Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Kelly's World | Honesty is (not) the best policy

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."

- Noel Coward - 'Blithe Spirit'

Hearing something honest is like eating your mother-in-law's bad cooking, you don't really want it, but you better take it full hundred!

I've come to believe that people cry for things they don't really want, like honesty.

How many times have you heard children crying at the top of their little lungs, demanding things from their beleaguered parents?

Usually, the parent duly obliges to provide child with whatever it was they were hollering for.

Lo and behold, the child then seems to take very little, if any, interest in said item, at least after the first 20 minutes of euphoria have gone.

If it was a snack, they will eat maybe half. If it was a toy, they might play with it for a little bit. In the extreme, the child might just throw it away.

So it is with honesty. People say they want the persons around them, whether family or friends, to be honest with them.

On another level, they claim they want to hear what you think. They hound you repeatedly for your opinion sometimes. Or they might say they really need, and will respect, your advice.

Yea, they do, that is UNTIL you are honest about something they don't like or agree with.

And then guess what happens? Dog nyameth thy supper! In fact, the dog, the puss, the parakeet, all the neighbours' pets nyameth thy supper!




You go from guest house to doghouse. And while the dog is barking at you because you're taking up his space, you're wondering why you just didn't keep your darn mouth shut.

If you haven't guessed it by now, that's a feeling yours truly knows all too well. The taste of your foot in your mouth is an acquired one, and I have had enough practice for two lifetimes.

There's a calypso song called De Flood by an artiste named Ataklan, in which he chronicles the origin of a lie he told his girlfriend.

Poor bloke woke up late and was going to be tardy to meet his beloved. So not wanting to repeat any previous lie he told (like saying the taxi stalled), he came up with a story that after fictional heavy rain, "there's a flood, on di main road".

Later in the song he says that he doesn't want to disappoint or lie to her, but "anytime I tell she the whole truth, she ... give me a hard boot."

Can't blame the guy. Who doesn't want to avoid physical damage to their person as much as humanly possible?

So here's some food for thought. I've been told there are ways to deliver your honesty. Apparently, the old method of just 'come clean' doesn't work; you have to have tact, I suppose.

I have another recipe for dealing with honesty. The ingredients needed are duct tape, glue and strong hands.

The next time you're even thinking about being honest about something, take tape with aforementioned hands, wrap it firmly around mouth, and glue the ends closed. Problem solved.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com