- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"She's like a modern-day, southern-fried Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry."--Booklist
Aimed at anyone with a funny bone, these all new stories and essays by Gannett-syndicated columnist Susan Reinhardt tackle domestic life, particularly of the Southern persuasion, with sidesplitting observations and searing confessions. Reinhardt candidly lets readers into her world as she goes mano a mano with her Bubba of a ...
"She's like a modern-day, southern-fried Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry."--Booklist
Aimed at anyone with a funny bone, these all new stories and essays by Gannett-syndicated columnist Susan Reinhardt tackle domestic life, particularly of the Southern persuasion, with sidesplitting observations and searing confessions. Reinhardt candidly lets readers into her world as she goes mano a mano with her Bubba of a husband--and occasionally her mother. From discovering she's getting a dreaded "front fanny" to revealing her husband's experiments with a Norelco shaver and their Pomeranian pooch, Reinhardt scrapes bare the bedrock truth about married life and love. She also poignantly shares her struggles with a depression that secretly plunged her downward and her reaction to the unexpected helping hands that pulled her up. Totally uncensored and blisteringly honest, Reinhardt is all heart--and a storyteller to savor and remember.
"So engaging. . .so honest. . .will make you laugh out loud."--The Asheville Citizen-Times
"Like hanging out with your bluntest, most mischievous friend, the one who never fails to crack you up." --Chicago Sun-Times
"Funny and touching. . .Reinhardt is not afraid to put it all out there."--The Pilot (N.C.)
"Susan Reinhardt takes the naked, honest truth and sets it on fire in a blaze of laughter. . . will have you holding your sides the whole time." --Laurie Notaro, Autobiography of a Fat Girl
"She can break your heart in one sentence and leave you laughing till you're breathless in the next." --Julie Cannon, True Love & Homegrown Tomatoes
Susan Reinhardt is a syndicated columnist and feature writer whose work has appeared all over the world in major newspapers such as the Washington Post, London Daily Mirror, Newsday, and other Tribune Media and Gannett publications. Reinhardt has won dozens of awards for her writing, including several Best of Gannett honors and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. A long-time volunteer fund-raiser for Hospice, the United Way, the American Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, the PTO and other worthwhile and not so worthwhile causes, Reinhardt is also a proud member of the Not Quite Write Book Club, a group of ten women who drink wine and pretend to act literary. A true Daughter of the South, Susan Reinhardt was born in South Carolina, was raised in Georgia, and currently makes her home in Asheville, North Carolina, the jewel city of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She has two adorable children and still calls her mama every night.
Virginia is for Lovers ... and fools like me.
My very first national book came out a couple of springs back, and I was to fly to Richmond, Virginia, to promote it, staying at the ultrafancy Jefferson Hotel, a five-star place nothing like the Econo Lodges I have always found pleasant enough or the Motel 6 where I'm almost certain my son was conceived, bless his heart.
Days prior to my departure, I read up on how to give the perfect book signing. When you're new at this type of thing, you want to make sure everything's perfect. This is your chance, your one shot at the big leagues, and if the author of How to Climb the Bestseller Ladder: The Secret Is Grooming and Hygiene tells you to chew 60 Tic Tacs before opening your mouth, well then, you'd better damn well do it. If they say body odor will send potential customers flying out the doors, then, by God, you wear out a stick of Secret Solid. Whatever you do, the author warns in giant letters: DON'T BURP OR FART. Well, okay, she says, "DON'T ALLOW BODILY EMISSIONS TO HAVE FREE REIN."
I had a friend who swears on a stack of Bibles she was at her favorite author'ssigning and the writer continued, quite unabashedly, to fart herself into a cloud of sulfur, sending customers fleeing for the door.
For this first book-signing adventure, I packed two sticks of deodorant, half a dozen boxes of Altoids, those "curiously" strong mints that could kill small animals, and lots of perfumes and lotions. I was going to smell so good, for heaven's sake, that everyone would want my book.
First, though, I had to prepare mentally, remembering the few grouchy-faced people during my public talks over the years, to discuss life as a columnist. I also knew that a tour in various cities, which included air travel or being in the car with Mama, would require medication or else ... Well, it'd be ER time. I would hit the floor, crack open my skull and never again write another book.
I rushed to the doctor, in need of something to calm my nerves. "They can be so mean, a few of them," I explained as I beseeched the old doc wearing his white coat and stern expression. "The rest are wonderful. You know how it is giving speeches. You try to pretend they're naked and then you wonder how big their willies are and all of a sudden you're getting hot in the face and the old heart does the long jump from its anchored position and death is imminent. It's not easy, so please help me."
