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Dave Barry Answers Alert Slashdot Readers' Questions 355

Posted by Roblimo
from the we-are-not-making-this-up dept.
Here you go, direct from the keyboard of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry. You asked, he answered. Why, we do not know. We didn't pay him $127,000 to do this, no matter what anyone says. It must be a slow news week in Miami. Or worse -- and this is a scary thought -- maybe Dave likes Slashdot readers and wants you all to like him, too.

1) It's me, Dave
by digitalhermit

Dave:

You should remember me. I'm the guy that shook hands with you that day, two years ago, during the Tropic Hunt in Hollywood. You also signed the napkin I found near the garbage can. I know that it was a clue, but I don't understand why you didn't mention it when you read off the official answers to the Hunt. Clearly the contents were a reference to your many columns on boogers. I still have that napkin and will return it to as soon as you send me your home address.

Anyway, my question is:

How has your life changed since you won a Pullet Surprise? Is the fame and money and gorgeous babes throwing themselves at your feet worth it?

Kwan

PS How much do I need to pay you to get my name in one of your next columns?

Dave:

The best thing about winning the Pulitzer is, about once every ten years you can say (or write) to some jerk who is attacking you in a nasty manner: "Oh yeah? Well I won the Pulitzer." Actually, come to think of it, you can say this even if you DIDN'T win the Pulitzer. Nobody ever checks.

But there are no babes, with the Pulitzer. And the money is (at least when I won) $3,000, which is about what you spend on beer for your friends when you win the Pulitzer.

2) Humour in times of crises
by Anonymous Coward

Hey Dave,

I'm curious about what you think about humour (Canadian spelling) in times of crises. Just before 9/11, I read Bob Hope's autobiography dealing with Pearl Harbour and how important everyone thought it was to keep people laughing because a) it was important for morale and b) it was important to show the Japanese that they hadn't destroyed what it meant to be American.

This doesn't seem to be the case at all after 9/11 (and most recently the loss of Columbia), with the most glaring example being the removal of the Spider-Man trailer (catching a helicopter in a web strung between the two World Trade towers).

What are your thoughts on this and of humour in times of crises in general?

Dave:

I think we in the humor business were fairly self-conscious right after 9-11, but pretty quickly we got back to what we do, which is try to amuse people. I think we do this more to make people like us than to meet any deep national psychic need. Also most of us have no useful skills to fall back on.

So to the extent that humor changes in times of crisis -- and I don't think it does much -- it's more because that's what we think the audience wants. And pretty soon the audience goes back to whatever it thought was funny before.

3) Corruption in Miami City Government
by Nova Express

Dear Dave,

Once you characterized Miami's endemic corruption (and here I would like to note that Endemic Corruption is a good name for a rock band) was so pervasive that Miami would benefit by being taken over by the Mafia, since then at least COMPETENT criminals would be running the city. In light of that, I'd like to ask you: What's the strangest thing you've ever lit on fire?

Whoops, sorry, that was the FBI Carnivore guys monitoring my computer who slipped that last one in. (Motto: "You're Not Authorized to Know Our Motto.") No, the real question is, has Miami's corruption gotten better or worse since you wrote that, and what would you and Carl Hiaasen do if Miami eliminated its Supersized Corruption and merely went with the Small Corruption with Fries enjoyed by other large American cities?

Dave:

I think it's as bad as it ever was, but maybe a little smarter. And if Miami ever straightened itself out, Carl would become a bonefishing guide, and I would become... I dunno. Maybe a bonefish.

4) Joke Tracking Center
by long_john_stewart_mi

In "Dave Barry's Greatest Hits", there was a column entitled "Public-Spirited Citizens Such As You" where you talk about a joke that answers the question, "Why is Walter Mondale nicknamed 'Fritz'?" You ask that everybody write in to The Joke Tracking Center as soon as they hear the joke. I haven't heard the joke, and that question has been keeping me up all night for the past 10 years. Why is Walter Mondale nicknamed Fritz? Also, does The Joke Tracking Center employ bad joke/pun writers? My dad is currently unemployed, and I'm sure he would fit right in.

