Is This Tutor Messin’ with Me? Oh yes. Yes, he IS, that little…

Am I paranoid?  Or is this guy totally messin' with me?  #funny #tutor #homework #humor

So then…my son Tucker slips through the dining room door into the kitchen and whispers, “Mom, I think the tutor’s asleep.”

I look up from the crockpot and whisper, “What?”

We both tiptoe to the dining room door, ease it open a crack, and peer through to see the Biology tutor sitting at the table before an open book, chin on his chest, head down, eyes closed.

Tucker and I look at each other and suppress a giggle. We ease the door shut, then scurry to the opposite end of the kitchen to confer.

“What happened?” I ask.

“I dunno. He was kinda quiet so I looked over and he was sound asleep!”

“Did he just doze off in the middle of a sentence?”

“No, no, he was explaining something, then I started filling in the worksheet, and the next thing I knew – ‘’ (he mimes shutting his eyes and snoring, getting progressively louder and more dramatic with his snores)

“Stop that!” I say, laughing softly. “You’re gonna wake him up!”

“Well, shouldn’t he be awake if he’s going to help teach me Biology?”

Hmm, good point.

“OK,” I say. “I’ll go wake him up. You stay in here and pretend to get a snack or something. I don’t want to embarrass the guy!”

Tucker happily invades the pantry for a snack.

I ease open the door and clear my throat.


I don’t want to startle him. He’s a very nice man. He teaches science at a school in another district during the day – plus he and his wife have 3 kids, including a new baby — AND he tutors after school – so he’s probably exhausted.

And let’s face it, Biology is not exactly riveting.

If I were a Biology tutor, I’d fall asleep as soon as you opened the Biology book, much less if I had to discuss it!

In fact, I’d fall asleep as soon as you said the word, “Biolo— ” Zzzzzzzzz.
See? It just happened.

Now if I were a tutor on the “best TV series to binge-watch” – or the “relative composition of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors by deliciousness of ingredients” – or the “statistical likelihood of Ryan Gosling’s car breaking down outside my house, in a rainstorm, and needing immediate medical attention and a warm bath” – I’d be WIDE AWAKE for the entire session!

So I certainly don’t blame the guy for falling asleep, but I should wake him.

So I cough.


I tiptoe out of the room, then walk back in, very loudly clicking my shoes on the floor. The tutor does not move.

Good God, I hope he’s not dead.

That’d be incredibly awkward.

I have delicious French Dip beef simmering in the crockpot, more homework to supervise, then a slew of shows on the DVR. Tonight’s schedule is not ideal for an untimely death in my dining room.

Next Thursday, sure. But tonight, no. Definitely not.

I approach the slumbering tutor so I can call his name, but then I realize I don’t KNOW his name!

That may sound odd since he’s been tutoring Tucker for about 6 sessions or so.

But he has a very thick accent and when he introduced himself, I thought he said his name was Farooq Malik.

But then the next time he came, I could swear he introduced himself to my friend as Marooq Falik. Or maybe it was Malik Farooq?

I’m terrible with names anyway, especially if the names could be interchangeable. If you tell me your name is Henry James, I’ll likely call you James half the time and Henry the other half!

Two of my friends both have a “v” in their names so I’m constantly calling them by each other’s names – and I’ve known them for years!

I once knew a Carla that I routinely called Sharon because oh-my-God-you-guys, she just seemed like a Sharon, you know?

So whenever I try to address the tutor, I hesitate, stumble, or mumble. I think he’s on to me.

Recently, I asked him something, and said, “Right, Malik?” and he corrected me by saying “Farooq.” And I could swear he’s corrected me the opposite way too. And he’ll smile mischievously, like he knows that I can’t keep his name straight.

So now I don’t know if I just have a bad memory –

or if he’s just Farooq-ing with me.

My son comes back in the room with chips and sits down.

I cough and say, “Mister…Malik? Farooq? Hello?”

He opens his eyes, shifts in his seat, glances at the book, then looks at Tucker and calmly says,

“And that’s the difference between prokaryote and eukaryote organisms.”

Wow. Didn’t even skip a beat.

Nicely played, Farooq.

Or Malik.

Or whatever the Farooq your name is!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Are you terrible at remembering names too? Any funny tutoring stories? IS he just messing with me? And should I serve strong black coffee whenever he tutors?)

Welcome to So Then Stories: Hilarious True Tales

Do you enjoy Hilarious True Tales about embarrassing kids, exasperating coworkers, vexing relationships, and the ever-perplexing public?  Then you'll LOVE!  Come laugh with us!  #funny #kids #office #husbands #humor

Hey, pull up a bar stool and let’s swap funny stories about our embarrassing kids, exasperating coworkers, vexing relationships, and the ever-perplexing public!  This is where I share my bodacious blunders and hilarious true tales – and invite YOU to share YOUR related experiences – so the laughs just keep rolling!

“Hmm,” you may ask, “Are you really funny?”  Well, not to brag (omg, I’m TOTALLY bragging!), but I won 1st Place in the 2014 Nat. Society of Newspaper Columnists competition (Blog Category under 100,000 monthly visitors) – and I won 2 Humor VOTY Awards at BlogHer in 2013 & 2014.  I was even named Humor Writer of August 2014 by Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop!  Woot! Woot!

