It's a big fear of ours, as humans--that we will be put into a position of guilt and be unable to prove our innocence.
Unfortunately, sometimes it happens. You're flustered. You're lost for words. Do you even have a way to prove it's not you? Or are you up the creek without a paddle?
How you handle being accused in the moment can be very telling.
Here were some of those situations.
I Ain't Robbin' No Banks
Bank robbery. I was early for my first day as a gas jockey in a new city. I was across the street from the gas station, digging through my backpack when suddenly somebody told me to show them my hands. I was totally confused to look up and see two RCMP officers, hands on their sidearms (they didn't draw, or anything). Turns out there had been a bank robbery around the corner a few minutes before and my gas jockey uniform and backpack matched the description. They looked inside my bag (containing my brown bag lunch and a paperback) and then they were gone in a flash. Apparently, the guy didn't get caught until after another bank robbery in the same area.
These Are Some Big Rumors
My first week of high school, I got called into the office because rumors were flying around that I was planning to blow up the school and had already rigged it with explosives. This was obviously news to me.
Then about a year later, I had my wisdom teeth removed and missed a week of school. When I finally came back, my friends had to explain the freaked out looks I kept getting from classmates.
Apparently a boy who regularly picked at me had vanished from school about the same time I did, and the rumor going around was that I had killed him, eaten him, and then been arrested. Everybody was surprised to see me because they'd spent the past week telling each other about how I was in jail and he was in my stomach.
Folks sure make up weird rumors. The boy was fine, FYI, he'd just been suspended.
I helped a friend of my mother move when I had just turned 18 for no pay, and this lady accused me of stealing one of her guns. I booked it straight to the police department to explain the situation. When she tried to report me, they told her she was crazy, they already spoke to me, and that criminals that steal guns don't go directly to the police.
Ain't No Cheater
Anabolic steroids. I was a high jumper on my college's track and field team, and we would have to do urine tests every so often. Well, one of mine came back from the lab positive for anabolic steroids, which give women who take them strong manly like features. I was 5'8" and 125lbs. Luckily the lab broke the tests into two samples and eventually tested the second sample, showing it was clean. Apparently the lab had a contaminated batch of test tubes, and the company had to fly reps into my college to apologize to me and a baseball player this both happened to. It was a scary couple weeks.
First Graders Don't Do Drugs
Had just moved to a new school in 5th grade. Was never great at making new friends, so I thought I'd "sugar them up" by bringing sugar mixed with kool-aid, something that was popular at my old school. Who doesn't love a bunch of ten year olds licking their fingers and dipping them in a baggie of sugar? Apparently, an older kid had given several 1st graders heroin during this time and it got pegged on me. I was removed from class, police came, I cried because I didn't understand why they thought my grape kool-aid was heroin. I kept telling them to taste it. The principal finally did and realized I was telling the truth. Awesome first week of school.
Drugs. Shockingly enough, my parents divorce made me act out at nine years old, and I kept distracting other kids in class. My mom was convinced it was because I was doing drugs and yanked hair out of my head and made me get blood tested. They found nothing, because I was nine years old
But Why Did She Even Accuse You?
Accused of breaking a girl's arm on a bounce house at a local fair when I was like 8yo. Had been on there only a few seconds, was just doing my thing and I heard screaming. We all stopped, the girl had an obviously broken arm and pointed at me and said; "He did it!" (with her non-broken arm, of course).
Dude in charge kicked me off, no refund.
I found my family and explained it to them and my uncle said he was recording me on his camcorder when it happened (1982, the camcorder was the size of a briefcase and ran on VHS tapes, but we had no way to play it back while there)
Went home, plugged the thing in to the VCR and played it back - absolute 100% that it wasn't me. But then I got a life lesson in how being right doesn't mean you win - my dad pointed out we'd have to walk 15 minutes back to the bounce house and argue with them, with no way of showing them the video unless they sent someone to our house to watch it... All to get the 10p that I paid for 5 minutes on the bounce house. It would have been, at best, a pyrrhic victory. Most likely they'd tell us to piss off.
I Ain't Stolen Nothing
In third grade I walked to a convenience store with $2, and spent 20 minutes trying to decide what candy to get—picking things up, and putting them back.
The old lady clerk accused me of stealing and said to never come back. That was a bit problematic given it was the only gas station in my small town, and I've moved back and been living here for the last 15 years.
I got kicked out of a sit down restaurant during my company Christmas party for doing drugs in the bathroom. When the manager told me to leave and that they "don't allow that behavior here", my boss and 20+ other employees vouched for me that I had not left the table for 2+ hours (the entire duration of the party). The manager called my boss an idiot and made me leave. No one in my company has been back since.
I Love My Son
Probably kicking my young son. I was carrying something like hot tea or soup and he went to grab me, so I put my knee out to stop him getting close to me and scalding himself, but for some reason, everyone else in the room thought I kicked him or kneed him. Very strange situation.