A Tale as Old as Time

To quote the words of the great Kat Stratford from the hit movie 10 Things I Hate About You, “I guess in this society, being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time.” This is true today, back in 1999, and even in 1882. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this suggestion from an 1882 etiquette book. If a lady did not respond to a gentleman caller or at least did not respond in the timeframe he deemed appropriate, he was encouraged to send the following follow up message:

I’m not sure if Agnes ever responded to desperate Ed, the “nice guy” that he is, but I’d like to imagine it went a little something like this:

My dear self-proclaimed admirer,

It does come as a surprise to me that you have been plagued with such vexing anxiety, ruminating on why I have not acknowledged your pitiful attempt at chivalry. But alas, you are mistaken to think that I have wasted even a modicum of my precious time pondering a response to your countless letters. One might think you had invested in a paper mill given the number of letters I have received in the post in just four days’ time. To quell any qualms, suspicions, or apprehensions of my wellbeing, let me assure you that I am hale and hearty. In fact, there has never been a moment in my life when I have felt more elated, content, and jolly. It is as if a weight to which I had become accustomed was suddenly lifted. And if by some misfortune, I do fall ill, let it be from imbibing the choicest of wines and feasting upon the bounties of our earth with my lady companions.

If you persist in sending me such missives, I shall have no choice but to accidentally drop my candle near your dwelling. As the flames engulf your abode, I shall stand afar and rue my idle nature, wishing I could do something, anything to help. But alas, I shall not even spit upon the fire in hopes of quenching it. May your desires and your foolish presumptions turn to ashes and dust.

Never thine,


I know, I know.  This is why I’m still single.



A Hell of a Deal

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this sounds like a bad idea if you ask me. A working LeMarchand Lament Configuration? No thanks. I’ve seen how this ends, and let’s just say… it’s not good.

click the image for a sneak peek… I swear, this is not a trick to capture your soul for all eternity

I get that Facebook, Target, Walmart, and all of the others are tracking our every move, but, come on! Demons too? Which, makes sense really, if you think about it. Everyone is so tied to their screens these days, finding souls to torment just isn’t what it used to be. No one plays with Ouija boards anymore. The only thing getting sacrificed is our sleep. And long gone are the days of intricate demon summoning rituals, where one had to meticulously follow ancient texts and endure hours of incantations. Who has time for that? The Cenobites have always been clever and have always been able to adapt to changing times. They also understand the value of efficiency. So, enter the latest breakthrough in demonic marketing strategies: a clickable ad. Online shopping for the soon-to-be damned.

There you are, innocently scrolling through your news feed, catching up on the latest cat videos, and there it is — the alluring, otherworldly puzzle box that promises unimaginable experiences.  A quick tap, and before you know it, your soul is on a one-way trip to an eternity of suffering and pleasure. All for a steal at just $19.99.



A Modern Horror Story

Once upon a time, there was a curmudgeonly recluse named Wendy (Keep in mind, this is a made-up name for someone I don’t know… a fictitious person in fact. Yes, a fictitious person. This is in no way about me. I was not involved in this story. Nope. Wasn’t me.) who needed to go grocery shopping. As a raging people-hater introvert, she dreaded any form of interaction with strangers, but she couldn’t avoid this essential task any longer.

Upon arriving at the local big-box store, she was greeted by an annoyingly friendly worker who offered her some samples of a new type of granola. Wendy politely declined, but the worker drew closer and insisted, not unlike the witch in Snow White pawning off her poisoned apple, saying that it was delicious and that she just had to try it. It was only $7.99 for a 4 ounce bag, don’t you know? Wendy relented – albeit through gritted teeth and took a sample, only to discover that it tasted like cardboard mixed with sawdust. Blech. She quickly walked away, cursing herself for that slight hesitation in her step as she passed the sample stand and fervently hoping to avoid any further encounters with overly enthusiastic workers.

