humor

All posts in the humor category

New Book, “Chicken Soup for the Fuck You,” is here. 

Published August 19, 2016 by April Fox

My new book, Chicken Soup for the Fuck You: Inspirations, Observations, and Character Assassinations is now available in print and Kindle format via Amazon

Here’s a little about the book: 

“Chicken Soup for the Fuck You” is spit straight from the hyperactive brain of a lifelong oddball who has, to put it simply, seen some shit. In the process of finding her voice after a decade and a half of quiet, April Fox puts a wry spin on politics, religion, and the weird and wonderful aspects of everyday life, including parenting a herd of eclectic children. In between, there are periods of darkness, and those are reflected here too.

In short, “Chicken Soup for the Fuck You” is a feel-good book for people who hate feel-good books.

April’s work has been described as “Intoxicating… Awesome, inspiring, and resonating all the way.”
“…a huge dose of reality.”

“Enigmatic and thought-provoking, but still touching.”

“…filthy.”



Chicken Soup for the Fuck You is a collection of essays (some previously published here) in line with Jon Stewart’s Naked Pictures of Famous People, interspersed with brief one-liners and a few lines of verse. It runs the gamut from Barbie’s role model status to evangelist Pat Robertson’s readiness to come out of the closet to why kids with autism don’t make the best survey subjects sometimes. One early reader said he was laughing on one page, raging on the next, and on the verge of tears with the one after that; another, before reading, hoped the book came with “a piece of the author’s brain.” Chicken Soup for the Fuck You is exactly that: a slice of my brain, stuffed inside a paperback cover and served straight to you, ready to be enjoyed. 

Have A Very Goopy Christmas, Take Two 

Published December 20, 2015 by April Fox

I posted yesterday about my new blog, Math Makes Me Poop, but apparently I was still suffering from Almost-Christmas-Break Teacher Brain and the link I tried to post didn’t actually work. So let’s try this again: here’s a post from the new blog. I hope you like it. 

Have a Very Goopy Christmas  | Math Makes Me Poop

https://mathmakesmepoop.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/have-a-very-goopy-christmas/

Kids are Weird, Man. 

Published December 19, 2015 by April Fox

Edit: Now with a real, live, working link to the new blog! Sorry about that. 

Some of you might know that when I’m not writing, I’m teaching. This year, I’m working with a brilliant, hilarious, adorable kid I call Little G, and I’ve created a new blog to chronicle some of our adventures. We do a lot of out-of-the-box learning and I’ll be sharing posts about that, along with the things that don’t always go as planned-like you’ll see in the post linked here. 

The blog is geared toward people who are teaching, parenting, or otherwise care for small kids, especially those with some learning, sensory, or social differences. It’s still my voice though, and even if you’re one of those people who turns the hose on kids that wander onto your lawn, you might like it. 

Have a Very Goopy Christmas  | Math Makes Me Poop 

Barbie: Taking Our Daughters to the Dark Side, One Pink Stiletto Step at a Time

Published February 19, 2014 by April Fox

When I was a kid, playing with Barbie was a given. Little girls played Barbie, little boys played G.I. Joe, and once you all hit about twelve, your moms quit allowing you to play with both of them together because dammit, Barbie’s not a hooker.

But maybe she is.

I’ve heard a surprising number of mothers say they won’t let their daughters play with Barbie because she’s a bad influence and promotes an unrealistic ideal of beauty to young girls. Okay, first of all, your average girl of Barbie-playing age thinks the height of beauty is bright turquoise eyeshadow, a sparkly tank top that looks like it came off the rack at Discount Drag, your grandmother’s old Easter bonnet and a pair of Dora the Explorer slippers. I’m pretty sure Barbie’s color-coordinated outfits are an improvement.

She has long, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a figure that looks like she got her chest stuck in an industrial vacuum for about four years. Yeah, the boobs are a bit much. I admit, after six kids I look at Barbie lying there all perky after, what, fifty-some years? and when my kid isn’t looking, I slam those pointy little plastic suckers in the kitchen drawer a few times, just for spite. But really? Come on. Kids are surrounded by women of all shapes, sizes, colors… do you really think your daughter is going to grow up with a complex because she doesn’t resemble a hunk of plastic? Nobody raises a fuss because they think their kids are going to grow up depressed because they don’t have giant, misshapen heads like Dora. I have four boys and not one of them has ever screamed from the bathroom, aghast because they’re not eunuchs like all those plastic action figures they play with.

