Wow! These sisters are twins, but one is seven years younger

In the mid-2000’s, a pair of conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel, made a splash. They graced The Oprah Winfrey Show, appeared—twice!—on the cover of LIFE magazine, and were the subject of a Discovery Health Channel documentary. The Hensel twins are a fascinating duo, not just born at the same time but also sharing the same body. They’ve been the one of the most unusual cases of twins—until now.

Sue and Cara Zeitgeist are twins living on the remote island of Manhattan. They are identical in every way, both sporting long brown hair, watery blue eyes, and too much eyeliner. They enjoy all the same activities.

“We both love puppies, we both do musical theater, and we both cannot stop listening to the new Taylor Swift album. We’re twins!” says Sue.

“Literally same,” adds Cara.

The twins are alike in every respect except for one: Their age. That’s right. These twins arrived seven years apart. Sue was born in 1993; Cara, 2000. But how is such a thing possible? For an explanation, we went straight to the (literal) source: Their mother.

“We don’t have twins,” she said. “Our girls are not twins. You really shouldn’t call them twins, it’s a very dumb joke. In fact, my husband and I specifically planned to have our girls 7 years apart, which is what we did.”

Medically, this 7-year defect is very rare. Twins are typically born with a bit of a delay — a few minutes to a few hours. Some even have separate birthdays, due to being born just before and just after midnight. The Zeitgest girls were not only born 7 years apart, but Ms. Zeitgest went out of labor and then back into labor in the time between Sue and Cara’s births.

Sue recalls, “I lived a full life before my twin, Cara, was born. It was like I was an only child, and then I had a twin.”

These girls are twins, no doubt about it. They have the same favorite meal (“sushi!!!”); they both do their homework on Macbook Airs; they share an obsession with velvet; and they are addicted to wearing each other’s shoes. Additionally, they claim a certain telepathic twin-feeling, the sort that many twins have been known to report.

“I feel when Sue is upset. Usually because she yells at me,” Cara confides.

“It’s scary how she can tell,” Sue confirms. “Just because I’m screaming in her ear.”

The twins admit it can be difficult to be constantly having to explain themselves.

“People have a certain expectations of what twins are,” Sue says, “You know like the girls who played the Parent Trap twins or the twins from The Social Network. Sometimes, we just get tired, so we say we’re sisters.”

“It’s just easier,” Cara nods.

It’s true that if you look closely, you can almost identify the 7-year age difference. There’s a slight 5-inch difference in height, and a miniscule 30-pound difference in weight. Additionally, Sue has years of liver-damage from drinking legally, and Cara’s been semi-responsible, and her organs are in relatively good condition.

“At the end of the day, we love each other, and we love the fact that we’re twins,” Sue says, hugging Cara.

“We really love the fact that we’re twins,” Cara agrees, in a slightly strangled voice from being hugged so tightly. “Probably more than we love each other.”

SOPHIE ZUCKER (T.A.) is a comedian-slash-child-star who loves musicals and slime. She has appeared in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and has written and produced videos for Jill Soloway’s She wrote, produced, and starred in a million sold-out shows in New York and is now a TV writer in L.A.. @mightyzucks

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Woman so hungry she could eat regularly portioned meal

On Tuesday, area woman Lara Wilcox walked into The Ground, an ironically named triple-story cafe, to meet her friends for lunch. On this Tuesday, however, Wilcox was particularly hungry, having done a double spin-class at SoulSuck and using the last of her groceries on her three doting kids, because she’s a woman who can do it all. Wilcox reports she felt her “stomach, like, grumbling” as she entered the third story of The Ground. This was when Wilcox’s friend group noticed her unusual behavior. Wilcox announced to friends that she was in the mood for a Caesar salad with chicken, and a side of potato chips. Shockingly, Wilcox’s extreme hunger had caused her to make a rational decision about her food.

This approach marks a shift from Wilcox and friends’ past behavior. At previous lunches, the ladies have been known to order “just a salad” or “only a side,’ but rarely both.

“We save money this way,” friend Bethany Miller explained.

