I’m lucky enough to be married to an extremely observant woman. While we were touristing around downtown Lahaina, Maui, my wife saw a poster for David Sedaris doing a show at the Maui Arts Center in just a few days. She knows I’m a fan and asked if I wanted to go. I was hesitant to put up the money just to hear an author read — but who am I kidding, I love David Sedaris and have since the first time I heard him on This American Life so many years ago.
It turns out, it was money well spent, because Mr. Sedaris didn’t take long before he was sharing his list of money making ideas.
I was in my Sussex kitchen not long ago squinting at what was either a pheasant or an armless troll racing across the road in front of the house when I got the idea for prescription windows.
It would be perfect for people like me who don’t want to wear glasses indoors and so I mentioned it to my friend Ingrid who said, “Oh, that’s brilliant.” She’s one of those women who will support you in just about anything you do. Slap some cheese between two slices of bread and it’s “My God, you’re amazing!” Calm down I sometimes want to say. I didn’t invent the sandwich — I just did what other before me have. This time though, I felt the praise was justified. And so, I put prescription windows on my list of million dollar ideas, realizing hours later that what works for me would not work for Hugh, or any of our frequent house guests who have different prescription problems or none at all. Still they might be good for a near-sighted loner who never has any company so I left them on the list. Right below cigarette butts with seeds in them.
And after a brief segue from some other million dollar ideas into stories about how cheap some people can be, he finished with a short digression about how his husband doesn’t like to admit how much he appreciates their wealth but that when it comes to million dollar ideas maybe his husband could give it a try. It was a brilliant story.
After the applause began to wane he slyly added, “You never want to say this before you read something… I wrote that today!”