George Saunders, "Al Roosten"

A schlub and a dudley do right find themselves in a small-town celebrity auction.

(from The New Yorker, Feb. 2, 2009)

“So that’s why we’re here raising money for LaffKidsOffCrack and their antidrug clowns!” the blonde shouted. “Such as Mr. BugOut, who, in his classroom work, with a balloon, makes this thing that starts out as a crack pipe and ends up as a coffin, which I think is so true!”

This was part funny and part cringeworthy — but in a different way than I’m used to from George Saunders. “Al Roosten” was as much about characters as situation. I dug it. Read it here.

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