The animal kingdom

“There are some sayings that I just don’t understand, Minnie.”

 

“Here we go again.”

 

“What’s it mean?  Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

 

“From what I know about horses, you shouldn’t give them an apple as a treat.  They prefer carrots.  And don’t look at them when they eat it, or they will eat you.”

 

“That makes absolutely no sense.  How about:  Never make eye contact when you eat a banana.”

 

“Bananas don’t like to be stared at.  If you buy a green one, by the time you eat it, it will turn brown. Or, if you are old, you will die before you eat it  If you do live long enough to eat a brown banana, it conjures up memories of eating ripe fruit.  Ripe fruit can be deadly, especially if you eat it while staring at a gift horse.  So, the moral of the story is don’t eat ripe bananas while you are looking at a horse, or the horse will eat you.”

 

“Oh for crazy.  I always hear this one:  Don’t poke the bear.”

 

“Bears don’t like horses. Horses hate bears.  They eat them if they are poked.”

 

“Who gets close enough to poke a bear?”

 

“No one who is still alive.”

 

“This is one that absolutely astounds me:  Less is more.”

 

“The more you have, the less you appreciate it.  Bears have nothing but a fur coat and an insane appetite for ripe bananas.  If they had a bushel of bananas, and ate them, they would turn into a monkey and eat a horse. And sell their fur on the black market. Can you imagine a naked bear?  When they hibernate in the winter, they would freeze to death. And they would be forced to look a gift horse in the mouth.”

 

“All this talk about horses and monkeys and bears, oh my!”

 

“It’s really not about any of them, Wolf.   It’s about all of us.  A gift horse?  Accept it and be thankful.  Poking the bear? Let others express themselves.  Less is more?  Quality rules over greed. Treasure what you have. Don’t give up your fur coat for a banana.”

 

“What about an apple a day keeps the doctor away?”

 

“Physician, heal thyself.”

 

“It all sounds so simple.  But life is so complicated. Sometimes, I wonder what I really want out of life.”

 

“To live, Wolf.  And to savor every moment.  However, at your age, please, don’t buy green bananas.”

 

 

Wolf

 

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Work?

“How was your Monday,Wolf?”

 

“Well, it was good.

 

I saw a red fox crossing the road.

 

And it didn’t rain.

 

Oz got a new car.

 

Banana got a boil down under.

 

I ate my lunch at 1030am.

 

E got tickets to a Giant’s game from Pork Chop.

 

Babs showed up for an MRI and no one could find a vein, so she either is a vampire in drag or just has no blood.

 

Oscar got a standing ovation, from her husband, but she would rather have one from Carl.

 

The Beav was zonked.

 

Jasmine wore 10 inch nails, I mean heels, and towered over the madding crowd.

 

Snow hates caramel.

 

Annie has a new puppet.

 

Kelly didn’t win the lottery, so I won’t be moving to Florida.

 

Pat wiggled her ass off, after another exciting weekend.

 

Gina lost another 50 pounds.

 

All in all, it was a good Monday.”

 

“Well, I don’t understand your cryptic statements, as usual. So, may I ask?  How was work?”

 

“Don.t ask, Minnie. After all, it was Monday.”

 

Wolf

 

Doing what feels good

“I heard a rumor, Wolf.  Is it true?  Are you really going to go on a trip this year?  And didn’t invite me?”

 

“Yup.”

 

“Why not?  It’s not fair that you get to go somewhere and I don’t.”

 

“Life isn’t fair, Minnie.”

 

“How come you didn’t tell me?”

 

“I didn’t have to.  You already know.”

 

“Is there a reason you didn’t ask me to go along?”

 

“Yup.”

 

“What?”

 

“I didn’t want to.”

 

“Can I ask why not?”

 

“I don’t need a pseudo mother with me on my little getaway.  I intend to live it up, go wild, party, and see the bright lights.”

 

“You do that all the time, here, at home.”

 

“Yup. But every once in awhile, I need a change of scenery.  And as I recall, you once said that a vacation for you would be a trip to a spa or resort, to hang out by the pool and read.”

