Humorist David Sedaris just keeps being funny. In his latest book, Lets Explore Diabetes With Owls, the best-selling author reflects on his French periodontist, stuffed owls and Australia. (Its Canada in a thong.)
Sedaris, who grew up in Raleigh, will return to his home state Oct. 24, when he speaks at Wingate University. Sedaris now lives in a farmhouse in England with his partner, Hugh Hamrick, though he continues to make jaunts to Paris for dentist appointments. He spoke to the Observer by phone last week.
Q. Whats your biggest worry these days?
A. Getting hit by a car on my bicycle. I talked to someone yesterday, who was riding downhill, and he hit a deer. And the handlebars snapped right off his bicycle, and he landed on his face.
Whew. And there are a lot of deer around where I live. It would be so unsatisfying to be killed by a deer. I would rather be killed by a drunk driver, so then people could be outraged. No ones going to be outraged by a deer the way I would need them to be.
Q. Do you and Hugh have any plans to come back to the States and get married?
A. I could get married here. I dont want to. I mean, I dont want to be with anybody else. Ive been with Hugh 23 years. But I dont know. I never thought when I was young about getting married. I guess because Im not a big God person, I dont feel like the church validating my relationship or the state validating my relationship makes it any more valid.
I just always thought that the one good thing that even the most ardent homophobes could say about homosexuals was that they didnt force people to go to their weddings. And now thats going to be gone.
That said, I wish that every homosexual would fight and get the right to marry but not a single one of them would do it. And then by not doing it, that would confuse people even more. It would be like: We could be like you. We dont want to be.
Q. After I interviewed you in 2010, you sent me a very nice thank-you postcard. Am I special, or do you do that for all the journalists?
A. When a book comes out, when I go on a book tour, I write a thank-you letter to everyone who interviews me, to every driver, to every bookstore, to everybody.
Q. And whats your thinking there?
A. Well, I have good manners. I lecture young people about that all the time thank-you notes, and how far a thank-you note will get you. Not an email.
I was coming back (by train) from Edinburgh to London last month. I got the last seat in first class, but it turned out to be one of those handicapped seats. And it said if an older handicapped person comes along, you have to give them your seat.
And so across the aisle from me was a woman with a cane. And I said, Excuse me, can I borrow that cane of yours? I just need it in case an old or handicapped person comes and asks for this seat.
Q. You really did this?
A. Yes. That said, if somebody came along, I would have given them the seat. But I thought, with this cane in my hand, its going to make my life a little bit easier. But see, you should never pride yourself on anything. I just said I had excellent manners. But at least I asked her for the cane. I didnt just take it.
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