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November 23, 2004

CHAT ALERT

I'll be doing a chat at 1 p.m. (Eastern) today for the Washington Post. The bad news is, you have to register. The good news is, if you don't bother, you won't miss anything important.

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I knew you were all just a bunch of blurk flushers!

I hope this doesn't stretch the blog, but here's a cut/paste of Dave's chat, especially the part where he didn't answer my question.

Dave Barry: Greetings. I'd like to begin this chat with a very important announcement. I'd also like to look more like Brad Pitt. Unfortunately, these things are not going to happen. So let's just commence chatting.

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Lewistown, Pa.: Dave, please, don't you realize you are the only bright spot, most of the time, in the newspaper. You always give us something to chew on, never choke on, and allow us to chuckle at the same time. If you need a rest, try going to bed earlier but don't deprive us of the one voice of humorous logic the news offers.

Dave Barry: What do you mean, "most of the time"?

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Springfield, Mass.: Dave,
Now that you've decided to take a leave of absence from your weekly column I suppose we'll never know what happened to "The Rubber Bandit" and the maniacs that were building it.

Thanks for leaving us all in suspense Dave...

Dave Barry: The Rubber Bandit was the name of a highly experimental airplane being built by a guy in Van Nuys, Calif. It was supposed to be the first plane that would carry a human aloft powered by a rubber band. I visited Van Nuys and saw the plane, which was in pieces, and the rubber band, which was enormous. But as far as I know, this is still a work in progress, by which I mean it will probably never actually happen. The same appears to be true of another project I once wrote about involving two guys who were raising money to build a trebuchet -- a medieval weapon similar to a catapult -- that would be capable of hurling a Buick several hundred yards.

Guys.

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Fairfax, Va.: Dear Dave,

I blew my nose this morning, and I swear that there was a Dave Barry likeness left on the tissue. What should I do?

Dave Barry: I think you know.

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Alexandria, Va.: Can you sing the Adventure Dog theme song for us?

Dave Barry: Adventure dog!
Adventure dawggggggggg!
Kinda big
Kinda strong
Stupid as a log.

Thank you.


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Fairfax, Va.: Dear Dave,

If you were marooned on a desert island, would you want a coconut bra, foil beanie, or a propeller beanie and why?

Dave Barry: I would want the coconut bra, on the theory that there might be a former occupant around the island somewhere.

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Seattle, Wash.: Which is correct: "Yolk of eggs is white" or "Yolk of eggs are white"?

Dave Barry: That's a trick question: They do not, in fact, bury the survivors.

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Arlington, Va.: Dave, your friend and Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten just sent all of us over from his chat to yours. He told us to "be merciless," that you could "take it, so here goes.

In a chat two weeks ago, Gene described himself as a "professional jerk." Would you agree with this self-assessment?

Dave Barry: Totally. Thank you for asking.

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Weingarten: So, do you think Weingarten can fill your shoes in syndication land?

Dave Barry: Only when they throw beer at me. I HATE people who waste beer.

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New York, N.Y.: Dave, is there a connection between Ron Artest's suspension from the NBA and Dan Rather's stepping down as the anchor of CBS?

Dave Barry: Do I have to CONNECT THE DOTS?

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Fairfax, Va.: Dave, do you think that the recent surge of animal intelligence (the cane toad invasion at Arakwal National Park, beavers stealing and weaving a dam out of money, squirrels shutting off power in Kentucky) is a sign of the apocalypse?

Dave Barry: I hope so. It would mean the Yankees could never win another World Series.

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Ashburn, Va.: If you and Gene were actually scheduled for the same time slot today, who would have more questions/visitors?

Dave Barry: There's no competition between Gene and me. We both love and respect each other, and wish each other well. I would have gotten WAY more visitors.

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Nashville, Tenn.: I'm a talentless hack from your blog, which qualifies me for mental disability benefits in most states. When you leave, I plan to steal your audience, your column space, and possibly your car. My question, I suppose, is: does it get good mileage?

Dave Barry: The blog? No.

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Washington, D.C.: Other than you, who's the funniest member of the Rock Bottom Remainders?

