Dave Barry

The Taming of the Screw (1983)


Babies & Other Hazards of Sex (1984)

"The old wives' tale, of course, is that a female could avoid getting pregnant by not having sex, but this was disproved by a recent experiment in which Harvard University biologists placed 50 old wives in a locked condominium for two years, and 35 percent of them got pregnant anyway merely by looking at pictures of Raymond Burr."

"The female reproductive system is extremely complicated, because females contain a great many organs, with new ones being discovered every day.  Connecting these organs is an elaborate network of over seven statute miles of tubes and canals.  Nobody really understands this system.  Burly male doctors called 'gynecologists' are always groping around in there with rubber gloves, trying to figure out what's going on.  Or so they claim."

"You must remember that when you are pregnant, you are eating for two.  But you must also remember that the other one of you is about the size of a golf ball, so let's not go overboard with it.  I mean, a lot of pregnant women eat as though the other person they're eating for is Orson Welles."

"You must not let your wife think you find her unattractive just because she's getting tremendously fat.  From time to time, say to her: 'I certainly don't find you unattractive just because you're getting tremendously fat.'"

Stay Fit & Healthy Until You're Dead (1985)

"You can bet that the enemies of your country are fit.  People in Communist nations are on a strict fitness program of waiting in line a lot and darting their eyes about nervously.  We, too, must be fit, in case these Communists invade us.  The problem is that many of you have eaten so many Enormous Economy Size bags of corn chips and so much bean dip that you probably couldn't fit into the alleys without the aid of powerful hydraulic devices.  So you'd have to fight them in the streets, where you'd be easy prey for their blimp-seeking missiles."

"One thing you have probably wondered about for many years is why musicians who sing rock 'n' roll tend to be extremely thin, if not actually dead, whereas those who sing, say, opera, tend to be humongous wads of cellulite.  The reason for this phenomenon, scientists now believe, is that fat cells are actually destroyed by stupid lyrics.  In one recent experiment, scientists at the University of Iowa reduced a live 450-pound hog to an object the size of a harmonica in less than six hours by repeatedly playing the chorus to 'Shake Your Groove Thing' at it."

"Obviously, the only sane way to lose weight, and to keep it off, is to ... Hey!  Who are you guys?!!  Wait a minute!!  You can't just barge in here and ...


" ... your body has only a certain number (21,796,349,582) of cells.  Each of these cells can be either part of your body or part of your head.  This means if you make your body bigger, your head has to get smaller ... So you should cease your muscle development as soon as you start noticing the warning signs of severe head reduction, such as: Buying lawn ornaments; Having trouble following the plot on 'Dukes of Hazzard'; Answering to the name 'Vinnie'."

Claw Your Way To The Top (1986)

"When primitive humans first came along, they did not engage in business as we now think of it.  They engaged in squatting around in caves naked.  This went on for, I would say, roughly two or three million years, when all of a sudden a primitive person, named Oog, came up with an idea.  'Why not,' he said, 'pile thousands of humongous stones on top of each other in the desert to form great big geometric shapes?'  Well, everybody thought this was an absolutely terrific idea, and soon they were hard at work.  It wasn't until several years later that they realized they had been suckered into a classic 'pyramid' scheme, and of course by that time, Oog was in the Bahamas."

"THE STOCKHOLDERS get regular annual reports printed on top-quality paper informing them that despite less-than-projected earnings caused by impossible-to-foresee foreign-currency fluctuations exacerbated by a short-term restructuring of the long-term capitalized debenturization of the infrastructure and the discovery that certain moths may mate for life, the future continues to look very bright inasmuch as the corporation quite frankly has the best darned management team the human mind can conceive of."

"Years ago, corporation executives tended to be middle-aged white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males with as much individuality, style, and fair as generic denture adhesive.  Today's corporations, however, thanks to a growing awareness of the value of diversity and of avoiding giant federal lawsuits, have opened their executive ranks to people of all races and sexes, providing they are willing to act, dress, and talk like middle-aged white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males.  This is what you need to learn how to do."

Bad Habits (1987)

"An in-depth examination of the statements of Vice President George Bush reveals he has never publicly denied having spent two weeks in a motel with a lawn tractor."

