August 11, 2006

So Erma Says!

Erma Bombeck (February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996) was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for a newspaper column that depicted suburban home life in the second half of the 20th century. Erma is one of my idols because of her wondrously witty writing style and her fabulously funny take on everyday family living.

Thought I’d share samples of Erma at her most amusing. Get ready to laugh in spite of yourself!

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?

Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.

Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.

I haven't trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.

In two decades I've lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.

All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.

God created man, but I could do better.

Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, "A house guest," you're wrong because I have just described my kids.

How come anything you buy will go on sale next week?

I never leaf through a copy of National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to live in a society where it is traditional to wear clothes.

Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.

Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?

Car designers are just going to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments.

For some of us, watching a miniseries that lasts longer than most marriages is not easy.

Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.

I've exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars.

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.

Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time.

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.

I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and gives me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it.

In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't danced in television.

I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.

When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?" it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.

My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.

Most children's first words are ``Mama'' or ``Daddy.'' My kid's first words were, ``Do I have to use my own money?'

One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is.

It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows.

Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It's like stealing a two-year-old.

There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.

Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, "No, thank you," to dessert that night. And for what!

Most women put off entertaining until the kids are grown.

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.

No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed. I have known mothers who remake the bed after their children do it because there is wrinkle in the spread or the blanket is on crooked. This is sick.

There are 2 kinds of women who will spring big bucks for a make-up mirror that magnifies their faces. The first are young models who need to cover every eyelash, shadow their cheekbones, define their lips, and sculpt their faces. The second group are women who, without their glasses, cannot find their faces.

Every day of his or her life a child is plotting an event that will age you 20 years in 20 seconds.

Never accept a drink from a urologist.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

Never go to your high school reunion pregnant or they will think that is all you have done since you graduated.

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.

Never order food in excess of your body weight.

Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It's gossip.

People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you'll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.

Sometimes I can't figure designers out. It's as if they flunked human anatomy.

Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.

The art of never making a mistake is crucial to motherhood. To be effective and to gain the respect she needs to function, a mother must have her children believe she has never engaged in sex, never made a bad decision, never caused her own mother a moment's anxiety, and was never a child.

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

There is one thing I have never taught my body how to do and that is to figure out at 6 A.M. what it wants to eat at 6 P.M.

There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

What's with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?

My mother phones daily to ask, "Did you just try to reach me?" When I reply, "No", she adds, "So, if you're not too busy, call me while I'm still alive," and hangs up.

If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it.

Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you.

You become about as exciting as your food blender. The kids come in, look you in the eye, and ask if anybody's home.

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.

You hear a lot of dialogue on the death of the American family. Families aren't dying. They're merging into big conglomerates.

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.

I just clipped 2 articles from a current magazine. One is a diet guaranteed to drop 5 pounds off my body in a weekend. The other is a recipe for a 6 minute pecan pie.

When humor goes, there goes civilization.

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I
used everything you gave me".

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