Sounds awfully morbid doesn’t it? Bit of a gear change from my nonsensical normality of just erupting spouting gysers of poorly worded tripe all over your device screen aye?
But given the time of the year and the current lunar phase, it’s high time we have a good old yarn (or rather I yarn at you) about the age old tradition of lying to your kids.
But first, let’s talk about fictional literature!
My favourite author is Terry Pratchett. And while I’m rather enamoured with Tom Holt right now (because luscious similes) Sir Pratchett is still number one in my books.
Not just because of his humour, or the expansive world he created, or even the sheer volume and quality of his literature, but because of the amazing messages and lessons hidden all throughout his catalogue of work.
Terry Pratchett gave us many things in his life through his writing. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t know what ‘darning’ was, nor would I have as much respect for the makeshift cudgelling prowess of half a brick in a sock. And I certainly wouldn’t have as much reverence for orangutans nor would I turn to camels to help with the solving of intense mathematical equations. But possibly the greatest gift Sir Pratchett gave the world, was Death.
No, not his tireless work in the advocacy for Death with dignity but the character Death. A reaper so very grim every word he uttered was portrayed in capitals.
But more on Death later.
Before the Wif and I were blessed with the pitter patter of tiny feet in our house (which honestly took a while because it’s almost a year before bipedal locomotion takes place in homosapiens and even then we had concrete floors so she was like a clumsy ninja that silently collided with walls and rough carpet before bursting into tears rather than the instigator of any alluded to pitter-pattery) we had the long hard talk about lying to our spawn in regards to things like tooth bunnies or Easter fairies.
We had lofty ideas of how we’d raise some enlightened intellectual metahuman that was on the inside of all these child-like lies but kept it to themselves.
They would know full well that there was no jolly rotund bearded gift giver who forcefully entered your house via your heating exhaust chute to plop presents into your bedroom every year but they would play along with the lie for the benefit of their chronological peers.
All the while nodding sagely and tapping their nose when the other kids told them of the wonderful gifts Saint Nick had bestowed upon their lucky little arses.
OUR child would be a paragon of knowledge, a keeper of the dark secrets of adults (not THOSE dark secrets, just the G rated ones) and feed into the lie for the good of their poor foolish friends who frolicked in the fields of grandeur that were fertilised with childish untruths.
Which you quickly realise is a fucking impossibility if you’ve ever told a kid a secret and expected them not to tell their mother that you’ve been hiding biscuits around the house.
Yes every last scrap of this shit went out the window as soon as the little tacker was in our lives proper. The wonder and joy of lying to your kids is just too fucking fun to give away on the pretence of false morality plus there’s the aforementioned inability for a child to keep any form of secret the second they develop even a rudimentary form of communication.
There’s also the fact that it is very, VERY important to lie to your children in the early years to prepare them for the big wide world out there.
See we thought that lying to your child was bad, they’re so hurt when they find out later in life that you lied to them but it’s one of the best things you can do for them. Just like pushing them off the couch occasionally helps them understand why they shouldn’t jump on the fucking couch all the god damn time!
Now if you’re a fan of fantasy fiction like myself you’re likely familiar with the most famous fictional book of all time and the most famous fantasy character ever. And we’re currently slap bang in the middle of his equinox dictated resurrection phase where we all cheer and clap, eat fruit buns with crosses on them then pray to a giant anthropomorphic rodent to leave small chocolate offering all over our house so we can give thanks to our lord ‘Diabeetus’ and drive the price of synthetic insulin and early morning fitness bootcamps (12 weeks to a better booty) through the fucking roof.
Yes it’s Easter time. Specifically Easter day here. Or as I like to call it, ‘Zombie Jesus Day’ and before you get your panties in a twist I was calling it that long before I even heard of Cyanide and Happiness. It IS possible for more than one person to have the same idea dickwad.
Sorry, I’ve had a lot of sugar.
It’s Easter day and I am currently lying my slowly expanding chocolate fed cottage cheese looking arse off to my two year old about the existence of what I can only assume is a six foot tall quasi-human rabbit that has the base intellect to deposit shadily acquired foil wrapped chocolate all around the fucking planet.
Because I am a good parent.
I’m going to lie to her about all this wonderful mind blowing shit to prepare her for the lies that she’s going to be unable to avoid for the rest of her entire life.
Lies like cat/dog years, being told that their vote has some sort of power in regards to what’s going to happen to the leadership of this country, being told they’re saving money if they purchase something that’s on special when if it wasn’t on special they wouldn’t have bought it anyway thereby saving even more than the on special price, being told that material shit makes you happy, being told others should be ashamed of their genders or race. And then the bigger lies that we all take for granted. Lies like Justice, mercy, duty, right, wrong, law, all things she will have forced unwillingly upon her but are fluid to the point of being entirely dictated by her current geographical location and political\socioeconomical climate.
But what’s this all got to do with Death?
Well all the above is an opinion that I have held deep within my brain for a very long time but it’s been more of an amorphous blob of clay like ooze rather than a proper opinion.
I lacked the sheer cognitive muscle to carve the time hardened lump into something intelligible and this feeling didn’t make sense to me until Death stepped in and bitch slapped me so hard with words that I flew through the wall leaving a spinning pair of lightly smoking shoes in the opposite room.
The following is a excerpt from the 2006 movie based on the 1997 book ‘Hogfather’.
“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”
MY POINT EXACTLY.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
When it comes to lying to your kids, don’t take my hastily molested words for it, trust in the fictional words of a skeleton in a robe as dictated by a literary legend to give you the enlightenment that you need.
Call me morbid for thinking this way, call me a piece of shit, or call me childish and stupid for rationalising my lying to my child because of a book that a man wrote in 97 that was telemovied in 2006, but there are a shit ton of people out there that are letting the teaching of a character in a book dictate the sum entirety of their existence rather than a small portion.
Besides, at least I know who wrote and created the characters in my books.
Happy Egg day folks.