Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: A married man accompanies his attractive secretary to her apartment one evening. When the secretary coyly disappears into her bedroom, the man, certain that an opportunity for sex is about to present itself, quickly prepares by removing his clothes. A few moments later the secretary emerges from her bedroom, accompanied by the man's
This legend dates to at least the 1920s and in this case involves a subject who places himself in a compromising situation by mistrusting his wife's memory, misjudging his secretary's compliancy, and overestimating his own sexual attractiveness. The subject's egregious
Many versions (such as the second one cited above) soften the theme of a moral transgressor's receiving his
Other versions omit the boss' feelings of melancholy and set him up as a lecherous adulterer who gets his comeuppance for inappropriately inviting his gorgeous young secretary out on a date. Yet another variant presents the humiliating surprise as having been deliberately arranged by the secretary to get back at a persistent
Sightings: An episode of television's L.A. Law ("Leapin' Lizards," original air date
Last updated: 1 July 2007
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