Sunday, March 2, 2008

Where are the Female Humorists?

Topic of the meeting was "Networking for the Writer," two hours of solid advice. Especially the part that said "Introverts, you can network online!" A guy there named Bob looked familiar. Soon I realized he was Bob Rybarczyk, the "Suburban Fringe" weekly humor columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and he writes good. His stuff, mostly family humor, is really funny.

Worried that he was there to write a funny column about a meeting called "Networking for the Writer," I un-introverted myself and said hi and complimented his column and asked why he was there; I figured he wouldn't need to network. Turns out he can't get syndication or an agent, has published a P.O.D. book but wants a "legitimate publisher" (his words) and hasn't one. This is a writer with thousands of local fans and popular appeal. He isn't a journalist; he started out as a P.R. guy who happened to write amusing office e-mails. P.R. guy has to learn to network? Guess it's that old artificial difficulty.

For a while I've wondered: Where are today's female humor columnists? Nora Ephron feels bad about her neck, but she's not funny. Did the art die with Erma Bombeck? I know scores of witty women. (The presenters at the meeting were sharp, witty women: Tricia Sanders and Tricia Grissom, of But the stakes are higher now. Women can't afford to risk sending amusing office e-mails. Caring for kids and aged parents and grumpy mates of the kind Phyllis Diller called "Fang" and I called "The Missing Link," worrying about their necks and moles and the church people, keeping at all costs menial, ill-fitting jobs, not enough sleep -- these days a woman who laughed about these things in print, or even shut her door to start writing, would get visited by Child Protective Services. Lady, if you're out there: We need you!

1 comment:

  1. You are too kind! And thanks for stopping by our blog.

    It sounds like you do a better job networking in person than I.

    God knows I need some mental health, so I'll be back visiting your blog. I likey.