liar liar light your pants on fire

Both my parents, as a general rule, always seemed to have been quite entirely honest with me as far as I could recognize.    When I was a kid, they and a few couples they were really good friends with always used to claim that I, upon growing up, should marry one of the friends’ daughters.   Whichever friends were involved they always said that I should marry the daughter who was my age, even though there was always a younger sister too.   I’ve always said that the only possible logical assumption one could legitimately make, based on that, was that couples, upon getting married, must always be the same age.   When I worked at Citicorp Retail Services long ago, Carole, my immediate supervisor, told me that that was a little white lie that parents were known to tell their kids.   She reminded me that it was comparable to telling them stories about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.   I agree with her.   A lie of that nature can’t be equated with a lie lie.  A lie lie is the kind that’s told out of deliberate dishonesty, with the intent to deceive.   As kids my sister and I could never stand liver.   Once my parents, in order to fool us into eating some, told us it was steak.   That didn’t work out terribly well.    My parents both died last autumn when they were eighty years old.   Although in all that time their track record for honesty seemed to have been quite exceptional, my father always considered himself to have been very much a raconteur, and he could always be counted on to regale one and all with an absolutely infinite supply of tall tales about his real and supposed exploits in school, at work and under all sorts of other circumstances.   In a way he was sort of comparable to Andy Devine’s Frisby character in the “Twilight Zone” episode “Hocus Pocus and Frisby”.  pinocchioNone of those was a lie lie either.   Those anecdotal lies can be attributed to a need to pretty up all those ancient stories, none of which was necessarily that interesting while it was still really happening.   All story tellers do that.    Most of the time, the average story he told, from his point of view, somehow never quite seemed to have been the least bit in cahoots with what the other relevant parties claimed to have remembered of it.   Even though I don’t remember having caught either of my parents in a deliberate lie lie of any serious nature, they were quite the experts at harmless lies.


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