tv In Depth with Dave Barry CSPAN March 6, 2017 12:06am-3:05am EST
of you that are joining for dinner we ask that you wait a few moments and let our distinguished guests depart and then you will be going out that door. those of you that our upstairs s and joining us for dinner there is a door you will be able to go out and if you are not joining for dinner you are welcome to depart this direction. thank you all for coming. >> the author of over 30 books including dave barry slept here and more recently best steak evestateever as he defends his .
see her boyfriend and shave her bikini region in preparation so a lot of people would pull off to the side of the road just for that. but again she was in a hurry soh she outsourced the steering of the car to the person who was the passenger whapassenger who s her ex-husband. very florida detail. [laughter] so they are going south, she's operating the accelerator, he ih operating the car and she is shaving. what can go wrong. the car in front of them, one in a million slows down and they slam into it and there's a big accident. this was international news ones that got out. my god did you read about this woman in florida. she was from indiana. [laughter] she was shaving her sure.am
we got the blame in florida except for tiger and the poor, we get the insane people from other states. if someone decides he wants to get naked and pleasure himselflf in a stuffed animal in wal-mart he doesn' doesn't do that in ohr pennsylvania, he comes to florida and we become international. it's a transient state and people come here to be weird.beo >> you write florida has become the joke state everybody makes fun of. if they were characters on seinfeld, florida would be cramer. they automatically laugh knowing it's going to do some idiot g thing. >> we got that reputation is useitused to be just more miamif i even had bumper stickers made
up had come back to miami we were not shooting at you. but it doesn't expand it to the whole state and it happens if i you trace it directly to the presidential election and to determine who they voted for in the president of the united states. early in the night they calledlf for gore and then bush and then i think william shatner was leading down here. at the end of the night they were shooting heroine on television and nobody knew who he had voted for. then we had that four or five period where all anybody talked about was florida because they were still counting the vote and they would show every night some official would get into a ballot with weasels or something.
what are these people thinking.d i propose that the time a voter approved ballot at a tennessee was too much to figure out how to punch a hole in a piece off cardboard so my idea was to print photographs of the candidates face and if you vote by poking out your candidates eyeball. [laughter] had we done that a lot of peoplo probably would have put up their own eyeball. we didn't do it. that's when it starts and became a joking state then every time anybody did anything it made the news. morning radio stations all around the country would have nothing to talk about if it were not for florida so we are providing a service of entertainment for the rest of the country. >> on the short drive from the airport bound to the bookstore that was a couple things i noticed i wanted to ask about. i drove from the airport down here.
>> when i first got here i felt like the way people in miami drive, people don't know the law but now i know everybody inow miami is driving according to the law of his or her individual country of origin and there area different interpretations of what a stop sign might be. but it doesn't mean t be instald daytona florida. anyway. [laughter] i saw quite a few slip and fall massage parlors and plasticst: s surgery centers. >> those are big ones. if you need an enhancement and a venomous snake at 2 a.m., it will be minutes away.in it's like starbucks. [laughter] but yes they are anywhere if anything happens there is a number to call right away to get millions of dollars, so another wonderful reason to live here. you also write every group that comes to florida, immigrant
groups, they have their own policies.. >> miami does have a policy and has for many years. it's kind of lessened a little bit now it's a big issue in politics. >> how many times have you run for president? >> it is hard to keep track. not so much lately. i am always running. i don't put enough years on the bumper stickers to save money. [laughter] my campaign candidacy consists of campaign contribution.
i like a procedure where the doctor would be 80 yards away. president trump wants the wall the hell is he going t to pay fr the wall i don't think we need i wall. what i would do is take the florida department of transportation, send them down to the border and say prepare us in mexico and no one will ever
go through again. >> in your book money secrets you write social security problem number one, the younger generation is with all due respect, worthless. social security problem number two, there are too many baby boomers. i agree with both of those statements. do you want me to respond? >> i feel bad. i'm not just older, i am an old person now and i realize what we have done with social security, putting a huge burden on the generations following as we have with the environment. we do whatever we want and i honestly think there's going to be a lot of problems after i'maf dead, so to hell with it. payback for hip-hop is what i think. [laughter] >> you have a chapter about donald trump in your book.
>> i read his entire book something about getting rich.g e it was even more shallow. it was basically a lot of bullet points about how great donald trump is. there were not a lot of specifics. abo just key demands excellence from every one like when he picks out silver patterns for his hotel. i'm thinking if i had a hotel i wouldn't need any more tips i don't think. >> and this book is from 2006 and here is what you write. in 2000, donald trump considered running for president and had some terrific ideas but then he decided not to because that would have been a pathetic joke. just kidding. he decided not to because he is
too blunt for politics. >> he came here to miami and i don't know if it was before or after i wrote that book that i followed him around and i do remember one thing he said he was comparing himself to various presidents and set as any of the president of the united states made themselves into a billionaire i don't think so. like abraham lincoln, loser. [laughter] so yeah. we are beyond the realm of humor these days. people say to me all the time this must be so great for you and i say no because the idea of humor is you take something everybody kind of recognizes and exaggerate it and make it absurd that he is already doing that. you don't need me. [laughter] it's like a brilliant piece ofof performance art.
unfortunately he's also really the president. if you look at it as performance art is incredible. >> we do a review every year and i've done this for many years. i do it for the miami herald also runs in the "washington post" and other papers. i have to turn it in in late november so i have to make up december. that's the kind of journalism i practicpracticed by fake news il it. i invented it way before it was cool. [laughter] i i take the evidence of the year that happened and try to make a funny narrative out of it and i've done this for many years and people like it a lot. someone today just mentioned it. so, i have to take every year is the same process. i get a list of headlines and i go through and say this is
horrible. terrorist attacks and natural tragedies and nothing funny yet i'm supposed to make it into a funny narrative. in the end i figured out a way to do it by leaving out stuff that was too depressing to write about. it is a big project probably thr biggest i do every year which is kind of pathetic now that i think about it. >> how long does it take to write? >> a couple of months. i'm doing other things along the way but that starts it. it's the main thing i'm thinking about and working on and then it's over fast. it's kind of a depressing conversation.eview >> in your review of 2016 is entitled what the butt and many times you try to avoid november
in here.r then skipping to december were going back to the previous month just to avoid confronting what actually happened in november which america still is and processing what happened. we are not even close. my wife and i were talking about it this morning. are we ever just going to settle back down in this country. i don't know that we are. it will be everybody screaming all the time. i'm in the news media and a lot of people i know are newspaper people and they are still frightened all the time. when did you give up your weekly column? >> a long time ago. i stopped i think in 2005. here's where i get defensive and explain i still work for a living but i still write a lot. like last year i went to iowa and i wrote about the iowa caucuses. i went to new hampshire an in ft
of both political competitions and what about those. i work a lot harder than you do mr. television man. [laughter] >> like coal mining but harder. you write your excellent places to observe because they are teaming up with high-level people who've chosen career and public service specifically. washington is all about status and power. all these people have to figure
out ways to exclude as many people as humanly possible but are justified in their own pow power. i think that it was in 2004 in a political convention innvention philadelphia there were 2,000 republicans essentially. they were the only people as trivial and shallow as i am in the field and now it is pretty much everybody on twitter. we made it our mission to get into parties we were not invited to and that is kind of the sport of going to a convention. the delegates are the peoplein that stand there with stupid
signs. they have a lot of receptions id and it was for somebody somewhere and we talked our way past the initial gore people but now there was another area that was harder to get into. we couldn't get into it. i will never forget it was a ballroom and in the middle was a platform that had been used for speakers or a band or something but it was in the middle of the floor may be the size of a ping-pong table so we caught up on its like four or five of us and we found that these cones janitors use if we put one ondef either side and stood up and
when people would wander througp we would say you can't come up here this is a reserved area but then people would finally start coming over like why can't we get up there. but then the majority leader of the house of representatives wanted to get up so all these republicans come in and they don't see what it is but he is up on this thing and now suddenly they do really want to get up on the platform with usm and we are manning the edges ofe the perimeter and he was totally getting the joke and then of
course it is getting more and more crowded up there and more and more people are coming into this room and it was a wonderfuo night really. i wrote about it the next day. but it really was what washington is in this arbitrary raised platform. >> the common theme in a lot of your columns and 30 plus books, cable news. >> there is not so much news when i wake up in the morning.