"Good evening, I'm Mike Wallace.  Tonight on '60 Minutes' we'll explain why the Earth will be covered with a sheet of ice eight miles thick within the next fifteen years; we'll talk to a government researcher who has discovered that, because of a manufacturing defect, 93 percent of the refrigerators in the United States could explode at the slightest touch; and Andy Rooney will take an amusing look at whisk brooms."

"Rock 'n' roll comes from the blues, a kind of music developed by American slaves.  It is called 'blues' because it is very sad.  Evidently the slaves found slavery depressing."

"At fast-food restaurants, you never run the risk of finding peas on your plate."

"In the Middle Ages, for example, the only good jobs were king and nobleman, and there were very few openings.  So most people had to settle for serf or barbarian."

[wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana] "I, Charles Arthur Philip George Henry Maurice Billy Bob Norman Howard Elmer the Third, Duke of the Realm, Defender of the Throne, Earl of Pillsbury, Lord of the Manse, Prince of a Fellow, Knight of the Trouser, Top of the Morning, Vice President of Marketing, and much, much more, do."

Guide To Marriage And/Or Sex (1987)

"Smoking ... has pretty much lost its glamor, to the point where trying to get a strange male to light your cigarette in public would be viewed as comparable to trying to get him to pick your nose.  Which is a shame, really, because men are deprived of the chance to feel bold and masculine and necessary in the hostile bar environment.  It would be nice if we had a modern bar-meeting ritual.  Like maybe the woman could come in with a jar of relish, and she could sit there pretending she couldn't get the lid off, and the man could cpme along and offer to help, and soon they would be engrossed in a fascinating conversation."

"... astrology rests on a proven principle, namely if you know the exact positions where the moon and the various planets were when a person was born, you can get this person to give you money.  The way you do this is by making up random, semi-unintelligible pieces of advice, such as 'attend to future considerations.'"

"When you get involved in marital arguing, the role model you want to bear in mind is World War I, which got started when some obscure nobleperson, Archduke Somebody, got assassinated way the hell over in the Balkans, and the next thing you know people in places as far away as Cheyenne, Wyoming, were rushing off to war.  These were people who wouldn't have known a Balkan if they woke up in bed with one, but they were willing to get shot at because of what happened there,  It's the same with a good marriage argument.  If you really do it right, you should reach the point where neither of you has the vaguest recollection what the original disagreement was, but both of you are willing to get divorced over it."

Greatest Hits (1988)

"... I cannot frolic in the surf like a normal person because (a) I usually can't see the waves until they knock me over and drag me along the bottom and fill my mouth with sand, and (b) the current always carries me down the beach, away from my wife and towel and glasses.  When I emerge from the water, all I can see is this enormous white blur (the beach?) covered with darkish blobs (people?), and I run the risk of plopping down next to a blob that I think is my wife and throwing my arm over it in an affectionate manner, or a girlfriend of an enormous violent jealous weightlifter ..."

"Mr. A. Pemberton Trammel Snipe-Treadwater IV has established a trust fund for his six children under which each of them, upon reaching the age of 21, will receive a subcontinent.  One afternoon while preparing to lash a servant, Mr. Snipe-Treadwater has a vague recollection that in 1980 - or perhaps it was in 1978, he is not sure - he might have paid some taxes."

"I called Coca-Cola, and a woman named Darlene confirmed this item [name of soft drink in China].  She also said the company decided to go with a different name over in China, which I think is crazy.  'Bite the Wax Tadpole' is the best name I ever heard for a soft drink."

"Follow me closely here.  You know those little earphones they give you on airplanes so you can listen to old Bill Cosby routines?  OK, let's assume that 20 million people have flown on earphone flights in the past 15 years.  Let's further assume that each person leaves one-sixteenth of an ounce of earwax one these phones (this is an average, of course; Nancy Reagan leaves much less).  This means that in the last 15 years alone, the airlines have collected nearly 600 tons.  Do you have any idea how large a blob that makes?  Neither do I, so I called the folks at the Miami Public Library, who did a little research and informed me that it was the most disgusting question they has ever been asked."

Homes And Other Black Holes (1988)

"The best place to obtain a broker is at a junior high school, where you'll find that virtually all the teachers obtained real estate licenses once they realized what a tragic mistake they had made, selecting a profession that requires them to spend entire days confined in small rooms with adolescent children.  Often it is sufficient to just drive by the school and beep your horn; within seconds, brokers will come swarming out of doors and windows, eager to abandon their lesson plans on the Three Major Bones of the Inner Ear so they can help you find a home."

