Growing up

They say you can always tell a person’s real character by the way he/she reacts under stress. And today was one of those days that put my coworker, Ian, to the test.

Ian is normally Mr happy go lucky. A social whirlwind. A wandering butterfly, free and easy and mellow. Nothing seems to upset this young kid. He attracts others like a moth to a flame. People stop by his cube to bare their souls, to share their trials and personal tribulations. He is the type of person who gets the scoop on the gossip and is in touch with the grapevine before it gets on the fast track.

I guess it is because he has that special something: charisma. And a job that doesn’t have a lot of accountability. He always has someone else to take the responsibility, to make the tough decisions and to save his ass whenever he screws up.

Not so today. His Supervisor gave him an assignment, with a deadline: 3pm, to have a report ready for a major account. A report that required focus, analysis and precision. It was an assignment from hell, for Ian. He had to deliver. And no one could come to his rescue. It was all on his shoulders.

The persona started to crumble, and fell quickly. His phone would ring, and the normally chipper kid, picked up the phone with disgust. “What now? Oh God, no. I can’t. I just can’t.” He even asked me for help with his distractions. “Can you do this for me? Can you handle that for me? I am buried.”

He knew I was on a conference call, but that didn’t deter him. He stood by my desk, with bulging eyes, asking for help. “When you get off the phone, can you….” I put my call on mute and say, “Sorry Ian, I have a meeting right after this call.”

He is at his wit’s end. At 330pm, he is still working on his report. At 430pm, he goes to his Supervisor for help. The 2 of them finish the report, at 5pm. He is a wreck. He had done nothing else all day. He is exhausted.

I get ready to leave for the day. I tell him to have a good night. He stammers, “I can’t leave. I have to finish my other projects.” No smiles, no jokes, no charisma. Just the bare bones of knowing what it means to have a job, with responsibility, accountability and pressure.

The kind of job that the rest of us have experienced for years. The years that separated the successful from those who just can’t cut it.

I leave the office. He is alone, at his desk. He digs in to the untouched projects.

Welcome to the real world, Ian. I think you might grow up after all.



Sorry I missed you

My first phone call of the day:

“Good morning, how may I help you?”

“Hi, it’s me. I have been trying to get ahold of you now for several days. Where have you been?”

“Right here. Sorry I missed you.”

“You are one busy woman, that’s for sure. Have you got a few minutes?”

“Of course.”

“You will not believe this, you just won’t. I have had a maddening week. First my husband tells me he is leaving me, for that floozy secretary of his. She is only 23. He must be crazy. He is 3 times her age. And he is no bargain, as you know. Well, he thought I would be devastated, so he takes me out to dinner, to tell me. And who did we run into but his bimbo. And she was with another man. I laughed so hard when he saw them. He went over to her table and started a scene. He demanded to know what was going on, and pulled her out of her chair. She knocked him flat on his hind end, and when he tried to get up, he pulled the table cloth off the table, drinks, dishes and food, all of it, boom, on the floor.”


“The Manager calls the cops. They show up and find drugs on the bimbo. They drag her, the boyfriend and my husband out of the restaurant, and book them. The boyfriend is a well known politician from this area, and he tries to bribe the cops. The news guys are all over the story. All 3 of them appear in the morning paper, accused of drug dealing, public intoxication and debauchery. My soon to be x calls me to bail him out. I tell him to stuff it. Somehow he gets out and comes home. I had the locks changed, and he can’t get in. I put all his clothes in garbage bags and throw them out on the lawn. He is furious. He looks through all the bags to find something to wear to work, and changes his clothes right there, in the yard. Well, the neighbors reported him for indecent exposure, and the cops show up again. They ask me what is going on. I tell them I have never seen this guy before in my life and he must be a homeless bag man. They haul him away, kicking and screaming.”

“My goodness!”

I am so disgusted, looking at all those garbage bags on the lawn, that I decide to have a yard sale. It was pretty successful, too. There were only a few of his boxer shorts left when this guy shows up. A real cutie. He and I get to talking and I invite him in for a beer. Well, I am in love. No kidding! This guy is to die for. He is a very mature 18 year old, and just loves older women. I told him I was 30, wink wink. You know ever since I lost all that weight, I really am a fox. So, when you meet him, don’t let on that I will be turning 50 next week. OK?”


