I believe in this modern era that in order to achieve optimum prosperity, to my immense chagrin, as a people we do not only find it an acceptable practise, we seem to be expected to lie.
This week’s Theory therefore pertains to (in fact it pertains to most every bloody piece I’ve ever written) my unequivocal detestation of, yet the way that the world appears to embrace as an integral part of everyday life, insincerity.
Allow me go back to the first half of last decade, possibly to the moment where my loathing, my utter abhorrence for untruths was developed – as mentioned in previous posts, something about being a heavily brain damaged 17-year-old deep in the rehabilitation stages of his injury seemed to appeal to a number of attractive young women who I’m sure would have otherwise ditched me for a more smooth-talking alternative.
Although I’m sure I didn’t realise it at the time these girls lied to me constantly – presumably in order to capitalise on the fact that I was a responsible young man doing my best to hold down a fulltime job, living with my parents while having for the foreseeable future sworn off the booze that I had been so enjoying for the three years’ prior thus always had money to burn while they, at the respective ages of 18 had applied for the dole and gone out flatting where the only thing that could stem the flow of Kahlua was funding thus rarely had any money at all – about things that now, from a relatively level mind, I cannot believe I ever entertained…
As I read back through I would totally understand if that right there were the reason for my hatred of everything duplicitous yet curiously, we’re not even yet at that defining moment so please, just bear with.
…They’d tell me what a amazing person I was and how any woman would be ‘sooo lucky to have me’, before passing down the classic, ‘Oh no, I would never risk jeopardising our friendship with a relationship – relationships come and go, friendships are forever,’ then somehow merge that in with the fact that they were two weeks late on the rent…
I know; still not there though.
…It was when these wonderful young ladies decided they needed a new sound system and one Saturday allowed me to drive them into the city that I saw firsthand an example of their shameless deceit. (They ‘had no gas’ so driving them in was the least I could do; the most I could’ve done would have been to actually put fuel in their cars – that came later.) They quickly picked out a $2799 stereo system complete with surround sound and told the youthful attendant they’d like to purchase. He asked how they’d be paying. They blinked their eyelashes and asked him if they could do finance. He said no problem, he just needed to do a brief background check…
Standing to one side dressed in a faded check shirt, grease-stained jeans and oil-drenched work-boots, all which combined to somehow emit the delectable odour of stale diesel (the skinless knuckles and blackened hands drooping from my belt further eliminated doubt about the profession), I had wondered why the girls had made such a grand effort that morning on their appearances – two typically flighty, ordinarily casually but always scantily attired teenage girls, could not have appeared more composed or well dressed.
…From my not-too-distant chaperone standpoint I heard the store attendant ask my charges of their professions; he transcribed to his form that they were both lawyers, earning $80,000 a year – but that was soon to go up, he was advised.
The sound system was brought back to the house which, incidentally, I now recall they had also secured under the premise of ‘professional women’, and after a number of big nights with bigger tunes and all manner of liqueurs splashed throughout the CD tray, was repossessed a few months later.
That kind of carry-on didn’t bother me particularly until – as well as a number of angry phone calls I received from Baycorp following the girls’ hasty departure from the country, after having been unknowingly named as their reference (there it is) – years later I visited a similar store in the same mall looking to buy a television on hire-purchase. (At the time I didn’t even really want a new TV, it was just that I had never had anything on hire-purchase and had no credit rating per se, which for some reason I felt was a bad thing.)
I went into the shop, selected a nice $3000, 50 inch model, advised the man I wished to hire-purchase it, he brought out the forms, I answered his questions, not worried about my meagre income on the basis that I was a home owner; he informed me that the finance company had rejected my application.
“How can that be?” I asked, not without frustration, “I own a house – that’s a pretty bloody good safety net..?”
“I know,” said the attendant quietly, “I don’t know what to say.”
“But hang about,” a memory rushed back, “the information you wrote on that form, that was all true … I’ve had friends who were a shitload worse off than I am and they were given the stuff they wanted without question – so what should I have done, lied?”
The attendant peered at me, unblinking but with slightly raised eyebrows.
“Because I can be damn sure,” I went on, “that those dropkicks who came in here a few years back and left with two and half grand’s worth of stereo equipment, only to have it repossessed down the track, lied their pretty little arses off.”
“Well maybe that’s it,” after a short pause the attendant offered his conclusion even more quietly.
That was years ago admittedly, but today the act of lying has become so prevalent that it’s almost accepted as though it’s normal behaviour.
Small businesses often lie about the merits of their products or how they are better than their rivals’, as though it’s acceptable behaviour. It’s not acceptable behaviour, it’s shit.
On the radio, people call in and recount their stories; some of them are just so far out that there is no way they are true, but that’s what the radio DJs want – it’s what they expect, as though it’s acceptable behaviour. It’s not acceptable behaviour, it’s shit.
All those Police shows on TV – or even in reality – when the officer asks the offender a question he/she seems to expect his/her response will be a lie, as though there’s nothing wrong with it; as though it’s acceptable behaviour. It’s not acceptable behaviour, it’s shit.
What about in small claims court, nobody seems to care when two stories are being told about the very same instance yet both are markedly different; when one is found innocent nobody bothers to point out that by implication the other is a dirty rotten liar, as though it’s acceptable behaviour. It’s not acceptable behaviour, it’s shit.
When a man/boy picks up a woman/girl in a bar, (I have heard this and it is disgraceful) I truly think she expects to be fed line after line of bullshit, then it’s not until the morning after that the lies must be sorted from the facts as if that was all just one big stupid game; as though it’s acceptable behaviour. It’s not acceptable behaviour, it’s shit.
Or regarding the above, I’ve known marriages that have been formed on a foundation of lies; as though that morning-after chat didn’t contain quite the level of veracity they’d hoped it would (but then what can one really expect from a lying shit-bag), and where they seem to try and work some sort of precarious balance between truth and falsehood, but which invariably ends up in divorce when one half of the arrangement is finally revealed as the filthy cheat that they are, as though it’s acceptable behaviour. It’s not acceptable behaviour, it’s shit.
My conclusion therefore, my Theory: How the hell can an honest guy expect to make any kind of headway in this life when he’s surrounded by lies? Truthfully, I don’t think he can.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Blum Lass
Photography by Nossup Ta Ball