Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Literature Review

Last week, I went to the Lincoln Triangle Barnes and Noble to hear one of my favorite authors, Laurie Notaro, speak. She recently came out with this book, The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, and for her talk, read an exerpt from the book about laser hair removal.
After introductions were made, as she opened her mouth to begin reading, the door to the room bust open and this frosted haired, overly tanned woman hobbled in, screaming, "Wait, don't start yet!" She limped to the front of the room, staked out two chairs for herself, pulled one chair in front of her, took off her shoes and put her feet up. She opened her bag, took out a fresh morphine patch, unwrapped it, and stuck it directly onto her neck. That's right, her neck. All the while, saying, "I'm glad I made it, I had to buy your book. I went into your office, I went to the bathroom, I said, 'Laurie!' but you weren't in there, so I figured you were over here. Ok, now I'm ready."
I'm sitting there, figuring they have to know each other, because how could some stranger interrupt a talk like this unless they know the speaker, right? Oh, how I fool myself.
As Laurie started reading about her interactions with her charming doctor who was performing her laser hair removal, the woman piped up that she had bought a laser hair removal kit from Sharper Image, and it totally hadn't worked. Even with the conductive gel. Oh, and she had five herniated discs in her spine, which was why her feet were up.
Laurie: (reading, funny, telling story, general awesomeness)
Crazy woman: You know, Laurie, I just sent you a really funny email. Did you get it?
Laurie: When did you send it?
Crazy woman: Today.
Baring in mind that Laurie Notaro gets hundreds of emails because she's POPULAR.
Laurie:, not yet. I just got here.
Question and answer time, someone asked if Laurie carries around a journal so she can write things down. Before she could answer:
Crazy woman: (holding up a digital recorder, which becomes immediately obvious she's been using to record the entire session, without permission) Laurie! Laurie, you should get one of these!
Laurie: What is it, a morphine pump? Does it inject morphine directly into your stomach?
Crazy woman: No, it records 150 hours. It's a digital recorder.
Laurie: Any other questions?
Crazy woman: (hand shoots up into the air)
B&N staff: Let's let someone else have a turn.
Crazy woman: Fine! (pouts)
At the end of the question and answer session, Laurie prepares to sign our books for us. First, she asks us a question.
Laurie: Is there anyone here from far away? Because I want to sign your books first, and I don't want you to have to wait on line so long that you have to drive home through the dark.
Two people raise their hands. One dude, who says he's flown in from Albaquerque, and, of course, the crazy lady.
Crazy Lady: I came in from Long Island. I know it's not that far away, but you can imagine, with my back, how difficult that trip was for me to make.
So, Crazy Lady is first on line to have her book signed, and stands there talking to Laurie for twenty minutes, about her hair, and taking pictures of each other. She even brought a gift for Laurie. A sample size of moisture lock hairspray. And the whole time, she didn't shut up. Not once.
Anyhoo...the book. Ah yes, the book. Funny. Not as funny as We Thought You'd be Prettier, but funny nonetheless. I appreciate her humor. I don't appreciate how self-deprecating it can get at times, but she is funny, I'll give her that. This is an excellent book to read when you want something light.
I know that's a really brief review about the book, but what can I say? It's not a novel, it's short anecdotes she's written about her life. And they're fabulous. Some more than others, but honestly, all are varying degrees of fabulosity.