I was working on the revival of this blog when the clarion call came out to write a post about our ragtag band of humorists known collectively as “An Army of Ermas.”
The timing was perfect, because one of my posts before I went on a self-imposed blog hiatus was the August 26, 2010 announcement of my first Erma column. I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I passed my recruitment test and was mustered into the Army.
I had read the blog since almost Day One and was both amused and envious. I wanted to be an Erma. I knew I had funneh. Then, out of the blue, I surfed my blog list and there was a contest. Enter an essay, get votes and the top two finishers would be crowned Ermas.
Instant stage fright.
Nothing I wrote was funny. I kept writing and got a little funnier. I will say that when I saw my entry published I mustered every bit of social-networking mojo I could lay my hands on. When voting opened, I laid down the law: “vote for me or listen to me whine about it for as long as it takes to get you to regret ever being born.”
I admit it. I played dirty. I threatened people with . . . clowns.
It worked. I have no idea if harassing my sister-in-law by instant message on Facebook just before midnight is what put me over or not. I just know how I felt when I saw the post with my name on it. I had arrived. I was an Erma.
I soon discovered that I had joined a group that was more than the sum of its parts. It was a circle of friends and colleagues. All of whom happen to be hilarious. An Army of Ermas takes its lead from the Commander-In-Chief, the one-and-only Stacey Graham. She is the one-and-only because the universe can only host one Stacey at a time. It is a little known law of Physics. The balance of awesome must be maintained.
I once read a study about the life expectancy of online groups. The conclusion was that most imploded at the eighteen-month mark. In essence, the group will have said all it needed to say and devolve into stupidity. He made some pedantic observations as to why, but obviously, this intrepid researcher missed the point. Because there can be only one Stacey at a time, and we have her, all of the other groups were doomed from day one.
That’s accounta-cuz we don’t just have an editor or webmistress, we have a secret weapon, we have a leader.
When I was a clone for corporate America I realized a very important truth. Every group or office has one of three types in charge.
A boss can force you to do something.
A manager can instruct you to do something.
A leader can get you to volunteer to do something.
Stacey is a true leader. I mean, look, I volunteered to write this tribute. Yeesh, I fell for it again . . .
Thanks Stacey and here’s to many more marches in An Army of Ermas.