Not-So-Intrepid Moments of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

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A sunny mid-morning, August 31, 1803, on the banks of the Ohio River: Captain Meriwether Lewis meets for the first time William Clark, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, who has been selected to co-head their soon-to-be historic voyage. Lewis appears strong, confident, while Clark seems somewhat nervous and apprehensive.

LEWIS: Second Lieutenant Clark?

CLARK: Yes, sir.

LEWIS: Captain Meriwether Lewis. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, good sir!

CLARK: The pleasure is mine, sir.

LEWIS: Well, then, the party is ready. All supplies have been procured. Shall we commence our journey?

CLARK: Indeed, Captain.

LEWIS: Very good!

The party, mostly comprised of young soldiers, proceeds with Lewis and Clark at the lead.

Suddenly, Clark halts.

LEWIS: What is it, good sir?

CLARK: Pray forgive me, sir. But it seems I’ve neglected to put on breeches.

LEWIS (with pause, examining Clark’s bare legs): Ah…so it would seem. Well…

CLARK (blushing): Excuse me momentarily, sir.

LEWIS: Very well. (To himself) This is a rather odd fellow…

* * * * * * *

Lewis, Clark, and the other members of the expedition have hit an impasse along the banks of the Missouri River. The two leaders discuss how they might cross the treacherous waters.

LEWIS: Our path is right blocked by these tumultuous rapids, good Clark. What do you say we do?

CLARK: It is a decision not made lightly, sir. Dare we brave these waters, all of us may enter, but some, I fear, shan’t return.

LEWIS: You are wise beyond years, Clark. I agree with your assessment. That being said, do there exist any other options?

CLARK: Hmm. Perchance we can hire an Indian to guide us across?

LEWIS: Hire an Indian?! How very absurd, Clark. This is not the Oregon Trail!

CLARK: Ah, very right. Then we caulk the wagons and float them across?

LEWIS (groaning): There are no wagons, Clark!

CLARK: Well then I’m out of ideas.

* * * * * * *

Outside a teepee in snow-blanketed Fort Mandan, present-day North Dakota: Lewis, Clark, and the Corps of Discovery have settled in temporarily for winter. Touissant Charbonneau, a French fur trapper, has graciously offered the services of his young Shoshone bride, Sacagawea, to the explorers.

TOUISSANT: Gentlemen, allow me to present Sacagawea, my young Indian wife. Sacagawea is fluent in many dialects used by both local and more distant tribes. Her skills in translating will be of invaluable aid to your mission.

LEWIS: Sacagawea, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance.

Sacagawea nods subtly. Clark then steps forward, raising a stiff, open palm toward her at shoulder level.

CLARK: How.

SACAGAWEA: I beg your pardon?

CLARK: Uh…how?

SACAGAWEA: How what? How do I do?

CLARK: I am confounded. Is this not how your people offer salutation?

SACAGAWEA: A simple “greetings” would have done nicely, sir. Indians do not really use “how” in this manner.

CLARK (embarrassed): Oh…

LEWIS: Sacagawea, please forgive my partner’s insulting generalization. He is newly traveled to this territory and unaccustomed to such diversity.

SACAGAWEA: It is fine, sir.

LEWIS: Say then! Would you perchance have some opium we may partake of?

SACAGAWEA (whispering to her husband): Who are these jackasses?

* * * * * * *

Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, and the rest of the team have paused atop a mountain ridge to discuss their geographical bearings. The party is visibly tired and irritable, and rumors that they have mistakenly fallen off course are afoot.

SACAGAWEA: Captain Lewis, there have been questions from the rest of the party as to whether we are lost. What shall I tell them?

LEWIS: Nonsense! I am quite positive the Great Ocean of the West is just beyond the next ridge.

CLARK (gently to Lewis): But you professed this very claim five ridges ago, and here we are, as yet…ocean-less.

LEWIS (suddenly angry): Okay then, Clark! If you’re so intelligent, which direction should we take?

