Don’t get Mad, get even. That is what they say. That was not the lesson my dad taught me.
My name is Mick O’Dell. and I am a good old-fashioned normal guy. I see a pretty girl, I take a look. I always have. When I looked at Debbie that day in the grocery store, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I guess I was overdoing it because she walked right up to me.
“Is there a problem?”
“Huh?” I’m a regular Shakespeare.
“You have been following me around the store and staring at me.”
“Problem? No. You are pretty.” Me Grog. Me caveman. Yeah, I was that incoherent.
“Thank you. I needed that.” She turned to walk away, and I fell in love. Her ass was the best!
I followed her through the check out and then on the way out to the car my senses returned.
“Excuse me. I want to apologize for my behavior in there. The truth is that I find you very attractive in a way I have never experienced before. Could I meet you for coffee or a drink sometime?”
“Maybe. Meet me at that coffee shop over there tonight at 7. Ok?” She pointed to the local coffee emporium.
“Yes. I will be there.”
We parted and met up that evening. I found out that she worked at the same place I worked. Well, one thing led to another and in eight months’ time we were coming back from our honeymoon. The honeymoon had been great, with one exception. It seemed that Debbie didn’t trust me out of her sight. When we got home to what used to be my house and was now our home, we had a talk.
“Deb, we didn’t talk about this before and I am thinking that we should have. I love you, I will always love you. You are the only woman/girl/female that I ever want to be with intimately, sexually, or physically. Having said that, my dad always told me that women were the best thing in the world and that if a woman went through the work to make herself attractive, it was rude to not admire her.”
“On our honeymoon, you got pissed a couple of times when I looked at some other attractive women. I was admiring them, but not, I repeat, NOT, shopping for your replacement or for a fling. So, would you please stop acting like I am out on the prowl. I see you look at guys once in a while, and it doesn’t bother me because you love me. You do, right?”
“Of course I do! I am sorry. Every boyfriend or lover I have ever had, cheated on me. I guess I am kind of gun shy. I get jealous. I will work on it.”
“Well whenever you start to feel jealous, just repeat to yourself “Mick loves me! Mick loves me and me only”. I will never take advantage of that and I will never act in a disrespectful manner towards you. Ok?”
“Yes, dear. I’m sorry.”
We kissed and made love and I closed the book on that problem. I shouldn’t have. Things got better for a few months. I wanted to have more talks like that, but Debbie was promoted at work and every week she had at least one time where she had to work late. It was never the same night, so I didn’t think anything of it. On Friday nights she had a Girl’s Night Out but was always home by 7 or 7:30pm.
Then then one day about three months later, Debbie showed up on my floor where we worked and started to go off on me for looking at the women there like “I was going to jump right into their panties”.
Yup, that is what she said.
“Debbie, what the hell brought this on?”
“My friend Elaine told me what you were doing.”
“Elaine? Who the heck is Elaine?”
I turned to see one of the women from HR standing behind me.
“I have seen you flirting with these women several times and since Debbie and I work together I could not keep it from her.”
“Flirting? Flirting how?”
“You talk to them.”
“I talk to everybody! I talk to the men too, are you going to accuse me of being gay?” I looked at Debbie.
“Elaine said that you were touching them too.”
“As in a pat on the back if they were doing a good job for our team? I do that with the guys too. Gay?”
“I caught you hugging Miss Robbins over there, last month.”
“A hug because she shared good news! Clary? Would you come here please?”
“Did I hug you last month?”
“Yes.” She said shyly.
“Did I run up to you and take you in my arms and force you into a hug?”
“What? No. Are you nuts. You’re married.”
“Why did I hug you?”
“Well actually, I hugged you. Am I in trouble with the Wicked Witch of HR?” She looked at Elaine.
“No, my friend. Why did you hug me?”
“I told you that Brian had asked me to marry him and I said yes. You congratulated me, and I hugged you in thanks for introducing us.”
