“It was quite the day, Minnie. Not to mention the pain and suffering.”

“I assume you went to the doctor, right?”

“Oh yeah. When he came into the room and said, ‘I don’t think you will like you what I have to tell you….’ I laid down and waited for the final blow. But it seems I will live to see another day or two.”

“So what is wrong with you Wolf?”

“I have what is known in chili circles as kidney beans.”


“Kidney stones, Minnie. My kidney is loaded with the damn things. Now I have to go for tests, to verify what I already know. And I have to drink that damn cranberry juice. I offered an alternative, red wine, but all he said was, ‘nice try.'”

“Well, we all get old, Wolf, and you are no spring chicken.”

“Wait a minute, Minnie. These damn stones are no bigger than a dot, and yet, they are playing havoc with my life. I am going to blow those stones out of my system and get on with my amazing life.”


“I have heard that pregnant women will ride a horse or a roller coaster to get the kid out. And the kid is a lot bigger than a dot of a kidney stone, so tomorrow, let’s go to Dorney Park and ride, baby, ride.”

“Dorney Park is closed, you idiot, for the winter.”

“Then let’s ride, baby ride, a horse and to hell with a cowboy.”

“I think you are blowing smoke up your ass, again Wolf. You have to admit the truth, you are loaded.”


“Yeah, with kidney beans. I mean stones. And as if with all old folk, this is the beginning of the end. And quite an end, for you. Stoned. What a fitting ending for a pot head.”

“Now, wait just one minute Minnie. I refused the pain meds. I am a stoic survivor.”

“Sure you are. You are hoping Pennsylvania will legalize pot, so you can alleviate the pain with your weed of choice.”

“Oh Minnie, you soothsayer, you wise old owl, you wizard of all wizards. Let the stoning be the harbinger of good things to come.”

“Well, Wolf, I must say, you find the positive in very strange ways. But let me ask you this: What are you going to do about these stones?”

“I am gonna let them roll, girl, roll. Besides, I have hear that cranberry juice laced with Malbec is a natural cure. If the stones don’t flush, who cares?”

“That’s where we differ, Wolf. I am a realist. If I had stones, I would be concerned, worried, anxious, and devastated.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. The eternal pessimist, that’s what you are. And then there is that blue hair.”

“Wolf, are you ok?”

“Let’s just say that I as long as I am feeling the pain, I am still alive and kicking.”

“What’s that in your glass? Cranberry juice?”

“Yes, Minnie, cranberry juice.”



Lay lady lay

“What are you doing now Wolf?”

“I’m writing a song. A love song. A true classic love song.”

“I didn’t know you were a song writer. Let’s hear it.”

“She came in late. I knew she had had a date. She was blinded by the light. It was the magic in the night. He brought a bottle of wine. They both said it was mighty fine. Now she stumbles through the day, wondering if she will forget the lay.”

“Hey wait a minute. This is getting too graphic. Keep it clean Wolf.”

“What’s wrong with my love song? After all, a man, a woman, a love affair, a bottle of wine, and the ultimate ending?”

“Knock it off, Wolf. No love song refers to a lay.”

“What about Lay Lady Lay? Or Layla? Or Lay your head upon my pillow? Same thing.”

“Start over. After all, try to be discreet.”

“Oh Minnie, have you grown so old that you have forgotten the true meaning of love?”

“You make it sound like it is all about….lust…..or worse, sex.”

“Ok. Here’s your version. They had a secret date. She thought, Is this my fate? He thought, Is she my soul mate? They both said, Who cares? Let’s get it on.”

“That is the worst song I have ever heard.”

“Wrong Minnie. No matter what you may try, when you are in love, the truth can fry. You no longer give a rip or care. It’s all in letting it bare.”

“You are a raving lunatic, Wolf. That’s not love.”

“When you are in love, you want to twist and shout. Tell the world what love is all about. Let the rest of the world go to hell. You just want to crow and ring the bell.”

“Are you drawing from your experience, Wolf?”

