Did you plug your car in?

“Hey, I heard the wind chill will be -50 degrees in your home town of Duluth, MN tonight, Wolf.”


“I hope people plug their cars in.”


“Huh?  What the heck does that mean?”


“Never mind, Minnie.  You had to live there to experience the nightly plugging of the cars.”


“Does anyone go out in that kind of weather?”


“Sure.  They go out to plug their cars in.  And then they hurry inside to listen to the furnace guzzling the heating oil, non stop.”


“Did you go to school and to work, when it got that cold?”


“What choice did I have?  It doesn’t warm up til March, and then  gets to 30 degrees now and then.”


“I bet you were happy when summer rolled around.”


“Yeah, I went swimming in Lake Superior, when the water temp soared to a blistering 32 degrees.”


“Do you miss it?”


“Oh, yeah.  I miss the hardship and brutal living conditions.  I miss the frozen icicles in my hair when I walked home from school, after my last class, which to my good fortune was swimming.  I miss the frightening, dark winter nights, listening to the howling wind and hoping that the power stayed on.  Of course I don’t miss it.”


“Would you consider moving back there when you retire?”


“Let’s put it this way:  It’s the kind of place that freezes your body but warms your heart.  It has its own special beauty.  Duluth sits on a hill overlooking Lake Superior, and it is an amazing sight.  Yes, I would move back there.”


“But why?”


“Because it is home.”





A 4 bagger

“Did you get the bubbly for New Year’s Eve, Wolf?”


“I did.  But I am not excited about it.  I don’t like champagne.”


“But it’s a tradition to stay up until midnight, watch the ball drop and toast to the new year.”


“I have a better idea.  Let’s toast to it tonight.  Who’s gonna know?”


“People need a reason to celebrate, Wolf.  The whole world watches and waits for the new beginning.”


“How sad.  I find a reason to celebrate every day.”


“What are you celebrating today?”


“I took the garbage down.”


“Oh for crazy.”


“Yup.  4 bags.  Heavy, too.”


“What was in the bags?”


“Oh, mostly bottles.  I heard them clinking around on my journey down the driveway.  It was a tough job, but I did it, and those clinking bottles reminded me that I was quite parched. So I opened another one, to start a new bag.”


“And you are celebrating opening a new bag?”


“Have you tried to open garbage bags lately, Minnie?  They are stuck together with glue or something and when they don’t have a red ribbon, they are damn near impossible to open.  I call it an accomplishment.  I am celebrating a personal success.”


“You know, Wolf, you find the most ridiculous things to celebrate.”


“Yeah, well, I prefer to call it immediate, positive reinforcement.”


“I think it is called instant gratification.  It’s a symptom of a much more serious disease.”


“Never fear, Minnie.  I found the cure.  Let’s open the bubbly.  Happy New Year, Minnie!”




You are so beautiful to me

“Were you ever good looking Wolf?”


“No.  I was always ugly.”


“How did you get by?  I mean, no one wants to hang with a freakish looking goof.”


“Sure they do.  It makes them look better.”


“Did you ever lose a boyfriend to a good looking girl?”


“All the time.  Most of them got married….. and divorced.”


“Just think if you had had kids. Geez.  They would have been miserable.”


“Kids don’t care what their mother looks like.”


“No, I meant that the kids would be homely.  At least you spared the world of ugly kids.”


“You know, Minnie, there are lots of goofy looking people around.  The world needs them. As a matter of fact, there are more of those homely types than the beauties.  And it has nothing to do with happiness or success.”


“I beg to differ.  It has been said that if you are attractive, you are more likely to achieve your dreams.”


“If you are talking about the business world, you better get new glasses.  Look at the chicken king, Purdue.  Or Ross Perot.  Or Richard Nixon.  What about Bill Gates?  You think he is a beauty?  How about Janet Reno?  Even the superstars have their issues:  Billy Joel, Sir Elton, Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood.”


“Wait a minute.  Clint used to be gorgeous.”


“So did Robert Redford, Minnie.  It all fades away, and one day you wake up and it is gone.”


