I handed my boss, an attorney named Stuart, a telephone message saying that our client was running late for his appointment to come in and go over his divorce papers with his soon-to-be ex-wife.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes,” Mr. Ulmer said from the pay phone that he was calling from. “If my wife gets there before I do, tell her that I’m on my way!”
“Got it, Mr. Ulmer,” I said. “I’ll give Stuart the message right away.”
A few minutes later, Stuart approached my desk, waving Mr. Ulmer’s telephone message in the air and with a perfectly straight face made the following inquiry:
“Is this to be construed that the Ulmers have reconciled?”
“Why?” I asked.
He handed me the message.
Instead of writing, “Mr. Ulmer is on his way,” I had written:
“Mr. Ulmer is on his wife.”