Little White Lies

Spirit Drum photo by Danny
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The Oxford Dictionary defines a ‘white lie’ as:

a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

“when I was young, I told little white lies

Although my stories are all based on the truth, some require a little white lie(s) to avoid embarrassing or hurting another person’s feelings.

And sometimes, that person is me!

Let me explain.

A few days ago, while trying to find ways to reduce the boredom of my self-imposed isolation from the outside world, I decided to binge on a Netflix series.

My aging dog Holly has not been well for the past couple of months, and I know that she dislikes being alone at the best of times.

I know how it feels to be alone when you are not well, so I have tried to spend as much time with her as possible, even though she sleeps most of the day.

Although Holly is almost deaf, I still try to reassure her by telling a small white lie about why I am leaving the house to run an errand or attend an appointment.

And Holly always stares back at me with sad eyes and a pleading expression that never fails to burn a hole in my heart.

I have not been on a walk with the Vancouver ‘Venturers, my walking club, in months because I have not been able to leave Holly alone for more than an hour at a time.

So, I am forced to watch television to pass the time or write stories like this one.

And two days ago, I binge-watched a series on Netflix that got me excited.

I have always enjoyed the work of Michael Douglas, going back to his role on the show Streets of San Francisco (1972-77).

And who can forget his roles in such classics as The China Syndrome (1979), Romancing the Stone (1984), or Fatal Attraction (1989)?

But I really became a fan of Michael Douglas in August 2010, when he announced that he had throat cancer – the same as mine.

However, my treatments had already finished, and I was relying on my membership to the 40% group of throat cancer patients who survive, and he was starting his battle.

And although I did not know Michael personally – I wrote him a letter and told him my 40% cancer story to encourage him.

I never got a reply, but that did not matter.  I had written to him hoping that he might read it and be inspired never to give up!

Danny, when are you going to tell us about the Netflix series you binge-watched?

Okay, Spanky.  But I thought that you only watched cartoons, so this series would not be of any interest to you!

The series I watched was The Kominsky Method.

And the good thing about Netflix is that you can watch the entire series uninterrupted and at your own pace.

On Saturday, I watched Seasons 1 and 2 and finished watching Season 3 on Sunday afternoon.

It was the best television series I have watched in years!

If you are an actor – this should be required viewing!

If you had or you are currently fighting cancer or know someone who has or had cancer, you must watch this series!

However, I will not write anything else about the series because I do not want to ruin the story’s many surprising twists and turns.

The Kominsky Method was not the reason for writing this post – it was Michael Douglas’s own battle with throat cancer.  And the white lie we both shared.

Michael and my cancer were actually cancer of the tongue – and not the throat.

Here’s how Wikipedia explained Michael’s battle with cancer:

On August 16, 2010, the media announced that Douglas had throat cancer (later revealed to have actually been tongue cancer) and would undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Douglas subsequently confirmed that the cancer was at stage IV, an advanced stage.

Douglas credits the discovery of his cancer to the public Canadian health system since a doctor in Montreal, Quebec, diagnosed the actor’s medical condition after numerous American specialists failed to do so.

Douglas has since participated in fundraisers for Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, where he was diagnosed, and the McGill University Health Centre with which the hospital is affiliated.

Douglas attributed cancer to stress, his previous alcohol abuse, and years of heavy smoking.

In November 2010, Douglas’s doctors put him on a weight-gain diet due to excessive weight loss that left him weak.

On January 11, 2011, he said that the tumor was gone, though the illness and aggressive treatment had caused him to lose 32 pounds (14.5 kg).

He said he would require monthly screenings because of a high chance of recurrence within three years.

Although Douglas described the cancer as throat cancer, he was publicly speculated that he may have been diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer.

In October 2013, Douglas said he suffered from tongue cancer, not throat cancer.

