Tag Archives: holiday humor

Free Kindle Book: Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

Today only, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road is FREE on Kindle.  Here’s the link:  http://www.amazon.com/Driving-Wrong-Side-Road-ebook/dp/B003XVZB7A    Misadventures in travel, home repairs, and everyday life.  Makes a great gift.  Available in paperback too!





Regular Kindle Price: $2.99

Paperback: $12.95


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Family Board Games: A Holiday Hazard?

In case you’re thinking about board games to keep your extended family engaged,  this holiday season, let me share what can go wrong.


Christmas Monopoly

From morning routines to family customs, our lives are filled with rituals. I figured there was no time like the holidays to incorporate a new one into my repertoire. But trouble arrived when one of my four children suggested we add a Monopoly game to our holiday boredom prevention program.

My oldest son Ron and his wife Julie had driven into town to stay with us for a few days. Their visits, which typically last just about long enough to digest a meal, are always welcomed. However, this time they’d brought along with them the dog they endearingly called my “grandpuppy,” a wiry-haired, hyperactive mixed breed with a vision problem. To this dog, everything must look like a tennis ball—because nothing is deemed unworthy of a good chase. So as you might imagine, our two cats were nonplussed about this houseguest.  

After a food orgy that began at noon and continued well past the point of intestinal discomfort, I commenced pitching camp in front of the television. (I mean, let’s face it; there’s only so much eating you can do before every bathroom in the house is clogged.) It was time to yell, “Back away from the table, and put down your fork.”

But just as I lifted the TV remote controller, Ron blurted, “Don’t turn on the TV! Let’s all do something together. You know, like family bonding.”

First he says he’s staying for two days, and now he says, “Don’t turn on the television”? This can’t be my child.

“I know,” Ryan, my twelve-year-old, said. “Let’s play MONOPOLY!”

Ron’s face brightened. “Yeah. It’ll be our new family tradition,” he chimed.

Right then, I was glad I hadn’t followed through on selling that game in my last garage sale.

As we gathered around the family dining table with Parker Brothers, the dog and one cat joined us. Each gave the other a suspicious eye, though thus far they’d been fairly tolerant.

About twenty minutes into the game, Ron said, “Hey, Mom, I’ll give you these two blue ones for that railroad you’re holding.”

I didn’t really need what he’d offered me, but I said, “Sure,” anyway.

His eyes lit up as he snatched away my railroad card. “Suck-Er-Er-er-er!”

Okay.  This is my child.

I’d forgotten how long a game of Monopoly can last.

Ryan was the first to go bankrupt, so he moved into position to help me. Already, I’d given Ron his third of four railroads. What blunders were left?

If any family bonding was taking place, I hadn’t yet observed it. More like it was every man, woman, child, and dog for himself.

My arms vibrated from all the table shaking that Ron’s leg bouncing produced. His childhood tics had reemerged, the ones that had caused him to be sent home from school with report cards that said, “Refuses to sit still in class.” That was back in the days before Ritalin.

Next, it was my husband’s turn. He drew a Chance Card that condemned him to pay the last of his money to the remaining three players. “No-o-o!” he shouted, slamming his fist down onto the table.

The dog yelped. Then the cat, thinking she might be in jeopardy, attacked with a hiss and a few punches to the muzzle. Ryan fell out of his chair, laughing, and hurt his knee.

Julie, who was by now almost out of money, maintained a glum expression. So Ron looked lovingly into his wife’s eyes and asked, “Would you like me to give you five hundred dollars for that railroad, Hon—just to keep you in the game?”

She gazed back at him and smiled. “Would ya?”

“Of course. What are husbands for?” he gushed. Then he whisked the card from her hand and hollered, “All R-R-I-I-I-IGHT!”

 No one was surprised when eventually Ron won the game, and he was the only one who went to bed happy that night. My husband felt his position as “head-of-household” had been usurped. Julie had been deceived by her own spouse. The other children had been once again outdone by their older brother. And thanks to this entire ruckus, the dog and cat now had more trust issues than ever before.

That evening, I fell asleep and dreamed about traipsing cross-county to view exterior illumination like most normal families do.

This year, we’ll need to establish a new holiday ritual—because the most I got out of that Monopoly game was the two bucks it brought during last summer’s garage sale.

Excerpted from the book, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road, by Diana Estill.


Available in paperback and Kindle format

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Award-winning humor book now $2.99 on Kindle

I know how much Kindle owners (I’m one) appreciate a good read at a low price, so I’ve just made both my humor books available on Amazon for the low list price of $2.99.  But it gets better! Amazon is discounting Driving (not sure for how long) to $1.99!

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road: Humorous Views on Love, Lust, & Lawn Care includes tales of misadventures in travel, home repairs, and everyday life.


Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life offers wacky wisdom and advice to help conquer life’s daily annoyances. Deedee (my alter ego) explains why women won’t read maps, Bubbas build the best burgers, and wise men should never use the B-word, “budget.”  A ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist.

These titles are available in paperback too.

Thank you for checking out my books!