The fact is, some women do have lovely figures and long, shiny hair. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people or less worthy of your respect than anyone else. It’s unacceptable to look down on someone because they’re not conventionally attractive, or they’re overweight, or learning delayed. People do it, but it’s not considered something you do in polite company. So why is it okay to belittle the worth of this poor plastic lady? Yes, I’m anthropomorphizing the doll, because-to use a phrase common in the age group that likes to play with her-you started it. When you say your child can’t play with Barbie because she promotes an unrealistic ideal of beauty, you’re telling her that that is what’s considered attractive, and she might as well give it up.

Beauty vs. the Brain

One of the big arguments I hear is “I want to raise my daughter to know that beauty doesn’t matter, and brains do,” or some minor variation thereof. The thing is, I have two girls that happen to have copious amounts of both qualities, and I’m quite sure mine aren’t the only ones. Now, what are you going to say? Are you going to pretend my girls are the only ones with good looks and smarts? Or are you going to–wait for it–tell me that all parents feel that way about their kids? Maybe even get a little defensive and tell me your kids are bright and beautiful too?

Of course they are. They all are. So rather than telling your daughter she has to be one or the other, why not reinforce that not only will she be both, she already is? I don’t mean you should streak her hair and stick her in miniskirts when she’s five. I’m not saying teach her that she has to look like all the little tarts on the teen soap operas. I’m saying let her cultivate her own beauty along with her brains, and appreciate them both. And in doing that, you have to learn to appreciate your own. If you complain constantly about your post-kid belly or your frizzy hair and then turn on Barbie and accuse her of being a fake plastic tramp, you’re the one teaching your child that there’s a narrow definition of beauty-not the doll. Rather than pointing out how unrealistic Barbie’s perfect shiny hair is, point out how pretty it is when the sunlight catches your daughter’s curls on the playground. Quit slamming Barbie’s poor exaggerated breasts in the drawer and take a minute to think about what yours have seen you through.

When she does well on a test, praise her. When she puts on a new dress, tell her she looks pretty. When she scores a goal in her soccer game, be the loudest voice on the sidelines. Celebrate all of her gifts, not just the ones that aren’t obvious at first glance. Allow her to decide who she is-don’t limit her with your own insecurity.

About that Bad Influence Thing

Okay, so Barbie is a bad influence because she’s hot. Let’s look at the reality of this, shall we? First, she’s plastic. Seriously. Not plastic as in manufactured pop star, but actual plastic, injection molded chemical compounds or whatever the heck she’s made out of. It’s not like she’s whispering in your kid’s ear at night, telling her to pray to the goddess Britney Spears and eat nothing but honeydew melon.

As far as her lifestyle, she lives in a nice house (several, if you’ve kept up with the upgrades over the years) and drives a cute little convertible. She takes her sweet fluffy pets with her on vacation in her RV. Yeah, she went through that kind of tacky “Barbie and the Rockers” phase back in the 80’s, but come on, she’s not even fully jointed; it’s not like she could gyrate or anything. And to top all that off, she was with the same guy for her entire life, and if you’ve ever taken Ken’s pants off, you know there wasn’t any hanky-panky going on.

It’s not like she just sat around eating plastic bon-bons, either. Barbie may be a hottie, but she’s no slacker. She’s been a veterinarian, a teacher, a pediatrician and a businesswoman, among other things. If anything, Barbie is the ultimate feminist symbol: she’s gorgeous, wealthy, takes care of herself, has more degrees than South Florida on an August afternoon, and hangs out with a guy who’s been emasculated. Have you seen those stilettos she wears? Man-killers if I ever saw any, am I right? This isn’t some soft little bimbo teaching our girls to pucker up and have dinner on the table when the man walks through the door; this is a renaissance woman, evolving with the times and showing generations of little girls that they can be anything they imagine they can.

*I first wrote this for Yahoo! several years ago. I feel compelled to point that out, so they don’t come along and try to sue me for reprinting my own work or something.

