Commuter traffic across the kitchen was terrible. There was the wife, for one thing, creeping and crawling in front of me like there was no hurry to do anything anymore. As if she owned the very linoleum on which we strode. 

Would it kill you to use your blinker, wife? 

And cats. Cats crossing everywhere, with no regard to morning traffic in the notoriously busy stretch between the refrigerator and the sink. Cats sauntering across the kitchen at their leisure, their little pink noses up in the air. 

Bet they don’t even have jobs, those cats. You’d think they could make way for those of us who do. 

I would have laid on the horn if I’d had one. My first memo of the day: get a horn. A nice loud one, something that can be fastened securely to sweatpants. Maybe THAT will hurry those cats (and that wife) along. 

I stopped for coffee at that quaint little island in the middle of the kitchen. No lines today, that was something. 

“Morning Gladys,” I said to the pitcher that holds my cold brew coffee. 

Gladys didn’t say anything, but I think she winked a little. We have this little flirtation thing, Gladys and I. There’s no harm in it. 

I got my coffee and headed to the office. Soon as I walked through the door, the boss was on me like a sunburn. He didn’t so much yell as just kind of glowered at me. Look at him, all unkempt and sour looking! Who was he to glower like that, huh? I glowered right back. 

The boss is just a reflection in the mirror on the back of a door, but still! What a hard case. Can’t even let a guy settle in before starting in with the guff. Wasn’t wearing pants, either, the weirdo. 

I powered up my computer and had a look around me, scowling. One of my co-workers had left a pair of dirty socks on the back of a futon. Another had apparently been eating popcorn in here because look at all the crumbs on the floor! Sheesh, what a bunch of slobs. I ought to call human resources. 

“Mimi!” I called out! “Set up a reminder to have me contact HR later, would you?” 

Mimi didn’t answer. Probably off on another “sick” day. Imaginary secretaries are the worst, aren’t they? So unreliable. 

Welp, no use ruminating over it. Those reports aren’t going to file themselves. Time to get to work. I opened up the database and started the day’s toil. 

Oooh, would you look at that! A red queen to go on that king of spades and a Jack of clubs to cover the queen. This report was coming along nicely right out of the gate. The boss was going to be pleased. 

With that much work already in hand, I thought it was a good time to go freshen up that coffee and maybe flirt with Gladys a little bit more (there’s no harm in it, I tell you.) But before I could even get motoring my way to the kitchen, I spied one of those damnable cats out there loitering around on a corner. Good lord, you couldn’t even step out the door without one of them putting their paws out. 

“Here ya go,” I said, forking over a handful of loose 9-Lives Indoor Complete. “Hope it helps.” 

“Thank you, man. God bless,” the cat said. Or probably said – I didn’t stick around to hear it. 

I was halfway to the coffee shop when I got pulled over.  Man, I’m an idiot. I’ve been traveling these parts for years and I know as well as anybody about that speed trap over near the stove. 

Begrudgingly, I came to a stop and waited for the usual condescending spiel from the kitchen police. Highway robbers, they are, nothing more. 

“You forgot to put the trash out last night,” the fuzz said. 

“Are you sure?” I shot back. “Felt like I was going the speed limit.” 

That confused the cop all to heck and she just stomped off scowling toward the living room. Good riddance, I thought. Teach you to harass honest citizens who are just trying to use the kitchen tiles their taxes pay for. 

Cripes, not even noon and it was already turning into a back breaker. I couldn’t wait until quitting time when I could get away from the office and maybe go spend some time in the living room. The living room is so nice this time of year, before the tourists arrive. Might even brave traffic and try to get out to the sun porch for a while, maybe do some fishing in the kitty litter box.

But that was all for later. Now was now, and now needed to be dealt with. 

“Mimi!” I hollered down the hallway. “Can you check my meeting schedule and see if there’s any need for me to wear shoes this afternoon? Don’t need socks. Found some on the back of the futon. Thanks, Mimi. Remind me to give you a pay bump at the end of the quarter.” 

Mimi didn’t say anything to that, but the damn kitchen cop was back. 

“Who’s Mimi?” she demanded to know. “Are you feeling all right? Why do you keep winking at the coffee pot?” 

I sped off without answering and lost her on that long stretch near the dishwasher. Ha! Take that, copper! I know my Fifth Amendment rights! I ain’t answering nuthin!” 

Yep. It was turning into one heck of a day. I couldn’t wait until it was over and I could head home. Ain’t no place like home after a trying day at the office. 


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