Tuesday, June 28, 2022



I opened the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink the other day and nearly broke my toe. About 100 jars of foundation makeup came bouncing out onto the bathroom floor.

For about 20 years, I wore CoverGirl Moisture Wear makeup. I have dry skin, so Moisture Wear, which contained oil, was perfect for me. It slid smoothly onto my face, soaked into all of the crinkles and uncrinkled them, and gave me a “dew-kissed” glow.

Then one day, I was in a closeout store and spotted a big rack of Moisture Wear for only $2.50 per jar. I couldn’t believe my good luck and immediately stocked up. Unfortunately, I was too clueless to see the writing on the wall. I should have known that when a product ends up in a closeout store, it’s only a matter of time before it goes to that big warehouse in the sky.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, CoverGirl stopped making Moisture Wear. Panicking, I contacted the company and asked why the product had been discontinued. I half expected the woman to say, “Because YOU like it!”

It seems as if all my life, whenever I’ve said I liked a product, I’ve unintentionally given it the kiss of death.

From what the woman did say, in a roundabout way, I got the feeling that CoverGirl’s bigwigs believed that only old, wrinkly people were buying Moisture Wear and the time had come to target a younger, non-dried-up clientele.  

“Try our new tinted moisturizer,” the woman suggested. “You will love it just as much as you did the Moisture Wear.”

So I bought the tinted moisturizer. In retrospect, the minute I saw “Oil Free” on the label, I should have known better. It made my face so dry, I actually could see the peels forming five minutes after I slapped it on. And an hour later, my face resembled a pale sheet of crepe paper.

Frustrated, I went to the cosmetics department in a store at the mall and told the clerk that I wanted foundation makeup with oil in it – the oilier the better. 

“We actually do have one with oil in it,” she said. “And it also contains a wrinkle reducer.”

She had my full attention. She tested a few shades of the makeup on the back of my hand until she found the perfect match. I had to admit that it looked pretty good on my hand. And it felt nice and creamy, too. My hopes were restored.

“I’ll take it!” I said.

The clerk smiled. “That will be $50.”

After my heart started beating again, I forked over the money, then I muttered all the way home about how I could have bought a year’s worth of Moisture Wear for what I’d just paid for one small jar of the fancy stuff.

When I put the new makeup on my face the next morning, I expected to look into the mirror and see a reflection that resembled fine porcelain. Instead, I looked embalmed. Even worse, I didn’t like the smell of the stuff. I hadn’t noticed it when I’d tested it on my hand at the store, because my nose was pretty far away from it, but when I smoothed it on my face, all I could smell was something similar to a mixture of lilacs and skunk oil.

Thus began my marathon quest to find another foundation makeup. I ended up trying just about everything I could find…liquids, powders, creams, mousses, gels. Most of it I used only once and then tossed it under the sink, never to be seen again (until, that is, it fell out on my foot).

Then I heard about Rite-Aid’s policy that allows customers to buy makeup, take it home, try it out and then get a full refund if they decide it doesn’t look good on them. I bought and returned so much makeup over there, the clerks must have thought that I either had some kind of a makeup fetish or I’d enrolled in clown college. 

Finally, I turned to Ebay. No one was more shocked than I was to actually find a precious jar of Moisture Wear up for bid. I didn’t care how much I had to bid for it. My crinkly, pasty skin was so desperate by then, I would have mortgaged my house to win that auction. I won the Moisture Wear for $13. It wasn’t even my usual color, but that didn’t matter to me. Walking around with my face three shades darker than my neck wasn’t as important as having my dew-kissed glow back.

I did manage to find and win three more jars of Moisture Wear on Ebay for over $25 each. But alas, for years now, it's been nearly impossible to find any more up for auction. That’s probably because any of the makeup that might still be lying around is so old, it’s become fossilized.

For nostalgia’s sake, I checked Ebay again just yesterday and had to laugh when I saw vintage advertisements for Moisture Wear selling for $17. Why the heck would I want to buy the ad – a photo of the product? 