Harry Potter, Dancing for Boobies, and Paying the Bills

Published November 10, 2013 by April Fox

I’m finally making time to get back into writing for income, not just to purge my head. I’ll be posting articles I write for different web sites here, along with the usual stuff you all are used to. As always, I appreciate your support. (Yes, I can tell when you guys are paying attention, even when you don’t say anything. The internet is awesome like that.) Here are two articles I did tonight; I hope you enjoy.

There’s a new personality test featuring Harry Potter and his merry band of Satanic cohorts: http://www.liberalamerica.org/2013/11/10/harry-potter-personality-test/

And on a more serious and heartwarming note, this courageous woman hosts a dance party in the operating room just before undergoing a double mastectomy:  http://www.liberalamerica.org/2013/11/10/deborah-cohan-hosts-double-mastectomy-dance-party/

On English Classes, Guts and Expectations

Published February 18, 2013 by April Fox

Some of you might know that I went back to school recently. I am required, as part of the standard curriculum, to take an English class. I thought about testing out of the class, but decided to go through with it because I don’t exactly have a ton of experience writing the kind of things college professors probably want to see, and so maybe I’ll learn something about writing for that particular audience. I have to look at it the same way I looked at studying SEO and things like that. I submitted my first weeks essay notes (some of my answers were “a bit brief;” according to the professor’s feedback; he has a point, and I know now that one thing I need to work on is padding my responses), aced the grammar diagnostic (which looked frighteningly like what my kids did around grade four) and finally, this week, got around to writing the first real paper that was assigned. The instructions were to write a descriptive essay; the description could be of a person, an object, a place or an animal. I’m not sure that what I wrote is quite what the professor was looking for, but I’m still learning here. I shared it with my mother (you’ll see why) and she laughed so hard she cried, and then apologized (again, you’ll see why). I thought since she enjoyed it so much, you people might as well. Here, then, is my first official piece of college English writing.

ImageStandoff

It sits in front of me, silent of course, and motionless, but somehow still mocking me. It knows that it has come down to me versus it, and only one of us can win. I know from experience that I will likely lose again, like I have so many times before. Still, I have to fight. I have to try.

The drab browns and greys do nothing to reduce its similarity to some fetid swamp, rank with the stench of those who came before me, tried to brave the horror here, and failed. The smell is nearly suffocating: flesh and earth and over it all, some vague smell that might have once been appetizing, in a different time, under very different circumstances. Now, it only adds a cruel layer of sweetness to the vile mess before me. Not even a strawberry muffin can overcome the travesty that is liver and Lima beans, cruelly placed before me by my mother. The bright red berry bits have been overshadowed, tainted by the ugliness beside them. What was once an eagerly anticipated treat now tastes like bribery, a pale attempt to make me think this meal might be worth eating.

“This isn’t food,” I say, indignant in the way that only nine-year-olds can be. “It’s guts.” I’m right, you know. It’s a liver, straight from the inside of a cow and cooked on the very same stove on which my mother made me pancakes that morning, back before she lost her mind and tried to poison me with the innards of some poor unfortunate bovine.

“Eat your guts,” says my father.

I ponder the wisdom of rolling my eyes or arguing, but while I may be a picky child, I am not a stupid child, and I err on the side of being allowed to watch The Cosby Show that night rather than being sent straight to bed. Instead I stomp pout-faced into the kitchen, retrieve the barbecue sauce and return to my chair. The ancient green vinyl of my padded seat seems to sigh in sympathy as I sit back down and cover the guts on my plate with a quarter-inch layer of the pungent condiment. Sauce oozes down the sides and I think, “This must have been what it looked like inside the cow.” Somehow, I manage not to vomit.

My father, unamused, offers me the bottle of ketchup he just poured onto his own Lima beans. This whole not-vomiting thing is getting harder by the second, and I squeak out a “No, thank you” before washing the bile back down my throat with a giant swig of milk.

My mother, the very woman who created this situation, glances at me. Her eyes are a lovely blue, her hair fluffy in curls around her shoulders. You’d never suspect this tiny, sweet-natured lady of making her children eat guts and beans. And yet, here is the proof: “Eat up, sweetie. Try your muffin.”