“We have decided to get hitched, as soon as the divorce is finalized. And to celebrate, I go out and buy tickets to Mexico. We fly down, and were told there was some kind of flu going around. My boy toy tells me not to worry, just don’t drink the water. We are the only ones on the beach, and no restaurants are open, nothing. It is like a ghost town. Boy were we ticked off. We complained to the Management and could not understand a word of what they were saying. They were wearing some kind of masks and were acting mighty suspicious. So we decide to come back home. The authorities detain us at the airport, and tell us we could be carriers. Can you imagine? Carriers. Carriers of what, I say? Drugs? Well, let me tell you, don’t use that word around these people. They have no sense of humor. We were strip searched in that awful airport, both of us. Humiliation. That’s what it is. Humiliation.”


“We get home and my boyfriend’s mother shows up. Or at least she looked like his mother. Old, grey, wrinkled, you know. Surprise! It’s not his mother, it’s his wife. Seems he really does like the older women. Granny drags him out of the house, and that’s the last I have seen of them.”

“Excuse me, I am so embarrassed, but who is this?”

“What? What? What do you mean? Isn’t this Cathy?”

“Uhm, no, this is Wolfie.”

“Why the nerve of you! How could you be so cruel, to let me pour my heart out and pretend you are Cathy. Haven’t you heard? It’s against the law to impersonate a friend.”


“Hello, hello?”


Leave that toe alone

My dear friends, Banana and Wolfie,

I hope you don’t mind if I call you by your first names. I don’t mean to get personal. I admire you two so much. It just amazes me that two old bags with little to no brains can be so dimwitted to think that anyone would read any of your blogs. You both ought to be hung out to dry.

However, getting back to my question, I do seek your opinion and would really appreciate getting an answer. If I don’t hear from you, in the next 24 hours, I will be devastated. And even worse, I will not read your blog ever again.

My problem is complex. I have a toe fetish. I am constantly removing my shoes and stockings to touch my big toe. I have completely ruined Tommy. That’s what I call it, my big toe: Tommy. He is a mess. I have thrown Tommy out of joint by the constant attention he is getting, and he is completely out of whack. I can no longer wear shoes, as Tommy is hanging out over the side of my foot. He is a deformed mess. I talk to him to encourage him, and to give him the support he needs to heal. I am concerned because the other day he told me he was giving up the ghost, and was considering surgery. I love this toe, and don’t want him to change a thing about himself.

Can you two idiots help me and Tommy?

Yours truly,

C Manson

Hey Charlie boy,

Give it up, man. Nobody gives a #%# about you and Tommy. As a matter of fact, Tommy called us the other day and told us you were the one who is whacked. But everyone already knows that.

Leave that toe alone you screwy goof. And quit biting Tommy’s toe nail. He hates that.


Who died?

Reading the morning paper at the home is one of our favorite things. We like to find something interesting and then read it to the group. I noticed that Bea Arthur died. I said, “Oh how sad, Bea Arthur died.” The comments from the group were quite interesting.

“Who? Bea who? Did she live here at the home?”

“What? Someone from the home died? Who?”

“Bea Arthur? I think she went to high school with me.”

“Should we take up a collection? When is the funeral? We really should go.”

I said, “No, no, Bea Arthur, the Golden Girl.”

“Golden? I don’t know anyone name Bea Golden. Did she have a brother Bill Golden?”

“Oh yes, I have known the Goldens for 40 years. I must call her daughter and tell her how sorry I am.”

I said, “No, not that Golden. The Golden girl, Bea Arthur.”

“Bea Golden? I thought you said Bea Arthur. Did both of them die?”

“I had a cousin, Arthur Golden, but he has been dead for several years.”

“Did you say 3 people died? From here, at the home? Is there something going around that we should know about?”

“My God, why don’t they let us know when there is a rampant disease here at the home? I am going to file a complaint with the director.”

I said, “Stop. I told you Bea Arthur died. You know, Maude.”

“Oh, why didn’t you tell us Maude died? She was one of the Golden Girls you know.”

“Ya, so why did you mention Arthur? Get your stories straight.”

“You never get anything right, you moron.”

