* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we think so highly of your intelligence that we simply assume you know what "twee" means (hint: it's British for sickeningly sweet). Now that we have that out of the way, put yourself in Paula Lynn Johnson's capable hands.

I Want To Be Your Twee Girlfriend

By: Paula Lynn Johnson

I want to be your twee girlfriend! For Valentine’s Day I’ll knit you a pair of fingerless mittens and send them to you with a bouquet of chocolate lollipops shaped like squirrels. We’ll put on matching aprons and make hot cocoa and drink it out of our sweetly ironic Care Bears mugs. Then we’ll get out our ukuleles and croon soupy love songs while my rabbit, Boopsie, snuggles at our feet.

Let’s be a twee couple! Let’s take photo-booth pictures wearing those whimsical fake moustaches I crocheted! Let’s adopt a hedgehog and name him Prickles and dress him in a teeny-tiny bow tie (or maybe an itsy-bitsy tiara)! Let’s bike through the park — me perched on the handlebars of your vintage Schwinn, the wind rippling through the ripples of my very ripple-ly mermaid-hair. We’ll picnic on cupcakes and blow dandelion wishes and search for clouds that remind us of woodland animals. Then we’ll go back to my place and you’ll throw me down on a stack of toadstool-shaped cushions and make passionate-yet-impish love to me.

And then we’ll take a bubble bath and play some indie pop and…Wait. What? What do you mean you don’t think this is working? But of course you’re “precious” enough, silly! You’re precious to me!

Seriously, I don’t get where you’re going with this. I’m too “cutesy” for you? But I’m not cutesy. I’m a beautiful sprite with a heart full of candy-colored love-sparkles that I will shower down on you if you’d just stop being so difficult. How can you say we have no connection? You liked that tee-shirt I got you, right? The one with the badger wearing the monocle and the top hat? What do you mean you’re not that into woodland animals? Everyone’s into woodland animals! They’re goddamned adorable! Just like me!

Stop right there, mister. Where do you think you’re going? You can’t just ignore me. You can’t just walk away. Because if you do I will destroy you. So help me God, I will rip your gonads off and replace them with the pair of felted wool acorns I just bought on Etsy. I will tear you a new asshole with my ukulele, then stuff that same asshole with a hedgehog, a bow tie, and a very large, very pointy tiara. I’ll file Boopsie’s incisors to a razor-point, then train her on you like a pit bull on a chicken. How’d you like a fuzzy-wuzzy box-cutter straight to the calf? That precious enough for you?

Fine, then. Okay. I accept your apology. Glad you came around. Hugs! Oh my God, honey, you’re shaking! Sweating, too — is my sweet pea sick? Then let’s cuddle in our flannel footie jammies and drink peppermint tea. I’ll wrap my arms around you like the mama pandas hold their baby pandas — tight, tight, tight! So you can’t wander off and get into trouble! Because I wuv you, bitch. You’ll remember that, if you know what’s good for you.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where there is no such thing as bad children, only bad parents. And none worse than Paula Lynn Johnson.

We Need To Talk About Braden

By: Paula Lynn Johnson

Dear Mrs. Johnson:

Braden spilled paint on another student’s artwork today. Although the student was in tears, Braden refused to apologize. I would appreciate it if you talked to him about the importance of saying “sorry.”


Joanne MacDonald, Head Teacher, Lil’ Sprouts School (Tadpole Room)


Dear Mrs. MacDonald:

I’m so embarrassed! Of course I’ll speak to Braden. Please don’t hesitate to alert me to any more incidents. Working in tandem, I’m confident you and I can nip any problems in the bud.

My sincere thanks,

Paula Lynn Johnson


Dear Mrs. Johnson:

Braden had a difficult day. Another student complained that Braden was “touching” him. When I moved their seats apart, Braden persisted in reaching his hands as close as possible to the student without making contact. He then taunted, “I’m not touching you!” This was very annoying and interfered with our game of Alphabet Bingo. Please speak with Braden about the importance of respecting others.


