Last week I had the pleasure of going to listen to David Sedaris read from some of his latest short stories. It was an impromptu arrangement, over dinner with friends his book tour came up.
"Do you have any interest in seeing David Sedaris?" our dinner guest said.
I nearly dropped the large bowl of potato salad I was carrying when I heard this question being posed to my husband. Flying around the corner of the living room, I stifled a squeal and instead replied in a calm, erudite manner, "Of course we'll go. That would be fabulous." As fate would have it, my husband fell ill with a dreadful flu on the day of the big event. All day I kept asking him if he thought he'd feel well enough to come with us. Through clenched teeth he finally told me that he felt so sick that his eyeballs hurt. I took that as a no and our friends made arrangements to give his ticket to someone, who had fully operative, pain-free eyeballs.
The theater was packed with an ecclectic mix of people, older, younger, goth-y, preppy, grungy. You name it. It really showed me that David Sedaris has an extremely broad audience who admire his quirky wit and wisdom. He's a lucky son of a bitch. When he took the stage, I noted that he has the physical appeal of a brown paper bag. Truly. He's small, slight, with pale skin. light brown hair and a somewhat shy speaking voice that stuttered just enough at the beginning to make me a little nervous for him. However, soon enough his sentences blended together into whacky tales, with just the right amount of curses which caused you to think of this modest, delicate man as a demi-god of comic intelligence. The dry delivery is his calling card. He will say the most offensive thing, but in such a calm, unaffected tone so even your grandma would be comfortable hearing it. She might even giggle.
When I returned home that evening, my husband was in much better spirits. His plague had released it's grip over his body and eyeballs. Of course, he wanted me to recap the evening's entertainment. I tried to recant some of the funnier stories, but somehow in my excitable, jumbled voice the humor was nearly untraceable. David Sedaris is blessed with a gift. A disturbing imagination + bland appearing, yet subtly eloquent style = Major Success. Only people with an oddball aspect to their character appreciate this particular style. I feel lucky to fall into that category, because if you can't laugh about a female Irish Setter, who is 1/8th Spaniel and has a penchant for salty language, what can you laugh about?