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Excerpt from Dave Barry Turns 50 by Dave Barry, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Dave Barry Turns 50

by Dave Barry

Dave Barry Turns 50 by Dave Barry X
Dave Barry Turns 50 by Dave Barry
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  • First Published:
    Oct 1998, 224 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 1999, 255 pages

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See what I mean? I don't want to read those stories. I'm glad they're written in bacteria letters. This is also how I feel about the long, scary Consumer Advisories that appear on virtually every product I buy, advising me how potentially deadly it is, like this:

WARNING:

Use of this product may cause nausea, insomnia, euphoria, deja vu, menopause, tax audits, demonic possession, lung flukes, eyeball worms, decapitation, and mudslides. We would not even dare to sell this product if we did not have a huge, carnivorous legal department that could squash you in court like a baby mouse under a sledgehammer. We frankly cannot believe that you were so stupid as to purchase this product. Your only hope is to set this product down very gently, back slowly away from it, then turn and sprint from your home, never to return.


Back when I could read without reading glasses, I would glance at this information, and it made me nervous. But now, thanks to old age, it looks like this:


WARNING: Here we go again: But seriously, I really have absolutely nothing to tell you here, unless you want me to solve some mysteries that have totally baffled the human race, such as what is the true meaning of life, and whether there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and which, really, is the best long-distance carrier for you. Would you like me to tell you those things? You would? OK! I will, then! But first I want to tell you exactly who was responsible for the Kennedy assassination. Ready? Here goes: The Kennedy assassination was committed by This doesn't say anything. This is just a bunch of words I wrote here to make it look like there's a story under the headline. If you have gone to the trouble of blowing this up so that you can read it, let me just say: Congratulations, you have even more spare time than I do, which is saying a LOT.

But seriously, I really have absolutely nothing to tell you here, unless you want me to solve some mysteries that have totally baffled the human race, such as what is the true meaning of life, and whether there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and which, really, is the best long-distance carrier for you. Would you like me to tell you those things? You would? OK! I will, then! But first I want to tell you exactly who was responsible for the Kennedy assassination. Ready? Here goes: The Kennedy assassination was committed by This doesn't say anything. This is just a bunch of words I wrote here to make it look like there's a story under the headline. If you have gone to the trouble of blowing this up so that you can read it, let me just say: Congratulations, you have even more spare time than I do, which is saying a LOT.

So I can just cheerfully discard the Consumer Advisory and swallow the product. Granted, this is sometimes a poor decision, such as when the product is liquid drain opener. But I feel the trade-off is worth it.

I am also much more comfortable these days with products that come in boxes marked "Ready to Assemble." As you consumers know, "Ready to Assemble" is shorthand for "Contains the Same Number of Parts as a Nuclear Aircraft Carrier." These products used to intimidate me, because the instructions usually consist of hundreds of steps like this:

STEP ONE. Here we go again: But seriously, I really have absolutely nothing to tell you here,unless you want me to solve some mysteries that have totally baffled the human race, such as what is the true meaning of life, and whether there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and which, really, is the best long-distance carrier for you. Would you like me to tell you those things? You would? OK! I will, then! But first I want to tell you exactly who was responsible for the Kennedy assassination. Ready? Here goes: The Kennedy assassination was committed by

From Dave Barry Turns 50 by Dave Barry. Copyright October 1998 Dave Barry Used by permission.

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