Short Stories 

Weird and witty

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For years, America has been wondering just what sort of exotic lifestyle the average hilarious columnist from Arizona would lead. In Laurie Notaro's first book The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club, she outlined this fantasy lifestyle thusly: drunken idiocy and snack cakes. In her third installment, I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies), Notaro has finally married, has a mortgage and is (miraculously) employed.

With her usual depreciating humor, Notaro tells tales of evil newspaper editors, of nearly brawling with schoolchildren and Disney characters, and of just how a favorite pair of pants can explode. Eventually strife at the office becomes too much, and this is where the book takes a bit of a dip. While the relaying of "man, my boss is such a bitch" information is fun on a gossipy level, Notaro indulges in the device to a degree that just comes off as bitter and vindictive. And in a comical book, the vindictiveness should be funny too, or at least have a point.

Luckily, those moments are few and far between. In an episode that saves comedic face, Notaro decides to install the computer game The Sims, in order to create virtual Sim versions of herself and her husband. Ending in fake death and destruction, it's a great example of what a humorous and quirky writer this so-called "idiot girl" actually is.

-- Kara Luger


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