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October 14, 2009

Words of Wisdom (or, you know, whatever)

Kate Hart
Last night David Sedaris made his third appearance at our local arts center. This is the second time I've gotten to see him, and it wasn't as funny as the last reading or the CD that made me almost drive off a small Texas highway, but I mean-- it's David Sedaris. "Not quite as funny" is like "This pizza was only good enough for me to eat 10 pieces instead of all 12."

Anyway, he heavily recommended Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth. He has his own new book coming out in about a year. We wanted to get our copies of his older stuff autographed, but we had munchkins at home and a babysitter who needed to be saved. But I jotted down a few of my favorite lines and words of wisdom. All are paraphrased, obviously.
  • "If you're the kind of guy that everyone tells their secrets too, fine. But if you're the kind that everyone stabs, it's time to make a change."
  • "The two most repeated words on billboards between Memphis and Little Rock are Jesus... and catfish."
  • "The man was wearing an enormous crucifix. The size you might reach for if you wanted to crucify a hamster."
  • In response to a woman who claimed Sedaris' mother was her parenting inspiration: "To me, parents should not tell their kids they're special. They should say, 'You're a dime a dozen. I can always have another. Sure, that picture is nice and all, but, I mean... you're eight. I'm not hanging that on my fridge.'"
The most interesting part of the reading, to me, was watching Mr. Sedaris edit as he read. He marked lines that got laughs, lines that got bigger laughs, and places that he stumbled. Later he admitted that he reads, goes back to his hotel, edits and reads the new version a few days later. So in a way, I can say I was a beta reader for David Sedaris, or at least a beta listener. Right?


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