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Posts tagged ‘funny’


When I met Emma, she couldn’t pour her own cereal because she destroyed the kitchen. The whole place would have scattered cereal and spilled milk everywhere. It was like the Tasmanian Devil got hold of the Cheerios.

We’ve come a long way since then. She makes her own breakfast now. Having mastered that she’s moved onto bigger things–teaching me stuff, which is not as easy as it sounds. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Sandwiches do not need condiments. You taste the meat and cheese so much better. You get the essence of the unadulterated flavor.

The Review tab takes you to Spelling and Thesaurus in MS Word.

Coconut oil is great for your hair. It makes it shiny and soft. Note: A little goes a long way.

How to change the interior car lights to different groovy colors—a car feature I had no idea existed.

Ice cream in a cup is better than in a cone if you’d like it to stay solid when it’s a hundred degrees outside.

It’s fun to surf the floor in your socks. You need to watch your speed. Wood floors are hard. In the event of an emergency landing do the butt.

Chicken wire and manure have many uses. We won’t go there. Layce is still mad about it.

Recorder players are cool. Now, I am a record sniffer-outer in flea markets, antique shops, and thrift stores. Buying records facilitates a dialogue with others.

You can’t be lost if you’re still in Oklahoma. (Also, all cows look alike. You can’t use them as landmarks.)

She taught me that it is possible to crack the screen of your laptop by tripping and falling. I have experienced this myself. It’s alarming.

She taught me that you really can lose your glasses in a hay maze. I keep mine in sight at all times, most times, okay, there have been slip-ups.

It’s okay to wear a wig.

mismatched stuff 010



“We can’t go that way,” I told Emma. We were walking home after the belly dancing show in the park.

“Why not? It’s shorter,” Emma said.

“Because of the beaver.  I can’t deal with it. I tried to call the city to pick it for two days now.”

“Is it dead?” Emma asked.

“As a door nail.”


“Remember when you used to keep track of the dead animals we’d see on our road trips?” Emma asked.

“I had to stop doing that. It was too traumatic and I was concerned I’d start stopping to bury them.”

“Didn’t you have a character in one of your books that did that?” Emma asked.

“It was in my Family Affair trilogy. Chase did it. She couldn’t  bear to watch a beaver or any other animals get squished and taken to parts unknown in the tire treads of all the cars that will run the poor things over. And neither can I. If your mother hadn’t had stellar reflexes we would’ve high-centered the Jeep going over it,” I said. I was so busy worrying about the beaver that I didn’t realize we’d arrived at our street.

“Come on, you can do it,” Emma said.

“I can’t look.”

“Just pull your shirt over your head like you do when you watch scary movies.”

“I only do it when there’s a lot of blood, or needles, or dark hallways leading up to closed doors or…” I stopped. Evidently, I did wear my shirt over my head a lot. “Oh, all right. You’ll have to lead me past the beaver because I won’t be able see.” I pulled my shirt up over my eyes.

We got past the beaver without incident. At the top of the hill, Em told me it was safe to come out. I pulled my head out of my shirt. “What did the beaver look like now? Was it smooshed, dismembered, and lying there as a reminder of the complete disregard for the sanctity of a dignified death?”

“I don’t know.”

“How can you not know?”

“Because it wasn’t there.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me? It’s hot under my shirt.”

Emma just smiled.

“Does this have anything to do with my comment on your room?”

“You mean the one where you called it a cesspool of teenage funk and disarray?”

“Sounds familiar,” I said.

“Then, yes.” She looked at me and grinned.”Paybacks are hell.”

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I slapped a fat manila folder down on the table. “It’s finally done. Now we can go.” I was thrilled.

“What’s this?” Layce asked, gingerly picking up a corner of the folder as if what’s inside might leap out and snap off a finger.

“It’s the history of Hot Springs, demographics, weather predictions, must-see sights, morning walks mapped out, the best place for coffee and lunch, a list of all available hotels and their amenities, coupons, more maps, and reviews I want to compare to see just how people come up with those snippets on TripAdvisor, and a detailed packing list of all the things we’ll need to make our trip a success. Do you have any questions concerning your packet?”

“Huh?” Layce asked.

“You need to read all that so you’re prepared for our trip. I’ve included photos so you can get the feel of the place. See,” I handed her a series of photos of the Garvan Woodland Gardens. “And that’s the Grand Promenade,” I said indicating another photo. We’ll walk that the first morning. There are some great coffee shops along the way.” I pointed to the list of coffee shops, bistros and restaurants I had compiled.