Dave:

The original joke -- revealed here for the first time -- is that Walter Mondale is called "Fritz" because there is no Norwegian name for "Peckerhead." That may not sound funny now, but, trust me, it was also not funny when I first thought it up. It's HARD to think up jokes. This is probably why the Joke Tracking Center didn't work out. It was supposed to be based on the hurricane-tracking center. The idea was, we would insert a new joke into the nation (I believe we inserted it in Ohio) and then track it as it spread. But the Mondale joke was SO bad that nobody bothered to repeat it, and it died. So did the Joke Tracking Center, which has no organization and no employees. But it still gets junk mail. Which leads us to the obvious question...

5) Obvious Question
by Alien54

What would be your ideal solution for Spam (as in Internet Junk E-mail?)

I've had a good response to the idea of an internet spammer hunting license or season, complete with cute orange ear tags for the spammers.

Dave:

Maybe the solution is for us to stop being so negative. Maybe we should actually buy all the spammers' products -- their low-interest mortgages, and their penis enlargers -- so they will become rich and happy and mellow, and they will decide voluntarily to stop hassling us.

Just kidding! I favor castration.

6) Who are we?
by chrysrobyn

Mr. Barry,

As a nationally syndicated author, you're in quite a high profile position. I have no doubt that, had this interview not come up, you'd be busy doing things you get paid to do.

That said, why did you agree to do this interview? Did you think it would be a neat thing to do? Is this another way for people to learn about your column, or are you learning more about what's on the minds of your readers? Are we going to get our own article written about us (no doubt that would be a funny and possibly humbling experience)? As someone from "the outside world", do you see us as a bunch of people with wide backgrounds and experiences, or are we the teenage boy group that TV tells us owns and authors the internet?

Dave:

I agreed to do this interview because I really and truly want to interact with you, my readers. Also, Slashdot is paying me $127,000.

6a) (addon/followup) by Mr Guy

Also, if you respond to this interview while drunk, is there the dangerous possibility your drinks would be tax deductible?

Dave:

That is a risk I am willing to take.

7) Personal Technology Wishes
by Nonsanity

Looking forward based on today's cutting-edge research (the sort of news Slashdot often reports), what technology do you find yourself impatient to get your hands on today, or which technologies aren't advancing as fast as you would wish?

Dave:

I'm always looking for a newer, smaller, lighter laptop computer. I want a laptop so small and light that sometimes I accidentally suck it up one of my nostrils. I also would like to have a cell phone that enabled me to jam the cell phones of people around me.

8) Hiroshima
by Bonker

Mr. Barry... I own several of your books, as well as a copy of the 'Big Trouble' movie. (I hope you're getting some kind of royalties for that...). In all of your writing, the piece that I felt was the most powerful was your segment on visting Hiroshima in 'Dave Barry does Japan' and witnessing the holiday celbrated in rememberance of the bombing. You've written a few more very serious pieces, such as the column on your visit to one of the 9-11 crash sites.

My question is why do you not do more serious columns and articles like these more often? While I think that your columns and humor articles are great (milk-through the nose funny, frequently) I can't help but feel that the Hiroshima and 9-11 articles were better.

Dave:

First, thank you. Second, my bread and butter (and of course beer) comes from writing humor; this is how I make my living, and this is what the newspapers who publish my weekly column expect from me. I sometimes like the challenge of writing serious pieces, but usually this is when I'm faced with a really serious topic -- such as 9-11 or Hiroshima -- that forces me to be somber. Usually I don't WANT to be somber.

9) When you vote....
by Anonymous Coward

When you vote, do you vote for the candidate that is going to make your job easier as a humor columnist? Or do you actually try to vote for the best canditate?

Dave:

I look at all the attributes of each candidate -- philosophy, integrity, experience -- and then I vote for myself.

10) How much fame?
by cpeikert

Dave,

are you often recognized "on the street"? What I mean is, you're obviously very famous and have tons of fans. But at the same time, I get the sense that you have more of a "cult" following and maybe aren't as well-recognized as, say, Ben Affleck or Chris Rock. Do you have to change your daily routine to avoid being swarmed by adoring fans, or do or do you enjoy relative anonymity in your daily life?

PS - you recently wrote that Michigan ranked among the stupidest states because we have an "official state soil." I heartily agree, but boy did your column provoke some angry letters in the Kalamazoo Gazette!

Dave:

I get recognized a fair amount in Miami, but it's a low-key thing; people sometimes say hello, or compliment me on a column, or fire a revolver my way, but usually they deliberately aim for an extremity. Outside of Miami, I get recognized occasionally, but it's not a regular thing, except of course in Kalamazoo, where I am a god.

Free bonus question: Is it painfull
by geekoid

Dave,

Is it painfull to read all these attempts at asking a 'funny' question?

Dave:

These questions were supposed to be funny?

---

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dave Barry Answers Alert Slashdot Readers' Questions

Comments Filter:
  • oh man! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fjordboy (169716) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:03PM (#5326721) Homepage
    Ever since I started college, my grandmother never fails to cut out the dave barry column and send it to me...I know I could read it online, but nothing beats holding the newsprint in your hand and laughing.

    Talk Like Pirates day is the best. Dave Barry rules. That is all.
    • Re:oh man! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rick.C (626083)
      I know I could read it online, but nothing beats holding the newsprint in your hand and laughing.

      Newsprint is sooo much better than a keyboard for those "milk through your nose" laughs.

      Maybe they should print Dave's column on napkins.
      • This is true...but for now on I'm going to wait until I get back to my dorm to read them instead of reading the articles while standing in the middle of the mail-hall...I got some strange stares when I was standing in the middle of the hall laughing uproarously in reference to the "Lord of the Rings II: More Stuff Happens" article [miami.com]. Also, walking and reading doesn't seem to work for me just because of the traffic on the roads between the mailhall and my dorm. I haven't been hit yet, and I'd like to keep it that way.
    • Re:oh man! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bonker (243350) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:47PM (#5327030)
      One of the things I've found with newspapers who get the Barry column is that they frequently cut it to shreads.

      I was reading the 2002 year in review. I couldn't immediately find it on the Miami Herald site, so I did a google search. The first result it returned was for... I think... the Phoenix paper. I read it and was kinda dissapointed. I felt like it wasn't as good and definitely wasn't as long as some of his previous years work.

      Curious, because I wanted to compare, I looked 2001 on the Miami Herald site. It was there, and so was the 2002 in the search window. The 2002 article on the MH site was approximately twice as long as it was on the Phoenix site. They had edited pretty heavily... mostly to remove references harsh to the republican party or George Bush. Incensed, I checked it out in my local paper, which had also cut the article, but in different places.

      If you want sraight Dave Barry, either buy the MH or check it out online at the MH website.

      http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/column ists/dave_barry/ [miami.com]
      • I checked out his year in review 2002 article, and I found this humorous:
        2002 year in review: November [miami.com]
        In a somber post-election speech, the president reaffirms his solemn commitment, no matter how long it takes, to learn to pronounce ''nuclear.''

        Anyone see his State of the Union speech? He mis-pronounced "Nuclear" no less than three times. To quote Peter Griffin, "It's nu-cu-lar, dummy, the S is silent."
      • Re:oh man! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Christopher Biggs (98469) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @07:16PM (#5330818) Homepage
        Bonker wrote:
        ...check it out online at the MH website.
        http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/column ists/dave_barry/ [miami.com]
        I looked at that URL and I thought:
        Wow, does the Miami Herald have an entire sub-section for
        dead columnists?
    • OT... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sdo1 (213835) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @01:18PM (#5327305) Journal
      Ever since I started college, my grandmother never fails to cut out the dave barry column and send it to me

      And if this were digital media, it would most likely be ILLEGAL under the DMCA or other such bassackwards legislation. If the newspaper had their way, this would fall under some DRM scheme. It's certainly where we're headed...

