The Potty Mouth at the Table
Author: Laurie Notaro
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 7, 2013The Potty Mouth at the Table is funny in the same kind of faux-confessional foible-blog way that Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) or Justin Halpern (Sh*t My Dad Says) is funny. A "foible blog," in case you were wondering, is what I call that style of blog that consists of everyday stories of the author getting up to humourous hijinks, usually with the undertone of "Can you believe the things that happen to me? It's ridiculous! I bet you can relate/sympathize/feel less crazy by comparison." I have a lot of those blogs bookmarked.
But Laurie Notaro is no Jenny Lawson. It's not that the book isn't funny, it just...well it's hard to pinpoint, but I'd say there's somewhat of a mean-spiritedness in her writing that you don't find on The Bloggess, for instance. She seems to take some trivial things TOO seriously (to the point it's a little weird) and then is too flippant about other, actually serious things. Here are some examples:
--She tells the story of almost finding a dead homeless person in her backyard, whom she insists on calling "her hobo," then muses that she doesn't understand why people object to the word "hobo" because it makes homeless people seem "jaunty" and "jocular" like they're going to start humming to themselves while riding the rails with their bindles in hand (That's EXACTLY why, Laurie! It's because "hobo" makes it sound like homelessness is an amusing caricature for your entertainment instead of a real, serious problem affecting real people.)
--She flips out on her entire family when she discovers that her shower puff has been moved (Okay, I'm sort of with her on this one. I had a similar experience recently and it was !*%^-ing gross.)
--She seems to hate a lot of things (food restrictions, yoga people, crazy people of all sorts) and even though I can understand her points, sometimes her rants cross over into bitter intolerance territory, which is a lot less funny.
Basically she's the difference between Kathy Griffin and Chelsea Handler. I love Kathy Griffin and I find her brand of celebrity bashing/fandom to be hilarious. I could watch her all day long. Chelsea Handler, on the other hand, well I just find her a little mean. And crass. On the other hand, Chelsea Handler has a HUGE fan base and many people love BOTH of these ladies, so I think it's fair to say that loads of people will also love Laurie Notaro (and probably do already). For me, though, I *almost* love her. But not quite. (And let's face it. If the worst thing I say about her is "she reminds me of Chelsea Handler" I don't think she's exactly going to be crying over that.)
Bottom line: It's a book for moms and other grownups, but not so much for kids.
But if you want to check Laurie Notaro out for yourself before you decide whether or not to get her book, you can go to her website: idiotgirls.com
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from Edelweiss (Above the Tree Line). I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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