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Issue 65 - In the Buff (David Sedaris)

Whisky Magazine Issue 65
July 2007


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In the Buff (David Sedaris)

Jefferson Chase looks one of America's notable writers

American author David Sedaris is notable for a lot of reasons, including being one of the few remaining advocates of smoking in a county where cigarette consumers are often considered only slightly less contempt worthy than politicians.

In Naked, his 1997 compilation of essays-cum-short stories about his adolescence, Sedaris praises smoking for helping him overcome a multitude of childhood tics such as compulsively licking car windows and obsessing about the messages, directed only at him, in pop songs on the radio.

It's good, though, that he didn't take up the habit earlier.

The world would have lost a few funny anecdotes, for instance, the one about how a concerned teacher visits his home, only to end up getting plastered on Scotch with his mother.

Now she was Katharine.

Another few drinks and she'd probably be joining us for our summer vacation.

How easy it was for adults to bond over cocktails. I returned to my bed, cranking up the radio so as not to be distracted by the sound of their cackling… The song that played there posed no challenge whatsoever, the lyric as clear as if I'd written it myself. “Well I think I'm going out of my head, the man sang, “yes, I think I'm going out of my head.” Sedaris' cagily neurotic persona has often drawn Woody Allen comparisons, but his wit is clearly something he inherited from his mother, who over the course of the seventeen pieces in Naked emerges as the true comic star.

Tellingly, it is she who voices what is on ever...

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