Monday, March 29, 2021



In an effort to save money, I did something new and different this week – I threw caution (and common sense?) to the wind and ordered a new partial denture online.

For one thing, I’ve had my current one since Columbus discovered America, so it’s pretty worn out. I’ve also lost a lot of weight since I first got it, so it needs about half a tube of Fixodent now just to keep it from flying across the room whenever I cough or sneeze. But the only thing that has prevented me from getting a new one is the price – close to $1,000 according to my dentist…which is about $759 more than my budget can afford.

So I happened to be browsing on Etsy the other night and came across a dentist (?) (dental technician?) named Vanessa on there who was advertising a spring special on custom-made dentures, partials, retainers and flippers, for as low as $200. I was intrigued.

After reading all of her glowing reviews, I decided to splurge the $200 and place an order, come what may.

Within three days, a kit arrived that contained what looked like two bags of putty (one blue and one white), some teeth mounted on color charts, and a couple mouth-shaped plastic trays. I was instructed to watch a video online about how to take my own dental impressions.

The procedure seemed simple enough, but only one thing worried me. It said I had just 45 seconds to knead the two packs of putty together to form a solid, non-streaky, pale-blue color, then slap it into one of the best-fitting mouth trays and shove it into my mouth before the putty began to harden. I assumed the putty was similar to epoxy, where once you mix the two elements together, it swiftly turns into concrete.                           

I have to admit I was nervous as I set everything out on the kitchen counter. Years of experience have taught me that nothing ever is easy for me, so I had visions of the putty squishing up into my nose, where I would get a perfect impression of my nostrils before yanking out all of my nose hairs.

I set the timer for 45 seconds and frantically began kneading the contents of the two bags of putty together. My stiff, arthritic fingers cried out in protest, but I forced them to do their job. At just about 44 seconds, the putty finally was pale blue and uniform in color with no streaks. I pressed it into the mouth tray, shoved it into my mouth and bit down evenly on the putty, as instructed. Then I was supposed to wait 2.5 minutes and pull it straight out without wiggling it. In my earlier haste, I’d set aside the other timer somewhere, but the stove’s timer was close to me, so I rushed to set it at 2.5 minutes.

After staring at the timer for what seemed like an eternity without seeing the seconds ticking away, I realized I’d set it for 2.5 hours instead of minutes. So I was forced to estimate the time by counting “one-thousand one, one-thousand two” solely in my head (because I couldn’t move my mouth with my teeth embedded in putty).

Finally, I pried the tray from my teeth. The end result resembled a blob of something that had been run over by a stampeding herd of cattle. 

I groaned.

I immediately sent an e-mail to Vanessa and told her that my impression attempt had turned out to be an “epic fail.” She responded within minutes, instructing me to send her a close-up photo of it. Embarrassed, I e-mailed one to her.

“You did a great job!” she wrote back. “Now I’ll e-mail you a postage-paid shipping label. Return the impression to me and I’ll make a wax model of the partial denture for you so you can try it on before I make the final one.”

Believe me, no one was more surprised than I was.

So I’m really looking forward to seeing how everything turns out. So far, I’m feeling pretty positive about the experience, and the whole process actually was much easier than I’d anticipated. Also, Vanessa has a great sense of humor, which helps!

When I finally receive the finished product, which will take a couple more weeks, I’ll add to this column and give you all of the details – and my unbiased opinion!

Until then, it’s time to go stock up on more Fixodent!


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 Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines for most of her adult life. She is the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor,” “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation" and “Inside the Blue Cube.” Contact her at:


Monday, March 22, 2021



Back in the late ‘90s, I happened to see a contest asking for true humorous stories about pregnancies and births. The story selected as the best would win a prize of $1,000, and the runner-up, $500. Nearly 100 additional entries also would be selected by the editor, Mary Sheridan, all to be included in her upcoming book, Belly Laughs and Babies, 2nd Delivery.

Well, I’d never been pregnant, but my mother had told me the story of my own birth so many times, I was pretty sure if the contest wanted a humorous story, mine just had to be a contender. So I sat down, wrote the story and entered it.

Then I kind of forgot about – that is, until I received a call from a woman asking me if my story really was true. I swore to her that it was.

“Then if I called your mother right now, she would verify it?” she asked.

“Yes, definitely,” I said.

