David Sedaris is such a fudging ray of sunshine. I’m using the uncomfortable word “fudge” in this review as much as possible because I find it extra-obscene and sweetly domestic at the same time. Kind of like Sedaris. (Also, weirdly, I just found out that amazon.com will allow "fudge" as a replacement for "fuck," though to me there is a more obscene quality to "fudge," despite the fact that it is a yummy desert.) Anyway, I never realized before that it could make Sedaris' stories even more hilarious to anthropomorphize some animals in them WITH IAN FALCONER ILLUSTRATING. Holy crap. Warms the fudging heart. The O’Malley family basically nailed it when they said this is a book of fables
about a bunch of assholes
. It gets pretty touching and complex on the asshole theme. Especially for something that takes, like, two hours to read. I’m not saying this is better
than his other books, because that would probably be a lie, but I think it’s at least as good as most of them.
There are so many things in my life to free associate with these stories because he got it all so fudging right, but I’m going to narrow it down to just a couple. First, Sedaris obviously understands what sociopaths bunnies are. The bunny story was so so true. So so
true. And something that people need to know about.
Second, childbirth. I have never born a child, so my opinions about child raising and childbirth have more to do with observational studies than actual experience. One of the stories in Squirrel
is about a crow, and she’s a mom who’s not in love with the job. Then she meets a sheep, who is also a mom, but a mom totally impressed by her own momness. This is something I’ve seen happen. So, the sheep mom reminds me in many ways of a dear, dear friend of mine, who I totally love, and who is a sometimes goodreader. I feel pretty okay making fun of her about an incident that happened with us because I’ll make fun of her to her face about it, and because I knitted her a bunch of baby sweaters, so that's gotta count for something. This story is probably going to horrify you, though. Consider yourself warned.
So, the sheep mom in Sedaris' story explains to the crow mom that after her child’s birth, she ate her placenta because it promotes bonding with her child. Now, I know that this is not the reason for eating placenta after childbirth – the real reason is that it contains natural opiates, so if you’re bummed out by childbirth (and, really, who isn’t?), it makes you feel better about the whole ordeal. I guess that promotes bonding, though, so maybe the sheep was right. How do I know this information? Because one of my dear friends cares a lot about people eating placenta. Like, she cares a lot
. Granted, she was a midwife in India for a while, so it makes some sense. Still, though.
A few weeks after my friend had her first baby, she had worked her way through the placenta pills that the midwife made for her, and she sent me the email below. The subject line was, “does she ever kiss luke?” I have another friend, who is a non-placenta-eater, but who has a son named Luke. I thought it was from that friend and was freaked out right away that she was asking me if someone was kissing her son. The rest of the email made no sense in or out of that context. She said, I really only called you to tell you to marry that guy who likes pam, get pregnant and eat only organic foods, no drugs (meaning like advil) and then give me your placenta....I only have 6 pills left...what to do otherwise?
I will start the Common Reader today.
Do we need to renew the library books?
I finished the color of water....
Me Talk Pretty One Day first. I think that’s the best intro to him. This one has taken its place as one of my favorites of his for fudging sure, though.