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January 12, 2006


As you are no doubt aware, it's almost time for the new season of 24, and you know what that means: It means that you and I, working together as a team, are going to be wasting a tremendous amount of time.

No, wait, that's not right. It means that, after months of sitting around drumming our fingers, we're finally going to find out what's up with Jack Bauer, the highly trained psychopath federal agent who in the past four years has single-handedly thwarted every single terrorist plot against the United States, primarily by shooting people in the thigh.

Jack was assisted in his thwarting by various other cast members of the Southern California branch of the Federal Imaginary Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), a secret government facility that is located in an excellent location, logistics-wise, because for some reason every attempted act of terrorism happens within about a 1,200-yard radius of there. The primary functions of CTU personnel are to (1) provide subplots; and (2) tap on computer keyboards in an urgent manner while downloading schematics of buildings to Jack's cell phone so he can quickly locate terrorists and shoot them in the thigh. The two most important keyboard-tappers are Edgar and Chloe, who clearly have the hots for each other, although we are not entirely sure that Edgar possesses genitals.

As you may recall, last season Jack thwarted the evil genius terrorist Marwan, who shot down Air Force One so he could get hold of the nuclear codes to launch world's slowest nuclear missile (code name: Injured Moth) which apparently was operated by Delta Air Lines because it took like three weeks to get from Iowa to Los Angeles, where it was shot down in the most anticlimactic television scene since Geraldo opened Al Capone's vault.

You would think that this act of thwarting on Jack's part, on top of all his previous thwarting, would have earned him a medal, but you would be wrong. In fact Jack was in big trouble, because of a Chinese subplot that we never really did understand. But for whatever reason, the acting president of the United States, who is a total wiener, agreed to turn Jack over to China for the purpose of being tortured and killed. So Jack faked his own death with the help of Tony, who is in love with Michelle, who is not to be confused with Audrey, who is the daughter of Secretary of Defense William Devane and was Jack's romantic subplot for a while until he tortured her brother and interrupted the surgery on her husband, Paul, thus causing him to kick the bucket. Even though these were perfectly reasonable acts of thwarting on Jack's part, Audrey got into a big snit and broke up with Jack, which was fine with us because she was an annoying whiny prune.

So anyway, at the end of last season, Jack had gone into hiding, and apparently he has a hot new girlfriend. So now, as we prepare for the blockbuster two-night, four-hour, top-secret premiere of Season Five, the question is: What the heck will happen? Will Jack remain in hiding with his hot new girlfriend, which means that the blockbuster premiere will consist entirely of Edgar and Chloe playing hearts on their computers? Or will Something Totally Unexpected Yet Bad happen -- something that causes Jack to leave the place where he is hiding with his hot new girlfriend and resume engaging in acts of thwartage? And if he does come out, will his hot new girlfriend continue to be involved in the plot? Because she is definitely hot.

I don't know the answers to these questions. But I will be watching on Sunday night, and I hope to have updated reports for you here, as well as your comments and analyses.

Which leads me to a disturbing:


I will be able to watch part one of the two-night blockbuster premiere, but because of incredibly bad planning, I am going to miss part two. On Monday night, I will be at a bookstore signing on Long Island, starting a two-week book tour during which I will be whoring for promoting my latest book. I will try to figure out some way to continue following 24, but I'm warning you now that there may be times, over the coming weeks, when you will have to fend for yourselves. These will not be easy times for any of us, but together, we will get through them. Because that is the kind of pathetic losers concerned Americans we are.


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Well, I've never watched the show and don't have a clue what all the fuss is about, but if it was ME doing a book signing and there was something REALLY important on I wanted to watch, I'd have a portable TV right there on the table with me. I'm assuming you can remember your name in spite of the distraction of a really hot babe on screen.... well, maybe not....

Anyway, good luck!

HA! FIRST!! And maybe second!

Ok - I say we have a pool. I go for Jack shooting Audrey, Cloe & Edgar getting romantic on the desk which leads one of them to roll over on the computer which accidentally sends all of CTU's data to Marwin II (of course there will be a Marwin II - otherwise 24 will consist entirely of whiny people trying to have relationships and it will be come Day of Our Lives instead of 24) and then Jack, in a crucial moment of decision, will have to choose between shooting Tony or shooting Michelle.

Oh! And the president gets caught having s*x with an intern in the oval office and gets impeached.

No, wait. The last one is too far fetched.

Awesome, Dave ... since you're too busy in your hiatusussing to write actual weekly columns anymore, what with books to publish, RBR gigs, and visits to exotic vacation spots, I'm glad you've still got the blog.

Dave: Will you at least be able to Tivo the episodes so that you will be able to stay au courant (French for wasting time) with us?