 

“You mean you cant read where you are going?  Or sit by a pool?”

 

“Nope.  The closest thing to a pool where I am going is the Hudson River.”

 

“Just where are you going, anyway?”

 

“The big apple.”

 

“Why would you want to go to that crowded, overpriced, dangerous, wild city?  Just cancel it and let’s go to Ocean City.  You are all stressed out now.  You need to relax.”

 

“Nope.  I am going.  And that is that. I am ready for a bite of the apple.”

 

“Ok.  I guess I can go.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Yeah, we can go to the museums, the statue of Liberty, the …”

 

“Wait a minute.  I don’t recall inviting you. Besides, you have to stay home with the cats.”

 

“Cats can get along for a few days alone.  I will make all the plans and schedule our agenda and we will have a great time.”

 

“I already have an agenda, you goof.  It’s called spontaneity. A couple of Irish Pubs, the blue room, the 4 seasons, the Today show, the 911 memorial, and a broadway show or two.”

 

“That doesn’t sound like my kind of vacation.  I like to have everything planned.”

 

“I know you do, Minnie.  So go ahead. Make your plans, to stay home.  I have my agenda and it is called ‘do whatever feels good’.”

 

“Feels good?  Is that all you want from your vacation?  How very hedonistic!”

 

“Yup.  That’s me.  Selfish, spoiled, wild and doing what feels good.  You know what Minnie?  I can’t wait!”

 

 

Wolf

Tats

“What do you think about tattoos Wolf?”

 

“Don’t even go there, Minnie.  I refuse to comment.”

 

“Why?  Have you ever thought about getting one?”

 

“Yeah.  Across my knuckles:  I love Minnie.”

 

“Everyone is getting one, Wolf.  Why don’t we get a tiny little flower on our ankle?”

 

“Look, you goof, I have nothing against tattoos.  They are just not for me.  Besides, I hate seeing old bags with tats.  As a matter of fact, I hate seeing old bags period.”

 

“It’s all about making a statement, Wolf.  Tats are for the creative people, the risk takers, the liberals.  Are you afraid to take the plunge?”

 

“Just what are you saying?  That the non tats are some kind of social freaks?”

 

“No, they are boring and plain. They probably wear white, cotton undies. They wouldn’t dream of wearing a wild pair of leopard panties.”

 

“Hey, wait a minute.  I saw you hanging those bloomers of yours on the clothes line.  As I recall, they were white, cotton and enormous.”

 

“I don’t hang my wild panties on the line.  The neighbors might think I am a floozie.”

 

“At 70 years old?  In your dreams, you idiot.”

 

“I will have you know that I am still sexually active. I have a dozen pair of animal panties and bras.  I am a red hot mama.”

 

“Sure you are Minnie.  Too bad you haven’t had a date in 10 years.”

 

“If you didn’t know, Wolf, you don’t have to have a date to be sexually active.”

 

“Can we please change the subject?  I think I may have to throw up.”

 

“We all have our addictions, Wolf.  You are addicted to booze.  I am addicted to pleasure.”

 

“Yeah, well, go please yourself and I will open another bottle of wine.”

 

“I can’t, unless  you  happen to have some AA batteries.”

 

 

Wolf

Happy 70th birthday, Mick

“It is an historic day today, Minnie.”

 

“July 26th? What is it?  Show me your banana day?”

 

“It’s Mick Jagger’s birthday.  70 years old, and still rocking.”

 

“At least one of his songs makes sense now: Can’t get no satisfaction.”

 

“You never liked the Stones, did you Minnie?”

 

“Let’s just leave it at they are not one of my favorites.”

 

“I happen to love the Stones.  I met a gin soaked bar room queen in Memphis….”

 

“You know, Wolf, none of those guys can sing.  It was all about Mick, his mouth, and his tongue and his prancing around the stage.  I prefer the laid back types.  The ones who can sing but don’t get so goofy.”

 

“Like who?”

 

“Rick Nelson.”

