Childhood lies you got away with

About age 12 I “karate kicked” my bedroom wall, flung myself bacjk through the room, went over backward and and broke my arm. I told my parents I tripped over a box on the floor. They never guessed the truth because it was simply too stupid to imagine.

Even now I marvel at my idiocy. I stood facing the wall on one foot, about an arm’s length from the wall. I put the other foot against the wall about waist high and leaned in till my knee was pressed against my chest. Then I shoved, with the leg, as hard as I could against the wall. Just moments after I fell I was asking myself what exactly I thought would happen after I pushed. My thinking just plain stopped before I asked mysef that question.

My most common childhood lie was, “I wasn’t feeling well so I stayed home from school”. My parents both had to leave for work before I had to leave for school, so so they really didn’t have much choice but to accept my word. They knew I wasn’t in danger of failing any subject, but it turned out that excessive absenteeism alone was grounds for making me repeat the school year, so I had to limit myself to about 1 day a week.

Oh og, mine is one that haunts me decades later. In the first grade I stole a doll from a classmate. I think I didn’t like the owner because the doll was relatively unspectacular. I took the doll (I don’t remember how) and hid it in my desk. The desks at that time had the standard wooden tops with the seats attached via metal runners. The desk had an inkwell hole and a shelf beneath. I hid the doll on the shelf.

The victim reported the theft to the teacher who did the standard practice of the time, telling the students to close their eyes and whomever was the thief was to raise his/her hand. The matter would be discussed with that student later.

When no one copped to the theft, the teacher did a slow walk through the room, inspecting each desk. Right before she got to mine, I began spouting, “I don’t know who would do such a thing, blah, blah, blah.” The teacher bypassed my desk and went on to the next.

I was able to hide the doll as I left school and took it home. When my Mom noticed the doll she asked where I got it. I replied that I found it outside the school, abandoned.

This has always bothered me and ended my life of crime. What interests me now is the teacher’s conduct. I’m sure that whatever I blurted out (“I don’t know who would do such a thing, blah, blah, blah,”) was a six-year-old’s attempt at lying and is usually apparent. Am sure that the teacher chose not to deal with it and that as she watched the conduct of each child as he/she left the room, mine must have been furtive. I was the only child whose desk wasn’t inspected. I also think that the teacher contacted my Mom who was on my case the minute I walked through the door. My Mom might have chosen not to deal with it either.

I think I learned more lessons not being caught than if I had. Had I been caught there would have been more lying, more self-righteousness, more whatever.

I remember once when I was about eight I found my mum’s secret hiding place for our Easter eggs about a week before Easter, they were all ready and labeled.
Of course, I couldn’t wait a whole week so I made a tiny whole in the back of one of my one and nibbled a bit out of it. My mum was pretty mad when she took them out on Easter day and saw it, (the wrath of my mother is not to be taken lightly) but I acted innocent and claimed it must have been a mouse. My mum turned all shades of pale and though I got away with it, I got one less Easter egg because I wasn’t allowed to eat the one with the icky ‘mouse’ germs on it. I still wonder if my mum actually figured the whole thing out and was just teaching me a lesson in a more subtle way.

I too tried the whole “I don’t feel well” lie to get out of school. I only remember doing it once. That time, my mum put a thermometer in my mouth then left the room, and thinking I was really clever I put it against a lightbulb to heat it up. Problem was I left it on way too long and when my mum looked at it it read some impossibly high temperature. Fortunately my mum didn’t suspect me of anything, she just got this incredibly puzzled look on her face, exclaimed that it must not be broken, and let me stay home. I still can’t believe I got away with that one!

When I was in second or third grade I started a fight (more of a pushing scuffle wind-up phase, as passing teacher-unit broke it up quickly), and successfully avoided any punishment by spinning it all as self-defense. That’s the only one that really sticks out in memory.

As a very young child I was plagued with nosebleeds. Like 3 to 4 times a week. I eventually grew out of them but whenever I wanted to stay home I would fake one. A glob of clear hair gel mixed with red food colouring was artfully placed in the nostril. The trick was to let a parent notice the drip first. As fast as you can say “Honey, you’ve got one of your nosebleeds again” I was tucked up in bed with a book.

I also blamed pretty much everything I did on my little brother. So when Mom and Dad confronted him, he’d go ballistic with indignation. Hopping up and down, screeching, crying, you name it. I’d stand there all cool and collected and guilty as sin saying “Look how he’s acting. He must be guilty. You wouldn’t act like that unless you were guilty.”

However, Karma is now biting me in the ass big time. My eldest daughter lies like a rug.

Dad: “What are you doing in there boy?”
Me: “Nothing?”

My girlfriend and I sneaked out of the house one night. We came home, came in through the window, and crashed out. I left the screen and a chair outside the window. Well, my mom found the screen and chair the next day and wanted to know what was up. I told her we were practicing escape routes, just in case the house started on fire. She bought it. Both my parents were such trusting souls, they just refused to believe we’d lie to them.