I looked at Debbie.
“Well, what? You hugged her.”
“Oh for God’s sake, are you listening to yourself?”
“Clary, how often do we hug?”
“Never! That was the only time.”
“Clary, my wife here seems to think, with the help of Elaine there, who you apparently know better than I do, that you and I are hot and heavy in a passionate affair.”
“WHAT!? Elaine, I will kick your ass! We have talked about this before. You need to stop using your job in HR as an excuse to harass the men and women who work here. If you don’t stop I will put a complaint over your head and straight to Mr. Bricks.”
The threat of going to the VP in charge of Elaine’s department caused her to back off, but Debbie didn’t. She harped on it for the next three weeks until I had enough. One night during dinner, Debbie bitched at me again about Clary. I picked up my plated and threw it against the kitchen wall, splattering her very nice spaghetti all over and shattering the plate.
“Debbie, enough is enough. I have asked and asked you to stop this bullshit. Now I am not asking. The next time you say a word about it, I will move out of the bedroom. If that does not solve the problem, then the next time I will move out of the house. If that doesn’t fix the issue, then I will file for divorce. Do you understand?”
“Elaine says that...”
“That’s one!” I headed for the bedroom.
“Where are you going?”
“I told you. One more time and I am out of the bedroom. I am going to move my stuff to the other bedroom.”
I continued my trip to the bedroom. One at a time, I pulled the drawers out of the dresser and took them to the second bedroom that we kept for her mom and dad when they visited. Then I picked up the empty dresser and moved it to the bedroom and put the drawers back in.
Next, I moved all of my clothes in the closet to the other bedroom closet. Shoes followed and finally my toiletries went to the second bathroom. It took all of 25 minutes and I was out. Some of the stuff in the dresser belonged to Debbie, I threw them onto our, now her, bed. I showered in my new bathroom and went to bed after locking the door.
I always got up first and my alarm acted as Debbie’s alarm. My alarm went off and I rose to get ready for the day. Debbie didn’t hear the alarm go off in my room and didn’t wake up. She was still asleep when I finished breakfast and left for work. About an hour and a half after I got to work, my cell phone rang. I answered to the sound of a very pissed off wife.
“Why didn’t you get me up this morning?”
“Why didn’t you set an alarm clock? You know I’m not sleeping in there with you anymore. If you can’t deal with me being in a separate bedroom, what are you going to do when I move out of the house? And remember, you are one sentence away from that.” That shut her up and I disconnected the call.
My plan was to sleep in the other room for a week or so and then move back after having a very serious heart to heart with Debbie. When I got home that night, Debbie had dinner ready. I sat at the table and carried on small talk with her, until she finally asked the big question.
“Mick, when are you coming back to our room?”
I finished chewing my food and swallowed. Then washed it down with a bit of iced tea. I raised my napkin to my mouth and wiped my lips.
“Debbie,” I paused for extra effect, “I don’t know.” I took another bite of dinner.
“Will you wake me up in the morning tomorrow?”
I took my time swallowing before I answered her.
“You are supposed to be with me. Damn it Mick! We are married!” Debbie raised her voice to me.
“I will show you how to set your own alarm clock.”
She started to look very upset as I went through the slow, and intentionally aggravating process of chewing and swallowing and drinking and using my napkin, before looking at her and speaking softly.
“Debbie, we ARE married. You are supposed to trust me and know that I would never cheat on you, just like I totally trust you, but you have chosen to listen to Elaine and, right now, you are one sentence away from me moving out of the house. So before you start telling me who and what WE are, I suggest you examine who and what YOU are. Your next sentence could be our last for a long time.”
Debbie sat there in shock. I think that she finally saw that I was serious. She thought that I was putting up a front to cover my illicit activities. I finished eating and cleaned up my dishes only, then I went to the living room to watch some commentary TV on a news channel. Debbie cleaned up her own dishes and came out to join me. She sat next to me and put her hand on my leg. I put my arm around her and pulled her head to my shoulder.
