Erma Bombeck

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Erma Louise (Harris) 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.


  • A child develops individuality long before he develops taste. I have seen my kid straggle into the kitchen in the morning with the outfits that need only one accessory: an empty gin bottle.
  • A friend doesn't go on a diet because you're fat.
  • A friend will tell you she saw your old boyfriend; and he's a priest.
  • All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them.
  • Anybody who watches three games of football in a row should be declared brain dead.
  • Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you.
  • Big deal! I'm used to dust.
    • Erma Bombeck's requested epitaph
  • Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?
  • Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.
  • Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You're not out of it until the computer says you're out of it.
  • God created man, but I could do better.
  • 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.
  • Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.
  • Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter-productivity.
  • Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
  • I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
  • 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.
  • I was too old for a paper route, too young for Social Security, and too tired for an affair.
  • If a man watches three football games in a row he should be declared legally dead.
  • If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it.
  • I'm trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week.
  • It is fast approaching the point where I don't want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job.
  • It's nothing short of a miracle that for years women have worked together side by side in the kitchens of America. I would have been willing to bet in an atmosphere of blunt instruments and sharp cutlery, not one of them would have been left alive.
  • I've exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars.
  • In two decades I've lost 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.
  • Memory deficiency got so bad with me, I forgot to repeat a piece of gossip I swore on my Grandmother's Grave never to divulge.
  • Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.
  • My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • No self respecting mother would run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday.
  • Oh, quit being such a Pollyanna.
  • 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.
  • Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time.
  • 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.
  • Sexually active coat hangers are at their peak when they are in a small closet. We once lived in an apartment with a closet so small it couldn't support a rod… just two nails. Within a week (the shortest gestation in the history of coat hangers) we had thirty-seven of those little suckers.
  • Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead.
  • Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
  • The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
  • There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
  • There's something wrong with a mother who washes out a measuring cup with soap and water after she's only measured water in it.
  • What's with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?
  • When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and says he's doing nothing, but the dog is barking, call 911.
  • 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".
  • When you look like your passport photo, it's time to go home.
  • 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.
  • Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.
  • Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It's like stealing a two-year-old.
  • You were our first miracle. You were the genesis of a marriage, the fulfillment of love, the promise of our infinity...You were the beginning
  • Youngsters of the age of two or three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub.

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