“Hell, yes. I once was a princess, when I was a young thing. He gave me his promise and then a diamond ring. I told him I wanted a mate for life. He said ok, but he had a wife. I told him ok, but how about today? And he said, Ok lady, lay lady lay.”

“That’s it, Wolf. This is not reality. It’s dumb. Stupid. Kid stuff.”

“I prefer to think of my dear Meatloaf, Minnie.”

“What the hell?”

“If you heed the warning, wait til he gives you an answer in the morning.”

“What? You mean the answer to Do you love me? Will you love me forever? Will you make me your wife?”

“Yeah. And if not, can you please pass the grey poupon?


Ain’t that sweet?

“I think I will send out Valentine cards this year, to my co-workers.”

“That’s sweet of you, Wolf.”

“Yeah. I am sweet. I am writing E’s now. Listen to this: My dear E, you were once the belle of the bunch, but now the Wolf is eating your lunch.”

“What the hell?”

“It’s figurative, Minnie. It means I stole all her boyfriends.”

“For stupid.”

“Here’s Oscar’s: My dear Oscar, Roses are red, violets are blue, did you know your RFP is overdue?”

“That is not one bit nice.”

“And for Babs: My dear Babs, There was a purple princess who worked with the boys, they all loved her dearly…. Just kidding.”

“Why Wolf, why?”

“I love fairy tales. Here’s one for Wawa. My dear Wawa, Once upon a time, the water cooler was handy. But it’s gone now, so you better switch to candy.”

“These are so ridiculous.”

“Now, JC: My dear JC, in honor of Valentine’s day, your wish will come true. I am taking you out back and shooting you too.”


“For Beaver: My dear Beaver, I love your beaver, it gives me a fever.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“For Pat: My dear Pat, Just wondering why are you smiling a lot? Is it love, wine or good old pot?”

“Here’s one for you Wolf: You think your valentines are oh so fine, but in my opinion, they have crossed the line. I think you should consider this as a sign, that you should give up the valentines and stick to the wine.”

“Now you’re talking Minnie. That is the best valentine ever!”


Don’t forget to take your pill

“What’s the best food to eat to enhance your libido, Wolf?”

“What the hell kind of question is that from a shriveled up weenie of a woman?”

“I may be old, but I haven’t lost it, Wolf. Just answer the question, please.”

“Oysters, Minnie.”

“I hate the taste of oysters.”

“You idiot. You don’t taste oysters, you just slide them in and swallow.”

“I don’t even like looking at them. Gross. So what other options do I have?”


“Get serious. I have a date tonight, and I want to feel the chemistry.”

“Where are you going?”

“To dinner, at the Senior Citizen club. They have an orchestra and dancing, and it is an alcohol free event.”

“Forget it, Minnie. You are doomed. You really should reconsider going to this so called event. Why don’t you invite the old fogie over for oysters and a few bottles of Shiraz and watch a good movie?”

“Like what movie?”

“I hear there are reruns of the walking dead on TV, for starters.”

“You are no help whatsoever.”

“Ok, then rent a great movie, like To Dance with the white dog, or Cocoon.”

“Forget it, Wolf. Those movies depress the hell out of me. Don’t you have a dvd of Debbie does Dallas?”

“Geez Minnie. You are hell bent on getting it on, eh? How old is this mystery date, anyway?”

“He’s just a youngster, 60 years old. But he has no idea that I am older than he is.”

“You shameless hussy! You are 16 years his senior.”

“But I am a young looking 76.”

“Ok, Minnie, whatever you say. In my opinion, he must be deranged, to ask you out after taking a look at your blue haired perm.”

“You’re just jealous. I intend to live it up tonight. After all, you only live once.”

“You’re right, Minnie. Go for it. Just remember to take the pill.”

“Pill? You mean a birth control pill?”

“No, the beano pill. Oysters cause excessive gas.”


Handling stress

“How do you know when you have too much stress in your life, Wolf?”

“Get outta town, Minnie. Stress is self inflicted.”

“You mean you never experience any stress? You never have a stressful day?”

“Well, my idea of stress is probably different from yours. There is work related stress, personal stress and physical stress. But they all come down to one thing: mental issues.”

