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Omaha Magazine

Anna Lind Thomas Knows How to Wield Humor

Mar 01, 2022 11:37AM ● By Tara Spencer
anna lind thomas holds yellow phone

Photo by Bill sitzmann

Anna Lind Thomas—writer, mom, Bellevue West graduate, and creator of the HaHas for HooHas website—earned her first bit of internet fame 10 years ago by sharing a particularly embarrassing story most people would have buried deep down and developed some kind of coping mechanism to deal with. As a humor writer, Thomas has no problem sharing such anecdotes with anyone online.

Thomas farted on a first date. Not a dainty, easily glossed-over fart, either. It was a silent killer. “It was…so bad,” she said. “And I started screaming, ‘Roll down the window!’ I pulled on the windows. I tried to roll down the window, but it’s locked…I’m flying at the window as if I’m being kidnapped.”

This gassy story has a happy ending, though. The man Thomas screamed at is now her husband, Rob, who took that date in stride. These days, the couple and their two daughters, Lucy, 7, and Poppy, 5, go through all hardships and embarrassments as a family. And Thomas writes it all down, and many of them appear in her books We’ll Laugh About This (Someday), which came out in fall 2021, and I’m Not Ready for This, set to publish this spring. 

“That’s the thing about writers,” she said, “We really do have an advantage. We almost like bad things that happen to us because we get to write about it.”

Thomas was working at California State University at Chico as a residential director when she met Rob. She was getting her master’s degree in interpersonal communication, and he was stationed at Beale Air Force Base. They met through Thomas said online dating was exactly what she’d expected at first—a disaster. She said every man who “winked” at her was in their 60s.

“They were all in a camper trailer—I don’t know why,” she said. “And they were like, ‘I know I’m not in your age range, darlin’, but you’re gorgeous. Let me take you out for a beer.’” She stopped logging on.

On the last day of the free trial, she got a reminder that the trial was ending. She logged on again, saw Rob, and sent him a message with her email address. He emailed right away to ask her out to dinner, and literary history was made. Well, viral internet history at the very least. “The fart story makes people like, laugh until they cry,” Thomas said. “I don’t know why.”

A story she finds funnier took place years later while she was pregnant with Poppy. 

They were moving, and her parents were helping, because, as she put it, “I’m, like, really pregnant, totally sprawled out…cankles roaring.”

A mover dropped a box labeled “marital items” at the feet of her parents. Suddenly there’s a rattling noise. “My husband and I lock eyes. Because we realize what it is, and I grit my teeth and I’m like, ‘get it, get it.’” Long story short, her husband did not get it. Her mom opened the box, her dad could not understand what was going on, and Thomas is still hoping that story makes it into a book. 

Her flair for storytelling started early. She recalls writing a “hilariously dramatic” story for a class. “I think, because I was the baby of the family, my parents let me like, hang around when they were watching Dallas or something,” she said with a laugh. Her teacher told her the story was very good, and when she went home that day, Thomas told her mom she was going to be a published author. With the help of her agent, Erin Niumata, and her editor, Julie Baumgartner, she is. 

“Anna loves writing,” Baumgartner said. “She wants to hone her craft, she embraces even the smallest writing suggestion or editing tip, and I’m watching her skills take off.”

Besides getting to watch primetime soap operas, being the baby had other perks. Thomas said she was bullied a lot as a child, but because she was so loved at home, the hurt feelings didn’t last. She already knew she was important. “I mean, you might hurt my feelings, but at the end of the day…I’m the baby and I’m adored and there’s nothing you can really say to change that,” she said. 

Thomas added that her parents’ heritage and temperament also helped shape her humor and writing style. Her dad is Swedish, and her mom is Sicilian. “It’s really funny because Swedes are fairly unemotional—weird when it comes to emotion,” she said. “Sicilians are like, filled with passion.” Yet she attributes her sense of humor to her dad—“He is outrageous”—and her interest in writing to her mom. “She was very, very good.” 

Thomas thinks the struggles people go through make the best stories. “It’s what we tell our grandchildren, it’s what things we overcome,” she said. “I don’t think it should be avoided, I think it should be leaned into…And if you were to keep your sense of humor, even better. You’re going to have a great story to tell, and in a way that encourages other people.”

That’s what she tries to do with her writing, and so far it’s working. 

According to Baumgartner, “The sophistication and depth of meaning in her second book really makes this editor proud.”  

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This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Photo by Bill Sitzmann    


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