How are you at lying? Not lying down (I am EXCELLENT at lying down) but telling lies. Me, I’m hopeless. I go very red in the cheeks (face cheeks) and end up making the story way more elaborate than it needs to be. Paul, my excellent husband, is the same. It gets him into trouble.
For instance, Paul used to work for a horrible, ruthless label-printing company which had clients in the south-west of WA. When his boss discovered that we were travelling to the south-west of WA for a pre-Frankie babymoon, he asked Paul to deliver labels to a local winery. Which was bullshit, obviously, ‘cos they were pricks and why would we take time out of our holiday to deliver labels for a bunch of tosspots who could WELL afford to have them couriered?
So Paul said that he was very sorry but no, he couldn’t take the labels to the winery. His boss asked why. Paul went red in the cheeks (face cheeks) and said: “Because I’m going on a motorbike.” “Oh! I didn’t know you had a motorbike!” “I don’t. It’s Lisa’s dad’s.” “Oh! You’re taking your pregnant wife three hours south of Perth on your father-in-law’s motorbike?” “No! He’s riding. I’m going on the back. Lisa’s travelling separately.”
It was an elaborate story, I grant you, but I know where he was coming from. Paul and I both find it hard to say no to people. FAR better to come up with a far-fetched excuse as to why we can’t come to your 40th birthday party. “We’re babysitting a guinea pig! It needs feeding hourly! No we can’t bring it!”
I think we ALL tell fibs, to a certain extent, particularly when it comes to our children. I mean, there’s the whole Santa thing, obviously, but we take it one step further. In our house, Santa’s watching the children through the security alarm monitor thingy in the corner of the living room - when it flashes red, it means they’re under surveillance, so they’d better fucking watch themselves.
And I’m not proud of this, but we have been known to change the clocks. All of them. If the State won’t give us daylight saving, then we’ll enforce it ourselves. So yeah, our kids have been known to go to bed at 5.45pm, no questions asked.
And, um, we also told Ben that he was pronouncing the word 'bench' incorrectly, and it was actually a 'vench'. He believed this for many years, just as he believed that Paul used to be the drummer in Wham, because, um, we told him he was.
I learnt the fine art of lying to my children from my parents. They told me all sorts of shit as a kid. For instance: when I was about three, living in England, we went to a Butlins holiday camp, and I participated in a dress-up competition. With half-coconuts on my boobs and a Hawaiian skirt made out of tissue paper, I was the clear and obvious winner … to everyone except the judges, who instead gave the winning outfit prize to a small girl covered head to toe in cigarette packets. I can only imagine her wheezing parents had forgotten to pack dress-up clothes, and just grabbed what was closest to hand. In any case, my mum and dad weren’t going to let a technicality like the judge’s decision spoil MY holiday (I’d have cried, and stamped my feet, and probably have knocked out fag-ash Lil), so instead fabricated their own awards ceremony, complete with a Lady Di dress-up book and Space Hopper as prizes. My mum only confessed to this ruse a couple of years ago, when I was reminiscing - once again - about my victory. My world crumbled, yes.
Turning the tables, I’ve been known to fib to my mum, too. My mum, you see, is our chief and primary and only babysitter. If I have to go out to work, it’s mum who looks after the kids. If I get my hair cut, it’s my mum who looks after the kids. And if I want to go to the gym, it’s my mum who looks after the kids (they won’t go in the creche, the bitches). You see where this gets problematic. My mum has no problem looking after the kids while I work, but she takes issue with looking after the kids just so I can exercise. She considers this - validly - “taking the piss”. As such, visiting the gym or going for a run requires ingenuity. It requires wearing one’s gym kit underneath one’s work clothes, and making quick changes in carparks, and not sweating.
I don’t lie to Paul. I’ve never lied to Paul. It’s my thing. Unless we count the Chopper thing. When we first started hanging out, Paul told me his favourite film was Chopper, and I was all, like, OH, that’s my favourite film too! Even now, he’ll quote a line from Chopper and I’ll be all - oh yeah, that’s a good one. Well, guess what? I’ve never seen the fucking film. I have no intention of seeing it. But let’s just play the game, for the sake of our marriage, okay?
So anyway, what’s my point? My point is this. Ben’s started lying recently. Not very well - all red cheeks and wandering eyes - but lying nonetheless. “I didn’t wipe my nose on my school shirt!” - as snot drips on to his shorts. “I just woke up!” - as yesterday’s unread library book lies open at page 263 at 6am. And, my personal favourite: “I haven’t eaten a thing all day!” - as the remnants of two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese clings to his chin and puts MASSIVE, GAPING HOLES in his story of starvation.
We’ve told him to sort this out. To STOP FUCKING LYING. Which might be considered hypocritical, given the fibs we all tell. But honestly, there’s a difference. Fibs are okay if you’re protecting someone (like my mum, after her recent and disastrous 80s throwback haircut. It has WINGS) or to make your children behave. That’s okay. Lying just for the sake of lying makes you a prick. You shouldn’t do that. Unless it's to convince your eldest son that his step-dad was the third member of Wham. Okay?