“Yeah, ok, but when you are under the gun at work, with deadlines and problems piling up, what do you do?”

“I talk to E.”

“What the hell?”

“She reminds me that I am not a doctor and that anything I do is not life threatening. So I do what I can and go have a drink after work to settle my nerves.”

“What about when you are not feeling well? And you know you should see a doctor. How do you cope with that?”

“I talk to Banana. She has at least 30 terminal diseases on any given day and she never goes to the Doctor. Then I stop after work, have a drink and settle my nerves.”

“What about personal issues, marital problems, financial difficulties, stuff like that. Then what?”

“I talk to Oscar. She claims to have all those kinds of things, regularly, and she always chooses to say the hell with everything, except, of course for the cats.”


“She puts them first. She spent all her money on a cat operation last year. She prioritizes. After talking to her, I stop for a drink, after work, to calm my nerves.”

“Don’t you ever have mental issues?”

“Sure. When I do, I talk to JC. After a short conversation with her, watching her eat those damn bananas, I figure I am pretty normal, so I stop after work, and have a drink to settle my nerves.”

“What about personal relationship stress? What do you do for that?”

“I talk to Pat. She just smiles, wiggles, and tells me the secret to a happy relationship is being short, blonde and cute. After that, I stop after work, have a drink and settle my nerves.”

“Do you ever have an issue that you can’t discuss with anyone?”

“Sure, but when I do, I stop after work….”

“Hold it. I know what you are going to say. You have a drink to settle your nerves.”

“No, Minnie. I have several. And then I spill my guts to the bartender.”

“Like a bartender is going to care about your personal issues?”

“Yeah, you’re right. But by then, my nerves have settled down, and I go home and get on facebook and share all those secrets with the world.”

“You mean you write when you are half in the bag?”

“Yeah, Minnie, and I have a drink when I writing….. to settle my nerves.”


It’s so cold….

“I need comfort food, Wolf. It’s so cold that I need to feel the love.”

“I like that. Let’s play. It’s so cold…..”


“You are supposed to finish the sentence.”

“Ok, It’s so cold that I think I will move to Alaska to warm up.”

“Dumb. Here’s mine: It’s so cold, I opened a warm beer and by the time it got to my mouth, it was frozen solid.”

“It’s so cold that my teeth were chattering.”

“Big deal.”

“But they were my false teeth, and they were sitting on the bathroom counter.”

“Ok. A little better. It’s so cold, that a grizzly bear sneaked into the house and borrowed my fur coat.”

“That wasn’t a grizzly bear, that was me.”

“It’s so cold that Al Gore held a press conference to say it was really Tipper who came up with the global warming thing. And then he froze up.”


“Stiff as a board Minnie, but then he always was an uptight mess.”

“You are really getting way out there now, Wolf.”

“It’s so cold that I had to give in and wear underwear today.”

“Oh, for crazy.”

“It’s so cold that the neighborhood flasher wore sweat pants under his trench coat.”

“How do you know?”

“I looked.”

“What the hell?”

“Yeah, after he bought me a drink at the pub.”

“You mean you actually look at what he is flashing?”

“Sure. I love a good laugh.”

“Well, I hate to mention it, but it’s so cold, your wine is chilled, and you hate chilled wine.”

“Yeah, it’s a bitch, ain’t it Minnie? The things we have to put up with in winter.”

“Hmm. It doesn’t seem to bother you. I thought you would be a raging bull.”

“While we were playing this game, Minnie, I turned on the electric blanket and tucked a few bottles of cabernet under it.”

“Don’t you think you should share that electric blanket? It’s so cold, I need it more than your bottles of cab.”

“Ok. You win. Can you retrieve those 2 bottles of cabernet and then you can have it.”

“Thanks Wolf!”

“As long as you don’t mind sharing the blanket with a few bottles of malbec.”


I love your hat

“You know, Wolf, you really look ridiculous in that panda hat. It’s a kid’s hat, not a hat for an old bag. Don’t you think you should try to be more dignified?”