Dave Barry: The funniest person in the band is the drummer, Josh Kelly, who is a professional drummer. Amy Tan is a lot funnier than people generally assume she is. When I met her back in 1992, the first thing she said to me was: "You think I'm a good girl, right? EVERYBODY thinks I'm a good girl. Well, I'm NOT."


_______________________

Fairfax, Va.: When are the Rock Bottom Remainders coming to Washington, D.C.?

Dave Barry: We actually played there several times. Usually, when we play somewhere, we are not wanted back. That is how memorable we are.

Speaking of the Remainders: Gene Weingarten joined us onstage recently at the Miami Book Fair, playing harmonica on the "Tupperware Blues." He gave a very strong performance, for a man whose drawers were dampened by the weewee of stagefright.

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Stamford, Conn.: Is your name really spelled "Berry?"

Dave Barry: By many people, yes.

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Speaking of Coconut Bras....: Okay, we know that the age old "Ginger or Mary Anne" question will never be amicably resolved, so I think I need to ask:

Mrs. Howell or the Professor?

Dave Barry: I would have to say: roo roo.

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Washington, D.C.: I've got an extra ticket to see Cher on Dec. 10th in D.C. Wanna go?

Dave Barry: I need to know WHICH Dec. 10 Cher farewell-tour show you mean: 2005? 2007? 2010? 2457?

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Kingston, Ontario: Hi Dave,

I live in Canada. Our elections get decided in four hours.
When shall I pick you up at the airport?

Dave Barry: Canada has an airport?

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Middle of, KY: Only through reading your blog did I find Gene Weingarten's column and online chats. I must admit I'm addicted to both now, but the fact remains that I probably would never of heard of him without you. I can't be the only one. In fact, Chatwoman and Judi should compare IP addresses sometime. My question is, how often do you mention things like that to him? And do you use the word "neener"?

Dave Barry: Mention things like what? That Weingarten owes his ENTIRE CAREER to me? That without me, he would be NOTHING?? Or, worse, an EDITOR????

I never bring it up.

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The Ponderosa, Spring City, Nev.: What? You're LEAVING?! Why wasn't I informed?!!

Well, fine. Go ahead. Be that way. Leave us in the lurch with no one but Weingarten to look to for humor. (And while I'll admit he can be funny as hell, I always feel a leetle bit tense around him, kinda like you do with a teacher you really like, but hey, he's still the teacher, you know? I think it's got something to do with all those pop quizzes he gives But you -- you're the class clown. You'd NEVER give a pop quiz, now, would you?)

Sure, go ahead. Run off and write "literature," just like Pernell Roberts abandoned us to do Shakespeare. I hope you do better than he did, though. "Trapper John, M.D." was not exactly Hamlet, if you get my drift and I think you do.

And when you come crawling back, I'll still be here, laughing at Gene's poop jokes and taking his quizzes. Gee, I think I need to get a life.

Dave Barry: Yes.

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Atus, HI: Dave
The Washington Post needs a humor columnist. Think of the possibilities. Please come back.

Dave Barry: I'd never pass the drug test.

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Singapore: Have you any intention of visiting South East Asia to publicize your book?

Kind regards.

Dave Barry: I will be there later this afternoon.

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Monterey, Calif.: Dave,

I'm a former class clown who has done a lot of therapy (I hear your "uh-oh" ) -- and at one point I just had to "stop being funny all the time" for a while.

I'm curious if that's at all a part of your decision to take a break.

What are some of the things you are most looking forward to doing on a personal level?

Thank you for brightening up my day on many, many occasions.

Dave Barry: Actually, I'm not going to stop writing; I have a couple of books to do, and some other stuff. I'm just going to take a break from the weekly column, which I've been writing for ALMOST THIRTY YEARS.

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Kissimmee, Fla.: Hey Dave, how come this wasn't mentioned in your blog?

Dave Barry: But it was.

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Chicago, Ill.: In your book, "Dave Barry Talks Back," more than 10 years ago, you predicted that the quality of television programming was going so far downhill that eventually people would watch a show called "Eat Bugs for Money." Now that we have shows like "Fear Factor," you were proven right! Congrats on anticipating this trend!

