“I gave up jogging for health reasons. My thighs kept rubbing together and setting my pantyhose on fire.”—Judy Franconi
One night as I was putting my 2 1/2-year-old daughter to bed, I saw a bright full moon in the sky. I let her look at the moon for a minute and then asked, “Who made the moon?”
“God,” came her reply.
“And the stars?” I asked. Again the answer was, “God.”
I continued with a few more questions: Who made the trees, the flowers, etc. Finally I asked, “Who made Daddy?”
She said, “Grandma.”
My sister Jordan was helping my 21/2-year-old niece Berea put on her sweatshirt when Berea’s head got stuck on the neck hole.
Berea started panicking and saying, “I can’t see! I can’t see!” The shirt quickly slipped over her head, and the panic was gone until her arms got stuck
on the tight cuffs.
The panic returned, and she started crying again. “My fingers can’t see! My fingers can’t see!” she said.
It was all we could do not to laugh as Jordan quickly pulled Berea’s arms through the cuffs.
SCENE: My teenage daughter and me in the car.
Lauren: Dad, do you know what the most commonly used letter in a girl’s name is?
Me: Hmm, is it a consonant or a vowel? (Silence.) Please tell me you know what consonants and vowels are.
Lauren: You’re no fun, Dad. Forget it.
Me: What is a vowel?
Lauren: OK, OK. A vowel is … ahh … eh … well, oh … uh …
Me: Close enough.
—by Robert Alvarez, author of Blonde Moments: Life with a Blonde Teenage Daughter
Baseball bat: a wooden or metal bar that can easily fly out of someone’s hands.
Foul ball: a moment when you think, Holy @#$%, I got a hit!
Babe Ruth: someone who people tell you was also overweight.
Right field: a quiet place where you can sit for long stretches and play with dandelions. Until suddenly you hear a clang and some shouting and immediately understand life is about to get much harder.
Fly ball: when the sun drops a boulder on your head.
Shortstop: a position that involves mostly ground balls and that you think maybe you can play.
Line drive: the reason you can’t play shortstop.
Innings: the amount of time left before afternoon snack, divided by nine.
Marc Philippe Eskenazi, in the New Yorker
My three-year-old daughter stuck out her hand and said, “Look at the fly I killed, Mommy.” Since she was eating a juicy pickle at the time, I thrust her contaminated hands under the faucet and washed them with antibacterial soap.
After sitting her down to finish her pickle, I asked, with a touch of awe, “How did you kill that fly all by yourself?”
Between bites, she said, “I hit it with my pickle.”
Cindy Yates, Mill Valley, California
We were tearing down an old three-seater outhouse when my neighbor asked if she could have the single-plank, three-hole outhouse seat. I said sure.
Six months later, she invited me to her home. There she showed off her newly designed family room, complete with a single-plank, three-hole picture frame featuring her three grandchildren.
d. r., via mail
I have a question. = I have 18 questions.
I’ll look into it. = I’ve already forgotten about it.
I tried my best. = I did the bare minimum.
Happy to discuss further. = Don’t ask me about this again.
No worries. = You really messed up this time.
Take care. = This is the last you’ll ever hear from me.
Cheers! = I have no respect for you or myself!
My collection of vintage kitchen utensils includes one whose intended purpose was always a mystery. It looks like a cross between a metal slotted spoon and a spatula, so I use it as both. When not in use, it is prominently displayed in a decorative ceramic utensil caddy in my kitchen.
The mystery of the spoon/spatula was recently solved when I found one in its original packaging at a rummage sale.
It’s a pooper-scooper.
Patty Brozo, Green Valley, Arizona
Logic: “If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can’t go to the store with me.”
Humor: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
Justice: “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like!”
A police officer jumps into his squad car and calls the station.
“I have an interesting case here,” he says. “A woman shot her husband for stepping on the floor she just mopped.”
“Have you arrested her?” asks the sergeant.
“No, not yet. The floor’s still wet.”
Submitted by Rose Mattix, Decatur, Illinois
A salesman talked my uncle into buying 10,000 personalized pens for his business with the promise that he would be eligible to win a 32-foot yacht. A born gambler, my uncle agreed.
Well, he won, and a few weeks after the pens arrived, his prize showed up: a 12-inch plastic yacht with 32 plastic feet glued to the bottom.
Eddie Edwards, Ripley, Tennessee
At an art gallery, a woman and her ten-year-old son were having a tough time choosing between one of my paintings and another artist’s work. They finally went with mine.
“I guess you decided you prefer an autumn scene to a floral,” I said.
“No,” said the boy. “Your painting’s wider, so it’ll cover three holes in our wall.”
Betty Tenney, Sterling Heights, Michigan