Good morning and welcome to Extra Gravy, a Harrison Bergeron Production coming to you from the glass-enclosed studios in Biscuit City, a wonderful magical land where all your dreams come true, everyone is intelligent and beautiful and has a ton of money! And it’s 72 degrees and sunny year ‘round. Our guest today is DeeDee Corbitt-Sauter, mom, nurse, my Facebook friend, and author of the “Tambourines and Elephants” column for Prince William Living, a monthly “lifestyle” magazine for Prince William County and greater Manassas.
Dan: Welcome, DeeDee, to Extra Gravy, probably the world’s only virtual radio show without an audio.In fact, it's all in your head unless you have a friend over and take turns reading it aloud!
It’s nice to be able to talk with you!
DeeDee: Thank you and for the record, I enjoy anything with gravy. That was lovely introduction with only a few corrections. You can go ahead and get rid of the “Corbitt.” That’s my maiden name and is only useful when searching for my juvenile record. I use it on FaceBook so my old friends can find me although I really have no desire to go that far back in life. I was never a school nurse, although I think that would be really funny. My background is mostly ICU. But I have also taught nursing and supervised home health.
Dan: I first became aware of you because my daughter Amy said you were a very funny person and had a column. I read your work and fell on the floor laughing. You are a very funny lady. Could you say something funny right now?
DeeDee: Wow. That is a great deal of pressure for someone who is not a part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live. If you were my 10 year old son, all I would have to say is “sexy.” Follow that with a synonym for lower intestinal gaseous emission and I could have you laughing half the day.
Dan: Have you always had this sense of humor and where did it come from? Did you grow up in a funny family? Or what?
DeeDee: I have always been funny in my head. Inside that cavernous abyss, especially late at night, I regale the house with amazing wit and a sharp tongue. But, for the early part of my life, my humor was hidden behind coke bottle glasses and Pippi Longstocking pigtails. Wait, maybe that was the genesis of it all. Actually, I give significant credit to my dad. He worked long, hard hours and his time at home was greatly valued. My sister and I would tell him outrageous tales of our made-up adventures or dreams. If you have children, you know these stories want to make you poke your eyes out with a fork. So, as we inhaled to start whatever nonsense, he would look at his watch and say, “Is this going to take long?” She and I both learned how to tell a story that keeps the audience paying attention. I never said I was succinct though…
Dan: Your column is frequently about your family. Your last column was about you’re your children were going to be when they grow up. You wrote about children who aspired to be inanimate objects, right? That was so funny. Can you tell us about that?
DeeDee: Frankly, it’s poor form to mock other people’s families. I mean without their permission. I often do, but change the names…. So, I am forced to make my family the center of my writing. I worry about them enough, might as well use my writing as therapy. That column started at Thanksgiving when I was asked, for the 100th time, what I thought Henry, my youngest, would be when he grew up. Since I didn’t have a good answer, the question was repeated at Christmas. He is two. I am hoping he is potty trained. I would sit with young moms and they would ply me with stories of their children’s genius and their potential futures. Made my eyes hurt. So, as I was ranting to an old friend, (she is older than I am) she honestly told me that her daughter wanted to be a stop sign. And an umbrella. But can you imagine the power you would wield if you could be a stop sign? Phenomenal.
Dan: I’m getting a little ahead of myself. How did you learn to write, and who encouraged you?
DeeDee: I have a vague recollection of learning to write my name in kindergarten. I recall being proud… little did I understand that my name consisted of 2 letters. Later in life, my mother told me that I was in the slow reading group because I just refused to cooperate. I am fascinated by the sentence that can portray a feeling or conjure a smell or reveal a memory… so I started with newsletters. My friends have always encouraged me. I have never believed them.
Dan: So how did you come to write your column?
DeeDee: I know the editor, Elizabeth Kirkland, and she asked me if I would be willing to take my writing to her new magazine. Naturally, not being able to say no, and not understanding the pressure, I agreed. Now that I know all those things, I would still say yes!
Dan: Do you ever get interesting comments from your readers? Could you tell us about those, please?
DeeDee: I have no idea. I never actually get feedback from the column. My friends often tell me they laughed or give me an anecdote that is similar to the storyline and I love that. Love it. But other than that, I don’t hear much!
