The author opens this group of essays with an edgy warning that the collection was not meant to be read straight through. She's right but with this additional reason: going straight through, it's over too soon and the reader is left missing her good company. As usual, Miss Dolson comes through with cuckoo clarity on a number of disparate topics -- from the fad in false hair to Dr. Spock and from paint-it-yourself art kits to an unapologetic explanation of why she is happy though single. Most of these have appeared in periodicals and (an acid test for the light essay) they hold up well for a second reading. Reliable laughter for a ready audience.