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by Laurie Notaro

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4516-5939-9
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

From comedic essayist and novelist Notaro (It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy, 2011, etc.), another compendium of humorous, heated, autobiographical tales about the minutiae of modern American life.

Having consistently hit the best-seller charts with her previous collections of true, often hilarious and bawdy stories, the author sticks with the same formula here. These essays include “I Hate Foodies,” “Creepy Facebook Moments” and “Six Things I Never Want to Hear (Again) While Standing in Line at the Pharmacy.” Notaro is nothing if not direct as she riffs on topics such as why it’s never acceptable for nettles to appear on restaurant menus and hunting down the relative whom she suspects of borrowing her shower puff. Without a plot, these pieces follow no order, but they share her signature, casually blistering tone. In one, entirely made up of food-related expressions that she loathes (including “gastrique,” “coulis,” “mouthfeel” and “savory”), she offers this explanation for her hatred of the word “delish”: “If it’s not something you would name your dog or if you’re embarrassed to yell it out in front of strangers, we need to banish it from the human language.” The book's title was conceived when Notaro appeared on a comedy-writing panel where a fellow presenter condescendingly referred to her as “the potty mouth at the table.” She claims to have been humiliated, but that didn't stop her from getting revenge, and it clearly hasn’t stalled her from continuing to produce biting, sometimes crude pieces that read more like off-the-cuff rants than revised works of writing. In spite of the essays that miss their mark, when Notaro’s funny, she’s very, very funny.

Entertaining beach reading for fans of humorous, breezy essays.