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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Sea Cow Interview....

Sea Cow Interview

In view of the recent media flap over a plus-size dress called "manatee gray" sold by Target, I felt it my journalistic duty to tell the other side of the story.

It has been widely reported that when Target found out plus-size women were insulted by having a dress named after a sea cow, they quickly apologized and changed the name to plain old gray.

Today I have gone all the way to Florida to interview the manatee itself and see what it thinks about this.

Hello, Mrs. Manatee, could we have a quick word with you? Whoops, this bank is a bit slippery. Let me crawl back up it. I'll just stay up here if you don't mind and try not to fall in the water again.

Mrs. Manatee, are you awake? I asked you a question. Do you hear me?

Sorry, folks, Mrs. Manatee seems not to be very interested in being interviewed. Mrs. Manatee, did you know that Target, one of the nation's largest retailers, named a dress after you?

Please, surely you must have some thoughts about it. After all, how many of us have a fashion named in our honor?

Okay, we will try another approach. Some people have said the dress is really ugly. People were insulted that the dress was called manatee gray. Does it insult you that people were insulted by your appearance?

You see, folks, manatees spend about half of the day sleeping under water, but they do have to come up occasionally for air. Maybe we can catch her getting a breath.

I see her snout, coming up to the surface now. My goodness, you are rather plus-sized, aren't you? How much do you weigh anyhow, about thousand pounds? Oh, I'm sorry, you should never ask a lady how much she weighs, not even a lady manatee.

I think she is awake now; she is beginning to graze. Manatees are vegetarian, you know. They eat grasses and plants that grow in water. In fact, they eat about 10 percent of their weight every day. That's a lot of salad. I'm surprised that they are so obese. It must be their genes.

Drat, did you have to slap the water with your flat tail and splash me? My feet are already wet from sliding down the bank a while ago.

The water is crystal clear and only several feet deep. I can see some other manatee nearby. Maybe I can ask one of them about the dress. You might be interested to know they are definitely gray - sort of the color of an elephant - could be related.

Open your eyes. Are you deaf? You have a lot of scars, I see. You must have had a rough life? I've heard that manatees frequently have run-ins with boat propellers. Care to comment?

Does anyone want to be interviewed? I'm not getting much cooperation here. What is that shade of gray called anyhow? Manatee gray, I guess.

I've tried and tried to give these animals an opportunity to comment, but all I get is bubbles. This species is supposed to be super intelligent, like a dolphin. Couldn't one of them at least give me nod?

Well, I suppose you are not insulted by having an ugly dress named after you.

I think we can safely assume that the manatee community does not care that Target has put their name on a retail item and does not intend to protest or file a lawsuit. Apparently, they are not interested in watching their figure either.

And that's it, folks. The fat sea cows wouldn't even acknowledge me, after I came all the way to Florida and ruined my new shoes too. The life of a columnist is not an easy one.

From now on, I hope Target will name dresses after an animal that is more cooperative.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

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