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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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Filed under Husbands and other Aliens, Uncategorized

Killing it in the Kitchen

“Show me your spatula,” ordered my friend Hildie as she stood in my kitchen with her hands on her hips.

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” I replied.

“Show me your spatula,” she repeated, ignoring me.

“I’m sorry, but I just don’t think I know you well enough to share something so personal,” I responded.

She reached behind my back where I was hiding my spatula.

“THIS IS YOUR SPATULA?” she gasped as she peered at the undersized plastic utensil she had grabbed from me.


“Where did you get it? An Easy Bake Oven set?”

I guffawed. “No!” I looked at the sad little excuse for a spatula. “I’m pretty sure it came with a Happy Meal.”

She shook her head at me. “I can see we have a lot of work to do.”

The work in question, was me, in my kitchen, cooking. Or rather, not-cooking, which was my problem. My friend Hildie was there to rescue me from myself, turn me into a world-class cook, or at least make sure I didn’t burn down the house. This is her business… helping moms with little time and few skills become moms who can whip up delicious, nutritious dinners that everyone in the house will eat. She is really, really good at this and has a wait list a mile long for desperate moms, like myself. But she decided to take pity on me and bump me to the top of the list after I undercooked something and gave my family food poisoning.

In my defense, the meat thermometer was broken and the food looked done. Or at least done-ish.

The first thing on her to-do list was a pantry and utensil assessment.

“If you want to be a good cook it helps to have good cooking tools,” she told me.

“I have two hammers, a wrench and a screwdriver,” I informed her.

“Not the right kind of tools,” she assured me.

We quickly discovered that, in addition to my sorry excuse for a spatula, I also had the wrong kind of whisk, lousy knives, and a twenty-year old blender that I also used as a juicer, a food processor, and a Play-doh mixer.

“You made PLAY-DOH in here?” she asked incredulously.

“No! Not made. Mixed. We only had blue and yellow and we needed some green, so we mixed it together in the blender. But that was at least 10 years ago so I’m sure it’s all cleaned out by now.”

She sighed. “Buy New Blender!” she said, adding it to my master kitchen purchasing list.

Next she opened my pantry and jumped back in fear.

“When was the last time you bought new spices?” she asked, holding up an ancient jar of cayenne pepper.

“What was the year that ‘Rock the Casbah’ was popular?” I asked. “I think I was listening to that on my walkman when I went shopping for spices.”

“Buy New Spices!” she said, adding it to my growing kitchen purchasing list.

She peered into the pantry again. “… And balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and chicken stock,” she continued, looking at the expiration dates on those bottles, wincing, and throwing them in the trash.

“Good news, though!” she said to me dryly. “You have plenty of macaroni and cheese.” She pulled out four cartons of mac and cheese from the pantry. “Were you expecting an instant mac and cheese-loving crowd to drop in unexpectedly?

“Hey, that stuff is great,” I said proudly. “It doesn’t expire until 2045!”

“Yeah… I’m not sure I would want to eat any food that could outlive me,” she said.

Once we established that I had nothing in the house that was edible and nothing to prepare my non-edible food with, we rolled up our sleeves and got started cooking.

Fortunately, I had filled out a pre-questionaire so, knowing that I had some deficits in certain areas, Hildie had brought some supplies of her own.

“You take this simple grilled chicken and you add pesto and fresh mozerella and it is just YUM!!” she declared.

“Ooh. Ooh! I have some pesto mix in my pantry!” I shouted gleefully.

“Mix?” she said in horror. “No mix! We’re going to make it fresh!”

“I don’t have to raise my own chickens, do I?” I wondered.


“OK. Just checking.”

We pounded chickens, seasoned them, made up a batch of fresh pesto, sautéed some portobello mushrooms, layered it all up and added the mozerella on top.

By the time we were done I could make shrimp oreganata, chicken quesadillas, chicken pesto paninis, and turkey bbq meatloaf. I learned the difference between virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (which shockingly, has nothing to do with virgins). I was instructed how to crush dried herbs in my palm to release the flavor, and scores of other cooking secrets that only Hildie and Wolfgang Puck knew. In three hours, I had become a cook.

And I didn’t even burn the house down.

But I did singe the dog’s tail a little.


©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
To follow me on Twitter, visit me here


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