Which lies are fun to tell kids and which are therapy waiting to happen?

LYING to children is encouraged in some circumstances, like the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny, but less so in others, like chewing gum being fatal or Candyman. Which lies are innocent fun and which are absolutely not? 

Father Christmas is real
While the international conspiracy to persuade children that an old man breaks into their houses and leaves them presents is weird, especially to parents who buy those presents and deserve the credit, it’s so well-established that it’s now crueller to tell the truth.

Verdict: FUN

The ice-cream van plays music when it’s run out of ice-cream
Hilarious until your children grasp the rudiments of marketing aged about six and call you out on your bollocks. May not seem deeply harmful but they’ll never trust you again.

Verdict: THERAPY

Carrots make you see in the dark
Claiming that ‘vegetables give you superpowers’ is such transparent bullshit nobody would even try it on kids, apart from that most adults actually believe this. Even though they can’t see in the dark. Whatever, they’re good for you.

Verdict: FUN

Your hamster went to live on a farm in the country
Seems like a good idea in the short-term, but after a while children will wonder why every pet they’ve ever had has abandoned them for a rural lifestyle and, consequently, why they are so unlovable and doomed to be alone. Also who the fuck is farming hamsters?

Verdict: THERAPY

Of course we don’t regret having children
They’ll only realise this one’s a lie when they’ve had children themselves, and the alternative is humanity dying out.

Verdict: FUN

That lady Daddy was kissing is his long-lost sister
It will take a lot of cash to untangle this trauma. Maybe all of it.

Verdict: THERAPY



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'Maneet's throat was slit by Roz Huntley's amputated arm' - Six Line of Duty mysteries finally solved

‘Who is H?’ and ‘how slippery is Balaclava Man?’ are now on a par with all the great TV mysteries, such as ‘who shot JR Ewing?’ and ‘who operates Sharon from EastEnders’ eyebrows?’. As Line of Duty continues to pile question upon question, here are the fan theories that are almost certainly right.

The child from series one has reappeared in series five, purely to remind the cast what the hell is going on. Only a real police officer or someone born in the internet age can follow that many acronyms.

The long beep at the start of interrogations, when played backwards, is a message from the Devil. Because the phrase ‘Mother of God’ is used so many times in the script, Satan’s voice must also be heard, in the name of BBC balance.

Maneet’s throat was slit by Roz Huntley’s amputated arm, which has returned to make trouble for AC-12. There’s a lot of unresolved anger in that hand, which was only told it had been written out when it got the script. Roz’s Hand is played by Thing from The Addams Family, in its first serious role.

“H” is not actually a person, but the element Hydrogen. It might be a metaphor for the fact that corruption is everywhere. It might be that excess Hydrogen has caused the pipes in Hastings’ toilet to corrode. His broken loo could be the ultimate bad guy, seeking vengeance on Ted for that floater he left after a night on the single malt.

To counteract the huge amounts of back pain DS Arnott is in, he’s had his waistcoat lined with electric blankets. If he spills any water on himself, it could be game over.

AC-12 will be savagely firebombed by Fleabag and the Sexy Priest – because people should be talking about them, not Line of Duty.