Unplanned wonders

“Wonderful things happened today, Minnie.  And all of them were unplanned.”


“Like what?”


“It was bitterly cold, and my old car started this morning.  One of my favorite songs was playing on the radio, while I drove to work.”


“What song?”


“You shook me all night long.”


“Oh please.”


“And when I got to work, I opened my desk drawer and found a marshmallow rice krispie.”


“Yeah, so what?”


“At lunch, I heated up a half of a  left over cheese burger with onions.”


“Was it yours?”


“Shut up Minnie.  And then Jasmine brought me a bag of Cajun French fries from the 5 guys.”


“Did you do anything today, other than eat?”


“I devoured a package of wafer cookies, after the fries, to cool the fire in my mouth.”


“Sounds like an eating frenzy, to me.”


“And then I went into the break room.  The floor was recently waxed and slippery as hell.  I needed coffee.  I put the money in the machine and slid over to get a lid.  The cup came down, half assed.  And a very nice kid, who was observing my sliding around, ran up to the machine and tilted the cup upright.   Another cup fell and he stayed the course, hot steaming coffee pouring between the 2 cups.  It was amazing. I was so grateful, I slipped 14 Hershey kisses into his hand.”


“What the hell?”


“I needed a break, after the food frenzy, so I walked outside, expecting the weather to be brutally cold.  I was bundled up like a mummy in my penguin hat, and Notre Dame parka.  And to my surprise, it was a gorgeous afternoon.  I think it was 20 degrees, a veritable heat wave.”


“In a normal winter, Wolf, you would be bitching about 20 degrees.”


“It was surprisingly beautiful outside, Minnie.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and there was no wind.  I was ecstatic.”


“Which leads me to believe that you stopped to celebrate, right?”


“That I did.  I have been cooped up like a chicken with a frozen butt for weeks.  I stopped by the sports bar, and ordered a glass of wine, for medicinal purposes, and much to my surprise, in walks the red headed step sister.  We toasted to the warmth and celebrated our survival of the artic blasts of January.  A chance meeting of the Irish soul sistas, much needed and unplanned.”


“And the moral of the story?”


“Storms never last forever.  Always find a reason to celebrate.  It’s the little things that count.  Enjoy and live in the moment.  Appreciate and rejoice in the unexpected.  And if you are Irish and your friend is Irish, you will always find each other, when you most need to.”





Tooting cows

“This has to be the longest week in history, Minnie.  I woke up this morning, and said, TGIF, and then realized it was only humpty dumpty day.  I wonder if the polar vortex has gobbled up my few remaining brain cells and put them in the deep freeze.”


“Your brain cells?  The polar vortex?   Have you considered that certain beverages have a little more to do with it?”


“It could be my cell phone, Minnie.  I have heard that if you use your cell too often, the damn phone charges itself on your brain cells, and you lose your capacity to function.  Just look at the people on the street talking on those phones.  They have that glazed look in their eyes, and are foaming at the mouth.”


“Oh for crazy.”


“Not to mention, they have uncontrollable flatulence.  Just like those 50 farting cows in Germany.”


“What the hell are you talking about?”


“50 gassy cows started a fire in Germany.  I wonder if that is what happened when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started that fire in Chicago.”


“That cow in Chicago was no cow. It was J Edgar, in drag,  trying to rid the city of the mob, and kinky sex.”


“I have a feeling that J Edgar had a few loose bolts, Minnie.  As they say, power corrupts.”


“It’s a damn good thing you have no power Wolf.  You are just a pawn, a number, a puppet, and an anonymous bar fly.  If you had power, we would all be in trouble.”


“If I was powerful, Minnie, I would save the world.  I would declare that no more than 20 cows could gather at one time.  It would stop the forest fires in California and would cut down on fire insurance.”


“Those California fires weren’t started by cows, you idiot.  Cows had nothing to do with it.”


“That’s what they said in Germany, Minnie.  But look what happened.  It all starts with an innocent toot.”


“Are you saying that California is over saturated with tooting cows?”


“Of course.  What do you think causes all that smog?”


“I give up. You make no sense whatsoever.”


“Exactly, Minnie.  Now., for my next mission:  I am going to run for congress.”




Keep your tank fueled

“Why so late, Wolf?”


“I had to stop to get gassed.”


