Do Look Back

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Dave Barry has published his annual review of the year. Some of the best lines:

• In sports, the undefeated New England Patriots lose the Super Bowl to the New York Giants in a stunning upset that confounds the experts, not to mention Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had $38 billion on the Pats to win.

• In economic news, the price of gasoline tops $4 a gallon, meaning the cost of filling up an average car is now $50, or, for Hummer owners, $17,500. Congress, responding to the financial pain of the American people, goes into partisan gridlock faster than ever before, with Republicans demanding that the oil companies immediately start drilling everywhere, including cemeteries, and Democrats calling for a massive effort to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, the sun, tides, comets, Al Gore and dragon breath, using technology expected to be perfected sometime this millennium. It soon becomes clear that Congress will not actually do anything, so Americans start buying less gasoline.

• Barack Obama, having secured North and South America, flies to Germany without using an airplane and gives a major speech—speaking English and German simultaneously—to 200,000 mesmerized Germans, who immediately elect him chancellor, prompting France to surrender.

• The CEOs of the Increasingly Small Three auto makers return to Washington to resume pleading for a bailout, this time telling Congress that if they can reach an agreement that day, they will throw in the undercoating, the satellite-radio package AND a set of floor mats. "We're actually LOSING MONEY on this deal!" they assure Congress. Finally they reach a $13.4 billion agreement under which the car companies will continue to provide jobs, medical insurance and pension benefits, but will cease producing actual cars. The agreement will be overseen by the federal government, using its legendary ability to keep things on budget.

• Tiger Woods, in an epic performance, wins the U.S. Open playing on an injured and very painful knee, thereby proving, beyond all doubt, that golf is not a real sport.

P.J. O'Rourke used to do a similar annual roundup for Rolling Stone, one of which produced the funniest line in O'Rourke's entire oeuvre. Quoting from memory: "Andres Segovia died this year, leaving Ted Nugent pretty much the undisputed living master of the guitar."

NEXT: Perspectives on the Financial Market Crisis

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  1. oh what comment should i amke on this. any way your blog is super. great

  2. dave barry is probably a super nice guy, but i’ve never understood his tenuous connection to humor.

  3. Maybe I’m humoristically challenged today, but there’s nothing amusing, wry or even chuckle-worthy about that PJ O’Rourke line. Sounds like bad Dennis Miller.

  4. Look, the Year in Review is all well and good, but can we talk about those “Is Your Man Gay?” ads that showed up at the top of Hit & Run this weekend?

  5. thereby proving, beyond all doubt, that golf is not a real sport.

    QFMFT.

  6. Maybe I’m humoristically challenged today, but there’s nothing amusing, wry or even chuckle-worthy about that PJ O’Rourke line

    You don’t find comparing The Nuge to Segovia funny? Personally, I would have said Dave Mustaine for the lulz but the principle is the same.

  7. i’ve never understood his tenuous connection to humor

    Really, dhex? To each his own. I much prefer H.L. Mencken, who literally makes me laugh out loud. In my opinion O’Rourke and Barry, at their very best, nearly equal him and sometimes even surpass him. At any rate they are more accessible to the average reader. Mencken wrote for the above-average reader who, I would say, was more prevalent in his day than in our own.

  8. Actually I find his summary of the past year more depressing than amusing, but not by Dave’s fault. I mean – I can only keep fresh in my mind the depressing things that happened this month, maybe.

  9. You don’t find comparing The Nuge to Segovia funny?

    In fairness to Vanya, the line is surely funnier when it comes out of nowhere than when someone sets it up by telling you it’s the funniest thing a famous humorist ever wrote.

  10. dhex,

    Atleast Dave has more connection to humor than the friday “funnies”

  11. Just mentioning the Motor City Madman is good for a laugh in my book, Jesse, so maybe I’m biased.

    “Hey, how you guys doin’? Anybody without a gun, a knife, a handkerchief, and a chapstick get the fuck outta here!”

  12. C’mon Jesse. How could you not put this one in the top 5:

    Barack Obama, in a historic triumph, becomes the nation’s first black president since the second season of 24, setting off an ecstatically joyful and boisterous all-night celebration that at times threatens to spill out of The New York Times newsroom. Obama, following through on his promise to bring change to Washington, quickly begins assembling an administration consisting of a diverse group of renegade outsiders, ranging all the way from lawyers who attended Ivy League schools and then worked in the Clinton administration to lawyers who attended entirely different Ivy league schools and then worked in the Clinton administration.

  13. “Andres Segovia died this year, leaving Ted Nugent pretty much the undisputed living master of the guitar.”

    Good stuff but funnier than: ‘When we smoke coke in Houston, people lose their hats in the Cap d’Antibes.’ from ‘Among the Euroweenies’?

  14. ‘snort’ not ‘smoke’, as in ‘smoke cock.’ You guys have to get rid of that ‘Is Your Man Gay’ ad. It’s going to be unintentional Freudian Slip Week
    until you do.

  15. O’Rourke’s line might be more amusing to me if I knew who Andres Segovia was.

    Dave Barry is like a god to me. a god of absurdist humor.

  16. I chuckled all the way through Mr. Barry’s review. I’m not making it up. Sheldon Richman deserves a big shoutout for stoking Mr. Barry’s incipient libertarianism.

  17. I prefer listening to 1960s and 70s era Ted Nugent than anything by Segovia.

  18. “dave barry is probably a super nice guy, but i’ve never understood his tenuous connection to humor.”

    To each his own. Some people don’t find Dave Barry funny, and other people have functioning neurons.

  19. the innominate one

    Andres Segovia was arguably the greatest classical guitar player (hence, to some, the greatest guitar player, period) of the 20th century.

    I’m not entirely sure I would place the Nuge as “…the undisputed living master of the guitar…” but then I guess that’s part of the joke, isn’t it.

  20. “At least Dave has more connection to humor than the friday “funnies””

    that’s true, he’s not a sadist by all appearances.

    that’s hardly a high mark to beat, however.

  21. And why wasn’t this mentioned?

    “Meanwhile John McCain, at a strategy session at a golf resort, tells his top aides to prepare a list of potential running mates, stressing that he wants somebody ”who is completely, brutally honest.” Unfortunately, because of noise from a lawn mower, the aides think McCain said he wants somebody ”who has competed in a beauty contest.” This will lead to trouble down the road.”

  22. To each his own. Some people don’t find Dave Barry funny, and other people have functioning neurons.
    I’ll bet The Family Circus makes you laugh your ass off.

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