The above post was by my cat "inevitable" who also follows your "24" summaries.

Perhaps your able research assistant could assist with this crucial scheduling conflict. Anyone can write "Booger! Dave Barry" in a book right?

inevitable: I'll be on the road for a while, so I wouldn't be able to keep up via TiVo even if I had TiVo, which I don't. So I'll have to keep up via comments on this blog. God help me.

possible subplot: after CTU has engineered the demise of 'Monday Night Football', Jack is called upon to defuse an enormous bomb, that is, in fact, John Madden. Although it keeps emitting noises like 'Ker-Pow'! and appears unaffected by repeated thigh-shooting, he manages to foist the job off on less attractive members of the team...

Do you want Victoria Secret commercial updates too?

Looks like a column to me...

You can TiVo it and download it to your laptop and watch them on the road. Or maybe even download it to an Ipod.

But the comments are actually more interesting than the show, so I wouldn't worry about it.

Dave - I'm here for you, my son.

Dave, we've still got almost all of last season on TiVo. It holds alot of 24. You need TiVo.

Jessica, that's exactly what he wrote in my copy of Peter and the Starcatchers!

*makes list of things to bring to Olsson's for Dave to sign*

Hey! I just looked at your book tour schedule, and you're skipping Boston entirely! Is this because Boston isn't much of a college town?

Ooo! Ooo! Get GLENN GARVIN to do a summary of Part 2 for us! Pretty please? He can practice blogging while providing a public service to all of us pathetic losers...er, concerned Americans.

It took me a second to recognize the picture of Audry, and I couldn't figure out why..Then it dawned on me : She wasn't crying..

I don't belong to any clubs I participated in.

PS -- Yeah, what Stev0 said. You've been avoiding Boston like it's a sordid hotbed of boredom since the Democratic Convention. Plus recently it's been in the 50*s, so you can't use the "it's too cold" excuse.

I don't belong to any clubs I participated in.

I think Brad gave Angelina a Keifer.

Sam Alito is talking in his sleep again!?

So did you scour the country side looking for " just the right " chicken thigh to use ? Or did you just go to Popeye's ..

I never thought I'd say this, but *snork* at God.

Dang. The closest Dave's tour will come to me is Chicago, and that's on a school day. Foiled again.

Oooo! Ooooo! 24th !

Oh man I needed that.

Wow - with all of the other traumatic events that are upcoming, Dave has found time to discover the "strikethrough" feature on his computer today!! Wow - all this and continuing education too!!

Wow - with all of the other traumatic events that are upcoming, Dave has found time to discover the "strikethrough" feature on his computer today!! Wow - all this and continuing education too!!


I've never seen the show, but my brother recently became addicted to the DVD's (even though they're a real hassle to smoke).

So, I can't really help you out vis a vis updates on 24 per se.

However, you recently mentioned that, while you wouldn't necessarily want to actually write a column about technology, you wouldn't mind tech companies sending you lots of gee-whiz stuff to test.

I suggest, using the considerable power of your empire, that you have people get in touch with the makers of this fine product, which connects you to your TV from anywhere in the world (at least anywhere with high speed internet connectivity). Couple that with a Tivo type recorder, and the dream of never actually accomplishing anything ever again will be so close to fruition you'll be able to taste it (it's similar to bananas).

Leetie ~ take your tivo box and a bottle of whiteout for Dave to sign with.

Dave - Have your clone handle the schedule conflict. (Dr. Hwang was not involved, I hope).

Is Marwan causing all this double posting?
Or is it - dare I say it - God?

For the Atlanta signing, there is a note:

"By publisher’s request, Mr. Barry will only sign copies of Money Secrets."


So wait, the publisher wants you to borrow Money Secrets from the library and go make a copy, and that's what they want Dave to sign?

That's a weird strategy.

So wait, the publisher wants you to borrow Money Secrets from the library and go make a copy, and that's what they want Dave to sign?

That's a weird strategy.

(if this doubleposts I disavow any blame)

Tamara -- They're always saying stuff like that. But I always sign everything, unless there's just not enough time.

"Why did Dave sign your tongue?"

"There wath enough thime."

Is this a good place to ask who all is going to the signing in Chicago? The Wench and I are talking about driving up for that one.

Woohoo! You're a sweetheart, Dave.

Heck, but I haven't the foggiest clue what to bring.

C-bol, have you seen the Scooby Doo tongue tatoos? They are in some sort of Fruit snack. They should make Dave Barry signature tongue tatoos as well.

Dave - would you sign this too?

I am not responsible for your double posts. It is obviously a nefarious plot by Satan or Marwan, or else it's a computer glitch.

You might like this site.

Lab~ Wish I could, but the blessed event occurs smack-dab in the middle of my business law class. Considering the book topic, I could skip intro to accounting for it, but not business law. *pouts*

Mostly I was wondering if we were cool enough to be allowed to use strikethrough.


Lab - I'm a definite maybe.

If I could have any of Jack Bauer's uncanny abilities or even his hot girlfriend, I would much prefer his map-reading capacity. Regular-sized maps (and by regular I mean gy-normous fold outs that take up an entire desk or the front seat of a car) with their details and legends are hard enough for me to navigate. My eyes glass over after ten seconds of study, and in that blindness I decide that taking the next immediate right should get me to where I need, if the idiot city engineers have followed the modern Grid design. Meanwhile, our hero, super agent Jack, in nanoseconds, can correctly discern an electronic diagram appearing on his tiny cell phone screen that comprises multiple floors, exits, stairwells, and moats with alligators.

Jessica - I haven't seen those, but I have a rule about putting Scooby's Doo on my tongue to which I rarely make exceptions.

Weekdays are rare, right?

Bumble, there is a trick for using html colors, strike-throughs, changing font-sizes, etc. in the comments, but we discovered a certain amount of use seems to cause the site to twitch uncontrollably, so we stopped.

Tamara~ Did you mean to direct that at Brainy? ;-)

Bumble, we've also figured out a button that causes Dave's underwear to pop out of our bvd drive.

But we voted to quit using it.

I have (happily) never seen 24.

C-bol~ Boxers or briefs?

Dave, I look forward to reading your new book. Any chance you will get to Michigan for a book tour? I would like to get it signed after I buy it.

I have (happily) never seen 24.

Ha! I just ran back over here (figuratively) because I had a feeling I'd done that!

SORRY, BRAINY! Obviously, I've got Bumble on the brain. ;)

Theresa: The book tour schedule is at davebarry.com. Click on Events at the top.

C'mon, guys. Let's all chip in a buck or five and get Dave a TiVo as a suprise, welcome home from your book tour gift. At least he can watch the show when he returns home.

I mean I know that *I* would sure hate to get all my "24" info from this blog!... Even though the blogging inspired me to watch it in the first place.

ALERT FOR REALLY CRAZED "24" FANS: On disc 7 of season four, there is a preview of season FIVE! Jack is in Chicago and must not have had a haircut since we last saw him a year ago (real time). Of course we see a high-speed car chase and decapitation. Things get right up to speed so quickly!

FOR THE "24" GEEK: Fox has built an entirely new set for CTU. It's essentially the same, but different. It looks terrific. And those stripes on the glass of the offices. They are actually bar codes that spell stuff. (The guy being interviewed wouldn't say what.)

Tamara~ I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. *focuses telepathic control powers on Tamara*
My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts.

Bumble: yes.

Ooh, creepy. ;)

I think I'd be okay with that, though, if you weren't studying Business Law and Accounting! *HEADACHE!*

Bumble: yes.

Tamara~ Indeed. *wanders off to hang self*

(just kidding :-)

*I hate school I hate school I hate school*

C-bol~ Heard you the first time. ;-)

Is C-bol desperate for attention, or what? Oh, wait. That's me.

Now, now, Bumble! Yer right lucky to be gettin' yer edumacation. Sum o'us plumb dun passed up our own chances et college an' reckon we might won't git a nuther chance 'til our young'uns 're headin' there theyselves.


I live north of Chicago and want to make the 50-miles each way Naperville trek. I'm assuming I'm WAY out of your way but maybe I could pick someone up along I94 or I88.

And we really should like, wear red carnations or something so we bloglits recognize each other.

Dave, your fans will drive to the ends of the earth for you. The way I see it, Naperville, "We have more strip malls than your town", is the end of the earth.

Scat: I plan on wearing a "Hello My Name Is" sticker. For real.

Tamara~ You sound vaguely familiar. Are you from Conway, KY by any chance?

I'm going to be wearing a name-tag too.

OK Dave, our reservations are made. I'll be there with Leetie & other demented bloglits in Arlington next Wednesday night.

Just look for the crowd with the Dave for President shirts, the propeller beanies and coconut bras.

I'm sure you'll find us somehow.

But Jeff, we look surprisingly normal, Dave says.

looks can be deceiving!

I won't be there. And it has nothing to do with whole border crossing incident involving the goat. Its just that you guys have such weird weather down there in the states while TO, which should be hovering around -4F is actually a balmy 50 right now. So we're really sorry about all the hurricanes, tornados and floods but this whole global warming thing is working out for us so keep it up!

Or else sic Jack on Mother Nature.

scat...Naperville is to Chicagoans as Gitmo is to Floridians. We never go there voluntarily.

However, for Dave, I might suit up in my experimental suburban* camouflage and check out MapQuest.

*equipped with random Applebee's and Radioshack logos to blend in with strip malls.

Somewhere North - I didn't realize that you were in the GTA too. We could have a faux Dave Berry signing at a Chapters here with a cardboard cutout of Dave to put behind the desk. We could do it at the same time as the real one in DC and then broadcast it over the net to DC so Dave could see us. What do you think?

Arctic Al - now I understand the name.

Good idea especially if it involves blow up dolls instead of cut outs. We could even have a blow up doll of Dave Barry with his arm around his good friend blow up doll Barry Manilow. Bet Dave would love that photo. Bet he would pay good money for that photo. Bet he would come visit us in TO in exchange for that photo.

Not that I am suggesting anything....

I blame Dave for getting me into this show. Although I have to say, without his play-by-play, it's not really the same show.

Dave - Will you at least give us a blank blog posting that we can use as a comments placeholder for Monday night's 24 thigh-wound-a-thon? At least then we can try to get along without you.

Just put it up there on Monday morning. We promise not to abuse it until the show actually starts, right guys?

Rita, when I met Dave in Vegas he immediately told the security guard hired to protect him from the hordes of AARP Dave groupies that I was "deranged".

It was a proud moment. Dave knows!!!

Jeff, I think you're right, Dave KNOWS... my guess is that my sister and niece ran into him in the Publix again, or maybe at another school function, which explains why he is leaving town for an extended time. (Dave, if you think coming back with a beard is going to be enough of a disguise, it ain't gonna work with Sis. Besides, as soon as she sees you with Sophie, you're busted. Unless, of course, Sophie can grow a beard before you get back.)

Hi, Dave. I have just in the last two weeks become hooked on "24". And I just bought (and overnighted) the first 4 seasons on DVD...husband jealous now of Jack Bauer. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed the blog. Although the show is one of the best ever out there, they do stupid stuff in almost every episode--"Hey, I need to keep this guy here for 10 minutes, so I guess I'll just do an armed robbery and punch out innocent bystanders!" Tivo is verry berry "Barry?" good! Get one now from Ebay. We did and it's fantastico! You can skip over Nancy Pelosi and Susan Estrich and everything!

Re: watching shows without Tivo or any other recording device:

A secret that did not come from me. I don't know where this came from. It just popped onto this blog and signed my name to it:

Mininova which requires something like
this to run and works extremly well.

It's so cool in fact, it secretly downloaded the past two seasons of Stargate SG1 on my computer without me even knowing it. I know nothing. I am blameless.

Something like this that is.

PS: While we're on topic, I don't personally know Jack Bauer, but can we get him to shoot all the members of the Senate Judicary Committee in the thigh? I'd watch it then.

"I sign everything"

Dave said it, I'mma hold him to it! I've got my BM "Scores" album ready to bring with me to the signing in Naperville. Wahooooo! Dave's signature on a BM cd! :)

If Dave were coming to my area (which he isn't, so it's a moot point), I'd have him sign my DVDs of 24 (which I don't own, so that's also a moot point). Or I'd just have him shoot me in the thigh.

Stev0: LOL! That's a thought. Maybe I'll have him shoot Leetie or Rita in the thigh.

I'll take the pictures.

Jeff~ Get a Nerf gun. Leetie and Rita will like you better. And having played with this set (it was my bro-in-law's X-mas gift from his brother), I can attest that the handgun in it is awesome. And I'm not even a guy. Think how much fun you and Dave will have with it. Especially the part where you can put all three guns together to form one big one. :-)

ok..I have a nervouse breakdown, come back...and find out that Dave's mind is on 24 hours of Jack's girlfriend. Let's take bets...how long will it take before Jack kisses her? Two minutes? Has Dave wrote the producers yet? And now that Jack is going into hiding...will he tell this hottie how he survived a nuclear blast by hiding behind a small hill? So she need not worry about birth control. You can always find something good in the bad...if you are a moron.

As for signing..Dave'e the best. I actually SHAMELESSLY cut into a line once just to get to met him...(the only other time I sinned is when I stole a piece of gum when I was six.) But...I was so afraid that they would close the library down before I got to present him with a fan. There were only about 8,000 people there...ok...you guys would have done the same...right? right? ....maybe?

God, glad I got that off my chest. I bet at LEAST addicited to 24 would do the same...

Dave...wow, what a summary....you don't need to see the second episode....all the bloggers will be sending it to your via your new wireless computor system since you have no security.

Don't have a lot of money to buy a building? Don't worry, because that is real to get the loans to work out all the problems. Thence get a collateral loan to buy everything you require.

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