Quotes from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays

David Sedaris ·  196 pages

Rating: (47K votes)


“If you're looking for sympathy you'll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“I just looked at the pattern of my life, decided I didn't like it, and changed.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“The trouble with aggressive nonsmokers is that they feel they are doing you a favor by not allowing you to smoke. They seem to think that one day you'll look back and thank them for those precious fifteen seconds they just added to your life. What they don't understand is that those are just fifteen more seconds you can spend hating their guts and plotting revenge.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“After the trial, I watched as another female pathologist collected maggots from a spinal column found in the desert. There was a decomposed head, too, and before leaving work she planned to simmer it and study the exposed cranium for contusions. I was asked to pass this information along to the chief medical examiner, and, looking back, I perhaps should have chosen my words more carefully. 'Fire up the kettle,' I told him. 'Ol'-fashioned skull boil at five p.m.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“Because that’s really something I can’t stand — when people refer to themselves as crazy. The truly crazy are labeled so on the grounds that they see nothing wrong with their behavior. They forge ahead, lighting fires in public buildings and defecating in frying pans without the slightest notion that they are out of step with the rest of society. That, to me, is crazy.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays



“The combination of ammonia and chloride can be lethal but I've discovered it can work miracles as long as you keep telling yourself, "I want to love, I want to live...”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“You’d have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to know what you’re getting yourself into, so if there’s blame, blame yourself.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“After that there was nothing left to say as nothing gets on my nerves more than someone repeating the same phrase twice. I think it’s something people have picked up from television, this emotional stutter. Rather than say something interesting once, they repeat a cliché and hope for the same effect”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“Each one of us is left to choose our own quality of life and take pleasure where we find it with the understanding that, like Mom used to say, sooner or later something's gonna get you.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“Do you mind if we make this a no-smoking bench?” There is no “we.” Our votes automatically cancel one another out. What she meant was, “Do you mind if I make this a no-smoking bench?This woman was wearing a pair of sandals, which are always a sure sign of trouble. They looked like the sort of shoes Moses might have worn while he chiseled regulations onto stone tablets. I looked at her sandals and at her rapidly moving arms and I crushed my cigarette. I acted like it was no problem and then I stared at the pages of my book, hating her and Moses — the two of them.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays



“The Bible says that it’s all right to cast the first stone if someone dead is telling you to do it”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“You’re not going to throw this away, are you?” she says, and she’ll be talking about the grains of rice in the bottom of the salt shaker. “No, Mrs. Peacock, by all means, you take them. They’ll come in handy when your son gets out of prison and marries your niece.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“On the off chance my caller would tell me to quit drinking, I positioned myself on the sofa with two six-packs and a bottle of nice scotch. Then I turned on the TV and ate a sandwich made from leftover chicken lo mein. I call it a Chanwich.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“The offices were like a national holding center for the trainably banal, occupied by people who decorated their cubicles with quilted, heart-shaped picture frames and those tiny plush bears with the fierce spring grip that cling to lamps and computer terminals, personalized to read “Terri’s bear” or “I wuv you very beary much!”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“He secretly thinks he looks like Marlon Brando, but take a good look a young Marlin Perkins is more like it! Maybe that’s what he sees in Annette Kelper—he’s an animal lover.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays



“Dad said that the guy who can play guitar is going to be the life of the party. He’s confusing life with death.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“Poor, chubby Annette Kelper, who desperately tries to pretend that nobody notices the fact that she’s balding on top of her head. That’s right. Look closely — balding just like a man. Perhaps Randy feels sorry for chrome-dome Annette.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“Here I’ve given him a good eight inches and a shot at immortality and he’ll turn on me the same way he did last year when I asked him to pose for a few nude sketches. Ingrate”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“The real life of the party is flattened beneath the bed, taping actual sex encounters, not sitting cross-legged on the floor with a guitar, embarrassing himself and others.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“He has a point there, that’s harsh. Unfortunately, they never gave him a medal for it and as a result he brings it up time and time again.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays



“Isn’t that sweet of my only son to travel all this way so he can whine about his pathetic little friend? Maybe if I weren’t strapped to my deathbed I could muster up the strength to give a damn.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“You’re the man now,” she said to me after my father died, “you’re the man.” Then she turned to Popeye, our calico tom, and said, “You’re the cat now, Popeye, you’re the cat,”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“And it’s bad enough to be caught in your underpants but even worse to be caught in your underpants scratching out a valium prescription on someone else’s pad.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


“if you think too hard about anything it’s bound to take the fun out of it.”
― David Sedaris, quote from Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays


About the author

David Sedaris
Born place: in Binghamton, New York, The United States
Born date December 26, 1956
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