American Humorous Author and Columnist, Awarded Pulitzer Prize
Dave Barry, fully David McAlister "Dave" Barry
American Humorous Author and Columnist, Awarded Pulitzer Prize
You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe Daylight Saving Time.
You would stay at home, the anxious hours ticking by, and you would wait for your Phone Man. It was as close as most people came to experiencing what heroin addicts go through, the difference being that heroin addicts have the option of going to another supplier. Phone customers didn?t. They feared the power of the Telephone Company.
You would think that, by sheer chance, there would come a time when you daughter's two dances would be close together, ideally near the beginning. But the dance studio makes sure this never happens, using the same computer scheduling program that the cable-TV company uses to make sure that the technician, for whom you have been waiting eleven hours, rings your doorbell only when you have just commenced pooping.
You: Fine, thanks. Listen, Bob, the reason I'm calling is: "Madam, you may be drunk, but I am ugly, and ..." No, wait. I mean: "you may be ugly, but I am Winston Churchill and ..." No, wait. (Sound of reference book thudding onto the floor.) S-word. Excuse me. Look, Bob, I'm going to have to get back to you.
Your basic guy is into a straight-ahead, bottom-line kind of thought process that does not work nearly as well with the infinitely subtle complexities of human relationships as it does with calculating how much gravel is needed to cover a given driveway.
Your friends love you anyway.
''You kids are just going to miss out on all the AAIIIEEE.'' This is the noise you make when you pick up a splinter the size of a harpoon.
Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.
You men out there probably think you already know how to dress for success. You know, for example, that you should not wear leisure suits or white plastic belts and shoes, unless you are going to a costume party disguised as a pig farmer vacationing at Disney World.
Your home electrical system is basically a bunch of wires that bring electricity into your home and take if back out before it has a chance to kill you. This is called a "circuit". The most common home electrical problem is when the circuit is broken by a "circuit breaker"; this causes the electricity to back up in one of the wires until it bursts out of an outlet in the form of sparks, which can damage your carpet. The best way to avoid broken circuits is to change your fuses regularly. Another common problem is that the lights flicker. This sometimes means that your electrical system is inadequate, but more often it means that your home is possessed by demons, in which case you'll need to get a caulking gun and some caulking. If you're not sure whether your house is possessed, see "The Amityville Horror", a fine documentary film based on an actual book. Or call in a licensed electrician, who is trained to spot the signs of demonic possession, such as blood coming down the stairs, enormous cats on the dinette table, etc.
You might have mentioned this to me Molly, said Leonard. The fact that there are hostile natives on the island. I forgot, said Molly. You forgot? said Leonard. There?s been a lot happening, said Molly.
Your modern teenager is not about to listen to advice from an old person, defined as a person who remembers when there was no Velcro.
You must remember that when you are pregnant, you are eating for two. But you must also remember that the other one of you is about the size of a golf ball, so let's not go overboard with it. I mean, a lot of pregnant women eat as though the other person they're eating for is Orson Welles.
You're only young once, but you can always be immature.
You should definitely have a travel agent. Why go through all the hassle of dealing with airlines, hotels, and rental-car agencies yourself, only to see the arrangements get all screwed up, when with just a single phone call you can have a trained professional screw them up for you?
You should definitely visit the Louvre, a world-famous art museum where you can view, at close range, the backs of thousands of other tourists trying to see the Mona Lisa.
You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
You should not confuse your career with your life.
You should not use your fireplace, because scientists now believe that, contrary to popular opinion, fireplaces actually remove heat from houses. Really, that's what scientists believe. In fact many scientists actually use their fireplaces to cool their houses in the summer. If you visit a scientist's house on a sultry August day, you'll find a cheerful fire roaring on the hearth and the scientist sitting nearby, remarking on how cool he is and drinking heavily.
You should tip the waiter $10, minus $2 if he tells you his name, another $2 if he claims it will be His Pleasure to serve you and another $2 for each "special" he describes involving confusing terms such as "shallots," and $4 if the menu contains the word "fixin's." In many restaurants, this means the waiter will actually owe you money. If you are traveling with a child aged six months to three years, you should leave an additional amount equal to twice the bill to compensate for the fact that they will have to take the banquette out and burn it because the cracks are wedged solid with gobbets made of partially chewed former restaurant rolls saturated with baby spit. In New York, tip the taxicab driver $40 if he does not mention his hemorrhoids.
Some of you may be unhappy with this dereligionizing of the Holiday Season, and you may have decided that, this year, you're going to celebrate it the old-fashioned way, with your family sitting around stringing cranberries and exchanging humble, handmade gifts, like on The Waltons. Well, you can forget it. If everybody pulled that kind of subversive stunt, the economy would collapse overnight. The government would have to intervene: It would form a cabinet-level Department of Holiday Gift-Giving, which would spend billions and billions of tax dollars to buy Barbie dolls and electronic games, which it would drop on the populace from Air Force jets, killing and maiming thousands. So, for the good of the nation, you should go along with the Holiday Program. This means you should get a large sum of money and go to a mall.
The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl.
The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.