Art of the lie
I received a very interesting phone message today while traveling down the freeway at 65 mph in a bright green fire engine. Interesting not with any windfall of knowledge or wealth coming my way. Interesting not in the fact that my wife, who left the message never leaves me messages. (she would rather talk to me personally) No this phone call triggered my curious Spock (Star Trek) one eyebrow lifted facial response for the pure and simple fact it was a lie.
Now being a parent of four children, teaching the transparency in human nature associated with a lie is of the utmost importance. Nothing brings down fatherly wrath faster than a child caught in a lie. A reminder that lying brings nothing but ridicule and solitude as no one wishes to be around you is never more prevalent in my household once you have been detained for said infraction.
There is something to be said about the art of the lie? All lies start out simple enough, the truly gifted can carry them thru lie after lie building upon a story that eventually not even a used car salesmen would buy. But there are the chosen few, the masters, individuals with special gifts who get it right the first time. Capturing you with an opening line, reel you in by the lip while never doubting their story for a second! You walk away wowed and in the end, thinking to yourself; I wish my life was as good as that guys!
These “super liars” have creativity, something so many of us human beings lack these days. An ability to play out an entire scenario inside their head like a bad romance novel. Starting at page one the lie is not complete until they have personally closed the imaginary book inside their cranium. Egomaniacal? Yes! Self centered;? Yes! Able to leave you mesmerized by their charming guiles? Yes! The gifted liar is truly a sight to behold.
Back to the beginning.
After arriving at the hospital to retrieve my crew, I took a moment and withdrew my phone to see who called. Seeing it was in fact my wife I eagerly touched the voicemail button and sat mesmerized as my wife simply stated; So here’s the story, the kids are all running right? And they see a hawk with a kitten in its hand and Cody goes and shoots the hawk out of the air and the kids save the kitten and brought the kitten home. That’s the story…
Thought number one: Cody knows better than to shoot a hawk.
Thought number two: Really the cat lived after falling, how many feet to the ground? Cats have nine lives and I have witnessed my fair share of cats falling from high distances (yes the fire department does get called out for cats in trees, it’s not a myth) but out of the air with nothing to break its fall? Suspicion looms..
Thought number three: Cody is a hell of a shot, but really, a hawk flying away with food trapped in its claws.
Hmmmmm something is definitely afoot.
It turns out our kids found a kitten roaming alongside the road, down the street from our house. Now since we live in the middle of nowhere, 3/4 of the way down a 2 mile dirt road, odds of it belonging to someone are slim, so our children concocted this farce believing my wife and I would accept the wounded feline, dinner plate survivor into our abode with open arms never once questioning the complexity of their story.
They were 100% wrooooo—-RIGHT!
After careful discussion, and not wanting to reward a blatant lie, my wife and I chose too privately commend the story telling effort, while publicly reminding the children lying was never acceptable. Yet the four of them, along with two young family members visiting for the week actually put their heads together thinking about the welfare of this little animal and came up with one fo the best bull pucky stories we had heard in a while from any of their little brains. Ah the joy of teamwork!
They were outed for the lie, we all laughed heartily at the effort. A true family moment to be remembered and most likely told to grand children someday.
It was only after I hung up the phone, while sitting at my desk waiting for the computer to open up did it dawn on me.
We just helped them, by awakening their creative story telling skills! It like putting water on a seed once a day, then feeding it tons of sunlight. Before long it will grow and evolve leading them inevitably to ”the art of the lie.”