Here’s how life works: On the day you’re scheduled to interview your idol, you wake up with acute laryngitis. I mean bad. You can’t speak above a guttural whisper and the occasional deep, booming croak.
Fortunately, Dave Barry’s got enough voice for the both of us.
Perhaps the best-known columnist in America, Barry wrote a humor column for the Miami Herald for more than 20 years. It was syndicated to more than 500 newspapers and earned him a Pulitzer Prize — which is a really serious award to give a man who once wrote a column titled “Decaf Poopacino” and for whom exploding Pop-Tarts is a well-trod motif.
Known for the catchphrases “I am not making this up” and “â€¦ which is a really good name for a rock band,” Barry has an unmistakable voice; his style is recognizable even before you see the byline. When I tell him this — rather, when I squawk it at him, sounding like a phone-sex operator who is gagging on a small toad — he agrees that it’s easy to spot his work “because it has the word booger in it somewhere.”
Barry, who comes to town in January, is more than a columnist; he’s written more than 30 books, including the new novel Insane City. He’s responsible for popularizing International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And he plays guitar in a rock band with authors Stephen King, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom — which makes him, like, the Bono of the publishing universe.