Author: Illustration by Lori Osiecki

Back to School

  Here it is, August - still hot enough to keep your underwear in the freezer. Also the peak of hurricane season. But school is starting anyway.  I used to say that they should push the first day of school…

In the Meow Mix

  I don’t eat cat kibbles. I would have thought the ladies at Gloriosa’s pool party last week didn’t eat cat kibbles either. It goes to show... I got to explain. My sister-in-law got a gorgeous new backyard pool during…

The Eye of the Beholder

  Life is getting back to normal. Bad breath matters again.  Me and my sister-in-law Gloriosa were sitting at the PJ’s, smiling around at everybody, and talking about how nice it is to be sipping coffee next to people-size people…

Regular People

My mother-in-law Ms. Larda and her friends are all excited about the Metamucil Challenge.  It ain’t like the ice bucket challenge.  I got to explain.  Before COVID, what Ms. Larda worried about most, health wise, was blockage. Whenever she read…

Double-Take Display

The Gunch family has been getting a reputation. Not good.  My mother-in-law, Ms. Larda, is very upset. Last month there was the mix-up, which was NOT her fault, at her Catholic ladies’ book club. She had recommended “River of Fire,”…

Cover to Cover

So, we got our COVID shots, and I see my brother-in-law Lurch’s entire face for the first time in a year. Would you believe - he’s grown a mustache. It looks kind of cute. My mother-in-law Ms. Larda has also…

Floating on By

It’s all about the beads, my little nephew Comus informs me. And you can’t catch beads on Zoom, he says.  I tell him this is a historic Mardi Gras.  He says if historic means no parades, he don’t much like…

Modine Gunch: Out with the Old

Me and my mother-in-law, Ms. Larda, were talking about it.  Christmas is over. Now we got to put away our presents, plus the wrapping, plus the decorations we arranged behind our computer to give holiday cheer to Zoom, plus the…

Christmas Unwrapped

You can always tell who, in a Zoom meeting, is not wearing a bra. They are the ones you see just from the eyeballs up. My sister-in-law Gloriosa goes to a lot of them meetings, being socially active and all.…

Kit and Caboodle

Well, this was all I needed — a Cat One moving in. Now, I ain’t talking ‘bout the weather. This Cat One is a cat. One cat. At first. I got to explain. My gentleman friend Lust is manly enough,…

The Secret of Goat Yoga

My mother-in-law Ms. Larda blames the pandemic on goat yoga. You ever hear of goat yoga? It’s this gimmick where you get on your hands and knees and the yoga teacher perches a little bitty baby goat on your back.…

Zoom to Do

Every disaster has a bright side.  My niece Flambeau probably won’t remember her second birthday, back on April Fools’ Day. But the rest of us will.  That was just when everybody finally got serious about isolating theirselves in place because…

Holding Up

Never did I think I would show up on “People of Walmart.”  My mother-in-law, Ms. Larda says it is my own fault.  I got to explain. I bought a bralette— you know, a little elastic bra with no hooks or…

Along the Parade

I used to stare at the gorgeous houses on the St. Charles Avenue parade route, and think what I would  give to live there— just for Carnival season. Not no more. I got to explain. My sister-in-law-law Gloriosa has a…

Hear Today…

These days, when the Gunches get together at my mother-in-law’s, we watch her like a hawk. If she steps out the room, we skulk around, and  whisper bad words to every lamp and  potted plant and throw pillow. I got…

Modine Gunch: Mousy

“T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a...” “Mouse-EE!” sing-songs my niece, Flambeau. Something scurries over my foot. Oh, gawd. A mouse ran out from under the  couch —this same…

Family Thanksgiving

The Gunches usually have Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law Gloriosa’s, seeing as she has the biggest house. Now, even though she’s a perfectionist and wound pretty tight, Thanksgiving is pretty easy on her. Her house is always clean, so she just…

Toil in the Soil

I am not what you call a traditional gardener. Whatever I grow is on leftovers in the refrigerator. But once— ONCE— I did real good with a poinsettia that I got at Christmas. I watered it every day and it was…

The Heat of Summer

My grandkids got a little education before school even started this year. Not that we planned it. What happens is, my daughter Gladiola calls me all excited. She has been volunteering at her school, Celibacy Academy, helping the nuns get…

Showing Your Wits

People will tell you that the reason we usually have Mardi Gras in February —the coldest, most miserable month of the year in New Orleans— has to do with the church calendar and the stage of the moon or something…

Learning What’s Important

First we had the “Marie Kondo Magic of Tidying Up” to feel guilty about. Now we are hearing about the “Swedish Death Cleaning” (pretty much the same thing, but morbid.) In New Orleans, we got “In-Case-of-Hurricane-Cleaning.” We don’t ask, “Does…

By the Numbers

It’s one of those days where everything goes wrong. I am counting. I wake up late (#1) and rush around and grab a stick of Icy Hot and smear it on like deodorant before I realize, so I got to…

How to Flush

Used to be, you would go to the ladies room, do the necessary, wash your hands, dry them, check your lipstick, and leave. Not no more. Nowadays, you practically need a choreographed dance routine to get a hand towel out…

Hog Wild

I am buckling my seatbelt on this airplane. I glance up, and I notice the passenger in the aisle seat two rows ahead is a pig. I ain’t trying to be mean. Everybody has a bad day once in a…

Biodegradable Beads

Remember when the city pulled 49 tons of Carnival beads out the storm drains on St. Charles Avenue? And everybody said, “Well, looka that. So THAT’s why we been flooding.” This gives my daughter Gladiola a brilliant idea. She can…

The Perils of Reveal Parties

Used to be, you waited until a baby was born. Then the doctor looked at its privates and said, “It’s a boy!” Or “It’s a girl!” Now you can find out way ahead of time. So you don’t have that…