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The Eclectic Pen - The Truth About Honesty

By: Scott W. (Rev)   + 36 more  
Date Submitted: 2/26/2007
Genre: Humor & Entertainment » Humor
Words: 684

  April is probably the perfect month to bring up the issue of honesty, as the tax season deadline rushes forward at a frightening pace, and hard working people all over America desperately try to figure out how they can write off their Pay-Per-View cable bills as a business expense. Yes indeed, the Ides of April is the perfect demonstration of not only how vulnerable we all are to the truth, but how vulnerable the truth can often be to us.

Oh sure, most people would like you to think of them as honest individuals, and no doubt most of us like to see ourselves in the same light. But how many of us can truly say that we've always been ill when we've called in sick to work, always been straight with Mom & Dad about our social life, or have never cheated during a game of Monopoly?

Those of you who have answered positively to all of the above may stop reading now, as it is obvious that you have lost contact with your primitive sense of self preservation. Natural selection shall weed you out soon enough.

For you see, truth and fallacy aren't always as clear cut as we may like to think, and the truth can often appear greener on the other side of the extenuating circumstances. Sure, black is black and white is white, and the more they meet the more they fight, but the referee always wears stripes, and so the right decision can often come out of that gray area that exists in every confrontation, usually three rows back and to the right of the pretzel guy. Call it a moral blind-spot, if that helps you visualize it, but the truth is (or is not) that honesty is not always the best policy.

Itís not surprising that we have developed such a one-sided view of the truth, seeing as how it was beaten into our heads at a very early age. Who doesn't remember being told the story of a young George Washington, who could not tell a lie, and so did confess to his father that he had indeed chopped down the now famous cherry tree? Any child that was the product of American public education can spin that tale for you forwards and backwards, and the intended moral of that tale is always meant to be Tell the Truth.

It is only later in life that some of us realize the importance of the words "can not" in that parable, for even a young and naive George Washington knew that standing there holding an axe covered with bark and tree sap while insisting that angry squirrels were to blame for the current state of the cherry tree was not the wisest of choices. Is it no wonder that this lad grew up to be a politician?

For you see, what young George teaches us is not to avoid lying, but rather, avoid lying when it won't work. Of course, if you disagree with me, you can simply resign yourself to being completely honest at all times, and devote every waking moment to the truth. If you do so, however, remember what this means. No longer will you be able to thank grandma for the glow-in-the-dark argyle ankle warmers, praising them as the best Christmas Gift you've ever received. No longer will you be able to use that cold gaze of confidence you bluff the card table with when all you're holding is two jokers, a seven, a five, and the printed rules for Stud Poker. Never again will you be able to feign ignorance when the police officer pulls you over doing 68 mph in a hospital zone with a dozen unpaid parking tickets and an inspection sticker older than your Grateful Dead window decals. And won't you feel really superior to us bald-faced liars when you tell your children that there is no Santa Claus, you heartless fiend!

I think I've made my point, don't you? To lie is to survive, as the truth can often hurt you. So stick that in your cherry tree and chop it.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Scott W. (Rev)

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Comments 1 to 4 of 4
IONE L. (zaneygraylady) - 2/26/2007 10:41 PM ET
I love your sense of humor
Desiree B. (Des) - 2/28/2007 3:28 PM ET
This is definitely "The Truth About Honesty". I love it. Great work!
Courtney Z. - 3/1/2007 3:42 PM ET
The word play is good, but you need to be careful that the clever wording doesn't become un-readable. Love your eye for funny detail...keep it up...and don't forget to edit your work!!
Kristen D. - 4/21/2007 11:29 AM ET
Man, I REALLY LIKE THIS STORY!!! Lol! This describes me to the 't!' I never have REALLY told my mom about the origin of that condom that magically came 'floating' back up to the top of her toilet or told my dad the REAL reason that I got fired from Best Buy was not discrimination but 'dishonesty...' The things that I will take to my grave!!! Lol...
Comments 1 to 4 of 4