Belfast Telegraph

The truth about lying? There’s a time and place to tell a porkie

By Robert McNeil

Newspapers never lie, so when I saw a headline saying the average citizen tells 657 porkies a year, I believed it.

Speaking personally, I never lie. And that's the truth. More or less.

I'd put my porkies at maybe four a year, invariably to get out of social invitations.

However, this poll claimed that four out of every five people said lies were now part of day-to-day life.

I find that incredible.

It's fine to lie for someone else's good.

And it can be quite acceptable for a quiet life, say, for example, when you’re asked to give an opinion on your partner's new clothes.

I think I told you, during a learned article about women's couture, about the time my mate's missus asked him not just to say “it's nice” but to be honest about her outfit.

“All right,” he averred foolishly, “you look like Henry the Eighth.”

Spang! That was the noise his head made as it got clattered.

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