David Sedaris
Contributed by Larisa Brooke
Company Man

The chapter, Company Man, is about the author living in a guest room that he terms as the perfect place for aging gracefully, away from too many troubles. Sedaris feels elated about his ownership of a house that contains a guest house with a bathroom to itself. The author compares this perfect home for his age with a previous house in Normandy, which did not have many facilities like the current one. Sedaris illustrates hilariously the extent to which his guests would have been embarrassed by the former Normandy house. He gives funny anecdotes on how a guest would be highly inconvenienced having a room with little or no privacy in the bathroom. He describes how one would need to go out for a long time if one needed anything which is not the case with the new house.

The author illustrates an occasion when his boyfriend’s friends visited them. During the visit, the author’s father entertains the guest forcing the author to leave the conversation feeling out of place. While residing in the new house, Sedaris enjoys having many visitors especially his family members, friends, and loved ones. He describes how his three sisters paid him a visit and the culmination of events in the house. Even though he enjoys the company of his sisters, he continually gives his guests small breaks by going to his studio so that to prevent an overstay of their invitation in his house.

In this chapter, Sedaris reveals to the reader some inner details of his family. He states that his sister sleepwalks to the kitchen to eat. The author adds that during one of these episodes, he discovers that his sister consumed a nutrition bar made from compressed dead flies intended for a pet turtle.

He reveals that in the past, he would pass by a mirror and keenly observe his face. However, nowadays, he looks into a mirror to see if his nipples are well aligned. He tries to inform the reader that he is no longer the youthful man he used to be and that age is catching up with him quickly. The author humorously narrates the sister's phobia that her uterus might be getting abnormally thick. The author thinks loudly of the compositions of his sister’s womb possibly by adding that probably it has the same structure as ripe grapes.

Throughout the chapter, the author makes funny comments about his interactions with his family. For instance, he enquires about whether his sister likes the sense of touching an iguana. As the chapter draws close to an end, the guests leave and the author is left with his boyfriend and they quickly return to regular events of their house. The author exclaims that at least after the guests go, they can return to being themselves and not worry about being on their best behavior. He further adds that a subtle fight between them ensues whereby Hugh claims his lack of love towards the author since 2002.


The author introduces the reader to his family and the relations that occur when they come together. The author clearly loves and treasures quality time with his family to whom he relates well. To emphasize his love for his family, he purchases a house that accommodates his family fully and that makes them comfortable when they come to visit. The author feels very contented with the new home since it will no longer embarrass him to his guests. Sedaris also wistfully reveals the insecurities of some of his family members. For instance, one of his sisters feels quite uncomfortable with her gain in weight. However, Sedaris brings out the insecurity in a hilarious manner by relating her uterus to grapes. The author also reveals a secret of the sister about sleepwalking and eating humorously. From the section, one also observes a strained relationship with his father especially when it comes to maintaining conversation socially whereby the author walks away for feeling out of place. One crucial lesson from Company Man is that despite the imperfections of his sisters, spouse, as well as his father, Sedaris always finds a way to blend in and loves their presence in his house.

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