Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guest Post: "Erma Bombeck" by Laura Backes

Erma Bombeck

You may not have heard of her, but Erma Bombeck was one of the funniest women writers from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. Sure, her bi-weekly column and small collection of books were all about the trials and tribulations of being a housewife and mother, but she took on the drudgery with a humor and irony that had me rolling in the aisles, even when I first discovered her in middle school.

Yes, you read that right. I have been reading and rereading her work since I was a wee tot, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet. Every year older I get, I relate more and more to her life and the general un-funniness of it all; that she twisted into a humorous, laugh out loud riot.

She lived through the women’s movement, fought for the Equal Right Amendment, and pushed her way through the backlash of a working, stay at home mother. She was a pioneer. Involved in both business and her family in a way that generations before her were not and generations after her would strive to be.

Back to her books. Though she has many, and all are funny- to various degrees- though I enjoy my first find the best. From 1976, The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank makes me laugh to this day. Even the name gives you a glimpse of what life was like and how Erma merged old concepts with new ways of living. A chronicle of the first suburban sprawl, the first drive in movies, the first sex education in schools; this book makes you want to cringe even as you laugh, bringing to light days that you never lived through and times you were glad you missed.

A few of my favorite Erma quotes, just to give you a taste:
  • "Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids."
  • "My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first one being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."
  • "If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead."
  • "Mothers-in-law who wear a black armband to the wedding are expendable."
  • "The only reason I would take up jogging is so I could hear heavy breathing again."
  • "Ironed Sheets are a health hazard."
  • "In general, my children refused to eat anything that hadn't danced on TV."
  • "When humor goes, there goes civilization."
  • "Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."
  • "Never loan your car to anyone to whom you've given birth."
  • "If you can laugh at it, you can live with it."

Author Bio:
This is a guest post from Laura Backes, she enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to internet service providers in my area.  You can reach her at: laurabackes8 @ gmail.com.


  1. I have always ejoyed her work and thought she was funny. My mom is a big fan of hers and was always clipping quotes to her in different places. I will never forget when I found my mom with tears streaming down her face in our garage as she reread a bunch of old clipping written by Erma. The tears, of course, came from laughing so hard!


  2. I've never heard of this lady (perhaps I'm living in the wrong hemisphere, lol,) but this post may well have won Erma Bombeck another fan. Love it.