Adventures in bridesmaiding

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

One of my high school friends was getting married in North Carolina, and I was one of eight bridesmaids. We were told to choose whatever style dress we wanted from David’s as long as it was the classy champagne color Stephanie had in mind. I selected a strappy number with an empire waistline that concealed my trunky midsection and created the illusion that I had breasts large enough to require a bra. I then wore the dress without a bra.

I am generally an outgoing person, but eight bridesmaids seemed like a lot. While I did know one of them…


(Photo by Kathy Paradis)

It was 1995. I was at the height of my pot smoking habit, and I was drafting as many impressionable underclassmen as I could. Sara was my finest recruit; once a proper honor roll student, she was now a red-eyed lover of batiks and incense and Jimi Hendrix. We would skip class to get high in the woods in the back of the school, rubbing elbows with scraggly haired boys in grimy black clothes. Aside from smoking pot, Sara and I spent our time reading Dr. Seuss, playing Scrabble, and dousing ourselves in patchouli oil. …


A Poem for 2020

I.

Naked on the quad,

six feet apart,

the week of final exams —

flaunt your ankh tattoo

and smooth abs —

a new sense of community

as the student body

screams at the offending stars.

Now retreat

from this fantasy sequence —

you are a 41 year-old social worker

cocooned in a Snuggie

watching Gilmore Girls reruns,

a box of Cheez-its

your only company.

II.

In the driver’s seat

of your Honda Odyssey,

kids watching Moana in the back,

ears deafened by the miracle

of noise-canceling headphones.

But then your neighbor Pam- —

within earshot…


With thanks to Shel Silverstein

Hector the vector

Wouldn’t wear a mask

At the pharmacy, post office, or bar —

It didn’t matter who would ask.

He railed about his liberties,

“Freedom” made him tick;

But his freedom, not yours or mine;

For public health, he didn’t give a lick.

If called out for his selfishness,

He’d intimidate and dispute.

InfoWars said masks spread disease!”

Hector was astute.

When friends recommended New York Times,

He just shared links from Fox.

He insisted the mainstream media

Was society’s true pox.

He demanded kids go back to school —

He claimed the…


If there is a war on Christmas, I am its general.

Illustration by Jeremy Libby

When my mother brought me into the world one fated yuletide morning, she called me “the greatest Christmas present ever.” Little did she know the disappointment this dark day would yield. After enduring a lifetime of hollow birthday dirges, leftover cookies, and presents wrapped in Hanukkah paper, I have had enough. If there is a war on Christmas, I am its general.

I grew up believing that December was a month-long celebration of my birth. Lights were hung, trees were trimmed, and bearded white men abounded, entirely for me. That was until I realized that this wasn’t about me at…


Please, please take my writing seriously.

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Thank you for considering my application for a residency at Pine Whispers Artists’ Colony. Your institution has nurtured many esteemed writers, and I hope to join them despite my penchant for ill-timed wisecracks. Though my primary genre of writing is humor, I think that you’ll find that I’m as serious a writer as any novelist or poet.

Like other writers, my commitment to technique runs deep. Naturally I can mete out motifs, personification, and symbolism as well as the next Virginia Woolf wannabe, but guess what else I can write? Triple entendres — in the fourth person, no less.

Ordinary…


From basic to badass with a snip of the scissors

“I feel a fraction of an ounce lighter!”

Just yesterday I was a simple woman like you: shopping at Target, buying yet another box of Huggies and replacing careworn cotton briefs with a new set of six from Hanes. I even had a neat side part that made people mistake me for the assistant manager at the Municipal Credit Union. I could often be found chasing wayward kids at the neighborhood barbecue, but now when I walk into the same barbecue, I fill the minds of partygoers with intrigue. They look at me and wonder, “Who is that mysterious woman? Did I see her in a Reductress stock…


On August 11th, 2019, Port City Music Hall hosted the final round of Maine’s Funniest Comedian Competition, which closed out the 4th annual Portland Maine Comedy Festival (PMCF). The night featured fifteen local comedians who battled it out with wits and one-liners. Henry Catlin took the title of Maine’s Funniest Comedian along with $1,000 in prize money.

Henry Catlin (photo by Emily Qualey)

The event is the brainchild of Ian Stuart, himself a comedian who performs widely and teaches comedy writing through Portland Adult Ed. …


Here’s how to make your male colleagues feel safe and secure in their positions of power

He’s on a roll now. Just smile and nod!

If you are like most people, you’ve heard of “mansplaining.” What you may not be as familiar with is womansplaining, wherein a woman capitalizes on her submissiveness to ensure male colleagues that she, a humble woman, is not a threat. Interested in maintaining your tenuous place in the hierarchy? Find out how you can use womansplaining to help your male peers feel safe and secure in their positions of power!

Interject qualifiers into your sentences.

Maybe your team is trying to figure out the liabilities involved with taking on a new client. Now is the time to be indirect! Say…


Speculation about new recycling carts reaches fever pitch

Originally published on August 3rd, 2017

On August 7th, city workers are slated to deliver shiny new recycling carts to every residence in Portland, ME. These large carts will hold almost four times as much refuse as the old bins used by the city. According to city planners, it is also the perfect repository for hopes, dreams, and empty antidepressant bottles.

Residents of Portland’s peninsula — many of them renters — have been wondering where they will put their carts. “I have to park on the street,” explained Morning Street resident Mara…

Shana Genre

Parallel structure fangirl who lives in Portland, ME. Contributor to McSweeney's, The Belladonna Comedy, and The Second City.

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