[The essence of real estate] "... paying large sums of money you really don't have to people you really don't know for reasons you really aren't sure of."

"Another ritual task you must perform during the Closing Ceremony is frown with feigned comprehension at various unintelligible documents that will be placed in front of you by random individuals wearing suits ..."

"Modern science has been unable to determine where workmen disappear to.  At one time it was believed that they went to other jobs, but we now know that there are no 'other jobs,' because if there were, then eventually, somewhere, some homeowner's house would actually get worked on, and you would read about this astounding event in The New York Times."

Slept Here (1989)


Turns 40 (1990)


Playboy (May 1990) [interview]

[Contractors] "... the way they work is, they cut off your water and electricity and food and oxygen supply, and then they rip your house into tiny Chiclet-sized pieces, and then they just leave for three or four months and don't come back, during which time you live in a motel.  Then, decades later, the contractor's descendants come back and finish the work in about a day."

[Childbirth] "There's the old system, under which I was born, where the man did not have to watch.  That was a good system.  The man's function was to sit in the waiting room and read old copies of Field & Stream and smoke a lot of Camels.  As for the woman, she did have to be in the delivery room - you understand that part, right? - but she given extensive narcotics and didn't wake up until the child was entering about the third grade."

[Children] "I have a theory that having a child lowers everyone's I.Q.  All you ever talk about is poo-poo.  A few days earlier, you were solving the Middle East situation."

[Writing] "... my editor at The Miami Herald edits me only if he doesn't thing it's funny.  He's the only person who has less taste than I do.  So if I wrote an entire column about eel boogers, he might say, 'No, you used eel boogers last week.'  That would be his only criticism.  But some newspapers edit me for taste, which usually means eliminating all the punch lines.  When they're done, there's this dead carcass of a column, not funny at all, the kind of thing you might use to console a widow."

[Flying] "Under deregulation, anybody who can produce two forms of identification is allowed to own an airline.  People whose only training is in installing aluminum rain gutters are running airlines.  The difference is, when rain gutters fall down, you can just nail them up again."

[Beer] "... all light beers, in my opinion, are rat urine.  I take beer seriously.  I take beer probably more seriously than religion.  In fact, there's no contest.  I'm one of those people who say if we can land a man on the moon, we should be able to make beer at least as good as Paraguay does."

[Voting] "... maybe do it by phone ... you'd have to pay fifty sents to vote.  It would be like calling a nine-hundred number to vote on whether you approve of Oprah's weight loss.  I mean, what kind of moron would call up about Oprah Winfrey's weight loss?  Why don't they just hook those lines up to a generator and jolt everyone who calls with sixty thousand volts?  Then we'd be on our way to beating the Japanese."

Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need (1991)


Talks Back (1991)

"Canada, as you know, is a major important nation boasting a sophisticated, cosmopolitan culture that was tragically destroyed last week by beavers ... I like to toss out little 'zingers' about Canada from time to time because I enjoy getting mounds of letters from irate Canadians who are Sick and Tired of Americans belittling Canada and who often include brochures full of impressive Canadian Facts such as that Canada is the world's largest producer of magnesium dentures as well as the original home of Michael J. Fox, Big Bird, Plato, etc."

"The giant cardboard mines of Peru are working overtime to meet our box needs, because we have a LOT of stuff that we need to take, including many precious heirlooms such as our calculator in which all the keys work perfectly except the '4,' and our complete mint-condition set of 1978 VISA statements (try replacing THOSE at today's prices).  Stuffwise, we are not a lean operation.  We're the kind of people who, if we were deciding what absolute minimum essential items we'd need to carry in our backpacks for the final, treacherous ascent to the summit of Mount Everest, would take along these aquarium filters, just in case."

"The Hawaiian language is quite unusual because when the original Polynesians came in their canoes, most of their consonants were washed overboard in a storm, and they arrived here with almost nothing but vowels.  All the streets have names like Kal'ia'iou'amaa'aaa'eiou, and many street signs spontaneously generate new syllables during the night.  This confuses the hell out of the tourists, who are easily identifiable because they're the only people wearing Hawaiian shirts."

