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tv   In Depth with Dave Barry  CSPAN  March 5, 2017 12:00pm-3:01pm EST

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get it. >> of course, sybrina fulton, tracy martin, the book is great and thank you for sharing your story with us today and with everybody. >> thank you. .... >> and most recently best state ever, florida man defends his homeland.
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dave barry life on "in depth" for the next three hours gets underway now. >> host: author dave barry, let's begin where you begin in your book, "best. state. ever." what the heck is wrong with the state of florida? >> guest: we do have a levitation are stupid, where people. and there are many stupid, weird people are doing stupid, weird things. but my argument is it's not our fault. the example that i give, and i know this may offend you personally, and i apologize ahead but there was a famous example of florida craziness a couple years ago where a woman was driving south on the overseas highway that connects miami to key west, and she, according to this florida state
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highway patrol later filed on the synthetic and was in a hurry to get to key west because you wanted to see her boyfriend. she was eager to see her boyfriend. she wanted to shave her bikini region in preparation for the big reunion. so a lot of people went off to the side of the road to do that, but she come again and was in her associate outsourced this during the car to the person who was the passenger, who turned out wiser ex-husband, who is very florida detail. so they're going south pictures using the operating big seller in history the car and she is shaving. what could go wrong, right collects the car in front of them, and it won in a million fluke occurrence, slow down. and they ran into it and there's a big accident. this was international news once they got out.
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did you read about this woman in florida? that women was from indiana. [laughter] she was shaving her hoosier, and yet we got, florida got the blame. my point is willy ellis island to accept the tired and before we get the insane people from other states pick a summary decides he wants to get naked and pleasure himself into a stuffed animal at walmart, he doesn't do that in ohio. he doesn't do that in pennsylvania. he comes to florida to get that and it would become international. look at these instances come on these people, a lot of people, to just be weird. >> host: he writes lord has become the joke state, the state everybody makes fun of. if states were characters on seinfeld, florida would be kramer. every time it appears the audience automatically laugh knowing it's going to do some idiot thing. >> guest: we got that reputation.
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used to be more just miami. many years people mocked miami. i've been a longtime defender of miami and avon at bumper stickers made up the said come back to miami, we were shooting at you. years ago. then the miami vice days bit but then it expanded to the whole state and it happened, you can trace directly to the 2000 presidential election where every other state was able to determine fairly quickly whom it had voted for for president of the united states, but we didn't do it, you know, like early in the night. they called it for gore and been called for bush and they called it for granted again. lately i think william shatner was leading down here, and at the end of the night they were shooting heroin on television. nobody knew who he had voted for. then we had that like four or five week. we're all in but it talked about was florida because they're
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still counting the votes. they which are evident some pork palm beach county election official looking at about that event shooter by weasels or something. what was this person thinking when he did this to this piece of cardboard? i proposed at the time in florida voter approved ballot. apparently it was too much for florida voters to how to punch a hole in a piece of cardboard. i found i do what you would print photographs of the candidates faces on the ballot to vote by poking at your candidates eyeballs. but have we done that probably a lot of voters that it would've poked out your own eyeballs so we didn' could do it. but anyway that's when it started. that's in florida became the joke state. then all this come everything anybody in florida did anything come it makes the news. morning radio station all about the country would probably have nothing to talk about if it were not for florida. we provide a service, providing entertainment for the rest of the country. >> host: on the short drive from the airport down here to books and books in coral gables,
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there's a couple things i notice that it wanted to ask about there i saw a lot of -- >> guest: utero? >> host: i drove. >> guest: i felt like the way people miami drive, these people don't know the law. i now know everybody miami is right according to the law of his or her individual country of origin. there are many, many different interpretations of what a stop sign might mean but it doesn't mean stop in dade county florida. florida. that's the last thing it means. >> host: i saw quite a few slip and fall lawyer billboards, massage parlors and plastic surgery centers. >> guest: those are the big ones, all big ones. reptile sales also. if you need like a butt enhancement and of his snake at 2 a.m., it's going to be minutes away. it's like starbucks down here. -- venomous snake. lawyers are everywhere. basic if anything happens to the number to call write what you
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get millions of dollars. it's an -- another wonderful reason to live here. >> host: you write every group, immigrant groups had own foreign policies. >> guest: miami does have a foreign policy and has for many, many years. it's kind of lesson alone but now that we've open a relationship with cuba, but that's still a pretty big issue in dade county politics is where you stand on cuba. which is doctor, i think in most cities because cities are thank you susan stuff. we're not. we thinking about cuba. >> host: comedy times did you run for president transfer it's hard to keep track. it used to be considered a joke but not so much. [laughter] >> guest: not so much lately. i pretty much always running. i do but years on the bumper stickers, just to save money. my campaign, candace and most we
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consists of accepting cash contributions. not that that's different from other candidates, but i do have policies on some issues. glad to show my policies with you if you would like. >> host: go-ahead. >> guest: health care. a lot of discussion about obamacare, to repeal or replace? if i were present at highest priority would be get the medical profession to find a way to get to the prostate client other than the way they're getting to it now. [laughter] but i like to proceed with a doctor which chemically five yards away and says and looks good from here, dave, you know? [laughter] and then -- >> host: immigration. >> guest: again big issue, a lot of discussion. president trump's issue is the wall here can build the wall. how is it going to pay for the wall? i don't think we need a wall. what i would do if i were the
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president, i would take the florida department of transportation, send them down to the border and say repair the roads between us and mexico. no one will ever get through again. [laughter] >> host: 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. >> guest: yeah, yeah. i agree with both those statements. you want me to respond? >> host: you can add on. >> guest: i feel really bad. i'm old, not older, i'm an old person and i realize what we have done with social security. we putting this huge burden on the generations follow us. as we have with the environment. we do whatever we want and we are leaving -- i honestly think is going to be a lot of problems after i'm dead, so the hell with
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it, is my feeling, you know? payback for hip-hop is what i think. [laughter] >> host: you have a chapter about donald trump in your book, "money secrets" and you wrote it in 2006. >> guest: i read his entire book on the art -- it was how to make, something but getting rich. it was after the art of the deal and it was even more shallow. basically, you know, donald trump, a lot of bullet points about how great donald trump is. not unlike how it really is now but there were not a lot of specifics about just that he really, he demands excellence from everybody. like when he picks up silver patterns for his hotel, he gets the best silver pattern. that's the tip yet and i'm thinking if i had hotel i wouldn't really, you know, need any more tips i don't think. >> host: and this book is from 2002006 and is what you write. in 2000, donald trump considered running for president. and he had some terrific ideas
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but then he decided not to because that would've been a pathetic joke. just kidding. he decided not to because he is too darn blunt for politics. >> guest: that's right. he came here to miami. i do remember if it was before or after wrote that book, but i followed him around for a day and he was again exploring it. i do remember one thing he said, comparing himself to -- he said as any other president of united states made himself into 1 billion or? i don't think. like basically abraham lincoln, loser, right? [laughter] so yeah. well, we are just beyond the realm of humor nowadays. people seeking all the time, this would be so great for you, you know. and i go know, because the idea with you is you take something that everybody can recognize it because it really is exaggerated
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and make it absurd. but he's already doing that. you don't need me. it's like a brilliant piece of performance art. unfortunately he is the president. >> host: what is the year in review? >> guest: every year, and addenda for many, many years, i do it for "the miami herald" but also runs in the "washington post" and other papers. i take the year, actually i could it in like late november,, so i have to make up december. [laughter] that's the kind of journalism i practice. fake news i would call it if i do come up with -- i was in fake news way before it was cool. [laughter] and i take the events of the year that really happened and try to make a funny narrative out of it. i've done this for many, many years, at people like it a lot. a lot of people, someone here today just mention it.
