All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehman's Dressing Room

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9780694515783: All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehman's Dressing Room

For nearly thirty years, America's favorite humorist, Erma Bombeck, has given us her take on the behavioral patterns of her favorite animal species --us. Much in the same way that Jane Goodall devoted her life to living with and recording the behavioral patterns of the wild mountain chimps of Gombi, so Bombeck has recorded our mating habits, maternal instincts, reproductive cycles, how we handle trends and technology, what makes us laugh, and what makes us cry. In her inimitably warm and witty style, Bombeck has discovered that the odd habits of the animal kingdom are strikingly similar to our own, and she reports her downright hilarious findings in All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room.

Bombeck shows how close animals in the wild and humans really are, and how much we can learn from one another. The hippopotamus is a vegetarian and looks like a wall. Lions who eat only red meat are sleek and slim. Are nutritionists on the wrong track? From the garter snake transvestite, to the barn swallow who can't make a commitment, to the lion who mates eighty-six times a day, Bombeck reveals that we're not all that far removed from the animal world. An African monkey who picked the lock on every cage he'd ever been in got twenty minutes on a National Geographic special. Bombeck had a cousin with the same skill; he got two years.

Bombeck proves that a behaviorist need not wear a safari jacket and live in a tent in order to be an expert on every facet of a species' behavior. From the aerobics classroom -- where humans defend their territory to the death by spraying their mates with their own personal perfume -- to our migratory patterns -- where, like a certain species of butterfly, we fly to Miami in hordes the minute the temperature dips below sixty, Bombeck demonstrates in her quintessential style that while animals may have more fun, longer tails, and better sex lives, the gap that separates us from the animal kingdom is closing...fast.

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About the Author:

Erma Bombeck, one of the most popular newspaper columnists in the United States and the author of numerous bestselling books, died in San Francisco on Monday, April 22, 1996 from complications following a kidney transplant earlier in the month.

Bombeck had been ill for some time. In 1992, after she underwent a mastectomy, her kidneys failed and she began dialysis at her home in Arizona. She suffered from polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary complaint. Even with her illness, Bombeck continued her weekly schedule of housework, her source for the hilarious columns and books for which she was widely loved.

"My type of humor is almost pure identification," she once told The New York Times. "A housewife reads my columns and says, 'But that's happened to me! I know just what she's talking about!'

"If I didn't do my own housework, then I have no business writing about it. I spend 90 percent of my time living scripts and 10 percent writing them."

Erma Bombeck's books include Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession, which spent an entire year in the Number One spot on The New York Times bestseller list; Family: The Ties That Bind...and Gag!; If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?; I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise; When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home, which was a New York Times bestseller and the sixth biggest selling nonfiction book of 1991; and A Marriage Made in Heaven...Or Too Tired for an Affair.

There are over twenty million copies of Erma shelved, and her thrice-weekly syndicated columns reached an estimated thirty million readers every week.

Bombeck was a regular on ABC-TV's Good Morning America for eleven years. She holds fifteen honorary doctorates, has been named to the list of the 25 Most Influential Women in America by the World Almanac since 1979, and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the President's Advisory Committee for Women when it was formed in 1978.

She is survived by her husband, William Bombeck, her mother, Erma Harris, and her three children.

Erma Bombeck, one of the most popular newspaper columnists in the United States and the author of numerous bestselling books, died in San Francisco on Monday, April 22, 1996 from complications following a kidney transplant earlier in the month.

Bombeck had been ill for some time. In 1992, after she underwent a mastectomy, her kidneys failed and she began dialysis at her home in Arizona. She suffered from polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary complaint. Even with her illness, Bombeck continued her weekly schedule of housework, her source for the hilarious columns and books for which she was widely loved.

"My type of humor is almost pure identification," she once told The New York Times. "A housewife reads my columns and says, 'But that's happened to me! I know just what she's talking about!'

"If I didn't do my own housework, then I have no business writing about it. I spend 90 percent of my time living scripts and 10 percent writing them."

Erma Bombeck's books include Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession, which spent an entire year in the Number One spot on The New York Times bestseller list; Family: The Ties That Bind...and Gag!; If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?; I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise; When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home, which was a New York Times bestseller and the sixth biggest selling nonfiction book of 1991; and A Marriage Made in Heaven...Or Too Tired for an Affair.

There are over twenty million copies of Erma shelved, and her thrice-weekly syndicated columns reached an estimated thirty million readers every week.

Bombeck was a regular on ABC-TV's Good Morning America for eleven years. She holds fifteen honorary doctorates, has been named to the list of the 25 Most Influential Women in America by the World Almanac since 1979, and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the President's Advisory Committee for Women when it was formed in 1978.

She is survived by her husband, William Bombeck, her mother, Erma Harris, and her three children.

From Booklist:

Animals and humans are a lot alike. Just ask Erma Bombeck. "Consider the camel. He has yellow teeth, corns, and halitosis. . . . Don't tell me you haven't had a blind date that matches that description." Bombeck continues to make her case in one of her funniest books to date. She uses animal facts to lead off each chapter: a depressed polar bear, she reports, was given a beach ball covered with peanut butter to lick; a smart move, according to Bombeck, since "comfort food has long been a treatment for boredom for the the woman who is home alone. It isn't until her rear end begins to look like a Woodstock parking lot that she realizes licking peanut butter off a beach ball is not the answer to her problems." Erma goes on in this vein, showing how a lion who has been known to mate 86 times in one day deserves a spot on Oprah, and that while the cockroach has the ability to endure for 300 million years, so does a pot of split pea soup or a fruitcake. Bombeck, one of the first female humorists, started writing about the idiosyncrasies of life (especially domestic life) 30 years ago, back when Roseanne still had one personality. Now funny females abound, in print and on screen, but Bombeck proves she's still got what it takes to trade jokes with any of them. Ilene Cooper

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