Our publisher recently wandered into the newsroom and told me not to set the table on fire at an upcoming press association shindig. He has maintained for years I (accidentally) set a table on fire during a business dinner.
I did not set anything on fire, accidentally or not. The truth must come out, I can bear the weight of lies no longer - it was him.
You see, the truth is, it happened like this: Half the newsroom and a sprinkling of advertising representatives and our spouses were at a local chamber of commerce dinner. I had dragged the Long Suffering Husband along, despite the fact he loathes going to these things. He's such a hermit.
I took him because there was an open bar. If you want to lure a reporter to your event, have an open bar, even if it is only for an hour. However, being the responsible and upright citizen that I am, I never drive buzzed. That's one of the reasons I have a husband (the others being reaching things on the top shelf, taking out the garbage and killing spiders).
I can't remember how many drinks I had or what I was drinking, not because I was overly intoxicated, but because it's probably been five or six years. I do remember I wasn't the only person at the table, and we had quite a few glasses empty of anything but ice.
I also remember I was alert to the danger before anyone else, further proof I was no where near intoxicated enough to set the table on fire. "Setting the table on fire" is in and of itself a gross exaggeration - the only thing that burned was a program, and it didn't even go up in flames, it just smoked and charred a little.
In fact, our party avoiding death-by-fire was in a large part because of my keen investigative abilities - I was the first one to smell, then spot, the smoke. I was actually quite amazing as I leapt into action. I discovered someone (cough, couch, the publisher, cough, cough) laid a program on top of one of the decorative tea lights. I boldly and bravely put it out by plunging it into an empty glass and pouring ice on top of it (in an impressive display of complete disregard for my own safety while looking out for the welfare of others, if I do say so myself - and I do).
So you see, instead of the villain of the piece, I was actually the hero, while our publisher both exaggerated and misremembered. If he tries to convince you otherwise, don't listen to a word he says - you've already gotten the real inside story.
I forgive him his lapses, however - everyone's the hero of their own story.
(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)