The Onion Presents A Book of Jean's Own!: All New Wit, Wisdom, and Wackiness from The Onion's Beloved Humor Columnist

The Onion Presents A Book of Jean's Own!: All New Wit, Wisdom, and Wackiness from The Onion's Beloved Humor Columnist

by Jean Teasdale

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A few words from the author and eponymous columnist behind The Onion's column, “A Room of Jean's Own,” Jean Teasdale:

Hi Jeanketeers and Jeanketeers-to-be!! As The Onion's very own Humor and Human-Interest columnist, I've been entertaining readers for 15 years with kooky tales of life with my hubby and our two feline children. Now for


A few words from the author and eponymous columnist behind The Onion's column, “A Room of Jean's Own,” Jean Teasdale:

Hi Jeanketeers and Jeanketeers-to-be!! As The Onion's very own Humor and Human-Interest columnist, I've been entertaining readers for 15 years with kooky tales of life with my hubby and our two feline children. Now for the first time, li'l ol' me shines front-and-center in a book of my very own! A Book of Jean's Own! features all-original, never-before-published material, and if that wasn't impressive enough, marks the very first Onion book by a solo writer! Historical, huh? My book is sure to find an eager audience among The Onion's ten-million-strong readership. Wait, ten million people? I had no idea! Frankly, that scares me a little. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto! (Oh shoot, I should have put that hilarious phrase in my book!)

A Book of Jean's Own! also marks a departure from past Onion books in that it isn't crammed with headlines and articles in teeny-weeny print! Instead, I write about the stuff that really matters: shopping, chocolate, part-time jobs, and hot Hollywood hunks! Whether you read my book on the bus, the beach, or the toilet, you're guaranteed to find something to chuckle at and deeply relate to!

Among the many nuggets of fun:

* I tell you the Twenty Things That Are Better Than Sex!

* For the first time ever, you learn my maiden name!

* I spill the secrets of my scrumptious chocolate-loaded desserts, such as Ooey Gooey Choco-Cocoa-Mocha Cupcakes With Raspberry Filling And Coconut-Cream Cheese-Cola Frosting!

* Acquire valuable, real-world tips on coping with a job you dislike, getting through those rough teenage years, and styling a Jean hairdo of your very own!

* Get a giggle out of my doodles and overdose on the words of wisdom that are my Jean Proverbs!

* You've heard of pity parties—get my tips for throwing your very own self-pity party!

* Check out my own cure for the blues, the Plush Jamboree!

* Witness my nervous breakdown while writing this book (well, writing is hard, after all!)

* Also for the first time ever, Hubby Rick speaks! (Spoiler: It's not entirely in grunts!)

* Lots of exclamation points! (And phrases in parentheses!)

I'm sure every single one of those ten million readers will buy my book! And who knows? They just may find something in it that will help them lead happier and better lives! 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The first in what is presumably a series of releases from the Onion's fictional columnists gives Jean Teasdale (Maria Schneider), a Midwestern housewife with a soft spot for chocolate, cats, stuffed animals, and exclamation points, plenty of room to expand and expound on life, work and marriage. Readers familiar with Teasdale's trademark optimism and folksy wisdom ("When life hands you a yeast infection, make BREAD!!") will find more of the same here in this collection. Whether she's shopping for bargains on snacks and corn-shaped corn cob holders at Dollar General, ghostwriting her cat's diary ("It's 3 a.m. A few minutes ago, I just coughed up a hairball the size of a snow globe on the bedroom carpet…"), or giving tips on throwing the ultimate pity party, Schneider is consistent down to the doodles that have graced many a pre-adolescent's notebooks. Schneider mostly keeps the parody above-board, keeping Teasdale sympathetic but not pathetic, and contributions from "Hubby Rick" like "Things I Have Burned" enable Schneider to expand the limited Teasdale universe. Still, a little goes a long way. Rabid fans will devour the wit, but those with a passing interest, or less, will likely be disappointed. (Oct.)

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St. Martin's Press
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A Book of Jean's Own!

A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Wackiness from the Onion's Beloved Humor Columnist

By Jean Teasdale

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2010 Onion, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-5182-1


I'm Jean Teasdale, and I Have a Funny Way of Looking at Things!

