I promised a 2nd part to my highly successful post, “Asleep With Salad in My Mouth: Stories About the Wolfe, Part I.” Well, here’s part II.  You would think one post would be enough to capture the madness defines Kris Wolfe.  The Apostle John wrote something, and I think it applies to Kris as well:  “There are so many things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books” (Eugene Peterson, The Message).  I could easily write a book about my time in the Wolfe’s lair.

6)  Speaking of books, when I returned to the U.S. after teaching English to children in Belarus in the summer of 2002, I found a copy of a book about King David on Kris’ floor.  “I have that book too,” I thought to myself.  “Except mine doesn’t look like it’s been chewed on by a teething Wookie.”  Indeed, its pages were dilapidated, its spine racked with fatigue.  When I pointed out to Kris that I too owned that book, a sheepish look crossed his face. “Oh… I think this is your book, actually.  Sorry.”  Library card, revoked!

7)  Anyone who ever visited me when I lived with Kris had to contend with the seemingly permanent stack of boxes outside of our front door and in our living room. These boxes contained countless pharmaceutical promotional products, like the Cialis yardstick (A bit tacky, me thinks) or the plush internal organ children’s play set, which was my personal favorite (“Larry the Liver wants to go for a walk!  C’mon now, Gladys the Gall Bladder!  Join us!  Don’t be so full of hatred and bile!  You’ve got some gall!”).  It was impossible to enter our house because the door was completely blocked.

Once, when Kris was eating pancakes, he tripped over a pile of his own boxes and fell to the floor, sending his pancakes flying through the air like edible flying saucers.  All of them landed on him as if he were their father.  That day, Kris wore pancakes with pride and almost appeared in the September issue of Vogue.

For the second story relating to boxes, I quote my own blog (to alter this text would be to desecrate a masterpiece) from December 30th, 2005:

“UPS and FedEx always deliver massive quantities of massive boxes to my housemate Kris because he works for Eli Lily Corp., so it was nothing strange for him to receive the usual pile-o-boxes last week.  With the holiday season in full swing, he decided not to open these boxes until today, as he obviously equates the boxes with work.  So it was a great surprise to him today when he opened one of the boxes only to find…

Christmas presents.  Not pharmaceutical samples. Christmas presents.

And the presents were not for Kris.  Or me.  Or Dale (Campbell).

They were for some poor kids at 1567 S. Rogers, which is not our house.  So basically, some kids somewhere are probably crying and throwing themselves off of balconies because they think Santa hates their cute little guts. (And I mean, he probably does.)

So Kris tromped down the street with great pluck, searching for 1567 S. Rogers.  He eventually left the package on the doorstep of the house on the corner, and returned to our spendid villa.  When he returned, he triumphantly proclaimed, ‘You know, Chad, I don’t think I left the box at the right house.’  (Yes, I also raised my eyebrows at this point.)  And so he promptly ran back into the clutches of the night to search for 1567 S. Rogers again. Maybe the kids got the presents.  Maybe they did not.  All I know is, it’s a good thing Kris is not Santa Claus.  There would be millions of child suicides every December 25th if he were…”

8)  Another time, when Kris’ car was being repaired after he was rear-ended by some lady who frankly did not know better than to mess with Fabio’s mullet-haired cousin Kris, he had to drive a rental car for a few days.  On one of those days, as soon as I walked in the door Kris said, “Chad, I’ve lost my rental car keys.  I need you to drive me somewhere now!”  License, revoked! Since I lived with the guy, I hardly felt like I had a choice, so I agreed to be his chauffeur.

It is worth mentioning that when Kris wants something done “now,” he does not mean “now” as most people do.  “Now,” in Wolfe terms, is an elastic concept that stretches like an elastic band in a good pair of underwear. Time, in the mind of the Wolfe, is a lot like the five loaves and two fish Jesus used to feed the 5,000 in the Bible.  It expands, and there is plenty to go around, and in the end Kris thinks he will be able to fill at least 12 baskets with a bountiful surplus of minutes and hours. The only problem is, time is not actually expanding at all.  It is as constant as ever.  The only thing being stretched is the patience of the party who is waiting on the Wolfe.

