Author: lizarcury

I'm a writer and stand-up/improv comedian. I've had pieces featured on McSweeney's, Splitsider, Weird Girls, and CollegeHumor. My humor writing website is Contact me at and follow me on Twitter @LizArcury. I'm definitely watching "Newsies" right now.

I Will Bang My Head Against The Wall Wanting Feminism To Be A Thing Until The Man In Black Finally Shows Me The Dark Tower

I am the last of my kind.

The final descendant of the Arthur Eld.

I am the lone remaining Feminist since my world moved on. The man in black has the answers I need. He can bring me to The Dark Tower. The Dark Tower – legend slithered down from my mother and her mother and her mother and light years of Feminists beyond holds – is the nexus between the two universes: the old universe of Feminism, and the ever-slipping portal into the universe of Male Approval.

I have been following the man in black for a stretch of desolate time, the exact length of which I’ll never be quite sure of. It could be decades, it could be eons, it could be a fortnight. He eludes me expertly, and yet on some long, journey-filled nights I feel that he could be mere yards ahead. Stories were passed down on scrolls before everything moved on that read that the man in black can help me make Feminism a thing, so that I can finally stop banging my head against the wall.

When I met Josh – a weak, yet whip-smart eleven-year-old boy – he first told me to stop banging my head against the wall. The barn that he slept in was old and the infrastructure was rotting. He said that my head-banging could damage the walls of his only shelter and that I was scaring him.

Meek, innocent Josh. If only he knew. Banging one’s head against the wall is what Feminists do. Though he wouldn’t know that, of course. In my fitful, sun-drenched days, I forget that the lessons of the old world are no more.

Only I remain.

Genevieve was the last real Feminist trainer. She’d round us all up every morning – Becca, Francine, Jillian, and myself – and work us until we bled. I think back to those dewy mornings spent outside in the royal courtyard before everything moved on. The girls and myself were of the Arthur Eld. Our mothers were all fierce, respected Feminists.

No one lived except me. When Genevieve gave us our Final Task to be sent out on our own, they crumbled.

Our challenge upon turning the age of eighteen years was this: To learn that Male Approval is worthless, and that caring about it and basing your level of happiness over a lifetime on whether you have it or not, and that throwing other women under the bus because you want it is, in fact, not our destiny.

Our Final Task was to learn these seemingly impossible truths, accept them, and fashion ourselves an independent lifestyle that did not require the precious drink of Male Approval that we had been raised and bred to believe was life’s real purpose.

Jillian was the first to be banished. She failed the initial Instagram challenge: To look at a handsome man’s photo of his dog, and not immediately assume that he’d make a great boyfriend.

I don’t like thinking about that day. Our morning stretches before Jillian’s Final Task was the last time that I would see her alive. Genevieve was ruthless.

I successfully completed my Final Task. I sent a hawk to peck out every living man’s eyes, so that the male gaze no longer existed.

And then everything moved on.

Josh shakes me awake. I’ve been dreaming again. My dreams are the only place where the old world comes back to me in all its vivid shades.

“I just saw a dark figure walk over that sand hill,” Josh alerts me.

“About how tall was he?! Do you remember? Tell me everything, boy.”

“‘Bout six foot. But with his dark hat, I’d reckon about three more inches than that.”

I knew.

It was him. The man in black. The one who could finally give me the the relief of not having to bang my Feminist head against the wall anymore. The one who held the secrets of the Tower.

The multi-dimensional, universe-connecting, all-powerful, deadly Tower. Where my world can finally make sense. Where my mission has led me.

The Tower: where Feminism ‘becomes a thing’.

I am the last of my kind. And my head hurts.

Reasons Horror Movies Don’t Work On Me




Step it up, horror movies.