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and so but i had to take them every processing process. i get a list of headlines for the year and they go through an echo my god, this is horrible. like terrorist attacks, natural tragedies and mass slayings, and there's nothing funny. and yet i'm supposed to make it into a funny narrative. in the end i figure out a way to do it, often by just leaving out stuff that was really too depressing to write about. it's a big project, probably the biggest project i do every year, kind of pathetic now that i think of it. >> host: how does it -- how long does it take to write it? >> guest: the truth, it takes a couple of months. i'm doing other things along the way but that's kind of nagging at me starting in really september through the end of november. that's amazing and thinking about and trying, working on. and then it's over real fast like depressing, this conversation.
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>> host: your year in review 2016, it's entitled what the -- but you and times try to avoid november in here. >> guest: skipping to december or going back to the previous month just to avoid confronting what actually happened in november, which america is still not processed what happened or will not even close. my wife and i were talking this morning, i would ever going to just settle back down in this country? i don't know. i don't know that we are. four years of everybody being like -- all the time. all the time? i mean, i'm in the news media. a lot of people i know our newspaper people. a lot of them and they are also -- all the time. >> host: when did you give up your weekly column? >> guest: a long time ago. i stopped writing a weekly, i think in 2005. now here's why get defensive and explained that i still work for a living.
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but i still write a lot. i write books. like last year 2016 i went to iowa, wrote about the iowa caucuses. i went to new hampshire and what about the new hampshire primaries. i went to both political conventions and what about those. and it went to the olympics and wrote every day for a couple of weeks. so really i work a lot harder than you do, mr. television man with that type, asking when i retired. >> host: from your 2010 -- >> guest: coal mining but harder. >> host: i will mature would i did. you write political conventions are excellent places to observe vithe ip area lost because they are teaming with high-level washington dwelling people chosen careers in public service specifically to avoid having any contact with the actual public. >> yeah. i agree it would i wrote that statement i agree with you completely. washington is all about status and power and there is no more
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clear example of that. it crystallized at the political convention all of these people who are obsessed with power and prestige and privilege come together and have two forget ways to exclude as me people as humanly possible, justify the own power and trustees. what specifically talk about their, i can't remember, i think it was 2004, political and convention in philadelphia, the republican convention, i think, so i'm there and i usually go, cartoonist, the only people who are true and michel as i am in journalism field, used to be. now it's pretty much everybody on twitter. we made it our mission to get into parts that we were not invited to. and that's kind of the sport of going to convention.
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the lowest form of human at the convention is a delicate. the delegates of the people who stand there holding up whatever stupid sign they were handed wearing stupid hats and nobody pays attention two delegates. they are not important. it's a vip set are important and have a lot of receptions and parties you're not invited you. there was this reception for somebody somewhere, and we're just determined to get it and we did. we talked her way past the initial your people. we're in this building now but then there's another vip area that's hard to get into. and we couldn't get into that but then we went into this, there was a thrill, i'll never forget, it was a strange, fairly large room like a ballroom and the middle was a platform which i guess have been used for speakers or a better something that is kind of in the middle of the floor like a raised maybe two-foot high, maybe the size of ping pong table, about this big. we got up on it. there's 45 of us and we found
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these cones that gender is used to keep you from getting on a wet floor. we put a coat on either side of the thing and we stood up on this and when people would wander through, people who were attending can we take you can't come up here. this is a reserve area. the first to people like, but by the people started coming over and why can't we get up the quick you can't. this is for us. but then dick armey who was then like the majority leader of the house of representatives came in. dick armey, do you want to get up? he said sure. and he got up with -- now it's like a cartoonist and me and dick armey. all these republican vips coming and dick armey, they don't know what it is but he's up on this thing, you know, and now suddenly they really do want to get up on the platform with us. we are like, we are manning the
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edges of the parameter and we are very reflective -- he was getting the joke. and hot women. more and more crowded out there, and more and more people come industry and wanting to get on -- it was a wonderful night really. i wrote about the next day, like one of the great night of the convention. but it really was in a nutshell what washington is, everybody tried to get up on this completely arbitrary little raised platform. >> host: common theme in a lot of your columns, your 30 plus books, cable news. are you a fan of cable news? >> guest: yeah. i do, i watch cable news because most of the network news now consists of like celebrity gardening tips. not so much news it when i wake up in the morning and turn on today, no offense to the day
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show, i love the today show,, special when you had the audit to promote my book, but it's generally like here's 38 seconds and is followed by 47 minutes of someone's gardening tips. whereas if you want to watch the news if you go to cnn, you go to msnbc or you go to fox. i want all of them because i find it fascinating that none of them is trying to be unbiased anymore, in my opinion. fox is like completely pro-trump. cnn, they are more subtle but they hate him. nbc hates him. "morning joe" which is a good show, i that sugar but everybody on is biased one way or the other. there isn't any show that if you like anymore is presenting unbiased -- i don't even know what unbiased means anymore. it's just so hard to find. >> host: at what point did you know that you were a humorist, that you're funny, in your life?
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>> guest: well, there were two things. when i thought it was funny was really young. my family valued humor more than any other quality as a human being. my parents were funny people, and so i thought i was funny as a kid. i got the joke, whether we were into sarcasm heavily an in our family. nobody ever said anything he or she ever met, ever. when i thought i could make a living as a humorist was way later. i wrote humor columns for my high school newspaper, for my college newspaper. got a job at a newspaper when i got out of college where, when i could, i wrote a humor column but that's not what they paid me to do. they paid me to go to incredibly dull municipal meetings, some which are probably still going on about sewage. so i wasn't, you know, and then i was still writing a humor column and i left journalism altogether for a while and taught effective writing
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seminars to businesspeople. that was my job but have still writing a weekly humor column for the full paper in pennsylvania. by then i'm in my 30s and it still hasn't occurred to me this is a job i could have. and then what really changed it for me was, if somebody had said to me at the beginning, you could have a job where all you do is write humor, that would've been my goal but it never occurred to me that was possible. that did happen to people i knew like art buckwalter i didn't think would happen to me. and then my son was born, and i'm writing a weekly humor column but "the philadelphia inquirer," the editor of the sunday magazine at "the philadelphia inquirer", had read a couple of my columns, maybe submit some stuff. i submitted some things that the inquirer ran, but then i wrote
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this big long piece, humor piece about the birth of my son. this was 198080 when he was born. the baby boomers were just in the process of taking over the world at that time. the thing about the baby boomers is, as everyone knows, we are very special and there's nobody like us and i will never be a generation like us because we are so freaking special. one of the special things we did was have babies. nobody had ever had babies before. certainly not the way we had them, the way we had them, like when i was born, the old system was like the mother had to be there. [laughter] the father was not anywhere near when it happened. the mother was there but they gave a lot of drugs. she didn't wake up until the job is like in the third grade. [laughter] nobody really participate in the baby having process except the medical personnel, you know, that the baby out and woke them up up and shoved to the data is
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out smoking cigarettes in the waiting room, if he was even around. and that was the old system. a lot of people were born under that system, abraham lincoln, you know? [laughter] but our system was natural childbirth where everybody really would appreciate it and enjoy it and it would be natural and i would be no drugs involve. we went to classes on how to have a baby which i don't know how did it before. [laughter] we had classes and they would pass around model of the service to admire like, you don't know what thing has been, you know? but the main thing to talk about was contractions, like 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
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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 like -- screaming in pain. baking for drugs, you know? i wrote an essay about that, like the contrast between the classes and the actual childbirth and dave bolt, the editor rampant in "the philadelphia inquirer," and it was instantly, there was no such thing as viral event because there was no internet but it went as viral as someone could get in the newspaper world back then. all the newspapers back then had sunday magazines, and sending magazines were always looking for content and they would exchange, they would sit someone else ran a piece that they were interested in. and everybody, now like i said,
