Sage Advice

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies…

The brutal truth is that we all lie. Sometimes it’s a big lie that makes people roll their eyes in the sheer disbelief that you just told such a huge whopper. Sometimes it is just a little lie in order to not insult the person. Other’s lie to gain an advantage over someone. Just watch Big Brother or Survivor to see what I mean. Then there are the infuriating ones that lie even when the lie makes no sense. Yes, the pathological liar, the one person in your life that you would be happy if you never had to talk to them again.

Why do we lie? psychiatrists say that we learn to lie at a very young age.

While measuring lying behaviour in young children through laboratory experiments has its own limitations,  previous study results suggest that lying behaviour can be seen in children as young as forty-two months

The ten commandments in the bible says do not lie.

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Yep, look at old number nine there. So in keeping with the ten commandments, even little white lies are against God’s will. But we persist in telling them anyways. Just goes to show you that we are not perfect. Some of us are even less perfect than others.

One of my character defects that I learned of when I stopped drinking was that I’m a liar. A great liar in fact, honed by many years of practice. Since then, I’ve made it a point to try not to lie. Yes, occasionally, I’ll tell a little white lie here and there, but as time goes on, I find myself speaking the brutal truth instead. Let me tell you, this can get you into trouble!

Yesterday at work, our security manager came down to the warehouse. As she rounded the corner, all I could think of was Oompa-Loompa!

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Okay, to be fair, she didn’t look as hideous as that pic above, but she was wearing a bright yellow shirt with green pants and a zebra jacket. As she is rather chunky too, I couldn’t help but think Oompa-Loompa. At that point, I could have blurted out Oompa-Loompa, but I remembered a sage piece of advice I learned as a kid and probably you did also; If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

Sad part is, I need to remember that advice more often, especially at work.

Writing 101: Commit to a Writing Practice

Today’s assignment … er… yesterday’s assignment:

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Back in the day, when I was a young teenager in High School, there was no computers and not very many channels on TV. Instead, the teenagers in my time would cruise Broadway or head over to Pizza Mill and Sub Factory where they had a pool hall and game room. Of course, the game room looked nothing like the ones you see today in Dave & Busters, instead of rows of computer arcade games, there was rows of pinball machines with just one computer arcade game of Pac-man.

My favorite pinball machine was located in the prime spot where everyone went by. The girls would crowd around the machine if the player was any good. Let me tell you, everytime I played, it was crowded. The theme of the pinball machine was Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend”. Most of you are too young to know of this classic, but I absolutely loved the song and the pinball machine. When I got a turn at the machine, I would have my buddies put quarters in the juke box and play “Working for the Weekend”. When that song was blaring, I was almost always on top of my game.

The shining steel ball was just putty in my hands. The flippers an extension of my body. I hit target after target until I lit up the special. What is this special you ask? Simply put once the special lit up, I had to shoot the ball up a ramp on the right side that then looped around if I hit it just right to come down on the left side. With exquisite timing, a single flip shot the ball right back up the ramp to do another loop. If you could do three consecutive loops, then you won a free game. Some times, I was so tied in on the timing, I would loop the ball 10 or more times and win multiple games. Yes, I was the MAN! The girls would fawn over me and ooh and ahhh with every free game racked up. As long as “Working for the Weekend” was playing on the juke box, I would be jamming on the pinball machine. Invariably, the song would end and I would make a simple mistake and lose the ball.

That’s it, my mind is blank and I cannot think of any other song, so I’ll take an incomplete on this assignment.

Writing 101: Just a View

Today’s assignment is to describe a place. I’ve decided to post the continuation of The Lake At The End of The Road that I posted over the weekend. Enjoy and please comment on what you think of it.

Just down the road, past the old oak tree that used to stand on Mrs. Mosby’s yard, turn to the left and go about a mile or so until you can go no further. There, through the brambles and the tall leafy maples, you just might glimpse the lake at the end of the road. The lake that few people have seen and fewer still that want to go there. Not because it isn’t a beautiful lake, not because it isn’t full of lake trout, which it is, but because it is a lake of sorrows, heartache and missed fulfillment.

The lake is home to a small flock of geese that revel in the peaceful surrounding. Free of fear from hungry predators. Free of fear from hunters that just want to put another notch on their gunstocks. The geese eat the wild grass surrounding the lake while floating on the crystal blue water with the sun shining down upon their white feathers. Truly this is a Norman Rockwell painting or even better, a Thomas Gainsborough landscape.

It sounds magical, maybe even mystical, but the lake is neither. It is just a lake, nothing more. It doesn’t even have a name. As far as sizes go, it just barely makes it as a lake. In some parts of the world, it would only be considered a pond and not even a big pond. There aren’t any deer or elk or moose that come down to drink out of it. There is not a gentle creaking of frogs that fill the night air.  Mosquitoes and flies seem to avoid the lake. Other than the lake trout and the geese, the lake is devoid of life.

Sometimes as we go this journey of life, we tend to forget the why and wherefore of what we are journey for, not to mention what we are journeying to what end. In the hustle and bustle, we forget what’s important, what’s makes this life worth living. Is the lake at the end of the road the destination or is it just a fantasy?

Heavy thoughts on a rainy weekend for sure, but really, just what else do we have if not the time and the inclination to reflect on life in this, our twilight of years. How often do you spy an old person sitting placidly on the porch of a well-maintained but somewhat worn house? They sit in a comfortable chair or sofa or even in a rocking chair, staring off into space. Not seeing, but at the same time seeing more than you or I will ever know. Are they still searching for the lake at the end of the road? Peering through the brambles and leafy maples, but knowing deep in their soul that they never made it to the lake.

Pondering the choices they made in life, wondering if things would have been different if they had chosen this path or that path. A somewhat pointless exercise it may seem, but truly can it be pointless if it just might provide insight into what took them to the shady porch in the warm summer afternoon? The person on the porch may have a chance to realize that the lake at the end of the road is not that far away, even a chance to see a glimpse of it out of the corner of the eye.