A scary guy chasing me? The constant threat of attack/murder? Welcome to Thursday. As women, we’ve been raised to be unceasingly aware of every angle of our surroundings, every inch of our appearance, and our public performance art of no eye contact with any male human (lest we give him the obvious impression with our sultry glances that we desperately desire to rip his clothes off right there on the E train,) all to keep ourselves out of physical danger every single day. Cause it’s, ya know, our responsibility. There are gadgets we can buy to keep ourselves safe, too, like mace hiding in a bottle that looks like something else, sharp things that look like kitten ears to attach to our key chains, and even trendy nail polish that changes color if we dip our fingers into a drink that’s been roofied! We’ve got a veritable tool belt of anti-murder shit that we strap on every morning. So yeah…bring it on, Cenobites. You’re no scarier than my old landlord who chased me and grabbed me that one time.



Death is on my mind constantly, as it is with most 20-somethings with a psychiatrist and a bucket of the hottest new SSRI prescriptions.

Wouldn’t this all be so much easier if I were gone? 

I’d literally rather die than move from my bed and put on clothes.

If I have to make small talk with a stranger tonight I will walk into the East River. 

An alien lands on Earth and chases and eats me? Okay. Cool. Sounds like it’d be a huge load off, actually.


Student Loans

I’m in a lot of student debt. Like, “I have more to pay off in student loans than most people have on their mini-mansion mortgage” a lot.

If us all turning into rotting zombie corpses due to an apocalyptic virus means that I’ll stop getting calls from Discover when I’m late on a payment, I’m all for it.


Vampires Are Sexy

I’ll be bitten and forever transformed into a vicious nocturnal blood hunter by punk-grunge Bill Paxton any night. And then the next night. And the next.






This “Bachelor” Facebook Group Is Becoming Hostile

Hey gang.

I know our country is in a state of turmoil, but I feel it is urgent to point out that our once peaceful, supportive, a bit-filled Facebook group – whose sole purpose is to discuss The Bachelor with each other as it airs each week – is becoming quite hostile.

Yes, this season is skin-searingly infuriating. From Nick’s constant in-person dumping (instead of following the goddamn rules and waiting for a rose ceremony like a normal fucking human being) of very worthy women to Corinne’s inbred hot toddler behavior that somehow keeps getting rewarded time and time again, I can see why we are all a bit tense, especially with our current political climate. However, I have to put my foot down.

As the supermoderator, it is my job to maintain this Bachelor Facebook group and ensure that it follows friendly, basic guidelines. Did I expect this season to turn us all into wolves of the night and ransack each other’s homes while our children slept?




No. I thought we would perhaps share some funny .gifs approximately three times a week, and maybe even have a fun miscellaneous thread where we recommend uplifting books to each other! Lincoln In The Bardo is great, by the way!

Miranda, I should especially apologize to you. Had I known that the other women and men in this Bachelor Facebook group had been putting together a weeks-long master blueprint to blackmail you and sabotage your career prospects at the finance company you’ve poured twelve years of your life into, – all because you said in a comment reply that you think Danielle M. is ‘dramatic’ – I most certainly would have put a stop to it. Please let me know if you need a place to stay.

Nathan, I’m going to have to ask you to stop sending feces in the mail to anyone who says that they actually didn’t find Nick that charming in BiP. I know that you find his faults effusively charming, but feel free to post a funny sticker comment instead.

We are all angry. This season has tested us to a limit of emotional frustration that we did not know possible.

Sure, Corinne is a ‘bold’ and ‘confident’ contestant, but there’s no need to declare anyone who doesn’t like her a non-feminist, Mary Anne. We love your enthusiastic candor, but she is a straight-up trash baby. Who most definitely voted for Trump. (And that government community building that you burned down in your pro-Corinne rage is going to be very expensive to repair. Did you think that the detectives wouldn’t put together that the fire started  at precisely 10:01PM on a Monday evening?)

Let’s remember what we all came together in this Facebook group for. Acceptance, laughs, and the enjoyment of a reality show that demeans our gender.

And to everyone who’s been reaching out to check in on my health: I am typing this from the hospital and my recovery is going smoothly. The quick anger stroke that I experienced when I learned that Nick would not be meeting Rachel’s father on her hometown date did not cause any permanent paralysis, thankfully.

Best wishes,


PS: The paperwork for a class-action movement against ABC for airing the most unbearable and unwatchable season of The Bachelor yet should be in your inboxes! Let’s shatter these motherfuckers.