CLARK: Well, we certainly would not have borne north at Lemhi Pass! We should have maintained course due west…but noooooo…Captain Lewis said he knew exactly where we were!

LEWIS: Well, at least I’m taking some initiative. All you’ve done this whole time is pick flowers and complain about how badly your feet ache! Like a four-year-old boy!

CLARK: Obstinate old horse! (Begins assembling his gear.) That’s it, Meriwether; I’m taking half the party and going on my merry way!

LEWIS: Very well then, misguided idiot!

SACAGAWEA (to herself): What did I say? “Why don’t we just stop and ask a fur trapper for directions?” (Shaking her head.) Men.

CLARK: Fine, Lewis, you insufferable mule!

SACAGAWEA: Nobody eeeeever listens to the Indian. Typical.

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Shakira, Your Hips Are Full Of Crap

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Dear Shakira,

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it’s true. I’ll admit, I was skeptical from the start when you claimed that your hips “don’t lie.” But, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, because I didn’t think you were like all the rest of those stuck-up American starlets with their uppity bodyguards and pepper spray. However, that was before today, when I received this letter talking about “equitable remedy” and “ex parte,” which, from what I understand, means I have to stop sending you those scrumptious oatmeal raisin cookies along with the vials of my valuable bone marrow your hips were so intent on having. Well, let me just tell you that I feel like a real ass right now, as I’m sure that your hips have been telling me outright lies for weeks, maybe even months.

“Come up on stage,” wiggled your dissembling hips, rotating, “You’ll love it up here.” Do you remember that? It was I guess around April. Well, when I sauntered up to the stage, accidentally rhino-charging those two security guards, I felt that we, or at least your hips and I, had made a real connection. But the second I managed to crawl up there, you and your hips run away and jump into a van, leaving me at the mercy of those security guard troglodytes who took great relish in pushing my nose through the back of my face. What am I supposed to believe, Shakira? Either get those hips to start speaking your language (Spanglish, am I correcto?), or stop deluding yourself into thinking they are the upstanding hips that they’re not. I’ll be honest, I’m more than a little inclined to sue the pants off your hips for leading me up there on stage that night. You know, even without a trial, these misunderstandings cost money.

“I’m not sure exactly where Shakira and I live, but I’m pretty certain we’re from Bogotá,” gyrated your ilia (the largest section of the hip bone, the ilium offers a support nexus for muscles and internal organs, and is, in your case, a remorseless agent of deception and skullduggery) after I asked where I might find you two. Remember? That’s right — while you and your hips were nice and warm inside on TRL with Carson Daly, I was freezing my gonads off downtown in front of a Radio Shack, screaming. You may not have heard me, but your hips were certainly quick to chime in. Well, naturally, I boarded a flight the next week to your fair capital in an effort to cultivate our relationship. Snake eyes, Shakira! No thanks to your full-of-crap hips, I found out that you’re not from Bogotá–as your hips would claim–you’re from Barranquilla, and even more disturbing, you live in the Bahamas! You know who told me that? It wasn’t your hips, that’s for sure. No, it was a bunch of FARC guerrillas who took me in, fed me, then shaved my testicles after I made a guerrilla/gorilla joke to break the ice.

Does this shameless deception bother you at all? (Shakira, I urge you not to show this epistle to your hips, as I’m certain they will just wiggle and bounce around in a fit of mendacity, for which I will no doubt fall — hook, line and pelvis). You know, I hope you don’t pay mind to your hips too often; whatever they’re telling you, it’s probably all lies. Did they tell you that was my kidney you got in the mail? Absolutely false (unless you need it some day due to renal failure — then maybe it was mine). I imagine your hips have been deceiving you for ages, and it makes me angry to think they might go around spreading lies about me. But they do mention me, don’t they?

Look, Shakira. Perhaps this is all one big misunderstanding. It may be the case that your hips are just jealous because they fear I’m becoming attracted to you, and you to me. Maybe it’s true. People (and often their component parts) will do the most sinister things to keep true romance at bay. It is my sincere hope that your hips will stop these childish antics and let us get to know one another as more than partial beings, but as complete, drunk and eventually nude individuals who share a great love of each other. Of course, I’ve been burned before by those hips, so before I commit to anything, you’ve got to “let me in,” okay?