Aren't introductions awkward? Don't get me wrong; I love meeting people and making new friends. I'm the type who will start up a conversation with a total stranger in a waiting room, a laundromat, an all-you-can-eat buffet, a movie theater, a juror room — you name it! However, when it comes to written introductions, I'm at a bit of a loss. For one thing, they stink! They sit there like bumps on a log and cry out to be skipped over. Intros just stall you from getting to all the fun action, the real meat of the book. Plus, they can be a real rhymes-with-witch to write! After all, how do I sum myself up in a few words, especially given the vast and colorful tapestry that has been my life?

Should I call myself an average, humble homemaker who lives at 1567 Blossom Meadows Drive, Apartment 4B? I could, but it would mean leaving so much out, because this homemaker has worn many hats in her day. It's true: If you live in my area, you've probably known me at various times as your supermarket cashier, your drugstore cashier, your liquor store cashier, your truck-stop waitress, your bowling-alley shoe booth clerk, your junior shampooist, your assistant florist-trainee, your soft-serve ice cream server, your advertising-flyer deliverer, your discount clothing-store sales associate, your indoor flea-market vendor, and your data-entry clerk. You may also know me as one of the Pamida's best customers. Or you may know me as the woman who dresses up in bunny ears every Easter and waves to cars from the balcony-porch of her apartment. For it's true, I am all those things.

I'm also known as the wife of a Mr. Richard Teasdale, better known to readers of my column as Hubby Rick. While I hold down the fort, Rick works full-time at a tire center. I guess you could call Rick my rock. Actually, Rolling Rock may be more accurate! Because he drinks a lot of beer, get it? (See how this is a humor book?) Rick and I have been together nearly twenty years, through thick and thin and good days and bad. I ask you, how many shotgun marriages can say the same? Sure, neither his dad nor my mom were thinking much about the long term when they caught us making whoopee in the back of Rick's rusted-out Chevy Luv in the Jewel parking lot all those years ago — they just wanted to make an honest man out of him, at least until they could talk the church into an annulment. But I guess Rick and me are like two old shoes — except I'm a fuzzy slipper and Rick is a steel-toed boot! Whatever our differences, I can't imagine being with anyone else. It would take heaven and earth to pry this ring off my finger — well, maybe just Dean Cain! (Hubba hubba!)

Sadly, I can't say that I'm a Mommy Jean as well as a Wifey Jean. Personally, I think being a mother is the greatest job on earth (personal shopper is a close second). But something's always been in the way — namely, our tummies!! Just kidding ... well, kind of. Rick's boys swim, there's no doubt about that — it's just that they seem to prefer pickling in Coors than baking in my toasty little baby oven! Anyhow, never say never — there's still plenty of ticking left in my biological clock!

The other grand passion of my life (it may be my only grand passion) is that delectably sweet, rich, brown food of the gods that has for so long served as my muse, savior, and midday snack: yep, none other than almighty chocolate! I shudder to think of a world without it. I love all kinds of yummy chocolate concoctions, many of my own invention! Ooey, Gooey Choco-Cocoa-Mocha-Mint Raspberry Cupcakes with Coconut-Caramel Icing, anyone? Then again, I'm the type to get a contact high from a discarded Hershey's Kiss wrapper! With chocolate, who needs marijuana and cocaine? Actually, lots of people. Still, I'll take a chronic addiction to chocolate to a semi-truck full of OxyContin any day! (I am also extremely addicted to coffee.)

For many women, marriage, chocolate, and an endless string of part-time jobs would be fulfillment enough. Not for me, though. Years ago, I realized I would need something more. I had always loved to express myself through writing, whether in my diary or compositions at school. (True, I never did better than a C-plus in English. But I still think it was the heart in my work that mattered most, less so spelling, grammar, sentence composition, choice of subject matter, and ability to stay on point.) With writing, I could be totally honest, sincere, and original 'til the cows came home! And because I did it in my spare time, I didn't have to worry about parents, siblings, stepsiblings, aunts, uncles, teachers, priests, den mothers, bosses, or classmates peeking over my shoulder and "correcting" me. It was not only tons of fun, but more therapeutic than getting massaged on a fluffy cloud by a giant teddy bear! (Well, almost!)

Hand-in-hand with the writing comes something very valuable. Without it, my career would be a total wash. Not only am I a writer, there's another Jean you should know about: Jean the kidder. Yep, I'm a bit of a card — let's just say my funny bone takes up most of my arm! For example, how many people would ever think to wear a round red clown nose at their job? This one would! It's stuff like that that sets me apart from the crowd. Of course, I'm always asked by my supervisor to take the nose off, as it supposedly "bothers" the customers or makes my fellow co-workers "uncomfortable." And I comply, but hopefully I've planted the seed in people's brains that life need not be so serious. (You're welcome!)

