When I was a boy in Iowa, living in a boring little farm town where nothing really ever happened, I made a bunch of stuff up in my stupid little head and had great fun pretending it was all real.
I loved stories about Flash Gordon, Tarzan, and Jungle Jim on the Saturday afternoon TV ;matinee on Channel 3 from Mason City.
So, naturally, I told my friends at school that I was secretly a boy from outer space pretending to be Mike Beyer as part of a super-secret mission from a Star Empire that nobody but me knew existed. I got really embarrassed one night at 4-H Fun Night in Eagle Grove when the girl I had a secret crush on confronted me about telling my friends that she was a Martian Princess trapped on Earth by agents from outer space. She wasn’t mad. She thought it was funny. But I turned shades of red and purple in the face that no one knew was humanly possible. I got both joy and agony out of being the sort of juvenile liar who is destined to grow up to be a story-teller.
But lies are not always harmless amusement. I am not saying I never told an evil, black lie. But I don’t think I ever did. At least, if I ever did, it was forgettable enough to be forgotten by me.
And the lie about the sexual assault I endured at ten was not really a lie. I didn’t tell anybody because he threatened to hurt me worse if I did. That scared me enough that it would be years before I even allowed myself to remember that it happened. And lies of omission are not regular lies. You are not telling somebody to believe something that isn’t true. You are simply not telling anyone about something you don’t want to be known.
To be honest with both you and myself, I never really ever got into trouble by telling a lie and getting caught for it. Most of the problems I ever had with girlfriends and eventually wife were created by telling the truth. That happens when you have two girlfriends at the same time and they really don’t like each other. It also happens when you decide things for yourself because you think it is the most sensible decision you can make, and when you tell your wife about it, you find out it is, in fact, the stupidest, most-wrongest idea any stupid person ever had… simply because husbands are always wrong. Funny, though, the decisions and ideas I carry out without telling her first always seem to work out fine. So, I must only be the world’s stupidest man if I tell her about it.
It almost seems like it is better to lie by omission than to tell the actual truth.
I am aware, however, that lies can be told in hurtful ways, fundamentally immoral and evil ways. It seems my email is full of scams and cons and lies daily. Not just African princes with money that desperately needs to pass through my bank account for some obscure reason, but Amazon gift cards for a thousand dollars that you just need to supply some information to have delivered to your bank account, and Norton security subscriptions that need to be renewed by credit card even though I stopped using Norton for that ten years ago.
And then there was an orange man who told us from before the first vote was cast that the 2020 election would be stolen by voter fraud. He whipped up an angry mob who took weapons and flags and anger into the US Capitol building so they could poop on stuff and kill some capitol policemen and try to get their hands on AOC because apparently they think she is a communist or something. That was an election lie that caused an insurrection. It caused people to get killed (on both sides, some battered policemen to commit suicide later, and Congress-people to tell more lies about terrorists merely being tourists. ‘
That’s a truly evil lie.
One of the things I appreciate most about nudists is the fact that naked people are not hiding anything.
So, I am able to identify being a liar as essentially a bad thing.
Of course, that is not going to prevent me from being the liar I have always been. Though, from now on I will be calling it being a fiction writer or a storyteller.
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