i go to fox and watch all of them because i find ititfi fascinating that none of them wants my opinion any more. fox is completely broke, cnn are similar but they hate him. nbc hates him. morning joe which is a good show but everybody is biased. there isn't any one show that i feel like it's presenting.- i don't even know what it means anymore. it's so hard to find. >> at what point did you know you were a humorist in life? >> when i thought it was funny i was really young. my family valued humor more than
any other quality. my parents were funny people but also i thought i was funny as a kid and we were into sarcasm heavily. when i thought i could meet a living was way later. i wrote humor columns and got a job and when i got out of college when i code i wrote a humor column but that is and what they paid me to do.t they paid me to go to meeting some of which are still going on. [laughter] i was still writing a humor column and i left journalism altogether for a while and talked effective writing seminars to business people. that was my job but i was still writing for this little paper ir pennsylvania. by then i am in my 30s and it
still didn't occur to me this is a job i could have. then what really changed it for me if somebody said to me at the beginning you could have a job where all you do is write humor, that would have been my goal but it never occurred to me that was possible.pen to p it happened to people i knew that i didn't think it would happen to me. then my son was born and i'm writing my weekly humor column that the philadelphia inquirer, the editor at a magazine saw it on the inquirer and had read a couple of my columns and said you could sub at some stuff so i submitted some things they ran but then i wrote this piece about the birth of my son and this was 1980 when he was born and the baby boomers were just
in the process of taking over the world at that time. as everyone knows we are very special and there's nobody like us and there will never be a generation like us because we are so special. [laughter]one of t one of the things we did is have babies. no one ever had the piece before. [laughter] certainly not the way we had an. the way we have been like when i was born old system was like the mother had to be there. [laughter] the father was nowhere near when it happened. they gave her a lot of drugs and she didn't wake up until the child was in like third grade. so nobody participated in the process except the medical, youw personnel. they woke up the mother, showed the baby to the dad out smokingt in the waiting room if he was even around. [laughter] that was the old system, a lot of people were born under that system, abraham lincoln, you
know. [laughter] that our system was natural childbirth where everybody really was appreciated and enjoyed it and it would be natural and no drugs involved and we went to classes on how to have a baby. i don't know how people did it before. we had classes. they would pass around a modelmo of the cervix and you don't know where that thing has been. [laughter] .. ike the never use the word pain, never. and we're like okay, contractions, centered medical and clinical. you have contractions and when the contractions, a certain point apart and you can read a certain way, and her husband coach and it sound like it would be really great. natural. so then, of course, you actually
get in there and it's, you know, indicate whether women are having the babies and it's all begging for drugs. i wrote an essay about that, the contrast between the classes cld the actual child birth, and the editor ran it in the "philadelphiaer ininquirer" but it went viral in the newspaper world back then. they hauled a -- always had sunday magazines and they -- see if somebody else ran a piece that are were interested in and everybody -- now, journalism was new being taken over by peoplele my age. all going through the same thing. all had babies and this was pretty funny.l so i started getting called.wa
the first call i got -- again, i'm working -- teaching writing, and the philadelphia inquirer paid me $350 for that piece, which is a lot of money. got a call at holm from the editor of she "chicago tribune"d sunday magazine, and she said i'd like to print it. he said how much do you charge and the think i already made $350 so i said, well, how about $50. he said we'll pay you 500. and i said if only said 25 he might have gone up to a thousand. don't know. but that was was repeat with a bunch of -- not only that -- i suddenly discovered this is -- and they all ran and it then they all said, what else have you written? i said i write this little
column for the daily local news. they said send it to us so that suddenly, based on that one story, within a couple of month is was in a lot of papers, and people knew who i was. the editors including one down here in miami, the miami herald. and then when fairly short time i was offered jobs at newspaper and took a job here in miami. so i went from being a guy writing a column kind of almost as a hobby, the daily local news, the little paper that ranked weekly was payingmy me 23.50 a week and i was suddenly a humor writer. i happened to me. it would just the right piecegh and get in all this marks. i happened to me and was wonderful. very much unexpected. >> were you got at teaching
effective writing to business executives.at >> i was good at teaching it. they were not good at learning. it's probably still try. don't know. but like my -- the people, our clients-were engineers, chemists, auditors, people whoo didn't -- they were intelligence people and educated but thing think of themselves as a writer and they wrote like they're company wrote. and everybody wrote the same way. if you had something really important to say and figure out a way, after three years of testing, and experiment and you were like dupont employee or something, you'd figure out a way to manufacture this plastic for 27-cents a kilogram cheaper than before ask save the company $384 million a year without any
real -- without doing much at all, just changing a formula. the way you write that, write an 87 page document that started three years we undertook a program to demeanor whether substituting blah blah blah, somewhere in there it would say we can save $384 million a year by switching.ea never the end or the beginning, somewhere in there after you -- the dragged you through all the work they had dones' the studies and always worded that way. would say to them, the first sentence of your report has to say, we can save 384 million -- and they would go, no, we can't do that. said why not? because that's not how we do itu here. go, but they're paying me to come in to tell you how to do it. that's how. and it was a real battle, and i would say that i won the battle ten percent of the time and lost
it 90% of the time. didn't feel bad -- i would talke about how to structure a sentence and stuff like that, but i don't think i changed the way american business people write. but i did make them feel guilty anyway. which was something. >> host: back to your discussion -- >> guest: oh, is just want to add one thing. the thing that benefited me personally about that part of my career, which was seven years of teaching, i got good at traumaticking to groups. if you walk into -- good at talking to groups. you're at a plant in north carolina -- chemical plant in north carolina and people have been told you have to record -- for weeks this guy is going to talk to you about writing and they would shuffle in and sit down and i looked like i wask nine years old, and i had a mustache just to try to look older. i looked like a nine-year-oldd with a mustache. and i would say -- i had to
convince these people i would -- they didn't think i knew anything.th didn't want to be there i had to keep their attention and try to teach them. so i was just terrified and throw up before i would -- the motel. and then i just learn to make entertaining. they knew there was going to be something funny coming along sooner or later and i got better and better. that turned out to be invaluable when i became a writer, because when you become a writer, writing the book is in the minds of the publishers like maybe 50%, maybe less. the important thing is going out and promoting the book, talks to groups of people. that would a useful experience for me to have a very unwilling otherwisens and have to win them -- unwailing audience. wing you talk about the book it's willing but i full more
comfortable doing that. >> host: do you enjoy the book tour.l >> guest: i don't.t. i don't like the travel.va but it can be brutal. really unbelievably brutal. i'll give you one example. i don't allow this anymore. i used to be much nor naive what i would allow on a book tour. i the thing learn to avoid iswh we're going to have a film crew tag along and they won't be -- they'll complete -- won't even know they're there. that's a complete lie. they make you come out of the door three times.. and when i was more naive and i was on a book tour in seattle, and this film crew tagged along. i get off the plane and they're
there and this is before 9/11 so they could be right the gate. physicalled me through, i get pick up by the escort that takes you around. they're in the van with me so we can't have -- can't see hi -- but everything you say, they're -- don't mind us. and they-i go around to -- i did a bunch of talks, radio interviews, tv interviews, very packed day, and i'm looking the schedule and i can see there's a half hour when this -- the end of the afternoon, the film crew is going to leave and i'm going to have a half hour in hotel and then i have to do a book store event in the night. and a half hour. and i'm looking forward to the half our all day long. finally i get to the hotel and it was agreed they'd leave me the hotel. check. in go to my room and open the door and there's a film crew. they forgot to tell me there
would be another film crew inn hotel room to do an enter are you.n walked in and -- interview. walked in and i lost it. what are you doing here? and they're of course filming this. this woman goes, you didn't know about this? it's an your schedule, and i went, well, i'm really kind of angry but i'm trying to not look angry. what if i had to go to the bathroom? she says, do you? and that part of the book tour,t that could really get wearying but the part of the book tour i like is when you do a signing and people who are actually buying your book, come to listen to you talk and buy your book and have you sign the book and it's like there's some real people there the radio and tv people, they all get your book for free they're doing because you're providing them with content, like this. but the become store people,
that's not them and they came because they wanted to see me. think every writer likes to know there are readers out there some. >> host: good afternoon ander welcome to booktv on c-span? we're just starting now? what was all this stuff goingg on? >> host: well, -- going to be hard to get through issue think. welcome to become of the on c-span2. our "in depth" program where we talk to one author and talk"i about his or her body of work. this month at humorist and author, dave barry and we're at books and%s in coral gables,t florida and he is our guest. the author of over 30 books. here are some of them: dave barry talks back, 16992. dave barry does japan. 1993. dave barry is not making this up. 1994. you put your name in all book titled.
>> i find it just as annoying as you do. i one propose the titled be another damn book by dave barry and almost went for that but didn't. >> host: maybe your next book. dave bare barry's greatest hits, 1997. dave barry schlepped here, history of the dave barry hits below the beltway, 2002. dave bare -- i'll mature when i'm dead 2010, live x-raying find happiness and then this year, best state ever, a florida man defends his homeland. how long have you been living in florida.31 >> 31 years. i moved to home from the united states in 1986. >> host: and we'll figure out where you were before that after
i want to make sure our audience can get involved here, and this is a call-in program, regular viewers of booktv know. we'll put the known numbers up to have a conversation with dave barey, 202-748-8200 in eeast and central time zones, 748 can 820n in mountain and pacific time zone you.2- can't get through on the phone lines and want to try social media,@booktv is our twitter happen, make a comment on our facebook page, facebook.com facebook.com/book tv and send an e-mail to book tv at c-span .0 org.a? >> are you only special media? yeah, i have twitter, facebook, daughter who is 17 years old, who is like the spire life is on snap something, snap -- indirectly through here. sometimes she takes pictures of me.
she is a -- my daughter is basically friends with every other 17-year-old person on the planet thangs to social media. >> host: what's your twitter handle? >> guest: it's ray adverb. >> host: where did that come from. >> guest: dave barry rearranged. >> guest: it's fault of my editor, who is obsessed with anna grahams and he pointed out a long time ago that dave barry an go ray adverb and i loved that. i don't know. should have just called myself dave barry. that's my actual name. you know that, right? >> host: from your book, live right and find happiness to go back to your conversation about baby-boomers, above all, the greatest generation did not worry about providing a perfect, risk-free environment for their children.
they loved us, sure, but didn't feel obligated to spend every waking minute running interference between us and the world. has that changed? >> guest: yeah.he i mean, that's still my view. but my point in that, that is say, was that my generation -- i was the '60s. sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. my generation.n. we thought of ourselves as cooler than our parents more fun than our parents, crazier than our parents but i realize that was no true when i look back. o cool and sex, drug and rock 'n' roll, but as soon as we had kids we stopped and became nanny and the people that schedule everything their kid decide and make sure their kids have a helmet for every activity, including eating. we became much more worried than we were fun. but also i thought back to my
parents' generation, i grew up in a little town called arma, new york, and the -- there was the real mad men because the place where mad men, the tv show, is set, and my dad commuted to new york city every day and a bunch of my friends' dads commuted to new york city. some were advertising people.e. that age group that you're -- the people who had been through the great depression and world war ii who are now in the 50s, becoming successful. what i remember when i thought back is, even though the parents they had us, kids and careers and everything like that. k they partied much harder as grownups than me generation ever did. my parents had -- parties every's and saturday night. cocktail parties. women dressed up.
they wore suits and ties and had manhattans and ate gluten. a lot of them died sooner butter they had fun. that didn't happen to my generation. we got much more staid and nervous and it's because they had already -- through world war ii. probably didn't feel that theyve had too much to worry about, raising kids. i always lost that. it's not a new observation but kids are much more sheltered. when i was a kid i can't imagine allowing my daughter or son to do what i had when i was a kid.i gone from dawn to dusk, and my parents didn't know where i was. maybe that was bad but we had a lot of fun and developing a
great sense of independence but i don't know about now. these kids today... >> host: that's it? >> guest: yes. >> host: from dave barry slapped slept. mention the 60s to any middle t age professional and he'll transform himself into something worse, droning away about miss memories until you think of an excuse to leave. >> guest: the baby-boomers? >> host: yeah. that's what you wrote. >> guest: i did. well, everybody is really sick of us and i can kind of get why. the '60s were a long time ago and i have to admit that's still the music i prefer. one of my joys in life is to tell my daughter how crappy her music is compared to the music i listen to and how nobody is going to still listen to her music 50 years later, maybe i'm
wrong. i'm already droning away about it. >> host: what kind of work did your parent does in new york?? >> guest: well, me father was a presbyterian minister, but he did not have a church. he was not a pastor him was the executive director of an organization call the new york city mission society, which was an antipoverty organization in new york that ran all kinds of programs, ran summer camps. every summer my sister and my brothers and i went to camp sharperyoo in and were the only kids from west chester. everybody else were inner kids and we were the only white kids. my dad ran that kind of -- ran that organization so his job was to get money from guilty white
people and funnel it to various programs in bed-stuy and the south bronx, antipoverty programs designed to get kids into college. so he went to new york every day but his job wasser different and he was active in the civile rights movement also. my mom, everybody asked -- not everybody cut but a question i'm often asked is where did you get your sense of humor mitchell dad was funny but my mom was funny, edgy funny.. what they called a house wife. she had four kids and so she cooked dinner for us every night. washed clothes, cleaned the house, but she was funny. she was college educated and win to the university of nebraska. she was a stennothing grandfatherrer in the -- stenago
grandfatherrer in the manhattan project in chicago. where they had the reactor in the base. she claimed -- i don't know why she would lie -- she was nose a person desee claimed she once took dictation during -- she had security clearance and everything. anyway, after and dad got married they moved to new yorkne and she was raising news a little town arma, and she was not like other moms. didn't notice this when i was a kid because it the environment i was in and seemed normal. my mom was a very edgy lady. we had a pond near our house and we used to be swimming. i would never allow my daughter to do that go off into the woods and go swimming without a helmet and the lifeguard and some kind of insurance binder. o we would just go off and swim. we would wave to our mom, out
and would open the window and go, don't drown, kid and we would say, we won't. we made i fun of it in our family. and we -- she would take us around to the little town -- arma is a boutiquey suburb of new york city, a prestige address. then it was a little town near new york but november of new york and a real small town and there is way the market to do your schapping, the a & p, a drug store, cleaners. my mom would take us onary rands and the trades men loved her because she was funny. we would good to market and they would be behind the counter slicing back lone in and say, how are you doing, mar? just shitty, ray.
we are allowed to say that onan' inclines -- c-span in i apologize. everybody would -- so she was funny and there was nothing she wouldn't make fun of. nothing. and i will give you an example that -- well-maybe even sound shocking but it was a true story. when my dad died, we were devastated, obviously. no-more so than my mom. we had -- there was a service for him but we had him cremated and he wad his urn and just my brothers, my sister and my mom and i took the urn to the cemetery to bury my dad. so, it was raining and it was a sad day, we're all weeping.. we go there and they've got a little hole dug. so we go out there, the four of us, and -- the five of us, and put my dad in his urn in and cover it up and stay some stuff and hug each other.
we're walking away, all crying, it's raining and i had my mom on my arm. she looks down and reads a tombstone and goes so that's why we don't see him around anymoree like, and we both started laughing, and we're still crying but we're also laughing. even in that moment my mom -- she's not going to pass up that opportunity to make a joke. that was my mother. she was -- had her emotional issues and everything but shehe was really, really funny, and i was just raised in a tradition where you don't ever take any too seriously and specially not yourself. that was my family's. >> host: you mention your father was an ordained minister. the problem with writing about religion you round the risk of offending sincere lie religiousi people and then they come off you with machetes.
>> guest: i remember writing -- contrasting like how every religion thinks every other religion is insame. a guy in indiay believed you should drink your own urine and our country they cross themselves before they shoot a foul shot. so everybody thinks everybodys elves is crazy. >> host: well, let's get to calls. we'll take calls from the audience. we have an odd ens here at books and books. danielle is in back with a microphone so raise your hand and we'll get to that in just aa second after hear from alliecatn katherine in bryan, ohio. you on with dave barry. >> caller: thank you for taking my call call. my question is abouture sense of
humor, you got a lot of your sense of humor from your mother and your family but you seem to bring a lot of enthusiasm and good life to your humor so where do you get your enthusiasm? thank you. >> guest: thank you for the question. i guess i like -- i've always liked being a able to amuse people. it's a form of -- a performance in a way, and i like to make people laugh. so when people are amused, i guess i get the same vibe that a standup comedian gets from the audience. your enthusiastic about it. you like to make people laugh. it's fun. when people are enjoying what you're saying. so, it's very different from writing humyear, which is not
like that at all becauseout get no feedback, no reaction at all from anybody. just staring at a screen and hoping somebody will will fine it entertaining. it's more rewarding to talk to t people but also a little riskier because you don't know they'llo laugh or not. >> host: steve in east brunswick, new jersey. you're on booktv. >> caller: hi. how are you? hello? >> host: go ahead. we're listening. >> yes.os >> caller: i was wondering who some of dave barry's favorite authors are that write satire. >> guest: um, the -- i can tell you easily the writer who most influenced me -- thanks to my father -- is what robert benchley, and this is a guy that is almost unknown today as far as i can tell, but in the
'20s, '30s, was probably if you asked literally in america who is the funniest person in the country they would sayay robert benchly. a theater critic and wrote wonderfully funny silly essays and my dad was a huge fan of his and around the house, we had robert benley anthologies and i discovered them when i was ten years old party and reading and it it was like thebes thing. couldn't believe a grownup wrote this. hilariouses stays. and i wanted to write like that. and from the beginning with wrote anything for my high school paper, my college paper, when i got -- could writemn columns for in the newspaper i tried to write like robert benley -- benchley and i also a fan of t.j. woodhouse.
karl hyatt is a friend of mine from down here. douglas adams, the late, greatos douglased a dams.chley th adams,ing the thing about robert benchley, he wrote essays that were pretty topical and if you them today -- i still do -- a lot of stuff you can't get anymore the culture reverence is got about a -- reference is dock like a haberdasher and a reasono why nobody still reads robert benchley and its important toa recognize you won't be around whatever cultural bubble 'er in, that's it. when it's over, it's over. you're not going to beer remembered the ageorge orwell is, down the road.
>> host: a little bit later in the program today we'll show you a more extensive list of dave barry's favorite authors and influences but i do want to ask you one of the oneses you sent us was "mad magazine." >> guest: everybody my age read "mad magazine" and those guys were brilliant the art was brilliant and the writing was brilliant. i don't know about now. but when i was a kid that was sharp and it was, like, sharp and edgy, and that "mad magazine." "national lampoonty company and "saturday night live" were powerful influences of the humor move my generation and still are, i think. >> host: we have a question in audience.. can we get the microphone? tell us your first name.t >> paul. hi. my favorite issue of the miamii herald is always your holiday gift guide.
i just laugh myself until i can't laugh anymore. i won wondering if any occupy of the those insanely ridiculous gifts that sound out in your mine more than the others?do a d >> ... gift guide which is the most useless, ridiculous, stupid products but it can't be trying. if they are trying to be stupid, some of those get in but as a rule, are strict, my strict policy is if you're trying to be funny when not going to let you into iraq tried to think people would really want this thing. that's a much narrower universe but i do it every year. the one that i remember most vividly, and this is a phenomenon that happens often with the get-go. people actually want to buy
these things merely as jokes. one year it was doc -- there was a manufacturer of decoys, duck decoy set foot on the water that look like ducks. the company decided that it was not realistic at all the docs always sticking out like this against docs sometimes but there had been. i can't really believe that i can't really believe they are not that smart. they are all sitting up. hunters might be stupid to believe the docs would think that. so they would float in the water. why is it not coming back up? anyway, we ordered the duck butt
can actually we ordered several. they do a funny photograph it'sl illustration. we decided to do them in a puncn bowl.y, so anyway, the issue runs and everybody in america wants to buy them. there was a company that made them and they have shut down production to meet the demand but they were concerned people might put them in punch bowls because the alcohol would dissolve and it would be toxicce and fatal. so they called me and asked me what i thought about it and i said anybody drinks punch like
this deserves to die. [laughter] so that was one. >> i don't even remember the chicken brassiere. >> we need you to get on the microphones of the television audience can hear. >> there was the inflatable toast. >> black toilet paper. >> that makes sense. you could reuse it and nobody would know. the turkey leg air freshener. you've given it a lot of thought. [laughter] >> let's hear from gary in california. you are on with dave barry, go ahead. >> i want to run something by you that i thought was funny.
everyone that gets asked abouty russia why doesn't trump checks with his own fbi to see if they have any russian connections ahead of time instead of wastine time having the democrats asked all his nominees have you had any contact with russia, he has his own fbi so why doesn't he check that out? >> you are saying he has thee ie fbi?any of >> he's the president so can't he asked the nominees if they've had any contact instead of having the democrats asked root icould send out another tweet and that is the route that he's decided to take. about russia i have a little experience with the russian which i will -- about two years ago, ridley pearson who is a friend of mine and a co-author and bandmate, and we wrote some books together, we went to
russia for the united states department as a part of the program they send offers to russia in hopes of improving relations between the two countries but it is clearly not working. [laughter] let's hope they don't ever send us to canada because we would be out for. anyway, we went to russia and there is a lot of tension and there was then also. the state department gave this to us after we agreed to do it they gave us a big warning about how this could happen to us, we might be hassled or picked up and detained for a little while. we would almost certainly be under surveillance. our phones would almost certainly be tapped into computers could be hacked into, hotel room, whatever. and some of those things did happen to us. we were hassled a little bit anr pretty confident our peers were hacked into and we wered
confident they were listening. but anyway, what i learned and i will pass along to anybody that goes to russia if you go to russia and i can't stress the importance enough, do not eat the mexican food. we went one night where we did an event and we were coming back to the hotel and starving and the only restaurant open of the mexican restaurant run by russians. i had what i later realized was a weaponize chimichanga. i don't want to get too explicit but if anybody was listening to my hotel room that night, they would need years of therapy. >> what was your meeting like with the writers flex m >> that was weird. i had to learn when i was over
there russians especially if they were english speaking think they are just like us but they are not. the official russians don't like us. they are kind of upfront about it, they think that we are decadent and the enemy. they said you're going to meet with these writers. but it wasn't like that at all it was here's what we do here and it's better than you do there. i'd write job's. i didn't have any -- it was a little unnerving and asked one point we were in st. petersburg and the big issue with them is we had imposed sanctions because of their involvement in crimea and for the russians it was personal. they thought was that we were
interfering in their business. trying to make it a little more ideological i asked one of the writers st. petersburg was then called stalin into there was a siege and everybody starved and people have to resort to cannibalism. it wasn't that long ago in that city i said to the writers does it still resonate here becausese it wasn't that long ago that thing liknothinglike that has he united states.au here you are in this beautiful city and it looks normal buts this horrible thing happened right here and he said yes it's still very much part of our -- people have nothing to eat, they eat cardboard, salt dust, dirt. so we didn't worry about sanctions. it was really hard core.
so they don't like us is what i am saying. the writers union doesn't like american writers at all. >> let's hear from norman washington. good afternoon. >> i just have to question. first are you worried trump could put you out of business because who is more outrageous funnier stuff than he does and the second question, there was a professor that wrote a book about the dumbing down of america and i wondered if you thought that explains some of the weird stuff going on. >> the first part i talked about earlier it's difficult to write humor about donald trump because he gets beyond whatever boundaries you set he goes beyond them so often and also there are so many people writing about him every night is 27 shows doing donald trump jokes
so if you are in the humory crow business, it's pretty crowded right now.down. america has been getting dumber as long as i've been alive according to everybody. here is the thing about that. my daughter is 17 in high school and i like to think that i am as smart as a high school student. the last time i could actually help her with her math homework was fifth grade and then they got into the coastline and that was bad. if we are getting done or i can't explain why my daughter and her friends study so muchus harder. at some point we must forget what we've learned. it is not what it is, that is not a coherent answer. if you can wait for the
microphone we have another question from the audience. please go ahead. >> my name is paul. my family, friends and i haves o been fans of yours for two reasons. one you are absurd and the other is your social commentary inside like the history of gregory and kelvin and this combination is unique and we not only enjoy th value your books and commentary and articles. my question is the balance between the absurd and the social commentary must be something you've been following up on the things you've said about her challenging. the grasp of reality that we try to define has been ministered a coup d'état and we find ourselves in this world.
have you ever thought of how to use your humor -- [laughter] one of the things people have said to me over the years and it's flattering they will say you've really helped me. i'm having a hard time with my son or daughter and we read your books together and they brought us together or i went through au rough patch, had the disease and your book made me feel better i always think the problem is i de is to make you feel worse. it's the only thing i know how to do. i'm grateful when people say that it made them feel better. you mentioned a friend of mine and one of my favorite writers and i just need to say this we had an attempted mugging. we have done an event and went to a bar afterwards and might
have had a few drinks and came back to his house in the village and we are standing outside his door and this guy comes up with a jacket and it's like this in the pocket, give us your money or we'll blow your heads off.st we later on deconstructed this like you wouldn't have to guns. the way we handled that we were action heroes. we survived. >> speaking of guns in best state ever you write about visiting lock and load.
