Snarky in the Suburbs

Admit it — we’ve all been snarky at one time or another. We’ve dissed, ranted and complained about our neighbors, our co-workers and a plethora of irritants that we face on a daily basis. Whether you love to hate the obnoxious soccer mom on your child’s team, the friend who created a Facebook page for her unborn baby, or the “wanna-be-hot” neighbor who runs around town in yoga pants and Ugg boots, we can all relate to being a bit judgmental on occasion.

However, Johnson County mom Sherry Kuehl is about to reach celebrity status based upon her pontification to the world at-large through social media about pretty much everything and everyone that grinds on her nerves.

Two years ago, after her husband’s job moved the entire family to Kansas, Kuehl began to share her cheeky commentary on motherhood and the universal parenting experience on an Internet blog she aptly named “Snarky in the Suburbs.”

“The job market was at a standstill and I wasn’t finding any interesting work, so I just started blogging,” says Kuehl, who was instantly embraced by followers for her unique perceptions and snide comments. “‘Snarky’ was born as a creative, fun outlet for me. I really had zero expectations about the whole thing when it started.”

“Snarky” dishes on everything from girls’ night out cleansing parties, elementary school cafeterias that smell like dirty mop bucket water and stale Twinkies, and her love of Diet Coke and Target. She mocks her own cankles and spider veins. She even freely admits that she is middle-aged, uncool and not bringing sexy back, and vows that the word “injectables” will not become part of her daily lexicon — all of which makes her even more lovable.

For the past two years, Kuehl has been able to be wittily sarcastic behind a veil of secrecy and unencumbered by notoriety.

Until now.

“A few months ago I got an e-mail from a Los Angeles television producer who had read my blog on someone’s Facebook page,” says Kuehl. “She wanted to talk about the possibility of turning the blog into a television sitcom and asked if I was interested in meeting with her in California to hear more. I thought I was being punked until I Googled her.”

Kuehl has flown to L.A. four times over the past several months to meet with and help pitch the idea to a variety of corporate executives and producers at ABC, has hired an agent and signed the papers.

“Things are moving quickly, and right now we are looking at professional writers who can capture the voice of Snarky,” says Kuehl.

Signing an option with ABC to potentially turn her blog into a sitcom helped to prompt another venture as well: this darling of the blog world — with more than a half-million hits per year and 7,000 Facebook fans — has just completed her first book, “Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.”

“Writing this book has been the hardest thing I have ever done,” says Kuehl, choosing to crowd-source the proofing by asking for volunteers from — where else? — her blog and Facebook pages. She received more than 400 responses.

“I finally had to cut it off because so many people wanted to help edit the book,” says Kuehl, who selected 21 editors to proof one chapter each in the book. The finished product launched in both paperback and digital editions in mid-December, and is available on Amazon.

In this purely fictional piece, Kuehl expounds on her “Snarky” persona, and weaves a tale about a coven of elementary school “mean moms” who are up to no good, spurring her to design a revenge caper to take them all down at the school’s annual Fall Festival.

If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke-bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, Liar, Botox on Fire!” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

Already gearing up for her second book, Kuehl plans to use a composite of personalities and characters from her blog in a brand new story entitled “Snarky in the Suburbs Two Weeks in Texas.” It is slated for release in late April.

“Initially, what I thought were my unique experiences, I quickly discovered were universal,” says Kuehl. “Women and men would comment on my blog or Facebook, saying things like ‘you must be my neighbor’ or ‘our kids just have to go to the same school.’ Funny thing is that what happens in the blog is not just happening in the suburbs or cities, or even America. I have had comments from people all over the world who admit that they can relate to what I am writing.”

photos: Jason Dailey

Categories: People, People & Places