Saturday, 16 June 2012

On Father's Day and Pathological Liars

Tomorrow is Father's Day. My father's been dead for almost 35 years. He was, as they say, a colourful character -- raconteur, man-about-town.

And a pathological liar.

One story -- I got a million of them -- from when I was about 15. Parents had been divorced for years at this point and papa wanted to take the kids to his winter haunt in Jamaica, where, unaccountably, he hobnobbed with the pooh-bahs. Serious pooh-bahs -- polo-playing, Rover-driving pooh-bahs.

So there we were having lunch with pooh-bahs, when one of the ladies leaned over and said to me: 'Your father tells me you go to Havergal. Do you know my neighbour's daughter, Prissy McPriss?'

(Havergal, for the non-Torontonians out there, is a fancy-schmancy private girls' school, which, needless to say, I did NOT attend.)

'Ah,' I said, stalling (I am my father's daughter, after all). 'What grade is Prissy in?'

She named some grade and I said something airy like: 'Well, I'm in Grade X, and the grades don't really mix much. Does she play sports?'

Tales of field hockey ensued.

While this was going on, I looked over at papa. He was grinning at me. I'd passed some kinda test, obviously.

Having a pathological liar for a father has its downsides -- like being blindsided by a question at lunch in fucking Jamaica -- but it has its advantages too. My homeroom teacher in Grade 12 -- not at Havergal -- told me I had the best shit-detector he'd ever met.

Of course, nobody needs be a child of a pathological liar to identify the multiple steaming loads of crap in this story.

Happy Father's Day.

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