I watched the TV with my wife, in silence, and then I got up and got ready for bed. Before going to my room and getting ready for bed, I remembered that I had made her a promised.
“Debbie, come up to your room and I will show you how to set your alarm clock.”
I emphasized ‘your room’ a bit. I showed her how to set her alarm clock and how to turn off the alarm and so on. I think that she had other ideas since I was naked. I sleep in the nude and she looked at me like we were going to have make up sex.
I went back to my room and locked the door. Several minutes later, the door knob slowly turned, but the dead bolt would not let Debbie in. It was doing its job. That was when I heard the sobbing. I know it sounds shitty, but I was waiting for this. She was beginning to feel, emotionally, that things were very serious. That was good.
It went on like this for the rest of that week and the next three. We ate together and chatted at breakfast and dinner, when Debbie did not have to work late. We even did laundry and ironing together, albeit it was me doing my stuff and her doing hers separately.
When she didn’t have to work late, we often found ourselves cuddled on the couch, watching TV or a movie. When she tried to make it more, I stopped her, cold. I didn’t go into her room at all after I had taught her how to set her clock, even when invited, there was no need.
I was at work on a Monday morning when Clary approached me. I stood up so anyone who cared to look, could see me standing and talking to her. She looked very upset.
“Hey kid, why the sad face?”
“Brian and I broke up.”
“Oh, Clary, I am so sorry. Do you want to talk about it?” She nodded and fought back the tears as her chin quivered.
“We can’t do it here, so let’s meet at the coffee shop across the street after work, ok?”
“Will that be ok with your wife?”
“I will call her and let her know. We are having a rough patch as well, but I won’t hide things from her. I will see you after work.”
I returned to my cubicle and got on the phone and called Debbie’s phone but it went to voice mail.
“Deb, this is Mick. Clary and Brian have broken up. She is very upset and since I introduced them I feel a bit responsible. After work, she and I are going to meet at the coffee shop across the street to talk about it. I don’t know how late I will be. If you want to join me, I will buy dinner.”
I went back to work and when 5pm rolled around I closed down my work. I never closed down before 5pm. Several folks in the office were out the door at 5, but I was not wired that way. After shutting things down, I put on my coat and walked down the stairs. I seldom took the elevator. Walking down the stairs from the 12th floor was a great source of exercise.
When I got to the lobby I said good night to the security team, calling each by name, and walked out the door and across the street. As I approached the coffee shop, I could see Clary sitting by the front window.
“Hi Clary. Did you want a drink?”
She nodded, and I pulled out a pen and picked out a napkin.
“You better write it down, because I do tea and I will mess up all that vendi venti stuff.” She smiled and stood up.
“I’ll go with you.” She smiled that smile.
We walked to the counter and placed our order. I asked for Earl Grey, large. Now that is simple! We chatted about work stuff and when our drinks were ready, we went back to our table.
“So, Clary, tell me what happened.” She pursed her lips and sniffled.
“Brian accused me of cheating on him. I’m not. I wasn’t. I wouldn’t. He got it into his head that I was seeing someone here at work.”
“Where the heck did he get that idea?”
“I have an idea, but no proof.”
“Yes. She is a bitch. I should just go into work tomorrow and kick her teeth down her throat.”
“That is not going to solve anything, young lady. Have you asked him what his proof is?”
“Yes, and he just said that someone told him. I asked him who and he refused to answer.”
“I hate to ask this, but did you ever think that he was cheating and used this as an excuse to get away from you?”
“No! He would never.”
“And yet he accuses you?”
“Would you mind if I called him?”
“To see if I can get him to pull his head out of his ass. Clary you are one really nice lady and an important part of my team here at work, he will be looking for a long time to find a woman with as much class, intelligence, and personality as you have.” She smiled that smile.
