Learned So Far
Mike Ball is an
award-winning humorist who lives and writes on the shores of
Whitmore Lake, Michigan, sharing a roof with his wife, one son,
three cats and a doberman. Their home is just north of Ann Arbor, a
town that includes around 50,000 University of Michigan students,
62,595 student-staffed restaurants, and an undetermined number of
In 2003 he was awarded
first prize in the the Erma Bombeck Writing Contest for his essay, "Just
A Little Bike."
His humor column, What I've Learned So Far . . . is a
feature in the Northfield Courant. Over the past few years his work
has also appeared in the Livingston County Daily Press and
Argus, Corp! Magazine and the Toledo Blade.
Mike spent the early years of his life in Kailua, Hawaii, sitting on
a surfboard, taking guitar lessons and wondering what it would be
like to play in one of those great Midwestern garage bands. By his
teen years his family had moved to Indiana and he was living that
dream, writing and performing timeless songs like Hey, That Rake
Fell On My Amp. He honed his musical craft until he could play
the solo from Louie, Louie with the guitar behind his head,
and could get dates with girls by singing House of the Rising
Sun sitting cross-legged on the front of the stage.
He was able to successfully supplement the lawn mowing income by
working as a freelance writer and photographer until 1979, when he
The Advertising Group, Inc.
as a network of freelance production talent. The group produced
successful ad campaigns for a variety of clients, with Mike writing
copy, providing creative direction, shooting photographs, and making
sure everyone’s belts and wallets were up to snuff.
In 1981 The Advertising Group became a real company and moved into
offices in Plymouth, Michigan. There they grew into a creative "hot
shop" (referring more to the quality of their work than to the air
conditioner), with clients in Michigan, New York City, Chicago, New
Jersey, Florida, Kansas, Ohio and Indiana. In the late ‘80s Mike
sold the company to a large ad agency in Troy, Michigan and went to
work there as a vice president. After a couple of years he realized
that he still didn’t care that much for scotch and bought his
Over the past 28 years, Mike has written and produced columns, ads,
brochures, slogans, songs, menus, and anything else that needed
writing, including a eulogy for a dog. He once wrote a monthly humor
column for an information technology-oriented human resources
magazine (now there’s a combination that just screams humor!) called
Itrecruitermag. These pieces covered such topics as "What
To Do When You Run Into Your Boss At The Career Fair" and "So,
You’ve Been Downsized."