Friday, October 20, 2006
David Sedaris in Cedar RapidsLast night we saw David Sedaris in Cedar Rapids. It was my anniversary gift to Shannon (paper tickets). It was fantastic, even better than I expected. He read four things, all recently written, I think (I hadn't heard any of them before). One started with making coffee with vase water because of the water in their apartment always being shut off at inopportune times, diverged into buying pot from a guy in a trailer while home for the holidays, then returned to coffee-making. Another was about working in/observing at a morgue. The first one was about trying to squeeze a story (about a mouse burning down a house) into any conversation possible. There was also a fictional story about a baboon grooming a cat (like at a salon), and their bigoted conversation.
He was just as entertaining speaking extemporaneously and answering questions. He complained about nonsmoking hotels and didn't have enough good things to say about Tokyo. We took this as a sign that our desire to go to Japan is justified. He illuminated its appeal for shoppers. Paraphrasing: "There are all these shops - you come across this little thing that looks like it was made by an elf, and you have no idea what it is but you have to have it." He was so over France.
There were some good questions. One, about his stories being edited for the New Yorker, led him to explain the definition of a "rusty trombone" (which was to replace a line that the New Yorker found distasteful).
At the beginning, this 16-year-old kid with floppy hair walked out and said his name and age. He said David told him he would give him $20 if he would introduce him. He also said a word of promotion about a bakesale for some worthy organization at his high school that he was a part of. It was charming.