Per the request of my very first non-family member fan, I would like to take a few moments to introduce the stuffed moose I have referenced several times in this blog. Pictured at left is Milty, who is a Mary Meyer Flip Flop — described on one web site as “extremely relaxed animals.” Roughly seven years ago, after a tasty lobster roll at a hole in the wall in southern Maine — Sloth and I paid a visit to the adjacent gift shop. There, among the tacky shot glasses, aprons and clambake cookbooks, was Milty. Once I saw his bulbous mandible, floppy limbs, green and white bow tie and sad little eyes, I knew he was coming home with me. I have a special place in my heart for this particular moose because he’s very quiet and very nervous (“relaxed,” in the description above, refers to his apparent lack of spinal cord, not his mental state). He doesn’t speak. To convey his thoughts, he flops around at different RPMs, depending on his emotion. He also nods or shakes his head. When he’s confused, which is often, he scratches right under his antler. He’s also very severely nearsighted. If you have the chance to meet him, you may feel an overwhelming desire to hug him. Even Jan, who has little tolerance for my stuffed menagerie, said this of the moose: “What’s that one’s name? He’s kind of funny.” Milty will be thrilled that you’re interested in providing a loving embrace, of course, but he’ll probably bounce into the wall or a chair en route to you.