Wolf was my dog’s name.

“Is your name really Wolf, Wolf?”


“No, Minnie.  Wolf was my dog’s name.  I loved that dog, so when he died, I took his name.”


“When you grew up, what was your name?”




“How come?”


“Who knows?  My family still calls me Cokie.  We all had nicknames:  Dewey, Rompy, Muzzy, Petey, Jobert and the Village Idiot.”


“Did your mother call you Cokie?  Or your real name?”


“No, she called me Kelly Jean.”


“Where did that come from?”


“She liked that name.  She was Irish.”


“And what was her name?”


“Mary.  All of her sisters had the same name.  There were 4 girls:  Mary Ellen, Mary Adele, Mary Irene and Mary Alice.  But she pretended her name was Barbara.  I would put on her dresses and high heeled shoes and she would talk in a little girl’s voice, and we would laugh ourselves silly.  Barbara and Kelly Jean, quite a pair.”


“Were you her favorite?”


“We were all her favorites.”


“Even the Village Idiot?”


“Oh yeah. The VI, as I like to call her, is just as crazy as I am.  I love that idiot.”


“So, Kelly Jean, Wolf, Cokie or whatever your name is, what do people at work call you?”


“Crazy lady, Miss Carol, and Cougar.”


“Which do you prefer?”


“Wolf, Minnie.  I loved that dog.”


“His name was really Wolf?”


“Actually it was Charles Barkley, but he liked to be called Wolf.”




It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

“I saw a guy tonight, dressed in a tan suit.  He was wearing an emerald green shiny shirt, playing the juke box.  He was sitting alone, at the bar, singing along to the Piano Man, smiling and acting like he was on stage.  It was a party of one, Minnie.  Never once did he look at anyone else.  He just sat at the bar, drinking a beer, singing his heart out.   It was quite a show.  I expected the dancing girls to appear at any moment, or for him to break out in a dance routine.  After Billy Joel, he switched to Boston.  It’s more than a feeling….”


“Were you impressed?  It appears that the guy had a jag on, Wolf.  People get that way, you know, after a long day at work, in an unfamiliar place, having a few beers.  He was probably fresh out of Iowa, traveling for his job, leaving behind a wife and 5 kids.  He was kicking up his heels, feeling tipsy, and living the dream.  Here he is, in the Northeast, the dog eat dog world, facing the reality of the rat race, in a green shirt and tan suit.  The world is his oyster:  a few beers, the juke box and a motel room at the Super 8.”


“Who dresses that way today, Minnie?  Who wears a tan suit and a green shirt in dismal, rainy, 40 degree weather, and plays the juke box, sitting alone, drinking Budweiser beer from a bottle?  Who goes to an obscure bar on the outskirts of Allentown, PA and puts on the dog?  The bar was packed with landscapers, red necks, and the neighborhood regulars.  The guy got up once, and walked through the bar and the dining room, lip syncing to the music.  He made no attempt at eye contact or connection with anyone else.  As he walked by me, I heard him singing, ‘And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar and say Man what are you doing here?'”


“Did you try to talk to him?’


“Hell no.  I just joined in:  Sing us a song, you’re the piano man….”


“And who were you with tonight?  And what were you wearing, in that obscure bar?”


“I was alone, Minnie, wearing my emerald green blouse, tan pants and a trench coat.   And when I finally got my turn at the juke box, I ordered a 3rd beer, no glass please, flashed everyone and played one of my all time favorites.”


“Which is?”


“I’m so lonely, I could cry.”





You are what you are

“It’s boring, being positive all the time.  Besides, no one believes you.  It’s a little bit like having a pan full of brownies, and eating all of them, until you are half sick.”


“So you tried to put on the dog, eh, Wolf?  You restrained yourself.  I suppose you showed up at work and wished everyone a happy Monday.  Why not be real? And admit that Mondays suck.”


“It was an experiment, Minnie.  I put on my Mother Theresa act and it bombed.  If someone started to complain, I reminded them that today was a beautiful day, that the cherry and apple trees are blooming, the sun was out, and by the way, how was your weekend.”


“And was it a success?”


“Indeed, it was.  It was a softer, gentler day, oozing with sweetness and light.  And I could hardly stand it.”


“Admit it, Wolf.  You can’t be yourself unless you stir up trouble, with your tantalizing mischief.”


“You know what, Minnie?  For 2 hours, our server went down.  No programs, no computer, no phones, just saccharine pleasantries.  I think there could be a correlation.  Even our network couldn’t handle the change in the atmosphere.  It was one of the most unfulfilling days of my work life.   Not to mention, my plant wilted and gave up the ghost.”


“Why don’t you give it another shot, Wolf?  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  You could become normal, well, so to speak.”


“Nope.  I am not giving in to those self help articles.  Don’t worry, be happy. Change your thoughts and you change your life.  You are what you think.  Or is it you are what you eat?  I ate a salad for lunch.  Such a healthy alternative.  By 3pm, I was ravenous.  Damn salads.  If I am going to be a rabbit, it might as well be a silly rabbit.”


