Below is a reprint of Paula Brown’s award-winning Personal Humor Column that was awarded first place in the 2016 Tennessee Press Association press awards. We are re-running it for your reading pleasure.

Life-long nemeses aren’t just for Superheroes or Tom and Jerry. I actually have one. The problem is, my nemesis lives with me every minute of every day. I can’t shake it even if I tried. We regularly argue and seem to have different agendas no matter what the situation is.

Planning Meals

Me: I should probably make a list and figure out what to make for dinner this week.

Brain: Yes! This is my specialty. Open Pinterest. Make a spreadsheet. No, a chart. Let’s start with some Chicken Piccata, don’t forget the capers. Sundried Tomato Pesto with homemade pasta! Oooh we can do a pizza night, homemade dough, of course. An easy night would be good here, let’s just do some grilled burgers with homemade sweet potato fries. Homemade chicken tenders, the kids will like that, with some fresh veggies of course. Oh! And I’ll make a bundt cake, too.

Me, when it’s time to make dinner: Can I put capers in the crock pot? Oh, there are some meatballs in the freezer! You want dessert? I think we have some saltines.


Brain: I’m so tired, can barely function, sleepy time.

Me: Ugh, I know, it’s been the longest day, this is the most comfortable bed! I can’t wait to sleep forev…

Brain: Hey, did you close the garage?

Me: Yes.

Brain: Did you turn off the lights upstairs?

Me: Don’t care.

Brain: Hey, remember that kid in 6th grade that wrote that nasty thing in your yearbook? What was his name? Larry. Larry something. What was his last name? Larry Larry Larry… Oh, speaking of 6th grade, do you remember that stupid outfit you used to wear, the one with the leg warmers? Remember that show you used to watch? The one with the girl from that other show. What was her name? Better look on IMDB right now to find out. Oh, I didn’t know she was also on that show…what was that other guy’s name? I wonder what he’s doing now. Google it. Google it. GOOGLE IT OR YOU’LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.

Me, 3 hours later: Why am I reading about 11th century Chinese foot binding?

Brain: Crazy stuff, I know. Hey, I bet you can find full-length episodes of Punky Brewster on YouTube.

Me: On it.

Planning Christmas

Me: Yay! Time to start getting ready for Christmas!

Brain: *faints, recovers, turns into Will Ferrel in Elf* Christmas! Christmas! Make lists! Buy all the presents! Kinetic Sand, you say? That’s a great idea! The kids won’t make a mess, they will only play with the magical sand in the designated sand areas for easy clean-up! Same for Plah-Doh and art supplies. Toy sets with 84,000 pieces will not be a problem, silly, we will just get some storage containers and label everything, easy peasy. Wrapping will be done whilst sipping on coffee and listening to Christmas music, it will be the best day ever! Don’t forget all the pretty ribbon, presentation is half the gift. Now, go buy a few dozen containers to put home-baked goodies in for friends, neighbors, teachers, and coworkers. And cards! Cards with our picture in coordinated outfits! Something special for dinner, we need to make memories! This is going to be a piece of cake this year, see, all it takes is a little pre-planning and organization.

Me, when it’s December 20-23rd: Fuuuudge, I was supposed to make something to put in all these containers. I could microwave some popcorn, sprinkle some red and green sugar on it, perfect. SAND?! SAND AS A PRESENT FOR YOUR CHILDREN?! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?! Where are those ugly stick-on bows? Meh, nobody does cards anymore anyway, I’ll post a cute picture on Facebook. Hey, do y’all want pizza or chili dogs for Christmas Eve dinner?

Paula Brown is a mom of two, writer, and is already regretting at least 90 percent of her Christmas purchases. She can be reached at

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