 

“Who?”
“Ricky Nelson.  You know, the kid on Ozzie and Harriet. who went to the garden party.”

 

“Next.”

 

“And Barry Manilow:  I just adore the Copa Cabana.”

 

“Yeah, ok, Minnie.  Boring.  What about an exciting group?  Isn’t there any of them that gets your rocks off?”

 

“Of course.  I love ABBA, and the 5th Dimension, and my all time fav, Patti Page.”

 

“How is it that we were born in the same year, listened to the same music growing up and our taste in music is completely different?”

 

“I just happen to be more refined than you, Wolf.  I like the Carpenters, you like Bruno Mars.  I like Debbie Boone, you like the Black Keys.  I like The Mamas and the Papas, you like Collective Soul.  I like Tony Bennett., you like…. hey wait a minute, you like Tony Bennett, too, don’t you?”

 

“Yes, I do.  And I am amazed at how he keeps on singing, at 86 years old.”

 

“Do you think Mick will still be performing  when he is 86?”

 

“Well now, that is a good question.  But I think one of his songs will back fire on him.   Am I rough enough?  Am I tough enough? Am I rich enough? I’m not too blind to see.

“Huh?”

 

“Beast of burden, Minnie.  It has to change from:

I don’t need no beast of burden
I need no fussing
I need no nursing
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be”

 

“To what?”

 

“Put me out of misery.”

 

 

Wolf

 

 

 

 

 

It’s ladies night and the feeling’s right

“What you laughing about Wolf?”

 

“I’m not laughing.    My mouth has been permanently altered after a night out with the Cougars.  I laughed so hard, my damn face blew off my neck and all that’s left is a freakish frenzied frozen remnant of a mouth.”

 

“The girls were funny tonight, eh?”

 

“Very.  When Oscar, Babs and Chris walked in, they claim they couldn’t find me. A likely story.  I think they were hoping I had amnesia and forgot it was ladies night. But I was there, watching  every move they made, every guy they laid, every one they paid…..”

 

“Oh for crazy.”

 

“Then when A and E arrived, it was a love fest.  Hugs and kisses and booze, oh my!”

 

“You mean E had a drink?”

 

“Oh, she swore up and down she would not drink.  WInk, wink.  She had a raspberry thingy and then sneaked around and drank my margaritas.  Such a shame, to see that girl off the wagon again.”

 

“Did Oscar behave?”

 

“Please. She stalked me this morning, and showed up with the same outfit that I had on.  Same damn pants, same blouse, same damn hair and then, believe it or not, that same damn pocket book.  And I had to sit next to her all day.  I didn’t know if I was looking in the mirror, or if I was half in the bag and seeing double.”

 

“How was Christiana?”

 

“As devilish as ever, eating fried green beans, and giggling her ass off.  Not that she has much of an ass.  Poor thing. I wonder if she knows that a steady diet of beans can cause extreme gas and blow your ass across the room.  And she has to work tomorrow.”

 

“What’s new with A?”

 

“A still works in the weapons industry, for the Chinese.  She has long blonde hair now, weighs about 80 pounds, and wears those tight jeans.  She hangs out with alpacas and makes candles.   I have a feeling that she leads a double life.”

 

“Like what?”

 

“Weed, Minnie.  I think A is a left over hippie.   She claims those baked chips she makes are kale, but they look suspiciously like weed.”

 

“And Babs?”

 

“Oh my goodness.  Babs.  She is way out there. Gone. Over the rainbow.  She loves those antifreeze margaritas, eats cheese steaks without sauce and orders hot peppers. But… she picks them out of her sandwich and won’t eat them.  And she had the audacity to sit next to me.  She should know better than that.”

 

“What the hell does that mean?”

 

“All I have to do is look at her, and I can’t stop laughing. I blame her for my head blowing off, leaving me with this half assed, crazy, bushy tailed mouth.”

 

“Bushy tailed? What the hell did you have to eat?”

 

“My usual.  A large, sautéed, squirrel tail:  Rare.”

