CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I worried that last week's column about lies I've told my daughter might generate outrage and cries for my parenting license to be revoked.
Instead, I learned of my compatriots. Brethren of the Whopper. And I heard from their offspring, who seem to enjoy having their chain yanked to the point where they intend to continue the tradition when they have kids of their own.
"It started so innocently," wrote one man. "Santa Claus was my gateway drug, so to speak. That's how I learned I had a talent for making up extremely believable stories. There was no stopping me after that. My Tooth Fairy was so good other parents would call me. I'd sometimes hit three houses in a single night. Got maybe a little too attached to the tutu, but man -- those were the years. Good times. Good times."
This same man's Easter Bunny once left a trail of real "nuggets" collected from under a neighbor's rabbit cage, and he said his daughter is probably "still in therapy over our death dance sacrifice to the turkey gods. There was simply no stopping it. Once I was started, I couldn't reel it back in. I'm not even going to tell you what we did for Labor Day. Don't know if I'm ashamed or proud."
I also heard from Tom Schottle, who wrote, "Sunday's column brought back memories of my youth. I suppose as the oldest sibling, I was the instigator of a number of lies, but my favorite was one my parents pulled on me. Although we were technically city folks, we lived close enough to the edge of town that we experienced rural life too. We always had a number of wild bunnies around. When I wanted to catch one, I was informed that the easiest way to catch one was to put salt on its tail. So I was given a salt shaker and told to go catch a rabbit. I still remember chasing bunnies with the salt shaker in hand.
"Later in life," Schottle continued, "I was a naval officer and when we went by a 'frontage' road, I usually commented about how it was named after a famous World War II naval hero Adm. George Frontage. My family believed that for a lot of years. So you don't have to be a gullible kid to be fooled."
Dara Namen wrote in an email: "As a single daughter raising a mother, I can attest to the insanity that comes from having two women in the house and the need to keep each other on their toes. While Mom never told me things to test my gullibility, she did enjoy pranks, which, after reading your articles, I believe must be encoded into the genetics of single mothers, or it may be a byproduct of not having other siblings or children in which to direct attention or place the blame. My mother is notorious for getting a good scream out of her victim, intentional or not.