Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | July 28, 2011

Dave Barry Comes In Second

I had a goal in mind during the Ultimate Blog Challenge that I haven’t told anyone except for Bob.  I finally confessed it to him last night and he seemed a little concerned.  It’s a big goal.  Usually I like to keep my goals within reach, but this time I stretched myself and I don’t think I’m going to make it.

You have all been so amazing to stick with me, especially those of you who are not my husband, mom or dad.  So because of your commitment, I’m going to tell you my goal.  Please don’t laugh.  Wait, that’s not the thing to put in a humor blog, so you may chuckle if you feel the need.  My goal is to be Erma Bombeck.  I thought hard about trying to be Dave Barry, but Erma just barely beat him out because she was a girl, so that seemed more attainable.  If you are not familiar with these two Humor-Hall-of-Famers, let me tell you they keep the bar high in the field of humor writing.  Between the two of them they have over fifty years of columns and more books than I can count (I’m not too good at math).

Here’s a little background into my lofty goal.  When most young people were being forced to read the classics, I was sneaking off to read Mad Magazine.  As a young adult when I discovered Erma’s and Dave’s columns in the newspaper, I thought, finally some literature I can sink my teeth into.  I made my children sit down and have reading time, and then I would sneak off to the bedroom to read Dave Barry Does Japan or The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank by Erma Bombeck.  I always got caught because all that loud laughter gives a person away.

I discovered Erma first.  I think the newspapers put her column near the comics and Dear Abbey, which were the only things I read back in the 70s.  She was funnier than the comics.  Then Dave Barry came along in the 80s and his column was the main reason for keeping a newspaper subscription.  When he stopped writing it at the end of 2004 I wore a black armband (not really).  You may not be surprised to discover that I am also a Seinfeld fan and I don’t think a day goes by when we don’t have a Seinfeld reference in our home, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So I was discussing the whole Erma Bombeck thing with Bob the other night.  It was another one of those discussions where I am pouring my heart out and waving my arms around and Bob is confused.

“I just want to be Erma,” I shouted.  “I love how she makes me laugh and cry at the same time.”  This was the point when Bob started to get it because I think I saw a tear in his eye and he was even laughing, or was that snickering.  I’m not sure, but I’ll take it.



  1. I always loved Erma too, she always made me laugh.

    • She is a gem, Katherine, that’s for sure. I still read her books. I love the way she looks at life.

  2. I LOVE Erma and Bonnie, I’ve known you for YEARS and think you would be a great Erma Bombeck. Go for it!

    • Thanks, Debbie. I’m trying to head there, one silly slice of life at a time.

  3. Not that there’s anything wrong with that … HA! Good one! I love when I get stuff like that!

    • You are definitely in my not-so-secret club.

  4. seeing as I love your humour Bonnie, this sounds like something I should be reading. Note to self to look up on google. x

    • Erma passed away in the mid-90s. Dave Barry still writes. His last book, I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, is great.

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