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Are you a liar? Oh, you're not? Wait, are you lying?

I guess my point is that sometimes it's hard to tell. And that's especially true because there are certain phrases out there which have become synonymous with lies. Any good liar knows these are words to avoid if you want to be believed. Accordingly, only really bad liars even attempt to use the following phrases on this list -- dishonest people who are oblivious to the fact that the whole world knows these are the tell-tale phrases of a liar.

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For example, "My dog ate my herpes." Wait, did I get that right?

There's one big exception though. Sometimes, and I just mean sometimes, these phrases are true. Sometimes honest people say the same things ruined by the liars before them, and that's a drag, because honest people don't like the comparison.

So here they are: five phrases everyone assumes are lies, that can totally be true. Sometimes.

"I'm Not an Alcoholic -- I Don't Drink That Much"

There wasn't a lot of drinking in my house growing up. We had a well-stocked liquor bar that was just about never touched. In my first 18 years, I saw beer in our fridge one time. I, on the other hand, enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage. Or a mean alcoholic beverage. Actually, the drink's temperament is not the issue. I like the liquids with alcohol in them, is what I'm saying.

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Perhaps I should be more specific.

Nevertheless, I don't think I'm an alcoholic, and I think medical science would agree. I don't drink every day, and when I do drink, it's rarely to the point of getting drunk. I also drink less than the majority of my friends. For my money, that puts the kibosh on a drinking problem, but drinking "too much" is a very flexible and poorly-defined term, and that's the interesting thing. Because it's flexible, people with drinking problems will hide behind it and say, "I don't have a problem because I don't drink that much." But at the same time, because of that flexibility, those who simply drink less (LIKE MY MOM) will look at people who drink more than they do and think they're drinking "too much."

It doesn't help that alcoholism is hard to define, especially when one of the categories on this list of symptoms is "loved ones worry." Though I don't fit any of the other items on that list, or on this WebMd list. Again, the concern of a loved one (my mom) is the only entry on some lists of alcohol abuse symptoms that applies to me.

Also, apparently all our hangnails are cancer.

So even though tons of people with drinking problems hide behind the the old "I don't drink that much," what else is an honest person supposed to say when faced with this incorrect accusation?

"I'm Not Fat, I'm Just ..."

This has become a cliche. The fat person's disingenuous lament. But y'know what? There are things that can make you look fat (or be fat) aside from eating oodles of donuts. And I'm not just talking about thyroid problems or wide hip bones.

Wanna hear a horrible story? OK! I went to college with this girl who I always remembered as being kind of heavy. Not very heavy; just a bit plump. Why do I have that memory? Well, she had a really round face. Like, super round. Like, incredibly round.

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Here is a picture of her smiling.

Anyway, here's something funny about that girl, and when I say funny, I mean horribly sad and not funny at all. She had to drop out of school due to anorexia. Yep, she was starving herself to death to be thinner, and a jackass like me remembered her as chunky because she had a round face. But hey, I was just a kid, right?

Nope. Fast-forward ten years later, and I was working a new job with a woman who had very high, prominent cheekbones and a small but well-defined chin. Taking those traits together meant she had a very skinny face. Anyway, one day I was walking down the hall behind a women who was easily 50 pounds overweight, and I had no idea who it was. Until she turned around. Yep. Skinny head on a large body.

What's my point? Well, my first point is that I'm an idiot. Moving on, my next point is apparently I really check out women's faces and don't really look too hard at their bodies (and boy do people accuse me of lying when I say that). But my main point is that there are factors that can change how we perceive someone's weight, and not everyone who says "I'm not fat, I'm big boned," or whatever, is lying.

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"It's Just a Rash"

Let's talk about venereal disease!!! Yep, sexually transmitted diseases. I know what you're thinking: if we wanted to read a Cracked article about STDs, we go to the expert:


And while my clean bill of health prevents me from speaking as authoritatively about contracting sex cooties as some of my Cracked peers, I still want to spend some time on this phrase. For example, let's say you're out on a date with Cracked's own Felix Clay, and you go in for that kiss and see this:

May not be actual picture of Cracked's own Felix Clay

You pull back, and not just because of the stench of the 20 Taco Bell Gorditas that he'd devoured moments before, but because of what seems to be herpes. If Felix says, "It's just a rash," he's probably lying. But what if you're about to make out with me and you see this?

