How I Discovered
I work at a library. It was on the new bookshelf. I picked it up.
Really? It’s Dave Barry. Okay, well, briefly, it’s 18 pieces, one of which was published previously and the other 17 brand new, from topics ranging from fatherhood, the health-care crisis, newspapers, Miami and colonoscopies.
I’m going to cut right to the chase on this one and give you my rating first: 5 out of 5, at least for men, because it’s laugh-out-loud funny in many sections. It’s an instant classic as most Dave Barry books are, for passages like this:
…It was 1980, and I, a brand-new father, was at some friends’ house during a New Year’s Eve party. The party was going on downstairs; I was upstairs with my two-month-old son, Robert, who was lying in the exact corner of our hosts’ bed, taking one of his two hundred daily naps. I was watching him, in case he woke up crying, or suddenly figured out how to play with matches.
From downstairs, I could hear the roar of the party. It was a major kind of party. It was a major party, the kind of party where some of the guests could very well wake up naked in a foreign country. A little before midnight I took a quick peek downstairs, and I saw that the party had reached Gator Stage. This is the point a party reaches when certain guys, having consumed perhaps eight or nine more shots of tequila than they really need, find that two things are true:
1. They wish to dance.
2. They cannot stand up.
The solution is for these guys to dance in a style known as “the gator,” which is when you lie on the dance floor and writhe around to the music in what you believe to be a rhythmical manner. You run the risk that the vertical dancers will step on you, but if you’re truly in gator mode, you wouldn’t notice if a UPS truck parked on your head.
So there I was, peeking down at my friends having crazy fun– fun that, the previous New Year’s Eve, I had been part of. I went back and sat on the bed with Robert, and it hit me: Not only was I not going to be gatoring this New Year’s Eve, but I was never going to gator again. Dad’s don’t gator. Oh, you might attend a party where gatoring has commenced, and you might even consider joining in. But as you start to get down on the floor, some part of your brain– the Dad Lobe– will kick in and remind you that you need to relieve the babysitter. And you will step over your friends (or on them; it doesn’t matter) and head for the door.
OK. You turned fifty. You know you’re supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven’t. Here are your reasons:
1. You’ve been busy.
2. You don’t have a history of cancer in your family.
3. You haven’t noticed any problems.
4. You don’t want a doctor to stick a tube seventeen thousand feet up your butt.
Let’s examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let’s not. Because you and I both know that the only reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your “behindular zone” gives you the creeping willies.
For women, though, I’m guessing it’s a 4 out of 5, or in my rating system, worth owning, because it will tell women what men really think of them: boobies. For example, in this essay entitled “If You Will Just Shut Up, I Can Explain: A Man Answers A Woman’s Question,”
Q: So you’re saying that when men change channels, they’re looking for prey?
A: No, breasts.
After which, Barry goes on to explain why men are so obsessed with breasts, making a comparison with peacock’s tail feathers.
Q: Are you suggesting that women should go around displaying their breasts to males?
A: I was talking about peacocks. But hey, sure.
If you’ve read and reviewed this book, leave a link to the post in the comments and I’ll add it here.
So what’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud while you were reading? And/or what are you reading today?