neither misguided nor misleading.
But as soon as I put that tie around my neck, I turned into the most shameless and despicable of liars. There wasn't a word that came out of my mouth that even remotely resembled the truth.
"Sure, I'd love to spend my summer in Pacoima," I found myself saying, knowing full well that I was planning to spend the summer following the Grateful Dead. "I hear it's especially beautiful in August when the alfalfa's in bloom."
"Coverering the annual left-handed lawyer's Old Maid tournament? There's nothing I'd rather do. Left-handed Old Maid is my specialty."
"I would not only find working long, boring hours for substandard pay a refreshing change from my academic environment, but also a concrete step toward constructing a foundation that I can build the rest of my life goals upon."
Things were getting so out of hand that I couldn't tell if I was lying. I actually started to believe that I could not only dutifully report on Board of Supervisor meetings in Montebello but that I would actually enjoy it.
It's a good thing they didn't offer me the job. I just might have taken it.
It was only after I had taken my tie off that I realized what I had done. I had been willing to sell my soul to get a job I really didn't want in the first place.
But now I know why highly respected people can lie through their teeth repeatedly without showing a bit of remorse. It's the necktie.
Was Richard Nixon wearing a sports coat and open collar when he told the nation he was no crook. Was Ronald Reagan wearing a turtleneck shirt when he told the world the United States would never negotiate with terrorists? Was William Westmoreland in a swimsuit when he said we were winning the Vietnam war? Was Gary Hart nude when he told reporters they could follow him and be bored?
No! These men were all wearing neckties!
Look at the scandals on Wall Street. What do these people wear to work every day? How about the man who says dumping raw sewage into the ocean will not harm the environment? Is he wearing a Greenpeace T-shirt?
The implications of this discovery are startling. Do people wear neckties in order to lie effectively or do they lie because they wear neckties?
And how should we treat those among us who dress up and spread falsehoods? Are they victims of their wardrobe, or cold and calculating criminals?
Should we instigate an across-the-board necktie ban, with those using neckties sent to prison for 10 years and possession with intent to sell bringing 25 to life?
Could we effectively control the in flux of illegal neckwear into the country? And if so, would it create a period of lawlessness similar to Prohibition?
On the other hand, we obviously cannot allow these well-dressed social deviants to roam the streets corrupting our children into thinking that white- collar crime is an acceptable alternative to driving a Buick.
These are tough questions our society will have to address in the future. Until then, however, I've thrown away all my neckties and gone back to wearing T-shirts and Levi's. After all, a fashion statement is a terrible thing to waste.