The black hole

I have to go back to work Monday. And clean up the dead granny in my cube. Yes, a dead grandmother. You see, the boss gave us orders to decorate for Christmas. Most of the cubes had been decorated with snowmen or santas or twinkling lights. Or my co-workers had “wrapped” their cubes in holiday paper, with bows. Frankly, I was sick of it. It looked tacky. And I wanted to make a statement. Or was it an anti-statement?

“So, Wolf, can you stay after 5 tonight, to decorate your cube? You know you are the only one who hasn’t done any decorating. It doesn’t show any team spirit.”

“Yeah yeah yeah. Maybe. I’ll think about it.”

The next day, same story: “We really need to have everyone participate in the decorating this year, Wolf.”

“Ok I hear you.”

I procrastinated. I love to procrastinate. It brings out the edginess in people. They start to fidget and fluff and blow smoke.

“Hey Wolf. Can I talk to you, in private? Do you need some help? I mean, your cube is really an embarrassment.”

“Oh, yeah. Right. I am giving it consideration.”

“Well, give it some snappy thought. Time is running out.”

The pressure was mounting. The lights in the office were twinkling, like the galaxy and my cube was the black hole.

I drove home in a funk. I turned on the radio. Christmas music was playing. Granny got run over by a reindeer. That’s it. I will decorate my cube with Granny.

I found a large stuffed animal. I put my old ski cap on its head. I dressed her in a long yellow skirt and sneakers, and then covered her with a blanket on which I had painted reindeer hoofs, I found an old moth eaten reindeer and planted the damn beast beside her. It was a work of art. At least it was to me.

I think my cube was the best of times and the worst of times. My co-workers either loved it or hated it. Someone even added a makeshift tomb stone to the ghoulish display.

So now on Monday, I have to get rid of Granny. Darn it. I actually grew quite fond of her. Maybe I can revive her for Halloween.

Wolf

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The good old days

When we sit around at the Home, on a cold snowy day, our favorite topic is the good old days. We love to reminisce.

“I miss those old TV shows. I really do. They were terrific. Remember Lassie?”

“Oh yes, my dad used to watch those with me and cry.”

“I didn’t like Lassie. I liked Rin Tin Tin. He was the ultimate macho dog.”

“How could anyone not like Lassie? That is bordering on Un-American.”

“I preferred Buffalo Bob. And that frog he had on his show.”

“That wasn’t Buffalo Bob. That was Andy Devine.”

“What frog? I don’t remember any frog.”

“Yes, you do. His name was froggy and he was a hoot.”

“You must be thinking about the Mickey Mouse Club.”

“Mickey Mouse? They didn’t have any frogs on that show. Only those kids with the ears.”

“Yes! I was in love with Annette.”

“Not me. I preferred Darla.”

“I thought Darla was on the Little Rascals.”

“No, that was Buckwheat and Spanky and that dog with the bulls eye.”

“Oh yeah, what was that dog’s name anyway?”

“I think it was Spot.”

“No, I think it was Old Yeller.”

“Old yeller? No way. Old yeller was yellow. And didn’t have a bulls eye.”

“You know, somehow, those old shows were really much more realistic than these stupid sit coms are now.”

“Exactly. Those reality shows have nothing to do with real life.”

“Hey, there’s a marathon on TV Land. A good one. Mr Ed!! Now that’s one good old fashioned realistic show. Come on everyone, let’s watch!!”

Wolf

The lunch break

I needed to get out, to get away from the office. It was noon. I told everyone I was going out to get a cup of coffee and a bagel.

“Oh really? Can you pick me up a chicken sandwich while you are out? And a large fry, and a mountain dew?”

“Yeah, sure, I guess.”

“Wait, did you say you were going out?”

“Yes, I am going to get a bagel and a cup of coffee.”

“Well, can you stop by Burger King and get me a whopper? I have some coupons somewhere….”

“I suppose I can.”

