Madeleine Begun Kane, Humor Columnist Latest Humor Columns
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Madeleine Begun Kane,
Humor Columnist,

Madeleine Begun Kane



Much of my humor is hard to categorize ... although my husband Mark will probably claim most of it should be called "Making Fun of The Husband Humor." Come to think of it, he's probably right. Although I do try to make fun of other people, things, and institutions like the Whitehouse, the IRS, credit cards, ads, politics, dating, plumbers, dentists, pet owners, people who conduct studies and ... well ... husbands.

  • A Rueful Rhyme (Limerick)
    "Your inventions are brilliant, itís true.
    Yes, youíre smart; itís your rudeness I rue. ..."

  • De-Stress or Distress? "Are you stressed out? A quivering blob of nerves? Are your muscles lodged in a permanent clench? Here's what not to do..."

  • Form 1040 Blues (Limerick)
    "Thereís a tax form that makes me irate:
    Form 1040, a long form I hate..."

  • How To Give A Speech (Humorous How-To) "In a moment of weakness you agreed to give a speech. What are you in for? If you're lucky, it won't be any worse than this..."

  • Amusing Wine (Limerick)
    "When experts say wine is amusing,
    Itís a compliment. Ainít that confusing? ..."

  • Valiant Guy's Guide To Valentine's Day "Attention guys -- it's time to get ready for Valentine's Day. After all, you don't want a repeat of last year, do you? I didn't think so..."

  • Office Politics
    "Your career is at stake, you should know,
    And you donít want that guy as a foe. ..."

  • Backup Blues
    "They told me to back up my drive,
    Which has crashedóitís no longer alive. ..."

  • Search Engine Ode (Limerick)
    "When your siteís on the first page of Bing
    And Google, you whistle and sing ..."

  • Dare I Praise Plastic (Limerick)
    "Isnít plastic a nifty invention?
    It has too many uses to mention. ..."

  • Happy Worship Of Tools Day (Limerick)
    "If only I had the right tool!Ē
    Thatís my husbandís pet phrase, as a rule ..."

  • Camp-Free (Limerick)
    "Iím reluctant to rough it outside.
    I need comforts a house can provide ..."

  • More Squirrel Adventures (Limerick)
    "A squirrel gave birth on my silló
    Near my window AC unitís grill ..."

  • Sheet Musing (Limerick)
    "Both my legs travel down the fresh sheet.
    It feels cool to the touch, tight, and neat ..."

  • Squirrels "From time to time, sundry animals (squirrels, raccoons) find our New York City home alluring ..."

  • Snow Job "Who needs to join a gym when you own a home and experience Ö pardon my French Ö winter!..."

  • Who Needs A Door, Anyway? "Mark and I are looking forward to the next heavy rain storm, since we donít dare hope for a multi-day thaw. And until one or the other happens here in New York City, we wonít be able to use our back door (which opens out) or get into our yard..."

  • Call Waiting...And Waiting...And Waiting... "My husband recently asked me to do what should have been simple task. My assignment, should I agree to accept it, was to reinvest a dividend check. Now don't get the wrong idea; I'm not talking high finance. I'm talking about a $13 check. It seemed like a reasonable request. After all, as a work-at-home freelance writer I have limitless time to wend my way through the maze referred to in polite company as an automated telephone system. A system devoid of humans. A system demanding endless digit punching. A system designed by a sadist. A system that must be destr..."

  • Publishing Suffers Another Blow "In the wake of Oprah's announcement that she's terminating her popular book club, the publishing industry has sustained yet another crushing blow: Mad Kane, Dubya Channeler & host of, has announced that she will not launch a book club. 'I thought long and hard about this,' Mad Kane said, 'because public figures have a responsibility to encourage reading. Plus President Bush seems to think reading is good, and failing to support any Bush mission is, arguably, a terrorist act...'"

  • A Squirrely Lesson "Being a feminist, even a moderate feminist like me, can make it tough to dodge duties unsuited to the squeamish. In my case, squirrel removal..."

  • Working Stiffed "Finding a new job can be a daunting challenge. But if you follow my simple 21-step plan, you'll soon be battling cranky alarm clocks, rush-hour traffic, and the living for the weekend daily grind..."

  • If It Is Broke, Don't Fix It "I have one basic approach to repair persons. I run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. It's the only way I know to avoid paying $200 to fix something worth $1.98..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary Week 24-25 "Dear Diary -- I proposed a compromised oil lease plan yesterday on accounta the House & Jeb turnin into greeny weenies. Jeb was kickin up a real big fuss, even threatenin to ruin my July 4th weekend if I didn't give him what he wanted. The lucky guy -- he's up in Maine already -- he can take longer vacations then me cause he's only a governor..."

