The Wit and Wisdom of Erma Bombeck

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Erma Bombeck (February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996) started writing weekly newspaper columns in 1964 for $3 apiece. By the 1980s, she was one of the most popular columnists in the United States, with articles appearing in over 900 newspapers and with annual earnings of nearly $1 million. Her observations about daily life as a housewife covered almost every conceivable topic. Her words were filled with laughter, tears, and wisdom. Consider some of the wit and wisdom of the great Erma Bombeck.

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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Never have more children than you have car windows.
  • Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
  • Men who have a thirty-six-televised-football-games-a-week-habit should be declared legally dead and their estates probated.
  • There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.
  • There were really only two men I knew who ever got a laugh out of paying their income taxes. One was cheating the government and getting away with it. The other had a sick sense of humor and would probably have set up a concession stand at the Boston Tea Party and sold sugar cubes and lemon slices.
  • It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.
  • Never accept a drink from a urologist.
  • Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop offs at tedium and counter productivity.
  • It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.
  • 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.
  • I question the value of name tags as an aid to future identification. I have approached too many people who have spent the entire evening talking to my left bosom. I always have the insane desire to name the other one.
  • Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anybody?
  • There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
  • A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.
  • Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.
  • 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?
  • Education is so important when it comes to domesticity. I don’t know why no one ever thought to paste a label on the toilet tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would know what Mama knows.
  • I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
  • Housework can kill you if done right.
  • The odds of going to a store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.
  • He who laughs … Lasts.
  • It is upsetting to many parents that their teen-agers introduce them to their friends as encyclopedia salesmen who are just passing through … if they introduce them at all. I have some acquaintances who hover in dark parking lots, enter church separately and crouch in furnace rooms so their teen-agers will not be accused of having parents.

Read more funny quotes.

Read Andy Rooney’s recipe that was intended as a joke.

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