Saturday, 21 March 2015
Believe you me
Just imagine you're going about your daily business when suddenly a magically reincarnated Eamonn Andrews, or Michael Aspel if you prefer, appears from nowhere. There you are, trying to shake the last drops of sauce out of the bottle of HP before settling down to watch Judge Rinder with a cheese omelette, and you glance up and he's looking directly at you, brandishing that big red book. In a split second you see your life flash before you, like one of those TV flashbacks which you know is a flashback because the colour goes all muted. That's you: pictured there riding your bike for the first time without stabilisers, playing the donkey in the school Nativity, pinning that Jam badge to your blazer, coughing on your first Rothmans. Then there are all the others: people you once worked with who probably don't even remember your surname are now merrily recounting some anecdote you'd long forgotten about the time you turned up for work in odd socks.
“Oh god, I'm on 'This Is Your Life'” you think, as the images continue to roll by in your mind and you just hope and pray that it glosses over that part where... well, you know which bit...
Only, you're not... because as you take a closer look at that red book you realise that it doesn't say 'This Is Your Life'. Oh no, it says 'This Is Your Lie'. Is this some kind of sick joke? This is your lie? Then, with a degree of glee that is frankly quite distasteful, Eamonn/Michael starts flicking through the book which is of course a big fat ring-binder file, and it's so stuffed full of pages that those metal clips won't even close, and sheets of lined A4 paper are now falling out all over the place and on each one of them...scrawled in blue biro because they go back way before the advent of Microsoft Word... a lie. Every single lie you've ever told in your life.
The first fifty pages or so are quite unrefined. You're about four and you've just realised that there is an alternative option to admitting to something that might otherwise get you told off. No, I didn't eat any sweets / hide Sam's lego / pull the cat's tail. Then you start to get a bit more adept: Yes, I did do my maths homework / No, I didn't drink any alcohol at the party / Yes, I am eighteen. Finally it gets a lot more sophisticated: Don't worry, you didn't interrupt me / Yes, I'm fine (or No, nothing's wrong ) / I'm sorry, he's out at the moment, can I take a message? / They only cost a tenner / I would if I could...
There's a little lie here, a little lie there, a couple of right whoppers which you really do regret and, to be fair, a lot of white ones which you told so as not to hurt someone's feelings. However, just imagine if you were to see every one of them spelt out in front of you in black and white (or blue biro). No! you might exclaim, I'm sure I never said that! Honest! But nobody would believe you... after all, we've all done it.