A rapidly developing suburb was rocked this week, amid revelations that formerly respected legal consultant Joseph Mellor doesn’t find NBC’s signature comedy amusing.

“I just don’t know what to do. Dinner invitations have stopped coming. People cross the street when they see us,” laments Anne, Joseph’s wife of nine years. “I can’t say I blame them. Everyone knows The Office is the smartest show on television. We survived Joe telling people that he wasn’t really into Coldplay, but I don’t know if we can come back from this.”

When pressed to give credence to the show’s innovative touches, Mr. Mellor remains obstinate. “I don’t know; I mean I guess it’s alright. To me, it just seems like a total retread of Christopher Guest movies; those are way funnier,” He said with a shrug. But wife Anne simply shakes her head.

“I keep telling him — no one knows who that is. I try to be understanding, but I just don’t see how someone cannot find Dwight Schrute funny. I even showed Joe the Ben Franklin episode, and he still doesn’t get it. Every time we get together for drinks with friends, Joe can’t even be part of the conversation. He doesn’t get any of our witty references to the show.”

Studies suggest that Mrs. Mellor’s concerns are not unwarranted. Data gathered by an Ohio State University research team suggests that couples who regularly watch The Office receive 30% more brunch invitations and are twice as likely to be offered the neighborhood discount at Pier One Imports.

Some in the community have banded together to support the Mellors through their ideal. “I feel bad for them. I guess it’s because Joe is his own boss, so he doesn’t get it. I mean, my boss is Michael Scott, you know? It doesn’t seem fair that Joe doesn’t get to appreciate The Office’s subtle, groundbreaking take on comedy because he works on his own,” says sympathetic neighbor and financial analyst Thomas Roberts.

Others, however, are still in disbelief. “I can’t get over it. They seemed like such a nice, normal couple,” says Cassandra von Riemsdyk, proprietor of a local art therapy center. “You never expect something like this to happen in your own neighborhood.”

Kevin Connor