[National Budget Deficit] "Some hostility was also directed toward me.  In some versions of my original contest column I had proposed, in a lighthearted manner, that we reduce the deficit by 'selling unnecessary states such as Oklahoma to the Japanese.'  This caused a number of Oklahomans to send in letters containing many correctly spelled words and making the central lighthearted point that I am a jerk.  They also sent me official literature stating that Oklahoma has enormous quantities of culture in the form of ballet, Oral Roberts, etc., and that the Official State Reptile - I am not making this up - is something called the 'Mountain Boomer.'  So I apologize to Oklahoma, and as a token of my sincerity I'm willing to sell the state my state, Florida, to the Japanese, assuming nobody objects to the fact that Japan would suddenly become the most heavily armed nation on Earth."

Does Japan (1992)


Gift Guide To End All Gift Guides (1994)

1.  Hideous Republican Pants
2,  Fake Arm
3.  A Local Elected Official
4.  Medically Accurate Model of One Pound of Fat
5.  Bug Gun
6.  Mall Madness
7.  Alligator Shoes
8.  Nine-And-A-Half-Inch Glow-In-The-Dark Squid
9.  Can of Pork Brains
10. Mister Dip Lip
11. Indestructible Holiday Fruitcake from Hell
12. Rubber Holiday Slugs
13. Roadkill Bingo
14. Ball of Owl Vomit
15. Holiday Pet Antlers
16. Officer Culp
17. Worms Eat My Garbage
18. Last Supper Wall Clock
19. Model of Defective Nuclear Power Plant
20. Creative Uses for Dead Sportsmen's Ashes
21. Rude Noise Slippers
22. Giant Fiberglass Goose
23. Private Cow Parts
24. High-Tech Prank Rat
25. Auto Security Spider
26. Bull Scrotum
27. Worm Blower
28. Rubber Chicken
29. Christopher Columbus Trick Candy
30. Cap Shaper  [I have one of these]
31. Pineapple Utility Light
32. High-Tech Loudspeaker Hat
33. Budweiser Slippers
34. Duck Butts
35. Inspirational Night Light
36. Those Amazing Leeches
37. Cow Parts Game
38. Chin Firmer
39. Beauty Mask
40. Internal Revenue Service Christmas-Tree Ornament
41. Tongue Cleaner
42. Flame Jet Weeder
43. Head Lice Coloring Book
44. Cracker Thrower
45. Dog Sweat Suit
46. Dog Life Vest
47. Figure-Forming Brief
48. Mr. Blinker Cocktail Lights
49. Doggie Bag
50. Nose Spreader

Is Not Making This Up (1994)


Complete Guide To Guys (1995)

[Prehistoric Guys] "... the basic food-gathering responsibility fell on the shoulders of the males, who would go off for days at a time to hunt the mighty dinosaur.  This was hard work.  They had to dig an enormous deep hole, then disguise it by covering it with frail branches (sometimes they would also use a false beard.), then hide in the bushes, waiting for a mighty dinosaur to come along and fall into the trap.  The hunters often waited for long periods, because, unbeknownst to them, dinosaurs had become extinct several million years earlier."

"Steroids are substances that some guys put in their bodies in an effort to develop bulging, rippling, sharply defined muscles like the ones Michael Keaton wore when he was Batman.  This is foolish, because women are not attracted to rippling, sharply defined muscles.  Women prefer a type of male physique that is known, in body-building circles, as 'the humor writer.'  This is a softer, more-rounded, aerodynamic shape, similar to the one used in the popular Ford Taurus station wagon."

"Childbirth, as a strictly physical phenomenon, is comparable to driving a United Parcel truck through an inner tube."

"Zippy, a tiny fluffy male, basically never stops peeing.  He is like a small walking wad of cotton with urine constantly dribbling out of it.  Sometimes he encounters the next-door neighbors' dog, Prince, and the two of them engage in a pee-fest.  They'll sniff each other for a moment, rush off in a purposeful manner to squirt various bushes, then rush back together to sniff each other some more, then rush to the bushes again, back and forth, a pair of leaking, low-IQ testosterone tornadoes, each one firmly convinced that he is the biggest, baddest stud on the planet."

