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Clinton and Trump reveal hairy problems

Maybe because I have unruly hair, I stay awake at night thinking about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I wonder if they struggle with their hair the way I do.  And what if they were to compare notes about their hair?

Mary StobieAt half past midnight Hillary Clinton’s cell phone rings. “I’m in bed!! Who has the nerve to call me so late and wake me up?”

“Donald Trump here. Would you rather I email you?”

“Oh God, no! No email!!!”

“Okay, Hillary. Calm down.”

“What do you want, Donald Trump?”

“Hillary dear, I look at myself on the TV news. My hair looks like a blur — and frizzy!. In one photo it blew straight up like a volcano and exposed my hairline. I didn’t look presidential. With all the campaigning you do, Hillary, flying here and there in different climates, how do you keep your hair looking so obedient, so under control? I’m thinking of using furniture shellac. “

“Donald!! Shellac would destroy what real hair you have left. I really do have to go back to sleep.”

“Sorry to bother you so late. But just before you hang up — please tell me what products you use?’

“I don’t use much, Donald. I wash my hair with Head and Shoulders.”

“Head and shoulders, Hillary? Isn’t that for dandruff?”

“No, I mean yes! But I’m not flaky!”

“Throw me a bone, Hillary. After you shampoo, how do you finish your hair off?”

“I let it air dry. No hairdryers.”

“Ah, maybe that’s why my comb-over looks like a brush fire. I’ve been drying it too much.”

“Donald, do you want to get your hair to look less like orange cotton candy?”

“Yes.”

“Try sponge rollers.”

“Rollers! I’ll never stoop that low, Hillary.”

“But rollers give your hair definition. And your hair looks too brassy, Donald. What hair color do you use?”

“None, my dear lady.  My hair is completely natural.”

“But Donald, you used to be dark-haired. Dark hair turns gray, not dog-puke blonde.”

“Let’s keep this friendly. You used to be a brunette, too, Hillary, not a peroxide blonde.  Do you wear a wig?”

“A wig is tempting, Donald Trump. But I don’t want to wig out.”

“I thought of a rug, Hillary. But then people might think I’m a snake oil salesman. Not authentic.”

“But you are an authentic —”

“Authentic what?”

“An animal from the Bible that starts with an A.”

“Don’t say it, Hillary. We’re having such a pleasant chat.”

“Ok Donald, You’ve been open with me, even vulnerable. I’ll share one secret with you. Humidity makes my hair limp. I buy hairspray by the truckload.”

“Tell me, dear lady, what brand? I need a better hairspray.”

“It’s called Lock It by L’Oreal. Just don’t use shellac or varnish.”

“I’m writing this down, Hillary.”

“Okay, Donald, this has to end. I have a big day tomorrow.”

“Fair enough. Good night, Hillary.”

“Good night, Donald Trump.”

— Mary Stobie

Mary Stobie is the author of the humorous memoir You Fall Off, You Get Back On. She  writes syndicated newspaper columns for Colorado Community Media and Senior Wire, and is a professional entertainment speaker.

Vacuuming the sidewalk at 3 a.m.

steven_eskewDon’t call me Ishmael, call me a nerd’s nerd. For a kid who grew up in an era when drug subcultures were rapidly rising, I surely emerged into the ultimate square.

Pepsi, please!

Some of my friends, however, dabbled in mild recreational drugs. Mostly marijuana. Being politically inclined, I quickly embraced the idea that pot should be legalized and stocked at the supermarket. And, by all means, place it in proximity to a generous array of munchies to satisfy one of the drug’s major side effects — a craving for junk food.

Oh, the evils of side effects.

As a college kid, I became addicted to domineering females. Anyway, that’s how I perceived all of my girlfriends. Mostly inflatable women. The side effect? These would-be dominatrices bamboozled nerdy little me into gracing parties where the hosts served booze. Now you’re talkin’. Where had booze been all my life? Who needed drugs?

Booze, please!

But, guess what? Booze itself qualifies as a drug. Who knew? No warning label on a bottle of booze existed detailing the drug’s side effects. Had that been done, my two ultra-nerdy brothers and I certainly would have never been kicked out of an exclusive eatery one night for dancing together atop our dining table.

When it comes to side effects, however, prescription drugs beat out pot and alcohol big time. For a time, even me sweet little Irish mom became a user. Let me qualify: Due to her obsession to stay forever slim, Mom talked her doctor into a prescription for diet pills. Those were the days when doctors commonly issued amphetamines without a second thought about side effects.

