Sunday, April 10, 2016


I was sitting at lunch at the Erma Bombeck's Writers Workshop, chatting with Kansas, who was sitting to my left.

Her name wasn't really Kansas. It was, um, er, I don't remember. That's because there were over 500 people at the conference, each of them possessing, not only a first name, but a last name. That's five hundred names, one thousand if you include the last, and even more if you include middle or maiden names. There's no way I can remember 500 names!  I can't remember two names. Ask my kids, Critter 1 and Critter 2.

So when I was meeting all of these bright, energetic writers and lovers of humor, my brain simply shut down, and blanked out everybody's name. But here's where it gets weird. I could remember their states. I guess my mind decided that remembering fifty states was a whole heck of a lot easier than remembering five hundred names. So at one lunch, I was sitting with Massachusetts, three Californias, New York, Washington and Virginia. That night for dinner, I was sitting wth Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina and another Virginia. North Carolina's accent sounded a whole lot like Clay Aiken's.

Anyway, back to my story. I was talking to Kansas, and then turned to my other lunch companion, California, but before I could say anything I noticed a perfume sized black box had appeared next to my spoon. It was all black except for the word "Moo," which was embossed on its side.

I looked at California. She wasn't paying any attention to the box. I closely, using fine tuned man-skills, determined that the box was nearer to my spoon than to her water glass, which was the closest thing to it of hers. Was this a joke? I mean, we're all humorists, right? Maybe she, seeing my last name from my name tag, thought it funny to put a sinister black box with the word 'Moo' next to a guy named Cowie.

I tried ignoring it, but I was transfixed, staring at it from the corner of my eye. I wanted to touch it, see what would happen.  I took a few bites of food, watching the box to see what it would do. Then I looked away, then back at it. It hadn't moved, and simply sat there in sinister and silent contemplation. For I knew it was evil. It was a black box -
that's evil, right? And the only thing it had to say was "Moo,' Which we all know is from the bovine language, and it means, "stupid humans, we cows are destroying the ozone layer with our methane-laden farts."  Yes, I speak Cow, for I am Cowie, which means, 'understander of the bovine language."

I wondered how a cow had sneaked into the packed dining room, and secreted this box to me. Perhaps disguised as one of the servers?  Cows are tricky beasts, you know. There's a reason they've taken over over our Congress.

Nobody else noticed the small box. The states were all happy chatting to each other, oblivious to the dark secret emanating its invisible evil beams at everyone at the table. It would cause later calamities, a dropped napkin, a forgotten spoon, the need to burp. It was evil, I tell you, evil. I could just sense Hell's hands on this box.

Feverishly, I looked around. There had to be a priest in the building! Someone who could banish this fiendishly innocent looking demon from our presence.

And that was when California stood up, swept the box into her purse, gave me a cheery smile, and went off towards the bar, leaving me, the defender of insidious cow attacks, frantically trying to wave down a religious warrior while holding off servers who thought I wanted them to take my dinner plate.

Oh, I found out after the fact that Moo is simply a business card company.

My bad.

(Next time:  Marriott and their sinister 'Deluxe Dental Kit")



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