Attempting to Save Face at this Business Lunch — But Ready to Stab Sheila with a Fork!

Trying to Save Face at this Business Lunch -- But ready to stab Sheila with a Fork!  Honestly, Sheila!  #funny #office #car #humor

So then…he asks me a question and 10 eyeballs stare straight at me – all 5 executives wait intently for my answer.

Now normally, I LOVE to be the center of attention! I’m happy to chitter-chatter away, non-stop, on all manner of topics.

But this is a BUSINESS lunch meeting – and Dan’s question is FINANCIAL – and I have NO BUSINESS answering a FINANCIAL question.

Oh, I got me some skills, yo – but Finance is not in my jurisdiction – (it’s not even in my solar system). And half the words he USED in his question aren’t even in my VOCABULARY.

But I’m the only one representing my company at the meeting and we’d really like to do business with this group, so I take a stab at answering.

Initially, my long-winded response elicits a furrowed brow of confusion from one of the women executives (come on, Sheila, give a sister a break!) – but then I toss in some buzz words and a couple insightful points, and everyone seems to nod in agreement.

I breathe an internal sigh of relief, spear a morsel of salmon, and secretly congratulate myself on my delicate menu choice. I’ve suffered enough disastrous business lunches to know NEVER to order
* the Goopy Sauce-Spewing Pasta
* the Crunchy Noisy-as-a-Wood-Chipper Salad
* the Mouth-Full-O’-Sandwich Conversation Blocker — or
* the Bean Burrito (no explanation required).

I’m even wearing my fancy work outfit today – the one that needs to be DRY CLEANED. That’s right, no washable poly-cotton blend for these execs – I’m rockin’ the DRY CLEAN ONLY blouse. Yes, I said it – BLOUSE, people. That’s how corporate I am today!

So the dialogue continues – I ask some intelligent questions – I nod thoughtfully at their answers – I appear professional, competent, and even – dare I say it – sophisticated. I’m making a great first impression!

Just then, the server comes over and asks, “Does anyone here own a blue car parked out front?”

I do.

I own a blue car parked out front.

“Um, why do you ask?” I say.

He says, “Someone just came in to report that the car is running and all the doors are unlocked.

***

So I mumble, “berjurmertalabrim,” bolt out of my seat, and dash to the parking area –

and sure enough, there is my car with engine running and doors unlocked – where it has been for a solid 30 minutes.

The electronic key is in the cup holder.

I must have forgotten to press the engine stop button.
And grab my key.
And lock my doors.

So now, I have to go back into the restaurant.

Or DO I?

What if I just drove away right now and never returned?

Would they finish my salmon and talk about that weird girl who disappeared so mysteriously?

Or do I return to the restaurant and…

1) Pretend that it was NOT my car:

“What? Huh? Nope. Not my car. I don’t even OWN a car. I WALKED here.”

Or

2) Just admit that I’m a doofus:

“I don’t even possess basic common sense to turn off a car, but you should totally trust your BUSINESS to me.”

(And by the way, who’s the guy who reported this occurrence to the restaurant in the first place — thereby causing my embarrassment!?)

(Oh, YOU may call him a Good Samaritan. I call him a Big Fat Tattle Tale!)

So I slink back into the restaurant and take my seat as Dan says, “Was it your car? What happened?”

I pick up my fork and say nonchalantly, “Oh, I like to keep the engine running and the doors unlocked to make it more convenient for car thieves. I’m a giver like that.”

They laugh.

Sheila says, “Oh my! So your car’s been running THIS WHOLE TIME?

Oh, shut up, Sheila! Mind your own beeswax! (I say in my head)

“Yep,” I say blithely. “Hey, if they’re not gonna recognize an easy score when they see it, they really don’t deserve to steal my car. Don’t you agree? So Dan – tell me more about your plans for next quarter.”

— Darcy Perdu

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BUSTED! Telling His Teacher a Big Fat Juicy LIE!

Telling the Teacher a Big Fat Juicy Lie! #funny #teacher #student #lying

So then…I open an email from Tucker’s 6th grade teacher that says:

“Tucker did not have his homework today; he told me this was because there was a termite infestation at home. I told him he needed to ask you to write a note explaining the situation, but he said that his family did not believe in writing notes.

