The dog ran away today. It’s an easy lie, a simple one. Believable. No one questions it. Everyone knows how dogs are. There’s some work to follow through on it, of course. Walking around the neighborhood yelling, whistling. Putting up posters. Fielding calls from people...

It started as a joke. My wife and I host a lot of parties, and if you’ve ever done cleanup after a party, you know that people leave things behind. Hats and coats constantly, scarves, purses, whatever. One time I found a pair of prescription...