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CluelessNoMore talks to...
Dave Barry


Photo by The Miami Herald 1999

Dave Barry, a Pulitzer-Prize winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald, has written numerous best-sellers including Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys and Dave Barry Turns 50. His latest, Big Trouble, is his first stab at making up a whole book by himself. CluelessNoMore.com executive editor Grace Lim catches up with Dave Barry at the Miami Heat's annual celebrity fundraiser where he talks about why children should come with warning labels and why he should be the president of United States.

CNM: What do you think went through the Pulitzer Prize committee members' minds when they decided to give you the Pulitzer?
DB:
I don't think they were thinking at all. One theory was that's when the Pulitzer committee discovered Ecstasy, which is now a drug a lot of people are taking. Apparently that's when it hit the United States that night. So I'm grateful. I'm not saying that drugs are a good thing, but it helped me in this case.

CNM: Where do you keep your Pulitzer?
DB:
You know I'd lost it for a number of years. It was in storage when my wife found it and it has a stain on it right now. I don't know if that means it's not as good a Pulitzer as it used to be. Now it's out of storage and it's in a box. But I don't know where that box is, but my wife does, so it's much safer.

CNM: What parts of adulthood should come with warning labels?
DB (major doting dad of a newborn girl):
Well, the children part. There should be a big warning label: "Warning! Do Not Have Children!" But of course you couldn't put that warning on a child because by that point, it's too late. College would be good. "Warning! Nothing you learn here will ever be help you later in life, but you'll still have fun."

CNM: What about dating?
DB:
Without dating there wouldn't be a human race. Well, that actually should come with a warning label too. In fact, it should be illegal.

CNM: Does spelling really count?
DB:
Not anymor apparantly, I mean, if ewe go by the Enternet, where one of 8,000 peeple can spel the word "definitely." Apparently, it doesn't mak a differens at all.

CNM: Were you ever threatened by your teachers with, "This is going to go on your permanent record?"
DB:
Yeah, I used to hear about my permanent record all the time. To this day I worry that it will catch up to me, that I'll be pulled over for a speeding ticket and the officer will run it through the computer and say, "Wait a minute, didn't you and Joe DiGiancinto flush the cherry bomb down a toilet at Harold C. Crittenden Junior High School?" I want to stress for the record here, that wasn't me.

CNM: With Dan Marino retiring, why don't you put the Dolphins out of their misery and join the quarterback fray?
DB:
I think I probably wouldn't be the best quarterback. I'd be a fun quarterback in the huddle. I'd have them in a good relaxed mood when we broke the huddle, maybe tell them a couple of jokes. When they actually hike would be my weak point as quarterback because I'd be inclined to give the ball to whoever wanted it. >

CNM: OK, if not football, how about politics? Gore or Bush? Come on. President Dave has a nice ring to it.
DB:
I've been running for president for a long time now before anybody that's currently in the race started running. And I intend to stay in the race. That's the kind of commitment I have until I'm out of bumper stickers. And I don't think that's going to happen anytime in my lifetime. I'm doing well. It's just kinda ticks me off how the media slanted things. The headline will be "Lamar Alexander Drops Out of Race" or "John McCain Drops Out of Race" instead of "Dave Barry Moves Up Another Notch."

CNM: What is your platform?
DB:
I pretty much agree with everyone on everything. Anyone reading this interview I would totally agree with them. And if they change their mind, so would I. >

CNM: The Internet. Friend or foe?
DB:
It's a great, incredibly valuable way to waste time. Because of the Internet I'm wasting time faster than I ever used to. I get on the Internet in the morning and often don't do anything really useful until 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon. In that sense, it's great. I used to eat peanut-butter sandwiches and now I'm on the Internet. Anything to avoid to actually working. It's hard to convince anybody if you're eating a sandwich that you are working, if you are a humor columnist. It looks more like you're working if you are typing away at a keyboard looking at a website about peanut-butter sandwiches.

CNM: How do you keep in such good shape?
DB:
Well, I will never drink a beer before 11 o'clock in the morning. I've been lifting a baby a lot, and the baby is getting heavier. In a couple of years, this baby, at its current rate of growth, will be 400, 500 pounds. So I'm going to be a monster.

CNM: How do you get your hair to look like that?
DB:
A lot people accuse me of having a professional stylist. It's a natural look. I've always had it since I was in the womb. It's called the coconut look. All the hair starts in the middle of the head and goes straight down toward the ground attracted by gravity.

CNM: What was the worst advice anyone has given you?
DB:
I used to be the class clown, the wise-ass kid. Teachers used to tell me back in fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade, "Well, that's very funny, but you can't joke your way through life." They turned out to be incorrect.

CNM: What is the best advice anyone has given you?
DB:
I don't remember who said it to me, but at some point somebody said, "Try this. It's beer."

CNM: What advice would you give to a young aspiring humor columnist?
DB:
Try this. It's beer. No, I would never suggest to a young columnist to drink beer. I would say the most important thing is to be in prime physical condition because this is a very difficult work. It's good to study Latin, Greek, engineering. You want to have a strong background in astronomy and the mathematics. (I'm just saying this so whoever this kid is will waste all his time doing those things and I wouldn't have the actual competition.)

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