Think Pieces My Brain Writes To Me


Why Going Outside Is Problematic

Yes, They’re All Getting Brunch Without You. And Science Is Here To Prove It.

Could Pounds Of Raw Cookie Dough Be The Cure-All Medicine We’ve Been Hoping For?

The Facebook ‘Like’ That Will Save Your Friendship

Is He Into You? Only His Last 849 Instagram Posts Can Tell You

Science Says It Would Actually Be Better To Brush Your Teeth Tomorrow Morning Instead Of Tonight

You Need Quarters For Laundry. Here’s Why.

Ways You Can Die If You Go To His Pub Basement Concert Tonight


High School Prom Themes Under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos


High school proms are going to be a little different now.



White Flight Night

The Ursine Masquerade

An Evening In Limbo

BYOG: Bring Your Own Gun Extravaganza!

The Golden Age of Hollywood: Blackface Required

One Night At Nakatomi Plaza

1960’s Retro Systematic Oppression Boogie!

Adventure Night: Locked In The Gym By An Under-Treated Mentally Ill Student Who Was Allowed To Bring A Gun In Here

Under The Sea: Climate Change Isn’t Real

None: Students Don’t Know How To Read The Posters That Said Prom Was Happening

Courtship: Then vs. Now


Then: “Room 716 at The Palomar.”

Now : “94 Meserole St. The numbers have been blown off the building for a few months – it’s the one with the yellow couch out front! Ring for 3L. But only if it’s before 10pm, because the ring is kind of loud and my roommates might be trying to sleep. If it’s after 10pm, text me and I’ll come down to let you up!”



Then: “I’ll pick you up at 7.”

Now: “What do you wanna do? We can meet somewhere near you or whatever is best for your plans – whatever you want! Let me know. Also, what time is good for you?”



Then: “May I put my arm around you at the drive-in?”

Now: “No, you don’t get it, Tarantino is actually an amalgam of a bunch of different genres. See, here he’s using editing techniques to show – ”



Then: “I’m taking you to Paris for Valentine’s Day.”

Now: “Sam has a couch we can crash on in Allston if we want. Can you buy your own Megabus ticket though? I’m gonna try to get out of work early on Friday. We can try to meet up at Sam’s place and then go see his band. $15 cover I think.”



Then: “I will write you letters once we’ve ship out across the Atlantic. I love you.”

Now: “Sry, things have been crazy! Drinks soon maybe? Swamped for the next few weeks tho.”





TV Game Shows Under A Trump Presidency

Betrayer’s GUTS

(Don’t) Figure It Out

Legends You’ll Never Learn The Actual Truth About Because We Encrypted It In The Expertly Hidden Temple

Controlled and Submissive Kids

Never Dare

Jeopardy! Unless You Obey

Are You As Undoubting As A 5th Grader?

Spy In Your Family Feud

Betrayer’s Global GUTS

Slime (No, That’s Really Blood) Time Live!

Never Dare 2000

Get The Picture Or Die


Class of ’16 Senior Superlatives at White Guy High School

We are thrilled to announce our annual Senior Superlatives! Celebrating excellence in multiple categories for the 359th consecutive year here at esteemed White Guy High School:

Most Likely To Use Being A Nerd In High School As Justification For Treating Women Badly When You’re An Adult Man  (Michael Clark)

Most Likely To Upload A Photo Of You On The Game Of Thrones Throne And Another Of You In Front Of Angkor Wat To Your Dating Profiles  (Owen Tallman)

Most Likely To Be Late To Everything But Have It Literally Never Negatively Affect Your Life Ever At All Because Of Your Insane Level Of Privilege  (Matthew Gwinn)

Most Likely To Produce A Podcast Where You’re Just “Real”  (Kyle Clark)

Most Likely To Claim You Do Not Have More Privilege Than Any Systematically Oppressed Group Because You “Have Some Student Loans”  (Brian Callahan)

Most Likely To Yell At A Woman In A Bar Because She Doesn’t Know Who Bill Hicks Is  (Brandon Rogers)

Most Likely To Say That Not Voting Is Cool Because Of A Mark Twain Quote  (Dylan Tallman)

Most Likely To Post A Lengthy Facebook Status Telling People How They Should Feel About Sexual Assault, But Not Personally Reach Out To Any Actual Women In Your Life About It  (Kevin Moore)

Most Likely To Throw A Benefit For Breast Cancer Awareness Month With The Sole Purpose Of Getting Laid  (Kyle Tallman)

Most Likely To Claim To Know Which Street “The BEST” Pho Restaurant Is On  (Kennedy Fairfax)




Congrats to all the wonderful students nominated this year! Thank you for voting!