Even if I can't always express my sense of humor in public, it's far too good to keep to myself. So long ago I decided to join it with writing. I'm rarely without my notebook and something to write with, usually a six-color pen. (And yes, I use all the colors, even the hard-to-make-out orange!) Besides the crazy circus that is my life, I write down my thoughts, observations, or whatever darn thing that enters my head! Sometimes, when I'm on a real tear, I fill page after page. Does that happen to other writers? I'm not sure, but surely it must. I have heard of "writer's block," though. Not to brag, but I've rarely experienced that. I guess I must have some kind of God-given gift for putting pen to paper. And I'm not even counting margin doodles. I should have entered this book-writing business a long time ago.

You might not think that everyday life would provide any inspiration at all, but believe me, it does! Take my household clutter, for example. Boy, if that mound of laundry and old Good Housekeeping magazines could talk! (Actually, it has, and it's told me, "Feed me some more of those yummy tube socks and profiles of Kelly Ripa!") From "cultivating" science experiments in the fridge, to hunting for buried treasure between my sofa cushions (so that's where my iron and ham sandwich have been all this time!), my columns have shown that humdrum home life can be anything but! I don't limit my observations to the confines of my one-bedroom apartment, however. For example, ever notice that trying on clothing can itself be very trying? And did you know that the only thing I've improved on with age is aging? Oh, and men! Don't get me started! Pair this with my incredibly rare female perspective (seriously, there are not enough gals out there telling it like it is!), and you get literary dynamite! Sure, maybe you uninitiated aren't used to a sassy mama dishing it out, but if I don't do it, who the heck will?

For me, laughter and life go hand in hand — and if you have a life like mine, you need all the laughter you can get! See, I'm the type of person whose parking place gets stolen; who receives her order last at every fast-food joint she goes to, even if it's just a Pepsi; whose umbrella blows hopelessly inside-out the second she steps outside in the rain; who gets the evil eye from her fellow co-workers when she forgets to bring in a snack during her assigned snack day; who tears out the seam in the posterior of her leggings when she tries to wrest two carts apart at the supermarket; who gets the antenna broken off her car at least twice a year ... shall I go on? Okay! I'm also the one whose microwave implodes when she's nuking some much craved-for cheese nachos, and who, when she wears a button-down shirt, doesn't notice her middle button has been open all day, revealing her bra and cleavage to all the world!

Once in a while I get asked, with all the crazy stuff that happens to me, why don't I just dig a grave and lie in it? Well, I suppose I could, but it wouldn't really work in my favor, would it? I'm a firm believer in the notion that, if life gives you lemons, throw them out and make Crystal Light instead, because who needs the extra calories?!? See what I'm driving at here? It feels better to laugh at life than to cry, so why not opt for giggles rather than sobs? And if you're still not sure how to go about it, hopefully this book will show you.

I guess I'm just a daydreamer at heart, thinking of what should be rather than what is. It's true: If I'm doing something, chances are I'm thinking about something else entirely different. I'm not content to satisfy myself with the immediate present, because let's face it, reality is strictly for the birds! I do a lot of reflecting. You name it, I've probably reflected on it. Sometimes I just get lost in the unnoticed beauty in the patterns of ceiling tiles. I admit that this has sometimes gotten me in trouble at jobs. (A word of advice — never daydream and laminate at the same time!) Hubby Rick once asked me if there was some such thing as remedial special-ed classes for adults, because I could sure use them. (Hardee-har-har, Rick!) Well, call me a flake or a ditz all you want, but none of us were meant to be machines, and I firmly believe that if people were more in touch with their inner imaginations, they'd be a lot happier!

And think about it — maybe if there were more people like me, the world would be a lot easier to live in. True, we'd have to expect things like getting fired a lot from jobs, or accidentally tripping and falling over toddlers at the park, or losing teeth at our friend's wedding, but we'd greet it all with a wink, a smile, and a wistful sigh. And of course, if there were more people like me, there would be fewer people unlike me who think people like me are completely out of our minds. Another plus!

So shrug off your cares, relax, and pamper yourself with this book! You deserve to!


Don't Worry, It's Not THAT Kind of Book!!

