Saturday, February 21, 2009

Neet Squeeze

I occasionally think of Blanche.

In my prior life with the company I worked at for 36 years I was at times something called an "external auditor." This required me to leave the office (always a good thing) and travel with an enrollment representative/marketing person to the site of a group that had insurance coverage with us.

The objective was always to verify records. But formalities had to be followed, and I had to meet people first. On one such occasion, at a fairly small group I met the office manager/administrative assistant/secretary/benefits administrator, what have you, with our rep.

The woman I met was known to the enrollment rep, another woman, from her business visits to the site. I was introduced to Blanche, a complete character. There is no other way to say it than to quote the Pirate King from Pirates of Penzance: "there are the remains of a fine woman about her."

Blanche was friendly, voluble, and constantly reminding me, someone she hadn't met before, that she used to a be a nurse, and was therefore absolutely the right person to now be handling the group's health insurance claims. Since these claims, then pieces of paper, contained medical information that could be read by anyone, I immediately agreed with her.

My father would have described Blanche as a "gal." "Quite a gal." A "live wire." If he were doing the audit, he and Blanche would have at least started with lunch, cocktails, and pleasure would have probably pushed business out the window before the six o'clock news popped on the air. But the son is not the father, so I only wanted to complete the business side things.

When I had a moment alone with the enrollment rep I asked if Blanche's last name were Dubois. She said no, it was Dreyfus. God, I was close.

Lynn, the rep, told me that obviously I could tell Blanche was a bit of a character and that she sometimes had trouble talking to her about anything. She related the time she asked Blanche if she had any vacation planned, and where would she be going. Small talk.

Lynn repeated the lasso motion of twirling something over her head and said that Blanche told her that she doesn't really plan vacations. She just pulls out a pair of panties and a toothbrush and takes off.

I remember telling Lynn that at least we might be somewhat sure that Blanche is not completely naked when she's brushing her teeth.

I occasionally think of Blanche.

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