. . . and for those who never made it home

The image of an Indigenous altar-boy holding an upside-down cross is graffitied onto the crumbling bricks of St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Alert Bay, B.C.
The image of an Indigenous altar-boy holding an upside-down cross is graffitied onto the crumbling bricks of St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Alert Bay, B.C.
Indigenous child’s image graffitied on St. Michael’s Residential School. Photo: Judy Millar (author)

Canadians and others have been shaken by the recent grim discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the former Kamloops, B.C. Indian Residential School, and a further 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.

These shocking numbers will certainly grow as other First Nations communities gain access to ground-penetrating radar to confirm their long-held beliefs that unmarked graves exist at many of the more than 130 government-funded, church-run boarding schools Canada set up in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children.

We Canadians shouldn’t be surprised at this horrific news. The final report…


Humor

Messing with “Morgan,” my Google Nest Virtual Assistant

The face of American actor Morgan Freeman stares from within a Google Nest screen display on author Judy Millar’s kitchen counter.
The face of American actor Morgan Freeman stares from within a Google Nest screen display on author Judy Millar’s kitchen counter.
Nest Photo: Judy Millar (author); Image: Morgan Freeman from Iconspng

My husband, never one to come home from Costco empty-handed, has outdone himself. He just brought home a new girlfriend and installed her in our kitchen.

As women go, she’s not taking up a lot of space. She’s claimed a small corner of the counter, setting up shop inside his newly purchased Google Nest. Like the perfect 1950s housewife, this gal knows her place. Tucked away within the Nest’s digital display screen, she speaks only when spoken to, yet stands ready to respond to her master’s every whim.

“Hey Google, give me directions to Costco,” he says to test her.


Humor

“I am not a bot, you bastards.”

A little robot stares blankly while carrying a laptop.
A little robot stares blankly while carrying a laptop.
Photo by Alex Knight from Pexels

Dear CAPTCHA and ReCAPTCHA . . . or should I say . . .


“I wanted to say something special, but . . .”

A woman’s hand covers the wrinkled hand of her elderly mother.
A woman’s hand covers the wrinkled hand of her elderly mother.
Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

As an adult, whenever Mother’s Day rolled around, there I’d be: wandering up and down the greeting card aisles. Just another shopper. Me, who once wrote greeting card verse for a living!

Well, it wasn’t much of a living. Initially I got paid by the line so I’d write really long, schmaltzy poems. But I did love that job — especially writing condolence cards. Turns out I’m at my best when someone’s deceased. I can come up with scads of sympathetic things to say.

Birthday greetings are more challenging. Since most people have many decades of birthdays, writers must supply…


Was Seinfeld born funny? How’d he get where he got?

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld holds a microphone and entertains an audience at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London, UK on July 12, 2019. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld holds a microphone and entertains an audience at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London, UK on July 12, 2019. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Jerry Seinfeld entertains at the Eventim Apollo on July 12, 2019. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Once, after an evening of humorous storytelling, an audience member asked me: “Judy, were you born funny?”

I could have given a straight answer (uhh …. nope). But as a lifelong klutz, it was more fun to pretend to misunderstand the question:

. . . Was I born funny?? Uhh …well, when my mother told me I was a breech birth, it came as no surprise. I vaguely recall tumbling around in utero, trying to get my head part aimed down. My left knee had gotten hooked over my right elbow. …


Yes, you have mastered using exaggeration and POV to make us laugh.


Humor | Storytelling

“Don’t Pee in the Pool” wins storytelling prize

Storyteller Judy Millar gives her audience a cheeky look as she instructs them to do “Kegel crunches” and other comic physiotherapy techniques.
Storyteller Judy Millar gives her audience a cheeky look as she instructs them to do “Kegel crunches” and other comic physiotherapy techniques.
Judy Millar gets her audience crunching their Kegels. (VIDEO below. Author’s photo.)

I was pumped when I learned this video performance (below) won first prize in the Charleston International 2020 Talent show. I deflated a bit when saw I was the ONLY ENTRY in my “Humorous Storytelling” category. Ha ha. Way to go, Judy!

But hey, a win is a win. I’ll take it. And so should you, if you can turn the lemons life hands you into storytelling lemonade. In this case, my “lemon” was my L-1 vertebra. It fractured and then further collapsed, making for months of misery. Then came back surgery and, eventually, physiotherapy. What to make of all…


Humor | Storytelling

Finding “the funny” in aging — and sharing it in comedy

I’m not as old as these guys, Ev. (Judy Millar. Author’s photo)

OMG. My first Millar LITE post was barely hours old when I saw it. Ev Williams had not only read my “ Welcome” post — he’d HIGHLIGHTED the part where I said, “I’m old.” Ev LIKED that! My old-ness is FINALLY working for me!! hahahaha


Here we don’t serve beer

Storyteller Judy Millar tells an audience how NOT to kiss. (VIDEO below. Author’s photo.)

“If Millar LITE doesn’t serve beer, why should I stick around?”

Because this new publication will be serving up other stuff you might like. My plan is to:

  • share some of my humorous personal stories
  • share some of my live storytelling videos
  • share tips to help writers flex their own funny bones
  • share strategies to help wannabe-storytellers and presenters share their own stories, on stage or on screen
  • eventually invite other funny folks to share their own stories or videos. But ONLY if they’ll also tell us the stories behind those stories. What do they think made them work? We want to learn those techniques too!

A few disclaimers:

  1. I’m OLD. And I mostly entertain older audiences. If that’s a…

Judy Millar

Humorist. Essayist. Storyteller. Poet. Lyricist. Writing Coach. 😂 Judymillar.ca Published in Reader’s Digest 🇨🇦, Writer’s Digest, Medium & more. @judymillar

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