Published by Little Brown and Company on January 1, 2000
David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that "every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section".
His family is another inspiration. You Can't Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.
David Sedaris’s short stories have me laughing out loud with people turning the heads to look. I can just hear them saying/thinking “What’s wrong with that girl?” Nothing is off-limits for this author, his parent’s dog replacing their children, being taught to play guitar by a midget so his father can put a jazz bad together, unclogging a toilet and his father’s thrifty ways.
It’s hard to pick a favorite story but I really enjoyed “I’ll Eat What He’s Wearing” in which he recounts his father’s ability to save food/clothing etc long past the expiration date with the excuse of its fine”. As stated in his book, you could say this accounted for the depression, but it’s not and I quite agree as my grandfather is very similar. (I’ve actually seen mold grow on bacon). I think because I could so relate to this it made it ten times funnier.
David Sedaris can be incredibly politically incorrect, sometimes hilariously so and other times you’re unsure whether it’s proper to laugh or disapprove. I saw him speak a few years ago and he told a story about flying on an airplane over Christmas time. He went on to explain how rude and pushy people could be at airports and upon arrival of said destination the stewardess came on wishing “everyone sitting down a Merry Christmas, and to everyone standing up, Happy Hanukkah.”