Naked Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the family's participation at church as detailed in "Chipped Beef."

Attending church is an event for the Sedaris family, although the family is so incredibly attractive that no one pays any attention to the reverend or the sermon. Eventually, the family has to move to the front pew, their backs to the rest of the congregation. It is the only hope the reverend has of regaining the stage.

2. Why are the narrator's sisters kidnapped in "Chipped Beef"? How do his parents react?

The Sedaris sisters are kidnapped for ransom because the family is incredibly rich and attractive. David's father and the family decides to allow the kidnappers to keep the girls since it is beneath their character to negotiate with terrorists. He throws the ransom note into the fire, and they hope for the best.

3. What does David's mother insist he stop doing to the cat? Why?

Mrs. Sedaris yells at David to stop dressing up the cat because the costume makes the feline look like a French whore. The Sedaris' last cat had been hit by a car, but David's mother claims it was suicide. The cat couldn't stand David any more and decided to end it all.

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