I was the victim of false accusation last week. I didn't do it.
"We knew it was you," they said as I walked into my day job. There, on the counter next to the copier and the electric stapler and the little boxes where we find our mail, was a newsletter. There, on the front of the newsletter, was a picture. A picture of Rhonda. With horns.
"Who did that?" I asked, and laughed just a little. More like a giggle. Two little, black horns, right there on the front page, poking up from the paper, right there on top of her head. Rhonda's blonde head. Was the perpetrator insinuating that Rhonda, our co-worker, was devilish? It wasn't entirely unbelievable. Right on the nose, actually...
"You did," they said in that "don't-be-silly-we-know-it-was-you" tone.
I was appalled. The nerve! The gall!
I was nowhere near that newsletter or the scissors or the little sticky note that was used to cut out little triangles that looked like horns or even a black marker. In fact, on the very day that the said newsletter was defaced and said horns were placed atop Rhonda's head, I was at home. Sick. With a stomach virus. I have an alibi. So there.
I watch too much "Law and Order."
"Me thinks she doth protest too much," someone said and I found myself saying, "No, I swear," and "Don't you believe me?" and they were laughing in an isn't-it-cute-she-thinks-we're-going-to-believe-she-didn't-do-it kind of way.
All right, all right. So they had every reason to think it was me. It's my own fault. I am a serial jokester.
I like to do innocent little things that make people smile ... or laugh ... and sometimes cry ... and sometimes scream their head off and be afraid to sleep in their own room for a few days.
I believe it's a curse, actually.
As a child, I spent the better part of an afternoon stuffing the arms and legs of a pair of blue jeans and a long sleeved shirt and positioning my creation so it looked like a headless man sitting on the toilet for the sheer joy of watching my little brother scream his own head off and run to our mother, at which time I immediately got in trouble for scaring him. It was worth it.
He, in turn, hid and waited until the precise moment I was sashaying confidently by a pool in Florida to engage a whoopee cushion and make it appear, quite convincingly, that I had passed gas, quite loudly, in front of a dozen or more strangers. Good one.
I will admit that I am the one who puts little thought bubbles above people's heads in photographs and, yes, I do confess to the occasional prank phone call, but not since high school when my older brother called and, disguising his voice, told me the salad I had made for my Senior Party was being confiscated because the garbanzo beans were recalled and I threw it out, even though it didn't even have garbanzo beans in it.
I never said I wasn't gullible.
But I did not put the horns on Rhonda's head. Yes, I did hide behind the door one day and almost give a co-worker a heart attack. Yes, I did tell my sister once that Donny Osmond had called her. Yes, I did try to convince my daughter that I was picked to be on "American Idol."
That wasn't a very good one. She's heard me sing.
But I did not put horns on Rhonda's head. Honest. I swear.
But I wish I had thought of it first. Good one.