Oh shit. Please - never ask me to lie for you. Never ask me to embellish the truth for you, make something up on your behalf or give you an alibi; I will drop you right in it. I’m just no good at it.
Confession time: I’m squirming inside right now because of exactly that and it was only a little white lie, honestly(!) - only a little white one, nothing heinous - and I fucked up. It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but I have to get this off my chest. Earlier today I was unexpectedly asked to answer Mr SDS’ mobile phone and give him a quick simple get-out so he didn’t have to speak to his caller right then, right at that moment. You know what I mean, we all do it from time to time, I'm sure. Sounds easy and harmless enough – just a delaying tactic. It was the unexpectedness which threw me, I think; the call was out of the blue and when asked to answer it quickly I hadn't prepared anything in advance and my mind was in another place. “Oh sorry he’s not here at the moment, he’s on his way to his mum’s!” I explained brightly (as this was almost true – he was just getting ready to go, only he hadn’t left the house right at that moment). “Oh” replied the person that Mr SDS didn’t want to speak to, “and he hasn’t taken his phone with him? He’s left it at home? He’s brave…”
Aargh – a schoolboy(girl) error. In some ridiculous panic to give this excuse I hadn’t even thought of that, what an idiot! Caught out already, I just made a sort of non-committal “mm” sound in response.
“….Or perhaps he has another phone that he takes with him...?” the caller continued. Bastard. I felt like Basil Fawlty in that scene in the Fawlty Towers episode ‘The Anniversary’ where he’s trying to pretend to their old friends that Sybil is ill in bed when in fact she had walked out in a huff prior to their arrival. The character Roger, played brilliantly by Ken Campbell, knows Basil is hiding the truth and keeps trying to trip him up, thinking one step ahead of every potential lie, revelling in Basil’s discomfort, gleeful at his inner agony.
So where does that leave me, fabricating some new story now about how and why Mr SDS hasn’t taken his phone with him ("oh no, he never takes it in on long journeys!"), or creating some fictional ‘other’ phone (“yes, it's one he only uses when he goes to his mum’s. No he hasn’t given you the number. No I can’t give the number to you now because …because... I don’t know it”?)
Even in my panicky idiocy (a sort of blurry feeling, like a thick fog has come down inside my brain and obscured all rational thinking) I realised that adding any more detail and spinning an even more complex web was not a route to take so I just gave another evasive, non-specific response. "Mm". But then of course I couldn’t even continue a normal conversation with the guy, because I was embarrassed and cringeing so much inside and all I could think was fuck fuck fuck, he thinks I’m just a crappy imbecilic pathetic little liar. Indeed, I am all that, and the truth is that I am spectacularly bad at it too.
The Castaways: Liar Liar