Thursday, February 28, 2008

The super awesome lying test.

The super awesome lying test.

I don't know if baseball player Roger Clemens is lying about whether he took steroids. Maybe he didn't. Maybe working out really hard, having the "eye of the tiger" if you will was enough to give him all those victories so late in his career. It's hard to say.

But what's easy to say is that Roger flunked the "Am I lying test?" Which I just invented and will one day patent and probably put on mugs and t-shirts.

Until then, here in an exclusive sneak preview are three questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are in fact lying:

1. Does the entire planet need to be wrong for me to be right?
A good way to recognize a lie is to see if anyone else feels the same way you do. In Roger's case, he's kind of on an island. While insisting he is correct, he's also insisting his agent, his trainer, Andy Petite and countless others are wrong. If the rest of the planet has to be wrong for you to be right, you might be lying.

2. Am I throwing people under the bus?
Do I have to hurt the reputations of other people to save myself? Roger told Congress his wife used Human Growth Hormone, not him. Ouch. Then he said his teammate and close friend Andy Pettitte, "misremembers" the details of a conversation they had. And he's painted his trainer as a lying alcoholic. If you ever have to save yourself by destroying others, you might be lying.

3. Am I outwardly, vocally opposed to this issue?
Sometimes the best way to cover up a lie is to rage against the issue you're hiding. A recent minister that was caught with a hooker was known for his loud, angry diatribes against adultery. Where's the disconnect? I think that in general, it's really easy to hate in other people the things we hate in ourselves. Even in the midst of his own drug problem, one television anchor railed against drug users. And Roger? In 2003, he told a crowd of advertisers in a speech,
"There is no place in the game for steroids," Clemens said, "and we need to make sure the game is clean."

4. Does my idea defy logic?
Liars say the craziest things. When you lie, you essentially create an alternate universe where the laws of nature don't really apply. Up is down. Black is white. Good is bad. I once wrote about a minister that tried to say it was normal for him to rent a hotel room and write his books alone in the city he lived in. My dad, also a minister, was flabbergasted by this logic. Roger tried to say that an abscess he got in his butt was due to a B-12 shot. The doctor that gave him that shot said he had administered nearly "one thousand B-12 shots" and never had any such problem.

Maybe you're not going to be investigated by the FBI concerning your alleged drug usage but you might be hiding a lie right now. Run through this list and for more on lying, check out the following posts:

The can't choose who you love lie

I'm lying because I love you

The hermit lie

Owning a guitar will make me a guitar player

p.s. the photo in this post is the cover of the magazine my high school sent me yesterday. It has nothing to do with this post but I thought it was funny and it further proves that I am a huge dork. Although this is not a photo of me, this is my heritage. These are my origins. And if the question is, "Jon did you take tap dancing lessons in high school?" The answer is yes.

p.p.s. New post about a snake and a horrible day for a small dog at

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