Dave Barry delights
By Sheri Sides
who came to UNC Pembroke's Givens Performing Arts Center
December 2 to hear Dave Barry's wisdom on the profound and universal
truths or life did not leave empty handed.
Barry, a Pulitzer
Prize-winning syndicated columnist, spoke to an audience of 800 as part
of UNCP's Distinguished Speaker Series.
revealed what was on his mind, and it is a mind cluttered with humorous
anecdotes, including a story of his run-in with the President George
I was a news journalist, I was put next to Barbara Bush for a picture,"
Barry said. "You know that feeling when you realize your lips are
moving when they shouldn't be?" "Well, out of all the things
I could have said, I told the president's mom that I shopped at the
same grocery store as her son, Jeb."
The First Lady replied,
"We just celebrated Jeb's 39th birthday,'" Barry said. "And
I answered by saying, 'He sure is tall.'" To which she said, "'He
didn't grow just this year.'"
the First Lady was not too impressed with Barry. "Now I know what
causes spontaneous human combustion - sometimes it's just your best
option," he said.
Barry told numerous
stories about the "not so bright moments" in life. His favorite
news story - and he swears it is true - involves a whale and dynamite.
a storm washed this giant whale onto the beach. It died and had been
there for quite a while," Barry said. "They brought in the
Oregon Highway Division to clear it out."
this move and was entertained when, in a television news statement,
the Division shared their plan for clearing the whale from the beach.
were going to take dynamite and put it under the whale and blow it up,"
Barry said. "That's when I knew these were not the right guys to
call because they have obviously never removed a whale from the beach."
They wanted the
seagulls and scavengers to clean up the whale after the explosion, he
said. "Soon the Highway Division learned what nobody warned them
about .. gravity," Barry said. "And, there weren't any seagulls
around after the explosion."
Barry talked about
how he started as a newspaper reporter for a small paper, appropriately
named The Daily Local News.
"I was terrible
at interviewing people," he said. "You ask questions, take
notes and go make something up. Finally, I decided to take out the middle
stand-up routine was appreciated by a large GPAC audience, said Student
Activities Director Abdul Ghaffar, who coordinates the Distinguished
"I don't know
when I have laughed so hard that it hurt," Ghaffar said. "Anyone
who could not come to the show should catch WNCP-TVs taped interview
with Barry. It's great."
The 30-minute interview
with UNCP's host Mike DeCinti, of the broadcasting program, will be
aired on Time Warner's local channel six.
The last speaker
to hit the GPAC stage as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series is
Spike Lee on February 2. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance.
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