My brother Gregory House, in almost every episode, finds a place where he can say, “Everybody lies.”

Welcome to junior high.

“I left it at home.” For the fourth time in a row? Hmmm.

“Mrs. McCheese let us out late.” Every day this week? Hmmm.

“I swear I turned that in.” Not one of the no-names? Not in the pile for a different period?  Hmmm.

“Our printer broke last night.”  Mighty timely, that. Seems like it happened last (several) time(s) an essay was due. What? Still no e-mail or flash drive? Hmmm.

“I e-mailed it to you.”  Not in inbox, not in Spam. E-mail link on webpage. Constant hounding about how to do it. Hmmm.

“My clicker juked me!”  Every time you finish one or two points below the threshold for SSI. Noticeable erasures on two questions. Hmmm.

” I am too listening.”   hahahahahahahaha.

“I did too read the directions.”    hahahahahahahaha.

“I was thinking.”   hahahahahahahaha. I know what thinking looks like. And that ain’t thinking. Unless you count thinking about lunch. Hmmm.

“It’s _____’s fault.”   As Robert Plant once stuttered, “Nononononobody’s fault but mine.” Take heed middle schoolers.

“No one helped me write this.”  So you went from this (atrocity) to this (fulfills every single part of the rubric) in two days? By yourself? What does the word superfluous mean? Hmmm.

“I did not get that off the internet.”  So I didn’t just find it with a 30-second Google search? Can you tell what the word providential means? Hmmm.

“Mr. Coward just assigned this today, and it’s due tomorrow!” (I give all the homework for the week on Monday. So I guess if there is something due on Tuesday, that might be true, but… I would never bust a last minute homework assignment on them. Ever. Never. This is one of my speeches to parents at BTSN.)

“I wasn’t talking.” (hahahahahahahaha. Then you’d make a pretty good ventriloquist’s dummy.)

“_____ was bugging ME!” (I believe that to be a circular sort of thing. A self perpetuating cycle, as they say. Others might call it Karma.)

“There’s no homework in English.”  Except for a semi-regular 2 week experiment: hahahahahahahaha.

“I did not copy this off of ____.”   So you both just happened to have worded things in exactly the same way, AND you both happened to misspell five words in exactly the same way?  Hmmm.

“I’m sorry.”  What? Did somebody hit your knee with a rubber hammer to test your reflexes?

There’s a whole chapter about this in Nurture Shock. We’ll be coming back to this topic soon.