He announced it as throat cancer upon the advice of his physician, who felt it would be unwise to reveal that he had tongue cancer given its negative prognosis and potential for disfigurement, particularly because the announcement came immediately before Douglas’s promotional tour for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

My cancer was also located at the base of the tongue, located deep inside the throat and not inside the mouth.

But if I had told people that I had had tongue cancer, they would have assumed it was inside the mouth.

And who would ever want to leave that kind of image in another person’s mind?

Not me!

So, although it has taken me eleven years to admit my white lie, I lied because I did not want to be embarrassed.

I once wrote:

‘Living with cancer is not a death sentence, but giving up on living is!’ ~ Danny St. Andrews

********

And yesterday, when talking to my best friend Robert, I confessed to another white lie – about my drums.

Robert had let me put my set of drums and cymbals at his place until I could free up some space in my new locker in White Rock.

Robert is a guitar player, and he assumed that I was a drummer.

And during his visit, I showed him my new Spirit Drum that I recently bought online.

Here’s a photo of the drum:

Spirit Drum photo by Danny

I also showed Robert my set of bongo drums, which I purchased online several months ago, but have not played.

Bongo Drums photo by Danny

Robert assumed I knew how to play them and asked me to give him a demo.

I attempted to play the Wipeout song’s drum solo, which I used to play when a teenager, on any wooden surface with my hands.  I used to be very good at it but had not done it in many years.

It took less than three seconds of playing the bongos for Robert to realize I did not play the bongo drums.

Although I would argue that I never told Robert, or anyone, that I am or was a drummer or that I know how to play the drums – I should have always clarified or made the distinction.

Because when you avoid telling the complete truth, you are telling a white lie.

Another example of a white lie is when I bought a set of drums years ago in Winnipeg and had them sent by Greyhound bus to my home in Langley, BC.

At the time, I needed to have some time to confess to my wife Annette that I had bought the drums.

And that was a white lie because I did not admit the purchase until they had actually arrived in Langley several days later.

But it turned out that she was not upset that I had not told her about the drum purchase, so I set the drums up in our living room.

A few months later, I had another white lie to deal with.

I had been in Toronto for a visit and had bought Holly Golightly from a breeder near London, Ontario.

The white lie was that I had not let Annette know that I was getting another dog until the morning I returned home from Ontario with the dog, who I had named Holly Golightly, after a character in my favorite movie – Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Because it is always easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission!

But Holly Golightly did not like to hear me playing the drums.

The sound frightened her, and she would either bark or hide, trembling with fear.

And that bothered me.

So, I purchased a set of drum noise-deadeners that you place on the drums and cymbals to deaden their sound.

But that was not very helpful – so I bought a set of cases for the drums and stored them in my garage, and later, in a storage locker – for the past 14 years.

The other white lies that I have spun in my life will remain safely hidden in the vault of my soul until guilt frees them.

Dedicated to Sandy Kominsky

I hope that my stories are a gift to your head and heart.

Hugs,

Danny

Click on this Index to view my 240+ stories.

Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

All Our Past Times – lyrics

I don’t want to be the one to say I’m sorry.
I don’t want to be the one to take the blame.
I don’t want to be the one to throw it over.
I don’t want to be the one to feel ashamed.

I don’t want to be the one who thinks of nothing.
I don’t want to tell you what you have seen.
After all this time, well I thought that you were mine.
I just want to be the one who would share this dream.

All our past times should be forgotten.
All our past times should be erased.
I don’t care how much it costs;
I don’t count the loss
As long as I can see your face again.

You don’t have to tell me when you’re leaving,
If it’s half past one or maybe four.
Makes no difference where you think you’re going,
But please remember not to slam the door.

All our past times should be forgotten.
All our past times should be erased.
I don’t care how much it costs;
I don’t count the loss
As long as I can see your face again.

Yes, I don’t care how much it costs;
You know I don’t count the loss
As long as I can see your face again.

Songwriters: Eric Patrick Clapton / Richard Claire Danko
All Our Past Times lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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By Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

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