>> in this kind of hip neighborhood there is a place called lock and load where you can go in and shoot machine guns. i don't know if that is the correct term technically but you pull the trigger and it's set up like a restaurant you walk in and there is a menu of how many you want to shoot and what kindd and then there's these young ladies coming around to takekear your order and they have guns on the wall they don't shoot a but you can see what they feel like so we shopped and walked out and were wired for hours and hours. i wouldn't be a good soldier i don't think if i had to shoot guns for real. >> next is a gordon in syracuseu
new york. >> hello. i've been a fan of yours for years. i am being forced to move to orlando to stay together with my wife. here in new york i get messed with a loft. and the assisted care home i can't have anything bigger than a toy poodle and that isn't going to protect me. i hear about everyone carrying guns in florida. the other night there was an article about this crazy stand your ground law in florida.li
as fast as i'm ranting away i awake i am using stand your ground. i was convinced i should carry a glock 42 stainless steel. i said what do you carry.an >> i don't have a gun. i'm assuming everybody in my neighborhood does. we do have a stand your ground of law if i understand correctly you can shoot anybody you want as long as you're standing on the ground is the way that we would do it. but yes there are a lot of guns. when i first moved to miami in the 80s it was during the cowboy era and i remember driving into seein and seeing cy with bullet holes. first i didn't believe that isev really what it was but there were a lot of shootings.
not so much in miami anymore as far as i know that was going on. >> where is the lion when it lit comes to humor and real life and you ever feel like you'veos crossed it? >> argue asking and since there are things you shouldn't make fun of? because guess there are a lot of things. i don't make jokes about rape or the holocaust or child abuse.aby but you can sometimes make fun around those things. there are some things you can laugh about without hurting people. although i found nothing i everi write about i can't write about anything without offending somebody is the way i should put it. when i write a newspaper column,
frequently nothing in it is true yet it appears in the newspaper there are people that call me human and impaired because they assume it would have to be true otherwise why would the newspaper printed and i would get letters like if i say abraham lincoln invented the lightbulb inevitably somebody would correct me on that and say it wasn't abraham lincoln, it was benjamin franklin, they would get it wrong. [laughter] if you write anything for the paper you have tpeople you haved to offend people. but there are a lot of areas i wouldn't make jokes about. >> in the book find happiness is your meeting with vice president dick cheney a true story? >> yes. that was an embarrassing moment for me involving alcohol.
i have several of those a few years ago, the "washington post" used to have a cartoonist to dinner and i was included, i was honored to be included. a small gathering of cartoonist stan lee and ted koppel. we would need and they would i always invite a high-level washington person to be part of -- and i don't think he was vice president, he was secretary of defense. so it is a small room and they are serving cocktails and they may have had a couple. so, dick cheney is there and i go up to him and said hi. he shakes my hand, very nice about it. i go away and then a little bit later i have forgot that i've already introduced myself.
now it's striking me as funny so i come up to him later again and say hi and now i'm pretty sure he's thinking okay somebody kill me. [laughter] but anyway, i did do that. this is reminding m me cannot tl another story where i have too much to drink it involves the author scott turow is a friend of mine and a member of the band that i'm in which its authors, we are a terrible band but we have a lot of fun. one of the reasons we are bad is like other bands rehearse ahead of time i'm told. that is their secret. [laughter] like when you see the rolling stones get up there and sing a song they know ahead of time everything that you're going to play which is kind of cheating. [laughter]
we don't do it that way. we play a song and later on think we should have rehearsed it and then we go to a bar. so we do a show and it's usually a fund raiser. so we are at a bar in new york city and i had a few drinks and i'm sitting next to scoff but there's a lot of other people around and everybody is talking. he's telling a long complicated anecdote involving his spleen. i'm talking to people and i hear this story listening to it for a little while and i go do you have a spleen or not and he said no i don't, that is the point of the story. okay. okay. so then i go off and i come back in a little bit and i'm a little confused, do you have one or not and he says no i just told you. okay. so then the third time i come back and again because of the
way that he's telling the story isn't clear to me so i asked him again in this could have been because i have several law because at that point but then he takes a sharpie and write no spleen on my forearm. so now i don't have to ask him any more because it's right here. so anyway, the evening ends, everybody goes to bed, we get an earlhad anearly train the next o boston. i get u up, the alarm goes off, whatever. i get up and stagger towards the bathroom and i look in the mirror and i see this writing on my arm and i look down and there's no spleen. and you know how there's like this urban myth about the guy that wakes up in a hotel room and his kidneys have been harvested and i'm thinking my
god someone harvested my spleen but i don't know how to check because i don't know where mine is so then my brain starts to reboot and i think you don't need one. they take peoples all the time for recreational purposes. you'd have to be a moron to harvest somebody's spleen. [laughter] so the moral is don't drink alcohol. [laughter] >> roxanne asks on facebook do you ever get up to tallahassee state legislatures are much crazier than dc. >> i did. years ago i did a big feature for the miami herald's sunday magazine about the florida state legislature and you are right it's pretty funny i was there on the opening day of the legislature and i don't know if
they still do this but their desks were covered with fruits and vegetables and people bring them gifts and it's the silliest looking legislative body and then of course they get evenyou' sillier. it is a rich source of humor but maybe i should again. again. the data controls the oklahoma please, go ahead. am a mi >> i am a middle school teacher and i would say 99% of my students are hispanic and in my 33 years i can't think of a group of students who need to laugh more than they do. i was wondering if mr. berry has ever written anything on immigration and what would bede his advice to my students under the current circumstances they find themselves?
al >> first i feel for them if they are undocumented and i'm guessing that is what you meanm >> i would say the vast majority of them are dreamers, parents that have been through situations where they have documents written up for them where they would live as citizens in the united states. very traumatic for them and they are middle school students and middle school can be very frightening. >> thank you very much. you have nothing helpful to tell you about their situation-h except i hope they and theirge parents get to stay.ch i happen to be fond of the a middle school audience as readers. i wrote some books on my own and
i always find them to be when i go to school events a wonderfulr group. my favorite piece of fan mail ever was i think they wereth fifth-graders who had a book club and who had read a book i wrote called science fair. they wrote a letter that i have saved at home that says we think your book is one of the best out there just so you know two of the authors we have written towo have died. we hope the curse gets you. [laughter] so that doesn't really help in that situation. >> was a typical day for you? >> it's so boring. i get up, read my e-mail, look
at the website usually then i crawl up under the screen i was last working on and resume despairing. the method of writing is that it relies on inspiration and ideas just come to you and it may come to people sometimes but if you are writing coherent prose is so much slower than that and less dependent on inspiration andentw more a willingness to stay in front of the screen and keep trying. but this is true of all kinds and in mine it's even more ridiculous because i'm trying to write jokes. so i will spend ten minutes agonizing over whether it would be funnier to make it a weasel
or a squirrel and the answer is weasel in case you were wondering. but the little things make writing work. usually there is one big idea behind the whole thing would i don't want to compare it to real work for thi this is why a lot e don't riot. i know a lot of writers and they are not all gifted. they tried to make it better and probably the exception is stephen king and also to read
anything written by anybody. >> so, when your books are put together as if a light touch by the editor? is goin >> this is going to sound arrogant but i generally don't believe anybody knows. it's something i've done all my life and i have experience with my readers. this ju the editor tells me this just doesn't work and i will tell them he's on. if it is somebody i respect i will absolutely rework it but generally it isn't a major reworking. you can't do that with humor. what i write is a whole series of job and they may be unrelated to each other.
if i started out on one topic and ended up on another as long as you are laughing i am happy. we have another question in the audience clappe give your firstf you would.y name >> i have a question about process. how do you select the gift sent your christmas gift type? >> it takes about ten minutes. during the course of the year people will suggest items and i send them all to the gift guide independence she sends me this
list and basically is it stupid or somebody taking it seriously and if it meets those criteria then i'm likely to include it in the gift guide. are you planning to do a gift guide? >> our holiday tradition as i read the gift guide out loud. i have tears streaming down my face laughing hysterically and he rolls his eyes. that's what we do every holiday. >> i would be glad to be part of your relationship. [laughter] >> caller: hello >> please go ahead with your question or comment. we are listening. i just want to let you know we have three generations in our family.reader
my mom reads your stuff and my brother is now reading it to his sons and they are really enjoying them. >> there goes that generation.>> [laughter]nted to >> did you have anything else you wanted to add? >> do you miss writing for the weekly column or do you like writing books better? >> i don't miss writing the column. i still get to write columns when i want to but i don't have to every week so i have more time to do books and since i stopped writing the column, i've been able to do young adult fiction, more fiction which hass been more interesting to me so i don't miss the column. >> we have not talked about those books but what are they? >> they are essentially numbered pages -- no, we started with
ridley pearson who is the bass player and a terrific writer. he came to miami and this was like 12 years ago. they were playing at the miami book fair, they gave is a musical term or thing you play. these are musical terms. [laughter]f sharp, and he said he had been reading the original peter pan to his daughter and she asked him how did he meet captain hook in the first place and he said it's kind of an interesting thing. it begins with this kid who can fly and he never grows old and he's go tinkerbell and captain hook. i thought that it would be fun writing a prequel to it. would you want to do that with me because neither one of us had ever written anything for kids.
