sleepwalk with me-mike birbiglia

books by comedians are the best kind of quick read. the kind that goes quick not because it’s empty calorie, quick because it’s the most concentrated kind of story-telling, the kind that takes the most concise route to the punchline. the motivation for getting this one from our fine library was a recent story he did for this american life.

“I come from a family of bingers. The Birbiglia family is Italian, but we’re not real Italian, we’re Olive Garden Italian. We don’t eat capellini primavera. We eat unlimited salad and breadsticks and drink a mean white zinfandel.” (151)

the subsequent passages about his dad trying to order the olive garden classics in florence are hilarious. as is this:

“He was tough. Liked to fight. He was like a cross between a white Allen Iverson and a velociraptor.” (12)

it’s all about the imagery. so i’ma let that one sit for a minute. like, until tuesday night. OK(let’s)C!

“I also put up with it because I couldn’t believe how lucky I was just to be with her. When you’re in a relationship with someone who’s selfish, what keeps you in it is the fact that when they shine on you, it’s this souped-up shine. and you feel like you’re in the club. And you don’t even know what club it is. You just know you want to stay in it.” (47)

ain’t that the truth.

“I had a crush on Alison but really had no chance. The juniors and seniors had swept up Alison immediately upon her entry into Shrewsbury High School. High school is not unlike a Mormon fundamentalist cult where the women are claimed by the older and more powerful.” (9)

ha! last season of big love is on its way to me. can’t wait for the fashion-sisterwife chic!

“You’ll start talking to God even if you’re not sure there’s a God. You’ll talk to anyone who might have more power than you, because you really want to cover your bases. You’re like, God? Allah? The elephant thing from Hinduism? L.Ron Hubbard? Harry Potter? I’m brand-loyal to Jesus, but I’m not stubborn. If someone has a plan, I’ll hear ‘em out.” (140)

god(‘s) complex.


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