In that particular instance, “now” turned into 45 minutes.  I sat on the couch, waiting for him to get ready while I read ESPN magazine, which we received for no particular reason (“Yeah Chad, I don’t know why we get those.  I’m not really into sports.  Are you?  I didn’t think so.”).  After he showered and changed clothes and ate a chicken breast on a fork, I drove him to his destination.  The sun was setting and the crickets were chirping, but I drove him there “now” like a good roommate.

Some other sucker drove Kris home later that night, and as soon as he walked in the door he exclaimed with childlike enthusiasm, “Hey Chad!  My car keys were outside on the lawn the whole time!  I guess I dropped them out there earlier!  Ha ha!  Ha ha!”  I did not laugh with him.  Hey Mr. Police Officer, I thought.  Kris’ body was buried in our backyard the whole time!  I guess I put him there after he lost his car keys!  Ha ha!  Ha ha!

After that, I tried to sell him on eBay. “Muscle-bound drug sales-rep with penchant for tardiness, losing things, eating bland protein-rich foods, singing like a woman on steroids, falling asleep at random (possible narcolepsy), etc. available for sale from merchant in Springfield, MO.”  There were no bidders.  What could I do?

9)  Speaking of Kris’ diet of bland protein-rich foods, in the early days of living with the Wolfe (2001-2003 or so), he obsessively made protein shakes in a blender that sounded like a pedicure machine attempting to take on Janet Reno’s unsightly toenails.  One particular day he made an “oatmeal shake,” which is a pleasant way of saying he blended oatmeal, protein powder that tasted like chalk, and wheat germ in the aforementioned pedicure machine and set it on “Frap.”  After removing the pitcher from the machine, Kris sat the resulting edible-swamp down on the counter-top.

He was wearing a suit and had to be at a meeting in five minutes.  In his hurry to be on time (i.e. laughably late), he accidentally caught the edge of the pitcher with his elbow.  His oatmeal shake was airborne, if only for a second.  It was the first oatmeal shake to take flight in Missouri, and probably the last as well. After a surprise crash landing, the contents of the pitcher covered the entire kitchen.  The oatmeal shake was on the floor, the face of the refrigerator and the microwave alike, and even in Kris’ suit pockets.  Rather than cleaning the mess up, Kris simply cleaned himself and darted out the door for his meeting.  I will clean up the mess later, he probably thought. Oatmeal is probably really easy to clean up when it dries.  When he returned to the house later that day, the oatmeal had hardened like concrete on everything it covered.  It took him almost three hours to clean it up.  Of course, to Kris, this probably felt like three weeks.  For that matter, it might have been three weeks.  With Kris, time is a real mystery.

10)  Another time, Kris had been borrowing a CD of mine, and because the interior of his car looks like the contents of a bag lady’s shopping cart in New York City, I decided it was probably high time I recovered my CD.  I did not want it to suffer the same fate as my King David book, after all.

“Can you get my CD out of your car, Kris?”  I asked.

“Sure, if I can find it,” he replied.

Kris had been rambling around the house that afternoon, sniffing foods in the refrigerator and looking for misplaced items, so there was really nothing terribly pressing on his agenda.  So he went out to his car and began searching for the CD.  Within a matter of seconds, his brain shifted gears completely without a thought for my request.  A look of blank contentment crossed his face as he started his car, backed out of the driveway, and sped away without another thought for my CD.  I called him.

“Kris?”  I said.  “What happened to bringing me my CD?  You said you would get it for me.”

“Oh,” he replied.  “I can’t bring it to you now.  I’ve got to do something.”  Like what?  Destroy some more books?  Cover the entire Earth in an oatmeal shake?  Give those Christmas presents to their rightful owners six months after the fact?

11)  Actually, I suspect he was going to visit one of his friends who had names like “Trip,” and “Palmer.”  His friends all hated me, probably because they did not understand me.  Trip, in particular, thought I had the I.Q. of a subway turnstile. He would pull into our driveway on his motorcycle and radiate coolness, so I would talk to him in stilted hipster-speak, saying things like, “Hey man.  Man, hey.  Yeah, how’s it going, ‘ya know?  Yeah?”  I had no idea what else I could say to this guy.  It was like talking to Han Solo when he was frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back. I guess I didn’t understand Kris’ friends either.  Trip was cool, but communicating was not his forte.  Later, he would despise me because I liked cats, and I had two of them, and cats did not ride motorcycles (at least to his knowledge).

