Customer Reviews: Boogers Are My Beat: More Lies, But Some Actual Journalism!
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on February 3, 2007
I've been reading Dave Barry for years, and have developed my own impression of Dave's comic voice. It is laid back, dry, a little slow-witted and beer-addled, maybe. But it is not the bozo-clone, wacky-happy voice that was chosen to read this compilation of Dave's work. I can only assume that Dave was ball-gagged and duct-taped to his office chair when the auditions were going on. *My* Dave would never have allowed his work to be so hokily performed.

Anyway, "Boogers Are My Beat" is another workmanlike effort from the master of modern comedy. Dave uses his standard comedic formulae (suggesting phrases as good names for rock bands, using outrageous numerical exaggerations and making self-deprecatory remarks about his lack of masculine skills) to actually write some decent material. In spite of Bozo the Narrator, it is still possible to get a few laughs from these columns, which is a testament to the quality of Dave's wit. Dave covers the 2000 Democratic and Republican conventions, where he beats up on silly demonstrators who shout on behalf of "the people.". He climbs a Florida trash heaps with Tenzig Norgay's son, samples the fine products of Grand Forks, ND (a baggie filled with peat) and describes life with his 2-year old Barbie-loving daughter. His piece on driving a new Hummer pokes fun at the price tag and at its hyper-macho gadgetry, including self-inflating tires. Dave avoids direct analysis of politics -- though his endless Bill Clinton jokes (Clinton is a philanderer! Ha! Ha!) seem dated and got on my nerves. But the Office of Homeland Security made a horrible faux-pas (literally, weasel poop) when it picked him, his wife and toddling daughter for an extensive airport screening. What better way to show the ludicrous nature of our screening procedures than to force the 2-year-old child of a famous humor columnist to crawl alone through a metal detector.

Anyway, there are worse ways to experience the comic stylings of Dave Barry. Just kidding -- short of special rendition, this audio CD *is* the worst way. Get the book and record it yourself, even if you are just learning to read. Or just read it the old-fashioned way from the printer page. You'll thank me later.
On a more somber note, Dave ends of volume with two of his 9/11-related columns. While he's not a master of global nuance, his columns were full of heartfelt emotions for those who had lost loved ones in the attacks. His evocations of the spirit of Gettysburg (in his reflection on the experience of Flight 93, which crashed into Shanksvillee, PA) were somber and actually quite profound. Not bad for a guy who normal jokes about bodily effusions.
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