From the Horse’s Mouth by
(23 Stories)

Prompted By Gossip

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Mean, malicious, or mendacious? Just plain fun? To advance a personal agenda? What qualifies? Some rumors serve a noble end. In an unnamed presidential administration, White House staffers discovered to their dismay that only truly important people were invited to the annual Christas party, with invitees limited to high level, close to the Oval Office advisors, members of Congress, and — of course — lobbyists. Their solution: start a rumor that they were preparing a petition to the President to complain. They had no intention to write sign, or send the petition. No matter. Two days, the invitations went out to all.


RetroFlash/100 words


Profile photo of Mister Ed Mister Ed

Characterizations: funny, right on!


  1. Marian says:

    Very cool, Mr. Ed, and I agree that especially in government and business, clever manipulation of the rumor mill can serve a positive purpose.

  2. Suzy says:

    Hmm, so curious about which President that was! Maybe I’ll have to start some gossip about that.

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Now that was a clever use of the rumor mill, devoid of harmful intent, got good results. Good one, Mr. Ed.

  4. I bet even a horse like you Ed would’ve made a better president than that guy, and that’s no state secret.

  5. Naaaaay! It couldn’t be true. I guess by the time the powers-that-be found out the petition was only a ruse, the horses were already out of the barn.

  6. John Shutkin says:

    I love Mr. Ed delivering horse sense straight from the horse’s mouth. Leaving Wilbur speechless — always helpful for a RetroFlash.

    Fascinating story, and it could probably be any administration of either party; political people understand the power of rumors. That said, I gather the rumor mill was working overtime in the Trump (mis)administration. Probably because the fear of retribution from the petty man was so great and because there were so many sordid topics for the rumors to be about.

    Just last week, I heard that Trump insisted on take-out from McDonald’s when he was at Walter Reed with COVID. And his usual order: two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish and one chocolate malted. That rumor seems to me to be as likely true as it is disgusting.

  7. Laurie Levy says:

    Now I have to know which president it was. Otherwise, it’s not good gossip. Please share, Mr. Ed.

  8. Ah, you do well to expand the definition of gossip to different domains, Señor Eduardo. Nicely done!

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