I pulled out my phone and asked for his number. Clary gave me the number as I punched buttons, then the phone on the other end began to ring.
“Hi Brian, this is Mick O’Dell. Do you have a few minutes?”
“What are you calling me for?!” He yelled into the phone.
“I am sitting in the coffee shop across from work with Clary. She told me that you broke up. Some nonsense about her dating a guy at the office. I can tell you that I have never seen any hint that she would do that to you. Every time I talk to her, she always talks about you.”
“And how often do you see her, Mick?” He almost spat out my name.
“I see her every day. We work on the same project team in the same office. I thought that you knew that. If you have time, why don’t you come down to the coffee shop across from her office and see if you guys can fix this.”
“Oh, so now you want to keep us together.”
“Of course, I want you two together, I introduced you. I think you guys make a great couple.”
“Then why are you fucking her?” He screamed and hung up.
I blinked about a hundred times and looked at Clary. I tried to call him back, but it went straight to voicemail. Clary was looking at me and the strange face I was making.
“Clary, you heard what I said to him, right?”
“Yeah. What did he say at the end? Is he coming over to meet us?”
“I don’t think so. He asked me why, if I wanted you two together, was I fucking you.”
“He said what?!” She said a bit to loudly, drawing some attention from others.
“I think I smell a rat. I think we need to have words with Elaine tomorrow first thing in the morning.”
“Yeah, but first I have a real problem. I don’t have anyplace to sleep tonight. We moved in together a couple of weeks ago and all my clothes are there.”
“Well why don’t you go over there and get some clothes and stay in a hotel tonight?”
“I can’t afford a hotel right now. I just doubled up on my student loan payment in order to get out from under it faster. I don’t think I could fill my gas tank until after payday.”
“Ok. Well then you can come and sleep at my apartment.”
“What will Debbie say?”
“Well right now she is in the master bedroom, I am in the second bedroom. You can sleep in my bed and I can sleep on the couch. Debbie will be right there, so she can’t say we are sneaking around. It may also let her see that we are not together.”
“Ok. Follow me to Brian’s apartment. I’ll go in and get some stuff and then come back out.”
“Fine. Let’s go.”
I went to my car and Clary went to hers, when she pulled out of the parking garage, I followed. We drove for several miles and then she pulled into a very nice apartment complex. She parked and pointed for me to take the spot next to her.
“I called Brian to tell him I was coming. He did not sound happy.”
“Well, let’s go in and see what we can see.”
She turned for the door and we both heard a loud voice.
“Here is your shit, bitch!”
Brian threw two suitcases off of the balcony. They landed in the bushes so they didn’t split open. Next came a couple of boxes and several coats. I helped her pick things up and put them into her car. Clary got angry and went up the stairs to the apartment and used her key to open the door. I heard a lot of loud cussing, but when I heard threats, I was up the stairs like a shot.
The door to the apartment was open and Brian had Clary by one arm and was getting ready to hit her when I burst into the room.
“I wouldn’t do that Brian. Right now you are angry over nothing and if you touch her in anger you will not get a happy out come.”
“So Clary, your fuck buddy is going to stand up for you?”
“No Brian. My friend and co-worker Mick is going to protect me until you come to your senses. Where did you get the idea the idea that he and I were having sex?”
“A friend of yours from work told me and someone else.”
“Brian, I have no idea who said these things, but they are a flat out lie. I would swear on a stack of bibles that I have never, ever done anything with Clary.”
“Yeah? Would you take a lie-detector test?”
“Of course. We haven’t done anything. I think I know who is behind this and it is the same person behind the trouble I am having with my wife. If I am right, someone is going to learn a very hard lesson.”
“Brian, Clary and I are not having an affair. We have never even kissed. The only contact we have had outside of the occasional hand shake or pat on the back was the hug I gave her when she told me that you had asked her to marry you. Brian! You are really pissed and no one gets that pissed over someone they don’t love. Will you let Clary stay here tonight?”
