Erma Bombeck offered humorous travel tips in her book, When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time to Go Home.
Not to be outdone, her son, Andy, has turned his first set of travel journals into a self-published book, Traveler’s Diarrhea, illustrated with 200 candid photos.
“I’m not a real writer. A real writer I am not,” the retired school teacher writes in an author’s note in the book, which chronicles his adventures and misadventures around the globe. He dedicates the book to his parents, William and Erma Bombeck.
“I think she (Erma) would give me an A+ for effort and a satisfactory for achievement,” Bombeck said. “I’d like to think she’d be proud of me for giving it the college try. Knowing me, actually, she wouldn’t be surprised I’d attempt such a crazy endeavor. I’m sure she would have recommended taking out some of the photos, at least the blurry ones, even though every photo album she made for us had smart aleck captions written underneath every picture.”
Bombeck describes the book’s title as “a metaphor for everything that went wrong during my trips” to such faraway locales as Bora-Bora and Bangkok.
With self-deprecating humor, Bombeck said it was his idea to place his smiling face inside a green porcelain toilet on the cover. “I figured if I could make fun of myself right off the bat, that grants me permission to make fun of other people I met traveling. Nobody likes the kid who can’t laugh at himself,” he observed.
He quickly added, “I actually didn’t climb inside the toilet, even though I would have for a cheap laugh.”
The e-book sells for $3.99, with a softback edition available from Xlibris for $35.95. To order, click here.
“Even though I’ve attended every Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, I didn’t know anyone in their right mind would ever publish one book with 200,000 words and 350 photographs! So I divided it up into two books, Traveler’s Diarrhea and, of course, my second book, coming out soon titled, More Traveler’s Diarrhea,” Bombeck said.
— Teri Rizvi
Teri Rizvi is founder and director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, where she serves as executive director of strategic communications.