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Would I Lie To You?

by Stephen Lautens


June 7, 2002

It's now official. Scientists claim women are better liars than men.

We men have long suspected it, simply due to the fact that we can never catch women in the middle of telling a fib. On the other hand, we can't open our mouths without getting busted.

Researchers at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh think they have scientific proof. They've come to the conclusion that women are more "fluent speakers" than men. We men apparently are almost twice as likely to pause or hesitate when we lie, and that's what gives us away when we're sneaking in late after "visiting a sick friend." Of course they can tell our sick friend's name is most likely Jack Daniels or Johnnie Walker.

Speech pathologists say that men aren't as quick on their feet when thinking up plausible excuses to explain why we were seen having lunch with a redhead instead of being at the dentist like we said. When cornered, we freeze, stammer and generally fill our lame explanations with too many 'ums' and 'ahs's to be believable.

The researchers thought that we men choke up when we lie because we're taking our time to put together a convincing story. Personally, I don't believe this is true. I think we hesitate because men generally don't think very far ahead, especially if we've just come back from betting (and losing) the farm down at the racetrack and spending our last few dollars at a bar where the entertainment is of the table top variety.

Being simple creatures, men to make up things on the spot instead of carefully planning our fibs out in advance. And tip-toeing into the bedroom at 3 am is not the best time to get creative, especially if you're facing a distinctly unsympathetic audience.

Maybe we get caught more because men lie about a very predictable things - like sports prowess and our love lives. It's not long before someone opens up the high school yearbook and finds we were captain of the chess club and not the football team. Or our nickname was "fumbles". And when they finally dig up a photo of that gorgeous ex-girlfriend we kept bragging about, she looks more like Janet Reno than Janet Jackson.

Science has so far not made any discoveries about why women may be better at stretching the truth than men. Maybe they're smoother liars, or we're just slower to catch on. It may be that women don't have as much reason to fib about anything. Or since they've caught us in so many dumb lies, they can pretty much do whatever they want without having to sneak around, and if we're smart, we'll just keep our mouths shut.

In fact, I can't remember a single instance of a woman ever lying to me. Or maybe what I really don't remember is ever catching a woman lying to me. Either way, that's a pretty impressive batting average.

Personally, I learned long ago that I'm a terrible liar. I was always sure people could tell when I was telling a nose-stretcher. One look at me and I'd sweat more than a cabinet minister during Question Period. Plus I was immediately overcome with a desire to make a full confession, which would also prove a disadvantage to a successful political career.

So for years honesty has been the best policy with me.

After all, would I lie to you?

© Stephen Lautens 2002

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