Dave Barry: This is true: MORE than ten years ago, I proposed a TV show called "Eat Bugs for Money." (As I recall, Mr. Gene Weingarten, who was then my editor, said he would eat a live cockroach for some ridiculously paltry sum, like five dollars.) I also proposed a show called "A Live Celebrity Gets Eaten by a Shark," which would consist of a live celebrity getting eaten by a shark. It is only a matter of time.

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Washington, D.C.: Senor Barry in the Highest,

Do you think there is anyone even remotely close to capable of filling the void you will leave when you desert us, your faithful readers? Not that I'm bitter. And when I say fill the void, I'm not talking spacially.

Many, many thanks, kind sir.

Dave Barry: There will be no void, at least not here at the Washington Post Magazine, which will offer both Gene Weingarten AND Joel Achenbach. Together, they form an almost-complete human being, in some ways.

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Chicago, Ill.: Greetings,
Can you confirm the rumor that you are taking the hiatus to serve in the G.W. Bush administration in a near cabinet-level post?

Will it be hard to follow Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Fed?

Dave Barry: I am not at liberty to discuss this. I will say only that, if I were a nation within range of American missiles -- a nation such as France -- I would be mighty nervous.

_______________________

Bethesda, Md.: Dear Dr. Barry - your columns have always been like medicine to me (I mean that in the best sense). So I wonder if you could help. Last night I dreamt of Condi Rice wearing nothing but a big Queen of Hearts. Colin Powell was a jester showing a Powerpoint lecture on the dangers of drinking from unidentified bottles. And there was this rabbit running around babbling about Saddam Hussein and "freedom." I think Richard Clarke also appeared, but it is hazy -- you know how dreams can be.

Come to think of it there was also a dancing elf who looked like John Kerry. I think he was saying some wise things, but the rabbit kept distracting me, so I don't remember what they were.

Was I actually awake then, and dreaming now? Should I adjust my meds again? And which way is it out of the Rabbit Hole? Thank you in advance for any help you can offer (I'll take it with the standard disclaimer).

Dave Barry: Is this you, Mr. Vice President? Are you messing with your dosages again?

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Jacksonville, Fla.: Hey Dave, how's it going? With the holidays right around the corner, what is the hot gift this season?

Dave Barry: I just finished writing my annual Holiday Gift Guide, and the one item I think everybody is going to want is a toilet tank that is also an aquarium, with actual fish swimming around in it. Apparently the fish do NOT go down the drain when you flush the toilet, which is probably a good thing. As far as I can tell without doing serious research, this is a real product. It's called the "Aquariass," though I'm not sure if I can say that name here at the Washingtonass Post.

_______________________

Guilford, Vt.: Can I have your job?
Just for a little while?
Please?
Thank you.

Dave Barry: Of course you may.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you agree with your esteemed colleague's opinion that humor is objective? Mr. Weingarten maintains that this is the case, and also maintains that he is the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not funny.

Dave Barry: I agree that Gene is the ultimate arbiter of what Gene thinks is funny, which is, basically, poop.

_______________________

Bethesda, Md.: Dave
I have loved your columns for years. Every week I forward the clippings my mother sends me to you for your column. May I still do that during your hiatus?

Dave Barry: You forward the clippings your mother sends you? To whom? In any event, my answer is: sure.

_______________________

Arlington, Va.: Do you and Gene Weingarten use the same barber?

Dave Barry: Gene does not use a barber. Gene uses a Weedeater.

_______________________

Springfield, Va.: How come sportcasters wear suits and not sports clothes?

How come monosyllabic has so many?

Dave Barry: Somebody should look into this.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Why Miami?

Dave Barry: Because the Miami Herald -- as a result of very poor planning on somebody's part -- is located in Miami.

_______________________

Help!: I want to submit a funny question, I want to be included, but I got nothin'.

Please -- work your magic and make this post seem funny.

Dave Barry: Booger!

It is a gift.

_______________________

Roo Roo Joke: Can you PLEASE, as the Final Arbiter of All Things Funny, let the philistines who think the punchline is "Death, by roo-roo" know that they are incorrect?

Dave Barry: Yes, they are incorrect. The punchline is: "But first, ROO ROO!"

