And I’m never gonna die.

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Photo by Cici Hung on Unsplash

At first, there were lots of us: cheap pet store goldfish, filling your tank with moving, living bursts of color. Visitors were duly impressed; their mindless young entranced by our beauty. And while most of us croaked quickly and were unceremoniously flushed (yeah, I know about that), a few lived for years, growing larger and stronger.

And you, air-breather — you just thought you were so cool with your massive tank, didn’t you?

Then you started to realize what a bitch this thing is to clean. And just how quickly the water gets funky again. And how ungodly heavy it…


A step-by-step guide that you’re going to want

squirrel looking at the camera
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Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash

You probably looked at this headline and thought, “Well, that’s just ridiculous. I’ll never have a dead squirrel in my living room.”

Oh, to be young and naive. I once thought I’d never have a dead squirrel in my living room, either. But when the moment comes, you need a plan. I always believed that I was prepared for any emergency. As it turns out, I really wasn’t.

Let’s back up a minute

So, how did I end up in this situation, you ask? Did I have a pet squirrel who met an untimely end? Did a live squirrel somehow slip into the house unseen…


ESSAY | MENTAL HEALTH

Dementia means saying goodbye again and again

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Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

The first time was maybe six years ago at a family gathering. She called my sister the wrong name — and not my name, either. A completely random one, with no context at all. She caught herself and made a joke. We were grateful to wave away the awkward moment and move on to other topics.

Then, nearly five years ago, I gave her a call on my way home from dinner with a friend, just to check in on her. She asked where I’d been, who I’d had dinner with, and whether we’d had a good time. I’d answered…


TRUE CONFESSION | SATIRE

I’ve committed strawberry genocide, among many, many others

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Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

I need help. Roses, tomatoes, cacti, ferns, palm trees, orchids, begonias, countless unidentified decorative plants: I’ve killed them all. Yet I’m drawn to their beauty. I’m afraid I’ll never stop.

I long for a house full of vibrant greenery and fresh air; a yard packed with a chaotically beautiful cottage garden and tons of homegrown vegetables. I dream of building a greenhouse that smells like spring year-round.

Instead, I have endless collections of empty, dirty pots and planters, and stone-edged garden beds full of desiccated corpses. …


SATIRE

Please, step into our office.

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Photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash

We once hugged the round bellies of wine glasses and the sweaty curves of beer bottles. We proudly bore the smudgy stamps of rock shows held in smoky, cramped bars, back when such things existed. We packed overnight bags for road trips and rolled board game dice until 1am. We sifted sun-warmed sand between our fingertips.

Now we spend every day scrubbing dried food particles from dishes and peeling clingy socks away from static-laden sheets and changing shit-packed diapers and wiping up spittle. We look in the mirror and hardly recognize ourselves for all of the wrinkles and cracks we’ve…


Why my journey to feminism took nearly three decades.

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

As a 90s teen, I heard “girl power” crowed almost daily. Never mind that it was hyper-commercialized and leveraged the worst stereotypes. In my teens and early to mid twenties, I claimed that feminism was dead; that we’d achieved equality and needed to move on to other causes. I honestly believed there were no substantive differences between how men and women were treated. Surely not so, in our “modern” times.

I was born in 1984, and grew up believing the hype that girls could do anything we wanted. It’s what I was always told, even as my strong-minded mother also…


An open letter & handy reference guide for those men who send unsolicited “surprises”.

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Dearest Sir,

Yes, I suppose you may be delighted if you were to receive surprise boobs in your inbox. Hetero men seem to never quite get enough of those. Fine.

But we ladies (and in this case, I am going to go ahead and speak for all of us) are decidedly less excited to see some rando dick pop up unexpectedly on our devices. Your penis is not cute. No, we don’t have to see it first to judge, and also no, that doesn’t make us prude. It’s just a fact.

I’d thankfully been more or less spared your general…


We know all about Ring around the Rosie. But what’s the truth behind these?

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Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

Ding, Dong, Bell

This lovely rhyme tells the story of a young boy, Little Johhny Thin, who puts a cat down a well, and another young boy, Little Tommy Stout, who swoops in and saves said cat. On its face, this seems like the heartwarming tale of a sadistic child attempting to murder an innocent animal and being thwarted (with some judge-y subtext about the kids’ weight), but there’s more to the story.

The true story:

Things aren’t what they seem. Little Johnny Thin is actually being haunted by the evil spirit of a Victorian spinster-turned-murderess, who, in death, jumps from body to…


The greatest, most amazing television network that ever existed, ever, period, ever. Period.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

After completing the most successful Presidency in history, full of all the most amazing things and definitely no coups against the state, Donald Trump has gone on to master the next great frontier: building a television network. Brought to you by Fox.

Reality shows:

So You Think You Can Riot: wanna-be insurrectionists compete live to see who’s got the stuff that failed rebellions are made of

The Unmasked Singer: aspiring vocalists battle for the gold at a Covid-19 super-spreader event

Let’s Make a Steal: contestants go head-to-head to see who can win in the most shocking way possible, at any cost

Who…


Because if he starts taking off his clothes, I’m gonna run.

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Photo by Mason Kimbarovsky on Unsplash

I was nervous. When the doorbell rang and a middle-aged, slightly sweaty cop entered, I almost bolted. I hissed to my friend, “I hope he’s actually here to arrest us.” And when he pulled out a silver 90’s boombox (it was most definitely not the 90s), pressed play and “Bad Boys” started blaring, I almost vomited. It was so much worse than jail: this slightly doughy gent was about to take off all his clothes.

Some people are stripper people. I’m a misanthrope who hates interacting with strangers and really hates people up in my personal space. It makes me…

Stephanie Stocker

Freelance writer. Reader. New mom. INTJ. Lover of puns & odd people. I write absurdist comedy and about life, quirky history and sometimes Harry Potter.

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