By: Mary Bone
Mrs. Euphoria looked at the list of people in town that she had just sent to the editor of her local newspaper. The names on the list were people who believed a malicious rumor that she, Mrs. Euphoria, was about to ruin the town by selling marijuana. The letter to the editor stated that she had never thought about becoming a marijuana grower and that her name had been defamed by a certain group of townspeople and she listed their names in the order that was put up on a bulletin board at a local townhall meeting.
The suitcases she had packed were sitting in the corner. Something was about to hit the fan in this town. Miss Tinsley was at the top of the list. She had been gossiping in the corner of the library with a few of the other people on the list and they said that Mrs. Euphoria looked,” stoned,” at work all the time in the small library where she had been working for six years. The group didn’t think they were being overheard by Mrs. Euphoria, but she was working in the stacks looking for a lost library book when the conversation began.
Miss Tinsley said Mrs. Euphoria was thinking about growing marijuana in a shop behind her house. She mentioned a local petition to stop anyone planning on selling marijuana unless it was for medical reasons. The group was talking louder and Mrs. Euphoria put her finger to her mouth and made a “shush” noise. It was supposed to be extremely quiet in this library. Miss. Tinsley laughed out loud and whispered, ”That’s probably how she got the name,”Mrs. Euphoria.”
Mrs. Euphoria approached the group and said, ”Miss Tinsley, you should be working on that stack of books and get the marks off from them and return them to the shelves. “Where is your eraser?” “That is part of your job!” “You shouldn’t be sitting here gossiping!”
The more Mrs. Euphoria thought about what she had overheard, the more she thought she would just stay and fight the rumors. Nothing was ever gained by running away. Mrs. Euphoria better known as Helen, when she wasn’t on duty, was sitting at her desk and thought about the letter she had sent to the editor of the local paper and the names she put on it. Her first plan of action was to fire Miss Tinsley. She would be hard to replace, but she had caused many problems in this town.
As Mrs. Euphoria was pondering what to do next, the phone rang and it was the editor, Mr. Androse. Mr. Androse said he had just got her letter and he couldn’t publish the list of names without proof, but she could write a letter to the editor and try to clear her name without listing anybody else’s name. He said whoever was responsible for getting the rumors started could be sued for defamation of character. He told her she had every right to hold her own townhall meeting to set the record straight and confront any accusers.
Mrs. Euphoria had to get her name placed on the next agenda in order to speak and she was going to lower the boom on a few people starting with Miss Tinsley, who would probably be fired before the day was over.
Everything was in place a couple of weeks later for Mrs. Euphoria to go before the townspeople with her complaints. The council room was packed. Mrs. Euphoria had more friends than she realized. When it was time for Mrs. Euphoria to speak, everything got extremely quiet.
Mrs. Euphoria approached the podium and grabbed the microphone. Her opening statement began,”I have never planned on selling marijuana and I am here to clear my name.”” I don’t know how this rumor got started, but I have seen a list of names on a petition.” “In the future, I would appreciate it if anyone has something to broadcast that they would seek me out first.” “I also want the people that have got this rumor out to apologize to me.” “It will be in your best interests to get this straightened out because my lawyer is in the back of the room taking notes.” “Anything negative mentioned about my name in the future will be slammed with a lawsuit for defamation of character.” “This ends tonight!”
As Mrs. Euphoria was leaving the podium, she was met with a round of applause. Mr. Androse from the local newspaper was taking pictures outside and he said that there would be a newspaper article the following day about the meeting and her name would be cleared.
A few of the gossipers approached Mrs. Euphoria and apologized. Mrs. Tinsley had heard she was about to be fired and she pleaded with Mrs. Euphoria not to fire her.
Mrs. Euphoria accepted the apologies and told Miss Tinsley she would give her a second chance to keep her job and to come to her if she needed to talk to her about any personal issues in the future.
Mrs. Euphoria was glad that she had stood her ground and her good name had been restored, without having to leave town.