      Nice country we live in, huh?

      Sorry for the off-topic rant... but this is exactly the sort of "fair use" thing that's worth fighting to keep in the new world of Digital Restrictions Management.

      -S

      • Re:OT... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SN74S181 (581549)
        If it were digital media his grandmother wouldn't be able to cut it out and put it in an envelope and mail it to him.

        However, it's fairly common for people to send one another 'clipped' items and whatnot from web pages with email.

        And it's not illegal.

        Nice country we live in. With people like you carping and whining, it's slightly less nice, however.
      • Re:OT... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @04:16PM (#5328839)
        Ever since I started college, my grandmother never fails to cut out the dave barry column and send it to me

        And if this were digital media, it would most likely be ILLEGAL under the DMCA or other such bassackwards legislation.


        Actually, his grandmother gave up her original copy. Perhaps if she made a photocopy of the column and sent it, it would be analagous.

        Fair use is only under attack because people abuse it. If there was mass photocopying of newspapers, there might become a corporate-lobbying stink about it. With digital media, piracy has become rampant. I agree that fair use rights are necessary, but I dispute your claim that this granny-clipping-newspaper-ads situation is at all simmilar to our current fair-use of digital media troubles. Please don't take this personally, but I feel that these knee-jerk reactions are really contributing to getting us nowhere on this front and sapping our argument of legitamacy.
      • And if this were digital media, it would most likely be ILLEGAL under the DMCA or other such bassackwards legislation
        Actually, to complete your analogy, it would be illegal to xerox the article and send the copy. It would also be illegal to type the contents into an email, and send that, while holding on to the physical newspaper. But this is just a day to day transfer of ownership from grandmother to grandson of a particular item with no change in medium. Just thought I'd pick nits.
    • Re:oh man! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Paradise Pete (33184)
      nothing beats holding the newsprint in your hand and laughing.

      You call yours the newsprint? I like to call mine "li'l Elvis. The laughing part is right, though.

  • No.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dr. Bent (533421) <ben AT int DOT com> on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:04PM (#5326727) Homepage
    You paid him $127,001 because the firewall settings wouldn't let you get the money off localhost.
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:04PM (#5326730) Homepage Journal
    Ok, not really. Maybe the first with the good karma modifier though :)

    I read Dave Barry's book on the internet/computers a long time ago. It was funny as hell. I think the funniest part was the discussion of Jerry Pournelli's article in byte magazine, painting him as the archetypal PC user, illustrating why we didn't use Macs. I mean, if a computer always works, it just isn't fun :)

    That would certanly explain why so many people use Linux on the desktop these days *ducks*
    • by 0x0d0a (568518)
      I think the funniest part was the discussion of Jerry Pournelli's article in byte magazine, painting him as the archetypal PC user, illustrating why we didn't use Macs. I mean, if a computer always works, it just isn't fun :)

      That would certanly explain why so many people use Linux on the desktop these days *ducks*
      ...I dunno. Rather than an insult, I suspect that both Mac and Linux users would take that as a compliment.
  • Dave is blogging now (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fubar (1615) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:10PM (#5326768)
    • I HAVE A DREAM

      I have a dream that a guy who designs popup ads is having a major colonoscopy, and the proctologist is saying, "It's the darnedest thing! Every time I snip a polyp, two more spring up in its place!"

      posted by Dave 10:19 AM


      This is damn funny and the epitomy of a good blog. Its what you think to yourself and perhaps say to a few friends writ large. crude. stupid. or brilliant. You're soaking in it. Take it as a whole and not its individual parts, but the parts... well, they can be "milk-through-the-nose" funny too.

  • by larien (5608) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:11PM (#5326776) Homepage Journal
    I'd never actually heard of Dave Barry until now. However, after reading a couple of his columns [miami.com], I'm hooked.

    However, one gripe with his article Dirty thoughts could lead to cleaner clothes [miami.com]. Nope, I don't have a problem with the subject; it sounds about right. However, he's forgetting the upside here. If women learn to get what they want by offering S-E-X, men will learn this and cease to volunteer to do the dishes, washing, or any other household chore without those favours... :)

  • by ashitaka (27544) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:12PM (#5326778) Homepage
    Like Bill Shatner's responses [slashdot.org] some weeks ago it looks like Dave just bashed out some plain vanilla answers. No substance.

    You would at least expect some witty rejoinder to the first questioner's detailed mention of how he met Dave.

    A bit lame I'm afraid.
    • by rot26 (240034) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:24PM (#5326848) Homepage Journal
      You would at least expect some witty rejoinder to the first questioner's detailed mention of how he met Dave.

      The first questioner's detailed mention of how he met dave wasn't really funny.

      It's sad that most of the questions that people asked him were attempts at "I set 'em up, you knock 'em down". If you want humor, read his column. If you want to know what he thinks, ask serious questions; if you want lame answers, ask lame questions. I thought most of the questions were lame.
      • by dildatron (611498) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:33PM (#5326916)
        Yeah I agree. He didn't have good questions to answer in the first place. Garbage in, Garbage out. (or "Shit I/O" as I say).

        Let this be a lesson to the crack head mods to really think about modding when the next interview comes up. Ahh, who am i kidding. The mods don't give a flying monkey fucking a football.
        • eah I agree. He didn't have good questions to answer in the first place. Garbage in, Garbage out. (or "Shit I/O" as I say).

          The interview questions made me shake my head in embarassment as a /. reader. The answers were about as good as anyone could do. The last question really summed it up.

          What I do picture as funny is the dorks who got their questions modded up, sitting there excitedly reading the response, hoping for any acknowledgement of their "witty" question, and getting nothing. Oh, the rationalizations that must follow "He just didn't get it!", "Dave Barry just isn't funny", or hopefully "God, I AM a loser fanboy".

        • by mysticalreaper (93971) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @02:32PM (#5327830)
          Let this be a lesson to the crack head mods to really think...

          The sad think dildatron, is that the mods are us. We are the mods. The mods are just regular /. readers like you and me, randomly chosen to moderate. I've been a mod. You've probably been a mod.

          What i'm saying is when you tell me that the mods are stupid, you're really saying that readers of /. are stupid. Which might very well be true.
          • I've been a mod. You've probably been a mod.

            However, at some point early in the life of this account, one the Slashdot editors, in a random and bitchy mood, permabanned me from M1 moderation. I've *never* been able to mod.

            Now, however, the silver lining comes through. I am completely innocent of involvement with flooding Dave with stupid questions. :-)
        • There were 41 questions moderated up to 5 in the original interview. see them here [slashdot.org] if you like. If you'll notice, there were only about 12 questions forwarded to Dave Barry. The slashdot admins were the ones who had to pick and choose those final questions, using the moderators just as their guide.

          This is of course inavoidable given the limitations of the slashdot moderation system.. I mean, it isn't like they could send dave barry forty questions.

          Anyway the unpicked ones were more or less the same kind of stuff as the questions asked, but a few were slightly less humorous / set-up-knock-down and more direct and probing, like questions on Barry's thoughts on fair use or dog redundancy.

          (Yes, my question was put to 5 in the original discussion but not sent.. nooo, not that i'm bitter or anything ^_^ okay, i'm going to go crawl back under my rock now. Sorry)
      • He obviously didn't have to write lame answers to lame questions, he chose to do so. If the questions are lame and it is your intent to be funny, then just don't answer those questions.

        Maybe /. could interview itself and see if it come up with funnier responses...
    • by syle (638903) <syle@nospaM.waygate.org> on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:27PM (#5326877) Homepage
      People said this about Douglas Adams' interview as well.

      I laughed several times reading Dave's answers. What more can I ask for? He's taking time out of his well-payed day answering questions from random strangers on a website he's probably never seen before. Even so, most of the answers were at least a paragraph if not two long.

