Erma, Meet Lisa

22 03 2010

When I was growing up, Erma Bombeck was a hero in my house.  She was a humor writer, and my mother loved her, and I loved her too.

I wouldn’t suggest that anybody should be up there on that pedestal with  Erma, but I read a book this weekend by Lisa Scottoline called Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog.

There are similarities…and differences.

Erma was a stay-at-home, suburban housewife, married, with three kids.  She wrote a syndicated column which ran in hundreds of newspapers.

Lisa is a successful fiction writer, a single mom, divorced twice.  She writes a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lisa is kind of an edgy Erma, updated for the twenty-first century.

Some quotes from the book:

  • Everybody has their pornography, and mine is the real estate ads. p. 13
  • Spanx…Girdles…my lower body had been transformed into a cylinder.  I no longer had hips where hips are supposed to be, or saddlebags where God intended.  I was the cardboard in the roll of toilet paper. p. 7
  • I work at home, and the UPS man doesn’t care if I wear the same T-shirt and shorts all week.  So does he.  p. 37
  • There is an inverse relationship between dieting and eating…The more people in your house on a diet, the more often they will eat.  p. 57
  • Franca would be my first phone call after I murdered someone.  She wouldn’t even ask why I did it.  She would know I had an excellent reason.  She’d just  drive over with a shovel and a Hefty bag.  p. 163

And finally:

It started harmlessly enough, back in the eighties.  If you went to a salad bar, you had to make your own salad.  And at the gas station, you had to pump your own gas.

Then it went crazy.

Nowadays, at the food store, you not only bag your own groceries and take them to the car, but you also check yourself out.  You can even bring your own bags.

You can go to a car wash, where you can wash you car yourself.  Or the train station, where you can buy your ticket ourself.  Or the airport, where you can get your own boarding pass.

They still fly the plane.

For now.

And at the fast food restaurants, they give you a paper cup and tell you to get your own soda. p. 157




One response

22 03 2010
Mary Lee

I think I still have some yellowed clippings of Erma’s columns!

……and maybe we should all start flying lessons.

Sure hope the ear’s starting to get better.

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