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The Call of Target’s Toilets

Do You Know About The Bull’s-Eye’s Bathroom Phenomenon?

A dozen years ago, despondent at the dearth of a Target in our town, I scrawled out a joke petition to bring the all-providing Bull’s Eye to Santa Barbara and emailed it to friends. Just for cackles ’n’ snorts. Turns out the entreaty expressed a longing that was shared deeply — and widely. Friends sent it to friends, and within a few weeks it had amassed thousands of local residents’ signatures, including the mayor’s.

For years after, developers tried in vain to bring a Target to town. This year, at long last, we finally get one! Well, we get a quarter of a normal-sized Target. Locals are all asplutter over the traffic and parking snarls they’re sure the store will spawn. And those of us who make pilgrimages to our merchant mecca in neighboring counties wonder how a 32,000-square-foot retail space can hold all of the throw pillows, jaunty Panama hats, diabolically soft jammies, decorative storage solutions, pink kettlebells, Boho goblets, chunky espadrille wedges, and Soap & Glory face masks with which a modern woman likes to deliriously overstuff her red shopping cart. How, I ask you!?

Even so, there’s another important issue that’s being overlooked as we ponder our new Target, and I want to call developers’ attention to it before construction begins: the bathrooms.

Continue reading The Call of Target’s Toilets

Raising a First-Person Shooter

‘Fortnite’ Video Game Blowing Holes in My Anti-Gun Policy

The hypocrisy of my life is corroding my insides, and confession is the only cure. Outwardly — in dinner conversations, on social media, at girls’ nights — I go all frothy-mouthed about gun control, all soapbox-y on the nefarious NRA, all high-horsey over our nation’s sick obsession with firearms.

But in a dimly lit corner of my home, probably even as you read this, my sweet 12-year-old son who still orders off the kids’ menu is entertaining himself by assassinating animated strangers with a digital assault rifle — the very weapon now dominating public debate.

Continue reading Raising a First-Person Shooter

Theater Kids Save the World

Drama Class Prepares Students to Lead a Revolution

Everyone who’s been to high school knows it: Jocks top the student hierarchy. They earn the yearbook’s Most Popular designations and dictate, by their mere arrival, where the coolest after-prom parties are.

But when a group of outspoken, articulate, enraged students galvanized the nation after last month’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it wasn’t a pack of athletes. It was a ragtag troupe of theater kids.

Continue reading Theater Kids Save the World

Speaking with the Enemy?

Chatting Up Christian Gun Owners ‘The Benham Bros.’

So this week I reached out to a pair of Jesus-preaching, evolution-denying, gun-owning abortion opponents to see if we could find common ground. And guess what? We’re precisely as different as we think.

Continue reading Speaking with the Enemy?

Rooting Against Your Kids

Yes, Sometimes We Do Want Them to Fail

There’s tough-love parenting, and then there’s just “tough luck, kid!” Wisconsin GOPSenate candidate Kevin Nicholson got a heaping helping of the latter last week when his Democrat parents each donated $2,700 — the maximum amount allowed by law — to support his opponent’s campaign. Which is bound to make Easter dinner exceptionally awkward.

But it got me thinking about the times I’ve rooted against my own kids, and whether it was the right thing to do. Since, you know, they’re not even Republicans.

Continue reading Rooting Against Your Kids

My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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