Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I flunked the only polygraph test I ever took.
Trouble is, I wasn't lying. Not even a little.
Years ago, a friend of mine, who happened to be the wife of a famous movie actor, and I were having dinner. Seems he was cheating on her, had a love nest set up for his girlfriend, and planned to dump my pal. He had started drinking again and was being a total prick. My poor friend was devastated. She loved the bastard.
Being a reporter and all, I asked if she wanted me to 'get him' for her.
She was and is a lady, never swears, never does anything bad, but she asked if I could keep her out of it and I said yes.
The next morning I started a bidding war between all the major tabloids and a few TV tabloids.
The Globe won the story.
They sent out a reporter that night. He and I met at his hotel and talked, then I gave him maps and names and numbers, and he gave me a signed contract.
All my facts were straight, but they could not find a soul to corroborate my story, so their lawyers said I had to be polygraphed.
I am so literal, I guess I flunked the test because of the way the questions were framed. For example, I already knew my pal's husband was cheating because another friend had told me before the wife did. So when they asked if the wife had told me at dinner about her husband, I said yes, meaning yes, we talked about it all night. That popped up as a lie.
Then the stupid polygrapher explained to me how when you inhale this way it shows as a lie or when you exhale that way it shows as a lie. So then, of course, I started watching my breathing and screwed up even worse on the second test.
Even thought I flunked the polygraph, the story ran and it really served to piss off the cheating husband. It even helped my friend leverage a bigger divorce settlement, because the husband hates negative publicity. The wronged wife was happy, and I got a huge check.
But whenever I think about polygraph testing, I know I'll probably flunk. I wouldn't submit to one again. I'm just not wired up that way.

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