so i said yes. we thought we were going to write one short book but we ended up writing almost a 600 page book and it did get published and it did very well so we ended up writing five of those and we traveled all over and did many of them promoting the star catcher series including one in this room i have to tell you an anecdote involving this room at books and books. we had been in the room reading -- we were standing against the shelf reading a section of the book and the place was packed. there were kids all around sitting on the floor. a couple hundred kids in this room and we were reading a scene from one of the books that involved a gigantic snake. so mitchell caplan who owns this
bookstore knew that we were going to read about the scene and didn't tell us this but hee hired a guy to bring in a snake wrangler. one of the great things about living in miami if you need a snake, a rental snake it's like a birthday clown but it's a snake. instead of entertaining the children it could eat the children. [laughter]>> this so this guy comes in and i don't know how carefully mitchell vented hem. [laughter] but he had an 80-pound nine or 10-foot burmese python and he came into this roomful of kids and puts it on our shoulders and walked away and said something about how he was tired off carrying it and it was heavy and it was. did not we didn't know this was comingm and i'm not a big snake person to begin with so we were like
standing there laughing like there's a snake, kids. but anyway that happened in this room and that was one of the low points of writing for kids. other than that, it's been a los of fun. you write about the everglades and the best days ever. talk about the burmese python population. >> we have an invasion of burmese pythons going on in south florida. f they are not supposed to be here. they are supposed to be in burma but what happened is people get them as pets. why you would want a animal like this as a pet i don't know but they get them as smaller tests and then they run out of crack and think zero my god we are living with us an this and let o andd they thrive down here in te
everglades and the estimates were there were tens of thousands possibly hundreds of thousands. they don't have any enemies out there and they reproduce like crazy so the state of florida this is one of the great things they did, they came up with this idea to get rid of the python challenge. the only state in the union and it goes on every year the wildlife conservation commission brings people in, invites people to come from anywhere they want to kill our pythons. there are rules and you have to take a short online course and pay a 25-dollar fee so it's not just letting anybody do it. if you ask how to handle dangerous wildlife and online courses the way to go. [laughter] i actually looked into they have rules about how to kill the
python like i thought the best way would be to just cut off its head that you're not allowed to do that because according to the conservation, the python even if you do that the brain keepsps thinking. they don't say what it's thinking probably one oh, what the hell. but you are supposed to put at bullet through his brain and that will stop it from thinking. so they do this every year and i don't know if they released figures that every subsequent year bear in mind it's tens if not hundreds of thousands of these out there the first year they went out and killed 68 pythons. so do your math. a lot of them could probably get birth to hundreds of eggs so in other words in the same period
we got 68 they probably madey mt thousands more so we are losing the challenge is my point. the pythons are winning. we should challenge an animal we can defeat. i would propose manatees. [laughter] >> are you a fan of the everglades clacks >> no, i'm not. i don't want to get rid of the everglades because everybody says it is an important resource but it stinks and is full of mosquitoes and i want nothing to do with it. i've always marveled at people that go out there and it's incredible. are you not being eaten alive by the mosquitoes? i am ali'm all for it but at a distance. i'm for the polar ice caps also that i don't want to be there.
>> i've been your biggest fan forever. are you still playing with the rock-bottom remainders i saw you play of the book festival. >> we play sometimes. we are not good as i said. roy blunt junior described us as hard listening music. [laughter] >> i call it the rumor method of music and the way that it works everybody in the band is holding an instrument and playing something and then a rumor goess around and said there has been a core change so everybody changes to a new record not necessarily at the same time and on we go. but we really enjoy it. we still do play sometimes.
we haven't played in a couple of years but for us that's kind of a normal hiatus it's not like people are saying why don't we get to remainders together. we are going to show the audience from 1998 here are the rock-bottom remainders. >> [inaudible] [laughter] are we ready for this song? it's hard to tell. [laughter] now we are ready.
the configuration change is kind of silly but one night we performed a song at a benefit concert and her husband usually plays the leader of the pack and puts on a motorcycle jacket and one of those half and pretends to be riding a motorcycle and then the moment of the song where he crashes, lou would fall to the stage trying to talk to the distract people from the actual music we are playing. so he's gotten more and more dramatic with his full and at this particular night he takes a spectacular dive to the stage
and i thought it was funny so i thought i will ad would have soe amusement byck kicking him. so stephen king comes over and the blue calls off the stage and he finished the concert and go back and they said he was in the hospital. he had a broken collarbone and we were kicking him. so that's the kind of funding and we are. [laughter] we showed some of your favorite books and influences and i wanted to ask about this book b. patrick o'brian master and commander. >> i like historical books andwr patrick o'brian wrote this book
with that movie by russell crowi i think. it was just an amazing book where he talks about incredible detail sailing ships in the 17th th and 18th century and for some reason just riveting. he wrote i think ten or 12 of them and i ended up reading all of them wishing he had written more. you are a bill bryson fan?k he s >> i never met him but i think i've read every book he's ever written. he's really funny that this is something i could never do he is also informative. when people read my books they end up being a little stupider. [laughter] they may have enjoyed themselves but they didn't learn anything. whereas with bill bryson he's funny and you learn a lot of things. i forget things pretty quickly
that i remember thinking there is a brief period of time i understand molecules or whatever he's talking about. >> you won the pulitzer in 1988, have you ever won anything since? clacks >> i did win a pulitzer prize. did i tell you that story because people would say with the flight. first, it was completely a shock to me. there's the false modesty. i didn't even think i was a finalist for it. but i did win a pulitzer prize and it was nice because it happened early enough in my career that i never have and to think about it again it was unexpected. but the day that i won, the miami herald, actually one to pulitzers that they. in the newsroom it's a big deal. they wanted it to be a surprise. they were notified earlier in the day that we had one but they
didn't tell us that. they wanted us to come in for the moment so that it would be a surprise for us and i doubt they had been planning to go to key west. i told my son who was then 7-years-old we are going to key west. he was excited because we always rented a motor scooter and he would ride in the back.xciting h very excited. then i get a call from my editor saying you have to come in for a meeting and i said i can't i'm going to key west. he said no, sorry. you have to be at this meeting. it's important. i said okay we are going to gout to key west but first we have to go to the herald. so we get there and the newsroom is all gathered around this machine for the big announceme announcement. i said this is cool they are announcing pulitzers today.
i thought it was kind of cool he would see this moment and i thought that's why they called everybody in there for it. but then about 32nd before the announcement, an editor who didn't know it was a surprise came up to me and shook my hand and said congratulations and i realized two things, one i was going to win it showed surprise and wsurprising we wouldn't be e to go to key west because there's a whole lot of stuff you have to do so i looked out to rob sitting there and i said i have bad news. we are not going to key west this weekend.yo but, i will give you a nintendo. he had been dying to get this game and i said not until it's our birthday. he said really and i said yes. so he jumped up and put his arms around me and hugged me a really tight because the nintendo andt at that moment it was red i just
want to pulitzer and they took my picture so the next day the cover of the front page one of the pictures with me and rob with his arms around me and aa huge smile and everybody said the same thing to me which is it is so great that your son was so excited. he had no idea. he was happy about the nintendo. so anyway, fast forward until a couple of years ago and my friend who is now a grown man and has a kid of his own is a reporter at "the wall street journal" and was on a team of t reporters that did a story on medicare fraud that won a pulitzer prize. >> back to the calls, this is from gatesville texas, good afternoon and please go ahead. we are listening.oon, h >> i have been a fan for a very
long time. you know me on the blog as suzy q... i have a couple questions about your new book coming out on tuesday i think called for this we left egypt a passover virtues and those who love them. first, my question is how did you three get together and write a book like this. then my second question is i'm not jewish, so what is in this book for me ask to be co? [laughter] >> you are correct. i wrote a book and i don't know how many in the audience know about this but on passover they hold these dinners and it's a ritualized meal with various
things symbolizing elements ofe. the exodus.th anyway, it is usually accompanied by this book that people of the jewish faith are very familiar with and it leads you through prayers and discussions of why you eat this and that. a guy named adam who is an author among other things who wrote a book the title i cannot reveal even on c-span i don't think that it's "go the f to sleep" and another book called lunatics come it was his idea we cowrote a parody and just so you know i am also not jewish. my wife is cuban jewish, there's a lot of them here in miami.
my joke is they didn't come on a raft. but because my wife is jewish, i am very familiar with this. we host them at our house and i belong to a temple even though i'm not jewish.- so i was roped into this project which is actually a lot of fun. what is in it for you, i don't know but royalties are in it for me.r] [laughter]>> by al so by all means, you should buy it. >> 202 with the area code. 748-8200 for those in east and central time zones, in the mountain and pacific time zones do we have any questions from the audience? wait for the microphone. we have one here in the front row. >> i just had a couple of comments.
as a resident of florida 20 years more than you, i cane definitively say we were completely sane until you showed up. [laughter] >> i will accept that. >> back to the holiday situation. my sister was at the coral gables congregational when you did a thing there and she won an electric finger that shaves your hair. >> the nose clipper. >> she rejected it and gave me the finger. [laughter] she gave that to me forfor that christmas so i'm blaming you for that. [laughter] i'm glad to have helped. >> let's go back to the calls and hear from glory in virginia. >> hello, how are you?ke
go ahead and ask your question or make your comment. >> when you decide you want to write a book and you get everything out, where should you send your book to get reviewed and appreciated? >> suggests to clarify, you wrote a book? >> no, but i'm working on one. i am a widow with 220-year-olds and things like that. i can't hear you because they told me to turn the tv down so i'm not sure what you're saying to me. >> you will be able to hear frol your telephone. he's going to talk so if you can hang on and we will listen to him. >> if i gather, the question is how do you go about getting a ad book published and then reviewed and distributed.
