From Fiste to Bombeck, the Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank

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Imagine if you will, entering the world just before the Great Depression. Arriving in Ohio to a working-class family and starting school a year early because you could. Erma Fiste did just that.

Writing humorous columns in junior high and working her way through college, her English professor, Brother Tom Price, said the three magic words which would ignite her career, “You can write.”

She married Bill Bombeck and moved into a house in a suburban development down the street from a young Phil Donahue. Erma Bombeck spent ten years as a stay-at-home mom before her writing career took off with a column titled “At Wit’s End.” Three weeks after she started her column it became nationally syndicated in 36 newspapers.

Her columns were bundled into a book with the same title. Eventually 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada carried her three weekly columns.

She birthed several best sellers with names like, “The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank,” “Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession,” “Just Wait Until You Have Children of Your Own,” and “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries—What am I Doing in the Pits?”

At the height of her career in the 1980’s she was a twice-weekly guest on Good Morning America and belonged to the American Academy of Humor Columnists. She earned anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000,000 per year. How many authors can say that today?

From Fiste to Bombeck, her humor punched us in the funny bone while we exploded with laughter.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom


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About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
This entry was posted in Funny Names in Books, funny names in comedy. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to From Fiste to Bombeck, the Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank

  1. wdydfae says:

    “. . . Knock, knock . . .”

    “Who’s there?”


    “Erma who?”

    “Erma gonna click that like button for Fannie’s new post!”

  2. Edward Smrdel says:

    I was a cab driver in Cleveland, Ohio for a couple of years in the mid 70s. I was fortunate enough to have a number of celebrities in my cab from time to time, and in the fall of ’76, I had the opportunity to drive Erma Bombeck on a short trip in downtown Cleveland. She was an absolute joy to speak with, and I don’t remember exactly what it was I said to her, but I was able to make the great lady chuckle at one of my jokes. That is something that I will always remember. Carl Yastremski, on the other hand, was a total sourpuss. LOL

    • What an awesome memory. I’ve met a few celebrities, but I suspect had I met dear Erma, I would have turned into a puddle on the floor.

      That funny about Carl Yastremski.

  3. kerbey says:

    I definitely remember her name and face during my childhood. What a wonderful way to live your life, getting to write and making people laugh!

  4. ksbeth says:

    she is, and was, one of my fav comedy writers of all time

  5. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Take a ride over the septic tank with Erma Bombeck over at the BoFN.

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