“Bethany, we’re all rich,” this from Karen Benson, who has been known to order only juices for breakfast, lunch, and the occasional dinner.

“She’s right. Women don’t eat full meals, it’s like, ordering an appropriately caloric meal as a woman is like running for president: kind of stupid and bad,” Miller clarified.

Wilcox’s behavior appears to have thrown her friend group into a tailspin. Splitting the check was difficult, as they didn’t all owe their usual $7 + tax. Wilcox owed more, and even after offering to pay tip, she realized she would have to do some Venmo’ing. Her friends were not pleased.

“It takes two days to transfer money from Venmo to your account, and I can’t afford that kind of wait time,” Miller reported.

“Bethany, we’re all rich,” Benson chimed in.

Wilcox appears to be reeling from the incident, claiming, “I don’t know what I was thinking.” Wilcox admits that having been “absolutely starving” was no excuse for shelling out $21 for some vegetables and a protein. She vows to never order an appetizer and a side again.

Wilcox has since sought counseling from a reverse-nutritionist, who wished to remain anonymous for legal reasons. This reverse-nutritionist advises her patients on how to make the restrictive choice for lunch and ignore hunger cues. Her practice revolves around a simple mantra she suggests her patients repeat: “Do Not Listen To Your Body, You Dumb Slut.”

In an online statement, she writes: “I went to grad school for this stuff, and all I kept hearing was how ricecakes are not a meal, and in our day and age, more women have disordered eating than not, and blah blah blah. I mean, it’s all true, but it sucks to deal with. So I don’t.”

The Ground says business has suffered since Wilcox made her healthy decision. Patrons are afraid it will happen to them—that they too will be enticed to order an appetizer with carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. The Ground, however, refused to comment on the rumor that they are intending to sue Wilcox for damaging their brand.

Wilcox’s friends have vowed to pray for Wilcox and the community in the wake of Wilcox’s food choice.

“I just hope she finds the help she needs, and if push comes to shove, we can raise the funds to support her in her endavors,” Miller pleaded.

“Bethany,” Benson added, her voice catching, “We’re all rich.”


​Sophie Zucker is a Brooklyn-based comedian-slash-child-star who loves musicals and slime. She’s 24. Sophie has trained at Second City, UCB, Under the Gun, and Annoyance NY and performed at most of those places, too. Her show Nervosa: The Musical!, a puppet musical about eating disorders, had an extended 8 week run at Annoyance Theater, as well as a slot at Cinder Block Comedy Festival. Her show Baby Ian Falls Down a Well had a sold-out one month run at Annoyance Theater and an additional one-month run at The PIT. Baby Ian was Time Out NY’s pick of the week. She’s also written and produced videos for Jill Soloway’s You can find her performing with Ladies Who Ranch (an all-female bit show) at Vital Joint, FIONA (an improvised sketch team) at South 4th Bar, and Ground Floor Comedy (an online sketch collective, partner of JASH). Catch her in the upcoming Amazon series Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Or watch a Taking Back Sunday music video she starred in at 12-years-old, when she was her current height but not her current weight. Follow her @mightyzucks. (Bleecker Street Entertainment/CESD)

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Got a tattoo that’s now generic? Here’s how to tszuj it up

It’s pretty obvious that tattoos are commonplace. Doctors have tattoos, teachers have tattoos, probably hipster babies have tattoos of Frida Kahlo on their little baby forearms. So you decided to get one, too. But not just any run-of-the-mill tattoo. Your tattoo design was clever, unique, your idea and yours alone. And like any proud tattooee, you showed it off everywhere. All your friends ooooh-ed and aaaah-ed, complimenting your utterly original masterpiece.

Next thing you knew, a total stranger standing next to you at Riot Fest had your tattoo. “No big deal,” you thought, “It’s only one other person.” But the following weekend at Costco, it happened again: the cheese sample lady had your EXACT SAME TATTOO. And so, it turns out, does the neighbor’s hipster baby!

It’s time to face a harsh truth: most tattoo designs and images become a fad, and you now belong to a growing body of tattooees with the word RESPECT written across your neck. Well, don’t worry. There’s an easy remedy for tszujing up your tattoo so that, once again, it is as unique as you. Just identify it as a radically different piece, and watch as confusion works its magic. Here are ways to re-brand your tattoo:


Old answer: “It’s the flag of my hometown.”

