Cosmic Debris is a free humor column including science fiction humor, family humor, observational humor, and other types of humor
along with a few serious and/or poignant thoughts by award-winning newspaper columnist Gary Greenberg.
Cosmic Debris
  by Glen Greenberg

A Tough Day at the Office
Courtesy of The Islander News, Key Biscayne's award-winning newspaper

    Da-Da is busy this week, so I'm gonna write his column.
    My name is Glen and I have a Ma-Ma and Da-Da and a dog named Banyan who
kinda looks like a dalmatian but fatter. Da-Da never takes Banyan to work cause he
says she works guarding the house, which she does pretty well except for when
someone stole Da-Da's bicycle from the shed last week and Banyan didn't even
wake up to bark.
    So he took me to work on Wednesday, which is the longest day of the week if
you count the letters, which I can't.
    The place where Da-Da works is cool because they have a candy bowl which is
always full. I don't understand this. I don't understand why adults, who can choose
what they eat, would eat anything except candy, which is clearly the best tasting
food in the world.
    When we got to the office, I made a beeline for this candy bowl, which I
remembered from being there around Christmas. Back then, I had to wait for an
adult to give me some, but now I'm big enough to climb a stack of newspapers
sitting nearby and help myself.
    The Ma-Ma-type people at the office got a little nervous like Ma-Mas and
Nanas always do cause they thought I might fall, but Da-Da told them I was a good
climber, and when I wasn't being a good climber, I was a pretty good faller since I
never seem to get hurt.
    Anyway, I didn't fall and reached into the candy bowl and pulled out my
favorite type which is M&Ms. But most of the M&Ms were at the bottom of the
bowl and hard to reach, especially when you're standing tippy-toed on a stack of
newspapers tall as me.
    So I had to mostly settle for little Hershey's chocolate bars and Reese's
peanut butter cups, which are kind of hard to eat cause you have to peel off the
paper first or they taste as bad as asparagus. M&Ms are better and easier to eat,
which means you can stuff more in your mouth before your Da-Da comes along to
pull you away.
 The Ma-Ma type people made a big fuss over me on account of me being two
and a half years old. Seems that the older you get, the less cute you become until
you get real old like my great-Nana Pauline, at which time you start growing smaller
and become cute again.
    Everyone at the office said I looked exactly like Ma-Ma or Da-Da. I wonder
why people are always saying that since I don't look anything like them cause I'm a
lot smaller. Maybe we look alike cause we all have two ears and two eyes and one
nose and toes ranging from the big one that went to the market to the little one
that cried "wee-wee-wee" and ran all the way home.
    Anyway, I grabbed as much candy as I could and let Da-Da take me for a walk
to the tennis tournament. When we got to the ticket booth, the Ma-Ma type person
said that the Sampras match was cancelled. I stood up in my stroller and asked if
they had any candy or ice cream or anything related to Star Wars inside. She
laughed but didn't seem to understand me, which happens all the time, especially in
    Da-Da said that it didn't matter whether Sampras played or not unless it
meant getting a discount on the ticket, which it didn't. So we went inside and it was
like an art festival with all the tents, except that there was no art. Mostly there
was clothes and food and other things to buy, also not at a discount.
    We walked around till we came to the grandstand court where four Ma-Ma-
type people were playing tennis. When one hit the ball, I cheered, but Da-Da
shushed me. Then another one missed the ball and everyone cheered. This seemed
stupid to me, that you cheer when they miss the ball rather than when they hit it.
So I continued to cheer every time one of them hit the ball until other people in the
stands started looking at us like we had poo-poo in our pants, so we left.
    Da-Da took me to a place just for kids where I could play ball. But the games
were for bigger kids and the only thing I could do was kick a soccer ball into the
goal. Nobody clapped but Da-Da cause teenagers generally don't see little kids as
being cute so much as being in the way.
    Next we went to a movie in a great big tent where you sit on the floor and
the movie goes on all around you on nine or six screens. I don't know for sure cause
I can't count past three. In one way the movie was kind of neat, but it was also kind
of stupid since you can't see everything unless you're a Ma-Ma-type of person with
eyes in the back of your head. Also, there was no popcorn, which is the best part of
going to the movies.
    After the movie, we stopped by a pub tent so Da-Da could get a beer. I sat
on a stool by the bar, but the man who gave Da-Da his beer said I couldn't sit there
on account it would look bad or was illegal or something. Nobody else was there
except this Nana and Grampa-type couple who seemed to enjoy my company,
especially when I started chatting with them. But the man behind the bar made me
leave. Da-Da said not to feel bad since getting kicked out of a bar is something that
happens to everyone eventually.
    Next we went to the big stadium and took an elevator to the top button, then
walked up steps even higher until we were almost at the very top of the stadium.
Two Ma-Ma-types were playing, but they were so far away that they didn't seem
    It was a lot of fun to whack Da-Da with a cardboard fan that some Nana-type
person gave me. As usual, Da-Da laughed the first few times, then for no apparent
reason decided it wasn't funny anymore. That's okay, I found it more fun to just
drop things through the stands, like the fan and an empty cup and whatever was
laying around. Car keys would have been really fun cause of the noise they make,
but I couldn't find any.
    Da-Da said that it was a good tennis match and I should watch it, but I
wanted to leave cause walking up and down the stadium steps was sure to be more
fun. We did it a few times before Da-Da spotted a guy we see on the TV news every
night. Jim Berry, which sounds like a type of Juicy Juice, but isn't. Da-Da talked to
him, then we went to get ice cream, which was the highlight of the day. I got a
strawberry cone and we sat at a cafe-type table while I ate some and wore the
    Unlike Ma-Mas, Da-Das will let you walk around with melted ice cream on your
lips and cheeks and hands so you can always lick some off later, after your cone
runs out.
    We walked around, then left and went to the fire house where this Da-Da-
type named Marco, who was tall as some trees I know, let Da-Da and me climb
around the fire trucks and ring the bell and put on the lights and that was almost as
much fun as eating strawberry ice cream.
    Then we got into the car, and I guess I passed out cause the next thing I
knew, I woke up on Ma-Ma and Da-Da's bed.
    Some of the things we did that day I didn't remember till I started writing
about it. I'm glad I did cause it's good for a kid to know what his Da-Da does for
work, even though it doesn't seem much different than what he does when he's not

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