And then there were 4

“Get up Minnie. We are going to the mall. We need to get our costumes.”

“What? Are you crazy? What time is it anyway?”

“5am. We have to get going. Snow is coming.”

“Get out of town, Wolf. Come back in 4 or 5 hours. I am tired. And we never get snow in October.”

“I am serious, you goof. Snow is on the way. Get up.”

“Go away. See you at 10 or 11. I am not in any mood to argue. See you later.”

At 8am, Wolf was back. “Hey girlie, it is snowing. We better get going or we will be stuck in the storm.”

“8am? I told you: 10 or 11. Now beat it.”

At 11am, Minnie woke up, got dressed and looked for Wolf. She found her in the dining room, nursing her 12th cup of coffee.

“So, are you ready, Wolf? Let’s go.”

“Look outside you idiot. And then ask me if we are ready to go.”

“Holy @%#%@%#%! It’s snowing!”

“No kidding. And there are at least 4 inches on the ground and 8 more to come. Forget it Minnie. Forget Halloween. Forget our costumes. Forget the fact that you are a complete moron. I am not happy.”

“Well, so what? We can improvise. What did you want to be anyway? Elvira? Right?”

“It doesn’t matter. I am not in the mood to discuss this fiasco.”

“Aw, come on, Wolf. I thought you had everything you needed to be Elvira. What are you missing anyway?”

“Boobs. That’s all. Just boobs.”

“You need more boobs? Holy Toledo, Wolf, you have boobs. I mean those boobs of yours are out of control. Your boobs surpass anything Elvira ever had.”

“You goof. I need fake boobs. Boobs that will knock your socks off. Boobs that are, well, that are not really boobs, but will look like boobs. Besides, mine are not for display, unless you are Sean Connery.”

“I have an idea. Remember those shoulder pads that we used to put in our sweaters? They kinda look like boobs. Come on. I have 2 in my drawer. Put on your outfit and let’s see how they look.”

The girls were giggling as they tried to tame those shoulder pads into boobs. They finally got the knack of it, and folded them into 2 gigantic balloons. And pinned them into the costume.

Wolf paraded down the hall, with her fake bosom. George and Frank sauntered by. Nothing. Not a comment. Not a nod.

“Hey boys, what’s up?”

“Huh? Oh nothing. By the way, you forgot to constrain those monsters again. And if I were you, I would see a doctor. Since when does an old bag like you grow 2 more? Maybe you can get those 2 hanging to your knees amputated.”



My heart’s on fire, Elvira

Halloween is coming. A meeting was called at the Autumn Years Rest Home, to discuss this year’s events. Ms Ratcher, the director, spoke to the group:

“Hey everyone. Get your costumes ready. We will have a contest: Most scary, most original, and overall best in show. Prizes will be awarded, following an evening of dining and dancing. Good luck all!”

“You know what Minnie? Best in show? That sounds like a dog show. Guess we need to dress up as dogs.”

“No, you goof. That is mundane. You have to do better than that.”

“And just what do you intend to be this year, Ms Poopy pants?”

“I will be a pumpkin. My new sweat suit is orange and I will stuff it with pillows and put a stalk of celery on my head.”

“Want my honest opinion? You don’t need to stuff it. You love your groceries, and you have blown up into the ultimate pumpkin. So just forget the pillows, you little blimpo.”

“You have your nerve, you, you, wine infected boozy bimbo. You have no right to call me a blimpo.”

“Oh don’t be so sensitive, but you must admit, you have put on at least 40 pounds in the past year.”

“Take a good look in the mirror. You look bloated yourself. You really should dress up as usual: A drunken mess.”

“Hey, knock it off. And get dressed. I need to find my costume, at the thrift store. I need your help.”

“Nope. I refuse to go until you apologize.”

“Ok. I am sorry you are a blimp. Let’s go.”

“Just what are you looking for anyway?”

“I plan to be Elvira.”

“What? Elvira is a sexy young thing. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.”