“So your experiment in teaching an old dog new tricks failed, eh,Wolf?”


“No.  It showed me that you can change, if you want to.  The danger is that you could lose who you are.”


“No one will ever take you seriously, Wolf, if you continue to act like an idiot.”


“Of course not. But more importantly, neither will I.”




Laugh with the sinners or cry with the saints

“Curmudgeon, that’s what I think of you, Wolf.”
“What brought that on?”


“Just thinking about a word that describes you.  You are a crusty, cynical old goat, that’s why.”


“Flattery does not impress me, Minnie. Besides, in one word, you are persnickety.  A fastidious, doting, judgmental old bag with no sense of humor.”


“At least I don’t have any bad habits.  I am the saint, you are the sinner.”


“I am surprised you didn’t get canonized today, along with the Popes.”


“That’s not funny.  Those Popes are forever immortalized.  And omnipotent.”


“I don’t get it:  If you were Pope, and you quit, would you be a candidate for Sainthood?”


“It’s not nice to question the motives of Popes, seated or unseated.  Those Popes pray for sinners, like you.”


“Guess it didn’t do much good, did it?”


“See what I mean?  You make fun of everything holy and sacred.”


“No.  I make fun of everything, you idiot.  Remember I am a curmudgeon.  It’s my nature .”


“I think you should make an effort to go to confession, Wolf.  Pope bashing is a serious offense.”


“Here is what I would say, Minnie, in a confessional:  Father, I bashed the Popes.  They have been praying for me and it didn’t do a damn bit of good.  Can we go up to the rectory and discuss this in more detail over a glass of wine?”


“You know, Wolf, you warped sense of humor is not one bit funny.  Can’t you just accept the fact that if you don’t change your ways, you will never amount to anything when you grow up?”


“Of course I accept that Minnie.  But between you and me, I don’t intend to grow up.”




Come together, right now

“Got up early today to go to breakfast with my old cronies, who worked for the Mad Hatter Insurance Company.  We all got terminated, 10 years ago.   We meet once a month, to catch up on what’s happening in our lives. It’s such a happy experience.”


“So that’s why you are home early today.  You usually dink around til noon, throw on a pair of jeans and a t shirt, grumbling, as you go through your Saturday shopping extravaganza.  And, come home half in the bag.”


“I ate too much to stop at the watering hole.  Eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits, gravy, and hash browns.  Oink oink.   Now, I am just chilling and relaxing.”


“On a normal Saturday, you don’t start with the wine until evening.  Seems to me you are into your second bottle.  Am I right?”


“What?  Is this a quiz?  True or false?  Did the Wolf or didn’t the Wolf drink 2 bottles of wine?  How about this question, Minnie?  Did you ever experience the horror of termination?  Do you know how traumatizing that can be?”


“Hey, it was 10 years ago, you idiot.”


“It looms over my head, like an albatross.  It has scarred me for life.  I am damaged goods.  I am still in recovery.  I self medicate, to rid myself of the nagging question:  Why was I terminated?”


“Every one was terminated, you moron.  The Mad Hatter Insurance Company took Alice and the rabbit to Never never land.”


“I think you have that a little twisted there, Minnie.  Uhm, Never never land?  Isn’t that where Tinker and Peter live?”


“Getting back to my question, Wolf, true or false, your second bottle of wine?”


“That is a trick question.  When one has a glass of wine, it is easy to count to two.  But when one starts counting bottles, it is a whole different tune.”


“Oh for crazy!”


“I think it might be three, Minnie. Remember the Beatles song?  One and one and one is three?  Got to be good looking cuz he’s so hard to see?”


“You really have played this termination thing way past its significance, Wolf.  You will use any excuse to indulge.  Are you joking or what?”


“I just want to be free, Minnie.   And do what I please.  You know what the Beatles said:

“Now what?”


“Got to be a joke or he just do what he please.”


If you see a chance, take it

“Geez, Minnie, the last hour of the day was longer than the other 8 hours.  I was wiped, whipped and wounded.”


“Fridays are supposed to be the best day of the week.  What happened?”


“The brutality of Monday through Thursday caught up with me.  In my little bubble of the world, the last few weeks of April are two of the wildest weeks of the year.”


“Mission accomplished?”


“Let’s just say my wounds are not fatal, but it was doubtful, from 4 to 5pm, when time stopped.  Energy and motivation duked it out with lethargy and exhaustion.  I couldn’t wait to get outside to see the new born baby geese take their first steps.  And then, they were gone.”




“Gone, Minnie.  After 28 days of goose terrorism, in the parking lot, Mom and Pop Goose took their brood and walked out of my life.”


“It’s just another example of life, Wolf.  Things change.  If you missed the moment, it is gone forever.  Timing is everything.  You have to be at the right place at the right time.  Seize opportunities.  If you see a chance, take it. Find romance.”


“You forgot the rest of Steve Winwood’s song, Minnie:

Stand up in a clear blue morning
Until you see
What can be
Alone in a cold day dawning
Are you still free
Can you be”

“Can you, Wolf?”


