Sunday, November 10, 2013


   I consider myself pretty crazy. Not so much in the wild 'n crazy gal mode, although I can be that sometimes, but more the hide-the-knives-and-stay-out-of-my-way certifiable kind of crazy because of my occasional black funks of depression. But never once have I peed in cereal bowls and stashed them under my bed "until the acrid stench will peel the skin off the insides of your nostrils" to avoid the bad vibe of the bathroom. Nor have I given up eating in order to "eliminate excess energy in the body" so I can sleep 24/7 and avoid having to leave home. That is crazy! And that is just one hilarious episode from "Agorafabulous! :dispatches from my bedroom" by Sara Benincasa. Thanks, Sara, for making me feel almost normal for a change.
    In her roller-coaster ride of a memoir, Sara takes us from her nightmare agita-filled (in Italian, agita means "you're really nervous, your stomach hurts, or you've got the shits," or all three in her case) high school trip to Sicily; through her bowl-peeing sleep-until-you-stink college days; to working for Edgar, a power hungry hippie throwback even crazier than her, at the Blessed Sanctuary retreat; with a brief stop in Texas as a ninth-grade writing teacher "handling" Billy's boner; all the way to becoming a stand-up comedian. With all that material straight from her own life, I'd say she found the perfect career, wouldn't you?
   "Agorafabulous!" is a hootie read! While mental illness is nothing to laugh about, Sara spins her own struggles with agoraphobia, depression, and "unruly hair" into charmingly witty vignettes that will make you chuckle and possibly even feel a wee bit less crazy yourself. One of the jacket blurbs reads, "If I ever get thrown in a mental institution, my only hope would be having Sara as a cellmate." That goes for me too. If (or when?) my black funks take over my life completely, expect a collect call from me, Sara, to come be my roomie and bring a heaping helping of fabulous into my funk!