the word fool has other meanings. It can refer to a different noun, meaning “silly or stupid person.” Believe it or not, it can even be a verb, “to trick or deceive.” Often when a person has been “tricked or deceived,” they are considered to be a fool. Ironically, the opposite is true. I am not unaware of a man who considers himself an expert at “fooling” people—I’ll refer to him as Mr X as I’m quite good friends with his wife, Mrs Patrick Grayson Harrison, and I don’t want to embarrass her. Mr X seems to believe quite strongly that he can fool others—sometimes by telling an untruth and sometimes by leaving gaps in the information he shares. One evening he told his wife that work had kept him late, when actually he had gone ten-pin bowling with his mates. A few months later when his wife asked how his day had gone, he said “Fine,” when he had in fact been severely reprimanded by his employer for shoddy work on a report. Now no doubt at the time he was actively tricking her, he was thinking, “My wife is such a fool.” However, she always found out the truth. So not only was Mr X’s deception revealed but his attempt at fooling only added extra nastiness to the whole affair. In the end, as is clear to all and sundry, it was Mr X who was proving himself to be the silly or stupid person.

Now believe it or not, some words are even more complicated. Take a word like “hurt.” It can be a verb, noun and even an adjective! What the eff? How are we to ever tell what a person really means?

Considering that words are the basis for our communication, it’s no wonder we get confused sometimes. The best we can do is be precise in the words we speak and thoughtful in the way we listen.

And it’s probably best for everyone to just avoid all types of fools—unless it’s the gooseberry kind, to which I say, Thirds, please!

The Truth About the Truth

26 Sep

I’ve been thinking a lot about honesty recently. This may in part be due to last week’s media coverage of the film The Invention of Lying. The picture was written and directed by Ricky Gervais, a multi-talented, incredibly talented and cleverly funny person. Gervais is a real English gem though oddly he is both adored and loathed by his countrymen; I see a lot of similarities between him and myself, except of course that all Englishmen adore me.

The film takes place in a world where no one can tell a lie. The characters speak the absolute truth at all times. It makes one wonder, is that sort of honesty desirable? Of course, we must have some sort of moral code, otherwise we would end up like monkeys in a monkey cage, although I do believe even monkeys have a moral code to keep them ending up like vultures in a vulture cage. But absolute honesty at all times? I don’t think so.

Now before you get your knickers in a twist, let me offer up some examples to clarify my position. Let’s say you have recently got married and your new husband asks you about his sexual prowess, compared to that of your previous lovers. Would it be morally right to humiliate the man by acknowledging the disappointment you felt on your honeymoon when you realised that you would never again get it like you got it that night with the tennis instructor at the La Manga Club during your Spanish holiday in 2006? Oh, the memories! Does lying seem so wrong in this situation? What about if your niece asks you if you think her mummy is the prettiest woman on Earth, when clearly your sister’s unattractiveness is what caused her to delay getting married and pregnant until she was well into her forties and desperate enough to accept the first man who would have her and also provides the genetic reason for the fact that your niece, too, will surely spend the majority of her adulthood a lonely spinster? Should you break this little girl’s heart with the truth?

Ultimately what it boils down to is this: lying is not a bad thing. Deep down, we all know that it’s dishonesty that keeps most of our relationships happy and healthy. Rarely does anyone need to really know the truth. That policeman didn’t need to know that you have a history of false accusations, just like my doctor didn’t need to know that the painkillers were actually intended for a use other than the one specified on the label. Why complicate matters with some pie-in-the-sky notion that sincerity is an admirable quality?

Gervais’ character in the film stops telling the truth. He also gets Jennifer Garner to sleep with him. Now tell me that’s not testament to the power of a lie.