Dave Barry Quotes

David “Dave” Barry

Born: 3 July 1947, Armonk, New York

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Barry graduated from Pleasantville High School (Armonk) in 1965, his classmates elected him “Class Clown”. He earned his BA in English at Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania) in 1969, where he was in his first rock band, the Federal Duck. While working as a reporter for the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pennsylvania he wrote a humorous guest column for the Philadelphia Inquirer which led to being hired as a columnist at the Miami Herald. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988. In 1992, Barry became part of the Rock Bottom Remainders (“We play music as well as Metallica writes novels,” per Barry), a band organized to raise funds to fight illiteracy. Barry plays lead guitar, other regular band members include fellow authors Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom. Barry has written over twenty humor books, plus a dozen compilations of his columns, two novels, and a number of children’s books. Two movies have been made from his books, plus the television sitcom Dave’s World ran for four seasons on CBS. He took “an indefinite leave of absence” from his Herald column in 2004 and has not returned, although he has continued several of his annual features for that paper. The official Dave Barry website is at www.davebarry.com and his blog is hosted by the Miami Herald at blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog. We have not checked with Mr Barry, but we’re pretty sure he would say that “The Notable Quotables” would not be a good name for a rock band.

Dave Barry quotes:

A child can go only so far in life without potty training. It is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation’s state legislators.
    Dave Barry

AARP is a large and powerful organization, similar to the Mafia but more concerned about dietary fiber.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry Turns 50 (1998)

Admit it, sport-utility-vehicle owners! It’s shaped a little differently, but it’s a station wagon! And you do not drive it across rivers! You drive it across the Wal-Mart parking lot!
    Dave Barry

Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
    Dave Barry

American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it.
    Dave Barry

Another important rule of affair-having: Never be discreet at the office.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (1987)

Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television’s message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth and fresher breath.
    Dave Barry

As a child, I was more afraid of tetanus shots than, for example, Dracula.
    Dave Barry

As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer of course to the federal government.
    Dave Barry

As sensitive and broad-minded humans, we must never allow ourselves to be in any way judgmental of the religious practices of other people, even when these people clearly are raving space loons.
    Dave Barry

Ask any real estate broker to name the three most important factors in buying a property, and he’ll say: “Location, location, location.” Now ask him to name the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, and he’ll say: “Location, location, location.” This tells us that we should not necessarily be paying a whole lot of attention to real estate brokers.
    Dave Barry

Auto racing is boring except when a car is going at least 172 miles per hour upside down.
    Dave Barry

Big business never pays a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer organization that never pays a nickel in taxes.
    Dave Barry

Bill Gates is a very rich man today … and do you want to know why? The answer is one word: versions.
    Dave Barry

Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.
    Dave Barry

By the eighties, a lot of radio stations, realizing the size of the market out there, had started playing sixties music again. They called it “classic rock,” because they knew we’d be upset if they came right out and called it what it is, namely “middle-aged-person nostalgia music.”
    Dave Barry

Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.
    Dave Barry

Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.
    Dave Barry

Dogs need to sniff the ground; it’s how they keep abreast of current events. The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued in the next yard.
    Dave Barry

Don’t you wish you had a job like mine? All you have to do is think up a certain number of words! Plus, you can repeat words! And they don’t even have to be true!
    Dave Barry

During the warm season (August 8 and 9), Maine is a true “vacation paradise,” offering visitors a chance to jump into crystal-clear mountain lakes and see if they can get back out again before their bodily tissue is frozen as solid as a supermarket turkey.
    Dave Barry

Each year, millions of skiers come to Colorado to experience its superb emergency medical facilities.
    Dave Barry

Eating rice cakes is like chewing on a foam coffee cup, only less filling.
    Dave Barry

Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking.
    Dave Barry

Entire new continent can emerge from the ocean in the time it takes for a Web page to show up on your screen. Contrary to what you may have heard, the Internet does not operate at the speed of light; it operates at the speed of the DMV.
    Dave Barry

European toilet paper is made from the same material that Americans use for roofing, which is why Europeans tend to remain standing throughout soccer matches.
    Dave Barry

Europeans, like some Americans, drive on the right side of the road, except in England, where they drive on both sides of the road; Italy, where they drive on the sidewalk; and France, where if necessary they will follow you right into the hotel lobby.
    Dave Barry

Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.
    Dave Barry

For me, the worst part of playing golf, by far, has always been hitting the ball.
    Dave Barry