New answer: “It’s the movie poster of my favorite art film, ‘Boise: City of Trees.’”


Old answer: “It’s a set of angel wings on my back.”

New answer: “It’s an homage to my spirit animal, the horseless unicorn.”


Old answer: “It’s a set of eyes.”

New answer: “It’s easy to see why you’d mistake them for eyeballs. In fact, they’re just my daily allergy tests.”


Old answer: “It’s a star.”

New answer: “I’m the sheriff.”


Old answer: “It’s my last name.”

New answer: “This is my tribute to the alphabet.”


Old answer: “It’s a full sleeve and/or pant leg tattoo of…disordered images.”

New answer: “Oh, this ole thing? It’s just ornate gangrene.”


Old answer: “It’s an anchor.”

New answer: “I can’t expect someone your age to know what it is. It’s a pre-historic Segway.”


Old answer: “It’s Frida Kahlo.”

New answer: “I know it’s a bit of a cliche now. I got it when I was a baby.”

Melina Saint Thunderdome is a graduate of Second Citys Sketch Comedy Writing program, but she enjoys writing humorous pieces of all sorts. Her influences are pretty varied: Laurel & Hardy, the Warner Bros. cartoons, RuPaul, Girlfriends,and The Tickare a few. Visit her Medium page for more!


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The 10 funniest “Saturday Night Live” sketches starring women

Many a super-famous comedian has been launched into the big leagues by the legendary Saturday Night Live. But our favorite SNL *cough* female comedians *cough* don’t always get the recognition they deserve. From Gilda Radner to Cecily Strong, the women of SNL have set themselves apart as the queens of sketch comedy. Break out the popcorn and rosé for what I think are the top ten SNL sketches starring badass women. (If you think I’ve missed one, throw a piece of popcorn at me and tweet it at @GOLDcmdy!)

1. Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna

If only all commencement speeches went something like this…

2. Kate McKinnon in Actress Roundtable

Host Margot Robbie couldn’t even wait until she was off camera to give McKinnon the laughs she so deserved.

3.Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton

There’s no comedy chemistry like best friends playing worst enemies.

4. Kristen Wiig as the Target Lady

Classic Peg!

Be Your Funniest Self - Join The Club!

5. Bronx Beat with Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler

Let’s face it. We all know a few moms like Betty and Jodi.

6. Ana Gasteyer as Martha Stewart

Ana Gasteyer has Martha Stewart’s real recipe for success.

7. Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer

*Cue sad trombone sound effects*

8. Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong in Asian-American Dolls

Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong push the envelope in the pushiest way.

9. Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher

Aren’t we all Mary Katherine Gallagher?

10. Jane Curtin on Weekend Update

Aaaaaaaaand the buttons come off!

Tell us what YOU think!Click To Tweet

KAITLIN GOLDIN is a student, writer, actor, and devout McJew based in the Bay Area.  

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On being caught Manspreading

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Such singularity was found in him that many people refused to interpret the scarlet “M” by its original signification. They said that it meant “Marvelous,” or “Marsupial”; anything apart from the sin-stained frailty and passion of “Manspreader.”

When her elf-child had departed to gaze out the window at the never-ceasing loquacity of the dark tunnel, Hester replied, fervently resolved to buoy him up with her own energy, “Thou art crushed under this seven years’ weight of misery. But thou shalt leave it all behind thee! It shall not cumber thy steps as you treadest along the subway stairs; neither shalt thou freight the bus with it, if thou prefer to cross the traffic. Leave this wreck and ruin here where it happened. Meddle no more with it! Begin all anew! Be, if thy spirit summon thee to such a mission, the teacher and apostle of the close-legged men. Or as is more thy nature be a spreader and a sage among the wisest and the most renowned of the transportation world. Ride! Sit! Spread! Do anything, save to close legs and die! Up, and away!”

