Making You Laugh...On Purpose



My mother loved Erma Bombeck’s column, “At Wit’s End,” chronicling the ordinary life of a mid-western suburban housewife. 

It all started way back in childhood when I’d hear Mom laughing out loud in the kitchen, coffee in one hand, the newspaper open on the table. Mom loved Erma Bombeck’s column, “At Wit’s End,” chronicling the ordinary life of a mid-western suburban housewife. To me, laughter and singing are the dominant memories I have of her. She passed away at age forty-two, leaving me her looks and her sense of humor.

Unfortunately, I got my tone-deafness from my father, so singing is reserved for the shower and when I have a head cold.

I sing like Madonna when I have a head cold.
 
I developed a sense of humor early—age three—when my sisters were born. Straight out of the womb they made my life Hekk, and after Mom refused to take them back where she’d bought them, I figured the best way to make her like me more was to make her laugh…the way Erma did.

Listening to Mom laugh out loud had an impact on me. A smile, a chuckle could also be interpreted as indigestion…but making her laugh out loud! That was my goal.

Erma inspired me beyond making Mom laugh. When I was old enough to appreciate Erma's wit, I devoured her books, unconsciously using her as a mentor for my own future ambition to be a writer. 

No, not just a writer: an “authoress” as I told my catechism teacher when he asked what I planned to be when I grew up. He laughed at me; I made my parents change churches to one who would take my ambition seriously. 

Making my catechism teacher laugh unintentionally put a cork on my willingness to share my secret passion with anyone outside my family. Instead, with the steady perseverance equated with those of us of the Capricorn persuasion, I churned out story after story behind my closed bedroom door. The world would be denied my eloquent humor until I was good and ready to make them laugh—on purpose.

Years passed. I’d matured as a writer and had found my “voice.” I love off-beat comedy and sassy dialogue. If you're looking for a poignant story steeped in true to life, you won't find it under my name. I want my readers to suspend belief and just have a laugh out loud good time. 

Recently a friend mentioned to me that her father had heard her mother laughing out loud often while reading a book. He finally asked what she was reading. It was one of my books! Hearing that gave me the kind of feedback every author desires. I’d accomplished the job I’d set out to do. I’d made someone else’s mom laugh.

I know my Mom would have been proud of me. Probably Erma, too.