The holidays are just around the corner, and that means 'tis the season for potentially awkward family gatherings. Maybe your brother will propose a toast to his "beautiful bitch" and you won't be sure if he's referring to the pug in heat or his new bride. Or maybe you'll be dragged to myriad undesirable social engagements and work parties. Or maybe you'll be lucky enough to meet the infamous Crumpet the Elf at the Macy's gala?!
Hear, hear: You can always take heart in the fact that your family (and life in general) is not nearly as quirkily dysfunctional as that of author and humorist David Sedaris. While the holidays are a great time to catch up on the musings of Sedaris, whether during travel (recommended reading: "When You Are Engulfed in Flames," a title inspired by a leaflet from a Japanese hotel) or when curled up next to a roaring fire (recommended reading: "Holidays on Ice," a collection of essays about Christmas), it doesn't have to stop at the reading (or giving) of his memoirs. And although the books do make great presents, you could really drive the point home in person by taking those special people in your life to hear Sedaris say it out loud—except that his Bend show has been sold out for weeks.
Trust me, it's worth it to hear his "droll assessment of the mundane and the eccentrics who inhabit the world's crevices," as the Chicago Tribune so accurately called it. The audio version of his most recent collection of narrative essays, 2013's "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls" was nominated for a Grammy (his third recognition overall), and his disarmingly cutting wit and keen social commentaries will have you laughing out loud.
Though his slice-of-life personal stories often highlight the absurd, Sedaris is also capable of genuinely reveling in the little moments of family life. He still relishes evening dinners at the Sedaris household, as told to Lynne Rossetto Kasper on The Splendid Table radio show:
"There was no better place to be than around our table. That was the case when I was in the first grade, that was the case when I was in the 7th grade and that was the case when I was in high school. When I came home from college, for as long as we were all together, there was no finer place to be.
"I remember watching those candles burn down, the candles in the center of the table. They in time became cigarette lighters. At first they would light a cigarette for my mom, and then eventually they became cigarette lighters for everyone. The room grew smokier and smokier. But it was just a wonderful place to be."
But wait. In typical Sedaris familial fashion, there's a wrinkle to this story: "My dad would eat in his underpants."
Why? "Well, he came home from work every day and just took his pants off. Then they were off until he went to work the next day. It was the way that a woman might remove her high heels; he just removed his trousers like they were very confining.
"Sometimes we'd be eating and somebody would come to the door. We would think, 'Oh, no.' He would answer the door in his underpants. You just hope that it wasn't a friend of yours."
Heartwarmingly unconventional: expect this and more when David Sedaris brings you and your family a memorable evening of side-splitting storytelling.
Thursday, Nov. 10, 8pm show
835 NW Wall St., Bend
$57.50-68.75 advance—Sold Out
These days, there's a freshness to the jammy, jazzy bluegrass of Leftover Salmon