Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas with Erma - Christmas Shopping

Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) was a great American humorist with a talent for describing suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. My mom and I shared many laughs with Erma over the years, and I hope you will enjoy her also!

This excerpt from At Wit's End describes a Christmas shopping trip . . .


Christmas Shopping

"Who cares if it fits? She takes everything back anyway. Billie Joe, if you get hit by a truck, the next time I'll leave you at home! Why did I wear these boots? It never fails. I wear boots and the sun comes out! Will you please stop pulling at me. I did buy my Christmas cards last January. I just can't find them. Cheap stuff. They always put out cheap stuff at Christmas. Did you see that man shove me? Same to you, fella!

"Don't dilly-dally to look at store windows. I've got all my baking to do, the house to decorate, presents to wrap, the cards to mail . . . mailman! I forgot to get something for the mailman. Boy, everyone's got their hand out at Christmas, haven't they. Well, did you see that? I was here first and she hopped in right in front of me. We oughta get numbers like they do at the butcher counter. That would take care of those pushy ones. Same to you, fella!

"I don't care if the box fits, just any box will do. So don't send it. Let me occupy a whole bus with it. You tell the policeman when I occupy a whole seat that your truck driver couldn't deliver it. Lines . . . lines . . . I'll have to get in line to die . .. Billy Joe, you're too old for the Santa Claus bit. Don't think I don't know why you want in line . . . for a lousy candy cane. You'd stand in line if they were handing out free headaches.

"What music? I don't hear any music. I think I'll just give Uncle Walter the money. He always liked money. In fact, he's never happy with anything else you give him. And that gift exchange. Wish we could get out of that. I always get something cheap back. My feet hurt. You'd think some man would get off his duff and give a woman a seat. No one cares about anyone anymore. I don't hear any music.

"My headache's back. Wish I could take off these boots. I think we're ready to . . . wait a minute, Billie Joe. I forgot Linda's birthday. Doesn't that beat all. It's what she gets for being born on Christmas Day. Now, I've got to run up to the fourth floor and fight those crowds all over again. You wait here with the shopping bags and don't wander, do you hear? Boy, some people have a fat nerve having a birthday on Christmas Day. I don't know of anyone who has the gall to be born on Christmas Day. What did you say, Billie Joe?"

"I said, 'I know SomeOne.'"

- Erma Bombeck, At Wit's End, Nelson Doubleday, Inc., 1965


  1. Replies
    1. Kay, my mom loved to follow Erma's column in the Atlanta Journal and we shared such good laughs when she read them to me. Now that I'm reading Erma's books, it's bringing back so many treasured memories. I've got three more Christmas clips to post in the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy them, Kay.

  2. Very clever ending. That was a fun read! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!

    1. Tina, thanks for taking the time to read this clip! I love sharing Erma Bombeck's humor and have three more Christmas-related posts coming up. One's so funny and the other two very poignant. Glad you came by today, Tina.

  3. Carole, you don't you miss Erma Bombeck? Poor little Billy Joe...out of the mouths of babes. ;) This made me slow down and breathe a little. :) Thank you for sharing it with us at Treasure Box Tuesday....I hope everyone slows down and breathes a little today when they read this. ♥

    1. Joy, I was so hopeful when Erma received her kidney transplant and couldn't believe it when she died from complications! She lived a good number of years, but I just know she had so much more to give. I never tire of reading through her books and am glad to know that you enjoy her also. Thank you for sharing here.