Would I lie to you?
I was in the middle of gathering evidence to get my husband out of a parking ticket yesterday. As I was rootling through handbags for useful receipts to prove we hadn’t overstayed our parking time, the news came out that Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by apparently asking his wife to accept responsibility for his speeding ticket.
My initial reaction was to drop the whole thing, “Leave it girl – it’s not worth it,” and just pay up on the spot. I can’t pretend to imagine what on earth motivated either Mr Huhne or his former wife, Vicky Pryce, to get themselves into such a tragic pickle over a relatively straightforward transgression, but my overwhelming feeling is one of sympathy and horror. The only possible saving grace is that at least no one was killed or injured in the original speeding incident, but the emotional car crash it has created for all concerned has been devastating.
Fortunately, our situation is far simpler and thankfully neither of us has a reputation to ruin. It was Christmas Eve and we were one present short of a full Christmas tree. So rather than risk the bus, I drove off at 8am to collect the missing toy and was in and out of Argos in ten minutes. I was in a 20-minute bay and rushed into Marks & Sparks to pick up bread, feeling ever so ‘two birds with one stone’ pleased with myself. Oh, to turn the clock back.
I thought no more about it until 4 January when my husband received a £120 parking ticket in the post. The car is in his name. I fired off a tearful tale of mitigation and hoped for the best. Now they’ve written back asking for evidence that I was in and out in 15 minutes. Can I find the receipts? Of course not. Would I forge some or ask anyone to lie for me to escape the ticket? Not even if my name was Lewis Hamilton and a parking ticket prevented me from taking poll position at the Monaco Grand Prix. So all I can do is send them a copy of my bank statement and hope for the best.
Anything else would be completely counterproductive. Not because I’ve got the morals of George Washington but because the moment I even think about lying I go red and start stammering and would lose so much sleep worrying about getting caught that it really, really isn’t worth it.
Which all begs the question, would you lie for someone or ask someone to lie for you? And if you did, would it be a sign of loyalty and courage or cowardly selfishness? Let me know.