Quit trying to be funny

“Well, Minnie, now that I will soon be another year older, I am turning over a new leaf. I am making changes to my life.”

“It’s about time.”

“Yes, I will no longer drink white wine.”

“Oh for stupid. You don’t even like white wine.”

“I will be a nicer person.”

“Thank God!”

“Shut up, you idiot.”

“So much for that.”

“I will not communicate with those who are grouchy, deranged or drunk.”

“Hmmm. That means you will have no one to talk to at work.”

“I will modify my diet, to include more greens.”

“Hooray! Salads!”

“No, green M & Ms and more limes in my margaritas.”

“You are not changing, you are getting worse.”

“I will not buy a dozen bottles of wine every week.”


“I will buy those big fat bottles instead, and only buy 6.”

“Ridiculous. That’s what you are.”

“I will not complain.”

“Right, Wolf, sure you won’t.”

“That’s what I dislike about you Minnie. You are always putting me down. I really hate it when people….”


“I will make all my co-workers happier.”

“No kidding? When are you retiring?”

“And finally, I will quit playing hard to get.”

“Oh brother. Why don’t you add one more?”


“You will quit trying to be funny. We’re all wise to your antics.”

“Ok. I will quit trying to be funny. I will be hilarious.”




“If you had a choice, which would you choose? Being hot or being cold?”

“There is no choice, Wolf. It is summertime. It is hot.”

“I am not asking you that, Minnie. I am asking you which you prefer.”

“All right. OK. Let’s say it is February. It is 10 degrees. It is snowing. The furnace runs all day and all night, non stop. There is very little sun. You are freezing. You wear long johns and sweaters and parkas. You long for a summer day. The wind is ferocious. Your car won’t start. You are stuck at home. You curse the winter.”


“Now, it is July. The heat is on. You dread going outside. You hate sweating. The grass is dead. The air conditioning is annoying. It runs day and night, non stop. You can’t take your dog with you to the grocery store. You get up early to go shopping. You know your car will overheat if you wait til noon. The air quality is dangerous. You curse the summer.”

“Yeah, so? Which one do you prefer?”

“If I had my druthers, I would live in Florida in the winter and Minnesota in the summer.”

“But you don’t. You live in Pennsylvania. My question is why?”

“Good point. I guess it is because I like the 2 seasons.”

“You goof. There are 4 seasons. You forgot spring and fall.”

“I haven’t seen a spring or a fall in Pennsy in at least 40 years. It’s either hot or cold.”

“Exactly. So which is it Minnie? Winter or summer?”

“In July, I long for snow and in February, I can’t wait for the heat.”

“Just what I thought. You are never satisfied. Always looking for nirvana. And no answer to my question.”

“I don’t have an answer. I only know I love Pennsylvania and its challenges.”


“Do you know of a better place to live?”

“ I don’t. Pennsy is a beautiful state. And the people are wonderful. I decided to live here 20 years ago. And you know what?”


“I wouldn’t change a thing about this state. Turn off the ac. Let’s go outside and sweat. February will get here soon enough.”



“For a hot day, I bet you were happy you could dress casually today, Wolf.”

“Yup. The whole place looked comfy and casual, except, of course, for JC. She wore her wedding dress to work, with no shoes.”

“What the hell? Her wedding dress?”

“Yes, a lovely black number with a flowing cape. It was knee length, so it was quite a nice contrast to the white legs and bare feet.”

“Why did she get all gussied up?”

“She marches to a different drummer.”

“Did Oscar seem much happier after her night out with the Cougars?”

“Don’t go there, Minnie. I could tell it was gonna be a challenging day. I bopped in this morning, said, ‘good morning, Pattie,’ and all she did was grunt. And it was not a nice grunt. Very disturbing, indeed.”

“At least you had E to comfort you.”

“No, E is not feeling well, so I had to deal with either the twisted sister or the mad woman of LaMancha.”

“Was Donna there?”

“Now that is another story. She is on a binge, cuz her grand kids like Pop Pop better than Wa Wa. She was crying in her beer… excuse me… her jack, all day.”

“Well, you can always depend on Pat, right?”

“Oh Minnie. My goodness. You know it was 100 degrees today, right? Well, I had the good fortune to run into Pat around 3pm today and she was wrapped up in a sweater, shivering her little heiney off.”

