Barrying Dave

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Barrying Dave

The mammoth audience that makes up Dave Barryís incredibly loyal readership gave pause at the announcement of his upcoming leave of absence from the column he has written since God was a child. However, within that huge following, there is a particular group of people who have been struck hard by the news.

We humor writers.

You see, Dave Barry, though viewed by most as simply a funny, funny man, is considered by humorists to be, well, I wonít mince words: The luckiest son of a bitch to walk the planet.

And so we are all awash in a kaleidoscope of emotions. Sadness that his retirement from weekly merry making will deprive us of the only page in the paper worth reading. Awe at what surely, although family oriented, must have a been a wrenching decision. And finally glee. Yes, thatís right, complete, total, unadulterated, glee because now the rest of us may just have a chance to crawl out from underneath his Vesuvius sized shadow and get noticed.

You see, humor writing is a religion. And like most callings, it is undervalued, underpaid and underunderstood. (Humorists do, however, get the luxury of toiling at home in their underunderwear, so there are perks.) We write because we have to. Itís what we do best. And Dave Barryís ascendency to comic heights is the stuff we players on the humor farm team dream about. Being called up to the majors, via syndication, is the equivalent of "going to the show" in baseball. Although unlike big league ball players, we humorists - and I believe Dave would attest to this - still donít get laid or paid as much.

Are we less funny than Dave? Nah. While there are plenty of writers out there who aspire, with no true funny bone to back them up, there are just as many of us (notice I use "us, as in "me") who can manufacture a piece of writing so crisp in its freshness, so tight in its crafting and so deft in its wordplay, that even Dahli Dave would laugh out loud. The difference?

Daveís big butt has been hogging the spotlight for more than twenty freaking years.

Sure, heís been consistent, knocking out home runs with each column. And admittedly, his Pulitzer achievement of 1998 remains unmatched. Heís had a string of best selling books. Oh, and thereís that TV show of several years back and an upcoming film of one of his works, in which he stars alongside the inimitable John Cleese - all testament to the greatness that is Dave.

But Dave, I gotta tell you, if you had not come to this decision on your own, there was a gang of us ready to take you on an Everglades adventure and feed your funny ass to a humorless, salivating swamp gator.

Hmmm, Humorless Salivating Swamp Gator. Now thatís a kickass name for a rock band.

Take that Dave.

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