The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
How we cite our quotes:
People say that you always have to tell the truth. But they do not mean this because you are not allowed to tell old people that they are old and you are not allowed to tell people if they smell funny or if a grown-up has made a fart. And you are not allowed to say, "I don't like you," unless that person has been horrible to you. (73.2)
Christopher has a point: we're all taught to tell the truth. But then we're also taught to not say things that hurt people's feelings. This is the aspect that escapes Christopher – that sometimes telling the truth just isn't very nice. And seriously, what would be the point of telling an old person that they're old? Surely they know this themselves, and don't need to have it pointed out by someone else. Why does Christopher sound so personally affronted by this contradiction?
And I am going to finish this chapter with two interesting facts about Sherlock Holmes. (107.22)
Christopher innocently calls this "two interesting facts," but he might also have written "two things people believe about Sherlock Holmes that really aren't true." What's his motivation behind debunking these myths?
And she said, "Are you telling the truth, Christopher?"
And then I said, "I always tell the truth."
And she said, "I know you do, Christopher. But sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them." (109.10-12)
You might recall that Christopher has a similar conversation with the policeman at the beginning of the book (31.23-24). So what makes this one different? One thing is Siobhan's "I know you do, Christopher," assuring him that she trusts him, and knows he doesn't lie. But what she goes on to say, about the way we often conceal our feelings and keep things hidden, reminds us that this is precisely the sort of thing Christopher is incapable of doing.