Another time they asked me why I was a half hour late. I told them the wheels of the car fell off and we had to put them back on. They totally bought it. :rolleyes:

When I was about 12, a friend was sleeping over and late at night we wrote some semi-erotic poems about some boys we had crushes on. Then, paranoid that they would somehow get out, we decided the only safe way to dispose of them was to burn them. We first spread out a layer of paper (yes, paper) to protect my bedroom carpet, then we lit them. It was not long before we learned that important lesson about paper not being a good way to protect the carpet from fire, and the smoke detector went off. My friend was attempting to put out the fire by bashing it with a board game (in a cardboard box. yes, cardboard) while I went to attempt to head my parents off at the pass. I told them that the dog had knocked over a scented candle, and I got a brand new carpet.
I learned years later that my mom always thought we’d been smoking.

I did a very similar thing once - I think I wanted to get out of a test I wasn’t prepared for, if I remember correctly. I had a TV in my room and when my mom put the thermometer in my mouth and left the room, I touched it to the back of the TV until I got a nice reading of 101. Enough to stay home, not enough to call the doctor - at least not yet. Oddly, I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it either.

Also, in high school some friends of mine and I decided we wanted to spend the school day downtown and see a play. So we all called the school pretending to be each others’ parents, and we called each other in sick. And we went out to breakfast, hung out downtown and saw our play. Got scott clean free away with it, probably because a) it was winter, and who’d ditch school while it was cold and snowy? and b) we were ‘good’ kids that normally wouldn’t do stuff like that, so no one suspected anything.

I have never admitted to this nearly 30 year old lie before today!

When I was around 12 years old, I made a series of prank phone calls to a girl who I “liked.” Amazingly, this did not cause her to “like” me back. I suppose that now you would say that they bordered on harrassment but annoying rather than threatening. This went on for maybe two weeks.

One night during dinner, her parents called our house. I happened to answer the phone. Her folks were hippie types. They wanted everything to be cool, man. They said that they weren’t going to tell my parents if I were to just stop calling. I acted all indignent and swore that I had no idea what they were talking about. They were all, “hey man, you’re ok - we’re ok. We’re going to be cool about this if you just stop. We won’t say anything to your parents.”

I said, “you want to talk to my parents, go right ahead. I didn’t do anything. Hey, Mom, there’s someone on the phone who wants to talk to you.” I then gave the phone to my Mom. You see, my Mom overheard my side of the conversation and would have known something was up if I just said “thanks. I’ll never do it again.”

The girl’s parents were floored. The spoke to my Mom for fifteen minutes or so and then asked to talk to me again. They totally apologized for blaming me. The knew there was no way a guilty kid would have the stones to put their Mom on the phone. I, of course, knew that they would think that.

My Mom was pretty sure that I was full of shit but I wouldn’t cop to it. In a way, I think, she admired the smooth way I wrangled out of the issue.


One I didn’t quite get away with…

When I was a freshman in college, I was ambushed in front of the cafeteria by my sister (a year and a half older than me), who was completely furious. She started screaming at me about my having lied to her and about how humiliated she was just now, and that it was entirely my fault.

After a moment, she started laughing, indicating that the tirade had been one of her sham tantrums (one can never tell). But even though the anger had dispelled, the accusations still stood.

Apparently, back when I was about three years old (my sister’s memory is elephantine), I had told her that the little song I was singing all day was something that I had made up on my own. She took me at my word, and apparently didn’t hear the song from anyone else until scant minutes before the confrontation detailed above. Upon hearing it, she told whoever had been singing it that her little brother had made that song up, and wondered where the other person had heard it. Everyone else laughed, and pointed out that “Little Rabbit Foo-Foo” had been around for a very long time indeed.

Thus the confrontation.

It’s not every day you get yelled out for a lie you told when you were three.

When I was in elementary school, I got a Teddy bear for Christmas with swiveling arms. while playing with it the next day, I broke one of the arms off and couldn’t fix it. For some reason I thought it was expensive and I’d be in trouble if my parents found out. So, I buried it in the backyard, behind our playhouse. Later, my mother asked where the bear was, and I just said “I don’t know.”

Junior high. Playing a game of “butt’s up” I broke a window on the garage door with a tennis ball. Since I was ALWAYS getting in trouble, we knew it would be very bad if my parents knew I did it. So my best friend, my sister and I all decided to lie and say that it was my sister that broke it, because we knew she wouldn’t get in trouble. It worked.

When I was 5 or so, I had a friend over, and me and him were both playing with a pet hamster I had just got the day before in my room. Well most of this playing consisted of petting the hamster on his wheel, and spinning it super fast, and before you know it, he died. I was shocked of what I had done. I had always liked animals, and I just killed one! So after my friend left I had told my mom that my friend must have killed the hamster since it was dead (!), and quickly made with the waterworks. So my mom calls my friends mom, tells her what her son did and…ya know that one scene from A Christmas Story where Ralphie lies about where he learned the “f” word from, and his mom called his friend’s mom? You know with the scremaing and crying? It was a bit like that.

I still feel guilty about that.

