Monday, July 20, 2009

100 Lessons

I didn’t realize in the beginning that telling stories would end up being such a learning experience for me. But as I look back at the evolution of the 99 Slightly Exaggerated stories that have been posted, I am reminded of the many lessons I have learned. And so for this, the 100th Slightly Exaggerated story, I offer a recap--just in case you’ve missed a few.



1. Always keep the butter away from the cat.
2. Always know where your transmission is.
3. People who don’t barbeque are weird.
4. Burn all photos of you in a bad perm.
5. Looks can be deceiving-especially with small, cute dogs.
6. Grocery store shelves are strong enough to climb.
7. Don’t be so quick to judge.

8. Walking naked through the mall is more fun than buying a car.
9. Teachers aren’t paid enough money.
10. Every person is special.
11. The clutch pedal is the one on the left.
12. Never, ever put candy in your underwear.

13. Sometimes the best things happen when you find yourself in a hole.
14. The glass is always half full.
15. If your underwear is showing, your need to pull your pants up.
16. Slow down, pour some lemonade and sit on the porch for awhile.
17. We’re all just a tiny bit mentally ill.

18. 2 + 2 does not always equal 4.
19. Always remember your password.
20. Diversity is complicated.
21. The squeaky wheel will always get the most attention.

22. Mini spares are meant for paved roads.
23. High school class reunions are completely terrifying.

24. High school class reunions are a total blast.
25. Never underestimate the value of strong core muscles.
26. If you’re gonna break it, break it good.

27. Parenting is hard.
28. Men and women do not speak the same language.
29. All children should come pre-packaged in bubble wrap.
30. Blood in the urine is never a good thing.

31. Cats don’t like rules.
32. Death brings an uncomfortable, lonely silence...and a whole lot of food.
33. Mothers are irreplaceable.
34. Never bleach your maple tree.

35. Cats are arrogant.
36. It takes many different colors to make a rainbow.
37. Bikini clad baristas DO make a better mocha.

38. The husband is obsessed with his car.


39. And yet, still, we are married.
40. Don’t forget to see what is right in front of you.
41. A good haircut can change your whole attitude.

42. Never light a candle near an oxygen tank.
43. Children can be very cruel.
44. Driving fast is fun…just drop the kids off first.
45. I shoulda been a blonde.

46. A year from now will be here much faster than you think it will.
47. Really, men and women don’t speak the same language.
48. One way or another, we’re all living in the world inside our head.
49. Always preheat your cast iron pan before putting the cornbread batter in.

50. Turtles are funny and make people happy.

51. Guilt can be a heavy burden.
52. Most people deserve to be treated better.

53. Always get the happy gas.

54. Children are often best behaved at school.

55. A bus is not a good place to pee your pants.

56. Husbands are often worst behaved in public.
57. Less is more.

58. No matter how tempting it sounds, don’t eat the cat food.
59. 1 defunct bank + 1 unemployed homemaker + 1 $30,000 credit offer= 1 major economic crisis.
60. Count your blessings before they are gone.
61. It is hard to find an honest politician.
62. Fat pants are really, quite depressing.
63. Never let your cat play with your gourd.

64. It’s a dog eat dog world.
65. It is possible to be accused of being flagrantly right wing and flagrantly left wing all at the same time.
66. Oprah knows everything.
67. BPA is scary.
68. All caged children should be freed.

69. Nothing says “I love you” like a well timed, inattentive grunt.
70. Wieners are for eating.
71. Nothing says “Christmas” like a pig in the yard.
72. A little bit of laughter and a little bit of luck-that’s all anyone really needs.


73. When you can’t go through, just go over.
74. Bank robbing is harmful to your health.
75. It happens all of the time…really.
76. Ignorance is bliss…especially with calorie counting.

77. My actions are not consistent with the person I hope to become.
78. When you write the word “pee” in your blog, you get a lot of hits from some VERY alternative and disturbing Google searches.
79. Sports should be fun.
80. Always cook your chuck roast for at least 6 hours.

81. It is true…the scale really does lie.
82. With a little help, household appliances can live forever.
83. Crime doesn’t pay.
84. When playing tackle basketball, be prepared for some blood.
85. Don’t plant too early.