“At least you will never feel that loss.”


“Actually, Minnie, I seem to get more gorgeous every day.”


“Who are you kidding, you delusional idiot?”


“My eye sight is shot.  That’s one advantage of growing old.  Looking in the mirror is a waste of time for me.  I just reach  outward, to others, and pretend I am beautiful.”


“And you think anyone believes that?”


“I do.  And that’s all that counts.”




I am taking a year off

“Well, Minnie, I have decided to take a year off.”


“What? Nobody gets to take a year off.  That is ludicrous.”


“I can. I am special.”


“How do you figure that?  You can’t even get the week of Christmas off.”


“I put in for it, and it was granted.”


“I highly doubt that, Wolf.”


“Yup.  I do not have to go back to work until next year.”


“Next year?  That’s only 4 days away.”


“Exactly.  I am off for the year.”


“So you have 4 days off. Big deal.  You said you are taking a year off.”


“Picky, picky.  It’s all subjective.  I like saying I don’t have to work until next year.  And I intend to make the best of it.  I bought a can of almonds, a few bottles of hootch, and a bird.”


“You can’t have a bird. The cats will get it.”


“Not this bird.”


“What the hell?”


“Already roasted.  A chicken, you idiot.  A chicken is a bird, you know.”


“You were gone for 4 hours and all you got was a bird, booze and nuts?”


“And some marshmallow santas.”


“Where are they?  I want one.”


“I ate them.”


“Ok, then, where are the nuts?”


“Gone.  I ate them.”


“You ate the nuts and the santas?  Now you only have booze and the bird left.”






“I ate the bird.”


“The whole thing?”


“He was small.”


“You can’t possibly survive on booze for the rest of the year.”


“I don’t know about that, Minnie.  I have survived most of this year, on fermented fruit, barley, hops and malt.”


“And you feel alright?”


“I did, until I ate those marshmallow santas.”



Don’t trash my turkey

“Do you think men age more gracefully than women, Wolf?”


“That is an offensive question, Minnie.  It is subjective, ridiculous, and encourages generalization.  It is Friday night, and I don’t have the energy to convince you of my opinions.  Can’t we just have a nice evening, turn on the tree lights and kick back?”


“We don’t have a tree.  You refused to get it out of the cellar.”


“Good.  Then I don’t have to take it down.”


“The holiday passed you like a ship in the night once again Wolf.  You even forgot to give the cat her stocking full of toys.”


“Oh hell.  I will give it to her next year.”


“Did anyone ask you if you had a nice Christmas?”


“Sure.  I told them it was a real doozy.”


“Liar, liar, pants on fire.”


“Hey, nobody really listens or cares if I had a doozy.  It’s the question of the day, every December 26th:  Did you have a nice Christmas?”


“And what about your plans for new year’s eve?”


“What plans?  I don’t have any plans.  I might take down the Christmas decorations.”


“You only put out 3 snowmen and an angel.  How is that a plan?”


“Ok, then, I will leave them where they are.  That way, I won’t have to decorate next year.”


“Do you realize you still have a Thanksgiving table cloth on the table?  And that horrendous, gaudy turkey?”


“What?  We have left over turkey?”


“No, you goof. That wooden turkey you bought 30 years ago at a flea market.”


“Leave my turkey alone, Minnie.  I hate it when you talk trash about my turkey.”


“What happened to you?  You used to decorate and celebrate every holiday.  You got into the spirit and made life seem bright and sparkling.”


“I aged, Minnie. And I must admit, I have aged gracefully.  The sparkling, bright lights come from within me and outshine any holiday decorations.”


“You are delusional and have visions of grandiosity.  Christmas is all about gifts, candy canes and a spectacular display of trees with ornaments.  And you have the audacity to say you outshine all that?”


“Let me ask you something, Minnie.”




“Do you think men age more gracefully than women?”




Rolling, rolling, rolling down the river

“Do you ever worry about anything, Wolf?”


“The mind has a life of its own, Minnie. We all worry about things that mostly don’t happen.”


