Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

By David Sedaris

I guess the best way to describe this book would be as fables for adults. The cover has an image of a squirrel and a chipmunk sitting at a table together, uncertain grins on their faces, paws barely touching, wine glasses on the table and a small lit candle. At first glance it looked like a book for children. But when I picked up the book because I recognized the author's name and opened it randomly this is what I read:
Back before I met her, my wife lived on a farm. It was a small operation, organic vegetables, pick-your-own-strawberries, and a dozen or so chickens, each and every one of them, to hear her tell it, "an absolute raging asshole." The first time she said this I laughed, as I'd always thought that word was reserved for males. The same goes for "dick," which she uses for females all the time -- this raccoon, for example, that sometimes gets into our garbage cans. "Can you believe the nerve of that dick?" she'll say to me, her nose pressed flat against the dining room window. Then she'll bark, "Hey, asshole, go trash somebody else's fucking yard."
So, yeah, not a book for the kiddies. Oh, and the husband and wife in the story are both dogs. All the characters in the stories are animals, but not really. The stories are kind of strange, kind of mean and kind of cruel and kind of funny. The author takes shots at everyone from hairdressers and their clients, to reporters, grieving children, vigilantes, young mothers, married couples, pet owners, people standing in lines and so on. And even though most of the stories are kind of mean and cruel, the last story is a turn for the happier with three unlikely friends banding together to help one of them out. It features a hippo's rectum, how many stories can you say that about? It's a good read.

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