Manholes are important.

water meter manhole cover new orleans louisiana

What is lurking beneath?

For all of those politically correct individuals who were misdirected here, visit my sister first. The rest of you know a manhole as an access point to an underground tunnel: Subway, service shaft, sewer. Yes, folks. We are going to talk about crap. Put on your waders. I am certain this will get a bit deep before we are done.

We all know there are people in our lives who are consistently shoveling manure. They are content to pile it on top of another’s head and call it a hat. It may look like a dirty turban, but alas, a hat it is not.

Sugar Spoon

The daintiest of feces facilitators will dish it out in tiny increments, often assuring the substance makes life sweeter.  The coffee is already as dark as I would like it. Please none of your additives.

Sharp Shooter

This crap conveyor has a little more heft and can spend hours at a time in repetitive motion. There is a twisted irony in the name of the implement: This purveyor has two distinct piles with the same agenda. Either Digger is shoveling someone else’s pile to show intelligence or is digging out his/her own fabrication to show intelligence. Neither showing is the truth.


The connoisseur of antediluvian artifacts is at the ready for every argument to breathe Zombie breath into the most minuscule of infractions or indiscretions, whether publicly acknowledged or not. You had long forgotten it, but recognize this version as at least slightly askew. The Dredger prefers those things which garner the big reveal in an attempt to shift the limelight on the quality of his/her proffered gradu.


Waiting for you to truck it away.


Quite the misnomer, Excavator is not trying to free a fallen innocent from a well or tap the water table in the desert. Excavator is digging a monumental hole by piling the rubbish in encircling heaps, standing in the clear center unaware everyone within earshot is acutely aware of the effluvia.


The foregoing is not an exhaustive list of the sewerage shifters; however, it does provide a broad enough spectrum for you to recognize some of the many liars in your midst. Sugar is sparing someone’s feelings. Sharp is trying to appear brilliant. Dredger is exercising elephantiasis of memory. Excavator is doing a self-proclaimed service.

They all have something in common: Belief. Each one believes their prevarication is not only expected, but warranted; therefore, it should be excused and not labelled lying.

Crap by any other name…

…still stinks. The outcomes are all the same. Sugar spares someone’s feelings, but gives Quaint a skewed view. Quaint has egg on the face when speaking to Feelings-on-the-Sleeve. Or just as bad… FOTS looks like a total buffoon when blowing Quaint’s tenderly formed impression. Either way, neither of them tend to take it back to Sugar with an admonition.

thinker on the toilet

Think about it.

Sharp eventually steps in the hole. Most often, Sharp’s customers have a chance meeting with someone who actually knows the truth about his product or complete ineptitude. How often is Sharp called on heaping mounds of offal? Not often.

Dredger may get some comeuppance when losing an argument, but rarely is it served when heads are cool. Inevitably, Dredger assumes Quaint was merely angry and saying things unmeant. Even truth can be excused as a subversive tactic when wielded in anger.

Excavator truly believes the organizational skill necessary to pile like litter makes it more recognizable as belonging to someone else. With only a little sorting proficiency, Quaint can easily see the initials scrawled on the bottom of every piece. How often is Excavator’s lying excused because of others’ lies, either in the revealing or in the comparative magnitude?

Slamming the manhole cover does not eradicate the stench in the tunnel. Eventually, the pressure of the vapors becomes explosive. The slightest spark of truth lights it ablaze. Anyone close becomes a casualty, either by direct demise or merely being coated in odorous ooze.

A Fish Story

Occasionally, fiction makes its way from the screen and the page to inhabit the mouths of our friends. We recognize the lies for what they are. We do any number of things to avoid the confrontation of the lie:

  • Blame it on personality
  • Excuse it as compassionate
  • Blame it on situation
  • Forgive it as ignorance
  • Downgrade it by comparison
  • Understand it is the only known way

What do these six things have in common? Hmm.

The Mission

If you were utterly wrong about something which you had been shouting from the rooftops, would you want Quaint to pull you to the quiet side, away from your audience, and gently tell you the truth? If you found out you had told Quaint a rumor (instead of the truth), would you go back and issue a correction when you discovered it? Would you lift the manhole cover?

Take It Away

talk tuesday

Let’s talk.

This is the first half of the subject for tonight’s Talk Tuesday. Remember, Talk Tuesday goes live at 1900 EDT (GMT -5), with discussion thereafter. Feel free to leave your comments if you cannot wait for the crowd to file in a little after eight.

Today’s post was brought to you by the letter E and the number four.

What are the dangers in not confronting the liar with the truth? Why do we hold ourselves to a different standard when it comes to the truth? To where does looking the other way lead when someone lies? What is some of the fallout when a liar is left to its own devices?

© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. Wow! Great perspective. To my mind, A Fish Story also describes the (unfortunately) extensive experience I’ve had with NPD’s (Narcissistic Personality Disorders). If the intro paragraph were perhaps modified thus, “Occasionally, fiction becomes a lifestyle and brain and mouths of the NPD proliferate the fiction until they no longer know what stinks and what doesn’t. Functional people recognize the lies for what they are. We do any number of things to confront the lies, while the NPD does the opposite, until we ultimately recognize we are dealing with sand and give up, and they continue to rely on six delusional coping mechanisms:” I love it!!

    • Red

       /  March 6, 2012

      Liars tend to stick to one modus operandum, even when faced with the reality of the lie. The road to recovery is arduous…unlike the living of the lie.

      I think you may well enjoy tonight’s discussion. I hope you can drop by for a while.

      • Anonymous

         /  March 7, 2012

        Yes, you are so correct re: The Liar MO.
        Sorry I couldn’t make it to the discussion… Sadly, my Internet Life is limited by things like feeding my child and catching up on Breaking Bad and wondering when I’ll ever clean the house again. 🙁 But maybe I’ll get lucky one of these days…

  2. I nearly fell off my throne! You kill, you slay you truth tell….you are my hero and so delightful.

    Yes, please gently jerk my chain. If I don’t pay attention trip me so I land on my face. If I still don’t pay attention kick me when I am down.

    • Red

       /  March 6, 2012

      *Giggles* Glad you liked this one. I had a bit of fun with it. No sense all the messages being bland and dry. 😉

  3. There will be many different angles and thoughts for this debate, but this is what I am thinking about this particular theme at the moment…

    For instance…

    Joining a conversation where a liar is performing his or her usual claptrap and not saying anything against this outrageous endeavour is just as bad as being the liar oneself, I will not be part of the problem and I will not engage into dialogue with said deceiver.

    Of course if I were to hear something that was a blatant fabrication then I would expose that person no matter what anyone thought about it, as anything other than being straightforward and sincere would go directly against my principles.

    In other words, Beware the Liar as I will have none of that twaddle in my presence, regardless of who it may be.

    Have a very nice rest of evening Red and I hope that this Talk Tuesday of yours is an excellent one my great friend 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Red

       /  March 6, 2012

      I am quite with you, Andro. I have had more than my gullet full of liars in my time. I have no patience for such drivel.

      Thank you for the well wishes, as I am hoping it goes well with those who manage to find M3 tonight 😉 I hope your night has shaped up rather well, my good friend,


  4. Another thought provoking post. I suppose I take a more measured approach when dealing with liars or, as is often the case, people deluded into believing their crap. It may sound a bit situational, but it works for me at least.

    In a social setting, if I have no real connection or desire to have a strong involvement with a person I might be conversing with, I’ll probably let the apparent lies slide, other than maybe ask a few questions that might have them backtrack a little bit in an attempt to cover up. I then politely excuse myself and avoid them – if lucky, for life. It isn’t worth it to me to create tension or call BS on a casual acquaintance that I will have little or no interaction with – not worth the drama. If on the other hand, I am close with someone who is clearly lathering up the BS, I will likely call them on it, but try to do so initially in a private, and non-threatening manner, although sometimes you cannot avoid awkwardness in social situations.

    In a professional environment, I deal with wealth and trust. There is no room for liars when these kinds of dealings take place. If any lies or a liar surfaces, they are all dealt with harshly and decisively, because when money is at stake, especially money of others, there is no room for dishonesty and incompetence, lest you cultivate a really big pile of crap that will ultimately wind up back in your face.

    Wish I had the time to participate in the live discussions!

    • Red

       /  March 7, 2012

      You did not miss it, Phil. There was no one here but me 🙂 Professionally, I believe no one should have to deal with liars, ever, public money or no. Then again, I happen to be a stickler for corporate truth.

      Glad to see you this morning!

  5. Great post, Red. Most liars think they are immensely clever and think they can fool everyone all of the time. they are, in fact, stupid as doorknobs. There is one universal truth that applies to liars. They will be found out. The truth always comes out, one way or the other. Lies inevitably have to be covered up with other lies, and nobody in the world has such a perfect memory they can keep all of the lies and pseudo-facts straight they have have taken so much care manufacture . Liars inevitably trap themselves.
    It is much easier to remember the truth.

  6. I prefer to cut the professional effluvia farmers loose, or just smile, nod and ignore.
    When I’ve passed along something that I then find out is incorrect, I do generally try to correct it to those I’ve spoken to. But I also try hard not to gossip so I don;t have to worry in the first place….

    • Red

       /  March 7, 2012

      Back to “Gossip is the devil.” When I talk to others, I really try to get it right the first time. Call it vanity if you must. But even in being careful, there are times I get it wrong. I, too, make every effort to correct misinformation I have passed along. And not in the “correction in 4 point font on page 43E” kind of way either.

  7. I never did ‘get’ liars. Lying just feels so wrong to me.


    • Red

       /  March 7, 2012

      I do not get the ones who continue the bad behavior long after everyone in their circles know they are liars. Duct tape does not fix stupid.


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