Mom used to say: “Lies have short legs; they’ll catch up to you!”
Oldest son George knows that for a fact. While having lunch the other day, he remembered an event that brought this “ism” crashing home—pun intended!
While a teenager back in the late ‘70s, he borrowed stepdad Bud’s 1973 Plymouth Fury to go bowling. If you remember, this car was long, wide and built like a tank. As George drove to the bowling lanes, the car in front of him slowed for a red light. Because he was listening to his “tunes” and not paying attention, George didn’t stop in time and rear-ended the car.
Both drivers pulled to the side of the road. The woman driver quickly got out of the car and looked at the dent on the trunk.
“Oh, it’s nothing. Don’t worry! Just forget it!”
Bud’s car had slight front-end damage and the bowling ball—it wasn’t in a bowling bag—had rolled off the seat on to the floor. Before George could exchange information with her, the woman was back in the car and with tires squealing sped away. It quickly dawned on George that either the car wasn’t registered or the woman didn’t have a license or insurance or all of the above. Whew, he knew he was at fault and had somehow escaped reporting to a police officer, dealing with insurance companies, etc. But he still had to tell Bud:
“I went to Caldor to pick up a few things. When I came back to the car, I saw the damage to the front. Someone must have backed into it hard.”
Bud examined the front bumper and grill; he happened to look in the back and spotted the bowling ball on the floor.
“Is that what really happened?”
George’s little lie was running fast but was going to get snagged. He took a deep breath apologized and quietly confessed.
“Tell me, how did you know that someone didn’t back into the car?”
“The forward motion of the car when you rear-ended the other car sent the bowling ball off the seat. I think if someone had backed into our car, the ball would have remained on the seat. Just a guess on my part,” replied Bud.
George readily admits it would have saved him much worry and anxiety if he had “come clean” right from the beginning. My boys realized at a young age that “fessing up” to Bud was not earth-shattering; he was a kind, understanding and forgiving man with a quiet sense of humor—a true gentleman.
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