Category Archives: Husbands and other Aliens

Why James Breakwell is Only Dead on the Inside

Like 982,000 other fans, I follow humor writer James Breakwell on Twitter (@Xplodingunicorn), where he tweets really funny snippets of conversations with his four daughters, ages 7 and under, who mercilessly show him who’s boss (spoiler alert: it’s not him).






… interactions with his wife,





… and his pig.







Sadly, even the pig is a girl.

So… what do you to keep your sanity when you’re the only man in a house with five women and a sow?
If you answered, “Make sure you put the toilet seat down,” you’re partly right. Breakwell, however, decided to take a different tack: he wrote a book about parenting and zombies. This is not to be confused with other books about parenting zombies. This is a book about fighting zombies as a parent, and using your parenting superpowers to make sure you don’t get eaten.

Sound like something you can relate to?

Well, James Breakwell, is pretty sure the zombie apocalypse is going to happen (hopefully before he has to pay for the weddings of all four of his daughters so he can get out of that expense), and he’s happy to share his practical and hilarious survival tips in his new book, Only Dead on the Inside. Chockfull of sage advice like “Don’t eat the family pet,” and “Don’t kill any relatives, even if they are zombies. It sets a bad example for your kids,” Only Dead on the Inside takes on the dual challenges of potty-training your toddlers and lopping the heads off zombies (yes, often at the same time).

I had a quick conversation with James (you have to make it quick when you’re talking to a guy who’s watching four little girls) to find out definitively, which is scarier, a zombie apocalypse or four girls with a jar of glitter?

Me: Zombies?  Really?

J.B.: They’re a real threat. At first, I thought I was making it all up, but then my publisher told me this book is nonfiction. Clearly the publishing industry knows something about zombies I don’t. Watch your back.

Me:  You do realize that even if you survive the actual zombie apocalypse, your girls will turn into zombies when they become teenagers, anyway, right? Maybe not the flesh-eating kind, but still somewhat frightening.

J.B.: My kids already terrify me on a daily basis.  That’s why parents will be so well prepared for  the zombie apocalypse. The big monsters trying to knock down the front door are nothing compared to the tiny monsters we raise in our own homes every day.

Me: My kids are older now, so we are well past the diaper and umbrella stroller stage. Do you think this means we are at a disadvantage in the case of a zombie apocalypse?

J.B.: To a parent of small children, it seems like the apocalypse has already started: the house in shambles, there are random screams at all hours of the day, and no one has slept in three weeks. If you’re a parent with older kids, you’ve made it out of the crisis stage, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your skills. The apocalypse is like riding a bike. Once the zombies show up, you’ll remember what to do.

Me: With Halloween approaching, how can we tell the difference between a real zombie and someone who’s just dressed up as a zombie?

J.B.: Offer them candy. If they bite your hand, they’re a zombie. Or a toddler.

Me: Are you worried that if we have a zombie apocalypse now, it could really mess up your book sales because zombies don’t read?

J.B.: If the zombie apocalypse starts now, my book will be the most read book in the world, even if only two people are left alive to read it. It’ll be a New York Times bestseller by default.


About James Breakwell: James Breakwell is a professional comedy writer and amateur father of four girls, ages seven and under. He is best known for his family humor Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, which boasts more than 950,000 followers. The account went viral In April 2016 and transformed James from a niche comedy writer into one of the most popular dads on social media. Only Dead on the Inside is out on October 10 but is available now for pre-sale at Amazon and fine booksellers everywhere. You can follow James on Twitter @Xplodingunicorn and on Facebook at


*Note: I was not paid or compensated in any way for promoting this book. I just found it hella funny and wanted to help get the word out! Okay, well, he did offer me some chocolate zombies in return, but I politely declined.

©2017, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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To become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook, Visit me here
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Filed under Husbands and other Aliens, Uncategorized

Make Like a Tree and Leave

“Don’t you love fall foliage?” A friend of mine asked as we watched brilliant leaves of red, orange and gold waft down from the trees. “It’s such a beautiful time of year.”

I rolled my eyes. I had no patience for the leaf lovers, the autumn enthusiasts, the fall foliage fanatics. I had bigger fish to fry.

I was a woman with a house to clean.

Of course there was a time when I loved the change of seasons as much as anyone else. But now that I am a mother and a homemaker, I realize that the different seasons just mean different messes in the house. In the spring, the dog drags mud through the house. In the winter we have piles of slush. In the summer, everyone tracks in water from the pool. And now that fall is upon us, I can look forward to the melodic sound of leaves crunching under my feet in the family room.

I suppose I should be more understanding of this particular seasonal annoyance considering that it is a scientific anomaly. I have discovered that my house is uniquely situated in the center of the universe so that every time the back door opens, a giant wind tunnel is created which sucks all the leaves in from the deck and spits them into my house. It is such a rare occurrence in this part of the world, that scientists have actually named it the Beckerman Freak Foliage Phenomenon.

While we are pleased to have contributed to mankind’s understanding of the forces of nature, it is mostly just a big pain in the neck. If I don’t catch the leaves and sweep them up right away when they blow into the house, they get trampled and broken into millions of crunchy little leaf pieces that get into the rug and eventually all over the house until I crawl under the covers at night and find myself on a bed of shredded leaf. While this might be fun if you’re a hibernating bear, personally, I prefer my sheets to be cottony soft and decidedly leaf-free. 

Clearly, this would not be an issue if the door remained closed. However, my family seems to be somewhat door-challenged. They have no problem getting the door open: It’s the door closing they have trouble with. And when the door is left open and that wind tunnel thing happens, we get leaf piles in the house big enough to jump in. It can get so bad, I actually consider getting a rake and a leaf blower for inside the house to get it under control.

Finally one day, I hit my leaf breaking point.

“WHO LEFT THE DOOR OPEN???” I bellowed. The dog came running.

“No, not you.  You don’t have opposable thumbs.  You get a pass,”

Next my husband arrived.  I pointed to the fresh pile of leaves that had blown in from outside.

“Hey, why are there so many leaves in here?” he wondered.

I sighed. “Remember I said when you leave the door open, the leaves blow in?” He nodded blankly.

“Well, voila!” I exclaimed sweeping my arm around the room.

“Oh sorry,” he said while I went to grab the broom and vacuum cleaner. Ten minutes later I found the door open and a fresh pile of crunchy leaves in the family room.

“Congratulations,” I said to the guilty party, who was not, in fact the dog. “You get to clean up the leaves.” I handed him a broom and left the room. Moments later a voice rang out from the kitchen.

“Hey honey!”

I returned to the scene of the crime to find my husband, the broom, the dog, and three times as many leaves on the floor.

“What happened?” I asked incredulously.

“I went to sweep the leaves out, and when I opened the door, a big gust of wind blew all the leaves back in, plus a bunch more.”

I shook my head in disbelief. Then I took the broom and stuck it in the corner.

My husband stood perplexed. “What are you going to do?” he asked.


©2017, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

bookbutton-04“Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant. Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs” makes a great gift!! To get a copy for you or a cool mom you love, CLICK HERE

To become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook, Visit me here
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Filed under Cleanliness is Next to Impossibleness, Husbands and other Aliens, This Old House