Monday, June 29, 2020


(I wrote this about 15 years ago, but all of the publicity this week about amusement parks finally being allowed to reopen made me think of it. So I dug it out of my computer files and thought I would share it with you).

Over dinner the other night, I brought up the subject of amusement parks. Maybe it was because the  mound of mashed potatoes on my husband's plate reminded me of the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland. 

“Don’t depress me,” my husband said. “Whenever you talk about amusement parks, it reminds me of the good old days, back when I was brave.  What happened anyway? When did I become such a wimp?”

I wasn’t able to pinpoint an exact date, but I did know that his wimpiness had come on suddenly, without warning, and that it had shocked me.

Back when we were first married, my husband loved to go to amusement parks and ride on the most nauseating rides there.  If people came rushing off a ride and were holding their stomachs and gagging into the nearest trash bin, he’d bolt over to that ride so he could be the next person in line. 

The gravity wheel was one of his favorites.  It was a monstrous wheel, similar to a giant, upright merry-go-round.  It had little compartments where each rider stood and hung onto handles, and then the wheel would spin so fast, the centrifugal force would pin the riders to the sides of the wheel, making them unable to move.

My husband must have gone on that ride a dozen times, and each time, he emerged looking as unscathed as if he’d just stepped out of a health spa.

I, on the other hand, wouldn’t have allowed even one of my body parts to touch that torture device, even if I were chloroformed.

Another of my husband’s stomach-churning favorites was the pirate ship.  It was nothing more than a giant swing, with everyone sitting in the ship as it swung back and forth, back and forth, until it finally went up so high, it began to make complete revolutions.

The first time my husband rode on it, he was as excited afterwards as a kid on Christmas morning. “It was SO cool!” he gushed. “Come on, go on it with me!  You will love it!  I guarantee it!”  

Fool that I was, I allowed him to lead me onto that ship from Hades.  After five minutes of sitting in it and going up and down, up and down, my stomach began to feel as if it contained an active volcano. 

“How much longer does this thing last?” I groaned to my husband. “I’m not kidding you, I’m seasick.”

“Just relax and enjoy it. We’re not even over the top yet!” His smiling face told me that he actually was enjoying the ride.  The man had to be a masochist.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in an effort to prevent the volcano in my stomach from erupting. “If this ship has a plank, I’m ready to walk it,” I muttered, groaning again. “Anything to put an end to this agony!”

It seemed as if the rides that made me turn the greenest were the ones that my husband enjoyed the most.  Needless to say, he ended up going on the majority of them alone.

And then it happened.  We were at the Rochester Fair one night and passed by the gravity wheel.  “There’s your favorite ride!” I said to my husband. “I’ll stand here and wait while you go on it your usual three or four times.”

He paused and looked up at the ride, which was in its fastest spinning mode at that moment.  Almost immediately, he took a step backward and clasped his stomach. 

The shade of green he turned rivaled any of my own previous shades.

“Ohmigod!” he gasped. “I-I can’t even look at it!  I feel like I’m going to hurl!”

I thought he was kidding.  He wasn’t.

Quickly, he walked over to the pirate ship and watched that for a few seconds.  He turned even greener.

“What’s wrong with me?” His expression looked frantic.

“Maybe all of your years of being married to me have turned you into me,” I said. “They say that married couples practically become clones after they’ve been married for a long time.”

Unfortunately, my explanation didn’t make him feel any better.  “Great,” he muttered. “Before you know it, I’ll be crocheting afghans and wearing a dress!”

The last time we went to an amusement park, my husband rode on only two of the rides…the lake cruise and the kiddies’ train.  He nearly went on the carousel, but changed his mind because looking at the horses going up and down made him too queasy.

I, on the other hand, rode on the loop roller-coaster twice.

So I guess my theory about married couples turning into each other just might be true.  After all these years, I’m becoming more like my husband and he’s becoming more like me. 

So while he’s crocheting his afghan, I figure I’ll slip into some coveralls and go change the oil in my car.