Consequently, Mom became an irregular chatty Kathy. She never lost her sweetness, but she was known to chitchat at lightening speed, nonstop, for up to two hours. And ambitious? She busied herself with one activity or another from sunrise to sunset and beyond.

Once, during one of my Christmastime visits, I was sleeping off one-too-many beers. It was past 3 a.m. when out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.  And what to my wandering eyes should appear but a side effect that rarely accompanies beer.

Oh, hell no! There was Mom vacuuming the sidewalk. When Mom noticed my watching her, she waved maniacally. I shrieked in horror and pointed to the cop who was coming up the walk.

As we age, prescription drugs qualify as a blessing and a curse. Oldsters need these meds, but the drugs’ side effects can exceed even some of the hallucinatory frights that dear old dad encountered from smoking bananas in his reckless youth. (He still refuses to discuss the side effects of Viagra, but I digress.).

Worst of all are the commercials for prescription drugs. A holy terror. The FDA requires drug companies to list a drug’s evil side effects for TV ads. That simply means that most one-minute airtime ads use 45 seconds summarizing the drug’s side effects, which include everything from diarrhea to death. That leaves only 15 seconds to embellish the drug’s exciting benefits.

As I age ever so gracefully, even my beautiful body requires certain over-the-counter products, like multi-vitamins. They counteract the side effects of what is commonly known as Tired Blood. That’s when the iron in one’s blood turns to lead in one’s butt.

I especially recommend specially-labeled senior citizen vitamins. Even for you young people. But don’t be surprised if you suddenly experience a strange craving for horehound candy. We, of a certain age, do so love our  horehound fix. Shhhhhh!

But it’s easy to detect a horehound user. Especially one who overdoses. Yes, horehound candy conjures up wicked side effects: mostly fun secretions. What kind? you ask. Oh, like watery eyeballs, post nasal drip and, if you suck down too many horehounds, it can even cause outrageous leakages — in regions which shall remain nameless.

With my nerdy system, a horehound sugar kick rates worse than a caffein overdose, inducing direful insomnia. It’s nearly 3 a.m. and I’m wide awake. That sidewalk of mine looks like it could use a good vacuuming.

— Steve Eskew

Retired businessman Steve Eskew received master’s degrees in dramatic arts and communication studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha after he turned 50. After one of his professors asked him to write a theater column, he began a career as a journalist at The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This led to hundreds of publications in a number of newspapers, most of which appear on his website, eskewtotherescue.com.

The reunion

Yvonne RanselI needed more time.

After 50 years I knew these people I passed notes to and TP’ed houses with and were my lab partners had accompished a lot. I was blissfully tired after two evenings of reminiscing, mourning and grinning widely with them, but I wanted more.

I know some people hated high school and, thus, reunions. And despite all the angst, raging hormones and crying in my pillow over being left out of some dumb basement party, I loved it. I had friends from every clique — from the collegiates who wore their hair like John Kennedy, to the greasers who looked like Vinnie Barbarino, to the brainiacs (now geeks) who were my friends in Math Club. I could have been labeled a geek, I guess. I mean, I worked in the front office for the principal during my study hall!  (It looked good on my college ap.)

Our nametags this weekend had our class photo and our full names on them. In most cases, I didn’t have to look at them. However, different hair color and glasses threw me and I would do the “squee” thing when I realized who they were. Hugs, kisses, sometimes tears followed and then the inevitable first question this year, “Are you retired yet?” Not “Where did you go to school?” or “Where are you living?” or “Do you have children?”

I’m a librarian, so I am always curious. I would stare at them when they answered “Yes” to retirement until they told me from what. That’s what I really wanted to know. “What did you do?” the last — whew —  50 years. Some were surprised at my question, wondering why I would care. And their telling would end up being a great story about an interesting profession or a geography lesson about where they had lived.

There were many who served in Vietnam, and I thanked them yet again for their service, some as 30- or 40-year careers in the military and some who are still suffering from that thankless war. There were small groups of men and women who still hang around together, never leaving the old neighborhoods, some still in their childhood homes. There were widows and widowers, some whose spouses were our classmates, who used these nights to help ease their pain.

