You are a dirty filthy liar. Go on admit it. How many lies have you told today? How many lies in your life? You’ll never count them. We start young and we learn from the masters – our parents. I know as a parent I have lied to my children at a very young age. “Oh that’s an amazing painting!” Who hasn’t said that to a blotch on a page? Which sporting parent hasn’t told their child that they are really good or even the best when in fact they were rubbish on the day? Come on you liar, I know you did.
But they are nice lies, kind lies, little white lies, aren’t they? Are they lies at all? Mmmm? Where do we cross the line? We tell our parents things like, “It wasn’t me?” or (pointing to your sister) “She did it!” Innocence of youth or the beginnings of a psychotic leaning that can turn nasty later in life?
You go to school and you exaggerate or are they lies? “My dad is bigger than your Dad.” How about “I have one of them at home too” or better still “Yeah I had one of them but they’re crap so I gave mine away to my little brother.” Now we are bordering on maliciousness aren’t we?
“Sorry sir, my sister got sick on my homework.” Never tried that one? Come on you used some version of it I know. How low did you sink in the get out of trouble card in school? It gets heightened when you go to work. I’ve witnessed fake funerals of relatives as close as someone pretending their mother died, but in fairness he was a psycho. Ever had a fake in-law/old family friend/ second cousin once removed funeral you had to attend?
Think of the sickies you pulled from work, especially when you were younger – or are you all saints out there. Ever ring up with that fake sickly voice with a whimper and a cough to say “ahe..ahee..rrgh.. Sorry I have laryngitis, I won’t be in today I think I have the flu.” Or did you get your mother or boyfriend/girlfriend to do it because you didn’t think you could pull it off. Have you recognised some of your filthy deceitful lies yet?
You have done at least one interview in your life right? Yep nothing more to add on that doozy.
What about socially, “Yeah yeah I’ll call you.” Or “Well I’m away next week but we’ll definitely catch up the next week…I’ll text you.” Surely you’ve pulled that one. Of course if you are a man and have ever had a relationship with almost any woman you’ve been asked the “does my bum look big in this” or equivalent type of question. You’ve told the truth right?
First date lies, worse still chat up lies? Blokes are probably the bigger culprits here but I wouldn’t be one hundred percent sure. Most girls I know say they don’t lie when they meet guys but maybe they are lying to me…what do you think? I had a friend who used to say he was a pilot. The nearest he ever got to being a pilot was when he burned his hand lighting the gas cooker.
So what of it? If someone is reading this and can say they have never ever told a lie then I’m a monkey’s uncle. I suspect most people reading this have told at least a white lie in the last week if not today in many cases. But does that make you a bad person? Let’s break it down. Parent to child “you are just amazing!” Ok if it is an encouraging self-esteem building helping your child to develop confidence then great. If it is some delusional, narcissistic self-projection then you are pointing your kid down a slippery slope, one that you are probably encouraging them from the bottom of that same slope. For the most part these fall into the white lie category as do most of the aforementioned.
Where it gets sinister is in the Walter Mitty world of complete fabrication or where the lie is told not for the preservation of society but to deconstruct, to hurt or damage others… The lie can be all powerful and self-destructive.
I lie on the page with abandon. Being an author gives me licence to make up the wildest of scenarios and allow the character at the end of my pen be as cunning, conniving and downright deceitful as I damn well please. The lie gets the prize in fiction. Larry Flynn is all about the big lie. It is the lie that destroys one man’s life and all those around him and in seeking revenge, poor old Larry only makes matters worse through his own deceit.
Bad Blood has at it very core a singular lie which ultimately brings all of the protagonists together. It is a lie from far in the past much like in Larry Flynn and it is the lie that starts everything.
In Darkly Wood the lies are more obscure. The deception is not a simple lie told by one person to another but the lie of folklore, the lies of stories and the lies that come not from a person but a place. Something that appears to be so much more than the sum of its parts that conspires to fool the innocent and draw them to danger. The lies in the sequel Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, is far more subtle. There is still the lie of the place but there is more depth to the lie as layer upon layer is slowly unwrapped to reveal more and more of the truth. Only in the final book will the true lie be ultimately uncovered.
Little Big Boy contains the grand lie. It is the failed promise to a child that they will be safe in the world. It is the ultimate lie that the innocent will remain safe and protected. It is in many ways the lie of betrayal. Little Big Boy tells of the untold lie, the lie of expectation. The small boy in the story is loved, he feels it and it is part of him so much so that he is the essence of purity and innocent love in many ways. But he discovers that the shine that he sees through his eyes, is nothing more than illusion and Little Big Boy is all about an enormously heroic attempt of an innocent, to fight for the goodness against the lie of his world.
Ah lies, lies beautiful lies where would the writer be without them. I could in theory be a great liar. I have a fantastic poker face and could convince most people that I am the Pope if I tried but there is a difference with my ability to lie and my character. There is a bit of Abraham Lincoln in me. The “I cannot tell a lie” kicks in when it comes to real life. I am not sure if it is my Catholic upbringing that has me wracked with guilt if I lie about anything of consequence, but I genuinely struggle with it.
My lies fall into the ‘spinning a yarn’ category and it is an age old Irish tradition that we Irish pick up from when we are on our mother’s knee. I believe I owe much of my storytelling ability to the culture and environment in which I was nourtered. I have been fortunate to have had access to a good education that helped make me literate from an early age and I fell in love with books as a very young boy, so that too had a huge influence on me personally.
I have a final advantage in that I can exorcize my deceitful fantasies through my written work and thus remain a saintly man of virtue.. as everyone who knows me can attest to…if you can believe them that is. But what about you? I know if asked you’ll say, “Me? I never tell lies!” But given just the few examples I have listed above I’m sure you might begin to realise that maybe you are lying to yourself! I will not judge you; in fact I can forgive you.
But there is a simple way to exorcise the demons of your lies. I think it is somewhere in the Bible or was it the Koran or Talmud.. it could be in them all in fact and I’m sure I heard a Hindu quote something along the same lines – apparently a global truth… The only way to resolve your inner conflict about your propensity to tell lies is to read a book full of them… and here are five perfect links below to get you started… Its true I tells ya!…
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
Universal book links