By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
“Honesty:...the state or quality of being honest...refraining from lying, cheating, or stealing...being truthful, trustworthy, or upright...sincerity; fairness; straightforwardness...”
The Platts had a brush with catastrophe this week that was averted by the honesty of some employees at HEB. Tuesday, The Little Woman (she dislikes that name) discovered that her wallet was missing. She frantically dug around in her purse for about 15 minutes (the purse is that big) and then checked the car and then the panic set in. She determined that her last purchase stop the day before was at HEB, so she called their Customer Service Department. Sure enough, after some questions of identification, it was determined that her wallet had been abandoned at the checkout counter and had been turned in to Customer Service for safekeeping.
TLW hustled on in to town and retrieved her wallet which still contained a fair amount of cash, her credit cards, and her checkbook. What a relief! We certainly do appreciate the honesty of all the HEB employees involved with the safekeeping of her vital stuff.
Honesty is certainly something we all admire in folks that we deal with every day. We especially admire it in our national leaders when we can find it. We surely admire George “I cannot tell a lie” Washington, “Honest” Abraham Lincoln, and Harry “The buck stops here” Truman. Conversely, we are sorely disappointed in those presidents who have been shown themselves to be liars, cheaters, and adulterers.
However, the burning question is — is honesty always the best policy? On a less grander scale, it must be said that there is always room for a little harmless dishonesty in our everyday lives. Fellas, here are a few examples of what I’m getting at.
What do you say when your significant other (notice I didn’t say TLW) asks you, “Do these jeans make my butt look big? Do you tell her that her butt looks like 10 pounds of sausage in a five-pound sack or do you diplomatically fib that the jeans look just fine on her?
How about, “I suppose you think she is prettier than me?” You may be thinking that the lady in question makes your companion look like Phyllis Diller but you had better think twice about saying so.
How about, “You don’t mind that my mother will be staying for a few more days, do you?” I know, I know, you would rather have a boil implant than endure more of Mom’s criticism of your every move and the constant rant that her daughter could have done so much better, but you let discretion win out over valor.
And then there is the ever-popular, “You really do like my meatloaf don’t you?” You say, “Of course, Dear — it’s just like the meatloaf my mother used to make,” when everyone knows your mom was a terrible cook.
I could go on with a dozen more examples, but I will close my rant about honesty with a cute little story that was sent to me by my friend, Kenny, who “sells dirt” out here around the lake. The story is told by a little boy who I would guess is probably about in the second grade and it goes like this:
When the teacher asked me to tell the class what my favorite animal was, I said it was fried chicken. She said I wasn’t funny, but she was wrong, because everyone else in the class laughed. My teacher then sent me to the Principal’s office.
Later I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said PETA members love animals very much. I told my dad that I love animals too — especially chicken, pork, and beef. Anyway, he laughed about it too and then told me not to do it again.
Yesterday, in class, my teacher asked me to tell the class what my favorite live animal was. I said it is was chickens. She asked my why, so I told her it was because you can make fried chicken out of them. Everyone in the class laughed but her and she sent me back to the Principal’s office. He laughed too but then told me not to do it again.
I don’t understand what is going on. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked me to tell the class what famous person I admired the most. I stood up and proudly announced, “Colonel Sanders.” Guess where I am right now?
So much for “veritas vos liberabit” or “the truth shall set you free.” May God bless you and yours through the holidays and the new year.
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org