Dave Barry, fully David McAlister "Dave" Barry

Barry, fully David McAlister "Dave" Barry

American Humorous Author and Columnist, Awarded Pulitzer Prize

Author Quotes

There are two distinctive classes of people today, those who have personal computers, and those who have several thousand extra dollars apiece.

They (Guys) can remember jokes learned in the third grade, whereas they can't always remember exactly, down to the last digit, how many of their parents are still living.

This nation (Italy) is so friendly that the leading cause of injury is getting passionately embraced by strangers.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity?

Warning: any money you save by doing homeowner projects yourself will be offset by the cost of hiring competent professionals to come and remove them so you can sell your house, not to mention the emotional trauma associated with listening to these professionals, as they rip out large chunks of a project, laugh, and yell remarks such as: hey! Get a load of this.

We know three or four songs, ... But we play about 50.

What Dad means by "see" of course, is "drive past at 67 miles per hour." Dad feels it is a foolish waste of valuable vacation time to get out of the car and actually go look at an attraction.

When I heated my home with oil, I used an average of 800 gallons a year. I have found that I can keep comfortably warm for an entire winter with slightly over half that quantity of beer.

Winter's here, and you feel lousy: You're coughing and sneezing; your muscles ache; your nose is an active mucus volcano. These symptoms -- so familiar at this time of year -- can mean only one thing: Tiny fanged snails are eating your brain.

So Richard and I decided to try to catch [the small shark]. With a great deal of strategy and effort and shouting, we managed to maneuver the shark, over the course of about a half-hour, to a sort of corner of the lagoon, so that it had no way to escape other than to flop up onto the land and evolve. Richard and I were inching toward it, sort of crouched over, when all of a sudden it turned around and -- I can still remember the sensation I felt at that moment, primarily in the armpit area -- headed right straight toward us. Many people would have panicked at this point. But Richard and I were not "many people." We were experienced waders, and we kept our heads. We did exactly what the textbook says you should do when you're unarmed and a shark that is nearly two feet long turns on you in water up to our lower calves: We sprinted I would say 600 yards in the opposite direction, using a sprinting style such that the bottoms of our feet never once went below the surface of the water. We ran all the way to the far shore, and if we had been in a Warner Brothers cartoon we would have run right INTO the beach, and you would have seen these two mounds of sand racing across the island until they bonked into trees and coconuts fell onto their heads.

Take the folks at Coca-Cola. For many years, they were content to sit back and make the same old carbonated beverage. It was a good beverage, no question about it; generations of people had grown up drinking it and doing the experiment in sixth grade where you put a nail into a glass of Coke and after a couple of days the nail dissolves and the teacher says: "Imagine what it does to your TEETH!" So Coca-Cola was solidly entrenched in the market, and the management saw no need to improve.

The big problem with pornography is defining it. You can't just say it's pictures of people naked. For example, you have these primitive African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot, and they have to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal saying goes: N'wam k'honi soit qui mali, which means, If you think you can catch a wildebeest in this climate and wear clothes at the same time, then I have some beach front property in the desert region of Northern Mali that you may be interested in. So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic publishes color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest naked, or pounding one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason naked, or whatever. But if National Geographic were to publish an article entitled The Girls of the California Junior College System Hunt the Wildebeest Naked, some people would call it pornography. But others would not. And still others, such as the Spectacularly Rev. Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing the wildebeest naked.

The idea there was that consumers would bring their broken electronic devices, such as television sets and VCR's, to the destruction centers, where trained personnel would whack them (the devices) with sledgehammers. With their devices thus permanently destroyed, consumers would then be free to go out and buy new devices, rather than have to fritter away years of their lives trying to have the old ones repaired at so-called "factory service centers," which in fact consist of two men named Lester poking at the insides of broken electronic devices with cheap cigars and going, "Lookit all them WIRES in there!"

The metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet.

The primary function of the government is - and here I am quoting directly from the U.S. Constitution - to spew out paper.

The taxpayers cannot be relied upon to support performing arts such as opera. As a taxpayer, I am forced to admit that I would rather undergo a vasectomy via Weed Whacker than attend an opera.

There are two kinds of solar-heat systems: "passive" systems collect the sunlight that hits your home, and "active" systems collect the sunlight that hits your neighbors' homes, too.

They can hold all the peace talks they want, but there will never be peace in the Middle East. Billions of years from now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms living in the Middle East will be bitter enemies.

This physique has inspired a whole line of mature-guy casual pants, which go by the name ?Dockers? because it was not considered a shrewd marketing move to come right out and call them ?Pants for the Bigger-Butted Man.?

Traveling with teenagers is somewhat more difficult than traveling with members of the actual human race.

Washington is nicknamed ?The Evergreen State? because it sounds better than ?The Incessant Nagging Drizzle State.?

We must always remember that, as Americans, we all have a common enemy -- an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government.

What gets me is, I waited in line for an hour to do this (Go on a ride called The Body at the Epcot Center). I could have experienced essentially the same level of enjoyment merely by sticking my finger down my throat.

When I purchase a food item at the supermarket, I can be confident that the label will state how much riboflavin is in it. The United States government requires this, and for a good reason, which is: I have no idea. I don't even know what riboflavin is. I do know I eat a lot of it. For example, I often start the day with a hearty Kellogg's strawberry Pop-Tart, which has, according to the label, a riboflavin rating of 10 percent. I assume this means that 10 percent of the Pop-Tart is riboflavin. Maybe it's the red stuff in the middle. Anyway, I'm hoping riboflavin is a good thing; if it turns out that it's a bad thing, like "riboflavin" is the Latin word for "cockroach pus," then I am definitely in trouble.

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.

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Barry, fully David McAlister "Dave" Barry
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American Humorous Author and Columnist, Awarded Pulitzer Prize