He exhaled with that "Oh, no, not another premenopausal, crazy-ass woman," kind of sigh.
"Have you tried therapy?"
"I'm 40-some-odd years old, Doctor. Don't you think I've been in therapy before? Listen, I've got to go on about sixty radio shows in one month because publishers don't have the money to put unknown authors up in fancy hotels but once or twice or pay for national tours. I have to talk live on the air. I have to drive and deliver funny speeches even when I have PMS and Mama wants to come along. You don't understand. She hoops and yells and bangs on the dashboard, thinking my every vehicular move is going to end in death."
He raised his brows and clicked on his computer. I liked it better when docs didn't have computers. I knew what he was typing: neurotic woman in need of behavioral therapy.
"What are you wanting?" he asked, smirking.
"Drugs," I said. "Nerve pills. I have a ... well ... a heart condition. Just ask the Rotarians. I once passed out and-"
"Heart condition, you say?"
Click, click, clickety-clack. I'm sure he typed in, Woman is probably wanting Percocet and making all this book shit up. Maybe she's going to cook up some meth in her doublewide. Note to self: do a police background check.
"Have you tried any of the antidepressants?" he asked.
"All of them."
Peck, peck, tappety-tap. Woman is candidate for thirty to ninety days in the ward.
"Look, I wanted to be a writer so I wouldn't have to face the public. In my job, you just sit down, eat a bunch of junk food and type. You don't have to be witty or answer fastballs those morning hosts hurl. You wouldn't believe what happened on this one show that goes to 450 stations across the country."
He attempted a strained grin and squirted antibacterial foam on his hands. I guess he thought I might not only be crazy but infected with tetanus, too.
"I'm on the air, and it's like, 4 AM Eastern time, and this woman gets on with me and starts talking about ... about ... Please, Dr. Popper (yes, his real name, poor man), I need some medicine. I'm having palpitations. I can't do this. You don't understand. I passed out once talking to the Lions or Rotarians, I forget which, maybe both, and had to lie down like a dead bug."
Tap, tap, tappety-tap. Refer woman to mental health facility ASAP.
He quit typing and faced me with eyes the color of nails. "What happened on the radio?"
I decided to go ahead and tell him so I could get medicine in case of future shocks that could cause a gal's heart to go into a series of preventricular contractions Oprah says could very well be caused from hormones and perimenopause. You gotta believe Oprah.
"Well, I had all my notes spread out on the bed. See, you can do most radio interviews in your pajamas and have bad breath and no one knows, which is great. You don't even have to brush your hair or teeth. But this woman, she ... she ... Well, she decided to ask what I thought about the latest in plastic surgery."
"And why's that so bad?"
"She was referring to the beautification of one's ... you know ..."
"No, I don't know."
"The ... well ... you see ... umm. Privates. I couldn't do a thing on the show after she said that but hack like a cat with a fur ball. Please, help me."
"What kind of beautification of the privates?" he asked.
Damn Dr. Popper, the Perv.
I decided to shock him. "Anus bleaching. Labia reductions. Possum perfecting. That type thing."
A genuine, though faint smile was forming across his face as he typed in a prescription and told me to come back when May was over. I'm sure by then, he'll have a commitment order for a mandatory stay at the Haven for Mentally Exhausted and Completely Insane Working Moms.
Once I got to Richmond, I began enjoying a few perks of being in a five-star hotel, such things as being called Mrs. Reinhardt as if I was someone special and a driver to cart my fat ass around any time I wanted, plus luxurious sheets with a 5,000 thread count when mine at home were 250 polyester Wamsutta specials.
The woman who'd interviewed me for an online magazine, Libby McNamee, was a doll and fetched me for the signing at Fountain Bookstore in historic downtown Richmond. First, we went to eat Mexican and I was happy I had brought all those Altoids. I went to the restroom and forgot to squat over the toilet but sat smack down on the lid, right into a lake full of piss.
My legs and thighs dripped with someone else's pee-pee and there wasn't a single sheet of toilet tissue in the joint. I started shaking and shimmying like Shakira, that pop star, and had no choice but to hoist up my fine slacks and hope for the best.
By the time we got to the bookstore, I was sweating, and remembered I'd forgotten to put on deodorant. And then the most unmistakable stench rose up I'd ever smelled: tee-tee. Old lady, old man, nursing home, wet baby-diaper PISS. I smelled like the forgotten bedpan. To top it off, my armpits reeked like a basketball player's after two overtimes and my breath was like an old garbage can's. Where was my perfume? Where were the breath mints? Help. Help! I dug and dug in my purse since I suffer from PDD-Purse Digging Disorder-of which there is no known cure.