“Who is going out? You Wolf? Great. Will you pick up our Chinese food?”

“Yeah, I could do that.”

“Hey, while you are out, can you drop off this package, at the post office?”

“Uhmmm, ok.”

“Can you hurry it up Wolf? We are starving.”

An hour and a half later, I came back, with the Chinese food, the whopper, etc etc etc.

The boss met me at the door.

“Well well well. Look who decided to come back to work. Did you know that you were gone over an hour? And your lunch break is 60 minutes. You know better than that. I hope you plan to stay late tonight, to make up the time.”

“Yes, I am sorry.. I had to…”

“Don’t give me any excuses, Wolf. You have used up your excuses.”

“I am so sorry. I was……”

“Hey Wolf, where’s my sandwich? Jeez, what took you so long? This sandwich is cold. I can’t eat a cold sandwich.”

“Yeah, and I wanted fried rice, not white rice. What’s up with you anyway Wolf?”

“Did you get a receipt from the Post Office? I have to have a receipt.”

“By the way, you missed the team meeting while you were out. It was great. We had bagels and coffee.”

Wolf

I’m on a #%#% conference call

My friend and co-worker Carmella works from home. She lives in New York. Her husband is retired. The two of them have a unique relationship. They yell at each other all the time. And use pretty strong language. They think nothing of it when they holler at one another. It is a way of life for them.

Carm’s phone is not high tech. She has no mute button. When we are on conference calls, Carm often excuses herself for a minute or two, to yell at her husband. It can be quite colorful.

Yesterday, one of our new customers scheduled a conference call. The customer is located in the Midwest. If you have ever lived in the Midwest, you know that most of the people are pretty laid back, and always polite. I guess you could say that they are sweet people.

The call was to introduce ourselves to one another. Our customer has plants in several states. On this call, we were introduced to Mindy from Madison, Danny from Chicago, Meg from Des Moines, and Judy from Omaha. Carmella and I were the 2 east coast representatives of our firm.

Carmella started the call: “Welcome everyone. It is an honor to meet you. Wolf and I are looking forward to serving you and meeting your highest expectations. Oh wait, one minute, please, I will be right back. Look you m#%#% F@@$$, take that @$@$$ dog outside right now. You @$@$@$@$. And don’t forget your #%#% key this time. I am on a #%#%#@ conference call. Sorry about that folks. Getting back to business, we are so very pleased to meet you all.”

Meg spoke up. “Oh, thank you so much. The feeling is mutual. I guess you live in New York Carmella?”

Yes, Sweetie, I do, and Wolf lives in Pennsylvania. Just one minute, ok? I will be right back. I told you, you %#%#@%# to take your @#$@#$@# key with you. You are a complete @$@$@$ idiot. Get the %#%@##% out of here. I told you I am on a $%@#$%@#$% call. Ok gang, back. Now, Mindy, it must be lovely to live in Wisconsin. Such a pretty state, and all those cows and cheese. It must be so charming.

I heard a few gasps, and what appeared to be snickering, but Carmella must have missed that.

Danny spoke up: Uhm Carmella, so you have a dog, do you?”

“Why yes!. How did you know? I love my pooch. He is the love of my life, really. I live for that dog. Why? Do you have a dog Danny? Oh, wait, I think he is back from his walk. Be right back. What the $@$$@, you $@@$@. Why did you allow the @$@$$@ dog to go out in the @$@$$$ rain? If he catches another @$@$$ cold, I will @$%@$$ your @$@$$@$.”

By this time, the call had pretty much deteriorated into an out and out comedy routine. The snickering became more frequent, and had actually turned into raucous laugher.

I decided to take the bull by the horns, so to speak and end the call.

“Well, thanks everyone for joining our call. I am sure we will be talking to one another frequently. Please feel free to call either one of us, whenever you need us, or just want to talk.”

“Ok, thanks all. Be talking to you soon. Bye.”

