I Insist We Call Each Other Perchildren


To be clear, this is a call for humor when dealing with a serious subject.
I do not mean to offend. Seriously.

I was born a male with a female name

You cannot believe the kind of childhood trauma I went through and the only way for me to avoid post traumatic stress is for you to change your ways.

In order that you not trigger unfortunate emotions in me I must insist that:

  • You must refer to me as a perchild and I will do the same for you.
  • Rather than use MR (for “mister”) and MS (for whatever that stands for) we must henceforth use PC (for perchild, of course).
  • You must use the pronoun FF when referring to me in the third person because I do not self-identify as binary but rather nothing less than hexadecimal.

I will explain these terms but first I will explain why I insist that you change for my benefit and for the benefit of all the other miserable perchildren who suffer in ways you cannot fathom.

My Horrible History

I was bullied as a child.

You have no idea what kind of wounds can be inflicted on you if an adult imagines you were bullied as a child. When I was young the children I had fun with made fun of my name because I dressed like a boy and my name was Brooke.

My parents called this “teasing” and they said they were having fun with my name, not making fun of me.

I believed them then.

Today, I am enlightened and see that my parents were in cahoots with the bullies. Now, Continue reading “I Insist We Call Each Other Perchildren”


LinkedIn as Artist’s Medium (and congratulate me on my work anniversary while you are at it)

Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/airship-city-mushroom-steampunk-1140366/

I have discovered that LinkedIn is an amazing new absurdist medium for creative expression.

I started to realize the potential of LinkedIn as Artist’s Medium in February, 2014, when I retired from Wall Street. After updating my end-date for my old job, on a whim I added a new position:

I know, it’s a hamster wheel and not a rat in a race, but it’s the same idea.


Title: Rat

Company: Rat Race

Dates: July, 1968 – February, 2014.

I was just having fun. I didn’t expect anything to happen. Who looks at anything anyone writes on their LinkedIn profile anyway? The modal message is, “See how great I am.” That is only slightly less annoying than Facebook, where everyone is screaming “Look at me (and what I ate for lunch).” Yuck.

But after I officially retired as Rat from The Rat Race I immediately began receiving the most charming notes from people. I reconnected with some people I hadn’t talked to in a long time and made some new friends.

It was wonderful for a while, But, then it died down.

Then I added a new entry called Human at Human Race, that runs from October, 1952, to present.

I got a new flurry of new messages, and it was all good again.

For a while.

Then I forgot all about it.

Until, the following October, when I got a HUGE blast of messages congratulating me on my work anniversary as Human at Human Race.

WOW! It was like getting a love letter addressed to occupant.

So, I have been adding various projects to my profile as I think of them. I make sure to make up an absurd title and appropriate organization name.

Now I get notes telling from amazing people telling me how much they enjoy reading my profile.

And every month people congratulate my on my work Anniversary.

My new calling card.

To illustrate the point for this article, I just gave myself a new job.

Title: Chief Inanity Officer (CIO) at CardsAgainstInanity.com

Start date: March, 2011

I’m bracing for the next onslaught of messages congratulating me on the new job.

In the meantime, this is what I want you to do: If you’ve read this far then send me a quick note saying “Congratulations on your work anniversary.”

I promise I will respond, thanking you for reading this article. Maybe we can get to know each other better. If you got this far then I know I’ll like you, and I’ll try to give you reason to like me.



P. S. I am an “open networker.” That means that I will accept connection requests from most people as long as they don’t give me a reason not to. If you go to my LinkedIn profile and you like what you read, and you would like me to be a contact of yours, then send me a personal note telling me that you do. You might want to also tell me why.


by Brooke Allen

In February of 2014 I retired after 30 years of navigating the moral minefield that we call Wall Street.

I was looking forward to a stress-free retirement.

Fat chance.

My problems began when I spent the month of August, 2014 in Edinburgh for the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The summer I was there 23,762 performers from 51 countries put on 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues.

Continue reading “”

Is Cheating by Colleges Just Another Clever Marketing Ploy?


by Brooke Allen

Should “caveat emptor” be the operative philosophy when colleges market to students, or should they hold themselves to a higher standard than, say, a drug dealer?

Emory University confessed that for 11 years it has been fudging data it sent in for U. S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. The publisher said that, “Our preliminary calculations show that the misreported data would not have changed the school’s ranking in the past two years (No. 20) and would likely have had a small to negligible effect in the several years prior.” (Read the article here.)

This second confession by U. S. News only serves to prove that their ranking methodology is deeply flawed. Since integrity is such a major part of character, confessed cheating should drop you to Dead Last in the rankings, and a cover-up should get you barred altogether pending review by the accrediting authorities.

Of course, despicable behavior by colleges may be just another clever marketing ploy intended to send a message to the vast pool of students who embrace cheating: “Come here; you are our kind of people.”

Continue reading “Is Cheating by Colleges Just Another Clever Marketing Ploy?”