I’ve written before about the coffee table Bible and the prudish stripper, my two most ingenious fibs.
Today I was reminded of two others.
Roughly 12 years ago today my friend Ms. Ellie was expecting a very special visitor. What started as an outlandish joke evolved into a false promise that she would be paid a birthday visit from Richard Simmons. In her office. It was mostly persistence, as I recall. I kept selling and, finally, she bought, even letting others in on her birthday “surprise” that wasn’t.
“I should’ve known better,” she told me today, “being the victim of the coffee table Bible hoax.”
No one is immune, not even relative strangers.
The victim: Former mayoral candidate Mary Norwood
The scene: An annual gathering that draws some of Atlanta’s top powerbrokers. For some reason, I was also there. So, too, was disgraced former Mayor Bill Campbell, fresh from a stint behind bars for tax evasion.
Post-prison, one of Campbell’s earliest appearances came in August 2009, when he attended a Houck birthday celebration, posing for photos and greeting old friends.
I seized the opportunity for mischief.
Me: “So, I guess congratulations are in order.”
Norwood: “What for?”
“The Bill Campbell endorsement.”
“Bill Campbell, endorsing you for mayor. I just heard.”
Norwood, a nice woman for whom I hold no ill will, almost spilled her Chardonnay on ice. Had we been friends, I would’ve let the lie fester for awhile.