      You expected an essay? A Sunday column? When someone asks him a stupid, one-sentence question, he responded with an equally stupid one-sentence answer. Cut the guy a break.

    • by Oculus Habent (562837) <oculus.habent@gm ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:28PM (#5326882) Journal
      As I said with the Shatner interview, the responses are held to the quality fo the questions. Not to malign the questions, some were good, some were funny. But Dave make his living making one person's serious into another person's stupidity.

      Was he offered questions on the socio-political implications of war with Iraq? Was he offered questions on the education system, pressing moral concerns, or religious preferences. No.

      And so, his answers were in kind with the questions.
  • Dave Barry is a national treasure!

    I think he should be recognized as such, and as such, he should be surrounded at all times by jersey walls, and many security personnel.

    He should be protected, for his own good and the country's good. Even if it means keeping him under house arrrest. Even if it means keeping him in one of those subterranean fortresses surrounded by vast amounts of concrete. He can write his humorous columns in troll-like solitude in the murky darkness, protected and safe.

    Only then can we be assured of his the continuance of his fractured take on society that is so desperately needed in these harsh modern times. Then and opnly then. My only question is...

    Who's with me?

    (Dave if you're reading this, I have a big red van, so if you see me and several of my milita freinds dressed as ninjas and sneaking into your house at night to save you, don't worry.)
  • $127,000 (Score:5, Funny)

    by buzzdecafe (583889) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:22PM (#5326835)
    Also, Slashdot is paying me $127,000.


    I'd double-check to make sure they didn't pay you in stock.

  • by ewanrg (446949) <ewan...grantham@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:24PM (#5326843) Homepage
    You have to wonder when you see some of the comments on the DB answers why someone like him would bother. While it's possible there will be a few new readers, it's more likely the same people who already like/hate him who are reading this.

    A number of years ago I was acting as a moderator at an online service that had hopes of becoming the next AOL. I scored what I thought (at the time) was a major coup in getting Robert X. Cringely (not sure if it was the PBS one or his predecesor) to come to a chat. I promoted the heck out of it, and even made sure to have extra resources set aside for the crowd.

    Twenty people "showed up", ten of whom were obviously there to heckle, and eight of whom had a particular column they wanted to discuss/critique/praise him for.

    I remember apologizing profusely at the end of the hour, and him being rather generous and saying it was ok because he liked people, and at least he didn't get any pie on him.

  • i am so upset!

    shatner and barry have ruined my entire sheltered fanboy life.

    i have a razor sharp appreciation of what is important and what is not important in life so here goes:

    dave's responses weren't as witty/ hilarious/ exciting/ sardonic as i expected.

    i went into the interview with a preconceived notion of what i deserve during my lunchbreak reading experience and i was not satisfied.

    since the world revolves around me, i expect slashdot and dave barry to do something about it!

    rewrite until i am ecstatic and satisfied to my exacting standards as my standards are the only ones that matter.

    thank you. ;-P
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:29PM (#5326887)
    "Also, Slashdot is paying me $127,000"

    He does realize, of course, that all that money came from banner ads, right?
  • by pr0ntab (632466) <pr0ntab&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:35PM (#5326931) Journal
    Dear Dave:

    Would you mind repeating that backhanded comment on spammers in your weekly column that I get in the back of Washington Post Magazine? The: "yeah, lets buy your penis enlargers and getaway vacations," followed by: "CASTRATION!!!"

    I would photocopy it, hilite the relevant phrases, then mail it to as many spamhaus-related mailing addresses I can dig up.

    PSYCHOLOGICAL VICTORY!!!

    Thanks, pr0ntab
  • $127,001? (Score:4, Funny)

    by mceister (216015) <.slashdot. .at. .mceister.net.> on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:36PM (#5326936) Homepage
    We didn't pay him $127,000 to do this

    I thought the rate was $127,001. Or is that just for in-house articles?
  • by cheezit (133765) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:36PM (#5326940) Homepage
    Is it just me, or is there something odd about people imitating Barry's humor when addressing him? It's like meeting Kissinger and switching to a deep heavily-accented voice, or meeting Marlee Matlin and gesticulating wildly in made-up ESL.

