The Popsicle Syndrome

Written by Guest Blogger Terry Ambrose

Author Terry AmbroseToday I welcome Terry Ambrose, author of two very funny mystery series.

Terry and his protagonists seem to have something in common.

Find out if you do as well.


Terry Ambrose - All WetIt’s not easy being a smart ass. There are days when it’s as simple as falling off a paddleboard. Plop. Yup, straight into the drink. Right side up, upside down. It makes no difference. As you can see, wet all over is still wet all over.

Then there are those days when the retorts and barbs don’t come easily. We’ve all done it, two hours after being under the gun, I’ll start talking to the walls. The perfect comeback, something that would have turned the tables or had everyone complimenting me on my brilliant wit, pops into my head. But in the moment when I needed my inner wise guy the most, I probably stood around like a melting popsicle.

And there it is, the Popsicle Syndrome. You might have it, too. Let’s take a look at what popsicles and people have in common. Do both have a skeleton? Check. Granted, a popsicle’s skeleton is just a stick, but what a stick! Popsicle sticks have been used to make replicas of everything from trucks to hotels to roller coasters. Martha Stewart showed us how to make a popsicle-stick house and the American Society of Civil Engineers conducts an annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition. And just to put this in perspective, when’s the last time you saw someone other than a maniacal serial killer in a B-movie build a bridge out of bones?

There’s also the sweetness factor. Check. He’s sweet. She’s a sweetheart. I’m sweet on you. But, people can also be a sourpuss, demonstrate a sour-grapes attitude, or sour a relationship. Did a popsicle ever do that? Of course not, a popsicle is always sweet.

I’ll grant you that people do have the advantage when it comes to the whole melting thing. When we have a meltdown, we hold our shape because the “melting” is metaphorical. But, when a popsicle goes, it’s just plain messy. And once the messy puddle starts to dry, it gets sticky. That does, however, bring up another issue. When one person melts over another, there usually is a sticky part in the relationship. The good news is that the popsicle mess can be cleaned up with a sponge and some soap and water—the people mess usually involves lawyers and lots of money. But, that’s a whole different post.

Do you suffer from Popsicle Syndrome? Or something similar? Can you summon those super-smart comebacks on command or does it take a little time to think them up?

Leave a comment by midnight, Sunday, February 3, 2013, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win an e-book of PHOTO FINISH or LICENSE TO LIE.


License to Lie by Terry AmbroseTerry Ambrose ( is a mystery author who also reports on real-life scams and cons on

His most recent release is LICENSE TO LIE. Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity award-winning author, called LICENSE TO LIE a “smart and twisty tale of high finance and double dealing” and said, “This unlikely and irresistible crime-fighting duo will charm you – and keep you happily turning the pages.”


  1. Terry Ambrose on January 30, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hi Cindy, thanks for having me as a guest today!

    • Cindy Sample on January 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Hi Terry. Thanks for guest blogging today. I always enjoy hosting mystery authors on my website. Happy writing!

  2. Michele Drier on January 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Sad to say, it’s taking longer and longer to come up with snappy comebacks, along with “why did I walk into this room?”
    The comebacks show up at 3 a.m. but by then I can’t remember what it was in response to.
    Great blog, and I’d like a popsicle stick!

    • Terry Ambrose on January 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Michelle, when we were younger, it was so easy! I think I’m going to have to make a list of quick comebacks and carry it around!

  3. W.S.Gager on January 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I’m not as fast with the comebacks but the popsicle s disappear fast. Great post.

  4. Terry Ambrose on January 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks Wendy, glad you liked it. And thanks for stopping by!

  5. Liz jasper on January 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I’m a Popsicle right now for blog comments. Only the banal is coming to mind. But, trite is better than saying nothing of what one intends, so:That was a hoot. Thanks 🙂

    • Terry Ambrose on January 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      And his very witty reply is, “Nice to meet you, Liz!” 🙂

  6. Terry Odell on January 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Maybe that’s what prompts some of us to become writers. We can take our time coming up with the perfect lines for our characters.

  7. Terry Odell on January 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Apologies if this is a dupe — I didn’t get a ‘moderated’ response. I think writers avoid the popsicle syndrome because we can take days coming up with the right responses–of course, they’re for our characters, but sometimes one might come in handy.

    • Terry Ambrose on January 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Yes, and when we write, we can always craft that perfect response! (No matter how many days it might take!)

  8. Sally Carpenter on January 30, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    People are like popsicles in that neither should be left out in the sun too long.

  9. Terry Ambrose on January 31, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Nice comeback, Sally!

  10. Sharon Goldstein on January 31, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Popsicle! I love it. And how often I’ve just wanted to melt away.

  11. Terry Ambrose on February 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Sharon, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you liked the reference and don’t you hate it when that happens?

    • Sharon Goldstein on February 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Hate it? . Ah well, back into the freezer.

      • Terry Ambrose on February 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        That’s the nice thing about popsicles! They can just stay frozen until ready… 🙂

  12. Barb Beacham on February 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Sometimes the words cannot be found and at other times they flow! The ebb and flow of life – eh? One time a fellow came up to me in a bar and asked if he could buy me a drink. I thanked him and said, “No, but I will take the money!”

    • Terry Ambrose on February 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Oh Barb, that’s funny! And you’re right about the ebb and flow. Some days are really good and others, not so much.

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