“No. I almost believe you, but one of the people telling me about your affair is your own wife.”
“Yeah and she is getting it from Elaine and I would bet that Elaine is the other person you are getting the story from. Right?”
“I am going to kill that bitch!” Clary was now more angry than Brian.
“Brian, look at me. Do you really think that I would cheat on you after all we have talked about together?”
“I don’t know.”
“You know that I have proof that I haven’t had sex with Mick, or anyone else, don’t you?”
Proof of a negative? I wonder how she could do that.
“Come with me to the bedroom, NOW!”
Clary grabbed Brian and dragged him to the bedroom. I heard voices and then I heard a loud man’s voice scream. I was about to run into the bedroom when they walked out together in tears. Clary was naked from the waist down. She looked good too.
“Clary! Put on some clothes!” I spun around to avert my eyes.
“Mick, you really haven’t seen her, have you?” Brian looked at me in shock.
“NO! I fucking told you that.”
Brian walked up to me as Clary covered herself with a throw pillow from the couch.
“I’m sorry Mick, I had to show him my hymen. I’m a virgin. I haven’t even let him put his fingers in me. He actually said that I could have been having anal sex with you, so I had to show him that you had never seen me naked.”
“Mick, I am sorry man. But those two sounded so honest. I think they really believe that you two were having sex. Did you know about the lie-detector test?”
“No, what test?”
“I guess Elaine knows somebody. You, my friend, are going to be on the Maury Povich Show. They plan on giving you a lie-detector test and showing you up on national TV. You should get the call from their producer tomorrow.”
“Ok, I have nothing to hide. As you can see, I’m a pretty straight up guy.”
“Mick, I’m sorry. May I make a suggestion?” Brian looked as upset as any man I had ever seen.
“Brian, stop saying you’re sorry. You haven’t done anything to me. Save your apologies for that fantastic woman in your arms. And tell her to put her pants back on! What is your suggestion?”
“Have Elaine and Debbie take the test too. Makes sure they do it as a condition of you taking yours.”
“I got the feeling that Debbie has been getting even with you. I don’t KNOW, but I feel that is the case.”
“Thanks. Now let’s go and get Clary’s stuff out of the car and back in your home.”
“Our home, Brian. Did you hear that?’ They cried and hugged before we headed down to the car. Yeah, I’m a guy. I looked at her bare butt. Nice.
After I had the kids reset, I went home to find an extremely pissed off Debbie.
“Where have you been?”
“I called you and left a message on your cell phone. I invited you to join Clary and I at the coffee shop across from work. We had a long talk. She told me that she and Brian had broken up and I offered to talk to Brian about it since I got them together.”
“Right.” She crossed her arms under her breasts.
“Watch it Debbie, one sentence is all it will take.” She took her time to think about her next words.
“So you have been drinking coffee and tea all this time?”
“No, we went to Clary and Brian’s apartment and I talked him into letting her come back. He had some stupid idea that she and I were having sex. She had proof that it was a lie and he changed his mind. Now I am going to bed.”
“You had a couple of phone calls tonight. There are messages on the answering machine.”
“I will listen to them after my shower.” I walked into the second bedroom and the shower. When I was done and was ready for bed, yes that means I was nude, I went down and listened to the message on the house phone. Debbie watched me, and I could see that she missed me. I wonder how anyone got our home landline number.
BEEP – “Mr. O’Dell. This is Shady Acres calling from the Maury Povich Show. I would like to talk to you about coming on our show and taking a lie-detector test. I guess your wife thinks that you are cheating on her. Please call me at 888-000-0000 as soon as you can, regardless of the time. Thank you.” Well there it was. I checked and there were two more messages from the same woman. After I wrote the phone number down, I turned and scratched myself to give Debbie a good full-frontal reminder of what she was missing and went back up to my room. In the morning I dialed the number on my cell phone.
“Hi this is Shady Acres from the Maury Povich Show. If you are returning a phone call please press 1, if you...”
I pressed 1 and the phone rang again.
“Umm Hi, you called me about a lie detector test?”
“What is your name?”
“Mick O’Dell.” There was a pause.
“Oh yes. Mr. O’Dell we were contacted about a situation that you are allegedly involved in. A request was made to give you a lie-detector test to determine if you are cheating on your wife. Would you like to participate?”
“Yes. I have some conditions.”
“We don’t usually do conditions.”
“Well this is a case where you should. First, I will only take the test, if you make it mandatory for my two accusers to take the test as well. Second, I get to have the results announced first before them. Third, I get the results. Fourth, I get about 30 seconds after the results are announced to say something to my accusers.”
“I think that we can do that, if the others agree.”
“I will call you back, if they agree, and then we will set up the days that we will fly you out to Connecticut.”
“Great, I am looking forward to this.”
A week later, I was sitting at the table eating dinner when my phone rang.
“Mr. O’Dell? This is Shady Acres from the Maury Show. Your conditions have been agreed to and you will get an email tomorrow with travel details. All of those details will be in the email as well as a release. You need to sign the release and return it via the fax number on the form. You will be responsible to get to your airport, after that we will transport you until you get back to your home airport. Any questions?”
“No ma’am. Thank you.” I hung up.
“Who was that?”
“That was your friend from the Maury Show. I am happy that you agreed to my condition to take the lie-detector test as well. When we get done, I am sure that everything will be as it should be.”
“I am sure that it will.” Debbie looked rather smug.
The next day I got the email and turned it around in about three minutes. Then I called Brian and after agreeing to be his best man, I laid out what was going to be happening with the TV show and asked for a few favors. I went out and bought a nice new dress shirt and a nice pair of slacks. On the evening before I was leaving I pulled out my small suitcase and began to pack for a four- day trip.
Debbie was doing the same. I assumed that she and I would be on the same plane. Heck we might be sitting next to each other. Oh shit! We might be sitting next to each other on the way home! That made my day. The next morning the cab I called arrived, and when went to leave, Debbie began to come with me.
“Where are you going?”
“I going to the airport with you.”
“This is my cab, Debbie. You started all of this. I told you a few weeks ago, with the alarm clock, that it was time you learned to take care of your own things. This is one of those things. You said that I was a cheater. I said that I wasn’t. I do my house stuff. You do yours. I packed my suitcase, you packed yours, I called a cab, you didn’t call a cab. You should have.”
I handed my suitcase to the driver. He looked at me and then at Debbie and I got in the cab.
“Let’s go my man.”
He looked at Debbie and shrugged his shoulders. We took off to the airport. I tipped the driver and went to the check in. I checked my bag and got my boarding pass before standing in the TSA line. When I got through, I bought a bottle of water and walked calmly to my gate. When I got there I pulled out my phone and booted up SOL to read some MichaelLoucks stories and vote for him on the Clitoride site.
I figured that I had about thirty minutes to kill before boarding and I was right. I was smiling at my wife as she ran to the gate with about five minutes to spare. She did not give me a friendly welcome. I boarded the plane and got in my window seat and sure enough she was on the aisle.
“That was shitty thing to do to me.”
“Debbie after all you have been doing to me, I’m not sure that you know what the concept of ‘shitty’ really is. Did I make false accusations? Did I not believe that I would keep my word about moving out of your bedroom? Did I set this TV show thing up? And oh, by the way, where is Elaine?”
“Why would Elaine be here?” Really, I thought.
I pulled out my cell phone and called Shady.
“Hi Shady? This is Mick O’Dell. Remember those conditions I set? Where is the second person accusing me?”
“I’m sorry, at the last minute she pulled out.”
“Oh. Well then, I am too. Thank you.” I stood, took my suitcase out of the overhead and walked off the plane just as they were getting ready to close the door.