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Deedee Divine on Sacramento & Co., News 10

Happy to be home today! Deedee Divine made a trip to Sacramento to appear on a morning news program. See her in action here:






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How ‘Bout Some Fries With Those Fireworks?


Would you like fries with that?


When I was a teenager, fireworks were perfectly legal to own and shoot in most of Texas. Had this not been the case, there might be more wood shingle rooftops today. 

I fear I have contributed to at least a few shingle replacements, and I know I’m responsible for an entire kitchen remodel. You see, when I was a teenager I sold firecrackers, bottle rockets, and whistling chasers from our family farm located behind Southfork Ranch.

My folks didn’t seem to mind that their front porch held enough fire power to compete with the Cotton Bowl fireworks extravaganza. Probably they were just thrilled to see me earning money they didn’t have to earn first. 

Nowadays, most folks realize it’s dangerous for children to ignite pyrotechnics during one of the driest months of the year, especially in a grassfire prone state. But back then, I guess people were less concerned. Maybe they figured a burned lawn is one that won’t need mowing.

No one in my family ever caught the yard on fire. The house? Yes, but never the lawn.

My siblings and I received strict fireworks instructions from Dad. “Point the bottom end of that Roman candle away from you,” he’d caution. After I’d seen one of Dad’s errant Roman candles misfire, launching a ball of flame over my head, I really didn’t need to be told this. Being a wise older sister, I also knew to keep the designated exploding end of these fire sticks aimed away from me and towards my brothers.

Like most boys, my younger siblings could be destructive with or without fireworks. Firecrackers simply gave them more options.

Several of my Barbie dolls owe their demise to a fist-full of Black Cats. But I wasn’t terribly upset when my Barbies’ demoralizing bodies were blackened. I’d already outgrown the dolls and was yet too young to realize their future eBay values. Fortunately, my brothers never blew up anything I treasured, like, say, maybe a Tiger Beat poster of Bobby Sherman. That would have instigated the disappearance of at least three G.I. Joes.

During my youth, Independence Day was a more celebrated and dangerous time when otherwise law-abiding citizens morphed into mailbox felons overnight. Rooftops smoldered beneath rockets’ embers. Grassfires dotted roadway ditches at night. And ever so often, some hoodlum would shoot a Texas Twister into a fully stocked fireworks stand. Secretly I was enthused by the astonishing light show that typically followed.

Though I wasn’t a particularly destructive kid, while tending our family’s fireworks stand, I did set fire to the kitchen.  

This wasn’t entirely my fault. Okay, maybe I was partially responsible. All right, I flat out suffered an idiot attack.

It was July 4, the peak sales day for fireworks, and there seemingly was no end to the extent of customers who wanted to prove their patriotism by blowing up something. All morning, I’d been serving anxious buyers. My stomach ached from hunger, but the crowds kept coming. Finally, there was a break in traffic, so I raced indoors to fry some French fries. But then I heard cars arriving again, possibly ones with cute boys inside. 

Quickly I turned on a gas stove burner, poured some frozen fries into a skillet full of vegetable oil, and rushed back outside. 

By the time I remembered the skillet, it was too late.

When I returned to the kitchen, the stove was engulfed in flames. And to make matters worse, the fries were ruined.

Not long after this, my parents sold their farm, and they never again encouraged me to sell fireworks. But sometimes when I’m driving through rural areas and I spot a little fireworks stand, I feel an overwhelming urge to stop—and offer French fries.


Diana Estill is the author of Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life


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Irish lies: funny facts about St. Patrick’s Day


For one day each year, on March 17, anyone can claim to be Irish. Forget whatever your family might have told you. On St. Patrick’s Day, you’re Irish if you’ve ever worn plaid, eaten a potato, or seen Riverdance.

So how can you distinguish between those who really are Irish and those who are simply looking for an excuse to spend their day drinking green beer? Here’s a clue; if the person in question resembles a Hobbit, probably they’re a true Irishman. Ask this individual to tell you his idea of dinner and a movie. If he answers, “A six-pack of Killian’s and a Rocky rerun,” then he’s actually Irish.

I know it’s unfair to presume that all people of Irish heritage are drunk and violent. Pulitzer prize-winning author Frank McCourt wrote Angela’s Ashes, which just goes to prove that the Irish can be drunk and literary.

Here’s another fact that may surprise you. Saint Patrick wasn’t even Irish! Nope. He was born in Britain and sold into slavery as a teen. Patrick then became imprisoned in Ireland, where he was forced to work as a shepherd for six years. It was there, in the fields, during his endless hours of isolation, that he, like so many modern day prisoners, found religion.

Eventually, Saint Patrick, who was then known only as Patrick, or, by the sheep, as “the guy with the big staff,” escaped to freedom and returned to his homeland.

Now, my first question was this: Why the heck did it take a guy who was out in the middle of nowhere SIX years to escape his captors? The only explanation I can offer is that it was the sheep’s fault. They kept following him and giving away his whereabouts.