I guess because even the ad is an antique now…like my face.

But after months of experimentation, I finally came up with my own secret concoction of three different products I mix together to form a magic cream that I slap on my face at bedtime and wake up with soft, unwrinkled skin.

However…I recently learned that one of the key ingredients in my magic cream isn’t being manufactured any more, so it’s now available on Ebay at about triple the original price.

Here we go again.

I guess I’m just going to have to resign myself to the fact that my face probably is doomed to look like an unmade bed for the rest of its years.

Unless…doesn’t WD-40 come in a spray can?


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science fiction. Contact her at: sillysally@att.net





Monday, June 20, 2022



For some reason, buying Poland Spring 3-liter bottles of water at Walmart has become, at least in my case, an Olympic event. 

I go through a bottle of the water, which is slightly less than a gallon, a day, so I usually buy eight per week (an extra one for good measure). At the moment, the bottles are cheaper at Walmart than anywhere else in my area, so I buy my water there…or at least I try to.

At the Walmart where I shop, the aforementioned water not only is on the very top shelf way up in the fluorescent lightning somewhere, it’s also pushed so far back, it's barely visible from the floor. So even if I were as tall as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I’d still need seven-foot arms to reach it.

There is a sign warning customers not to attempt to climb the shelves, which I assume was put there because customers actually felt the need to try to climb the shelves, for obvious reasons…that apparently aren’t obvious to Walmart.

As a result, my shopping always is delayed because of my inability to reach the water. I’m nearly 5’7” tall, and when I’m shopping, customers often ask me if I can reach things for them. But I can’t come close to helping anyone, including myself, when the items are the Poland Spring 3-liter bottles. 

If you look up at the juice bottles on top,
the water I buy is barely visible directly
below them.

My primary tactic for receiving assistance usually involves hanging around in the water aisle until I see a customer over six feet tall rounding the corner. Then I begin grunting and leaping up at the shelf until that customer notices me and my dilemma and hopefully takes pity on me and offers to get the water for me…before I dislocate some essential body part.

There have been many times, however, when every customer who walked up the water aisle was shorter than I was. So after 10 minutes of hanging around with no one helping me, I’d set off in search of an employee. When I finally found one, somewhere in the men’s underwear department, I would explain my problem and ask if someone could help me in the water aisle.

This always resulted in the employee, no matter how tall, walking back to the water aisle with me and standing there, hands planted on his or her hips, and staring up at the top shelf before saying, “Hmmm. Guess I’ll have to go out back and find a ladder.”

Meanwhile, the “keep refrigerated” foods in my cart rapidly would be transforming into fertility clinics for salmonella bacteria.

The clerk eventually would return with a stepladder, set it up and climb it, then ask me, “How many?”

“Eight, please.”

The water would be handed down to me one at a time, then the clerk would climb back down and carry the ladder away – and never think to pull the stock forward so maybe, just maybe, the next customer could reach it.

I honestly can say that only one employee of about 20 who have helped me in the past few years, actually thought to pull the stock forward.

One time, the clerk who arrived to assist me was an elderly woman who couldn’t have been more than five feet tall and she was struggling to carry the ladder. I helped her set it up, and as she began to climb it, I said, “Why don’t I do that for you?” mainly because I didn’t want to be the reason for her plunging to her death.

She quickly informed me that it was against the store’s policy for customers to climb anything.

Another time, the customer who took pity on me as I struggled to reach the water was a young woman with a very athletic-looking body. She was about my height, so when she said, “Let me help you with that,” I wondered how she was going to be able to reach the water if I couldn't.

Simple. She decided to ignore the “do not climb the shelves” sign and climbed them. But when she arrived at her destination, she discovered her arms weren’t long enough to reach back far enough across the top shelf to even touch the water.

A tall male customer, who’d apparently been watching us, rushed over when he saw her clinging to the shelf, and said, “I can get that for you,” with a smile.

To his shock (and mine), she looked at him and practically growled, “Do I look helpless? I can do this myself!”

His mouth fell open and he walked off. 