“Is she sick? Or what?”

“The poor thing has no meat on her bones. She doesn’t eat, she juices. And I have a feeling she needs a good t bone, to shake her back into reality.”

“I certainly hope today was better for you. I know you had a rough week.”

“Yes, I did get a lot accomplished. I even got all my billing done.”

“Nice going. Good initiative.”

“Not really. You see, Art borrowed Bab’s cane, and threatened to beat my hide if I didn’t pull through and complete my billing.”

“Well, hat’s off to Art.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“There are 3 things that motivate people: Fear of not being right, fear of not winning and fear of being unliked.”

“So what’s that got to do with Art beating my hide?”

“He knows you have a 4th motivating factor, unlike others.”

“What’s that?”

“Fear of having to work overtime, to get your work done…. And missing happy hour.”


Why I quit drinking

“I need to talk Minnie.”

“Please, Wolf. Never talk when you are half in the bag.”

“I am not half in there. I am in the bag.”

“Hmmm, a bag within a bag.”

“That reminds me of something that was said today. JC said I was a bag, or something like that. She always says stuff like that when she is in a good mood.”

“Honesty is the best policy.”

“Do you have a few minutes, Minnie? I really need a shoulder to cry on.”

“Go ahead. Talk your ass off.”

“About what?”

“You said you needed to talk.”

“Oh yeah. Do you remember your first kiss, Minnie?”

“Oh please. No. I don’t. I can’t even remember my last kiss, but
“I think it was when I told you to kiss my ass.”

“Did I?”

“Did you what?”

“Kiss it?”

“Next question, please.”

“I can remember my first kiss like it was yesterday.”

“Uh huh.”

“It was a kid in the first grade. He grimaced when I kissed him and told him I was going to marry him. I wonder what happened to my first love.”

“Look him up on face book.”

“Naw. He is probably old now. I hate old people.”

“So what is this all about anyway? You said you needed to talk.”

“Yeah. Do you remember your second kiss Minnie?”

“This conversation is going nowhere. What’s your point Wolf?”

“I have a confession to make. I cannot for the life of me, remember that second kiss. Do you think I am a floozie?”

“You are really pushing it Wolf. Yes. Definitely, you are the mothers of all floozies.”

“Can we talk Minnie?”

“Would it matter if I said no?”

“Do you think I would ask you to talk if it wasn’t important?”

“Oh definitely not. This has to be a life changing moment.”

“Exactly, Minnie. I’m here for you. Now, what was it you wanted to talk about?”


Get out of that freezer

“Oh yes, it’s ladies night, and the feeling’s right. Oh yes, it’s ladies night, Oh what a night!”

“Hello Wolf. I guess you stopped after work with the girls?”

“No, Minnie. With the Cougars. And it was a delightful evening.”

“Who showed up?”

“Kimber. Geez, she looked bad. Tan, rested, gorgeous.”

“What the hell? That is bad?”

“Oh yeah. Oscar and I like the frazzled look. We don’t even have to sit out in the sun to look like we do. We just show up everyday at work and wait for ladies night.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Oscar and I have a shared vision. Get beat up every day and then on Thursday night, go out and soak up the tequila. The transition is amazing. We crawl into the pub looking like the walking dead, and after a couple of margaritas, we are swinging from the chandeliers.”

“Well, you don’t look so hot right now.”

“Thanks. I think it was because we ate. Those damn wings. We flew for awhile, like angels, and then our tired old wings stopped flapping and we fell to the ground.”

“Maybe your wings stopped flapping, but it certainly didn’t affect your mouth.”

“You are absolutely correct. Next time, no wings.”

“Wolf, what are you doing?”

“I am putting a few beers in the freezer. JC says liquor never freezes.”

“Beer cans freeze, you dope. And then they explode.”

“So what? I love to see science in action. Did you know that your mouth will explode if you put your head in the micro wave?”

“Oh for crying out loud. What a stupid statement. What would make you say something like that?”

“JC nuked her head and look at her. Holes everywhere.”

“Wolf, have you ever thought about how silly you sound when you drink margaritas?”

“If you think I am silly, the silliest is E. And that is before she even has a drink.”

“Why don’t you try to maintain a sense of dignity in your old age?”

