JournalismPakistan.com June 21, 2013
I’m a fonefibber. It’s a word I’ve coined for people like myself who fib about the phone calls they never made. I thought we were a small number who belonged to this group but the more I see of people the more I am convinced I have severe competition around me.
My favorite act is the return call I forgot. Where were you yesterday at eightish, ninish I yell, the phone kept ringing and ringing.
I was home all evening, comes the reply, waiting for you to call. I did, I did, I say vehemently, lying through my teeth, in fact I dialed twice nobody was answering.
He doesn’t believe you. You know he doesn’t believe you. He knows you know he doesn’t believe you but social grace demands a truce be maintained.
Some fonefibbers like to live dangerously. I called back, says this type, and a lady answered. To add authenticity to the lie he says she sounded middle agish, which is such a lovely touch because it is a fair chance the person has a parent, an in-law or housemaid in residence. Of course the customary way to play this is just say, didn’t your houseboy tell you I called, I especially told him to tell you the moment you came back. Here you can achieve a coup. Say, in fact I waited for your call. Houseboys, like pawns on a chessboard are easily sacrificed by a fonefibber.
The only danger in this strategy is if you are unsure of the status of the domestic strength. It can be dicey if the other guy says, I don’t have a houseboy. Then you come back with, well somebody was in your house because I sure called. That should worry him!
Another version that is quite effective is to flatter as you fib. When I returned your call, you say, a lady with a lovely voice answered, very stylish, and I think there was some very classy music in the background, was that your daughter, very well spoken girl. You talk like that who cares if you’re lying.
Use the SMS angle. I sent you a message but you didn’t get back to me.
I believe the world is full of people lying about calls they never made, even converting these cookups in to icebreakers. Hello there, I called you last week, was it Wednesday, or was it Tuesday, let me see now…
I called you 10 times last month. Nonsense, I called you 15 times. Flinging them as indictments.
I say you should tighten up your secretary, I even gave her my name when I called and I said it was urgent. Making them into guilt factors.
Now you’re a big shot, you won’t call us back, we’re not important enough. So it goes on. Millions of people fonefibbing their way through life. And I thought I was a minority.
Just a sec, I’ve got to return a call.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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