In this week’s Illustrated PEN, Guest Editor Robert Kirby presents an excerpt from Mimi Pond’s The Customer is Always Wrong.

Kirby writesIn this excerpt from the second book of her coming-of-age memoir, Mimi Pond’s alter-ego Madge grapples with a bad relationship and several eccentric and/or drug-addicted coworkers during a seriously terrible shift at her waitressing job. Pond’s memoirs are lively, entertaining, empathic, and very funny—beautifully capturing the angst of 20-something working-class artists in the anything-goes sensibility of the late ‘70s Bay Area.

Mimi Pond started her career as a cartoonist at the National Lampoon in the late ‘70s. In the years following, she wrote and illustrated five humor books and contributed regularly to dozens of national magazines and newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. In 2014, she published the first part of her coming-of-age memoir, Over Easy. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband―the painter Wayne White.