#   #   #

Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at:

Monday, June 22, 2020


This year, I finally have an excuse for not looking “swimsuit ready.” I mean, due to the pandemic, all of the gyms were closed (not that I’ve ever even set foot in one), nutritious foods were scarce (Oreos and jelly beans stay fresher longer during an emergency) and I didn’t burn any calories busying myself with the usual household chores, such as scrubbing the floors or dusting the furniture (because my dogs were the only ones who were going to see the inside of my house anyway).

So in other words, I am sweatsuit, not swimsuit, ready.

But I'm not at all concerned about it, mainly because I just can’t picture myself actually wearing a swimsuit and a face mask, or having to make a reservation to go swimming. So I have declared 2020 as my official “no swimsuit summer.”  No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to go skinny-dipping (please, I beseech you, do not allow any portion of that image to enter your mind). It means I’m not going to bother to go swimming or even anywhere near a beach in the foreseeable future.

The other night, as if to taunt me, I just happened to watch an old 1990 episode of the popular TV series Baywatch, which was about a bunch of young, nubile California lifeguards and the ups and downs of their everyday lives.

Halfway through the episode, I set aside my bag of Hershey’s kisses.

I’ve come to the conclusion that those swimsuit-clad “Baywatch Babes,” as they were called, who romped half-naked across the screen every week, were not, by any stretch of the imagination, real women. 

I mean, let’s face it, even if an earthquake registering 10 on the Richter scale had hit the Baywatch beach, not a single thing on those babes’ bodies would have jiggled. 

It’s downright scary.

I grew up believing that women were meant to be soft and curvy.  Nowadays, however, a woman is considered to be flabby if her stomach’s not hard enough to bounce quarters on.  Heck, if I tried to bounce a quarter on my stomach, the coin would disappear so far into my midriff bulge, I probably wouldn’t be able to find it again until it was old enough to be a rare collectors’ item.

I’m not even certain when the word “firm” first was used to describe the ideal female body.  Suddenly it’s no longer acceptable to have arms that continue to flap in the breeze five minutes after you’ve waved at someone.  Suddenly women are expected to have taut, well-defined biceps, triceps and forceps (strike that last one, I think it’s a medical instrument).

And when did the ridiculous word “cellulite” come into existence?  I mean, what kind of fool invents a word with “lite” in it to describe unsightly fat? 

"Cellu-lump" would have made a lot more sense.

Speaking of cellulite, one of the fashion magazines recently ran an article about “perfect” summer legs.  According to the article, perfect legs are free of cellulite and are shaved all the way up to the hips (without, heaven forbid, leaving any visible razor-stubble or nicks).  The article also said that one way to tell whether or not you have perfectly shaped legs is to stand with your legs together in front of a mirror.  Perfect legs will have three distinctly visible gaps between them: (1). at the top, (2).  just below the knees, (3.) at the ankles.

I checked out the Baywatch Babes’ legs and sure enough, they not only had all of the aforementioned gaps between them, they were wide enough to offer a panoramic view of the scenery behind them. I didn’t even have to look at my own legs to know they were gap-less.  They rub together so much when I walk, it’s a wonder my pants haven’t burst into flames from the friction.

I think the producers of Baywatch should consider bringing back the series but this time, instead of featuring Baywatch Babes who resemble Barbie-doll clones wearing circulation-stopping swimwear, they should hire actresses who represent REAL women. Just once, I would love to see an episode go something like this:

BABE NO. 1:  “How do you like my new swimsuit? I bought it yesterday on sale at Walmart!”

BABE NO. 2:  “I absolutely love the high neckline and the way it completely covers your breasts! I think it could use a little more material around your thighs, though.”

BABE NO. 1:  “And where is your bikini today?”

BABE NO. 2:  “I nearly herniated myself trying to squeeze into it this morning! It must have been that all-you-can-eat ice-cream buffet I went to last night. Luckily, my mother let me borrow one of her swimsuits. I think all of the pleats on the skirt add a nice touch, don’t you?”

(A female swimmer suddenly cries for help.  The two Babes grab their paddle boards and run down the beach.  As they are running, the camera shoots them in the typical slow-motion sexiness of the old show. But this time, the lifeguards' thighs ripple with each step. When Babe No. 1 reaches the water, she stops dead).

