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    Calling in Sick....

   A Cat Owner's Story Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable
   because no matter how legitimate my illness, I always sense my boss
   thinks I am lying. On one occasion, I had a valid reason but lied
   anyway because the truth was too humiliating to reveal. I simply
   mentioned that I had sustained a head injury and I hoped I would feel
   up to coming in the next day. By then, I could think up a doozy to
   explain the bandage on my crown. In this case, the truth hurt. I mean
   it really hurt in the place men feel the most pain. The accident
   occurred mainly because I conceded to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute
   little kitty. As the daily routine prescribes, I was taking my shower
   after breakfast when I heard my wife call out to me from the kitchen.
   "Ed!" she hearkened. "The garbage disposal is dead. Come reset it."
   "You know where the button is." I protested through the shower
   (pitter-patter). "Reset it yourself!" "I am scared!" She pleaded.
   "What if it starts going and sucks me in?" Pause. "C'mon, it'll only
   take a second." No logical assurance about how a disposal can't start
   itself will calm the fears of a person who suffers from
   "Big-ol-scary-machinephobia," a condition brought on by watching too
   many Stephen King movies. It is futile to argue or explain, kind of
   like Lloyd Bentsen telling Americans they are over-taxed. And if a
   poltergeist did, in fact, possess the disposal, and she was ground
   into round, I'd have to live with that the rest of my life. So out I
   came, dripping wet and buck naked, hoping to make a statement about
   how her cowardly behavior was not without consequence but it was I who
   would suffer. I crouched down and stuck my head under the sink to find
   the button. It is the last action I remember performing. It struck
   without warning. Nay, it wasn't a hexed disposal drawing me into its
   gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, clawing playfully at the
   dangling objects she spied between my legs. She ("Buttons" aka "the
   Grater") had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I took
   the bait under the sink. At precisely the second I was most
   vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged
   them with her needle-like claws. Now when men feel pain or even sense
   danger anywhere close to their masculine region, they lose all
   rational thought to control orderly bodily movements. Instinctively,
   their nerves compel the body to contort inwardly, while rising
   upwardly at a violent rate of speed. Not even a well-trained monk
   could calmly stand with his groin supporting the full weight of a
   kitten and rectify the situation in a step-by-step procedure. Wild
   animals are sometimes faced with a "fight or flight" syndrome; men, in
   this predicament, choose only the "flight" option. Fleeing straight
   up, I knew at that moment how a cat feels when it is alarmed. It was a
   dismal irony. But, whereas cats seek great heights to escape, I never
   made it that far. The sink and cabinet bluntly impeded my ascent; the
   impact knocked me out cold. When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics
   stood over me. Having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics
   snorted as they tried to conduct their work while suppressing their
   hysterical laughter. My wife told me I should be flattered. At the
   office, colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me. I kept
   silent, claiming it was too painful to talk. "What's the matter, cat
   got your tongue?" If they had only known.

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