Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Sedaris Encore.

Photo from www.photophonic.com

I and about 1300 other David Sedaris fans received an excess of oxygen Saturday night at the Capitol Theater in Yakima. David had us laughing upraoriously as he read some essays and poems and from his diary. He also took questions from the audience. While I'd heard some of the pieces previously on This American Life, David's material is always fresh to me. Every year I listen to Santaland Diaries and never, ever get tired of it. Watching David reading to a live audience makes the stories even funnier.

Among his readings at the Capitol: 6 to 8 Black Men from Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, the fable of the cat and her baboon masseuse, and a visit to a pot dealer's home. He also described what happened that afternoon as he swam at the Yakima YMCA, where a 9-year old challenged him to a race. No point recounting the tales - YOU HAD TO BE THERE.

David is a generous man. As people stood in line to get their books signed, he didn't merely ask a name and scrawl his signature, as most authors do. No - he talked to everyone, either asking what they did for a living, or a disarming question - and of course, was terribly funny and kept people laughing long after they left the line. He stayed at least two hours until the last book was signed. We're still chuckling at the Abe Lincoln pic he drew with the words: "I like jam." On our copy of "Holidays on Ice," he drew a face which he said to my son: "That's your Mom vomiting fish tacos." Oy!!!

Another way he is generous: he gave Northwest Public Radio a contribution of five hundred dollars minutes after arriving at his hotel. He heard about our fundraising shortfall and said that on his ride from Olympia, he listened to our station for ten minutes and decided he would make that gift. And he told us to talk about it in our introduction, if it would encourage the audience to be generous as well.

They were generous, and we raised about three thousand dollars at the theater that night. Mwah! Thank you!!! Thank you SO much!

(If you'd like to help us further reduce that shortfall, pledge here. As of today, we still need to raise at least $40,000 more. We really need every dollar we can raise - even five or ten dollars will help us a lot. Thanks!)

David was quite taken with my last name and mentioned that a number of times, to me, and also to my children. To my daughter: "I'm so sorry you can never get married." Her: "WHY????" David: "You must never lose that last name! It's the greatest name ever!"

If you were there, thank you for being there and making it possible for us to bring David to Yakima. If you weren't, here's a little something for you, from Letterman: