Monday, July 27, 2020


I thought I’d heard of everything in this day and age, but I’m still saying, “Are they serious?” about an actual dating website called

I first became aware of the site when I saw a TV news report about it a few years ago. The reporter described it as a place where beautiful men and women go to meet other beautiful men and women. 

I watched in disbelief as the reporter explained that if you want to be considered for membership in the BeautifulPeople family you first must submit a photo of yourself for judging. Members of the opposite sex who already have been accepted into the BeautifulPeople group then vote on whether or not you’re pretty or handsome enough to join their exclusive club. Back then, the voting lasted for two days, after which the applicants would receive either a “Congratulations! You are accepted!” e-mail or a “Sorry, you’re not attractive enough,” one. 

The club's motto is, "Beauty is in the eyes of the voter." At that time, the voters, after studying an applicant’s photo and bio, checked off one of the following: “Yes! Definitely!”, “Hmm, yes, OK”, “Hmm, not really” or  “No! Not at all!”  During the voting process, applicants were able to see a running tally of their votes and check how well (or lousy) they were doing. 

The TV reporter, an attractive blonde, decided to submit her own photo to BeautifulPeople to see what would happen. She went to a photographer and had several professional shots taken, then carefully studied them until she selected what she felt was the perfect photo. She also thought long and hard about something clever and intriguing to write in her bio. Finally, she submitted everything to BeautifulPeople…and waited.

She frequently checked her status during the voting period and seemed less than pleased to discover she’d amassed a stack of “No! Not at all!” votes and not even one “Yes, definitely!”  And at the end of the two days, she received the dreaded “Sorry, you’re not attractive enough” message.

Curiosity led me to check out the website.  The home page stated that only 15-20 percent of the applicants get accepted.

I checked out the members’ photos.  I did see quite a few drop-dead gorgeous women and hunky guys. I also saw a lot of not-so-gorgeous, bikini-clad women who looked as if they’d been to a big sale at Silicone City, and a bunch of bare-chested, not-so-handsome guys whose redeeming quality seemed to be a muscle-bound body with six-pack abs.

I also read some of the things the members had written about themselves. 

“There HAS to be more to life than just being really, really good-looking,” one man wrote.

Another, a curvy young woman, said, “Unlike some of the people on here, who submitted photos that have been retouched or Photoshopped, I am a hundred- percent natural…except for my breast implants.”

“This stuff would make a great column,” I said to one of my friends. “In fact, I think I’ll be brave like that TV reporter and submit one of my photos!  I know I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it, but it should be good for a laugh, and then I can write about it!” 

“You’re too old for a site like that,” she said, kind soul that she is.

“I wouldn’t submit a current photo, silly!" I said. "I’d dig up one that was taken back when I was 25 or so.  Maybe even one that shows some cleavage!”

“Well, at least back then, you still had cleavage and weren’t tucking your boobs into your waistband!” she added.

Finding an old photo of myself that could pass for a modern-day one, however, was no easy task.  In most of my old photos, my hair was styled so high, it looked as if birds were nesting in it.  And my clothes looked as if I’d bought them at "Disco Dan’s" Discount. So I finally settled on a serious-looking headshot.

I submitted the photo for judging. I listed my age as 25 and my occupation as an aerobics instructor. I figured that seeing that none of my body was showing in the photo, I could get away with lying about the aerobics part.

I think I broke the site’s record for the fastest accumulation of “No! Not at all!” votes.  One of the guys who voted against me wrote to tell me that my photo was so serious, it looked like a mug shot.  Another wrote and asked me, “So…what’s it worth to you if I give you a ‘yes’ vote?”  And then there was the 57-year-old yacht-owner (or so his profile said) who actually wanted my phone number. The man obviously was in desperate need of an optometrist.

All I can say is that if you feel even the slightest bit attractive before you submit a photo to BeautifulPeople, you will feel as if you should be wearing a bag over your head by the time the voting is over.  Not surprisingly, I ended up receiving the dreaded “sorry” e-mail.

