I’ve learned a couple of things about myself with regards to David Sedaris over the years. First of all, I introduced myself to Sedaris with one of his newer books, How to Discuss Diabetes with Owls and since then have been working my way backwards. I was certainly hooked with that first book, and I found so much humor in his stories. However, as I’ve begun progressing backwards as I’m growing older, I’m finding that his earlier humor relied more on humor at the expense of others rather than for humors own sake, a model I’m not as fond of and often puts me off of stand up comedy, particularly comedy by men. All that being said, there are some stories that are not so great, not so pc, that rub me the wrong way in Me Talk Pretty One Day, but it was still a book I could sink my teeth into and focus on for a few hours while hiking.
The older I become, the more I find that the stories in which Sedaris makes fun of himself tend to be his best stories. He opens with a story about his lisp as a child, and I cracked up again and again at that. When he talks about his ignorance of French culture and his fear therefore of French people, I found myself cackling. But when he focuses on the fact that his guitar teacher was a “midget”, that’s far less entertaining to me. I have grown to require humor that has some wit about it and is not just making fun of people who are different. And that’s all I have to say about that!