Then there were the quirky stories: a retired fireman from the town where my sister lives just had to know which house was hers, because he knew them all; the rancher from Orlando whose 94-year-old mother refuses to move from Cleveland to there because she hates his new wife; the lawyer from Pensacola whose firm helped out my husband in a case; a good guy’s sister who has a condo very near ours on Fort Myers Beach and actually knew all about the failed golf course on that street.

There were a few of the class geniuses, one who has lived in the south of France for the last 40 years, a retired radiologist from that school in Ann Arbor who now only reads international xrays, and a retired biology professor from Kent State who was somehow involved with the discovery of Lucy. There was the nun who needn’t worry about foul language around her this time. (At our 40th reunion, when we danced up a storm, she just laughed when we shouted those “bad” words during “Mony Mony.”) Only a handful danced this time. We just wanted to talk. The DJ was superfluous.

This is why I needed more time. Around 11 p.m. on the second night, I was exhausted from talking and laughing since I’d arrived at 6 p.m. in my beloved Flats, where I spent many a night drinking 3.2 beer and dancing under the bridges of downtown Cleveland before I moved away. I gave away my extra drink tickets because I knew I had a drive in the dark through the maze of this underground to my sister’s house in the burbs. I knew I didn’t get to everybody and I sat up straight in bed that night worrying that I hadn’t recognized someone who had meant a lot to me. What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if I never get the opportunity again?

Our Student Council prez and the unofficial/official MC of this reunion suggested we come back the year we all turn 70 — which is (horrors) in only two years. I hope so. I need more time.

— Yvonne Ransel

Yvonne Ransel is a writer of essays — some humorous, some poignant — who is inspired by life’s crazy, everyday events. She was a librarian, then a bar owner, now a librarian again. She survived the ’60s and the millenium and the years in between as mother, wife and now grandmother of six.

The Breakfast Club

Jerry ZezimaBecause I am so culinarily challenged that both the fire department and the nearest emergency room have to be on alert whenever I try to get creative in the kitchen, I will never be a short-order cook.

But my 3-year-old granddaughter, Chloe, has all the ingredients to be one: She’s short, she follows orders and, as it turns out, she can cook.

I discovered this recently when Chloe stayed overnight with me and my wife, Sue, who’s pretty hot in the kitchen. She does all the cooking in our house with the exception of Saturday morning breakfast, which I make for myself because Sue, perhaps wisely, thinks it’s safer to have just a muffin and a cup of coffee.

I prefer to have a lot to eat because breakfast is one of my three favorite meals of the day. So I fire up the stove and make eggs and sausage.

On this particular morning, Chloe was there to lend a little helping hand.

First, we got up, which is always recommended if you want to have breakfast or, generally, a long life. On weekends, I like to sleep in (which is better than sleeping out, especially if it’s raining) and get up in time to have a late breakfast. The best thing about having a late breakfast is that as soon as you’re done, it’s time for lunch.

Chloe, on the other hand, likes to get up with the chickens, whose eggs we would be using to make an early breakfast.

We chose two eggs, a white one and a brown one.

“The brown one has a nice tan,” I told Chloe.

“A nice tan!” she repeated.

Then she got her little step stool, which she ordinarily uses to wash her hands after going potty, and brought it into the kitchen. She stepped up so she could reach the counter and, carefully following my instructions, which I often don’t follow too carefully myself, cracked the white egg. It started to run, so I helped her dump the contents, including a few small pieces of shell, into a glass bowl.

“Be careful or the yolk will be on you,” I said.

Chloe didn’t get Poppie’s lame joke, but she giggled anyway.

She did the same when I said, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of my eggs.”

Sue, who was within earshot, rolled the whites of her eyes.

We repeated the process (minus the jokes) with the brown egg.

Next I asked Chloe to place three sausage links in a pan. Only two came out of the box.

“Where’s the other one?” I asked Chloe. “It must be the missing link.”

At this, Sue exited the kitchen.

Chloe fished the third link out of the box and placed it in the pan, which I put on the stove. I turned on the heat.

“Be careful, Honey,” I said. “It’s hot.”

“It’s hot, Poppie!” Chloe declared as she turned her attention back to the eggs, which she whipped into a creamy mixture with a whisk. She did a much better job than I usually do.

Then I got another pan, into which Chloe poured the eggs. I put the pan on the stove, next to the one with the sausage, and returned to the counter to slice a bagel before putting it in the toaster.

“Do you know what kind of bagel this is?” I asked Chloe. When she was stumped, I said, “Poppie seed!”

