Friday, August 27, 2010

"The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death" by Laurie Notaro

Laurie Notaro has an uncanny ability to attract insanity - and leave readers doubled over with laughter. In The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, she experiences the popular phenomenon of laser hair removal (because at least one of her chins should be stubble-free); bemoans the scourge of the Open Mouth Coughers on America's airplanes; welcomes the newest ex-con (yay, a sex offender!) to her neighborhood; and watches, against her own better judgment, every Discovery Health Channel special on parasites and tapeworms that has ever aired - resulting in an overwhelming fear that a worm the size of a python will soon come a-knocking on her back door. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that Laurie Notaro is "a scream, the freak-magnet of a girlfriend you can't wiat to meet for a drink to hear her latest story." ....Notaro proves she's not only funny but resigned to the fact that you can't look bad ass in a Prius. Don't even try.

I absolutely adore Laurie Notaro, and I would totally be friends with her if I ever met her (and she'd let me, that is). My good friend Wendy sent me a copy of her first book a few years back and I've been hooked every since. This installment finds Notaro doing such fun things as going dealing with naughty neighbors, extended warranties, and other strange oddities in her life - including her relocation from her beloved Phoenix to the much-moister-climbed Oregon. For anyone who has ever moved, especially if you've moved from a long-term location, you'll know exactly how she feels about moving.

Probably my favorite entry in this book is one of the most serious: the death of Notaro's dog, Bella. I found myself flying back in time to 1986, when my own beloved black Lab, Daisy, was rushed off to the vet in severe distress after a week of lethargy and non-eating. I was bawling like the proverbial baby as Laurie wrote about taking Bella to the vet, the long hours of waiting, and the dog rallying, only to fade quickly just hours later. Anyone who has ever loved and lost a pet will need a huge box of tissues when they read "Ready or Not" - you just can't help yourself.

But the rest of the book is hilarious, and in these trying times, we all need a good laugh!

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