“Why? You would not believe the number of people, strangers who comment on my hat. Some of them even stop by and pet it.”

“Don’t you realize that people are making fun of you, snickering behind your back, wondering if you have gone looney?”

“Hell, Minnie, I have always been a slightly deranged maniac. Besides, I like it. It keeps my head and ears warm.”

“I have to say this Wolf. When we went grocery shopping the other day, the looks that you got from normal, decent people were quite embarrassing. I saw the raised eyebrows, the shaking of the heads, the muffled laughter. I wanted to climb into a hole.”

“You don’t climb into a hole Minnie. You climb a tree, or a wall, but not a hole. Besides, didn’t you hear that guy ask me where I got the hat? He wanted to get one for his niece. And the woman who almost ran into me with her car? She rolled down her window and said, “I love your hat.”

“Those were the few and far between, Wolf. Most people are appalled at your audacity.”

“Not at the pub, Minnie. I get more drinks now from strangers than the most popular bimbo.”


“Yeah. The bar flies see an old lady walk in with a kid’s panda hat on her head and they think that I have dementia, and they laugh like crazy. And then, when they realize that that I may be slightly off kilter, their guilt kicks in. I have to fight my way out of the bar, before I get a dozen more drinks lined up.”

“Are you saying that you wear this hat to get drinks?”

“Of course not. I would never be that calculating.”

“When winter is over, then what?”

“Never mind Minnie. I have that covered.”


“I have an oyster hat that I got at the Jersey shore.”

“What the hell?”

“Oh Minnie. You should see it. The eyes pop out of the shell. It is a hoot.”

“Disgusting, Wolf. Will you ever grow up?”

“I hope not, Minnie. I really hope not.”



“Yikes, what a cold day it was. Did you see that in Duluth, Mn, it will be -25 degrees tonight.”

“Yup. I saw it, Minnie. Let me tell you what it’s like to live in Duluth in January and February. The furnace never stops running. You have to plug your car into a heater if you want it to start in the morning. You hope it doesn’t snow when it is that cold, or you know you will be stranded for days, if not weeks. The ships in Lake Superior get stuck in the ice until March. If you work downtown, and have to drive into town, forget it. You will never make it. You will either end up crashing into a house or the lake. You long for the warmer days when the temps get to a roaring high of 60 degrees, in August.”

“Oh come on. It can’t be that bad. People still live there, don’t they?”

“Most of them are old and retired, Minnie. We youngsters left years ago.”

“Youngsters? Are you saying you are one of the youngsters?”

“35 years ago, Minnie. I felt like I was old when I left, in 1978. I needed to see if there was life after the ice age.”

“Well, it isn’t that great tonight, in Pennsylvania. The winds are howling, the temps are dipping and the cats won’t go out.”

“Piece of cake, Minnie. To me, those years in the North land formed my character. I am a dyed in the wool Viking who survived my young years, and am now living my dream.”

“Your dream? It is a bitter night. What kind of dream is that?”

“Well, there is something about a down quilt and a flannel nightie that defies the cold. It’s cozy. And then when we are having spring, in March, Minnesotans will experience another 2 months of winter. They only have 2 seasons, winter and summer. And the summer is subject to opinion. I prefer the 4 seasons.”

“Are you telling me you enjoy this time of year? Be honest.”

“Actually, yes. I do. It’s an invigorating time of year. It’s challenging, for sure, but it has its own beauty.”

“You are really something else Wolf. Everyone is complaining about this horrible cold streak.”

“And in August, everyone complains about the heat and humidity. I think we ought to just go with it, and enjoy it. Besides, does the weather really matter?”

“Then why did you leave Minnesota, if the weather doesn’t really matter?”

“I had to Minnie. The Minnesota Vikings can’t win a super bowl.”


The night that changed my lfe forever

“Thank goodness you are home at a decent hour, Wolf. It is supposed to snow.”

“Oh yeah? Well, it hasn’t started yet. And guess what? If it had started snowing, I wouldn’t be home. I would be stuck in the flourishing blizzard of the predicted one inch of snow.”

“Well, aren’t you the brave heart tonight? You hate driving in snow.”