So pull up a bar stool and start laughing! 
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TOTALLY Embarrassed in Front of Dr. Fancypants! HILARIOUS True Tale #doctor #medical #embarrassing #funny #teens

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Telling His Teacher a Big Fat Juicy Lie!  #funny #boys #teacher #school #humor

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BOOBIE-trapped -- LITERALLY & Hilariously! True tale when my boob got trapped in...well, you gotta click it to find out! #funny #embarrassing #mammogram #fireman

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Oh, She Did NOT Just Say That! #funny #school #drama #volunteer #pta #pisces #cosmetics #hair #humor

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Thanks!  Darcy Perdu

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…


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.


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.


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


“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!)

Funny Difference between Boys & Girls – or Perhaps Personality Types?

Funniest Difference between Boys and Girls (The time those crazy dames made my son's head explode!)  #funny #boys #girls #school #humor

So then…Chloe gleefully slathers the glue all over the “roof” of the cardboard box, while her 5th grade classmate Hailey meticulously presses small stones and rocks into the glue.

The kitchen table is strewn with art materials, scissors, markers, cardboard, and enough rocks to fill a quarry.

The girls are in all their glory, painstakingly affixing the rocks one by one to cover the entire 17th century “house” for the school’s historical village project. It’s taking them hours — and they could not be happier.

Tucker, 7th grade, walks in the kitchen to grab a snack bar, sees the massive array of art materials scattered everywhere and asks, “Is that due tomorrow?”

(In Tucker’s world, one would never THINK of starting a project unless, in fact, it IS due tomorrow.) (Or sometimes even — due last week.)

Chloe, fingers dripping glue, looks up and says, “No, it’s due next month.”

Tucker’s face is perplexed. His brain is having difficulty grasping that concept.

He moves over to the table and looks closer at the stone house. He asks, “It’s for history, huh?”

Chloe places a white stone near the little chimney and says, “Yeah, it’s for extra credit.”

Now Tucker’s face depicts utter confusion.

His little brain is screaming: “What? Doing a project a month BEFORE it’s due — and you don’t even HAVE to do the project? WHAAAAAT?!?

He’s like one of those broken robots that keeps ramming its head into the wall, with arms robotically flailing, muttering, “THIS.DOES.NOT.COMPUTE. THIS.DOES.NOT.COMPUTE.”

His brain is literally about to EXPLODE.

Finally, he calms himself with the knowledge that no such absurdity would befall him.

He shakes his head at the folly of these little girls, slips a couple of the stones in his pocket unnoticed, takes a bite of the snack bar, and strolls out into his carefree life.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Is this a common difference between boys and girls? Or just the difference between personality types? Which category do your kids fall into – and do they get that from YOU?)

Illustrated for So Then Stories by Stefano Marchio

Is Your Kid “Clever” or “Criminal?”

Is Your Kid Clever or Criminal?  It's a fine line, people - a FINE line! #funny
So then…she says, “He’s a very bright boy.”

I beam.

She says, “And so creative!”

I glow.

“And I’m so impressed that he’s only 7 and he types his spelling homework! Everyone else just handwrites their words.”

Oh. Hmm. Now I have an ethical dilemma. I shift on the miniature chair in Tucker’s classroom and examine his Second Grade teacher.

Should I just graciously accept the compliment – or reveal the reason that Tucker types his spelling homework?

So far, the Parent-Teacher conference has been going very well. She’s very complimentary, focusing on his virtues – “bright, creative, funny.” We both know he can also be “fidgety, chatty, and tardy with homework,” but I can tell she’s the sort of teacher who likes to put a positive spin on things.

To ease my conscience, I say, “Well, about that. You know how you give them 12 spelling words a week to alphabetize? Then they’re supposed to write each word three times so they can learn how to spell the words?”

“Yes,” she nods encouragingly.

My chair makes a tiny squeak as I shift my weight. I need to tell her my 7-year-old has recently gained access to a laptop.

“Well, um, Tucker figured out how to type the words into an Excel spreadsheet. Then he copies and pastes them two more times in the column. Then he hits ‘Sort’ so the words are automatically sorted into alphabetical order. Then he copies the words into a Word document and submits it for his homework.”

As I speak, her cheerful smile wavers and slowly disappears.

“Oh.” She looks uncertain.

I look contrite, awaiting judgment.

She concentrates. I can tell she’s trying to decide whether or not this constitutes an “unauthorized shortcut” (i.e. cheating) – or if this demonstrates Tucker’s “clever resourcefulness with technology.”

After a pause, she takes the high road. Smiling brightly, she says, “Well, at least he’s learning to spell the words as he types them in, so that’s the point of the task!”

I look down. “Well, um, he does hit ‘Spell Check’ before he prints the sheet.”


Awkward pause.

“Yeah,” I say to fill the silence.

A moment passes.

She sighs, then girds herself up for the final spin. “Well, he is certainly handy with a computer, isn’t he? What a bright, creative boy!”

I smile gratefully and exit into the bright sunshine.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any funny moments you’d like to share from your Parent-Teacher Conferences? Has your kid found some impressive and/or questionable shortcuts for schoolwork? Any examples of your kids being too clever for their own good? Do tell! Share a Story or Comment below! I love to read them!)

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