If parents must lie to children, they should do it properly
Mums and Dads spend half of your childhood telling you not to fib, and the other half lying to you, says Bryony Gordon.
It is one of the world's great injustices that your mother and father spend half of your childhood telling you not to fib, and the other half lying through their back teeth at you. "Honesty is the best policy," they preach to you, pointing out the story of Pinocchio – their own noses growing to proportions that would make a proboscis monkey fall out of its tree in envy.
And if this really is the case, why, then, do parents spend a good 10 years bribing you into good behaviour with fictional characters such as Father Christmas, a curiously sinister creation given that another parental doctrine is not to accept presents offered by strange men?
I am surprised that upon turning 16, more children don't scream "I have been living a lie", before stomping upstairs, slamming the bedroom door behind them and calling up social services to file for emancipation. This week, a survey revealed that the average parent tells their children two white lies a day, usually to get them to eat fewer sweets and more fruit and vegetables. A popular one, apparently, is to claim that an ice cream van only plays music when it has run out of lollies – a deceit so brilliant that it must have been dreamt up by a death?row defence lawyer.
Six out of 10 mothers said that fibbing was the only way to deal with their children. Initially I found this shocking, but then I countered that most white lies were well meaning (with an air of menace, of course). Most strange was the old-fashioned nature of the lies in the survey. Carrots will help you see in the dark? Goodness me, have you actually met a child in the past five years? They're quite sophisticated nowadays, with A*s coming out of their ears and night-vision goggles that cost €12 from Argos. Here I present the 21st-century guide to deceiving your children:
• Eating spinach will give you muscles like Alex Reid (cage-fighting husband of glamour model and, ahem, author Katie Price).
• Contrary to popular belief, devouring your crusts absolutely won't give you curly hair, a look no self-respecting tween girl would ever sport. Instead, its powers rival that of the magical GHD hair straightener.
• If you don't go to the dentist, all your teeth will fall out, and then Justin Bieber and that bloke in Twilight will never want to kiss you.
• If you spend more than an hour a week on Facebook, your brain will shrink.
• The Tooth Fairy? Oh, that's easy. She's Kelly Brook.
The internet vomits up a lot of rubbish, but the trailer for a new film called Clear Blue Tuesday surely wins all awards for tastelessness. It's a musical about the September 11 attacks, in which 11 characters try to "rediscover their city". I think it was done on a budget set by George Osborne. Anyway, the director, Elizabeth Lucas, told the New York Times that she felt other films had been "overly ponderous about the topic" and that a musical gives people "the perspective to look at ourselves and laugh at our tragedies".
It was just under nine years ago. Surely a bit too soon to make an all-singing-all-dancing Glee version of such an atrocity?
Apple is to release yet another version of the iPod. This will be its 108th incarnation, I think. The rate at which the company cranks out new versions of barely old technology makes me feel a curious mixture of contempt and admiration; the cult of Steve Jobs is such that people will rush out and buy the latest version despite there being nothing wrong with the current one.
My iPod is known as the "Classic". I bought it a year ago. I give it three years before the iPad starts looking like the Dead Sea Scrolls.