You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About

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If there’s one thing that New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry is an expert on, it’s raising a daughter.

...which means he’s not an expert on much considering the breadth of his knowledge on that subject fills only a single chapter of a book. However, what Dave Barry is good at is giving unsolicited advice on topics he’s definitively not an expert on. In fact, he now has an entire book filled with guidance on things he knows nothing about, including: surviving in the wild, wooing women, cremation, maintaining a scintillating conversation, Justin Bieber, the U.S. Postal Service, enduring the TSA, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and, most obviously, being a professional author.

With trademark wit and unmatched insight into the insanity of everyday life, Dave Barry presents a series of hilarious, never-before-published essays on the trials and tribulations of living and laughing in the modern age.

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Review:

P.J. O'Rourke and Dave Barry in Conversation

In the first paragraph of the prologue to his new book, The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way... And It Wasn't My Fault... And I'll Never Do It Again, political humor writer P.J. O'Rourke declares in no uncertain terms that he is "full of crap." Similarly, in the introduction to his upcoming book, You Can Date Boys When You're Forty, humor columnist Dave Barry explains that his book, despite its subtitle "Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About," is not about parenting.

It's easy to imagine that when these two bestselling authors and longtime pals get together, commiserative silliness ensues. But in this case, no imagination is necessary. We popped in on an email exchange between these two masters of existential trolling. Here's what happened:

Dave Barry: P.J. — I loved The Baby Boom which manages to be both hilarious and insightful. What I want to know is: How did you remember all that stuff? Especially about the '60s. Didn't you take drugs? Of course not! Neither did I! Drugs are bad! But my memories of that era are very purple-hazy, whereas you seem to remember every detail of everything that happened. How did you do that?

P.J. O'Rourke: I made it up. I'm a professional reporter. I'm PAID to make things up. Actually, I do remember a lot about the '60s. Probably because I still know a lot of the same people. And they're still yelling at me about things I did back then. Keeps memories fresh. Sort of like a wife. Just kidding, dear. Sort of like a first wife. And I loved You Can Date Boys When You're Forty. You admit you went to a Justin Bieber concert. Kind of pushing the envelope even for a confessional memoir. You're brave, dude, brave.

DB: I did indeed go to a Justin Bieber concert, because my daughter really really really wanted to go because she LOVED Justin Bieber. It was terrifying. I was in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew passed over and nearly took off the roof of the home in which I was cowering. I understood then why the noise of a hurricane is always compared to a freight train. What it SHOULD be compared to is a Justin Bieber concert. Given the choice, I'd rather sit through Andrew again.

PJO: When I pick my daughters up from school they, for some reason I can't imagine, don't want to listen to Rush Limbaugh, and so they tune the radio to what sounds to me like somebody donated 200 drum sets and an Auto-Tune to a juvenile delinquent corrections facility. But does this mean today's music sucks? Yes.

Read the full conversation on Omnivoracious.

About the Author:

Dave Barry’s most recent bestsellers include Insane City; I’ll Mature When I’m Dead; his Peter Pan prequels, written with Ridley Pearson; Dave Barry’s History of the Millenium (So Far); and Lunatics, written with Alan Zweibel. From 1983 to 2004, Barry wrote a weekly column for the Miami Herald that, in 1988, won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He lives in Coral Gables, Florida.

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