“I’m sorry. Something has come up and I can’t go on this flight.” I told the flight attendant as I blew past her.
I looked back at Debbie as I got off and she was absolutely amazed. I grabbed a cab and went home and called Brian to hold off on the plan and told him of the situation. Then I called Shady.
“Hello Mr. O’Dell. Was your flight delayed?”
“No, it took off on schedule.”
“How are you calling from the plane?”
“I am not on the plane. When I found out that you had changed our deal, I walked off the plane. Call me back when and if you get things straightened out. Oh, my wife was still on the plane when it took off. I would appreciate it if you could just keep her.”
I disconnected the call and sat down to watch some TV. Daytime TV sucks, although I did catch the Maury Show before I decided to get in a half day at work. While I was at work, I decided to stop off at HR. There was Elaine in all her glory. When she saw me her mouth hit the floor.
“Hi Elaine, surprised to see me?”
“I thought that you were on a plane.”
“I thought that you were too. But when I saw that you were not, I got off. I think that you are going to be getting a phone call. And you WILL agree to go on the show or I am going to go and make such a stink upstairs that you won’t survive and when Clary and Brian pile on, well your job might not be so comfy, if it exists at all.”
I walked back to my desk and was at work for about an hour when my cell phone rang.
“Mr. O’Dell. I want to apologize for the situation. I was under the impression that the third party was ill and could not make the trip. I have cleared that up and you will be booked on a flight tomorrow morning at the same time. I will see to it that you are picked up and taken to your hotel room. Again, I am sorry.”
“No problem for me. I will be on the plane in the morning.”
I disconnected and called Brian. We got the new details squared away and I went to bed early, because I was going to lose three hours from the time change. When my alarm went off in the morning, I felt fresh as a daisy.
I repeated my previous days travel steps, without the complications of a wife needing a cab and when I got on the plane there, sitting in front of my seat, was Elaine. Here we go! The flight from Boise, ID to Stamford, CT was as smooth as it could be. We changed planes in Denver and then went from Denver to Stamford. I had to stand up and walk a couple of times to stop my knees from hurting.
When we disembarked I walked right to the pick-up area and saw a man with a sign that had my name on it. I introduced myself and showed my ID. He took me to his car and off we went. I sat in the front seat with him and we had a nice chat about the area. When we got to the hotel and I tried to tip him. He said that the show took care of it and I insisted and thanked him for what could be the most enjoyable part of the trip. He chuckled at that.
I checked into the hotel and the lovely lady at the desk said that if any of my clothes needed attention, to call the front desk and they would take care of it, per the show. I unpacked and called the front desk, sending my pants, shirt and coat to be cleaned and pressed.
I stood looking out the window and my room phone rang.
“Hi, I am a producer with the Maury Show. My name is Lee Stan. I was checking to see if everything is as it should be. Do you need anything?”
“Not that I can think of.”
“Well please feel free to use room service and charge it to your room. We will come to pick you and your friends up at 7am.”
“My friends? I don’t have any friends with me on this trip.”
“Oh. Your wife and her friend and you do not get along?”
“We do not, but I can be civil for a car ride.”
“Are you sure?”
“I tell you what. If it is not inconvenient, could you have the driver that brought me from the airport pick me up?”
“I can do that. 7am, in the lobby.”
“You will talk to the producers about the details of the situation, then take the test. We will take you to lunch and then to the studio for the 5pm taping.”
“How much time between the taping and the airing of the show?”
“It depends on the show. It usually is a week, but it could be longer if there are legal issues.
“Ok. Me know if there are any changes.”
“Will do. Good day.”
I pulled out the menu and ordered an obscenely expensive steak and lobster dinner. Then I watched the local late news and went to bed. At 3am Boise time, 5am Stamford time I woke up to the alarm and ordered breakfast, before showering. I dressed in the nice clean clothes that were delivered to my room the previous evening.