Dan: How do your husband and family regard your writing? Do they give you special treatment?
DeeDee: I get a great deal of special treatment because I am that wonderful. Has nothing to do with my writing, simply because I am so lovely, easy going, laid back and sweet. Like June Cleaver. My husband is very supportive of my writing… he never even edits it and that drives me crazy because I know it needs it.
Dan: Are you from this area? If not, where are you from?
DeeDee: I was born in DC, started out in Georgetown and then was raised in a townhouse in Lake Ridge. Lake Ridge was nothing back then and Manassas was considered “the sticks.” If my parents said we were going to Manassas, we would moan with how far that trip would be. I left for college, did stupid things, got married, and eventually ended up back here. My husband is also from the area and we moved back here from Connecticut to be closer to our aging parents.
Dan: What can you tell us about your day job?
DeeDee: Exhausting. I often read organizational magazines to get a better handle on the house. I don’t follow the advice but I am fascinated by the sheer work it takes to come up with those ideas. I like to pretend I am the Mistress of the house and I must run about to ensure the house staff are doing their jobs properly and with respect. Is “staff” plural or singular? But when I start barking orders with a Britsh accent, I realize I have to stop watching Masterpiece Theatre.
Dan:Well, if you're British, "staff" is plural. "The staff are going go on holiday together." (Collective nouns in England always take a plural verb.) If you're American, collective nouns like "tribe" are singular. "The tribe is going to sue the socks off the Redskins for defamation and a few other things." So you must be British, as you suggest at the end of your answer.
Mr. Grammar Person is pleased to answer all your grammar questions. That will be 25 cents, please.
I see you graduated from East Carolina University. My wife Becky is an ECU grad, but in music. Can you tell us about your time at ECU? (Go, Pirates!)
DeeDee: I did my undergrad at UVA and Grad school was ECU. Wow, that place has grown. Loved it. Grad students never have the same experience as the younger folk, but I lived the majority of that time in a complex called Tar River Estates which was a mecca for the drunken collegiate. It worked out well, as I worked nights when they were their loudest and I slept all day. It is a great school and the South is something everyone should experience.
Dan: I want to thank you for being with us on Extra Gravy from the Biscuit City studios today. I wish you well with your column. You’ve been a delightful guest.
We’d love to have you back sometime and we’ll look for your column each month. You must be a CCR fan, judging from the name of your column. Right? How did that name come about?
DeeDee: Again, funny story. I had a suggestion but it was considered offensive, which I found offensive. So Elizabeth suggested Tambourines and Elephants because she is a CCR fan. So, about two months ago, someone told her that the title was suggestive of illicit behavior and could be considered offensive. Love it. Full circle.
Dan: More offense than the Redskins have in an entire season in that answer!
Do you have anything you’d like to add to this interview?
DeeDee: Because this was a radio interview without a volume button, no one knew that I was all showered and professional for the occasion. I just wanted to mention that.
Dan: Indeed you were very showered and professional. Thank you...I have one final question. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? I would be a Brazilian rosewood tree because they are beautiful and their wood is used in high-end guitars.
DeeDee: Apple. I would be an apple tree because I want people to think of me as traditional, classic, dependable and nutritious.
Dan: And indeed you are, DeeDee!
We’ve been talking with DeeDee Corbitt Sauter, columnist, mother, wife, medical professional and humorist.
This has been the Local Writer of the Week feature, brought to you on the Extra Gravy show on the Biscuit City Network.
The Local Writer of the Week is a Harrison Bergeron Production and is sponsored by Your Momma’s Biscuits. Your Momma’s Biscuits, made with love like your momma used to do. Remember, Your Momma’s Biscuits taste just like your momma’s biscuits. So if your momma isn’t around, you can still have Your Momma’s Biscuits! Just like those your momma used to make only without all the fussing and smacking you in the head. Remember, if it’s not done by Your Momma Bakers, it’s not going to taste like a Your Momma’s Biscuit!
This is Dan Verner, bidding you a fond adieu from the glass-enclosed nerve center of the Biscuit City Network until next time when we’ll talk to another local writer.