FYI that's my wrist area, and, yes, I'm part werewolf.

If I say that's not a venereal disease, I won't be lying. It's actually a weirdly-placed wrist zit that got ripped off and scabbed after getting caught on a rainbow loom bracelet my daughter made for me. Isn't that much hotter? After all, there are things that look like venereal diseases that are not actually STDs. So if you're not sure, see a doctor, but y'know, I'm not lying. STDs look like this, whereas what I have is a zit. Now love me!

"It's Not You, It's Me"

Isn't that just the biggest cop out for breaking up with someone? See, it's the "nice" way to do it. You're perfect. I'm the ass. It will never work. No one believes this, because it just sounds like a tricky way to get out of a relationship without someone hating you.

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Personally, I like leaving town and changing identities.

In fact, it's a particularly clever lie, because not only do you get to seem like the good guy when you break up with your partner, but you also simultaneously prevent them from being able to fix anything. If you blamed them, then they could say "but I'll change." Now they can't. You tricky lying bastard.

But sometimes this phrase is true. Sometimes, you've lived long enough and have been through enough relationships to realize that something won't work and you're wasting someone's time. Sometimes you recognize that you could make adjustments and your partner could make changes and it would be better and it might be sustained, but ultimately, you'd be happier not doing any of that. And they'd be happier not doing any of that.

And when that happens, what else are you supposed to say? Just because a phrase has been said by a million philandering D-bags doesn't mean there aren't situations where it's true.

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"I'm Not a Racist -- Some of My Best Friends Are ..."

This entry is probably the most vilified on the list. Indeed, a year ago, a Daily Show clip went viral because a member of the GOP with questionable feelings towards minorities attempted to use this sentence as an instant verbal cleanser for his soul.

But y'know what? The more politically correct our society becomes, and the more often that goodhearted people are wrongly accused of hatred for a failure to monitor their speech, the more this hackneyed, lame defense against accusations of racial hatred gains credibility. Indeed, that is part of the problem with political correctness: its overbroad and knee-jerk utilization places well-meaning individuals on the same plane with racists, and in turn blurs the line regarding the real enemy.

What do I mean? Well, basically, I'm not politically correct ... with my friends. And most of them are not politically correct with me. I've had friends use the word "kike" with me, and I've dropped "fag" with gay friends. We don't use words like that in the real world or to a general audience, because in isolation they are terrible, hateful words with vile histories. If you float speech like that out to strangers, they will rightfully be upset, because they don't know how you're using your speech, or for what purpose, or what's in your heart.

But with each other? Well, we know what our words mean. We know how jokes are meant to be taken. We know who we are. Did one of my best friends make a Holocaust joke within days of meeting me? Yes. Did I know instantly he wasn't a Jew-hater? Sure did (although I did get back at him by naming the stoner character in my book after him, which will get terribly tiresome once it's an international best-seller!). And the other day, when one of my gay friends changed his profile pic to a new snap of himself and his boyfriend, did I message him, "Dude, don't know how to tell you this, but your new profile pic is kinda faggy?" Yes. Yes, I did. And he laughed, because he knows me and he knew I was pretending to be a homophobic moron instead of actually being one.

But y'know, sometimes you slip. Sometimes you make a joke while talking to someone you wrongly assume knows you, and you're placed on trial for your speech. And at that time, I've said, or wanted to say, "Uh, no, some of my best friends are ___," and it's true. Even if it's a refrain typically reserved for racists. "That doesn't matter," they say. "The words are inherently problematic." OK, go debate how the mere utterance is problematic, but not with me. I'll probably be too busy hanging out with the folks you're protecting from terrible people like me.


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And check out the new HATE BY NUMBERS on Jupiter Ascending

For more from Gladstone on Cracked, check out 5 Things People Mistake for Being Grown-Up and 3 Excuses Online Plagiarists Need to Stop Making.

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