“You have times listed here,” Layce said, scanning down the page.

“I made out a daily agenda so we wouldn’t miss anything. It just makes things easier. You get up, and you have your day all set up because your wife is taking care of everything. Now, I think you should go pack.”

“We’re not going for another six weeks.”

“No time like the present.” I grabbed the car keys.

“Where are you going?”

“To get the oil changed, the tires rotated, and a 52-point inspection. You don’t expect me to leave town without doing that. Safety first.”

I looked down at the presentation folder as it sat looking forlorn on the table. “Why aren’t you reading? You’ve got a lot of material to cover in six weeks. I expect you to be fully prepared.”

“Will there be a test?” Layce asked. She’d gotten up to pour coffee.

“No, but I put a lot of time into researching.” I put on my best pout face.

“But this is like watching those movie trailers that are too long. After you watch it, you feel like you’ve already seen the movie.”

“Are you saying you don’t want to go now?” I asked.

She flipped through the folder and said, “All the best stuff’s in here. We’d save a lot of money if I just read this. Then we wouldn’t have to go and spend a fortune on a vacation.”

I snatched the folder out of her hands. “Forget it. You’re not reading this.” I dumped it into the trash. “Forget it even existed.”

Layce smiled and walked out of the room humming a tune that sounded a lot like We Are the Champions.

Why do I get the feeling I was just bamboozled?

Stay tuned for The Big Trip Part Two.

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Till Beth

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The Cold, Hard Truth

I had been led to believe I was the perfect child for most of my adult life. Then one day my mother dragged out a box of letters that she’d written to my departed grandmother. They told a completely different story—a story of a tyrant, an errant flower girl, an anarchist Brownie (not the kind you eat) and a Halloween Scrooge.

It goes like this. Every day after grade school, the neighborhood children gathered at our house. One late afternoon as my mother took out another pitcher of lemonade, my father asked why everyone always gathered in our backyard.  My mother looked at him coolly. She pointed at me. “Because she can’t be the boss at someone else’s house.”  This was true. I prefer to control my own environment even now.

This need for control got me ousted from Brownies. My mother decided that socialization with other little girls would be a good idea. She dressed me in brown and sent me off. The first couple of times were okay. A bird pooped on our leader’s head during a bird watching session. I enjoyed that but insisted from then on I would always wear hats when in the woods. Which I still do.

It was the crafts part of Brownies that was my undoing. I thought it was inane to roll up pages of magazines and glue them to the outside of an empty gallon ice cream container in order to make waste baskets. As I pointed out, I already had a waste basket and I didn’t think taking away much needed manufacturing jobs was the sort of thing the Brownies should do—especially during dire economic times.

The next letter’s interlude had to do with my aunt’s wedding. For some reason unbeknownst to anyone other than my four-year-old self, I had gotten peeved about my flower girl dress and had what we refer to in my family as a “hissy fit.”  So, as was described in the letter, I held up a wedding, further stressed out the bride and refused to ever return to the wedding’s country of origin—Bicktoria (Victoria), B.C.  I have since returned.

As a child I adored Halloween. It was less about the dressing up and more about the acquisition of free goods. There would be few times in life that people actually opened their doors, smiled and cooed, and handed you candy. Halloween seemed the only time that adults did not fear hoards of children coming at them. At the end of the evening, I would dump out my pillow case full of candy and begin the inventory. I sorted the candy bars and treats into their respective categories and tallied up the totals. I went to bed and the next morning got up and recounted my inventory. Some were always missing. My parents denied any knowledge of the missing treats.

My mother put the letters aside. We studied each other. “You always told me I was the perfect child,” I said.

“I lied.”

And that’s how I found out the cold, hard truth about my younger self.

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What Do Zombies Eat?

Written by Saxon Bennett and Layce Gardner

People always ask us where our ideas come from. I usually answer that our books are born in our kitchen. I don’t know why the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the nurturing idea of food, perhaps it’s the smells, the tastes… Honestly, I really have no idea. All I know is that the kitchen is where most of our books are born.

Just like our newest book. We gave birth one day while Layce was cooking.

I was setting the table when I suddenly announced, “I have an idea.”