Just then Carmella came back to the phone.

“Well, now, my dear new friends, where were we?”

I told her the call was over. Her dear new friends had hung up.

“Well, of all the nerve!! And they didn’t even say good bye to me. How %@%@$ rude is that!”

Wolf

Party time

The Home has a yearly New Year’s Eve dance. We dress in our semi formal attire and bring our old 33s so we can dance. The guys show up in leisure suits and white shoes. And we women wear holiday sweaters over our sweat pants. Real snazzy.

George is in charge of the music. He likes to keep busy, so he doesn’t have to dance with us old gals. His favorite band is a polka band called the Polka Dots. If we don’t keep an eye on him, he gets carried away and keeps playing those polkas. Most of us think we can polka, but half way through, we are pooped, and have to crawl back to our chairs.

Minnie likes to boogie. By that, I mean, she likes to show off. When she was 15 she had won a twist contest, in high school, and she brags about it. So all she wants to do is dance to Chubby Checkers. She coerced Mickey into dancing with her and he twisted himself right out of the pants of his leisure suit.

Mary Cat likes the slow dancing. She is wild for Ricky Nelson, and kept asking George to play Hello Mary Lou. George finally put his foot down and refused to play it for the 3rd time. Instead, he put on Roll Out the Barrel, by you know who, the Polka Dots.

You should have seen Minnie twist to that tune. She has gained a little weight over the holidays and we weren’t sure if she was rolling the barrel or if she was the barrel.

Ms Barkley and her parakeet Felix showed up together, of course. She said she didn’t need any records, that Felix would provide her choice of music. He did a pretty good job, too, whistling the tune to the Andy Griffith show.

Pat, who is man crazy, brought Marvin Gaye records. Sexual feeling and all that other crap. She was the only woman who refused to wear her sweat pants, and came dressed in orange leggings and a tight black sweater. She thought she was hot, and walked around like a cat on a hot tin roof….until she tripped on her shoe lace. Her Sketchers had come untied.

The guys brought stupid records. Mickey brought Gomer Pyle or whoever he really is, singing, Oh Danny Boy. And Frank brought Tiny Tim, singing Tiptoe through the Tulips. Gordon tried to out-do everyone with his complete set of Percy Faith records. Boring. Very boring.

I thought my selection was by far the best. I waited until we had lined up for the buffet, and asked George to play California Dreaming by the Mommas and Poppas. That’s when I choked on the chicken bone.

Wolf

I

A bottle of red, please

I thought it would be nice to have a bottle of wine to bring in the new year. I decided to try a bottle of red wine from the local winery. The place was jammed with people drinking wine and eating cheese.

I sauntered in to check out the local fare, and someone handed me a glass of wine. I drank it rather quickly, and another glass appeared in my hand, and then another.

About an hour later, a bus drove up.

“Come on, everyone. Let’s board. We need to get to the next winery in 30 minutes.”

Before I knew it, I was on the bus, drinking more wine. I tried to tell the bus driver that I was not a part of the tour, but by then, my tongue seemed to have lost the ability to form words. He just smiled at me and said, “Look lady, you might want to slow it down a little.”

We hit 4 other wineries that afternoon. By then, I was loaded, and had no idea where I was. The bus dropped us off at a parking lot in Philadelphia. Now what?

Luckily I had my cell phone with me, and called the Home to tell them that I was lost. The cook answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hey, uhm, Mrs. uhm, Mrs. Oh jeeze what is her last name.”

“Hello? Who are you trying to reach?”

“Oh God, It’s me, you know, Woooooooofy.”

“I can’t understand you. You must have the wrong number.”

She hung up.

I called back. This time the cook was irritated. She told me to quit making obscene phone calls, and hung up.

I decided to call the police. They would most certainly understand. The only number I could remember was 911. They hung up on me too and told me if they ever found me they would prosecute me for making phony emergency calls.

