I Am The Secret Love Child of Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry

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 think I have my dad's chin.

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)

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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68 Responses to I Am The Secret Love Child of Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry

  1. Tori Nelson says:

    Haha! I KNEW it! “Bill and Mary (as I now call them)” has me cracking up (and questioning where I came from) 🙂


  2. Big Al says:

    Sounds like he was being pretty dismissive of the whole subject. I think the next step is to subpoena him for a blood test.

    I wrote to Dave once. It was 2008 when he was pretending to be a candidate for President and soliciting questions on his website.

    My entry: Dave, we hear a lot about “swing” states and “swing” voters. What are your plans for capturing the votes of America’s swingers?

    His reply: Campaign naked.


  3. bigsheepcommunications says:

    You know, Peg, it’s probably pretty chilly in the midwest right now. Why don’t you pack a bag and go visit your Dad in Miami – I’m sure he’d love for you to drop by and stay a while : )


  4. Off the Wall says:

    Peg, great blog, so glad you posted it again since I am a fairly new reader and never got to enjoy it first time around!


  5. egills says:

    Being from the other side of the pond I had to google both of these people….. then I got lost on wikipedia laughing at some of Erma’s famous quotes….. What a fantastic gene pool to have come from!


  6. Dave must have been pretty young when he and Erma were doing the fancy-dancey. Erma was always full of surprises… 😉


  7. Oh, yeah! The resemblance in that photo is uncanny. I can see Erma as your mom. But Dave Barry? never heard of him. *shrugging*


  8. Margie says:

    I think you have a bit of Andy Rooney in you too. And perhaps Mark Twain in your distant past.


  9. I was a big, big fan of your mother, however, I can say with all sincerity that you have greatly surpassed her in your blogging (writing) endeavors. I’m not familiar with Dave Barry, but based on the comments, I am assuming he writes funny stuff about politics?? The Erma and Dave connection completely explains your “Sopapilla” (which btw is what we now call Sopa/Pipa in our household thanks to you) post. As you were looking for your just desserts, I was thinking a bowl of cherries, but sopapillas makes a lot more sense.


    • pegoleg says:

      My brother just emailed me on the QT to point out that I had misspelled “just desserts” as “deserts” in my post, as in Sahara. Dang! I fixed it, but I hate when I do that.

      I love that you’re now having sopa/pipas for dessert – hysterical!


  10. Dana says:

    Thanks for reposting this– I’m new to the blog and missed it the first time around. So funny that Dave Barry responded with paternal pride… that definitely confirms your suspicions. He’s your dad, no doubt. 🙂


  11. winsomebella says:

    Your roots are showing…..in every post 🙂


  12. Laura says:

    I’m not sure whether I’m more jealous that you got a reply from Dave Barry or shocked that so few people here have heard of him.


    • pegoleg says:

      Yeah, I thought they were all kidding, but he doesn’t seem to be that well known. Jeez, when I got that email back from him I almost wet my pants, I was so excited. He’s one of my idols!


  13. lexiesnana says:

    People say that about me talking like Erma some times does that make me your stepsister or something? Good Post.I was reading it as I was mowing the lawn over our septic tank.


  14. Tar-Buns says:

    Enjoyed reading this post again, Peg. How COOL that Dave Barry actually replied to you, and in like form??? Gosh, here I thought the family resemblance was so strong between us ….. hmmmmm…
    Keep up the fun. I love the banter 🙂


  15. Sandy Sue says:

    How totally cool that Dave Barry wrote back! That must have sent you in orbit!


    • pegoleg says:

      It did. To think that he would take the time…it was awesome. He didn’t volunteer the keys to the Miami Herald, however, but we’re really just getting to know one another.


  16. gojulesgo says:

    I could try to say something funny here, but all I’m thinking is, “Squeeeee!!” He read your blog and replied to you!!!! Awwwwesome.

    “Squeeee” is a fabulous change of pace, because I spent the rest of this stressful day thinking, “Meh.”

    I’m sure your foster parents will understand your desire to speak the truth.


  17. pattisj says:

    Two of my favorite writers, no wonder I liked you after reading your comments on other’s blogs. 🙂 You haven’t come up with any good names for rock bands lately, though, peg.


    • pegoleg says:

      You’re right, Patti. I’m trying to get my year-end taxes, W-2s, 1099s and other governmental forms of torture completed and I’m trying to resist the siren-call of the interwebz. You can see how that’s working out for me.


  18. Peg — when you commit to an idea, you really go for it. 🙂 I love it. Hilarious as always. This line made me laugh out loud, “My foster parents, Bill and Mary (as I now call them)” See? Total commitment. (Am I going to sound ridiculously naive by asking if you really did e-mail this post to Dave Barry?)


  19. Lenore Diane says:

    If you are the love child of Erma and Dave, I want to be the love child of Erma and Lewis. Lewis Grizzard. Do you know him? Man, that Erma – she got around, eh?

    I love the fact that you send the post to Dave and he responded. Awesome guy. This was great, Peg. I do see the resemblance. Uncanny, really.


  20. notquiteold says:

    Erma Bombeck is my hero. Do her proud.


  21. Barb says:

    Of course, you didn’t let all of that comedy DNA got to waste, so who are you fiddling around with…Ron White? Can’t wait to read your kid’s comedy writing too, someday.
    (Are you aware of the Bombeck writing competition? Entries close 2/14. It’s highly competitive, but you’d do great…it’s in your blood.)


    • pegoleg says:

      Good question, Barb. Hmmm. Nope – not Ron White. Maybe Steve Martin? Purely for purposes of combining DNA.

      I wasn’t aware of that competition. I’ll go check it out – thanks!


  22. It’s so funny that you wrote this because I’ve been drafting a similar post for next week. I’m pretty sure I’m the offspring of another bloggger.

    Glad your dad responded!


  23. HA!
    So… did you go ahead and just take it for a spin, anyway?
    I hear he checks the mileage.
    And always remembers exactly where he’s parked it.


  24. Amy says:

    It’s ever to late to reconect with family.
    How awesome that he replied to you!


  25. bmillergirl1 says:

    I love your blog and have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award. Come to my blog: http://mightyinspiration.wordpress.com/ to see the directions and process for the award. Be blessed! ~ Barb


  26. k8edid says:

    I watched your dear old dad on Face the Nation this morning. He is hilarious and I love that he is sitting on a panel where national politics are being discussed.


  27. Angie Z. says:

    I can so see it. Be glad though that you don’t have Dave’s hair. My husband actually wrote a letter to Dave while in high school because he was such a fan. Two years later Dave did write him back 🙂


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