Folks familiar with my column in The Onion are probably more than just a little stunned to see this. Yep, folks, it really is yours truly, Jean Teasdale, with her very own book!! Now, now, I know what some of you are thinking: "A book? Yeccch!" Well, let me put your fears to rest right away. Just because this book has lots of pages doesn't mean it's some boring old wordy slog. Not at all! In fact, you have my personal guarantee that what you're holding in your hands is highly readable and relevant — no War and Peace here! This is something I'd pick up at a bookstore without hesitation, and I am extremely selective! (Seriously — aside from the occasional self-help guide, Redbook, and mass-market paperback with an embossed butterfly on the cover, I'm a very tough sell on reading material of any kind.)

Having written for The Onion for twenty years (I started my career when I was a toddler! Ha!!), I've developed a pretty good sense of what my readers expect from me, and that is to laugh their cares away as they wrap their Snuggies close around them and savor their morning French vanilla coffee and chocolate-raspberry danish. You don't read one of my columns to be weighed down with a lot of unbearable emotional baggage — right, veteran Jeanketeers? I say, leave the drama to the daytime soaps — they pull it off better, anyway.

What's more, with this book, I've mostly done away with that "sequence" thing that often makes books a tedious pain to read. I'm not one of those snobby authors who expects you to read their books left-to-right, cover-to-cover. You can flip around this thing and read middle parts and end parts and it won't matter. You could even save this part for the very end and you won't really miss anything. Don't you love that? In a sense, the way I've structured my book is more realistic. Life is more like a series of little moments than big things that continuously happen and lead to something grand. When you experience something, it doesn't necessarily mean you've reached some kind of ending or resolution. Sometimes several things can happen to you at once, and none of them lead to anything permanent. When something happens to me, it's not like I sail off into the sunset. Usually it just means that I have to get up early the next morning and go to work. I suppose in a way that could be sort of an ending. But even so, an ending doesn't last forever. Inevitably something happens after the ending, even if it's a whole lot of nothing. Okay, end of profundity! This is supposed to be a lite read, after all! Anyhow, as I said, skip around to your heart's content.

On top of its universal accessibility, this work of art is a humor book, too! But just so there's no confusion, my Jeancadets-in-training, this is all 100 percent squeaky-clean humor. I don't like the type of joking that hurts people. Life is too short to be mean-spirited. For example, I don't like humor that makes fun of people's appearances. As a woman of enhanced poundage (to put it in a classy way for once), I know what it's like to be the butt of mean jokes. I also never understood why some folks find it so funny when something nice is wrecked or someone gets hurt. What's so funny about taking a pie in the face? Besides being a waste of a scrumptious treat, cream and meringue in the eyes could potentially damage your eyesight. If I saw someone slip and fall on a banana peel, I would like to think that, instead of laughing my fool head off, I would immediately come to that person's aid, or possibly dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone if the person was seriously injured, making sure to not move him (or her) and placing a blanket or coat over the victim so he (or she) does not go into shock. Of course, try telling all this to one of those cheap radio "shock jocks" — you know, that guy (never a gal, if you've ever noticed) who loves to offend and humiliate people he doesn't even know. Well, those folks can have their bikini babes and gas-passing sound effects and seven-figure salaries. At least I have been given the unique opportunity to show people how humor really should be done: gently, easygoing, and 100 percent ridicule-free! (Well, okay, I admit I come down on Hubby Rick a bit. But he deserves it, as you'll see.)


Excerpted from A Book of Jean's Own! by Jean Teasdale. Copyright © 2010 Onion, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.

Meet the Author

Jean Teasdale has been The Onion's resident humor and human-interest columnist since 1990. In addition to writing, Jean has held over 35 part-time jobs, and has been fired from over 30. She has been married to tire technician Richard "Rick" Teasdale for nearly 20 years. Jean resides in the Midwest, where she pursues many varied interests, including collecting figurines, making ghosts out of facial tissue, and testing out many "As Seen on TV" products.

Jean Teasdale has been The Onion's resident humor and human-interest columnist since 1990. In addition to writing, Jean has held over 35 part-time jobs, and has been fired from over 30. She has been married to tire technician Richard "Rick" Teasdale for nearly 20 years. Jean resides in the Midwest, where she pursues many varied interests, including collecting figurines, making ghosts out of facial tissue, and testing out many "As Seen on TV" products.

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