Job one: Lie

Now you could get upset over all the whoppers public figures fling at you. You could. You could proclaim that evil abounds across the fruited plain.

Or, you could become philosophic. The way we did at one of the world’s greatest schools of philosophy: My father’s saloon. The Empire Hotel. I call it the University of Bulltweedie.

I am serious. You can spit, sputter and rail about the lies. About the fact that public figures seem to think Job One is to lie to you. Your president lies to you. Your former Secretary of State does. So many politicians do. So many senior bureaucrats do. Your TV news guys do.

The list is endless. The current Attorney General of Massachusetts told whoppers about his time in Vietnam. The head of the Veterans Administration lied about serving in the Special Forces. The Vice-President has lied about any number of trivial things for years. Senator Warren lied about her Native American roots. Governors and other major figures have listed degrees they never got.



This week we discovered Governor Cuomo arranged for all state worker e-mails to vanish. After 90 days, poof! And, gollee, he just happened to set that policy weeks before he created the Moreland Commission. That’s the outfit that would look into corruption in state government. Of course it would want to look into e-mails. The e-mails the Governor flushed down the e-toilet.

Why did he do this? To improve efficiency. So sayeth his spokesperson. Now that would never pass the Bulltest at the Empire Hotel. For two simple reasons: The state has computer capacity to store all worker e-mails for 30 years. And the vanishing of e-mails has to cause havoc in any operation. “We discussed this problem at length last year. Let’s dig out those e-mails.” Uhhh…

Back to the growing list of liars. You have to wonder if everybody lies to you. And my suggestion comes straight from the Empire. Don’t wonder if everybody lies. Assume they do.

One of the regulars was a guy we called Uncle Jack. He carried a bag of golf clubs in the trunk of his car. He told us how he attacked the long fairways at a famous course. And how he blasted out of the sand traps at another.

Problem was, Uncle Jack never played a round of golf in his life. We knew all golfers lie. Uncle Jack lied about being a lying golfer. Lying for him was par for the course. (Sorry about that.)

I said that was a problem. I lie. It was not a problem. Because we knew he lied. About his job, his women, his travels he lied.

We knew Conrad lied. If you said anything, Conrad had to top you. You climbed Mt. Everest? “Hey, I did it blindfolded.” You won a hundred bucks in the lottery? “Dat’s nuthin’. I won thirty-thousand. Twice!”

Now we could have fretted about this. Actually “fretted” is too delicate a word for a saloon. We could have got snarky. We could have blasted these guys as friggin’ bald-faced liars. But that would have tootled us down the lane to ulcerland.

We took a healthier route. We assumed the taproom of the Empire was knee-deep in BS. We assumed most everything we heard in there was less than the truth. What happened in the Empire stayed in the Empire. Because if you talked about it outside the Empire nobody would believe you.

So next time the lies from public figures get you down, I suggest you remember the Empire. Remember the pearls of wisdom learned and earned within its smoke-encrusted walls. Ask yourself: What would the regulars down at the Empire do at this stage?

The answer is always the same. They would roll their eyes. And order another round. And ask who’s payin’ for it.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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