Well, judging from her lovely Shouts and Murmurs in the New Yorker this week, at least. See
HISTORY: THE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Humorists who appear in this delectable column often write prose more perfectly calibrated than any factual piece, but this has the added spice of being a satire on the everyday formulations of Web reviews written by real people (as opposed to plants):
HUMANKIND PRODUCES ART IN THE CHAUVET CAVES
by Patricia Pearson
I went to see this cave for a girls’ night out, and I have to say it was quite disappointing. For one thing, the lighting was terrible. You had to stumble around in the pitch black, and if you were lucky someone remembered to bring willow bark for the pain when you banged your face against a wall, but mostly no one had thought of that. We had to get the shaman to set fire to his own hair so that we could have a proper look, which I felt was putting too much responsibility on the audience. The walls did seem to show real mastodons and oryxes, which was pretty cool, since caves usually just look like broken rocks. But I’d recommend the spring mushroom dance as a better outing.
If you do go, bring your own pine resin and flint.
THE PHARAOH KHUFU BUILDS A PYRAMID AT GIZA
My husband and I visited this new building for our fifth wedding anniversary. We found it to be so-so. The view was fairly nice, since we’d never seen anything taller than our own foreheads before. But the sandstone turned out to be extremely dusty. At one point, we noticed a cricket running around the base, and that’s just not something you expect at a royal tomb, which supposedly offers scarab beetles, or at least that is what was described to us by Anubis in our dreams.
In our opinion, Khufu is not going to make it to Sirius in this tomb. Too dusty, bad insects.
THE ORACLE OF DELPHI COUNSELS GREECE
I took my daughter to see the Oracle for her sixteenth birthday, and, really, I did not feel that the visit was worth sacrificing a whole goat. If you’re going to predict the fall of Lydia, there should be better music. Also, the food at the entrance to the underground chamber was very substandard. The figs were withered, and I’ve found better-tasting olives under corpses. We definitely don’t plan to go back.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS BUILT
My son brought me to see this wall when he heard that the Mongols were planning to chop my head off with a scythe. I have to say that it’s a very reassuring defensive structure. I was imagining something more along the lines of a mound of shit, except, maybe, one that was way longer than the one in my village. But this wall turns out to be constructed of bricks and stones, which really impressed me. The nearby attractions were an added bonus, because the lines for the wall were long. If you plan it right, you can chuckle at a cripple and still get home for supper with plenty of time.
MEDIEVAL PILGRIMAGE BECOMES POPULAR
My spiritual adviser told me to take two years out of my projected twenty-seven-year life span to go on this excursion, and I’m glad I did. Off the beaten track, maybe, but definitely worth it for being permanently cleansed of the sin of envy. Previous posters to this site made me aware of the need to wear iron underpants with locked hinges, and also gave me great tips about how to ward off scurvy by gnawing on orange rinds snatched out of the paws of squirrels. My only complaint is that the Madonna could probably be more consistent in her miraculous interventions. The guy right behind me tossed away his crutches and I was, like, oh, O.K., is the Holy Mother listening now? Because I’m still a female who wants to have sex and yet weigh in on the present discourse about Purgatory, and I’m not really clear on whether I have to give up my brains and get married, or move my stuff into the cloister.
Recommended, with reservations.
THE COURT OF VERSAILLES DICTATES FASHION
My sister and I have mixed feelings about gluing mouse pelts over our eyebrows. It’s not hard to catch the mice, because they tend to nest in our hair—the Countess of Burgundy says they are attracted to the lard we use to make the lead powder stick to the curls. The problem is that it’s very hard to get their fur off. We tried gluing on just the tails, but, of course, that made us look ridiculous. So somebody needs to come up with a more user-friendly version of this technique, IMHO.
THE TSAR FALLS IN RUSSIA
I do not recommend the Russian Revolution. At first, I fell for the hype and was kind of excited to set fire to my landlord. But now it seems like it’s just getting to be a lot of yakkety-yak. What we need is already with us, as far as I’m concerned: breathing, harvest, an icon by Andrei Rublev in our church, some carnal relations.
We have enough trouble with Baba Yaga; we don’t need men from Moscow to tell us their dreams for our children. What do they think our children are doing today? They’re catching chickens and gathering damp birch sticks. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
This customer recommends the reign of Peter the Great instead.
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY IS HUMANKIND’S BLOODIEST EVER
My name is Gladys Roche. I’ve lived at the Ocean Vista Nursing Home since 1981, and before that I kept a pretty good house in Dayton, Ohio. Sometimes there were difficulties with keeping the basement dry. But we never had a spot of mold. People seem to want to know how I survived the twentieth century, as I’m now more than a hundred years old. I think my secret is that I ate breakfast kippers most days. Also, I smoked. Would I live through the twentieth century again? Absolutely. Yes, I would. Thank heaven they invented the microwave oven. That’s just a marvel.
Two thumbs up.
THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT ENDS IN 2012 ACCORDING TO MAYAN PROPHECY ★★★★ ♦
Have to say that the last entry is a bit of a whimper, but never mind. This delicious work makes one laugh out loud more than one, not just smile to oneself.
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2011/10/17/111017sh_shouts_pearson#ixzz1aPF1HMXB