I’m Bret Stephens, And In My House, You’d Better Smack My Wife On The Belly Before You Call Me A Horse Fly

Cara Michelle Smith
4 min readAug 28, 2019
(Photo by David Smooke on Unsplash)

New York Times’ columnist Bret Stephens … flew off the handle on Dave Karpf, a professor for George Washington University who called him a “bedbug.” …. Karpf posted a screenshot of an email he received from Stephens, which challenged the professor to “come to my home, meet my wife and kids, talk to us for a few minutes, and then call me a ‘bedbug’ to my face.” -Mediaite, 8/27/2019

In my house, you’ll have to share several ham foldovers with my wife and kids before you call me a centipede.

In my house, you’ll have to smack my wife on the belly before you call me a horse fly.

In my house, you’ll have to stand in my foyer and share your honest-to-God thoughts about my homemade potpourri before you’re allowed to call me a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

Roaches will survive the apocalypse. I couldn’t survive eight hours of quippy criticism! Boom. That’s zero points in the “Bret Stephens is a roach” category, and one point in the “Bret Stephens seems like a sane, sensitive guy” category.

These are not my brothers! (Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash)

Things work a little differently in La Casa de Stephens. We’re a free speech household, because I value free speech, and not just when it’s convenient for me. We’re also a capitalist household, which means nothing is free, everything has a price, and even “free” things require you to meet a set of demands before you can participate in them.

One of my demands? Don’t call me a fucking bug!

Want to call me a tarantula? If you want to do that, I’ve got two words for you: don’t!

Thinkin’ about calling me a stink bug? Why don’t you try walking my Bichon Frise and watching Succession with my wife first? If you do all that, and you still want to call me names, then guess what: it’s still not cool to call someone a stink bug!

You think the average Gawker spawn or HuffPo twerp knows discipline? I don’t. My kids know discipline. They learned it the old fashioned way: by having their daddy dump ice cold water over…

Cara Michelle Smith

Cara Michelle Smith is a comedy writer in Chicago. You can harass her on Twitter at @Cara_Smith5, so long as you do so creatively.