Posts Tagged ‘David Sedaris’

Sardonic Christmas Traditions

Atlanta has always struck me as a place that eschews tradition. We have a young, mobile population, we tear down old buildings when they get old (or just abandon them to the point where it’s not a stretch to picture them as post-zombie-apocalypse), and generally tend to get excited about the next big thing, improving and tweaking and changing and leaving behind last year’s big thing.

Which doesn’t lend itself to a lot of tradition – even the Rich’s Macy’s tree has moved from downtown to Underground to Lenox, and the Pink Pig downgraded from mythical flying monorail

Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!

Earth-bound. Might as well be one of those trains at Northpoint Mall.

that soared through the toy department to a flat track on the ground that chugs through Christmas decorations. Bummer.

In an effort to combat this crappiness and embrace the season, my friends and I have set upon a different tradition – going to the annual Santaland Diaries performance at the Horizon Theater in L5P. This year is their twelfth production of David Sedaris’s story, a completely bitter and sardonic one of an out-of-work writer who takes a job as a Macy’s Elf. Harold Leaver plays Crumpet the elf, and guys, the man make me laugh. Pretty hard.


David Sedaris @ Cobb Energy Center

The first time I saw David Sedaris do his thing was several years ago at Woodruff.

Scratch that.

The first time I paid attention to the name David Sedaris was when a girlfriend from work insisted I see him with her at Woodruff – I’d heard of him/heard him on NPR – telling me time and again in the days leading up to it what a talented writer he was, how hysterical he was and how much I’d love his snark. It was several years ago, after the bust but after all my gray hair arrived. 2003?

At the time I think Sedaris was pushing “Me Talk Pretty One Day” which is still my favorite of his works – bypassing Holidays on Ice, SantaLand Diaries (done regularly as a monologue production at Horizon Theaterr in L5P) , When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Barrel Fever and Dress Your Family in Corduroy in Denim by quite a stretch. Maybe it was my fantasies of living in Europe and horrifying people with stories that didn’t translate. Maybe it was the explicit stories about his brothers dogs and their unique bathroom habits. Either way, it’s still my favorite.

Rewinding though – back to 2003 or earlier – I went to the reading skeptical that I could be wow’ed but found myself chuckling. I was amazed by his wit and use of big words to tell funny, self deprecating stories, and enchanted by his tales spun with colors and character and brutal ruthless honesty charms and disarms. I was in love.

If you haven’t read his stuff, enjoy this link a friend left in my comments on facebook today when I twittered about going.

Go ahead. Read it. I’ll wait.

Done then? Did you LOL? For realz? Me too, and I’d read the story before.

Tonight at The Cobb (can I call it that? Makes it sound more fun than it is.) he had me squirming and chuckling and EWWWWWWWWWWWWing again. In fact, I think his goal tonight was to gross people out. I’ll give you a highlight: making butter from breast milk.

He read from his diary, breezed a few not-so-short shorts that aren’t in books (yet) and took a few questions from the audience. The first one he responded to was “why don’t you twitter” and I’m curious to know if that person was planted, and/or if it was someone I know.

All that to say it was good, that coming from me who is biased and really really likes him. Was it $30 good? Yup. Was it nearly $50 good after the pounding in the ass I got from Ticketmaster? Meh. For the experience and opportunity to have him sign a book, youbetcha. For having your seat kicked and being distracted (see also: ADD to begin with) extensively? Tough to say. Am I glad I went? Hells yes.

With regards to The Cobb, I have a few words of advice:
– Go to dinner before at Top Spice by Babies R Us (huge ups to one of my girls for suggesting)
– Walk from there to The Cobb and save yourself $5-10 for parking and the headache of getting out
– Don’t plan to check email, twitter or anything else once you’re in the theater, b/c it’s a dead zone. Especially a PITA if you’re planning to hookup with friends seated elsewhere
– If you’re a tall – or even “normal” sized man – please stay home. While there isn’t a bad seat in the house, there’s also no room for your legs, knees or feet. At one point last night I leaned over to one of the girls I was with and said “I have a Leatherman in my bag. Do you think it would be okay if I spiked his foot to the floor with my pliers? That was the 34th time he’s kicked my seat in 5 minutes.”

On a related note: I can only assume most of the people seated in our row and the rows in front of us grew up in a land without culture or common sense, since the event was only two hours and we had to stand a handful of times to let people in and out of the row. Really? REALLY? You didn’t go BEFORE the show? AYFKM? Then sit in the aisle and live with the repercussions of your inability to plan.

Who exactly would I work with to make it so these people and the people who arrived late are permanently banned from attending shows of any kind in Atlanta? One strike. We could gather their thumbprints or brand them. Whatcha think? Ticketmaster could probably handle that for us, right? I mean, as long as their already sodomizing us with golf clubs and stealin’ our lunch money…?

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.