The New York Times bestse;;er from "the
funniest man in America" (New York Times).
Not everyone has to be
dragged kicking and screaming through adulthood. Let Pulitzer Prizewinning
humorist and nationally unrecognized voice of maturity Dave Barry make the
journey a little easier-and a lot funnier-with his hilarious takes on parenting,
changing self-image, the battle of the sexes, technology, health care,
celebrityhood-and even vampires!
Jen Lancaster and Dave Barry: Author
Jen Lancaster is a former vice president at an investor
relations firm and a New York Times bestselling author. Her books include My
Fair Lazy, Pretty in Plaid, and Bitter is the New Black. She replaced Dave Barry
as writer for Humor Hotel, a nationally syndicated humor column.
Read on to see Jen Lancaster's questions for Dave Barry, or turn the tables to
see what he asked her.
Jen: The Pulitzer Prize looks a lot like those
gold-colored one-dollar Sacagawea coins. Do you still have yours or did you
accidentally use it in a parking meter?
Dave: I actually lost my
Pulitzer Prize for several years. I put it in a safe place, then I forgot where
that was. My wife eventually found it and put it an even safer place. But your
question disturbs me, because it’s NOT a coin: It looks more like a
middle-school diploma. So now I’m wondering: Is it really a Pulitzer Prize?
Maybe I was the victim of an elaborate practical joke wherein Columbia
University gave me a middle-school diploma and just TOLD me it was a Pulitzer.
That would make sense, because (a) nobody ever really believes I won a Pulitzer,
and (b) in university circles Columbia is known as a big prankster.
Does it indeed take a village?
Dave: I actually grew up in a village,
specifically the village of Armonk, New York. Everybody in Armonk knew everybody
else back then, which meant that if, as a high-school student, you (and here I
am using “you” in the sense of “I”) experimented a tad (and here I am using “a
tad” in the sense of “way”) too heavily with adult beverages one night in the
fall of 1964 and passed out on a lawn that—of all the lawns you could have
picked in Armonk—was the lawn belonging to Chief of Police Hergenhan, you would
not be arrested; instead, Chief Hergenhan, upon discovering you drooling
facedown into his crabgrass at 1:30 a.m., would call your dad to come get you,
because he knew your dad, and he also knew that you would spend approximately
the next two weeks retching, which was punishment enough. So I would say yes.
Jen: If X = Agent Jack Bauer and Y = shooting someone in the thigh, how
many perimeters need to be set up to bring Edgar back to life?
Dave: It depends on how long it takes Chloe to get a visual on the satellite and
upload the schematics.
Jen: Children seem to be more delicate than when
we were kids. Do you advocate encasing them in Lucite until their eighteenth
Dave: These kids today don’t know how easy they have it, with
their iPhones and their iPads and their atmosphere consisting of 21 percent
oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent various other gases. When I was a
youngster we didn’t have ANYTHING. We didn’t even have HAIR. We sat around naked
in the cold, sucking on rocks for nourishment. But you never heard us complain,
and by God we licked the Great Depression and won World War II. No, wait, that
was our parents’ generation. But we faced challenges of our own. Junior year
abroad, for example. That was no picnic. So you don’t even want to KNOW what I
Jen: Shirts or skins?
Dave: You always want to be on the
skins team, because that way you’re guarding a guy on the shirts team, which
means if you touch him you’re touching his shirt, which is an okay way to touch
another guy (for very a brief period). If you’re on the shirts team, you have to
guard a guy on the skins team, which means you might come into contact with his
actual skin, which is wrong on several levels, not the least of which is that he
will be oozing perspiration slime, like a giant eel with b.o. This is the main
reason why guys turn to golf.
Jen: Will men use GPS or do they consider
this the modern-day equivalent of stopping to ask for directions at the gas
station—which is to say, an affront to their masculinity?
acceptable to use a GPS because it is an incomprehensibly complex electronic
device and therefore manly. But it is NOT acceptable to use the same GPS for
long periods of time. Every six months or so you must buy a newer model with
more features that you don’t need and a larger screen. Screen size is the
important thing. Your goal is to eventually have a GPS with a screen so large
that you can’t see out your windshield; when you drive you’re just looking at
this humongous GPS screen. But you are still wondering, deep inside, when
they’re going to come out with a bigger one.
Jen: Bret Michaels’s fans
still throw their panties onstage when he performs. What do Rock Bottom
Remainders groupies toss?
Dave:We have had panties thrown at us. But
they were labeled “MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY 30 PEOPLE.”
(Photo of Jen Lancaster
© Jeremy Lawson)
(Photo of Dave Barry © Raul Ribiera/Miami
MATURE!! This is the infamous Flying Spaghetti
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