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journalism was now being taken over by people my age we are all going to the same thing, all having babies. they thought it was pretty funny. i started getting calls. i'll never forget the first call i got. again, i'm working, teaching effective writing seminars, that was my job. "the philadelphia inquirer" had paid me i believe $350 for that piece, which was a lot of money for me to get for writing something. i got a call at home from the "chicago tribune", the editor of the sunday magazine and he said, he read your piece in the choir, i thought it was great, i'd like to print it. great. how much do you charge? i think, i already made $350. i said, how about $50? he said, we will pay you 500. and i'm thinking like, if i had said 25, he might've gone up to a thousand, i don't know. [laughter] and then that process was
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repeated with a bunch, not always without extreme, i soon discovered this is -- they all ran it and then they all said what also be written? i set a this little column for the daily local news in west chester, pennsylvania. they said send it to us. that suddenly really based on that one story, we did in a couple of months i was in a lot of papers and people knew who i was. editors, magazine editors, one down here at come in miami at "the miami herald." and then within a fairly short period of time i was offered jobs at newspapers and took a job here in miami. so i went from being a guy writing a column trying to almost as a hobby, the daily local news which was the little paper that ran weekly that was paying $23.50 a week. a week there by actual income was from teaching writing to something i was a humor writer. but again, it kind of happened to me. it was like a set out, if i
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write the right piece of getting all these markets. i didn't think that way. it was more like it happened to me and that was wonderful when it did. but it was very much unexpected. >> host: what you're good at teaching effective writing to business executives? >> guest: i was good at teaching it. they were not that good at learning it. [laughter] no, here's the thing. it's probably still to come i don't know, but like the people, our clients were engineers, chemists, auditors. they were people who didn't, they were intelligent people and educated people, it didn't write for a living. they didn't think of themselves as writers so they wrote the way everybody in the company wrote an are error but at every compan america at the same way back then. i don't know if it is still too, which is the get something really, really important to say you would have figured out a way after three years of testing and experimentation, you like dupont employee or something, you would figure out a way to manufacture this plastic for 27
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cents a kilogram cheaper than before and you could save the company $384 million a year without any real, without doing much at all, just changing a formula, the way you would write that if you would write and 87 page document that would start three years ago we undertook a program to determine whether substituting blah, blah, blah, and somewhere in there it was a week it's a $384 million a year by switching this to this. never at the end we could fight it. never at the beginning we could find it. somewhere in there it would be to after they dragged you through all the work they had done and all the studies they did. it was always worke worried tha. i would say to them, the first sentence of your report had to say we can save 340 million. they would say no, we can do that. why not? bats not how we do it here. and i go, but they are paying me
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to come in to tell you how to do it. that's how you should do it. it was a real battle. i would say that i won the battle 10% of the time and lost it 90% of the time. i didn't feel didn't feel bad about it because -- also talked a lot about how to structure a sense and stuff like that. i don't think i changed the way american business people right, but i did make them feel guilty anyway, which was something. >> host: back to discussion about -- >> guest: i want to add one thing. the thing that really benefited me personally about that part of my career which is almost i think some use of teaching effective writing seminars is like a good at talking to groups. because if you walk into, like you are at, you know, a plant, chemical plant in north carolina and a bunch of people have been told yet to go report to this for a week this, talking about writing, it was a week, they
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would shovel in and sit down and then you look at me and i looked like i was nine years old then. i had a mustache just to try to look older and it looked like a nine-year-old with a mustache. and i would say, i had to convince these people that, they didn't think i knew anything. they didn't want to be there and had to keep their attention and try to teach them. just at the beginning, i was terrified. i would throw up before, at the motel before i would go. but then i just learned to make it entertaining. they knew that there was going to be something funny coming along sooner or later and i got better and better at speaking to groups. that turned out to be invaluable when i became a writer. because as you probably know when you become a writer, writing the book is, in the might of the publishers, like maybe 50%, maybe less. the important thing is going out and promoting the book talking to groups of people.
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that was a useful expense for me to like an unwilling audience and have to win them over. when you get out to talk to people about your book, generally they are willing audience it's a lot easier but i felt much more comfortable doing that. >> host: do you enjoyed the book tour? >> guest: i do. i don't like the travel part. my joke has been, the purpose of the book tour is to kill off the cassette will make the book more valuable. but it can be brutal. really unbelievably brutal. i'll give you one example. i don't allow this imo. i used to be much more naïve about what i would laugh at a book tour but the thing i learned to avoid is we're going to have a film crew tagalong and they won't, you won't even know they are there, you know? a complete lie. they make you come out of the door three times.
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this was when i was more naïve and i was on a book tour in seattle and this film crew tagalong. i get off the plane and they are there. this was before 9/11 so they could be right at the gate. followed me through, i get picked up by the escort to take you randy they are in the van with me so we can even have like, we can't even say hi. i could say hi but everything you say, don't mind us. you know? cycle around, i did a bunch of talks, a bunch of radio interviews, tv interviews, a very packed day. i'm looking at the schedule and i can see that there's half an hour left when afton, filter it is going to leave and i couldn't have in the hotel and then i have to go do the bookstore event that night. i happen. i'm just looking for to this half an hour all day long. finally it gets, get to the
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hotel and they would leap at the hotel. i check in. they are gone. go to my room, opened the door and as a film crew. [laughter] they forgot to tell me that it would be another film crew in the hotel room to do an interview and a walk in and they go, i lost it. i go, what are you doing here? they are of course the leaders and the women goes you did know about this question it's on your schedule. i went, i'm really kind of angry but i'm trying not looking, well, what if i had to go to the bathroom? she said, do you? [laughter] and so that part of the book tour, you know, that could really get wearying. but the part of the book tour i like is, when you do a signing and people were actually buying your book, come to listen to you talk and buy a book and have you signed the book, like there's some real people there.
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because like the radio, tv people, they get your book for free and they're doing it because you're providing them with content, like this, you know? [laughter] but the bookstore people, that's not them. they can because they wanted to. i think every writer kenneth likes to know that there are readers out there somewhere. >> host: and good afternoon and welcome to booktv on c-span -- >> guest: we are just starting now? what was all the stuff going on? >> host: well -- [laughter] it's going to do hard to get through, i think. welcome to booktv on c-span2. this is our "in depth" program over talk to one author and talk about his or her body of work. this month is humorous and author dave barry. we are at books & books in coral gables, florida, and he is our guest, the author of over 30 books. here are some of them.
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dave barry talks back came out in 1992. dave barry does japan, 1993. dave barry is not making this up, 1994. you put your name and all your book titles? >> guest: i find it just as annoying as you do. [laughter] i once proposed that title be another dam dave barry book by dave barry, and that almost went with but they didn't. suspect may be your next one. dave barry's greatest hits came out in 1997. dave barry selector which is aimed at united states, also came out in 1997. dave barry hits below the beltway, 2002. dave barry "money secrets," 2006. dave barry history of the millennium, so far 2007. i will mature when i'm dead 2010. live right and find happiness came out two years ago, and then this year, "best. state. ever" a florida man defense his homeland. how long have you been living in florida? >> guest: 31 years.
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as i say i moved to miami from united states in 1986. [laughter] >> host: and we will figure out where you were before that after come want to make sure our audience can get involved. this is a call-in program as regular reviews the booktv know. we'll put the phone numbers up f you'd like to have a conversation with dave barry, 202-728-8200 for those in east and central time zones. 202-728-8201 for those of you in the mount a specific time zones. if you can't get through on the phone lines and you want to try social media, @booktv is our twitter handle. you can send a message in there. you can make a comment on our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv and file you can send an e-mail to booktv@c-span.org. we will begin taking those calls in just a few minutes. are you on social media? >> guest: yeah, yeah. i have twitter. a facebook.
