Fancy Dan and The Olive

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, Fancy Dan walks into Happy Hour as I sat drinking dirty martinis with his ex. Although their paths continue to cross more than a decade after their messy breakup, they no longer acknowledges one another. But I always liked the guy. In fact, he gained his nickname from me.

In our group we were all equally obsessed with watching Seinfeld. Thursday nights we sat mesmerized in front of the television, and spent the following week quoting from the latest episode. One of our favorites was the fancy boy episode when Jerry sports a long fur coat and a European man purse and is taunted with name calling, "You are a dandy fancy boy!"

Our group had an outing shortly after that, and Dan's spiffy new shoes became the talk of the evening. I coined him Fancy Dan, and it became his permanent moniker.

Chewing my martini olives at happy hour, it occurred to me that only a week had passed since we said goodbye to our Haley. And seeing Fancy reminded me of the night we brought Olive home to be Haley's new companion. Fancy offered to drive me to the house in Minneapolis where Olive was discovered under the owner's porch, part of a small litter born to a feral mom. In Fancy's car, Olive escaped my arms and crawled under the drivers seat just as we hit 35W. She managed to squeeze her furry little body under the brake, and no amount of coaxing would convince her to come out from under Fancy's size 14s.

I am still not sure how we made it off the highway alive and kitten intact. Now an adult, Olive still loves riding in cars mainly because of the exploration they provide. We struggle to keep her from crawling under the driver's seat or pedals.

Fancy hasn't changed much over the years. He is a tall happy good-looking sharp-dressed fancy boy. I happily eavesdropped on his conversation at the table next to ours, and grinned back at him when he caught my eye and quoted from Seinfeld.


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