Thursday, 8 January 2015

Reforming Old Habits.

The receptionist at the dentist asked me to complete a questionnaire today. It was in two parts: medical history and bad habits. The medical history part contained questions like have any bits of you ever fallen off on account of catching leprosy? and are you allergic to latex? (‘How would I know whether I’m allergic to latex?’ I asked her. She didn’t answer.) Anyway, the ‘no’ box got ticked for all that section.

The problem came with the bad habits part. I find it so difficult to lie, you see, so when the question is how many units of alcohol do you drink a week? I have to write ‘lots.’ That’s the point at which the people in white coats close their eyes disdainfully, raise their noses to the heavens, and wail ‘You are the architect of your own misfortune and not worthy of our sympathy.’ ‘But what about the basic human right to take risks?’ I respond. It cuts no ice.

I blame the people at the church when I was a kid. They were forever telling me ‘You can lie to people, but you can’t lie to God. He sees what’s in your heart and will punish you for uttering an untruth.’ Religion can be such a fear factory.

Well, I don’t believe that stuff any more, so I think it’s about time I started lying through my teeth. I might practice on this blog. Beware.

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