I got into work this afternoon (I work part-time) only to discover from my cubicle neighbor that the rest of the web development group had gone to lunch.

Poo, I thought. They're probably getting seafood or margaritas. Oh, well, I was short of cash today anyhow ... off to the cafeteria!

I hung up my coat and headed back to the hall.

Julie, one of the other web editors, came through the hall door just as I was reaching for the knob. She looked at me and grinned.

"Leather bustiers," she said teasingly.

I blinked at her. "What?"

"Leather bustiers. Dot told us at lunch that you make and sell leather bustiers."

Dot is my boss. And I don't even own a leather bustier. I immediately thought of my friend Drea, who makes mad cash creating various kinds of corsets. If I had that kind of skill, I wouldn't need a part-time job.

"Uh-uh," I say, shaking my head in wonder. "I can't even make a belt. She must have mistaken me for the dominatrix in Documentation."

Just then, Tessa, one of our Web contractors, came through the door, shrugging off her coat. I assumed she'd been to lunch with the others.

"I do not make leather bustiers," I announced to Tessa.

She stopped dead, a perfect wide-eyed, drop-jawed expression of pure bogglement on her face.

"Uh, okay," she said, backing away as if I'd just asked her to join me on the Mothership. "I'll keep that in mind."

As Tessa scurried off, Julie burst into laughter.

"Let me guess," I said. "She wasn't at lunch, was she?"

"No," Julie gasped, tears of merriment running down her cheeks. "Oh, God, I can't breathe!"

I started giggling, too, and soon we were both laughing so hard we were practically falling over. When I regained my composure, I went down the hall to the women's restroom. Dot was at the sink washing her hands.

"Who told you I sell leather bustiers?" I asked her.

"You did."

"No I didn't."

"You didn't?"


"Oh." She frowned in thought. "My dream life must be bleeding over into my real life in a really interesting way."

Indeed. Who knew my coworkers are so ready to associate me with leather fetish garments?

I can only hope they never find out about what I really do on my days off.

But I guess the moral of this story is that I should never, ever miss another department luncheon, or God knows what rumor will get started next ....