Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire


I hate when people lie to me.  Unfortunately, it happens much too often (and, most likely, more often than I even realize). 

I can understand those who lie to try to get out of trouble or forestall punishment–I don’t agree with it or appreciate it, but I can at least understand their motivation (they have probably faced my wrath  before).  I can deal with that.

The liars I cannot tolerate are the compulsive ones, the ones who repeatedly embroider the truth and exaggerate it to the point that not a shred of honesty remains.  These are the people who will lie when telling the truth would have been easier, the ones who will lie when there really is no reason to do so.  These are also the people who feel the need to “one up” every conversation participant:  “Oh yeah, I’ve done that–only sooner, faster, better, and cheaper than you did.”

You know these people.

When we were younger, it was easy to deal with them.  We could quickly shut them up with a jeering taunt of “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” or an earth-shattering threat of “I’m not going to be your friend anymore!”  Only the most accomplished liars among them would still persist with their trumped-up tales and risk such humiliation or abandonment; they are probably the same ones still telling big whoppers today.

But it is much harder to deal with these people when they become adult liars.  Most of us are too tactful, too polite, too passive to confront these flagrant violators of the truth, so we pretend to listen–nodding in appropriate places and muttering an occasional “uh huh” while silently cursing them and fervently wishing a sudden lightning bolt would strike them down (or at least scorch their vocal cords).  Then, as soon as possible, we change the subject or find an excuse to walk away.

And most of the “experts” say this is actually the best way to deal with habitual liars–that arguing with them and attempting to point out their discrepancies will only give them the attention they are obviously craving.  But if we allow these “mythomaniacs” to believe that we honestly believe them, aren’t we reinforcing their bad behavior?  And are we giving them license to label us “suckers”?

Who knows?  I just know I’m tired of being lied to.  Maybe it’s time I turn the tables and give those fabricators a whopping dose of their own medicine.  And since I didn’t grow up telling lies (a behavior worthy of butt-busting in our house), I may need to practice a little …

In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas (whom I’ve trained to jump through hoops), spitting tobacco into a brass spittoon ten feet away (I seldom miss), and knitting socks for prison inmates (they seem to like the pink ones best).

In a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (probably Dopey or Grumpy, but I’m not sure), and in my next life I already know I’m going to be either a taste tester for Hershey’s or a model for Victoria’s Secret.  Both options will be available to me; I’m just not sure yet which one I will choose.

I sang back-up for Kool and the Gang on their hit, “Jungle Boogie.”  Those elephant sounds that you thought were just trumpets blaring in the background–yeah, that was me.

When I retire I plan to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop.

In 1998 I won the lottery, but I really didn’t need the money, so I donated every last cent of it to charity.  I never told anyone until just now.

My favorite color is chartreuse–not so much because I like wearing it but because I just like saying it (and having people give me strange looks when I do).

I know for a fact that alien life forms live among us, most of them disguised as pet rottweilers or drive-up window workers at McDonalds.  (I know this because I can talk their talk.)

I wrecked a motorcycle by attempting to ride out a wheelie.  Fortunately, the only things crushed were my tender pride and the bike’s back fender.

I was once asked to host Saturday Night Live, but half-way through the dress rehearsal, I was asked to leave.  Apparently, I just wasn’t funny enough.  Whatever.

With just one withering look, I can make grown men tremble in fear and cry out in their sleep.  With two withering looks (one immediately following the other), I can disrupt their heart rhythms and make them beg for their mamas.  For some reason, these looks have absolutely no effect on other women.

I am a direct descendant of Edgar Allan Poe, and if you’re familiar with his work, then you will understand that some of my shall-we-say “strangeness” may be genetically induced and therefore not my fault and also beyond my control.

I can bench press my own weight.

Al Gore didn’t invent the internet; I did.

Several years ago I had a quote from Shakespeare tattooed on my back:  “There is no darkness but ignorance.”  (Twelfth Night, Act IV, Scene II)  It used to be in pretty small type, but somehow over the years the type has gotten much bigger.  Hmmm.