“Let me sleep on it.  I’ll give you my answer in the morning.”







Observations while on break:


The geese gave birth to 2 chicks, in the parking lot.


Met a new employee:  Young, pretty and sore feet.  She kicked off her steel toed shoes and asked me if it ever gets better. She started 3 days ago, standing all day at her new job.


A tree exploded with white blossoms.


Barack Obama’s double strolled in.  Such a good looking dude.  I told him he looked presidential.


I wore my polar bear coat.  It was cold this morning.  People asked me why a polar bear coat on April 24th.  I told them I was bi polar.


The left rear tire of a Nissan was flat.  I memorized the license plate and reported it.  It was easy. The numbers were 1651, the year I was born.


It was sunny, blue skies and windy as hell.  Can’t we just have a nice, warm day?


Someone ordered Chinese food.   I asked the driver if it was Suzie. He said, “No Sushi.  Chinese.”


“Shirley raced for the door, late again, with a pair of panties dragging behind her. I had to comment:  “Uhm, Shirley, what’s that?”  She grabbed her panties and said, “Oh geez, I guess my panties were still in my jeans.”  I had to say something, so I said, “Nice panties.”


I love it when I take a break.  People don’t know who the hell I am, and I don’t know who they are, but somehow, we click.  And it makes for a very interesting and wonderful day.










A fenced bull on hump day

“What mask did you wear today, Wolf?”


“The lonely bull.  I didn’t even have time to fool around.  It was one of those days when the work load interfered with my ability to act like a lunatic. And most of the work was at my desk.  I was confined, chained and roped in.  I hate it when I can’t roam around and create havoc.  You don’t know what it’s like to be a fenced bull on Hump day.”


“It was probably a let down from your wild rides this week,  when you wore your dinosaur hat, on Monday,  and your deranged hula dancer outfit on Tuesday.  What’s in store for tomorrow?  A Miss Piggy disguise?”


“What do you think I am?  A clown?  I happen to be a serious, conscientious, sober, no nonsense customer service rep.  Banana P Wolf.  The P stands for professional.”


“Are you kidding? Today was the first and only day of the year that you didn’t act like a nincompoop.  How did it feel?  It must be quite astonishing to feel that you actually accomplished something.”


“No, Minnie.  Quite the opposite.  I feel tired and drained.”


“So you had a bad day.”


“I missed my routine.  I let stress take over.  I took off the mask and fell into the trap that haunts so many workers.  I took the cheese.  I ate the forbidden fruit.  My puppet strings went corporate.  I raced against time and nearly destroyed my philosophy of living in the moment.  It wasn’t a bad day.  I just made it that way.”


“Tomorrow is another day, Wolf.  What will you do differently?”


“I’m thinking about what you said, and I just might do that.”




“Where’s my Miss Piggy outfit?”






Heads up

“It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside.”


“What feeling, Wolf? Are you ok, or what?”


“No, my head, Minnie.  It seems to have a life of its own.  I used to carry it on my neck and now it shifted to another part of my body.  It is quite disturbing.   I think I may have a rare disease.”


“You misplaced your noggin?  Where the hell could it go?”


“I looked in the mirror, and it was still there.  But you know what they say about smoke and mirrors.  I think my head is an illusion.  I lost it somewhere, and I can’t find it.”


“Are you able to talk?  To communicate?  To go online and chat?”


“That’s when it all began, Minnie.  The damn online stuff.  I love technology and all that jazz, but today, I was on a conference call, and someone pinged me.  It was my coworker.  We had a problem and I thought we had solved it.  I was feeling quite perky about it. But then, the message…..”


“So what was said?”


“Are you ready for this?  Have you ever sent a message to the wrong person?  You are in real time.  You can’t take back what you said.  In the old days, you might have written a letter to express your feelings, and then you tear up the letter before you send the damn thing.  Not today.  If you send your comments to the wrong person,  in a ping, and you mention where their head is, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.”


“What does your ass have to do with your head?”


“Figure it out, Minnie.  My head is missing.  Where do you think it is?”


“Oh that.  So now that the truth has been spoken, you have solved the mystery.  Did you thank your coworker for finding it?”


“I tried.  But after the fiasco, my head bounced back up on my neck.  Now her head is up there.”





“Loving your Monday, Wolf?”


“This is what I loved about my Monday:


.   Seeing 2 squirrels frolicking.


.   Daffodils blooming in the neighbor’s yard.


.   A gift from Gina to me: A dinosaur hat. I wore it all day.


.   Not having to wear a jacket. The weather was perfect.


.   3 co workers who took their time to help me with a project.


.   Raspberry Sorbet.


.   My sister in law was released from the hospital.


.   An ice cold beer, after work.


.   A hot shower with cranberry soap.


.   Watching my cat curled up, cozy and sleeping.


.   Hearing one of my favorite songs on the radio.


.   Seeing Jasmine and Jose together again.


.   White and pink flowers blooming in the trees.


.   Running into an old friend.


.   Taking a break with the Beaver.


.   Laughing with Pat.


.   Working in the back room with the goofs.


Loving my Monday.”