However, since our homework policy is not to accept late work, I would appreciate a note or an e-mail when unusual situations occur so that Tucker can receive full credit.
Sincerely, Mrs. Gilbert”

What the what?

I love how the teacher writes her email in such a way that she leaves open the slim possibility that indeed, we did have a termite infestation that interfered with homework completion – rather than declare, “Your son flat out lied to me today.”

(Not only did he lie, but he did so, very poorly. Termites? Really, dude? That’s the best you could come up with? And you said your family “didn’t believe” in writing notes? What religious cult forbids the WRITING OF NOTES?)

Of course, I immediately want to write back:

“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I was mortified to read your email. We have had no such infestation – and we have no problem writing notes.

In fact, I’m writing this note to you right now. However, I’ll email it to you instead of giving it to Tucker to deliver — since he might claim it was eaten by termites (or boll weevils or alien mutant wombats) before it gets to you.

We are extremely disappointed that Tucker would attempt to excuse his missing homework in this way. We do not have termites. We are a clean and observant family. If there were termites, we would know about it and deal with it expeditiously.

And even if we had termites, that would not preclude Tucker from completing his homework. Termites are tiny. At most, they might buzz through a couple pencils.

It’s not like we were infested by ferocious cougars, lunging alligators, or blood-sucking vampires. I could see how those would be disruptive to concentrating on one’s homework. But termites? Please. We’re made of sturdier stock than that.

As soon as Tucker comes home from school, we’ll impose consequences — and he’ll also write you an apology.

Meanwhile, please keep us posted on any other “allegations” he might make at school. (I should tell you pre-emptively that you should not believe him if he claims his parents drink too much wine, gamble online, or use the F-word carelessly.)
Thank you, Darcy Perdu”

But instead I write:
“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I am so sorry that Tucker tried to use an excuse for his missing homework.  We don’t have termites and we have no problem writing notes.  He’ll give you the homework and a written apology tomorrow.  Thank you, Darcy”

However, I WISH I had sent the first note — because then maybe the big vocabulary words like “expeditiously” and “pre-emptively” would make the teacher think that I’m a well-bred, well-educated, well-intentioned mother — and that it’s only my son who is a deceitful heathen.

Maybe I should have mentioned a possible maternity ward mix-up between my real son and a tale-telling gypsy baby. (No offense, gypsy babies.)

— Darcy Perdu

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Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Mary Chowdhury

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(What’s a tall tale that YOUR kid has told? Any funny fibs or outrageous lies? Or a teacher’s note that was a bit embarrassing?)

The Pilot I Almost EJECTED!

What NOT to Ask a Pilot - hilarious true tale of what the pilot told me 20,000 feet in the air #funny #airplane #travel #vacation #humor

So then…I enter the airplane with trepidation. I quickly glance at my preferred seating section by the emergency exit, but all those seats are taken!

My heart speeds up a bit. Anxiety looms.

Typically, I’m a nonchalant traveler, calmly criss-crossing the country. To me, turbulence is not terrifying – just annoying – especially if it spills my wine or makes my book too jumpy to read.

But a recent flight has shaken my confidence in the air travel industry as a whole – and, in fact, in the very concept of human flight. (That flight made me skittish as a cat on a hot tin roof — on meth.)

I sidestep passengers shoving their bags in the bins.

I trudge down the aisle, desperately seeking a seat near an exit, when suddenly I see him – A PILOT!

Sweet mother of Jesus! Sitting here in the passenger seats — a Southwest Airlines pilot in full uniform with distinguished white hair and a solid, reliable face.

I am so excited! This airline lets you sit wherever there’s an empty seat – and who better to sit next to on a plane than an EXPERIENCED PILOT? He can help me in an emergency – hell, he can even fly the plane!

I scramble over to him quickly. “Do you mind if I sit here?”

“Of course,” he says in a rich baritone voice, exuding confidence and reassurance. I am in love with him. He is 25 years older than me and possibly ill-suited to my temperament, but I don’t care, because if there is trouble, he will save my life and for that, I most surely owe him my undying devotion. (Key word: undying.)

After I settle in, I turn to him and say, “I hope you don’t mind my confiding that I’m a nervous flyer these days — and I feel safer sitting next to you, since you’re a pilot.”

(I want him to pat my hand, proclaim, “Don’t worry, my child, you are safe with me,” then stare straight ahead on high alert, prepared to handle the slightest jiggle or jump of the aircraft.)

