Why Humans Can't Be Polygraphs

Story Sent in by James:

Marie was an intern at my office, who had been working in my department for about three and a half months. Our flirting had snowballed, and she had two weeks to go until her internship was over. I wanted to wait, but she took the initiative and asked me if I wanted to spend some time with her out of the office (before her internship was over). I wasn't in a supervisory position, and had, in retrospect, an ample amount of poor judgment, so I agreed to go out with her.

She picked out a Chinese place and so I took her out to lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Everything went well, and I liked all of the new things that I learned about her.

That was, until she asked, "Are you seeing anyone?"

"No. You?"

She asked, "Are you lying?"


"You're so quick to deny."

I said, "And to tell the truth."

"Just what a liar would say."

I sighed. "I'm not seeing anyone else. Are you?"

She groaned. "This isn't about me. Are you seeing anyone else? Yes or no?"


"Yes or no?"


She leaned in really close and stared into my eyes, then said, slower than before, "Yes… or no?"

I leaned in closer, too, and replied, "No."

She snorted, wiped her mouth with her napkin, and stood up. I asked her, "What are you doing?"

She stooped over me, tapped the top of my head with her napkin, and said, "I'm going home to my boyfriend. He's probably missing me and all of the sex that he and I are going to have." Then, she left.

At work the following Monday, I saw her briefly in the morning, and an hour or so later, the department head called everyone together for an impromptu meeting about how Marie was leaving the internship early due to "family issues."

Well, I won't deny that there certainly were issues.

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