Perils and Pitfalls

Welcome to the Wild Side

Flower Monster and the Winter of Discontent

I believe in monsters.

Always have. Always will. When I was a child I even proved the existence of monsters. It wasn’t easy. The casualties included my mother’s foot and my father’s sanity. But it was worth it. Monsters do roam the land, seeking human prey. This is the story of how I proved monsters exist.

Continue reading “Flower Monster and the Winter of Discontent”


The Bulging Groper

Eight and a half years ago my parents decided I needed a job.


They thrust a stack of job applications into my hand and demanded that I fill them out. Unfortunately for me, all the applications they gave me were for retail jobs. What started that unhappy afternoon turned into an unhappy eight and a half year stint in various retail jobs. I was yelled at, mocked, belittled, spat upon (long story) and had creepers talk my ear off in the parking lot.


I quit retail four months ago and I will never go back. I’ve had many stories I have been waiting to share once I couldn’t get in trouble by my bosses anymore, so I present the first in a possible series: ODE TO THE RETAIL WORKER. Today’s installment?


It was a dark and stormy night…. Continue reading “The Bulging Groper”

Jessica and the Neurotic Volcano God

Normally I am quite good at keeping the crazy hidden.

I said normally, not always.


The crazy is always bubbling there, just out of sight behind a thin veneer of normality. Every once in a while, though, someone or something causes my inner demons to come roaring out in a glowing blaze of insanity.
This is one of those times. Continue reading “Jessica and the Neurotic Volcano God”

The Sunday School Psychopath

Dedicated to the Bishop Green and the Logan YSA 49th ward: Thank you for putting up with my unnecessarily dramatic lessons each Sunday.

We have a lay clergy in the Mormon church. This is great-it allows any member of the church a chance to serve in some capacity. Everyone in the ward is usually given a “calling,” a responsibility to do something or serve someone. It usually works just fine. It does have a few flaws, however. One of those flaws is me.
It is well established that I have a bit of a megalomaniacal streak in me. It has been said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In my case it was the mere proximity to power that did me in.

Continue reading “The Sunday School Psychopath”

Horses, Homicides and the German Tactical Gene

Once upon a time, my dad decided to get a horse.


We don’t call him George. We call him Mikey. Frankly, we should call him Satan, for that is his real master.

Continue reading “Horses, Homicides and the German Tactical Gene”

The Soccer Star Fiasco

I have never been particularly athletic.


I tell people it’s because I’m short and skinny and therefore never had a chance to break out and shine on a playing field. I can then infer I WANT to play sports, but sadly cannot. “If only I hadn’t inherited such poor genes,” I wistfully sigh, a tear running down my cheek. “But alas, it isn’t to be.” This helps me keep a shadow of masculinity, though it tends to engender unwanted pity.


I am of course lying. I despise sports. I would prefer books and epic fantasy genres any day of the week.


As with any deep and abiding abhorrence, there are many reasons why I do not like sports. But what follows-from when I was seven years old- is a big one. Continue reading “The Soccer Star Fiasco”

The Parable of the Apricot Tree

NOTE: This is a guest column by my mother, renowned Dr Pepper connoisseur Lisa Larsen. The pictures are, as usual, actual photographs of the events described.

When we first moved into our current home, we had a large yard. However, with just three sickly exceptions, there were no trees on the lot. Having grown up in a yard with many trees, and missing the shade they provided, my husband and I immediately began to rectify this situation. Over the next few years we planted trees of all kinds: Slow growing, fast growing, fruit trees, and all the shade trees I could get my hands on.


I knew that I wouldn’t have shade right away, but looked forward to the trees growing more and more each year.
Though my current home wasn’t very far from where I grew up, the soil and climate were quite a bit different, and year after year, one after the other, most of the trees died. After getting better educated on what would grow in our yard, we planted trees better suited for the soil and began to have some success.
However, it was a long time before any of the much sought-after shade could be enjoyed, and there would have been many hot, shade-less summers except for our lone apricot tree. Continue reading “The Parable of the Apricot Tree”

Uncle Curtis’s Toilet Tips

I am the oldest child in my family. Sometimes this went to my head.
I am also the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family. My parents, being young and inexperienced when I was born, tended to…overreact.
That doesn’t even touch the moments of immense pride my parents had in my every accomplishment, however small. “He said ‘BA BA BA!” my dad giggled once at my grandma’s. “Isn’t he so funny?”
My aunts and uncles quickly wearied of this acute case of New Parent Syndrome. While others muttered darkly in the corner for fear of upsetting my mother, Uncle Curtis boldly decided to strike back. Continue reading “Uncle Curtis’s Toilet Tips”

The Day I Discovered I am not Marriage Material

Young single Mormons are heavily encouraged to date as often as they can in order to get married. This can make things…awkward.


One day I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to silence the critics concerned for my immortal soul and “put myself out there,” as my Mom is so fond of saying. I wouldn’t rely on relatives to set me up! I would find a girl by myself!
My ward was planning a trip to Bear Lake. I went. I was hoping to impress the girls with my suave sophistication. It would be perfect! I could get a girl, fall in love and STOP THE ENDLESS SETUPS. In the end, I went home with nothing but sadness and sunburns. Continue reading “The Day I Discovered I am not Marriage Material”

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