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i have a daughter who is 17 who is like entire life is on snap something, you know. indirectly through her. sometimes she takes pictures of me. my daughter is base basal to frs with every other 17-year-old person in the planet thanks to social media. >> host: what is your twitter handle? >> guest: it's ray rayadbury. it's really the fault of gene weingarten was my first editor here at tragic magazine and of the humors columnist at "washington post" who was obsessed with anagrams. he pointed out a long time ago that dave barry with anagrams and always like that. so i use that for my twitter handle. i don't know why i should just call myself dave barry. that's the actual name. you know that, right? >> host: from your book live right and find happiness, to go
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back to conversation about baby boomers, above all, the greatest generation did not work about providing a perfect risk-free environment for their children. they loved us, sure, but they didn't feel obligated to spend every waking minute running interference between us in the world. has that changed? >> guest: yeah. i mean, that's still my view but my point and that essay was my generation, i was \60{l1}s{l0}\'60{l1}s{l0}, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. that was my generation. we thought of ourselves as a cool, cooler than her parents, more fun that her parents, courageous and repairs. but when i got older look back i realize that was just not true. first of all sex drugs and rock 'n roll as work progresses with kids we stopped and became nannies and became the people the skill of thing the kids do
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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 felt back to my parents generation. i grew up a little town called armonk, new york and the title of this essay was the real madman because it's the place where madmen, the tv show is set, westchester county, new york. my dad commuted to newark city every day. a bunch of my friends that's commuted to new york city every day. some of them are advertising people. it was that age group that people up into the great depression and world war ii who are now in her 50s becoming successful. but what i remember when i thought back about it is even though they were parents they had asked. they had kids, careers in anything like that. they partied much harder as grown-ups than my generation ever did.
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my parents, they had partied every friday and saturday. cocktail parties. the women dressed up. they made manhattan's. they smoked cigarettes like crazy. they ate gluten, you know, openly. [laughter] they didn't care. granted it was not healthy at a lot of them died a lot sooner than they should have but they had fun while they were going. that really didn't happen in my generation. we got much more staid and nervous as a cup holder. i guess it's because they alreadalwaysbeen, like they've h world war ii. they probably didn't feel like, that too much to worry about with raising kids. this is not a new observation, but kids are now much more sheltered. when i was a kid we just, i can't imagine allowing my daughter, my son to do what i did, to get delivered i had when i was a kid. i was just gone from dawn to
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dusk. my parents didn't know where i was. i don't know, maybe that was bad in some ways, but we had a lot of fun. we developed a great sense of independence from that. i don't know about now. these kids today. >> host: that's it? >> guest: that's it. these darn kids today. >> host: from dave barry slept here, mentioned the 60s and a middle age urban professional and he will transform himself into something worse than what of those depression nights. droning away about his memories and they think up of an excuse to leave guesstimate the baby boomers? yeah. >> host: that's what you wrote. >> guest: well, everybody is really sick of us and i can kind of get why. this 60s were a long, long time ago. i have to admit that still the music i prefer. one of my joys in life is to
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tell my daughter how crappy her music is compared to the music that i listen to. and nobody is going to still listen to her music 50 years later the way we listen. made i'm wrong about that. see, i'm already droning away about it, aren't i? >> host: what kind of work did your parents do in new york? >> guest: my father was a presbyterian minister, but he did not have a church party was was not a pastor he was executive director of an opposition called the new york city mission society, which was anti-poverty organization in new york that ran all kinds of programs to get when summer camps like every summer my sister and my brothers and i went to camp sharper room where we were the only kids from westchester kennedy everybody else was inner-city kids. my sister and i were the only white kids. what else come anyway, my dad
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band that kind of, ran that organization. so basically his job was to get money from guilty white people and funnel it to various programs in the south bronx, antipoverty programs, designed to get kids into college, that kind of thing. he went to new york everyday just like every other dad, but his job was very different ricky was very active in the civil rights movement also, so. my mom, everyone ask, not everybody but i'm often asked is where did you get your sense of humor? my dad was a funny guy. he appreciated humor but my mom was funny, and she was funny. she was very edgy funny. she was what they called a a housewife. she had four kids and raised four kids in new york. she cooked dinner for us every night. she wash the clothes, cleaned the house. but she was funny.
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she was college educated. she went the university of nebraska. she was a stenographer in the manhattan project, in chicago. she worked in the universe of chicago within the reactor in the basement. she claimed, i don't know why she would lie, she was not a person how she claimed she once took dictation from enrico during -- she had secured loans and everything, after she and i get married she moved to new york. dad worked in new york city and so she was raising us in this little town. she was not like other moms. i didn't know, i did notice this one is skewed because of my time and see normal normal but my mom was very edgy lady. like we had a pond near our house, at least pond. my sis and i would go swimming in something, an example of never allow my daughter to do, go off into the woods and go swimming without a helmet.
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and a lifeguard and some kind of insurance binder. we were just go off and go swimming. we go out, went to her mom out the window as her going off in communication and should open when i go don't drown, kids. we would say we won't. that's kind of thing we made fun of in our family. she would take us around to look down, it's kind of a boutique suburb of new york city, i pressed the address now. that it was just a little town that was near new york but wasn't of new york and it was a real small town, like there was the market we go do shopping and the anpr to some of your shopping. the cleaner should go, a drugstore. my mom would take us around on the errands and the tradesman like her, because she was funny. we go into chinese market and
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ray would be behind them counter slicing baloney. how are you doing? just shady, ray. [laughter] are we allowed to say that on c-span, i don't know. i apologize. and everybody would just, you know, so she was funny and there was nothing she wouldn't make fun of, nothing. i will give you an example that, maybe even sound a little shocking but it was a true story. when my dad died, we were devastated obviously nobody more so than my mom. there was a service for him but we had him cremated and so we had is earned and just my brothers, my sister my mom and i took the earn to the middle patina cemetery to bury my dad. so it was raining and it was a a sad day. we were all weeping. we go to and they have a little
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hole dug force already. we go out there, the four of us, the five of us, and put my dad in, is urn in and coming up and say some stuff and hug each other. we are walking away. we are all crying, it's raining. i had my mom on my arm and she looks down at one of tombstones and goes, so that's why we don't see him around anymore. like, we both started laughing, you know? we are still crying but we also -- even in that moment my mom, like she's not going to pass up that opportunity to make a joke. so that was my mother. she had her emotional missions and troubles and everything, but she was really, really funny. i was just raised in a tradition where you don't ever take anything too seriously and especially not yourself. that was my family. >> host: you mention your father was an ordained minister to the problem with about
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religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes, you write. >> guest: along time ago i wrote that column, yes. i remember, contrasting viscount every religion things every other religion is insane. one of the examples, there is a guy in india who believe you should drink your own urine, you know. and over here we think that's really crazy that we do trust ourselves before we take -- like god will be concerned whether this foul shot goes in or not. over in india, do you think god cares about how shots? drink my urine. anybody else thinks and what else is crazy. >> host: lets get to calls. we will take calls from a audiee and we have an audience here at books & books. if you have a question, danielle is in the back with a microphone suggest raise your hand and we will get to that in just a second after we hear from allie catherine in bryan, ohio.
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allie catherine, you are on with author dave barry call back thanks for taking my call my question is about your sense of humor. you said 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 or so where do get your enthusiasm? thank you. >> guest: well, thank you for the question. i guess i've always liked being, being able to amuse people. it's a form of, you know, performance in a way. i like to make people laugh. when people are amused, i guess i get that same vibe like a standup comedian gets from an audience, you know.
