Friday, March 13, 2009

"The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club" by Laurie Notaro

Laurie Notaro is a humor columnist living in the dry, dusty land of Phoenix, Arizona. This book is basically a collection of her columns, but if you don't happen to live in Phoenix or you don't have access to her paper online, this is a wonderful way to catch up. I had heard of her, mostly because of the fictional book she released almost two years ago. My friend back in Indiana read this and immediately thought of me. Why, I'm not sure, unless she was thinking of my innate klutziness - I have never drank as much as Notaro nor been a "party girl".

So what sort of things does Notaro cover in her columns? Well, her mom plays a big part, and there's some pretty funny stuff about parents in general. She also covers drinking, drugging, getting fired, and bras. She discusses her ex-boyfriends and how bad a lot of her relationships have been. Stuff like that, which doesn't sound all that humorous, I know. Trust me when I tell you that in Notaro's hands these topics take on great hilarity.

I think the best column in this collection is "Open Wide", which I can personally relate to, as I'm sure several other women out there can. No one, and I'm fairly certain I'm right about this, no one enjoys going in for their annual "womanly" exam. It's about the most vulnerable you can feel, none of the instruments are warm, and let's face it - for most of us it's also when someone tells us our real weight (we all fudge a bit on the home scale, right?) Laurie has not only gone in for the exam, but had a call back for another test - seems something has come back as "abnormal" on her first Pap smear and they need to get a better look. I, personally, have gone through this hell, and I knew exactly how she felt - the fear is just unbelievable, even though they tell you "Oh, it's probably nothing, so don't worry about it." Luckily, Notaro didn't have the big C, but did have further humiliation to go through; I won't tell you any more than that for fear of ruining the funny.

If you're ever felt like a dork, ever regretted a night out, ever had a complete loser of a boyfriend, and definitely had a mother that felt it her God-given right to tell you what to do even after you've left home, Notaro is an author that you can't pass up. I now consider myself to be an Idiot Girl - and I'm damn proud of it!

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