I recently checked out the website to see if it’s still in existence. To my surprise, it is. I mean, after all these years, I was pretty sure it would have been deemed highly offensive to “beautifully challenged” people such as myself and received a zillion petitions for it to be removed from the Internet.

But it’s still going strong and even has added a new service…plastic surgeons and beauty consultants available to give you advice after you get rejected.

I also read that over 5,000 people had lost their memberships after video chats revealed they had gained weight since originally submitting their photos.

As a helpful service to potential applicants, a list of the most unattractive qualities the voters find in applicants is posted. Both sexes voted a “non-toned, flabby body” as being one of the top turn-offs. Women also said that balding men aren’t attractive, while men said too much hair on a woman’s body isn’t.  Other features that all but guarantee you'll get rejected include: bad teeth (or none at all), thin lips, acne, a big nose, a unibrow or too much makeup.

I also noticed they’ve changed the voting choices, which now range from “beautiful” to “absolutely not.”         

“Why don’t you try submitting one of MY photos from when I was in my 20s?” A male friend said to me a couple weeks ago when I was telling him about my experience with BeautifulPeople. “I’ll bet I would get a lot more positive votes than you did!”

I just might take him up on that bet, solely to make him eat his words…that is, if I can find a photo of him where he’s not wearing a polyester leisure-suit.

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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, July 20, 2020


I know that many people have experienced “one of those days” when they’ve felt they would have been better off just staying in bed because nothing they said or did turned out right.

Well, I definitely had one of those days two weeks ago.

First of all, at the start of the pandemic, right when the stay-at-home order first was issued, I cracked a filling in my bottom tooth. Of course, it just had to be one of the anchor teeth for my partial denture. I had to wait months for my dentist’s office to open again so I finally could make an appointment, which was scheduled for July 7th. I don’t have dental insurance, so I saved up the $300 for a new filling and was more than ready to get the tooth fixed.

An x-ray was taken as soon as I was seated in the dental chair, but I wasn’t concerned because the tooth wasn’t bothering me at all. Ten minutes later, the dentist entered the room and studied the x-ray. He then did what no one wants to see their dentist do…he shook his head and sighed, which never is a good sign.

“Well…you have only two options,” he finally said.  “Extract the tooth and get a new partial-denture made, or have a root canal and get a post and a crown.” 

Personally I didn’t like either option. I wanted a filling, not something that would cost me about a year’s salary, especially since I’m pretty sure the term “starving writer” was created solely for my benefit.

“Don’t you have any other options…like one for around $300?” I asked him.

 I couldn’t see his face through his mask, but I did hear him chuckle, which just about told me I'd probably have to apply for a sixth mortgage on the house.  

At that moment, however, something scary happened. Suddenly, my right ear, the ear that was facing the dentist, went completely deaf. I panicked, wondering what was going on. Had the x-ray contained some ear-damaging mutant radiation? Was my tooth pressing on a nerve to the ear? Even worse, I couldn’t hear a thing the dentist was explaining about my tooth... like the price. For all I knew, he also was reciting horror stories about how my entire jaw was going rot away if I didn’t have a root canal ASAP.

 I guess the dentist could tell by my sudden look of sheer terror that something was wrong. He asked if I was okay.

“I can’t hear you!” I shouted, hearing my own voice echoing inside my head. “My right ear has gone deaf!”

So he spoke louder. I could hear him, but he sounded as if he’d stuffed his mouth with marshmallows. From what I could gather, he was saying my tooth probably was infected and had caused an ear infection, which was blocking my ear. He said he was going to give me a prescription for something called Augmentin 875, a powerful antibiotic that would wipe out both problems, as well as any other hidden infections my body might have, just for good measure. He told me to take the medication for 10 days and in the meantime, decide what I wanted to do about my tooth.