But instead, he smiles and says, “Well, the key to being a good pilot is to have as many landings as you have take-offs.”

Huh?

“And in my 32 years of flying, I have to admit I did have one more take-off than landing.”

Huh?

“Back in ‘Nam, our chopper was taking heavy artillery ground fire, and we knew it was going down, so my co-pilot and I ejected, deployed our parachutes, and smashed down in a field – with only three broken bones between us.”

He smiles, self-satisfied, and waits for my congratulatory oohs and aahs.

But in my head, I’m thinking: Dude, we are on an airplane right now. We do not have parachutes! We are lucky if we get a pack of peanuts. We don’t even get pillows or thin scratchy blankets, with which to FASHION a parachute! Why the hell are you telling me this story?

But instead I say, “Oh, well, heh heh, I guess we’re lucky we won’t be encountering any heavy artillery on our way to LA.”

To which he replies, “Oh, there’s lots more stuff that can take a plane down other than artillery. One time, we were flying to Seattle, and suddenly the engine….”

I stare wide-eyed as he tells me a story of a near-miss in Seattle. Then he proceeds to tell me about every other mid-air mishap and dangerous take-off or landing he’s had – or heard about – in his entire 32-year career!

I keep trying to steer him away from this topic, but clearly he relishes these spine-tingling gems about missed maintenance checks, co-pilot error, disastrous weather impacts, flight crew hangovers, small cockpit fires, and the damage a 4-lb. bird can do to the engine of a 200,000-lb. plane!

It would be difficult enough to hear these stories if I were safely on the ground, in a bar somewhere, allowing the alcohol to dull the edges of these dreadful terrors.

But I’m hearing about all these airplane malfunctions and near-crashes while sitting ON an airplane, hurtling through space at 600 miles per hour!

As he speaks, I’m turning paler by the minute, trying desperately to change the subject – but also trying hard not to offend — since he is, after all, my appointed rescuer.

So I just keep consoling myself by repeating over and over in my head: But he’s alive — so he obviously survived all these calamities! And I will too!

In an effort to conclude the catalogue of horrors, I say brightly, “Well, those are amazing stories. But you survived them all! You lived to tell the tale!”

To which he replies, “Oh, but some pilots are not near so lucky. In fact, one time in ‘Nam, we had four choppers on the way to Da Nang…”

At this point, I want to stick hot pokers in my ears just to stop the flow of ghastly stories.

I am ready to jump off the plane myself right now just to escape HIM.

I can’t believe that I sought the sage counsel of a distinguished airline pilot about safe flying — only to be regaled with tale after tale of aviation catastrophes!

I clench every muscle in my body and sit, taut and terrified, for the remainder of the flight — desperately wishing for an EJECT button for my seat-mate!

— Darcy Perdu

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Mary Chowdhury

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(Ever turn to someone for support and guidance – only to be freaked out even MORE?  Like a doctor who confirms your WebMD fears?  Tell your travel terror tales – or anti-reassurer stories below!)

The Hairy Hair-Raising Humiliation

How to Handle Hair Tangles & Clump Critters  #funny #hair #tangles #kids #humor

So then…my 9-year-old daughter Chloe lets loose a shriek so piercing, it could wake the dead two towns over. She thrashes about, SCREAMING and WAILING.

And all because of me.

What am I doing?

Waterboarding? No.

Chopping off limbs? No.

Evil torture? No.

I am brushing.her.hair.

Oh sure, we’ve all been there. The tears, the sensitive scalp.

But this child has THE MOST delicate skull flesh – and THE MOST tangled hair – and THE MOST stubborn insistence that we brush out that frikkity-frik hair before she goes to bed.

So every other night, after her shower, I have to spend 60 to 90 minutes painstakingly combing out her twisted, snarled, knotted hair that just so happens to reach the all the way down her back.

Funny - Hairy Hair-Raising Long Hair
And after trying every possible remedy – including brushing the hair BEFORE the shower – baby shampoo – buckets of conditioner – detangling spray – and one time, even VEGETABLE OIL

I am quite ready to throw a hat on it and call it a day.

Or shave her head.

But she will have none of it.

She adores her long hair and she wants it brushed out. How can Mommy not accomplish that?