“You stopped in below zero weather, to get loaded?”


“No, Minnie.  I went to the gas station.  As they say, when it’s cold, always drive with a full tank.”


“You use that same damn excuse year round.  When haven’t you had a full tank?”


“Now Minnie, it’s not nice to be judgmental.  I have an old vehicle.  When old, keep you tank fueled.”


“Are you referring to your car or to you?”


“Both.  Older versions have constant cravings.  And I keep both tanked to the max.”


“I am amazed that you and that old car of yours start up in the mornings. And that, somehow, you 2 manage to make it home at night.”


“It’s not easy to be old and cold Minnie.  In the morning, we both cough and sputter, reluctantly contemplating our navels. And slowly, we emerge from the abyss and creep our way into work.  By quitting time, we both need to be refueled.  And once we get gassed up, we can conquer the world, the winter, the cold and the world wide shortage of wine.”


“Oh for crazy.”


“I hope I never get a new car, Minnie.  I would miss the connection.  We have bonded.  Our basic needs are reminiscent of a simpler life, food and drink.  And we thrive on our nourishment.   Our motto:  Get gassed. Be happy.”


“Your logic never ceases to amaze me.   You act like that car is human, alive and a collaborator in your ridiculous life style.”


“If I tell you a secret, you promise not to tell anyone?”


“Of course.”


“I think the car has me by the balls.  I am nothing but an enabler.  It may be old , but I keep it gassed, and it runs.”


“And you?”


“No comment.”








“I am going to say a word, Wolf, and I want you to say the first thing that comes to your mind.   The first word:  Monday.”




“The next:  Cold.”




“How about this one:  Winter.”




“Are you saying that everything I mention is blah?  What?  Are you a broken record?  Is your mind shot?  What about this word:  Snow.”




“You always take the excitement out of games, Wolf.  Everything can’t be blah.  Now, are you ready for the next one?  Here it goes:  Work.”




“What about vacation?  And don’t give me that blah answer.”




“You have to be kidding.  Everyone loves vacation.”


“I don’t have any vacation left, you idiot.  I used all my days, in the cold, snowy, winter.”


“My final word, Wolf.  This should elicit a positive response:  Meatball sandwich.”




“What the hell?”


“I fell.  In the snow.  The meatball sandwich was buried in the driveway.  I forgot my gloves.  My hand is frost bit.  The neighbor’s dog sauntered down and spotted the sandwich.  We fought over it.  He bit my hind end.  He won.  The wind picked up.   He ate the sandwich, while I lay in the frozen tundra.  I limped back into the house, hungry, cold, and frozen. It was a wicked day at work.  I have no vacation days left.  And you have the nerve to play games and ask why everything is blah?”


“Cheer up, Wolf.  Tomorrow is Tuesday, and the polar vortex is back.  If you think things are bad now, wait until morning.  It could be 20 below zero.  What do you say to that?”






Have you seen my marbles?

“How do you know when you have lost all your marbles, Minnie?”


“If you have to ask, you probably already have.”


“I am not right in the head.   I feel my sanity slipping away.”


“You never did have that much sanity.  So what’s the big deal?”


“2 days off and I didn’t do a damn thing worth mentioning.  I watched the snow fall, curled up in bed watching murder mysteries with the cats, and didn’t even get dressed until 3pm today.”


“Why did you even bother getting dressed?”


“I had to scrape the car to make an emergency trip.”


“What emergency?”


“I had an irresistible impulse for a meat ball sandwich.”


“So all you did this weekend was flop around, in those ridiculous one piece pjs, until you had the meatball impulse?”


“Yes.  And now it is Sunday night and I am not ready to face the world tomorrow.”


“You haven’t lost your marbles, you are just a lazy no good bum, with a meatball fetish.”


“That’s easy for you to say.   You don’t have to live with the undeniable fact that the marbles are leaving me in record time.  By tomorrow morning, I may be a complete lunatic.”


“You usually are on Monday morning.”


“Besides, I have a sore throat.  I might be deathly ill by morning.”


“Oh for stupid.  You just want to stay home, in bed, under the covers, with the cats, chomping on the rest of your meatball sandwich.  You really have to start facing reality, Wolf.  You aren’t sick, you are just crazy.”


“Ok, well, then, I will just call in tomorrow with the crazies.”