86. It is not polite to swear in the library.
87. It is not polite to burp into a microphone.
88. It is not polite to uncork your stroker mouse…at least not in public.
89. It really can hurt so good.

90. High fructose corn syrup is the answer to most parenting problems.
91. Always know which end is up.
92. Healthy breasts should always be a priority, even in this economy.
93. Things could be so much worse.
94. A woman can absolutely do whatever she sets her mind to.

95. It really is Colonel Sanders’ fault.
96. Healthy breasts should always be a priority, even if you’re a 9 year old boy.
97. Beware of exploding footwear.
98. Time really does fly.

99. Never, ever trust the questionnaire.
100. Never, ever try and summarize your first 99 blogs. It is way harder than you think it will be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Little Buggers

I took a deep breath, grabbed my suitcase and punched my new key into the doorknob of room 569. I was 18 years old and this was the nervous moment when I would meet my first college roommate. Despite never having met this girl, I was fairly confident we would get along. We had both filled out an extensive questionnaire that asked many questions about our likes and dislikes and behaviors. We had been matched as roommates because, according to our questionnaires, we were quite similar.

The first thing I saw when I walked into my freshman dorm room was a small white television on the desk in the far right corner. The evening news was on, very loudly. The bed on the right side of the room had been slept in.

She had already moved in.

I put my suitcase on the bare mattress on the left and looked around at the room that wasn’t much larger than a suburban bedroom walk in closet. I walked over to the window on the opposite side of the room and gazed at the sidewalk, 5 stories down. My roommate’s side of the room looked like she had lived there for quite some time. Very fashionable clothes and piles of makeup and hair products were strewn everywhere. Pictures of, presumably, her friends, were haphazardly posted directly on the walls. The light was flashing on her answering machine. She had 22 messages.

I quickly reasoned that my new roommate was a messy, vain, clothes hound who had a very busy social life. This was nothing like me. I didn’t understand how a mismatch like this could have happened. After all, I had filled out the questionnaire!

The TV suddenly caught my attention. I heard intense, driving music and turned to look at the tiny television. Apparently, there was breaking news. An anchor woman stated that a man had been taken into custody and was being charged with the shockingly brutal rape and murder of a local college girl. While the authorities had only charged this man with the crimes against this one girl, they anticipated many more charges against other victims.

The city prosecutor spoke on the television, “This man is very, very bad. We’ve been looking for him for a long time. He is a brutal, violent and especially dangerous man who has absolutely no regard for human life. Apparently, some friends of his have been assisting him in avoiding capture but after particularly good police work and one lucky tip, we were able to apprehend him this morning. Our city is now a safer place.”

My stomach churned.

It was at that moment that I met my new roommate. She walked through the door of our dorm room and glanced at me. Her attention, however, was quickly diverted to the evil, dangerous man on the television.

She blurted out, somewhat inattentively, “Hi, my name is Shawna. I guess we’re roommates.”

And then she pointed to the television and the recently accused rapist and murderer that was on the screen. “Hey…that’s my friend James. What’s he doing on TV?”

Oh dear. This wasn’t on the questionnaire.

She knew the bad guy. He was her friend.

I would soon learn that Shawna had lots of scary friends. She had friends that would pound on the door at 2 in the morning screaming that they knew I was in there and they were going to mess me up “real bad”. She had friends that would sleep in my bed when I was gone because they needed to “hide somewhere…just for a little while.” And after those friends left, Shawna told me it would be a really good idea if I washed my bedding and all my clothes in really, really hot water and a little bleach…to kill the “little buggers” her friends had left behind.

I survived that first year of college, I survived Shawna and her scary friends and I even survived the “little buggers.” You can be assured however, that when I filled out the roommate questionnaire for my sophomore year, I was very careful to request someone who wasn’t so messy.

Check This Out!

The Slightly Exaggerated family has recently enjoyed the comedy of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham ( , s'mores made with the Hershey candy bar Cookies and Cream, and buckets of strawberries from the backyard patch. We highly recommend them all.