“O Hester!” he cried, in whose eyes a fitful light, kindled by her enthusiasm, flashed up and died away under the terror of the MTA, “thou tellest of boarding a crowded subway car to a man who is bearing airport luggage! I must close here! There is not the strength or courage left me to spread my legs into the wide, strange, difficult world, alone!”

He repeated the word.

“Alone, Hester!”

“Thou shalt not spread alone!” answered she, in a deep whisper.

Then, all was spoken!

Tim O’ Brien

A true MTA story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper straphanger behavior, not restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a MTA story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of moving room has been salvaged from the larger crowd, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no moving room whatever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thigh, therefore, you can tell a true MTA story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.

He put his hand on the closed-legged boy’s wrist. He was quiet for a time, as if counting a pulse, then he patted the stomach, almost affectionately, and used Kiowa’s hunting hatchet to remove the thumb.

Henry Dobbins asked what the moral was.


You know. Moral.

He wrapped the thumb in an old copy of AM New York and handed it across to Norman Bowker. There was a lot of blood. Smiling, he said, It’s like with that old game Subway Surfers. Have legs, will travel.

Henry Dobbins thought about it.

Yeah, well, he finally said. I don’t see no moral.

There it is, man.

Fuck off.

George Orwell

The station smelt of spilled coffee and old urine. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for the usual advertisement space, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous man, more than a metre wide: the red face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy slouch and ruggedly handsome spread. He made for the stairs. It was no use trying the escalator. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the line was long and crowded during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. His train was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the escalator, the poster with the enormous man gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. DUDE…STOP THE SPREAD, PLEASE, the caption beneath it ran.

He froze as O’Brien’s words coursed again through his mind. Almost unconsciously he traced with his finger on the pillar labeled “Wet Paint”:

Closed + Legs = MTA

The paint was dry despite the label. He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden inside the red figure. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two coffee-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved the MTA.

John Steinbeck

“You remember about us goin’ to that machine, and it give us Metrocards?”

“Oh, sure, George. I remember that now.” His hands went quickly into his side coat pockets. He said gently, “George . . . . I ain’t got mine. I musta lost it.” He looked down at the filth in despair.

“You never had none, you crazy bastard. I got both of ‘em here. Think I’d let you carry your own Metrocard?”

Lennie grinned with relief. “I . . . . I thought I put it in my side pocket.” His hand went into the pocket again.

George looked sharply at him. “What’d you take outa that pocket?”

“Ain’t a thing in my pocket,” Lennie said cleverly.

“I know there ain’t. You got it in your hand. What you got in your hand— hidin’ it?”

“I ain’t got nothin’, George. Honest.”

“Come on, give it here.”

Lennie held his closed hand away from George’s direction. “It’s on’y a man, George.”

“A man? A manspreading man?”

“Uh-uh. Jus’ a little red man figure, George. I didn’t paint it. Honest! I found it. I found it red.”

“Give it here!” said George.

“Aw, leave me have it, George.”

Give it here!

Lennie’s closed hand slowly obeyed. George took the man and threw it across the track to the other side, missing the electric rail and landing onto a few dropped chip bags. “What you want of a manspreading man, anyways?”

“I could try and close its legs with my thumb while we walked along,” said


“Well, you ain’t closing no manspreaders while you walk with me. You remember where we’re goin’ now?”

Lennie looked startled and then in embarrassment hid his face against his knees. “I forgot again.”

“Jesus Christ,” George said resignedly.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

I followed Daisy around a chain of loud teenagers to the yellow bumped line in front that warned us to stand behind. In its deep gloom we sat down side by side on an old bench carved with profanity. Daisy took her face in her hands, as if feeling its lovely shape, and her eyes moved gradually out onto the velvet dusk of the tunnel. I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.

‘We don’t know each other very well,’ she said suddenly. ‘Even if we are cousins. You didn’t come to my wedding.’

‘I wasn’t back from my time as a spreader.’

‘That’s true.’ She looked at me absently. ‘Let me tell you what I said when she was born. Would you like to hear?’

‘Very much.’

‘It’ll show you how I’ve gotten to feel about—things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was the MTA knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling and asked the straphanger right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a nonspreader —that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little nonspreader.’

