To Appreciate Home, Leave It for a While

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

I just returned from a 10-day family trip to Southern California. In some ways, it was three days too many. In other ways, it was just right, the perfect amount of time to force renewed soft feelings for my home state of Florida, a perplexing place locals know far too intimately, a madcap swamp we make Olympic sport of criticizing and ...Read more

How To Recover From That Horrific Presidential Debate

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

At one time, the recent presidential debate carried promise. There would be no hooting frat house audience gassing up their preferred elder statesman. A timer would cut off the microphones of overzealous speakers, which sounds like a charming feature regular people could use when their Hinge dates talk about fishing. Perhaps this would be a ...Read more

Margaritaville Cruises and the Question of Legacy

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

I feel most insignificant gazing up at the stars or pondering what happens inside a super massive black hole. Or, you know, reading how Harvard researchers recently said aliens could be on Earth passing as humans, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is the plot of "Men in Black."

Other times, a Jimmy Buffett cruise does the philosophical trick.

...Read more

How To Give Vacation Recommendations

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

School is out, the children's brains have begun to gleefully rot and summer vacations are upon us. As I write to you, I am preparing for a glorious two weeks away, heading to Southern California for a classic Griswold family vacation.

I've been weighing the pros and cons of asking friends and acquaintances for restaurant and diversion ...Read more

Apologizing My Way Through Appendicitis

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

My absent hunger was the first sign something was wrong. Normally, even when I'm physically full, the suggestion of, say, a gooey cookie will open a vacancy in my stomach.

This fateful day, though, I skipped breakfast, and then headed to lunch with a co-worker.

"Huh," I thought. Every bit of bread and cheese and chia on the menu sounded ...Read more

The Big Babies Are Afraid of Rainbow Bridges Now

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

June is upon us, which means it's time to prepare for summertime truths. Hurricane season looms, science fiction-style bugs will scamper into the house and most of us will be captive inside a Target during at least one thunderstorm.

But please be aware of the biggest seasonal risk: Rapidly increasing temperatures will render a bunch of ...Read more

Make Restaurant Food Ugly Again

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

Since there are no bad ideas in brainstorming, here are a few new restaurant concepts:


Sure, the proprietor will have to lowercase random letters or add a pointless "z." They can paint a mural of angel wings near the bathroom and sell distressed logo tees with ampersands in heritage fonts....Read more

Scary Campfire Stories for Middle Age

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

Gather round, summer campers. Hey, Braden. Put that stick down. The marshmallows are for s'mores, not for stuffing in your... Br... BRADEN. Can someone get him to... Lance! Can you go get Lance from the commissary? I know he's setting up for friendship bracelets, but. Please, just... OK, thank you.

Anyway. Get over here, campers, for it is ...Read more

Inside Kirstie Alley's Estate Sale, an Eclectic Life Emerges

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

Past stacks of melamine dishes, a baroque dog bed and a Lucite stand that once held a Golden Globe, there it was. Kirstie Alley's yellow bike.

I'd seen her atop it long ago, riding on the Pinellas Trail in Florida. She was tooling around alone with a certain lightness. I remember thinking, huh. The late "Cheers" alum, the comic star with the ...Read more

Navigating the Bloodbath of Mosquito Season

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

The morning of the reaping, I was so smug.

I thought: Have fun at your meetings, suckers of the corporate macrocosm, for I have chosen the life of a voyager. I set off into the outdoors to report for a future column, details I will reserve for now. The journey involved hiking less than 2 miles through Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, ...Read more

Testing a Driverless Future in a Tesla

Humor / Stephanie Hayes /

There are times when I want to move into a cottage and scold neighborhood children, wagging a crooked finger because their revolutionary ways scare me. Then there are times when I welcome the inevitable robot apocalypse, wishing artificial intelligence would just take over already. Yes, fine, yes, gather my data, tell me what to do, image-...Read more



Kirk Walters Bill Bramhall Boondocks Adam Zyglis A.F. Branco Dog Eat Doug