And that means letting me in your heart and your security gate this time.

Cautiously,

Tyler Smith

P.S. How reliable are your elbows? I’m getting some pretty good vibes from them, but if they’re anything like your hips, then just forget it.

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A Visit To The Slightly Bitchy Day Spa

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Hello and welcome to our spa! Did you have a hard time finding us? I only ask because I notice you’re 15 minutes late. No, no, it’s fine. Things happen. I’m sure you didn’t mean to throw us completely off schedule today. But no worries. I’ll just make one of the new Spanish girls stay late tonight to wash the loofahs and I’m sure we’ll be back on track in the morning. Just do us a favor and at least call the next time you’re going to be late, OK? That way we won’t have to do something inconsiderate like cancel Mr. Temkin’s bi-weekly back wax again. So, who’s ready for a day of beauty!?

The Quiet Room is where you can change into one of our comfy spa robes. They’re One-Size-Fits-All, but you should be fine. I’ve seen women a lot larger than you manage to squeeze their way into them. You’ll just love how soft they are! Once you’ve changed, put all of your belongings into one of these bamboo cabinets. They don’t have locks, but there’s no need to worry. Your possessions will be completely secure. Besides, even if anyone was going to steal something, I’m sure they’d go for one of the big, expensive purses in here. Not your plastic Merona satchel. Now, enjoy!

Hello, again. Looks like I’ll be your masseuse since you changed your mind and don’t want a male after all. No, it’s OK. Jonathan said he’s actually relieved he doesn’t have to rub down another menopausal member of the Junior League today. Isn’t he hilarious? But regardless, you’re in good hands because it takes a woman to know a woman. Of course, my body’s a little different because I eat right and exercise and use a little something called sunscreen, but basically, women’s bodies are all the same until they’re ravaged by childbirth, don’t you think? So just lie back and relax and don’t for one second be self-conscious about your naked body underneath that thin sheet. We see all types here. Yours probably isn’t even one we’ll gossip about in the break room later.

Facial time! Now, what’s this I hear from Lupita about you thinking you’re allergic to our Seaweed Salvation mask? No, of course I want to believe you. I just wish you could have told us that before we spent four weeks negotiating with those greedy Japanese fishermen. But never mind. Let’s just take a look at your skin under the magnifying glass. Oh, my. I haven’t seen pores this clogged since I went to Comic-Con 2007 with my brother Terry. Funny your wrinkles don’t absorb some of that oil. But don’t you worry, because a simple glycolic peel with an apricot base can really work wonders. Or are you allergic to that, too?

Guess who? I know you requested Monica for your pedicure, but since she’s busy with some of our important clients right now, you got me instead. But at least we’re used to each other by now. In fact, it’s been kind of like spending the day with my mother! Is that the polish you’ve chosen? No, I actually do like it because an electric red hue on your toes will totally draw attention away from your heels. Smart choice. Now let’s get you started soaking so your skin has a chance to soften up. Oh, and since I had to skip lunch to take care of your feet, there’s a chance I might pass out while I’m buffing. If I do, could you just turn off the foot whirpool and dial “9” for the front desk? Use the code word “vapors.” Thanks a bunch.

Time for you to check out already? I’ll just put today’s total on your card. Most people also leave a 30 percent gratuity, but that’s just a suggestion. You do what you feel is fair. Anyway, thank you so much for spending the day with us! I hope you feel better than you did when you came in. You certainly look better. Now, before you go, would you like me to book your next appointment? Maybe a hot rock massage? No, no that’s fine. We can just try to squeeze you in once you’ve made up your mind. I’m sure your schedule is almost as crazy as ours. Now, you take care and come back soon, OK? Because between you and me, I think you still might be a little tense.

