Column Classic: Ho for the Burn

by Lisa Scottoline

I couldn’t be more excited about two new fitness crazes — exercising in high heels and/or on a stripper pole.

I can’t think of a better message for young girls than exercising is important, but only if you look pornographic.

Obviously, whoever said women couldn’t achieve equality in athletics had no idea what they were talking about.

Or maybe it’s called a craze because it’s crazy.

We begin with Heel Hop, which is an hour-long workout, including sit-ups, stretches, and lunges, but you do all the exercises wearing high heels.

Don’t forget your stilettos — and Blue Cross card.

The instructor is a backup dancer named Kamilah, who says, “I came straight out of the womb with some high-heeled pumps.”

I have one word for Kamilah:


I wish I knew Kamilah’s mother, so I could give her a big hug – and a Bronze Star.

I’m hoping Kamilah doesn’t start a new craze among fetuses, who will begin demanding high-heeled pumps in the womb. Because we don’t need babies making their exit — or their entrance, depending on how you look at it — in even an infant-size pair of heels.

Unless you want to save the doctor fees on your episiotomy.

But that’s not where I’d cut costs.

No pun.

I read online that Heel Hop is taught in classes held in Los Angeles.

I know, it makes you want to move to Los Angeles.

And if you do, you should. Move there. And stay there. Go away and never come back. I don’t want to run into you in the market.

I’ll be the one in muddy clogs.

The article I read about Heel Hop contained an interview with a podiatrist. They asked him about working out in high heels, and he said, “Exercising in them just doesn’t make sense in any way, shape, or form.”

But what does he know?

He’s only a doctor, not a dancer, and therefore unqualified to give an opinion.

I bet he can’t even walk in heels.

In fact, I challenge him to pronounce Louboutin.

Hint: Louboutin is French for you’re-gonna-break-your-ankle.

But an even better fitness craze is exercising on a stripper pole, which I saw on one of the Real Housewives reality shows, where the housewives were taking lessons, spinning around the pole.

I’m sure this is exactly your reality, spending your free time spinning around poles with your girlfriends.

Of course that’s not reality.

Real women don’t have free time.

In any event, you’ll be happy to know that you can find lots of DVDs online that will teach you how to work out on a stripper pole. I like the website called FlirtyGirlFitness, which says, “Treadmills, bench presses, and stair climbers have been replaced with dance poles, kitchen chairs, and pink feather boas.”

This may be news to Nike.

I bet right now they’re figuring out a way to paste a swish onto a boa.

Maybe they should just paste it onto a pastie.

Buy two.

Also I’m wondering what FlirtyGirlFitness is doing with their kitchen chairs. I need mine for sitting on while I eat chocolate cake.

The problem with exercising on a pole is that you need to install a pole in your house, which could be embarrassing when it comes time to sell. Unless you convince potential buyers that you’re a fireman.

And think about what happens when you abandon your pole exercises, as you inevitably will. A pole isn’t like a treadmill, in that you can’t leave your dirty clothes on it. They’ll fall right off.

I don’t buy exercise equipment that I can’t use for a hamper.

But amazingly, FlirtyGirlFitness has an answer for what to do with your abandoned pole. The website says that their poles come with “a special hook that will allow you to use this space to hang a plant.”

How’s that for a sales pitch?

Ladies, now you can combine your love of gardening with your need to look like a hooker!

I’m sure there’s a market for that, and it’s born every minute.

I just hope it wears flats.

Copyright © Lisa Scottoline


By Lisa Scottoline

I’m writing this in the middle of the night.

And here’s why.


I’m not complaining.

I’m recommending.

Let me explain.

We begin two months ago when I develop a head cold and can’t shake it. On book tour, I can’t even hug people and that’s the reason I write books.

By the way, it’s not Covid.

I’m still a Covid virgin.

You think I’m lucky?

You never met Thing Two.

So I called my doctor and he refers me to an specialist, whom I go see.

He looks up my nose and says it’s “frothy.”

Froth does not belong in your nose.

It belongs in your cappuccino.

And now I’ll never drink cappuccino again.

The specialist diagnoses a sinus infection and prescribes an antibiotic and steroids.

Thus changing my life.

I don’t understand how I could go from feeling so bad in the morning to feeling so good at night. In fact, I could paint your house.

If you want, I’ll be right over.

I’ve never felt this good in my life.

I don’t know why I can’t live on steroids.

Maybe I’ll grow big muscles, but that’s not the worst thing in return for feeling like you could run the world.

Should I give it a try?

After I paint your house?

I’m happy I’m cured because I’m a bad patient. All I did was complain. In my defense, I live alone. So I was talking to dogs.

But I was extremely profane.

Somebody needs to explain to me the science of steroids.

Are these the same steroids that make people hit baseballs into the next state?

I think they’re different because you inject those steroids in your butt.

Or maybe that’s testosterone.

And maybe you inject it somewhere else.

