Monday, April 13, 2015


The Democratic strategist exclaimed with confidence, “Politicians lie. Everyone lies.” He was defending the lying lies of a lying politician he was preparing to lie about.

If you follow this guy’s statement to its logical conclusion then this guy is lying about the lying. Right? I mean if everyone lies, and he has to be included in the set of humans we refer to as everyone . . . well . . .

I felt my grey matter start to cramp just thinking about a world without the certainty of truth telling. (That could be a lie. How would you know?)

In our family we tell the story of The Big Fat Liar, a tale of a young man my husband encountered on a Boy Scout camping trip. The boy in the story was told to stop jabbing sticks in the campfire and catching them on fire. 

“Stop catching sticks on fire. Go to bed,” my husband said.

The kid nodded.

Later that evening, on a quick trip to the potty, my husband saw fire stick boy; he was holding a flaming, smoking stick torch over his head like an invading Visigoth about to burn down the village.

“Hey, I thought I told you to quit catching sticks on fire.”

“I’m not catching sticks on fire,” the kid said, while holding a burning stick in his grubby Visigoth hand.

“Then what’s that in your hand?”


“Okay, let’s go slower,” my husband said. “Do you have a hand?”


“Is there something in it?”

“In what?” The kid tried looking confused, a favorite stalling tactic of big, fat liar types.

“Is there something in that thing hanging at the end of your arm?”

The kid looked up at his own hand. “Yes,” the kid said.

“Is it a stick?”


“Okay, let’s try this. Are you holding a recently detached hunk of wood from a tree trunk?”


“Is it on fire?”

“I don’t know.”

The kid is probably a politician by now.

It’s exhausting, trying to sort out the wicked web of half-truths and big, fat whoppers that everyone is telling. At Rollins College, where I occasionally go to make straight A’s—true story, we have an Honor Code. It’s thirteen pages long and includes a section defining fibbing. There are nine bullet points just to define terms. True story.

Nine bullet points and THIRTEEN PAGES! 

The Ten Commandments has ten bullet points and was carved on stone, thus saving paper, trees, ozone, and Mother Earth. Beat that, Honor Code! Beat that!

Linda (True That) Zern

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