I had, in my panic to speak in a town where I knew no one but an old boyfriend who had dumped me in college, forgotten Rule Number One in How to Climb the Bestseller Ladder: The Secret Is Grooming and Hygiene. I looked around the little bookstore bathroom in search of anything that would make me smell more human and less roadkillish.
In a box in the corner was a spray bottle of Glade and on the counter a can of Lysol. I pulled down my damp pants and undies and sprayed my ass with the stuff, all but yelping the burning was so intense. For good measure, I grabbed the Lysol and used it as deodorant. As for my oniony breath, I squirted Dial antibacterial soap on my tongue and had a flashback to being 6 years old and Mama catching me saying, "Shit, shit, shit" while putting on a pair of socks, then getting out the soap to teach me a lesson.
When it came my time to speak, this first-ever book tour talk in front of a live audience, complete with a radio crew from Public Radio South recording it for stations all over Dixie, I was ready. It didn't matter that people were coughing and wrinkling their noses, plenty of them sneezing and wondering why the room smelled like a nursing home disguised in every spray available.
Poor sweet Libby. After the reading and speech, she told me how swell I did.
"People really seemed to respond," she said. "They were on the edges of their seats sniffing all around like dogs."
"It's my Glade and Lysol perfume," I said. "Would you happen to have a piece of gum? I swallowed some orange Dial and-"
The owner of the bookstore, a sweet woman, came toward me with a gift bag. Inside was a bottle of K-Y Warming Liquid. Jeez. Not only do I smell like a nursing home, she must think my va-gee-gee is as dry as an 80-year-old woman's.
It was the new "warming" kind, too. What a doll. Whew. Glad that one was over. I just wonder why they never aired my talk on the radio, but I think I have a good idea.
Atlanta and the Dumpster
Next big stop: Atlanta, Georgia, with my mama, Lord have mercy. This was where I'd attended college and was booted from my sorority for being so danged wild and nonconforming. I knew all those Tri-Delts would come to my alumni signing to see how fat and ugly I'd gotten while they'd whittled off the college and postpartum fat with Atkins, lipo, tummy tucks paid for by their doctor, banker, tycoon husbands.
Sugar pies, I was right. There they were. Skinny, rich and adorable Atlanta women and I was in a chunky stage with lots of hanging arm fat.
It all started because my last book gig ran up a big ticket, so the publisher gently suggested I might want to pay for this Atlanta University of Georgia Alumni appearance out of pocket and stick it to Uncle Sam next April.
Mama and I were pinching pennies and eating KitKats, her favorite candy bar that she takes everywhere, even to church and funerals. The hotels in Buckhead, Atlanta's ritziest section where I was to speak in a big, fancy tower, were priced in the triple digits and the traffic a nightmare. We tried one hotel, then another, and weren't about to pay $300 for seven hours' sleep, a few tubs of cereal, a pot of weak coffee and turn-down bed service with a single square of chocolate. We could do our own bed turning and stick a giant KitKat on the pillow.
We whipped the car around and decided to try some hotels along Buckhead's outer edges. Things are always cheaper on the perimeters. "Let's try that place," I said, steering into a darling stucco-style hotel that is part of a huge chain of affordability, comfort and great reputation.
We figured this place would provide shampoo and a hair dryer in the bathroom, a pot of coffee and a continental breakfast in the morning. Instead, we walked directly into a lobby and nearly fainted, inhaling that unmistakable odor of vomit and tee-tee. Croaker's Rest Home smelled better than this.
Mama, eyes like a lizard's, rotating and rolling around and surveying the stinky lobby, reluctantly handed over her Visa and vital information and took a rusting key from the manager.
A bad vibe encircled us, floating over our heads, entering our bloodstreams and causing our poor hearts to pump and palms to sweat. Men began appearing from nowhere, as if they walked like ugly, whiskery Caspers through the walls. I am talking about mean, unkempt, festering men. I decided to tell a lie so we wouldn't be robbed, shot or raped in the middle of the night.
"We're only going to be here two hours," I said, so the old goats wouldn't break into our room and kill us as we slept. The clerk raised his eyebrows, and winked knowingly. Why is he winking that way? I wondered.
He gave us the key to the back of the building where all these burned-up and rusted cars were parked. Every vehicle appeared to have been pulled from flames or a junkyard. We opened the hotel door and, lo and behold, the beds weren't made and lady-of-the-evening paraphernalia was strewn everywhere. Six suitcases lay open, and spent condoms littered the filthy carpet while empty cans of Colt 45s and cigarette butts weighted the fake-wood furniture. There wasn't a soul in sight.
Mama screamed as if someone had stabbed her. Her eyes popped and I saw more white than I knew was humanly possible, while her jaw fell to her collarbone.