I was a stunt double for Michelle Pfeiffer when she played Catwoman in Batman Returns.  Danny DeVito looked up to me.

Last year I won Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest by consuming 69 hot dogs in 12 minutes.  However, I was disqualified when I had a “reversal of fortune” (their polite way of saying I threw up) immediately following the contest, and Joey Chestnut took home my trophy, casting me back into the depths of anonymity.

So, how did I do?  Do I have a future as a compulsive liar?  Honestly, coming up with a pack of lies was much harder than I thought it would be … I think I’ll stick with the truth.

(And just so you know, one of the above statements actually is true–can you figure out which one?)

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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30 Responses to Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

  1. Janet says:

    Hmmm, I didn’t do well on your last guess-the-right-one contest, but I’ll take another stab at it. I’m going with the country backroads, singing karaoke and checking out truckstops one because I would like at least the first part of that one.

  2. homesteadramblings says:

    I guess the whithering look or the tatoo. Maybe the whithering look should be used on those fabricators, but keep your slate clean, don’t start lying, it may become hard to stop! 🙂

    • Although I do intimidate most of the men I know (this isn’t an assumption–they’ve told me so), I don’t think I’ve ever made any of them cry or beg for their mamas (I don’t think)! I don’t plan on picking up the lying habit–too much work!

  3. Jamie says:

    GREAT LIAR!!! Those are some whoppers…. !

  4. Mary Schlicht says:

    Is it your favorite color?

  5. Norman Eubank says:

    It must be okay to let the cat out of the bag. I’m the only one who gets to see your back so I get this one right. Now the boys know why you didn’t mind their tats. HA!

  6. Gail says:

    This is great! I can’t stand being lied to either. I LOVE your blog and your writing. I have read just about every post. Thanks for making me laugh!

  7. emjayandthem says:

    I needed the giggle and I’m guessing … motorcycle 🙂

  8. emjayandthem says:

    awesome and good thing it was your brother’s! 🙂

  9. beth rodgers says:

    yep. I was going to guess the motorcycle too. But em beat me to it. 🙂

  10. Julie says:

    Dang it, Karen! Does this mean I can’t tell you what I did this weekend? Twas going to be an incredible tale of adventure, romance, and espionage. Oh well, Kathy will listen to me. 😉

    • No, Julie, you are one of very few exceptions to my “quit the lying crap” rule. Your stories are much too entertaining; there will be no moratorium issued on your behalf. Bring it!

  11. Debbie says:

    The true one I would have to guess, is the favorite color. ?? I can’t stand those liars that lie even when there’s no reason, and the ones who lie to make themselves look like less of an a** in an argument. I like the truth better, even if it hurts. What is wrong with people? Love your post, yet again!

  12. Ed Feiler says:

    Young lady, If I knew you had so much talent at writing, I would not have hollered at you “Kid, get back in the classroom, the tardy bell has rung !”
    I do enjoy reading your blog, and take joy in knowing that it is all true !

  13. Kathy says:

    Karen,

    Liars and thieves…can’t stand them. Wouldn’t it be great if Karma turned all liars into crispy critters with one sizzling bolt from above? Ugh…Julie and I might be in trouble…but ours is all in good fun. (you know…the little white lies). Thanks for the laughs! And the tatto reads,”Quoth the Raven, Eat my shorts!”

  14. Jana Dobson says:

    No idea why but the motorcycle tale was my first guess too. My next guess would have been making men cry for their momma. 🙂 I wish I could have been there when Ed Feiler told you to get to your class! LOL The look you gave him had to have been priceless!

    • The “making men cry” was a first or second choice for almost everyone–I wonder why that is?! I do tend to intimidate the menfolk, which I think is hilarious considering my now 4′ 11 1/2″ frame–it must be “the look”! If they only knew what a softie I really am … but I have no intention of letting them in on that little secret!

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