Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major

Top Headlines

Recent News

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

A Primer On Everyday Sexism

Though opportunities for women have increased considerably over the past century, insidious everyday sexism continues to inform the female experience. Here are some commonly asked questions about this pervasive form of discrimination

Diehard Trump Voters Confirm Rest Of Nation Should Stop Wasting Time Trying To Reach Them

‘If Anything Could Change Our Minds, It Would’ve Happened By Now,’ Say Candidate’s Supporters

WASHINGTON—Saying it should be very clear by now that absolutely nothing can change their position on the matter, steadfast supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the rest of the nation Wednesday that it really shouldn’t bother trying to persuade them not to vote for him.

Mom Learns About New Vegetable

MERRILVILLE, IN—Excitedly sharing the news with her husband and two teenage children, local mother Karen Tyson, 49, learned about a new vegetable Wednesday, sources confirmed.

Tim Kaine Found Riding Conveyor Belt During Factory Campaign Stop

AIKEN, SC—Noting that he disappeared for over an hour during a campaign stop meet-and-greet with workers at a Bridgestone tire manufacturing plant, sources confirmed Tuesday that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was finally discovered riding on one of the factory’s conveyor belts.

Why Don’t People Like Hillary Clinton?

Although she’s secured the Democratic presidential nomination, many voters across all demographics are still hesitant to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Onion breaks down the reasons Clinton is having a hard time luring reluctant voters.

Cover Letter Specifically Tailored To Company Even Sadder Than Generic Ones

BEDMINSTER, NJ—Wincing noticeably as they read the applicant’s claim that he has “always wanted to work for the leading midsize pharmaceutical advertising and brand strategy group in the tri-state area,” sources at Percepta Healthcare Communications confirmed Tuesday that a cover letter specifically tailored to their company was much sadder than any of the generic ones they had received for a recently posted job opening.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major

Dear Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major,

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and my 19-year-old daughter Amy has already come home from college three times. While I’m glad she wants to see her family, I’m worried she’s missing out on a full college experience. How can I persuade her to spend more time on campus without hurting her feelings?

Worried In Worcester

Dear Worried,

Her hands were cracked. They were large and massive, too immense for her short Southern frame. They were knurled and gnarled with age, arthritis, and ancient scars—cotton husks, leather whips, and briar patches had all left their mark on those swollen hands. A world of memories flowed through these veins, spread across her fingers like a chokecherry tree. Those hands had seen a lot of things. “Oh, these calloused, calloused hands,” she told me as she rocked back and forth on the porch, the smell of sweet peach tea hanging in the air. “Sweet thing, fetch me my chamomile lotion.” I told Mrs. Jessups it was time to go, that we’d be late. “Never you mind, chile,” she’d say. “Never you mind.”

Dear Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major,

Winter is right around the corner, which can mean only one thing: rats! I would put out traps, but I hate the idea of killing them, and so-called “Havahart” cages never seem to work. How do I get rid of them without being cruel?

Trapped In Trenton

Dear Trapped,

She moved slow like molasses, syrupy but determined. Knowing how much it hurt to move those brittle bones, it broke our hearts. “Lawd, how a body do get tired,” the old woman said, her voice frail, yet proud. “And heav’ns if you young things don’t know what is’ like to sweat! Ah reckon I’m’a soak clean through my bonnet today.” Sunday was Market Day, which meant Mrs. Jessups would go down to the corner and sell her famous shoofly pies, a family recipe passed down from her old Grandma Toots. Later that morning she would put on her old flowered sundress and crisp white gloves and head out to church, her face a vision of pride. “Time to hear the preachin’ man preach.”

Dear Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major,

What kind of comfortable but stylish clothing would you recommend for a crisp autumn day? Something that just screams, “It’s fall!”

Fashionable In Fall

Dear Fashionable,

“Lawdy, girl, if you not in ya church dress in 15 minutes I’ll be gettin’ the switch on yeh. Ag’nes! Ag’nes! You bring the lil’ miss her bonnet now. Lawd in heav’n, if this my chile I slap her upside the head!”

My sister was only four, but she knew better than to cross Mrs. Jessups or she’d get a real Southern scare like she used to give her son Rhemus. Far as we knew, Rhemus was still over in county jail for Lord knows what. She didn’t talk about him much.

“Good lawd in heav’n chile, you march yer toot right up that stair n’ fetch me my Bible gloves. Mercy, mercy, mercy! Sweet Jesus, Mary, ’n’ Joseph, this chile gon’ be the death ah me!”

Dear Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major,

I’ve been a runner all my life, but after just a few months at a new gym, I’ve developed plantar fasciitis. Does this have anything to do with my new trainer, my shoes, my age, or all of the above?

One Jostled Jogger

Dear Jostled,

Once a day she’d walk on down the hallway, look at pictures from the past. The late Mr. Jessups, Rhemus, Grandma Toots; their smiles permeated the room, erased the suffering for a few treasured moments. A hot, proud tear rolled down the old woman’s wrinkled cheeks. “The Devil’s dust gon’ git ’n mah eyes,” she’d say. “Les’ go back to the kitch’n, sweet things.”

Dear Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major,

Yesterday I received a Facebook friend request from my gossipy aunt, which I don’t want to accept for obvious reasons. I could always say yes and then hide parts of my profile from her, but she would definitely figure it out. Is there any good way to resolve this?

Stuck In Cincinnati

Dear Stuck,

After church was when we got to eat the leftover buckwheat cakes. She called it stickin’ food, “’cause it stick to yer ribs.” Our Mama knew she spoiled us, but she didn’t mind. After all, Mrs. Jessups had brought five of us Calhoun kids into this world and Lord knows she’d probably bring five more. “Lawd have mercy, you never heard babies so loud as those Calhoun chillen!” she said as she cooked up sweet potatoes on the stove. “Minute ma’ girl Cecile op’n her mouth, house shakin’ like thund’r storm. I swear that girl gon’ be tall as green beans.” And at that she gave me a wink.

Confidential To Desirous In Denver:

That winter, Mrs. Jessups came down with the consumption and a touch of yellow fever. “Nothin’ a little rest and a plate a hot grits can’t fix,” she said with a smile. Mrs. Jessups, she was a fighter, but deep down, though, we knew she was not long for this world. She clasped my hand in her hers; still cracked, still massive, still proud, veiny, and strong. How many babies had these hands brought into the world? How many times had she put her palm out to silence a bigoted sheriff, to pound a dry crust of buckwheat, to shield a child’s eyes from a lashing? The old woman loosened her grip. I would never know.

Mrs. D’Lulah Jessups As Portrayed By Brian Kirby In His Short Story “The Sun Beneath The Sky” is a syndicated columnist whose weekly column, “Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major,” appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close