Rhodri Marsden: I've spent 40 years not being naughty and I'm now terrible at lying

Share
Related Topics

Ever since childhood I've been terrified of the consequences of disobedience and prone to sickeningly obsequious behaviour around figures of authority, eg anyone with a uniform, a double-barrelled name or a horsewhip. As a boy I'd say things like, "I don't think we should be doing this" or "what if someone sees us?" while my friends gleefully urinated up the side of Dunstable Leisure Centre and then wrote ULTRAVOX on it in chalk.

I've now spent 40 years adhering strictly to regulations and the only time I found myself in a police cell – having my bum probed for class A drugs by a Belgian border guard – I could proudly allow him to perform his duties in the knowledge that my arse has always been squeaky clean.

But the trouble with this lifelong commitment to not being naughty – aside from me being a tedious, moralising presence during stag weekends in Latvia – is the anxiety I experience when I'm being less than truthful. I exhibit all the classic signs of dishonesty – crossing my arms, looking at the ceiling, saying "please don't pay attention to these classic signs of dishonesty" – and if I were ever wired up to a lie-detector machine it would probably start laughing, you know, like those robots used to in the instant-mashed-potato adverts.

Anyway, I was in Starbucks last week, and as per the new company policy I was asked for my name at the counter so they could scribble it on the cup. But I didn't say "Rhodri" because I couldn't be bothered to enunciate it three times and then spell it, so I found myself saying "Peter?" with a strange upward inflexion. This not only indicated that I wasn't actually Peter, but also that I was unhappy with the nom de café I'd just chosen. I felt ridiculously uneasy at having given false ID to a barista. She clearly knew that I was fraudulently purchasing a cappuccino for Peter and I was going to pretend to be Peter to get it.

So when the coffee arrived I decided to come clean; I explained that it was my coffee but my name wasn't actually Peter. She shrugged. I know this story pales in comparison to the one about George Washington and the cherry tree, but hey, it's not like I'm trying to be the first President of the United States.

twitter.com/rhodri

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
Serena Williams  

As Stella Creasy and Serena Williams know, a woman's achievements are still judged on appearance

Holly Baxter
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea