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From The CriticsThis tape starts out unpromisingly, with "Drag," a collection of not-so-funny, not-so-original anecdotes about smoking and anti-smoking. But right after that it picks up, with "Giantess," a meditation on a "specialty" magazine for men who like women "ranging anywhere from 10 to 75 feet tall" and preferably still growing. Giantess readers "take the greatest delight in the physical description of a giantess outgrowing her clothing," the magazine's editor helpfully explains. Sedaris isn't necessarily kind; some of his characters are so pathetic or self-involved that you feel uneasy even while you're laughing. In the title story, an alcoholic super confesses to one of his tenants that he's been having blackouts; then he breaks down and sobs. "Something told me I should put my arm around him," the tenant says. "But he was my super, and he was sweaty, so I didn't."
Sedaris' family stories, however, all have that hint of charity that's sometimes missing in the others, and these essays, like "You Can't Kill the Rooster" and others, provoke the kind of laughter you don't have to feel bad about later.