The time in 1996 Pulitzer winner Dave Barry told the boss to fire me

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Click to hear
the full interview.
Of all the Pulitzer Prize winners I interviewed in my almost nine years at WNUA-FM, boogerphiliac columnist Dave Barry holds the record for most visits: Three.

So you know I like talking to him.

Our third session, in 1996, as he was promoting his book Dave Barry in Cyberspace, was memorable for lots of reasons, including:

* His funny tour of our station’s then-diverse array of computers. (“DOS basically just is there to say, ‘Go ahead and try to figure out how to work me.’” “Apple computers … are for your wussy, artistic, heroin-addict type of individual Communist.”)

* His computer-buying advice for cyberstuds: “Go to the salesperson … and say, ‘How much RAM does this have?’ And, whatever he tells you … say, ‘I’m going to need more RAM than that.’”

* His suggestion my boss fire mesomething that came to pass less than two years later. (I have no evidence Dave was responsible. But, if he was, I owe him thanks for the push to make my professional leap into, yes … cyberspace.)

So let’s return to a time when AOL chat rooms were the rage. (“Chat with people from all over America, and find out what they have to say. Not much, as it turns out.”)

Here’s my cyberspace interview with Dave Barry. (Note: Stick around after the closing theme for Dave’s custom promos I don’t think — I can’t believe — the station ever used.)

And, while we’re diving into the archives, here are the previous two Barry-Meyerson sessions, including…
  • Our first encounter, in 1992, when he was promoting Dave Barry Does Japan and talked about the burdens of winning a Pulitzer; his presidential campaign; and his distinctive approach to grammar, typography and punctuation. (“I want it to look like a raving lunatic is writing.”)
  • And a 1993 interview touting the paperback edition of the same book (“This weighs less, but it has fewer typographical errors … and … has a cover in which I look … even stupider”) and describing the weirdness of having his work turned into a then-new TV show, Dave’s World.

Thanks for the memories, Dave.

Related listening: My interview with the author who first published the word cyberspace, William Gibsonbefore he had an email address. And don’t forget to sign up to get the latest from this blog by email.

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