Thursday, October 21, 2004

Uh-oh: Bad News

Got a bit of a shock yesterday. Me and the Yankees fans, I guess, and although I'm incapable of caring less about professional sports, it can only be a healthy thing when the Yanks get put in their place. No, I'm talking about Dave Barry, humorist and columnist for the Miami Herald. It seems he's quitting -- well, not quitting in the "I'm never coming back!" sense, but more just stopping. Indefinitely. Starting pretty soon.

Dave Barry holds a place on my list of people who are well-known and successful in spite of never having been caught doing a day's work in their lives. (Number one on that list: uber-slacker Dean Martin.) He has one of those jobs that sounds ridiculously easy and cushy. We'll probably never know if it's as easy as he makes it look, but very few people could do it at all.

At any rate, Dave suggests seeking out other purveyors of humor, among them Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post. Naturally I rushed to check Gene out. I frankly don't find him as funny as Dave, but he's got a lot of heart, and his writing pulls the rhetorical plow just fine.

Check out this fine quote from his recent column called A Death in the Family (you may need to register with to read it in full): "If you own a dog, you already know what makes a good dog. If you don't, this one thing can sum it up: Some time ago, my wife -- who is studying acting -- was rehearsing lines from a play. Her character was a woman trying to talk her daughter out of suicide -- a monologue of excruciating intensity. My wife had to stop in the middle because Harry, who has no vocabulary but reads emotions quite splendidly, had become too upset. You don't need a brain to have a heart."


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