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Date archive for: March 2014

Drunk Shopping: It's for the Kids!

I have a rule against drunk shopping. But I didn’t always. The policy sprang from necessity after attending my first-ever school fundraising auction. Poured into an oxygen-inhibiting costume, plied with signature cocktails, and woozy from watching wealthy parents race to the bottom of bid sheets, I lost my shizz and wound up owing \$500 for a one-night chocolate fountain rental.

Five hundred dollars. For wet chocolate.

When sobriety surfaced, I literally wept with panic. What had I done?! I had a young kid, a new mortgage, a mediocre salary, and, like, six friends — none of whom were likely to pay $83 each to lap gurgling goo from a humming appliance atop my hand-me-down kitchen table. No, you know how this ends. I took a bath on that chocolate fountain. And possibly … also … in it, but that’s my business.

A dozen years and as many auctions later — at Cabarets and Carnivals, through the Enchanted Forest, and aboard the Orient Express — I’ve learned to sip my wine and hide my bid number. But I can’t say I’ve learned to love the annual campus clusterfund that is the school auction.

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A Reader Writes My Lead

I had “help” writing this column. At the recent launch party for my newest book of columns, Broad Assumptions, I held a contest inviting guests to submit the first and last lines of a column they’d like me to write — promising that I’d supply the middle part for the winning entry. Twenty-three people wrote suggestions, ranging from “My all-time most embarrassing moment is …” to “Thank God for duct tape!”

The crowd voted on the winner: an exacting couplet by vexingly imaginative reader Hattie Husbands. She won a set of my three books, and I walked away with the lines you see in bold below.

Last Saturday I was sitting in my kitchen sipping my coffee, when suddenly my cat turned and said to me …

“What the furball were you thinking?” my fictitious feline purred. “Writing a column that starts and ends with someone else’s words?! You know very well that you don’t have a cat — don’t even like cats — and certainly wouldn’t be talking to anyone before you’d finished your morning coffee. Meow the hell are you gonna write yourself out of this mess?”

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