“What is it that causes us to worry?”


“It’s a human thing. We dwell on stuff that might happen. Why do you think the insurance companies are in business?
“I have life insurance, do you?”


“I prefer to call it death insurance.  When I die, someone else gets it.  I don’t know of any insurance that ensures that I will have a fruitful life.  It’s all about that spooky stuff, like car wrecks, tornadoes, floods and death.”


“Well, when we get old, we have to have health insurance.”


“And if we don’t?  We are old.  We are sick. We will die.  So, what the hell?”


“You must worry about something.  You get up in the morning.  You feel sick.  It is snowing.  Your car has no gas.  Your roof is leaking.  You forget to pack your lunch.  You are having a bad hair day.  You have no clean undies.  Your cat threw up and you stepped in it.  You cant’ find your keys.  Your coffee pot blew up.  You don’t have another day off until May.  Your internet provider has system issues.  You are out of wine.”


“Out of wine?”


“You mean that after stating all the obvious reasons to worry, you are only concerned that you are out of wine?”


“Yes, damn it.  I knew I should have bought wine insurance.”


“What’s wine insurance got to do with it, if there is such a thing?”


“Let’s just say that Tina Turner nailed it.  What’s wine got to do with it?”


“Love, Wolf.  What’s love got to do with it?  You can’t use love and wine interchangeably.”


“I can.”


“But what about Tina?”


“Tina? Do you really think she could boogie in that tiger outfit without love and wine?”


“What’s wine got to do with it?”


“Exactly.  Didn’t I just say that?”













What happened to my socks?

“Any plans for the new year, Wolf?”


“Are you talking about resolutions?  If you are, I don’t make any.”


“Come on.  Humor me.   Give me a list of your resolutions.”


“All right.  Here it goes:


I will drink less white wine and more red wine.”


“You never drink white wine.”


“Shut up Minnie.  Now, moving right along, I will not dye my hair.”


“You haven’t dyed your hair in 20 years, you idiot.”


“I will only wear socks that match, if I can find them and if the dryer has not eaten them.”


“Oh for dumb!”


“If I am stuck in a snow storm, I will stop at the nearest inn to find peace and tranquility.”


“Inn?  Since when do you call that sports bar an inn?”


“On my days off, I will relax, in my pajamas, and not do a thing.”


“That’s no resolution.  You do that all the time.”


“I will stock up on necessities in case of emergencies.”


“I am not even asking what those necessities are.  I already know.”


“I will support the local economy by taking food home, instead of cooking.”


“Since when have you cooked?”


“I will resolutely sit down, every evening, and blog.  The world is waiting.”




“And finally, I will not make any resolutions in the new year.  I hate resolutions.”


“You really should try to improve yourself every year, Wolf.  Everyone needs to do a self examination yearly, to set personal goals and to achieve self fulfillment.”


“It’s called actualization, Minnie.”


“Whatever.  Don’t you want to be the best you can be?”


“Yeah, you’re right.  I will make one resolution.”


“Great! What is it?”


“I resolve to change nothing about me.  I like being a wino, with grey hair, wearing mismatched socks, and laying around in my pjs.  I cooked enough in the past to last me a lifetime.  So I will stop after work, have a few blasts and come home with a doggie bag, half in the bag, to blog.”


“That’s it?”


“Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  No white wine.”





After a certain age, things go down hill

“What’s wrong with your thumb, Wolf?  It’s crooked and swollen and looks goofy.”


“It got old, I guess.  After a certain age, things go down hill.”


“Well, that thumb is on its last leg.  Look at it:  just hanging there, like a useless appendix.”


“The formal name for a useless thumb is not appendix.  I will have you know, it is a digital disaster.”


“Can’t you do something about it?  It is an eye sore and quite annoying.  It quivers and shakes and has a mind of its own.”


“Leave my thumb alone, Minnie.  You don’t know what it’s like to be a perfectly normal thumb one day, and then, the next day, to wake up and be a useless hunk of meat.”


“Don’t you think you should see a doctor?”