I was downstairs at 7am along with my two ‘friends’. My driver saw me and led me to his limo. We had another nice chat about the show and my situation. He told me that the lie detector test was real, and the tester was very good.
“Great, then I am going to come out of this smelling like a rose.”
“A lot of people say that going in.”
“Well if this is not a rigged game, I have no problems. In this case, I AM the good guy” I smiled at him as he laughed at my choice of words.
We arrived at an office building and I again tipped the driver and told him I would see him on the trip home. I walked in and checked in at the front desk. They told me the room number and floor I was to go to. I followed the directions and knocked on the door. When the door opened I was greeted by a man who was middle aged and was casually dressed.
“Yes. Welcome, I am Ralph Barbieri.” He introduced himself as he led me to another office. The machine was set up there and he asked me to sit in the chair.
“I want to ask you some basic questions about this situation. This is not the test.”
We went through the questions the producer had asked me on the phone and I answered them all seriously and truthfully. After about 15 minutes, he told me that he was going to hook me up to the machine. I had a hose kind of thing put around my chest and then electrodes and a clip thing on my finger.
“Mr. O’Dell, we are going to start the test. First, I want to ask you a series of questions and I want you to tell the truth. Then I will ask you a series of questions and I want you to lie to me. Then we will get into the actual test. Any questions?”
“Here we go. Tell the truth. Is your name Mick O’Dell?”
“Are you from Boise, Idaho?”
“Are your pants brown?”
“Thank you. Now please lie. Is your name Mick O’Dell?”
“Are you from Boise, Idaho?”
“Are your pants brown?”
“Now here is the test.”
When I was done, I was taken to lunch and then to meet one of the producers.
“Hello, Mr. O’Dell. I’m Shady Acres.” She was a 30-something woman. Not overly pretty, not overly unattractive. Not fat, not skinny. Over-all a fairly plain looking woman, with a very intense pair of eyes.
“Well hello! It is nice to meet you face to face. Please, call me Mick, if it is allowed.”
“It is and thank you Mick. I want to say that I am sorry for the errors. When Elaine pulled out at the last second, and I do mean second, we decided to just go with it since the two main players were in route. When I found out that she was lying, I was not happy. From what I am told, you had some harsh words for her at your place of employment as well.”
“I did, but everything will come out in the wash.”
“Now let’s welcome Debbie to the stage.” Maury announced Debbie and the audience applauded.
“Welcome, Debbie. What brings you here today?”
“I have reason to believe that my husband is cheating on me.” The audience booed me.
“Why do you think that?”
“My friend Elaine told me some things she saw at work. She works at the same place as Mick. He was hugging this young woman and taking her to a coffee shop after work. He has moved out of our bedroom and into our guest room. He will come home from work when I have dinner made and walk in, change clothes, and walk out.” The audience really booed me now.
“Elaine says that he and this woman are always talking in his cubicle and he doesn’t do that with anyone else. I little while ago, I found these panties at home, and they were not mine. Then I was out on a girl’s night out and when I came home I found two used condoms in his bathroom. We don’t use condoms, because before he left our bedroom we were trying to have a baby.”
“You seem to get a lot of your information from Elaine. Let’s bring her out here. Please welcome Elaine.” Elaine came out and was welcomed with warm applause. She walked over and shook Maury’s hand and hugged Debbie.
“Now tell us, Elaine, what have you been seeing Mick do?”
“I work in HR and there is this one woman at our office who is always complaining. She spends a lot of time in Mick’s cubicle. He is always touching her and hugging her. A few weeks ago, I was leaving work and Mick and this woman were across the street at a coffee shop and they were hugging and holding hands.”
“Did you get pictures or video on your phone?”
“No Maury, my phone had died late in the day because I forgot my charger that day. But I know what I saw.”
“You work in HR, Human Resources, what can be done to stop this behavior in your workplace?”