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you are enthusiastic about it. you like to make people laugh. it's fun when people are enjoying what you are saying. it's very different from writing humor and which is not that at all because you get no feedback, no reaction at all from anybody. you just staring at the screen and hoping someone out will find it entertaining. it's more rewarding to talk to people, but it's also riskier because you don't know that they're going to laugh or not. >> host: steve is in east brunswick new jersey. you are on booktv. >> caller: how're you? hello? >> host: please go ahead. we are listening. >> caller: pics i was wondering who some of dave barry's favorite authors are that write satire. >> guest: probably easily the writer of most influenced me,
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and it was thanks to my father, it was robert benchley. 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 american who is the funniest person in the country they would say robert benchley. he was a brilliant guy. he went to harvard. he was a theater critic but he wrote just wonderfully funny, silly essays. and my dad was a huge fan of this. so we had when i was a kid, around the house robert benchley anthologies of his columns for "life" magazine, for "the new yorker." and i discovered him when i was maybe 10 years old and i started reading it. it was the best thing ever read. it was like i can believe a grownup wrote this. they were hilarious essays, and i wanted to write like that. from the beginning whenever i wrote anything for my high school paper, my college paper, when i got to write columns for the newspaper, i tried to write
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like robert benchley. so that's the guy more than any other. i also was a big fan of pg woodhouse. my dad again introduced me to him. later years, a friend of mine from down here, douglas adams, the late great douglas adams. i'm going to stop because i will eat or that it should allow. i just want to send one thing about the robert benchley thing that i always think is important for me to remember is, he wrote essays that were pretty topical. part of the pump of it is the reason today, i still do. i have robert benchley books in the house and her beat them, love stuff can't do anymore. the cultural reference is gone or it's just something about haberdasher that you don't relate to because we don't have haberdashery anymore. that's one of the reasons why nobody still reads robert benchley. i think it's important for anybody who does you were for a living is the kind of recognize
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you are not going to be around pretty much whatever cultural bubble you are in, that's it. when it's over, it's over. you're not not going to be remembered the way george orwell is down the road. >> host: a little bit later in the program today we will show you a more extensive list of dave barry's favorite authors and influences, but i do want to ask you one of the ones you sent us was mad magazine. >> guest: everybody my age i think red mad magazine. those guys were brilliant. the art was brilliant and the writing was brilliant. i don't know about now, i have not read mad magazine in years but when i was a kid that was sharp and it was like sharp and edgy. mad magazine, national lampoon and early saturday night live were like powerful influences of humor to my generation, and still are i think. >> host: we have a question in the audience. can we get the microphone?
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there we go. if you could tell us your first name. >> paul. my favorite issue of "the miami herald" is always, always your holiday gift guide. i just laugh myself until i can't laugh anymore. i'm just wondering if anyone of those insanely ridiculous gifts that stands out in your mind more than the others? >> guest: i have to say, every i do a holiday 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.
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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 docs, they're not that smart. they are not going hey, none of them are, they're all sitting up here i don't think docs are like that. anyway, hunters might be that stupid to believe the docs would think that though. so they made this thing, it was a doctor but it was just the butt of a duck sitting up. it would float in water so it looked like, to me the docs at
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the ricoh why is it not coming back up, you know? anyway, so we ordered a duck butt and what we did was actually recorded several and illustrations, par part of the t i've always like to do a funny photo, it's always a photograph. we decide to do the duck butt in the punch bowl. we had a big punch bowl and several duck butt in it, you know, and people looking appalled at it. so anyway, the issue runs, the duck butts are in there, and everybody in america wants to buy duck butts all of a sudden. there was a story, i think of wisconsin, even they didn't embed shut down production for the winter and they had to reopen the factory. to mate, to meet the demand for all the duck butts. they were concerned that people might put them in punch bowls because the alcohol would dissolve the paint or whatever
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and it would be toxic and it could be fatal, they said. they called it has been what i thought about it. i said, anybody who drinks punch from the volokh duck butts deserves to die. [laughter] italy, so that, there's been a lot of, you know. [inaudible] just i don't even remember the chicken brassiere. >> host: we need you to get on the mic sore television audience can -- >> guest: he said his favorite was the chicken brassiere spent the inflatable toast. black toilet paper. >> guest: black toilet paper makes some sense. [laughter] just reuse and nobody would know spit at the turkey like air freshener. >> yeah, yeah. you've given a lot of thought to the holiday gift guide. >> host: let's hear from gary in california. you are on with author dave barry.
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go ahead. >> caller: hi, dave. i want to run something by then i thought was funny. everybody who trump wants to ask about russia, why doesn't trump just check with his own fbi and see if they have any russian connections ahead of time instead of wasting all this time having the democrats ask all his nominees, you know, how did any contact with russia? on me, he's got own fbi. why doesn't he check that out? >> guest: are you saying he has the fbi? >> caller: he is president. can you just ask his own fbi if any of his nominees have had any contact with russia instead of having the democrats ask about that and -- >> guest: send out another tweet and i think that's the root is chosen to take. about the russians, i do have a little experience with the russians, which i learned about
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two years ago, a friend of mine and a co-author and been made, we wrote some books together, we went to russia for the state department, united states state department part of a program where this in authors to russia in hopes of improving relations. ..
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pretty confident and that our computers were hacked into and recently confident that they were listening. but anyway, when i learned and then i pass along to anybody that ever goes to russia, if you go to russia and i cannot stress the importance of this enough, do not eat the mexican food. [laughter] we went one night in moscow when we did an event and the only restaurant open near a hotel was a mexican restaurant run by russians which were not good at russian food i had what i realized a weponized chimichanga. if anyone was listening on that night, that person would need years of therapy.
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>> what was it like to meet with the union russian writers? >> that was weird. i had to learn when i was over there that russians, you know, specially english speaking russians seemed like us but they are not. official russians don't like us. they are up front about it. they think we are -- putin whole thing we are their enemy, these guys were like. they said you are going to meet with the writers, it wasn't like that at all. here is what we do here and much better than what you do there. what do you think? i write booger jokes. it was unnerving and at one point we were in st. petersburg. the big issue is we imposed sanctions.
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we imposed sanctions because of involvement in crimea and for the russians it's very personal. that we were interfering with their business. at one point trying to make it more nonideological,i ask one of the writers, in st. petersburg it was called stalin ride and there was a seeing that went -- siege that went on and it wasn't that long ago. does that resinate here because that wasn't long ago. nothing like that has ever happened in any city in the united states, here you are this beautiful city and looks very normal but this horrible thing happened right here and the guy says, yes, it's still very much part of our -- people ate card
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board, sawdust, people ate dirt so we did not worry about sanctions. they are like -- it was really hard core. they're still -- they don't like us i guess that's what i'm saying. >> let's hear from norm in washington. >> two questions, the first was are you worry that had trump could put you out of business because who says more outrageous or funnier stuff than he does? the second question is there was a professor at the university of oregon about the dumbing down of america and i wondered if you thought explain some of the weird stuff going on. >> well, the first -- i talked this about earlier, t difficult to write humor about donald trump because he generally gets beyond whatever boundaries you said he goes beyond them so
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often and also there's so many people writing about them. everybody -- every night there's 27 shows doing donald trump jokes. so if you're in the humor business, it's pretty crowded right now. the trump field. dumbing down. america is getting dumber ever since i have been alive. my daughter is 17 and she's in high school and i like to think that, you know, i'm as smart as a high school student and the last time i could actually help her with her math homework was when she was in fifth grade and then they got into the cosign and that was that. so if we are getting dumber, i don't know, i can't explain why my daughter and her friends are studying things much harder than we are.
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we must at some point forget everything we learn. i don't know. that's not a coherent answer, is it? >> we have another question from the audience. please go ahead, tell us your first name. >> my name -- another paul here. my family friends and i have been this part of our lives fans of yours for two reasons, one is your extraordinary gifts of the absurd and the other is your social commentary inside, like, you know, in the history of dorothy parker and dick gregory, calvin and this combination is unique and we've not only enjoyed but value your books, commentaries and articles and i just occurred to me, the question is the balance between absurd and commentary, it must be something -- i have been following some of the things you said challenging with tenuous
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grasp of reality that we have try today define has been administered and we find ourselves in a surreal world. have you ever thought of how to seriously use your humor to counteract that? >> no. [laughter] >> one of the things that people have said over the years and vs. very flattering. you really helped me, you know, i was having a hard time with my son or daughter and we read your books and brought us together, i went through rough patch and i read the books and made me feel better, thank you. the problem is i would do it if it made you feel worse. that's the only thick i know how to do. i'm always grateful when people say it makes them feel better. you mention calvin, a friend of mine, one of my favorite writers and i don't know why i need to
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say this but calvin were mugs once, attempted mugging. we were like -- we had done an event and we went to a bar after ward and we came back to his house in the village and we are standing outside his door and the guy comes up with a jacket and it's like this in the pocket. he goes, give me your money or i will blow your heads off and we later on deconstructed this, why would you have both guns. you wouldn't have two guns. [laughter] >> we were action heros. way we handled that -- let us in right now and he didn't mug us. we successfully survived the mugging and we didn't give him
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our wallets. >> speaking of guns, you talk about visiting walk and load. >> here in miami and all other places but miami seems appropriate place. in wynwood, a hip neighborhood, there's a place called lock and load where you can go and shoot machine guns. i don't know if that's the correct term technically for it but the guns where you pull the trigger and it's set up like a restaurant, you walk in and there's a menu of, you know, how many guns you want to shoot and what kind and the attractive young ladies in t-shirts coming around and taking your order and they have guns on the wall that you can, you know, they're -- they don't shoot but you can pick the guns and see how they feel and we shot machine guns and we walked out and were wired freak for hours and hours.
