Who the Hell is Joyce Newman Scott?

Are You Kidding Me, Stacey Gustafson

Joyce Newman Scott

Ever hate a person you’ve never even met? For me that was Joyce Ann Newman Scott.

My plans to stay at the Marriott in Dayton, Ohio for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop last week fell apart. I was stuck at a Holiday Inn, 10 miles away, referred to by the attendees as the “Kids’ Table.”

“Got to worm my way into the Marriot. It’s right across the street from all the action,” I thought to myself. I struck gold when I received this email.

“Hi, my name is Terri. My friend said you are looking for a roommate. Still interested?” she asked.

Bingo, my lucky day.

Roommate Wanted: Must Not Snore

“Sure,” I emailed. “As long as you don’t snore, grind your teeth or have night frights, it’s a deal.”  I cancelled my other reservation.

Fifteen minutes later I received her follow-up email. “Hey, Roomie it’s me. Forgot to mention one thing. Still trying to get us two beds. See ya.”

What?! One bed. This woman is a stranger. Why didn’t she mention this in the first place?

At check-in they confirmed my worst fear, one double bed.

You must be kidding.

“Uh, there must be some mistake,” I said to the perky twelve-year-old attendant. My mind whirled with crafty ways with to get out of this situation. FYI, I’m not against throwing someone under the bus.

“Nope, says right here. One bed,” she said.

“This won’t work. I’ve never met my roommate and she told me she broke out in a weird rash a few days ago, may be contagious and bleeding. Please, please check if there are any double beds left.”

My scheme paid off, two beds. Take that Marriott.

In the morning, we said our hellos. She was a petite, spry mature woman and described herself as “the oldest person at the workshop,” 75 years young. She talked nonstop with the unbridled enthusiasm and stamina of a 16-year-old teenage girl.

I’m exhausted already.

Introducing Joyce Ann

“I guess you know the situation. My roommate was supposed to be Joyce Ann. Her husband got sick at the last minute and she cancelled,” she said.

“That’s too bad.”

She made a few clicks on the computer and turned it my way. “Here’s a picture of Joyce Ann. Isn’t she beautiful? She’s an actress you know. Oh, I miss Joyce Ann.”

I hate Joyce Ann.

“Yes, she’s beautiful.”

“She was going to fix my hair real pretty and show me how to put on make-up.” Then she did a quick once over on my face. “Maybe she could have helped you too.”

That evening I begged her to turn off the lights around midnight. “It was a great day but I’m pooped. Got to get some shuteye. You going to bed soon?”

“Nah, I have a few hours of emails to catch up on. Wonder what Joyce Ann did today.”

Why isn’t she tired? Next year I’m staying with someone in their 40s with a couple of kids, full-time job and less energy.

“I bet Joyce Ann would have stayed up all night and told funny stories. Did I mention her lovely hair? She’s in commercials.”

“Geez, you are starting to hurt my feelings,” I said, squinting through the desk light. “Enough already about Joyce Ann.”

Why don’t you marry her?

“Gosh, I didn’t mean to get you upset. I bet Joyce Ann wouldn’t have been so mad.”

Do you have any roommate stories to share? Drop a comment and let’s talk!

Joyce Newman Scott

Are You Kidding Me, Stacey Gustafson

Originally from Paterson, New Jersey, Joyce Newman Scott sought a vision for South Florida, starting her own model/talent agency, the Newman Agency, in 1974.

In 1977 Joyce concentrated her talent on the other side of the camera, pursuing an acting career, appearing in commercials for Carnival Cruise Lines, Popeyes Chicken, Black and Decker, spokesperson for Levitz and several movies, and most recently, a national commercial with LeBron James.

In her fifties, Joyce started college and studied creative writing at Florida International University, and screenwriting at the University of Miami. She was featured in the film “Days Out of Time” which was a winner of several international Film Festivals.

She is currently working on a stage play and a feature film. Her short stories have been published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” and “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Woman,” and in “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Travel.”

She is available for both movies and television commercials.

She blogs at http://joycenewmanonline.com

Terri Elders

Are You Kidding Me, Stacey GustafsonA lifelong writer and editor and former journalism teacher, Terri Elders began submitting to anthologies in 2007. Her 90th acceptance, “Killing Them With Kindness,” will appear in Not Your Mother’s Book…On Families, to be published in June. It’s about her sister who had hair beautiful enough to rival Joyce Ann Newman Scott’s.

Terri, a licensed clinical social worker, won the UCLA Alumni Association 2006 Community Service award for her work with the United States Peace Corps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service With America).  She is the co-creator of Not Your Mother’s Book…on Travel, and the upcoming NYMB…On Sharing Secrets and NYMB…My First Time. She blogs at http://atouchoftarragon.blogspot.com/

When Church People Knock Stacey GustafsonLooking for a good read?
Are You Kidding Me?: My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and eBooks. It’s filled with stories about crazy families, holiday chaos, school disasters and more. Hoping to make you laugh one story at a time. Get your copy now!! Click to purchase on Amazon.

About staceygustafson


  1. Funny story! A good friend and I had to share a queen bed on an overnight once. AWKWARD!!! We slept back to back. I don’t think I moved the entire night! BTW, could you set me up with Joyce Newman Scott? She sounds like a real jewel! 😉

    • staceygustafson says:

      Terri Elders was a delightful roommate. We had so much fun teasing each other about Joyce Ann. And as a result, I’ve made a another new friend, Joyce Ann!

  2. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Great story, Stacey! My room mate, Lois Alter Mark, was flawless. Would she say the same about me, I wonder. Hmmm.