“Do I want to know?” Layce poured more batter in the pan. We were having one of my favorite dinners—pancakes. Layce makes great pancakes.

“We need to take a break from romantic comedy—try something new for a bit. Stretch our legs,” I said.

“What do you want to write about—zombies?” she said jokingly.

“That’s a great idea!”

“But I thought you said you already had an idea?” Layce said.

“My idea was about writing something new and different—I just didn’t know what. But now I know. We’ll write a story about zombies.  Only we’ll make them lesbians.”

“And we can have these bad ass women fighting them,” Layce said.

“There’ll be lots of danger, and remember all the contingency plans I have for an apocalypse? We can use those ideas. These women will be really smart and resourceful.”

“Why are we making the zombies lesbian?” Layce asked.

“I thought you’d never ask. The zombies attack the vajayjay, not the brains…”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No, that’ll be the funny part,” I said.

“I like it,” Layce said sounding less uncertain..

“You do?”

Layce handed me a short stack of pancakes on a plate. “We’ll call it ‘Attack of the Lesbian Zombies.’ Like it’s a B-movie. It’s a satire on all things zombie. And it’ll be a trilogy.”

“Now you’re talking,” I said, smearing butter over my pancakes.

“I’d read it.”

“I would, too.”

And that’s how our latest book “Attack of the Lesbian Zombies” was born. Right in our kitchen, over pancakes. If you rush out and purchase the book right now, you will also receive a short stack of Layce’s famous pancakes.*

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Attack of the Lesbian Zombies is a five-part episodic saga. You can read it in parts—for only 99 cents each— or you can download the entire book (parts 1-5).

And if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read the entire book for FREE!

* This is not true. We ate all the pancakes.




What if dogs and cats had opposable thumbs? I spent one whole day researching opposable thumbs. No one in my family found this odd. God bless them.

I will begin with the cynical side of having of dogs and cats having opposable thumbs. Would we turn them into serfs and house slaves? With thumbs dogs could vacuum, dust, and mop. Would this be their permanent lot in life? Would their only allowable career be as a Merry Maid?


And what about cats? Would they permanently be cleaning bathrooms now that with thumbs they could hold a sponge? Getting down and scrubbing the tub because their height would be perfect for removing the ring of god-knows-what that every bath tub has. Bathroom mirrors and vanities would prove no problem. Pulling the Windex trigger would pose no trouble with a thumb.

How about laundry? Nobody likes doing the laundry. Just because cats have thumbs and they can fold underpants and t-shirts doesn’t mean they should have to. Or how about the cruelest thing of all— cleaning out the microwave? Would we give them protective eyewear? Would OSHA care? I can see an industrial accident in the making. Would they be protected by a union?


Now in a Panglossian world, the lives of dogs and cats with opposable thumbs would be radically improved—beginning with civil rights. This might take a while, as history has shown, but it is possible. What if the human race recognized the beautiful souls of dogs and cats? What if they had souls capable of writing great literature now that they could hold a pen or use the space bar on a computer?


Or creating lithographs of cans of cat food or paintings of gardens filled with squirrels waiting to be chased. Perhaps Martha Stewart line of 1000 thread count dog beds or a Patagonian line of outerwear.

cat art

Dogs would come up with time saving inventions now that they could use power tools that would free humans from banal chores and provide more time for long walks on the beach. Would the Patent Office recognize their applications for these inventions?


What if they could hold political office now that they could shake hands? I’m certain they would eradicate homelessness—human and animals. No dog, cat or human would live a lonely life. They would be social workers and care givers and even therapists as they have long been good listeners with a built in sense of empathy.

They could be financial wizards who believed in profit sharing and fiscal ethics now that they could use an Excel program. Or how about Nascar drivers now that their thumbs allowed them to grip a steering wheel? Have we ever considered why dogs sit in the driver’s seats when forced to sit in the car, except on hot days, because the world does not allow cats or dogs in businesses and restaurants. How would we feel?

They would change discriminatory semantics like “It’s just a dog or cat.” Really, would they ever say “It’s just a human?” Would they ever be that inhumane? Or how about being called a “beast?” clumped in with “beastly” behavior? I know they would put a stop to beast-aphobia. What about the sexism of females dogs being called “bitches?” What about that injustice? Have humans ever thought about how powerful derogatory language can be?

