How Not to Parent

In 2004, I broke into serious writing when I sold an article to the Writer
Magazine. Sure, I had written serious pieces for local newspapers but nothing on a national level. This was great. I had a byline in the leading magazine in the country for writers! Stephen King, Roald Dahl and now….Brad Manzo. What the hell were they were thinking?!

I was hoping it would open doors and it did. I wrote more serious articles that were published in established magazines. I even wrote a serious piece about joke writing.

But I wasn’t satisfied. I had been making people laugh with my wisecracks for years. Now I wanted recognition for being a smartass. I wanted to be the guy people spoke about at the water cooler (and not just for walking around work with my fly open or being the worst dancer at the company Christmas party.) I longed to be the next Dave Barry or Erma Bombeck. I wanted to be the next great humor columnist.

Immediately I was drawn to writing about family and marriage. These were things I knew about, or, more accurately, knew how to ask my wife about.

“Honey, is it safe to microwave the baby’s bottle?” I said.

“Was it safe yesterday?”

Trick question. She knows I can’t remember what the hell I did yesterday, I barely sleep.

“I don’t hear the microwave.”

“I was….cleaning something up,” I lied.

“Still don’t hear the microwave, hon.”

“Honey,” I paused awkwardly, “how long should I microwave it for?”

“Are you KIDDING me?! Do I have to tell you every F#!*in’ thing around here?”

I started jotting down these little, heart-warming family anecdotes and The Imperfect Man humor column was born.

Within a couple of years, I was writing the column for a website and two local newspapers (The Rockaway point News and The Bay Ridge Home Reporter). But now I wanted to publish my first book and give a broader audience a chance to laugh at my parental screwups.

In 2012, I published How Not to Parent, a collection of humor columns with some new material thrown in. Hope you enjoy it!

How Not to Parent is available on and

cover art 2


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