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Strange but true tale

The 2016 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop was great, fantastic and all the other superlatives found in the dictionary.

myron kuklaThese are always fun conferences with a lot of laughter and fun. Here’s my true story from this year’s gathering.

Prior to the conference, I’d been putting notices on the Erma Bombeck Facebook page that I was looking for a male to share my hotel room at the conference to save on expenses. This guy — who calls himself the Urban Cowboy Poet — contacts me and we agree to share the room at Conference Central at the Marriott.

Except, I forget to tell my wife and muse, Madeline, that I’m sharing my room with this guy I’ve never had contact with until the day before I leave for Dayton. When she hears the news, she’s shocked.

And she goes: You’re sharing a room with a complete stranger? You don’t know him. He could be a serial killer.

And I go: Hey, if it were a Serial Killer Mystery Writers conference, I might have concerns. But this is a humor writers group, and the guy is the Urban Cowboy Poet from Cleveland and wears Hawaiian shirts and a straw hat. How deranged can he be?

And she goes: Well, I don’t like it. I’m worried for you.

And I go: Look, the worst thing that can happen is he’ll make me listen to his book pitch.

How right I was. On the second morning, we get up to get ready for the conference and Urban Cowboy Poet gives me a stand up reading of one of his cowboy poems — in his underwear.

It was the strangest thing that ever happened to me at a writing conference. But the poem was pretty good.

— Myron Kukla

Myron Kukla is a Midwest writer based in Holland, Michigan, Tulip capital of the world. He is the author of several books of humor including Guide to Surviving Life: A 3,487-step Guide to Self-Improvement and Confessions of a Baby Boomer available at Email him at

Reflections of Erma