“Yeah? Well, I am not gonna be that Elvira. I am gonna be the old Elvira. Like look what happened after 40 years. Kinda like Elvis. The Elvira that got old and ugly.”

“Hmmm. That is perfect for you. The ugly and the old part. Let’s go.”

The girls scoured the thrift store for the outfit. Wolf found a black wig, a crown, and a long skirt. And a black top with fringes, 4 sizes too large.


“That won’t fit you, you idiot. It is way too big.”

“Can I use your pillows Minnie? I need to fill out this top and create a J Lo hind end.”

“I don’t know Wolf. This costume is scary. And it is original and you look worse than a dog, so I guess it is best in show.

“Yes!! I wonder if I can win all 3 prizes?”



A few people were late for work today. I wonder what they said. I mean, you have to tell the boss why you were late. I can only imagine.

Nobody uses the same old tired excuses do they? Like : I had a flat tire. I overslept. I thought it was Saturday. My kid missed the bus. The traffic was tied up on Route 22.

Today’s bosses are too savvy for that stuff. One has to be creative.

Here’s what I think they said:

“I ordered a pizza at Dominos and they were late. I had to wait, to get a free one.”

“Nobody told me I had to get up. My husband was out all night with a bimbo. And he usually wakes me up.”

“My cell phone was on charge and I had to wait to get a signal.”

“The state police were next door. I think my neighbor croaked. I had to wait to see if he did, or if he killed that #%@% wife of his.”

“I had to catch a bus. From NJ. I went out last night, ended up in Jersey, and couldn’t find my car.”

“Late? Why? I thought my hours changed to start at noon.”

“Hey Bro, I am never late. Your clock must be wrong.”

“My cat puked. You don’t know what it is like, having a cat puke.”

“A squirrel got in. And he brought a few friends with him. I had to coax them out the door with peanuts. But….I didn’t have any peanuts, so I had to go to the store. And when I got back, the squirrels were in the freezer and I had to thaw them out, to feed them.”

“I got dressed, got in the car, and realized I hadn’t washed my hair. I have to wash my hair. So I went back inside, and the car took off without a driver. I had to call a cab. When the cab showed up, I found my car. It was in the pond. I called a tow truck. The cab left and the tow truck driver told me the car was water logged. I called a plumber. He told me that he didn’t do plumbing on cars. I called 911. They told me I was a nut case. I called my brother. He was pissed. I hadn’t talked to him for the past 24 years. I walked to work and I live 40 miles away. Is it 5 oclock yet?”

“Late? I am late? Just what do you mean by late? Time is relative. I am here, so what’s the beef? I mean, look man, I showed up, and every time a bell rings, an angel poops his pants. So, unless you want the details, I would suggest we don’t go there.”

“Oh no you don’t. Don’t accuse me of being late. I am here, on time, every day, ready to serve. What time did you show up? I was here at 5am. I took an early lunch, from 8-9. And it is only 845, so I will see you in 15 minutes.”

“I had a dream, that I had retired. Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real? By the time I came back to reality, I didn’t give a damn. I decided to come in late and put my papers in. I am retiring. Yes, I know I have only been here 2 weeks. What? I am not eligible? I can’t believe that the benefits here suck.”

“Hey there. Yeah I am late. So what? It isn’t like I am late every day. Huh? Yes, I just started yesterday. So maybe we ought to talk. Like what other openings do you have?”



Emails. We all get them. But….when they become a give and take of barbs and nasty comments, well, I just get angry.

For instance, this exchange of at least 20 emails happened today, between customer service people, both who work in the same company.
I will call them A and B, for obvious reasons.

A: Good morning. I have submitted 8 print orders. Our customer is asking when they will be completed. They are all urgent. Can you give me the best date for completion?

B: I don’t know what you mean. I have been on vacation. I just returned today. So I have no knowledge of these orders.

A: Here are the items that need to be printed. Can you check and let me know?

B: If you submitted the orders, what date did you put for completion?

A: I gave them a week to be finished. Can you expedite? And give me the best date for completion?

