As I’ve said before, if you sit next to me on a plane, you risk being chortled to death. Yesterday was no exception. For a full two hours and 46 minutes (the flight time from New Orleans to Newark if you don’t count the minutes spent learning how to buckle a seatbelt and trying not to think about the oxygen masks or the emergency exit slide), the poor woman sitting next to me was forced to endure my incessant guffaws and hoots, plus some occasional nose-blowing.
If you’ve read Jenny Lawson’s “mostly true memoir,” then you understand why.
It is hard to say which chapter is the funniest. It might be “Hairless Rats: Free for Kids Only,” but I also love many others. “The Psychopath on the Other Side of the Bathroom Door” is a close favorite. The paperback edition also features an epilogue about her book tour, which includes the story of how she couldn’t figure out how to shut off the lights in her Holiday Inn hotel room and had to call the manager for assistance.
Lawson openly admits that she has OCD and generalized anxiety disorder, and she uses these challenges to her advantage: the combination of intense attention to detail and free-flowing anxiety is relentlessly hilarious. In my view, the best humor writing (e.g., David Sedaris and Tina Fey) is precise and open to all sorts of wild imaginings, and she masters both.
It also helps that her father is a taxidermist and that her husband, Victor, is one of the funniest people on the planet and she quotes him frequently. Their marriage is peppered with numerous arguments, including one about the particulars of the impending zombie apocalypse. Clearly, they make a great team.
So, I totally recommend this book. And—oh yeah—to the woman in seat 11E on United Flight 5137: I’m sorry. But I couldn’t help myself.
PS– Jenny Lawson also has a blog called The Bloggess.