Have a great summer with your parents in Cape Cod!

Functional Dress Pants That Say, “My Dad’s Friend Got Me This Job”


You’re brand new to the big city AND landed an awesome full-time job within a week of moving! WOW, that’s unheard of! Women really can have it all. Congratulations on that sweet connect from your dad’s friend coming through after a few awkward emails, which is why you have this job! Now to dress the part. First impressions are everything. So, when you show up to your new company on the first day, be sure to be rocking some of these trendy functional dress pants that say, “My Dad’s friend got me this job!”


  1. The Pinstripe Trouser

It’s hard to get more classic than a pinstripe trouser. Katherine Hepburn would be proud of this professional pant you’re sporting! Also, the VP of Finance, Dave, and your dad were roommates at SUNY Brockport!








       2. The High-Waisted

This chic shape is all the rage this fall. The 80’s are making a comeback in a big way with a high-waisted pant, and it’s becoming more and more sensible to work this look into your corporate style. Plus, they really get across the narrative that you hadn’t seen Lyle since your first communion, but now he’s your boss! You sent an email saying “Hi I’m James’ daughter, I’d like a job in New York!” to a Hotmail email address that your dad illegibly scribbled down for you when you were home for winter break senior year, and you hoped for the best!



  1. The White Linen Flare

Simple, clean, and totally breathable. These functional pants say, “I’m a go-getter!” They also tell your colleagues that you have no administrative experience and were up against a well-qualified 48-year-old single mother for this office assistant position – but you’ve always dreamed of living in New York! And Kenneth, Dad’s golfing buddy, helped those dreams come true!



      4. The Zip-Pocket Slim-Leg

The daring zip-pocket is a riskier look for sure, but completely functional and sensible. Your true inner and outer millennial will be showing! You take advantage of every moment. Like that one time your dad was going to lose his job and his boss mysteriously went missing before he could be let go – Jim from HR was there! Jim has always been there.



  1. The Relaxed Pencil

Finally, once your first impression has been molded, you can wear something a bit more casual – but still incredibly posh. A relaxed pencil pant and some cute ballet flats are the perfect way to signal that it’s your second week on the 19th floor of that awesome midtown office building and you’re really fitting in there! The CEO being your uncle, who is your dad’s brother and best friend, definitely had nothing to do with it!



Years of unpaid internships, Adderall-fueled late-night study sessions, and countless resume and interview drills can go out the window once you snag one of these essential dress pants off the rack! With these confident looks, you know that your post-grad 20’s will be a breeze – as long as your dad’s friends are there to help you along the way!

I’m Taking My Child Out Of Hogwarts. Here’s Why.

Good morning, fellow mommy bloggers!

My sincerest apologies for the late posting this week. It’s been a bit crazy in our household! As members of the Messy Mom Club, I know that you can more than understand. Between puberty-related meltdowns, homework stress, and little sleep, raising a thirteen-year-old girl is nothing short of climbing darn Everest!


We’ve been pondering how to reveal this bit of news to the world, but it’s high time somebody spoke up. We’re done fearing the stigma. Here’s some backstory, in case you haven’t been reading our Messy Mom newsletters every week!


I want the best for my little girl. She is our everything. When my husband, Roderick, and I awoke on the morning of sweet Pageant’s eleventh birthday, our whole world changed. And we were willing to change with it; to do what the universe was telling us was best for Pageant.


But we can only bend so far.


Being a stay-at-mom in our lovely Kettering suburb surrounded by an enclave of pristine, cardigan-wearing mothers provides a certain pressure. A need. To impress, to keep up, to fit in. So, when our precious angel started to play with her noodles at suppertime – never touching them with her hands as they danced in front of her wide-eyed face – we knew that we had a gifted child. We also knew that the pressure was on to send her to the very best school for children with her special talents.


