Jerry saw some old lady walking down the street with a bag of groceries, so he walked over to her. Instead of offering to help her, he tripped her. Then he laughed as she fell to the ground. Old Mrs. Jones was watching out her window and saw what he did, so she called old Mr. Smith on the telephone. “That bad boy Jerry tripped some lady.” Who did that? Was it Harry?” she asked. Then Mr. Smith called Mrs. Flanagan and said, “Harry tripped some lady. “Eh, who was that? Speak louder. Did you say Gary?” Then Mrs. Flanagan called Mr. Peters on the phone. “Gary whipped some old lady with a whip; that bad, bad Gary.” “Who did that? Did you say Mary?” replied Mr. Peters. Then he called Mr. Rogers and said, “That no good for nothing Mary whipped some old lady.” Who?” said Mr. Rogers. Then he got on the phone with Mr. Whipple and said, “That scoundrel Larry hit some old lady with a baseball bat.”
The next day, poor Larry was walking down the street. The police cars surrounded him and took him down to the local police station. They took him into the interrogation room and proceeded to question him. “Now tell us exactly what happened when you hit that poor lady with a baseball bat. What made you do it?” “What lady? What baseball bat? What am I here for?” replied a startled Larry. “Don’t deny what you did. We know what you did,” said the interrogator.
So poor Larry went to jail for something that he never even thought of doing, and didn’t have the slightest idea how he could have been accused for it. It turned out that the old lady that was tripped was his own mother. After she came down to get him released from jail, the police were very embarrassed and apologized for what they did. The story made the front page of the newspaper the next day, and the headlines read, “Woops, Local Cops Fouled it Up Again.”
Gossip and rumors can ruin someone’s life. Rumors are usually the truth that keeps changing from one to another. They spread like wild fire. By then nothing can be retracted. Poor Larry and so many like him who are victims of gossip and rumors.