After that summer the East was haunted for me, distorted beyond my Metrocard’s power of correction. And as I sat there brooding on the sticky bench, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first became a manspreader at the end of Daisy’s station. He had come a long way to this yellow line and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the underground, where the dark fields of the MTA rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in manspreading, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our thighs farther…. And one fine morning——

So we beat on, legs against the public, borne back ceaselessly into the spread.



J.D. Salinger

I don’t even like the MTA. I’d rather have goddam carpooling or a tram like the one to Roosevelt Island, but not if they have goddam anti-manspreading campaigns. I wish to God I’d have some transportation to respect. Always makes you feel phony as hell. But here I was, having to get a move on. There was no goddam other transportation near. You fall half in love with the MTA, and then you never know where the hell you are. Jesus Christ.

“I got my damn bags at the station,” I said. “Listen. You got any dough, Phoeb? I’m practically broke.”

“Just my Christmas dough. For transportation and all. I haven’t done any traveling at all yet.”

“Oh. I don’t want to take your Christmas dough.”

“Here,” old Phoebe said. She was trying to give me the dough, but she couldn’t find my hand.


She put the dough in my hand.

“Hey, I don’t need all this,” I said. “Just give me two bucks, is all. No kidding– Here.” I tried to give it back to her, but she wouldn’t take it.

“You can take it all. You can be a manspreader.”

“How much is it, for God’s sake?”

“Three dollars. No, two dollars and seventy-five cents. I spent some but made sure to leave enough for the subway.”

Then, all of a sudden, I started to cry. I couldn’t help it. I did it so nobody could hear me, but I did it. It scared hell out of old Phoebe when I started doing it, and she came over and tried to make me stop, but once you get started, you can’t just stop on a goddam Metrocard swipe.

Herman Melville

Consider the subtleness of the MTA; how its most dreaded creatures squeeze their legs together underground, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of manhood. Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the embellished shape of many species of teenagers. Consider, once more, the universal tension of the standing pregnant and elderly; all who are ignored or granted seats awkwardly and helped above each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.

Consider all this; and then turn to the gentle and most docile thighs; consider them both, the publicity and the shame; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling atmosphere surrounds the verdant leg, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Manspreader, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the closeted stretch. MTA keep thee! Spread not off on that seat, thou canst never close!”

William Carlos Williams

so much depends


a triangular


glazed with phone


between the wide


Sylvia Plath

God’s lioness,   

How one we grow,

Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow



Splits and passes, sister to   

The brown arc

Of the neck I cannot catch,



Black sweet blood mouthfuls,   


Something else



Hauls me through air—

Thighs, hair;

Flakes from my heels.




Godiva, I unpeel—

Dead hands, dead stringencies.



And now I

Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.   

The child’s cry



Melts in the wall.   

And I

Am the arrow,



The dew that flies

Suicidal, at one with the drive   

Into the red



Eye, the cauldron of morning.


Michelle Chen is a poet, writer, and aspiring comedian who takes inspiration for her writing from the events that occur in and around her home, New York City, though she was born in Singapore and hopes to return and visit someday. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Bat City Review, and elsewhere, and been recognized by Ploughshares Emerging Writers, the Lancaster Writing Award for Literary Criticism, and the City College of New York Knopf Poetry Contest, among others. She has performed her work at venues including Lincoln Center, Sotheby’s, the National Arts Club, and the NYC Poetry Festival, and has attended writing workshops at Amherst and the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio with the support of the National Society of Arts and Letters. She is currently a senior at Hunter College High School and will be going to college in the fall. Visit her blog for ambitious youth at

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9 alternatives to PowerPoint that will really make your presentation sparkle

Groan! PowerPoint again? I don’t know about you, but I just hate the sinking feeling of walking into a conference room expecting something exciting to happen, and instead getting a bunch of slides telling you how much stuff costs and how that affects your company’s bottom line. Yawn!

Rather than trying to spice up your PowerPoint with comedy tricks and technical ka-zowie, why not look at alternatives to this purgatorial format? Marketers and business types across the globe are finding new ways to get information into the medulla oblongatas of meeting attendees. Now you can, too.