I began to understand the reason why so many women complain that chivalry is dead nowadays. Men probably fear for their lives when they offer to help them.

The young woman finally climbed down and said to me, “I’ll be right back.”

She returned with a new broom from the housewares department, then climbed the shelves again and used the handle to slide the bottles to the edge of the shelf.

"I told you I could do it myself!" she said to me, looking smug.

Just last week when I went shopping, I had the same problem with the water yet again – which, or course, was no surprise. The bottles, however, weren’t pushed as far back as usual, so I made a genuine attempt to jump up and try to grab one. No luck. I made a second attempt. Still no luck.

I hadn’t realized until he spoke that a customer had been watching me.

“Need help?” the man, who was about 5’6” asked.

I figured he must have some secret method for reaching the top shelf that I wasn’t aware of. 

He leapt up at the shelf a couple times, without even coming close to the water, then, looking embarrassed, said, “Sorry. I can’t reach it, either.”

I thanked him and set off to find a clerk…who went out back and got the trusty old stepladder, then climbed it and handed eight waters down to me…and didn’t pull any of the stock forward.

So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that unless I am kidnapped and tortured on a Medieval stretching rack, I’m probably going to have to keep suffering through this water-retrieving ritual indefinitely.

But on the bright side, at least I’m getting some regular exercise without needing a gym membership.


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science fiction. Contact her at: sillysally@att.net




Tuesday, June 14, 2022



I’ve been experiencing a lot of “déjà vu” moments lately. You see, I’ve been limping around these past couple weeks because my right leg keeps making a snapping sound whenever I twist my body. And when it makes that sound, I make a sound similar to that of someone who accidentally got in the way of the branding iron at a cattle ranch…because it hurts…really hurts.

So I’ve been doing what I usually do when I have a problem like this – I try to ignore it and keep telling myself it will go away. In this case, if I walk perfectly straight and don’t twist my body at all, the leg feels fine. I pray, however, that if I hear a sudden noise behind me, like a loud growl, when I’m outside, I won’t rapidly twist around to see what it is. Because if I do, my leg will snap and I’ll end up becoming bear chow.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. The last time was nearly 20 years ago when I was shopping at Shaw’s supermarket one Saturday and reached up to get two gallons of bottled water from a top shelf.

When I grabbed the plastic jugs and swung them down into my cart, I felt a sharp pain shoot down the side of my left leg.

“Just shake it off,” I said to myself as I limped through the store. By the time I got home, the leg felt pretty good. So the next day I walked two miles with my dogs. My leg hurt a little afterwards, but nothing unbearable. The next three days, I also walked the dogs. And although I wouldn't admit it, the leg became more uncomfortable each day.

By that Thursday morning, I felt as if someone had rammed a hot corkscrew into the side of my knee and was twisting it. Coincidentally, on that same day, my husband had to undergo a bone scan at the hospital, so I went with him.

As I sat in the waiting room while he was having his procedure done, my knee and calf began to throb. When I tried to stand, to my horror, I barely could put any weight on the leg…not without unconsciously making a noise that sounded something like “Yeeeeeaaahhhh!”

I seriously considered heading downstairs to the hospital’s emergency room and getting the leg checked out, but the fact that I hadn’t shaved my legs in about three months made me decide against it. I could just picture the doctor wearing a pith helmet and using a machete to get through the undergrowth so he could examine my leg.

So that night after dinner, I took a shower, shaved my legs, and put on non-holey underwear and socks just in case I decided to go to the hospital.

At nearly midnight, my husband yawned, stretched and said, “Well, I’m beat. I’m going to head to bed now.”

I smiled weakly through gritted teeth. “Um, honey? Can you do me a teeny favor first?”

“Sure, what?”

“Can you drive me to the emergency room? I’ve been hiding my pain from you, but I can’t bear it any more…my leg really hurts.”

 The look on his sleep-deprived face told me he was less than thrilled with the prospect of getting dressed, chauffeuring me to the hospital in the middle of the night and sitting around watching a roomful of strangers moan and groan for what was guaranteed to be the better part of five hours.