I am expected to eat this; all of it, the liver and its accompanying onions, looking like nothing more than neatly segmented parasites, translucent worms just waiting to infect me with some horrid cow disease I’m too young to know about just yet. Anthrax, maybe, or AIDS; I’m nine, I don’t know the difference. The muffin, oh, the poor abused muffin, placed there only to entice me to the table, now rendered inedible by its proximity to one bean that slid away from the rest and is now, in a vulgar display of affection, nestled next to it… this too must be eaten, along with the offending bean and its compatriots. There is no way out of this. I will sit here till the butter on the beans congeals, till my milk goes sour, till, Heaven forbid, I fall asleep face-first into the slab of worm-infested guts sitting squarely in the middle of my Strawberry Shortcake place mat.

I have no choice. The enemy has won again. Knife in one hand, fork in the other, I make the first cut. There is no going back now. Defeated, I begin to eat my dinner.

Why Saying “Happy Holidays” Proves that You’re a Child of Satan

Published December 5, 2012 by April Fox

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You know what sucks?

People wanting you to be happy, but not expressing it in exactly the way you think they should. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than exchanging cursory pleasantries with another person and having them wish you well in totally the wrong way.

It’s that time of year, folks. Peace and love, joy and hallelujah, all that mess and egg nog too. (Which, by the way, makes me vomit, so please don’t try to convince me that it’s delicious and I’ll like it and I should really try it again, for real, it’s great. It’s not great. It smells precisely the way it did when I puked it all over my grandma’s breakfast bar when I was 3, and I’m quite certain that it tastes the same, too.) Anyway, by peace and love and joy et cetera, what I really mean is a bunch of crazy people fighting over the latest battery-operated hunk of trendy obnoxiousness and getting pissed off because other people–and corporations, even–have the audacity to spew disgusting profanities such as… wait, wait. Herd the children out of the room, folks, and if you’re faint of heart, you might want to quit reading because this is some SERIOUS LANGUAGE… are you ready?

Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you: People are out there telling other people–in public!–“Happy Holidays.”

That’s right. “Happy Holidays,” rather than “Merry Christmas.” How fucking offensive is that? We celebrate Christmas in America, not “holidays.” Next thing you know, you’ll be trying to tell us that Christmas is a holiday, like those other days with all the candles and the multiple days and the Anti-Christ and such. From there, it’s not a far stretch to saying that “Merry” and “Happy” mean kind of the same thing. And from there, folks, utter chaos. We live in a country where it should be assumed, without question, that every single person we encounter is of the Christian persuasion, or if not Christian, they at least have the good sense to celebrate Christmas and not one of those ungodly other days. One of those damn holidays, as they like to call them.

I know in some places, folks would be happy to hear a pleasant greeting, regardless of semantics. People might actually mistakenly assume that “Happy Holidays” meant something nice, something kind, something along the lines of, “Hey, whatever you celebrate, I hope you’re happy doing it.” And that, dear friends, is just WRONG. Around here, complaining about someone saying something nice to you doesn’t make you look like a big jackass, no matter what anyone else says (all those heathens with their “logic” and “compassion,” am I right?). It makes you a fine, upstanding American, a good Christian who knows that neither of those things have a got-damn thing to do with diversity or kindness.

Everyone knows Jesus is the Reason for the Season (no really, it has nothing to do with the Earth’s tilt on its axis or anything, you know, scientific like that) and Jesus was all about forcing everyone to acknowledge the holiday that his esteemed followers jacked from the Pagans, slapping his name on it like some cheesy “NEW AND IMPROVED!” sticker on a bottle of cheap detergent. I’m pretty sure it says in the Bible even (right after the part about God hating homosexuals and being down with protesting funerals) “thou shalt not patronize a discount store in which the employees speaketh such sin as ‘Happy Holidays’.”

So for all of you like-minded folks out there, I wish you the opposite of this nasty phrase: a most unhappy holiday. And for those of you with a bit of sense about it, I wish you happy holidays, merry Christmas, blessed Yule, happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and whatever else you might choose to celebrate in this month of–yes, I’m going to say it–holidays.

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