DENVER—Local account manager Kevin Verhulst turned off his phone, lied to coworkers, and left work early Wednesday in an elaborate ploy to prevent anyone from knowing that he was about to engage in behavior that would, at worst, be characterized as "everyday." "I actually told people I had to duck out early because of a stomach bug," said Verhulst, who took great pains to conceal the perfectly ordinary act of going out to purchase a pair of pants. "Why did I do that? Now I'll have to say that I'm feeling much better tomorrow, and I'll be wearing my new pants, which I'll feel compelled to lie about as well. Good God, what's wrong with me?" When spotted by a friend in the men's department of JCPenney, Verhulst told him that he was on his way to the knife store in the mall to look at samurai swords.
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