As she made her way down the first aisle, Wendy noticed a small, cute dog of the normal non-therapy variety riding in someone else’s cart. Wondering why on earth someone would bring a non-therapy dog into a place with food but happy she would get to meet a dog (maybe the day wouldn’t be so bad after all), she slowed down. Uh-oh. The dog was barking and growling at everyone who walked by, and even not so sneakily trying to get in a quick bite if people got too close. Disappointed at the fact that there was a dog she couldn’t pet, Wendy tried to avoid the cart, but unfortunately, it was parked right in front of the cereal she needed. Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter, if you’re wondering. So, she decided to take a deep breath and move quickly, grabbing the box of cereal and running away before the dog could get to her.

Being a little too graceless to really move quickly, when she turned to stay out of reach of the pup’s biters, Wendy slammed right into what had to be Bigfoot’s cousin or else a Hell’s Angel member – to say this guy was big and burly and hairy is an understatement. The impact caused his basket to crash to the floor and oranges (Really, oranges? I mean I guess no one wants scurvy, even Bigfoot’s cousin) went flying everywhere.  Desperate to escape the awkward situation, but raised to be polite, Wendy started picking up oranges while trying to duck and dodge the tiny terror’s snappy teeth. However, her new t-shirt was no match for the dog’s vicious chompers, and it got caught in his mouth. The owner got angry because “Why are you messing with my dog!? How did your t-shirt end up in my precious little boo-boo’s teefies? You’re going to pull out his teeth!” Rather than point out the obvious, that their precious little boo-boo badly needed anger management classes – and maybe the owner did too – Wendy just stuttered something to the effect of “Cute dog you have there. Nice teeth… and quick too.”

And if that wasn’t bad enough, when she bent down to grab the last of Bigfoot’s wayward oranges, her pants split right down the middle, exposing her neon-colored undies for everyone to see. The man just shrugged it off, saying “Looks like a typical Tuesday to me.” What does that even mean!? It was a Saturday for Pete’s Sake.  With a face as red as her striped underpants, Wendy fled the scene, trying to keep her pants from falling down and praying that nobody recognized her as the pant-splitting, dog-attacked fruit-picker-upper.

Taking a deep breath and steeling herself for what may come, Wendy made her way to the frozen section, where she encountered a group of snotty-nosed children sitting in the ice cream freezer. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. And we’re not using “snotty-nosed children” as a derogatory term… they really were snotty-nosed. Presumably because of the arctic climate in which they now found themselves. They were giggling and making such a mess that despite a craving that only rocky road could satisfy, Wendy opted to bypass the frozen confection and hit the yogurt case instead. Eat healthy indeed. Pfft. I mean it’s okay if you want to do it, but not so much if it’s because of goblins are camped out in the damn freezer case right next to the rocky road. Parents these days.

Muttering not so under her breath, she called it a day and made her way to the checkout lanes, only to discover that there were no cashiers available. She groaned inwardly, knowing that this meant she would have to use the self-checkout machines. As she scanned her items and bagged them, she couldn’t help but feel frustrated at how long it was taking. Which makes sense, since she missed the new-employee training session for cashiering. Every other item heard the dreaded “place the last item in the bagging area” even though the freakin’ thing was already in the bagging area. Did you know that yelling “it’s IN the bagging area!” louder and louder at the self-check-out does nothing to hasten your escape… instead it just causes people to stare. Yeah, well. Now you know.  And when she finally tallied up the cost of her meager haul, she was shocked to discover that she had spent almost $250 for only five meals’ worth of groceries. And yogurt. Not even rocky road. Ugh.

As I left the store… wait… I mean, as WENDY left the store, she couldn’t help but wonder why she bothered leaving her house in the first place. Amazon Fresh may be capitalism at its finest, but at least the groceries are delivered with no interaction whatsoever.

In her diary later that evening, she would recount in colorful terms how she survived the dreaded grocery shopping trip. It may have felt like a comedy of errors – or more like a modern-age horror tale – but she had managed to do it all while losing only a pair of pants and not her mind. And she would feel proud for having ventured into the wild world of grocery shopping. Even if she wouldn’t be doing it again. Ever.



The Name Game

Have you heard of a business where people are paid to come up with baby names? Yeah, you read that right. Trust me, it’s a real thing. Apparently, there are individuals out there who have the audacity are savvy enough to charge parents thousands of dollars to come up with a name for their newborn child.