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And Another Message from the LABBA Email List Serve Group

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Hello Again Everyone,

Sorry…Forgive me again! But as a really quick follow-up email to the email I just sent out 15 secs ago, I just want to say a few more things…

Number 1 (again): Michael still won’t answer his phone so I don’t know EXACTLY when he left the booth or remember if he was wearing cargo shorts or not. I just freaking tried calling him AGAIN! Like I told everyone, I was getting lemonade with Rick and his wife Sara.

Number 2: No, it wasn’t really my designated break time BUT I told Melissa R. that I was going for lemonade and would be RIGHT back. She said “Okay, Tricia.” Everyone should remember that -– and I say it all the time like at the pot luck dinners — I make the schedule and so that means I can break the schedule (like if I need to get something to survive like a freaking cold drink in the hot blazing sun).

I was there at 8 a.m. before anyone else. When did you get there?

Number 3: Yes, I’m PERFECTLY aware that Nancy and Sue lost quite a bit of merchandise and then some rare beanies fell into some dirty water. I’m also PERFECTLY aware that I’ve offered Nancy a mint Smoochy and a near-mint Legs at a huuuuuge freaking discount to replace her stolen Web (without its TY tag!!!), but she and her daughters (and cousins and sisters and I think aunts?) keep emailing me really awful notes, even though Nancy recently quit LABBA. There’s absolutely no reason to be so cruel, Nancy! (And I know that you’ve tried to unsubscribe to this group email list seven times but I’m not letting you because I still think you need to hear all this.) I’m thinking about forwarding all of those nasty and terrible emails out to everyone on this list RIGHT after I send this email. The fact that I was called a liar and something I can’t even pronounce is more hurtful than you’ll all ever know.

Ever know.

Tricia

P.S. Remember to show up at least one hour early to Isn’t That Bazaar this Saturday to set up if you are planning on selling. You’re S.O.L. if you don’t. And I need your $20 table-sharing fee up front, like always.

P.P.S. 3rd Quarter dues are due in ten days!

P.P.P.S. If you received this email like five freaking times, I’m sorry. My internet is being stupid.

Regards,

Patricia Ferris

President, Secretary, Artist and Treasurer

The Legendary Authentic Beanie Babies Association

MissTrishy@hotmail.com

DIRECTIONS FOR THE L.A.B.B.A. EMAIL LIST SERVE

1. To remove yourself from the LABBA email list serve group, you must send a message to listserv@mail.pleasebuymybeaniebabies.org with the subject saying: “SIGNOFF LABBA –- I gave up when the demand told me to, and now I’ve let everyone else still in the group down.”

2. To enroll in, or to be considered for, the LABBA email list serve group, you must send a COMPLETE list of your beanie baby collection -– highlighting any prize or rare pieces like an Authenticated 2nd Gen Humphrey The Camel, a Tabasco The Bull, a Princess Diana Bear, any retired beanies, or anything from the Woodland Collection -– to these three people: ROBERTFERRIS@comcast.net, LarryRofflan@aol.com, and MissTrishy@hotmail.com. Send bios and a picture of you and your beanie babies set up in a circle around the base of any lawn statue or set up on some front steps to MissTrishy@hotmail.com. You will receive a congratulatory or other email in less than 14 days.

3. Please address questions concerning club dues and “counterfeit” swimming pool coupons to MissTrishy@hotmail.com. Address questions concerning insurance and display case repairs to Robert Ferris at ROBERTFERRIS@comcast.net. Please email all other questions to MissTrishy@hotmail.com or ROBERTFERRIS@comcast.net, and NOT to the National Beanie Babies Association or to anyone named Nancy or N. Murdoch (of the new and completely useless United Beanies Union Group who only have seven members [who are all related]).

4. Messages to the LABBA list group should be about “hot” flea markets, new and true selling techniques, trading, identifying unauthentic babies, AA group times and intervention methods, and NOT about complaining about club dues or low f@*%king eBay bids.

