Oh, today we'll merry merry be...

Yesterday, I gave our boss a pep talk, because we all agreed that he seems to be off on the grassy knoll, developing theories, like perhaps our jobs are about to be eliminated. Which is totally possible, some might even say plausible, but at this point, he’s just making stuff up, and we’re not for it.

When I enter his office, I find him with his head resting in his hands.  He’s not really the ‘head resting in the hands’ type, and it takes him a while to notice me, so I finally say, “Uh, Baron?  Is everything okay?”

“Oh, I just need another job.  And this one too.”

His look is that of someone who has promised a big chunk of money to the mob, and then the other horse won or something, and Guido will be along shortly.  But actually, what caused his morose posture is that he just learned his son got into college.  Do you see what I mean?

“What do you need, Betsy?”

“Oh, actually, I just came in to give you a pep talk.”

“Perfect timing! Bring it on. “

I begin….”imagine, if you will, that we’re out to sea on some little boat, and who knows, it may sink, or we may get tossed overboard, but then again, it may go somewhere good. You really can’t tell yet, because the horizon is way out there.  So what’s the downside to imagining…”

He cuts me off. “This doesn’t even rhyme.”

“Fer crissakes, this is a pep talk, not a poem.”

“Oh.  So there won’t be rhyming?” 

At about this point, B. comes in.  He’s been particularly irritable since he quit both skoal and carbs.  I had threatened to give him a little pep talk earlier, but he claimed he was all good, although he’s been on a solid kick of talking about how life consists of a miserable, meaningless existence followed by death, usually alone after great suffering.

“I have nothing to look forward to at all,” is his refrain these days. 

But he came in to espouse his new plan, which is something about gorillas, I’m not sure I was really listening.  I guess the adult males are called Silverbacks, and he thinks there are way to many silver-haired people above him on the seniority list, so he’s going to wait with a spear, ready to stab the first silverback that falters. 

The baron pointed out that perhaps B. should re-dye his hair before he fully implements this plan. I for sure stopped listening about then because I was trying to think of a rhyming pep talk, which never quite came to me, and also re-living a tiny embarrassing moment.  Do you have that, where when the conversation gets boring, something really awkward pops up?

What popped up is this thing where I had just walked in to a bathroom in a public building, and I thought my pen fell out of my pocket, onto the floor, which happens pretty often because I was just carrying it in a front pocket of these pants that don’t really fit very well.  So a pen drops, and is just inside an occupied stall.  I bend down and grab it as a hand from inside the stall also reaches towards it, but I retrieve it first.  

“Sorry,” I say, because it seemed a little invasive to be reaching into someone else’s stall.

Silence from the occupant.  A few hours later, I retrieve that very pen from my pocket, and notice it’s a really fancy graphic artist sort of pen, the kind you’d buy at Daniel Smiths for $7.00.  I know.  So basically, I stole a pen from a person sitting on a toilet, and apologized while I was stealing it.  

I, for one, am looking forward to the super moon this evening, which is supposed to be 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than the regular moon. 


  1. Betsy, you always have embarassing moments and this one sounds particularly awkward. I can't believe you stole some poor person's pen.
    Great little story...would be a perfect little incident on a Seinfeld episode. Issy

  2. I would be totally charmed if a brazen thief apologized in the act. Are you sure you didn't pick up a Number Two pencil?

  3. Oh, Murr, that's a scary thought. . .

  4. That was you?????!!!!

  5. Oh goodness. I wish I had found you years ago, but I didn't and now I have the joy of reading from the beginning and it's all new to me. I LOVE your writing. I think the reason I don't have such an interesting life might be that I am not paying enough attention. I'm going to start paying more attention.

  6. Oh, and I found you via the above-mentioned Murr. So thank you, Murr.


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