Heh, I can think of a few:

10 years old: I saw a television commercial for Playboy subscriptions. I called the number late and night and posed as my mother’s boyfriend and placed an order in his name with a “Bill me later” option. Needless to say, 4-6 weeks later the magazines started showing up in his name resulting in a.) a big fight between my mom and him b.) me being the neighborhood hero for awhile because I had access to Playboy and pictures of girls boobies and c.) the rapid degredation of my vision and the unexplained growth of hair on my palms at a very early age.

12 years old: My friends and I all had wrist rocket slingshots and would regularly play with them, shooting bottles and cans, etc. One day while shooting in an old abandonded parking lot, I went to the far end to set up more cans and bottles on top of a brick for targets. A friend, who was 4 years older than me, thought it would be funny to shoot a cinder stone in my direction. Sadly, his aim was not very good (or too good?) and hit me just above the eye. One half inche lower and I would have lost that eye. (You’ll shoot your eye out kid!). I lied to my mother about how it happened because I was afraid she wouldn’t let me hang out with Darryl any more. A couple stitches later and we were back shooting bottles again.

14 years old: I left an woman’s underwear advertisement in the bathroom on top of the toilet top. Mom found it. I swore up and down I had no idea what it was, where it came from, and quite red faced promptly left to go outside. She never said anything but I knew that she knew that I must be a little pervert. :wink:

15 years old: In school one day, I happened to find a long wooden skewer (like a long toothpick) on the floor. Not really thinking, I stick it into the cork board on the wall in the classroom. After class, one of the girls somehow managed to trip at exactly the right spot and when she put her hand out towards to wall to catch her fall… well, the skewer went right into her hand on the palm side and pushed out the back of her hand about 2 inches. Not really a lie per se, but I never admitted it was my fault for putting it there. I feigned outrage with everyone else that someone in the class was really stupid for putting that there. Fortunately, she was fine and suffered no serious harm.

I’m sorry if I’m about to bring the tone of this thread down, but it’s really pointed something out to me.

The biggest childhood lie that I got away with was, “I’m straight.”

It’s only recently that I’ve understood the pervasive, destructive nature of that lie. How it put me at a distance from everyone I cared about, everyone who could have helped me with all the feelings I was having. How it made me decide which was worse; alienating my family because I didn’t know if I could trust them, or risk being abandoned.

This thread has really given me some perspective on the impact of the deceit I lived from the age of twelve on. The little lies I got away with, like resetting all the clocks in the house so I had an excuse for missing the school bus, pale in comparison with it. And yet, people in this thread are talking about how small deceits haunt them to this day. That kind of guilt was a constant companion to me throughout adolescence, and it just about ruined my relationship with my family.

I wouldn’t bring this up, except for the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of kids out there right now living the same lie. Every day they lie about who they really are, and every day it hurts.

How do you follow that?

When I was about 6 a small gas station about a mile from where I lived burned down. Of course me and my 5 year old brother couldn’t have done it, we weren’t allowed to go that far from home by ourselves. To this day I have no idea why we started the fire.

I pretty much never got away with any lies in childhood. If fact, I sometimes got hit for telling “truths.” That’s the part that I don’t like.

I did the exact same thing with the thermometer and the light bulb. For some reason Mom believed the thing had to be timed for exactly 2 minutes and my clock didn’t have a second hand, so she’d leave the room to time it. Worked several times until I also did the bit about leaving it by the bulb a bit too long and it spiked up to 105. I didn’t know how to “shake down” the mercury, so I was busted.

But here’s one I will always treasure:

My older sister was ALWAYS good. Straight A’s, studied hard, never – and I mean never – got into trouble. So one night my then boyfriend (now husband) and I were out a good deal longer than my curfew. (My folks also believed that staying out past midnight was a degenerate thing.) BF says, just tell them we had a flat tire. Well, says I, that will not explain being almost an hour late. He replied, “Just tell them that since my car has ‘skirts’ over the tires that it takes a very long time to change the tire.” “But it doesn’t take that long,” I answered. “Yes,” says he, “But your father doesn’t know that.”

So next morning at breakfast I start getting the third degree about being late. I give the flat tire and “skirts” story. Mom & Dad are very suspicious, but they really don’t know if I’m telling the truth or not. Turn to Big Sister. “Is that true?” they ask. “Does it really take that long?” I figure I am totally busted now. “Oh, yes,” lies Big Sister with a completely straight face.

It was one of the most incredible moments of my life.

BTW, for you youngsters who don’t know what tire skirts are, they were pieces of metal that extended down from the body of the car to cover half the tire so that the car looked cool and streamlined. They did have to be removed in order to change the tire, but it took about 5 seconds.

My father was a carpenter with a bit of a temper, which worked out well as he could patch all the holes he put in the walls.

One day he’d come home for lunch and put in a fresh drywall patch in the hallway, slathering on the mud and leaving it to dry and be sanded later. Hmm, fresh joint compound feels rather like gooshy gritty playdoh to a nine year old, how I got away with playing in it while being in such a highly visible spot is beyond my comprehension. After a while, however, I noticed I couldn’t smooth it out and start a fresh bas relief.

So, what else could I do? I carved my sister’s initials into it and hid with a book in my room.

She protested loud and long thruout the ensuing chaos, rightfully pointing out that she’d never have been dumb enough to sign it (!) but I held on to my look of innocense and never got caught.