“Well, then, congratulations, you’re the contest winner!”

I honestly nearly needed CPR.

And here, as it appears in the book, is the prize-winning story of my birth.



Back in 1949, my parents owned and lived in a large tenement building in the city. They were determined to keep things running smoothly…and to keep the tenants, whose rent money paid their steep mortgage, happy.

That first year was more difficult than my parents had anticipated. Night after night, their sleep was interrupted by some tenant who had a plumbing emergency, heating problem or a malfunctioning appliance. Still, no matter how late it was, my father, eager to please, would get out of bed and immediately take care of the problem.

The last week of October, when my mother was seven months pregnant with her first child (me), something in the old building seemed to break or fall apart every other night. It was 2 a.m. on Halloween when my dad, exhausted from repairing a burst pipe on the third floor, finally climbed into bed and fell into a deep, deep sleep the moment his head hit the pillow.

An hour later, my mother was awakened by severe abdominal cramps. Because the baby wasn’t due for another two months, she didn’t suspect she was in labor…until her water broke.

Panicking, she shook my father and frantically whispered, “Lou! Wake up! My water just broke!”

There was no response.

“Lou! Lou!” she repeated more loudly. “My water broke!”

Still no response.

“LOU!” she finally shouted, her voice rising several octaves. “MY WATER BROKE!”

My father slowly opened his eyes, sat up and shook his head to clear it. Calmly, he stood and walked out to the kitchen as my puzzled mother watched. When he returned, he was carrying a huge pipe-wrench.

“Whose water did you say was broken?” he muttered, his eyes still half-closed. “Is it that darned third floor again?”

My mother swore she laughed all the way to the hospital. 

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines for most of her adult life. She is the author of several novels, including “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor,” “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation" and “Inside the Blue Cube.” Contact her at:




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Monday, March 15, 2021




I recently read an article that said switching to daylight-savings time can affect the human body in negative ways – fatigue, stress, insomnia, even heart problems – especially during the first week or two, all because of the loss of an hour.

So I guess that’s one good thing about having to go through it during a pandemic. I don’t have a schedule to follow or anywhere to go, so no big deal – I’ll just sleep an hour later and protect myself from the potentially disastrous effects of losing that precious hour.

That is, all except for the stress part. Turning my clocks ahead always stresses me out because…well, I’m convinced that all of my clocks hate me. And forget about changing the batteries in my smoke detectors. I just can’t handle doing both tasks at the same time, as they recommend, not without needing a prescription for some heavy-duty tranquilizers.

The problem with my clocks is they are hung in hard-to-reach areas. Trying to get them back up on the nail, screw, hook, or whatever else I previously managed to sink into the walls to hook them on, takes the agility of an acrobat. And believe me, the last time any of my body parts came even close to being agile was about 50 years ago.

Also, ever since “the incident,” I have become even more tense about touching my clocks.

The disaster I’m referring to involved a big wall-clock in my hallway. When I took it down to adjust it to daylight-savings time, I had trouble hanging it up again. The back of the clock had this little hole in it that was supposed to go over the head of the nail, but trying to find that hole and line it up precisely with the nail, I soon learned, took someone with the skills of Houdini. I think I must have scraped off half the paint on the hallway wall, trying to get that clock back up there again.

When I finally did, I breathed a sigh of relief and backed away to see if the clock was straight. That was when, right before my eyes, it decided to take its own life and leap off the wall. 

To this day, I’m still finding pieces of it in places like the furnace grate.

And the clock in my office is even worse. I’m beginning to think the wall has some kind of magnetic force in it that makes clocks lose a few minutes every hour. For some reason, every clock I hang in there soon becomes slow, despite new batteries.

That office wall now also has a stack of big plastic storage tubs leaning against it, so trying to reach the clock involves climbing on a chair and then stretching my body over all of the containers – either that, or unstacking them. But they are so heavy, just trying to lift them pretty much guarantees a case of multiple hernias.

Dealing with the clocks, however, is a breeze compared to trying to access my smoke detectors. When my house was built, it was electrically wired for nine detectors, all of which were installed. I’m certain the contractor who planned their locations was some sadistic, evil person who cackled maniacally while saying, “Yes!  Put one up in the middle of the attic, even though there is no way to get to it!  And put another one out in the highest peak of the garage, 10 feet up!”

