Why Tell the Truth When You Can Lie?

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I dimly remember Oscar Wildeís essay about the pleasures of charming deceit.

But thereís a peculiar class of people who enjoy or feel compelled to engaged in purposeless falsehood.

The wonderfully named Joy Station is a convenience store near my house. One of the clerks is if not the most annoying store clerk Iíve ever met surely near the top.

Needlessly she baits minors that she refuses to sell cigars with which to roll blunts. Many of us in the neighborhood await the day when some young thug beats or murders her.

She offers advice that is so flatly incorrect that you know she just made it up. Like the time she told me that my bank charged me more when I used my bank card as a debit card instead of a credit card (it isnít but it will allow the card to work without entering a PIN). The banking fee in both modes is zero.

Someone told me sheíd started telling people lies. If only to spread irritation and dissension among the neighbors if nothing else.

I stopped by the Joy Station this afternoon. The clerk was reading Maus. She said her son has to read it for class and asked for her help. Since she didnít seem to know I explained to her that it was based on what the authorís grandfatherís stories about his time in a Nazi concentration camp.

She then told me that her mother had been so emaciated that when she was liberated from a concentration camp that she it in a small box. The clerk is in her thirties, forty at most. By way of amplification she explained that the family was punished because her father supported Bismarck.

I didnít bother to ask if the family owned a time machine

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Thanks,
Richard

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