My Mother, ‘Mom,’ had 4 older brothers, and 4 older sisters. Of my uncles, Uncle Bob had the best – maybe some folks would say ‘the sickest’ – sense of humor. I tend to emulate his humor every chance I get.
Uncle Bob built and operated a slaughter house/meat packing plant. It was more or less, a family business that he ran for the better part of 30+ years. (I think he might take exception with some skinny, community organizer from Chicago, telling him he didn’t build his business.) Typically he might have 5-6-7 employees at any given time; family and friends.
One day a state bureaucrat showed up on the property. Besides fools and meat inspectors, Uncle Bob didn’t suffer bureaucrats very well either! He told me that when this guy showed up, he decided to see just how far he could “push him.” (I wish you could hear the laughter in my mind as I recall how Uncle Bob told the story.)
The State of Oregon wanted to know how many folks were working in small businesses, and in what capacity. Uncle Bob played it straight with his first 4 or 5 employees: cutters, butchers, etc. When he got to the second-to-the-last guy, Uncle Bob told the state bureaucrat that he was their company “flunkie.” The “suit” was beside himself – he didn’t have a position listed as a company “flunkie.” And soon, around and around they went. Uncle Bob would not budge an inch.
The “suit” suggested that they guy might be a errand boy. “Nope,” replied Uncle Bob, “flunkie.” Then the kid suggested he might be a “general hand.” “Nope, flunkie,” Uncle Bob responded, as he held his ground. Finally after a half hour or so, of going back and forth, the kid felt it useless, and wrote down “flunkie.”
Clearly flustered now, the kid asked about the last guy.
“Oh,” Uncle Bob replied, “he’s the flunkie’s assistant.”
Without another word, the kid got in his car, and left!