Blame Lazy Americans for Bad Customer Service

I am in the process of selling my house in New Jersey, which is a whole other story than the one I am about to tell you. Suffice to say that I am not meant to own real estate. So if you ever walk into an open house and spot me asking how old the roof is, do me a favor and punch me in the face. Read more »

In the Land of the One Percent

Because of a family funeral, we spent the weekend, in which Mitt Romney finally released the tax returns that showed a mysterious disappearing $7.2 million, with people who are like him but different from us: They have a lot of money. It was my daughter Marcy’s first lengthy visit to an enclave of wealth, and it was for all of us who made the trip across the Turnpike to a posh Pittsburgh suburb—Marcy, my husband, his mom and me—our first real foray, in this election season, into enemy territory. Read more »

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

F-bomb you! What the F-bomb? Go F-bomb yourself.

With “F-bomb” now anointed to the sacred text of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, it is — by definition — a conventional word, acceptable in any setting. It made the cut in August, one of 100 or so annual additions to the venerated linguistic institution, founded in 1898.

So what the fuck is wrong with this picture?

Here’s what: “F-bomb” blows. It’s ugly, overstated and, most of all, dated. “Fuck” hasn’t been a “bomb” for years, except to the Federal Communications Commission. In reality, it’s as bomb-like as a birthday candle. Even in the most polite circles, nobody says “F-bomb” if there’s a “fuck” handy.

Like it or not, “fuck” has gone mainstream. Deal with it, Merriam. You too, Webster. Read more »

Is Facebook Making Penn Students Binge Drink?

The University of Pennsylvania has posted the numbers for this year’s New Student Orientation, a.k.a. NSO, and alcohol-related hospital transports went up 76 percent over last year’s bacchanalia. The girls managed to significantly increase their numbers over 2011, and this year outstripped the boys, with 16 Lady Quakers hospitalized for being falling-down or passed-out drunk, compared to just 14 guys. (The 2010 numbers were four female and 13 male.) Penn’s Daily Pennsylvanian newspaper quoted vice president for public safety Maureen Rush as saying, “We were a little depressed that people were still ill enough to go to the hospital” despite the stay-safe-while-drinking messages pounded into arriving frosh. “They did not party safely,” she said. Read more »

Who Else Misses Wrapping Paper?

Have you heard? Christmas is coming. Every September it’s the same old lamentation: The stores put up all of their Christmas stuff (and it is Christmas, people, not “holiday,” so let’s all just be grown up about it) before the first leaf has fallen to signal the onset of autumn. “Too soon!” we all cry. And it is. But there is a reason for this early-birding of the yuletide, of course—retailers, under constant siege from both an abysmal economy and e-tailers, need to drum up the shopping frenzy as early as possible. Still, that doesn’t make it any less irritating. Read more »

Of Course a Cheating Husband Proposes to His Mistress Near a Toilet

Cheating is cheating. That’s all there is to it. No getting around it. You can explain it away or justify it or blame someone else for it, but it’s still cheating. Like other behaviors, however, I suppose you could categorize cheaters to some degree. Take Bill Belichick for example. He’s what I’d call a “no good, evil, low-down, win-at-any-cost” cheater. Remember in 2007 when he sent a videographer over to the other team’s sidelines to capture play calls? Unscrupulous fellow, that Belichick. He was fined half a million bucks and his team was fined another $250,000. Cheating on that scale is expensive business. Read more »

It’s 2012 and a Whole Lot of People Are Still Using the Word “Nigger”

Last week, I decided to check out a Delaware County bar, based on repeated recommendations from two acquaintances. When I walked inside, I realized that one of the acquaintances was there, seated with some other people I know, at least by name. So, I sat down at their table and ordered a Miller High Life (don’t judge). After a few minutes, one of them called the owner over for a chat, introducing me as a reporter. I hate it when people do that. Read more »

Americans Still Shocked by Naked People

You may have read the story this morning—at least you probably read it if you gobble up tabloidy nonsense, as I do—about Prince Harry’s rather wild weekend in Las Vegas, where he evidently invited a group of nubile young women up to his suite for a game of strip billiards and lost. We know this because there are pictures (there are always pictures) of Harry in the nude, his hands artfully cupped on one photo, his behind not so cupped in another. Poor Camilla. Hasn’t she suffered enough? Read more »

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