We all have hobbies. Some people fly kites. Some people read books. Some people eat a lot food and then intentionally puke it back up. Some people do all of the aforementioned things. There may even be some people who do all of these things at the same time. I’m not a bulimic, kite-flying bookworm. I’m a compulsive liar. Lying is my passion. What’s your name? Jake Delhomme. Where are you from? Antarctica. Where’d you get that scar? From a polar bear. Do you love me? Yes. Am I an interesting and valuable person? Of course you are. Are you paying attention? Absolutely.
I’m not cynical. I’m honest. The world runs on lies. Forget oxygen and water. You need lies. You love them and they love you. That’s why I keep lying. It’s like a fun little game that I get to play with my fun little friends. I tell a few lies and derive a few easy thrills. It’s a beautiful thing, but there’s a downside. There’s always a downside.
I’m not the only one who’s privy to the power of deception. All kinds of people will tell you all kinds of nonsense. That’s why trust is a dangerous thing. You have to be careful where you put it. I accidentally left my trust in a Wendy’s parking lot. I went back a few hours later and checked the lost and found. My trust was gone. That’s why I’m no longer capable of trusting anyone.
My inability to trust is probably a good thing. Did you know that aspirin kills more Americans each year than terrorism? I never would’ve noticed this if I had trusted CNN to direct my attention to the most important national issues. I would’ve been so busy watching updates about Osama Bin Laden and his band of merry pranksters that I never would’ve started fighting the war on aspirin. Now I’m a changed man. I’m enlightened. For the past few weeks, I’ve been camping outside Bayer Corporation headquarters with a bazooka and a walkie-talkie.
Maybe you don’t think aspirin is a worthy adversary. I understand. In fact, I was actually lying about the war on aspirin. I haven’t started it, and I don’t have any plans to. However, I genuinely believe that most people should consider adding a bit of skepticism to their mental arsenal.
Metaphorically speaking, the world is full of used car salesman touting overpriced rust buckets as the perfect solution to your transportation needs. They spout a few intoxicating lines of nonsense. You become enchanted by their charm and confidence. You proceed to make a bad decision. They reap the rewards. This is how it works. A sucker is born every minute and fleeced every season. I don’t know what you hope to be in life. A doctor. A lawyer. A bounty hunter. I don’t know and I don’t care. But whatever you ultimately decide to do, please don’t be a sucker. Don’t be that idiot who believes everything that anyone with a fancy title and a nice smile tells him to believe.
To be clear, I’m not advocating irrational paranoia. I’m not advising you to strap on a tinfoil helmet and start building a bomb shelter in preparation for the impending apocalypse. I’m merely recommending a healthy dose of doubt. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around these days and it can be hard to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s not. I can’t possibly tell you how to wade through all the bullshit, but I can give you one bit of advice. Use your head. Common sense is a very important thing. If you neglect it then you might end up like my friend Chuck.
Chuck was a nice guy. He was also one of the most gullible people in the world. One day, someone told Chuck that he could fly if he jumped from a high enough ledge and flapped his arms fast enough. Chuck proceeded to jump off the Chrysler Building. The result was a sloppy puddle of shattered bones and splattered guts.
If you don’t want to end up like Chuck, then you’ll have to use your head and start thinking things through. Weigh possibilities. Search for flaws. Question authority. Soon you’ll be on the track to success. Believe me, it works. I wouldn’t lie to you. I love you.
Daily Nexus columnist Nick Pasto doesn’t buy American cars anymore.