Sure. Everyone’s family is crazy and everyone’s life is nuts. But no one makes that insanity seem more delightful than essayist, David Sedaris. Blending a combination of insight and hilarity, Sedaris chronicles his purely American take on his own lackadaisical ambitions – as a son, a contemporary artist, a Santa’s helper, an ex-pat in a provincial French village. His cunning satire and keen observations turn the most mundane aspects of the modern world into something worth crowing about. Reading a Sedaris essay reminds me that even though I might not have won that Nobel Prize just yet, I’m still pretty great. After all, I can découpage my very own toilet paper cozy with images of the world’s most notorious dictators and can make a “mockloaf” out of butter beans and peanuts. Aren’t those the skills that make life worth living?
Of course, in full disclosure, I once had the opportunity to hear David Sedaris when I worked briefly as a temp for a New York advertising agency. It was the kind of hipster paradise that the late 90s economic boom produced all over the city – a “campus” environment filled with harried creative directors whizzing through the warren of cubicles on scooters and taking time out to chill in the break room with an energy drink and a little pinball. My job was to assist on the advertising campaign for a national pizza chain. As low-person on the totem pole, I sorted and copied an endless series of storyboards depicting a mischievous cartoon monkey with a yen for pepperoni. One day, my supervisor told me I could take time out from my monotony. David Sedaris was coming in to talk. He’d be in the break room in 20 minutes. “Who’s David Sedaris?” I asked, and then used the opportunity to duck out early. Less than a year later, I picked up Holidays on Ice and learned of my mistake.
Now, I have a chance to redeem myself. New Orleans – no stranger to the ridiculously sublime – understands that Sedaris is a perfect fit for our city. And so on April 29th the author of best-sellers When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim comes to the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for an evening of wit and verve. I’ll be there – no longer an ignorant temp. After all, as he’ll be sure to point out, life is nothing but a learning experience. I might even bring the cozy.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater Box Office or at www.ticketmaster.com.