As soon as I start, Sedaris doesn’t disappoint with his descriptive and hilarious deadpan, humorous style. Playing into the typical American outlook of wanting to have “serious” doctors, and treated with a certain gravity we’ve become accustomed to. He accompanies the humour with odd tales from his personal life, some of which are unsettling, but quite entertaining. Sedaris does make a valid point about today’s parenting, however in his second story. Parent’s treat their children extremely on the verge of being slaves to the child. “They did not live in a child’s house, we lived in theirs.” Which Mike from NoFx said about his daughter with his wife. They wanted a child they could share their lifestyle with, but I’m pulling two similarities where none need be. Although this second story proved funnier than the first.
The third proves Sedaris showing what seems his disenchantment when having to hear of people’s possible over emotion about a loved one’s death and they dying too young. Sedaris proves when one is young and from a large family and possibly only from his era, there’s a better chance of one being able to prey on people’s weaknesses and avoiding attention if you’re clever and don’t get overcome by self-loathing and being a praise-stalker. Wistful ending, quite introspective. Oh, my gosh, the next story tripped me out; it was so funny how stereotypical Sedaris made me believe “his” Black girl’s were. He brought me right into his classroom with Delicia, so hilarious! Also he and his siblings relationship with their Grandmother is so unique and again made me laugh out loud. He also has such dramatic outbursts at the age of fourteen with his mother I wondered whether they actually happened the way he describes them sometimes, they are certainly funny to imagine, at least.
Again, Sedaris has made me fall for his funny story ploys are so obvious he seems to want me to giggle at them. A description of his best friend’s mother: “In a neighborhood of stay-at-home moms, Shaun’s mother worked. A public-health nurse, she was the one you went to if you woke up with yellow eyes or jammed a piece of caramel corn too far into your ear. ‘Oh, you’re fine,’ Jean would say, for that was what she wanted us to call her, not Mrs. Taylor. With her high cheekbones and ever so slightly turned-down mouth, she brought to mind a young Katharine Hepburn. Other mothers might be pretty, might, in their twenties or early thirties, pause at beauty, but Jean was clearly parked there for a lifetime.” David has a way of making these stately declarations. They’re the little laughs one gets because they are so wildly recited. Another essay is out-rightly sad if one loves animals and especially endangered species and feels bad about a child losing their father at an early age. Still entertaining, it’s the unfortunate situation of having the “information at your fingertips” “trouble” again. Then there’s a short “rant”, I suppose deals squarely with the Lord-ah. It’s realistic enough anyways, so in a sense was entertaining. I do look forward to saying whatever lie taught me on Pimsleur, as David experienced; It was a good laugh, as well. Also if one ever comes across the chance to ask a German if they are from Minnesota couldn’t sound any more enticing.
While Sedaris does sound more wistful compared to his other books, I think he’s trying to work through the memories surfacing which aren’t as hilariously upfront as others, and perhaps trying to remind himself to live in the now, because his life sounds pretty good to me, and I think he’s trying to convey he realizes this, too. Then David shares a story about his father when his sister Gretchen moves in nearby him to await a college admission acceptance letter. The story proves on the darker side of female’s and dealing with night assault. His father brings him on “rape” runs to locate the guys who keep going after Gretchen, nothing comes of it, but David’s outlook proves bleak in regards to his current situation, which was working as a clothed model for a college on a severely minimum basis and feeling like he’s stuck (I can relate). He stayed “stuck” for 3 years, but obviously it was temporary.
Just a Quick Email is a short and exceedingly funny scenario characterization. It reminded me of two morons who are continually trying to make themselves my personal pair, who may even be able to relate to parts of it (they do love a good “shout-out”), at least in the case of the drunk-driving *wink wink*, but I do digress. Another story had to do with David’s lack of ability at fighting, when relating a story to a straight man whom he incidentally had interest in, he relates the story of his failed fist-fight attempt. Now I can also appreciate Sedaris’ reasons for all the wacky and odd questions to fans and most anyone: He’s a note-taker which I can appreciate. He also gets extreme discomfort from having his picture taken, probably an insecurity he feels unnecessary to “work” through, which I can understand. Why be more uncomfortable on the job? The stories still get better when we learn more about David’s first boyfriend and how racist Americans still seem to other countries; Hilarious unto itself. Sedaris’ perception on how French people have a self-satisfactory tone in their voice when they show how they approve of America choosing Obama for President, I have to wonder if it’s only because it’s been so long since we’ve had a positive, intelligent seeming leader. He also reveals he thinks the French, or whichever European people are jealous we got the half-Black President first. The whole theory is entertaining.
Sedaris also has a strange situational essay about a character dealing with gay marriage in an extreme way. Mostly weird, a bit funny. If anyone knows the show Oddities, understanding will arise quickly in one of David’s later stories in this series where he’s in a taxidermy shop and is presented with definite oddities, one including the head of an approximately 14-year-old girl from Peru was around 400 years old. I suppose the main downside of traveling to China would be all the phlegm and piss/poo makers in the street/bathrooms. It sounds nasty and coupled with the theme of food, begins to sound less than inviting. The essay after makes fun of people outside the periphery of intelligence and so begrudge Obama for seeming to talk down to them. It was a pretty entertaining short essay. Also while harbors righteous anger towards slow-pokes it seems he hasn’t mastered the ability to verbalize to said slow-poke what their dumb problem is; I could be of so much use in that department by now, I could make so much money.
Sedaris, who is a diary-addict, can’t seem to stop himself, nor would we want him to, since I believe it would mean less to no more books from him. Where else would we get strange anecdotal stories about whichever strange family or close friend he has? (I’d end up missing them.) He takes the “women” way of fighting and has put an O.C.D. twist on it. Since he writes everything down, he can go back to an argument which started years before and states his stance on it to his boyfriend, which of course is even harder to make a fight end if it’s with someone with “passion”, but seems so ridiculously over-the-top I can only imagine someone bursting out laughing at such a reaction. Unfortunately, possibly due to age, he has the “age-old” view of pot-smokers who, whilst a good source for a joke, not so much when it’s necessary about remembering a trip to Greece is a concern. Too bad he hasn’t run into some with intelligence, but when regular intelligence is so hard to uncover, how can one expect someone to wait for a specific variety. *Sighs* Life. I guess he hasn’t delved into stand-up comedy much. Not necessarily the best source for the intelligent comedians, but for the collected few, which is all I can hope for; and to discover a 7-year-old kid who would look at a guinea pig and marvel at its size by repeatedly and incredulously saying, “Jesus, will you look at those? Christ Almighty. Someone should take a picture.” I mean, come on, I’d appreciate the mentioned candor over the dull diatribes I hear people spout behind me in lines all day every day.
Now it’s my turn to take the Lord’s name in vain though, because Oh my God the next essay is funny to any who has either watched the BBC or knows Britain on a more personal level. David recounts another personal experience involving his father, at which point his extreme fascination with British terminology is shown. Oh, and when Sedaris’ laptop and bag are stolen and his passport was in the pocket of the bag, one of the funniest stories. Plus, David doped up on anesthesia makes me want to laugh and laugh. Also, if one doesn’t want to end up like Michael Jackson, take Propofol with care. I can’t say I’m thoroughly disappointed with this addition to David’s books. The fact he ends with a dog version of “There once was a man in Nantucket…” and make it sound more dirty and clever and then make me think it could mirror the rhythm to the Jim Carroll Band – People Who Died is a feat in itself. Gold-star, Sedaris.