The silly season is upon us, hooray!
While millions the world over make whoopee and exchange pleasantries, it is also a season of lies, lies and more lies.
The cellphone network boys are gearing up to milk it, with every Jabulani, Jeremiah and S'bongile and their uncles passing on messages of "goodwill".
So be not surprised when you receive one message a dozen times telling you the same thing in the same words - "You are most special ... love you until I die".
Do not believe it.
Also, do not believe the rumour, when it comes around your circles, about the youth leader who has brought so much suffering on himself in recent months. I will not name him. But you know who.
The story goes that when he was in high school his teacher asked the class to give the names of the banks in South Africa.
The pupils raised their hands ... Nedbank, First National, Absa, Standard, African Bank ... and so on.
"Let's hear what little Josias (not his real name) has to say," the teacher said, prompting him to participate.
"Witbank," he said promptly and proudly.
That, I am sure, is a lie.
Another famous lie, told to me by a well-known singer whose name is not Vionne Kacha Kacha, involves our most beloved politician shortly after his release from decades in prison.
When he went to prison there was no TV or microwave ovens. So when he came out, he could not tell the difference.
One morning his wife returned to the kitchen to find him sitting in front of the microwave in which she was cooking a chicken.
"Comrade," he called out to her, "kanti this TV of yours only plays chicken ..."
Lies intrigue. I have had the misfortune to be a victim of lies all my life. It used to drive me crazy but now I see the funny side of it and just laugh it off. Sometimes I laugh because if I do not I might drop dead from the venom of the lies.
Still, that varies from lie to lie. There are white lies (not so bad), blue lies (shocking), green lies (despicable), pure lies (plain) and, believe it or not, true lies.
I did a quick Internet search on the subject and came up with some interesting quotes from folks cleverer than I.
Let's share some thoughts on lies:
lAn abomination before the Lord, and an ever present help in time of trouble.
lI am different from Washington. I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't. (Mark Twain).
l Lying increases creative faculties, expands the ego and lessens the frictions of social contacts.
And my favourite:
lAny fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.