I took a look around and noticed that I was in a greyhound bus parking lot. I walked to the depot and asked for a ticket to Allentown. The gal at the counter told me that intoxicated people were not allowed on the buses. I agreed with her and said, “Thank God. There is nothing worse than getting on a bus with a drunk person.” She refused to sell me a ticket.

I thought I might try hitch hiking. Why not? I was a semi attractive woman, for a 70 something old gal. I went out on the highway and started thumbing it up. Nothing. So I hiked up my skirt, like I had seen in the movies. Several cars slowed down, to get a better look at the fox, I guess. And then immediately sped up. Most of the drivers were laughing their asses off.

Finally a cop car stopped. They issued me a ticket. I said, “What’s this for?” The cop said, “Public drunkenness.” They took me to the station where I fell asleep on a bench.

When I woke up, I had a blazing headache. I called the Home and the cook answered. Oh boy, here we go again. I was ready to hang up, when the cook said, “Is that you Wolf? We have been worried sick. Someone found your car, abandoned, at the winery. We thought you had been abducted. We have a search party looking for you and George is printing posters to hang on the telephone poles.”

Well, to make a long story short, the Home sent a van to the Philadelphia police station, to bail me out. I went back to the winery to pick up my car. Another tour was there, same bus driver.

He took one look at me and said: “Not you again. You really like your wine, don’t you hun?”

You can imagine my humiliation. I was indignant, as I boarded his bus, for the next stop on the tour.

Wolf

The go go girls

My recently retired friends, Irene, Agnes and Adele, wanted to celebrate the new year with me. We decided we would meet for lunch at the Hogs Haven Inn. Whoever showed up first would get a table for 4 under the code name of “the go go girls.”

I bopped in around 12:15 and noticed an old buddy of mine sitting at the bar. I waddled up behind him and said, “Well, well, well, what’s a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?”

The nice guy turned around to see who was busting his chops. OOPs, it wasn’t my buddy. I had never laid eyes on him before. He had a puzzled look in his eye, and probably was thinking, “Who in the world is this old goof?”

His female companion was not amused. She glared at me and said to her friend, “So, Larry, are you gonna introduce me to your lady friend?”

Larry said, “I think it is a case of mistaken identity.”

Being the tactful senior citizen that I am, came back with, “Oh right, I’m so sorry. I thought you were someone else, Larry.”

The lady friend said, “Then how did you know his name is Larry? What’s going on here, anyway?”

Larry laughed and said, “Come on Lizzy, this woman is old enough to be my grandmother. Give me a break.”

That ticked me off, and I said, “Yeah Lizzy, give Larry a break. I might be old enough to be his grandmother, but let’s face it, you are not exactly a spring chicken yourself. Larry always did prefer mature women.”

Lizzy got up from her bar stool and looked like she wanted to get into an altercation. Or better yet, kick the crap out of me.

Larry got in between us and Lizzy threw a left. She decked Larry.

The restaurant owner came over and asked us to leave. He said he would call the police and they could remove us or we could leave on our own.

I told him I was meeting the go go girls for lunch, and that the problem was between Larry and Lizzy and that I was just an innocent bystander.

He didn’t buy my story.

I told him that the go go girls were probably already seated in the dining room, waiting for me to join them.

He was skeptical and asked me to describe them.

I said, “You couldn’t possibly miss them. They are old, wrinkled, fat, and have white hair. They are probably wearing snowmen sweaters and polyester pants. In short, they are real beauts.”

The owner said, “Might they be these 3 standing behind you?”

Oh God. The girls had just arrived, and had heard everything I had said about them.

“Yes, that’s them.”

The owner said, “Do you know this woman?”

As they walked to their table, the go go girls replied in unison: “We have never laid eyes on her before. It must be a case of mistaken identity.”

Wolf

Whoopeeeee

I have a chronic cough. It sneaks up on me, when I least expect it. And I can’t help it, but when I cough, other parts of my body come to life. I try to cough even louder, to cover up the “other” noises, but it doesn’t always work.

