Hogan’s Goat or an Easy Way to End a Story


Tom Wilson

As I walked up to join my group of coworkers, the coworker from Ohio, Eddie, was saying, “He’s f****** up like Hogan’s goat.”

“Who you talking about,” I asked? The little group broke up somewhat sheepishly; I never did get an answer. All of which led me to suspect that it was indeed I that suffered from the affliction of Mr. Hogan’s goat.

Now I’m not 100% positive that it was in fact me Eddie was describing, but for the life me I could not think of another person in our office he would so impugn. I say this for the following reasons:

1.    Eddie never seemed to take to me. He questioned any idea I put forward in meetings, never included me in any office events he planned such as after work get-togethers at some local bistro, group betting pools, and the like.

2.    He never greeted me in the morning or said anything if we happen to leave work at the same time. Should we happen to meet anywhere, say in the hallway, restroom or lunchroom, he completely ignored me.  Generally he seemed wont to even acknowledge my existence as anything, be it coworker or, for that matter, human being sharing a similar situation in the world. By similar situation I mean gender, workplace, department within workplace, city, family situation, socioeconomic circumstances and religion (I saw him at church one Sunday). As far as politics are concerned, I’m not sure because, like I said, we never speak to one another.

3.    Too, I happen to be acutely aware of these snubs because he’s the only person know who treats me in such a way. It gnaws at my mind.

I had never heard the phrase before concerning Hogan’s goat, but assumed it was neither a desirable nor admirable state in which to be.

I tried to picture Hogan’s goat. Really all goats do seem to have a rather offbeat, different kind of look. I think it’s the eyes that make them so. That strange yellow color and the large black pupils give them a look that says, “Even though I’m an animal, I know something you don’t. My father-in-law once had a bunch of goats for a short while, so I had the occasion to spend some time around them. They did have a lot of personality. My father-in-law claimed and I think really believed for a short while that if he drank their milk he would live forever.

I walked over to Eddie’s cubical. I thought this would be a good time to have it out with him. What had I ever done to him to deserve such treatment? Now he’s trying to turn others against me. I had to put a stop to it here and now. His cubical was empty. Rats!
I turned and there he was; we were face to face …

Suddenly I awoke and it was all a dream.

I should add a few things that now seem significant that did not while I was dreaming. Throughout the entire dream I was dressed only in my red and black boxer shorts. Also, the action did not take place in my office; rather it was in the hallway outside the lunchroom of the school where I attended the 7th grade. Oh, my father-in-law was there too along with assorted uncles and aunts who said nothing, but just observed. For some reason, I was not able to communicate with them. Incidentally, all of them have passed away. One last thing, everyone else in dream including my family members was fully clothed.


Go figure.

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