Another day at the office
My daughter Sam sauntered into my office, and asked, “Do you wash your belly button?”
I looked up, “Huh?”
She lifted her shirt, looked down and grimaced, “Euch, mine’s filthy.”
“Um, what are…”
She waved it off. “Never mind, it’s brutal up here in my head.”
Then she started to walk back out, but I interrupted, “you’re late.”
She grinned and looked down at her wrist where there was no watch. “Nope, I’m early.”
“You’re fifteen minutes late.”
“By my watch, it’s 7:55, so I’m five minutes early.”
“You’re not wearing a watch,” I growled.
“So it’s pretty amazing I’m this early then, right?”
She gave a bright smile, whirled, and walked into the tall rubber plant next to my door, bounced off, collected her bearings, and then whisked off down the hall to her work cubicle.
Finally the smile that I usually hid from her at work came out. Sam is one of the most vibrant, hilarious people I know. People like to be around her and her self-deprecating sense of humor. But as her boss, I had to stay on my toes to make sure she did her work, didn’t get preferential treatment. Which reminded me.
Grabbing my coffee mug, I strode down the hall to her cubicle. She was sitting alone at her desk which faced the wall pushing a button on her computer monitor and muttering to herself, “cluck, cluck, cluck.”
“Ahem,” I said.
She shot up and did one of those little squeal things that women do, and some guys, but mostly before they hit puberty.
“You were clucking,” I said, an evil smile on my face.
“Um, yeah, I find that clucking helps me focus.”
“Yeah, I’m all cooped up here, so I may as well act like a chicken.”
“Uh, you asked me for a job.”
“Not my fault you gave it to me without checking out my references.”
“That's because I heard you came from a reputable family.”
“Well, yeah, my mother. I’m not sure who my father is though. I heard he did drugs.”
“I’m sure he’s a jerk,” I said. “By the way, it wouldn’t hurt you to run a brush through your hair.”
“You should drag a brush through your face.” She was into face-related put-downs.
“You’re a grownup now. I shouldn’t have to tell you to do basic grooming.”
“I’m a grownup every day. I bought butter. Ooo, I just drooled. By the way, there’s something wrong with my computer. See, it won’t turn on.”
I peered at the button she was jabbing. “Um, that’s the eject button on your DVD player.”
She whirled around, and nearly fell off her chair. “I knew that. Whatever, dude.”
One beautiful day during the Palaeolithic period, in what is now known as Alaska, Moorg and Grog were striding through the snow, hunting woolly mammoths. They had to hunt the woolly ones, because the non-woolly ones had migrated south when it became obvious winter was going to last longer than a couple months.
Moorg pointed, “Hey, look, you can see Russia from here.”
Grog looked more confused than usual. “What’s a Russia?”
Moorg shrugged, “Never mind. It doesn’t matter; the Russians won’t be around for awhile, anyway.”
Grog frowned, “Then what are you bringing it up for?”
Moorg, “I don’t know.” Then he picked something off a small branch. “Hey, check it out, a wholly bear caterpillar.”
Grog, “You mean Woolly bear.”
Moorg, “That’s what I said.”
Grog, “No it wasn’t. You said wholly bear. Wholly, woolly. Totally different words.”
Moorg, “How would you know? We’re grunting. Some dude’s just typing what we would have said if we could speak English.”
Grog, “What’s English?”
Moorg, “I don’t know. Something inedible, probably.”
Grog, “Than why should I care?”
Moorg just shrugged again.
They crossed over a small mountain range and they could see a herd of enormous furry pachyderms munching tundra grass in the valley and farting away the young ozone layer.
“Yeah!” Grog shouted.
“We found them!” Moorg pumped his fist like a skater boy after a cool pipe run.
“Is there a drive-up, or do we have to go into the restaurant?” Grog asked, shielding his eyes against the glare on the snow.
“I dunno,” Moorg said, as he started jogging down the side of the hill.
As they reached the bottom, Grog felt through the fur hide he wore draped around him. “Do you have any money?” he asked.
Moorg gave him a look. “Do I look like I have money? We haven’t invented it yet, you dummy.”
Now Grog could see that Moorg wasn’t rolling a big stone coin in front of him. “Stupid question, huh?”
Moorg sighed, “Yeah, it’s pretty exasperating sometimes. We haven’t invented money, so there can’t even be prostitution yet. “
Grog brightened, “The oldest profession, right? I can’t wait. It should be along sometime soon!”
Moorg looked glum, “It could still be a millennia away though.”
“What are we waiting for?” Grog asked.
“I dunno. We have to get off our butts, and start inventing,” Moorg said.
“Yeah. We need to invent stuff like Playstation, hats and disposable diapers,” Grog said.
“And automobiles,” Moorg added.
“I don’t know. We’d better invent the wheel first,” Grog said doubtfully.
“Oh, yeah,” Grog nodded. “If we don’t invent oil, we’ll never have the oil lobbyists.”
“That’d be awful. Who would run our government without lobbyist money?” Moorg said.
Grog frowned, "What's government?"
"Nothing yet, but it will be."
"Oh," Grog said hesitantly.
As they walked towards the herd, they didn’t notice the big bull elephant that had approached with more silence than could be expected from a five thousand pound pachyderm.
“Ahem,” a big mammoth voice thundered, the sound vibrating the ground.
“Yeah?” the two cavemen asked, looking up in wonder at the huge animal.
“You guys come here looking to eat some elephant?”
Moorg and Grog shuffled their feet, “Well, maybe. We’re a mite peckish.”
“Hmm,” the bull said. “Have you humans invented helmets yet?”
Moorg and Grog looked at each other, “Helmets? What are helmets?”
“I thought not.”
And with that, the mammoth squashed them, wiped them off his feet and went back to the herd.
How to make the wall make sense
Really, imagine how cool a huge wall in Texas would be with solar panels. If we're going to spend the money, let's get some free electricity from it. And we could set up water vending machine stations for the people who tunnel under it, so we get some revenue from that too.
And here's another idea. What about a massive pipe system crisscrossing the US to move water from flooded areas to those that need water? And, unlike oil, if they leak, it's just water.
Hey all, my first non-fiction book, oh, wait, besides The Guy'd Book (though some of that was made up).
Okay, I'm not going to make a habit of writing non-fiction, but I wrote a non-fiction book, The Illinois Mechanics Lien Statutes ... and Other Construction Stuff, published by the National Association of Credit Management Midwest. Here's what attorney Steven Boren, President of Contractors Adjustment Co said about it, "Norm provides a wonderful,thoughtful and humorous overview of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act. Valuable reading for all in the construction industry."