Once I was back in my car, I started to think more seriously about the Augmentin 875, which sounded like some kind of experimental sci-fi drug I’d seen in movies that featured clones and three-eyed people. So I Googled it to get more information. Just about every side effect ever created, and even a few that hadn’t been yet, were listed. That’s when I thought it might be wise to head to an urgent-care clinic to have my ear checked out before I took any medication that might result in my spleen falling out.

Visiting the clinic was pretty stressful.  Before I even was allowed inside, I had to stay out in the parking lot and answer a lot of questions about my current state of health, and then have my temperature taken by people who looked as if they were members of a hazmat team...or the crew of the next mission to Mars. I actually felt vulnerable wearing nothing more protective than my cloth face-mask.

Eventually I was led to a small examining room, where I sat and waited all alone for 20 minutes. The longer I sat there, the more nervous I became. That’s because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about doctors, it’s that no matter what problem you see them for, they’ll inevitably also search for something else.

Example:  “Doctor, I think my big toenail is ingrown. It really hurts.”

Doctor:    “Okay, let’s check it out. By the way, when was the last time you had a colonoscopy?”

Anyway, as I sat and waited for someone to come check my ear, thoughts of everything from never being able to hear again to having a huge tumor blocking my ear-canal came to mind. By the time the assistant entered the room to take my blood pressure, it was through the roof  – 178/102.  Usually, my pressure is low.

“Your pressure is really high,” she said to me, fortunately standing on my left side so I could hear her. “You could be on the verge of having a stroke!”

“Oh, my pressure's usually really low,” I assured her.

”But it isn’t right now, is it?”  She then left the room.

So that gave me even more to worry about as I sat there alone once again. Suddenly my ear problem didn’t seem quite so urgent to me…at least not when I compared it to an impending stroke.

A doctor then entered the room and listened to my heart and lungs, looked up my nose and then down my throat.

“Did anyone ever tell you that you have a mild heart murmur?” she asked me.

I shook my head. “Is that because I’m about to have a stroke?”

She gave me a strange look and finally examined my ears. “Oh, wow,” she said.

Well, “Oh, wow,” even though it was said calmly, was about as panic-worthy as the dentist looking at my x-ray and shaking his head and sighing. I felt my blood pressure instantly shoot up at least another 30 points.

“Your right ear is completely plugged with impacted earwax,” she said.

Never had I been so relieved to have a cruddy ear.

My left ear, however, was totally clear, which made no sense at all. I mean, I always clean both of them exactly the same way.

“We happen to have a guy here who’s great at flushing out earwax,” she said. “I’ll send him right in.” In a flash, she was gone.

I assumed that my impending stroke and heart murmur suddenly weren’t quite as important as my backed-up earwax.

A young man armed with a pan, a spray hose, a towel and other assorted equipment soon entered. Once again, I felt panicky.

“Is this going to hurt?” I asked him.

“Some people think it feels good,” he said.

“Some” people wasn’t enough to suit me.  That meant that “some” people also thought it didn’t feel good.

He took my blood pressure. By then, my arm was beginning to go numb from all of the pressure-taking. But what I thought was weird about the way this guy took it was he told me to sit on the edge of the examining table and hang my arm straight down by my side. I’d always been told the arm should be fully supported and at heart level to give an accurate reading. With his method, my pressure was 180/100. That did it.  I was pretty sure I was about to drop dead with a water hose stuck in my ear.

The flushing of my ear, with nice warm water, actually felt good.  I had to hold the pan underneath it to catch the water and anything that might come out with it.

“You’ve got the Rock of Gibraltar stuck in there,” the guy said, checking my ear after the third try failed to dislodge anything. “But don’t worry, we’ll get it out.”

Visions of a stick of dynamite being shoved into my ear crossed my mind.

Suddenly, what sounded like rocks clunking into the pan started coming out of my ear.  And after each “clunk,” my hearing became clearer and louder.  When the guy showed the pan to me afterwards, it looked as if someone had been panning for gold with it.