Roderick and I are magical-typical. That is, we do not contain the ability to perform magic. The politically correct term that we insist on using in our household is indeed “magical-typical”, but the more common slang for people like us is “muggle”. We had heard of children born into “normal” (Ha! Whatever “normal” means these days! That’s basically a curse word in our house. ;]) families like ours who still contain extraordinary gifts of the magical world themselves, without any previous family history, but we could never prepare ourselves for the reality.


Jeanine and Charlotte, two fellow mothers of similar-aged children who live in our cul-de-sac, insisted upon my announcement of Pageant’s abilities that I set my sights on sending her to Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France, as it is far and away the quintessential boarding program for a posh young woman with its status as an all-girls school and with not nearly the amount of dark baggage that Hogwarts retains. As magical-typical parents of magical-typical children, Jeanine and Charlotte simply only had rumors about the wizarding world to go on.


Roderick and I read every parenting book we could find on the matter, including the classic standards like Growing Up Wandless: The Struggle of the Muggle-Born Child Wizard and Dispatches From The Floo Network: How My Child Taught Me About The World That Wasn’t Mine, all of which assured us that the right school would pick the right child. Whilst the other mothers were scurrying about in a huff regarding application essays, exam marks, and alumni interviews for their magical-typical children’s middle school experiences, Roderick and I simply had to wait.  


On the spring morning that Pageant turned eleven, a black-and-grey spotted owl arrived on her windowsill, and our decision was thusly made. Pageant had been invited to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


As I write this, Pageant has just returned home for holiday from her second year.


I am taking my child out of Hogwarts.


Roderick and I are consulting with a child psychologist on the matter of next steps in Pageant’s education. As she has recently been inundated with visceral scenes of death, torture, animal abuse, and racially-charged rhetoric, we need to let an expert help us examine what is best for her at this juncture in her emotional development.


Why am I taking my brilliant child out of the highest-rated magical program on the continent? Here are 5 reasons. We should have seen the warning signs.


  1. Where Was The Paperwork?


When Jeanine and Charlotte sent their daughters and sons to pristine magical-typical boarding schools Dulwich and Woldingham, they often complained of the hours spent on the documentation and legal forms that were required of them as the student’s parent and/or guardian. I am not sure if I missed an envelope in the post, or if there was an email in which I was supposed to find some PDFs that perhaps filed away into my Spam folder, but I never once was approached or contacted to sign or read anything regarding my child’s entry into a seven-year boarding program at a haunted castle far away from home.


This concerns me. There was no liability paperwork whatsoever. In her first year, Pageant broke her arm falling off of a flying broomstick during a school-sponsored event called “Quidditch”, and not only was I not notified, but she was simply sent into a room in the castle and given an herbal elixir by a woman named Pomfrey who had no medical licensing whatsoever. Roderick and I scoured Google for her reviews as a pediatrician, but our efforts were fruitless. The woman has no legally sound medical degrees or credentials whatsoever.


The lack of any sort of formal registration process is alarming. How do they know whether Pageant – or any other child – is up to date with her vaccinations? How do they know that my baby sometimes reacts poorly to amoxicillin and has a mild tree nut allergy?!


  1. She Was Bitten And Then Thrown Across The Room By A Creature During Class Time


A gripe that I have with any school program is the fact that my child is not allowed to choose subjects that interest her. She is unique! She likes to paint and draw! There was no outlet for her self-expression at Hogwarts. She was forced into a tough curriculum – the most alarming course of which was called “Defense Against The Dark Arts”. One would think that a parent would be required to perhaps sign a waiver of some kind before a child delves into such content! Charlotte’s little boy had to get a special permission slip signed by her before he handled a Bunsen burner for the first time in his magical-typical biology class at Woldingham.