“Yup. That’s why I moved from the north woods of Minnesota to the black ice capital of Pennsylvania.”

“I don’t know about you Wolf, but I am tired of winter already.”

“What winter? Did I miss it?”

“Don’t be a wise ass, Wolf. The coldest weather of the season is on its way. It will be brutal.”

“Have I ever told you how I used to walk to school in January and February, in Minnesota, 4 miles one way, in 30 below temps? I remember I had swimming classes at 4pm, and came home with icicles in my hair.”

“Nobody wants to hear about those old sea stories, Wolf. The past is gone. If you chose to live in Minnesota, in your youth, then you deserved to be frozen.”

“I didn’t choose it, Minnie, but I did survive. I can remember the worst storm of all. It was Dec 3rd, around 1968. It started to rain. Actually, it poured. And then the temperature dropped to below zero. Then the snow started. I was working at the phone company, until 11pm. When we tried to open the door, it was blocked by 4 inches of ice. The phone company put us youngsters up at a hotel. We could hardly wait. Party time! We slid our way down to the Black Bear Hotel, hungry as black bears. And much to our chagrin, the hotel had closed its bar, and its restaurants. It was that night that changed my life forever.”


“I never travel anywhere without reinforcements. If I get stuck somewhere, in Minnesota, in a blizzard, or in Pennsylvania, in a one inch snow storm, I am prepared.”

“Don’t tell me. This is all about the case of wine you have stashed in your car, isn’t it?”

“Minnie, Minnie, Minnie. How brilliant you are. Of course it is.”

“And that has changed your life? What the hell?”

“Look at it this way. You sit here, at home, worrying about the snow. I am out in the wicked, wild, snow storm, braving the elements. You have nothing to worry about. You don’t have to go anywhere. I slip and slide into the nearest watering hole and wait for the storm to pass. Hence, by the way, I hate that word hence, I also have nothing to worry about. If the storm subsides, I continue on my journey. If the storm decides to bring on its’ worse, I break out my stash and invite my fellow bar flies to join me in celebrating mother nature’s wrath. Either way, it’s a winning situation.”

“Don’t you ever worry about anything Wolf?”

“Of course I do. If we have a snow storm on the weekend, I will be stuck here with you.”


What’s in your closet?

“I hope you are ready for a cold week ahead, Wolf.”

“And just how does one prepare for a cold week?”

“You get your woolies out of the closet.”

“I can’t. There are too many skeletons in there.”

“You’re going to be sorry if you wear one of those skimpy outfits this week.”

“Right Minnie. I am well known for wearing next to nothing to work.”

“Just giving you fair warning. The temps are dipping into the single digits tomorrow, and no warm up in sight.”

“Isn’t that bizarre, Minnie? After all, it is January, the coldest month of the year. But thanks for sharing that, you moron.”

“And you better not stop for drinks after work. Alcohol is the worst thing you can put in your system in the deep freeze. You could be frozen solid by the time you drive home.”

“Why thank you Minnie. I really appreciate your nagging concern for my welfare. When I get home tomorrow, if you don’t recognize the abominable ice cube standing by the door, open it so I can get in and thaw out, ok?”

“It’s not funny. If you stay outdoors for more than a few minutes, you could be in serious danger of frost bite.”

“Outdoors? I don’t plan to go to an outside pub. Besides, I could never make it home without stopping for a few glasses of wine. I have a severely high stress level.”

“What stress do you have?”

“For one, coming home and being welcomed by the ice queen, you.”

“What else?”

“I’m stressed out because I can’t wear my skimpy outfits.”

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


“Can you at least promise me to take an emergency kit with you, in the car?”
“I already have one of those.”

“Really? What’s in it?”

“Essentials. In case I break down.”


“A bottle of wine and a bag of weed.”

“That is so stupid.”

“Not for me. If I am going to succumb to the frigid weather, I am going out on my terms.”

“You should be ashamed of yourself. In the olden days, you would have been punished…stoned to death.”

“Ah yes, the good old days. I guess you could say I am just an old fashioned girl.”