Beth Newell Can Remember 3 Plant Names at a Time, Max

Despite living in these frankly precedented times, we are also fully existing in the future. And a futuristic lifestyle calls for a modern approach to our traditional “Follow Friday column. We at Vulture have pivoted from our Luddite ways, opting for a more interactive digital angle to what was once mere text on web page. We want you to get to know our favorite up-and-coming comics, writers, and generally funny social-media presences face-to-face (or at least screen-to-screen). So we hope you enjoy our new-and-improved, Instagram Live–based version of “Follow Friday.”

This week I was joined by my radiant former boss Beth Newell (Reductress, There’s No Manual: Honest and Gory Wisdom About Having a Baby, getting her nails done to maintain some semblance of sanity) for a virtual chitchat that was ultimately about being Massholes. She explained her desire to know about the various goops and gunks of pregnancy before she experienced them, described how impressed her friends are when she rattles off the name of one of the three plants she can identify, and claimed single-handed credit for anything Reductress has ever published or done. She also shared her thoughts on why Massachusetts is a good state to have a family: “You’re looking for somewhere to raise kids so that your kids turn out a little bit broken but smart. If you want them to accomplish anything, they need to feel like they’re missing something.”

You can find Newell on Twitter at @bethnew and Instagram at @bethnewell.

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Beth Newell Can Remember 3 Plant Names at a Time, Max