B: We require 10 days. Like I mentioned, I have been on vacation. I have no knowledge of these orders.

A: I understand, but didn’t someone else take responsibility for these orders when you were gone? We need to get back to the customer.

B: Can you provide the order numbers? I will check later when I get caught up with my work.

A: Of course. Here are the order numbers.

B: I see one of these orders is not complete. You need to provide specs. We can’t work on these orders without specs.

A: But it is a repeat order. Can you just print them as you did, last month?

B: You don’t understand. Is there someone who understands what we need? We have to have specs. Please re-submit, with specs.

A: You mean you don’t have the specs from the last order? We are asking for a repeat of the same order.

B: I don’t have any knowledge of how you submit orders. Can you talk to someone who does? And resubmit?

A: Just what is it you need? To complete these orders?

B: It is obvious that you have very little knowledge of your job. We need complete specs.

A: Excuse me? I have been entering orders for many years. I resent that you are saying I have no knowledge of my job. What is it that you need to complete these orders?

B: I am not familiar with your job. You need to find out and send an updated order with complete specs.

A: Can we have a conference call? This is getting ridiculous. Can we discuss just what it is that you are missing?

B: I have just returned from vacation. I am very busy. If you want to discuss this on a call, I am available tomorrow.

A: Isn’t there any way we can talk today? This is urgent.

B: Look. Just send an updated spec. There is no need to discuss.

A: My Manager insists on a call today and is including your Manager. What time are you available?

B: Like I said, if your Manager is there, find out what is required and resubmit your orders.

At this point, there were 12 people included in the exchange of Emails, that originally started as a dialogue between 2 people. One of the co-workers, who had been included in the ongoing saga, picked up the phone and called A.

“Hi. How’s it going?”

“I am not happy. I am about to go off on B.”

“Well, I have your orders and they are only missing one detail. Do we need to trim these documents to a specified size?”

“Yes. Just like before, 6×9.”

“Super. I will note that. And you can expect all the orders to be completed by this Thursday.”

“Thanks! Can I call you in the future? With any problems?”

“Sure. And let’s make a pact. If we can’t resolve something with an email, let’s talk.”

“Thank you. My sentiments exactly.”

Communication:  Is talking old fashioned?  Outdated? Is Email really progress?  Hmmmmmm.



It was a rough week at work. Everyone was stressed to the max. On Friday, Wolf asked Minnie if she would like to go to the park and share a bottle of wine.

“Come on Minnie. I need a break. Just humor me. I have a bottle of cabernet and it is calling our names.”

“Well, I guess so. But you know I don’t drink. So what’s in it for me?”

“My company, of course. Don’t worry. I have a bottle of white birch beer for you, brewed in good ole Pennsylvania.”

“All right. But it gets dark pretty early, so let’s go now.”

The girls high tailed it to the park and sat on the bench by the river. There were several people fishing, and a local company was just finishing their picnic.

“Isn’t this great Minnie? A nice cool fall evening. Just the two of us, kicking back and enjoying the scenery.”

“Yeah. I guess.”

“Hey, you don’t happen to have a cork screw, do you?”

“What’s that?”

“A cork screw. A screw to open the bottle of wine, you idiot.”

“You have to be kidding. Why in the hell do you think I would have a cork screw? I think you have a screw or two loose, you moron.”

“Now what? I can’t open this bottle of wine without a cork screw. Have you got a knife? Or something I can use to get this damn thing open?”

“Hah! So I guess you will have to share my birch beer. So sad, Wolf. But you are a mess. If you are such a wine enthusiast, why aren’t you prepared? What a goof ball you are.”

“Don’t get fresh with me, Minnie. You know how I am on Fridays. I am exhausted. And I need my wine to relax. This is an abomination.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I said, you are screwed, Wolf.”

“Hey wait a minute. Those people leaving the park….those picnic people…they might have a cork screw. Hold on, Minnie. I am on a mission.”

Wolf approached a couple with 5 kids, packing up, and asked if they had a cork screw.

