Our podcast The Truth Lies in Bedtime Stories, from See Through News, Series 7, Marcus & Jemima – how I deal with people at parties who assume I have children, George uses a family story concerning a remarkable pet to help filter truth from lies
In Episode 5, Further Developments, George is challenged to elucidate on his previous elucidation on the nature of truth and lies. He obliges by rendering turbid waters limpid via a discursive family story concerning a particularly hirsute canine…
Next: Episode 6: Behind The Words
Or for the whole thing, the Omnibus edition
Narration and series theme music by George Hinchliffe
Produced & mixed by SternWriter
Podcast sting by Samuel Wain
If you enjoyed this series, why not try:
- Series 1: The Story of Ganbaatar – the only qualified deep-sea navigator in Mongolia
- Series 2: Betrayed – A Tale of Christmas Spiritual Pollution
- Series 3: Life on the Edge – Taiwan, China, America and the Moment I Realised Mrs. Wang Was Mostly Guessing What Her Husband Said
- Series 4: The Quiet Revolutionary – the heroic role played in a plot to assassinate the King by someone you’ve all heard of
- Series 5: A Classical Chinese Dirty Joke, Told Thrice
- Series 6: Teetering – how a Hawaiian beach bum held my career in the balance
The Truth Lies in Bedtime Stories is a See Through News production.
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Episode 5 : Further Clarifications
I wonder if there’s another illustrative story that might illuminate what’s true and what’s not?
Well, of course, one of the aspects of telling a story is that people are often far more invested in the story which has an emotional truth rather than whether something is factual.
I’ve found in my own experience that if I tell people the truth about what I’ve been doing, often they don’t believe it, even though I can demonstrate that it’s true. Whereas if I tell a story that is interesting and not at all true there, the listeners are probably more inclined to believe that or want to believe it or at any rate, they’re more interested in it.
And so over time we’ll accept the entertaining story which has a kind of emotional veracity rather than the factual story which doesn’t resonate with them at all.
So just as with the story that I told to Rupert, he resonated with the story about the children who had left university and were wanting to get some money out of me. He probably wouldn’t have related to the story about owning a car park on some disused building site somewhere, which I was then able to sell for a few quid and go off on a holiday. You know, unless that was his experience, he’d go, ‘It sounds a bit peculiar selling a car park. What’s that?’ Unless it’s a huge great car park in an urban centre, blah blah.
And so, you know, the entertaining story might be the one that resonates more. For example, when I lived in Eckington we had a dog. It wasn’t my dog, it was my cousin’s dog. But you know, it was in the family.
And I suggested that the cousin enter this dog into a dog competition, you know, a shaggy dog competition which was in Eckington, a village fete. And so the dog was duly entered. There were three judges, you know, after they’d done the egg and spoon race and the gymkhana and all that stuff, the first judge said ‘That is a shaggy dog’. And the second judge said ‘That’s a very shaggy dog’. And the third judge said ‘That is without doubt the shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen’. So the dog won the prize for the shaggy dog in Eckington.
Of course, after that result my cousin was all buoyed up and decided to enter the North Derbyshire shaggy dog competition and the first judge there said ‘That’s a shaggy dog’. And the second judge said ‘That’s a very shaggy dog’. And the third judge said, ‘That’s the shaggy dog I’ve ever seen’. So the dog won the competition, North Derbyshire Shaggiest dog.
Went on to North of England Shaggy Dog Competition. First Judge ‘Shaggy dog’. Second judge ‘Very shaggy dog’. Third judge said ‘That is without a doubt the shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen’. So he won the competition: rosettes, prizes, trips to Mexico or lots of things came out of this.
And then they entered the dog in the All England Shaggy Dog Competition. And the first judge said ‘That’s a shaggy dog’. The second judge says ‘It’s a very shaggy dog’. And the third judge says ‘That’s the shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen’. So it won.
So then after that, my cousin entered the dog into the European Shaggy Dog Competition and the first judge said ‘Shaggy dog’. Second Judge ‘Very shaggy dog’. Third judge ‘Shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen’. It won the All-European.
Then of course, one thing led to another. He went on to the Worldwide Shaggy Dog competition. First judge says ‘Shaggy dog’, second judge, ‘Very shaggy dog’, third judge ‘Shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen- it won. The shaggiest dog in the world was then the conclusion.
And by then space travel had been getting going. And so the Solar System Competition came up. Shaggiest Dog in the Solar System was going to be the title. And indeed there were three judges and the first judge said ‘It’s a shaggy dog. And the second judge said ‘It’s a very shaggy dog’. And the third judge said, no, ‘It’s the shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen’. So it won that competition.
And of course, then they went on to enter the competition for the Shaggiest Dog in the Entire Universe. And the first judge said ‘That is a shaggy dog’. The second judge said ‘It’s a very shaggy dog’. And the third judge says, ‘I’m afraid it’s not quite the shaggiest dog I’ve ever seen’. And so my cousin’s dog didn’t win the competition.
But that’s a story about a shaggy dog.
Is that the same as a shaggy dog story?
I could say I could say it is, couldn’t I?
Well, thank you for clearing that up, George. Are there cases where lies can actually be more truthful than truths?
Can I go for a pee?
When he gets back, In Episode 6, Behind The Words, George reveals what he really means.