    • staceygustafson says:

      Terri was so much fun. We joked all weekend about my failure to keep up with Joyce Ann. Can’t wait for 2016.

  3. Oh boy! In our town, when we travel to conferences, they want us to buddy up. The last several times I have begged off with terrible headaches and bought my own room. Saves the trip although I don’t have funny stories after!

    • staceygustafson says:

      It was definitely worth it for the stories alone. Terri was a joy to have as a roommate. I’ve never laugh so much. Joyce Ann became a running joke all weekend. Others at the conference jumped in any chance they could to tease me too.

  4. This is so funny! I can just imagine how much you hated Joyce Ann, she sounds like a great person with really great hair, just the type to “hate”! Lol! I can’t wait till 2016 and the three of you get together!!

    • staceygustafson says:

      I’m getting a total body makeover before 2016. I cannot compete with Joyce Ann without help.

  5. I love all three of you, so I don’t know whose side to take. Joyce Ann Newman Scott is beautiful…in her pictures. But has anyone really seen her live and in person? She’s really sweet on the Internet, though. And Teri . . . she’s a hoot. She sure did make you jealous of Joyce Ann. Next time, Staci, maybe your standup routine can be about Joyce Ann! I’m sure Joyce Ann and Teri would be in the front row cheering for you! And so would I!

    • staceygustafson says:

      A few people were trying to convince me to use this story as my stand-up. It was too late to make changes, I would have absolutely froze. I had only 12 hours until show time.

  6. Best post I’ve read today. Still laughing!

    • staceygustafson says:

      I double checked with Joyce Ann. She thought it was funny too. Hope she doesn’t punch me if I ever meet her in person.

  7. Stacey, I loved your post. This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. And I love you for writing it.

    But now I can never show my face because I will never live up to what you wrote. Thanks a lot.

    By the way, you are younger and prettier than I am. So, deal with it! I can’t wait to meet you in person. Please be my rep…god, I love you.

    And Terri is the coolest lady I’ve ever– almost roomed with. I’m so jealous of you!

    PS I sent the wrong bio. The new one listed NYMB…On, and NYMB..On Travel. I was so excited to e-mail you that I goofed. See, I’m so human.

    Next time, I’m buying a bottle of wine for the three of us to celebrate. I tried to send it to your room this year, but the hotel keep not returning my call. Sorry!

    • staceygustafson says:

      Wow, I am not worthy of your sweet remarks! I had so much fun writing this. Thanks for taking it as intended. Send me your new bio and I’ll swap it out. Wonder what else Terri would have said after we split a bottle of wine? Ha!

  8. What I would have said after that bottle of wine: I’m so delighted to have chosen both of your stories for Not Your Mother’s Book…On Travel, but that I would prefer to have Joyce Ann as a roommate, since she knows what the hell to do if the fire alarm goes off in a hotel, according to HER story, when you couldn’t even get Big Guy to quit hogging the plane row in YOUR story. My stories in that book show that I’m capable of looking on the bright side of dangerous situations, even though everybody at the Stand Up rehearsal in my room occupied my bed and tried to shame me with stories about how horrid I was to you, Stacey. Just remember, one day we’ll both get to meet the now legendary Joyce Ann, who might have been wearing a wig all these years. Who the hell knows? And we think that Kim Novak has problems with cosmetic surgery? We haven’t seen a recent photo of Joyce Ann!

    • staceygustafson says:

      Oh my gosh. I cannot touch a few of those topics but I will say one thing. I have material ready for the next stand-up.

  9. joyce newman scott says:

    Terri, wait… I thought you liked me? And that is my recent picture. Okay, now I’m hurt.

    I’m kidding, of course. Great reply, but your wine bottle offier is now being rethought.

  10. Love this. I went on a spiritual retreat to Sedona many years ago…roommate unknown until I arrived…but we did have separate beds. That said, she had ‘issues’ and barely left our room. Guess who fetched her meals, came back with handouts, and stayed awake half the night afraid she’d pull out a knife or suffocate me?…and cigarettes, she smoked outside on the deck to our room, second hand smoke wafting into our room every time she returned.

    I learned about compassion, my judgements, service to others, and to never room with a stranger again. . .The hard way.

    • staceygustafson says:

      Worst roommate story ever. Did you find out what the “issues” were beside making you her servant?

  11. worst roomate? In a tent, at girls camp. Angry and menopausal she ordered me around insisting I do everything she said since I had no idea how to put up a tent, use a cot or pee in the woods.
    I hated the experience even though we were in a beautiful place in the mountains. I am not much of a camper, roughing it to me is when room service doesn’t pick up until the third ring.

    • staceygustafson says:

      Worst bullies, menopausal adults. Hope you came armed against attacks by dangerous “humans.” Funny story.

  12. Yeah. Never roomed with a stranger. Unless you count my Husby. He’s pretty strange . . .

  13. Then she did a quick once over on my face. “Maybe she could have helped you too.”

    What a hoot. Maybe next time you can steal Joyce Ann away and share a room with her.

    • staceygustafson says:

      Yes, Joyce Ann seems great in real life. We’ve been talking via email. After all, I didn’t want her to sue me over this blog. But I think Terri has dibs on her. Ha!

  14. Oh my gosh, this was a hoot—I laughed out loud, so loud that I had tp type out the entire phrase. LOL didn’t cut it. I want to meet you next time, ad yeah the Marriott is the way to go.

    • staceygustafson says:

      I think we were sitting together at one point. Wish I had met you too. It was an event to remember. But once I returned home, I was able to turn out the lights and get some rest.

  15. Kathy Baker says:

    Outstanding!!! Yes, Joyce would have gone to bed earlier, you know…that beauty sleep. Terri is a party animal. lol

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