“Excuse me? Are you drinking alcohol in this park? There is no liquor allowed here. You should be ashamed of yourself….an old lady like you. Do you have a drinking problem? If so, please consider admitting yourself to a rehab center. We are members of a religious group. And we believe that alcohol is the dance of the damned.”

“Are you Christians?”

“Why? Why would you care, you old booze hound?”

“Because water was turned into wine. And my water is turning.”

“Turning? Well, let me say this, you ancient floozy. We are turning you.”


“Into the park patrol. For bringing  the forbidden juice into the park.”

The park police approached Wolf and read her the riot act. No liquor allowed in the park. $100 fine.

“Well, what if I didn’t open the bottle? What if I didn’t drink it? What if I just bought it at the store and hadn’t gone home yet? What about that?”

“Look lady. Just take your bottle and git. This is a warning. If we see you here again, with that old boozy friend of yours, you will be fined.”

Minnie overheard the conversation and stepped up to the park police.

“I will have you know, I am not what you think I am. Of all the nerve. I have half a mind to turn you in to your supervisor. Just who do you think you are calling an old boozy friend?”

Wolf put her arm around Minnie and said, “It’s ok, dear. We need to leave now. And I hope you learned your lesson. Don’t even attempt to bring liquor into this park again, sweetie, or you will be fined.”

The park patrol escorted the couple out of the park. Wolf winked at the boys and said, “Thanks guys. Don’t worry. I am bringing her back to rehab. She is a habitual offender. In and out of detox. She might look old, but the booze has destroyed her. She is actually only 30 years old.”

As they left the park, the police observed that Minnie was choking Wolf unmercifully.

The chief of park patrol remarked, “It takes a saint to deal with drunks. And all she is trying to do is to help her.”


UPS and Downs


I love calling UPS. It is always a delightful experience. Like today, for example.


“Hi. Thank you for calling UPS. Am I speaking with someone from The Blimp Society?”


“Yup. That’s me.”


“And what is your name?”


“Ms. Ima Blimp.”


“Thank you Ms. Blimp. My name is Minnie.”


“Oh? Like in Skinny Minnie?”


“I’m sorry?”


“Don’t be sorry. You are skinny and I am fat. So what are you gonna do about it?”


“Excuse me?”


“For what? For being skinny? I need help.”


“And how may I help you, Ms ah ah Blimp?”


“Well first of all, I have a tracking number. Want it?”


“Oh. Ok. What seems to be the problem? I can help you with it.”


“How do you know you can help me? I haven’t even told you what the problem is.”


“There’s a problem?”


“Yes. Do you think I would call you if there wasn’t a problem?”


“Well, no. Of course not. I can help you.”


“Can I give you the tracking number?”


“Most certainly. And what seems to be the issue?”


“What do you think the issue is? Would anyone call you if a package was delivered, as requested? This package has an ‘exception’.”


“Oh yes. I see. That package was delayed, unfortunately, due to a late train.”


“Train? Since when do you use trains for an overnight order? Have you heard of airplanes? And if you have ever lived in New York, you would never trust trains. They are always late.”


“I live in Arizona. We don’t know anything about trains.”


“So, now what, Minnie? This package was scheduled for delivery today, for a meeting. And it is somewhere in Nebraska, due to a late train.”


“Yes. Exactly. A late train. A force of nature prevented its’ timely arrival.”


“A force of nature. Ok. So can it get there today?”


“Oh my. I see it is en route to Oregon. We can guarantee delivery tomorrow.”


“What if there is a late train?”


“We cannot foresee the future. However, we will attempt delivery tomorrow.”


“But the meeting is today.”


“I understand. But I will guarantee the delivery tomorrow.”


“My dear Minnie, please stop for one minute. The meeting is today, in Oregon. The package is in Nebraska, due to a force of nature. What do you think I should tell my customer?”


“That the package will be there tomorrow. And we will issue a credit, if you file a claim, and it is accepted.”


“Do you issue credits for late trains?”


“We cannot anticipate forces of nature, so actually, no.”


