The sixth: "The column, er, that is, the story, is on its way."
Editors hear this stuff so much that I completely understand why my editors might lapse into occasional antsyness about me, even though I have never given them the slightest cause for even the smallest worry.
Which brings me to the subject, actually, of this column: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (which is a phrase I just made up).
The Washington Post recently ran a story about lying. According to the article, a social psychologist at the University of Massachusetts named Robert Feldman found that if people were cars, their constant trafficking in falsehood would basically jam every highway in America forever.
Actually, neither Feldman nor the Post said that, exactly. I kind of made up the whole car metaphor. Just a little poetic license there.
What Feldman did say, the Post reports, is that people lie every 10 minutes.
Yes, I said every 10 minutes.
Okay, that's a lie.
What the story actually says is this: "Experiments have found that ordinary people tell about two lies every 10 minutes, with some people getting in as many as a dozen falsehoods in that period."
Two every 10 minutes? A dozen?
Kind of makes you wish that my lie about people lying every 10 minutes were the truth, doesn't it? Which is part of the point of lying, according to the experts. Says the story: "[Lies] are mostly designed to please others - 'The muffins were great' - and as harmless bouts of self-promotion, as in, 'Yeah, I used to play lead guitar for the Police.…'?"
Used to play lead guitar for the Police? Has anyone actually told that lie? Isn't there a point that a lie becomes so colossally stupid that it ceases to be a lie and becomes something else entirely? Something just waiting for a word to describe it. "That wasn't just a lie; that was a yomachelinga!"