Go figure…


Whistle Blower

Dear BananaWolf,

I suppose you two nincompoops have not been watching the news, but I have. And there is a new flu going around. In case you are ill informed, as you normally are, I will explain it to you:

There are infected swine in the world, who pass along their disease to humans. It started in Mexico. Now I hate to be a whistle blower, but my boss was recently in Mexico, and if you 2 followed his amazing candidacy, you might remember that he was obsessed with pigs. He went so far as to put lipstick on those beastly creatures.

I am not sure how to break the news to the media. But I feel his pain, and know that he is the source of this outbreak. I even asked my husband what to do and he told me to start impeachment proceedings. I immediately threw a frying pan at that skirt chasing husband of mine, and told him not to bring that subject up again.

Can you help me?


Hill Clinton

Dear Hill,

Quit writing to us. You should be watching your husband instead of being such a tattle tale. The other night Bill was out on the town, and we happened to run into him. He had lipstick on. And he was rolling in the dirt.

And Banana swears he was squealing something that sounded like Oink Oink.



Oh what a night

Wouldn’t you know it? The first day of summer and I wear a dress and get a run in my panty hose. I keep an extra pair in my desk, so off I go to the ladies room to change. I am so proud of myself, always prepared, that’s me.

I sit on the hopper to remove my hose and hear a loud siren. Oh no, the fire alarm. I hear the fire captains: “Everyone out. Go to your stations, outside. Now.” I am frantically trying to get my new pair of panty hose on, squirming and pulling and pushing. They are halfway up my legs, and won’t go any further. I look at the package, size small. Oh great, I don’t wear a size small. I am queen sized.

There is a knock on the door. Some big guy with a red fire hat barges in and says, “Anyone in here?” I whisper, “Nobody here but us chickens.” He yells, “Get out of there right now. If you don’t leave now, I will have to carry you out.”

I attempt to stand and fall forward, crashing my head on the door. I am bleeding. I grab some toilet tissue and swab my head. Still bleeding. I grab the roll of tissues and am swabbing while pulling up those tiny stockings. The big guy tries to open the door. It is locked. I say, “Whoa there partner, I am indisposed.”

He says, “ If you don’t come out of there right now, I will break down the door.” I open the door. He takes a look at me and says, “Oh my God.”

I have a pair of panty hose, half way up my legs, a bleeding head, and have lost my shoes. He picks me up and throws me over his shoulder.

I am so embarrassed. He drops me outside in the grass, beside my co-workers. I am laying on the grass, with a roll of tissues in my hand, half dressed. I crawl to the back of the parking lot, and remove those doggone panty hose. I leave them there, in the grass. There, at least now I can act dignified.

The all clear signal is given. We can return to work. I regain my sense of control and walk barefoot into the office. I hear laughing. I turn to look at what is so funny and see the roll of toilet tissue, unrolling behind me, stuck in my panties.

How do you recover from a scene like that? You don’t. Ever.

The big guy returns. He walks up to my desk. “These yours?” My tiny panty hose are in his hand.

“Yes, thank you dear. I must have left them in your car last night.”


Bring it on

He’s baaaaaaaaaaack. Yes, he is waiting in the grassy knoll, his neck bobbing up and down. His partner is sitting demurely beside him, in the grass. They remind me of Bonnie and Clyde, preparing for the big heist. I say, “Don’t give me that innocent look. No way am I parking my car by you two goofs.” I park several spaces away from them. And tiptoe my way into the building. I am inside, unharmed.

Then the fun begins. Clyde suddenly gets cocky. He moves his big fluffy body up near the entrance to the building and assumes his sentry position, carefully picking his victims as they run toward the door.

It is a scene out of a Stephen King film. Dozens of women and men, stealthily advancing toward the building, while the king of birds sits waiting patiently, ready to strike with his weapon of wings. He has a big mouth too. All that squawking and chattering and hissing. He is really quite obnoxious.

We all make it safely into the office. We relax a little, but keep one eye on the window. Is he still there? What nerve he has, claiming our entrance as his territory.

What the heck are we gonna do with this bird turned monster? Most of us thought a goose dinner would be nice, but not the do-gooders.

“Oh I just love the geese. It is so sweet to see papa goose protecting his mate. I can’t wait to see the babies. I sure hope nothing happens to him.”

You have to be kidding. We want this goose, cooked. And the sooner the better.

At noon, he is still there. I have to go out. He is waiting for me to make my move.

