I am always astonished when I meet people who say stuff like: ‘I never lie. I always say the truth. Under whatever circumstances, it is always better to say the truth.’ Really? In EVERY situation? My rapidly degenerating mind has been thinking of the inconvenience of truth since I recently re-read my book of maxims by Duc de La Rochefoucauld, written sometime around the 1650s. He says: ‘Aversion to lying is often an imperceptible desire to render our testimony important, and to give religious respect to our words.’ While I find that intriguing, I also think that truth can often be dangerous.
Let’s examine a few situations:
What should a sister do when a brother stupidly asks the world’s dumbest question: ‘How many guys have you slept with?‘ If she has slept with a number equal to a battalion (500-1500), should she tell the truth? Isn’t it safer to give that sweet response: ‘My ex was my first and hopefully you should be the last!‘ Stupid brother grins sheepishly.
If a sister asks: ‘Have you ever contacted any STD?‘ What should a brother say? ‘Yes. two Gonorrhoeas, one Syphilis and one Staphylococcus. But they were all properly treated‘. If brother follows up with the abortion question, should sister say, ‘Yes, 3 times. But the doctor that did the D&C was very good, he scrapped everything well and my womb is still intact‘. In these situations, is truth the best course? Wouldn’t it just be better to lie? Bro: ‘Never! Me? I have always been careful o, and I do tend to date decent girls, like you‘. Sis: ‘What? That’s careless. I always insist on using a condom‘. They live together happily ever after!!
If a babe you love has breasts that are obeying the law of gravity, and in a moment of self-doubt asks you, ‘Darling, are my breasts looking flat?‘ What should you do: tell her the truth, that her boobs are heading for a conference with her navel, and ruin her self confidence (and sex between both of you forever), or do you grind your teeth and just say, ‘Darl, there’s nothing wrong with them jor, I like them just the way they are. Besides what’s the big deal about perky boobs anyway? All boobs fall eventually so don’t worry your pretty head about them‘.
You love this guy with all your heart and you’re already thinking of what your kids would look like. Finally you have sex with him and discover that he’s a lousy lay and his Junior is one with a very small ‘j’. He lies beside you panting, after what he considers great sex, and he goes ahead to quip: ‘That was great, wasn’t it?‘ What do you do in such a situation? Tell him his lame ass sucks big time and that his member brings back memories of bathing your 10-year-old nephew and that you are right now considering becoming a nun rather than spending one more night with him and his index-finger-wannabe- junior and that you are so frigging frustrated right now that if he doesn’t wipe that idiotic grin off his face this minute you may very well kill him?!! Or, do you smile and reassuringly say, ‘Baby, you were great‘. Size doesn’t matter… or does it?
For those who insist on telling the truth always, whose mantra is ‘SAY IT AS IT IS‘…do you also wish to be told the truth? Do you wish to HEAR IT AS IT IS, always? If yes, would you really like to be told that you are drop-dead ugly? That you wouldn’t need any make-up to act in a horror flick? That you shouldn’t take pictures or appear on screen as you will surely scare children to death? That your set of teeth look like a fence, that you walk like a wet rat…
Are you sure you want to hear the truth? Aren’t a little tact and a truckload of lies the reason humanity isn’t extinct yet?