People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges

by Jen Mann


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345549839
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/09/2014
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 296,296
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

In addition to her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Jen Mann has also written for The Huffington Post, Babble, Circle of Moms, and CNN Headline News. She was voted one of Circle of Moms Top 25 Funniest Mom Blogs for 2012 and 2013 and chosen by the same site as one of the “Most Influential” bloggers. She was a BlogHer Voice of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and was a finalist for two Bloggies in 2013 (Weblog of the Year and Best Parenting Weblog). In 2012 she self-published a debut collection of essays, Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat. She lives in the suburbs of Kansas with her husband (aka “the Hubs”) and is the mother of two children, whom she calls Gomer and Adolpha on her blog. She swears their real names are actually worse.

Read an Excerpt


My parents. Seriously, who spells their kid’s name “Jenni” with an adorable i? I guess they never expected me to be a doctor.

Anyone who thinks I really named my kids Gomer and Adolpha. Their real names are actually worse.

That one guy who sits in the middle of Starbucks yelling into his stupid Bluetooth about a bullshit quarterly report. We all hope you choke on your latte.

Extreme couponers who hold up the checkout line over thirty frickin’ cents. I’m mostly pissed off because I always forget my coupons at home.

People who treat their pets like children. No further explanation needed.

Anyone who feels the need to bling her washer and dryer. I blame Pinterest for this shit.

The guy in front of me at McDonald’s the other day who asked, “What’s good here?” Even the guy behind the counter didn’t know how to answer.

Humble braggers. If you have something to brag about, then just own it.

Anyone who names their kid after a Kardashian or a Twilight character. Trust me, no one believes that you just “thought up” the name North on your own.

Moms who tell me my life would be so much easier if I implemented “systems.” Oh, fuck you.

People who tell me not to swear so much. Oh, fuck you, too.

People who think this book might be about them. Don’t be so vain. You’re not the only asshat I know.