BABE NO. 2:  (Wading up to her knees into the water and turning to look at Babe No. 1, who’s still standing on the shore) “Come on, jump in! What are you waiting for? A swimmer desperately needs our help!  After all, we are highly trained lifeguards!”

BABE NO. 1:  “I-I can’t!  If I get this swimsuit wet, it will cling to me like Saran Wrap and will highlight every bulge on my body!  And you know how the camera also adds 10 pounds!”

BABE NO. 2:  “It’s a sacrifice we have to make!  There is a woman drowning out there!”

BABE NO. 1:  “What does she look like?”

BABE NO. 2:   (Looking through her official Baywatch binoculars) “Very pretty, slim, really white teeth. Oh, and the arm that is frantically waving at us looks nicely toned.”

BABE NO. 1:  “Let her drown.” 

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at:

Monday, June 15, 2020


One of my friends, Bobby Dee, hosts a weekend radio show called “Bobby Dee’s Rock ‘n Roll Caravan,” which airs on WNHN and features songs mostly from the 1950s and ‘60s. He often asks me if I’d like to be a guest on the show sometime.

So far, I haven’t given him a definite answer, even though I must confess I really do enjoy being on the air. In fact, I once had, many years ago, a regular stint on WJJY Radio in Concord, NH, where I interpreted people’s dreams live on the air.

One day, after I’d finished my usual hour of dream interpreting on WJYY, Suzanne Foxx, half of the morning team on the Kevin Hilley Morning Wake-Up Show at the station, announced she was going to be taking a week-long vacation.  Kevin, saying he already felt lost without an on-air partner, asked me if I’d like to fill in for her.

It sounded like a fun idea, but a couple things made me hesitate.  For one thing, filling in for Suzanne meant I’d have to be at the station around 6 a.m., which also meant I’d have to crawl out of bed at about 4:30 a.m. – the time I usually went to bed.  Secondly, I knew that trying to fill the shoes of a talented person like Suzanne would be a real challenge for anyone, especially for someone old enough to be her mother.  But the worst part was that I, from the generation of the Beatles, Elvis and Herman’s Hermits, would be co-hosting a radio show that played songs by such bands as the Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20 and Smash Mouth.  I was pretty sure I’d have no idea what I was doing.

So of course I accepted the invitation.

I’ll admit I was slightly apprehensive. “How can I possibly talk for three whole hours on the radio every day for a whole week?” I said to one of my friends.

She actually laughed. “You?  The original motor mouth?  Believe me, you’ll have no trouble at all!”

I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.

I arrived half-asleep at the radio station on that first morning.  Kevin was so full of energy, however, just watching him made me wake up. 

The first thing he said to me was, “Hey, let’s call that ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ TV quiz show and see if we can qualify to be contestants! Imagine winning a million dollars? We can take the test live, right on the air!”

The words “a million dollars,” made me temporarily forget I could end up making a complete fool of myself. 

So I agreed.
Kevin dialed the phone number.  A recorded message explained we’d have only 10 seconds to answer each question by punching numbers into the phone.  Our first question was, “Put these dress sizes in order, smallest to largest:  S, XL, XS, and XX.”  Kevin rapidly pushed the phone’s buttons and was correct!  We did well on the next questions and honestly thought we were going to ace the quiz…that is, until we came to, “Put the following styles of art in order, starting with the oldest: Rococo, Baroque, Cubism, and Renaissance.”

Kevin and I just stared blankly at each other.  “I thought Rococo was something you drink at bedtime,” he joked.

“And Baroque is what my wallet is right before payday,” I added.

“And isn’t Cubism something you learn in geometry class?” Kevin continued.

Needless to say, we failed the qualifying test.  No sooner did we hang up, did the studio phone ring.  A young girl’s voice proudly announced, “I’m only a freshman in high school and I knew the answer to that art question!”

Nobody likes a show-off.

Unfortunately, on that particular day, Laura, the station’s newscaster, was showing two communications students from Pinkerton Academy the fine art of radio broadcasting. As the two teenagers stood wide-eyed in the studio and watched Kevin playing with a talking Austin Powers doll, poor Laura launched into her newscast.  With every headline she read, Kevin would comically act it out with the doll, as if he were playing charades.  The teen girls tried to stifle their giggles, while Laura miraculously remained completely composed.  I really had to admire a woman like that.

The second day, Kevin told me, “You might not get rich being in broadcasting, but one thing you’ll never lack is food, coffee…or T-shirts with logos on them.”  No sooner did he utter the words did a man from the bakery next door come walking in and hand a boxed apple strudel to me and an entire pound-cake to Kevin.  And a few minutes after that, coffee arrived, compliments of an employee from a nearby convenience store.  I was thinking I really could get used to that sort of treatment.

If I thought Kevin had a zany sense of humor, Rob, the station’s meteorologist, turned out to be just as zany.  Knowing this, Kevin always had a humorous news item or topic ready to feed to Rob to get him rolling. 

One news item – and I swear this was an actual press release – stated that someone had just invented air-bag underpants for the elderly.  According to the press release, the pants contained a sensor that could tell when a person was falling, making the pants instantly inflate, preventing hip fractures. Rob and Kevin had a field day with that one.

“Can you imagine what those pants would sound like when they deflate?” Rob joked, making loud, gaseous noises into the microphone.

“Or imagine if the pants inflated while they were swimming?” Kevin added.

“Yeah!” Rob cut in, laughing. “The poor old people would go bottoms up, just like ducks, with their feet sticking up in the air!”

I spent most of my time laughing on the air.  I must have sounded like some kind of giddy kid.

Another thing I learned about being on the radio was that if you ask a question or make a comment, the phones will ring.  For example, Kevin often played a song called “Scar Tissue” (such a romantic title) by a band called the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  To me, the chorus sounded as if they were singing, “with the frozen shed, there’s a lonely view.”

I finally asked Kevin on the air, “Why are they singing about a frozen shed with a lonely view?  Did they write the song while sitting in an outhouse or something?”

Even though 90 percent of the show’s listeners were way too young to even know what an outhouse was, the phones lit up. “The band is singing, ‘with the birds I’ll share this lonely view,’” I was informed more than once.

Goes to show you how great my hearing was, even back then.

I actually was sorry to see my stint on the radio come to an end, even though it meant I could sleep until noon again.  

Still, who knows, maybe I’ll seriously consider being on my friend Bobby Dee’s show sometime. For one thing, it airs at night.

And I definitely could use some free apple strudel.

#   #   #

 Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at:

Monday, June 8, 2020


When I hear about all of the great field trips the grade-school kids are taking nowadays (or should I say they once took, before Covid-19 struck), I   must confess I get jealous. I mean when the students rave about the great time their class had at the Boston Museum of Science, going on a whale watch, or helping transform sap into maple syrup at some sugar house…I want to stage a protest.

When I was in grade school, we took exactly two field trips during the entire eight years: to the city library and the grand opening of a new bank downtown.

The bank trip wasn’t too bad. We had the opportunity to see coins being sorted and rolled, and we each received a lollipop and a brand new savings passbook with a whole dollar already deposited in it. Back then, a dollar could buy 20 Hershey bars, so it was no small amount.

The trip to the city library, however, was…well, scary. Prior to the “big trip” we had been studying something called the Dewey Decimal System, a numbered, confusing code by which library books were filed. Although I tried very hard, I never really understood the system, so by the time my class arrived at the library, I was so fed up with the whole thing, I was ready to tell Dewey exactly what he could do with his decimals.

Just before we entered the library, our teacher informed us that we had to pay strict attention to everything we were about to see and do inside because we were going to be quizzed on it when we got back to school.

Great way to ruin a perfectly good field trip.

My first impression of the library was that is was much too big and too dark. Our official guide, one of the librarians, was a tall, thin woman whose lips formed a tight, straight line. As I stared up at her, I was pretty sure she never had smiled even once in her whole life. She also was wearing those pointy, cat-eye style
glasses that were so popular back then. They made her look downright evil.