5. Please do not send requests asking for advice on beanie baby pricing to the group. If you don’t know what the market value of your babies is, then you shouldn’t be selling your babies. Period.

6. To order an official LABBA T-shirt, please send $29.95 through PayPal to MissTrishy@hotmail.com. Please be sure to specify if you want Trap The Mouse on the front or Inky The Octopus (tan, with mouth). Only L and XL available. 50 percent cotton.

We appreciate your participation in the LABBA group very much. Remember that we’re always accepting pictures of you with your beanie babies for our web site!

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Dave’s Retirement Lunch

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Good afternoon and welcome to the retirement lunch for Dave Martin. I’m Bill Rankin, the Director of Western Operations. Since neither our CEO Chet Weston nor Dave’s boss Steve Lester could be here and because I drew the short straw, I’ll be emceeing today’s festivities. Both Chet and Steve are in an all-day meeting about printer supplies and paper-clip budgeting and send their regrets.

I don’t know Dave personally; I only know him by reputation. But, boy, what a reputation! If all the employees of Candu Consulting had the same attitude as Dave, this would definitely be a different company.

Whereas most of our employees retire once they reach the maximum pensionable service of 35 years, Dave has shown his dedication and loyalty to our business by hanging on well past the maximum to 43 years. Apparently there was little economic advantage for Dave in serving those additional eight years apart from a steadfast and abiding faith in the inevitability of receiving a golden handshake.

Despite countless refusals from senior management, Dave demonstrated the tenacity and can-do attitude of Candu Consulting and refused to take
“no” for an answer. His fighting spirit is an inspiration to us all and I’m sure that you are aware that, thanks to an unfortunate oversight in our employee termination procedure and the undisclosed terms of a court-ordered settlement, Dave recently obtained a severance package that can only be described as generous in the extreme.

As I said, I don’t know Dave personally. But his many accomplishments have been like a shining beacon to the employees working in my division. Who would have thought that you could go on a drunken binge, miss work for four weeks, get fired, file a grievance and still get reinstituted with full pay plus compensatory damages? Probably the same person who assumed that zero productivity over a three-year period would not lead to employment sanctions but rather result in an award of merit in return for a promise never to touch the Dickson Motors file again.

Speaking of productivity, the force of Dave’s personality is so strong that even his leaving will have a dramatic effect on our bottom line. Just to show you how much his absence will be noted, Accounting has estimated that next year Candu Consulting expects a 20 percent increase in revenue which is almost entirely attributable to Dave.

I’m glad so many of you could make it. What with quarterly budgeting and this being a Friday, we didn’t expect such a turnout. However, given that the company decided to pay for the lunch and give each attendee the afternoon off, it is indeed gratifying to note that most of the eight chairs around this table have been filled. That is indeed a testament to the warmth and affection Dave’s co-workers have for him — particularly those who have not yet obtained a restraining order against him.

As with any retirement dinner, it gives us a chance to celebrate the many contributions and accomplishments of the retiree. I took the liberty of conducting a quick online search of several daily newspapers as well as the local court docket.

I think it goes without saying that when an employee’s workplace accomplishments receive recognition even beyond the corridors of Candu Consulting, that is worth noting. To say that Dave is entirely responsible for our current Personal and Sexual Harassment Policy, our state-of-the-art fire alarm and building exit plan and the deadbolt locks on each office door would be an exaggeration. But we definitely can say that Dave’s behavior was the ultimate inspiration for each of these previously unwarranted initiatives.

It is usually at this point in the festivities that we ask the retiree to say a few words and accept a gift as a token of our appreciation for his long service, if not gratitude for his upcoming departure. However, I am told that Dave is not with us today since he is apparently still diligently working at using up his remaining sick days before his official departure next Friday. As for a gift, Dave has asked that we forgo the traditional gold watch and instead, as he so colloquially and humorously put it, “cut me a check” for the purchase price.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, will you please raise your glasses and toast our departing colleague Dave Martin. I think we can all agree that, given our newly stringent hiring guidelines, we will not see his kind again.

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