Meet Ermigal, who’s never at a loss for odds or ends

(From book cover)

(From book cover)

Have you met Ermine Cunningham yet?

Oh, wait. You may know her by Ermigal. That’s how she signs on at her humor blog Odds & Ends from Ermigal right here in WordPressLand.

I’ve been reading her work with a big smile on my face for a while now. Ermi, you see, is from around my part of the world. She grew up in Mattydale, which is the little ‘burb right next to Syracuse that I drive through on my five-mile journey from my house to my Thursday night bowling league. She went to North Syracuse High School, where she wrote a light-hearted advice column for the school newspaper that was called Dear Pappy.

Then Ermi took 46 years off from writing.

Good gawd, no? Yes? Maybe?

In any case, she didn’t dangle a participle while authoring “Pretend You Know What You’re Doing: My Voyage fron Teaching to Humor Writing.”

I wrote my weekly community blog for Syracuse Public Media site about Ermine Cunningham and this book.

You can read the story by clicking the link below.

The book is half-biography, half collection of blog posts.

The biography is so darn cool.

Cunningham spent more than two decades teaching English as a second language to students in the Syracuse Central School District, but for what it’s worth, she also had to teach other teachers to respect these children from other countries. The community members? Well, they put on kilts and played bagpipes and marched around very big blocks to make the kids feel welcome. You have to read it yourself.

And she married a little-town car dealer after her car broke down during his holiday party and they accomplished a bit of canoodling in the front seat of a showroom mint red convertible. And then she found a signed love card in his glove compartment and she and her friends followed him on a dinner date and then tracked the woman instead and Ermi chased the lady into a supermarket and screamed that she could have the no-good creepo for herself, Cupcake! And earned cheers from the checkout ladies. You have to read it yourself.

There are more delicious teases at

The book is available through and

And about her blog:

“Much of my writing pokes fun at myself and events that other folks can identify with, but I still struggle with the feeling that I should be addressing some of the serious issues in the world,” Ermi says. “Maybe my purpose in life is to give readers some relief from sad and disturbing events so they can have a moment of laughter and carry on to do their own life’s work. I do see myself aiming for satire that serves a larger purpose in making life better for those who don’t have much of a voice.”

Who’s your favorite humor writer, and why? What’s the funniest thing you’ve read lately, and what made you laugh? Are you a good joke teller or bad joke teller, and why?

45 thoughts on “Meet Ermigal, who’s never at a loss for odds or ends

    • You two would be thick, I do believe, Mrs. B. Ermi came over to my house to bring me her book, so I actually got to meet her already. πŸ™‚ You, I imagine the hilarity from your wonderful posts. Cape Cod here we four come in June. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ll be checking her out also Mark. You do come up with a lot of great leads, and you seem to be the Pied Piper of all the best of WordPress. The glue that holds us together.


  2. I will have to check her out, Mark! I am so grateful for other bloggers to help get my reader full of good choices! I loved Erma Bombeck (thanks, Beth!) who spoke seriously in front of my BGSU class of 1978. She was facing cancer but she also threw in her own personal zingers! I also like James Thurber. I used to enjoy the t.v. show, “My World and Welcome to It,” with a lot of imagination in the series. I am a big “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” fan, which was written by Jean Kerr. I also like the zany writing of Helen Fielding, which leads to my recent reading of the new continuation of Bridget Jones, where she is 50 years old, in love with a boytoy and sadly, Darcy is deceased. She is a single mother, with some funny neighbors and friends. This book may not be brand new, but it is to me: “Mad About the Boy.” I love her silly parts about getting addicted to texting and twittering. This is long enough, but I did like the dry humor of Mark Twain… leading back to YOU, Mark! Who is funny, too! Smiles!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny you should post this. I’m in the midst of a Feeder purge. Out with some old. Looking for some new. I’ll check this out. THANKS.

    Off topic: How, in Bog’s name, do you pronounce “Bialczak.” I suppose I, of all people, should know but I don’t. Can you provide a pronunciation guide?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question, Mark. It’s pronounced, passed down from my father passed down from his father: Bee Al Zack.

      The true Polskis in Greenpoint said Bee Ow Chuck. But I am third generation male born in the USA on the paternal side. My father’s paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother came over from Poland, as did my grandmother on my mom’s side. My mom’s father was German, though also born here. There you have it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. i love ermine and her words as well. i’ll be weighing in with my two cents worth, very soon. i think my idols are erma bombeck and tina fey in the humor arena, and ermine is right on track with them in her approach to life. )

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We’ll have to see what other adventures she had in red convertibles. I haven’t read any LOL funny books lately, but I did hear David Sedaris tell Fallon last night his next book will be titled “Testicles of an old sparrow in April.” Maybe that will be funny?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You always have such good pointers to interesting people, movies, and music! Hmmmm, my favorite humor writer is easily P.G. Wodehouse because I adore the dry, sardonic British wit and fine writing and he exemplifies both. Of course there are some really funny writers right here on WordPress as we know.

    Liked by 2 people

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