there are basically two ways to go and i hope i don't offend anybody to say the way that i i ago is too self published and i say that because it is easier to do. many people do it. you pay money and they published your book.k. the problem with that is it is almost impossible to get a self published book distributed or reviewed anywhere. there are so many out there and there is no quality control. i'm not saying they are bad. there've probably been self published books but the way the industry is set up for better or worse people to review them, book stores don't stock them so you could end up with a stack of books in your garage and send them to your friends that is as far as it will go. that's the way it is and maybe i'm behind the times and thereyb is an internet way and i assumet there is to get your books known
and if there is i will retractus everything i just said. but i'm just saying my experience. the traditional way to go and there are a lot of people critical of it is to get an agent. they are like the gatekeepers and most of the time they will tell you they are not going to take you on and that they will rewrite your book and then they get it to a publisher and that is the second gatekeeper and ate that editor will decide to publish or not publish it but if they do decide to publish it, it is an organization with a sales staff and promotional people that can get your book distributed and reviewed and can do a more professional job than most writers are able to do for themselves. that said, i know there are people in the science fiction and stuff that are able to reach
huge audiences in a way that i don't know about about and get t of cult interest in a book that's maybe self-published. i should stress that. the way i described it is the way the traditional way maybe that -- it's more difficult and less likely but -- >> do you still write every day? >> yeah, i write every day. almost every day of the week i will write something. >> is wikipedia valuable to you? >> yes. although i've learned learned from reading my wikipedia entry that it's highly inaccurate but i will use it like if somebody stole -- i'm dead in wikipedia. no. i use it because it's cheap and easy and fast and it's general and i have learned if you want
to nail down, confirm it with some other source besides wikipedia because you never know. >> what's inaccurate about the entry on you and did you have any input in that? >> no, there are people i know who are always trying to fix things. the last time i looked at wikipedia it made two huge points about me, one is that i'm a libertarian and one that i'm an atheist. this is true. i don't write about politics directly. i don't advocate anything and i never write about religion, really, except generic jokes, but somebody who thought that was great, at least the way i read it, it made it sound that what i am an libertarian atheist writer. you can argue what i am but that's not what i do and do not think myself as and i don't know
people reading would ever know or care about. i'm an atheist. >> and you belong to a temple? >> and you're an atheist. >> my dad was a wonderful guy. he was not a -- what's the word? it's not the word that i'm looking for. we are not that at all. he wasn't rigid. friends of all different faiths and the important thing for him is were you good or bad, not what church you went to. i i had long passionate arguments where i would get him to order me to be religious and he wouldn't. it's okay, you don't have to, i do. he was pretty easy-going about it. my dad was a presbyterian minister. i'm an atheist and probably
going hell. [laughter] >> safe bet. fortunately and boy, will i be surprised. boy, i was so wrong about this. my bad, i will be saying to the devil. >> how you became libertarian? >> my assumption had been that people who go into government go into government because they want to help people and kind of like immediately when i started meeting political people, they often delightful likable people and some good people but generally i found that politics and government was really no different from any company that most of the people are in it were in for personal reason, power or money or both, or whatever and at every -- at each
next level up, heading towards federal government and the presidency, i found it to be more the case. you're really involved in washington politics, my guess is you're not really involved in politics because you want me to have a happier life, is because you want something. and so over the years i came to the conclusion is i would rather me make decisions about my life and you make decisions about your life and then have somebody in washington pretend to go care about me. that's generally the position i take. i'm not a hard-core libertarian. i'm okay with -- i live in coral gables where we have zoning laws. illegally to do everything except breathe. i'm not -- but i'm not like in your face libertarian guy but my philosophy is generally if i have to choose before more government involvement and less
government involvement in human activity i favor it less which means i'm not very big on drug laws, not very big on laws against who can carry whom. that kind of thing. >> have you ever met any u.s. presidents? >> yeah. i met both george bush's, i met bill clinton, i never met barack obama. i've been in the room with him but i never actually met him. abraham lincoln. [laughter] >> i was just a kid. >> on what occasions did you meet these? >> well, okay, george bush, the senior, how much time do we have? [laughter] >> i was -- i was at a -- i have to start with the previous anecdote. i was writing columns about the
new hampshire primary in 1992 so i was on the campaign trail and barbara bush was on going around and i thought, for a column i would spend the day depressed entourage with mrs. bush. we were going all around new hampshire in a mote -- motorcade and at the end of the day there's a big event and we ended up with mrs. bush and the press on stage getting picture taken and i said to her, the most embarrassing thing. she didn't know me and i didn't know her, she blurted out, i shop at the same super market as your son jeb. she was like who gives a shit. and i said, really embarrassed and i said he's very tall. [laughter] >> one of those things where you just wish you would shut up and she goes, well, he didn't just grow this year.
awkward moment and then a few months later i was in washington, d.c. at the correspondence dinner where i spoke. he was the president. and there's a little -- little room off stage where the people gather and he was there and i remember going, i have this vivid memory of my mind embarrassing myself in front of his wife, mrs. bush, and i'm telling myself i'm not kidding, don't be an idiot, don't be an idiot. a ryan to go up to meet him. shake his hand and i go, i shop at the same super market -- i blurted it out. he was really interested. [laughter] >> he was much different reaction from his wife. that's how i met him. [laughter]
>> they have a big banquet every year in houston, fundraiser, i was invited and this was after senior bush was no longer president. but we ia wife went for lunch and i ended up sitting next to him at the dinner. i met him that way. bill clinton, i met him before he became president but i will never forget what he did -- this is why he became president, really, not because of me. it was a new hampshire again '92 and he's running for president, night before the primary vote and i'm with a bunch of columnists and reporters and we all drenched in this campaign. we were sick of it. we all had written story for the next day, column for the next day, there's no chance we are
going to see a candidate or anybody involved in politics. just us, we are going to -- so we go to this italian restaurant. we are going to be the last party there and we are sitting in the table. the door opens walks bill clinton, myers and gwen and myers is press secretary. he's still campaigning. he comes in with energy, it's like he goes, he waves at us and goes into the kitchen and you could see him going around shaking hands. comes out shaking all the staff, goes around the table and he knew who every single person at the table was including me, i don't know. and then he walks out out into the night and he charmed us. wow. he knew where we were and he came up.
so that was bill -- a couple of times when he was in the white house i was at an event where he was shaking hands. but that was really -- i was like, michael jordan-level politician. that's still that very few people have that he had. next call for dave comes from gay in adamstown, maryland. >> i'm a big fan of yours and i wanted to say that i appreciate your ironic sense of humor and since you live in florida, that must give you lots of for your books and i wonder if, maybe you could relay a story that i read in one of your books, it was a while ago but it -- i think it was titled path logs dog and it was about your dogs and your porch or the absence of. >> yes.
this is hurricane andrew 199 the which -- 1992 which was the worst hurricane i had been through that went through my house. i had two large dogs, ernst and small emergency backup dog named zippy, before hurricane andrew came i let ernst and zippy out every morning and as you know if you are a dog owner, dogs get excited about going out in the morning. they learn whatever the ritual is associated with it. oh, my god, i'm going to go out even though you do it every day. with ernst and zippy you would open the back door and we had a patio with screen enclosure which you need down here from mosquitoeses from pilling patio. they would run across the patio to the screen door and wait for
me there. we did that every day for years, comes hurricane andrew and the screen closure is orbiting the earth, okay, it's gone but the screen door was still there. just a door on the end of the porch with nothing around it at all. it was like a two-week learning curve, i'm not making this up. i would open the back door and they would run straight to the door and wait because that was the procedure. get it open. go out in the yard. so i wrote so many columns about ernst and zippy and they basically all boiled down that these are not rocket scientists, these dogs. i wrote about them a lot because they were always in my office and typically i don't know why, i worked with the door closed and the door would be closed and ernst would be on one side often
the inside and stipe outside and they would just basically lie there all day long and so over and over this would happen and i think there's a satellite, i call the dog satellite that passes over ted and makes sounds that only dogs can hear. you have a dog, there's nothing going on, nothing going on in your house or neighborhood, nothing going on anywhere and suddenly one of the dog wills go woof. so we would be sitting there, i would be tapping away on my keyboard and suddenly one would jump off and the other would hear that and say something is going on and woof. now they are barking each trying to get on the other side and i have to get and open the door. they are gone now but i still have a dog. in fact, my current book that
i'm writing is about dogs and i have a dog named lucie who is a little smarter than ernst and zippy. she's more a dog about smells, but, yeah, it's a book about dogs. >> when will it becoming out? >> i have to write it first. i'm just getting started on it. >> next call for dave barry comes from buck in north carolina, plead go -- please go ahead. >> dave, i met you in miramar when you were doing interview there and i just remembered that you dressed all in black, drove a black car and i got your autograph and that was out of university drive that i pulled a 200-pound turtle in the middle of the street or alligator.
i was there for the caish cowboys and read your article every week and i just wanted to say, please bring the flag, do you have any comments on that? >> those days are long past. not really, the 200-pound turtle gets my attention. it was in the street, you say. we have that occasional gigantic shouldn't be there reptile. but the reptile's position is no, you shouldn't be here. guys who have spent their lives roaming the swamp. is old florida disappearing? >> yes, my book about florida
starts with an essay with dave who runs the headquarters out in middle of everglades. like a dot, people just zip by on route 41, but it's skunk, theoretically roams the everglades and nobody gets a clear picture of even though everybody has a phone. he has a skunk research headquarters and my goal when i went out there was to make fun of it. i think it's kind of fun but when i got out there and got to hang around with this guy dave schully for a while, i was kind of moved by -- you know, this is -- this is a group of people who lived out there since, you know, 50 years ago. they had a community.
it really was a real little community, they lived and roamed the everglades and everything. now the federal government is taking over and wants them off the land. it's really to let the indian americans stay, but not the -- not the anglos, they have to go. but that's a real part of florida and, you know, they are being told you don't belong, you can't be here anymore which i think is kind of a ashame. that kind of set the tone for the rest of the book which is -- i tried to be funny in the book and i hope the book is funny but there is an element that the florida that a lot of people grew up with down here is disappearing, typically now when people come to florida many, many people that go either to a resort to orlando and go to theme park, and they don't see much else of florida. there used to be the florida
when i was a kid when we drove down was a completely different florida, there was no interstate, no theme parks, million roadside attractions that, you know, were cheesy, a lot like the skunk research headquarters to be honest. but that was a real part of florida and people would be driving, you know, a couple of hours and they would see a sign, you know, the world's largest snail or something and they would pull off and something to look at, something to do. in florida that was the big industry down here. now it's mostly gone. i went to one of the places wick -- we are paying for mermaids. [laughter] >> and, you know, they breath
out of hoses. if it wasn't for the state of florida, they wouldn't be there altogether. i went to a place called spongeorama, devoted to the sponge trade. it hasn't stayed for 50 years, but those places aren't going to last, it's going to basically be the magic kingdom and resorts. i guess that's the way it's going to be but we are losing kind of -- florida was always a different state and that was one of the things that made it differently, all the roadside attractions. they are mostly now.