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i would not be a good soldier. i would be like -- if i had to shoot for real. >> please go ahead with your question or comment for dave barry. >> hi, dave, you've convinced me in your writing just how crazy florida is. i'm being forced to move to orlando to keep together with my wife, she has to go on assisted care rest home. here in new york in saracusei get messed a lot. the in and out game. but in the assistant care home i can't have anything bigger than a toy poodle. that's not going protect me. now i've -- just the other night there was an article about crazy
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new stand your ground law in florida and as fast as i can run away i look like i'm standing my ground and so i was talking to a guy that does carry a gun and he convinced me i could carry a glock42 and what caliber do you carry? >> i don't have a gun. i'm assuming everyone in my neighborhood does. i don't own a gun. we do have a stand on the ground law. you can shoot anybody as long as you are standing on the ground. when i first moved to miami, this was during the 80's, cocaine era, i remember driving
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and seeing cars go by with bullet holes. at first i didn't believe that was what it was. there were a lot of shootings, not so much anymore in miami as far as i know u, but that was going on. >> where is the line when it comes to humor and real life and do you feel that you've ever crossed that? >> i mean, are you asking in the sense are the things that you shouldn't make fun of -- >> sure. >> yeah, there's a lot of things. i don't make jokes about rape or the holocaust. i don't make jokes about child abuse, what you can do or sometimes you can make fun about, you know, around those things but the actual thing itself, nah, plenty of things that you can laugh about without hurting people. although i have found that nothing i ever write about, i
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can't write anything without offending somebody, i guess is the way i should put it. people -- you would be -- i mean, when i write a newspaper column, frequently nothing ever is true and if they appear in the newspaper there are people i call humor impaired who just assume that everything in there has to be true or why would the newspaper print it and i would always get letters like, if i say, you know, abraham lincoln invented the lightbulb. inevitable somebody would correct me on that and said it was not abraham lincoln, it was beb jam infranklin -- benjamin franklin. if you write anything in the newspaper, you have to be ready to offend people.
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>> is your meeting with vice president cheney, is that a true story? >> yeah that was an embarrassing moment for me involving alcohol. i have several of those. years ago the washington post used to have a cartoonist dinner and i got -- i was included. i was honored to be included. a small gathering of cartoonist and me and tedd, i don't know -- but we would meet and they would always invite some high-level washington person to be a part of the -- i don't think it was vice president, i think he was secretary -- secretary of defense. so it's a small room and the serving cocktails and i may have had a couple of cocktails so dick cheney is there and i go up to him and i go, hi, dave barry. very nice about it. i go away and then i don't know
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if this has ever happened to you, a little bit later i had forgot that i had introduced. he goes, yeah. yeah, yeah. but now it's striking me as funny, you know. i come up to him later and say hi -- now i'm pretty sure that the yes, somebody kill me. [laughter] anyway, i did do that. this is reminding where i had too much to drink. a friend of mine and a member of a band i'm in, i'm in a rock band called rock bottom remainders, we are a terrible band but we have a lot of fun. one of the reasons we are bad is because other bands rehearse ahead of time, identify been -- i've been told.
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that's their secret. when you see rolling stones go up on stage they know what they're going to play which is kind of cheating. [laughter] >> we do a show and almost every time fundraiser. we go to a bar in new york city and i'm sitting next to scott, but there's a lot of other people around and everybody is talking. scott is telling this long complicated anecdote involving his spleen. [laughter] >> and i'm talking toker people, here is the story. scott is, you know, good speaker, he's telling the story, do you have a spleen or not and he goes, no, i don't. that's the point of the story that's what i'm discussing here. oh, okay. then back in a little bit and
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it's a little confusing. do you have a spleen or not? no, i told you i don't have a spleen. ia third time i come back and again because of the way he's telling the story it's not clear even though -- and i said -- asked him again if he has a spleen. so, okay. so now i don't have to look. so anyway, the evening ends, everybody goes to bed, not together. early train the next morning in boston. the alarm goes off or whatever and i get up and i stagger towards the bathroom and i see a writing on my arm and i looked down and says no spleen. and i have no recollection of how that got there.
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and you know how there's an urban myth about the guy that wakes up in a hotel room and his kidneys have been harvested and i'm thinking, oh, my god, someone har visited my spleen. i don't know how to check because i don't know where my spleen is. they don't need a spleen. they take it for recreational purposes. you have to be a moron harvester to harvest somebody's spleen. the moral is kids, don't drink alcohol. [laughter] >> so roxanne freedman asked via facebook do you ever get to tallahassee, steaght legislators are much crazier than dc, how about the panhandle? >> i did. this was years ago. i did one about the florida state legislature.
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you're right. it's pretty funny. i was there the opening day of the legislature and they -- i don't know if they still do this but desks are covered with fruit and vegetables and flower, people bring them gifts and it's the silliest looking legislative body and then, of course, when they start passing laws they get even sillier. you're right, it's a rich source of humor but i have tapped it once. maybe i should again. >> david in tulsa oklahoma, hi, david, please go ahead. >> caller: hi, i am a middle school teacher and i would say 99% of my students are hispanic and in my 33 years i cannot think of a group of students who need to laugh more than they. i was wondering if mrs. barry has ever written anything on immigration and what would be his advice to my students under
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the current circumstances they find themselves in in the united states. >> well, if they are -- first of all, i feel for them if they are undocumented. i guess that's who you mean. >> i would say the vast majority of them are dreamers. parents that have been through situations where lawyers are documents where they would lead in the united states. it's been very traumatic for them and the middle school students and the middle school brain can be very frightening and -- >> all right, david, in tulsa, thank you very much. >> i've written -- first of all, i have nothing helpful to tell you about their situation except that i hope that they don't get -- i hope they and their parents get to stay.
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i've written -- i happen to be fond of the middle school audience as readers. i wrote some books with pearson and i always find them to be -- when i go to school events, a wonderful group, my favorite -- my favorite piece of fan mail from a reader was from 2 -- i think there were 2 fifth graders who had a book club and they read a book called science fair and they wrote us a letter which i have saved at home that says, we think your book is one of the most awesome subpoena ss books out there, just so you know two of the authors have died, we hope that the curse skips you. [laughter] >> anyway, that doesn't really
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help the kids in that situation. >> what's a typical writing day for you? >> it's so boring. [laughter] >> i get up, i, you know, read my e-mail, look at some websites usually and then i call up onto the screen whatever i was last working on that i gave up on despair and resume despairing and the myth about writing is that, you know, it relies on inspiration and that, you know, ideas just come to you and out they come out of your fingers and that may come to people but sometimes those people are all crazy and are writing gibberish. if you're crying coherent probes is just so much slower than that and so much less dependent on inspiration and so much dependent on willing to stay there on the front of the screen and keep trying, keep trying. it's true of all kinds of writing and my kind of writing
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is more ridiculous because i'm trying to write jokes. i will spend ten minutes agonizing whether to make it a whizle or a squirrel. usually there's one big idea behind the whole thing, but any given sentence or description, there's a lot of decision that is you make to make it better and that's a slow painful, i don't want to compare it to real work but it's slow and painful and takes a long time. some are plotters but what makes them writers is they don't quick, they keep going, day the screen and they don't give up even though it's pretty crappy the first time and they try to make it better.
