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Authors: Dave Barry

Insane City

BOOK: Insane City
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Also by Dave Barry

FICTION

Lunatics

(with Alan Zweibel)

The Bridge to Never Land

(with Ridley Pearson)

Peter and the Sword of Mercy

(with Ridley Pearson)

Science Fair

(with Ridley Pearson)

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

(with Ridley Pearson)

Cave of the Dark Wind

(with Ridley Pearson)

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog

Escape from the Carnivale

(with Ridley Pearson)

Peter and the Shadow Thieves

(with Ridley Pearson)

Peter and the Starcatchers

(with Ridley Pearson)

Tricky Business

Big Trouble

NONFICTION

I’ll Mature When I’m Dead

Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far)

Dave Barry’s Money Secrets

Boogers Are My Beat

Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway

Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down

Dave Barry Turns 50

Dave Barry Is from Mars and Venus

Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs

Dave Barry in Cyberspace

Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys

Dave Barry Is
NOT
Making This Up

Dave Barry Does Japan

Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need

Dave Barry Talks Back

Dave Barry Turns 40

Dave Barry Slept Here

Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits

Dave Barry’s Homes and Other Black Holes

Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex

Dave Barry’s Bad Habits

Claw Your Way to the Top

Stay Fit and Healthy Until You’re Dead

Babies and Other Hazards of Sex

The Taming of the Screw

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

Publishers Since 1838

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80

Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Com m unity Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa), Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Sm uts Avenue, Parktown North 2193, South Africa • Penguin China, B7 Jiam ing Center, 27 East Third Ring Road North, Chaoy ang District, Beij ing 100020, China Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Copy right © 2013 by Dave Barry

All rights reserved. No part of this book m ay be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without perm ission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copy righted m aterials in violation of the author’s rights.

Purchase only authorized editions.

Published sim ultaneously in Canada

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Barry , Dave.

Insane city / Dave Barry .

p. cm .

ISBN 978-1-101-60919-4

I. Title.

PS3552.A74146I57 2013 2012028009

813'.54—dc23

This is a work of fiction. Nam es, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s im agination or are used fictitiously , and any resem blance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, com panies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

For Michelle, who’s perfect

Contents

ALSO BY DAVE BARRY

TITLE PAGE

COPYRIGHT

DEDICATION

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Epilogue

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1

Two days before his wedding, Seth was in a cab with his best man, Marty, who was advising

him on the responsibilities of the groom.

“Your job,” Marty said, “is to get hammered.”

“I’ve seen the movies,” said Seth. “It never ends well.”

“It’s a
tradition
,” said Marty. “The groom, about to give up his old lifestyle forever, spends one last

night partying with his buddies, laughing with them, crying with them . . .”

“Throwing up on them,” said Seth.

“Not on the best man,” advised Marty. “That’s the function of the lower-ranking groomsmen.”

The cab was approaching the American Airlines terminal at Reagan Airport.

“One thing,” said Seth. “No stripper.”

“Seriously?”

“If a stripper shows up, I will run. I will run like the wind.”

“Strippers are traditional,” said Marty.

“Strippers are
hookers
. Remember the one we got for Kevin?”

Marty made a face. “OK, I’ll admit hygiene was not her . . .”

“She was
disgusting
, Marty. She personally controlled two-thirds of the world supply of stank. I’d

rather get a lap dance from Charles Barkley.”

“You want us to get Charles? Because I hear he’s pretty responsive to fan requests.”


No stripper
, that’s what I want.”

They were pulling up to the curb.

“I got this,” said Marty, paying the cabbie, which was unlike him. “You go inside.”

“I gotta get my suitcase.”

“I’ll get it. You’re the
groom
, man. Let people cater to you.”

Seth frowned. It was also unlike Marty to cater. Marty was, by nature, a cateree. Feeling a twinge of

suspicion, Seth put a hand on Marty’s shoulder, leaned in eye to eye. “Marty,” he said, “swear to me on

your mother that there will be no stripper.”

“Absolutely. I swear on my mother, may she rest in peace.”

“Your mother’s still alive.”

“Unfortunately, yes. Now go find the rest of the Groom Posse.”

The rest of the Groom Posse consisted of Kevin (he of the stanky stripper) and Big Steve. The four

of them—Seth, Marty, Kevin and Big Steve—had been close friends since they met as roommates at the

University of Delaware, where they had distinguished themselves by amassing the largest vertical stack of

used pizza delivery boxes in the school’s history, and quite possibly in the annals of higher education.

After graduating they had pursued different career paths, but they remained close friends, connected by the

bond of college, as well as the bond of being unsuccessful at everything they had tried since.

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