When my husband and I first moved into the house, we naively thought that having electric smoke detectors, all wired together, meant no more dealing with batteries. We soon learned that every detector also contained a back-up battery in case of a power failure.  And because all of the detectors were wired together, when one battery did its annoying “I’m about to drop dead” chirping, all of the other detectors chirped right along with it. So in order to find the culprit, we had to keep removing and replacing batteries until the chirping stopped…that is, except for the one in the attic.

The only access to my attic is a sliding panel in the ceiling in the bedroom closet…with no way to climb up into it other than using a really tall step-ladder and then hoisting your body up through the opening. The attic also has no floors, just beams. So lose your balance and step off a beam, and you’ll come through the ceiling and turn yourself into a chandelier.

The first year of living in my current house, if I opened the oven door and there was even one burnt spot on whatever I was cooking, the smoke detectors would blare as if the entire house were ablaze.  But the other night, I burned a whole tray of cookies (I was on the phone at the time), and a cloud of smoke filled the kitchen.

Dead silence.

I pushed the test button on the nearest smoke detector and all of them blared in perfect unison.

It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines for over 45 years. She is the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor,” “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation" and “Inside the Blue Cube.” Contact her at:



Tuesday, March 9, 2021



The other night, one of my friends and I somehow got on the subject of old songs that featured clothing in their titles. We both came up with the same one right away, “Who Wears Short Shorts?"

The song made me think of summer, which is not too far away, and the question I am forced to answer every year: “Aren’t you hot? How come you never wear shorts?”

This question usually is posed by my friends whose legs are long and shapely with slim ankles. My legs are not.  Not even close.

My mother had long, shapely legs. Unfortunately, I didn’t take after her. I did, however, take after my mother’s sister, who had really thick ankles. And to make matters even worse, I also ended up with fat knees. I have no clue where those came from because no one else in my family was blessed with fat knees.

Only twice in my life has someone actually said to me, “Nice legs." One of them was a dairy farmer who was about 95 years old and probably had spent way too much time staring at cows.

I am convinced that my legs always have had something against me. When I was born, my right leg was so twisted, my foot was pointing backwards. The doctors said it was because there hadn't been enough room in my mother's womb. So an orthopedic surgeon broke my leg, set it in the right direction and put a cast on it. As a result, my foot always toed-in when I walked. 

So from a young age, I was forced to wear orthopedic shoes, which, back then, purposely were created to win the award for the world’s most hideous-looking kids" shoes. My mother bought me a black pair, then shortly thereafter, a red pair, just in case the black ones weren't uglyenough. The shoes were heavy, bulky, had hidden braces on the inside, and thick laces on the outside. For years, I had to clomp around in those monstrosities while my young friends wore dainty patent-leather Mary Janes. 

When I got older and was able to stop wearing Herman Munster’s clones on my feet, I discovered that wearing high heels actually gave my legs a bit of a shape. So I bought heels that were so high and uncomfortable, I barely could walk in them. And I still have the bunions to prove it.

I finally just took the easy way out – I began wearing pants all the time. Over the years, I amassed a collection of pantsuits for every occasion – work, weddings, dinners out, family reunions – I became a pantsuit connoisseur.

So even to this day, I’m still asked why no one ever sees my legs.

Well, all I can say is the older I get, the worse my legs look, so I definitely am not about to start revealing them now. I mean, just getting rid of leg hair can be dangerous at my age, what with all of my sagging body parts. Not long ago, I actually nicked my breast while leaning over to shave my legs. So now, I don’t bother. I figure the leg hair makes good insulation in the winter.

And then there are those creepy things called spider veins. I guess they call them that because they supposedly resemble little purple spiders on your legs. On my legs, however, the spiders look as if they've also built webs...and caught flies in them. But spider veins can be hidden with makeup, I’m told. Maybe so, but it wouldn’t matter anyway because I also have varicose veins that make me look as if I’m smuggling electrical cords underneath my skin. Try covering those with makeup!

And to top it all off, I still have a deep scar on my right knee from back in my grammar-school days, when I was swinging on a swing on the school playground and an evil, sadistic kid named Michael decided to sneak up behind me and yank me off by my feet, just as I was way up in the air. It took five stitches to close the gash.

