Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop 2022: Plus One to Paradise

I am home in my bed with my phone, one of my cats and my laptop. I haven’t even turned on the TV.

I am exhausted.

And satisfied.

The Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop 2022 was held this weekend.

This only happens every two years. Due to the apocalypse, 2020 was virtual, and it’s been four years since seeing my friends in person.

I have a lot to say about this, but right now? I’m just going to tell you about the first 10 minutes.

Randy picked me up from work Thursday afternoon and we made the 30 minute drive north to Dayton, Ohio.

He dropped me off at the hotel. I went from excited to nervous. My anxiety clearly felt I was feeling too joyful and needed to step in. I wasn’t worried though, I was 4th in line at the check in counter and I’d be escaping to my room in no time.

Someone entered the lobby and got in line behind me.

alan zweibel and michelle poston combs

Alan Zweibel.

Alan Zweibel was one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live.

He’s also done a shit ton of other things. He’s hilarious, engaging and genuine.

I remembered attending his session in 2016 and enjoyed hearing about his friendship with Gilda Radner. I wrote about him in 2016, I have a picture of him kissing my cheek. I was excited and then, throughout that weekend, I saw photographic evidence that Alan Zweibel kissed every single woman at the conference. I was going to title that post “Alan Zweibel is a Whore”, but I chickened out.  I didn’t think I was in any real danger that he would read my blog, but you never know.

I shushed my anxiety, said hello and introduced myself.

Alan Zweibel: You’re not going to believe what happened just now.

Me: Okay?

AZ: I got a text from the cab driver who was assigned to pick me up from the airport and her name was Gilda.

Me: Bullshit.

AZ: No, really. Look.

He showed me a text from the cab driver and her name was indeed Gilda. Then he showed me the texts between him and Laraine Newman about the cab driver. You know, just your typical afternoon.

AZ: I am going to take this as a sign that I’m getting into heaven.

Me: Ah, well, I probably won’t see you as I don’t think I get to go there.

AZ: Really? That’s a shame. Bad person?

Me: Either that, or it doesn’t exist.

AZ: I’ll tell you what, I will take you as my plus one.

Some people walked up and started talking to Alan, which was fine with me. They could interrupt our conversation, no worries. I had just secured a nice place for my afterlife. I had no complaints.

I checked into my hotel room. Hid for a bit and then proceeded to have an epic weekend.

Saturday evening was the final evening of the conference. Laraine Newman was the keynote speaker. Her stories were compelling and completely hilarious. Alan Zweibel introduced her.

During his introduction, he started telling a story about the name of the cab driver that picked him up from the airport and I thought “Oh, that story? I heard that story days ago.”

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By Michelle