David Sedaris didn’t know what he was going to write in his daily journal about Turlock yet. But rest assured, the city should show up there.
The bestselling author and internationally renowned humorist came to the Turlock Community Theatre Tuesday night to spin stories, read from his books and share a little out of his daily journal in front of a packed auditorium. He has been keeping his journal since 1977 and figures he has only missed maybe 20 days in all those years. After the show I doubt Turlock will be day 21.
Sedaris told the audience what drives him wake up each morning and write about the day before in his diary:
“It’s not that I think my life is important, and I’d never give my diary to anyone. I’d die if anyone got their hands on my diary. It helps me make sense of the world. It’s like it doesn’t really count unless I’ve written about it.”
Known for books like “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Holiday on Ice” and “When You are Engulfed in Flames,” Sedaris read excerpts from his work as well as his newest book “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls,” released in April.
His stories ranged from the challenges of learning a foreign language via the Pimsleur Language Programs (bonus: we all know how to say “I am a middle-aged homosexual” in Japanese now) to the blissed out joy of being on Propofol while getting his first colonoscopy (it’s the drug Michael Jackson fatally ODed on – “and who can blame him”) and a skillful ability to turn observations about anti-abortion billboards into a joke about how obsolete checks have become (you had to be there – it worked).
While Sedaris didn’t stay in Turlock (he was driving in to town in the morning from San Francisco and driven out later that night) he did take questions from the audience about himself and his stay in the area. He said meeting people before the show has helped to confirm his unscientifically confirmed theory that men with beards have fathers who own guns. Also, a note to future Sedaris book signing event attendees: If Sedaris asks you if you smoke pot, he is probably going to give you a joint given to him by a previous person in line that he was too polite to turn down. Sedaris has been sober for 13 years.
Sedaris signed books before his show and stayed well past 11 p.m. keep autographing after his show as well. He took time to talk with each person, including myself, and stayed true to his quirky style with his inscriptions. Mine was both funny and – in his own way – gracious, as you can see below.