bob was putting the finishing touches on his speech when he heard a soft rap on his study door. the door was opened gently and julie, his wife, stuck her head in.
"how's it coming? " she asked. "you want some coffee?"
"almost done. i'd like some of that cappucino we had the other day -"
"the other day?"
"at the fundraiser with bill wilson's people."
"i'll see if we have any left. if we don't ?"
"all right." to bob's relief, she closed the door. he could hardly stand the sight of her any more. he looked back down at his speech. he couldn't remember writing it, but there it was. he wanted to throw it into the fireplace and burn it, but he had been pressured by society into giving up smoking, and he had no matches. and his hands weren't strong enough to tear it into little pieces.
there was another soft rap on the door. was she back already? for what this time?
julie opened the door and walked into the room. not just her head this time but her whole person.
"darling, " she began, "you won't believe this, but the strangest thing has happened."
bob kept his voice steady and managed a bland smile. "and what might that be, darling?'
"frank martin just called."
"and what did frank martin have to say?"
"you know how excited frank can get."
"i do. and what did frank have to say?"
"you know, now that i think of it, maybe i should call frank back. maybe i misunderstood him."
"yes, i wouldn't want to upset you about nothing."