Richard Oliff: My childhood lie took off

Richard's Dinky model American pale blue Ford Thunderbird could fly - honestly!
Richard's Dinky model American pale blue Ford Thunderbird could fly - honestly!

It is never a good thing to deliberately set out to deceive.

Having just written those words I asked myself if I have ever lied in such a way as to hurt anyone.

Well, I’m almost certain that the answer must be ‘yes’, otherwise, having almost reached my seventh decade without having committed such a wrong I’d have to have lead a saintly life.

However, I’m equally convinced that there are two types of lie that live with us forever: one being the deception of our close family and friends: the other being the deliberate felony committed to deceive others.

It seems to me that there are varying degrees of untruths that are worthy of brief exploration which may, in turn, lead to a little soul-searching or even generate a feeling of cleansing: release.

After all, why should any of us carry around a minor guilt that has plagued our entire lives because of one small lapse in our understanding of deceit?

To be ironic, the truth is we all recognise a lie of significance, and any power of forgiveness from any quarter depends heavily on the impact of consequence, such as anything unlawful: criminal.

Yet, to lighten the atmosphere a tad, I can remember my Grandma buying me a Dinky model American pale blue Ford Thunderbird.

It was stunning, especially in the eyes of a seven-year-old. However, I then told a school friend that this magical new toy of mine had the power of flight. Yes, my cast-iron model car bought from Murdoch’s could actually fly.

Now, this lie and the belief of this lie depended heavily on the deceived having a need to want the lie to be true. What I didn’t expect was my story being repeated by Adam to others, who in turn repeated the same ‘lie’ – and so on. Soon there were children coming round to our house looking to witness this wonder of modern science. Phew – that feels much better.