When the African nation of Togo protested that its embarrassing soccer loss to the Bahrain national team was due to a group of imposters masquerading as the Togo squad, I was excited: at least I had a new desperate, brazen and hopeless lie to enter the Ethics Alarms Futile Lie Hall of Fame, joining Jimmy Durante’s immortal “Elephant? What elephant?” line in the musical “Jumbo” (in response to being caught red-handed stealing the largest elephant in captivity, Lindsay Lohan’s explanation to police officers who had found cocaine in her pockets that “these aren’t my pants,” and comedian Michael Richards’ claim that he has no idea why he started yelling “Nigger!” at two black audience members when he has not a bigoted bone in his body—the controversial “I was possessed!” excuse.
The “It’s not our fault: someone was impersonating me!” lie has great promise, not just for other disappointing athletic teams, but for politicians, John Edwards, the Democratic Congress, the producers of the “Sex in the City” movie sequel, Kanye West and Goldman Sachs. Thus I was devastated to find out that Togo wasn’t lying at all: their soccer team had been replaced by imposters.
Oh, well. And because the excuse now has validity, the “Someone was impersonating us!” excuse no longer qualifies as a sufficiently desperate and hopeless lie. It looks like Li-Lo, Kramer and “the Schnoz” will have to wait a bit longer for their quartet.