Dave Barry discusses Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far).
So much has happened in our aughts already, it is imperative that we take a moment to review Dave Barry's year-by-year history of the millennium. He has, with great insight and courage, taken the time to record these turbulent times. For those with "outrage overload," this is a chance to laugh at it all- Politics and Prose
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.
Barry has also written a total of 30 books. Two of his books were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom "Dave's World," in which Harry Anderson played Barry.
Barry has also made many TV appearances, including one on the David Letterman show.
Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. His column appeared in over 500 newspapers overthe last 25 years. According to the official Dave Barry website - there is several - he is the author of30 counted - 30 books both fiction and non fiction. His new book Dave Barry's "The History of theMillennium So Far" is a collection of the annual yearend review features, we - so - eagerly lookforward to each December. I learned a lot from reading this book. For instance, I learned thatLeonardo da Vinci invented the pizza, that Martin Luther was punished for his 95 thesis by havingeat a diet of worms. That the roaring 20's was so named because every year had the word 20 in it.not only that, but Dave Barry's "The History of the Millennium So Far" will allow you to relive monthby month the warm and wacky tenure of the Bush administration as if that's not worth 22.95. Heis more hilarious than John Dean, and more mad cap Alan Greenspan. Please give a warmwelcome to Mr. Dave Barry.Thank you Mark it's it's great to be here and thank you all for coming out. I am on a book tour Ihave notes, so anyway what I I what I am going to do, it's a little different from what Mark said -no I am it's okay but it's you know, I know it's your bookstore but I am going to talk about maybe then we are going to have a little bit of a competition here and with our feature valuable well notit's the prices, but they are not that valuable, but be but be ready to be like you know, thinking toanswer some questions, before you ask me questions, I am going to ask you ask you some questionsand we are going to cover this. Then I am going to tell you little about my my - how I came towrite this book and this kind of book in general about my journalism career, I was an English Majorwhen I I went to Haverford college in Pennsylvania. Thank you two people of nobody hasever heard of it? You know I say either have to go through a long explenation, it's really good liberalarts college to just go Haveford and they think you said Harvard and that's is your easier to do.Anyway it's a great school, but I was an english major so I had no useful skills when I got out ofcollege and so I got a job with honored right, I got a job in a newspaper called the "Daily LocalNews" which is the real name of a newspaper in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Daily just what itsaid, "Daily" if you count you don't count Sunday as day, "Daily Local News" local news.And we this was a kind of a small town, classic small town paper.While I was there, we actually published a story with the following headline which nobody noticeduntil it got in the paper, "woman, beats off: would be rapist" So - that's you know, the Daily LocalNews style of editing. And we were like very very local, we would like if like if during the summerwhen local residence would have gardens, if somebody grew a zucchini, that was like unusual like itwould look like Winston Churchill or something then we would Larry McDevitt or I would go takea picture we would run that on the front page of the Daily Local News and if you think about it, alot of zucchini do look like Winston Churchill. So that was a kind of staple of our coverage of thatand so I think - that's the world I came to as a as an English major and I was assigned to carrythe the borough of Downingtown.Downingtown, Pennsylvania specifically the Downingtown area regional sewage authority. Thatwas - seriously that was my big thing and which was it was what you would imagine, that was theauthority for all the sewage in the in the Downingtown region and I knew nothing about sewage.But I would have to go to these meetings where these guys would talk for hours about sewage andsewer interceptors and and things like that and despite not really knowing anything about, I wouldwrite long stories about and to this day I don't really know what I was writing about.I I don't know why you would intercept sewage for one thing. But it is kind of interesting, all kindof with me and sewage, it kind of win in a big circle. So to speak because years later when I was acolumnist, I I actually got involved again with the sewage industry, What happened was I wrote Iwrote a column making fun of North