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Like most people I know, I’m a truth-loving liar. I get upset about the lies of others — how dare they, do they think I’m stupid? — but then, caught in a pinch, I’ve had to bury my grandmother twice to get extensions on urgent projects. I’ve misrepresented my age, my weight and my girlfriend’s hairstyle, and I cheer vacuous Facebook pics of identical bowls of ramen, just to finagle your “like” for my new motivational message. And no — no no — I cannot fathom what sort of doofus would jam the copier and then not have the guts to fess up.

The Japanese have a proverb that says lying is a means to an end: uso mo hōben. There can be candor in stating the obvious.

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