Gotcha!

Fooled you, didn't I? You actually thought I'd picked up the cake for Steve's going-away party on my way to work and put it in the breakroom fridge? You know, like I said I did? Zing! Looks like you're just the latest victim of one of my trademark "complete lies."

Ba-DOOM! That's another one for me! I am the King Of The Untruth! Phillip one, you nothing!

Since you're kind of new here, perhaps this calls for a little explanation. Basically, you've just been completely lied to. Or, as we call it around here, "Philliped."

Don't feel bad. You're not the first to fall for one of my lies. In fact, I do it so often that it's sort of become my trademark. You know how Fonzie had that thing where he started the jukebox by banging on it? Or Mother Teresa's thing was being really nice to poor people and helping them? Well, my "thing" is making up a bunch of stuff that's untrue and then insisting, with the utmost sincerity and conviction, that it is!

It's a little trick I invented as a kid. One day, when I was 5 or 6 years old, I was playing with an older boy, and I threw a rock at a neighbor's basement window and broke it. I started crying and saying the other kid pushed me into the window and that my foot went through. Well, not only did he get the blame, but I got treated to ice cream by my mother! Isn't that a riot? That was the beginning of a long and hilarious career in saying stuff that has no basis in reality.

Yes, I'm famous—actually, infamous is more like it—for my lies around the office. Just the other day, I told Esteban, the night custodian, that he was getting a $375-a-month raise, starting Sept. 1. Well, I'm just a sales representative, not the guy who gives raises. But Esteban didn't know that! Man, the look on his face when he finds out he's been Philliped will be priceless! With any luck, he'll have already factored the extra money into his family budget and spent some of it on new clothes for his children or something like that. What a boob!

I'll never forget the first time I Philliped Bob down in shipping. He completely believed that I would stick around after work to give him a ride home. My only regret is that I wasn't there to see his reaction when Karen the receptionist told him I left promptly at 5 p.m. like I always do.

What I do is a real art form, you know. It's not easy to pull off a proper "Phillip job." There's more to it than simply spouting off any lie that pops into your head. You can't just say, for instance, "I can destroy cities with my mind," or "These shoes cost $4.5 million." People can see right through claims like that. The lies have to be realistic. And, while I don't want to give away all my trade secrets, I will say that statements that include more personal details tend to work better, such as, "I have to miss work because my mother is sick," or "I'm infertile." People are also more likely to believe you if your statement includes an offer of help, like, "Sure, I'll watch your bag," or "I know CPR!" These are just the fundamentals I'm talking about; it takes years to get to my level of expertise.

One of my favorite things is when, after I've delivered another one of my classic Phillips, people ask, "Seriously? Is that true?" I just look them square in the eye and say, "Yes." There's a science to doing that. I can't stretch my face all out and go, "Oh, yeah, YEAH!" or they would get suspicious. It's much better for them to see the earnestness in my face and instinctively trust me, only to realize later that I was Philliping them.

I realize you may be upset about falling for my latest "complete lie," but I assure you that it's all in good fun. Tell you what: To show that there's no hard feelings, let me buy you dinner after work tonight. Go to Antoine's Bistro on Seventh Avenue, walk right past the maitre d', and sit down in the booth marked "Reserved" by the window. If they give you any trouble, just let them know you're waiting for me. I'll be there at 8.