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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2007 / 8 Teves 5768

A gross national columnist

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As a professional newspaper columnist with both medical AND dental benefits, I receive many letters from people who'd like to get into my line of work.


"Dear Dave," they write. "I'm sick of my boring, dead-end job as a (lawyer, teacher, office worker, politician). How do I develop the skills I need to obtain a job like yours, where you have an opportunity to make a difference, even though you never actually do?" OK, then: Today I'm going to take you "behind the scenes" here at Dave Barry Inc., and reveal, step-by-step, exactly how I write a column:


Step One is to come up with a topic. I am always thinking about possible topics, from the moment my alarm goes off at 6 a.m., through the moment I actually get out of the bed, at around 10:15. During that period, I take a series of decompression naps while monitoring the morning TV news shows to find out what the news is. Unfortunately, the morning news shows no longer show the news. They're too busy showing the crowd of people who stand around outside the TV studio for hours on end waving at the camera and holding signs that say: "HI!"


Evidently, these people are too stupid to operate telephones, and this is the only way they have to communicate with their families or ward attendants back home. Sometimes the TV personalities go outside; I always hope that they'll point firearms at the sign-holders and yell, "GO HOME," but instead they ask the sign-holders where they're from. The fascinating answers never fail to amaze and delight everybody ("Ohio?? Great!!").


So I have no column topic when I emerge from the bedroom to fix myself a hearty breakfast of coffee with extra coffee. My next step is to look through the daily newspaper, which I have found to be an invaluable and amazingly rich source of advertisements for women's underwear. Every other page has an ad featuring female models in lingerie; you get the impression, from newspapers, that at least 80 percent of the Gross National Product is brassieres. Why? Do women really need to be sold on the concept of underwear? Do they smack their foreheads and go, "THAT'S what I need! Something under my outer clothing!"?


But you can't write a professional column about women's underwear. You need a topic with some "meat" to it, such as the U.S. trade deficit, which is an important issue that the newspaper often puts next to the brassiere ads. And so, with this topic in mind, I head for my home office, which is an area that I would estimate, for tax purposes, covers 94 percent of the total square footage of my home.


I work at home because, as a professional writer, I find that a solitary environment enables me, whenever the muse strikes, to clip my toenails. This particular muse strikes more often than a French labor union. I'll be pondering the trade deficit, and I'll glance at my toenails and think, "Hey! Those babies have grown at LEAST three thousandths of an inch since I last clipped them!" So I grab the clippers, which I always keep handy, and soon I'm hard at work. All your top writers do this.


Another reason creative individuals prefer to work at home, as opposed to an office, is that when you need to scratch yourself, you don't have to sneak behind the copying machine and settle for a hasty grope. At home, you can rear back and assault the affected region with both hands, or, if you want, gardening implements.


But you cannot scratch yourself forever. You are not a professional baseball player; you are a newspaper columnist, and sooner or later you have to "knuckle down" and get to work on the task at hand, which is: lunch.


After lunch, it's time to get back to thinking about the trade deficit. The key, with a complex issue like this, is: research. A professional newspaper column has to be 800 words long, which is why I cannot say it enough: research, research, research. Among the questions that need to be answered are: What, exactly, IS the "trade deficit"? For this kind of technical detail, I get on the telephone to my Research Assistant, Judi Smith, who is a wealth of information.


"Judi," I say, "How come there are so many newspaper ads for women's underwear?"


"I think because men like to look at women in brassieres," she replies.


My wife, who also works at home and is listening to this discussion, notes: "All those ads look the same."


Both my wife and Judi agree that nobody ever buys a bra from an ad. It frankly makes me wonder if this could be a contributing factor to the trade deficit. Somebody should think about this. I'd do it, but these toenails are not getting any shorter.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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