When Patrick arrived home, all fired up with Christianity and lacking a dry erase board, he began using three-leaf clovers (shamrocks) to illustrate The Trinity. This, of course, immediately caused him to be sent back to Ireland. “Hey, I think you might be on to something, here,” said his fellow believers. Greeting him in much the same way as I deal with multi-level salesmen, his kinsmen suggested, “Why don’t you go convert those pagans who enslaved you?”

Patrick returned to Ireland, where he not only preached his faith but also became a legend among rats. Yes, rats. You see, it is believed that one of Saint Patrick’s hilltop speeches was so terrifying that it drove every snake from Ireland. This, naturally, permitted rats to overthrow the previous animal administration and made possible the movie Ben.

Much Irish folklore has little to do with St. Patrick’s Day. For instance, I can find no valid support for the belief in four-leaf clover. From what I can tell, Saint Patrick had nothing to do with this idea. Quite possibly the search for a four-leaf (and thus, rare) clover was a myth originated by an intoxicated partygoer who needed an excuse for being found face-down on his lawn.

In any event, we currently celebrate the life of Saint Patrick on March 17—the date of his death. I find this strange, given that most ceremonious days commemorate a great leader’s birth. It’s apparent who’s to blame for the mix-up.

Everyone knows you can’t trust a bunch of snakes.


Diana Estill is the author of Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road, Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life, and Stilettos No More

Read more humor at www.TotallySkewed.com.



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Totally Skewed: Thoughts on Regifting




I’m fairly certain that regifting originated from the need to dispose of a fruitcake. From there it branched out and became an ideal solution for eliminating all kinds of unwanted presents. Subsequently, entire industries have suffered.

As each new recipient acquired a regifted item, he or she then was able to eliminate one cheap and thoughtless purchase from a holiday shopping list. Think of it as multi-level sales in reverse. Manufacturers were forced to produce fewer goods, which in turn led to the nation’s decline in GNP (Gross Needless Products). In fact, rumor has it that only one smoked sausage log has been made in the United States since 1978. Thus, regifting has become the bane of our economy.

If we’d all stop repetitively selecting the same purchases every year, then maybe we could put an end to this cycle of defeat. Just because every sales brochure we receive is hawking bathrobes at 50 percent off doesn’t mean that anyone really needs one. Why do you think they’re half-price and labeled “one size fits all”?

A terrycloth robe will be circulated through an entire extended family before someone donates it to the nearest homeless shelter. The same can be said for scarf and glove sets. Few Texas residents need a set of fleece-lined mitts. If you want to protect your loved ones here from harsh weather conditions, consider sending them lip balm and sunscreen.

This brings me to another ill-suited gift choice: throw blankets. I don’t care if they are camo-print or have been made from those new super-soft petroleum-based fabrics. Grandpa doesn’t sneak up on deer when he’s sitting in his recliner. And polar fleece might very well be the single greatest factor contributing to global oil shortages. Besides, nothing says “You look like a person who has no social life” better than a blanket. This, too, is sure to be passed along until it’s eventually claimed for dog bedding.

Speaking of possessions that guys don’t actually use, here’s another senseless acquisition—the auto emergency flashlight equipped with a ball peen hammer. Ladies, if the car breaks down, do you really want your man out there standing on the side of the road, fumbling in the dark, and trying to fix a vehicle with a demolition tool? And even if you are sadistic enough to answer yes to that question, that’s not how these situations typically unfold. Most men would turn on the overhead dome light, flip open their cell phone, and dial AAA.

Women aren’t the only ones who have difficulty making purchases for the opposite sex. Here’s a tip for men who are shopping for their spouses: Ladies are not infatuated with sharp objects the way you are. Don’t bother buying a knife set for your wife unless you mean to encourage sinister thoughts.

Furthermore, the cutlery industry has yet to recover from a butcher block steak knife set that someone purchased in 1982. This testosterone-laden object has since appeared at every bridal shower in the South. (Last seen, it was being offered on eBay by a seller whose name rhymes with “hobbit.”)

Finally, let me offer a few words about loofah sponges: STOP GIVING THEM TO ME!

I’m sorry. I just had to get that out.

Similar to other females, I love smelling like freesia, though I’m not sure what that is. But I don’t need a nylon scouring pad to apply my scented lotions and bath gels. These objects are fillers sold to the average consumer who believes there’s a need for all this colorful netting. Apparently, this includes most anyone who’s ever walked past the entrance of a Bath & Body Works.

While I can’t get enough vanilla scented creams and soaps, I’ve had to dedicate an entire linen closet to the storage of unused loofah sponges. The problem here is that, despite regifting, I can’t stay ahead of the influx of new arrivals.

Ultimately, regifting must be reduced to restore the financial health of our economy. The country’s GNP depends upon all of us doing our part to make better informed purchases this season.

As to what to do with your unwanted bath aids, I can only suggest upgrading your home to one that includes more storage space. Nobody needs a loofah sponge. And our slumping real estate market could use the assistance.


Excerpted from Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life, by Diana Estill.  Available now from Amazon.com.




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