For my money, the best attractions are small arts and crafts fairs. We once stopped at a fair in Pennsylvania Dutch country where a grim-looking woman was demonstrating how to make an authentic local dish from – this is true – the stomach of a pig. It was the scariest-looking thing I have ever seen that was not featured in a major motion picture, and the woman was gripping it with both hands, as if she was afraid that it might get loose and attack the other crafts. People would stop by, stare at it for a while, and ask, “What does it taste like.” And the grim-looking woman, not looking up, would reply, “A lot of people don’t like it.”
    Dave Barry

Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects.
    Dave Barry

Guys are simple … women are not simple and they always assume that men must be just as complicated as they are, only way more mysterious. The whole point is guys are not thinking much. They are just what they appear to be. Tragically.
    Dave Barry

Have you noticed that whatever sport you’re trying to learn, some earnest person is always telling you to keep your knees bent?
    Dave Barry

Hobbies of any kind are boring except to people who have the same hobby. This is also true of religion, although you will not find me saying so in print.
    Dave Barry

I always wanted to write when I was a kid; it just never occurred to me that you could have a job that didn’t involve any actual work…. I felt it would be fun to have a job like that where you could make stuff up and be irresponsible and get paid for it.
    Dave Barry

I am a world-class weenie when it comes to letting people stick needles into me. My subconscious mind firmly believes that if God had wanted us to have direct access to our bloodstreams, He would have equipped our skin with small, clearly marked doors.
    Dave Barry

I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer.
    Dave Barry

I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.
    Dave Barry

I believe that we parents must encourage our children to become educated, so they can get into a good college that we cannot afford.
    Dave Barry

I do not mean to suggest for a moment that all it takes to be a top executive is a custom-tailored European suit. You also need the correct shirt and tie.
    Dave Barry

I realize that I’m generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don’t care.
    Dave Barry

I took an estimated two thousand years of high school French, and when I finally got to France, I discovered that I didn’t know one single phrase that was actually useful in a real-life French situation.
    Dave Barry

I’m a big believer in anesthesia. I think it should be used for every medical procedure, indlucing routine physicals.
    Dave Barry – I’ll Mature When I’m Dead (2010)

If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of the toads, he would have made them cute and furry.
    Dave Barry

If God had wanted us to spend all our time fretting about the problems of home ownership, He would never have created beer. This is not to say that I am recommending that you totally ignore your responsibilities as a homeowner and just sit around all day with a can of beer in your hand. No indeed, I have long been a believer in purchasing bottled beer, and pouring it into a chilled glass.
    Dave Barry

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.
    Dave Barry

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’
    Dave Barry

If you have a big enough dictionary, just about everything is a word.
    Dave Barry

In South Florida, we have industrial cockroaches that have to be equipped with loud warning beepers so you can get out of their way when they back up.
    Dave Barry

In Spain, attempting to obtain a chicken salad sandwich, you wind up with a dish whose name, when you look it up in your Spanish-English dictionary, turns out to mean: Eel with big abscess.
    Dave Barry

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!
    Dave Barry – Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide

It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.
    Dave Barry

It is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person’s plate.
    Dave Barry

It was Public Art, defined as art that is purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal money.
    Dave Barry

Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world.
    Dave Barry

Magnetism is one of the Six Fundamental Forces of the Universe, with the other five being Gravity, Duct Tape, Whining, Remote Control, and The Force That Pulls Dogs Toward The Groins Of Strangers.
    Dave Barry

Magnetism, as you recall from physics class, is a powerful force that causes certain items to be attracted to refrigerators.
    Dave Barry

Most guys believe that they’re supposed to know how to fix things. This is a responsibility that guys have historically taken upon themselves to compensate for the fact that they never clean the bathroom. A guy can walk into a bathroom containing a colony of commode fungus so advanced that it is registered to vote, but the guy would never dream of cleaning it, because he has to keep himself rested in case a Mechanical Emergency breaks out.
    Dave Barry

Most married couples, even though they love each other very much in theory, tend to view each other in practice as large teeming flaw colonies, the result being that they get on each other’s nerves and regularly erupt into vicious emotional shouting matches.
    Dave Barry

Mother Nature clearly intended for us to get our food from the “patty” group, which includes hamburgers, fish sticks, and McNuggets – foods that have had all of their organs safely removed.
    Dave Barry

My problem with chess was that all my pieces wanted to end the game as soon as possible.
    Dave Barry

My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&M;’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.
    Dave Barry

Nature is located mainly in national parks, which are vast tracts of wilderness that have been set aside by the United States government so citizens will always have someplace to go where they can be attacked by bears. And we’re not talking about ordinary civilian bears, either: We’re talking about federal bears, which can behave however they want to because they are protected by the same union as postal clerks.
    Dave Barry