All I know is now I have two working nostrils, one on each side. I’m breathing like a champ. I’m pretty sure I’m using up all the oxygen in the universe.

Please be careful.

Don’t exert yourself.

You’re only left with nitrogen or whatever.

The other weird thing about steroids is the dosage. You take six pills in a one day, then five, then four, you get the idea. I’ve never in my life taken five of the same pill one day.

Now I want six hundred.

This is why I don’t do drugs.

The only drug I do is chocolate.

That’s why I don’t buy chocolate cake.

Now I won’t buy steroids.

I have no portion control when it comes to steroids.

I’m gonna grow chin hair, but what else is new?

Plus I can write in the middle of the night. By the way, I apologize for not writing new pieces lately, but I’m on book deadline and my nose is frothy.

Now all I have to do is fall asleep.

I’ve been trying for four hours and I’ll succeed in four days.

Meantime I’ll mow the lawn, wash the car, and run the world.

I think I could run it better.

In my world, everybody would be nice and all waistbands would be elastic.

We’d clean up the Earth, the sea, and our bra drawer.

There would be shows on Netflix we haven’t seen already.

Books would never be burned, but Spanx would.

There would be a price cap on prescription drugs and highlights.

Salted caramels would fall from the sky.

Bradley Cooper would be my husband.

The Supreme Court would have the ethical obligations of a traffic court.

Trials would be televised because we saw everything on Netflix. Also, justice.

That would just be my first day on the job.

Mine would be a government on steroids, literally.

Either that or I’m coming over.

Say when.

© Lisa Scottoline 2024

Column Classic: Spot On

By Lisa Scottoline

It turns out that my past is spotty.

And yours may be, too.

All of us women have to cope with the signs of aging, and some of us do so better than others.

I mostly ignore it.

I’m not a model, so I don’t earn a living by the way I look, and I’ve come to like my face, even with its laugh lines, since I like to laugh.

I know that sometimes my cheeks look drawn and hollow, which is the kind of thing that tempts some women to opt for injections of filler.

I don’t judge, but that isn’t my style.

As soon as I hear “injections,” I’m gone.

And the only filler my face needs is carbohydrates.

The same is true of facelifts or cosmetic surgery. I don’t blame anybody who does it, but my fear kicks in at “surgery.”

Though I have to admit that I’ve been tempted recently, a fact I discovered by accident. After summer was over, I noticed an oddly dark spot on my cheek, and since I wasn’t always careful about using sunscreen, I worried it was cancer. The very notion sent me scurrying to the Internet, where I looked at various horrifying slides and learned the acronym ABCDE, which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving.

Now you learned something, and so did I.

The last time I had memorized an acronym with as much interest was when I was getting engaged, and I learned about the four C’s for engagement rings.

Cut, clarity, color, carat.

Much more fun.

Worried, I called around and found a dermatologist, a woman reputed to be a great doctor, though on the brusque side.

In other words, a woman of few words.

I hadn’t even known such a creature existed.

Obviously, she’s the direct opposite of me, but I wasn’t looking for love, just to stay alive.

Anyway, the dermatologist suggested that I come in for a mole check.

I agreed, though she’d said it so fast, I thought she’d said, “mold check.”

Which was probably more accurate.

I’m not getting old, I’m getting mold.

Or maybe I’m molting.

Either way, I went to the dermatologist, who examined the suspicious mole and determined it was benign.


I promised myself never to skip the sunscreen, ever again.

But then the dermatologist frowned behind the contraption that magnified her eyes to two brown marbles. She pointed to my temples and said, “You have quite a lot of keratoses.”

Again, I didn’t understand because she was looking at my forehead, not my toesies.  “What did you say?”

“These brownish spots on your temples. You have so many.”

Thanks, I thought, but didn’t say. “They’re from the sun, aren’t they?”

“No, that’s a common misconception. They’re hereditary.”

I remembered then that my father used to have them, which might have been the reason I never minded them. Because they reminded me of him.

The dermatologist said, “They’re not related to age, but they age you, and I can remove them.”


“Hold on.” The dermatologist left the office, then returned with a Styrofoam cup of what looked like coffee, because a curlicue of steam wafted from inside the cup. Before I could understand what was going on, she swiped a Q-tip inside the cup and pressed it to my temple.

“Ow,” I blurted out. “What is that?”

“Liquid nitrogen. It burns, right?”

“Right.” I bit my lip as she swiped the Q-tip back in the Styrofoam cup and pressed it on a few other places on my temples.

I wanted my mommy but didn’t say so.

Because that would have been immature.

The dermatologist finished up, saying, “That’s all for now. Call my office in a week or so and make an appointment to remove the others.”

I thanked her and left the office, my forehead a field of red dots, like a constellation that spelled out:


A week later, the red dots had turned brown and fallen off, and in their place was fresh pink skin.

I could see that I looked better, maybe even younger.

But I have to say, I missed looking like my father.

And I think I’ll leave the other ones alone.

© Lisa Scottoline