Kris had another friend named David who was genuinely terrified of me.  I would always say disturbing things to him like, “Humans are an excellent source of protein.  I suppose that’s why cannibalism persisted for so long in tribal cultures, David.”  David would look at me and tremble even though he probably could have killed me using only his thumb.  Like Kris, he was a body-builder, and he was probably versed in the martial arts as well.  He once told Kris he thought I could kill someone.  I liked that.  It made me feel dangerous even thought I was about as dangerous as a teacup poodle.

12)  Once, when he was staying at a hotel somewhere, Kris decided to clean out his carIf Kris ever has kids, he will have to strap them to the top of his car with bailing wire because there is just frankly no room for them in the backseat. I am surprised the U.S. government has not rented his car out as a mobile landfill.

I digress.  Clutching multiple empty boxes and fistfuls of miscellaneous trash, Kris spotted a fenced-in trash depository area nearby.  In a glorious moment of unbridled joy, Kris lobbed the contents of his mobile landfill over the edge of the fence and into what he presumed was a sizable dumpster.  His enthusiasm for freeing his car of its baggage, however, was dampened when this rain of trash was met with a series of disgruntled cries from inside the fenced-in area.  He had thrown his trash not into a dumpster, but into the hotel’s designated smoking area.

12)  The real masterpiece of Kris Wolfe folklore, however, involves our house itself.  It was May of 2006 and I had enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Kansas and would be moving in August.  I returned home from teaching public speaking courses at Missouri State University one day and found Kris happily munching on broccoli.

“I leased out the house, Chad!”  He exclaimed.  “I found new occupants for next year!”

“Good job, man!”  I said, patting him on the shoulder.  He had been looking for a new house for himself and had wanted to lease our house out to college students for some time.  New occupants meant money in his pocket, and sanity for his cluttered mind (which I suspect is a lot like the interior of his car).  “When do they move in, man?”

“Well,” he replied.  “You need to have your things out of here by next Thursday so they can move in.”  It took a minute for that to sink in, as it could have easily been a joke.  It was May.  I was moving to Lawrence, KS in August.  Had he been smoking those oatmeal shakes?

“Kris, I’m not supposed to move until August,” I said.  “You mean to tell me I have to move out in a week, find housing for the summer on extremely short notice, and somehow prevent myself from killing you in your sleep?”  The odds were not exactly stacked in the Wolfe’s favor.

“Well,” he said sheepishly, “they signed the lease.  It’s legally binding.  They will expect us to be out of here by next Thursday.  I can’t do anything about it.”

A week later, after nearly transforming Kris into kibble for my carnivorous cats, I was out of the house. Luckily for me, my friend Christin’s parents were gracious enough to let me live in their condo for the summer.  But it was a terrible inconvenience to have to pack up and leave, knowing I would I have to pack up and leave again only months later.  The stress of suddenly having no place to live and having to find a new home was, in itself, enough to make me want put Kris’ head on a post in our front yard, and he knew it.  He was terribly sorry for the pickle I was suddenly in, as he genuinely thought I would be moving immediately to Lawrence.

The best part, however, came when Kris realized he would not have a new house to move into before the new tenants would move into our house.  He too would have to find temporary housing, and he ended up in a place where smokers had lit up for years, making the place feel like a residential ashtray of sorts.  At least Kris and I both got the short end of the stick.  Of course, I wanted to beat him senseless with that stick.  But I felt a little better knowing he was living in an ashtray, walking around like a human cigarette butt, waiting for his house to become available.

These are the stories of my time with the Wolfe.  I suspect my five years with Kris really could not fit into a single book, but these stories will suffice for now.  In honor of Kris, open all of your kitchen cabinets and drawers and leave them that way permanently.  That’s what he did when I lived with him, and I think it really captures the openness and spontaneity that characterize Kris.