The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life

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Press: Tantor Media; Library - Unabridged CD edition (May 25, 2011)
Author Name:Notaro, Laurie


<DIV>The New York Times bestseller from author Laurie Notaro sheds hilarious light on everyday life, from hourly-wage jobs that require zero skill to horrific high school reunions.</div>

From Library Journal

Notaro, who writes a weekly humor column for the Arizona Republic, has collected some of those columns into her first book. 
Notaro is "everywoman" not quite pretty enough, not the popular one, not good at holding a job or a man.
She tells her stories about public bathrooms and high school reunions with a wicked edge that keeps us laughing at her and, of course, at ourselves.
On the dreaded reunion: " `It's time for your high school reunion!' the letter shrieked, and then went on to inform me that 546 of the people I hated most in the world were coming together at some lah-de-dah resort for the entire weekend to talk about the good old days." In "Suckers," she recalls the gym class where the girls got "the talk." "It was one of the darkest days of my life when that nurse, Mrs.
Shimmer, pulled out a maxi pad that measured the width and depth of a mattress and showed us how to use it." Ahhh...the good old days.
This is a great, funny read that women will love.
Recommended for most humor collections.
Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indianapolis-Marion Cty.
P.L.Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Unbound edition.


[Audio Review] This is the first compilation of Notaro s Arizona Republic columns, originally published in 2002. 
The Idiot Girls are those who were too cool to be in the Smart Group.
Notaro recounts her escapades and foibles from her teenage years to adulthood.
She chain-smokes, drinks a lot (with resulting hangovers), and falls in and out of love frequently.
She is chronically underemployed, going from one minimum-wage job to another.
She has a love/hate relationship with her parents, whom she frequently touches up for money.
There are some humorous scenes with which listeners can identify: her aversion to public restrooms, describing bathroom terrorists such as the talker, whose conversations do not cease during the entire visit, and the primper, who must style her hair and apply all her makeup.
There is the sixth-grade assembly where she and her classmates learned about menstruation (with a jaunty jingle from Kotex).
Notaro introduced her mother to email, which only opened up another way for mom to nag her.
Narrator Hilary Huber is particularly effective in voicing Notaro s mother s gravelly tone.
--Library Journal

From the Inside Flap

"I've changed a bit since high school. 
Back then I said no to using and selling drugs.
I washed on a normal basis and still had good credit." Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club.
Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends--and that's before she even puts on a bra.
For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences.
She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.
The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls ("too cool to be in the Smart Group") unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously.
She delivers the goods: life as we all know it.

--This text refers to the Unbound edition.