“What? And end up like Mary Cat? No way!”

“Ok Wolf. You better check the freezer.”


“Donna found out you had beer in there and she crawled in. I think she just exploded.”

“I don’t think so. When I put the beer in the freezer, I noticed Pat was in there, eating sprouts. I don’t think both of them could fit in that freezer.”

“Oh yeah? Well, la de da. JC’s husband was in there too. So there!”

“Doing what?”

“Playing computer games and hiding from JC.”

“Go to bed Wolf.”


We love you Gail

“I just can’t help thinking about Gail.”

“What happened to her?”

“She is moving to Jersey. Doggone it anyway. There is no one else like Gail.”

“Tell me about her.”

“Words can’t really describe her. Those who don’t know her, wouldn’t believe me anyway. She is too good to be true….just a remarkable woman.”

“Does she know how good she is?”

“No, Minnie. She doesn’t. She just doesn’t realize how much she positively affects other people.”

“Have you told her how you feel?”

“Of course. When she enters a room, the warmth and love exude from her. Everyone wants to hug her, to let her know how she has affected their lives, but she just doesn’t get it.”

“I wonder why that is.”

“It’s not in her nature, Minnie. She gives everything, but asks little, She shares her love, but doesn’t expect anything in return. She takes care of those who are needy, and never has a complaint about her life. She is almost a saint.”


“Yeah. She bakes, Minnie. And readily shares the goodies. Fabulous. But she rarely indulges.”

“That shows how giving she is.”

“Yeah, I guess. But Gail is the reason my pants don’t fit anymore. Darn her.”


A polarizing day

“Whew. Wednesday. What a day!”

“Good one, Wolf?”

“Not exactly how I would describe it: More like draining, overwhelming, drudgery and laughter.”

“Where did the laughter sneak in?”

“It was so pitiful, that all I could do was laugh. You know, Minnie, when you can’t laugh at something, you are taking it too seriously.”

“Oh boy. Here we go with another epistle on life and living.”

“The key to life is to take the problems in stride. Relax, live in the moment, take risks, express your feelings when they happen and laugh like hell when your co-workers act like idiots.”

“OK, who was the butt of your jokes today?”

“Let’s begin with the dancing polar bear. You’ve been to the circus, right? Is dancing a natural trait of the beast? Of course not. And do you really believe the dancing is reflective of the bear’s mood? When the dancing is over, have you ever noticed how the trainer scoots the bear off the stage? Why do you think that happens?”

“I guess to make sure the bear doesn’t get goofy and eats someone.”

“Right. And our polar bear was on her conference calls, dancing and performing like a well trained puppet. And when the call ended, she took a bow and immediately exploded in a polarizing rage. Her co-workers shivered in terror.”

“Don’t get so dramatic.”

“Well, it affected our E something fierce. She had to find an escape. So she decided to call UPS several dozen times today, to track a package. She seemed to enjoy it. She retreated into the world of anonymous UPS customer service, where she could cajole, complain, demand, and escalate, all without the fear of a bear attack.”

“What about JC? She doesn’t strike me as someone afraid of bears.”

“You got that right. She blinked those baby blues and shook that red hair, threw out some bait and dared the bear to invade her privacy.”


“Are you kidding? JC is scarier than any bear.”

“I see you survived. How did you manage that?”

“I hid behind JC.”


Do not mention the “P” word

“Well, how did the meeting go today, Wolf?”

“Actually, it was great!”

“Wow! What happened?”

“The guests were 2 people I had worked with 9 years ago at the Delusional Insurance Company. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see them and reminisce.”

“Did you behave yourself?”

“Heck no. It was a lively, fun meeting. And although we got a lot accomplished, we caught up on what has happened and laughed until we cried.”

“I suppose you were out of the office for several hours, at the meeting.”

“Yes, and I was buried with work when I got back. But that wasn’t the worst part. I had to go back and face the black hole.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My roomies. I took one look at JC and immediately knew she had forgotten to take her anti psycho drugs. She was dressed as Elvira and had this wicked look in her eyes. Very disturbing. And E had a devilish streak today, and didn’t even care that her pants fell off.”


“Yup. I kept thinking about that song on American Idol, Pants on the ground, pants on the ground.”

“And Oscar?”