And lastly, bad behavior? Really a dog can’t jump or lick your face? It’s called dog love. After all, don’t we show them that we do that? Do as I say not as I do? I mean those slobbery kisses from relatives and teenagers just learning to kiss, isn’t that the same thing? How messed up is that? Separation anxiety? Peeing inside, don’t we do that?

So here’s to the dogs and cats in our lives. Maybe someday they will have thumbs and shouldn’t we embrace that? Let’s find our better nature.

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Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Need a good laugh? You can find it here!

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From the award-winning authors who brought you More Than a Kiss and Crazy Little Thing!When Willy and Allistair meet, it is hate at first sight. The last thing they want is to witness a Mafia murder and be put into the Witness Protection Program together. Join Willy and Allistair as they go on the run from the mob and are forced to hide in a convent, a Wild West ghost town, and a nudist colony. In the end, they discover that sometimes love is found where you least expect it.

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Where Do The Socks Go?

“Why are all your socks spread out over the bed?” Layce said.

“What? I can’t hear you,” I said.

“Take your head out of the washer that might help. Why are you in the washer anyway?”

“I’m looking for socks,” I said. I put the flash light back in my mouth and resumed my search.

“Why? You have plenty of socks,” Layce said. She was now peering into the depths of the washer with me.

I removed the flash light from between my teeth and pulled my head out of the washer. “I know. I have 106 complete pairs of socks. I also have 52 single socks that used to be pairs but somehow, somewhere, their partners have gone AWOL. That means that I lose on average one sock a week every year. I want to know where they go.”


“And you think there’s a trap door in the washer where sock gnomes pop up once a week and steal a sock taking their precious back to the King of the Sock Gnomes to offer tribute,” Layce said, doing a good impersonation of Gollum.

“Well that’s one hypothesis. And since our garden gnomes went missing last Halloween they may have joined the sock gnomes of their own volition or they have been forced and now they suffer Stockholm Syndrome and are willingly stealing our socks because we are the bloated bourgeois of socks and need to be taught a lesson.”

Emma came in the laundry room.

“What did you find out?” I asked her.

“The only thing was a post that said the washer repair man thought it was possible the socks get under the agitator.”

“I don’t think 52 socks would fit.” I looked at Layce. “Can we remove the agitator and check?”

“No, we cannot.”

“How about this, there’s a black hole under everyone’s washer that leads to another Universe where aliens wear all the mismatched socks,” Emma said.


I looked at Emma. “That’s not bad. But why do they want mismatched socks? Why not take a matching set? Is it a fashion statement? Do they think we won’t miss the missing sock? Are they using it as a test of will to see if we will fight for our missing socks? Are they operating on the assumption that if we just accept the sock thing that taking over our planet will be a breeze? And why are so few people interested in this dilemma? I mean if you walked outside and your car was missing one tire wouldn’t you be more invested?”

“I think most people have more important things to think about than where their socks go,” Layce said, as she shut the lid on the washer. I guess that settled the taking the washer apart option.

“That’s how society begins to unravel. It starts with little things,” I said. I peeked behind the dryer.

Emma asked, “Mom, have you seen my Duomo hat?”

I raised my eyebrows and pointed a finger at Layce. “See! It’s starting already. First socks…then hats, then cars, then bank accounts. Who knows where it will end.”


Making the world a happier place—one book at a time.

Available Feb. 5th!

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Squirrel in a Box

I had assumed the position of classic mediation sitting legs crossed. I couldn’t decide if the right foot should be over the left foot or the other way around. I tried both ways and decided that since the right side of my body always got to do everything that I should put left over right. It seemed more eastern to honor the weaker side in hopes of giving it confidence.


I did the inverted “okay” sign with my forefinger and thumb. I never did understand the significance of that. Perhaps that would be the first thing revealed during my enlightenment. I sat quietly. I thought about how well I was doing with my New Year’s goal-setting. This was day three of ten minutes of meditation.
Hold on! I was supposed to turn my mind off and think of nothing—absolutely nothing. I concentrated on my breathing. In out, in out, in out. I wonder what interesting things are on Pinterest today.
Hold on! I concentrated on putting an invisible screen up blocking off my brain. In out, in out. My brain threw a tantrum. She kicked her feet and pounded the floor.