About the Author

Laurie Notaro is a humor columnist for the Arizona Republic. 
She has been fired from seven jobs (possibly eight) and lives with her first husband and pets (two dogs a miniature Wookie and a lab that makes doody in her sleep and a cat with no teeth) in the hot, dry dust bowl of Phoenix, Arizona.
The Idiot Girls Action-Adventure Club is her first book.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Wrap & Roll and the Disappearance of Nikki’s KeysNikki’s keys were gone.Just gone.“I don’t understand,” I said emphatically. 
“You had them yesterday.”“I’m aware of that,” she replied.
“But somewhere in between being drunk yesterday and sober today, my keys vanished.”“And you’re going to make me help you look for them, I suppose.”“No, you’re going to gladly help me look for them because you’re my friend and you also owe me forty dollars,” she said.Let me explain right now that Nikki does not do things in a small way, she never has.
Take a simple thing like losing your keys.
The last time she lost them, not only couldn’t she drive anywhere, but she had also locked every door in the car for the first time in her life.
This created a problem because she had left her roommate’s dry cleaning in the trunk.
And that created a problem because the dry cleaning consisted of every military uniform that he possessed.
And that created another problem because he needed to be at the airport in two hours, since he was flying out on an Army mission overseas.
And that created yet another problem, because he couldn’t show up in civilian clothes at the Army place because he said they would immediately shoot him in the head or give him a dishonorable discharge, because the Army doesn’t fire people, they just kill them or ruin their lives forever.
And we still had yet another problem on our hands, and that was that Nikki was the only ride he had to the airport.So, because Nikki lost her keys, someone was either going to die or spend the rest of his ruined life working at the only job he could get, which would probably be working at a record store or managing a record store.
But the story actually didn’t turn out too sad.
After spending seventy-five dollars on a locksmith to get into the trunk, we found Nikki’s keys, leisurely placed right smack on top of an arsenal of khaki-green uniforms.And if the reconnaissance of Nikki’s keys had a seventy-five-dollar price tag, there was a terrifying chance my forty-dollar loan might get called in, which was bad.
Especially since it was most likely being deposited at that very moment in the bank account of our favorite bar.“Please don’t tell me that you were messing around with the trunk this time, or that your kid is sitting in the backseat with all of the windows rolled up, or that you left something of mine, like my CDs, on the front seat,” I said as beads of worry were rolling down my forehead.“I knew you’d help me! I just have to change into something yucky so I don’t get dirty,” she said before bounding up the stairs.Whatever, I thought as I shook my head, and figured I’d get a head start by rifling through the cushions of the couch.
I found a lighter right away, which I pocketed.
Then I found thirty-seven cents, which I also pocketed, and a hairy LifeSaver that I left for the next couch-cushion bandit.“Okay, I’m ready,” she said as she came down the stairs, wearing the T-shirt with my caricature and name on the back that was made up during my days at Arizona State University’s State Press Magazine.“I thought you said you were going to put on something ‘yucky,’ ” I said immediately.
“That’s my shirt.
It’s got my face on it.
And my name.
That’s yucky? To you that’s yucky?”“I didn’t mean yucky yucky, just, you know, yucky,” she answered.“So I’m not yucky yucky, I’m just plain yucky?” I snapped.
“What would make it yucky yucky? Maybe if I had signed it or given it to you as a gift?”“Yeah.
No, I mean, it’s my favorite shirt.
I love this shirt,” she explained.“Well, I’m just sorry that it’s so ‘yucky.’ I should have given you the ones we made out of the silk from those endangered worms.”She smiled.
“Okay, I have to get my stick, and then we can go and look for my keys,” she said.“What do we need a stick for?” I asked.
“We can break the car window with a rock.”“No, the stick isn’t to break the window, it’s to poke at the trash.”“We’re poking at trash? Why are we poking at trash?” I asked.“I think my keys are in the bottom of the trash bag that I took out yesterday.”“Let me get this straight: So you’re wearing my shirt while we dig through other people’s waste?”“Right.
See, if I thought it was yucky yucky, I’d wear it if the toilet overflowed.”Nikki found the stick—actually a broom handle—and we journeyed to the Dumpster, which is about as big as my house and smells worse.
We climbed up the side and looked down into it, down into all of Nikki’s trash as well as the trash of forty of her neighbors.
That day, it was 114 degrees out, and the stench of the garbage was visible in stink lines that waved before my face in wiggly patterns, like in cartoons.
Nikki started stabbing the trash with the stick, trying to find her own bag that was conveniently located at the very bottom.Things were flying and falling everywhere—kitty litter and kitty turds, rotten vegetables and old food, used Kleenexes, and lots of dead things.
Everybody in Nikki’s complex is on birth control pills, I found out.
All of a sudden, a bag Nikki had poked broke open, and then this little white thing rolled right in the center of my visual zone.“AAAAAAAAAAAAHH!” I screamed.“What?” Nikki asked as she started to turn toward me.“Don’t look!” I said as I blocked her view, knowing that she has a weak stomach and gets queasy when I talk about picking noses or when I mention anything whatsoever about poo, so I knew she would get sick if she saw what I saw, which was a white, naked, and, at some point, used tampon applicator.Jesus, I thought to whomever it had belonged to, didn’t your mother ever teach you about those things? I mean, Christ Almighty, as soon as my mother suspected that my ovaries were beginning to percolate, she sat me down in the only private room in the house—which was her bathroom—broke out a roll of toilet paper and a maxi pad, and taught me how to wrap & roll.
Three wraps over the middle and three wraps over the side.
Roll & wrap, it’s the polite thing.
Even I could figure it out at the age of eight.
And, for added protection, you could stick God’s little bundle in a plastic baggie, so when the dogs got loose in the house they wouldn’t find it and tear it apart, as our dogs, Ginger and Brandy, loved to do.
Immediately following the hands-on demonstration, I got the “Not-So-Fresh-Feeling” speech, after which I ran to my room and sobbed for an hour because Barbie didn’t have an outfit that came with a tiny maxi pad, tampon, or Summer’s Eve.Well, we found Nikki’s trash bag, but, of course, the keys weren’t in it.
In fact, as of this moment, Nikki lost her keys three weeks ago, and we still haven’t found them.
Who knows where they are?Maybe, somehow, in the weird way that things work in Nikki’s World, maybe someone wrapped Nikki’s keys three times over the middle and three times over the side, and some hungry dog just ate them.