“Don’t even mention that name to me, Minnie. She was beaten down, broken hearted, miserable and mean as a snake, but quite lovable in spite of it all.”

“She must be working on those proposals again.”

“Yes, but she has forbidden us to mention the “P” word. If anyone mentions proposals, she goes into a wild and crazy version of “What is Love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me….”

“Did you run into Pat?”

“No, she was missing in action. And there ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.”

“How about Donna?”

“I only saw her once and she was wandering around, singing 99 bottles of Jack on the wall.”

“Have you heard from Babs?”

“Yes, I did hear from her today. She heard that my attitude needed adjusting, and that soon, she would be back to work. And I better change my attitude or else.”

“Or else what?”

“That beatings will continue until morale improves.”


Found and lost

“What ever happened to what’s his name?”


“You know, that real hunky kid that worked with me.”

“You think all the guys are hunky. What was he like?”

“You know, hunky and dory and into horses.”

“Oh, you mean Ron. He went back to Virginia. He is hanging out down there taking pictures. And studying the weather.”

“I wonder if he misses us.”

“He might miss the people, but….”

“And that other kid, you know, the Minnesota Viking fan, Jonathan. We all loved him. Where is he anyway?”

“He is living the good life. He probably has everyone under his thumb.”

“It isn’t the same without those two.”

“Don’t forget Frankie boy.”

“Oh, I don’t. Nobody can take his place. The post office folded after he left.”

“You sure have lost a lot of good people, haven’t you?”

“Yes. And Kimber. I miss her terribly. She was such a delight. And those Tweety bird eyes!”

“What about JT?”

“He is taking my favorite bakery with him to Jersey. Darn it. What a loss!”

“You must remember Guy and Andra, Ray and Ray, Pete and Alice, Danielle, Sonia, Bob, Ash, Nicole, Pete, Heather, Michelle, Nick, Mary, Annie, LeyDalis, Mike, Scott, Mary Ellen, Dat, Doug, and now Rosa.”

“Oh yes! And so many more.”

“How do you cope with all the losses, Wolf?”

“It hasn’t been easy. I had to learn how to adjust.”


“I tuck their memories into my mind, and wish them all the best.”

“Is it worth it? Getting to know and care about these people only to lose them?”

“Lose them? No, Minnie. They aren’t lost. They have moved on. It is I who is lost.”


When did the elephant cross the road?

“The first day of the work week, Minnie. Quite a day.”

“Heck, you say that everyday.”

“This one was different. It started out at 8am. Banana was in the ER, her dog was in the doggy ER, MC had that divertic thing back, my right leg caught elephantitis…”

“Wait. Elephantitis?”

“Yes, my right leg is twice the size of my left leg. If you look at my left leg, you think: Chicken Butt. And if you happen to glance at that enormous right leg, it is definitely elephant disease.”

“Did you call the doctor?”

“I got his answering machine. It said, “Go to the ER. Or call me later.”

“Well, did you go?”

“Heck no. I ate a handful of pistachios and got one caught in my throat. I had the mother of all coughing spells. I had to hang out in the ladies room yakking on the shell.”

“You seem to be ok now. Let me look at that leg.”

“Since when did you get your doctorate? Forget it Minnie. I have other issues.”

“Like what?”

“I have that meeting tomorrow. I think I will wear a grey outfit, and bleat. If they think I am an elephant, maybe I will get a nice lunch.”

“What if they only see the chicken leg?”

“Then I will get the left overs.”

“Wolf, don’t you take anything seriously?”

“Sure I do. I am concerned about Banana’s dog. He can’t stop throwing up.”

“What did the Vet say?”

“Quit feeding him pork chops and corned beef.”

“What? That is not a good diet for a dog.”

“Yeah, but he hates dog food.”

“What about Banana? Is she ok?”

“No. She is a mess. She has a freezer full of corned beef and chops, and now what?”

“I really think you should make an appointment to see the doctor, Wolf.”

“Yeah. Ok. But if I do have elephantitis, I may quit my job.”

“You are kidding.”

“No. I will join the circus. I have always wanted a career where I can be a freak instead of a freaken puppet.”

“Why don’t you have elevate your leg Wolf? It may help.”

“Ok. Bring me a margarita. But go easy on the salt.”