Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down

Overview

Following the bestselling success of Dave's novel, Big Trouble, here is a hilarious new collection of columns from the writer critics have called "the funniest man in America."

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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Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down

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Overview

Following the bestselling success of Dave's novel, Big Trouble, here is a hilarious new collection of columns from the writer critics have called "the funniest man in America."

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. For instance . . .

The plague of low-flow toilets

Day trading and other careers that never require you to take off your bathrobe

The parent-misery quotient of school science fairs

Pine-sap transfusions for tired Christmas trees

The real skinny on the IRS, Donald Trump, the airlines, and so much more. .

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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.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491509784
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 6/1/2014
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (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.

Biography

In the introduction to Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down, the author addresses the desirability of his job as a humor writer and syndicated columnist. "It looks so easy!" he wrote. "...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."

Yes, Barry is juvenile at times -- but he has achieved the kind of success that can only come from combining a juvenile mind with intelligence, timing, and a keen eye for the absurd. Favorite Barry targets include government inanity, dogs, guys, the Internet, and other oddities of life. He also specializes in weird news and urban myths involving UFO hunters, Pop-Tart science, and toilets. Many of these essays feature the line that has become his catchphrase, "I am not making this up." (Unless, of course, he is introducing something serious and daunting such as a book about the federal government, in which case he reassures that he has made everything up.)

Usually, though, he's not making it up. What he's doing is making it very funny. Whether the target is Congress or commercials, Barry refuses to take anything seriously, least of all himself – but he manages to convey some pretty indicting truths in the process. He's a master of irony and visual punchlines, sometimes interrupting himself with lists, snippets of dialogue, or other on-topic digressions. On the subject of turning 50 and dealing with waning eyesight (a "good thing" about aging, because "you can't read anything"), Barry describes finding restaurant menus suddenly printed "in letters the height of bacteria." He continues: "For some reason, everybody else seemed to be able to read the menus. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I started ordering my food by simply pointing to a likely looking blur.

ME (pointing to a blur): I'll have this.
WAITER: You'll have "We Do Not Accept Personal Checks"?
ME: Make that medium rare."

Barry has had the most successful and prolific publishing career of any working newspaper columnist, and his humor never seems to go out of style. In 1999, he decided to try his hand at fiction. The result was Big Trouble, a comic thriller à la Carl Hiassen (though filled more with gags than guns) that Entertainment Weekly proclaimed "... not only very funny, [but] sure-footed, even-handed, levelheaded, and other leading book review adjectives." In 2004, he and Ridley Pearson collaborated on Peter and the Starcatchers, a clever prequel to Peter Pan that spawned two additional novels and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Along with several other published authors, Barry is a member of the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. In assessing the band's talents, he has been quoted as saying: "They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud."

Good To Know

The Rock Bottom Remainders was originally organized by a publicist to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention. The members -- which include (or have included) Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Mitch Albom, and Matt Groening -- even took their show on the road at one point, turning it into the now out-of-print Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.

Some things never change: Barry was elected class clown by his Pleasantville High School class in 1965.

Barry got his start in journalism at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then worked as a business writing consultant before joining the Miami Herald in 1983.

Attempts to convert Barry's humor to the screen have been less than memorable. The early '90s CBS sitcom based on two of his books and starring Harry Anderson, Dave's World, was short-lived; the spring 2002 release Big Trouble, starring Tim Allen, didn't fare well at the box office. Barry did, however, get a cameo in the latter.

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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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