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.