Dave Barry, fully David McAlister "Dave" Barry

Barry, fully David McAlister "Dave" Barry

American Humorous Author and Columnist, Awarded Pulitzer Prize

Author Quotes

We have the flu. I don't know if this particular strain has an official name, but if it does, it must be something like "Martian Death Flu". You may have had it yourself. The main symptom is that you wish you had another setting on your electric blanket, up past "HIGH", that said "ELECTROCUTION". Another symptom is that you cease brushing your teeth, because (a) your teeth hurt, and (b) you lack the strength. Midway through the brushing process, you'd have to lie down in front of the sink to rest for a couple of hours, and rivulets of toothpaste foam would dribble sideways out of your mouth, eventually hardening into crusty little toothpaste stalagmites that would bond your head permanently to the bathroom floor, which is how the police would find you. You know the kind of flu I'm talking about.

We'll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.

What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. What Men Want: Tickets for the World Series.

Who are you? he said. And why are you shouting? I?m your first officer, sir, said Slank. Mr. Slank. I?m just relaying your orders to the crew. Ah, said Pembridge. The aft binnacle has been cast off, sir, said Slank. The what? said Pembridge. The aft binnacle, said Slank. As you ordered. I did? said Pembridge, squinting suspiciously. When? Just now, sir, said Slank. Pembridge blinked at Slank. Who are you, again? he said. You first officer, sir, said Slank. Pembridge blinked again. My head hurts, he said. Perhaps the captain would like to go to his cabin, said Slank. You don?t tell me was to do, said Pembridge. I?m the captain. Yes, sir, said Slank. I?m going to my cabin, said Pembridge.

You can use the Internet to find out, from anywhere on the planet: exactly how much coffee is in a certain coffee machine at Cambridge University in England; exactly how many sodas are available in certain vending machines at certain major universities; and much, much more.

Sometimes we were so encouraging that the opposing coach would yell helpful suggestions rhyming with ?duck shoe? back at us.

The basic menu item, in fact the ONLY menu item, would be a food unit called the "patty," consisting of -- this would be guaranteed in writing -- "100 percent animal matter of some kind." All patties would be heated up and then cooled back down in electronic devices immediately before serving. The Breakfast Patty would be a patty on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, egg, Ba-Ko-Bits, Cheez Whiz, a Special Sauce made by pouring ketchup out of a bottle and a little slip of paper stating: "Inspected by Number 12". The Lunch or Dinner Patty would be any Breakfast Patties that didn't get sold in the morning. The Seafood Lover's Patty would be any patties that were starting to emit a serious aroma. Patties that were too rank even to be Seafood Lover's Patties would be compressed into wads and sold as "Nuggets."

The greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison... Edison's first major invention, in 1877, was the phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of American homes, where it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented.

The major parties could conduct live human sacrifices on their podiums during prime time, and I doubt that anybody would notice.

The only problem with disposable diapers is that they are starting to overflow the world's refuse-disposal facilities; scientists now predict that if the present trend continues, by the year 1997 the entire planet will smell like the men's room in a bar frequented by motorcycle gangs. But this is not really as serious as it sounds, because scientists also believe that several years before 1997 the polar ice caps are going to melt. Also, we could always have a nuclear war. So I would definitely go with the disposable diapers.

The Romans spent the next 200 years using their great engineering skills to construct ruins all over Europe. The basic Roman ruin design is a pile of rocks with a little plaque saying "Roman Ruins" and a group of tourists frowning at it and wishing they were back at the hotel bar.

The word user is the word used by the computer professional when they mean idiot.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.

This is easy. You never have to figure out what to get for children, because they will tell you exactly what they want. They spend months and months researching these kinds of things by watching Saturday- morning cartoon-show advertisements. Make sure you get your children exactly what they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices. If your child thinks he wants Murderous Bob, the Doll with the Face You Can Rip Right Off, you'd better get it. You may be worried that it might help to encourage your child's antisocial tendencies, but believe me, you have not seen antisocial tendencies until you've seen a child who is convinced that he or she did not get the right gift.

To understand the importance of financial planning for your retirement years, let's consider the famous true Aesop's fable about the grasshopper and the ant.

Very Important: During this sensitive postpartum time, you must be very careful not to say anything negative about your wife?s appearance. On the other hand, you must not say anything positive about your wife?s appearance, because she?ll know you?re lying. And whatever you do, do NOT give her the impression that you?re deliberately avoiding talking about her appearance. This might be a good time to enlist in the navy.

We idolized the Beatles, except for those of us who idolized the Rolling Stones, who in those days still had many of their original teeth.

Well, here it is, 1983, so it won't be long before you start reading a lot of boring stories about people like Vance Hartke. Hartke is a governor or mayor or something from one of the flatter states, and the reason you'll be reading about him is that he's one of the 50 top contenders for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. These men will spend the next 18 months going around the country engaging in the most degrading activities imaginable, such as wearing idiot hats and appearing on "Meet the Press". "Meet the Press" is one of those Sunday morning public interest shows that the public is not the least bit interested in. It features a panel of reporters who ask questions of a guest politician, who wins an Amana home freezer if he can get through the entire show without answering a single question ...

What would happen is that every idiot in this town who owns a gun, which is basically every idiot in this town, would grab his gun, jump into his car, or somebody else's car, and lay rubber for I-95. Inside of ten minutes the city is gridlocked, and what happens next makes IwoJima look like a maypole dance. This whole town turns into the end of a Stephen King novel.

Why don?t you lift the end? said Alf. It?s me back, Alf, complained Mack. You know how it troubles me. No more than mine troubles me, said Alf. But I said it first, said Mack.

You can't have a bad time at Disney World. It?s not allowed. They have hidden electronic surveillance cameras everywhere, and if they catch you failing to laugh with childlike wonder, they lock you inside a costume representing a beloved Disney character such as Goofy and make you walk about in the Florida heat getting grabbed and leaped on by violently excited children until you have learned your lesson.

Sometimes you panic and find yourself emitting remarks so profoundly inane that you would be embarrassed to say them to your dog. Your dog would look at you and think to itself, "I may lick myself in public, but I'd never say anything as stupid as that."

The basic Roman ruin design is a pile of rocks with a little plaque saying ?Roman Ruins? and a group of tourists frowning at it and wishing they were back at the hotel bar.

The Greeks also gave us the Pythagorean theorem, although after we graduated from high school we gave it back.

The major problem here, as I mentioned in the Introduction, is that foreign destinations tend to contain enormous quantities of foreigners (in the form of Japanese tourists).

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