“On second thought, Wolf, you are insane.  You can’t use the crazies as an excuse to miss work.”


“Why not?”


“Because everyone already knows that you are crazy.  Except you, of course.”


“How do you know when you are crazy, Minnie?”


“Unfortunately, that is something you would never understand.  You have too many marbles missing.”







Can you make it through another week?

“I see you missed your weekly trip to get supplies.  I know you look forward to dinking around all day Saturday, shopping and getting half looped up.”


“The shopping?  No.  And who says I have to go out to get looped up?  As you know, I don’t do snow.  Besides, I am tired of the cold weather.  I think I may have reached the age when I will have to hibernate.  I feel like taking a nap.  Wake me up when it’s spring.”


“You can’t avoid winter, Wolf.  I heard some guy today on the weather channel saying ‘Just embrace it.'”


“He’s an idiot.”


“You might have to seek professional help for your attitude, Wolf.  It’s still 2 months away from spring.  You will be a mad hatter by then.”


“I already am.  But I like your idea.  I might have to check in at the Betty Ford Clinic, in California for a few months.”


“You know, no drinking at Betty Ford.”


“Oh yeah.  Ok, then the Mayo Clinic, but not in Minnesota.   They have an Arizona clinic.”


“Uhm. No drinking there, either, Wolf.”


“Shoot.  I guess I will just have to plan a 2 month vacation in Tahiti.”


“You don’t have that kind of vacation time.  Besides, you used it all up, the past month.   You will have to grin and bear it.  Embrace it.”


“Shut up Minnie.  It’s no wonder I am a basket case.  Between you and that idiot weather guy, I am half crazed.”


“Can you make it another week, Wolf?”




“Your buddy Phil will be popping out of his hole, to let us know if we will have an early spring.  Think positive.”


“Oh, that goof.  Do you realize he is not really a groundhog?  He is a deranged weather man in a fur coat, looking for his 15 minutes of fame.”


“What the hell?”


“Sure he is.  Haven’t you watched these weather guys,  when it’s lousy weather?  They come on, all hyped up, smiling their asses off, as they tell us about the polar vortex.  If you’ve ever watched Phil pop out of his hole, he acts the same way.   Sadistic, Minnie.  Very sadistic.”


“Well, you can’t take a vacation.  You can’t sleep til spring.  There is no clinic that will take your ass.   So now what?”


“I guess there is only one thing left to do.”


“What’s that?”


“Embrace it.”






The bigger the better

“I love big ones, Minnie.  The bigger the better.”

“Big ones?  What the hell?”

“Yeah.  I love the big ones that are so big you have to tie them to the roof of the car to get them home.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Or, if you have a large car, you could put the big one on the seat, open the window, and let it hang out.”

“I don’t get it.”

“I got one today, Minnie.  The biggest one I have ever seen.  I carried it around with me and asked everyone:  ‘Have you ever had one this big?'”

“What did they say?”

“They said, ‘Where did you get one that big?”

“Ok, Wolf. Game’s over. What’s with the big one?”

“Open the refrig, Minnie.  But be careful.  It’s in there.”

“Be careful?  Why?  Will it attack me?  Or what?”

“No.  It’s harmless.  But you might attack it.”

“I am not going to the open the refrigerator.  I refuse to humor you and your big one.”

“It’s going to snow tomorrow.  Right?”

“Yeah.  So?”

“So, I got the big one, to tide us over.”

“What the hell is it anyway?”

“It is a giant Italian, Minnie.  And we can feast on it for the entire weekend.”

“Oh for crazy.  A giant Italian?  Get him the hell out of the refrigerator right now.”

“Get me a knife, Minnie.  Let’s have a piece of him.”

“I have always known you were a wino and a mad hatter, but now?  A cannibal?”

“You idiot.  I am no cannibal, but I do like big ones.   And this is the biggest Italian hoagie I have ever seen.   Like I said, the bigger the better.”




“Well, Minnie, have you ever had your driver’s side door frozen?  And you had to enter and exit from the passenger side, with your  fat ass throwing the gear shift in reverse?  And sliding down the driveway in a snow squall?  If not, you have not experienced the joy of winter driving.”


“Did anyone see you?”