"We may not be rich, but this is NOT us. Run! We are hightailing it out of here."
We all but sprinted to the lobby, fumes of that drug- and sex-drenched room still in our noses and clinging to our skin. At the front desk, I was gleefully telling the management we weren't about to stay in such filth, but, "Thanks for your kindness, and we are sure you spread out a great continental breakfast all the same."
Mama whispered in my ear. "The only thing spread out here is legs," and I just prayed no one heard her.
While chatting with staff and his various staph infections, I was trying to get our hot Visa out of his eager hands when Mama snatched the card and dragged me by the forearm and pushed my fanny toward the car. We flew so fast out of the lobby our suitcase wheels sparked as they hit the asphalt.
"They think we're prostitutes," she said, locking the car with the click of a button and a huge sigh, deciding she'd drive this time. "This is what's known as a Hooker Hotel. We just didn't know it because we aren't locals." She stared at me, then fell over laughing, as she is prone to do.
"They think what? Did you say hookers?" We were both wearing normal, nonhoochie-mama clothing and looked like Sunday School teachers.
"Susan, didn't you see all those men flocking around while we were checking in and asking us where we had dinner appointments? Those were the old geezer johns the hotel sent our way."
I thought about this and realized that, Lawd have mercy, my mama was right: we were presumed to be hos.
"They think we're a kinky mama-daughter act," she said, burning rubber and squealing from the hotel on two wheels. She pulled off the main road a few blocks later and made an announcement. "This is where we'll get ready for your big event." She cut the ignition and I realized we were in one of Buckhead's finest alleys and parked right next to a green Dumpster.
"There's a lot of five o'clock traffic and plenty of people will probably see us, but that is better than the alternative, right?" she asked, unwrapping a KitKat and telling me to go first while she would be the Look-Out person and warn me when to cover up any naughty bits.
Let me tell you, there's something about being buck-naked in Buckhead that is almost as frightening as entering a Hooker Hotel. I stood scared to death, bare-assed and trying to squeeze my front and back fannies into a girdle no bigger than a tube sock while Mama hollered that a BMW full of men in business suits was coming our way.
"HIDE!!!!" she yelled hysterically.
"Open that trash can door and jump in. It's better than them seeing your possum, isn't it?" This was her pet name for vagina. More on that later.
Well, no, it wasn't. I could not face those Tri-Delts if I was both FAT and smelling like two weeks of rotting garbage.
Sometimes, it's best to be naked in broad daylight behind a Dumpster than in a hotel where the geezers assumed we were hookers.
Sometimes, life offers us only two choices. And we'd made ours. This time, I had perfume and Altoids, plus a stick of Secret Solid.
Hollywood and the Mee-Maw Panties
This is not happening. It's not. Really, it can't be.
Oh, no, no, no. I think it is true. I've gone through the scenario dozens of times, and there's no getting around it.
The ONLY pair of Mee-Maw drawers I own-and I borrowed these from Mama-are missing. I'm talking about the world's ugliest and most gigantic pair of once-white, now-gray, great-granny panties are AWOL, which also stands for Absolutely Wickedly Offensive Ladieswear.
Excerpted from Don't Sleep With a Bubba by Susan Reinhardt Copyright © 2007 by Susan Reinhardt. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted May 3, 2007
It's that IT thing for which all humor writers pray ... the ability to be naturally funny, no matter what. Lucille Ball had it. Carol Burnett had it. Erma had it. Susan Reinhardt has it, bless her heart. Her first book, 'Not Tonight Honey: Wait Till I'm a Size Six' was silly and hilarious and at times raucous and rowdy. I giggled my way through. Thinking I was in for more of the same with her new book, 'Don't Sleep With a Bubba,' I could hardly wait to wrap myself in some good ole down home humor, Reinhardt Style. She did not disappoint. Here's the kicker: she also exposes a vulnerable side of herself that has been hidden within the folds of laughter for way too long. Writing openly and honestly about her Achilles' heel, she even finds bits of humor in her darkest nights. In three chapters, she takes off her clown mask and becomes human, giving depth and insight to the entire book. Susan pokes fun at herself throughout. She still blames BIB 'Bitch in a Bag', the name she gave her uterus for making her go 'crazy as a shot cat.' Her mother is liberally sprinkled throughout and is always a delight. Her kids and her husband dive often into the wacky world of this writer. The chapters are filled with prose that comes straight from the author's heart and funny bone. Oh, heck. I don't want to spoil it for you, so go on and buy Susan Reinhardt's terrific new book, 'Don't Sleep With a Bubba ...Unless Your Eggs Are in Wheelchairs.' You're gonna love it, bless your heart.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.