“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who are truthful, his delight.”
– Proverbs 12:22
Honesty is always the best policy, at least when you’re dealing with the Big Man upstairs.
However, honesty is not always the best policy when you’re dealing with a hateful hound that doesn’t know his back end from the end of the rainbow – and I know which of those places you’re not going to find a crock of gold, that’s for sure.
Last week, Waffle’s pet insurance was up for renewal and as well as that, I received a letter in the post saying that his dog licence had expired on January 5. In the case of the latter missive, I was informed that I had a full seven days to have the licence renewed or Dog the Bounty Hunter would land round and put my windows in. This was my first lie.
“Is the man from the council really called, ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter?” the littlest of the little humans asked.
“Sure is,” I replied. This was my second lie.
“Why does Waffle need to have a licence anyway?” the little human queried. “It’s not like he wants to drive a car.”
I was forced to think about this for a second.
“He needs a licence in case he bites someone on the butt,” I said at last. “But mainly it’s a money-spinning council thing.”
Anna ignored the second part of this statement (technically my third lie, since I wasn’t sure what I was saying, really).
“But sure he can’t even bite his own butt – I’ve seen him trying to do it!”
“I know,” I said. “But anyway, we better get his licence renewed.”
The following day I was being peer-pressured into opening the pet insurance renewal letter. Now, I should point out that I HATE opening letters, mainly because they’re always bills.
“Did you open the pet insurance letter?” Herself wondered.
“I did of course,” I said (fourth lie).
“You did and your arse,” came the reply. “I opened it. It’s tripled in price. It’s nearly £30 a month now – if we don’t look for a different quote.”
“I’ll sort that out on Monday,” I confirmed (fifth lie).
In the end, despite my permanent prevarications I was eventually forced to deal with both the pet insurance and the dog licence renewal. The former I sorted over the course of a frustrating ten minutes, although the efforts were eventually worth the toil as I managed to reduce the premium by one whole third.
“Is he still insured if he gets really sick?” a little human asked of Waffle vis-a-vis the new insurance policy.
“Of course,” I said (sixth lie). In reality I had no idea regarding the small print in the policy but I was pretty sure that every canine eventuality imaginable must be covered if I’m shelling out the king’s ransom premium of nine whole bucks a month.
The licence renewal however, that was not a mission so easily completed.
“Did you get his licence sorted yet?” Herself asked in a phone call.
“Of course,” I replied (seventh lie). Although in my defence, I had every intention of fulfilling the task. My thinking was: If I erroneously said I’d sorted the licence when I still had every intention of doing so the very next day, technically it isn’t a lie to say I’d already done as much. Right?
The following day (Thursday), after everyone had departed the homestead for their respective travails, I went to look for the dog licence renewal letter. Walking up the hall, I mentally tracked down the missive, recalling that I’d left it atop a pile of papers on my desk. However when I arrived at the desk, I suddenly realised that Waffle had arrived ahead of me and had proceeded to chew the letter into shreds, which were streawn across the carpet.
I looked from Waffle to the tattered letter and back again and I had to laugh.
“That was nearly my first reaction when the letter came in,” I told him. Then a thought struck home.
“I hope I didn’t need that letter in order to renew the licence,” I further told him. Then I considered attending the council and explaining that I hadn’t renewed the licence (which had expired in January) because the licensee in question had eaten the reminder.
“My dog ate my homework,” I imagined myself saying, childlike and in uniform, picking my nose.
In the end, I needn’t have worried about my white lies tying me into knots. I didn’t require the mangled renewal letter to renew the hound’s licence. This task I was able to achieve via the world wide web and the council’s website. It cost me a fiver and barely the same number of minutes of my time.
“All’s well that ends well,” I told Waffle.
Miraculously – and portentously – one of the only scraps of the licence renewal letter which was legible was a short passage warning about the punitive measures available to the authorities if I hadn’t parted with my fiver.
It read: “If you keep or take possession of a dog without a Dog Licence you will be liable to a fine of £1,000.”
“Jeez,” says I to the Waff. “No amount of white lies could have talked our way out of that one.”
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