Joanne MacDonald


Dear Joanne:

Thanks for the heads-up, but I think there’s been a misunderstanding. You see, Braden and I are both certified third-degree Reiki masters, via our Mommy and Me and Reiki classes. Braden assures me he was placing his hands near Max merely to clean his aura, which is apparently quite filthy. As such, we can hardly fault Braden for channeling the universe’s positive energy to give a classmate the psychic healing he so desperately needs (and free of charge, I might add).

Alphabet Bingo sounds like fun!


Paula Lynn Johnson


Dear Mrs. Johnson:

Braden could not seem to stop talking during Quiet Time today. His constant chatter was disruptive, and I was forced to remove him to the Time Out chair. Please tell me what consequences you are using at home for this behavior.


Joanne MacDonald


Mrs. MacD:

I’m so sorry about Braden and his big fat yap. In our house, Quiet Time is strictly enforced with television. I’m not sure if you have access to a flat-screen, but if you park him in front of one, you won’t hear a peep out of him. Just turn on some cartoons or, in a pinch, some Dexter (his favorite!) and the little guy will sit tight for hours (assuming you also keep the chicken fingers coming. Seriously, don’t run out of those. Oh — and make sure they’re shaped like dinosaurs or it could get dicey).

Good luck!



Mrs. Johnson:

Today Braden announced to the class that there is no Santa. It was quite upsetting. You need to explain to him why we don’t say such things.

Joanne MacDonald



I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but there is no Santa. Also no Easter Bunny. Sorry to lay this on you all at once, but I figured it was about time you knew.

Peace Out,



Mrs. Johnson:

Despite my repeated instructions to stop, your son continues to eat our glue sticks. I’m really beside myself at this point.

Joanne MacDonald


Yo, bitch!

Have you ever tried glue sticks? They’re really good. Typically, I like to smear them on sourdough crisps and pair them with some artisanal cheese and a nice Sauvignon Blanc, maybe even a Pinot Grigio. Give it a whirl — your taste buds will thank you.


Funky P


Dear Mrs. Johnson:

I am writing to inform you that your son Braden is expelled from Lil’ Sprouts School, effective immediately. As you know, he showed up for our Halloween parade in a clown suit and wielding a large, blood-smeared machete. This is an egregious violation of our zero-tolerance weapons policy and, per our handbook, cause for dismissal. Moreover, it was extremely traumatic for the little ones. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Regretfully yours,

Denise Fritzger, Principal


To Principal Fritzger and Posse:

Braden was a Killer Clown. Do you understand the concept? Basically, we’re talking about a clown that kills, indiscriminately and ruthlessly. Drop the machete, and you have a mere circus clown, which misses the whole point.

Let me assure you that the blood was totally fake. The machete, however, was not, and I take full responsibility for that. Braden has been handling knives since he was able to walk, and I suppose I didn’t take into account that the other children are light-years behind him, developmentally speaking. Call this my “teachable moment.” For his part, Braden is heartbroken that he has to miss the class party, as he planned on showing everyone his sword-juggling skills.

My bad,

Paula Lynn Johnson

P.S.: I hope this won’t hurt our admissions application for Caitlyn, Braden’s little sister. She’s half his size, but you won’t BELIEVE what she can do with a crossbow!

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where social media go to be ridiculed to death. Paula Lynn Johnson's first piece for us makes us want to friend her, big time.

That’s Really Funny Because I Didn’t Even Know You Unfriended Me

By: Paula Lynn Johnson

Hey, Craig! I’m so psyched you called! It’s been years, right? How’d you even get my number? Oh, yeah. I think I do remember emailing it to you.

Nothing’s wrong, Craig. Seriously, I’m fine. Why do you ask? Because someone told you I was upset you unfriended me? Oh, my God! That’s really funny, because I didn’t even know you unfriended me! I mean, I hardly spend any time on Facebook, so if my list of friends suddenly goes from 279 to 278, it’s not like I’d even notice.

