Saturday, 22 April 2017

Today Is Honesty Day

Foreword:  If you're a liar, then please don't read the following information.

"Come on in!  The water's perfectly safe!"
According to a poll conducted by the London Science Museum, the most common lie told by men is...

'I didn't drink that much'

...and the most common lie told by women is...

'I'm fine. Nothing's wrong.'

Today is officially Honesty Day* so hopefully today there won't be any lies told.  However, here's an account of a falsity themed incident which happened when I travelling on a tour in Africa several years ago.

* Or is it?**

** Update: Actually, it's next week.  Never trust anything you read on the internet!  Apart from on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog of course, where I always own up to my bluffery.

The tour had taken us to the Ssese Islands*** in Uganda, and on one swelteringly hot day, several of us wanted to go for a swim to cool off.  However, the water by the shore was filled with reeds, and the tour guide had warned us that the presence of reeds could potentially mean a possible risk of catching bilharzia.

*** That's not a spelling mistake.  That is actually how you spell it.

For anyone who isn't an expert on horrible tropical diseases, bilharzia is a chronic disease caused by parasitic worms released from infected snails.  I'm no expert, but my non-expert advice would be 'try not to catch it'.

Anyway, as it turned out the resort owner was fishing in the water at the time and he assured everyone that the water was perfectly safe and there was no risk of bilharzia, so quite a few trusting people jumped straight in for a refreshing swim.

However, despite insisting that the water was perfectly safe, the resort owner was nevertheless wearing three inch thick industrial strength waders which came virtually up to his neck.  This therefore made myself and a few others somewhat dubious about his claims, and our suspicions were aroused as to his integrity.  So, despite it being a swelteringly hot day, and despite how cool the water looked, and despite the resort owner claiming the water was safe, we decided to err on the side of caution and chose not to join the others in the 'safe' water.

A few weeks later when I got back to England it wasn't a great shock when I received a letter from the tour company reporting that some people on the tour had been infected with bilharzia, and they therefore advised that anyone who had swam in any dodgy water should get checked out.

So perhaps in the Ssese Islands the most common lie told by men is, 'The water is perfectly safe!'

A bear cooling off in the water ... but only after receiving
reassurances that it was free from parasitic worms.
Anyway, getting back to the theme of honesty, the point of this story is to highlight why some people are so easily fooled by lies.  When people want to believe a lie, it becomes much much easier for a liar to deceive them.  In this case, the alarm bells should have been ringing when they saw that the resort owner was wearing industrial strength waders which came up to his neck.

My immediate reaction when I saw his outfit was, 'If the water is so safe then why are you wearing what appears to be post-apocalyptic full body protective armour!?'  To me, it was an obvious blatant lie, but because some people desperately wanted to go for a refeshing cooling swim so badly, they readily pushed common sense aside and accepted the shifty owner's blatant mistruth.

To sum it up another way, the best way to decrease the chances of being tricked and misled is to accept that sometimes the truth won't be what you want to hear.  In fact sometimes the truth can be the very opposite of what you want to hear, like it was that day when we wanted to go for a swim in the cool water.

So when the truth is bad news you can either do what the bilharzia infectees did and choose to believe a ridiculously obvious lie, or you can do what myself and a few other logical people did, and accept that unfortunately the water wasn't safe.  The truth wasn't what we wanted to hear, but it was still the truth.  Better to look on enviously for a few minutes at the people cooling off in the water, than to become a home for parasitic worms.

Anyway, as I mentioned at the start of this blog post, hopefully no liars will have read this blog post because the point of writing this wasn't to teach liars how to increase their chances of tricking people.  The point of writing this was to highlight the best way to avoid being fooled by a lie.

To sum it up, on Honesty Day and every day, the most important person to be honest with, is yourself.

. . . . . . . .

If you want to test how good you are at spotting the truth from a lie, then you may be interested in 'True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of 100 Facts And Bluffs' which is available for kindle from Amazon.

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.