"When the woman 'cleans' a bathroom, she will go in there with numerous specialized products and implements for cleansing, scouring, shining, and deodorizing the glass, porcelain, and tile.  She will spend hours just on the 'grout.'  She will eradicate dirt on the molecular level.  She will track down and destroy each individual mildew spore.  She can actually hear germs, and she can make them scream.  She will leave the commode clean enough to be used in a surgical procedure.  Whereas the guy, if instructed to clean the bathroom, will go in there with a single paper towel and the first spray bottle he finds.  It might be Windex, or it might be Raid.  The guy will spend about three minutes in the bathroom, squirting stuff randomly out of his spray bottle and then wiping it up with his towel.  He will pay no attention to whether or not he is actually getting the bathroom cleaner.  There could be a dead human body in the bathtub, and the guy would spray and wipe it."

In Cyberspace (1996)

"If you're a novice in Cyberspace, you may think that buying a computer is a scary and confusing process.  But the truth is that if you take a little time to learn a few basic principles and some of the technical lingo, buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth."

"Software - These are the PROGRAMS that you put on the HARD DRIVE by sticking them through the little SLOT.  The function of the software is to give instructions to the CPU, which is a set of three initials inside the computer that rapidly processes billions of tiny facts, called BYTES, and within a fraction of a second sends you an ERROR MESSAGE that requires you to call the TECHNICAL SUPPORT HOTLINE, which is located on the PLANET GAZOMBO."

"As I've grown older, I've noticed that I never go fishing anymore.  I've spent a lot of time pondering why this is, and I've finally reached the conclusion that it's because I hate fishing.  I mean, you sit out in an unstable boat on an algae-encrusted, rank-smelling lake wearing a big invisible sign that says 'EAT ME' in mosquito language, and you impale yourself on nasty little hooks, and you spend hours trying to outwit an animal with the IQ of ketchup, and then if you finally accomplish your objective, you wind up with this ... this fish, lying there in your boat, gasping, dying slowly, staring at you with whichever eyeball is on your side, and you can almost hear it saying to you, in a gasping but very sarcastic fish voice, 'Well, I hope that was fun for you, Mr. Sportsperson.'"

Is From Mars And Venus (1997)

"I'm not saying that the English are perfect.  Their electrical fixtures look and function like science-fair projects; their plumbing apparently was designed thousands of years before the discovery of water.  Also their television programming is not so great.  The TV in my room got four channels, and one afternoon the program lineup, I swear was:

* Channel 1: A man talking about problems in the British gelatin industry;
* Channel 2: The national championships of an extremely slow-moving game called 'snooker' (pronounced 'Wooster');
* Channel 3: Another man (or possibly the same man) talking about problems in the British gelatin industry; and
* Channel 4: A show (this is the one I ended up watching) in which five people were taste-testing various brands of canned beef gravy and ranking them on a scale of 0 through 10."

"... Popular Science states that headless cockroaches can, when prompted by electrical shocks, learn to run a maze.  Without heads!  They can learn a maze in thirty minutes.  I seriously doubt that headless humans could beat that time, although just to be sure we should definitely run some experiments using volunteer Tobacco Industry scientists."

"... the blockbuster motion picture Independence Day ... definitely had a powerful effect on me.  I had been skeptical about all the 'hype,' but when the two-and-a-half-hour movie was over, I found myself sitting pensively in the the theater for quite a while, pondering the question: How am I going to get out of here when my shoes are bonded in place by one of the most powerful adhesives known to science, Movie Floor Crud, which is a mixture of Pepsi, Milk Duds, and year-old nasal secretions snorted out by distraught moviegoers during the ending of The Bridges of Madison County?  A lot of people just leave their shoes on the theater floor and walk out barefoot."

Turns 50 (1998)


Big Trouble (1999)

[from the dust jacket] "In his career, Dave Barry has done just about everything - written bestselling nonfiction, won a Pulitzer Prize, seen his life turned into a television series.  And now, at last, he has joined ong list of literary figures from Tolstoy to Jane Austen who have made the transition from humor columnist to novelist ... and done it with a style and an inventiveness that establish that, yes, he is very good at that, too.  In the city of Coconut Grove, Florida, these things happen: A struggling ad man named Eliot Arnold drives home from a meeting with the Client from Hell.  Eliot's teenage son, Matt, fills a Squirtmaster 9000 for his turn at a high school game called Killer.  Matt's intended victim, Jenny Herk, sits down with her mom in front of the TV for what she hopes will be a peaceful evening for once.  Jenny's alcoholic and secretly embezzling stepfather, Arthur, emerges from the maid's room, angry for being rebuffed.  Henry and Leonard, two hit men from New Jersey, pull up to the Herks' house for a real game of Killer, Arthur's embezzling apparently not having been quite so secret to his employers after all.  And a homeless man named Puggy settles down for the night in a treehouse just inside the Herks' yard.  In a few minutes, a chain of events will begin that will change the lives of each and every one of them, and leave some of them wiser, some of them deader, and some of them definitely looking for a new line of work.  With a wicked wit, razor-sharp observations, rich characters, and a plot with more twists than the Inland Waterway, Dave Barry makes his debut a complete and utter triumph."