These baby-naming services apparently require no special qualifications, except perhaps a knack for Googling the origins of names and a touch of creativity. And a great marketing team. If you have some cash lying around and don’t feel like naming your own child, you can simply outsource the task to these so-called “experts.”

Because of course the uber-wealthy would outsource naming their child… just like they outsource pretty much everything else.

I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of paying someone to name my child a bit ridiculous. It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your child, and you’re just going to hand it off to someone else? Plus, what happens when your child grows up and finds out that their name was purchased from a stranger because you couldn’t be bothered? Awkward!

Now, if you’re like me and have no interest in coming up with baby names, but still want to make a quick buck, there’s a better option: naming pets. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their days coming up with clever names for adorable floofs? And really, if rich people can’t find the wherewithal to name their own kid, do you think they’re going to name their pet? Doubtful.

You could be the next big thing in the pet-naming world. Your days would be filled with thinking up hilariously perfect names like Sir Pounce-a-Lot or Lady Fluffernutter or Larry. You’d be the go-to person for anyone looking for a fun and creative name for their furry friend. And the best part? You wouldn’t have to worry about the pressure of naming a human being.

Although, if you ask me, naming a pet is a great deal harder than naming a child. Basically, you’re dealing with a tiny, fluffy dictator who demands a name worthy of their unique personality. Of course, I mean the pet. Not the owner. And unlike naming a child, you can’t just pick a name that you think sounds nice and hope for the best. With pets, you have to consider things like their fur color, their breed, their favorite toy, and their weird little quirks. It’s a delicate balance between silly and serious, cute and cool, and something that won’t make you cringe every time you have to call them. Okay, well, it may sound like the same thing as naming a kid, but it isn’t. It just isn’t. No need to trample all over my dreams.

Seriously, though. This pet naming business idea is mine, so keep your grubby paws off. I’m already on my way to the bank with my epic business plan, ready to beg for a loan to pay for my dream team of marketing gurus. And if you’re rich and lazy and thinking of getting a dog or a gerbil or a fancy cricket… just have your people get in touch with my people and we’ll make the name thing happen.

Glazed and Confused

Eat better, the doctors say. Strive for a healthier lifestyle, the self-improvement articles say. Add more fruit and veggies to lower your cholesterol and extend your life – such as it is. Yeah, right. You can’t trust fruits and vegetables, if you ask me. Take apples, for example. They may look crisp and juicy, but when you take a big bite, they can be all squashy – kind of like a soggy old sock… and then you see the half a worm and can’t help but obsess over where the other half is headed. Blech. And avocados? Don’t even get me started. You leave those bad boys out on the counter for ten seconds and suddenly they’re all brown and slimy, like they’ve been sitting in a swamp for a week. And bananas, oh bananas. They can look so good on the outside, but inside, they’re sometimes mushier than a pile of wet noodles. Yuck. You know what never lets me down? Donuts.

Every time I sink my teeth into one of those sweet, doughy rings, it’s like a choir of angels starts singing. I’m not a religious person, but that should mean something, right?

Meanwhile, the apples are turning brown, the avocados are going bad faster than my ex’s personality, and the bananas I just bought a day ago are too far gone to even make banana bread. But you know who’s always there for me? My trusty donuts. So bring on the sugar rush, baby, because I’m sticking with my fried friends ’til the end.



An Introvert Life – Log Entry 59210

Impossibly Cheerful Motivational Speaker at Work Event: *exhausting rehearsed speech that includes convoluted – and obviously soul-sucking – instructions on a team-building role-play exercise and ending with an overly enthusiastic – if not overused – inspirational quote*

Me: Okay… wait a minute, wait a minute, let me get this straight. So you’re telling me that if I don’t go big, I may get to go home?




A Short Story of a Long Life

Write an autobiography they said… it will bring you happiness, they said. The hard work will be worth it, they said.  I don’t know why everyone thinks it’s such a difficult undertaking. Mine took about 60 seconds with time left over for a snack. They were right about one thing, though. Snacks definitely bring me happiness.

my self-published memoir