Neil Simon's farce, Rumors, gives readers an in-depth look at the lives of ten wealthy individuals attending a dinner party. In an attempt to stay within the social crown, the characters start unsubstantiated rumors about their friends in an attempt to make themselves look better. The hosts of the party, Ken Gorman, and his wife Chris must cover up the fact that a friend of theirs, Charley Brock, has been shot in the ear lobe. They do not know how he got shot, but they decide that he must have tried to commit suicide, and thereby proceed to spread rumors about what they have heard in an attempt to avoid a possible attempted suicide scandal. They first lie to Charley's personal doctor, they lie about what happened to all of the servants, and they finally about a second gunshot heard in the house. When the Gormans first encounter Charley in his bedroom, they immediately call his personal doctor at the theater to tell him that Charley feels just fine.
Chris relates the story to the doctor when she says, "Dr. Dudley, I'm afraid there's been an accident... Well, we just arrived here at Charley's house about ten minutes ago, and as we were getting out of our car, we suddenly heard this enormous... thud... It seemed Charley had tripped going up the stairs... no, wait, down the stairs.
Down the stairs. But he's all right," (13). Finally, Chris manages to explain to the doctor that Charley had not really hurt himself in the first place and that she felt sorry to have bothered him at the theater. After hanging up the phone, the Gormans put Charley in the shower to wash off the blood, wrap a towel around his head to stop the bleeding, and go back downstairs to wait for the rest of the party guests. Lenny and Claire Ganz arrive at the party first. Coming straight from a car accident, the Ganz's ask why Charley has not joined them for the party.
Ken Gorman explains that Charley has had a rough day and he decided to take a nap for a little while. Lenny exclaims that he has not had a thing to eat since breakfast and wonders where Mai Li the cook has put all of the food. Not wanting to explain that they have recently fired Mai Li, the Gormans fabricate a story about her having to go back to Japan to visit her sick mother. Claire asks, "But Mai Li is Chinese, isn't she?" The Gormans look at each other and then Chris...