Don’t worry about it. I totally don’t care. Sure, you’re just trying to simplify your life. You want to limit your Facebook friends to people you talk to and hang out with. People you actually quote-unquote know. Good for you. Okay, I’m a little surprised I didn’t make the cut, but whatever. I guess our time in Mr. Valenza’s driver’s ed class doesn’t count (I let you cheat off my final exam, remember? You would have failed if it weren’t for me). I guess the fact that we both like The Muppets is meaningless to you.

There’s no need to be weirded out. I get it: Craig Fenkler is not my friend. Craig Fenkler does not even remember me, despite the fact that I was his date for senior prom. Yeah, I know you went with Susie Soros, but there was a bunch of us that shared the limo, so technically it was more like a group date. There’s no need to split hairs or get hostile.

What? You think I messed with your girlfriend’s car? Listen to yourself, Craig. Listen to how crazy you sound. If some weirdo wants to dump hot sauce on her windshield, why is that my fault? If some lunatic stuffs a burrito in her tailpipe, why am I to blame? That’s right, I am a waitress –- gee, glad you read my Facebook profile! So what if I work at the Taco Shack? Where’s the connection? There’s a lot of people eating Mexican in this world, Craig. Besides, I didn’t even know you had a girlfriend. Yeah, your status said “in a relationship” –- but what does that even mean? I didn’t catch her name. Or that you moved in together. Or that she just bought a Volkswagen. You must have posted all that after you unfriended me.

I have no idea who started a Facebook rumor that you’re a porn addict. Who would say you’re into barnyard animals? Who would do that? See, this is the dark side of social networking. You’ve got to be careful, Craig –- there’s a lot of psychos out there. But I’m sure your real friends, your “inner circle,” as it were, found the whole thing pretty darn funny. Really, your mother was upset? That’s unfortunate. Personally, I think chickens are hysterical. Your girlfriend was upset, too? That’s ridiculous. She must have no sense of humor. Or know something I don’t.

You should call the cops about that, Craig. That’s really disturbing. A dead hamster doesn’t just mysteriously arrive in the mail. Not one with a note pinned to it that says “you’re next.” You’ve got a bona fide stalker. Whoever sends a dead rodent is very troubled. Or maybe just very, very hurt. Or maybe just trying to express the death of something, like –- I don’t know. A friendship, maybe?

Yes, Twinkie did pass recently. Remember? I posted about that right before you unfriended me. You saw the photos, too? Yeah, Twinkie does match that description –- but so do, like, a bazillion other hamsters. If you’re trying to imply that I bubble-wrapped my own dead hamster and sent him to you in a party mailer, then you clearly have some issues to work out. Clearly, you’re a little fixated on me. Besides, I’ll have you know that I had Twinkie cremated by the vet. His sweet little ashes are in a jar by my bed. No, I will not take a picture of it for you, you sick bastard! God, Craig. First barnyard animals, now hamsters. You need help.

You know what? I’m not having this conversation with you. One minute you’re having a friendly chat with me about Facebook, the next you’re talking restraining orders. Restraining orders for what? My entire contact with you since high school amounts to a few jokey posts on your Facebook wall! Yes, Craig, when I wrote “I want to have hot angry sex with you,” I was joking. Obviously! I can’t help it if you took it literally. Maybe you wanted to take it literally, Craig. Maybe you’d like that. If so, you should just be honest instead of getting all Law-and-Order on me. We could work out a mutually satisfying, non-legal solution. Although it might involve a few restraints –- KIDDING!

So fine, Craig, you’re not my Facebook friend. We are over, done, kaput. Although I was doing some random search on another, unrelated Fenkler and accidentally stumbled across your Google+ profile. Join my circle, ‘kay? It’ll be fun! Promise.