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in most people that's the process they go through. probably with the exception steven king. >> so when your books are put together, is it a light touch by the editor? >> yeah. this is going to sound arrogant but i generally don't believe anybody knows whether know is as funny as i do. it's something that i have done all of my life. i think i have a good sense. if an editor tells me, this just doesn't work, then i will just tell him he's wrong. [laughter] i will seriously, if it's somebody i respect i will absolutely rework it and i will have discussions about individual things. generally, it's not a major reworking. you can't do that with humor.
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i don't care, as long as it makes you laugh, i don't care. if i start on one topic and end up on another topic. as long as you're laughing, i'm happy. so the real question is does it work, does it make people laugh. >> another question in the audience, if you wait for the microphone. >> my name is alice. how do you solicit the gifts in your christmas guide? >> it takes about ten minutes. during the course of the year people suggest the items or i see something and i send them
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all through my assistant judy smith, when it comes time to do the gift guide, it's basically is it stupid but is it somebody taking it seriously. if those -- if it meets those two criteria, then i'm likely antonio collude it in the guide. >> thank you, that's really valuable. >> are you planning to do a gift guide. >> holiday tradition is i read the gift guy out loud to ray here. no, he can't and so i have tears rolling down my face. that's what we do every holiday. >> i'm glad to be part of your -- >> you are. >> layla in nevada. hi, dave. >> hello.
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>> layla, go ahead with your question or comment, we are listening. >> hi, dave. i just we wanted to let you know we have three generations of readers in my family, my mom reads your stuff and my brother is listening to his sons and they are really enjoying them. [laughter] >> layla, did you have anything ills you we wanted to add? >> yeah, i was wondering, do you miss writing for the weekly column in the miami herald or enjoy books better? >> i still get the write columns sometimes when i really want to but i don't have to every week write a column so i have more time to do books and since i stopped writing columns i have been able to young adult fiction, more function -- fiction which is more interesting to me. i don't miss the column.
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>> we haven't talked about those books, what are those? >> numbered of pages -- the base player. >> 12 years ago and the remainders were playing a gig at the miami book fair, gig is a musical term. f sharp, these are musical terms and he said that he had been reading peter pan, the original peter pan to his daughter and that she asked him, how did peter pan meet captain hook in the first place and really said, the barry books begins with the kid who can fly and he has tinkerbell and captain hook. i thought it would be fun to
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write a sequel to it. i said, yes, that sounds like a fun idea. you want to do it with me because neither one of us had written anything for kids, so i said, yeah, we thought we were going write one one short book and we ended up writing like 600-page book and disney published it and it did very well and we ended up writing five of those and we traveled all over and did many, many events promoting the star catchers series including one in this room, i have to tell you an anecdote involving this and we were at that end of the book reading a -- [laughter] >> there is an end. there it is. that's where it happened. we were standing against the shelf and we were reading a section of our book -- the place was packed and there were kids sitting on the floor, you know, a couple of hundred kids in this
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room and we were reading a -- a scene from one of our books that involved a gigantic snake and so mitchell kaplan who owns this bookstore knew that we were going to read that scene and didn't tell us this but he hired a guy to bring in a snake, a snake wrangler. one of the great things about living in miami is if you need a snake, you know, a rental snake, it's like birthday clown but it's a snake. instead of entertaining the children, it could eat the children. [laughter] >> this guy came in and i don't know how careful mitchell vetted him -- [laughter] >> but he had an 80-pound, 9 or 10-foot long python. there's a room full of kids and puts it on our shoulders and walked away and he was tired of carrying and it's heavy, it is
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heavy. we did not know this was coming. i'm not a big snake guy to begin with and so we were standing there, there's a snake kids. we were really thinking, i hope we brought spare underwear to this meeting. that happened in this very room. that was one of the low points of writing for kids, other than that, it's been a lot of fun. >> you write about the ever -- everglades. we have an invasion of pythons in south florida, they are not supposed to be here, they are supposed to be in vermont. people get them in pet. why do you want a large animal as a pet, i don't know. smaller pets, i guess they run out of crack and they go, oh, my
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god, we are living with a carnivorus and they let them go and they thrive, they fly down here in the everglades, tens of thousands, they don't have any enemies out there. they even eat al -- alligators. the state of florida came up with this idea to get rid of them by means a python challenge. we are the only state in the union that has a python challenge and goes on every year, the florida state fish and wildlife commission brings in people to kill -- invites people to come from anywhere they want to kill our pythons and they have rules and pay a 25-dollar fee. we are not just letting anybody do this.
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online course, it is the way to go. they have rules of how they kill the python. i thought the best way to hack off its head. no, you're not allowed to do that, you know why? according to florida fish and wildlife conservation, if you hack it off, the brain keeps thinking, they don't say what it's thinking, whoa, what the hell, you know. [laughter] >> you're supposed to kill it from putting a bow through its brain and will stop it from thinking. the first year -- i don't know if they released figures. the first year, okay, bare in mind the figures. tens if not hundreds of thousands of things out there. the first year they went on for months and they killed 68 pythons. [laughter]
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>> do your math. a mom can give birth to hundreds of eggs. in other words, in the same period that we got 68 of them they probably made thousands more. we are losing the python challenge is my point. the pythons are winning. if we are going to challenge anything, we can challenge an annual mall that i can defeat. >> are you a fan of the everglades? >> i'm not. i marvel the people that go out there. can you not smell it? are you not being alive by mosquitoes? i don't know. i'm all for it.
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>> christie beckham tweets, dave, i have been your biggest fan forever, i saw you play at la times book festival? >> yeah, we are still playing sometimes. as i said, we are not good. hard-listening music. [laughter] >> when i say we, we play, i call it the ruimor med of music and the way it works everybody in the band is holding an instrument and playing something and if rumor goes around that there's been a cord change. [laughter] on we go. all random. we really enjoy it.
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i would do this to kill the whales. we don't, i have not killed any whales that i know of because whales don't listen to know. we still do play from time to time. we haven't played in a couple of years. for us it's a normal hiatus. [laughter] >> when are we going to get the remainders together. >> well, we are going to show our audience from 1998 the miami book fair here are the rock bottom. >> a tragic song that stephen king doesn't sing. [laughter] >> are we ready for this song? it's hard to tell. we are ready. now we are ready. you know who this is, don't you? we are going to tell you who this is, ready?
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> is he picking you up after school? ♪ ♪ ♪ [music]
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [music]
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [music]
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>> dave barry, that was awful. >> i don't know why c-span would -- do you have a broadcast license? >> we have all sorts of things on our website. >> first of all that was amy, leader to have pack.
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staples of the remainders from the beginning. i didn't see -- we couldn't see here who was in the band. the qon figuration changes, kind of silly. but one night we performed the song in new york city at a benefit concert and amy's husband lou play it is leader to have pack and puts on leather jacket and one of those hats and comes out and pretends to be riding a motorcycle and the moment of the song where he crashes, the big crash, lou, would fall from the stage and we would all be sad. it was drama. trying to take people's minds off the actual music we are making. we are in new york and lou has gotten more and more dramatic with his fall and in this
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particular night he takes a dive to the stage and not only this, he is riding around like if he's in great pain. i thought this was funny, i will add amusement to the visual by kicking him. i walked over and kicked lou and stephen king seen that and thought it was pretty funny. starts kicking lou, the strong finishes and lou crawls off the stage and he finish it is concert and we go backstage and we are all where is lou, he's in the hospital. turns out he broke his collarbone. [laughter] >> and we were kicking him. so anyway, that's kind of a fun band we are. [laughter] >> we also showed viewers some of your favorite books and influences, i want to ask you a book about patrick o'brian. master in commander. >> it's kind of weird. i like semihistorical books.