Never allow a child to spend all of his allowance. Insist that he set aside a certain amount of money every week and put it in a safe place, where you can get it if you need to buy beer.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Money Secrets (2006)

Never assume that the guy understands that you and he have a relationship.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys (1996)

Never board a commercial aircraft if the pilot is wearing a tank top.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need (1991)

Never go outside the hotel.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need (1991)

Never have a dog. Let’s not beat around the bush here: dogs are morons.
    Dave Barry – Homes and Other Black Holes (1988)

Never pee in the bidet.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need (1991)

Never trust anything you read in a travel article.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits (1989)

Never try to put all the chemicals in the entire world in your body at the same time.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry Turns 50 (1998)

Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
    Dave Barry

Newspaper readership is declining like crazy. In fact, there’s a good chance that nobody is reading my column.
    Dave Barry

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
    Dave Barry

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.
    Dave Barry – Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
    Dave Barry

Rembrandt’s first name was Beauregard, which is why he never used it.
    Dave Barry

Scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid.
    Dave Barry

Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 feet per second, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter.
    Dave Barry

Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent.
    Dave Barry

Skiers view snowboarders as a menace; snowboarders view skiers as Elmer Fudd.
    Dave Barry

Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.
    Dave Barry

Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough.
    Dave Barry

Stuffwise we are not a lean operation. We’re the kind of people who, if we were deciding what absolute minimum essential items we’d need to carry in our backpacks for the final, treacherous ascent to the summit of Mount Everest, would take along aquarium filters, just in case.
    Dave Barry

Teenagers are bored. By everything. Show a teenager an actual volcanic eruption, in progress, featuring giant billowing clouds of smoke, hot rocks raining from the sky, lava flows destroying entire villages, etc., and the teenager, eyebrows arched with sarcasm, will look at you and say, “Gee, this is swell,” then return to the rental car, turn on his portable CD player, and listen to a band called Stomach Contents.
    Dave Barry

The best way to learn Japanese is to be born as a Japanese baby, in Japan, raised by a Japanese family.
    Dave Barry

The Constitution of the United States of America, Article V, Section 1: “There shall be a National Anthem containing incomprehensible words and a high note that normal humans cannot hit without risk of hernia.”
    Dave Barry

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery.
    Dave Barry

The difference between men and women is that, if given the choice between saving the life of an infant or catching a fly ball, a woman will automatically choose to save the infant, without even considering if there’s a man on base.
    Dave Barry – Dave Barry on Baseball (1996)

The Ford Falcon holds the proud title of Slowest Car Ever Built. In certain areas of the country you can go to a stoplight and find Falcon drivers who pressed down on their accelerators in 1963 and are still waiting for their cars to move.
    Dave Barry

The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel, and vinyl.
    Dave Barry

The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting.
    Dave Barry

The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.
    Dave Barry

The major parties could conduct live human sacrifices on their podiums during prime time, and I doubt that anybody would notice.
    Dave Barry

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background, is that we all believe we are above-average drivers.
    Dave Barry

The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn’t have eyeballs or fins.
    Dave Barry

The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished, and put inside boxes.
    Dave Barry

The problem is, when Oprah lost all that weight, her head didn’t get any smaller. And so she looks kind of like a person carrying a balloon.
    Dave Barry

The problem with winter sports is that – follow me closely here – they generally take place in winter.
    Dave Barry

The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.
    Dave Barry

The simple truth is that balding African-American men look cool when they shave their heads, whereas balding white men look like giant thumbs.
    Dave Barry

The Sixties are now considered a historical period, just like the Roman Empire.
    Dave Barry

The taxpayers cannot be relied upon to support performing arts such as opera. As a taxpayer, I am forced to admit that I would rather undergo a vasectomy via Weed Whacker than attend an opera.
    Dave Barry

The ultimate camping trip was the Lewis and Clark expedition.
    Dave Barry

The universe has fascinated mankind for many, many years, dating back to the very earliest episodes of Star Trek, when the brave crew of the Enterprise set out, wearing pajamas, to explore the boundless voids of space, which turned out to be as densely populated as Queens, New York. Virtually every planet they found was inhabited, usually by evil beings with cheap costumes and Russian accents, so finally the brave crew of the Enterprise returned to Earth to gain weight and make movies.
    Dave Barry

The word user is the word used by the computer professional when they mean idiot.
    Dave Barry

This is easy. You never have to figure out what to get for children, because they’ll tell you exactly what they want. They spend months and months researching these kinds of things by watching Saturday- morning cartoon-show advertisements. Make sure you get your children exactly what they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices. If your child thinks he wants Murderous Bob, the Doll with the Face You Can Rip Right Off, you’d better get it. You may be worried that it might help to encourage your child’s antisocial tendencies, but believe me, you have not seen antisocial tendencies until you’ve seen a child who is convinced that he or she did not get the right gift.
    Dave Barry

Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the 9mm bullet.
    Dave Barry

To an adolescent, there is nothing in the world more embarrassing than a parent.
    Dave Barry

To enter Europe, you must have a valid passport with a photograph of yourself in which you look like you are being booked on charges of soliciting sheep.
    Dave Barry

Today, of course, it is considered very poor taste to use the F-word except in major motion pictures.
    Dave Barry

U.S. News Organizations observe the anniversary of September 11 with investigations about the nation’s continuing vulnerability to terrorism. First, the New York Daily News reports that two of its reporters carried box cutters, razor kinves, and pepper spray on fourteen commerical flights without getting caught. Then ABC News reports that it smuggled fifteen pounds of uranium into New York City. Then Fox News reports that it flew Osama bin Laden to Washington, D.C., and videotaped him touring the White House.
    Dave Barry

Violence and smut are of course everywhere on the airwaves. You cannot turn on your television without seeing them, although sometimes you have to hunt around.
    Dave Barry

Washington is nicknamed “The Evergreen State” because it sounds better than “The Incessant Nagging Drizzle State.”
    Dave Barry

We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires.
    Dave Barry

We have always had dogs, and they have faithfully performed many valuable services for us, such as: 1. Peeing on everything. 2. When we’re driving in our car, alerting us that we have passed another dog by barking real loud in our ears for the next 114 miles. 3. Trying to kill the Avon lady.
    Dave Barry – Homes and Other Black Holes (1988)

We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective.
    Dave Barry

We operate under a jury system in this country, and as much as we complain about it, we have to admit that we know of no better system, except possibly flipping a coin.
    Dave Barry

We travel because, no matter how comfortable we are at home, there’s a part of us that wants – that needs – to see new vistas, take new tours, obtain new entrees, introduce new bacteria into our intestinal tracts, learn new words for “transfusion,” and have all the other travel adventures that make us want to French-kiss our doormats when we finally get home.
    Dave Barry

We’ll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.
    Dave Barry

We’re trying to make our current house look domestic so that somebody will want to buy it. We’re making a lot of simple, obvious improvements that never would have occurred to us to make while we actually lived here, because, tragically, we both happen to be domestically impaired. If we were birds, our nest would consist of a single twig with the eggs attached via Scotch tape.
    Dave Barry

What Dad means by “see” of course, is “drive past at 67 miles per hour.” Dad feels it is a foolish waste of valuable vacation time to get out of the car and actually go look at an attraction.
    Dave Barry

What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad.
    Dave Barry

What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
    Dave Barry

What may seem depressing or even tragic to one person may seem like an absolute scream to another person, especially if he has had between four and seven beers.
    Dave Barry

What was life like in the colonies? Probably the best word to describe it would be “colonial”.
    Dave Barry

What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. What Men Want: Tickets for the world series.
    Dave Barry

What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. What Men Want: Tickets for the World Series.
    Dave Barry

When preparing your return, you should be sure to avoid common mistakes. The two most common taxpayer mistakes, states the IRS booklet, are (1) “failure to include a current address,” and (2) “failure to be a large industry that gives humongous contributions to key tax-law-writing congresspersons.”
    Dave Barry

Why go through all the hassle of dealing with airlines, hotels, and rental-car agencies yourself, only to see the arrangements get all screwed up, when with just a single phone call you can have a trained professional screw them up for you?
    Dave Barry

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
    Dave Barry

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.
    Dave Barry

You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, ‘My God, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would’ve thought of that!’
    Dave Barry

You must prepare yourselves, young people, because Uncle Dave’s generation is getting old. We are almost ready to go to the retirement home to spend the rest of our days tapping our bedpans rhythmically in time to “easy listening” rock ‘n’ roll. We must pass the torch on to you, and you must grasp it, ideally by the end that is not on fire.
    Dave Barry

Your basic guy is into a straight-ahead, bottom-line kind of thought process that does not work nearly as well with the infinitely subtle complexities of human relationships as it does with calculating how much gravel is needed to cover a given driveway.
    Dave Barry

Your digestive system is your body’s Fun House, whereby food goes on a long, dark, scary ride, taking all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, being attacked by vicious secretions along the way, and not knowing until the last minute whether it will be turned into a useful body part or ejected into the Dark Hole by Mister Sphincter.
    Dave Barry

Your modern teenager is not about to listen to advice from an old person, defined as a person who remembers when there was no Velcro.
    Dave Barry

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