>> great fun reading his books and i wanted to ask him about, dave, what do you think -- you mentioned having won a pulitzer and i know miranda won a pulitzer. to see it seems great because i used to teach and kids are learning through the use of own music and culture that they have nowadays, i thought it was great because minorities are promoted in this. you know, i wonder what had you thought number one on hamilton, if you've seen or or if you heard the music from it, i'm not a fan of rap but do i like hamilton and i wonder what you thought about the fact that they
have a cast that's made up of all different minorities of people, just what do you think about this whole thing? >> very much, let's hear from dave barry on this. >> i have not seen hamilton. i would love to see it. everybody says it's incredible. i think it's kind of wonderful the idea -- if you would have told people ten years ago that the biggest play, the biggest show on broadway is going to be rap musical about alexander hamilton he would assume you were taking drugs and in my case it would be right. but, no. i think that's fantastic and i agree with you that it's great if it gets interested in history, but, yeah, have you seen it? >> you and -- >> i understand it's really hard to get tickets and really expensive. >> any questions here in the
audience in weave got somebody back here. >> my name is scott. it's interesting that you mentioned religion earlier because i went to college at florida state and the tallahassee democrat, the local paper carried your column every sunday and as a very poor college student i would splurge on sunday newspaper to read your column. >> thank you. >> i remember one column in particular you poked fun at basketball players who do the sign of the cross before free throws and you kind of poked fun of them a little bit and i thought it was hilarious and my boss who i worked part-time job had never heard of you so i showed him that column, he was very religious man and he was mortified. and i'm sorry that i blew a potential fan in him but my question is, what would you consider your most controversial
column or got the most feedback from? >> well, first of all, we actually discussed that earlier, that was a column about religion and i was contrasting people. i said everybody's religion seems stupid for somebody else. for example, we don't think anything of the fact that people make a cross before they take a foul shot. in india we are mocking this guy who says you should drink your own urine. they make the cross -- anyway. that did come up and i'm sorry i offended your boss but he sounds like an idiot. i'm sure he was a great guy. [laughter] >> okay. the most controversial, man, there's been a few. but i would say the one that got the most mail of anything that i ever wrote, that was not the point of the column when i suggested and i'm going to say this, before i say this i want to stress i no longer think this.
i said that maybe niel dimanon was not the best lyracist. to no one there and no one heard it at all not even the chair. these are furniture. anyway, that wasn't the point of the column at all. it was like i never liked that song because of that of that lyric. you think salmon rusty got in trouble. i got all this mail from people saying, how dare you criticize this genius niel diamond. i listen and it cured and
passionate. i thought that was great. when you're writing a column, when somebody hands you something to write about. i wrote another column about specifically the niel diamon people and how they had been offended and quoted a bunch of the letters and that set off a new round of letters from people who agreed with me and wanted to back me up on the niel diamon lyrics. people don't want to ever hear on the radio and then that just opened a flood gates for the next few weeks i received over 10,000 letters. this is back in the days of letters. over 10,000 letters on the song that people hate, i wrote a book of bad songs and people till this day will come up to me and said you know the song about the
horse with no name, i hate that song. [laughter] >> the late comedian rich had great lines, you're in the desert you have nothing to do, name the freaken horse. [laughter] >> that one really set him off. i also once wrote a column that in which i made fun of north dakota and which was a huge mistake. don't mess with north dakota. they invited me up there in january, dedicated a sewage lifting station in my honor. you go to north dakota for any reason, such as your plane has crashed there, there's a station, lift station number 16, a tourist attraction, i have to say. that one -- >> did you go to the dedication? >> i did. >> why did they name it after you? >> i had made fun of north
dakota and they were getting even with me. it was coldest i had ever been. it was below zero. they put a sign on the building and the mayor -- an actual crowd showed up and we are freezing in building and the mayor reads proclamation comparing my work to the production of human and they had me tear the piece of paper off and seeing my name on the side of the building and seeing sewage in north dakota air, i'm hearing the sound of people applauding in mittons. >> were there any places in florida where you wanted to visit and write about but for logistics, time, et cetera, you could not get to include?
>> yeah, i didn't get to attend -- there's lots of places. i never got to the florida panhandle, north florida. i enjoyed it. i enjoyed going to places and writing about them, usually i'm sitting at home making things up. so it's fun to go go to actually see a place, take notes an then makes things up about it. no, they actually have something to write about. >> can you go incarnito? >> yeah. but not the kind of fame where i get mobbed. i went to a place called the villages which is amazing. just amazing community in north central florida, a couple of
hundred thousand retirees dancing and partying and having a good time. and i got recognized a few times there, so -- >> next call for dave barry comes from isabel in middleton, wisconsin, hi, isabel. >> hi. >> hello. >> we are listening. >> okay, i have a question for dave. you haven't picked on gray-haired old ladies in retirement homes yet. you missed a huge, huge great place to pick up laughs. >> well, i actually kind of did a little bit in this section we were talking about the villages. but i haven't really done retirement home humor and that's probably because i'm personally being close to being in a retirement home and i don't want anybody to be too offended. i have a -- well, i have a story about a retirement home.
my wife's grandfather, he's passed away but his name was henry kaufman and when he was in his 90's, he was born in poland and then moved to cuba and was there for a while, spoke many different languages, wonderful guy but he was in a retirement and my wife and i used to go visit him regularly and henry always wore a jacket and tie, gentleman of that age tended to and he would sit at the same table with three other gentlemen wearing jackets and ties at meal time and we would come visit them and henry would always do the same thing, we would come up and recognize, you know, his granddaughter, my wife, michelle, and he wanted to -- he always we wanted to introduce us. this is my granddaughter and this is my grandson in-law.
he's a very famous writer, he's name is -- what is your name again? [laughter] >> dave barry. he knew i wrote but he never read anything i wrote. he always wanted to know -- he was in the clothing business. he wanted to know how sales were doing. i have a picture and he went door to door -- [laughter] >> that might be good for humor and the ideal would be that they would forget everything i said. [laughter] >> are you even allowed to make that joke anymore? probably not. >> dave barry, i thought the worst class trip ever was hilarious, what was that first of all and then she goes on, lucinda goes onto say, what made you write a kids' book?
>> the other one is called the worst night ever. both middle school books that i wrote on my own for disney and the worst class trip ever, what inspired me to write it was when my daughter was in middle school, she went on a class trip and they had parent chaperons and i remember thinking, there's something wrong when an institution lets me be responsible for these children. things could get really bad, you know, idiot like me in a position of responsibility, so i came up with a plot where his kid goes to washington, d.c. on his class trip and as we say in the comedy high jinx and sue but one book to write and kids seemed to like it. >> and if we have another question from the audience here? there's a gentleman back here, go ahead, sir. >> not really a question, but your book guy to guy is favorite
book, funniest book i have ever read in my life. >> thank you. >> i just want to talk about one thing in there, there's one section where the four guys got really, really drunk and they lived near a ski slope. [laughter] >> yeah. >> they decided to go down the ski slope in the canoe. >> they go speed jump. going on a slope is one thing is one -- we have no snow in florida. >> they go off to ski jump and the police afterwards were investigating the accident, obviously and they came across an ore. >> the things that only guys do. i read many columns about guys do. no woman has ever thought, i want to go off a ski jump in a
canoe where as guys -- you could easily -- without any effort find dozens of guys would be willing to do it. the other one i would say the ultimate test between men and women is go to youtube and google the phrase shoot bottle rocket out of ass. [laughter] >> can i say ass? but shoot bottle rocket out of butt. you will find dozens if not hundreds of videos of that very thing. it goes without saying that these are women, no woman ever would think to do that, many, many guys have thought to do that. i have to say they are younger guys. older guys, i don't think. >> rich is in florida, rich, you're on with author and humorist dave barry, this is c-span2 and we are listening. >> hi, dave, nice to talk to you again. just two quick questions.
one is is there ever going to be a movie of lunatics, one of my humorous novels and two, talk collaborations have you ever thought about collaborating with steven king for a comedy horror novel? [laughter] >> well, as to the first, no, i don't think i ever will be a movie of lunatics, we did sell the script but that doesn't mean anything in the world of hollywood where they buy scripts all of the time for movies they don't intend to make. we wrote a screen play for it and they've bought it but that's as far as that went. although it was a lot of fun to write that book. i would love to write a book with stephen king or have my name on a book with stephen king, he can write it but i don't think steven -- i don't think he needs any help from me, let me put it that way. i thought about calling some of
my books, you know, something, something by stephen king. [laughter] >> apparently there's a legal issue with that. >> not to give away a secret but you e-mailed him right before the show. >> yeah, stephen and i are part of the rock bottom remainders, the band that play sometimes and there's a book -- this very bookstore in men's room right next to urinal a poster of the rock bottom remainders, i thought it was funny and took a picture showing the urinal and i sent it to the band. the most appropriate place to put that. >> another one of your favorite books, the killer angels by michael. >> yeah, as i said, i love historical fiction.
it's like a real release. this is a book about the battle of gettysburg. i read it in the 70's, not long after it was published. i don't know. one to have best written books i have ever read on anything. it made me so fascinating with gettysburg that, you know, while i was reading it i started planning a trip and as soon as i finished i drove the gettysburg and spent days walking around, all the places that it talks about in the book and ever since that this vibe about gettysburg, i would like to go there and hang around there. it's one of the kind eeriiest spiritual most moving places in the united states if not the world because of what happened there and because of how thoroughly documented it was. i just love that book. i ended up reading a whole bunch of historical fiction because of that book.
>> is there a serious book in you? >> no, no. >> when my dad died, i wrote a book about that, when my mom committed suicide, i wrote about that and when my son was hit by a car -- that was hard, he didn't have a mel met on and not to get mel dramatic the same night two other kids didn't make it, all three kids were boys that were riding bikes, my son was the only one who lived. some people said, i heard more than once, specially the one about my mom, why don't you write more serious columns, i really like that. the only reason i read columns
is because i need today deal with the process. i don't want more things like that to happen me. i'm not going make stuff up that's horrible. i would rather not dwell on the bad things. >> susie, good afternoon from sunny miami. >> former next door neighbor in gables by the sea, owner of aircraft carrier there. >> not for children to watch. [laughter] how are you doing? how is paul? >> he met -- he went to meet his maker ten years ago. >> sorry. >> you sound like you're still alive and that's important. >> yes, i'm 80.
the boys were all here to celebrate with me. >> now, susie, what was it like living next door to dave barry, if you could share a story with us? >> oh, i could. many b -- many but i won't. we have dog stories to share and he in his pulitzer book that he gave us he wrote stories about playing golf with my husband my dog the aircraft carrier bear and i just wanted to say that chris sent me the road to little dribbling and you forgot to mention friends when you come to religion and my -- matt's
daughter introduced me to the preludes to peter pan which i thoroughly enjoyed. i'm still a kid. >> thank you for calling in. a lot of inside baseball talk there. >> her husband paul, i did not know he had passed away. i'm sorry about that. he was a banker and golfer and he tried to get me to play golf, golf is the stupidest sport ever. he kept trying to get me to -- the only part about golf, i like two things, driving the golf cart and drinking beer, you can drink beer while you are playing golf. you can't do that with scuba diving. the parts where you try to find the stupid ball after you hit it, i don't get that at all. >> speaking of sports -- >> paul, you go find the ball, i'm going to sit here in the cart and drink the beer. >> you write about visiting brazil for world cup and
everything we read about brazil, is it true? >> i love brazil. i went there for the world cup and i went there again for the olympics and the thing is when you say you're going to brazil, if you live in miami, there are a lot of brazilians here, i know a lot of brazilians, i love them, wonderful people, they all say the same thing. i'm going to brazil. great, you're going to love it. don't wear any jewelry. don't carry any money and you start reading about it, you're going to probably be robbed at night point. so i'm not kidding. you should carry a fake wallet to give them or money to give them and hide your real money in your sock. and so i got there the first night, my daughter and wife was covering an event and so i had like -- i had all these secret pockets and i had money ready to
give them, like any brazilian within 10 feet of me i would throw money at them. just a picture of a knife and i would have -- [laughter] >> nothing like that happened. everybody was so nice. my daughter sofi realized that we could make money out there by meeting americans and robbing at gunpoint. it would be the easiest thing in the world. tip for you college students out there looking for work. >> dave is calling from west palm beach, florida. dave, you're on the day. >> hey, dave. i first discovered you on the show. i know that you're a big walking dead fan so just wondering if a, do you think the show jumped the shark and two, or b, i guess, how do you think that movies and zombie movies have the influence of writing in anyway?