The first thing the librarian showed us was the all-important library card. “Having a library card is a huge responsibility,” she emphasized, holding up a small pale-blue card with a little metal plate on it. “You must NEVER lose it, and never EVER lend it to anyone!  It is yours and yours alone. And it is your responsibility.”

“I heard that they have a big dungeon down in the basement,” Jimmy, the kid standing next to me whispered to me. “If you lose your card or a book, they send you down there. First they torture you, then nobody ever sees you again!”

“Liar!” I snapped at him, much louder than I’d intended.

“Shhhhhhh!” the librarian, a bony index finger against her lips, immediately hushed me. “Another important rule in the library is NOT to speak!  You should take your invisible little keys and ‘chick-a-lock’ your lips the moment you set foot inside the front door!”

“If you’re caught talking in here, they sew your lips shut with fishing line downstairs in the dungeon.”  Jimmy was at it again.

For some reason, I actually started to believe him.

The Dewey Decimal System was even more intimidating in person. Never had I seen so many drawers in one place, and each drawer contained hundreds of little file cards, each marked with a book title and a code…full of decimals, of course.

“I want each of you to look up a book,” the librarian told us, “and then find it by using the system.”

My luck. I chose a book that had the word “stack” in front of the code number. I had no idea that a stack book was one that a library person at the desk had to go get for you because it was kept hidden in some special area of the library that was off limits to the general public and required rock-climbing equipment to reach.

So there I was, wandering aimlessly throughout the library, foolishly searching for what I expected to be a huge “stack” of books as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where my book prominently would be on display. When I found no such stack, I became so frustrated, I honestly was tempted to search downstairs in the dungeon, but I figured I’d rather flunk than risk having any of my body parts sewn together with fishing line.

Most of the other kids found their books with no problem. I, however, returned empty-handed.

“You’re really gonna get it now!” Jimmy immediately was at my side. “While you were gone, the lady said that everyone who couldn’t find their books is gonna be taken downstairs and have their eyes taped wide open and be forced to watch a gazillion hours of film strips about the Dewey Decimal System!”

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that in his past life, Jimmy actually was the Marquis de Sade.

I hate to say it, but once I was out of school, I failed to renew my library card. In fact, I had no idea where it even was. So one day, when I was working on a big writing project (back in the Dark Ages, before home computers) and urgently needed some research material, I borrowed my mother’s card.

As I stood at the library’s checkout desk, my arms loaded with books, the words of the librarian from my grammar-school days, about never lending your library card to anyone, came to mind.  When I handed the card to the employee, she looked at it and shook her head. “I’m sorry, but this card has expired,” she said. “Just take it over there to the information desk and have it updated.”

I did as I was told, though my common sense should have told me to just put back the books and leave. My common sense also told me that I should have checked the expiration date on my mother’s card before I’d borrowed it.

The employee at the desk took the card, then quickly located a matching file card and set it on the desk. I felt myself grow pale when I spotted my mother’s date of birth boldly typed on the card.

The employee, calling me by my mother’s first name, asked if any of the information had changed since the last renewal.  Nervously, I shook my head. Her eyes scanned the address, the phone number, and then came to rest on the date of birth. She paused, looked up at me, then back down at the date of birth. She opened her mouth as if about to speak, but stopped herself. I felt the beads of perspiration popping out on my forehead as visions of myself chained to a wall down in the dungeon, knee-deep with human skeletons and old, discarded Dewey Decimal cards, raced through my mind.

My worrying turned out to be for naught, however. The employee matter-of-factly renewed the card, handed it to me and thanked me.

I was pretty pleased that I’d managed to get away with pretending to be my own mother…until I realized I had passed for someone over 20 years my elder.

Maybe getting caught and having to endure some hideous torture down in the dungeon wouldn’t have been so bad after all.

#   #   #

Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at:

Monday, June 1, 2020


Unlike all of my more fortunate friends, I don’t stream many movies, mainly because my satellite Internet provider allows me very limited streaming time unless I do it between the hours of midnight and 5:00 AM.  If I want to stream a few movies at any other time (a.k.a. non-vampire hours) I have to upgrade to their higher-priced package…and I barely can afford the one I currently have.