Power-Point Alternative #1: Mass Hypnotism

You want your information to have sticking power, right? Well, a little-known trick to successful implantation of thoughts, feelings, and impulses is the power of mind control. It’s easy: Simply have your meeting attendees kidnapped by Soviet and Manchurian operatives who brainwash them into believing every word of your presentation. If they ever forget, just show them the Queen of Hearts. (Am I the only one who saw this movie? Angela Lansbury. Not the remake. Classic. #TCMParty)

Power-Point Alternative #2: Scent of a Budget

Smells are a powerful memory tool. The reason for this is the location of the olfactory … things … in the hippocampus, which is in the … brain … part. Anyway! Science!

So: During your presentation, don’t bother with visual assets. Instead, pass out individual-sized jars of Carmex and instruct everyone to open them up and inhale deeply while you speak. Whenever you need them to call up the information you’re presenting to them, open your own jar of Carmex and wave it under their noses. The scent will immediately call up every precious word you presented to them.

Power-Point Alternative #3: Hand-Written Sticky Notes

Just yesterday, someone said to me, “I’ll never forget those invitations you made for your thirtieth birthday party. They were so funny!” Hm, did someone say unforgettable?

Instead of pouring your energy and time into a soulless and sterile tech solution that will vanish with the click of a mouse, ladle it instead into individually-crafted artisan creations that your attendees can take back to their desks and cherish forever. What’s more likely –  that they’ll go hunting for the data using command-C, or that they’ll look up at the Post-It pinned next to their picture of their duck-faced friend, thereby cementing the info contained therein?

Don’t answer. It’s rhetorical.

Power-Point Alternative #4: Create a Mind Palace of Your Marketing Plan

Fans of Sherlock, starring Schmendrick Mahumperback, might know that the classic detective character – played by Humperdink Tunnelwreck in the BBC version – employs a memory trick called the “mind palace” that harkens from ancient Greece.

The idea is to place every item you want to remember in an imaginary room of an imaginary house; to recall these items, you would “walk through” the path you created and peek into each room to “see” the item ensconced there. Just like Hammerhead Flagglerock, you can “walk” your meeting attendees through a mansion created solely out of your sales targets and associated assets. Easy-peasy benedy-cumberbeedy!

Power-Point Alternative #5: Take 8 Seconds to Make Your Most Important Points

According to unsubstantiated rumors, it takes 8 seconds to commit an important fact to memory. For instance, you will remember where you parked if you pause for 8 seconds to focus on your car before racing into Target.

8 seconds! C’mon! If Luke Perry can stay on a horse that long, you can focus on a … what was I saying? Anyway, try this: Give out an important bullet point, such as “Tablet users surpassed both desktop PC users and notebook PC users in the second and third quarters of 2012, respectively.”

Rather than providing a visual cue for this information, stop and let it sink in. Lean in to your meeting. Put your knuckles on the table, then rap upon it in a staccato fashion as you repeat that fact, slowly, for eight seconds. Then move on to the next bullet point. Who could forget that?

Power-Point Alternative #6: Break The Ice – Literally

Ever been to one of those super-classy weddings with an ice sculpture of a couple embracing next to a pair of swans lit with mauve light from below, so that after a half hour the whole thing looks like the nazi-melting scene in Indiana Jones and the floor is so wet you have to cordon it off with yellow caution tape? Good times.

With that in mind, go straight to the head of your department and demand a budget big enough for a really memorable presentation. Have your power point slides etched into ice. Have that ice placed at the center of the conference table. Then, when everyone is seated, turn your iPhone on to “Eye of the Tiger” at top volume, run in, and smash the whole thing with a meat-tenderizing mallet. Think anyone will forget that meeting? Bam.

Power-Point Alternative #7: Serve Brain Food

People looking to improve their memory are encouraged to eat foods high in Vitamin E, folic acid, and Omega-3 fatty acids. So instead of donuts, serve bowls of tuna fish, spinach, and sunflower seeds at your next meeting. Your attendees’ cardiologists will thank you – and so will they, when they see how well they remember everything you said.

