Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down!

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What's been getting Dave Barry all worked up lately? What can possibly induce him to rise up -- yes, actually out of his chair -- in indignation? Well, lots of things.
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What's been getting Dave Barry all worked up lately? What can possibly induce him to rise up -- yes, actually out of his chair -- in indignation? Well, lots of things.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Miami Herald columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Barry (Dave Barry Turns 50, etc.) contemplated titling this book"Tuesdays with Harry Potter"--but "the Legal Department had some problems with that." Barry is as funny as ever in these 73 columns, which targets everything from low-fat diets to low-flow toilets. Barry claims in his introduction that there is no better profession than humor columnist: "That is why so many people want my job. It looks so easy!... Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade." There's no such regressive retrenchment for Barry, as he expresses his "deep concern--and yes, outrage--about the forces of ignorance, injustice, oppression and profound moral decay that beset American society today." Thus, he covers such burning issues as airline "bistro service," dog shows, driving ("In addition to Road Rage, I frequently experience Parking Lot Rage"), Florida frogs, horse races, the IRS, online stock trading, Parent's Day at college ("I entered my son's apartment, which he shares with three roommates and approximately 200 used pizza boxes"), Paris, school science fairs and the specialty-coffee craze ("mutant beverages with names like `mocha-almond-honey-vinaigrette lattespressacino'"). Outstanding is a satire on academic film criticism, larded with absurd foreign phrases. MacNelly's caustic cartoons (he's another Pulitzer winner) are such perfect visual accompaniments to Barry's wry words that it's a surprise to find only 10 of them. A gifted and engaging humorist, Barry never ceases to entertain: no matter what subject, he can always find a side-splitting twist. 5-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Barry fans will enjoy this latest collection of columns from one of America's funniest journalists. The title originates from his rant about low-flow toilets in his notorious "Toilet Police" article. According to the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist (Big Trouble), it wasn't his first choice for a title, which would have been (and I am not making this up) Tuesdays with Harry Potter. Apparently, the publisher's legal department had some problems with that. The title represents Barry's rage not only about toilets but about airline "bistro service" meals, television ads for pharmaceuticals, and the general moral decay confronting America today. Fans will not be disappointed with Barry's forays into proper word usage when he dons his "Mr. Language Person" hat. And they will certainly rally around him on issues concerning the IRS, college dormitories, and Internet millionaires. But the toilet on the cover is really why this book should be in every library's humor collection. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/00.]--Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ., Chicago Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
From the Publisher
“Dave Barry is one funny human.”
San Francisco Examiner

“ONE OF BARRY’S BEST COLLECTIONS, this book should delight his devoted readers and will surely make the uninitiated sit up and take notice.”
–The Associated Press

“Reading Barry with another person in the room invariably elicits one of two responses: ‘What’s so funny’ or ‘For God’s sake, shut up’.”
The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345444097
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/30/2002
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Barry
Dave Barry has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. His columns for the Miami Herald were syndicated worldwide, and he is the author of a number of bestselling books, including the recently published Peter and the Starcatchers with Ridley Pearson. He lives in Miami, where he drives very nervously.
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    1. Hometown:
      Miami, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Armonk, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Politically Correct

So there I was, sitting under the hot lights, when suddenly Vicki Lawrence leaped to her feet and started yelling at me about the death penalty. This happened in Los Angeles, on the TV show Politically Incorrect. People yell a lot on that show. One time I was on there with Micky Dolenz; he yelled at me, too. Back when I used to watch The Monkees on TV, I never dreamed that one day, one of them would be yelling at me personally regarding current events. This is a great nation.

Guests are encouraged to express strong views on Politically Incorrect, because it makes for better entertainment. The host, Bill Maher, could name any topic at all -- say, monetary reform in the 17th-century Netherlands -- and we guests would immediately be at each other's throats over it, even if we were not totally certain what "Netherlands" are.

I was on Politically Incorrect because I was on a book tour. You go on whatever show they tell you to go on, in hopes that the host will at some point hold your book up to the camera, causing consumers all over America to rush to bookstores to purchase it. You will basically do anything to get your book on TV. For example, a few days earlier, I let a total stranger commit a major act of gel on my hair. This was on The Today Show, in New York. I was sitting in the makeup room, drinking coffee, trying to wake up, and the makeup person, after studying my head, called the hair person over, pointed at my hair, and said: "See? This is exactly what I was talking about."

Then they both laughed, and the hair person, before I knew what was happening, applied 37 pounds of Industrial Concrete Strength gel in my hair, and thus I appeared on national television looking like Eddie Munster. This would have been fine if the reaction of the world at large had been to rush out and purchase my book, but the actual reaction, to judge from the people I know who saw the show, was to ask: "What happened to your hair?"

But getting back to Vicki Lawrence: She was yelling at me about the death penalty, and I was yelling back at her, while simultaneously -- and I am NOT proud of this -- holding my hand over the mouth of another guest, Sol Wachtler, a former chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals who got into trouble over a woman and went to jail and, needless to say, wrote a book. I was silencing him so that I could better express my very strongly held views on the death penalty, although now I honestly cannot remember what those specific views were.

I do remember that before the show, when I was in the waiting room with Vicki Lawrence, somebody brought up her hit song, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," which has an extremely complicated plot. I have never met anybody who understood what that song is about, so I figured this was my big chance to find out.

"What is that song about?" I asked Vicki Lawrence.

"I have absolutely no idea," she said.

Here's a coincidence: Vicki Lawrence was once a regular on The Carol Burnett Show, and earlier that same day, I met: Carol Burnett! Yes! A comedy goddess! A star who, in my mind, is bigger than all the ex-Monkees combined. She and I were waiting to appear on the early-morning news show on Los Angeles TV station KTLA. I still don't know why Carol Burnett was there; I don't think she has a book out. I do know that we were both preceded on the show by a lengthy live news report in which the reporter wound up stripping down to her bathing suit and -- I am not making this up -- taking a shower with a live iguana. I don't know whether the iguana has a book out, but I would not bet against it.

The next day I was on a show called Home & Family, which is broadcast from a house on the Universal Studios lot, just a short distance from the house where Tony Perkins stabbed Janet Leigh to death in Psycho. I found myself sitting on a long sofa with -- these are just some of the people who were on that sofa -- two co-hosts; Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner; an Italian cookbook author; two large spherical home-improvement contractors wearing matching bright-yellow overalls that would be visible from Mars; two women who wrote a book about something like how to feed a family of 117 people for 23 cents a day; and a complete set of quintuplets.

We did not, to my recollection, discuss the death penalty, but we did change locations a lot; every now and then, for no apparent reason, we'd all jump up and move, herd-like, into another room, where we'd watch somebody show us how to do some Home and Family thing such as baste a turkey. For all I know, that show is still going on. After a while, without being formally excused, I just sort of drifted outside and left, moving briskly past the Psycho house.

Yes, the book tour was a lot of effort, but it definitely increased the overall public awareness of my name. I know this because my last appearance was on The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, and at one point, when we came back from a commercial, Tom Snyder, who was not joking, introduced me to the audience as "Chuck Berry." I was not offended; I'm a big fan of Chuck. But if he has a book out, I want a piece of the royalties.

Copyright © 2000 by Dave Barry.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
A Few Words About the Title xvii
Politically Correct 1
Let's Get Physical 5
My Final Answer Is ... Go Back to Your Spaceship, Regis 8
Rubber-Band Man 11
From Now On, Let Women Kill Their Own Spiders 14
Here's Mud in Your Eye 17
Eye of the Beholder 20
Fore! 23
Fore! II 27
Another Road Hog with Too Much Oink 30
Bon Appetit 33
Road Warrior 36
Weird Science 39
The Tool Man 42
The Toilet Police 46
Smuggler's Blues 49
Head to Head 53
Gone to the Dogs 56
The Nose Knows 59
Missing in Action 62
Why Abe Was a Geek 65
Rock of Ages 68
Mr. Language Person on Nitches, Yores, and Defective Sea Lions 72
Caught Between a Czech and a Slovakia 75
Parlez-Vous Francais? 78
An Aesthetically Challenged American in Paris (Part II) 81
A Blatant Case of Slanted Journalism 84
Prison Is Deductible 87
How to Handle the IRS 91
Coffee, Tea, or Dried Wood Chips? 94
Betting on the Ponies 97
My Son's College Apartment Has a Pleasant Pepperoni Motif 100
The Gulf Between Father and Son Is Called "Quantum Physics" 103
"Day Trading for Dummies," Including Nap Times, Bankruptcy Laws 106
Stay Tuned to FearPlex, for More Panic All Day, Every Day 110
The Wait for the Tub Is Forever Since the Frogs Moved In 113
A Titanic Splash (Again) 116
Blair Witch Mystery Solved: The Seal Did It 120
A Rolling Stone 123
Decaf Poopacino 126
Good for What Ails You 129
A Critic, a Crocodile, and a Kubrick--Voila! 132
Grammar: De Letter of De Law 135
The Unfriendly Skies 139
The Sky Is Falling 142
Pine Sap Transfusions Could Save Your Christmas Tree's Life 146
Don't Eat the Muskrats or the Poinsettia au Gratin 149
Everything I Know About Dieting I Learned on Leeza 152
The Banzai Chef 156
Turkey Day 159
Independence Day 162
High-Fivin', Bosom-Ogling Soccer Lizard Must Die! 165
Build Yourself a Killer Bod with Killer Bees 168
High-Tech Twinkie Wars Will Be No Picnic 171
Be an Internet Millionaire, and We May Like You 174
This Real Man Can Drive Any Truck Named Tonka 177
Wrestling's First Rule: Cover Your "Masculine Region" 180
You Don't Wanna Know What's Under His Hood 183
The Boob Tube 186
And Don't Forget ... Tassels for All the Generals 189
A Watchdog Never Drops His Guard--Except for Dessert 193
Nuke the Stalker Sparrow That Fowled Fabio 196
Batman to the Rescue 199
The Fountain of Youth 202
He Would Flee Bosoms, But His Car Is Booted 205
The Birth of Wail 208
Survival of Mankind Rides on the Successful Pickup Line 211
Baby Hormones Have Taken Over My Wife, and All I Can Say Is "Waaah!" 214
Today's Baby Showers Require an Ark to Haul Home the Loot 217
Labor Dispute 220
Voyage of the Stuffed 223
My Workday: Nap, Toenail Inspection, Nap, Underwear Check, Nap 226
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012



    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2000


    Some are better than others, but stop and think: has Dave Barry ever written a bad column? THE ANSWER IS NO! There wasn't a one in this new collection that didn't have at least a ton of laughs in it. If humor is your thing, Barry here proves once again, he's your man!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2000

    Another Dave Barry 'Best of' Collection...

    There's always room for another collection of Barry's best columns. And even though you can get all of these columns for free on his site, at the Miami Herald website, it is worth buying the book. This is my 15th Dave Barry book, and he continues to please. His humour style has become predictable, but still funny.

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