 

“Ridiculous, that’s what you are.  All of you.”

 

“Oh yeah.  I can’t wait for our next night out.”

 

 

Wolf

On a scale of 1 to 10…..

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how was your day, Wolf?”

 

“10.”

 

“Whoa!  That good?”

 

“All days are a 10 Minnie. We all have 24 hours every day to live, so why not make those 24 hours a 10?”

 

“Now just a cockadoodie minute.  What if the day sucked?”

 

“There are moments in every day when life sucks. So?  You can either be sucked up or suck it up.”

 

“You mean that your working day was a 10?  No issues?  No crisis? No problems?”

 

“There were plenty of those, Minnie. As you know, customer service is loaded with bear.  But, on the other hand, no issues, no job. I welcome problems.  I thrive on waiting for the next idiot to call me, to scream and holler, to rant and rave, to demand resolution.  They are waiting for me to bring instant gratification, as they hear me weeping and gnashing my teeth.”

 

“Doesn’t sound like much fun to me.”

 

“That’s because you don’t wear the customer service hat.  You have to be a misfit and an outlaw.  You bend with the wind, you follow your heart and you make decisions in the spur of the moment.  You have this insane yearning for the next disaster, so you can do your magic.  You know you may be wrong, but then, again, you may be right.  You just go with the flow and connect.  It is stimulating, challenging and endless.  But it is always a 10.”

 

“Do you like living on the edge, Wolf?”

 

“Let’s put it this way, Minnie.  You either love it or hate it.  You take the abuse and turn it around.  Your mind is always thinking about possibilities.  The ultimate prize is compromise.  Win, win.  You accept responsibility for whatever happened, and you never blame others.  You are the company, and your word is all there is.  If you don’t deliver, then you might as well kiss your ass and the customer good bye.  Customer service is under rated.”

 

“And just how do you get things turned around?”

“Me?  Hell, Minnie.  It’s the people in production who are the true heroes.  They make it happen.  I am just the faceless voice who placates the fears and anger.”

 

“Sounds to me like in reality, you are nothing but a bag of wind.”

 

“Reality?  Give me a break, girl.  It is all illusion. The first lesson in customer service:  It’s not what you say, but how you say it.  You can deliver bad news, but if you are sincere and offer solutions, you can be successful.”

 

“Then why do you drink?”‘

 

“Huh?  Don’t be an idiot.  How else do you think I have a 10 every day?”

 

 

Wolf

E quit again

“Is it true?”

 

“What now Minnie?”

 

“Did E quit?”

 

“Yes.  She quits every day.  She has this routine.  It starts with an email or a phone call.  Then the “Mother of God” statement, and she quits.”

 

“Every day?”

 

“No, some days she says she doesn’t have to quit.  She says she will get fired.”

 

“Is E unhappy?”

 

“Hell no.  She loves her job.  She just likes to quit.”

 

“I don’t get it.”

 

“Look.  It is very simple.  E comes in to work.  She has 3 suitcases that she carries in.  All of them contain her lunch.  Lettuce, broccoli, Greek yogurt and turkey burgers.  She makes her nest, logs into her email and goes wild.  That’s when the first “Mother of God” erupts from her cube. From then on, it is down hill.  She even tells us ridiculous stories about never drinking again, claiming she is on the wagon.. And then she walks over to my cube to sneak a chocolate.  She tells me I am a bad influence. And another “Mother of God” rings through the room.”

 

“Then what?”

 

“Well, she whizzes through her work like a well oiled machine.  She can do more work in a half hour than most of us do all day.  That gives her time to scrutinize her orders for her account and to raise hell if anything is out of whack.  She picks up that phone with the cord all hosed up, and sweet talks the workers into fixing the problems.  Then she quits.”

 

“Why do you think she quits so much?”

 

“It’s the drama factor, Minnie.  E has a fixation on drama. She really should have been an actress. Or a criminal lawyer. She never loses an argument, eats like a bird, is a closet drinker and has more self esteem than a cat in heat.  She is entertaining, relentless and a loyal friend.  Just don’t take her parking spot, or she will knock your block off.”