But, oh my god, that caterwauling and carrying on! The screaming and shouting and crying!

It’s a wonder my neighbors haven’t called Children’s Services on me.

Chloe alternates between “please brush it, Mom” and “YOU’RE KILLING MEEEEE!!!”

Armed only with a Goody comb and brush, I’m treated like the Marquis de Sade with a trunkful of torture tools!

Well, tonight I’m exhausted. It’s way past her bedtime and I’ve only detangled the two sides near her face. There is a huge nasty horrifying clump of hair in the middle that is refusing to budge.

“Chloe, we have to call it a night. You have the big music program tomorrow and you need your sleep.”

“Nooooo, Mom! We’re gonna be on stage! I have to wear my hair in braaaaaaids!

Now imagine that same conversation repeated about 83 times, amidst brushing attempts and tears (including mine).

Finally, when I’m about to commit Hari-Kari with the sharp end of the comb, I announce that she MUST go to bed and we’ll figure it out in the morning. She reluctantly goes to sleep.

The next morning, the clump is only worse – matted and horrifying and ENORMOUS. It seems to have grown in the night, eating other people’s hair until it’s a bloated, writhing mess.

After several attempts and lots of howling, I finally make her two braids with the combed hair – and I stick some pins and clips in the nest of hair in the back to form a sort of snarly bun.

She’s distressed, of course, but we have to get to school.

From the front, she looks like an adorable country girl with braids, white shirt and jeans.

Funny - Hairy Hair-Raising Braids
But in the back… it’s not a sweet little ballet bun – it’s not even a hip Jersey Shore “bump” – it’s more like a huge mangy critter has attached itself to her head and won’t let go!

So if she can just always stay facing forward today – just don’t turn to the side – just back out of each room gracefully — then no one will see the beehive rat’s nest in the back.

At the music program, I deliberately sit with parents I don’t know – so that if Chloe DOES turn to the side on stage, I can pretend I have no idea whose child that is. I’ll just shake my head with the other spectators and “tsk tsk” at the inept mother who sent her child out like that!

Well, of COURSE, the music program involves hand motions, enthusiastic singing, and stand-up/sit-down/sway-to-the-SIDE actions – and there is her mangy critter bopping and waving and swaying on the back of her head. IT HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN!  And it is BOOGYING!

Funny - Hairy Hair-Raising Clump Critter
I am mortified, but I soldier through, trying to enjoy the music — and calculating how I’m going to afford special effects to digitally remove the offending “Fur Beast” in the video footage I’m shooting.

After the program, the parents all greet their kids in the courtyard with kisses and congratulations. I consider grabbing some random kid with normal hair for a hug and pretending they’re mine.

But there they are – Chloe and the Clump. I give her a big hug and a kiss, tell her she did a fabulous job and that I loved the show.

She tells me how much fun she had and grabs a cookie from the snack table.

“But Mom, I have to tell you – all day LONG, the kids were asking me about my hair.”

Uh-oh.

I wince. “Really?”

“Yeah, the kids kept saying, ‘What IS that?’ and ‘What’s in your hair?’”

(more hair)

“Oh, sorry, honey, we’ll try to detangle it tonight.”

She bites the cookie and says, “One girl kept saying it looks like a rat’s nest — and another boy said it looks like a RAT – and he started PETTING it.”

“He DID not!” I protest.

“Oh, yes, he did, Mom. He PETTED my hair rat!!”

***

OK, so I guess our make-shift Clump Critter did not escape detection after all.

But perhaps it can be the new class pet?

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any tales of tangled tresses out there? Have you ever fallen a bit short in the hair/outfit/costume department when sending your kid to school or camp ? Share your embarrassing stories — surely I’m not the only mom who’s used the line: “Huh, who? That’s not MY kid, nope, what, huh?”)

Awkward Moment in Psychiatrist’s Waiting Room

So I have a funny dilemma in the psychiatrist's waiting room...what would YOU have done?  #funny #doctor #patient #kids #parenting #humor

So then…we head off to see the psychiatrist because…

well…

because we live in CALIFORNIA

and as soon as you move to this state, you’re automatically issued a shrink, personal trainer, eyebrow waxer, and dog whisperer.

Doesn’t even matter if you have a dog – or eyebrows – these folks just show up as soon as you cross the state line.

