Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet David Sedaris

We sat fidgeting in our assigned seats ("sit there" growled the attendant) avoiding the glare of the furious harridan who had been keeping them for her friends. We turned to watch David Sedaris instead as he made his way along the front row, shaking hands, signing books, smiling. "I don't want to meet him" muttered my BGF, and under the circumstances I was inclined to agree. The room was too bright, we were too sober, we had no books for him to sign and no sparkling wit with which to dazzle him. So we sat and snarked affectionately at one another, and we waited for the show to begin.

And we waited.

When I looked to the front again Sedaris was halfway down the third row. Everyone else in the audience seemed to be clutching one of his books, some enthusiasticators were clutching several of the fucking things. The lonely ones were reading them. The BGF scrabbled in his pocket for his ticket, and reread it carefully. "Meet David Sedaris, it says" he pointed out, somewhat redundantly. "What if this is it? What if this is all there is?" There was a note of panic in his tone. I laughed dismissively, then paused for thought. Sedaris was now just one row from ours, and the show was billed to start a half hour ago. It's not that I feared that I might be denied some earth-shattering performance; I had, after all, paid to see a man read out loud and perhaps answer a question or two. But if I had indeed misread the €12 invitation, then this was going to be very uncomfortable.

In an effort to maintain his cool in the face of impending awkward social interaction, the BGF had produced some heavy hardback tomes from the library and was attempting to educate me on matters of science. I was feigning interest, leaning over and pretending to be absorbed in the book to such a degree that I may have even followed some of the words with my finger. I glanced upwards and noticed that Sedaris had reached our row, and seemed to be inching his way along, smiling and scrawling witticisms on the proffered books. Seeing this, the BGF snapped the book shut and slid it under his jacket, nearly taking my finger with it. "Fuck" I hissed; the sudden movement had drawn Sedaris' eye and now we looked like we were up to something. Cue eye aversion so comically exaggerated that we may as well have started to whistle as we feigned fey nonchalance. Thankfully the Waterstones gonk who'd been hanging out of Sedaris' shirt-tails suddenly decided that it was (show)time and steered the author towards the podium, saving us from making even bigger tits of ourselves.

Later, I tried to think of what I might have said to him. What I might have asked him had I been lucky enough to shake his hand before he took to the podium, or confident enough to raise my own hand when he invited questions from the floor.

Mr. Sedaris, what advice would you give to a 27 year old girl who wants to be you when she grows up?


She Likes It Loud said...

Better to be silent than turn into an ass-licking conniption. If it wasn't for Sedaris (and a few select others), I just would flip the switch to "off" and call it a night.

The Major said...

I think I would have asked about his brother the Rooster. This shit has me in stitches everytime.

problemchildbride said...

I like David Sedaris a lot. I'd certainly go to a reading of his. I've read all his books, listen to him a lot on the radio, and thought "When You Are Engulfed In Flames" was tops, but I'm fondest of Me Talk Pretty One Day. Course that was my first - first cut is the deepest and all that, perhaps. However "Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim" I could take or leave.

Conan Drumm said...

Never heard of him, must be the bubble effect.

Rosie said...

who are your select others, She?

i love you can't kill the rooster, Major. you can listen to him read it here.

funny, Sam, Dress your Family is the only one i've read. good to know that i have dizzy heights ahead of me.

Twenty Major said...

I think I'd probably hate to listen to someone read their own book.

Sedaris is very funny though. Only a recent convert thanks to Medbh.

Caro said...

I once went to see Salman Rushdie read. He was lovely and personable and told little anecdotes and made us laugh and for a while Salman Rushdie was our friend.

Then he was on the Late Late Show the next night and he told the same anecdotes and paused for effect in exactly the same places and Pat the plank obliged by laughing in all the right places and you could see he was thinking Salman Rushdie is my friend.
And I felt just a little dirty.

Rosie said...

it depends on whether they do the voices, Twenty.

and so you should, Caro, for watching the Late Late.

Twenty Major said...

We had an English teacher who used to do the voices. My toes still haven't fully uncurled all these years later.

Did Sedaris do the voices?

B said...

I got an audio cd of his and couldn't stand his voice.

which book should i get?

I got woody allen's complete prose today!

Rosie said...

he did one voice, Twenty, but the story called for it (and has not not been included in his book for that very reason).

i like his voice, B, i think it fits with the humour of his stories. i have no clue which of his books you should get, as i said, i've only read the one. ask the other kids?

She Likes It Loud said...

I read "Me Talk Pretty One Day" first, but I would recommend "Naked" beforehand. I found Sedaris on my own at the library (geek) and until this blog, no other human has mentioned him in my presence. The raccoons living behind me are big fans though.

conortje said...

I am so jealous it hurts. He's in Amsterdam when I'm in Paris this weekend. And he feckin' lives in Paris. NOT FAIR.

Rosie said...

cheers, She. i'll be off to harrass my local librarian later.

when I'm in Paris this weekend

now i am so jealous it hurts. you'll get no sympathy here, Conor.

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