 

“Does she have any faults?”

 

“Only one, that I know of.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“Her behavior encourages craziness in her co-workers.”

 

“Like who?”

 

“Me, Minnie. When E gets on a roll, with those Mother of Gods, and quitting and slamming that curly cord on her phone, I get wild.”

 

“Are you saying that E is what makes you crazy?”

 

“Yeah.  And the worst part of it is:  I love it!!”

 

 

Wolf

Mandy

“Hey, Woofy, I hear Mandy is leaving.”

“Yeah, she’s going on to bigger and better things.  She is joining the ranks of Niki, Lynne, Suz, Missy, Rosa, Sonia, Kimber, Michelle, Pete, Frank, Ray, Ray, Ray, Mike, John, Brynne, Andra, Danielle, Guy, Bob, Ryan, Mike, John, Bill, Don, Annie, Robin, Jenna, Jackie, Dennis, Eric, Pattie, Alice, Terry, Gail, Rob, Brenda, Heather, Tim, Scott, Doug, Bill, Rick, Ley, Anthony, Judy, Kathy, Eric, Brian, Willie, Diane, Christiana, Bob, Carol, Steph, Jill, Laurie, Paul, Stef, Don, Ash….”

“Hold it Wolf.  How many more?”

“Too many to mention, Minnie.  And I miss them all.  But for some reason, that little squirt Mandy always did capture my heart, while she tickled my funny bone.  And then there is her son, Cameron.  OMG. What a little squirrel he is.  I really look forward to seeing him going bananas in the office.  What a hoot!”

“Do you have any parting words of wisdom for Mandy, Wolf?”

“Me?  I don’t have wisdom.  I rely on my basic instincts.”

“And?”

“My instinct tells me that Mandy has the ability and the drive to excel.  I want her to show the world one thing, however.”

“What’s that?”

“To kick some serious ass.”

Wolf

Accomodating my appenditure

“I wonder why people don’t have tails, like animals do, Minnie.”

 

“We outgrew them you idiot.”

 

“Just what good is a tail anyway?  I mean, what do animals do with them?”

 

“They swat flies, at least horses do.”

 

“No, Minnie.  I think tails are the way animals communicate.  Ever see a cat with a tail moving slowly from one side to the other?”  When I see Puff Daddy doing that, I get the hell out of her way.”

 

“What about a dog?”

 

“Whenever Barkley wagged his tail, I took it as a sign he was happy.  And when his tail was down, I knew he had been a bad dog.”

 

“It’s a good thing you don’t have a tail, Wolf.  You would be so annoying, wagging and swatting and moving it slowly from side to side.  It’s bad enough you have a mouth, and a voice.  Besides, what the hell would you wear?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“What if you had a tail?  Would you have to cut a hole in the back of your pants?  Or what?”

 

“It depends on how big a tail I had.  If I had a long one, well, I would probably buy pants with holes in the rear end.  If it was short, I would just go around with a bump in my pants.”

 

“Ouch!  Can you imagine, sitting at a desk all day with a tail all scrunched up?”

 

“Yeah, you’re right.  I would have to get a chair with a hole in the seat, to accommodate my appenditure.”

 

“Geez, Wolf, maybe it’s a good thing you don’t have a tail.  You have a hard enough time now,getting a chair to fit your fat ass.”

 

“You know, Minnie.  All I did was ask a serious question, about tail less humans, and you turn it into an opportunity to insult my ass.”

 

“Before you get all huffy, if you had a long one, you wouldn’t be able to walk into the warehouse, would you?  Your tail would be getting sucked up in the machines.  You would be a safety hazard.”

 

“Don’t be silly, Minnie.  I would put it in a sling.”

 

“What the hell?”

 

“Yeah.  I would make a fortune selling steel tip slings for tails.”

 

“You always have an answer for everything, don’t you?”

 

“Not really.  I still don’t know why animals have tails.”

 

 

Wolf