‘Don’t tell anyone I’m around o’ was my plea to my roomie on a Saturday afternoon, one which I was billed to go somewhere but just decided otherwise. That statement isn’t a lie per say and I wasn’t asking him to lie on my behalf. It was just a plea not disclose a secret. He would decide how to say it, but that’s none of my business. Of course he has enough sense not to quote my words verbatim in response to anyone asking for me. That would sell me out. ‘Tell anybody I’m not around’ was the direct lie I successfully avoided.
But we have ALL lied at certain times mostly to important people in our lives. And people will continue to lie, however this article doesn’t seek to stop that established trend. That would be a failed campaign. Guys helplessly and prerogatively lie to their wives, babes, side-chicks and female friends. These beauties literarily love to hear lies. I once gave a girl a compliment I sincerely meant, but she responded by saying that I was pulling her legs. I was tempted to agree with her which would mean that I lied and therefore didn’t mean what I said. Or that I lied to deny a compliment I honestly meant. That meant trouble, big one (Read again if you don’t understand this part). If I had said what I really meant, why should she want me to lie again? Ladies don’t want the bare truth just like that. Its not fair, not sweet to swallow. Just like you don’t give somebody pounded yam without soup, one must coat the truth with some lies for the ladies to swallow. If the needed lie was not provided, they supply it themselves by saying things like “It is a lie joor” “You are pulling my legs” “Like seriously?” “Awww, you’re kiddin right?” just to swallow and digest the truth well. Its like covering biscuit with much chocolate. Seeing this, I kukuma allowed the lie centre in my frontal cortex (everyone has it) have a free minute. And there she started blushing. As if the initial honest dose wasn’t just enough to excite her receptors. Not just for compliments, but lies come handy many times we just don’t want unnecessary trouble, for instance, a guy tells his girlfriend that he missed all her calls because his boss got him busy all day. Or there was bad network when he tried earnestly on phone to wish her sweet dreams. Iro funfun. Well, some girls know he’s lying but when they hear it they feel respected (at least) and believe its true all the same. So, what do we do then? We tell it to them jare. Unrestrained.
Women lie to husbands or boyfriends too. They don’t often lie to male-friends. Well, most of us know you are lying or ‘forming’, we don’t believe it but we really don’t care because d tin wey we wan chop na hin no dey make us get sense. But wait, girls can lie o. No matter the religion and level of devotion. Choi. Olorun Oba o. The entropy of a grave can be geometrically raised when a woman lies that the dead will rise again. Especially when it comes to reproductive or relationship history, omo mehn, they rock! And you may never know. But when it is discovered, they do something, they lie again. This time a bigger one. Ladies lie to themselves too in their endless gists. Infact, I once saw a play where four girls were gisting; one said she travelled to America last June and while there, she stayed in London! But because it was winter at that time she was indoors mostly so that she couldn’t buy stuffs to bring back home! Another started, “Hmmn, my sister got a BB for me but I haven’t got the PIN, they said to come back next week.” The third promptly asked which network it was and that same happened when she got her Blackberry line”. Yet one said “we have swimming pool in our house but my father didn’t want us to play in it again so he packed it. Haba! Obviously hilarious scene intended for that purpose but they gave a glimpse of more serious lies in the women’s world.
Clients and customers are the worst and most frequent victims of lies on this side of the lying world. The liars in this case are hardworking artisans, businessmen, contractors, consultants who would do anything to allay the fears of their cherished clients who obsessively don’t want to be swindled. They promise a date for the start or completion of a job they really want to do but know better that the time ain’t feasible; they must satisfy the urgency in that desperate customer’s plan or most times (as in Lagos) simply reassure a naïve buyer. Its business. The clients want more than is realistic, he wants to hear that all his dreams (sudden or protracted) can be met at once at his desired time and taste. He probably doesn’t even know the cost of his project. But he wants it anyways at his own cost. And he will get it anyways at his own ‘cost’. However, these arduous workers don’t dupe or swindle, they deliver. On the other hand, it could be a lazy and corrupt ‘businessman’ who would keep telling sweet lies in permissible excuses. He doesn’t know how to do the job or perhaps does, but has little capacity to handle it. But he wants the money. That’s all, and lies starts flowing like a stream that never dries. The client would soon realize he has become a victim; swindled and jolted. He is the Maga. And the other man has hammered.
