Friday, September 28, 2007

Odds and Ends: Dave Barry and Verbal Judo

1. Verbal Judo

I met (and accidentally insulted) Dave Barry on my lunch break last week. He was doing a book signing near my office and since he's an author that people have actually heard of, I figured it would be nice to get a (signed) copy of his book. Recently I listened to a copy of one of his books on tape, that was narrated by this unfunny jackass. I intended to tell Dave (we're on a first name basis) that the guy's delivery was terrible, and that I prefer his books in writing because I can insert my own (funnier) delivery in my head. And if you're asking yourself why I listen to Books On Tape, it's not because I'm illiterate--just lazy.

The line to meet Dave was longer than you would see in most cities, because people in DC actually read books instead of using them as decorative props like they do in places like Los Angeles. As I got closer I heard the sycophants kissing up to Dave as he signed their tomes. "I just finsished [your book] and it's the funniest thing I EVER read." or "I can't believe you're here, Mr. Barry, I have all your books and I want to marry you and have all your babies" or "Dave, would you be interested in joining a multi-level marketing group...which isn't a pyramid scheme, I swear!"

I lost my train of thought as I got closer in line because I was mentally mocking the fans, then when I got to the front of line, instead of saying what I intended to say, I said

Ninja: "Hey man, I heard one of your books on Books on Tape, and it's not as funny out loud"

Fans: [gasping sounds]

Dave: I agree completely, they were never intended to be read out loud and I prefer them in written form too.

Wow, Dave Barry is a blackbelt in Verbal Judo. Rather than disagreeing with me, he used my own energy against me and executed a verbal hip throw. I think he should go into politics. I'd rather have him giving speeches and dealing with diplomats than "The Decider".

2. People who take Sports too Seriously Should Be Castrated

People who take sports too seriously are usually jackasses. Wait, let me re-phrase that. They are usually jackasses who have nothing going on in their lives. Like primitive cave people who wear animal skins and dance around a fire to absorb the raw power of the wolf or bear spirit, they put on their jerseys, paint their faces and grunt and howl in front of a TV as if they are absorbing some part of the team's victory and elevating their worth when the team wins.

Well, I'm constantly amazed at how passionately these idiots feel about "their" team. But THIS takes the cake. It seems that some guy walked into a bar frequented by Texas A&M fans wearing an Oklahoma U t-shirt. One of the Texas fans didn't take kindly to his shirt, so he, literally, ripped the guy's balls off. Now this story would be bad enough it was just two alumni fighting in a bar over their respective schools' teams. But neither of these redneck assh0les went to either school. That's right, they were both fans of colleges that neither of them attended. (why doesn't it surprise me that someone who would rip a guy's nuts off in a bar fight never attended an institution of higher learning?). Now, don't get me wrong. I think that people who take sports too seriously should be castrated, but I think this is taking it a bit too far.

3. Truth is Stranger than Fiction

You know, they say you shouldn't put something in an email that you would be embarrassed to see on the front page of the NY Times. This isn't exactly the Times, but still funny nonetheless. I don't know if I'm laughing harder at this guy because he told every lawyer in the state of Montana that his wife was having sex with another man, or because he sent every lawyer in the state an email and despite 12 years of public school, four years of college, and three years of law school, never figured out that you spell "rUmor" with a "u" and not with a phonetic "oo".

4. Leaving the Law

I often think about what I would do if I left the law completely. I'm always glad to read about people who jump ship to do something totally unrelated, like this guy who left the law to become an electrician. I don't think I would leave law to do home improvement full time because 1) manual labor sux, 2) I'm lazy, and 3) I like the money. But I'm happy for him nonetheless. I'll tell you who I'm not happy with is THIS guy. I'm happy he found something he likes better than the law, but his real passion isn't baking; it's marketing. Warren Brown sells overpriced, mediocre cakes and uses the excuse that his cakes shouldn't be judged against real bakers because he's not a real baker, just someone with a passion for baking. Well, if he was baking his own cakes, maybe I would buy into that. But if you've got 3 stores, and a TV show and you've got employees doing the baking for you, then maybe you should hire people who know that a cake should taste like it's main ingredient, not butter. And if you market yourself as selling "cakes like your mother made", well I got news for you Warren. My mom is a terrible cook, and if she ever baked me a Cayenne-Mango Chocolate cake with Buttercream frosting, I would say "Mom, firstable, how did you even know where the kitchen was, and secondly, what's that horrible burning smell?"

5. I'll have some more tales from Illinois soon, but pics are involved, so be patient.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Warren Brown hate. There is such a big Cake Love cult in DC that I'm afraid to say anything critical about him, lest I be attacked by an angry cake mob.

dara said...

When I went to college and law school at big football schools, the worst fights were always started by the people who lived in the area but had no affiliation with the school. I think that's the rule, not the exception.

If I quit practicing law, I'd be a pastry chef. My cookies could totally kick the butt of CakeLove's cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

if my husban/law partner couldnt spell "rumor" and if he used "fill" for "feel"... id prob sleep with Tim "ANACONDA" McKeon too...

Velvet said...

1: That's very bad.

2: My brother is a sportscaster, so yes. When the Yanks won the World Series against the braves, and he announced it on air in Georgia, saying, "Well, I'm from NY, so I'm happy the Yankees won," he was SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY. WTF!

3: Ha! That guy is a tool.

4: Purple Cow. Read it.

5: I can't wait. It's not like I tortured YOU with pictures from my trip to the armpit of the U.S. :::eye roll:::

Anonymous said...

Some sports fans aren't pathetic losers. Some of us were former athletes in college!

That story about the nuts getting ripped off made me cringe, but you got the teams mixed up. The Texas guy got his nuts ripped off by the Sooner, not the other way around.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

Anonymous: Warren Brown = all sizzle, no steak.

dara: I hope you do become a pastry chef and put him in his place.

suicide_blond: If his name was ANACONDA, you would sleep with him even if your husband could spell like an English professor ;)

Velvet: Good point on the armpits.

Anonymous: Texas? Oklahoma? What's the difference? Seriously, what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

Went to the WSJ link. Only 50k a year? Ouch..I thought lawyers made more than that.....Oh and the difference between Texas and Oklahoma is like the difference between New York and New Jersey.