“Gleefully wacky and irreverent.”

–The New York Times

“Line by line, Mr. Rudnick may be the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today.”

–The New York Times

“Deeply funny musings and adventures elevate Paul Rudnick to the highest level of American comedy writing.”

–Steve Martin

“One of the funniest quip-meisters on the planet.”

–The New York Times

“Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth (and love and great wicked humor) whom we ignore at our peril.”

–David Sedaris

“Quips fall with the regularity of the autumn leaves.”

–Associated Press

Month: June 2014

June 4, 2014

Customer Service


1. What if when calling, say, your cable and internet provider, instead of having to deal with endless recorded options, a human being answered immediately and said, “Hello, I’m the fucking incompetent idiot who works for the worst company in the world, and let’s begin this call by having you yell every possible slur you can think of, while I keep sobbing and saying, ‘You’re right, I am a fat ugly moron who doesn’t deserve to have a job.'”

2. What if, when you called any government agency to report a pothole or a missing manhole cover, whoever answered the phone said, “Hi. I know that you have a completely legitimate complaint and we both know that I’m going to ignore it. And yes, thanks to my union, I do make an exorbitant salary for the simple job of lying to you. Please feel free to picture me with takeout food dribbling down my chin, while I use my workspace computer to browse for hideously ugly, too tight clothing.” Wouldn’t the honesty of this response somehow make you feel better?

3. What if when you called a suicide prevention hotline, and poured out your gut-wrenching personal heartache, whoever answered the phone simply replied, “And?”

4. What if when you called a hotel or airline in another country, and the agent who answered the call didn’t speak English, you both agreed to jabber at each other in a third, completely invented language?

5. What if, when you called an off-broadway, not-for-profit theater company to try and find out the curtain time for a show, because for some reason the theater’s website doesn’t include such information, a recorded message said, “Oh honey, this thing is three hours of pure grad student pseudo-literary masturbation, with really long pauses and the sort of actors whom you pray won’t take off their clothes, which means of course they will. Even if you’ve already bought tickets, stay home. You’re welcome!”

June 2, 2014



A Tennessee bride has come under fire for walking down the aisle with her one-month-old baby tied to the train of her wedding gown. The bride has insisted that the baby was “awake and well-secured” and “covered by Jesus.” She also claims that her gown was designed by Vera Wang, but the Vera Wang folks immediately denied any connection to the dress.

While couples can get married in any manner they see fit, here are my questions: doesn’t this look as if the baby is trying to desperately drag her Mom away from the altar? Couldn’t Vera Wang have designed a suitably elegant Snugli? Did the baby remain in place during the reception? As the happy couple left for the airport, was the baby tied to the roof of the car?

While John and I were in North Carolina, we attended a more traditional wedding, where a terrific young couple were married in a church and held their reception at a completely charming, rambling inn along a river. The cake was delicious, and as a surprise for their guests, the couple also provided an ice cream truck. There was also a basket of flip-flops, so the female guests could change from their high heels into something more comfortable. The bride and her Mom both looked gorgeous, without anything tied to them.

One last question: with the Tennessee couple, did the bride toss the baby to her guests, instead of the bouquet? Would whoever caught the baby be the next woman to give birth a month before her wedding?

June 2, 2014



John and I have just returned from a trip to North Carolina. Our hotel was located in a “planned residential community” called Ballantyne. Ballantyne was mesmerizing. It’s only a decade or so old, but every inch of this vast Stepfordshire is coordinated and gated and manicured. It’s divided into many individual cul de sacs and hillsides and hamlets, all with Scottish-inspired names like Stonebriar and Kensington Walk and Troon. There are garden apartment complexes and estates, along with a country club and an industrial park, all in serene tones of gray and taupe brickwork. The various malls have names like Promenade Park and Edgecrest Corner. It’s like a small city entirely designed by Thomas Kinkade, the reknowned “Painter of Light”, just before he committed suicide.



The only people we saw on the immaculate, winding streets were joggers and an army of gardeners, trimming the curbside grass to a terrifying perfection. Even the cars seemed to be mandated, in tasteful silvers and creams; the rare red car, with out-of-town plates, felt like an atrocity. The stores included a kids’ wear boutique called, chillingly, Once Upon A Child, which would be a great title for either an Edward Gorey book or a Lifetime movie about some terrible case of abuse.


I’ve read that the residents of Ballantyne are trying to secede from the larger city of Charolotte, and I hope that someday everyone in Ballantyne will be required to wear matching kilts and sashes, in a muted plaid.



I completely understand why people adore living in Ballantyne; it’s safe and strict, and no one will ever be allowed to display a rusting U-Haul or a pile of tires left out in their yard. I’m sure that Ballantyne looks exactly like the original architect’s scale model, right down to the oaks and pines which resemble the perfect plastic shrubbery which surrounds model trains, or those miniature Victorian villages which can be found beneath certain rigorously decorated, artificial Christmas trees.


There were two of these arches, with carvings saluting the town. I didn’t dare walk under them, because they were obviously portals to a planned residential community in another dimension.