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April 07, 2008


The main reason I wound up working at The Miami Herald in the early eighties was that I was wooed by a brilliant, funny and clinically insane editor named Gene Weingarten. We became close friends, and we remained close even after Gene went to The Washington Post, where he eventually became a columnist and feature writer.

Over the years, Gene and I have collaborated on various projects. This is a challenging process, because Gene is a man of strong and numerous opinions. If you disagree with him, his opening tactic, in winning you over to his side, is to observe that you are the biggest moron on the planet. After that he gets personal.

I’ve had many entertaining arguments with Gene on a wide range of issues, including which of us has a bigger oosik. (An oosik is the bone from the penis of a walrus. Gene and I each own one.) We've both won some arguments and lost some; neither of us, to my recollection, has ever been gracious about it. One of the running jokes that developed between us is that at some point in the argument, usually early, I will remind Gene that I have won a Pulitzer Prize, and he has not. I have used this particular argument – this is a conservative estimate – 119 million times. And Gene has never had a good answer for it.

Until today.

I am very pleased to report that Mr. Gene Weingarten has won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Gene, congratulations on an honor that is well-deserved and overdue. I’m thrilled for you, and genuinely happy that I can never use that particular argument against you again.

But my oosik is still bigger than yours.

Gene Weingarten fondles his oosik


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He will be intolerable now.

If you think it will be bad for Dave, just imagine Tom the Butcher.

I read that story, and it certainly deserved the honor. Of course, you should still remind Gene who won the Pulitzer FIRST.

Congratulations Gene! and yikes Dave, I was midway through the third paragraph before I realized it wasn't an obituary.

Congratulations to Gene Weingarten! That should make his oosik proud, at least.

Congratulations on your own Pull-it Surprise, Gene!!

And only Dave's Pulitzer in mentioned in Gene's Wikipedia article.

YAY, gene! :)

Gene's article

Guess this means Gene's buying the first round!

I dunno, Dave. Gene's oosik looks pretty big.

(sorry, Walter)

Pullet Surprise? Is that a new chicken dish? I sure hope he enjoys it! Way to go!!!

(Very sporty, oosik, btw. Like the stripes on the ends.)

Congrats to Gene!


Did the Pulitzer Committee use electronic voting machines? Is there a paper trail?

Gene won despite losing Ohio and Florida.


Congratulations to Gene!!! I cried when I read Gene's story (the one he wrote, not the one you wrote about him on this blog entry) and am THRILLED that he won. He so richly deserves it. However, you won yours first. :)

Miss Chevious

I am feeling so hip. I actually read this article--I mean before today.

Congrats to Gene for finally being on par with Dave. For the moment ;-)

Dave is the walrus and Gene is the eggman. Goo goo goo joob.

Next they will be measuring each other's Pulitzer's to see who offically has the biggest one. Congratulations Gene!

Hey, Bob Dylan also won a Pulitzer. (Just read it on the www)

Congratulations, Mr. Weingarten! That is a very well-deserved award. I just read the article for the first time, and was thoroughly immersed in the story, a sign of a masterful writer.

I haven't the time to watch the associated video just now, but I will when I get home from work. While I'm not an espectially religious person, the Ave Maria is of such beauty that I could not have left that scene for anything if I were there.

Thank you.

Gene, the brilliant, funny and insanely critical of strong and numerous opinions, wrote an unhumorous article that proved his clinical insanity. The article itself was well written although the actual research was flawed on several points. For this and other lifetime achievements, he deserves this august award with hearty congratulations.

But, Dave still wins.


But as Josh noted, he WILL be completely intolerable now.

And it was for "Pearls Before Breakfast"? So very deserved. That piece was brilliant!

Congrats to Mr. Weingarten! That was a great story.

Better start thinking up some new arguments, Dave.

Is Gene wearing a hair piece in that photo?

I am confident that if Mr Bell had tried this in London or Vienna or Prague or any other city where great music is venerated far more than it is here, he would have received the applause he clearly deserved. But that is hardly a startling observation in a nation where "American Idol" is considered the epitome of musical inspiration.

By the way, I also found this picture of Joshua Bell. Does he look like anyone we know ?

The blue shirt does look vaguely familiar...

"Pull it, Sir" Prize is handed out pretty often, don't you think?

This is so wonderful. I too read the article when Gene first wrote it. I think it's OK for me to call him Gene because I read his ch@t every week. ;)

I've sent him a couple of e-mails about stuff he's written, and I always include in the e-mail that I'm a DB blogit. :)

His ch@t tomorrow ought to be really something.

I was thinking the same thing, El. I rarely catch it live, but may make an effort tomorrow.

Hooray for Gene!!!

Now Dave,
I hate to be the one to tell you this but you need to starting writting at least a monthly column again so you can win a second Pulitzer. Then you can use them to cover your ears and say "I CANT HEAR YOU" when Gene starts to argue again.

