In Monday’s Guardian, TV Go Home / “Nathan Barley” creator Charlie Brooker (above) considers the results of a recent survey that revealed nearly two-thirds of the public have lied about reading such tomes as “War & Piece”, “Ulysses” and “The Bible”. “Reading is more trouble than it’s worth, and lying about reading is even more pointless” concludes the Screenwipe host.
Apparently people lie about having read all these books because they think it’ll make them appear sexier. Which begs the question: who the hell earnestly believes that claiming to have read the Bible from beginning to end is going to get them laid? Mention your love of the New Testament on a date and you might as well stick a fork in your face and start screaming about ghosts. Potential partners who genuinely adore reading the Bible on a daily basis traditionally don’t mention it until later, when they’ve invited you back to their place to unexpectedly nailgun your hand to the wall while loudly reciting a selection of their favourite parables from memory.
Of course, whenever two people meet, literary fibs are just the tip of the iceberg. As potential partners initially circle one another, a full 98% of their conversation consists of out-and-out falsehood. The remaining 26% is wild exaggeration. It’s an unnecessary game of bluff in which you both claim to be into the same bands, hold the same political viewpoints, harbour the same dark secrets and so on. Assuming it works and the pair of you get together, the rest of the relationship consists of either a) both of you slowly discovering what the other one’s actually like, or b) one of you grimly maintaining the fiction that, hey, you’re really into Bruce Springsteen, fell-walking or sex parties too, until the facade finally crumbles or you die of sheer despair.