So we’re off to see the psychiatrist because “we got issues, ya’ll!” – (and there ain’t nothin’ wrong wit’ that!)

Our appointment is at 6:00 pm, so the waiting room is deserted.

And in fact, as soon as the receptionist signs us in — she tells us the doctor will be with us in a moment, then picks up her purse and departs for the evening.

So our daughter Chloe, age 10, plops on a chair and starts doing her homework. David and I talk to our son Tucker, age 13, about this new psychiatrist we’re seeing about his ADHD.

The doctor comes out of the hallway door, greets us, then asks us to follow him. We all get up, except Chloe – who plans to stay to finish her homework, which is fine.

But just as we close the door to walk down the hall to the doctor’s office — a man walks into the waiting room and sits down.

Oh.

I sorta thought we were the last patients of the day – so I assumed it would be OK for Chloe to stay in the waiting room.

So I say to the doctor in the hallway, “Um, someone just came in, so—?”

He says nonchalantly, “Oh, Ted? I’ve been seeing him for years. It’s fine.”  And he continues walking back to his office.

I’m instantly reassured since he uses that same warm tone of voice that you and I would use to describe a beloved friend – like, “Oh, Marge? We’ve been neighbors for years! Best.blueberry.muffins.ever! She’s great!”

But then it hits me.

Wait a minute, I think. You’re not a dentist. Or a barber. You’re a PSYCHIATRIST! If YOU’VE been seeing someone for YEARS, that could mean they have issues with a CAPITAL “I”!

But he’s so casually dismissive when he says that sentence about his psychiatric patient! He’s so cheerful and reassuring

It’s like:

“Oh, Ted? The sweetest arsonist you’ll ever meet. Best.bonfires.ever.

Or

“Oh, Ted? The most skilled kleptomaniac around. You won’t even notice anything’s missing!”

Or

“Oh, Ted? You know – for a meth addict? – very charming. You’ll love him!”

Of course I don’t mean to make light of psychiatric matters – (because, believe me, we got some of our OWN issues up in here!) – but it also doesn’t mean I’m enthusiastic about leaving my daughter with this guy for an hour!

On the other hand, I don’t want to instantly grab my daughter and flee in panic, making the poor guy think I assume he’s a maniac.

And yes, I realize most mental issues aren’t contagious!

Because believe me, when we go to the pediatrician, I have no problem steering clear of that kid who’s hacking and coughing and blowing snot bubbles halfway across the waiting room!

And we don’t sit next to the little girl vigorously scratching her lice cap (next to the mom who’s desperately pretending she has NO idea whose kid that is).

And what the hell are those spots all over that kid? Is it measles? Typhoid fever? Leprosy? The PLAGUE? Look away, look away!!

(Am I a bit neurotic? Um, YEAH – I TOLD you we had some issues up in here!)

So it’s not like I think Chloe’s going to catch some mental disorder while she’s in the waiting room with this patient of unknown diagnosis.

It’s not like: “Yeah, she was fine ‘til that day in the waiting room – but now she only eats blue-colored food and talks to an imaginary giraffe named Sparkles.”

But I don’t like to leave my 10-year-old daughter alone with ANY strangers anyway.  Even if the doctor has given his blessing. Even if I might hurt the feelings of the stranger.

So as soon as we dispense with introductions in the doc’s office, I let David handle the rest of the session with Tucker — and I go join Chloe and our mystery patient in the waiting room.

Ted is perfectly pleasant, of course –

(and if he’s Obsessive-Compulsive, maybe he can triple check Chloe’s math homework…?)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Do you ever worry your kid will get more sick at the pediatrician’s office? Meanwhile, I hope I don’t offend anyone with this story – believe me, we respect the mental health field and our fellow patients – we just find it helps us to maintain a sense of humor about it all! Feel free to share any funny doctor/nurse/patient stories in the Comments!)

When Your Kid’s Teacher is NOT “Comfortable” with YOUR Behavior

When the Teacher's Not Comfortable with YOUR Behavior!  Uh-Oh!  #Funny story about Back-to-School Night!

So then…she presses her pudgy little hands on either side of my face and smushes it together, bringing her little nose directly to mine, and says, “Mommy, SERIOUSLY, Mrs. Trent said it will not be appropriate for you to bring your cell phone.”