Further research shows that increased exercise also has a beneficial effect on memory retention, so go ahead and have that meeting at the gym, with everyone walking on treadmills arranged in a circle. Stand in the center and spoon tuna into everyone’s mouth as you give your PowerPoint-less presentation. Oh, they’ll remember it, all right.

Power-Point Alternative #8: Tell Your Story Entirely In Emoji

Many companies are pivoting to a millennial model – providing vertical assets to digital natives in a collaborative environment. Obviously, the ideal “meeting presentation” would be a Snapchat story shared with your team, but we all know there are certain fuddy-duddies who still can’t hang, amirite? So harness the power of visual stimulation to make your attendees think – which will amplify your points by requiring multiple senses to understand them.

👀 ➕🗣🔝🤔🌟

Power-Point Alternative #9: Use an Actual Slide Projector

What was more riveting than seeing Don Draper deliver an impassioned defense of the slide carousel? Everyone wants to be Don Draper. Even Jon Hamm wishes he were Don Draper, for crap’s sake. So create PowerPoint slides, sure – but then send them to an online vendor (oh, they exist) to be printed on acetate slides suitable for projection. When they arrive, call your meeting and give your presentation using your smoothest, most patriarchal tone. Then fly into a rage and shove everything off your desk because RAAR DON DRAPER!

With these amazing strategies in your quiver, you’ll be sure to hit the bullseye at your next corporate presentation. If not, don’t blame me! I work from home for a reason!

Read Amy’s bio here.

10 ideas for YouTube channels no one has thought of yet

You know what’s fun? Watching homemade YouTube videos, especially the ones that start out with someone perkily saying “Hey guys!” and then taking three and a half minutes to explain that they’re so sorry they haven’t made a video in a while.

Anyway, you’ve probably been wanting to make a YouTube channel of your own. I know I have! But where to start? I mean, I was listening in on my kids as they watched YouTube this morning, and one of them said “Wow, fur fingernails? I never thought of that!” and I was like “time to shut down the internet, folks. Fur fingernails.”

But that got me thinking. I hadn’t thought of fur fingernails, it’s true, but that must mean there are other things I haven’t thought of, and they would probably make good YouTube channel ideas! And so, with no further ado, here are my big ideas free for you to use for yourself or someone you dislike intensely.

1. A family that stops at convenience stations instead of theme parks and makes the best of it.

2. Old episodes of M*A*S*H but dubbed so that “hawkeye” is always replaced with “fanny pack.”

3. Reboxing Shopkins.

4. Beauty hacks for those retainers you used to have to wear overnight that strapped around the back of your head.

5. Game-play watch-along of me doing the NY Times crossword puzzle on a Friday.

6. An undertaker “unboxes” the stuff in people’s pockets (like a blind bag, but pants).

7. The Neener Channel: Neener neener, I have a thing that you don’t; let’s look at how great it is and how much you stink for not having one.

8. My Dog Has a GoPro: Live feed of everything my dog gets up to during the day. Like the Panda Cam, but much more banal, yet active.

9. LaproCam: A live feed of the camera-eye view of every laparoscopic surgery being done at a hospital in Nebraska that really needs cash.

10. DIY hair removal (comparing Nair, wax, and shaving) for furry fingernails.

Read Amy’s bio here. 

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Unsuccessful portmanteaux

MEMO from the International Ministry of Wordthings 
Head Minstress Amy Keyishian

It has come to our attention that many of you are overusing the portmanteau option. Please be advised that we are limiting use of the portmanteau until you all get this under control. This means you.

To review, “black” + “actor” = “blacktor.” This is the Platonic ideal of the portmanteau. It takes up less space, it is efficient, it contains no internal caps, and it is pleasing to the ear. Please note the final bullet on this list: pleasing unto the ear, fellow citizens. Ugly portmanteaux are not helpful and are therefore an abomination.

Peruse this list of verboten word combinations and consider them with sober aforethought before bandying about this most precious and vital linguistic resource.