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: I have to be in Miami for a few days for business. What wacky things do you have down there to entertain me? Someone told me about Monkey Jungle but wasn't sure if it was still around.

Dave Barry: We have so many wacky things to entertain you! Just park your car anywhere and wander around with your wallet bulging visibly. You will meet many people!

Later on you can visit Monkey Jungle.

_______________________

About Amy Tan: I saw her speak at a convention lunch a couple of years ago with a handbag over her shoulder the whole time. At first, I assumed she didn't trust her fellow diners at the table. At the end of her talk, it was clear that she was carrying TWO DOGS with her the whole time. Funny, or eccentric?

Dave Barry: She has her dogs with her at all times, including, I believe, in the shower.

_______________________

Indianapolis, Ind.: I was wondering if your family thinks you are as funny as your fans do? Or if it is sort of how I feel about my Father's humor. That it is not in fact humor but a sick form of familial torture.

Thanks, Katherine.

Dave Barry: My family views me as a regular human. But my family thinks your Dad is a "stitch."

_______________________

Miami, Fla.: I went to see you guys at the Miami Book fair and I am dying to know... is Ridley Still married? And most importantly who's the nutcase with the funny hat?

Dave Barry: Ridley is still married. Women often ask me that about Ridley. They NEVER ask that about me.

The guy in the funny hat is Erasmo Paolo, our sax player, who is a terrific musician and a good guy. But I will not argue about the hat.

_______________________

Lexington, Va.: Dave,
How many hours, on average, go into each column? Do you have a pool of ideas you develop into columns or do you think them up, week by week, based on current events and whatever strikes you as interesting? Thanks! We'll miss you.

Dave Barry: Bleieve it or not, I spend several days on a column. I am the world's slowest writer. It took me six weeks just to answer your question.

_______________________

Warrenton, Va.: Joel Achenbach is coming back? I hope so. I haven't see anything funny from him lately. Serious stuff but no funny stuff, which is disappointing. Almost as disappointing as reading an entire Sunday Magazine cover story by a humor editor and finding no laughs in it.

Dave Barry: Joel will be writing a column for the Washington Post magazine, unless that is supposed to be a secret, in which case I know nothing about it.

_______________________

Santa Barbara, Calif.: Hi Dave!
Huuuuuge fan of your writing! I have (literally) fallen off the elliptical machine at the gym reading your books (lots of snorts and gaffaws have occurred as well). My husband and I are going to see you next April at the Arlington, and we're wondering what exactly you're planning on doing. I mean, we'd pay to see you on stage picking your scabs, but we still curious.

Dave Barry: I also do hand farts.

_______________________

McLean, Va.: Hi Dave:
I forward my boyfriend yours, Weingarten's and Achenbach's stuff (Joel's funny stuff anyway -- they got him being all serious sometimes) to my boyfriend, who doesn't seem impressed or amused. Should I dump him?

Dave Barry: Yes. But first: ROO ROO!

_______________________

Denver, Colo.: OK, a break from 30 years of column writing, I can understand. But the blog's only been going a couple years, right? Does that go on hiatus, too?

Dave Barry: Nah. I'll keep blogging. My blog is mostly comments anyway. I could post state capitals (Vermont: Montpelier) and within an hour there would be 127 comments, many of them sexually suggestive.

_______________________

"ALMOST THIRTY YEARS": Hey dork, anybody who's 50 has had to work for almost 30 years. Stop whining about how tedious it is and thank me for buying your books so that you can afford to take the time off.

Dave Barry: Oh, I've worked for more than 30 years. And I'll still be working. I'm just not going to be doing the same *type* of work I've been doing for 30 years. I hope that clears it up for you: These are the smallest words I could think of.

_______________________

Falls Church, Va.: How are you related to Marion Barry?

Dave Barry: I am his mother.

_______________________

Rockville, Md.: A friend wants to propose a show where we find out what crackheads would do for crack, but is having trouble finding contestants who will sign the waiver. Do you think this premise has a future? Just for the record, I don't.

Dave Barry: Oh, that would be *huge*.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Since Gene W. started his career as your editor (he says he "discovered" you -- were you lost?), would you say everything he knows about humor writing he learned from reading your columns?

Dave Barry: I am much too modest to say that.

_______________________

I swear I'm not making this up...: Hi Dave,
Robert MacMillan here at post.com. I'm the one who called your Democratic convention blog threadbare and then milked it for my own column (obviously I'm a born journalist).

I heard that you, Piers Anthony and Carl Hiaasen collaborated on a story some years back. Can this Florida trifecta of silliness really exist? Or was my mom making it up?

Dave Barry: Hey there, Robert. I was in a group of of South Florida writers -- including Carl Hiaasen, Les Standiford, Paul Levine, James Hall, Edna Buchanan and Elmore Leonard -- wrote a serial novel called "Naked Came the Manatee," which was published weekly in the Herald. is that what you mean? It became an actual book, but the plot is pretty strange.

_______________________

This is weingarten...: For God's sake, Dave, the punchline is, "But first, a LITTLE roo-roo."

It is simply not funny without that word.

Dave Barry: Gene is wrong about this, but as usual nobody can tell HIM anything about humor.

He also thinks he knows about music, despite being able to play only three (3) notes on the harmonica.

_______________________

Mc Lean, Va.: Dave :
The holidays are coming and, as you can understand, I am trying to teach my two-year-old son to crack nuts with his armpit. Any suggestions?

Dave Barry: I have heard there are people who can crack nuts with their buttocks, but I don't believe this.

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Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Dave,

Some of your best work has been your occasional dead-serious piece. Howzabout before you hang up your skates for a year doing a piece on The Current Situation -- the genuine threat to democracy in the U.S. and the world posed by Bush's Patriot Act and his doctrine of pre-emptive war, and the sheer evil of sending kids off to kill and die while lying to them and their parents about why they should do it?

Dave Barry: Thanks, but I think we already have enough people being dead serious.

_______________________

St. Louis, Mo.: How are the negotiations going for Peter and the Starcatcher to become a Broadway Musical?

Dave Barry: We're hung up on the clause we want in there stating that Peter Pan may not be played by a middle-aged woman. Apparently this clause violates some kind of federal law.

_______________________

Washington, D.C. : What age level are you going to be writing children's books for during your hiatus? Any specific subject matter?

Dave Barry: I wrote one with my friend and bandmate, Ridley Pearson, called "Peter and the Starcatchers." It's for ages 9 and up. Also, Weingarten.

_______________________

Fairfax, Va.: Have there been any resultant revisions to Florida public decency laws for Manatees?

Dave Barry: The mantees remain naked. Also endangered: Motorboats keep hitting them. The authorities have tried for years to get the motorboaters to slow down, but this has not worked. So I'm advocating an alternative plan: speed the manatees up. My idea is to mount powerful outboard motors on them, so they would have a top speed in the neighborhood of 75 m.p.h., vs. their current top speed, which is right aroud zero. If you would like to support this important ecological effort, please send me cash in a box. Thank you.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: A coupl of years ago you were up visiting Gene for Thanksgiving and he had the great idea to take your families to the Spy Museum, which had just opened. I believe he mentioned how much fun it was waiting forever in the line around the block in order to get in. What bright idea has he come up with for this Thanksgiving's entertainment?

Dave Barry: Well, I'll tell you what we're NOT doing: We're NOT going to a Chinese restaurant in Atlantic City.

_______________________

Salt Lake City, Utah: Dave, Speaking of serious, I wanted to thank you for introducing me to the late Warren Zevon's music. Your sincerity at his passing was very touching

Dave Barry: You're welcome. Amazing musician, amazing guy.

_______________________

See, BS: In your opinion, how will the loss of Dan Rather's folksy witticisms affect our nation's humor writers?

Dave Barry: We are as low as a snake's rectum.

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Weingarten = Awful: There will (seriously) be nothing funny in the Post Magazine with you on hiatus. I think it's criminal to leave us with Gene W. and other assorted hacks while you contemplate your band's next power ballad. Can we legally stop you from doing this?

Dave Barry: Hey: He may be a hack, but he is not an *assorted* hack.

_______________________

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: I've never heard of you. Is there something wrong with me?

Dave Barry: I would think so, yes.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: In one of your earliest books -- I think it was "Bad Habits," but what do I know -- you tried to track the progress of a joke. The setup was something along the lines of, "Why is Ronald Reagan's nickname 'Dutch?'" Well, I didn't get that book until many years after it was written -- what's the punchline? Since you described it as suitably tasteless, I'd really like to know.

Dave Barry: I'd like to be able to reveal that, and some day I hope I can. But first: ROO ROO!

_______________________

Frederick, Md.: Hey Dave,

My grandson can burp the alphabet from A to K...
Top that!

Dave Barry: That's a common symptom of... Never mind. Best not to think about it.

_______________________

Vienna, Va.: Hey Dave,

Have you seen that movie where those guys stole your (not you're) idea? Notice me not plugging it, oh yeah, booger.

Dave Barry: Yes! They did! The bastards. The movie with the guy and the thing. That was MINE.

_______________________

Just Wondering...: Where are you?

Dave Barry: At home in South Florida. The sun is out, and there are lizards everywhere. Later we will all go to Monkey Jungle.

_______________________

College Park, Md.: I've noticed that a lot of young women seem to join Weingarten's chat, myself included (hence the great toilet flushing debate). Is this true with all humorists? Or is Weingarten just incredibly appealing to young women for some reason?

Dave Barry: Gene draws them like flies, because he is, let's face it, hot. Even I am attracted to him.

_______________________

Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Do you ever read your writing and say, wow... I am good?

Dave Barry: Virtually never. I look at it (this is after many hours) and say: Wow, this sucks. As far as I know, everybody in the humor biz operates that way. Because the reason we're in the humor biz in the first place is low self-esteem. We wish we could be hot, like Weingarten, but we know we are not.

_______________________

Pittsburgh, Pa.: Hi Dave:

Just wondering, why can I enter 99 seconds into a microwave oven, but not 100?

Dave Barry: I blame the Patriot Act.

_______________________

Denizen, MOAT: What will be the fate of bloggoddess Judi in the coming Barry drought? Will we all be stranded like those aliens in the locker in MIB2?

Dave Barry: Judi is not going anywhere. She will continue doing whatever it is that she does.

_______________________

Hey, Dave!;: Do you have any pets?

Dave Barry: I used to have dogs, and hope to again. Right now I have fish, which are not as good, especially on walks.

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Washington, DC: As the mother of a boy and a girl about the same age as your son, I will never forget the wonderful description from one of your books about 12 years ago when your son was under 10 -- that little girls are miniature human beings but little boys are pod persons from the planet Destructo!;!; It fit our kids exactly!;

And how is your son now?

Dave Barry: He's 24, and a fine young man who could beat me up if he so desired.

_______________________

Somewhere in Gridlock: Dave,
Since you aren't going to be doing anything else... could you come and take over for Dr. Gridlock for a few decades? Enough with the "please drive nicely" stuff. We need advice from a True Floridian.

Dave Barry: I'd like to see Dr. Gridlock come down to Miami and drive nicely. He would be six years just trying to get out of his driveway.

_______________________

Haverford, Pa.: I'm a tourguide at your alma mater, Haverford College: Is it true you once threw a stereo out of Barclay? If not, what's something ridiculous you did besides the Federal Duck Band?

Dave Barry: It wasn't a stereo. I don't know how these silly rumors get started! It was a guitar amplifier, and we needed to find out what noise it would make when it hit the sidewalk. It made a good noise.

_______________________

Kailua, Hawaii: You're taking a hiatus to write books and I'm drunk!
Coincidence?! I think not!

Dave Barry: Talk about fortuitousness, or hoever you spell the thing that we are talking about.

_______________________

Baltimore, Md.: How about a limerick about the Yankees?

Dave Barry: There once was a team called the Yanks
And boy, the really did stank
Da da da da da
Da da da da da
And all of their fans were big wanks.

_______________________

Dave Barry: Hey, thank you all very much, except that one guy who called me a dork.

_______________________

hello from germany, can anyone possibly help? i'm looking for the song lyrics for dave's tupperware blues.
thanks very much in advance
sarah

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