So no, I won’t be wearing shorts this summer. I will be sweating, as usual, in my jeans.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret…even if my legs were long and shapely without a flaw on them, I still wouldn’t wear shorts this summer. 

Why not? 

Because my butt has drooped to somewhere down behind the backs of my knees.

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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,” “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation,” “Christmas, a Cabin and a Stranger” and “Inside the Blue Cube.” Contact her at:

Monday, March 1, 2021



I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Does everything you write about really happen to you, or do you make up a lot of it?”

The answer to the question is that all of the crazy things I write about are actual events…and anyone who’s ever met me will vouch for that. In fact, my friends and relatives have come to the conclusion that somewhere in my body lies a special magnet that attracts trouble and bad luck.

I think of my kind of luck (or lack thereof) as a series of curses. For example, there is the restaurant curse. Years ago, people stopped telling me about their favorite places to eat because every time I decided to try one, something would go wrong. Either the “good” cook was on vacation (quit, needed emergency surgery, died, was arrested, etc.) that week and the food ended up tasting like something my dogs would bury, or some major appliance would explode, catch fire, spring a leak or take its last breath the moment I set foot in the restaurant.

I can remember one time when my mother kept raving about this restaurant’s pressure-fried chicken, which she described as “crisp on the outside and hot and juicy on the inside.” She said it was the best chicken she’d ever tasted.

So she and I finally went there for lunch one day.

“You’re going to love this,” my mother said, her tone excited after we placed our order.

What arrived on our plates definitely didn't look like anything to get excited about. Crisp? It looked as if it had been soaking in oil for about a week. And when I cut into my piece of chicken, blood oozed onto my plate. I wouldn’t have eaten it even if I’d been on the verge of keeling over from starvation.

When my mother and I complained to the server, she said, “Yeah, sorry about that. Our pressure-fryer broke last night and we haven’t been able to get it fixed yet.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t call it pressure-fried chicken?” I suggested.

At that point, I could have thought of a lot of other things to call it, but none of them would have been printable on the menu.

But that was only one of my “restaurant curse” experiences. I could list enough of them to fill a book. There was the haddock that smelled like ammonia, the chicken pot-pie that gave me salmonella, the pizza that had a wire ribbon (like the kind on a flower arrangement) embedded in the bottom of the crust; the hot-dog I saw the cook drop on the floor, pick up and wipe off with his apron before shoving it into the bun, and much, much more.

I also am the victim of the concert curse.  Back in the late 1960s, when I went to see Three Dog Night at Manchester’s State Armory, the band turned out to have more power than the armory could supply. During their performance, everything kept going black and silent until the fuses could be replaced. The band members finally gave up and walked off the stage.

And then there was the time my friend Kathy and I saved our pennies to go see the British band, the Zombies, in concert. But when we arrived at the JFK Coliseum on the big night, we were puzzled to find the place dark and empty. We thought we’d confused the dates, but then a representative from the band approached us in the parking lot and told us the band members had been arrested on their way to New Hampshire and wouldn’t be able to perform. He said it had been announced on the radio that day, but (obviously) Kathy and I hadn’t been listening to the radio.

But the worst concert curse of all was the time I won free tickets and backstage passes to see Poison in concert at the Worcester Centrum. Before they were due to perform, however, the band members got into a huge argument, ended up throwing punches at each other, and temporarily split up.  I mean, couldn’t they at least have had the common courtesy to wait until after the concert to try to kill each other?

No, and I fully blame my “concert curse.” I still believe to this day that if I hadn’t won tickets to that concert, the band still would have performed as scheduled.

I had a really close call with the Michael Buble concert in Manchester a few years ago, too. He nearly had to cancel because he’d been swinging his microphone and accidentally knocked out a front tooth. Luckily, a NH dentist came to his rescue and gave him an emergency appointment, otherwise, I could have added yet another failed concert attempt to my list.

Alas, the restaurant curse and the concert curse are by no means the only curses I’ve been “blessed” with. There’s also the vacation-from-hell curse, the sucker-born-every-minute curse, and the alien-from-another-planet dating curse.

But those would take an entire column each to describe.

That is, except for the alien-from-another-planet dating curse. I could fill up the equivalent of an encyclopedia with that one alone.


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist and novelist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines most of her adult life. Contact her at: