That (Not So Still) Small Voice
Embedded in my DNA has always been a robust humor gene that manifests itself as a precocious female humor imp. As a fan of Erma Bombeck, the late great humorist, I’ve dubbed this part of me ‘My Inner-Erma’.
When I was still working in healthcare administration, Erma was always right alongside me with her lapel mic paired to my brain’s frequency. Feeling at home, she interjected her humorous commentary on the daily goings on. At times she was more active than others.
She pre-dated Amazon’s Alexa, yet she was like Alexa in many ways. For example, certain situations in my surrounding environment were like wake words to her. The sound of catastrophizing over minutiae would not only woke her, but sent her into overdrive.
I soon learned not to stay in the vicinity of whiners. Droning and complaining pushed her completely over the edge, changing her settings from silent background monitoring to full blown verbal Tourette’s in nanoseconds.
She blurted out some of the most hilarious comments at the most inappropriate moments.
Robert’s Rules Of Disorder
I had to be particularly vigilant in Board Meetings with the doctors because—bless their hearts—my precious physician employers gave her so much material to work with.
On more than one occasion I snorted my coffee through my nose as she blindsided me with a hilarious mental image or one of her snarky zingers.
So, to not risk future embarrassment, I stopped bringing beverages into the conference room.
Oh my, I could do a whole Comedy Central special about the things she whispered in my ear at our annual year-end meetings. Each December—like clockwork—all the doctors shuffled into the conference room and took their respective seats.
At the appointed time, everyone stared down at the table, winced, and braced themselves for what they feared might follow. Breaking the silence, Dr. Methuselah would dash their hopes and make his dreaded announcement. Yet again, rather than retiring on December 31 as he promised he would, he’d now decided to stay on … ‘just one more year’.
It was a real Night Of The Living Dead moment. Grumpy cuss Dr. Methuselah kept on resurrecting, refusing to retire and finally go away!
The agony of the other partners was palpable. However, as stoic licensed professionals, they were able to silence their reflexive guttural groans. That said, the disgusted looks and the piercing glances exchanged across the table made for great Kodak moments.
A raised eyebrow and a smirk always appeared on my face right about that time. Perhaps they made the incorrect assumption that I was in favor of Dr. Methuselah staying on—which I was NOT!
What they had no way of knowing was that Erma was narrating the scene for me, casting all of them as recurring skit characters. She was educing their political posturing and acquiescing dialogue into snarky SNL-worthy sound bites.
The coffee snorting incident notwithstanding, I’d have to say that I did a pretty good job of keeping Erma’s existence under wraps. Since I was the only one who could hear her narration, no one was the wiser.
Had a speech bubble appeared over my head, I would have been shown the door—‘with the quickness’. Erma and I both agreed that they were all a bunch of spineless cowards.
What made this even more laughable was that every year (a few days before the end of year meeting) the physicians would begin filing into my office to beat their chests and assert that they’d “had enough”.
Each would proclaim how THEY were going to be the one to finally speak up. Each blathered on about how THEY were going to remind Dr. Methuselah of his many prior promise to retire. Yep, this year THEY were going to show solidarity and individually and severally veto any mire extensions.
Yeah, right … And a meteor could hit the earth as well. Well, it never happened. Dr. Methuselah was the practice’s founding partner. You could smell the fear in the room whenever Dear Dad took the floor and began to speak.
Contracting A Bad Case Of The Don’t Cares
But that was then, and this is now. These days, I no longer fight with my Inner Erma.
She wins! I no longer sandbox her commentary. Rather, I give her the mic and use digital media to memorialize what she has to say as I am doing now.
Waving Bye Bye
I ditched the black business clothes in lieu of denim and flip flops. Today, I simply let ‘er rip and fully embrace my humor. Yep, I’m growing my flame … owning my mojo. Tee hee. Liz Ryan would be so proud of me, wouldn’t she? Except for the fact that I deleted my LinkedIn profile several years ago and trashed all my previous ‘professional’ contacts with one click of the mouse. [Oh yes I did!]
Someday I I may decide to put it back up, but this time it will be without all the worthless job history and resume rubbish.
Occupation: retired humor commentator.
Here’s the way I see things. Life is short, and despite what anyone else wishes to do, I am going to take the time to laugh. I’m laughing at myself … I’m laughing at my career … I’m laughing at my mistakes … I’m laughing at my marriage … and laughing at anyone and anything else that I deem to be funny.
None of us are getting any younger, you know. Might as well enjoy life while we can. I have it on good authority that none of us are getting out of here alive.
Hand Me The Botox, Will Ya?
I’ll admit it. I’m getting a little long in the tooth. How old am I, you ask? Well, usually, a lady never divulges her age, but I’ll give you a clue: Classic Rock from the 80’s was my jam, so you do the math.
Let’s just leave it that I’ve hopscotched a few ticks to the right of zero on the number line if you know what I mean. [This is the part of the story where you’re all supposed to gasp, grab your chest, and exclaim that I don’t look anywhere near my age.] Thank you. I accept your compliment.
I’ll end this posts here because I’ve got some damage control to attend to.
Yesterday, while chatting with my new next door neighbor, Erma piped up and asked when her baby was due. Yep, you guessed it … she isn’t pregnant. Oy vey!
I’ll talk at you all later. Have a nice day.