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patrick o'brian wrote a series of books which developed and was made into a movie with russell crowe playing the main character, amazing books where the guy talks an incredible detail about sailing ships in the 18 -- 17th, 18th century, i think, and for some reason ri voting because the guy is such a good writer and he wrote ten or 12 of them. >> you're a bill fan? >> i like him a lot. i never met him. i think i read every book he has ever written. he's really funny and this is something i could never do. he's also very informative. when people read my books, they
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end up being a little stupider. i forget them all pretty quickly but i remember the little while thinking, i sort of understand molecules or whatever he's talking about. >> you won the pulitzer in 1988, have you won any since? >> no, have you win any since? [laughter] >> can i tell you my poster prize story because people say what's that like? first of all, it was a complete shock to me. i didn't expect it,i didn't think i was a finalist for it. i did, i won a pulitzer prize and it was nice because it happened early in my career that i never had to think about it. it happened unexpectedly and then it was over and i won it. the day i won it, the miami her -- herald, in the news room it's
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a big deal, pulitzer day and they wanted it to be a surprise, they were notified earlier in the day that i had won and michael had won, they wanted us to come in for the moment so it'll be a surprise for us and i that day had been planning, it was a friday, i believe, had been planning to go to key west and i told me son rob who was then 7 year's old, we are going to key west and he was very excited. he loved to go to key west because we always rented a scooter, he loved to go to key west. he was exciting that we were going to go to key west. i get a call and said we you have to come for a meeting, he said, nope, janet, the editor said you have to be at this meeting, it's an important meeting and i go, so, okay, tell rob we are going to key west but first we have to go to the herald, downtown. so we get there and the news
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room is all gathered around the machine for the big announcement. i remember say to go rob, this is cool, you're going to see announcing pulitzers today. i still didn't know it was me. i thought it was cool and he was going to see this moment and i figured that's why i had been called in there and want everybody for it and about 30 seconds before the announcement an editor who didn't know that was supposed to be a surprise came up to me and shook my hand and said congratulations, one i was going to win a pulitzer, two, that we weren't going to be able to go to key west because there's a whole lot of stuff you have to do and so i looked down at rob who is standing there. rob, i have bad news. we are not going to key west this weekend and his face just fell but i will get you a nintendo because he had been dying to get this nintendo game. i was being a good dad. he says, really, and i said,
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yes, he jumped up appear put his arms around me and hugged me really tight because of the nintendo and at that moment janet read that i had won a pulitzer prize and they took my picture, the next day the cover of the miami herald with me and rob with a huge smile on his face and everybody said the same thing to me, which is it's so great that your son was so excited. [laughter] >> he had no idea about the pulitzer prize. he was happy about the nintendo. anyway, but fast-forward till a couple of years ago, my son rob who is now grown man and has a kid of his own is a reporter at the wall street journal and he was on a team of reporters that did a story medicare fraud that won a pulitzer prize. see that. i didn't destroy them completely. >> back to your calls for dave barry and this is sue in
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gatesfield, texas. >> good afternoon, hey, dave, i've been a fan for a long time. you know me on the block as susie. i have a couple of questions about your new book. you have a new book coming out on tuesday, i think, called for this we love egypt, a passover for jews and those who love them . first, my question is how do you three guys get together and write a book rice -- like this, i'm not jewish and what's in this book for me? [laughter] >> okay, first of all, you're correct, i cowrote a book -- i don't know how many of our audiences know what hagada is, but on passover jews hold
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dinners which they commemorate the escape of the jewish people from egypt and it's a ritualized meal with various things symbolizing elements of the -- the exodus. anyway, this is usually accompanied by this book called jagada. it leads you through, there's prayers and discussions of why you eat this and why you eat that. so a guy name adams mansback who an author among other things who wrote a book whose title i cannot reveal even on c-span, i don't think, it goes the f to sleep, huge best-selling book and he and alan, friend of mine who i also wrote a book with once called lunatics. it was adam's idea cowrote a
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parody of hagada. i am also not jewish. my wife is cuban jewish. there's a lot of them in miami. my joke is they didn't come on rafts, they parted the craib -- caribbean. because of my wife is jewish, i was -- i was into this project and the question is in it for you, i don't know, but loyalties are in it for me. [laughter] >> by all means, susie, you should buy it. >> 202 if you want participate in our conversation. for those of east and central times zones, 478-2001. do we have any questions from the audience? wait for the mic and let's bring the mic up here. we have one here in the front row.
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>> hi, dave, i'm george. i just had a couple of comments. as a resident of florida 20 years more than you, i can definitive i will say that we were completely sane until you showed up. [laughter] >> it was my fault. all right. i will accept that. >> and now back to the holiday situation -- [laughter] >> my sister was at the coral gables congregation and she won an electric finger that shaves the hair and she regifted it and she gave me the finger. he gave me the finger for christmas and i'm blaming you for that. >> that's right. [laughter] >> well, i'm glad to have helped.
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>> well, let'so back to our calls then. hi, laurie. >> hello, hi, how are you? >> good, go ahead and ask your question or make your comment. >> yes. when you decided you wanted to write a book and where should you send your book to get reviewed and appreciate it? >> so just to clarify, you wrote a book? >> no, i am working on one now. i'm a widow. i have two 20-year-olds and things like that. i can't hear you because they told me to turn the tv down, so i'm not really sure what you're say to go me right now. >> yeah, you'll be able to hear through telephone. dave barry is going to talk so if you can just hang on and we will listen to him. >> well, if i gather the
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question is how do you go about getting a book published and then how do you get it reviewed and how do you get get it distributed, there are basically two ways to go and i hope i don't offend anybody when i say the way not to go is to self-publish. i say that because it's easy to do. many people do it. you pay money and they publish your book, the problem with that is almost impossible to get a self-published book distributed anywhere, reviewed anywhere, so many of them out there and there's basically no quality control. i'm not saying that they are bad. i'm just saying the way the industry is set up for better or for worse, people don't review them. bookstores don't stock them, so you end up with a stack of books in your garage and you can maybe sell them to your friends but that's as far as it would go. unfortunately, that's the way it is.
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maybe i'm behind the times, maybe there's some internet way and i assume there is to get your books known and if there is i retract everything i just said. i'm just saying from what my experience is. so the way you -- the traditional way to go and there are a lot of flaws in it and people have been critical of it is to get an agent. agents are kind of like the gatekeepers. most of the time will tell you they won't take you on, but they get it to a publisher and that's the second gatekeeper and then editor there will either decide to publish it or not publish it. the advantage of that is if they do decide to publish it, an organization that has sales staff, has promotional people, they can get your people distributed, they can get your book reviewed, maybe, a more professional job than most
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writers are able to do for themselves. that said, i know there are people particularly in science fiction who are able to reach huge audiences some way i don't know about and get a huge amount 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.
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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]
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>> 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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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-- 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
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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.
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[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
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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,
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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 --
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>> 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.
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>> 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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>> 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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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]
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>> 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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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>> 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
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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
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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.
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>> 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
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in-depth. thank you. >> thank you, it's been my pleasure. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily, in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> book tv tapes hundreds of author programs throughout the country all year long. here is a look at some of the evens we will be covering this week. wednesday at colombia university in new york city where david phillips, former senior state department adviser to president's clinton, bush and obama will criticize relationship with turkey. also watermark books in wichita, kansas, history of dodge city kansas. one of the most violent towns in the west. thursday, book tv will be at the
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center more american progress in washington, d.c. where senior fellow lloyd will provide perspective on current progressive political agenda. saturday in california at the ronald reagan presidential library museum, president reagan's former executive assistant will remember the late president's final years. also next weekend we will be live saturday and sunday from the university of arizona for the tucson festival of books, you will hear from and have a chance to talk with authors such as 2016 national book winner and new york times columnist maureen and nation magazine correspondent john nickals and many more. that's a look at some of the programs book tv will be covering this week. many of these events are open to the public. you can look for them to air in the near future on book tv on c-span2. >> you said the most interesting thing about this race that it was the dumbest race possibly in american history.
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it was totally nuts. how does that compare to 2016? >> well, that one was dumber, actually, because sort of a heart-warming thing when you think about it. william harrison -- i would have to say, i was talking -- this could only happen. i was talking to a really famous historian who i can't quote because he belongs to some other news organization and she can't be quoted by me. he was talking about how horrible the race is, it was the worst race ever. oh, my god, i can't believe this is so terrible. what about william henry harrison and he screamed at me, it's even worse than william harrison. i thought, wow, this is discussion no one else in america is having at this time. [laughter]

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