I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood

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9780399156502: I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood

A brilliantly funny exploration of the treacherous state of adulthood by the Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist.

Some people may wonder what this subject has to do with Dave Barry, since Dave's struggled hard against growing up his entire life-but the result is one of the funniest, warmest, most pitch-perfect books ever on that mystifying territory we call "adulthood".

In hilarious, brand-new pieces, Dave tackles everything from fatherhood, new fatherhood ("Over the next five years, you will spend roughly 45 minutes, total, listening to songs you like, and roughly 127,000 hours to songs exploring topics such as how the horn on the bus goes* [*It goes: 'Beep! Beep! Beep!']"), self-image, the battle of the sexes, celebrityhood, technology, parenting styles, certain unmentionable medical procedures ("There is absolutely no reason to be afraid of a vasectomy, except that: THEY CUT A HOLE IN YOUR SCROTUM."), and much more. It is a book of pure delight from the man one newspaper claimed "could become the most important American humorist since Mark Twain" (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)...though, frankly, we think they were indulging in some adult beverages at the time.

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Review:

Jen Lancaster and Dave Barry: Author One-on-One

Jen Lancaster is a former vice president at an investor relations firm and a New York Times bestselling author. Her books include My Fair Lazy, Pretty in Plaid, and Bitter is the New Black. She replaced Dave Barry as writer for Humor Hotel, a nationally syndicated humor column. Read on to see Jen Lancaster's questions for Dave Barry, or turn the tables to see what he asked her.

Jen: The Pulitzer Prize looks a lot like those gold-colored one-dollar Sacagawea coins. Do you still have yours or did you accidentally use it in a parking meter?

Dave: I actually lost my Pulitzer Prize for several years. I put it in a safe place, then I forgot where that was. My wife eventually found it and put it an even safer place. But your question disturbs me, because it’s NOT a coin: It looks more like a middle-school diploma. So now I’m wondering: Is it really a Pulitzer Prize? Maybe I was the victim of an elaborate practical joke wherein Columbia University gave me a middle-school diploma and just TOLD me it was a Pulitzer. That would make sense, because (a) nobody ever really believes I won a Pulitzer, and (b) in university circles Columbia is known as a big prankster.

Jen: Does it indeed take a village?

Dave: I actually grew up in a village, specifically the village of Armonk, New York. Everybody in Armonk knew everybody else back then, which meant that if, as a high-school student, you (and here I am using “you” in the sense of “I”) experimented a tad (and here I am using “a tad” in the sense of “way”) too heavily with adult beverages one night in the fall of 1964 and passed out on a lawn that—of all the lawns you could have picked in Armonk—was the lawn belonging to Chief of Police Hergenhan, you would not be arrested; instead, Chief Hergenhan, upon discovering you drooling facedown into his crabgrass at 1:30 a.m., would call your dad to come get you, because he knew your dad, and he also knew that you would spend approximately the next two weeks retching, which was punishment enough. So I would say yes.

Jen: If X = Agent Jack Bauer and Y = shooting someone in the thigh, how many perimeters need to be set up to bring Edgar back to life?

Dave: It depends on how long it takes Chloe to get a visual on the satellite and upload the schematics.

Jen: Children seem to be more delicate than when we were kids. Do you advocate encasing them in Lucite until their eighteenth birthday?

Dave: These kids today don’t know how easy they have it, with their iPhones and their iPads and their atmosphere consisting of 21 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent various other gases. When I was a youngster we didn’t have ANYTHING. We didn’t even have HAIR. We sat around naked in the cold, sucking on rocks for nourishment. But you never heard us complain, and by God we licked the Great Depression and won World War II. No, wait, that was our parents’ generation. But we faced challenges of our own. Junior year abroad, for example. That was no picnic. So you don’t even want to KNOW what I think.

Jen: Shirts or skins?

Dave: You always want to be on the skins team, because that way you’re guarding a guy on the shirts team, which means if you touch him you’re touching his shirt, which is an okay way to touch another guy (for very a brief period). If you’re on the shirts team, you have to guard a guy on the skins team, which means you might come into contact with his actual skin, which is wrong on several levels, not the least of which is that he will be oozing perspiration slime, like a giant eel with b.o. This is the main reason why guys turn to golf.

Jen: Will men use GPS or do they consider this the modern-day equivalent of stopping to ask for directions at the gas station—which is to say, an affront to their masculinity?

Dave: It’s acceptable to use a GPS because it is an incomprehensibly complex electronic device and therefore manly. But it is NOT acceptable to use the same GPS for long periods of time. Every six months or so you must buy a newer model with more features that you don’t need and a larger screen. Screen size is the important thing. Your goal is to eventually have a GPS with a screen so large that you can’t see out your windshield; when you drive you’re just looking at this humongous GPS screen. But you are still wondering, deep inside, when they’re going to come out with a bigger one.

Jen: Bret Michaels’s fans still throw their panties onstage when he performs. What do Rock Bottom Remainders groupies toss?

Dave:We have had panties thrown at us. But they were labeled “MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY 30 PEOPLE.”

(Photo of Jen Lancaster © Jeremy Lawson)
(Photo of Dave Barry © Raul Ribiera/Miami Herald)

About the Author:

Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.

Dave has also written a total of 25 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom "Dave's World," in which Harry Anderson played a much taller version of Dave.

Dave plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose other members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom. They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud. Dave has also made many TV appearances, including one on the David Letterman show where he proved that it is possible to set fire to a pair of men's underpants with a Barbie doll.

In his spare time, Dave is a candidate for president of the United States. If elected, his highest priority will be to seek the death penalty for whoever is responsible for making Americans install low-flow toilets.

Dave lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Michelle, a sportswriter. He has a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sophie, neither of whom thinks he's funny.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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