Toilet humor with a twist

Kristine Gill

Barry recounts when he met former First Lady Barbara Bush. Claiming his humor stems from being an embarrassing person, he recalls telling her that her son Jeb, “Is really tall.” Photo by Abigail S. Fisher

Credit: DKS Editors

Humor columnist Dave Barry announced his campaign for president during his appearance at Kent State Stark campus last night. He spoke as part of the Featured Speaker Series, outlining his political views on health care, global warming and low-flow toilets.

Barry, 60, addressed the issue of global warming in his political platform as one that will have the greatest impact on younger generations – and also one he plans to do nothing about.

“So I say the hell with it,” Barry said to raucous laughter.”It’s payback for hip-hop is what I say.”

More than 700 people packed Timken Hall to hear the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author. While Stark campus dean Betsy Boze said past speakers in the series have been international experts on such subjects as civil rights and education, Barry was here to make people laugh.

“Tonight is just for fun,” she said.

Barry also expressed his advocacy of the death penalty for the inventors of low-flow toilets.

“We used to have great, powerful toilets in the United States,” he said, “toilets that could suck down a mature sheep.”

Barry attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania where he majored in English because “the classes didn’t meet really early,” and because he said he liked reading and writing. He became a columnist for the Miami Herald in 1982 and since then, his syndicated column has appeared in more than 500 national and international newspapers.

In his speech, Barry defended the poor reputation of Miami, where he lives.

“People have a bad image of south Florida as being dangerous and corrupt,” he said. “We want to find these people and kill them.”

Despite its reputation, Barry encouraged the audience to come to south Florida.

“But don’t visit during hurricane season, which runs from June through the following June,” he advised.

Barry also addressed the differences between men and women and the difficulties in maintaining meaningful, long-term relationships.

“I believe I’ve isolated the problem,” he said.”Women. Women are better than men.

“Women believe we are as complicated as they are, but men are capable of thinking about absolutely nothing!”

Barry explained that it took Moses 40 years to lead the Hebrews to the Promised Land because he refused to ask for directions. He said this is the same reason it takes 40 million sperm to fertilize a single egg.

“Women don’t understand that if we have to ask another man for directions and he does know, he can take our woman,” he said.”You’re laughing at us, and we’re protecting you!”

“Lower your standards,” Barry told the women in the audience.”That’s the message of hope I have for you.”

Sarah Mohler, a student from Elyria, was one of the younger faces in the sea of Barry fans.

“He’s written almost 30 books and I have 20 of them,” she said.”We drove an hour and a half to see him.”

Barry released his most recent book in September titled Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far). He is working on a book called Science Fair with Ridley Pearson due out in October.

Contact academic affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].