Ages ago as a college senior, my freshman roommate told me he’d written a popular song. He called it “Green Eyes,” but The Partridge Family sang it as “Brown Eyes.” I did some mental math: He would have been 12 when he wrote “Green Eyes.” My spidey sense whispered “implausible,” but lacking evidence and knowing no reason Roomie would lie to me, I filed it away as “huh.”

Later, I kid you not, he claimed he wrote a Beatles classic, except his original title was “Hey, Dude!” This time I laughed in his face. Still, it bugged me. I was his friend and mentor. What possible reason did he have to lie to me? I finally decided his self-worth and ego were so fragile, so needy, that he had to somehow build himself up in my eyes.

In this era of “fake news,” exaggerated claims and outright lies, ratchet up your critical thinking. Don’t blindly accept “facts,” even from trusted sources. If Spidey whispers, research and reassess. Decide for yourself what’s true and what isn’t.

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, double shame on me.

Fool me three times? Oh, dear.

Scott Bell, West Jordan