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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on August 31st, 2011, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 12, Issue 26 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 12, Issue 26

The write stuff

Someone else if vying for Krider's title

By ROB KRIDER

I own a few titles and wear a number of hats around my house. I’m the official household Insect Murderer, Shade Tree Mechanic, and Garbage Disposal Retrieval Expert (and somehow I still have all my fingers). Some hats that I wear I’m very proud of: for instance, Resident Beer Pong Champ, Guitar Hero God, and Midnight Back Rub Aficionado. Some titles I’d rather not admit to, like Mr. Chest Hair Clogs the Drain, Man-Boy Who Doesn’t Know How a Hamper Works, and, my least favorite: Stupid.


She isn’t even really a part of my family, and here she was trying to take my spot as the family writer.

“Who put the peanut butter in the refrigerator and then put the jelly in the pantry?”

“Stupid did that. I saw Dad eating a PB&J five minutes ago.”

“I figured that was Stupid who pulled off that genius move. Where’s Stupid anyway? There’s a spider in the pantry that needs to be killed.”

“I think he’s in the garage trying to turn a 1991 Nissan Sentra into a racecar.”

“Well, that’s just a Stupid thing to do.”

As a father, I was hoping to earn the title of Greatest Dad Ever—as opposed to Stupid—but my kids think a more appropriate label is Old Man Who Still Thinks He’s Young Just Because He Wears Vans. Kids—you have ’em, feed ’em, raise ’em right, and the next thing you know they’re calling you Stupid and making fun of your totally hip shoes. They’re just trying to knock me down because I still skateboard better than both of them, while wearing my Vans.

Regardless of my shoes or whether I earned the Stupid hat, the one title that is without a doubt absolutely mine and cannot and should not be replaced in my household is the title of Resident Writer. Need a quick term paper on Tom Sawyer? I can knock that out in 15 minutes (without Wikipedia). Need something sweet to say at the bottom of Grandma’s birthday card? I can make her cry in 50 words or less. Want a funny story about getting a vasectomy? Please, I did that while on pain meds. When it comes to writing, I’m the guy. Everyone in my family knows that writing funny stories is my realm.

Just ask anyone at the Santa Maria Town Center. I’m huge at the mall—where merchants waiting for customers in a desperately slow economy have nothing better to do than read every single page of The Sun and eventually end up on the Man Overboard column. They love me at the mall. Or ask any of the 10, maybe 15, car nerds who read Speed:Sport:Life.com and they will tell you, too: “Rob writes those funny car reviews that tell you what kind of girl you can get with a certain car and what type of burnout the car will do.” That is real journalism, folks.

It has been established clearly within my family that I am the moderately successful writer. Well, that used to be my place, until recently. You see, my title as Resident Writer has been challenged by my sister-in-law, Jessi Kirby. When I wasn’t paying attention, Jessi went out and got all sorts of successful. It was such a sister-in-law move, too. She isn’t even really a part of my family, and here she was trying to take my spot as the family writer.

Jessi, as it turns out, is an actual real-life writer (none of this 1,000 words, my wife, whom I love, I’m fat, have bad breath, I like cars, but can’t get enough sex, blah, blah, humor column drivel). Jessi wrote her first young adult novel, Moonglass, and even though it didn’t have a single mention of a vampire anywhere in the book, it was picked up by some book publishing company that I’d never heard of: Simon and Schuster. She says it’s a big deal, whatever! The real test of success is if you can get the book at the Santa Maria Town Center (like you can The Sun with the Man Overboard column).

Uh, apparently you can. You can get this book of hers everywhere. I walked into a Target the other day, and I was staring at my sister-in-law’s book. It was unreal. My sister-in-law, second to me as the family writer, published and distributed in Target? What happened?

I’ll tell you what happened; she kicked me off my high horse. I’m no longer the family writer. She is the writer. I’m merely a local columnist, or worse, an automotive blogger. It is amazing my family hasn’t completely abandoned me.

I read this Moonglass, and I found myself engulfed in the story of a young girl whose dad is a lifeguard. The story chronicles the teenage girl’s life, living at the beach, as she deals with some mommy issues. At face value, it doesn’t really sound like anything I would be into—there were no cool cars in it (or any pictures in the book). But the fact is, I finished the novel in one night. Even though I’m not part of the target audience of young adults (I’m targeted in the porn audience), I still loved the book.

There was one particularly funny line in the story that made me laugh out loud. I was telling Jessi about how much I liked her novel and how one part had me cracking up. My sister-in-law, a true sweetheart, said, “You thought that was funny? I stole that from you!” Besides being a great writer, she is also an outstanding liar. But I’m just enough of an egomaniac to believe her. So, go to your local bookstore and buy Moonglass with MY funny joke in it!

Rob wants to congratulate sister-in-law Jessi Kirby on her fantastic success as “the other writer” in the family. Besides Moonglass, she also finished her second novel, In Honor, soon to be released (this one has cool cars in it). Go to jessikirby.com to find out more.




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