  •      Flow + chart ≠ flart
  •      Book + club ≠ blub
  •      Chardonnay + party ≠ chardonnarty (this will get you expelled.)
  •      Party + hardy ≠ pardy  (are you kidding us?)
  •      Vaginal + atrophy ≠ vatrophy
  •      Cranberry + applesauce ≠ crapplesauce
  •      Peanut + butter ≠ peabutt
  •      Mango + chutney ≠mutney
  •      Elevator + operator ≠ elevoperator
  •      Canada + Washinton ≠ Canoshington
  •      CD + single ≠ C-dingle
  •      iTunes + playlist ≠ iTunafish  (now you’re just off the chain)
  •      Twin Peaks + freaks ≠ tweaks
  •      Palpebral + fissure ≠ palprissure

Addendum A: These are allowed only if used ironically. If we can’t detect a wink, you must rethink.

  •      Granny + panties = granties
  •      Presidential + pardon = prizzardon
  •      Hogwart + nerd = Hogwerd = HAGRID REALLY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT

Addendum B: Verboten Portmanteaux of Celebrity Couples:

  •      Jared + Ivanka ≠ Javanka
  •      Brad + Sienna ≠ Brienna (just sounds like the most popular baby name at the trailer park)
  •      A-Rod + J-Lo ≠ AJ, RodLo, A-Lo, or any other combination
  •      Kylie + Travis ≠ Kylass
  •      Dev + Tilda ≠ Dilda
  •      Rooney + Joaquin ≠ Roonaquin (willing to reconsider)
  •      Selina + The Weeknd ≠ Seliknd
  •      Ellen + Portia ≠ Ellortia
  •      Goldie + Kurt ≠ Goldirt


  •      Jenny Slate + Jon Hamm = Slamm (OBVIOUSLY HOLY GOD IS THIS A THING?!)
  •      Beyoncé + Jay = BeyJay (WHAT WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN DONE BEFORE NOW)

Please contact the ministry via owl or smoke signal if you have any questions.  

Read Amy’s bio here. 

20 things to worry about instead of that thing you’re worried about

Hey, I get it. It’s the season for worrying – meaning it’s between January and December, inclusive, of any calendar year. Fretting is a national sport lately, and for women, there’s often lots more to fret about: Will health care cover me, even though I have the preexisting condition of lacking testes? Do I make as much as a man for doing the same work? Are my kids okay? Am I pregnant? Am I infertile? Do I want kids? WHY ARE BOOBS?

Put down that chamomile tea! It’s nasty! Instead, peruse this list of alternate things you could worry about to distract yourself from your perfectly reasonable, but possibly obsessive, perturbation.

  • What if, one day, you go to pull off your sock and it’s a bag of toes because they all just fell off unexpectedly?
  • What if dogs are judging us?
  • What if autism causes vaccines?
  • Does the cheese want to stand alone?
  • Why is the middle finger the troublemaker? Is it proud of this or is it a source of shame? Does the ring finger act all sanctimonious?  
  • What if boobs are actually full of snot and every time you blow your nose you’re making them smaller?
  • What if your middle name is a lie?
  • What if Taylor Swift runs for office?
  • What if the astronauts left something important on the moon, like their credit cards or that sandwich they brought for lunch?
  • Dust mites!
  • Why is it wedge heels, not wedge toes?
  • What if Corey Feldman does a whole album?
  • Does anybody remember laughter?
  • Am I supposed to care if things make my butt look fat?
  • Why does Sam care so much whether someone likes Green Eggs and Ham? Like what’s his deal?
  • Why do spice bottles have holes too small for the spice to get through?
  • At what point do I just give up on my pinky toenail?
  • Sidewalk grates!
  • If the pointy part of a fork is a tine, and the pointy part of a knife is a blade, what is the spoony part of a spoon?
  • How did anyone figure out how to eat artichokes?

Read Amy’s bio here. 

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Wedding reception bingo

There’s a certain time in every twentysomething’s life when there are just so … many … weddings. After a while, it may seem like there’s nothing to do but get hammered and make flawed makeout decisions. Fortunately, here’s a printable activity chart for you and your other troublemaker friends, which is why you were all seated together out on the patio in the first place. Happy hunting!

Read Amy’s bio here.