Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Joanne--Sharing the writing of Dave Barry

I am a big fan of the author and column writer, Dave Barry. His writing is thoughtful, witty, and absolutely hilarious. Many writers mention Stephen King's book "On Writing", but not many know that Dave Barry and Stephen King are good friends and play in a rock band together.

Following is a classic Dave Barry post on writing and snakes:

The other day I was sitting at my desk in my home office, doing what I do all day, which is frown at my computer screen. This is tiring work, so roughly 35,000 times a day I have to take a break to eat something, or drink something, or scratch something. At this particular moment, I reached to my left, to pick up my can of Diet Coke, and EEEEEEEEEEEE. That is the screaming sound my brain made when it realized that my hand was, at most, two inches from a live snake. Really. As a south Florida resident, I'm used to having ants on my desk, but they are friendly, harmless, and easy to smush. Whereas this was a full-blown snake, coiled for attack, with its head reared up and its tongue flicking out toward me, which is how snakes communicate the message: "Hah! Perhaps you wish to die for your Diet Coke, Mister No-Topic Writer Man!"

20 comments:

Beth Trissel said...

I love Dave Barry too and this is a classic. Too funny. thanks so much for the day brightener!

Lu said...

Even though I knew there'd be a snake involved, I still had a visceral response when said snake appeared, guarding the Diet Coke. Being a Coke addict myself *snort* I'm not so sure I would have backed down. They do make anti-venom, right?

Thanks for the chuckle up here in Maine, where it feels like Florida.

Lee Lopez said...

Thanks for posting that. I so relate, not with the snake that is, but the writing..It brought a smile to my face early this morning...

Amy said...

I adore Dave Barry and that was a classic! Do you remember his essay on electricity? That was one of my very favorites, including the section where he encouraged readers to test out the effects of electricity by shuffling one's feet to build up a static charge and then discharging it by touching the filling in a friend's tooth. Just watch the reaction! What innocent fun. (snarky laugh.)

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

A snake would definitely do it for me, too. Not too pleased when I see one. We live in the Sierra Mountains and share the terrain with rattlers.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Joanne said...

Beth,
So glad you enjoyed the Dave Barry. My son bought me a daily calendar, so I enjoy a new chuckle each morning.

Joanne said...

Lu,
The temperature is over 100 degrees this afternoon in SC. Definitely as hot as Florida! We are in the midst of a heat wave.

Joanne said...

Lee,
I actually wanted to share the Dave Barry article because of the writing. I laughed out loud when he mentioned getting up and down from his computer 35,000 times a day.

Joanne said...

Amy,
I thought I was familiar with most of the Dave Barry writings, but his essay on electricity doesn't sound familiar. I'll have to check it out.

Joanne said...

Paisley,
We live in SC. Although there are snakes, thankfully I rarely see one. And I hope to keep it that way.

Mona Risk said...

Joanne, I live in Florida. After reading your post, I cleaned my desk and wiped it. You can never be too careful. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. Thanks for the laugh and the good advice. As I said, I live in Florida.

Jill James said...

Joanne, thanks for my laugh for the day. That was hilarious.

Nightingale said...

I'd like to hear the end of that story!! Bet he beat a hasty retreat from the Diet Coke can.

Mary Ricksen said...

What kind of snake?
In your office? That's horrible.
I hate snakes, but I do like Pepsi better.

JACLYN said...

Whereas this was a full-blown snake, coiled for attack, with its head reared up and its tongue flicking out toward me, which is how snakes communicate the message:

At first I thought you were
kidding. How the devil did a snake get into your house? I hate them. They make my skin crawl. I was born in the year of the snake but they still make my skin crawl.
How did yu handle that one?

Jaclyn

Joanne said...

Mona,
I'm sure you've seen your share of critters in Florida. I think Dave Barry lives in Southern Florida. Where are you located?

Joanne said...

Jill,
So glad you enjoyed the post. Dave Barry is a brilliant writer. He packs a lot of laughs into only a few words.

Joanne said...

Linda,
I agree. I can only imagine how Dave Barry ended that story. I'm sure he would have made it very comical as he beat a hasty run from the room.

Joanne said...

Mary,
Dave didn't say what kind of snake. Even funnier was that he was at his desk staring at his computer trying to write. I'm glad to hear that even he gets up and walks away--although I don't think I quite reach 35,000 times in one day.

Joanne said...

Jaclyn,
Never fear. The snake wasn't in MY house. It was a blog taken from one of Dave Barry's writings. And, I think, it was meant to be funny, although it probably wasn't at the time.