They say if you are going to tell a lie, you have to own it, and most politicians would probably agree. I mention this in the context of having the grandkids after school, which is our usual Monday thing. When they went home Old Mate casually asked me, “Did you know they have got a pool at their place?” I inquired whether it was an above ground one but was told the kids had told her it was concrete with a glass fence and when she asked how deep it is, she was told that it was about Dad’s height (182cm).
I struggled with this information and pointed out that concrete pools don’t just pop up, and if this one had, I wanted to know who built it. Old Mate was pretty adamant that the kids had answered every part of the interrogation like they had a pool and it was all a bit much for me, so I went over to their house to have a look.
Their father was stunned when I asked him. I then got the six-year-old out and asked her where the pool was and she just laughed and took off. It turned out they are looking after their neighbour’s pool, which explained the detail.
I am not much good at telling porkies, and if I do Old Mate can see right through them so there is no point. But I do have a confession to make: way back when I was about the grandkids’ age I went missing in sideshow alley at the Nambour Show, where I stuffed my face with fairy floss before my Mum found me. When she asked me where I had been, I told here I had got a job leading ponies around an enclosure which was happening but not by me. Like my grandkids, I was very good on the detail.
My Mum believed me and I never had the heart to tell her that I was actually gutsing myself on sugar not leading ponies. She would bring it up randomly over the next four decades, “Remember the time you led the ponies,” and I would respond with a sheepish grin.
Apart from feeling bad for 40 years, I did pay another price for lying: about five years after the lie I was riding our horse Gypsy and it shied, then bolted under an orange tree. I came out the other end looking like I had a fight with Freddy Krueger.
I never rode another horse and the lesson in it made me about as truthful as any male can be.