I'm not "too cool" to admit that Dave Barry was funny. Dave Barry was funny. Was funny. I'm saddened to announce that Dave Barry's funny days are now over.
This may strike you as old news. You may have been pointing out the fact that Dave Barry is no Bill Hicks for years now. In some quarters, bashing Dave Barry has been a popular sport for more than a decade. I am not with that. Perhaps for sentimental reasons. When I was a kid growing up in Florida, the only funny thing the local paper would run all week would be Dave Barry's column. "Quality Comedy in Florida Newspapers of the 1980s and 90s" was not a very competitive category, admittedly, but it was ruled by Dave Barry. His humor was not highbrow. His humor was not edgy. His humor was not shocking, or enlightening, or intellectual. But it was funny. Yes, it was.
Alas, I fear that the time has come to acknowledge that Dave Barry is completely out of jokes. Tapped. Empty. Not a single new laugh to be found. What was funny when I was 13 years old is not still funny today, Dave Barry, particularly if it is the exact same joke as when I was 13 years old, just grafted on to 2014 news events. I say this not as a hater, but as a one time aficionado. This year's annual Dave Barry's Year in Review is, I'm sorry to say, a god damn dud. The many crimes found therein are all too familiar to anyone who has ever peeked into the Dave Barry bag of tricks.
Bad Weed Jokes
In Colorado, the new year begins on a "high" note as the sale of recreational marijuana becomes legal. Despite dire predictions from critics that this will lead to increases in crime and addiction, state law-enforcement officials report that if you stare for a while at the flashing lights on top of their cars, you can see some amazing colors.
Bad Pop Culture Jokes
In financial news, India edges ahead of Japan to become the world's third-largest economy in purchasing power, behind Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
Bad Sports Jokes
Feigned Ignorance of Economics
Feigned Ignorance of Technology
… the FBI announces that it is investigating the distribution of hundreds of naked-celebrity photos that were helpfully uploaded from the celebrities' iPhones to the "cloud," which also has all of your personal information despite the fact that you have NO idea what it is.
Feigned Ignorance of Geography
Abroad, the big story involves the Crimea, which until now many of us thought was a disease, as in "Bob has a bad case of the Crimea," but which turns out to be a part of Ukraine that Russia wants to annex.
Intentionally Clumsy Attempts at Foreign Languages
President Obama hosts a state dinner for French President François "Le Muffin de Stud" Hollande, who arrives at the White House driving a red scooter with two women riding on the back and three more chasing on foot.
In politics, the big story is the looming midterm elections, which have President Obama crisscrossing the nation at a hectic pace in a last-ditch effort to find a Democratic candidate willing to appear in public with him. The president is finally able to schedule an event with 94-year-old R. Nordstrom Fleemer, who is running for his 17th term as road commissioner of Carwankle County, Tennessee.
Tired Repurposing of Ancient Internet Memes
President Obama, moving to fill the Cabinet vacancy created by the resignation of Chuck Hagel, announces — in what is seen as a major shift in military policy — that his new Secretary of Defense will be Chuck Norris. The nomination is swiftly approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee after Norris, in lieu of making an opening statement at his confirmation hearing, reduces the witness table to kindling with his forehead.
A Staunch Refusal to Venture Into Even Mildly Controversial Territory
Domestically, the big story is in Ferguson, Mo., which is rocked by a wave of sometimes-violent protests following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The shooting ignites a passionate national debate whose participants have basically as much solid information about what actually happened as they do about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
"We Are Not Making This Up"
In other July Russia-related news, the Russian space agency launches a six-ton satellite carrying, among other animals, five geckos — four female and one male — as part of an experiment to determine how weightlessness will affect their sex lives. Sex Geckos in Space! We are not making this item up.
Rest assured we have included only one representative example of each hacky technique rather than all of the available examples, which were multitudinous.