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.”