“Poppie seed!” she echoed with a big smile.

After Chloe used a wooden spoon to stir the eggs in the pan to a perfect consistency, I placed them, along with the sausage and the toasted bagel, on a plate. Then we went over to the kitchen table, where she sat on my lap to share a delicious breakfast.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chloe got her own cooking show. Until then, I can proudly say that making eggs with her is a delightfully mad scramble.

— Jerry Zezima

Jerry Zezima, who served on the faculty at the 2010 EBWW, writes a humor column for the Stamford Advocate that is nationally syndicated through the Tribune News Service and regularly appears in the Huffington Post. He’s written three books, Grandfather Knows BestLeave it to Boomer and The Empty Nest Chronicles. He has won six humor-writing awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and was named EBWW’s Humor Writer of the Month twice. He is the past president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

One mortifying moment

cynthia-washingtonSexy underwear was coming to town! Victoria’s Secret announced its grand opening in a colorful (mostly flesh colored) full-page ad days after the opening of a new shopping mall.

After four years of baggy cotton briefs and absorbent nursing bras, I was ready! When I pointed to the sexy model wearing a thimble full of silk, my husband Charlie and I decided to go. I had doubts about bringing Sean, our four-year-old, along, but we didn’t need no stinkin’ babysitter!

Inside the busy Victoria’s Secret, sales staff helped customers make selections and graciously ushered them to plush dark-pink fitting rooms. I browsed sheer lingerie and became smitten with a tiger-striped push-up bra. Lost in a fantasy of wearing this little number under a starchy business suit, a Mona Lisa smile on my face, I was distracted by a giggle. Then the sales woman next to me began laughing. Curious, I looked up.

There he stood.

Face down in a stack of panties.

Our son.

Sean was rolling his face side to side, groaning with pleasure at a display table in the bustling entrance (of course). Passing shoppers slowed their pace to stop, look and listen. They also pointed and laughed.

I glared at his dad, the two of us instantly telepathic.

Do something!

I don’t know him.”

How can you not know him? He’s tethered to your wrist!”

That may be, but he’s 10 feet away.”

Are you kidding me? You were supposed to keep an eye on him!”

Look at this stuff!”

I was trying to! Get him outta there!”

Nope.”

Fine!”

I walked over and gently asked my son to lift his face from a stack of Mediterranean-blue silk thongs.

“Aw, mom, they feel soooooo nice on my face!” he protested loudly, his timing impeccable as he patted his cheeks for emphasis. A woman behind us erupted into a loud belly laugh. Blushing, I marched him to a bench a safe distance away. His dad followed at the end of the 10-foot tether, still pretending he wasn’t with us. I handed Sean over and told Charlie to stay out.

I didn’t buy anything, but I made a couple shopping decisions that day — leaving the boys home and wearing dark glasses and a trench coat the next time I browsed there.

— Cynthia Washington

Cynthia Washington, a retired federal employee, lives in Washington State (honest!), is a freelance journalist and a creative quilter. She’s written on many topics including compost worms and surviving a near-divorce experience after an archaeology dig “vacation.”

Regret and the empty nest

Kim EllerI’ve got a secret to tell you. You know what the empty nest really is? It’s a big old never-ending Monday morning quarterback session and it sucks.

When my youngest left for college, I wasn’t one of those weepy moms hanging out at the dorm dreading the goodbye. First of all, it was hotter than the hinges of hell, and anger is my only real emotion available in sweltering heat. There was a tense hug goodbye, mostly due to the fact we both were stinky sweaty, and he wasn’t appreciating my design-on-a-dime lecture. By the end of the day I was on my way home to air conditioning and freedom.

How I would fill my time was not a worry, I entertained. Hell, I had a list titled Freedom Sweet Freedom that was a mile long. I wasn’t short on plans for the future, and the top three were writing, sex with the door open and leaving the liquor cabinet unlocked.

I envisioned myself in a very compromising position wearing nothing but pearls and balancing a martini.

But things didn’t quite work out as I had so eagerly anticipated.

It turns out without someone to parent I was stuck in a playback reel of my worst parenting moments. I ended up crying over scrapbooks while clutching my pearls and drinking straight from the bottle.

Would Michael go into the world scarred because I didn’t make him a hot breakfast every morning? I have Lisa Grodman to thank for that guilt. Damn breakfast cooking mother!