“I really can’t concentrate when you’re doing that,” I told her.
I thought of the ocean, the Oregon coast specifically because I liked it there. Waves in and out, in out. I would like to go there again.
“Be quiet,” I told my brain. In out, in out. I’d like to go back and visit with my cousins and maybe go crabbing.
Hold on! Breathe in an out. I put my brain behind an invisible door. She pulled on the door handle, putting her feet on the door and pulling like in those cartoons when a character tries to get a door open.
“Just stop it!” I said.
She sat down and wept.
“Stop that! Really you can’t give me ten minutes of peace?”
She rushed the door and crashed through. I needed to concentrate to keep the invisible door with the invisible wall up and my brain had distracted me with her weeping.
She dashed at me, grabbed my knees and threw me to the ground like we were wrestling. That reminded me of The World According to Garp. He was a wrestler. My brain and I scrambled until I had her pinned to the floor.
“Stop it! I’m supposed to be meditating not engaging in violence. I’m sure that’s not how you’re supposed to be tapping into the good vibe of the universe, seeking enlightenment and serenity.”
We were both worn out. We lay on our backs. “Maybe we could practice the Corpse Pose?” my brain said. “I mean yoga is a close relation to meditation.”
I sighed. “I have a headache.”
“Let’s go have a cookie. That always makes you feel better. We have those sugar cookies we made last night,” my brain said.
“I can’t believe those cookie cutter goats ended up looking more like sheep,” I said.


“Well, if you would have followed the directions and put less butter so the dough was stiffer it might have turned out better,” my brain said.
“Well, if you were staying in the ‘now’ of the moment and concentrated on paying attention that wouldn’t have happened. You were too busy thinking of Downton Abbey and why the Earl put all his money into Canadian railway stocks and then lost it. Everyone knows you should diversify,” I retorted.       “I thought I had it under control,” my brain said, evidently chastised. “Are we done meditating for today? I’m bored. Besides there’s always tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be better.”
“Promise?” I said.
“Sure, well, maybe, there’s always aspiration. I wonder what the world would be like if there were no North America? We should check that What If? book. Maybe it’s in there.”
“Oh my God, you’re terrible. I’m never going to learn to meditate.”
“Whatever. Let’s get a cookie.”

Coming in February!

kiss tell cover

Scents and Sensibility

Emma lost her glasses under suspicious circumstances in a hay maze. She’d been hinting around about wanting new glasses and low and behold hers went missing. She apparently was well-versed in the “trying to find a needle in a haystack” only she went one better—a labyrinth of hay.
hay maze
She attempted to negotiate her loss via text message.

Emma: Are you mad?

Layce: No, I’m ecstatic.

Emma: What’s my punishment?

Layce: We’ll talk about it when you get home. It won’t be pretty.

Emma arrived home, having discovered she didn’t have a passport so she couldn’t defect to a Slavic country with no extradition policy. She brought her chaperone up to the door in a blatant attempt to diffuse the parental bomb. Tick, tick, tick.

While Chaperone Lady (her name is being withheld in order to protect the innocent) and Layce discussed the logistics of the lost eyewear, Honey Bear darted out the open front door.

She’d spotted a skunk across the street and now had it cornered. I ran after her thinking she might have a cat. It looked like a cat but I didn’t have my glasses on so I went in blind. Honey Bear took a direct spray to the face and backed away, yelping. I grabbed her collar so I could safely get her across the street. I was now soaked in skunk juice as well.
Layce and Chaperone Lady backed away from both of us.

“Don’t let her in the house! Or you!” Layce said.

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Take her out back and take off your clothes,” Layce said.

“Really, I don’t think now is a good time to get amorous.”

“I should be going,” Chaperone Lady said as she lept in her SUV.

That night, Honey Bear had three baths and stayed outside. I had two showers and Layce had one. We laid in bed.

“I still smell skunk,” Layce said.

I sniffed her. “Did you wash your hair?”

“No,” she said, getting out of bed. She took another shower and got back in bed. “Better now?”

“I think it’s in the sheets.”

We washed the sheets and went back to bed.

In the morning a contrite Emma inquired about her punishment.

“You’re grounded until you’re eighteen,” I said.

Her eyes went big as saucers.

“Just kidding,” I said.

“You’re grounded for a month and you might get your allowance back around June. Or maybe not,” Layce said. She wasn’t kidding.

“And you have to wash Honey Bear a lot,” I added, “And spend quality time with her since she’s banned from the house until she smells better.

“But she stinks,” Emma said.

“Really? I hadn’t noticed,” I said, handing her a bucket and soap.

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