My ear was rechecked and deemed “perfectly clear” and I was told I could leave.

“Then I don’t need any Augmentin 875?” I asked.

He gave me a puzzled look. “Why would you need that?”

At that point, I was glad I’d had my ear checked first and not taken the antibiotic.

By the time I got home, I felt as if I’d run a marathon. I was totally exhausted. The first thing I did was take my blood pressure – both with an arm cuff and then a wrist one. It was 114/63. The next thing I did was turn down the volume on the TV from 26 to 10.  Apparently the earwax problem had been affecting my hearing much longer than I’d realized.

To relax and unwind, I took a nice cool shower.  My shower stall has two sliding glass doors on it, but when I finished showering and attempted to slide the right door open to get out, it wouldn’t slide. I didn’t know it at the time, but it partially had popped off the track on top. So I shoved it harder. The door went flying completely off and fell backwards right into the shower...and right on top of me.

Luckily, the door didn’t break (and as far as I could tell, neither did I) but it was pretty heavy, so I had to struggle to lift it off myself. Once again, I had visions of my dead body being found – this time, naked and with a shower door lying on top of it. Believe me, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

After the day I’d had, I actually was too afraid to do anything else, not even cook dinner, because I was pretty sure I’d end up setting the house on fire. So I let the dogs out, then fed them and said, “You have my permission to pee or poop anywhere you’d like! I’m going to bed!”

 And I stayed there for 13 hours.

A week later, I underwent the root canal procedure, and one of my dogs had her annual physical exam on the same day.  In retrospect, I definitely should have stayed home in bed on that day, too...and I'm pretty sure my poor dog wishes she had done the same thing.

But that’s a whole other story.

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated 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, July 13, 2020


You would think I’d have learned my lesson with my former dog, a rottweiler named Willow, but now I’ve gone and done it again with my current rottweiler, Wynter.

It all started when Willow was about a year old and weighed close to 100 lbs.

"Look!" I said to my husband one night as Willow stood in the living room.  I flung a leg over her, grabbed her collar, said, "Giddyup!" and pretended to ride her like a horse. "Willow has turned into a Clydesdale!"

My husband rolled his eyes. "You shouldn't be teaching her stuff like that.  You'll give her an identity crisis. She’ll start to think she’s a horse."

As usual, I ignored his advice.  Soon, Willow and I were playing "horsie" every day.

I'd strike my best bowlegged-cowboy pose and then call out, "Where's my horsie?"

Willow, wagging like crazy, would come running. Then from behind, she'd stick her head between my legs and stand there like a horse.

 Unfortunately, Willow soon decided that the horsie game was too much fun not to be shared with other people.

Her first victim was my cousin, who came over to repair our furnace.  Everything was fine until he decided to stand still for a few minutes and talk to us.  Unaware of the horsie game, the poor man stood with his legs apart.

When Willow noticed the position of his legs, she immediately went into horsie mode.  The problem was, she charged at him from the front.

Believe me, it wasn't a pretty sight.  There was Willow, with her head rammed between my cousin's legs, and there he was, standing on his tiptoes and suddenly talking in a much higher voice.

"Sally taught her to play horsie," my husband quickly explained, looking embarrassed. "I told her not to, but she thought it was cute."

"Uh, it doesn't feel too cute," my cousin said, wincing and carefully pushing Willow's broad, rottweiler head down so he could back away from her. "She's not exactly gentle."

After that, no one who stood with his or her legs apart within 50 feet of Willow was safe.  She played horsie with my contractor, the UPS man and my uncle.  For some reason, she preferred men, perhaps because of the high-pitched gasps they emitted when she attempted to ram her head between their legs...especially when her aim was a bit too high.

"This has got to stop," my husband said one night as he came waddling down the hallway, a leg on each side of a wagging rottweiler. "She won't even let me walk!  And forget about trying to go to the bathroom with her around! She's like a Billy goat!"

