To Eat Chicken or Human Excrement? David Sedaris on "The Undecideds"

By Paul Rubin

New Yorker humorist David Sedaris (pictured) spoke at ASU's Gammage Auditorium last night, and captivated an adoring audience for almost two hours of non-stop laughs.

Loved the references to "dropping the deuce" and "crop-dusting," You might be able to figure out the first one (think scatalogically). We'll help with crop-dusting, which is the term flight attendants apparently use among themselves to describe their own airborne farting as they dart up and down the aisle.

But our favorite bit was something he read from a column to be published in this week's New Yorker about the so-called "undecideds" in the upcoming election.

Sedaris suggested that most of the undecideds continue to claim they don't know if they'll vote for Obama or McCain just to keep their faces on television until election night, November 4.

We flashed back to the end of the third presidential debate, when Katie Couric interviewed a bunch of folks flown into New York City solely to watch the two men jibber-jabber from the CBS studios.

The schism between the candidates couldn't have been more pronounced than after Debate III, but no one on the panel admitted to the smiling Couric that anything they heard had swayed them definitively one way or the other.

Sedaris drew this parallel: Say you're given a choice of eating chicken or human shit. What do you choose? Think about it, he said--chicken or human shit.

You probably had to have been there, but the crowd roared in response. Sedaris' delivery, sardonic and a touch whimsical, made the words really work.

As an aside, he informed us that a last-minute compromise with his editors back East meant that the print version of his stark little riff will refer to a "platter of shit" instead of human shit.

Now that's funny.

Sedaris never did say which candidate was the bird and which was the poo-poo.

He didn't have to.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin