Friday, November 10, 2006


"Did you know Erma Bombeck died?"

Carah the BFFE
asked this of me as we rollerbladed down Saint Mary's Avenue one spring night. I skidded off to the side of the road and was still for a moment; Erma Bombeck is one of those people you simply don't associate with the word "died." She was life, aliveness amongst the dustballs.

I knew Erma before I knew Tom Wolfe or Dave Barry, and as I grew I figured that, as Ohioans and Catholics and lady-writers, I ought to stick with her. Although at seven years old I had never experienced, as she had, the concept that "housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop offs at tedium and counter-productivity," I knew this was funny, and I knew this was right.

You will understand why I am sitting here in quiet awe, then, when word came today that I am the University of Dayton's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop Writer of the Month. You know this is an important award, because there are many W's in the title, and at least two apostrophes.

I think my mother is more excited about this than my actual book. She had every one of Erma's, and when one day I brought home a history assignment on which the teacher had written, "If you don't become the next Erma Bombeck, I don't know who will," we gazed in wonderment over that far more than the passing grade penciled next to it.

Happy birthday to the Marine Corps! Oorah and thank you. You swim in mud so I don't have to. I'd invite you to make a wish, but you folks tend to make happen whatever you want to make happen anyway, so I'll forego that, fo'shizzle.

thanks Tim at:


Anonymous said...

Erma is one of my favorites - my sis actually did a reading from Bowl of Cherries for speach debate in school . . . congrats MB - that's some good company

ShannJ said...

Congrats MB! How exciting!

amy lou the reader said...

Congrats, MB!

Rick said...

Even though I'm a guy, I always enjoyed Erma's work. I loved "The Grass is Always Greeener Over the Septic Tank."

They named a portion of a street near the UD campus "Erma Bombeck Way". I can't recall offhand which one.

Congrats on the award.

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys :)

kelebek }{ said...

I didn't know she died. I work at a used bookstore, and I have shelved a lot of her books in our humor section. RIP.
And yay for MB!

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