I smile at my darling little girl, clasp her two hands in mine, kiss them and tell her, “Chloe, honey, I need to take my cell phone to Back to School Night. The new babysitter is coming tonight, so she has to be able to reach us if there’s an emergency.”

She looks very worried. “But Mommy, Mrs. Trent said she’s not comfortable with parents taking phone calls while she’s giving her speech about Kindergarten. She told us ‘pacifically to tell our parents to leave your cell phones at home.”

I pull her into my lap and put my forehead on hers. “Chloe, honey, you’ve told me this 800 times in the past two weeks. I promise it’ll be fine, OK?”

Slightly mollified, she toddles off to play with her toys.

I finish opening the mail and chuckle to myself over the words our children learn so young these days. Parents and teachers tell kids:

“That’s not appropriate behavior”
“I’m not comfortable with you doing that”
“If you continue this behavior, there will be consequences

When I was a kid, adults just said
“No!”
“Stop that!”
“NOOOOOOO!”

But we parents shouldn’t say that to our kids.  (Although it IS funny how many times my toddlers told me “NO!” instead of saying, “Mommy, I’m not comfortable with you serving me vegetables right now. Green beans are simply not appropriate at this time.”)

So then the new teenage babysitter arrives and I run through everything with her – while Chloe interrupts to remind me AND the babysitter not to make any calls to each other THE WHOLE NIGHT or else “Mrs. Trent will be REALLY mad.”

Good Lord, how terrifying can Mrs. Trent be?

Um, turns out — pretty terrifying.

She greets all the parents at the classroom door with the air of a strict commandant, briskly ushering us to our seats so she can start her greeting – no, speech – no, LECTURE – on time.

She is clearly captain of this ship, sternly informing us of all the rules and regulations in her classroom for the kids and the parents.

I shoot a look of mock fear at my husband David and he smiles briefly, but quickly re-focuses on Herr Trent.

I try to generate a little camaraderie amongst the other parents by feigning the “shaking in my shoes” look to them – but they quickly avert their eyes. No mutiny to be found here, folks.

Everyone is taking this Back to School Night deadly serious.

Mrs. Trent states the ground rules for field trips – and people are actually taking notes.

Just then, a phone rings.

MY phone rings!

Holy Sh*t, it’s MY phone!

The other parents look stunned. Mrs. Trent glares at me with livid disgust.

I jump up and dash out of the room, fumbling to answer the phone.

Is someone hurt? Why is the babysitter calling? What HAPPENED?! They were under strict orders NOT to call unless it was an emergency – WHAT IS THE EMERGENCY?

“Mom,” says Chloe. “Can I have a popsicle?”

Oh.
My.
Dear.
God.

Is this literally the same child who demanded for weeks that I not even BRING my cell phone to Back to School Night – and she interrupts the big speech because she WANTS A POPSICLE???

And now how am I going to go back into that classroom?

Mrs. Trent and the other parents must surely assume that the ONLY reason someone would call me tonight is because my children were gushing blood from every known orifice! Limbs had better be shooting off their bodies in all directions to warrant this call.

(And believe me, when I get a hold of Chloe, there MAY be some serious maiming and dismemberment! A POPSICLE, for God’s sake!)

But of course I totally crack up at the absurdity of it.

I shake my head to get the giggles out.

Then I walk somberly back into the classroom, with a deep sigh, my hand patting the phone, and a reassuring nod of the head to everyone to indicate that all is well – crisis averted – it WAS a life-threatening situation, but I was able to handle it over the phone because that’s how this Superhero Mommy rolls.

Then I sit down, pull out pen and paper, and stare intently at Mrs. Trent in COMPLETE AND UTTER FASCINATION to dutifully record her next pearls of wisdom.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have your kids pulled a move like this? Any scary teacher stories? How about a funny babysitter incident?)

Priceless Mom Moment — In Church

So then…Dani Ryan from Cloudy with a Chance of Wine invites me to write a guest post for her series called Priceless Mom Moments – which must mean she thinks my “Mom-ing” Skills are Priceless! (She knows me well!)

Then I learn that the series features those EMBARRASSING Mom moments that make you want to slide into an invisible puddle of vapor! (Oh, she knows me VERY well!)

