Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Dave Barry is My Hero

When I was younger I never knew that writing could be, well, funny. Sure I had read such childhood staples as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Super Fudge.  And in 5th grade I anxiously awaited the last half hour of each day when my teacher would read a little of James and the Giant Peach or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Hearing about Grandpa Joe, Grandma Josephine, Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina lying in one bed too old to move, while now I perceive as somewhat creepy, was comical to my 5th grade mind. As was the idea of a garden where everything was edible; lollipop flowers; trees that produced gummy bears; cream-filled mushroom caps and a chocolate river. Who am I kidding, I still think that is as cool as hell and would love to have one. True I would probably gain about 100lbs, but who would know? I mean, if I had all of that why would I ever need to leave my house again?

As I got older, and by older, I’m talking middle school and high school, we got into books such as Of Mice and Men, Sons and Lovers, A Tale of Two Cities, and, what in my opinion is one of the worst books ever written, The Sound and the Fury. (Curse you Faulkner!) I’m sorry, but any book where you have to go through and use 3 or 4 different color highlighters before you even begin reading it because the author drifts from one subject or time period every other sentence or paragraph is not a great literary work. It is a cocaine or acid trip, or at least that is what I hear, but not literary brilliance. Anyway, not exactly knee slapping, belly laughing, tears coming out of your eyes humor.

Then, one day, while skimming through a newspaper, a headline caught my attention: The Easter Bunny Caper. The first line read: 

"Like most people, you probably often ask yourself: ``What, exactly, are my legal rights if I am wearing a bunny outfit?''

Bunny costume (in case you couldn't figure that out)
Not your typical Detroit News article. I was intrigued. I thought, wow, what are my rights while wearing a bunny suit? This is information that may one day prove valuable.

As I continued reading the story of a man and his friend that were pulled over for allegedly wearing, you guessed it, a bunny suit in a town that apparently frowns upon that, I began laughing so hard, orange juice came out of my nose (did I not mention I was drinking orange juice), tears were streaming down my face and my gut hurt so bad I almost threw up. All of which to me, are tell tale signs that something is really funny. 

"Screw the candy! Get me outta here."
I began reading the weekly column of, what to me, was this prolific comedic genius writer named Dave Barry. I eventually moved on to his books which describe such things as the time when he was at a snooty sommelier competition and everyone was critiquing the wine that was being served. Some said it was too oaky; others thought it was too dry. Dave offered up his own description to the pretentious crowd: “Bat urine.”

I love this guy!

So thank you, Dave Barry, for showing me that writing can be funny and entertaining. I like to hope that someday, someone will compare my writing to your’s and in a "She has the writing style and wit of Dave Barry" and not, "This girl's writing sucks! She is certainly no Dave Barry." To this day, you taught me that it is perfectly acceptable to prefer humorous, sarcasm infused literature greats as Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits, Shit My Dad Says and Go the Fuck to Sleep over such classics as Catcher in the Rye, The Good Earth and as I mentioned above, The Sound and the Fury. After all, sometimes I think people read those books so they can say they are well read and appear intellectual when really, like me, they would much rather be reading the funny papers. Will that insatiable Garfield ever get his lasagna? What mischief will Marmaduke get into today?

Most famous bunny suit of all?
Ralphie- A Christmas Story
Now, if you will excuse me, being fully aware of my rights, I am going to go test exactly what I can get away with wearing a bunny suit. Don't worry. I have my lawyer on speed dial-just in case.


  1. I despised those long winded books. It didn't help that I graduated as an English major, and had to read all that old dry English literature. "As I lay upon the soiled ground, I caught a glimpse of a flying gull. It reminded me of my dearest aunt, Plevaricus."

    Bah anyway, I prefer books that don't take entire chapters to describe a leaf on a tree. That's why it bothers me so much that people believe these novels are great just because their old. Same thing goes for movies. Citizen Kane is not the greatest movie of all time just because it's old and boring. Sorry, I'll end my rant.

    I'm interested in seeing how the bunny costume works out for you!

  2. OK, first of all, how much did his aunt's parents hate her? Plevaricus? It sounds like a disease, not a name. "I went to the doctor today and found out I have Plevaricus." "Dude, that sucks. Can they treat it with penicillin?"

    Second, unfortunately for me, I did not realize that rabbit hunting season lasted until February 29th in Georgia, so I didn't get vary far in the bunny suit. I managed to get away unscathed from the hunters, but I had some overly friendly male bunnies (bucks) looking for some tail, try to chase me home.

  3. I love Dave Barry. I also hate The Sound and the Fury. It seems like we read all the same things, although I tended to read sci-fi and fantasy in addition to the classics. That's why Douglas Adams is my all time favorite author. But Dave Barry is my second favorite humorist.

    1. It does seem like we like the same stuff! You are my new best friend.LOL OK, I have to ask. You send Dave Barry is your 2nd favorite humorist. Did you mean in order of authors like Douglas Adams is your 1st and Dave Barry is your 2nd? Or do you have a number 1 humorist and Dave Barry is your 2nd favorite humporist. If it's the 2nd one, please tell me who the other humorist is so that I can check that person out:)

      Also if you haven't yet, check out "Sh@# my Dad Says..." It's pretty funny.

  4. Douglas Adams #1
    Dave Barry #2
    I'll check it out.