Little White Lie
This story goes back to the days long before the rot set in with sclero. I've mentioned the fact I owned my own business so many times now that the line is becoming tired. Fact is, I have so little going on in my life now that memories of my heyday are all I have for a giggle.
We have a local radio station which for a time ran a special lunch hour programme about local businesses. They encouraged us to make up a quiz team and then each day would put us on the radio against another team from another business. Are you with me so far?
We entered as a small team as there was only four of us then. Unfortunately, the radio station required more than four people and told us to find another one to make up the criteria. I had an idea! What if I entered twice as someone else by changing my voice a little? After all we were on the radio and no one would see me. The whole thing was only for a bit of a giggle. No one who entered the competition took it seriously and it wasn't such a great prize in the end if you happened to win. Most of the entrants were being silly anyway and the DJ was encouraging them to be so, so what harm would I be doing impersonating someone else!
I entered as myself and my then, 76 year old mum! We began the week by introducing the team. Barbara, Steve, Collette, Sally and Mum. The first round was easy. I was to anwer the questions that day, Collette the next and so on. We did okay but we were losing points to a dental surgery who were very competitive and serious. Us on the other hand were being silly and causing a rumpus much to the delight of the radio station and listeners who phoned in to say they enjoyed listening to us. We were becoming quite a celebrity. The final day was to be my Mum, well, me really! The first question was about the film "The King and I", an easy one! I anwered it in a shaky low pitch voice and sounded about 101 years old! The next question was harder and I was stumbling a bit on it. Steve, my husband, dropped his pen behind me and I made a joke to stall for time by saying that I'd dropped my specs on the floor and was having trouble getting up quickly. The DJ thought I was hillarious. I was doing all the silly things my Mum would have done and said had she been there for real-- even making a joke about my false teeth and good for nothing Son in Law, who was standing right beside me with a shocked expression.
Needless to say, even with all my efforts we lost but the backlash was yet to come! After the show went out on air, the DJ rang me to ask if my Mum was still in the building as he had a proposition to make. The station had been inundated with calls from listeners wanting to hear more from my Mum on the radio and the DJ wanted her on his show. I was really in a fix. Do I come clean and tell him it was really me? or carry on pretending that I had the whackiest Mum in the UK?
I decided to save face by telling him that she was really quite a shy person and had been really brave to do the quiz for us but was too nervous to go on his show.
After the phone call I realised that I had in fact created a fictitious character who had managed to get a job on the radio. My mum would have gone nuts if she'd known what I'd been up to.
My Mum is the quietest, most sedate person I know. I created a person so far from the truth that it was almost the biggest lie ever told, but funny all the same. For many months after the show was aired, people rang in to ask where my Mum was and if she was ever to rejoin the show again. The DJ rang me almost constantly to plead for her to go on his show but I declined each time.
It still brings a smile to my face and that of others, especially the girls who worked for me at the time, whenever I talk about it and my little white lie.