Book of Bad Songs (2000)

1.  Feelings
2.  My Love
3.  What's New Pussycat
4.  Land of 1,000 Dances
5.  (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden
6.  A Horse with No Name
7.  Young Girl
8.  Muskrat Love
9.  Love Child
10. I Am, I Said
11. Dreams of the Everyday Housewife
12. Hey Paula
13. Walk Like a Man
14. Ballerina Girl
15. Cat's in the Cradle
16. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
17. Honey
18. Alone Again, Naturally
19. I Got You Babe
20. The Name Game
21. Oh, My Papa
22. How Much Is That Doggie in the Window
23. That's Amore
24. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow
25. The Bird's the Word
26. Novelty Songs
27. Country Music
Bad Song Survey Results: The Big Vote Getters
1.  MacArthur Park
2.  Yummy Yummy Yummy (I Got Love in My Tummy)
3.  (You're) Having My Baby
4.  Timothy
5.  Afternoon Delight
6.  You Light Up My Life
7.  Tutti Frutti
8.  Y,M.C.A.
9.  Achy Breaky Heart
10. Muskrat Love
11. Honey
12. Any "Bobby" song
Most Hated:
1.  In the Year 2525
2.  I've Never Been to Me
3.  Seasons in the Sun
4.  Bad Songs Involving Horses
5.  The Candy Man
6.  I Am Woman
7.  My Ding-a-Ling
8.  My Sharona
9.  Morning Train
10. The Night Chicago Died
11. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
12. Disco Duck
13. Playground in My Mind
14. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
15. Signs
16. American Woman
17. I Love You Period
18. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
19. Wind Beneath My Wings
20. Norman
Weenie Songs
1.  Sometimes When We Touch
2.  All Barry Manilow songs
3.  Alone Again (Naturally)
4.  All by Myself
5.  Diary
6.  If
7.  Baby I'm-a Want You
8.  Precious And Few
Love Songs
Songs Women Really Hate
Teen Death Songs
Songs People Get Wrong

Is Not Taking This Sitting Down (2000)

"When I finally get into the supermarket, I often experience Shopping Cart Rage.  This is caused by the people - and you KNOW these are the same people who always drive in the left-hand lane - who routinely manage, by careful placement, to block the entire aisle with a single shopping cart.  If we really want to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States, we should employ Miami residents armed with shopping carts; we'd only need about two dozen to block the entire Mexican border."

"I pledge that from now on I will strive for geographical accuracy in my columns.  Your parents can also help to raise our national 'Geography IQ': The next time your kids ask if they can watch TV or play a video game or take their insulin, you should say: 'No! Not until you name all six major continents!' (Answer: America, Central America, South America, Latin America, Euthanasia and Shaquille O'Neal)."

"French food is pretty tasty, except for the snails, which I do not believe the French actually eat.  I believe the French sit around their restaurants pretending to eat out of empty snail shells and making French sounds of enjoyment such as 'Yumme!' (literally 'Yum!').  But when foreign tourists order this 'delicacy,' the waiters bring them shells that still contain actual unretouched snails, which the tourists eat, causing the French people to duck under their tables and laugh until red wine spurts from their nostrils."

"As you know, Titanic I garnered a record 56 Academy Awards, including Best Major Motion Picture Lasting Longer Than Both O.J. Trials Combined; Most Total Water; Most Realistic Scene of Bodies Falling Off the End of a Sinking Ship and Landing on Big Ship Parts with a Dull Clonking Sound; and Most Academy Awards Garnered.  The movie has made a huge star out of Leonardo DiCaprio, who has shown the world that he is not just a pretty face; he is a pretty face who, if he had been in my high school, would have spent a lot of time being held upside down over the toilet by larger boys."