You can learn more about the hilarious, engaging Dani from posts such as:
Why Body Piercing Should Be Left to Professionals

Why My Family Stopped Going to Barbecues

Living in the Shadow of My Mother-In-Law

Meanwhile, I send her this post about a Priceless Mom Moment that was witnessed by the entire congregation…!

                Mortified — in Public — in CHURCH
Communion Tucker 5.18.13 Stefano Marchio Crop
So then…the little 2nd-graders march respectfully up the aisle and step up to surround the altar. They turn to face the congregation and we all smile at the girls in their sweet little white dresses and the boys in their handsome miniature suits.

It’s a gaggle of 20 kids in their Sunday best, hair slicked back, bows and veils, new bracelets, tiny ties, and shiny shoes. Today is the culmination of a year of religious study so they can now receive their First Holy Communion.

David and I beam at our son Tucker as he stands quietly, but fidgety, amongst his fellow Communicants. I’m dying to take a photo of Tucker, age 6 — but it’s frowned upon to do so in Church, during the Mass itself – so….

To read the rest of the embarrassing story, pop over to Dani’s site! Click  Mortified — In Public — In CHURCH!

Thanks, Darcy Perdu

My SECRET Accomplishment (Photograph-Forbidden)

Secret Accomplishment - No Photo Allowed

READ the story below — or click the Play button to HEAR it!

So then…I poop a Q.

An amazing, perfectly-shaped Q.

It is truly a remarkable thing to behold, but I cannot think of even one person that I can show.

It’s not exactly the type of thing that you can point out to a co-worker –

Like “Hey, Brenda, come look at the Q I pooped! Come quick! It’s an UPPER CASE Q!”

And probably not the type of thing to gather the family round for a group viewing —

Like, “Hey, kids, look what Mom just made!”

It’s one of those things I will have to keep to myself.

I consider taking a photo.

But I couldn’t text it to anyone. And I couldn’t post it.

And I certainly wouldn’t want the Costco photo guy to have to print it out –

or for some relative to stumble across it years from now in a faded photo album and say, “What the hell is this?”

Or DO I?

It is a pretty incredible accomplishment.

“That’s the time I pooped a Q!” I’d say proudly.

“No shit?” they’d say admiringly. And we’d have a good laugh at the unintended pun.

I check my exquisite sculpture and marvel again at its uncanny resemblance to the letter Q. I almost wonder if perhaps tomorrow I will produce another letter – and if, in fact, someone is trying to send me a message.

Since today is a Q, the rules of spelling would dictate that tomorrow’s letter would need to be a U, so I’m wondering what letters would come next. Over time, would I be spelling out Queen?

Quail?

or

Quick, Get Me Outta Here – I’m Trapped in Your Lower Intestine!

My God, that would take weeks to spell out. But you can be sure that I’ll be checking to see if such a message is forthcoming.

I’m not entirely sure when I first began examining my output. I know there was a time when I wouldn’t have given a thought to checking the bowl – just take care of business, wash hands, and out the door.

But at some point awhile back, I started the habit of a quick glance.

I’m not sure if it is curiosity – or a health check – or just that my daily life is so devoid of real accomplishment that my confidence needs the occasional boost from creating a successful bowel movement. Sort of a Defecation Celebration, if you will.

But oh today, I am quite proud. I’ve produced a perfect Q — and with no conscious effort!

This was not deliberate, I assure you. Don’t envision me intentionally leaning, rotating, gyrating to create this letter – this was all perfectly natural. And a delightful surprise!

And yet, there is no way to preserve my masterpiece. No bronzing. No shellacking.

A quick flush and it will be gone forever.

I can only write about the existence of it in this post – with no evidence to support my claim.

But I assure you, it is a perfect Q.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Comments: I had seriously considered not allowing comments on this post since I usually encourage you to post a RELATED story – and I’m not quite sure I can handle reading about YOUR poop, your KID’S poop, and your PET’S poop that resemble other letters, shapes, states, and celebrities. BUT…you were gracious enough to read about my Q – so bring it on – deluge me with stories of your funny feces! Keep it as clean as you can!)

My Secret Accomplishment - Photography Forbidden P

He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros

Funny - He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros
So then…I drive Tucker home from school, just as he receives a text from a classmate.

“Sienna invited me to a swimming party at her house on Saturday.”

“Oh, that should be fun,” I say. “I know you enjoyed going to her last pool party during the summer.”

