One of my favorite Calvin Trillin pieces is “Alice Off The Page: Expanding on—or maybe correcting—some of the things I wrote about my wife.” Originally in the The New Yorker, it is available here.
Today I ordered his new collection Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff because I’ve enjoyed everything he’s written. Some snippets:
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
In modern America, anyone who attempts to write satirically about the events of the day finds it difficult to concoct a situation so bizarre that it may not actually come to pass while the article is still on the presses.
Health food makes me sick.
Math was not my best subject. I was never able to convince my math teachers that many of my answers were meant ironically.
The average trade book has a shelf life of between milk and yogurt, except for books by any member of the Irving Wallace family – they have preservatives.
Marriage is part of a sort of 50’s revival package that’s back in vogue along with neckties and naked ambition.
Kevin Drum, who recently interviewed him:
[In addition to The New Yorker, Trillin] also wrote for The Nation, penning . . . side-splitting roasts of his editor, the “wily and parsimonious” Victor S. Navasky, whom Trillin first met while writing for Navasky’s satirist magazine Monocle. (“I used to assure Navasky that the lack of a sense of humor was probably not an insurmountable handicap for the editor of a humor magazine,” he writes).