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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1948293-A-Sweeter-Package
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Relationship · #1948293
Being caught in a lie . . .
A Writer’s Cramp: 24 hour/less than 1,000 words story.

Prompt: You get caught in a lie at work. Tell the story of why you lied and how you get out of trouble.



A Sweeter Package





I could tell by the way he looked at me that my lie hadn’t held water. Not that a lie should hold water, or anything. A lie isn’t like a container, sink, or salad bowl, but lies do hold the frame of things. They give stuff and people a sweeter package, a better border.

You see, lies are like the fancy pillows that hide scraps of fabric. My mother used to make those pillows. She’d take old clothes, rags, dryer fuzz, anything that was soft and unused. Then she’d enclose it in fabric, decorate it with yarn. On the outside she’d turn that package of junk into something frilly and pink. Or maybe, like the one she made for my bed, she’d stitch a racecar on the front. A racecar with shiny threads that made the car's chrome look new.

But you don't want to tear that decoration off, peek inside. Lies aren’t something you’re supposed to rip the seams off. Lies are purely for decoration, like that racecar with its shiny chrome.

Only at work, I guess you can’t pretty up something. When it comes out of your mouth all twisted with distortion, it just hangs around like greasy spaghetti, making your stomach all queazy.

At least, that’s what I learned after telling my boss that my wife was a good cook.

Why did I say that? Poor Betty couldn’t cook a TV dinner if you set the timer on the oven for her. She’s just that bad in the kitchen. Course if you ask her to change the oil in the car, she’s a whiz. She’s not bad at fixing plumbing problems, either.

But that wasn’t what the lie was about. It was about cooking. That darned boss always went on and on about how brilliant his little miss was, about how she baked cakes, cookies, and pies -- all tasty and lip-smacking.

About the twentieth time hearing that, it started eating at me, pardon the pun.

Ever seen what happens when you get a spot of battery acid on your clothes? Well, it’s a sure thing it’s not good for whatever you’re wearing. That acid plum sucks up all the fibers and turns them into soy sauce – not the kind you could eat, of course . . .

Which brings me back to the problem I had at work. You see, just to shut up the guy’s bragging, I said how my Betty was a real good cook, too. Don’t ask me how that nicefying bug just leaped out of my thoughts, landed on my tongue, and gushed out. I didn’t mean to say it. I was just trying to say what a great wife I had. You know, the fancy pillow all decorated pretty-like.

But the main problem with a creative lie is that someone always thinks he has to investigate it, tear that sucker apart so he can point his finger at you, and say, “Caught you,” or at least that’s what it feels like.

It was my boss, this time. He’d been over to my house once, saw me doing all the cooking, found out the reason, too.

That’s why Bob did some snort-laughing, followed up by telling everyone how I'd just volunteered to have my wife bake cookies for the company picnic. Only my boss knew I was lying. He knew I couldn't cook much more than . . . well, greasy spaghetti, and my wife . . .

But that’s okay. I got it all figured out. See, I’m gonna buy some cookies – the already done kind. Then I’ll swap em with his wife’s cookies. Presto, lie all dyed to a proper hue. Only what am I gonna tell Betty? The boss is sure to thank her for the cookies.

I wonder if I could get my wife to tell a little tiny fib, too. Maybe if I explained about pillows and fancy racecars . . .

But she's funny about stuff like that. Guess it would just be better to offer her services as a plumber. I suppose that would appease the boss. He’s always complaining about the cost of repairing his house's old leaky pipes.

But, even so, you really shouldn’t have to pay for a lie when all you’ve doing is pretty up the lint from the dryer -- not that my wife is lint. That's not what I meant, but, isn't it true that everyone benefits from having a sweeter package? And a little creativity -- like some of that fancy stitchery-- why, it only improves things right?

Geez, I guess, I just should have kept my mouth shut.


800 words
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