Step 1: Preheat the oven Step 2: Hose down the cat

[Tweet “HOUSE GUEST: The Outstanding Comedienne Vikki Claflin is chilling with Housewife Plus!”]

vikkiDo you know what I love more than anything? Laughing. Laughing can cure darn near anything; broken hearts, the blues, writer’s block, a staring contest, even a tense moment. I spend my days searching for the funny moments because if I don’t then I will certainly drown in the shrieks of sibling rivalry and the tantrums of Arsenic Hour. Not many people make me laugh as hard as Vikki Claflin of Laugh Lines can! This woman is a walking comedy hour! Don’t believe me?! Go to her blog. Now. You’ll see what I mean. In the mean time, check out the fabulous post she has offered to share with Housewife Plus readers this week!

If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.

Found an uber-cute plantation-style house for rent in Maui a few years ago (admittedly less “Gone with the Wind,” and more 140-yr-old sharecropper’s cottage) on an old banana plantation, complete with original plumbing AND appliances. Quaint, but not without some inconveniences.

Jake, then 6, came home and announced he needed to take cookies to school the next day for yet another fundraiser. (Seriously? $9000 a year for private school and they need a BAKE SALE?) Trying not to panic, since I don’t cook and those “I sew MY child’s Halloween costume myself” mothers can be mean, I decided to at least attempt to fit in and make my kid proud.

Dug up what looked like a simple cookie recipe (no weird “cream of tartar” or instructions on how to draw little happy faces on the top with pointy tubes of frosting…for the love of God, who ARE these women??), set out the ingredients, then read “Preheat the oven to 350.” Hmmm. There’s 5 knobs on the front. When I turn the one that says “Temp,” all I hear is a hissing sound from inside the oven. I may not be Martha in the kitchen, but I’m reasonably sure ovens should not hiss. Called a girlfriend, who asked if the pilot light was on. WTH is a “pilot light”? “You have a gas oven. You need to light the pilot light inside the oven to turn it on.” Historically, kitchens with flames have not worked out well for me, but this was for MY BOY, so I was going in.

Clueless about where to find the mysterious pilot light, I flicked on a long candle-type lighter, opened the oven door, stuck the lighter in and waved it around, hoping it would somehow figure out where to go so I could get chopping on my bragging rights.

The next thing I heard was a BANG, immediately followed by a WHOOOSH of thick, greasy black smoke billowing out of the oven, covering me, the walls, the table, all my ingredients, and Poi, the mangy (and now seriously pissed) plantation cat that happened to stroll by looking for handouts, with oily black soot. Well, crap.

Jake is standing in the doorway, doubled over with laughter, with all the glee of a first-grader whose mother has just completely torched her kitchen for his personal amusement, while he chortled, “Boy, the other mothers aren’t going to believe THIS. We should take a picture of you, Mom. This is GREAT!!” Pick up that camera and die, mister.

But give me an hour to clean up this mess, take a shower and hose down the cat. Then we’re off to Safeway for Oreos. And if I get kicked off the Christmas Pageant Committee, we’re going back for wine. Bet those mothers can’t make THAT.

vikkibookVikki has just put out a FANTASTIC book that you check out here.

BIO: Vikki Claflin is an author, blogger, public speaker, and former newspaper columnist. Her blog, Laugh Lines, is about the hilarious ups and downs of midlife in today’s world. She believes that laughter can cure most ailments, and that laughter, wine, and Milk Duds are the path to true zen. She has been featured on the Michael J. Fox Foundation website, Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, Midlife Boulevard, Better After 50, Generation Fabulous, Lost in Suburbia, and Funny Times Newspaper, and is a contributing author to “Life Well Blogged, Parenting Writes and Wrongs.” Vikki was also selected as a Humor “Voice of the Year” at BlogHer 2014. For more information you can find Vikki at her HILARIOUS blog, Laugh Lines, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.