Legal Quandary

Monday, April 11, 2005

My Long Lost Family

The ever-fabulous E. Spat loaned me a couple of books by David Sedaris before Spring Break. Both were extremely amusing (Naked actually had me laughing so hard on the airplane that tears were streaming down my face. Sometimes I see people like that traveling, and I always think to myself, "Freak.")

It wasn't until I got to the final chapter of "Me Talk Pretty Some Day," that I realized David Sedaris was actually my brother. I don't know how the fact that I had several siblings, a father named "Lou," and a chain-smoking mother managed to escape me, but there it is. My parents also raised me with the impression that I was German - not Greek. But, being a parent myself, I know that parents sometimes lie with reckless abandon. This must be the case here, because there can't be two men like this out there. Can there???

You wouldn't catch our neighbors scraping mold off their strawberries, but to our father, there was nothing so rotten that it couldn't be eaten.

This is a pretty good summary of some of the things I found during my trip. Containers of yogurt or sour cream that expired months ago, and yet were proclaimed to be "still good!"

I've never known our father to buy anything not marked REDUCED FOR QUICK SALE. Without an orange tag, an item was virtually invisible to him. the problem was that he never associated "quick sale" with "immediate consumption."

I found at least a dozen packages of assorted cheese with these orange stickers in my dad's refrigerator. Most were labelled with other stickers which suggested that they had been sold in August or September of last year. Some even earlier. But when I suggested that it might be time to part with them, I was chided for being "wasteful." Even when I tried to compromise by just throwing away the ones with mold already present. ("You can cut that off.") I made an executive decision and snuck the long-expired meat products and what had once upon a time been vegetables (or fruit?) into the dumpster during one of his naps.

The most ridiculous was the milk. Several containers of unopened milk - the oldest from June of last year. I finally had to open one and pour the bleu cheese dressing down the sink for him to believe me that no, just because it hasn't been opened doesn't mean its still good.

The saddest part was early in my visit, my dad mentioned he had some Omaha Steaks in the kitchen. I love a good filet and thought maybe I could cook dinner one night. Until I realized that they hadn't been stored in the freezer (he'd run out of room), but had been sitting in the refrigerator for the last 6 months. "Vacuum packed! They're still good!"


David, if you're reading - I'm waiting for your call. I can't wait to meet you and the rest of my brothers and sisters! I'm a little worried about the Rooster though.

I did the same laughing in public thing when I was reading Catch 22. I'm on the DC Metro just giggling away as the people around me look at me like I'm crazy. Good times.

The Rooster apparently has his own flooring business now. He also has a website where you can buy "You Can't Kill the Rooster" t-shirts.
Catch 22 is one of my (many) all time favorite books.

My dad has a copy in his apartment (along with about 16,000 other books. You think I'm kidding...) and says that he used to re-read it every time he got to a new assignment.

I read it for the first time in Comm Officer training. And it was just so deliciously ridiculous that I kept going back to certain passages.

If/when I go back on active duty, I think I'll adopt that as one of my own traditions.
And a mother named Sharon who gives out cartons of cigarettes and an assortment pack of lighters for Easter...

I love Sedaris. We went to see him perform/read once, which was a very odd experience. He did an answer/question segment and someone asked him to sing like Billie Holliday (you should hear the book on tape) but he just kind of looked at the floor and said, "I don't really do that anymore." Awkward silence...
I just listened to "Dress Your Family in Cordouroy and Denim" on CD (unabridged), and I was underwhelmed. People tell me that "Me Talk Pretty One Day" is really truly funny, but I am loathe to waste my precious non-studying/reading time on a second run. I would love to hear someone say that they heard/read Dress Your Family, and found it of a lesser quality ... so I can listen to the others.
Zuska - I wish I could help you, but I haven't listened to that one. The two books I've read were pretty damned funny, but some chapters were better than others. I personally liked "Naked" better than "I Talk Pretty One Day," but reasonable minds could differ.
Mr. McP said Dress Your Family was sub-standard.
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