So because I still want to see the new releases as cheaply as possible, I pay $8 per month to Netflix to have them send me movies in DVD form, and I watch those. All I have to do is provide them with a list of the movies I want to see, in the order of my preference, and they send me whichever one is available. When I’m done with the movie, I just send it back, and they send me another one. It’s simple, and the shipping is free, so it’s not a bad deal.

Anyway, I was pretty happy with Netflix and their DVDs…until this whole pandemic thing started. Suddenly, instead of being sent one of the top movies on my want-list every week, I began receiving the ones at the bottom – like around number 45.  That’s because people are stuck at home and watching more movies now, so the supply of top hits rapidly becomes depleted.

And I’m stuck with the leftovers.

Last Saturday, I received a DVD called Bone Tomahawk. I barely remembered putting it on my list because it had been so long, like five years. But when I skimmed over the description –a western starring Kurt Russell – I figured it sounded pretty good. I mean, I enjoy westerns, especially if they have hunky looking bare-chested Native-American guys running around in them. And this movie mentioned that it was about a kidnapping by an area tribe, and Kurt, the local sheriff, was going to gather a posse to go rescue the victims. So I was intrigued.

I got ready to watch the movie – my favorite pillow, a cup of tea, a blanket – and then curled up on the sofa. My two dogs stretched out on the rug in front of the sofa and dozed off.

The movie turned out to be…well, really “unique,” to put it mildly.  First of all, the Native Americans weren’t your average run-of-the-mill movie types.  No, these guys were a tribe of cave-dwelling cannibalistic troglodytes (a direct quote from the movie) who got their jollies from snapping people in half (referred to as “bisecting”) like wishbones, and then chopping them into snack-sized pieces (referred to as “dissecting”) to save for future nibbling.  And the leftover bones were used to make weapons, which I assume contributed to the movie’s title of Bone Tomahawk.

The movie was 132 minutes long – the first 120 of which the posse spent traveling to the cave. The reason why the trip took so long was because one of the posse members was nursing a compound-fractured leg he’d injured in a construction accident weeks before, and they had to keep stopping to allow him to whine and complain and perspire a lot because of the severe, debilitating pain he was suffering.

But his wife was one of the people who’d been kidnapped by the troglodytes, so he had to be a part of the posse, even though the other members were ready to find the nearest cliff and shove him over the edge after he’d subjected them to a few hours of endless choruses of groaning in a variety of octaves.

And things got only worse after all of their horses were stolen as they slept one night… and they had to walk to rest of the way to the cave, which was about 1,150 miles (or so it seemed). Needless to say, “Gimpy’s” groaning and whining escalated to a whole new level after that.

Just as I was about to doze off and join my snoring dogs, the first of the troglodytes finally appeared, spying on the intruders. To my disappointment, he resembled Quasimodo, not the muscular hunk I’d been anticipating. But that wasn’t the worst part. What happened next made me seriously contemplate suing the filmmaker for irreparable, emotional distress.

As it turned out, these cave-dwelling, cannibalistic creeps also had a special way of communicating with each other. They had devices implanted in their windpipes that allowed them to produce a horrible, screeching whistle-like sound that could be heard throughout the canyon.

The first time one of the troglodytes let loose with one of those screeches, it was SO loud, both of my dogs jumped up out of a dead sleep and bolted out of the room.  In the process, they sent the rug skidding across the floor and into the fireplace, and they knocked over an end-table. I, who had been half-asleep, ended up sitting upright with my eyes bulging and my heart pounding like a bongo drum in my throat.

I'm pretty sure no judge would deny the three of us compensation for the trauma we endured.

I won’t ruin the ending of the movie for anyone who might still want to see it, but let’s just say that the posse member I was hoping would be turned into a giant ground-meat taco by the cannibals ending up living, and the guy I thought for certain would be the “happily ever after” hero, ended up getting gutted like a freshly caught trout.

And were the hostages saved? Well, one was, and the other two tragically became yet another pair of giant human-wishbones who both were “bisected” and “dissected.”

I honestly can’t wait to see what Netflix sends me next week.

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at: