a funny, that Dave Barry.
phone conversation with him is like sitting in the
audience in a comedy club. In Florida.
while Barry may have mined the weirdness of the Sunshine
State for his syndicated Miami Herald column and some of
his 30-odd books, he is starting to write like a
cover of his new book depicts Barry with one finger
pointed, standing behind the title, "You Can Date
Boys When Youíre Forty."
heís joking? Donít be so sure.
this passage about his 14-year-old daughter having a boy
over to watch television "on the exact same
thinking of getting some kind of firearm," Barry
writes, "which every now and then I would casually
discharge into the family-room ceiling. Ha-ha! THAT will
give Mr. Short Man something to think about.
twenty-seven more years to go."
at his home in Coral Gables, the Pulitzer Prize winner
wasnít worried about humiliating his young Sophie.
is a 14-year-old girl who is going to have to go to
college someday, and this is what Daddy does," said
Barry, 66. "She is used to it, and my son is used
to it. Their lives are fodder."
the book of essays isnít just about parenting.
covers grammar, because all that texting is causing us
to become a country of unemployable illiterates.
covers air-travel FAQs, because people are idiots
("Q: When should I leave for the airport? A: You
should already be at the airport").
it puzzles over what women want, based on Barryís
interpretation of the wildly popular "Fifty Shades
think I am the only man who read it," Barry said.
"Itís an amazingly bad book. I know women who are
not stupid who read this book, and none of them could
give me an explanation."
worse, the female protagonist, Anastasia Steele, must
have been flown in from 1983.
was young and didnít even have email?" Barry
crowed. "He gave her a computer that she didnít
know how to use? Thatís very normal for a 21-year-old
take-away was that women want a guy who is extremely
handsome and has a great body and is a billionaire with
helicopters. But no bondage stuff.
asked women I know, ĎDo you want a guy who wants to
tie you up and hit you?í They said no. So I came out
concluding that I will never understand women."
includes the Kardashians.
are the cockroaches of celebrities," Barry said.
"They are adaptable. When the earth has gone too
close to the sun, there will be cockroaches and
but along with the complaining is the quick wit and the
Justin Bieber (circa 2010) haircut.
I said it.
did have this haircut first," Barry said. "I
have always had this haircut. Genetics gave me this
haircut. The height of it was 1964."
leaving a 20-year career at The Miami Herald in 2005,
Barry has been a stay-at-home dad while his wife,
Michelle Kaufman, works as a Herald sports columnist.
has written several novels for adults, including 1999ís
"Big Trouble," which was made into a movie
released in 2002; had a television show, "Daveís
World," gleaned from two books of his columns; and
co-wrote the "Peter and the Starcatchers"
series of childrenís books, which were made into a
Tony Award-winning play and will be adapted for film. He
also helped create International Talk Like a Pirate Day
and has run several mock campaigns for president of the
United States as a Libertarian.
he has stayed in Florida, the state that never seems to
have a shortage of ideas ó and stupid people who like
to keep dangerous reptiles as pets.
moron thought it was a good idea to have a python as a
pet and then they ran out of crack and let it go,"
Barry said. "Now we have hundreds of thousands of
them in the Everglades.
they can all vote."
be good for him, if he ever decides to run for president
again, on the Bieber-look-alike,
stay-away-from-my-daughter platform. Argh.