Everybody Into the Pool
By Beth Lisick
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780060778774, 240pp.)
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
List Price: $23.95*
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Beth Lisick started out as a homecoming princess with a Crisco-aided tan and a bad perm. And then everything changed. How exactly did this suburban girl next door end up as one of San Francisco's foremost chroniclers of alternative culture, touring as the only straight woman with a band of punk rock lesbian poets and living in illegal warehouses -- all while managing to get married, buy a house, and have a baby? Lisick explains it all in her hilarious, irreverent memoir Everybody into the Pool.
Plunging headlong into America's deepest subcultures, while keeping both feet firmly planted in her parents' Leave It to Beaver values, Lisick makes her adult home on the fringe of mainstream culture and finds it rich with paradox and humor. On one hand, she lives in "Brokeley" with drug dealers and street gangs; on the other, she drives a station wagon with a car seat in the back, makes her own chicken stock, and attends ladies' luncheons.
Among Lisick's true tales are "My Way or the Bi-Way," in which a series of girl-on-girl fiascos from UC Santa Cruz confirm her suspicions that she's just a straight girl with a positive attitude who'd give anything the old college try; "The Lowly Hustle," in which she takes on a litany of odd jobs to make ends meet ("I was like a college student designing my own major, except I was thirty-five and designing my own minimum-wage job"); and the endearing story of her "courtship" with her now husband Eli, who impresses her with a spastic rendition of a song called "The Wack-Ass Caucasian Two Step Chicken" and invites her to his Mission District warehouse space -- a world of feral raccoons and exploding sewage pipes. (It's clear to Lisick that he's "The One.")
Fans of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell will relish Lisick's scathingly funny, smart, and very real take on the effluvia of daily living. No matter what community she's exposing to the light, Lisick's hilarious perspective always hits the right chord.