Thursday, December 26, 2019

Fib Nauseous

“We don’t come apart when we swim.”

One recent movie gives us
A character who is said
To have a strange condition:
Lying makes her nauseous.

This seems disabling,
Which the audience senses
As well as a detective,
As the writers intended.

How terrifying 
Not to be able to lie
Without humiliation
And wretched discovery.

In the story, folks buy it,
And the detective buys it,
And the director has fun
With scenes built around vomit.

The incapable liar
Is sweet and wins a fortune
From vilely unworthy heirs.
We have our happy ending.

Does the audience buy it?
Seems to. The movie’s a hit.
Online plot explanations
(Spoiler alert!) toe the line.

I don’t buy it. Not one bit.
First, there’s no such condition.
And second, what a power
That would be, to have convinced

Everyone, even the cops,
Even the moviegoers,
That you really, physically, 
Cannot tell a lie

Without giving it away
With what you ate for breakfast.
Once people accepted that,
Their trust would be guaranteed.

As Groucho Marx joked,
The key to acting
Is sincerity.
Once you can fake that, you’re set.

I think the writers knew this,
Knew their victim heroine
Was brilliantly murderous,
Then waited to see who’d guess.

I imagine them, reading
Returns, still holding their breath,
Swallowing and swallowing
Truth that makes them nauseous.

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