Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris 2022
I’ve read a number of Sedaris’s books, always enjoying his slightly askew view of the human condition in modern America, and this volume published two years into the pandemic was no exception.
I knew I had chosen the right book for my 3000th when two pages in I laughed out loud at his neologism ‘gunderpants’ referring to boxer briefs with a holster in the back. He had discovered these creations in surfing the web in preparation for an appointment with his sister Lisa at a strip mall shooting range. From this bizarre setting to the empty streets of Manhattan, his beloved cottage, Sea Section, on the North Carolina coast, his 98 year old father’s senior living center, BLM marches in NYC, giving away $50 bills on his book tour, and on and on, Sedaris brings a sharp eye and a cynically sharp sense of humor to the world and translates those observations into wry comments that bring a chuckle, laugh, or at least a smile on almost every page. Even his weird, lecherous, Trumpian father comes in for sympathy and love despite verbally tearing his son down for his whole life.
The book went down easily and when I had finished it, I wasn’t sure what I had gleaned from it. Certainly some light moments but just as certainly an appreciation that nobody emerges from this life unscathed—Sedaris’s father reduced to diapers and a wheelchair, his sister Tiffany a drug-dependent suicide, and the rest of his large Greek family who gather at the Carolina shore to love each other and find solace in this difficult and impossible world.