Did I talk to the kids enough about money and finances or would they end up homeless and bankrupt because I let them slide on that stupid summer math homework?

Would my children dread coming home for break and try to slip home with a cool kid’s family? Would they dread coming home because I was too nosey? Those are their words not mine; I like to think of myself as actively interested in the lives of my children.

Would they recall all those times that I hid in the van to have a moment’s peace? I vaguely remember threatening to sell our house and get a one-room apartment if they didn’t get out from under my feet. I wish I had been more patient and realized one day they would be gone and I would be home alone drowning in vodka and nostalgia.

It just doesn’t seem fair that I have to spend my first days of quiet in 23 years filled with self doubt.

So yes, my nest is empty, but my heart is full of regret.

I wish I had been more patient and tolerant.

I wish I had colored more and worried about my house less. I wish I had built more forts and played more Barbies.

I wish we had taken more adventures and road trips where the destination was unknown. I have Angela Youngblood to thank for that guilt. Damn spontaneous road tripping mother!

I wish I had taken time to talk to them, really talk to them more often about things that mattered and not just about the importance of a clean room. From the looks of their dorm rooms that time was clearly wasted.

I wish I had snuggled more and hugged them really hard every chance I got. The kind of hug where they knew I never wanted to let go.

But I did have to let go and there’s no getting back that time. My only redemption will be with the grandchildren I hope to have someday.

So I guess with all this regret and wishing swirling around in my brain, it’s a good thing the liquor cabinet is all ready unlocked.

P.S. It’s really hard to relax and have great sex with the door open with all this time-consuming regret. Go hug your kids!

— Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds is a happily married, midlife maniac raising four talented millennials and is a caregiver for her crazy Southern mother (Bless Her Heart).  She chronicles her attempts at surviving all this on her blog Kim’s Crazy Life and for the Oakland Press in Pontiac Michigan.

Tantrums and trouble

Barrie BismarkJust imagine what the world would be like if it was acceptable for grown adults to act like children. I mean actually acceptable — at work, home, restaurants, wherever.

Perhaps it already is. I have witnessed far too many adults throwing tantrums and acting like toddlers in the workplace and in the general public. I fear that this behavior is becoming the norm. If I am being completely honest, I, myself, have been known to throw a fit or two when I didn’t get my way, but I’m usually right (at least I think so). I’ve seen it first hand — executives acting more ridiculous than young children who really don’t know any better. In my opinion, serious times outs are needed for those crybabies.

Like me, most toddlers want to rule the household. They lose their cool at the most inconvenient moments. They throw food, yell at people who annoy them, and just simply act like jerks because they can. They have a complete lack of inhibition and a way of manipulating everyone to get what they want, exerting control over everything.

Sound like anyone you know? Unfortunately, I know too many. What if everyone, not just the really special people who don’t have to abide by rules, ignored the etiquette expected of  adults? What would happen if all adults acted like toddlers on a regular basis? What if we all had the honesty of a toddler, social awkwardness of a toddler, or, worse, the temper of a toddler? If only all adults could get away with some of the stuff that toddlers do.

What if we:

• Chewed up our food and just spit it on the floor and walked away? Left it for someone else to clean up.

• Convulsed and thrashed about like a bizarre, intense interpretive dancer when we didn’t get our way?

• Scratched, bit or throat punched anyone that irritates us? (This one is tempting, so very tempting).

• Had a complete lack of personal space? (I hate close talkers.) Or just lurked and stared at strangers for a little bit too long?

• Got frustrated with something, and just said, “I’m done.” Throw it on the floor and run away crying. (I may have been guilty of this one a time or two…)

• Held our breath until we got what we wanted? Works for two-year-olds, and I’ve seen it work in the workplace as well.

• Flat out told people when we didn’t like their clothes and thought they looked fat?

• Cried uncontrollably when someone we liked leaves? OR cry uncontrollably when someone we don’t like stays? (Unfortunately I’ve seen that one far too often at work).

• Stopped dealing with stress in acceptable ways? Instead, we screamed and cried in public so, so loud simply because we can? (Again, I’ve worked with folks who did this regularly).

• Asked “why” for everything?

• Removed our pants because we didn’t want to wear them anymore, no matter where we were?

• Threw our plates across the room when we didn’t like the food or when we were “done?”

• Ate our dinner in the middle of the kitchen table?

• Took a nap whenever and wherever we wanted? (Like an IT guy I once knew who napped at his desk EVERY DAY).