  • Bugged By Ads "If you saw what looked like an insect on your television screen, what weapon would you reach for? A wad of tissues, perhaps? Okay, let's make the bug more menacing than your average house invader -- let's make it a cockroach. I'm guessing you'd grab a sacrificial magazine, roll it up, and take a swing at the screen. A swing strong enough to demolish the roach (you hope), while leaving your TV set more or less intact..."

  • Hapless Home Buyer's Guide "The road to buying a house is paved with dwindling bank accounts, devious brokers, and home owners who (you hope) are desperate to sell. Yes, it's a challenge. But with the help of these easy to follow instructions, you can negotiate your way into unthinkable debt..."

  • Mad Kane's Diary "10:45 a.m. Another late start on this week's column. That's what I get for surfing every night until 3:00 a.m..."

  • Bracing For That Blind Date "Are you facing yet another blind date with fear and dread? Are you tempted to throttle anyone who cajoles you into going out with an allegedly attractive friend? Believe it or not, blind dates can actually be fun..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary Week 5 "Dear Diary -- There was lotsa family high fivin this weekend over my Friday operation. That'll teach Sadam to start up with this Bush. From now on that guy's gonna confirm with his agreement or else..."

  • Electric Note "Dear Sir: I am writing this letter to thank you for the services rendered by your able employees. You will be pleased to learn that their timeliness easily outpaced that of any other workers employed by me. Indeed, they topped the record set by my plumber last month, when their scheduled 8:30 a.m. arrival occurred before noon twice in one week..."

  • Dental Deal "Does the very thought of a dentist set your teeth on edge? Is pudding too challenging to chew? This contract should help mitigate your pain."

  • Musical Accord "One afternoon your ten-year old daughter comes home from school, enthused about learning to play an instrument. Your eyeballs start to throb. Your head begins to pulsate. You ask yourself whether tin ears are passed down from parents to their children..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary -- Dubya's Early White House Daze "Dear Diary -- Poppy says I haveta keep a diary of my Prezidency. Every night at 9:30 before my lovely wife Laura and I turn in I'm supposed to write something about my day. He said I should try to make it sound dignuhfied..."

  • Great Math Divide Every time I open a newspaper or surf the Web, there's another poll trying to predict who will be our next President. But are the pollsters asking the right questions? I'm convinced that when push comes to lever pull..."

  • Office Party Follies "There are few "fun" activities quite so vexing as the Office Christmas Party; that obligatory gathering of bosses and subordinates, cronies and rivals, back-stabbers and back-stabbees. Plus a horde of husbands and wives who spend the entire night planning their escape..."

  • Ms. Legal Person Answers Your Holiday Questions "Ms. Legal Person returns by popular demand with advice for the holiday season. "Your free help was worth every penny," wrote one satisfied reader. "Do you have malpractice insurance?" wrote ... oops, wrong letter..."

  • Is It Safe To Shop With Your Mate? "One sure way to test a relationship is to shop with your mate..."

  • Tubing Blues "Tubing - the masochistic act of hurtling down a fall-fraught river while clinging to an inner-tube. Somehow my husband Mark talked me, a devout wimp, into trying it..."

  • Dear CardHolder: Frankly, We Expected Better Of You "One year ago we welcomed you to the EASY COME EASY GO ("ECEG") Credit Card Family with open pockets and the kind of unbeatable terms we could offer to..."

  • How To Become An Insomniac "Becoming an insomniac isn't as easy as it might appear. But with the help of these guidelines, dark circles and a cranky disposition will soon be yours..."

  • Testy About Tests "Now that school's back in session, people are obsessing and fretting about tests. Newsweek even devoted a large chunk of a recent issue to "The Truth About Testing." But while Newsweek focused on pre-college tests and the SAT, it's the GMAT that's really driving me "Mad." Or at least it would be, if I were hoping to earn an MBA. Not that I was planning to, mind you. Law school was more than enough punishment for one lifetime, thank you very much."

  • Don't Call a Meeting "Is your PTA talking about launching an event? Is it too late for you to resign? If so, my some tips to keep your sanity."

  • Margarine Is Good For You. Oops -- Never Mind. "It's hard to follow the news lately without reading some scientific red alert about an everyday food. Not long ago, for instance, The Center for Science in the Public Interest announced that pastries are bad for you. All I can say is: Exactly -- that's why we eat them..."

  • A Poodle Tale "I read recently that elegant dog garb and pricey canine day-care are "in" these days. Frankly, I was pleased to learn this. For until I acquired this seemingly frivolous bit of information, I was seriously concerned about my parents..."

  • Surmounting Marriage "Before agreeing to marry my husband Mark, I asked him the usual questions: (1) Do you know what a hamper is and have you ever actually used one? (2) Do you spend weekends sprawled in front of a sports- spewing screen, devouring couch potato chips? (3) Are your parents likely to drive me to drink?"

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