For example, I am at work, and my co-worker asks me a question. I start coughing, and those other noises start. I start throwing pens and papers around on the desk, moving objects from point A to point B, to cover up the tooting. Sometimes it works but not always.

I am now known around the office as the old bag who has a gas problem, with a cough. It is embarrassing.

I go to meetings, loaded with cough drops. I figure if I can suppress the cough, then I will have no problem. I pop in a drop. It gets stuck in my throat. The coughing ensues. And you guessed it, the other noises start.

If that isn’t bad enough, the coughing, which brings on the gas, triggers either my bladder or bowels. I have to run to the ladies room, pretending it is the cough that is forcing me to run like hell. I barely make it in time.

I asked my sister in law: “Do you ever have a problem when you cough? Like does it bring on other bodily functions?“ She wrinkled her brow and stared at me. “Why? What’s up now? You back on xanax or what?”

I decided to get brave and ask my doctor. “I have a problem. It is not easy to talk about.”

He said: “Yea, I know. You cough and have incontinence.”

What the hell! Is it that obvious?

Well, now that everyone knows about my not so secret problem, I figured I might as well have some fun with it. I bought a whoopee cushion, that I sit on at my desk. When I start coughing, I just lean back and let my co-workers decide: Is she or isn’t she?

Wolf

I always sit there

“So, Minnie, are you going to your daughter’s for New Year’s dinner this year.?”

“Yes, but I don’t want to go.”

“Now what?”

“They have a cat. And the cat sits on the table.”

“What? When you are eating?”

“Yes. And the kids feed her, right there, on the table.”

“She must be small. Right? I mean a large cat could never fit on the table with all the dishes and stuff.”

“It doesn’t matter how big she is. She eats on the table.”

“Well, as long as she sticks to her own cat food, what can it hurt?”

“She has claimed the table as her own. The last time I was there, she was sitting on my plate. And come to find out, she always sits there. And that is where I always sit when I go there for dinner. She just has to learn that it is my spot.”

“So you two have a battle going, eh? Squatter’s rights?”

“I just can’t eat with a cat sitting on my plate.”

“Can’t you just go along with it? It’s only one meal.”

“No. It is disgusting. On Thanksgiving, she sat right in my sweet potatoes.”

“You could just eat around her. You know, the stuff she doesn’t sit in.”

“You try eating with a cat full of sweet potatoes, grooming herself on your plate.”

“Well, why don’t you let her have your plate? And grab another spot at the table to eat?”

“What? And let her win? No way.”

Wolf

Advice please….

Dear Banana Wolf,

I have not seen any letters lately, in your advice column. Is that because the world found out that you two morons know absolutely nothing when it comes to giving advice? I don’t know of any sane person who would even bother writing to you.

However, being of unsound mind, myself, I have a question for you hose heads. And I would appreciate no smart ass remarks. This is serious.

I have opened a shelter for the homeless. Oh not people, but animals. I take in all kinds of poor defenseless beasts who have no home. They are sweet creatures, for the most part, but they are eating me out of house and home. At first I took in mostly cats, but expanded my brood to include rabbits, skunks, squirrels, possums and an occasional elephant. The only animal I must refuse is a donkey, for political reasons, of course.

A field mouse entered the shelter last week and scared the heck out of Dumbo. She was so frightened that she picked the refrigerator up in her trunk and ran out the door. I kept the food for my boarders in that fridge. I would really appreciate it if you would put a notice in your blog, to be on the lookout for an elephant carrying a refrigerator. It is an eggshell white. Oh, not the elephant, the refrigerator.

And if you know of any contractors who can fix a rather large hole in the wall, that would be most helpful.

Yours truly,

R. Limbaugh

Dear R.,

I would suggest you take another drug test. Something ain’t right.

Xoxoxoxoo

BW