>> well, as far as the walking dead i'm a big fan of the zombie show of the walking dead. yeah, it kind of has jumped the shark but i'm committed to it now forever and ever. the only question is if these people have been walking around dead for seven years now how come the clothes have not fallen off. we need more realism in zombie show. what was the other question? i don't remember the second part. have horror movies influenced -- not really. i grew up in the 50's. the age of really horror movies and all the godzilla movies and i loved them as a kid. now, horror movies are really horrible. i generally don't watch them. >> how much attention do you pay on what goes on in washington? >> speaking of his or horror movies. a lot.
i read "the new york times", the miami herald and wall street journal and i watch tv but i don't write about it much, i kind of save it up for review but i do every year. but i pay attention, you know. >> we've got a few minutes left with our guests, dave barry at books&books bookstore in coral gables, florida. >> hey, dave, i like your writing a lot and another person i'm fond of is -- you guys same to be cut from the clothe and political bent, i was wonder if you guys are buddies, do you hang out, do you correspond? >> pj is a friend and he lives in new hampshire so i don't see him that often, but we are friends, we do corresponds, he sends me funny emails. whenever we are in the same
general area, we do get together and consume adult beverages and discuss political points. he's a very nice game. >> james, california, hi, james. james, are you with us? >> dave, i am not making this up, you do have fans in california. by the way, one of your favorite parts of the book is when as soon as you say and i am not making this up, then we know something amazing and humorous is coming out there. you wrote in a hilarious book david turns 40 and david turns 50, you skipped 60. i notice that you're turning 70.
will you write dave barry turns 70? >> i am going to write about dogs. [laughter] >> everything i write more or less ends up being involved with the fact that i'm getting old because i'm very aware of that. but i am writing a book about dogs that is the premise to have book i'm -- i have a 10-year-old dog named lucie she and i are turning 70, she in dog years and i in human years. if i knew more about it, i will tell you more about it. instead of writing it on television with this guy for hours -- [laughter] >> i don't have to write anything anymore. >> i think you've turned 75. >> just sitting here. [laughter] >> do you feel 70? >> i don't know. i am, so i must, right? i don't think anybody really believes that he's as old as you really is, when i really notice
it i went to my high school reunion last summer my -- what was it, 800 -- 50-something and you walk in there and i was, like, oh, my god, who are these people. [laughter] >> oh, my god. you realize that's you, that's who you are. i can't deny it, so, yeah, i guess i am. i guess i feel older specially when i get on the ground and trying to get back up. i used to do it easily and now i can't. >> any audience questions before we go back to phone calls? i see no hands, let's hear from michelle in humble, texas. michelle, hi. >> hi, dave, and thank you so much for your work and for doing this program and i just wanted
to mention one of my favorites of your books is dave barry's guide to guys and it was great, thank you. >> yeah, that book is -- remained popular. basically the premise that it's for women -- basically have been a relationship with a labrador retriever. the whole point to lower your standards. >> hi, how are you guys? every time i see craig i think of you. one question. i was wondering why -- why were you on the affects, i saw you several years ago on the oscar,
why were you there? >> i don't know if i was on them, i wrote for the oscar twice when steve martin it was host. i was one of the writers but i don't know that i was ever on camera at the oscar. if i was, it was some horrible mistake because i'm supposed to be backstage although i did have a tuxedo. >> is he part of the temporary rock bottom remainders? >> steve has been on stage but steve is a really good musician and he's a really smart guy, he knows better than to stay on stage with the rock bottom remainders. we have had, however, on stage with us roger mgwin of the birds many times, he performs regularly, what's his name? the guy, bruise -- bruce
springsteen and lauren used to perform with us a lot. we had some real musicians. it never rubs off on us, though. >> where did the name come from? >> the remained ner the book business is a book that doesn't sell, a hard-cover book and they have a lot left over because they almost always do, they print more than they need and they put it in the ben in the front -- 19999 it's 99 cents, those are called remainders and so roy came up with the name. >> wayne in georgia. hi, wayne. >> how are you doing? i'm sorry, i tuned in a little late. can you share with us your web address and the second question is have you ever been georgia,
and why not? >> my web address would be like -- just google it davebarry.com and there's a blog and stuff. macon, i've been to georgia. does that count? is macon near atlanta? i don't know. yeah, i've been to macon. it's great. [laughter] >> jane in olympia, washington. before we hear from jane, do you blog every day? >> yeah, i do. my blog is not really -- i don't write much for it what i do people send me stuff and this is a holdover of when i had a newspaper column and often i would write about weird news items, people kept sending me stuff so i put it up on the blog. if a toilet explodes anywhere in the world, it's probably going to appear on my blog, toilet-related news, snakes appear in the toilet, look down before you pee, people.
so i throw lots of stuff on it. i don't write for it. >> do you spend any time in schools in. >> yeah. i would not call teaching. sometimes when i have a book out for kids, i will go on a tour. i will go to various schools and it's interesting. kids are not like -- adults tend to be much more worshipful of authors and kids are not like that and like -- an example from a school here in miami, i gave this presentation on my book and teachers, we have the author here and everything, who has a question, yes, do you know you have big wet stains in your armpits. of course, i did. [laughter] >> kids are so truthful. [laughter] >> so i had her expelled. no, i didn't.
we used the cattle prong. don't do that. >> thanks for holding, you are on with dave barry. >> hi, i'm a long-time fan, enjoyed the show so far. i was fascinated to hear of your fondness of historical novels and i was wondering what you think, if you think anything at all, or if you had ever read the -- you were aware of the phenomena and -- and had ever read the outlander series? >> no. i have not, sorry. it's not really a historical novel, is it? >> some people think it is, yeah. >> isn't it science fiction? >> oh, no. no, it's about scottish revolution, all that sort of stuff. >> all right, thank you, jane.
>> i'm sorry, i don't know about the outlander right now. >> what are you reading right now? what's at the bedside? >> the follow up on his first england book. we go back again. then we read a bunch of books about dogs because i'm writing about dogs. >> time for a few more calls, let's hear from carol in alabama. >> hi, dave, it's great to be talking to you. i notice that you're going to be the judge next year for the writing contest. i've tried my best and i did not win last time, so i'm wondering if you might have a tip on winning or maybe you can give me like a secret word so you know it was me and then you could, you know, tell everybody what a
great writer i am. what do you think? >> by the way, that's carol in albertville, alabama. >> probably the best way for you to send me some currency. [laughter] >> no, i am -- irma, i was fortunate enough to know irma and she was one -- not only was she a funny writer but she was a really funny person. i was honored to be asked to do this. i hate doing it, i hate doing contests, i hate judging, i hate -- i don't do this. people always asked me, i wrote this, would you read it and i don't because, you know, you want to be nice and so i never want to say anything even if i don't like it, i don't have time really to be doing it. but this -- you know, they asked me to do it and because it was for irma's organization i said, yeah, it would be difficult
because inevitably it comes down to what you think, what you like, what you find amusing which is not necessarily the same as everybody else in the world would, but i'm sure -- there has to be a lot of money. >> dave barry, sort of history of the united states. i don't mean this in a negative way. [laughter] >> how much work went into that? >> i will tell you exactly what i did. my son was, i don't know, 7, 8 year's old and had a babysitter and she would come over with her school books, she was a high school student and i started reading her history textbook and i thought it was hilarious, it wasn't meant to be fun you but every single thing that ever happened they had to make sure
there was one woman and one minority involved even if they had to force it in there and so i started to write a parody and it was easy. i basically just took that book and paradized and it became this book. >> i'm wonder if there's a lot of free association or free thought. >> no thought, no. >> the government as president elected four-year term after three year-nine month campaign in which he requires he has vision in place and the president's primary duties is to get on helicopters, about congress and sorrow of the dc and foreign leaders. >> how long would it take to write that paragraph? >> i don't know, i would say that paragraph 43 minutes. >> the separation of powers. >> this one is a little bit longer. creates a system of checks and
balances which protects everybody by ensuring that any action taken by one part of the government will be rendered utterly meaningless by an equal and opposite reaction from some other party. [laughter] >> that isn't even a joke. [laughter] >> all right. gary in jefferson city, missouri. we are listening. >> i have enjoyed your writing over the years. you mentioned not being particularly political but i remember some insightful pieces you wrote about the federal deficit. i think we could all stand relief on what's going on in washington, would you consider updating some of those and making a little more current for us, i know that we would all appreciate it? >> i haven't thought about it. this would be a good time to go to dc because it's crazy right now and i might do that, i might go up there and write about it. you know, i could do it, if i can -- i have to get them to let
me in the white house. if anybody is watching in the white house, donald, i know you are, i would probably be making fun of him, though, so maybe not. >> all right, we have time for one more call for dave barry and that is stew in sarasota, florida. hi, stew. >> hi, dave, i'm a retired principal in middle school. i was wondering if you tormented your teachers when you were growing up in school. >> i will say this, i was of a wise ass and i did have discipline issues times because -- not because i was, you know, bad exactly but because i felt a need to entertain the other students and more than once i was told by a teacher that's very funny, david, but you can't joke your way through life. [laughter]
[applause] >> turns out that it's not true. >> you're kind of the under achiever among your siblings? you are relatively prominent siblings. >> who would they be. i know all my siblings by heart. relatively prominent does not mean i love them both, three of them. are you -- who do you think i am? [laughter] >> long interview now. >> i looked at your wikipedia page. i made it through three hours there. that might have been it. dave barry has been the guest for the last three hours here at books&books in coral gables, florida. >> my pleasure. >> hosting this event, we appreciate you all coming out to see this. dave barry talks back came out in 1992, dave barry does japan,
1993, dave barry is not making this up, '94. in 1997 dave barry's greatest hits. dave barry slept here 1997. dave barry hits below the beltway, dave barry's money secrets in '06. >> why are you doing this? >> dave barry's history of millennium so far in 2007. most recent book, aisle mature when i'm dead. live right and find happiness came out two years ago and finally his most recent, best date ever, florida man defends his homeland. you're watching book tv on c-span2 and this has been in-depth. thank you. >> thank you, it's been my pleasure