--This text refers to the Unbound edition.


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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     Writing is very humorous, realistic and appropriate for today's women.
  •     For months my world has been spinning out of control around me and I just needed a quick, fun read and some quiet time with an old friend. I was sitting at Subway eating my 6" turkey and ham and reading this book when I laughed out loud and spit a piece of lettuce two tables over (sorry to the unsuspecting granny who received my gift in such a manner). I am reminded that you can ALWAYS count on Laurie Notaro to soothe the mind with a well-placed story about a hole in the crotch of her leggings...let's face it, life is just a series of events at which we can choose to laugh or cry. Somehow I've read all of Laurie's books except for this one, and going back to the beginning reminds me that yes, we can go home again. Cheers to Laurie Notaro for making me laugh until I cry (or spit food across a sandwich shop)!
  •     I'm not a literary snob, but when a New York Times writer can't get a personal pronoun right, you know the rave reviews are bogus. It's trite. It's poorly written. It's not funny. I'm sorry I fell for the review and wasted a half hour before I deleted this from my iPad. Seriously, as a former writing instructor, I've seen high schoolers do better.
  •     After reading this book, I've decided that Laurie Notaro is a fantastic writer. She's witty, very creative, and intelligent. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books!
  •     Was not very impressed with the book.
  •     I thought this would be funny, but it's just dumb.
  •     very funny read! love Laurie's style. Looking forward to reading her other books.
  •     ugh
  •     Hilarious.
  •     This book was a quick read and I took it with me to read on my walk back home after dropping my son off at school in the mornings. As I read through the book I found myself laughing out loud CONSTANTLY-only a few laud laughs escaped during my walk readings since I was afraid of looking crazy on the street...When I read the story about the "free bread" at the fancy restaurant, I seriously thought I was going to pass out from laughter-I don't know if that's possible-but seriously!There were some moments of "reflection" when I asked myself, How much of this story is just pure embellishment?-but that only lasted a few seconds-about as long as I could hold back the laughter that was just creeping up inside me, and then all of a sudden I didn't care if I was POSSIBLY being "lied to".The only downfall for me was that many of the chapters/stories that were ridiculously funny, made some of the others look almost as if they lacked that "punch"(at least for me).But still, this book is great for those of us looking for a good time while reading and having a bunch of laughs.I'll be buying more books from this author!! ☺
  •     Not worth the read
  •     I love this book the most. It makes for amazing subway reading when you really want to knock people on their asses with snort laughing.
  •     I almost never leave a book unfinished. But this is just terrible. One ridiculous pathetic chapter after the next. If you think a slovenly, excessively drunk 80s slacker girl is funny, give it a try. This is not well-written, and the characterization has no depth. You will not feel anything for these over-blown characters. I should have read the negative comments first. I am a voracious reader and I do not have time for bad books. Not even for FREE.
  •     So, Laurie, if you ever happen to read this review you need to know two things:1. I spent seven lo-o-o-o-ng years "doing time" (what most other people call "residing") in Phoenix -- and not in the Sheriff Joe's Tent City, or in the Club Fed known as Florence. Every damn word you wrote is TRUE! Your vivid descriptions are already giving me nightmares, so I'm hoping you'll chip in for some PTSD therapy sessions and/or a nice bottle of Chardonnay.2. You've probably seen me on TV. Remember the "drunk driving" video that KPNX aired every week before New Year's between 1987 - 1990? I'm one of the DUI victims, not one of the perps. It made me "famous" enough that my weird male roommate took to sniffing my underwear when I wasn't home (don't ask me how I know this).So, from one 15-minutes-of-fame winner to another: thank you for the laughs and knowledge that I am not the only Idiot Girl out there. You simply ROCK!P.S. I promise never to sniff your underwear, no matter how famous you get.
  •     Each story funny,or sad or a little bit of both? Just the right mix of humor and pathos to be hugely enjoyable and entertaining. Laurie Notaro could be your best friend -sitting there at the kitchen table telling it like it is. She could be your sister sharing secrets no one else knows. This brand of funny is contagious and you will want to share the laughter and sometimes the honest little jabs of pain... in all humor there lies at least a little truth and I guess that's the funny part...if you don't learn to laugh (even at yourself) you might just have to cry. Loved the book...highly recommend it!
  •     ... then Laurie Notaro is the author to make it happen. Her books are well-written, sarcastic, and full of laughs.

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