Dakota and is anybody have heard of it? Okay it's a stateNorth Dakota and it's losing population like wolves or eating them or something you know and theywant people to come there you know if you go there, they will over and say hey you want to be inthe legislature? You know and so they had this idea a few years ago and they think think they justhad the image of the state of North Dakota is not good. You will then have a positive image of NorthDakota and that's why nobody went there and why people want to leave there, so some more waysto improve the image of North Dakota and one of the ideas that came up with which was seriouslyconsidered was to change the name of the state - from 'North Dakota' to 'Dakota' very good youknow. Is that making anyone just want to go like well run around "I am going to Dakota" you knowreally I thought that was really stupid and I wrote a column viciously mocking that idea and that wasthe - one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my journalism period.Do not mess with North Dakota okay you don't learn anything else than I learned that first of all Igot an angry letter from everybody in the state, which is nearly a 115 letters and and second of all,and this was the finest part of North Dakota revenge scheme, they invited me up there in January anddedicated a sewage lifting station in my honor. Sorry it is absolutely true you go to the grand ports ofNorth Dakota for any reason such as your plane has crashed there, there is a a brick building and Isay that modesties has a little bit of tourist attraction very known in somebody's sense viewing apicture of himself standing in front of this and this brick building and honored in foot high letters asDave Barry lift station number 16 and inside is the permit to lift to the sewage which is a concept alsoI don't understand, I would leave the sewage down there you know but in North Dakota they lift ityou know because they are bored they are bored let see you know so anyway so this bigceremony, this big dedication ceremony and they had, they had put a brown piece of paper over thethe sign and it was like a very cold that one of the coldest days I have ever experienced, it waslike a 20 below zero and they had some - you know they had some official people and this mediapeople and some members of actually public board were standing out there freezing in front of thisbuilding with this you know piece of paper over the sign and the mayor of Grand Ports read aproclamation dedicating the sewage lifting station in my honor and very eloquently comparing mywork to the production of human excrement.And then at the big moment they had me tear the piece of paper off the side, I remember standingthere and see my name on the side of this building and smelling the sewage in the cold North Dakotaair and hearing [Unintelligible] which is the sound of people applauding in mittens so sobook my point is sewage is being kind of a theme running through my career from beginning to endbut anyway over the years eventually as a journal, I mean I when I started at the 'Daily LocalNews' I really didn't do anything - any humor to be handled they really wanted me to write facts andI did that for a while and then after I kind of got you know comfortable there, they started let mewrite a column - you could write it's all you did your other work - the advantage of this small townpaper you can do other things and I wrote a little humor essay once a week and the first one wasreasonably well received by the these are people on the desks right around me in the news roomand then, so I wrote another one the next week you know I got like pretty good you know so Ijust feel as encouraged I wrote another one the third week and that third week happened to be thethat the the day that appeared was the day of the Daily Local News Christmas party which wasbasically I went to a bar and drank and after everybody had a few drinks an editor came over andsaid to me "So about your columns" and I told "yeah" and she goes "You used to be funnier" I knowI know it was like 1974, you know I have been hearing that steadily since 1974 that that's Ihave learned living but anyway I I gradually I like writing humor anyway even though I used to befunnier and I and I I kept knowing it and finally through a long cumbersome boring processbecame a full time humor columnist which means now - I mean really what I do, I sit around in myunderwear and make things up that's that's my job, it's like being a consultant.He said that a consultant would be wearing your underwear. But so and that's really mostly what Idid, for most of my journalism carrier, I wrote, I just made stuff up but I I did occasionally doprided to kind of bounce off the real news and the the pride the most constant example that wasthe Year in Review which since the 80's every year I would write anything around Halloween, Iwould get all the head lines from that year and try try to make