    I assume he finds his own humor funny, because it reflects his sense of humor, but he may think Chris Rock is even funnier...

    I've read a fair amount of Dave Barry's columns, and he can be very funny, but sometimes he has an off day and he sounds just like the Barry-esque questions that he was asked...forced, dorky, and painfully self-referential.
  • Hmmm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by moc.tfosorcimgllib (602636) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:38PM (#5326950) Journal
    I sometimes like the challenge of writing serious pieces, but usually this is when I'm faced with a really serious topic -- such as 9-11 or Hiroshima -- that forces me to be somber. Usually I don't WANT to be somber.

    I'm sure he meant to say "sober".
  • Bill Bryson (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kupek (75469) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:43PM (#5326983)
    For those that enjoy Dave Barry's work, I heartily reccomend Bill Bryson [amazon.com]. He's a travel author, and except for a short stint after returning to America (which can be found in book form, I'm a Stranger Here Myself [amazon.com]), he doesn't do columns. He writes travel books, but they are hands down the funniest books I have ever read.

    The first book I bought of his, In a Sunburned Country [amazon.com], I started reading on the bus home. Halfway, I had to stop because I was laughing uncontrollabley, and it was getting embarassing. Bill Bryson is that good.
  • by DataPath (1111) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:43PM (#5326994)
    127,000 wasn't the money you were being offered - it was part of the return path for the email they sent you, slashdot being notorious spammers. 127.0.0.0

    As for castration, I think CowboyNeal would be the most amenable of the bunch.
  • by fritter (27792) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:50PM (#5327058)
    We didn't pay him $127,000 to do this, no matter what anyone says.

    Thank God! I was close to doubting Slashdot's journalistic integrity.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to read all 127 writeups on the CPU review at Tom's Hardware.
  • by portwojc (201398) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:56PM (#5327109) Homepage
    California, The San Joaquin Soil was designated the Official State Soil of California on August 20, 1997 by Governor Pete Wilson.

    http://www.pssac.org/stasoil1.htm

  • by VegeBrain (135543) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @12:57PM (#5327124)
    If you do a Google search on the phrase "official state soil" you'll find out there are a LOT of states beside Michigan with an offical state soil.

    I just can't believe it. I feel dazed and stunned. My life has lost it's meaning. Once again my hopes for the human race have been ruined.

  • According to this post [google.com], the Joke Tracking Center can be contacted at:

    Joke Tracking Center
    PO Box 011509
    Miami, FL 33101

    Looks like it's time to send one of those USPS postcards that you can send online [usps.com]...

    and here's the corrected address:

    JOKE TRACKING CENTER
    PO BOX 11509
    MIAMI FL 33101-1509

    Now let's all be good citizens and send our fritzspotting records to Dave! I wonder if a post office has ever been slashdotted before...
  • Well (Score:3, Informative)

    by jtkooch (553641) on Tuesday February 18, 2003 @01:38PM (#5327464)
    He's funnier than William Shatner, that's for damn sure.
  • And I think "Hans Blix and the U.N. Inspectors" would be a really, really great name for a rock band.
  • ...were expressed well in a Reason Magazine interview [reason.com] some years ago.
  • Idiot AC question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sodium Attack (194559) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @11:02AM (#5335237)
    This doesn't seem to be the case at all after 9/11 (and most recently the loss of Columbia), with the most glaring example being the removal of the Spider-Man trailer (catching a helicopter in a web strung between the two World Trade towers).

    What parallel universe is this AC living in? In my world, Dave Letterman came back on the air six days after 9/11. Yes, his first guest, Dan Rather, was intense and emotional, but his second guest, Regis Philbin, was quite funny on the topic. In my world, the Onion published their brilliantly funny "Holy Fucking Shit" issue within 2 weeks of 9/11.

    And, pray tell, how would leaving the Spider-Man/WTC preview in theaters have been humorous? That wasn't even funny before 9/11!

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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