The internet makes liars of us all

The running is making an effort at getting back on track after my family ultra of last week. I managed to run nearly every day since then and included a set of hills (hillocks if you’ve run a mountain ultra) and a 20 miler on Sunday.

A recurring sore knee reared its head during the 20 miler but it reacts well to a day’s rest and being ignored so that’s the tactic.

I still don’t know if I’m heading to Scotland next week for the Highland Fling. I don’t think I’m in good enough condition to give a decent account of myself but as that has never stopped me before it might not this time either. The sore knee might be an issue but I won’t call it until the weekend.

That last paragraph would lead you to believe that I was making all the decisions about running in my house, wouldn’t it? Of course, as the blog post will tell you, that’s not true. But, I don’t think you want to visualise me physically begging so we can just park that image.

To paraphrase Harold Wilson – A week is a long time in a marriage.

Now, the blog post title.

It would be more accurate to say that computers have made liars of us all but that would betray my age. Hands up anyone who can remember hopelessly trying to convince their parents that you needed a commodore 64 for the household budget and drawing pie charts for school projects when in reality you wanted it so you could play Pacman and Donkey Kong?

My hand was up there but my powers of persuasion weren’t up to the job so  my parents bought us a rip-off version of the commodore 64. I can still remember it – a Mitsubishi MSX.  Sounds like an exotic sport scar, looked like a big keyboard.

The worst thing about it was you had a limited games selection so as you slaved away over the family budget you could only seek relief by playing Eric and the Floaters (own-brand Pacman) or Mr. Wong’s Loopy Laundry (xenophobic shoot ’em up).

But that era began a long career of allowing computers and the internet to make liars of us.  What do I mean by liars?

Not the exaggerations of blogging. Most of this stuff is actually true and only a fraction is made up (you might call it a re-interpretation of the events, like they would in Hollywood).

I mean real lying. Like, why do you need broadband? is it because of all the news programmes you watch and all the running shoes you’re buying off the internet or is it the high bandwidth streaming video you occasionally browse? The cyber-era gentleman’s one-handed  art pamphlet, if you will?

Do you really need all that RAM and the high-resolution monitor because you like photography or are you living a double life as some sort of Gandalf- understudy in a cyber world that irons out your human imperfections?

And so it goes,  the research becomes surfing and the surfing becomes browsing and suddenly you own 4 new pairs of running shoes and have a bid about to be accepted on  a Honda 50 on eBay (that one is a true story).

I think this is the way it is for everyone to a greater or lesser extent. Whether it’s our Facebook image or our avatar, everyone presents a polished image of themselves. It’s human nature really. Best foot forward and all that stuff.

Like all things in life there is a line between harmless Commodore 64/Pacman lying and damaging lying.

The sort of lying that leads to a big hole in your credit card bill, lots of anger and denials about services bought or provided and a simmering distrust that can take a long time to go away.

For me, this moment of internet lying, the crossing of the line, happened in early March when the credit card bill was opened.

Of course I denied a charge of €79.99 on my credit card. I have enough of a dirty mind not to have to pay for it – so went my defence.

Once the dust had settled I decided I’d better look at what had been charged to my card. Was it something bold (picture-no sound from the wife, visiting privileges removed) or was is something really bold (on some sort of a register, a 30-second clip of me in a anorak and handcuffs on the six O’Clock news).

Whatever I had bought I had bought plenty of them.

It turns out I had bought 2,200 rainbows for my princess pet salon.

The shame.

I had hoped to keep my pet salon a secret from my wife for as long as possible and I certainly didn’t want her to know about my rainbow fetish.

Luckily I was able to blame it on the kids and after a strongly worded e-mail to Apple, those well know purveyors of pet salon filth, I was able to get a refund.

My advice?

Keep lying and always blame the kids.

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