The Greatest Invention In The History Of Mankind Is Beer (2001)

"If you just got here from Mars, you wouldn't know, from watching these [beer] commercials, that beer is meant for internal consumption.  You'd think it was a chemical Hot Babe Attractant, similar to what moths use to locate each other so they can mate."

"I hate to engage in gender stereotyping, but when women plan the menu for a recreational outing, they usually come up with a nutritionally balanced menu featuring all the major food groups, including the Sliced Carrots Group, the Pieces of Fruit Cut into Cubes Group, the Utensils Group, and the Plate Group.  Whereas guys tend to focus on the Carbonated Malt Beverages Group and the Fatal Snacks Group."

"In terms of sharing the housework burden, having a man around is like having a 197-pound lint ball permanently bonded to the sofa, operating the TV remote control, and periodically generating dirty underwear."

"I think your best bet is to give women little bottles of liquids, which are available at cosmetics counters.  They have names like 'Endless Night of Heavy Petting' and 'Sidelong Glance' and 'Eau de Water,' but they all smell pretty much the same."

"I am crazy mad in love with the hunting community.  This is because hunters, in their neverending quest for new and better ways to outwit woodland creatures with the intelligence of chewing gum, have created a market for all kinds of wonderful products.  Urine, for example.  I am deadly serious.  Look through any hunting-supplies catalog, and you will find a variety of fine deer urines for sale.  Hunters sprinkle the urine around to attract deer, which the hunters can then shoot in a sportsmanlike fashion."

Hits Below The Beltway (2001)


My Teenage Son's Goal in Life Is to Make Me Feel 3,500 Years Old (2001)

"I know how we can solve our national crisis in educational funding: Whenever the schools needed money, they could send a letter to all the parents, saying, 'Give us a contribution right now, or we're going to hold a Science Fair.'  They'd raise billions."

"I am constantly seeing young people with the bills of their baseball caps pointing backward.  This makes no sense, young people!  If you examine your cap closely; you will note that it has a piece sticking out the front, called the 'bill.'  The purpose of the bill is to keep sun off your face, which, unless your parents did a great many drugs in the '60s (ask them about it!), is located on the front of your head.  Wearing your cap backward is like wearing sunglasses on the back of your head, or wearing a hearing aid in your nose.  (Perhaps you young people are doing this also.  Uncle Dave doesn't want to know.)"

"Out West, we encountered numerous families that, after many hours together in the minivan, had reached Critical Hostility Mass.  We saw a family stopped at a roadside area overlooking a mountain vista, but nobody was looking at it.  Two boys were slumped in the backseat with their baseball caps jammed over their eyes, listening to individual compact disc players.  A girl, maybe twelve, was stomping tearfully away from the van, followed by Mom, waving bread and shouting, 'IF YOU DON'T EAT THIS SANDWICH, I'M NOT MAKING YOU ANOTHER ONE!'  A few feet away, Dad was sitting on a rock, chewing slowly, staring at the ground.  Togetherness!"

"So your school is having a science fair!  Great!  The science fair has long been a favorite educational tool in the American school system, and for a good reason.  Your teachers hate you.  Ha ha!  No, seriously, although a science fair can seem like a big 'pain,' it can help you understand important scientific principles, such as Newton's First Law of Inertia, which states, 'A body at rest will remain at rest until 8:45 P.M. the night before the science-fair project is due, at which point the body will come rushing to the body's parents, who are already in their pajamas, and shout, 'I just remembered the science fair is tomorrow and we gotta go to the store right now!''"

Tricky Business (2002)

