So bargumentative

Drink until you're right. Photo: Jared Lazarus/

Just when you think you’re a Dave Barry fan, he says something so indefensible you question why Grand Forks, N.D., ever named a sewage station after him.

Example: NASCAR is more of a sport than sailing.

Dave said this on a recent evening at John Martin’s Irish Pub in Coral Gables. He and his wife, Miami Herald sports writer Michelle Kaufman, joined me to discuss my new book: Barguments.

It’s a collection of questions designed to prompt barroom arguments. Among the debates: an athletic face-off between sailors and racecar drivers.

I own a car and a boat, and I can tell you sailing is definitely harder than driving. Dave disagreed.

”If you screw up in sailing, like, the sail luffs,” Dave said. “If you screw up in NASCAR, you die.”
Luckily, the professional sports analyst chose my side.

”To me, if it’s more physical, it’s more of a sport,” Michelle said. “NASCAR is really intense. But you’re sitting.”

Well said! I made a note to be more vigorous in lunging for the cooler on my next voyage, and we moved on:

Who would win in a fight between a lion and a bear?

A bear lives basically in the woods with what? With deer, where the antelope play? Maybe a beaver.
The lion lives in a jungle with tigers, elephants. There are some big-ass animals the lion is dealing with on a daily basis. I’m thinking the bear is used to — a raccoon.

You never see lions stuffed. But bears are everywhere. That tells me the lions are not getting stuffed as often.

You’re stranded on a deserted island. Do you want your best friend with you or cable television?

Dave: Cable television.

Michelle: You can’t talk to your TV.

Dave: This is better than a DNA test. Women are going to pick their best friends, and men are going to pick TV. And that’s that.

Michelle: That’s not even a contest. I’d rather have not even my best friend. I’d rather have a friend. I’d rather have a nice person to talk to.

Dave: It’s nice here on the island. Look, there’s a wave. There’s another wave.

Michelle: I barely watch TV.

Dave: You would if you were on an island.

Of all the U.S. presidents, who would make the best drinking buddy?

I’m going to give you a serious answer: Abraham Lincoln. The more you read about Abraham Lincoln, the more you learn how funny he was. The absolute worst would be Jimmy Carter.

Would you rather be allergic to couches or to remote controls?

Dave: Remote controls. Because I have a daughter. I’d get Sophie to change the channels. It would be difficult, but I would get through it.

Michelle: You could just lie on the ground, on the pillows. We used to live without remote controls.

Dave: It wasn’t a good life.

Who would win in a war between Texas and California?

Dave: For one thing, San Francisco would be protesting. They would be in favor of Texas in that war. The only people who would really fight in California, as a matter of fact, would be Mexicans.

Rank the past five decades by their music.

60s, 70s, 50s, 80s, 90s.

Michelle agrees with his ranking.

Dave: I have never loved a woman more.


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