“Yes.  I got to work late.  The damn frozen ice ball of a car would not thaw out, so I was running late.  So was everyone else. And they all saw my gyrations, in the parking lot. I think that was the key moment when they all realized I was out of control, a granny gone wild.  There was a line the length of a football field in front of the HR office.  They all had the same complaint:  There is a loose canon in our midst.  Can you please put a cap on retirement?”


“I assume you were terminated?”


“I waited all morning  for the bomb to drop. By noon, nothing had transpired, so I ate a sticky bun, heated, of course, with butter, and thought I better get my last case of beer before the falling of the axe.  I took off squealing my tires at 10 mph, and stopped at the beer store.  There were 3 cops there, the K 9 division, with a German Shepherd dog.  I knew immediately, that the dog had my scent.  So I ordered a BLT  at the nearby deli and the dog and I shared my sandwich.  Dogs love bacon.”


“Yeah, ok, so then what?”


“The cops were indisposed, eating doughnuts, so the dog and I took off squealing our tires, at 15 mph and we led a slow chase back to the office.  I felt like a celebrity, just like OJ.”




“The dog and I exited the car from the passenger side, hitting the gear shift, into reverse, and bacon went flying everywhere. Rin and I went into the office to warm up, chomping on BLTs.”


“The bottom line:  Did you get fired?”


“The line in front of the HR office immediately fled when they saw Rin Tin Tin, foaming at the mouth.  They thought he was rabid, but it was only the mayo from the BLT.  Anyway, the cops came in, and took Rinty into custody.  I meandered back to my desk and ate another sticky bun, heated, with butter.  By then, it was snowing again.  I waited til 5pm and went out to the car. Damn door was still frozen. I tried the passenger door. That was frozen too.  So I had to open the hatch back and crawl my way to the front. By then, the snow had piled up and I was locked into the car, with the only exit in the rear.  It was then that I decided to take another one of my lunatic pills.”


“What the hell?”


“Yeah, I got as far as the pub and crawled back to the hatch back in a semi coma, and popped out like the Pillsbury dough boy.  After a few glasses of hootch, I opened the hatch, crawled back in, drove home and hatched back out.  And here I am.”


“I don’t believe a word of this.  It sounds way too contrived.”


“It’s all true, except for the lunatic pill.”




“Yeah, I took 2, when I got home.  The hatch back is frozen.”




Terror at the door

“Wolf, there he is again…. at the door.”


“I know, Minnie.  I see him,”


“He looks angry, like he could attack us.”


“He might.”


“Well, can’t you do something about it?”


“Like what?  We are snowed in.  We couldn’t escape his wrath if we wanted to.”


“He is abnormally large, I mean, he is really a menacing threat.”


“I tried to open the door, Minnie, but it was frozen shut.  That really got him upset.”


“Do you think he might be deranged?  He is making those wild screeching sounds.”


“He does that.  He thinks it will change things.”




“He wants to go outside, Minnie, and it is cold.  He wants us to make it warm.”


“What the hell?”


“Have you noticed?  He tries to go out every door.  And when he sees the snow, and feels the wind, he cries.”


“For a big cat, he sure is a pussy.  He reminds me of someone.”


“Shut up, Minnie.  It’s freezing out there.”




Bring it on

“Here we are, on the eve of another storm.  Life seems to be like that lately, doesn’t it, Minnie?”


“Life is a series of storms, Wolf.  When you finally grow up, you might realize that.”


“As they say, storms don’t last forever, do they?”


“Storms are the fabric of life, Wolf.  Some of us dodge them.  Some of us endure them. Some perish. But they keep on keeping on.”
“There is enough stress in our world today.  Who needs storms?”


“It’s all about survival, Wolf.  But you have to face them.”


“Not me.  I would rather hunker down and ride them out from a safe place.”


“There is no safe place.  Storms have a way of invading your sanctuary and creating havoc and chaos.  You can hide, but you can’t run.”


“I thought it was you can run, but you can’t hide.”


“When live blows, it blows, Wolf.   Only the strong survive.”


“I don’t know if I want to endure another storm, Minnie. I have seen too many storms.  When will enough be enough?”


“Don’t ask me, Wolf.   That’s up to you.  If you can’t deal with them, you could retreat into your shell, and curl up in a fetal position.  But that won’t stop the storms.”


“Damn, Minnie.   Here we are on the brink of another storm.  I say bring it on.  Isn’t that what life is all about?”