What Are You Reading?

by John Shankman

Over the next few weeks for a sponsored project on behalf of Byliner, The Billfold’s Mike Dang and our publisher John Shankman will be selecting stories from the Byliner platform and chatting about them.


John: Hello, Mike. How goes it?

Mike: John, hey! I’m guessing you want to talk about what I’ve been reading?

John: I was going to say: Have you consumed any interesting media lately?

Mike: Haha, yes, let me pull up my Byliner list. I chose a story from Mary Roach, have you heard of her?

John: Hm. What if I said no?

Mike: Haha, that would be okay! She usually writes about popular science — things like, “Do astronauts have sex in space?” This one was not a science story exactly- this story is about a woman who won a “wife” to help her with housework for five days. (The wife is a man who provides “professional domestic services” and the story is called “He Came. He Saw. He Cleaned.”) Seeing a non-science story from her was interesting to me.

John: Interesting indeed. Was the woman who won the male “wife” a wife herself?

Mike: Yes! Her husband didn’t enjoy doing housework, and he was skeptical of having another man in the house who did but they both ended up loving the male wife. Another interesting thing is that this piece is from 13 years ago as a part of contest by Redbook magazine called “Win a Wife for a Week”.

John: fascinating. what was the funniest part of the story?

Mike: Hmm! I guess when the son comes home from college with his girlfriend’s laundry because the son believes that men should also help with household chores, and then he ends up handing all of the laundry over to his mom.

Which is a jerk move, if you ask me.

John: i meannnn
sons will be sons i suppose

Mike: John, are you telling me that you made your mom do your laundry when you were in college?

John: haha nah
i def did all my own laundry
im pretty good at it
i was doing laundry in middle school, id say
what about yourself?

Mike: Yes, I started doing my own laundry when I was pretty young too. And also my mom’s laundry sometimes. She turned the tables on us, basically.

John: Strong parental move.

Interested in reading more? Byliner has thousands of great fiction and nonfiction stories. Check it out here.