You’ve Got Mail!
Believe it or not, I’m happily married to a guy who doesn’t mind the fact that I’ve never set foot in a CrossFit class and that I own “good” Crocs and “bad” Crocs. He overlooks my unfortunate shoe choice and I don’t mind that he follows me through the house flipping off lights to save money or gets his hair cut only when he has a coupon.
I know right about now you’re feeling some twinges of jealousy. You’re thinking to yourself: “That sounds like a match made in heaven!” or “How do I catch a guy like that?” Well, let me tell you how we met.
In 1996 or so, I bought my first home computer. It was some sort of IBM product. If I was some weird computer nerd, I would be able to tell you all about the ROM and RAM this machine had. All I know is that it was black when every other model was off-white. When I was perusing models with the sales guy who was blathering on and on about what it could do, all I could think was how much better the black would look in my home office than the ugly off-white. I’m that kind of nerd.
I needed a computer because I was going to write a novel, you see. Ha! I’m still stuck on the first sentence: It was a dark and stormy night….
I got the computer home and unpacked it and found that it included a disk, or was it a disc? I can’t remember. Anyway, it was for a free trial of America Online. Remember AOL? I’m sure the Internet had been around for years at that point, but I’d been at school in Bumblefuck, Iowa, where I barely had phone service, let alone Internet, and as I stated above, I was not a computer nerd (just a regular nerd), so I didn’t know what the hell AOL was exactly. I read the description and decided I should try it. For someone like me, who really couldn’t comprehend the Internet, it sounded like the perfect introduction.
I hooked up my computer, plugged it into a phone jack, and went online for the first time. These were the days of dial-up, so I’d log in and send AOL off to find an open line, and then I’d have time to get some dinner, put on my jammies, and maybe even throw in a load of laundry before I’d hear: “You’ve got mail!”
AOL was so smart. Even the first time I logged in I had mail. It was just a welcome letter from them, but it was still mail and I loved to hear that voice announce every time I logged on. It was like crack for me. I was hooked. So long, social life!
Ha! As if I really had a social life to lose! In those days, I was living on my own and working at a shitty job. Most of my friends were married at that point and I didn’t feel like being a third wheel. My life was pretty much: get up, go to work, come home, watch whatever crappy show was on TV (this was before DVRs, so you had to watch whatever was on plus the commercials—it totally sucked balls), and go to bed. Get up the next day and repeat.
I quickly discovered that many people went on AOL to “chat.” There were tons of chat rooms to choose from based on your interests. Everything from dog grooming to knitting to S&M. You could also search through profiles to see who was online and send them an instant message (IM) to see if they wanted to chat privately.
For the first few weeks I would jump around from one chat room to another. Every time you entered a chat room somebody would IM you with “a/s/l?” That’s douchebag-speak for age/sex/location. The hard-core douchebags would add “What are you wearing?” to the list. The annoying thing was, all of this information was in my profile (except my attire), but those dipshits were too lazy to look. It just seemed so show-us-your-tits to me. Ugh.
As soon as I’d enter a chat room, I’d get bombarded with IMs asking me my age and location. I was very popular, and I couldn’t figure out why, because this had never been the case in the outside world. I’d reply, and then half the time the next question was: “What are you wearing?” I didn’t know enough to lie, so I’d reply: “Sweatpants.” My chat partner would go silent. Not the answer they were hoping for I guess.
I tried a local chat room a couple of times. Supposedly everyone in that room lives in the same city, and you go there mostly to hook up with local strangers. It creeped me out, because I didn’t like the idea of “running into” someone I might actually know. I could just see my neighbor IMing me, “a/s/l/naked?” The guys in the local rooms also put a lot of pressure on you to meet IRL (in real life), so I tended to stay away.
I liked hanging out in the twentysomethings room, which was full of, well, twentysomething people from all over the world. Most of the people in there were cool and they never asked me if I was naked or if I wanted to meet IRL. I spent many evenings chatting/typing with people.
One night I entered the twentysomethings chat room and I received an IM from a guy who asked my name and age. Ugh. Can’t you read? I thought. But instead I told him, “Jen, 24.” I waited for “What are you wearing?” but it didn’t come. Instead we had a really normal conversation. Well, as normal as a conversation can be when you’re typing to a stranger halfway across the country. He told me his name was Ebenezer. He was a year older than me and lived in Queens, New York, and had just graduated from NYU’s film school. We chatted about movies and current events and made each other laugh. A lot. He was really funny and dry. Sometimes humor is hard to convey when you can’t hear the tone, but I totally got his sense of humor.
He especially made me laugh when he asked about my screen name.
Ebenezer: Tell me about your name.
Jen: My name? I dunno. My parents gave it to me.
Ebenezer: No. Not your real name. Your screen name. It’s … interesting.
Jen: It is?
Ebenezer: Yes. I’m curious about it. How did you come up with it?
Jen: Well, I’m a writer, you know.
Ebenezer: Yes. You mentioned that.
Jen: And names are very important to writers. They give them a lot of thought.
Ebenezer: Did you give your screen name a lot of thought?
Jen: Of course! (I didn’t want to tell him, but I thought my screen name was extremely witty. I had worked very hard on coming up with an excellent screen name.)
Ebenezer: So, how did you think of it?
Jen: Well, I used my name: Jen. Duh.
Ebenezer: Duh.
Jen: And then I incorporated my [at that time] favorite book: Douglas Coupland’s Generation X. Remember, I told you I think he’s a genius and totally the voice of our generation. He just gets us. Y’know? (On a side note, I just Googled Douglas Coupland to make sure I was spelling his name correctly, and holy hell! He is an old man. Am I that old? Shit. We are so damn old, Generation X!)
Ebenezer: Yes, yes. Maybe one of these days I’ll finally read that book.
Jen: OK, so I took Jen and Generation X and I wanted my screen name to be JenX. Get it?
Ebenezer: I think so. Is it like Malcolm X?
Jen: Nooo, silly!
Ebenezer: LOL. J/K.
Jen: I’m Jen. I’m Generation X. I’m JenX.
Ebenezer: OK, but that’s not your screen name.
Jen: No. Because AOL said JenX was already taken, so they offered me Jenexxx. I was disappointed I was late to the name game, but then I decided AOL’s suggestion was perfect.

