THE USED-CAR SALESMAN’S NIECE TO MEET SWEDISH ROYALTY By Maura Yzmore

Dr. Louise Blackwell is a professor of biochemistry at Fancypants University and, according to numerous news outlets, a shoo-in for this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine, following her team’s discovery of the cure for the common cold that has no side effects, is environmentally friendly, and, when mixed with 2% milk, becomes remarkably effective as a cure for obesity. Today’s interview for the Global News Network is conducted by Frank C. Nuttrah.

GNN: Professor Blackwell, it’s an honor to meet you. Thanks for giving GNN a chance to discuss your groundbreaking work with you.

LB: Oh, please don’t call me Professor Blackwell. It’s doesn’t matter what I do for a living. I like to be addressed as The Used-Car Salesman’s Niece, because the most important thing about me is how I’m related to Bob Blackwell, a successful small-town peddler of pre-owned vehicles.

GNN: But…you are an incredibly accomplished woman, with advanced degrees and an exemplary record of creative contributions to your field of science!

LB: Please stop. Talking about my degrees or my work as if they’re something that anyone would actually care to know about is making me really uncomfortable. Honestly, I would give up all the work that I have done for the ability to identify as The Burger-Joint Fry Cook’s Daughter or The Middle-School Janitor’s Daughter… But, sadly, I cannot. My mother had me via artificial insemination using an anonymous donor. I’ve never known what my father does for a living, which has pained me my entire life…

GNN: Your mother is Guinevere Blackwell, a world-famous concert pianist?

LB. I suppose she is, although that’s a weird way of referring to her. My mother’s had the privilege of calling herself The Small-Town Grocer’s Daughter, yet she selfishy denied me any information of my father’s occupation that could help me find a place in this world. For a while, in my rebellious teens, I went by The Strapped-for-Cash-So-Donating-Sperm Graduate Student’s Daughter, because that was all that I knew about my father… But this designation was too long to put on forms. It was also disrespectful to Uncle Bob, who did come to visit my mom and me once every few years. One time, he even bought me a doll.

GNN: I see… Other than your mother, have there been other women in your life who might have helped you get to where you are today?

LB: Yes, of course. The support of my female friends and colleagues has been invaluable. I am especially grateful to The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Aviator’s Wife, The Railwayman’s Wife, The Pilot’s Wife, The Shoemaker’s Wife, and, despite her husband’s unfortunate actions, The Traitor’s Wife.

GNN: The Time Traveler’s Wife? You mean Professor Joanna Crichton, the physicist who invented time travel and whose estranged husband, drug-addicted and often incarcerated Ron, was the first to successfully go into the future and back through the machine, but only because she promised she would give him $50 for his next hit if he agreed to partake in the experiment?

LB: Well, when you put it like that, it makes The Time Traveler’s Wife sound like a freak… I am not sure this interview was such a good idea.

GNN: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. Let’s shift gears for a bit. What does the future hold for you?

LB: Well, I am excited to share that I have recently gotten engaged to a wonderful man, Joe Smith of Jiffy Lube.

GNN: Congratulations!

LB: Thank you! His proposal is, bar none, the greatest accomplishment of my life.

GNN: Wonderful, yes… But, I hear you might be traveling to Stockholm in the near future?

LB: Yes. Should I be nominated for the Nobel Prize, I plan to marry Joe before I go to Stockholm. Of course, I am excited at the prospect of receiving the Nobel Prize, but even more excited that I will be able to do so while proudly identifying myself as The Car Mechanic’s Wife. I will finally have a place in the world that everyone understands. I am happy my future daughters will be able to refer to themselves as The Car Mechanic’s Daughters and not be victims of the cruel fate that befell me.

GNN: Exciting times ahead, yes… Well, thank you very much for your time, Professor Blackwell.

LB: You are welcome. And, please, for the last time, it’s The Used-Car Salesman’s Niece.


Maura gets paid to be a nerd and writes short stories so she wouldn’t drive everyone around her crazy. Her (deathly serious) short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiction Pool, Ellipsis Zine, Jellyfish Review, Gone Lawn, and elsewhere. Some of her funny pieces have appeared in The Dirty Pool, The Drabble, and 50-Word Stories. Find her at https://maurayzmore.com or come say ‘hi’ on Twitter @MauraYzmore.