Like other children, Seven sees and Seven wonders…

What did Seven do this time?

Principal Stern called this afternoon. Yes, from Seven’s school. I’m afraid our son has been acting out in class again, and unfortunately his behavior has gotten much worse. His teacher is very concerned that Seven isn’t respecting the personal space of other students. I assured Principal Stern that we’ve spoken to Seven more than once about treating others as equals, explaining that no one is better, greater, or qualitatively “larger” than anyone else — and that violence doesn’t solve problems. Hard work solves problems.

And calculators, yes, dear.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, though, I think we have to…


It’s a myth that every plant in need of rescue is damaged in some way.

You didn’t know you could rescue plants?

Come on in. Welcome. Help yourself to a glass of lemon water. Oh, my plants? Why, thank you! They’re rescues. All of them.

You didn’t know you could rescue plants? Sure. You have to do a little bit more work — both to find a plant in need of rescue and then to rehabilitate it — but the rewards are endless. These days, “new” plants are available for purchase almost everywhere: not just garden centers and nurseries, but also supermarkets, home improvement warehouses, and even some bookstores. …

Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk

Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this.

I can only wonder what might have been had I read the book as a child myself. (Image from Unsplash)

When our son was born, my wife and I obtained all sorts of books, most of them gifts from friends and relatives who didn’t know that you can give gifts that aren’t books. Books about red fish and blue fish, hungry caterpillars, cows that type. And so many books about ducks. The one about the ducklings crossing a highway in Boston is a charming exemplar of the bountiful waterfowl genre.

The guy who wrote and illustrated that one wrote and illustrated another beloved New England-set classic, which — believe it or not — I’d never read before my wife retrieved…

Raiding the public domain

Jordan Baker, adamant anti-vaxxer.

As of January 1, 2021, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic Jazz Age tale is in the public domain. Said Blake Hazard, the late author’s great-granddaughter and a trustee of his literary estate: “Though the story is set in a very specific time and place, it seems to me that a retelling of this great American story could and should reflect a more diverse America.”

Nick Carraway — a Rhodes College scholar from the Midwest — journeys east to obtain employment as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He rents a small house in Queens, next to a…

What some people want to know

Will the COVID-19 vaccine give me COVID-19?

Will the COVID-19 vaccine turn me into a liberal?

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me an SJW, RBG, or AOC?

Will the COVID-19 vaccine take away my guns?

Will the COVID-19 vaccine abort any or all of my children?

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me get socialized medicine? Food stamps? Library books?

If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, do I still have to pay taxes? Do I have to pay more taxes?

Is the COVID-19 vaccine gluten-free? Is it Paleo?

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me vegetarian, vegan, or a communist?

Can I…

Hi, there. Welcome to the homestretch… of a difficult calendar year, anyway. There’s probably another homestretch to come.

Among other things, this year was a different one for How Pants Work. The publication continued to thrive under the stewardship of veteran humor editor Brian Boone… but Brian is stepping down (aside? forward with a twist?), and 2021 will see the ascension of a pair of new editors. More on this to follow.

Meanwhile, for December, HPW is closed to submissions. (If you’ve submitted in the past week, you should have received an automatic response to that effect; our apologies for…

Sighs matter

“But… our exhales!”

My fellow decent Americans,

I don’t want to (1) be an alarmist fearmonger or (2) jinx anything, but all the same I think we need to consider what might happen — science-wise — if we get good news on the night of November 3rd (or early on the morning of November 4th, if it comes to that) and then we do what comes autonomically: release the breath we’ve been anxiously holding and let out a great sigh of relief… as one nation, under God or otherwise, finally seeing the light at the end of the narrow-minded tunnel we’ve been stuck…

Sweet Dreams

A foolproof method from experts!

Being comfortable is counterproductive.

Too many of us wake up each morning and are immediately sorry. Our first thought is to wish we could go right back to sleep. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible for almost all of us. But now, experts from various disciplines have collaborated to create a foolproof method to get even the most alert person back to the land of Nod within just 24 hours. Master the following steps and you’ll soon find yourself sleeping part of every day, toward the end.

In the morning:

1. Resist the forbidden fruit. When you wake up in the morning, get out of bed. Being away from…

Welcome to Aria 51

And aren’t they really pretty much exactly the same, anyway?

Probably a rock concert, anyway.

Like most people or no one, I can not keep Carmen and Candide straight in my head. I frequently think of one when I mean to think of the other and vice versa. No matter how many times I read up on them, I just end up confusing and conflating them and frustrating myself. So I sat down and made this comprehensive list of the salient characteristics of each for future reference and comparison.

  • Carmen is an opera based on a novella of the same name, whereas Candide is an operetta based on a novella of the same name. …

Matthew David Brozik

Novelist. Copywriter. Lawyer. Lone punman. Visit

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