Only When I LaughOnly When I Laugh
by Elouise Bell

on the cover:
“Elouise Bell is a warm, witty, and deeply penetrating observer of human foibles. Her satirical fantasy of a meeting that celebrates women’s leadership as blatantly as most meetings celebrate men’s is alone worth the price of the book. This collection should persuade us all to embrace what she calls “matriotism”—not an enemy but a supplement to patriotism.” —Wayne C. Booth, author, The Rhetoric of Fiction and The Company We Keep

“Bell’s voice is funny, loving, nostalgic, above all sane.” —Eugene England, columnist, This People

“Elouise Bell’s essays are good news. Wry, wise, and entirely decent, they savor, with healing humor, zany zucchini, modern-day films, feminists, the rescue of Planet Earth by matriots, and hometown meetings. Thinking laughter—that’s the medicine Bell serves us.” —Jo Gillikin, senior associate editor, Women’s Studies Quarterly

“Bell’s blend of academe and populism fills her essays with wisdom and range … Indispensable.” —Jerry Johnston, book critic, Deseret News

“Elouise Bell has changed my perspective on so many things—I will never again be able to look at a zucchini without giggling.” —Carol Lynn Pearson, author, Goodbye, I Love You and One on a Seesaw

“Elouise Bell has uncommon insight into the human dilemma. She translates this painful knowledge with a humor that helps us all live with ourselves and our culture. She is a gift.”—Karen Shepherd, founding publisher, Network magazine

about the author:  Elouise Bell is Professor of English and Associate Dean of General and Honor Education at Brigham Young University. Her regular monthly column for Network magazine, published in Salt Lake City, has received first place for “excellence in journalism” from the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives in Orem, Utah.

title page:
Only When I Laugh
Signature Books
Salt Lake City
1990

copyright page:
The majority of these essays originally appeared in Network magazine.
Cover Photograph:  Jack McManemin
Cover Design:  Julie Easton
©1990 by Signature Books, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Printed in the United States of America.
Printed on acid free paper.
94  93  92     6  5  4  3

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Bell, Louise M.
Only when I laugh / Elouise M. Bell.
p.  cm.
1-56085-013-2  :  $9.95
I.  Title.
PN4838.B45  1990
814′.54—dc20
90-48786  CIP

Contents
01 – Zzzzzucchini
02 – The Mug-wump
03 – High on Huckleberry Hill
04 – The Meeting
05 – Matriotism
06 – Testing, Testing …
07 – Passage into Pantyhose
08 – Reel Goddesses
09 – In Memoriam:  Algie E. Ballif
10 – Unpacking Interruptus
11 – When Nice Ain’t So Nice
12 – Lay Therapists
13 – Luxury on a Shoestring
14 – What Makes Botticelli Blush?
15 – Avoiding the Close Shaves
16 – Pocket Politics
17 – Living through the “Prime”
18 – Sickbed Sidekicks
19 – Sleepers Anonymous
20 – Time Travel
21 – Women Warblers
22 – Peerless Pets
23 – Liberating the Language
24 – Greeting Cards
25 – Camp Getaway
26 – Family Status
27 – Prowling the Classifieds
28 – Call Me Indian Summer
29 – Power Napping
30 – Power Plays
31 – Staying Green
32 – Three for the Holidays
33 – Chrismyths
34 – Counting the Milestones
35 – It’s Mine!
36 – A Fable for Our Time