Something to Read: I Like You (Hospitality Under the Influence)

30daysTomorrow I’m going in to have my wisdom teeth removed. I was supposed to do it ten years ago, when they first poked through my gums, but I didn’t have dental coverage or very good dental coverage – I can’t remember – and also I’m a big fat chicken. So, I let them hang out in there, in the back of my mouth, becoming increasingly inconvenient and now it’s a decade later and the oral surgeon is using phrases like “older than would be ideal for this” and “fused to your jaw.”

The worst part is that I’m not allowed to eat for six hours before the surgery, and the surgery is at 10:45 tomorrow morning.

I don’t know when I’m going to get to eat again. This is the part I’m most nervous about.

(I’m lying. I’m pretty nervous about the tooth-to-bone fusion thing, but I’d rather you think I’m tough.)

Anyway, it’s day three of my little plan to tell you about a new book every day for 30 days, and it’s 11:00 p.m. and I’ve already nearly failed. I had planned to tell you about this book I bought on a whim one day at a used book store and it turned out to be a rare edition of a Hungarian cookbook from the 1970s, and that it turned out to be worth $250 on AbeBooks, but I need a little levity today. I needed a Sedaris.

Have you ever read anything by David Sedaris? He’s wonderful, a bona fide freak of nature and I love every word he puts down. If there is darkness in your heart and you love a short story, pick up Me Talk Pretty One Day and laugh until it hurts.

But this is not about David.

This is about Amy.


I bought I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence off a clearance table some time after it had come out thinking it would probably be funny and it only cost five dollars so I had very little to lose. I brought it home, cracked it open.


It’s like she was singing my life. Photographing it, at least.

This book manages to be a lot of things all in one – comedy, cookbook, DIY for the half-assed and DIY-disinterested. The recipes are pretty reliable, and seem to come from actual recipe boxes; many of the recipes are just scans of hand-written, food-splattered recipe cards. Like real life! I’ve made a few of them, and I don’t know why I am pleasantly surprised each time. Of course they’re good. Amy can do anything!

Anyway, I liked the book so much I went out and bought a copy for my mom for Mother’s Day, and by that point it was no longer on the clearance rack and I had to pay full price. As far as I know, it’s only available in hard-cover. That’s serious commitment.

You cannot read a section without finding something bizarre and potentially useful. The section on alcoholic punches is followed by a section on pantyhose crafts, which is handy as you may not think to do pantyhose crafts without having had a large amount of punch first. I have been led to believe that I will be sedated and then sent home with a baggie of pain-relieving prescription drugs after my surgery tomorrow, and I have a drawer full of snagged pantyhose I always forget are full of runs and holes; maybe I’ll brighten my afternoon with a pantyhose plant hanger (page 268).

If you won’t be heavily sedated, why not grab a copy of the book, a couple of cans of juice concentrate, and make yourself a bowl of punch? Surely you have some well-worn hosiery kicking around. If not, I’m sure you could find some pretty easily.

Amy Sedaris’ Rum Punch Dazzler

  • 1 x 12 oz. can lemonade, frozen concentrate
  • 1 x 12 ox. can limeade, frozen concentrate
  • 1 pint rum
  • 7-Up (or alternative)

Create a ring mold out of some 7-up or water. Put it in the freezer. I don’t have anything to make a ring mold, but you can make one by lining a bundt pan with plastic wrap, pouring your liquid in, and freezing it that way. Just pop the ring of ice out when it’s frozen solid, and put it into a punch bowl.

Add the ring mold to a to a bowl with the ingredients listed above, and some maraschino cherries if you have them.

No time for a ring mold? Ice will work, but drink quickly so as not to water down your punch.

Wish me luck tomorrow. My life insurance policy is through work and not very good, so I’ll need to survive at least until I’m in a management position.




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