Wow. The video is only in short bits, but there's an audio link at the top of the article for listening to the entire performance.

All I can say is that Joshua Bell is overly modest about his talents. But who am I to argue with a genius?

Congrats again, Mr. W. I look forward to many hearty and entertaining arguments between you and Dave.

Recovering 24 Addict, he just needs to write more kiddie books. Then he can brag about his Newbury Medal.

Just heard Gene on NPR All Things Considered. (About 5:50PM EDT)

That's great but where does this leave poor Joel Achenbach?

goodie on you pulitzer prize winner gene. of course, dave's had one for a loooong time. but i would love to hear your arguments, such award-winning wordsmiths.

Achenbach talks about Gene winning the Pulitzer on his blog. I'd link but I'm in the middle of an anxiety attack so I can't.

And sthnbelle, I may try to catch it live too. :)

Congratulations, Gene Weingarten! Interesting inquiry, your article!

I could do this, though.


What an incredible article, Mr. W. A well-deserved Pulitzer.

Wait a minute -- this means I'll be going on the "Washington Post Hunt" with two Pulitzer Prize winners. Sweet! (Sounds so much better than "I'm going on a scavenger hunt with two guys who have their own oosiks.)

*Throws a " up to previous post*

Awesome article. Fascinating experiment with horrifying results. Joshua Bell, in addition to being incomprehensibly brilliant, is a very good sport.

Congratulations, Gene. Keep an eye on that oosik!

Congrats to Gene! I read this article when it was first published and noted that it was extremely well written, not that I expect anything less of Gene. (I recommended his book with Gina Barreca, _I'm With Stupid_, to everyone I know.)

As for the content of the story, I disagreed that the experiment really proved much, given that people who are in a hurry to get to work/home are likely to have time to stop even if they *do* recognize the quality of the music or the identity of the performer.

Gene, congratulations! Just in time before the Post Hunt, because otherwise you'd be overshadowed by the other two Pulitzer Prize winners who would mock your puzzles to no end.

Now a more serious comment. A truly great humor writer is rare, and Gene (and Dave) belong in that group. Congratulations to Gene today. Gene's serious features writing is wonderful also.

What's the moral mathematics of the moment?

LOVE that question!

I agree with Janice. It's hard to stop and smell the roses when you're stressed out in the morning trying to get to work. I think I would have at least noticed the incredible music. I often stop to listen to street performers. Every time we're in NYC, we get to see so many talented musicians (as well as not so talented ones). I've done it here in Miami as well. If the performer is worth it, I'll stop and listen/see. We have many of them in Coconut Grove. Artists too. Since my girls are artists, we often stay an watch. Joshua Bell shouldn't feel slighted in the least. I wish I was one of those priviledged enough to hear him.

I kinda wonder how this "experiment" would differ if they did it AFTER work. Maybe while people are more relaxed and on their way home and have some more time to actually STOP and listen...?? Or during a weekend?

I've read Dave Barry's columns for years, and I still don't know which one won that prize.

And I also liked Gene's column about Joshua Bell.

I remember reading that article-it really was good.
Great thought, Kristina L.-which column of Dave's won? I was wondering the same thing!

Yay Gene!

Don't worry, Dave, in the looks department, you are still WAAAAAAAY ahead.

And the hair, Guin. Don't forget the hair!

at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's on davebarry.com.
on the "Stuff" page.

The Pulitzer

"In 1988 Dave won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, pending a recount."


(titles are links to the columns, on the site)

(and if there's something you want and it's NOT on the site anywhere, you have but to ask.)

*gives judi a shot of Cuban coffee*

you done good, girl!

D'oh! I saw the question and was just doing the digging (yes, Judi, at davebarry.com) to find the info Judi just posted.

Dave got the prize in 1988 "for his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns", based on those 1987 columns.

Dave you still have the bigger and best blog.

where does Bob Dylan fit into this equation?

chaz - Dylan does not own an oosik, so he is out of their league.

Congratulations Mr. Weingarten.

I have received several e-mails which can apparently give you an advantage in the oosik arena as well. Shall I forward them to Dave for you?

That was an inspiring, brilliant article by Gene. I am resolved that I will pay much more attention to the world around me rather than just my personal space. Mr. Weingarten's prize is well deserved.

*smooches judi, just 'cuz*

If you ask me Gene is holding onto that oosik a little too tightly.

If you ask me Gene is holding onto that oosik a little too tightly.

Play that funky oosik, write-boy!

Ahh, multiple columns. Now I understand. Thanks, Judi!

*jumps in after a prolonged absence to say*

Congratulations, Gene! But, Dave's still got a bigger oosik. And has a sewage station named after him.

And has driven the Weinermobile.

How many Pulitzers does this make for former Miami Herald journalists who are now with the Washington Post, the New York T----, or other papers?

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