Nevertheless, we headed to the hospital.

“Well, just as a precaution, we’ll x-ray it,” the emergency-room doctor said to me after examining my leg. “But I don’t expect to find any surprises. Looks like a muscle strain.”

An hour later, he had the results.

“I was wrong,” he said. “I actually was very surprised when I saw the x-rays. You have a fracture. I think when you twisted your body to put the water into the shopping cart, you tore the ligament and it pulled a piece of bone out of the side of your knee. It looks wedge-shaped on the x-ray…like a piece of pie.”

Just listening to his description made my leg throb even harder. By the time I left the hospital at nearly 4:00 that morning, I was wearing a stiff, bulky leg-brace from my thigh to my calf and was armed with crutches and a bottle of prescription painkillers. The doctor had warned me not to remove the brace for anything other than changing my clothes and showering, per penalty of death, until I could see an orthopedic surgeon.

I immediately hated that brace. For one thing, the straps on it contained miles of Velcro, so when I tried to sleep while wearing the monstrosity, the Velcro would adhere my leg to my flannel sheets. And seeing it didn’t allow me to bend my leg at all, I couldn’t do simple things like even bend over to tie my shoelaces. 


Four days later, I saw an orthopedic surgeon – a young, handsome, dark-haired guy with a dazzling smile - who looked as if he'd just stepped off the cover of a romance novel. The minute he walked into the room, not only did I forget about my pain, I had visions of women purposely trying to break a bone or two, just so they could have him treat them.

The surgeon listened intently to the volume of my degrees of gasping and in which octaves, as he manipulated my leg in various ways.

Finally he said, “Well, you have a lateral femoral avulsion fracture and a lateral collateral ligament sprain.”

I stared blankly at him. I hadn’t understood a thing he’d just said other than “fracture” and “sprain,” but it sounded terrible to me; something I figured would need immediate, intricate, complicated, life-or-death surgery.

And I couldn’t believe that lifting two gallons of water could have caused so much damage.

“I could put you in a cast,” he said. “But I’m going to have you fitted for a hinged brace instead. It bends, so that way you can still walk while you’re healing. Nothing strenuous, of course, like trying to climb Mount Washington.”

"Then I don't need surgery?" I asked, wondering how the wedge-shaped piece of bone I'd managed to tear out would find its way back into the hole it had left behind.

He shook his head. "No, the brace should take care of it. But you'll probably have to wear it for about eight weeks."

That figured. The hottest time of the year, and I’d be parading around in a big, bulky leg brace. My husband and I always enjoyed going to Newfound Lake each summer, but I was pretty certain there would be no swimming for me that year…not unless I wanted to immediately sink to the bottom.

As it turned out, my husband’s scan showed a torn ACL that needed knee surgery, so for a while, we both had bad left legs. When we went somewhere together, both of us limping and using our spiffy canes, we looked like a pair of accident victims…or members of the World Wrestling Federation.

In fact, when my husband first saw my second leg brace, a thick, black one with bulging hinges on each side, he said, “Cool! Stone Cold Steve Austin wears one just like that!”

Somehow, I didn’t think Stone Cold Steve Austin had to worry about wearing pantyhose or high-heels with his brace, as I did after I received an invitation to a friend’s wedding, 

So now, will I give in and see a doctor about my current “snappy” leg problem?

Nah…I’m sure it will heal by itself.


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science fiction. Contact her at: sillysally@att.net

Monday, June 6, 2022



I was saddened to hear the news the other day that the last existing Howard Johnson’s restaurant, located in Lake George, NY, had closed its doors forever. So as a tribute, I am reprinting an article I wrote about HoJo’s nearly 20 years ago, when there still were ten restaurants left.




 I know I’m probably not alone when I say this, but I really miss all of the bright orange roofs of the Howard Johnson restaurants whenever I travel now.

Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the highlight of any of my journeys, especially after riding for hours on endless, boring stretches of highway, was seeing one of those orange roofs up ahead. For one thing, it meant yummy ice cream (of which I became intimately acquainted with every flavor) scooped into fancy sugar cones, not those flimsy, run-of-the-mill, flat-bottomed waffle cones that tasted like Styrofoam.

It also meant chicken pot pie. For some reason, I became hooked on Howard Johnson’s chicken pot pie. If we stopped at a Howard Johnson’s three times in one day, I’d order chicken pot pie all three times. I never grew tired of it, even when the crust occasionally was a tad on the soggy side or the cubes of chicken were a little rubbery. I still cleaned my plate.

But alas, over the years, those familiar orange-roofed buildings slowly began to disappear and fast-food joints popped up in their places. I guess it was because busy motorists no longer wanted to waste precious time stopping to order a sit-down meal. They preferred places where the employees would be standing outside and flinging food at them as they sped past at 65 miles per hour.  

So all I have left now are memories of my favorite Howard Johnsons. I was fortunate to grow up in an area of NH where there were three of them within a 25-mile radius – Manchester, Hooksett and Concord. My husband and I made a point of eating at all three on a regular, rotating basis, so they each would receive equal time from us. During those visits, there were a few memorable moments that made us laugh.

I’ll never forget, for example, the night an elderly man was upset because the cook had burned his grilled-cheese sandwich. The waitress, in her starched blue and orange uniform, apologized and took it back, but the second sandwich looked even worse than the first one.

“That does it!” the man shouted, pounding his fist on the counter. “I demand to see Howard! And I’m not leaving here until I do!”

Everyone within earshot started to giggle. The poor waitress, not wanting to further upset the man, struggled to keep a straight face as she explained that Howard Johnson wasn’t on the premises. But the poor old man was adamant about speaking to Howard. In fact, he still was sitting there waiting for him when we left.

Whenever I needed a quick, pot-pie fix, we usually went the HoJo’s in Hooksett because it the closest to where we lived. But on one particular night, an unfamiliar odor hit us when we walked in. It honestly smelled as if something had died in there.

“What’s that smell?” I wrinkled my nose and asked the waitress after we were seated. I secretly prayed it wasn’t the evening’s special.

“Don’t worry, it’s not the food!” she said brightly, laughing. “The septic system is just backed up!”

Somehow, that didn’t make us feel a whole lot better.

The Howard Johnson’s near the Queen City Bridge in Manchester also had a very distinct odor…strong bleach. That’s because it was attached to a motor inn that had a heated pool that must have had a couple tons of chlorine dumped into it.

But hey, at least it was better than Hooksett’s septic-tank smell.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Howard Johnson restaurants that were located right off major highways was they attracted buses. It seemed as if every time we pulled into one of the parking lots, a busload of tourists would be right on our bumper.

“Quick! Run!” my husband would shout at me as he leapt out of the car and bolted toward the restaurant’s door so he could beat the crowd.

But by the time I gathered my coat and my handbag, checked my hair in the car mirror and applied a fresh coat of lipstick, we inevitably would end up standing in line behind about 75 people, most of whom were engaged in conversations that sounded something like this:

“Hey, Martha, do you want raspberry ice cream?”

“Nah…I’m really not in the mood for raspberry. What other flavors do they have?”

“Chocolate…strawberry…vanilla…coffee…maple walnut…pistachio…”

(All 28 flavors later)…“I guess I’ll have the butter pecan.”

“Do you want sprinkles on that?”

“What kind of sprinkles do they have?”

By then, my husband’s expression clearly would be telling me that if looks could kill, I’d have been in an urn sitting on the mantel.

At one time, there were over a thousand Howard Johnson restaurants in the USA, most of them along the East Coast. Now there are only 10. Someone recently told me there’s one in Springfield, Vermont. Heck, that’s only about an hour-and-a-half drive from here.

So the next time my husband asks me where I want to go for dinner, I hope he has plenty of gas in his car.

I can taste that chicken pot pie already.


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 Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science fiction. Contact her at: sillysally@att.net