Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dave Barry Wants You To Buy His Book

Dave Barry was at Barnes & Noble this evening, hawking copies of his latest book, Dave Barry's Money Secrets, a facetious guide to the economy and sometimes-sorta-funny parody of Donald Trump's and Suzie Orman's contributions to the canon of Western literature. I have my own little money secret, and that is to never pay a damn penny to see famous people. Eventually, all famous people will write a book, and then they'll appear at Barnes & Noble (or occassionally Borders) for a free reading. People will buy up copies of the book like there's no such thing as a library and great fun will be had by all, except whoever's receiving an autographed copy of Dave Barry's latest contribution to Middle America as a birthday gift.

I actually kind of admire Dave Barry because he had my dream job. He wrote six hundred words a week, three jokes that were a little funny, something about how men can't figure out how to use a washing machine, and that's it. Actually, now he has my dream job, since he's currently writing about six hundred words a year, but I'll settle for the position he left.

I like getting to Barnes & Noble two or three hours early for these things because I can just sit and read and the seats really do fill up, mostly with lunatics failing to quiet the sparkle monkeys in their brains before the Q&A starts. I don't have a problem standing in the back or sitting on the floor, except that whenever I do, I have to deal with the Barnes & Noble security gestapo and then I'm tempted to bludgeon this poor rent-a-cop with a hardcover book of lesbian erotica, and that's not gonna end well for anybody. Seriously, why the hell do they need like thirty security guards at a freaking book signing? He's not Salman Rushdie, for Christ's sake! What, have the terrorists gotten lazy and they're just gonna try to assassinate Dave Barry now? You're next, P. J. O'Rourke!

Also, Dave Barry does not need an entourage of business managers, assistants, publishers, and other assorted toadies ushering him into Barnes & Noble. Once again, he's not Salman Rushdie, he's not Puff Daddy, get it straight.

Dave Barry was actually amusing for the most part, except when he, ahem, read from his book. He read this chapter about how car salesmen will never tell you the actual price of the car, but I think I already heard that bit from every lame amateur comedian ever at The Laugh Factory open mic night. Honestly, Dave, I'm no professional humorist — cause some people are hogging all the pristine comedy jobs — but I'm pretty sure everything funny that could ever be said about the auto purchasing process has already been said like back in 1982. Same goes for exploding whales, airplane food, and how women don't like it when you wear the same underpants for a week straight. I think it's time to pass the torch to more topical humor, like how George Bush is dumb. I don't think that comedy mine is tapped out yet.