Fay Jacobs is a very funny lady, as anyone who’s heard her
read can attest. Her targets may be queer but her delivery and timing are pure
Borscht Belt gold. The good news is she writes the same way, and even better
news is that her latest collection of columns, For Frying Out Loud: Rehoboth
Beach Diaries is finally out.
From the hilarious DIY project detailed in “Home Improvement
Porn” to the historical interest of “How Rehoboth Beach Lived Up To The Meaning
Of Its Biblical Name And Found ‘Room For All,’” to the heartfelt obituary for
her father, “Mort Rubenstein, 91, Madison Avenue Ad Man and Art Director,”
Jacobs covers all bases with wit, warmth and wisdom.
As with any collection of columns, readers will find the
mundane resting cheek-to-jowl with the monumental. It may seem disconcerting to
read philosophical musings on gay marches followed by paeans to Wii fitness and
the delights of scrapple (pork scraps and cornmeal mush formed and fried), but
what else is life but a series of everyday events connected by truly special
moments? Jacobs handles both with a stranglehold on pragmatism and a wicked
sense of humor.
One of the back cover blurbs likens Jacobs to Erma Bombeck,
everyone’s favorite suburban mother of the 1970s. Although I see a similarity,
Jacobs seems closer to Jean Kerr of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies fame.
Jacobs shares Kerr’s strong sense of place. Rehoboth Beach pervades these pages
so much you can almost smell the seashore. Not to mention wet schnauzers.
But no matter which of these ladies you prefer, you’ll find
Fay Jacobs’ For Frying Out Loud: Rehoboth Beach Diaries a funny, wisely
observed and politically astute read guaranteed to bring a smile to your face
and, at times, a lump in your throat.
But I’m still not sure about the scrapple.
Review by Jerry Wheeler