A kind reader recently commented that I reminded her of Erma Bombeck. That is a sure route to my heart as she was (and remains) one of my favorite comedy writers. It reminded me that many new readers may not have been around when this explosive story broke early last year.
I’m tired of living a lie. I’ve kept quiet as long as I could, but the time has come to speak out. I suspect I am the secret love child of Dave Barry and Erma Bombeck.
I have long thought that my “parents” weren’t really my PARENTS. They are worthy people, no doubt. They can actually be pretty funny at times, but without that rapier-like writing wit that must, must be my heritage. I feel it in my bones!
My quest for the truth started in earnest when I began this blog last year. “You remind me of Dave Barry,” someone said. “You remind me of Erma Bombeck,” someone else said. Coincidence? Empty flattery? My own delusions of writing grandeur? I think not.
Surely this must mean that their blood flows in my veins!
I know what you’re thinking. Given the fact that he’s not much older than I am, Dave must have been a rather precocious child. To which I reply – who are you to judge him?
I’m not going to delve into Dave and Erma’s relationship. That is their business. I’m sure they had their reasons. I ask that all of you respect my parents’ privacy and not indulge in sleazy speculation.
I don’t want to hurt anyone by this revelation. My foster parents, Bill and Mary (as I now call them), couldn’t have been more wonderful if I had truly been one of their own. (Although Bill and Mary aren’t big on the internet, I’m sure some “helpful” foster-sibling will bring this post to their attention in a blatant attempt to have me cut out of their will. I’m hoping this testimonial is enough to at least get me through the door at the next family event.)
All I want is the truth, and my just desserts after more than 50 years of silence.
To their acknowledged families I say, I’m not looking for fame or money. I don’t want a share of anybody’s estate (although many would say that was my due.) All I want is a chance to get to know my real family. My roots.
It is sad that I will never meet Erma Bombeck. The world lost a truly gifted writer when she passed. From all accounts, she was also a genuinely nice person.
But there’s still time for Dave Barry and me to get to know one another. We can have a meaningful relationship in our remaining years. And so I ask, if you’re reading this, Dave……
Can I borrow the keys to the Miami Herald tonight?
p.s. I sent a link to my blog to Dave Barry when I first posted this – he shouldn’t be the last to know – and he was generous enough to send the following reply:
Dear Peg --Thanks! Erma and I are very proud. Best, Dave Barry
What a fun guy! Dear old dad…(fond sigh)