Hello, patrons! It's the time of the year where we tabulate our most-read articles of the past year. We'll countdown the full list on the Tendency between Xmas and New Year's. Until then, we're offering a Patreon-exclusive peek at some of the pieces that have made our "Top 19 of '19", along with micro-interviews with their authors.
- - -
by Liz Alterman
Published September 2019
1. Reaching for your wallet at a farmers market.
2. Waving to your neighbor on your way to yoga.
3. Gesturing wildly during an argument with your spouse over which Property Brother is which.
4. Elbowing your way to the front of the free-sample line at Costco.
5. Bending over to admire a bulldog in a stroller.
- - -
On the inspiration for the piece...
Sadly, I was inspired by hurting myself simply by sleeping or attempting to carry a semi-full basket of groceries to the checkout counter. Last year, I talked to my aunt for about 45 minutes on the phone and unwittingly kept my shoulder in the same position the entire time. I had a stiff neck for about a week, and that's when I realized it was all downhill from there. Now I daydream about abducting a team of chiropractors and keeping them on-call in my basement. I'm probably just a few weeks ago from having to wear one of those lampshade dog collars.
On the writing/editing process...
I wrote this over the course of a day. I started it in the car. My husband was driving, and he's a really tough audience. (He can watch an entire Seinfeld episode without even smiling). So if I got a laugh, that "injury" made the list. Then I polished it up the next day.
On the audience reaction...
I'm thrilled that so many readers responded to the piece because it made me feel like I’m not the only one experiencing these calamities. It took on a delightful misery-loves-company joie de vivre that I never anticipated. I loved reading the comments and learning that I wasn’t alone in becoming old and decrepit — especially as I'm staring down 50. Shout out to that person who hurt themselves bending over to retrieve an English muffin. I feel your pain — literally.
A few of Liz's favorite humor pieces of 2019:
- Eli Burnstein's "75 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Peanut Butter"
- Kate Herzlin's "I Don't Know Who Needs to Hear This"