We lie to our priests, pastors, imams and other various spiritual leaders including babalawo, and so on whom we all think they shouldn’t be lied to probably for reverence sake or because we assume they are all-seeing spirit beings who will detect all lies. Or that they have the solution to every problem and we will do ourselves the favour of telling them the whole story sincerely. But inspite of all these, we still tell them lies. Big ones. Hmmn. I shake my head. Don’t ask me if these people lie too.
Patients lie to doctors- something which is often counter-productive. Oh my God, they can lie. Most of these though are police or coroner cases. However, some lie because they feel some medical details are too personal to be asked by a doctor who thinks he has the right to know all. Others do to avoid a diagnosis already known to them but wouldn’t want to incur further bills. Yet in this part of the world patients lie to get; a certain kind of treatment (commonly, infusions and injections), to get free drugs, hospital admission or sick-offs. The doctor being lied to becomes confused about the etiology of the problem before him, doesn’t know the investigation and of course, appropriate treatment. I have seen this a lot in my little months of practice. But I’ve also learnt that with experience or better still, leaning on documented experience, a doctor could an infallible lie-detector. But then, doctors lie too. In my pre-med-school days I had an innocent assumption that doctors are holy after God, who is holiest and clergies who are holier. Alas! We lie. As a house officer you couldn’t but lie sometimes to your senior colleague who will work you till you get sick while the patients must get well. For instance, your Senior Registrar (I don’t send Registrars most times but I respect them) may have told you to give update on an in-patient after a draining day-long clinic, then your phone rings in the restaurant while you are taking your well-deserved first meal. You have not checked on the patient. What you do? You lie. “I’m just getting to the ward now”; “patient is doing some toileting, so I’m waiting”; and so on. Just anything to buy time. But, we don’t lie to our patients, however we may not always tell them the whole truth based on better judgment either from a self-protective angle or for patient’s sake. But then we lie, families and friends are our helpless victims, we say things like “I have been busy all day, patients were much so I couldn’t call”; “Mom, I’ve been on-call for the past one week that’s why I couldn’t come, infact I’ll still be for the next 5 days”; “Darling, I’m on-call again this night o”; “Sweetheart I was in the E.R all night long, I couldn’t pick your call” Choi! We dey lie!
Lawyers are the other professionals who feature prominently in this matter. They can, and must lie, but should never be lied to. They are professional liars. They help to lie. They teach their clients how to lie productively while they mentally force their opponents to lie through cross examinations in the courtroom. The potential for victory in the courtroom lies in both the truthfulness of plaintiff or defendant to his lawyer and the lying skills and techniques, or say ‘liability’, of his solicitor with which he makes ends meet legally. They twist the law and possibly, if successful, twist the head of the judge (who also was once a lawyer) in their favour. The winner in the courtroom is not necessarily the right person, rather, its simply victory for the defendant or plaintiff. The better liar carries the day. But lawyers should not be lied to. However, we still lie to them. Any lawyer would agree that he has bad client in a liar. He would probably not win. If a legal battle will be won, a man will have to take his trouble truthfully in confidence to the licensed liars- the lawyers.
Generally liars are everywhere. Footballers are as pathetic as those criminals called police whose lies can only be dwarfed by politicians. We can lie to ourselves too. It is called denial, when we are aware of it. It is an excuse, when subconscious. The latter variety can occasionally be used to defend other lies. Thankfully both are temporary, because our hearts can’t hold that deception for long. It keeps biting and chewing into the truth which is clearly evident. It may take hours or years for us to embrace the truth but surely we will.
Finally, we can’t lie to God. Neither does He lie. If He says what appears to be not, the same appears to be at the instant or eventually. He sees everything clearly without any haze. And though even men of faith have lied at various times, the infinitely merciful God still looks down on them with pardon as the souls of these people gaze on Him in faith for mercy. Abraham, David and Peter, to mention a few, lied at some points in their lives. The reason we lie mostly revolve around fear, pride and greed. But whatever the cause, or whatever the nature; white, black or grey lies, or for whatever purpose; for greater good or selfish interest, let us not leave the truth unspoken.