50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays: Leanne Shirtliffe

Each week, I ask someone interesting a question at least tangentially related to the subject of humor and request that she/he respond in 50 words or less.

Or somewhere in the ballpark of 50 words. That’s why there’s an “-ish.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this site isn’t exactly a bastion of rigidity.

Leanne ShirtliffeToday, I’m excited to be joined by Leanne Shirtliffe, author of Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to my Kids (Skyhorse, May 2013). She also writes funny stuff for The Huffington Post and Nickelodeon’s humor site, NickMom.com.

Besides birthing twins, Leanne has chased transvestites in heels, won a caber toss championship, and silenced crying children by sneezing like Donald Duck. When she’s not stopping her children from licking frozen flagpoles, she teaches English to teenagers whom she says are slightly less hormonal than she is. Leanne lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, because she likes complaining about the weather. You can read more about her misadventures at IronicMom.com.

In case I one day become a parent myself, I had to ask her:

In addition to reminding their kids not to lick the minivan, what other life lessons must parents be careful to impart?

Besides convincing your spawn not to lick random objects and feet, parents must be careful to impart the following three lessons:

  1. When your kids ask for a pet (which they will), offer them half a hamster. If they can keep it alive, they get the other half.
  2. Bribe your offspring so that they floss and brush for three days before going the dentist; then they won’t have to lie when asked about oral hygiene.
  3. Keep a vegetable tray in your fridge; if other parents drop by, it’ll look like your kids are getting a balanced diet. If the tray is moldy, claim it’s a science experiment you’re doing to supplement your children’s education.

Not only is this all extremely helpful, but No. 2 seems to be an equally useful move for us adults. I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Big thanks to Leanne for stopping by this week. Next Friday, I’ll welcome in Jeff Somers (@jeffreysomers), author of the Avery Cates series of Noir-SF novels as well as the novel Lifers.

Interested in being featured in “50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays” or know someone who should be? Let me know.


  1. Pingback: Funny Stuff in Other Places | Leanne Shirtliffe ~ Ironic Mom

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