Laurie Notaro calls herself a “Pointer-Outer of Extraordinary Acts of Incredible Foolishness and, on Occasion, Rudeness.” I find that the older I get, the more I become one of these Pointer-Outers myself. Although I’ve never yelled at an old woman for walking too slowly through a Costco (only to discover she was walking that way because she was on oxygen), or lectured the characters at Disneyland for not wearing pants (Notaro does both), I fear the day may come, if I don’t learn to keep my mouth shut. My fuse is getting shorter and shorter. While I find it difficult to stop myself from pointing out for people their own obnoxiousness and rudeness, I’m usually able to restrain myself–Notaro is not, which leads to uncomfortable situations for her, and entertaining, sometimes hilarious, tales for her readers.
Full of cautionary tales for big mouths like myself, I Love Everybody is a quick, entertaining read. I enjoyed the chapters where she writes about getting used to a 9-to-5 job and an unpredictable boss, and the story of how she ripped her corduroy pants, but my favorite may be the one where she gets drunk on an airplane. I think I especially enjoyed this collection because Notaro was about my age when she wrote these stories, and I identify with her experiences as part of a childfree couple at an age where most everyone I know is having children.
This is the third Notaro book I’ve read so far this year, and as much as I’ve been enjoying them on the whole, I think I need to take a break after this one. There’s only so much you can say about a collection of humor essays before you begin to feel really repetitive.