Summer Sundays: Beach Reads #4 - I'll Mature When I'm Dead, by Dave Barry

In my experience, Dave Barry is one of those writers who either makes you pee your pants laughing, or makes you shrug. I personally don't care for comedy in many of its forms - "Anchorman," "The Hangover"... movies like that don't do it for me. Stand-up? No thanks, I'll sit. But Dave Barry? He tickles me. I don't know why my funny bone is so buried, I'm not even completely sure where it is. But Dave Barry finds it every goddamn time and just kills me.

As a teenager, I would look forward to seeing his columns from the Miami Herald syndicated in the Orlando Sentinel. A few years later, his work with Ridley Pearson (the Starcatcher series) enamored me. But in this book, Barry is up to his old tricks - the short essay.

This volume is a collection on what it means to be an adult - everything from becoming a new father, to owning a dog, to dealing with women, to dealing with your 9-year-old daughter's dance recitals. I read this one solely at work, and my coworkers were wondering what was wrong with me, I was giggling so often. I think the target audience is just slightly older than myself, but I was definitely able to appreciate his witticisms and contrary attitude towards the establishment, really his ability to dispel anxiety with humor.

If you've never read Dave Barry, I have to recommend Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States. That should get your juices going. But if you're of an age where children and prostate exams are looming in the near distant future, go for the gold with I'll Mature When I'm Dead. And in any case, make sure you actually ENJOY Barry before bringing this one to the beach, otherwise you may find yourself pretty bored and decide to wallpaper a sandcastle with its pages.


  1. Ah Yes. Dave Barry. Your readers should know that your father and sister do not get Barry either. They read it and smile, nod and hand back the book without more than that; whereas your mother will fight you for a spot on the toilet so keep her pants dry when reading his shtick. Of course, I am completely enamored by my favorite piece of Barry: a trip to Walt Disney World. In that piece Dave Barry pointed out that if Disney puts up a tent in MK with a great big sign that says EAR DRUMS PUNCTURED HERE - tourists will line up for it all day.
    Excuse me, my pants are damp from remembering that particular Barry Essay. I wonder if I am too young for Depends?


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