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Month: December 2013

I Am Not Making This Up: I Interviewed Dave Barry

Here’s how life works: On the day you’re scheduled to interview your idol, you wake up with acute laryngitis. I mean bad. You can’t speak above a guttural whisper and the occasional deep, booming croak.

Fortunately, Dave Barry’s got enough voice for the both of us.

Perhaps the best-known columnist in America, Barry wrote a humor column for the Miami Herald for more than 20 years. It was syndicated to more than 500 newspapers and earned him a Pulitzer Prize — which is a really serious award to give a man who once wrote a column titled “Decaf Poopacino” and for whom exploding Pop-Tarts is a well-trod motif.

Known for the catchphrases “I am not making this up” and “… which is a really good name for a rock band,” Barry has an unmistakable voice; his style is recognizable even before you see the byline. When I tell him this — rather, when I squawk it at him, sounding like a phone-sex operator who is gagging on a small toad — he agrees that it’s easy to spot his work “because it has the word booger in it somewhere.”

Barry, who comes to town in January, is more than a columnist; he’s written more than 30 books, including the new novel Insane City. He’s responsible for popularizing International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And he plays guitar in a rock band with authors Stephen King, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom — which makes him, like, the Bono of the publishing universe.

Men Are Going Bare. Down There.

I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about monogamy. Most of the time it’s a sweet deal: I never worry I’m going to blurt out the wrong guy’s name in bed, and I always have someone to drag with me to the office holiday party. But there’s an undeniable downside to sharing naked time with just the one person. And that is this: I am the last one to know about fascinating new pubic-hair trends.

While I’ve been hibernating in holy matrimony, it turns out that an increasing number of men — from pubescent teens to been-around-the-block bachelors — are going utterly hairless in their private regions. And thereby giving a whole new meaning to male-pattern baldness.

I first heard about the fad from a single girlfriend of mine. “I haven’t seen a male pube in a long time,” she said.

Then a pediatrician told another friend that it’s getting harder and harder to recognize when his patients hit puberty because that primary indicator has vanished — on both girls and boys.

There’s even a new men’s grooming product called Edge Body, the first-ever shaving cream designed for shaving “below the neck.” (Its thicker formula is supposed to “combat irritation and bumps on sensitive areas.”) And some salons now cater to guys who want to be waxed in zones where previously only females dared to be bare — giving rise to the term “Brozilians.” Yes. That actually happens.

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