MONDAY

David Sedaris may like to go on about his family, his crummy jobs, and his card-carrying gayness, but he’s proved to be entertaining about one topic in particular: the seeming absurdity of foreign cultures’ religious traditions. In Me Talk Pretty One Day, the target was Easter. (“Here in France the chocolate is brought by a big bell that flies in from Rome.”) In Sedaris’ latest collection of essays, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, the Netherlands’ Saint Nicholas is deconstructed, from his popelike outfit (“a carryover from his former career, when he served as the bishop of Turkey”) to his violent and borderline racist practices, which include threatening children and traveling with an indeterminate number of black helpers: “What kind of a Santa spends his time pretending to kick people before stuffing them into a canvas sack? Then, of course, you’ve got the six to eight former slaves who could potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest difference between us and the Dutch….If you told the average white American that six to eight nameless black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever he could get his hands on.” For those who may be getting weary of Sedaris’ people-are-crazy potshots, however, Dress Your Family spends a surprising amount of time on matters touching and even somber, such as the time Sedaris’ father kicked him out of the house because he was gay. Feel comparatively normal when Sedaris reads at 7 p.m. Monday, June 14, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free (limited tickets will be available the day of the event starting at 8 a.m.). (703) 525-4227. (Tricia Olszewski)

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