CNM: What do you
think went through the Pulitzer Prize committee members'
minds when they decided to give you the Pulitzer?
DB: I don't think they were thinking at all. One
theory was that's when the Pulitzer committee discovered
Ecstasy, which is now a drug a lot of people are taking.
Apparently that's when it hit the United States that
night. So I'm grateful. I'm not saying that drugs are
a good thing, but it helped me in this case.
CNM: Where do you keep your Pulitzer?
DB: You know I'd lost it for a number of years.
It was in storage when my wife found it and it has a
stain on it right now. I don't know if that means it's
not as good a Pulitzer as it used to be. Now it's out
of storage and it's in a box. But I don't know where
that box is, but my wife does, so it's much safer.
CNM: What parts of adulthood should come with warning
DB (major doting dad of a newborn girl): Well, the
children part. There should be a big warning label:
"Warning! Do Not Have Children!" But of course you couldn't
put that warning on a child because by that point, it's
too late. College would be good. "Warning! Nothing you
learn here will ever be help you later in life, but
you'll still have fun."
CNM: What about dating?
DB: Without dating there wouldn't be a human race.
Well, that actually should come with a warning label
too. In fact, it should be illegal.
CNM: Does spelling really count?
DB: Not anymor apparantly, I mean, if ewe go by
the Enternet, where one of 8,000 peeple can spel the
word "definitely." Apparently, it doesn't mak a differens
CNM: Were you ever threatened by your teachers with,
"This is going to go on your permanent record?"
DB: Yeah, I used to hear about my permanent record
all the time. To this day I worry that it will catch
up to me, that I'll be pulled over for a speeding ticket
and the officer will run it through the computer and
say, "Wait a minute, didn't you and Joe DiGiancinto
flush the cherry bomb down a toilet at Harold C. Crittenden
Junior High School?" I want to stress for the record
here, that wasn't me.
CNM: With Dan Marino retiring, why don't you put
the Dolphins out of their misery and join the quarterback
DB: I think I probably wouldn't be the best quarterback.
I'd be a fun quarterback in the huddle. I'd have them
in a good relaxed mood when we broke the huddle, maybe
tell them a couple of jokes. When they actually hike
would be my weak point as quarterback because I'd be
inclined to give the ball to whoever wanted it. >
CNM: OK, if not football, how about politics? Gore
or Bush? Come on. President Dave has a nice ring to
DB: I've been running for president for a long time
now before anybody that's currently in the race started
running. And I intend to stay in the race. That's the
kind of commitment I have until I'm out of bumper stickers.
And I don't think that's going to happen anytime in
my lifetime. I'm doing well. It's just kinda ticks me
off how the media slanted things. The headline will
be "Lamar Alexander Drops Out of Race" or "John McCain
Drops Out of Race" instead of "Dave Barry Moves Up Another
CNM: What is your platform?
DB: I pretty much agree with everyone on everything.
Anyone reading this interview I would totally agree
with them. And if they change their mind, so would I.
CNM: The Internet. Friend or foe?
DB: It's a great, incredibly valuable way to waste
time. Because of the Internet I'm wasting time faster
than I ever used to. I get on the Internet in the morning
and often don't do anything really useful until 2 or
3 o'clock in the afternoon. In that sense, it's great.
I used to eat peanut-butter sandwiches and now I'm on
the Internet. Anything to avoid to actually working.
It's hard to convince anybody if you're eating a sandwich
that you are working, if you are a humor columnist.
It looks more like you're working if you are typing
away at a keyboard looking at a website about peanut-butter
CNM: How do you keep in such good shape?
DB: Well, I will never drink a beer before 11 o'clock
in the morning. I've been lifting a baby a lot, and
the baby is getting heavier. In a couple of years, this
baby, at its current rate of growth, will be 400, 500
pounds. So I'm going to be a monster.
CNM: How do you get your hair to look like that?
DB: A lot people accuse me of having a professional
stylist. It's a natural look. I've always had it since
I was in the womb. It's called the coconut look. All
the hair starts in the middle of the head and goes straight
down toward the ground attracted by gravity.
CNM: What was the worst advice anyone has given
DB: I used to be the class clown, the wise-ass kid.
Teachers used to tell me back in fourth, fifth, sixth,
seventh and eighth grade, "Well, that's very funny,
but you can't joke your way through life." They turned
out to be incorrect.
CNM: What is the best advice anyone has given you?
DB: I don't remember who said it to me, but at some
point somebody said, "Try this. It's beer."
CNM: What advice would you give to a young aspiring
DB: Try this. It's beer. No, I would never suggest
to a young columnist to drink beer. I would say the
most important thing is to be in prime physical condition
because this is a very difficult work. It's good to
study Latin, Greek, engineering. You want to have a
strong background in astronomy and the mathematics.
(I'm just saying this so whoever this kid is will waste
all his time doing those things and I wouldn't have
the actual competition.)