|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • Anne Palumbo: The 411 on my time with Dave Barry

  • Recently, I shared a hotel room with Dave Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist, who once wrote a nationally syndicated humor column.

    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • Recently, I shared a hotel room with Dave Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist, who once wrote a nationally syndicated humor column.
    Okay, maybe “hotel room” is stretching the truth a tad.  But we did share the same hospitality suite for several festive hours.
    We inhaled the same air molecules, ate the same salty pretzels, sipped the same gaseous beer, and, most likely, were quietly contending with the same, oh never mind.
    I was in Hartford, CT, attending a National Society of Newspaper Columnists   conference; and he was there, accepting a lifetime achievement award at the conference’s Saturday night banquet. 
    I confess to attending this conference so I could meet Dave Barry.  I am a huge fan and have longed to meet him, face to face, since forever.
    You see, after reading his column for years, along with many of his books, I feel that I know him very, very well.  
    I also feel that we share the same silly sense of humor, and so I’ve been curious about what he’s like in the flesh.  Not the flesh-flesh, of course!  I’m talking the dressed-flesh.  Would he be as funny in person as he is on paper?  Would he laugh like a wayward pirate?  
    Aware that he would be in the hospitality suite on Saturday night, I spent most of the day thinking about our encounter.  Indeed, while other columnists were dutifully taking notes on “tone” and “column arc,” I was furiously crafting memorable one-liners that would stop Barry in his tracks.    
    “You are the funniest woman I have ever met!” I imagined Barry saying after I unleashed my hilarious zingers.  “Are you free to collaborate on something with me?  Oh, and when your next book is ready for press, may I write the promotional book-jacket blurb?”  Please?”
    That evening, I entered the hospitality suite, armed and ready.  Although I soon noticed that Barry was already up to his eyeballs in chatter, I was not deterred.  Patiently, I continued to fortify my system with fizzy beer; and, happily, I encountered some very funny writers who admitted that they too had come expressly to meet Barry….
    Barry?  Barry!  Shoot; the sly dog had somehow slipped out before I could level him with my arresting wit.
    Another opportunity arose, however, when I spotted Barry the following morning at a table stacked with books.  Alone at last!  So I sauntered over, grabbed a book for him to sign, took a deep breath, and then…nothing.  No zingers surfaced.  He was eating a candy bar so I said, “Snickers?”  He replied, “No, a Twix.”
    In the end, I never made the impression on Barry that I intended; but that’s okay.  He signed my book, and we had a brief moment.  That that micro-moment cost me a summer’s pool membership is beside the point.

        calendar