Perhaps intent on proving that her title is in no way hyperbolic, Arizona Republic humor columnist Notaro details the mundanities of life in such a way as to make herself and her friends appear as klutzy, inept, and alcoholic as possible.
A single woman in her 20s, Notaro floats through life in an unremarkable American anywhere (you barely know it’s Arizona), inhabiting a landscape she never bothers to describe except to mention its many bars. The subject of nearly every extremely short essay is some kind of excruciating embarrassment experienced by either Notaro or her friends. We witness the author being shamed by her ratty underwear on a doctor's visit, mistaken for a homeless person when she reports for jury duty, and required to explain President Clinton's sexual transgressions to her 82-year-old grandmother. She introduces Joel, who announces he's happy to be dumb because less is expected of him; “Fun and Frolic Jamie,” so dubbed after consuming a 12-pack and ending up “drunk, topless, and unconscious”; and Jeff, characterized only by his mania for a limited-offer Taco Bell entree. Notaro also describes her long-suffering mother and her beloved Nana; their portraits are the only ones drawn with any nuance, and their repeated appearances in these hasty sketches allow a minimal amount of character development. With undistinguished prose, leaden humor, insistent self-deprecation, almost zero detail about anything other than the state of her immediate surroundings (and precious little of that), and the author succeeds in making herself and her circle appear purely unappealing.
Gives the impression of being scrawled during lunch hour for publication in a free local listings guide.