Monday, September 17, 2012

Big Whopper Liar Day

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By Diane Forrest

One of my favorite Disney movies is Pinocchio.  My son and I watched it all the time.  It is the story of a lonely man who carved a little boy out of wood, then wished that he would be alive.  He did come alive, but was still made of wood.  But Gepetto loved him dearly.  Pinocchio was visited by the blue fairly and was told to be a good boy, and gave him Jimminy Cricket to be his conscious.  But, just as real boys, Pinocchio often got into trouble and tried to tell a lie to get out of it.  Only every time he told a lie, his nose grew...in fact it turned into a tree. Complete with a nest and birds!  The story has a happy ending when Pinocchio stopped lying and was changed into a live boy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could tell if a person was lying to us by the growth of his nose?  Today they have lie detector machines that when it is connected to you will measure your heart rate, and changes in your breathing habits, and those levels are used to determine if you are telling the truth.  These are used for many reasons such as criminal investigations, certain job applications, even talk shows.  In the movie "Meet the Parents" Robert DeNiro's character was a retired FBI agent who claimed to be a human lie detector.  He could put his fingers on your pulse and determine if you were lying.

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But today is Big Whopper Liar Day.  This is not just for any ole lie.  There are contests held to see who could come up with the most incredible yet believable lie.  My husband would be one who could win this contest.  While he would be out in town in his wheelchair, many people would ask him what happened to paralyze him.  Getting bored with the truth, he would make up outrageous stories, from telling people he was in Viet Nam to being involved in a skydiving accident.  Sometimes his stories were so incredible, I would have to walk away lest I would begin laughing and ruin his tall tale.

One favorite joke of mine involves college students who were a few hours late for the final exam.  Apparently they had been out drinking the night before, and had overslept.  Once they reached the classroom, they begged the instructor to let them take the exam.  They explained that a flat tire had made them late.  After considering it, he agreed to let them make up the test, put each of them in a different room and handed them a test paper with just one question on it.  The question?  Which tire was flat?

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So today, have a little fun and come up with your own whopper of a lie.  I’m not talking about lying on a witness stand or something.  You can try something a friend of mine did once.  We went out to lunch at a small restaurant and pretended to speak in a foreign language, or hatch some evil plot.  But tomorrow you have to go back to being as honest as Abe Lincoln!

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