By Kevin Wilson
While coming back home from Lubbock a few Mondays ago, my friend and I were greeted by the blue and red flash that ruins many a night.
“You weren’t even speeding,” I said. “What’s that about?”
My smart friend already knew it was a faulty license plate light. She’d already had it looked at by three different specialists, and they all told her it wasn’t an issue. They apparently never checked with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
As the officer handed over the warning, my friend said, “I didn’t even know there was a light ’round there. Learn something new every day.” After the officer left, I rolled my eyes.
“What’s that about?” she inquired.
“‘Thar’s a light thar? Really?’ You didn’t need to dumb it down.”
Maybe she did. It’s time to go home; 30 seconds of faked ignorance beats an authentic three-minute tale of awareness and responsibility.
A few weeks before, I was at the movie theater as a friend bought popcorn. I told him I was skipping concessions, because, “I can’t bring myself to pay $4 for Milk Duds.”
As the concession stand worker handed him his box, he said he agreed, but he had to have popcorn. Then as we walked in, he said in a low voice, “I’ve got a pocket full of Spree I bought at the grocery store last night.”
White lies to strangers, funny confessions to friends. It’s troubling if you also believe a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet. “Hi, I’m Kevin. You should ignore everything before, ‘Hi, I’m Kevin.’”
In an attempt to bare my soul, here’s what you might hear me tell you as a non-friend, and the version I tell my actual friend. (Warning: I’ve probably told my friends some of these lies as well, but it was for your own good, guys. Seriously.)
I tell an acquaintance, “Oh, I’ve looked into it, and it’s a lot more work than I had hoped,” I tell a friend, “Haven’t done a thing. I didn’t even give it a passing thought until I saw him, which inspired me to craft that wafer-thin, ‘I’ve looked into it,’ story.”
I tell the movie theater guy, “Oh, no candy for me, but I have to have my popcorn and Cherry Coke.” I tell a friend, “Don’t worry, I’ve got three different candies in Ziploc bags because it makes less noise than cardboard boxes. If a liter of Cherry Coke and my Presto hot air popper fit in this sweatshirt, I’d be $8 richer.”
I tell acquaintances, “I hit every red light; million-to-one shot.” I tell a friend, “I was rolling on Candy Crush.” I tell close friends I really played Scrabble against the computer.
I’ll tell an outside observer I stop columns when I hit 500 words. I’ll tell you, my friends, that you really would have hated the 700-word version of this before I did some self-editing.
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media, Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org