How weird is Florida? Ask Dave Barry

Best. State. Ever. A Florida Man Defends His Homeland. Dave Barry. Putnam. 240 pages. $27.
Best. State. Ever. A Florida Man Defends His Homeland. Dave Barry. Putnam. 240 pages. $27.

Florida: we’re weird and proud. Say it loud.

Lots of important people are saying it, too. Earlier this summer, Craig Pittman of The Tampa Bay Times examined the historic ridiculousness of our home state in his book “Oh Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country” (St Martin’s, $26.99). You know it’s all true because the New York Times wrote about Pittman’s book, and they never publish anything outrageous about Florida.

Now Miami’s own Dave Barry gets in on the act with “Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland” (Putnam, $27). He’ll kick off his book launch at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd. You can get two vouchers to attend by reserving a copy of “Best. State. Ever.” at Books & Books.

In the meantime, you can read three excerpts from the book, which includes an absolutely true history of the state including such facts as: “Spain gave Florida to England as part of a package that also included 167 trillion mosquitoes.”

Barry also discusses the wonder and beauty of our favorite island getaway, Key West (“If it’s possible to catch an STD just from breathing, lower Duval Street is where it would happen”) and such quirky towns as the psychics’ paradise of Cassadaga (where “if you need an emergency tarot card reading, help is only seconds away”).

You can follow Barry on Twitter @rayadverb, and if you can’t make it to the church on time, he’ll also appear at Miami Book Fair in November to talk about “Best. State. Ever.” and his latest kids’ book, “The Worst Night Ever.” No word yet on day or time, but expect hijinks/laughter/etc.