"Maybe we should just keep our legs crossed all the time," I said. "Then she won't be able to play the horsie game any more and she'll forget about it."

The look he gave me told me he wasn't about to stand around cross-legged for anybody, no matter how good the reason.

Reluctantly, I decided the horsie game had to end, so I stopped assuming the bowlegged-cowboy pose and didn't call for my horsie any more.  And whenever I could remember, I'd stand with my legs crossed.  Pretty soon, Willow took the hint and began to act more doglike and less like a palomino.

One fateful day, however, I went over to our then half-built new house to check on the water in the basement (due to a recent downpour) to see if it had receded.  I brought Willow with me for company.

I stood at the top of the steep staircase leading down to the basement and aimed my flashlight down there, trying to see how much water was on the floor before I descended the stairs.  Too late, I realized I was standing with my legs apart.

I heard the sound of hooves (well, paws actually) come galloping up behind me.  Quickly, I snapped my legs together…but it was too late. Willow rammed into me.

As I was shoved forward, my whole life flashed before me.  I pictured myself bouncing down the flight of stairs and landing face-first in the water, only to drown in my own basement. 

But by some miracle, I managed to grab onto the railing and prevent a disaster.  Willow stood there, wagging with delight.

After that near-death experience, I was very careful never again to do anything that might encourage Willow to play horsie.  Even if a horse appeared on TV, I quickly changed the channel.

Willow passed away in 2017 and only four days later, someone brought a year-old rottweiler to the SPCA and gave her up for adoption. I thought it was fate – and rushed over there to take Wynter to her “forever” home.

She is bigger and taller than Willow, with a much broader head…and 100 times more energy.  Call me nostalgic (or just a fool) but the other day, perhaps due to boredom from the ongoing pandemic, I decided, just for the fun of it, to find out if Wynter also could learn the horsie game.

She could.  And she did…with a little too much enthusiasm…and strength.

All I can say is that if you’re a burglar who’s reading this and you’re thinking about breaking into my house, I must warn you in advance that if you do, I will shout, “Play horsie!” and Wynter will come charging at you full-speed and ram her big head right into your crotch.

I’m pretty sure I just saw you wince. 😉

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated 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, July 6, 2020


I hate to say it, but the notices that the state’s tourist attractions have to post because of COVID-19, can be a little scary at times. Take for example, this online note from Clark’s Bears/Trading Post in Lincoln, NH...

Kind of takes some of the excitement out of going, doesn't it?

I remember visiting Clark’s when I was kid – when the place featured a gift shop and an outdoor pen with bears in it, and that was about all.  The pen was near the road and contained tall platforms on which two bears often perched, serving as live advertisements to attract the cars full of tourists driving by.  And three or four times each day, the bears would perform circus-style acts for the public. It really enjoyed my visit there and talked about it endlessly afterwards because let’s face it, growing up in New Hampshire’s largest city hadn’t given me too many opportunities to see an actual bear before then.

About 15 years ago, in an effort to recapture my youth, I convinced my husband to take me to Clark’s. He fondly remembered it from his youth also, so he thought it sounded like a fun day-trip.

The information online said the bears performed daily at noon, two o’clock and four o’clock, so my husband and I left our house at 10:30 on a Friday morning and headed up to Lincoln, about an 80-minute ride from where we were living at the time. We figured we’d have plenty of time to make the two o’clock show.  Just outside of Laconia, however, we hit a five-mile backup of traffic due to an accident.  As we sat there, moving barely an inch every five minutes, I became increasingly impatient.

“We’re not going to make it in time for the bear show!” I complained for the tenth time in about as many minutes. “By the time we get there, they’ll all be in hibernation for the winter!”

“Just relax,” my husband said. “We still have plenty of time.”

We arrived at 1:45.  As I climbed out of our van, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The simple, rustic place I’d remembered from my childhood had transformed into a modern, miniature theme-park with train rides, bumper boats, a quaint Main Street, museums, funhouses and more. 

