Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Truth or lie?

What do you say?

"Hey look, I just got back from traveling over a thousand miles to buy this used car down in Louisiana. I spent the high dollar for it because it's in almost perfect shape, the color is perfect, the engine is just what I wanted and the leather interior is really, really rare on this model. It took me over a year and a half to find it and it cost my entire saving and I had to borrow some too. I just love it! What do you think Joe? How do you like it? Come on, be honest now."

????? How would you handle that? The car has been abused. It's not a particularly appealing shade of green to me. The interior smells like a dead mouse. The engine has a reputation for blowing out head gaskets and costing thousands to repair and there are several places that show obvious botched cosmetic repairs. Do I tell the honest truth? This car is trashed. He's already laid out the money for it. He's already spent all the time and inconvenience traveling to retrieve this special car. How's he going to feel if I tell him it's junk?

"Honesty is the best policy!" We're always told. Yeah right! What if it wasn't a car we were talking about? What if it was some sort of elective, irreversible, cosmetic surgery? When it comes to books it is the critic's job to tell the truth as he/she sees it. Critic's are notoriously honest. I wonder if they are always so honest when it comes to other things? I wonder a lot of stuff sometimes. Honestly, I do!............................Joe

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