Today in class Matt S. made a point that I had been thinking about while reading Sedaris’ book (thanks for totally stealing my thunder, jerk). But anyway, it was about how Sedaris tells these hilarious anecdotes about his life but makes sure to make a point at the end. In particular the example that stood out to me was in the section about Aunt Monie when Sedaris inherited the bearskin rug that got passed on to his sister and then later to a friend who died in a car accident. Although this detail seems meaningless he asks himself what the parents must of thought when they found they rug: who had owned it before? And, what did it mean to them? I feel like a lot of Sedaris’ hilarity comes from his ability to look back at his life with an unattached view, he is blunt about his family members and himself and is sure to make an interesting point by imagining what an outsider must think. I think this makes a lot of his crazy stories relatable and causes the reader to think about how they view others. Similarly to the bearskin rug, when Sedaris gets kicked out of his house his mother sobs, sad that her son has been forced out of his home because he is gay. Sedaris takes this opportunity to wonder what people driving by may of thought, thus further distancing himself and relating to the reader.
I think that this distancing method makes a lot of what Sedaris writes very funny, but it also makes his character humorous as well. Sedaris the writer can look back at his childhood and bluntly point out flaws or recall humiliating stories with a lack of emotion. Although this makes his writing style funny, talking about himself makes it even better. Sedaris the character also lacks emotion and is distant from many people. As a child, he does not feel welcome by the overfriendly family in the Full House section and when his dad kicks him out, he is completely unaware that it is because he is gay. Although I love Sedaris for his blunt commentary and ability to remove himself while talking about his own life, I find that what makes everything even more hilarious is his ability to do this in the moment as well.