“Sure.  I will see the doctor, who will schedule multiple tests on my thumb, only to find out the damn thing is a mess.  I can hear my doctor now:  “Uhm, Ms. Wolf, your thumb is in bad shape.  Just where have you been putting that thumb?  No, on second thought, don’t tell me.  Have you considered giving that thumb a rest?  Perhaps you should take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.  600 dollars, please.”


“Oh for crazy.  Can’t you put it in a sling or something?  And quiet it down?  Every time I look at you, I see that shaking thumb hanging there and I can’t concentrate.”


“Then don’t look at it.  Don’t you know that all it wants is attention?  Look. When you are not staring at it, it settles down. But when you start hawking at it, it has a wild streak, and goes crazy.”


“You act like the thumb is not a part of you.  Like it is an independent entity, capable of creating havoc without your permission.”


“My thumb has never asked me for permission.  It does its own thing and goes where it wants to go.  I am rather fond of it.  After all, it reminds me of my cat, Puff Daddy.  I try not to make eye contact with either of them.  Once I do, I am doomed. They will do everything possible to annoy the hell out of me.”


“Speaking of Puff Daddy, here she is again.  She is acting wild.”


“She wants to eat.  I will feed her turkey and giblets and she will sleep like an angel.”


“What about the thumb?”


“Open another bottle of wine, Minnie.  And we can sit here, sip a few, and watch it act like an idiot.”


“How can you drink a glass of wine with that miserable appenditure?”


“Easy.  I switch hands.”





Fight or flight

“I see you sitting at the computer.  But you are just sitting there.  What’s with that?”


“I have writer’s block, you idiot. I have a black hole in my thought process.”


“You could write about the holidays.  Everybody loves sentimental Christmas stories.”


“I don’t even like Christmas movies, Minnie.  I am the kid who cried every Christmas.”


“Oh for stupid. Why?”


“I don’t know.  I also cry at parades, and whenever I hear the national anthem at a game.  When I am in church, I cry when I sing hymns.  I think I am emotionally damaged.  I get this overwhelming feeling that something much bigger than I am is happening.  And I am in the middle of it, and can’t handle it.”


“Avoidance, Wolf.  You have that tendency, you know, to fly the coop when you have deep feelings.”


“I guess that’s typical of an addict, Minnie:     Fight or flight, and I choose flight.”


“I thought you believed in living in the now, in the moment.  I think you may be a fraud.”


“I wear a mask, Minnie.  We all do.  Mine is the clown with a smile.  I guess that is why I hate clowns.  They scare me.”


“And when the mask comes off?”


“I am the little girl, at home, with my family.  It is Christmas.  I am crying.”


“I wouldn’t write about this, if I were you.  You will expose your vulnerability.  You might even seem human.”


“Don’t worry, Minnie. No one would ever believe it.”




My snowman bit the dust

“Looks like you won’t be getting stuck in the snow tomorrow, Wolf.  It’s gone.”


“I see a patch out there, on the driveway, and a carrot next to it  I guess my snowman bit the dust.”


“Don’t be sad.  It’s bound to snow soon, and you can be happy again.”


“Right, Minnie.  My happiness is contingent on being buried in snow.”


“Snow is wonderful, Wolf.  It is fluffy, soft, and sparkling.  It can be mesmerizing and fills the earth in a magical way.”


“It wasn’t so magical the other day when I got stuck in a glacier.”


“That is just a memory, now, Wolf.   And doggone it, I wanted a white Christmas.”




“Because.  Christmas and snow go together, like a horse and carriage.  Or turkey and stuffing.  Or a beer and a chaser.”


“Christmas does not depend on snow to be Christmas, Minnie.   The only thing you said that makes sense is the beer and chaser.”


“You sure are an old Grinch.  It’s the holiday season Wolf.  Be happy.”


“My happiness is none of your business, but if you must know I saw something today that made me extremely happy.  As a matter of fact, I couldn’t be happier.”


“What?  What did you see?


“A dead carrot in the driveway.”