We paid our $12 admission and rushed over to the metal bleachers that surrounded a caged-in arena where the bears would be performing in a few minutes, and took our seats. 

I honestly had fun watching the bears.  They sat on big wooden swings and allowed their trainers, Murray and Maureen Clark to push them.  They gave bear hugs to the trainers, balanced on a huge rolling ball, waved their massive paws at the spectators, drank out of “bear” cans and even stood on a scale so they could be weighed.  During the act, the bears constantly were fed treats of soft-serve vanilla ice cream. The more I watched them, especially since I was sitting in the blazing sun, the more I wanted some of that ice cream.

Murray Clark explained to the crowd that bears enjoy most fruits and vegetables, and can turn a bushel of apples into applesauce in only a few minutes. He added, however, that bears will not eat bananas, onions or peppers. I could understand the onions and peppers, but the bananas surprised me. They just seemed like something a bear would enjoy. Or an ape.

For some reason, about 90-percent of the kids there that day were carrying old-fashioned popguns – the kind that popped out a cork on a string and made a loud popping noise when shot.  I heard so much popping and felt so many corks whack against me as we walked around the grounds, I was ready to start collecting the guns and feeding them to the bears.  Also, every two seconds, I could hear mothers shouting things like, “Stop shooting your brother in the back of the head!” or, “Now you apologize to this gentleman for shooting him in the butt!”

One woman mentioned to another that the guns were being sold in the gift shop for $8 each.  I’ll bet popgun sales reached about $10,000 there on that day alone.

Little did I know I was about to find out why so many kids were carrying toy weapons.

My husband, who loved trains, couldn’t wait to ride on the real steam-locomotive at Clark’s, so we headed over to the train station to claim our seats.  We were told to beware of “Wolfman.” We had no idea who or what Wolfman was, but we figured if it was anything like the famous monster from the old classic Lon Chaney movies, we wouldn’t have to worry about anything unless there was a full moon.

The train ride was really relaxing. The cars were the open-air type with canopies overhead, so we could feel a nice breeze as we rode along.  All was peaceful until the train passed through a covered bridge and emerged in a less-than-attractive area.  An old-fashioned still (for making moonshine) and several “keep out” signs flanked the woods.  There also was a rocky cave with a wooden door on it.  Up ahead, there were remnants of an old mine, complete with badly rusted mining cars.

Unbeknownst to us, we had entered Wolfman’s territory.

Wolfman suddenly appeared from the forest.  He was big and hairy and wearing furs and an eye patch.  When he opened his mouth, there were gaps where his teeth should have been.  He was riding in his Wolfmobile, an old, battered, noisy, stripped-down hot rod with miniature skulls mounted on the front.  He shook his fists and shouted at the passengers on the train, telling us to get off his property. He even pulled out a shotgun and blasted a few rounds into the air.

The kids on the train loved every minute of it.  Giggling, they shouted things like “You can’t shoot us! We’re gonna shoot YOU!” back at Wolfman. Then they all took aim at him with their popguns and let the corks fly.  Wolfman finally zoomed off, but reappeared several more times throughout the ride. At one point, he even brought a missile launcher with him and aimed it at the train.  Again, he was the target of about 100 popguns.  

The train’s announcer explained that Wolfman’s hostile temperament was due to too many years of mining for a precious metal called “unobtanium” and he was afraid someone might try to jump his claim.  He then instructed everyone to shout, “Scram, you old goat!” the next time we spotted Wolfman, just to get him “riled up.”

The little boy next to me turned to his mother and asked, “Mommy!  Are we going to see old goats, too?”

I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed the train ride even more than the bear show. In fact, I’d really like to go back there someday to ride on it again.

I have the feeling, though, that anything having to do with guns might have been eliminated from the park since I last was there over 15 years ago.

 If that’s true, I honestly can say I won’t miss those pop-guns!

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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: