Literature / Tricky Business

A novel by Dave Barry. Like his previous foray into fiction, Big Trouble, Tricky Business is set in Miami and concerns the interlocking stories of several quirky characters. It's another spoof of the crime drama, this time set on a cruise liner and involving a man dressed like a giant conch shell, air bag deployers that spray garbage on you instead of air bags, and the world's most valuable lifeboat.

The book provides examples of:

  • Cluster F-Bomb: So much so, Barry had to put a warning at the front of the book saying THIS BOOK CONTAINS BAD WORDS. Apparently he'd received some complaints after Big Trouble since normally his columns are family friendly. He just didn't think it'd be realistic to have his gangsters saying Gosh Dang It to Heck!.
  • Continuity Nod: To Big Trouble in the form of the song, "I Want Your Sex Pootie"
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Bobby Kemp, who made his fortune restoring air bags that had been deployed (it was cheaper to just throw whatever refuse was handy in the compartments and hope no one got in an accident), conch fritters without any conch in them (turns out the conch is the least appeatizing part of the fritter), and bargain eye surgery (thr guy was an ex-vetinarian who'd learned from a video, and wasn't half bad if your appointment was early enough in the day).
  • Deadline News: A running gag. A report about the electrocution of a boy in a flooded area with downed power lines leads to the deaths of nine reporters as they do all of the unsafe things they tell the audience not to do. Turns out that the little kid was fine.
  • Ditzy Secretary: The secretary was hired solely on the basis of having cleavage a small dog could get lost in. Her idea of keeping the press away consists of being at the door, turning her head to talk to the boss, then turning back to announce "he says he's not here".
  • Evil Plan: This is one the main villains main mode of operating. Unfortunately for him his plan has the pleasure of being interrupted by several Spanner in the Works. This forces him to try out Xanatos Speed Chess... He isn't very successful
  • Future Loser: Some of the main characters were in a band in high school. The problem is they're still in that band, well into their 20s and barely making rent.
  • Mystery Meat: The band isn't sure what's in the food in the cruise ship, but they do know it gets reheated and reserved for at least a week before the cook throws it out and makes a new batch.
  • Naked People Are Funny: A naked Johnny flees from the kitchen through the casino after another girl he'd been seeing happened on him comforting a "grieving" divorcee.
  • Red Shirt Reporter: The local Miami news station sends a reporter out to cover a tropical storm. She stands in water near downed power lines. It Gets Worse when the station starts sending vehicles out, finally culminating in a helicopter crash. Ultimately, nine of the station's reporters are dead, representing 100% of the people killed by the storm.