“Yeah, but it’s at the same time as my comedy improv class and I think I’d rather go to that,” he says.

As I navigate traffic, I prepare to help my 12-year-old navigate social customs. “Well, you could tell her that—”

“I already replied.”

“What? Already? What did you say?” I ask.

“I texted her, ‘I’ll think about it,’” he says.

WHAT? You told her you’ll think about it? Tucker, you can’t say that to someone who’s invited you to a party! That makes it sound like you’re some hot shot King of Siam who will CONSIDER deigning to grace her with your presence!”

“Oh,” he says, a little embarrassed. He’s a bright boy, but he doesn’t have too much experience in social communications, especially with girls.

I say, “You can’t let her think you’ll decide to attend or not, based on whether something else better comes along. Let her know that you already have the prior commitment to comedy class so you can let her down easy. You could text her back and say—”

“I replied,” he says.

Damn, these kids are fast texters!

“OK, what did you say?”

He looks at the screen and reads, “I wrote ‘I might have a prior commitment.’”

WHAT? You told her you MIGHT have a prior commitment? No, no – you DO have one!” I exclaim. “That’s like saying you MIGHT have a root canal that day – or you MIGHT have a wedding to attend! You either do or you don’t. That’s as bad as saying ‘I can’t go because I plan to be sick that day!’”

He picks up his phone to start texting her.

“Wait, stop, Tucker. Stop texting. Put down the phone. Back away from the phone.”

“What?” he asks.

“OK, please just type ‘I can’t attend because I have comedy class at that time. But thank you for inviting me. Have a great time.’”

“Done,” he says.

I shoot a suspicious sideways glance at him as I drive round the corner. “You didn’t write ALL of that, did you?”

“I did!” He reads from his screen, “’Can’t go cuz of comedy. have fun. tks.’”

Oh good grief. “Can’t go cuz of COMEDY?” Will she even know that he means a comedy CLASS?

Or will she think the concept of humor prevents him from attending a pool party?

Well, at least he told her to have fun and “tks” for the invite.

Maybe he’s learning some social graces afterall…?

Meanwhile, I’m going to start using that excuse from now on.

The next time someone invites me to a parent volunteer meeting – or one of those home “parties” where they try to sell you cosmetics/jewelry – or a boring work event – I’m going to gracefully decline by saying, “I’m sorry — I can’t go…cuz of comedy.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Does YOUR kid have all the social grace of a rhinoceros – or more like a gazelle? How about YOU? What’s your go-to excuse for wiggling out of invitations you’d rather not accept? Share in the Comments section!)

Funny - He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros

Snubbed by a Hose Holder!

Funny - Snubbed by a Hose Holder
So then…my tween daughter Chloe and I pedal our bikes around a corner, exploring more new streets in our neighborhood.

In the distance, in the front yard of a brown house, I see a figure that looks like Ruth, a woman I’ve met at the rec center several times.

Hey, it IS Ruth!

She’s holding a hose, watering some plants in her front yard.

We’re biking along at a good clip, so I need to time my greeting well to be sure she sees me.

As we approach, I call out “Hi, Ruth!”

My daughter Chloe murmurs a cautionary “Mom” to me, in hopes I won’t embarrass her.

Ruth squints at us in the distance, which means we’re too far for her to see who it is.

So as we get closer, I wave and call out loudly, “HIIII, RUTH!”

She just stares at me, still holding her hose.

Chloe mutters, “Omigod, Mo-om.”

But I am undeterred.

As we roll by, parallel to her yard, on the other side of the street, I really step up my game.

I wave BOTH arms, flailing about, smiling big, yelling, “Hey, Ruth! It’s ME!! It’s DARCY!! DAAAARCY! Hello! Hi, Ruuuuuuth! Hiiiii!”

She looks at me, with no expression on her face, no sign of recognition. Just stands there holding her hose.

As we ride past to the next street, there is awkward silence.

Chloe does not say a word.

Another moment of silence.

More silence.

Then I concede, “It’s possible that wasn’t Ruth.”

***

Chloe shoots me the dead-eyed expression of “YA THINK?”

I guess I’m lucky non-Ruth didn’t turn the hose on us as we rode by!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any cases of mistaken identity you can share? How about a time you embarrassed your kids? Share in the Comments section!)
Funny - Snubbed by a Hose Holder