I go out the back door to avoid him. The Xerox guy is leaving the building. Poor guy. He doesn’t know what we know. He opens the trunk of his car. The goose goes wild, flying directly at the Xerox man. THe winged beast just misses the guy, flapping, yapping, and pecking. I see the tongue and hear the hissing. The Xerox guy looks surprised, sees me and yells, “Hey, this could develop into a problem.” You think?

When I return from lunch, he is attacking a red jeep. While he is chomping on the Jeep’s tire, I get inside the building. Now only one more trip out to my car, at 5. I choose my weapon. A red and white umbrella.

Ok Buster, bring it on.


Flu-like symptoms

It was so hot, nobody could sleep, at the home. We gathered in the great room at 1 am, and turned on the tube. The latest scare: swine flu. Seems like it started in Mexico. Anybody been on a trip lately? Yes, to the Jersey Shore, but not to Mexico.

Anybody been around pigs lately? Of course! We had been to the Farm Show in Harrisburg last week, and there were lots of pigs around. Oh no! We must have it.
What are the symptoms? Flu-like. We took a look around the room. Dave was coughing and sneezing. It’s Dave. He has the swine thing. Here he is, sitting in the same room with us, infected. We have to do something about this.

Masks, that’s it. We need to cover up. But we only have Halloween masks. Better than nothing. I had a Bill Clinton mask. When I entered the room, George shook my hand, thanking Mr Clinton for coming. Several people asked me how Hilliary was doing, and Minnie began chastising me for the Monica Lewinsky thing.

This wasn’t working. We could barely understand one another when we tried to talk. 2 people walked into the wall, claiming they had gone blind. And it was too hot to wear those rubber masks anyway.

We decided to isolate Dave. He was the one who had the disease. We wheeled him onto the patio. Gee, it was cool out there. Let’s grab our chairs and sit outside.
There was a nice breeze and the stars were out. Dave had his guitar and we sang the night away.

At 6am most of us were napping, on the patio. The birds were just beginning to sing and we smelled bacon frying inside. Dave wasn’t coughing. He wasn’t sneezing either. Minnie wheeled him into the dining room, and he started up again. Uncontrollable sneezing and coughing. I went over to assist Minnie and got a whiff of something. I said, “What stinks? Minnie? What do you have on?”

“What? What? Nothing. Just some Vicks Vapo Rub. I heard that if you put in on your feet at night, it helps you sleep.”

“Well, maybe so, but you don’t have to use the whole bottle of that stuff.”

Minnie went in to shower. The rest of us gathered to eat. Dave stopped coughing. Our breakfast was served. Bacon and eggs.

Bacon? Oh no you don’t. Not with the swine flu going around.


Terror in the parking lot

The parking lot is not usually full of people. Cars, yes. But not people just hanging out. Especially not at 7:45am. Most of us are scurrying towards the door, to get to work before 8 o’clock.

When I get out of my car, I notice 2 geese, chasing people around the lot. Joanne races back to her car, jumps in and slams the door, just before she got goosed. Dave drives up, parks, emerges from his truck, and the geese are waiting for him, hissing and running towards him. He runs to the building, followed closely by the 2 geese.

Those who made it safely inside are standing at the window, staring at the mayhem. I walk by the geese, say, “Good morning, boys.” and watch while they turn their necks almost completely around, checking out my every move.

They are temporarily distracted by Jeri, who is stealthily moving thru the maize of cars, to make a run for the door. The 2 creatures spot her and run towards her, wings flapping and hissing. She barely makes it inside before she is attacked.

I am confused. These geese have been hanging around our office building for months. They go their way and we go ours. What in the world got into them?

I see one of them sitting on the top of Joanne’s car, daring her to come out and join the chase.

I make it safely inside, chuckling. I think the scene is hilarious, in a way, but, why are they acting like this? Just then I notice the 2 geese, walking towards the center island of the parking lot. One of them plops down and the other is pacing back and forth, when a large bird tries to land near them.

They are nesting! Right in the middle of our parking lot. Mother and Father Goose are protecting their unborn young. And they will go to any extreme to do so. Now I get it.

The day goes by and at 5:30pm, I hear a commotion. There is a crowd of people standing by the door. They are afraid to go out. Mama and Papa are waiting.

I wonder how long before those goslings hatch? Can’t wait to see the babies… if we survive the terror in the parking lot.