03 October 2007

Celia Rivenbark on B-I-N-G-O and Meg Ryan

Now, before you get offended, understand that I LOVE it when visitors sign my guest book and it means a lot to me, even if you aren't a humor writer...so that doesn't work as an excuse.

I have been visited by greatness. Well, my guest book has, in the form of irascible, southern charm. It started, as many things do, at a friend's house.

While I was sitting at his kitchen table, struggling to solve his crossword puzzle - not that he needed my assistance, he's way too smart- he asked me if I'd read Celia Rivenbark's latest column. I was embarrassed to admit that I hadn't read it yet.

Of course, he still had it and as the kitchen was filling up with the warm aroma of chicken fried rice, I happily put the puzzle aside and began reading it and laughing immediately. You really need to check it out. This week's column!

Then you need to go back to her website, and order her books. Not just one of them but get all of them. They are more than worth the price and will deliver hours of giggles as you relate to her stories and marvel at how she writes things you've thought and wished you'd written. Happens to me every time I read her stuff. Dang she's sharp and such a smart ass - I just love that in a writer.

I had the pleasure of having lunch with her last year, along with Bruce and Marge Brown, in the genteel, formal dining room of The City Club in Wilmington and was delighted to find she was just as entertaining and completely irreverent in person as she is in her writing; southern through and through, but blessedly she doesn't let that hold her back one whit. Ms. Rivenbark doesn't forget where she came from - and she richly mines it for all it's worth. It was one of the most entertaining lunches I've ever had (Celia - let's do it again soon - but let's ditch the amenities and healthy fare and meet downtown at Roudabush on "Southern fried food" day!) Pencil me in! And please, no talk of cholesterol or calories...

My daughter was very impressed I'd dined with Celia. I can't think of another writer she would be more impressed to know I'd shared a meal with and of course, Katie has read her books and highly recommends them as well. In fact, I gave Katie, "Stop Dressing Your Six-Year Old Like a Skank" for Christmas last year and it was one of her favorite gifts. "We're Just Like You, Only Prettier", is equally entertaining. How can you go wrong with titles like that? The titles are merely a teaser, the books deliver and expand on her uniquely southern brand of "charm" and southern eloquence. This is a woman you could sit down with and literally "dish with" and she'd get it. She's got it. She's the real deal.

It's just a shame she didn't have "a good bingo, not good at all", but you can't hold that against her. She's not quite old enough for the senior citizen set. However, when she gets there in about 30 years, she will be the queen of the AARP ball. Personally, I think she's prettier than that "Meg" person - especially since Meg went on a Botox binge and grew fish lips. Besides, I bet that man who made the remark probably wasn't even legally blind (did you see any documentation?). Obviously, his companion was jealous.

Oh, and a special thanks to my friend for reminding me to read Celia's column and, in case you're interested, the chicken fried rice was wonderful. You have to appreciate a man who can kayak, cook and do crosswords.