Laugh-out-loud funny

Started reading When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris last week.

No stuntmen were harmed while poaching this photo.

Yeah, I know, it’s 2 years old. Got it on the clearance shelf at barnes&borders. But it was worth the wait.

I’m only halfway through, not yet to the part where he reportedly moves to Japan to quit smoking (and apparently where he got the title of the book). I wanted to share the laugh-out-loud moments with my wife as she (stubbornly insisting that she) drove toward Columbus, but the kids were well within earshot.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea. My children are hardly uncorrupted innocents. They’ve heard and said pretty much everything that might have passed from the book, though probably not in such prolific and imaginative combinations. I just don’t want them to get the impression that I approve of my 11-year-old daughter having a potty mouth.

So I merely chuckled and told my wife how much I wished I could tell her what I was laughing at.

There is his cranky elderly neighbor, Helen, who cussed like a sailor and apparently cooked like one too.

His creative solution to the Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle (which I have solved only once without cheating) in response to a bitchy passenger sitting next to him on a crowded plane. Seventeen across, a 15-letter word for enlightenment: Iamnotanasshole. Five down, six-letter Indian tribe: Youare.

I wish I’d thought to write about these little snippets of life more often. Wish I’d been able to solve the Saturday New York Times crossword more often. Even if it’s not exactly with the intended answers.

To avoid getting flagged as “naughty,” I’ll refrain from quoting his more outrageous stuff. Just know that if you have a slightly weird sense of humor and don’t mind the occasional outburst of profanity (homophobes need not apply), you’ll thoroughly enjoy When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Even if it’s no longer on the NYT bestseller list.

Funny, funny stuff.


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