Remember ironing your hair? Rolling it in soda cans to straighten it? Lacquering it with enough spray that it could ward off bullets? Ever slather on cement-colored lipstick so heavy, you looked like a zombie princess? Remember hot pants and platform heels? The danger of patent-leather shoes?
In a newly published humor anthology, Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now. . . Before We Forget, Allia Zobel Nolan and funny writers from the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop chronicle these blips in time as they look back at life in the past lane, then fast forward to today, chronicling what it’s like to blink and wake up to be 50, 60, 70, and beyond — experiences ranging from cremation ceremonies to senior online dating to finding yourself a menopausal maniac in Mexico.
“My inner child kept chiding me to write this stuff down,” recalls Zobel Nolan, a prolific author with nearly 200 titles to her name. “Make sure kids who haven’t a clue about typewriters, mood rings and rotary phones get a glimpse of weird stuff that was around when we were younger. She also told me to warn kids of the things to come, like melting ice cream with hot flashes and submitting to workplaces where millenniums rule; seniors drool.”
Laugh Out Loud is published in association with the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. “Our mission,” says Teri Rizvi, founder and director of the workshop, is to encourage and inspire writers in the same way Erma Bombeck found encouragement at the University of Dayton. “Every writer has a book in her. This book grew out of that belief.”
The book was launched at a book signing at the April 5-7 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop with half the essayists in attendance. It’s now available on Amazon and is receiving strong early reviews from readers and writers alike.
“In the spirit of Erma Bombeck, one of the greatest humorists of all times, this collection celebrates the voice of women who are smart, strong and funny,” writes Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, New York Times’ bestselling authors of I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, in the opening pages of the book. “From yoga poses to funeral arrangements to dating mishaps, these stories will not only entertain but also remind us that life is too short not to laugh.”
Betsy Bombeck, Erma’s daughter, says Laugh Out Loud honors her mother’s “sense of the ridiculous and shines a brilliant spotlight on the inane.
“The stories in this book reflect a philosophy she always believed: ‘If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.'”