It was no contest that my selection for the second ‘Honorary ‘Off the Beaten Path’ Insider is humorist Dave Barry, whose take on Florida is well-represented in his latest book Insane City.
Not only is he one of Florida’s funniest writers, he’s a huge fan of Robert Benchley and is a friend of my pal Beth Armogida.
On a personal note, about 20 years ago, he wrote me a very nice letter and encouraged me to follow my passion as a writer. I took his advice and I still have the letter.
If you’re a fan of weird Florida; of strange and unusual Florida, then Dave Barry’s your man. In his columns for the Miami Herald, in this short stories and books, anytime he writes about every strange and unusual aspect of Florida (and they are legion) he has a unique ability to somehow elevate their weirdness factor.
It’s a gift. A gift that’s earned him a Pulitzer Prize and a sewage pumping station named in his honor (I am not, as he would say, making this up).
Find some of his columns, read a few of his books, and you’ll get a great take on the Sunshine State.
Here are just a few lines from a long career:
• The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.
• You should not confuse your career with your life.
• I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
• The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida.
The first honorary Insider, Tom Petty, is a Florida native. Dave Barry was born in Armonk, New York, which, if you add some letters and take some others away, spells ‘Miami, Florida’, so – in essence, he’s a native.
You can check on Dave at www.davebarry.com
Click here to follow him on facebook.
And click here for a scrumptious recipe for apple pan dowdy.