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People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
2.5 stars I had never heard of Jen Mann before I read People I Want to Punch in the Throat. The book apparently shares its name with Mann's blog, and it reads as a collection of loosely related blog posts. While I was amused at times by some of her anecdotes, I did not find it laugh out loud funny, and I certainly would not compare Mann to Erma Bombeck as some commentators have done. Mann's humor lacks broad appeal; because most of her posts/chapters center around her husband and young children, they do not create that "I've been there" moment which is critical for this type of written humor to succeed, for either non-parents or those, like me, whose children are long grown. The measure of a successful blogger-turned-book author is how much the book makes me want to check out the blog; with Mann, I felt no such desire. Readers looking for a comedic blogger whose style has successfully transferred to book form would be better served by looking for Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half. I received a free copy of People I Want to Punch in the Throat through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
JillianReadLoveBlog More than 1 year ago
Ok, so I love Jen Mann. If you don’t know of her, or her laugh-so-hard-you-snort blog, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, then I am here to introduce you to some of the funniest and most real parent and life posts you will ever read. No really. And if you do know of her, high-five! Her newest book, People I Want To Punch In The Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges, touches on all of the joyous *heavy on the sarcasm* wonders of being a suburban mom in the prim and proper Pinterest age….and it is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Question: Have you ever left your house in pj’s to drop a kid off thinking no one will ever see those pj’s, only to find out you HAVE to get out of the car and parade your pj clad self into the school? -OR- Had to suffer through a playdate chatting it up with a mom who, under any other circumstances, you would never want to associate with for even one tenth of a nanosecond, but because your kids are friends and you HAVE to stay through the playdate you’e stuck with said parent? -OR- How about dealing with those obsessive parents, living vicariously through their kids to make up for all that lacked in their own childhood?  They are gems…. I see you nodding after reading those questions and that’s exactly why you need this book. Not only does Jen write her completely relatable experiences, but she writes with such snarky comedy genius that you can’t NOT laugh. I mean I annoyed the hell out of my poor husband while reading this because I would be reading, start laughing, shove the book under his nose and say: “read this! It’s just like *censored to save face with my friends and neighbors*!”. And guess what? He thought it was hilarious, too! But aside from the hilarity of this book, is that fact that Jen puts it all in perspective. Life, kids, parenting, suburban society, the pressures of raising kids in an age where Pinterest makes you feel like a slacker every time you log on…. all of it. She makes us realize we aren’t alone in this craziness and that it’s ok to take life with a grain of salt. It’s ok to not want to suffer through a play date or not want to spend 6 months crafting dat and night for a kid’s birthday party. It’s ok to head out without makeup on and in your bunny pj’s. It’s ok to want to punch people in the throat! So while this book is a break from my normal genres, I will always pick up a book written by Jen because she reminds us that life isn’t perfect and you may as well have a good laugh along the way! Thanks Jen, you freaking rock and I love ya lots!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended for mothers with small children
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her blog is fuuny, this book very dissapointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptionally funny, irreverent, pulls no punches, and shows no mercy. Jen Mann dares to say what so many of us think every day about all those idiots that drive us crazy, but don't have the nerve to say out loud.
mamie52 More than 1 year ago
Not as funny as I had anticipated, but it did have a few good chuckles. I did identify with some of her frustrations.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Jen and I could be friends.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Her humor is spot on when you are trying to navigate a cake sale or the home room mom. Laugh out loud funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jen Mann is hilarious, short, and doesn't like to wear pants.
sharonka322 More than 1 year ago
Okay, let’s face it, that title is FUNNY. And when you find yourself away at 2 am with no chance of falling asleep, you look for something amusing to entertain yourself. I found this book. Piece of advice, don’t try reading this book while your husband is trying to sleep right next to you. Best get up and go into the living room. There are several times you will laugh out loud. The book is a series of short stories inspired by Jen’s blog about parenting and the fun associated with raising kids. From class mothers, to soccer games to garage sales, every story is told in a way that you end up nodding, having experienced the exact same situation. I’m not going to spoil the stories, but am going to suggest you read this on a day you are too exhausted to think, home sick or just wondering what is motherhood all about. Some stories are better than others, but then again, some moments in life are better than others. I liked it.
samalama143 More than 1 year ago
Hi-larious!! A fantastic! funny as book! READ IT!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love every page of it and couldnt out it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many humorous books written by female authors and NONE come close to this. Joan Rivers last novel doesnt hold a candle to this. Im anxiously awaiting ANYTHING else written by Jenn Mann. Im sad im done with this, as it is dead on accurate.
hanbridturner More than 1 year ago
I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy this book out of my need to read something different and a horrible case of reader's block. It turns out that I made the perfect choice! This book is downright hilarious and a super quick read. It's easy to get lost in the weird situations and relationships  of suburban life the author shares with us, and this book constantly reminds you of just how crazy people really are. As to why I gave this book four stars--this is not the fault of the book or author. It's my fault; although I loved reading every chapter, there were a lot of things I couldn't relate to simply because I'm a) a lot younger than the author, b) only recently married and c) don't have kids. But that didn't make the book less enjoyable for me, and I still recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel like i could have written this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and am absolutely dying, I'm certain that Jen is my spirit animal. Also, as a non-Kansas City dwelling Kansas resident, I would like to thank you for confirming every stereotype ever about Johnson County dwellers. Don't mind me while I buy the rest of your books and read all 300 of your blog posts and then cry when I run out and have to wait for new material.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely hilarious
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book because i had tons of conections to it exept for i dont have kids or a partner because im only 11. Can you beleive that? I was suprised how similer we were. I find it creepy, aspeshly since shes wwwwwaaaaaayyyyyyyy older than me. But i guess thats okay. Well, aaa, im goning to stop typing now since my arms starting to hurt, and i supose this isnot helping, but acculaly my arms feals better, so i could just keep this up and make this dddddddddddddddddddrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggg out, but really i only like to do that when i have to write 10 paragragh essays. Do you really think this will drag out for ever, if so your rite in a way, but in a way your wrong because my arms getting tired agen. Sssssssoooooooo read this book, dont litter, and save water, espeshilly if you live in CA, and no that does not mean canada it means californai. Oh and if you play transformice freind me, my user name is "Snuferfuses" spelled exactly as its spelled back there just with out the quotashins. BYE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been following Jen Mann on her blog and absolutly adore her. She make me laugh hysterically! She say's exactly what I am thinking but am usually to timid to say! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great, funny, easy read! Hilarous and true!