a narrative out of what hadhappened that year and I would always have the same reaction was "my god, this was a stupid year".And and I found it that certain the year never lets you down in that respect. So anyway, in thisbook what I have done is, I have basically taken the years in review that I wrote for this millennium.And I am counting 2000 as part of this millennium and if anyone of those people would say it didn'treally start till at the end of 2000, shut up.And then I also included the entire previous millennium which is at 1000 years and I did it like 25pages by leaving out all the boring parts such as Asia. Stuff I all other things I didn't know anythingabout. So anyway - so that that's what I did. Now the question I really ask me is like isn't it like alittle premature to write a history of the millennium when we are still in it in fact there is like 993 yearsto go and I am saying it's not perfect, okay?I am sure somebody will write a better history later of the millennium but this is the first one and reallyright now the best one out there on the market. And I also think its kind of important to have ahistory of the millennium so far and I say that because we forget, we think we remember things thathappened recently but we really don't we very quickly forget things that have happened, especiallyI do and people of my age tend to quickly forget everything.I am 60 years old, I turn 60 this year. And I have found - don't applaud that, I have found that Ican't I really can't remember anything anymore. I there is a lobe in your brain and I think thetechnical name is the noun lobe. It remembers the names of things. It starts when you are on fifty.Really, the process starts - I think it starts to shrivel up like a raisin in the desert okay. You couldremember other parts of speech, adverbs, articles, prepositions, but the nouns are gone you know,and it turns out for a lot of sentences, you need nouns.You know, so you are being so you will be making some point and you will get to a name and youwill go [Snap] and even and that hurts because you have arthritis you know, you know,know the guy the guy in the place with the things you know, and this starts the game of charadeswith you listeners and like 20 minutes later they figure out that you mean Hitler.But then you came remember what you were - you were trying to say about Hitler, so that'sthat's another bad thing, but just this is really a little bit a bit of a digression - is that okay, littledigression. You know, I don't think. Another bad thing I just warn you this well happens whenyou turn 50, you are going to get a letter from Aarp. Aarp is of course the last sound you make before you die.I think - AARP you know, - oh you are actually aarping over here you know, and - that's also anacronym for the American Association of Retired People standing in a line ahead of you asking forthis kind of every freaking thing. And I I am nothing as AARP, it's a wonderful organization. I havea problem with my being asked to join it, because I am a Baby Boomer and the thing about BabyBoomers is the essence of our psyche is that, no matter how old and pathetic and wretched andsenile we get, we think we are cool.And so I have a problem being asked to join this organization whose membership includes theseguys and I see them a lot of time because I live in Miami. These guys who wear the their waistbands up around their armpits, apparently in certain case if they ever need a emergency open heartsurgery, they just unzip the fly and you know, - and while we are on that, just one other thing and Iwill I will get - about getting older. I don't care what else we do to get medical care in this countryokay. We need to find a way for the medical profession to get to the prostrate gland other than theway its getting to it now.Who will say, what do you want? I will say, what I want I want the doctors stands 80 yards awayand go "looks good from here Dave". Although, I mean truthfully, men have nothing to complainabout compared to women when it comes to invasive medical procedures, you know, I have Ihave witnessed child birth a couple of times and you could you would never get me to do that. Ihere I have a woman, and I think women in generally have more modesty and dignity than men. Ibelieve that, and they and here they are kind of a low point emotionally, physically, you know,going through contractions and everything and and they put them in this position, that cannot havethought being bought up by a woman where there is absolutely nothing at all left the imagination. Andthen they bring in pretty much everyone in the hospital to take a gander, you know they will go"What do you think Bob, is that look like five centimeters to you?" you know "I don't know, I am ajanitor". Like well we have a school tour group here, Hey, kids come on in, are you kids studying ina metric system, you know? But my point, in case you have forgotten my point is that people tendto forget as that, you know. And even younger people tend to forget what has happened even infairly recent history which is why it's good to have a history of the millennium and I am going toprove my point. We are going to have a little quiz here. You know, I am going to ask you questionsthings you should know in my opinion about the previous millennium and then the millennium weare in. And just to make it interesting, I am going to give out prizes for people who get the correctanswer. Where is the microphone, just give it. Do they have to go there to answer the question or?It's not possible, let's be honest. I will just repeat what they say. Okay. The prize and and I it'snot that valuable but that's unusual. It's a Dave Barry for President Bumper Sticker. Okay. Now Iam honest the glossy one, too its the nice one. And before I and I realize I am in Washington DChere so, I am pretty not the only person in the room running for President. But I do think I mean,I am going to appeal for your vote at some point and I I want it just like you know various standon the issues because and I I perfectly understand I am not one of these focus group to deathcandidates, I am not one of these you know take a poll on all everything; that's not me that's nothow I am. I I speak from the heart, I shot from the hip. And if you don't like that I am sorry buthere is what I think.I agree with you and if if you change your mind, you let me know, okay. No I do actually I havesome positions pretty what got me into the race originally was the, it was an issue that nobody elsewas talking about. I favored the death penalty for whoever is responsible for making Americans uselow flow toilets, you know thank you.There was a time and you young people don't remember this. There was time when this countryhad great toilets, okay. We our toilets with envy of the world. We had toilets that could suck downa mature sheep and this is going not that we did, but we could, okay. And now we are savingwater with these toilets that is - like a piece of pop-corn. It takes like five flushes to get it go downand by the way, if you have seen popcorn in the bowl, see your doctor, okay. That's a prettyimportant, but anyway - any way that's kind of a quick summary of where I stand on the issues.But what I wanted to do? I am going to ask ask you some questions and I will be giving out a aDave Barry for President Bumper Sticker to the people who answer correctly. Do not shout theanswer out, okay. You will be automatically banished if you shout the answer out. Just raise yourhand, I will point to you. And if you get the correct correct answer then, you get the Dave Barryfor President Bumper Sticker. We are going to start with two questions from the previousmillennium. What is stupid about the name of the French and Indian War? Way back there, yes sir.Wrong, but a nice try. Yes sir.They were on the same side.They were on the same side, who names it war?. That's a dumb way to name a war. It should be likethe Franco-Prussian War the Franco's fight the Prussians and that's the that's you r war, okay.Do you do you happen to know who who won the French and Indian War? The side the Frenchwere not on, and that's an easy one and you should know that. That's been an easy answer alwaysalways, and I know. Okay. Next question from the precious millennium. What famous historicalfigure from the previous millennium can have his name rearranged to spell "Rent An Abalone Poop"anybody? Yes, -Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon Bonaparte. How do you happen to know that ma'am?That's not a good at excuse but she is good with word games, you know okay it's very good, butthat's true you can look it up and no other you know, David McCauley doesn't know that, that Iknow off. Oh yeah we now move to the the current millennium. I am going to ask you somequestions and you are going to give me some of the answers. Some of these I am I am afraid, theyare going to be too easy for the this group; because you are Washington people. Well we startwith because a lot of people in other cities don't know this one, what is the name of the Clinton's dog?Buddy.Don't shout it out. Yes Buddy is correct and because you didn't shout it out unlike some people youget a bumper sticker and now remember don't shout out the answer, what was the name of the manwho won the first series of Survivor and was known for walking around naked? Okay don't shout itout not yet Senator Larry Craig is what you are thinking isn't it? No - no who was it?Richard Hatch.Richard Hatch is correct you are good Senator Craig is not here tonight is he? Okay like it - justgo on that issue because that's an issue that came up in last couple of days. How many guys for thefirst time in their lives have really thought lately a lot about their stance? As though gone to say itslike yeah the other thing I think would be really funny to do rent a pair of tap shoes next time yougo just just for - you know just fun - just for fun, just to see what - okay I think this is single bestquote from the entire millennium so far and I think this is like an important thing we should rememberwhat did Martha Stewart say on the CBS morning show when Jane Clayson asked her questionsabout her legal problems while she was trying to chop her salad, well what did Martha Stewart say?Yes right who - who got the hand up? "I just want to focus on my salad" will you please that.I think those are words we should all live by it would it would be a better world if you all just focuson our our salad, this one tried too easy again for the down way people but what in the year 2002What did President Bush choke on?Don't shout it out, yes anybody over there? Senator Larry Craig no not no just it's amazing howeasy that is you go ahead - go ahead yes [0:22:33] [unintelligible] he knows his history. Did you learnthat in school or you just like know that? Okay this is a hard one okay get ready for a hard one.What talentless incredibly irritating performer was inexplicably chosen to appear in a series onincredibly irritating TV commercials for AT&T in year 2002? What incredibly talent free - Way in aback? Carrot Top is correct okay is I hope this gets to you alright. Because like - I don'tknow about you when I saw that come around you made I don't remember they made me justwant to like call AT&T wanted me to start having an AT&T account so that I could cancel itbecause of AT&T - because of Carrot Top okay.In the year 2003 the the masters golf tournament became the subject of great controversy becauseAugusta National did not allow women as members, who - what was the name first name and lastname of the spokesman and chairmen of the Augusta National golf tournament?Okay Hootie Johnson.We are nearing the end here, I want to just make sure I get - oh yes one okay this another toughone, see you - nobody - that if you get this, you will be the first group to get this question right. Whatwas the name of the disease that cause federal authorities to ban the sale of Gambian giant pouched rats?Wow no it was not the hunter virus but thanks for asking. It was not anthrax, the camera person Idon't think so no I bet nobody has ever said that with quite that level of it wait a minute I decide- I decide no not malaria okay who is that that everybody wanted me to pick over here monkeypox is the correct answer. Remember does any body remember monkey pox, now that I bring itup, you remember monkey pox. And the thing is that what you have to wonder it like how does arat transmit monkey pox. Do you know? You don't know and but the other my feeling is I don'tknow if you but anybody who buys a giant Gambian pouch rat deserves to get monkey pox is myfeeling, okay. We are now almost to the right.What and this is and maybe a lawyer would be able to answer this. What did Michael Jackson doimmediately after being arraigned on charges of child molestation? Now, he is it wasn't when hehung the child over the balcony, now it was not what he did. What did he do? Yes, - well, we willgive it to him. He danced on the roof an SUV.Which is what any lawyer will tell you is what you should do when you are just been arraigned oncharges of child molestation. What was the nick name given to Jennifer Wilbanks? The nicknamegiven to - Senator Larry Craig, yeah - "The Runaway Bride". Say you forgot "The Runaway Bride"."The Runaway Bride" got more got coverage in the year 2005 than Africa, okay and you havealready forgotten her. Okay, I am going to ask one more question, and this I am think in aWashington group might be able to answer this. This is another one that no body in no other cityhas anybody answered this question correctly.During a debate, during a debate about Iraq, this is the year 2005, on the floor of the United StatesHouse of Representatives, debate about Iraq, it's in the congressional record. What didRepresentative Marion Berry that's Marion Berry with an E not with the Marion Berry who is goingto be the mayor, democrat of Arkansas. What did he call Representative Jeb Hensarling republicanof Texas during the debate?This happened in your city, no no it was not "cheese eating surrender monkey" that's actuallythat's from the Simpsons. Anybody else want a take a step. He did not no incorrect. Anybodyelse? He called him a "Howdy-Doody-Looking Nimrod". Okay because you missed that, I amgoing to give you one last - I am going to give you an easy one, - what was Vice President Cheneyshooting at, when he hit elderly Attorney Harry Whittington? The answer is Nancy Pelosi. No- yesnot a pheasant incorrect. Quail is correct.All right, you have been a great crowd. Thank you for playing, I hope you all see how importantevents are in our lives. So do do I have time to the answers yeah. I would now I would bewell yeah if you will go to the microphone and ask your question, and then mark will answer it yeah.