WSN: Coffee and Conversation with Larry Ahrens

This week’s Coffee & Conversation is a little different. I cannot write about grief right now. Eight months in and lately I’ve been feeling more loss for my wife – not less. The COVID thing drags on. So, let us talk about something else. Here is something you can apply in your life right now.

I ran across this interesting book by Esquire senior editor Ross McCammon. The book is “Works Well with Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You.” Great title, huh?

In the book McCammon came up with a simple, easy test to help you evaluate how you feel about someone. Do I trust this person? Maybe this person is fun and interesting in some situations but not all. This test can apply in business or personal relationships. It works for both. You give them the “Two Beers and a Puppy” test.

When you encounter people McCammon recommends a simple test in which you ask yourself two questions: “Would I have two beers with this person?” and “Would I allow this person to look after my puppy over a weekend?”

“Some people are yes and yes, and those are the best people in your life,” McCammon said. “Hopefully, you were raised by people like that. Hopefully, those are your friends. And then there’s the no and no people — those are the assholes.” Yes-beer, no-puppy people “are to be cautiously trusted,” he writes in the book, while no-beer, yes-puppy people “are no fun but they make the world a better place — for puppies, especially.”

He says about the yes and yes people: “These people are wonderful people, and your life and work are better for having them in your life. Seek them out. Collaborate with them. Enjoy their company.”

I have a couple of take-away’s from this test. The answers you get from this test are guaranteed to be revealing. It might even lead you to seeing a relationship in a different way. Secondly, if someone isn’t hitting high marks, it doesn’t necessarily mean you stop investing in the relationship. Maybe an investment is exactly what the relationship needs. It is a step toward increasing the number of people in your life and work who you like and trust. That is certainly worthwhile.

Find as many “two beers and a puppy” friends as you can, and better yet, strive to be one yourself.


Larry Ahrens is a radio (KDAZ 96.9 FM) and television (KCHF-TV) personality in Albuquerque, New Mexico where his show, “Coffee and Conversation” is broadcast-ed. Larry’s articles appears every other Thursday, right here, on WSN-MO. You can send private messages to him on Facebook.


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