Sturm und drang. So throw me a donut.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Phyllis Diller

I am very sad that Phyllis Diller passed away on Monday. She was one of my favorite comedians. I remember reading this book for the first time after my family moved from the Midwest to Washington State. We moved at the end of second grade, so I had a whole summer to myself...no friends yet and a lot of time on my hands.

Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints








I had no idea that it was comedy. I really thought that she didn't clean her house and her husband was named Fang. It was completely out of my realm of experience to read about a woman who accidentally locked herself out of the house so she could lounge in the yard and drink all day; especially when my own mother was a neat freak and couldn't tolerate even a crumb on the floor in the kitchen. When I saw my mom vacuuming the back of the couch (again) and raking the shag carpet in the living room with a leaf rake, I went into my bedroom, closed the door, and read this book again. And again.

Eventually, I understood that it was comedy. Along with Carol Burnett, Vicky Lawrence and Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller taught me to look at the world from a different angle. It was okay to be funny, outlandish, creative and different. I realized that there was a whole world contained within a woman's point of view. With the passing of Phyllis Diller, there is also the passing of an era. I hope other female comedians are ready and willing to take up where Phyillis left off and keep exploring the far reaches of being a woman in a man's society.


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