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Erma Bombeck: Housework Can Kill You If Done Right

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.

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart? 

I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food. 

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

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.

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

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one. 

Housework can kill you if done right.


When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.  

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.

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. 

Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.

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

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. 

When humor goes, there goes civilization. 

If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead. 

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

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. 

Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. “Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?” Don’t you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?” Wasn’t there any change?

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

Written on her tombstone: “I told you I was sick.”

Erma Louise Bombeck (née Fiste; 1927 – 1996) was an American humorist who achieved popularity for her newspaper column describing suburban home life, syndicated from 1965 to 1996. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. Between 1965 and April 17, 1996 – five days before her death – Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns, using broad and sometimes eloquent humor, chronicling the ordinary life of a suburban homemaker. By the 1970s, her columns were read semi-weekly by 30 million readers of the 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Her work stands as a humorous chronicle of middle-class life in America after World War II, among the generation of parents who produced the Baby Boomers. Bombeck was appointed to the President’s National Advisory Committee on Women by President Carter in the late 1970s and promoted the Equal Rights Amendment. Through work with the Arizona Kidney Foundation, Erma helped raise awareness of the need for donors and to increase the number of living donors by creating the “Save a Life, It’s in You” project. Erma was a champion of homemakers, promoter of women’s rights, and philanthropist.

4 comments on “Erma Bombeck: Housework Can Kill You If Done Right

  1. Phil Strawn
    November 19, 2022

    Loved her writing, and I’m an old guy.


  2. Rose Mary Boehm
    November 19, 2022

    Chuckles. Sharing.


  3. sosparkly
    November 19, 2022

    Thanks for reminding me of what a gem she was.


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