During second term of her first year at Hogwarts, Pageant’s instructor released some creatures called Cornish Pixies into the classroom. These little shrill creatures have incredibly sharp teeth, which we now know due to a scar that remains on Pageant’s cheek. Two of them flew across the room, apparently untethered by any sort of regulated safety mechanism that one would hope the school had in place, and lifted up my baby girl by her ears, tossing her across the dungeon classroom. The moment that I heard of this news – which was A FULL DAY later – I wanted to speak to somebody at Hogwarts immediately. Which brings me to gripe #3.


  1. Lack Of Viable Communication Methods


Listen to this, fellow moms! They took my daughter’s iPhone away as soon as she stepped off of the train. She has no way to contact me via Facetime or Skype when she is away at school. And worse: THERE IS NO EMAIL ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBER FOR THE SCHOOL. Nope! Nothing. Zero. Zilch. You can email “” all you want, but you will get no response. I am simply outraged. The parenting books all said such wonderful things about Hogwarts. We were misled. As parents of magical children, I am stunned that our community is not more concerned. And perhaps most absurd of all: we were in fact expected to sign a permission form for one activity that the students partook in: to spend a day off-campus in a local town called Hogsmeade. With all of the terrible things that had already happened to Pageant at Hogwarts, I was practically begging for them to let her leave the campus! How about asking my and Roderick’s permission before my baby is forced as an assignment to practice a spell that literally makes her bones disappear?! Where was my slip to sign then?!?! Her foot is still not the same!


  1. She Witnessed A Human Boy Die


I once read a book called The Hunger Games that absolutely devastated me! I DO NOT recommend it! It features children trying to hurt each other in order to win some vague grand prize. Well, you should have seen my face this past fall when an owl flew onto my kitchen table (unsanitary!) with a letter from Pageant informing me that some older students were participating in horrific-sounding event called “The Triwizard Tournament”, wherein it was assumed that an underaged competitor could get brutally injured and in some cases actually die, per historic precedent. In this gladiatorial “Tournament”, a boy was made to publicly fight a dragon.


That’s right. You read that right, fellow mommy warriors!


Fight. A. Dragon.


At most, I had read some articles about Hogwarts having some possibly less-than-satisfactory security provisions in place in order to attempt to prevent co-ed mingling after hours, but this?!


As any reasonable adult would assume, the dragon was able to breathe fire, and therefore the boy died during this “stage” of the competition. You know, since an impossibly powerful mystical creature chased him in flight and breathed real fire onto him.


My baby girl and hundreds of other teens and preteens witnessed this human boy die. I had just shown her Beaches the previous summer in order to introduce the concept of death into our safe household. Well, all bets are off now. She is impossibly traumatized. We are paying three professionals for multiple sessions per week.


I am absolutely tongue-tied at the prospect of how the school is still open. We have a perfectly functional legal system in England, and the idea that a parent has yet to sue astonishes me.


  1. My Child Is Too Unique To Be “Sorted”


We understand how rare it is to find a boarding school that is totally and completely free, but there is a limit to how much we can take. This barbaric “sorting” process was a huge deal-breaker for Roderick and I. Hogwarts forces the children – yes, even my extraordinary child – into very limiting social boxes by “sorting” them into one of four “houses”.


Nope. Not happening. My child is her own person. She loves to laugh. She hates pineapple. She sings along to daddy’s rock music in the car. She blows bubbles. She cannot possibly be described by one lone “house”, and I frankly start to tear up with anger at the prospect of a school system being so ignorant to the needs of my very special, unique, and perfectly imperfect child. Do NOT tell my daughter that she has limits. She is more than some “badger” or “snake”.


I don’t know about you, fellow moms, but all of this was just too much for my and Roderick’s hearts to handle. Some of you brave mommas out there might like the “tough love” that it encourages in your little ones! They certainly learn some crucial survival skills through rigorous hands-on experience, like that one third year student who almost died because he used the wrong faucet in the boy’s restroom and a giant venomous demon snake came out of the wall.


I do not think that it is for everyone. Ultimately, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is not the right choice for our family. Our baby may be growing up, but she is still our baby, and that means that we want her to be able to get a good education and not need life-saving emergency medical care literally three times per month. We’re looking at some charter schools now! There is one in Yorkshire where the grades are animal symbols, and we really like that.
Until next week, Messy Moms! Get ready for a fun new DIY guacamole recipe!