[from the dust jacket] "Critics everywhere welcomed the fiction debut of Dave Barry, when they were able to recover, that is: 'A book so enjoyable you have to put it dpwn on the floor to keep from finishing it too fast and being reduced to staring mournfully at its cover, wishing you could read it again for the first time' (San Francisco Chronicle).  But Dave isn't finished with them yet, not when there is Tricky Business to conduct.  The Extravaganza of the Seas is a 5,000-ton cash cow, a top-heavy tub whose sole function is to carry gamblers three miles from the Florida coast, take their money, then bring them back so they can find more money.  In the middle of a tropical storm one night, these are among the people who will be involved with it: Fay Benton, a single mom and cocktail waitress desperate for something to go right for a change; Johnny and the Confusions, a ship's band with so little talent they are, well, the ship's band; Arnold and Phil, two refugees from the Beaux Arts Senior Center; Lou Tarant, a wide, bald man who has killed nine people, though none recently; and an assortment of uglies with names like Tark and Kaz whose job is to facilitate the ship's true business, which is money laundering or drug smuggling or ... something.  What happens to them all in the midst of the fiercest storm in years, the unpredictable ways in which this trip will change their lives and send them ricocheting off one another like a giant game of pinball, is the story of this astonishing, wickedly satisfying, all-too-human novel by 'one of the funniest writers alive' (Carl Hiaasen).  Or, in the words of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 'Barry generates not only much hilarity and biting social commentary, but real suspense as well.  He is not just an amusing social observer; he's a novelist of genuine skill.  If he can build upon this level of quality in subsequent novels, he could become the most important American humorist since Mark Twain.'  Mark Twain?  As Dave would say, 'I am not making this up.'"

On Dads (2003)

"Unless you are a Bad Parent, you must throw a birthday party for your two-year-old, and you must invite other two-year-olds, and THEY MUST HAVE FUN, even if they don't want to."

" ... as far as I can tell, two-year-olds never eat anything."

"I studied physics for an ENTIRE YEAR in Pleasantville High School under the legendary Mr. Heideman.  We learned that there are five simple machines: the lever, the pulley, the doorbell, the hammer, and the toaster.  We learned that the most powerful force in the universe is static electricity, which Mr. Heideman demonstrated by getting a volunteer to place his or her hand on the generator, which caused the volunteer's hair to stand on end, unless the volunteer was a girl with the popular early '60s 'bee-hive hairstyle held rigidly in place by the other most powerful force in the universe, hair spray."

"When we got back to his [college son Robert] room, one of his roommates opened the box and held up the vacuum cleaner.  We all looked at it, and then at the room.  Then we enjoyed a hearty laugh.  Then the roommate set the vacuum cleaner down on the floor, where it will be swallowed by laundry and never seen again.  This is fine.  These kids are not in college to do housework: They are there to learn.  Because they are our Hope for the Future.  And that future is going to smell like socks."

" ... the ultimate gift [for women] is jewelry; it's totally useless."

Boogers Are My Beat (2003)

[long-distance phone charges] "I always say no.  I tell them that I WANT a big long-distance bill, and that I often place totally unnecessary calls to distant continents just to jack it up.  I tell them that if my long-distance bill is not high enough, I deliberately set fire to a pile of cash.  Then I hang up.  But of course this does not stop them.  The next night, they call again.  That's how courteous they are."

"The first rule of buying gifts for women is: THE GIFT SHOULD NOT DO ANYTHING, OR, IF IT DOES, IT SHOULD DO IT BADLY."

"In life, as in baseball, we must leave the dugout of complacency, step up to the home plate of opportunity, adjust the protective groin cup of caution, and swing the bat of hope at the curve ball of fate, hoping that we can hit a line drive of success past the shortstop of misfortune, then sprint down the basepath of chance, knowing that at any moment we may pull the hamstring muscle of inadequacy and fall face-first onto the field of failure, where the chinch bugs of broken dreams will crawl into our nose."

"The scientific community, having run out of things to clone, is now trying to identify the World's Funniest Joke.  I refer to a project called Laugh Lab, being conducted by Dr. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire (pronounced 'Scotland')."

Money Secrets (2006)


History Of The Millennium So Far (2007)


I'll Mature When I'm Dead (2010)


Lunatics (2012)


Insane City (2013)


You Can Date Boys When You're 40 (2014)


Live Right And Find Happiness (2015)


Best State Ever (2016)


For This We Left Egypt? (2017)

This is not a really funny book unless you are seriously Jewish.  In that case it is a scream, I suppose.  All observant Jewish families must have a "Haggadan" that outlines the order ("Seder") of the ritual meal that everybody has to eat on this special day.  Dave Barry is not Jewish but, in a moment of weakness, he agreed to help his friends Alan Zweibel and Adam Mansbach rake in $19.99 ($27.99 for Canadian Jews) per Jewish family who were formerly bored by their old, non-humorous Haggadan.  (You can tell the Dave-Barry parts because they include numerous hilarious footnotes,)  And, to make things worse, the book is designed to be read from back to front.  I am not making this up.  [JAM 10/17/2017]

Lessons From Lucy (2019)