Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Desperately Seeking Lies

Lovely young Michael at this place wanted a story about Lies. I thought about it, and I suck at lying, but hey, something came to mind that I hadn't really thought about before...



Desperately Seeking Lies

Even though we'd all return the proverbial fifty dollars in the wallet, my friends and I at different levels of honesty when it comes to whether we'd tell little white lies. Jacx, my punk friend, and Tina T, my actress friend, would both find a way to soothe and cajole a situation and coat it in sugar if a harsh truth needed to be told. Me, I'm somewhere in between, where I won't blatanly lie, but I'm not adverse to the odd white lie if I think someones feelings need to be spared. Claire meanwhile is likely to be quite brutal with the truth, but is capable of little white lying to her nearest and dearest. Megs B, bless her, is totally incapable of anything but plain, brutal truth. Long before Dr Phil, she was telling it like it is, and I wouldn't have her any other way.

My cousin Lorinda briefly came to our school, when I was in Grade 10 and she was in Grade 11. Lorinda was a born extrovert, who didn't really like people that much, except for a couple of theatrical types. Even as the school bridge between the social groups, there was not much I could do to help Lorinda settle in, and she was gone within four months to become a pilot in the Air Force anyway, but I was confronted by her on a daily basis, usually to ask why I liked so and so, and so and so was a dickhead, and this person should be beaten. Oddly for my family, who I generally love, Lorinda and I have never really gotten on, ever since an incident with Barbie cards. I was so excited to discover that there were Barbie Cards for the collecting, that I raced around to Lorinda's house, only to find out that she about a billion of them, and was really smug about it. Lorinda became especially well known in our school after she hit a pole on her way to school, when she got the accelerator and the brake mixed up. Even so, after that she settled down, and stopped annoying me for a while. Life had returned to normal, until Easter time reared its ugly head.

Being a Catholic school usually meant that at some point, you had to step up to the plate, believer or not, and do something religious. Me, well, in Grade 3 I was Mary in a rendition of the Christmas story for an old folks home, and in Grade 7, I was palm holder number 3 as someone playing Jesus rode through the school on a bike dressed up like a donkey. I used both of these facts to get me out of any religious plays or re-creations after Grade 7, but Lorinda wasn't so lucky. In the same way that I was cheap manual labour once they learned I could paint, so Lorinda found herself in the thick of the action once they found out she was an award winning Rock Eistedffod (more on that later) winner. Sensing acting gold, and the chance to be pretty right on, the bods at Richmond Primary School decided Lorinda was perfectly suited to play the role of...Jesus. "Jesus? He was a bloke wasn't he! With a beard!" I said, when we met up for Cream Eggs that night. "It's interpretative", she said, as if that explained the great historical inaccuracy that was being perpitrated on us. And that was all that was said on the matter, until the big day finally arrived, and we settled in our grey, bolted down cloth chairs in the assembly hall, to watch the Easter story, as an interpretative dance number.

Needless to say, it was awful. Lorinda chose to portray Jesus not as a strong, noble man betrayed, but rather, as a slightly confused idiot boy, much the same way she had portrayed the little chicken hawk in the Grade 5 production of Foghorn Leghorn. Topping this off, Jesus was not only attacked by Romans, but smoke, lights, and a score that sounded like Phillip Glass had been asked to remix the Teen Queens. Judging from this, the Easter story wasn't so much the defining moment of Christianity, but a really bad night out at a crappy disco. I was sure at one point, Lorinda fell on her arse as well. The Romans did have togas on, but also very visible tracky daks, and the point about the devil was lost because the boy who was playing him did have a red top on, but it was a soccer top he had on back to front, so the devil had SHARP apparently on his back. Satire? You make the call. I could tell the more right on teachers were loving it, but the old school nuns, who probably wanted someone to die in order to prove an old school point, were pretty upset. The girls behind me were laughing really hard, and I was trying in my mind to think of something positive to say about it for later. For now though, I was slumped in my seat, not even able to focus on "Priest Bingo", to the point that there was a dispute over whether the priest said "lepers" or "leopards" (trust me, this was important).

We got out of the assembly hall like survivors of some horrible disaster, and huddled in the school playground, unable to speak or move. We had sat through some really bad school plays before, like the Grade 6 take on "drugs in clubs", but this was an all time low. After about an hour of just total silence, Claire nudged me in the ribs and said "Your cousins here". I stood up to see Lorinda, and looked her in the eye. Even though we were not close, she was family, and as such, I had to think of some little white lie, some way of ensuring that Lorinda would pursue her love of acting, when she was really hopeless at it. So, I out and out lied.

"That was really good!" I said, in my best benny cheerful voice. Claire, bless her, held herself back from saying anything, and the other people around me knew what I was doing, and nodded in unison. It seemed as though we had come through a crisis, when a little voice decided to disagree. Megs B sat her Big M down on the table, looked Lorinda in the eye, and said "mate, please, don't ever make me sit through a pile of shit again OK? Fuck me, it was awful."

Megs B took back her Big M, oblivious to everything else. Lorinda eyed her evenly, then broke into the biggest grin I'd ever seen.

"I like you!" she said, extending her hand to Megs B. Megs B shook it, nodded, and went back to her Big M, while all around her sat transfixed.

The thing is, some people can lie. Some people can't. Both of us, in our own way, did the right thing. We were both being ourselves. Lies can get us through the day, they can help us survive, but if we can't lie, we probably shouldn't. As long as we find it in ourselves to be comfortable with who we are, then how we choose to conduct ourselves will become second nature.

I wrote that paragraph for Megs B, just so that she reads it, taps me on the shoulder, and says "enough of the Jerry Springer bullshit Y, just wrap it up" - which she no doubt will very, very soon.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fop said...

"when we met up for Cream Eggs that night."

This is VERY funny (and acutely observed!). I LOVED it.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Alyson with a Y said...

Hooray! Someone left a comment! Thankyou!

I thought it was just me talking to myself - ha ha

5:06 PM  

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