Always Fry Your Best

Fay Jacobs is a tough act to follow. Believe me, I know.

I wrote about that experience earlier this month, but what I didn’t mention was how wonderfully kind and gracious Fay was. (Everyone I met at Saints & Sinners was, in fact. It’s a gathering of amazingly nice people, I’ve found.) Josh Aterovis gave me a nice setup before I went up to read, I passed out some chocolate to lull the crowd into an endorphin-induced sense of satisfaction, and then read. When I was done, Fay said what I read was beautiful.

(See? Chocolate works. I’m bringing it to my annual performance reviews from now on.)

Fay Jacobs is the author of several collections of humor essays, including As I Lay Frying and Fried and True. After the reading was over, I went to the book table and bought her latest collection, For Frying Out Loud.

I’m glad I did, because it’s great. The collection consists of the columns that Jacobs wrote for the publication Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, as well as original pieces written just for the book, describing her and her partner Bonnie’s adventures in RV’ing.

As a child whose parents owned a succession of recreational vehicles, I found these stories hit all too close (and hilariously) to home.

Jacobs touches on everything from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous-politics, dogs, the Rehoboth Beach community, gay culture and history-all with her signature wit and good-natured humor. She can also get fired up too, like when she’s taking witless Maryland politicians or religious hatemongers to task over their bigoted viewpoints. Trust me, you do not want to be on the receiving end of one of her zingers.

After hearing her give a reading, I enjoyed these essays all the more because I could imagine them being read in her voice, and listening to her read is a joy.

Even if you haven’t had that good fortune though, read this book. It’ll make you laugh ’til you fry.

(What? Don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming.)

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