Thursday, May 3, 2012

David Sedaris made my stomach hurt last night.

This is the book Sedaris recommended this year -- a tradition  on his tour

Yes. I laughed so hard that not only my stomach ached, but my face muscles did, too. In fact, for a second I thought that I'd dislocated my jaw. He read a few new essays, the recent dentist/medical system/socialism essay from The New Yorker, told very dirty jokes, read from his diary and otherwise charmed the audience of thousands at UCLA last night. He dissed animals, particularly dogs (you would have howled, Ms. Moon), and spoke a lot about taxidermy and owls. He is just about the weirdest, sweetest humorist in the world, I think, and I love him. He's definitely the only person who can tell the foulest of jokes and get me to laugh so hard I spit saliva. I've seen him now at least six  times, and each time I'm convinced that if he only knew I was out there in the audience, he'd be one of my best friends.

Here's an excerpt from the recent essay in The New Yorker, titled Dentists Without Borders:

One thing that puzzled me during the American health-care debate was all the talk about socialized medicine and how ineffective it’s supposed to be. The Canadian plan was likened to genocide, but even worse were the ones in Europe, where patients languished on filthy cots, waiting for aspirin to be invented. I don’t know where these people get their ideas, but my experiences in France, where I’ve lived off and on for the past thirteen years, have all been good. A house call in Paris will run you around fifty dollars. I was tempted to arrange one the last time I had a kidney stone, but waiting even ten minutes seemed out of the question, so instead I took the subway to the nearest hospital. In the center of town, where we’re lucky enough to have an apartment, most of my needs are within arm’s reach. There’s a pharmacy right around the corner, and two blocks further is the office of my physician, Dr. Médioni. Twice I’ve called on a Saturday morning, and, after answering the phone himself, he has told me to come on over. These visits, too, cost around fifty dollars. The last time I went, I had a red thunderbolt bisecting my left eyeball.
The doctor looked at it for a moment, and then took a seat behind his desk. “I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you,” he said. “A thing like that, it should be gone in a day or two.”
“Well, where did it come from?” I asked. “How did I get it?”
“How do we get most things?” he answered.
“We buy them?”
The time before that, I was lying in bed and found a lump on my right side, just below my rib cage. It was like a devilled egg tucked beneath my skin. Cancer, I thought. A phone call and twenty minutes later, I was stretched out on the examining table with my shirt raised.
“Oh, that’s nothing,” the doctor said. “A little fatty tumor. Dogs get them all the time.”
I thought of other things dogs have that I don’t want: Dewclaws, for example. Hookworms. “Can I have it removed?”
“I guess you could, but why would you want to?”
He made me feel vain and frivolous for even thinking about it. “You’re right,” I told him. “I’ll just pull my bathing suit up a little higher.”

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  1. He is wonderful, isn't he? And I'm so glad you went and you laughed and then came here to tell us about it.

  2. God, I love him ! What a joy for you to be able to see/hear him in person. Wish I'd been sitting next to you because I love that kind of laughing till you're almost sick!

  3. Oh, he's just the most wonderful humorist of our time. He's spoiled me on so many others...why read that Bloggess lady's new book when I could read Sedaris (or Burroughs, I LOVE Augusten Burroughs!).

    xoxo - so glad you had fun!!

  4. i am so envious of you! i LOVE that dude! glad you got a good laugh in. we all deserve to laugh our faces off every now and then. its good for us!

  5. He is truly brilliant! I can't wait until my kids are old enough to go and see him and gasp at his dirty jokes.

  6. Glad Sedaris was his usual, funny self. I read that New Yorker piece and loved it. He makes European medicine seem so sensible, but I suspect there's a fair amount of waste and lethargy built into the system here too. The difference is, there's waste and lethargy for everyone, not just those who can afford it!

  7. I am constantly amazed by Americans viewpoint of Canadian health care, not you, but others. It's not a perfect system but it does cover everyone. 0-----------------------------------------693.2000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    The cat is helping this morning. Apparently she communicates with numbers:)



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