The first time I met David Sedaris was at a book signing several years ago. I met him again in 2010 when Geoff and I saw him read and sign Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk at the Harvard Book Store. Last Tuesday I worked a private event for the book store in which I got to spend about an hour and a half just sitting and chatting with David Sedaris.
Yes, there are times when my life is awesome.
The book store was hired to sell books at a private event. David Sedaris was reading works in progress for two nights at a small hotel venue in Cambridge. I was lucky enough to work the Tuesday night event. My coworker and I were at the table where we had copies of all 7 of his titles and we were there to sell copies before and after the reading.
What I didn’t quite expect was that he’d sit at the table with us before the show and just chat while people came up and had books signed. There was a signing planned for after the event and it was in another room, but this I wasn’t entirely prepared for.
The best part was that he was in a great mood, we had a hilarious chat, and he let me get a photo with him. Warning, this was before I had a chance to put on any makeup, the pic was taken with my camera phone, and my hair looks especially terrible (I really, really need a hair cut) but because I love you people, here it is.
While sitting there we got to talking about a number of things. One of them was that the title of his next book is Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. I asked him if he was going to make a “diabeetus” joke in it anywhere. He didn’t know what I meant, so I told him about the old Wilford Brimley Liberty Medical commercials. This one, to be precise.
I pulled it up on the work iPad and played it for him. He then proceeded to ask every single person who came up to the table if they had or knew anyone who had “diabeetus.” It was hilarious. He is also just about to record the audio version of the book. I think I’m going to have to get it just to see if he says “diabeetus” at least once.
We also discussed owls and I may have told the story of the owl at the museum I used to work with who is afraid of doorways and who had a habit of faceplanting into my cleavage every time I walked him, tethered to me, of course, on my arm, down the hall, and through the doors to the stage. He’s a silly beast but, as someone pointed out, perhaps not as dumb as we originally took him for…
At the end of the night we were told by the event people that we could stash all of our books in David Sedaris’s hotel room as he wasn’t going to be using it. (I never did find out where he was actually staying that night.) As my coworker and I needed to do an end of the night inventory count we moved all of the books there. We noted to each other how funny it was that we were in his hotel room. Without him. That prompted me to text Geoff, “I am currently in David Sedaris’s hotel room.” The response I got was, “So you guys are great pals now, huh? :)”
For those of you who don’t know, David Sedaris is openly gay and in an extremely committed relationship with his long term partner, Hugh.
As we were finishing our inventory count, the event manager, who was also stashing stuff in the hotel room, decided that she was going to make the executive decision to eat the chocolate truffle that had been left on the pillow. This prompted me and my coworker, who had worked straight through dinner, to decide that the fruit plate was fair game. She “called” the tangerine and I said out loud, “I call David Sedaris’s banana!”
Yeah, I may have been hungry and tired and it was 10:00 at night. At any rate, before we left I went into the bathroom in the hotel room to toss the banana peel and noticed this on the mirror. It’s SFW, it’s just… well, really a First World thing I guess.
For reference, this mirror was about 3 feet wide. This remote was tiny, hence me crouching and leaning on the sink to get a good close up without me in the shot. That little remote turns the mirror, with a 3 second delay of course, into a television.
Why in the world it is necessary to remain so connected that you have to be able to watch TV while peeing or soaking in the tub (or, God forbid, showering) I have NO idea. We don’t have TV at all right now anywhere in the house, and yet here you could watch TV while doing anything you wanted in the bathroom. Is the stock/celebrity report really that important? At one point my coworker and the event manager and I were all standing in the bathroom staring at the mirror remote and just shaking our heads. And, no, we didn’t turn it on or touch it.
The upshot to all of this, besides the photo, the free banana, and the hilarious conversation, is that all of my David Sedaris books are now signed. At least until April when the next one comes out.