I invite you to fill in the blanks.

“If you’re talking about bedroom stuff…” (Photo by DICSON on Unsplash)

Millicent couldn’t help noticing the embroidered, satin-covered buttons on Raoul’s ornate epaulets, which were on his shoulders, nowhere near his penis. “The fleur de lis,” she gasped. “You are in service to the King.”

“I am,” Raoul purred, like a friendly cat. “And from all that I have heard, so are you. I would much rather you were in service…to me.” …


You never know what you may find.

How will I ever recover? (Photo credit: A. Burges)

Why do I need a power washer?

At any given moment, most structures are at risk of collapsing under a cascade of outdoor effluvia. The average conifer emits twenty-six tons of pollen — that’s tree sperm — each spring, which means your dwelling is only one lustful pine away from imploding into a mass of splintered timber.

Why can’t I just use a hose?

Your house shelters you 365 days a year like mother protects her child. Would you “just use a hose” to cleanse your mother, or are you a good person?

I think I’d send my mom to…

“Can you hear me?”

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
  1. Can you hear me? Are you actually able to hear me right now? AM I GETTING ACROSS TO YOU?
  2. I wasn’t yelling at you. I wasn’t. It was just impossible to tell if the words coming out of my mouth were reaching your ears. Thank you for confirming!
  3. Yes, sure, have a snack! It takes more time for you to ask than it would take to just go get one.
  4. Is there — is there a dog on screen right now? Why yes, yes there is. Hello, Mr. Pickles. Who’s a good boy in the meet? Who remembers to keep…

The real story behind one saint’s anti-herpetological agenda

Forget Irish green: the original color of Ireland was Scaly Tweed. (Photo by Taylor Kopel on Unsplash)

Viper: The first time I saw that guy stomping through the heather, I said it right away. I said, “Guys, I think we’re done here, and Pirate Gandalf over there is gonna be the reason.”

Copperhead: He did have a real “You shall not pass” energy with that walking stick, for sure. He marched right off his boat like he owned the place. He hadn’t been on Snake-ri-La more than thirty seconds before he stabbed Boa in the eye and started shouting.

Boa: “I’m sick of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking island,” as I recall.

Mamba: That was the…

You have one job, and it’s purely aesthetic. (Image credit: Audrey Burges)

You’re out of your jingle-jangling mind if you think I’ll tolerate demands that I “run, run as fast as I can” in my own house, let alone from some Manic Pixie Dream Cookie that just hopped uninvited out of my oven.

It takes a lot of damn nerve to ask ME, a MOM IN DECEMBER, to do ONE MORE THING, unless that thing is “put your feet up and eat these snacks — immobile snacks, as God and the Barefoot Contessa intended — while I wash dishes and fold laundry.”

Who the hell do you think you are? You have…

It’s really cramped in here.

Let’s make some room to work. (Image credit: Photo by nrd on Unsplash)
  1. Do you know where the trowel is? Or maybe some tongs?
  2. What do you think we’ll find in this box?
  3. Just because we can’t tell how old this is, doesn’t mean it’s not worth keeping.
  4. This growth here…that’s probably fungal. Let’s scrape it off and take a look. What’s underneath may be useful.
  5. With some hot sauce, that could still be edible.
  6. A little-known fact is that most food never really goes bad. It just becomes alcohol.
  7. Shake that off that so we can see what we’re dealing with.
  8. Yes, it’s all very sticky, but…

Three property choices for a forced playdate.

“How long did your mom say we had to stay outside?” (Image credit: Photo by Max Goncharov on Unsplash)

MADISON (to camera): We’re looking for a princess castle with at least eleventy-hundred rooms, a movie theater, and a bowling alley. And we really need to be close to mud, but not too close.

HOST (voiceover): Madison and Henry are relocating to Henry’s backyard to play nicely — despite their three-year age difference — while their moms, who met in a goat yoga class at a local craft brewery, snark over lattes.

MADISON: The mud’s ‘cuz I’m a grown-up with a grown-up job, which is baking magical cupcakes in this oven that my fairy godmother gave me. Would you like…

We lurch toward Halloween amidst gaping societal wounds.

I appeal to you now as our neighborhood’s elder statesman of gore. (Image credit: Audrey Burges)

My oozing brethren, I come to you now — as our neighborhood’s elder statesman of gore — to groan the words you should all be thinking, if you have any BRAAAAIIIINNNSSSS…

Ahem. Sorry. As I was saying:

No more unto the breach, dear friends; no more unto the breach. The center cannot hold. Over the years, we’ve graced suburban lawns in an escalating array of factory-extruded terror, but it’s time to accept that it’s become impossible to keep up with the Joneses.

The Joneses see more terror in five minutes on Twitter than they’d see in five hours of trick-or-treating…

Can’t we just play some Jenga instead? (Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash)

Hot Dog Snake

Open your mouth as wide as it will go. Pick up your hot dog while loudly chanting snakes got no teeth, snakes got no teeth. Use your fingers to shove pre-sliced hot dog segments directly toward your trachea.

You must turn your face blue before another snake tries to steal your hot dog.*

Bite them.

Crystal Princess Goggles

You will need two glasses. Use the wooden stool that has your name on it to reeeeeeeeach into the cabinet in the Room Where We Eat When It’s Special. Retrieve the sparkly glasses that are only out when Grandma comes for dinner. Hold one glass…

Audrey Burges

Audrey’s work can be read in McSweeney’s, Human Parts, The Belladonna, Slackjaw, Points in Case, and other places. Twitter: @audrey_burges; audreyburges.com.

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