“Hmmmm. Well, Minnie, just what caused the train to be late?”


“Let me take your number, Ms. Blimp. I will research it and call you within 4-8 days with an answer.”


“Can I say one more thing Minnie?”


“Of course. We welcome your comments.”


“Consider a career change, Hon. I hear FEDEX is hiring.”












Scratch Away


It was a mystery. None of the files would transfer via email to the customer. The spread sheets weren’t any different than they had been for years. Just names, addresses, order numbers….a normal report.


Day after day, for 2 weeks, the customer waited for the report. Nothing. Had anything changed? What might be the problem? The Help Desk said it was not our issue. The customer said it was not theirs. We went back to the ancient ritual of faxing the data. Not a pretty sight.


The techs scratched their heads and could not find a problem. Seems that head scratching is a highly desirable trait of all techies. When all else fails, scratch away.


The customer called our VP today. We need those reports. We don’t want them faxed. Fix the problem.


Our mission: Take another look at those spread sheets and identify the problem. Just do it.


We got on a conference call with the customer. Were they sure nothing had changed in the past 2 weeks? We could email the reports to one another, but not to them. Something had to be different.


Light bulb! Oh yes, we do have a new filter on our email. We won’t accept anything that is obscene. We scan the files for certain words and if found, the file is not transmitted.


Obscene? What could be offensive in those files?


Here is what we found:


The American Association had been abbreviated to The American Ass. Obscenity!


A customer had included a personal note in the attention line on one of the orders: “The Red Sox Suck” Obscenity!


And one of the addresses in the file included the name of the Road: Big Beaver Road. Obscene!


Guess those who work on Big Beaver Road better move.













“Good Golly Miss Molly! Where have you been Wolf?”

 “Huh? I told you, I was on leave.”

 “Leave? From what?”

 “From life, of course. I took a hiatus.”

“Why didn’t you call? Or let us know you were ok. We were worried sick.”

 “I guess you all have dementia. I told you I was taking a break from life. So why would I call? I had to find myself.”

“Did you?”

“What? Did I what?”

 “Find yourself.”

“Oh that. Yup. I have been found.”

 “And what did you find, may I ask?”

 “Well, it is a long story. But for now, I am back.”

 “Come on. Tell us. Where the hell have you been?”

 “I got a makeover. I got a tattoo. I made a pact with the devil. I ate oysters in New Orleans. I rode with the Hell’s Angels. I auditioned for Survivor and went to the South Pacific. I sky dived with George Bush. I visited Charlie Manson in prison. I lived in a box in Seattle. I pretended I was blind, got a dog and a cup and opened up shop in Baltimore. I passed the bar. I got arrested for selling root beer without a license. I stole Angelina’s identity and slept with Brad. And went to the gay bars with Shep.”

 “Shep? Shep who?”

 “Shep Smith. The news guy from Fox.”

“You are full of it. Where have you really been?”

 “None of your beeswax. It is not for publication.”

“Uh huh. You admitted yourself to the mental ward again, right?”

 “Like I said, it is none of your business.”

 “Hey Wolf. Phone call. Says it is urgent. From some gal named Sybil.”

“Tell her Wolf is indisposed. She ran away with Hannah Montana.”

 “She says that is impossible. She is Hannah Montana……well, at least some of the time. And Hannah is still at the nut house.”

 “Ask her if I can speak to Sarah Palin.”

 “She said Sarah is in Seattle, living in a box with the Hell’s angels, eating oysters.”

 “Well, well, well. Tell that nut ball Sybil that Wolf is in transit, waiting for a bus to Seattle. And that she is considering a sex change.”

 “Sybil says she can’t wait any longer. Hannah is scheduled to go on stage.”

“Thank goodness. I am exhausted.”

“Just one question. Did you really get a tattoo?”

 “Yes. I did. Want to see it?”


Wolf pulled her jeans and panties off. On her heiney, there were 3 initials: WMD

“What the hell?”

 “Eat your heart out girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrls. I have been found. Obama now has his weapon of mass destruction.”