• Wiped our snot on anything that was in our hands at the moment?

• Reacted this way when someone asked us to come to his office? We look them straight in the eye, smile and then run the opposite direction and say, “get me.”

Although “acting like a toddler” works well for actual toddlers, as an adult, we look like a dill weed throwing fits and acting like an a**hole when we don’t get our way. Adults, let’s raise the standards a little, especially at work. Let’s set an example for our children. So, crybabies (including myself from time to time), GROW UP. Get over it.

Now,  go to time out.

— Barrie Bismark

Barrie Bismark, the mother of three, is “amazed every day at the chaos, laughs, adventures and exhaustion that motherhood brings.” She works full-time in commercial real estate and in her free time she enjoys. …Oh, wait. She has no free time. She blogs here.

Mean mommy on back to school

Kerri LouiseWhen I was a kid, back-to-school shopping meant I was going to get some cool new jeans and sneakers.

Depending on my mother’s mood and finances that month, I might even get a pair of brand-name sneakers. Oh, I prayed to the “Sneaker Gods” for that cool pair of Nike, Converse high tops or Adidas to be on sale that day.

Maybe I’d come home with a notebook or two, and the shopping was done. It was fun, and I was back to the beach.

Back-to-school shopping has taken on a whole new meaning. Now that I have kids I hate back-to-school shopping. Fighting with them over why they’re not getting the jeans that make them look like they’re in a gang is the least of my worries.

I get a list of school supplies that I have to buy for my children, and it’s all due on the first day of school. Where was this list when I was a kid? We didn’t have these lists. In school, we had an endless supply of markers, pencils (already sharpened) and crayons. We had lots of scissors in a coffee can. None of them worked but they were free. Even the lefty kids had their own scissors.

Due to budget cuts, parents have to get all the supplies.

They send out the list early so you have the whole summer to get them, but being the organized mother that I am, I waited until the day before school started. I thought it would be easy. I would just get all the supplies at the dollar store, but then I realized that I didn’t want to be known as the “cheap mommy” on the very first day of school.

They needed three-ring binders, notebooks, pencil cases, highlighters, folders, plastic page protectors, tissues, Purell hand sanitizer and two packages of 20 #2 pencils. That led to some jokes from my two oldest. “Why are we writing while we’re doing #2? Do we have to get these pencils in public Mom? I don’t do #2 in school; I wait until I get home. These pencils smell like #2!”

I pretended I was annoyed with their sophomoric behavior, but deep down inside I thoroughly enjoyed it. I stopped laughing when I realized they had to be sharpened. Two packages of 20, times two kids. Do that math. …That’s 80 pencils that need to be sharpened by the end of the night.

On my youngest son’s list was a package of purple construction paper. I had to go to five different stores to get a package of purple construction paper. No stores had the color purple. They all had red — why couldn’t my son get red construction paper on his list? I swear I almost called Oprah to get the color purple.

Mean MommyFinally I needed Clorox bleach wipes. Clorox? What? Are we cleaning for the schools now, too? Did the janitor’s budget get cut, too? Next thing you know we’ll all be donating gas cards for the principal to get to school. Six hours and $93.35 later, we got our supplies.

The money doesn’t stop there. Don’t even get me started on the fundraisers that will be coming in my children’s book bag on a daily basis. Join the PTA! Our school needs money! Let’s get a new playground! And I love this one, let’s raise money for the school’s yearbook. Yearbook? My kid is in first grade. He doesn’t need a hardcover leather-bound yearbook, so kids who can’t even spell can write, “Dud! Hav a grate somer!”

Don’t get me wrong, I love the first day of school! I’ve been waiting for this day for three months. I had all their first-day-of-school outfits laid out, all their book bags packed, and their lunches made. I was ready, but we were up all night sharpening pencils so everyone overslept, and we missed the bus.

— Kerri Louise

Comic Kerri Louise has appeared on Oprah, Dr. Oz, The Howard Stern Show and The Apprentice. Kerri was a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and starred in Two Funny, her own reality TV show on The WE Network. Kerri has been featured on Comedy Central, was the warm-up comic for The View and performs at top comedy clubs and comedy festivals nationwide. She’s the author of Mean Mommy: Tales of Motherhood Survival From the Comedy Trenches. She lives in New York with comedian husband Tom Cotter and their three sons.

Reflections of Erma