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She's going after the men

A woman with a passion for life hacks and one-liners — and who claims to have spent the last three decades trying to “get people to read my humor” — spent her 83rd birthday Wednesday at the Medford Habitat for Humanity Restore peddling her words.

Relaxing at a table decked out with an assortment of her self-published works, a few dozen servings of birthday cake and colorful party cups, Phoenix resident Helen Murawski spent the day answering questions about her latest book.

The 60-page “There’s Always a Better Way” is chock full of stories, lists and other creative works, including "10 Reasons the Chicken Crossed the Road," "How to Cook from the Comfort of a Bar Stool," and poems such as “The Day Marijuana Came to Town.” (Watch Murawski read her poem by finding this story at www.mailtribune.com.)

Murawski, who has lived in Phoenix for 10 years, describes herself as “a fugitive from California” who relocated after her home floated away.

Writing under the name Helen Sue Dell, Murawski said she's about half done with a larger work that focuses on her life’s mission of shaming men for centuries of poor treatment toward women everywhere.

“I’m going after the men. I’m going to really make fun of the men,” she said, thumbing through to a list of reasons "women are funnier than men."

The list, boasting nine lines, is nestled between pages with poems about “excuses for a deplorable appearance” and musings about love.

Murawski's sales are also geared toward support of Restore, a local nonprofit, and to help get the word out about her biggest project, which she hopes to complete before turning 84.

The mother of three "perfect children," Murawski said people who buy her work will receive proof of her satirical genius as well as help the local store.

“I paid for it myself, and all proceeds are going to the store. It’s making a donation to the Restore, but I promise they’ll have a lot of fun reading it, too,” she said.

Asked about why she chose to help support the Restore, Murawski quipped, “They were the only ones who would let me through the door.”

— Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.

Helen Murawski, 83, of Phoenix, spent her birthday Wednesday selling her self-published book to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Medford. [Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch]