The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank


The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank

Erma Bombeck

McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1976

As you can tell from the publication date, this book was written in the early 70’s, so if you would like to see what life was like in those days, this is the book for you. Also, this book is really funny; it’s more of a satire of what life was like in suburbia as opposed to urban living. I laughed out loud – really laughed out loud on many occasions. My auntie remembers reading some of Erma Bombeck’s stuff when she was younger (she grew up in the 70’s) and said she is just as funny now as she was then. Here’s a funny tidbit for you from each chapter – well, at least I thought it was funny!

Foreword – …within weeks thirty million city dwellers readied their station wagons and began the long journey to the edge of town in search of a bath and a half and a tree. It wasn’t easy for the first settlers. They planted trees and crabgrass came up. They planted schools and taxes came up.

Chapter One – Station Wagons . . . Ho!  – The selling of the suburbs made the coronation of Queen Elizabeth look like an impulse. 

Chapter Two – Major Battles Fought in the Suburbs  – The suburbs didn’t invent sex – it only gave it a wider distribution.

Chapter Three – The Great Plastic Rush – “Did you just belch?” “Of course not,” she smiled, “I am burping my Suckerware.”. . . This was the beginning of the Great Plastic Rush. . . .The Home Party was born and there was no stopping its growth.

Chapter Four – Hazards of Suburban Living – The fast-talking-elusive-repairman was an endangered species. Only five had been sighted in the suburbs during a five year period.

Chapter Five – The Heartbreak of Psuburbaniasis – One day my husband looked at me and said, “Good heavens. Are you aware that you are shaped like a gourd?” At that moment, I converted to the suburban religion called Cottage Cheese. I ate so much cottage cheese my teeth curdled.

Chapter Six – Ya Got Trouble – Are certain words creeping into {your son’s} conversation –words like ‘far-out’ and ‘Linda Lovelace’ and “Ma, where’s your purse?” Well, my friends, you got trouble, trouble with a capital T…

Chapter Seven – It Comes with the Territory—{Loneliness} No one talked about it a lot, but everyone knew what it was. It was the day you alphabetized your spices on the spice rack. Then you dressed all the naked dolls in the house and arranged them on the bed according to size.

Chapter Eight – Law and Order – From the Suburbian Gems Police Blotter: Bicycle stolen while chained to bike rack. Supermarket reports bike rack stolen.

Chapter Nine – Put Your Winnebagos into a Circle and Fight – Lester is a klutz. … Right after he dropped the pin from our (boat) motor in the water, he dropped our flashlight down the only outdoor convenience. It’s still down there lit. Now we can’t see where we’re going—only where we’ve been.

Chapter Ten – Super Mom! – …mothers were divided into two distinct groups: the Super Moms and the Interim Mothers. . . .The Super Moms were faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a harsh laxative… .The Interim Mothers were just biding their time until the children were grown.

Chapter Eleven – The Volunteer Brigade – I’m volunteering so much now my husband reported me missing.

Chapter Twelve – “By God, We’re Going to Be a Close-Knit Family if I Have to Chain You to the Bed!” – For no apparent reason, other than its functional value, the refrigerator became the meeting place of the American suburban family.

Chapter Thirteen – Postscript to Suburbian Gems – In a few short years, it (suburbia) became one of the most powerful forces in this country. How they voted. How they ran their schools. How they designated their land. How they incorporated around them what they wanted and needed. How they were governed.

Most humans, I think, live in the suburbs so it’s not such a novelty anymore; but back in the 70’s it was still a new thing. Even so, that doesn’t make the experiences of the family in this book any less funny. And, the challenges are still the same in the suburbs of today. Erma Bombeck is a really funny writer – makes me wonder why she isn’t a stand-up comic. Maybe it’s just not her thing. But, really, you should make this book your thing – it is that funny. If you’re blue and you need a lift, read this book. It will make you feel better about your own life, especially if it is a suburban life!

We read this as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2015, category: Read a Funny Book. By the way – I’ll be really glad when this reading challenge is over. I have read and reviewed so many books this past two months – I’m gonna refuse to read anymore the rest of the year! Let my cousins take up the slack!!

Rating: 4 paws out of 5 for laugh out loud fun!!!

jack 071115aaReviewer: Jack

 Erma Bombeck.jpg Erma Bombeck

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Erma Bombeck Time Quoteserma-bombeck-quotes-6.png

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