Ode to Dre

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the 2008 Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in lovely Dayton, Ohio. Good thing … because my job mandates me to write things that are clever and catchy.

I dragged my best friend Deirdre along with me because I felt she needed to up her clever and catchy quotient. (To which she responded, “I need to up MY funny factor? How about up YOURS?! And then we died laughing.)

Now, I know a lot of people. Most I merely tolerate. But only a handful do I actually call “friends”. And only one or two do I call BEST friends. You know the kind I’m talking about … Deirdre is my kindred spirit. Deirdre is the only one I call on in simultaneous moments of panic, delusion, sheer joy, bad hair and/or constipation.

And since she happens to be the single best writer I’ve ever met! I often call on her in moments of writer’s block.

She has yet to dangle a participle that doesn’t deserve dangling. And she practically oozes vocabulary words through her pores. Come to think of it, I hate her.

I met Deirdre while we were both working in Des Moines. It was our first big-boy and big girl TV jobs, respectively. I had no idea what I was doing … but was coolly confident I could get by on looks alone. Deirdre COULD have relied on her looks … she’s a stunner … but she quickly began to weave a tapestry of stories that still hangs over Central Iowa to this day.

Then Deirdre did the unthinkable … she got a promotion and moved to Sacramento. I was devastated … so I tried to trump her ace by getting a promotion and moving to Kansas City. She won an Emmy. So I won an Emmy. She then proceeded to enter several Triathlons, cover the last six Olympics for NBC, get married and reproduce a child prodigy.

I grew out my bangs.

Now over the years I have “honed” my killer writing skills … and by “honed” I mean copied Deirdre’s. She’ll never sue … I’m her best friend. Besides … we all know blatant, copyright infringing-imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

So cheers to you Deirdre Sheniqua Esmerelda Lolita Mavis Fitzpatrick … you’re my touchstone! Remember that insipid Peter Cetera song where he sings “You’re the meaning in my life … you’re the inspiration.”? Yeah, well … neither do I.