Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
David Sedaris begins his collection of holiday essays with an autobiographical tale of his experiences as an elf in Macy's SantaLand. His chosen name was "Crumpet," and his experiences in SantaLand are both hilarious and a little horrifying. If you've never read Sedaris--God forbid--Holidays on Ice is the perfect place to begin.
Sedaris is amazing. His writing is succinct and enviable. He's my humor hero. I once waited almost three hours in line to get his newest collection of short stories, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, autographed. I had promised my good friend X--- that I would get her book autographed as well, as she wasn't feeling well and had gone home right after the reading. It was midnight. I was tired. I had been standing in line for almost three hours. This is the only explanation for what happened when I finally met Mr. Sedaris (again, my humor-essayist hero):
David Sedaris (very polite): Who would you like these signed to?
Me: Oh, myself--Elizabeth--and my friend X----, please. I love your new collection!
David Sedaris (more polite banter while signing books): Thank you. Where's your friend X---? Did she come with you?
Me: She did, but she fell asleep during your reading and then decided to go home. (Dawning horror when I realize what I've said.)
David Sedaris: Cold stare. Completely understandable cold stare.
Me: Oh no, not because it was boring! She wasn't feeling well! Your reading was excellent! (More incoherent, frantic babble.)
David Sedaris continues to stare at me. He scribbles something in my book and hands it to me. I'm shuffled out of line by attendants even as I'm continuing to apologize.
It was so, so incredibly embarrassing.
When I get out of the bookstore, I check what he's written in my copy, expecting something like "You are incredibly rude," "I forbid you from reading any of my books every again," or even, justifiably, "Screw you." I should have expected more, of course, and he delivered: "Friendship is a cancer."
Oh, David Sedaris, I love you.
If you like David Sedaris, try his sister Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. Filled with helpful recipe tips including some truly terrible-looking jello molds and hints on how to entertain all ages, sexes, and inebriation-levels, I Like You is pure gold, especially with the kitschy, old-school photos.
I picked up Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake because I thought the title was pretty funny--I, too, have been told there would be cake and there was no cake, none! which is always disappointing--and the autobiographical essays within lived up to the humor the title promises. Crosley chronicles her life as a young woman living in New York and her childhood in a suburb of the same city, from the horror of her mother giving her "the talk" to trying to figure out why, for the love of God, would any of her dinner guests leave poo on her bathroom rug.
3 days ago