Posted by: bravo22c | 27/03/2010

We are what we are.

Once upon a time, I told a lie. Not a white lie. Not one of those little untruths we somethines use to grease the wheels of the daily round. A big lie. A dark lie. A lie to try to conceal a mistake that could have had fatal consequences.

I was a young soldier – that is not an excuse – and the crew of my tank were engaged in changing the tracks. It is not that complicated an operation: You lay out the new track in front of the tank, split the old track, drive the tank forward onto the new track, fix a rope to the rear of the new track and use the drive sprocket to winch it into place, then knock in a track pin and you’re done.

My job on this particular morning was to stand in front of the tank and relay signals to the driver to let him know when to drive forward, and when to winch the track. Everything was going fine until I became confused and gave the wrong signal. The cable attached to the track sprang taught, a crowbar being used to help guide the track over the rollers was catapulted out of the hands of the crewman using it and whistledspinning through the air , nearly decapitating one of the other crewmen.

When everything had settled down, I tried to blame the driver for mis-understanding the signal I gave. Of , course, I was soon exposed. I only had to spend a couple of days in the sick bay.

The bruises healed quickly, but the shame lingers to this day – I’m squirming as I write this. I have never told a lie since that day, I cannot, for shame. I can refrain from telling the whole truth, or evade giving a direct answer, – it is, after all, sometimes cruel to say exactly what you mean, but I cannot tell what I know to be a direct lie.

This is why I denounce hypocrisy so, and the root cause of my current little spat in another place.

Just thought I’d tell you.


  1. Give yourself a break, Bravo.

    • Thanks Jaime, we are what we are 🙂

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