The fibs we tell

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You know that Jim Carey movie, ‘Liar Liar’?

As much as I’m not Jim’s biggest fan, I often think about that flick and wonder what the world would be like if we all just said it as it is and told the truth.

Would the divorce rate be huge?

Would the unemployment rate be so high that Centrelink wouldn’t have the time to think about a new logo let alone spend millions of dollars creating an example of a Kindergarten artwork?

Would Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting actually be friends?

Sitting at the traffic lights at the intersection of Mulgoa Road and Jamison Road on Tuesday night, I wondered what would have happened if we had been up front and revealed the real reason we installed traffic lights there was because people don’t know how to use a round-a-bout properly.

Ah, but that’s not a good line for the smiling politicians who get to be photographed at the announcement, the sod turning, the completion, the switching on, the anniversary and whatever else they can come up with.

Seriously, it takes three times as long to get through there than it used to all because a whole heap of us don’t know simple road rules.

I wonder, really, how much life would actually change if we all just told the truth, all of the time.

My mother loves to tell the story of when I was a kid and I revealed that I’d been stealing loose change from the tin in the kitchen.

Embarrassing, but gee it felt good to get it off my chest.

By the way, the more people I tell that story to the more I become the prime suspect here at Weekender headquarters when it comes to the charity chocolate box that always seems to come up short every month.

Consumer group Choice came up with some beauties when it comes to stretching the truth this week.

The one that caught my eye was Kleenex’s Mansize Tissues.

According to Choice, in a total contradiction of the product’s name and purpose, Kleenex Mansize Tissues have shrunk.

First, the box is substantially smaller – about half the size of the old box.

But so we don’t get all sniffy about it, Kleenex tries to reassure us that they’re still “big, strong two-ply tissues you love, just in a smaller box”.

Yet according to Choice, the wording is clever: we’re not getting the same big, strong tissues we love – just big strong tissues in general.

The tissues themselves have shrunk in size by almost 14 per cent.

It’s an outrage!

And what about Credit Repair Australia?

They charge a non-refundable upfront fee of $990 to consumers who need their credit file repaired.

You know, when that mobile phone bill you didn’t pay as a teenager comes back to haunt you when you’re trying to buy a new car?

Problem is, in most cases, default listings and other information about your credit history can’t be removed from a report unless it is proven to be wrong.

Choice says: “This company boasts of having dealt with over 150,000 consumers in the last 10 years – and we reckon that most of them would have been better off not paying for this shonky service.”

Or better off paying their phone bill in the first place, probably.

What about Oats Express?

If you look at the front of the Oats Express liquid breakfast pack, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re getting a drink of milk blended with oats, banana and honey. After all, it’s right there in the picture – a glass of milk, rolled oats, sliced banana and a honey dipper.

But as Choice delved further into the fine print, they found “banana extract” and “natural flavours” – which is presumably where the honey fits in.

Personally, I’d say that if you don’t have time to whack some Oats in the microwave and you need a liquid alternative, you need to work on your time management skills.

We all tell white lies.

Some of us tell bigger ones.

Sometimes, what’s right stops us. Sometimes, knowing we can get away with it does not.

Challenge yourself – this weekend, tell the truth in every single sector of your life. Simple? You may find it isn’t as easy as it sounds, and it may surprise you how much we fib to get through the day.

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