Category Archives: Interview

The Second Annual Vouched Birthday: Like Losing Your Hand To Your Father On Cloud City, But With Cake

The Second Annual Vouched Birthday: Like Losing Your Hand To Your Father On Cloud City, But With Cake

In which Scene Missing Contributor Johnny Carroll interviews Laura Relyea of Vouched Books about The Second Annual Vouched Birthday.

It’s pretty well known that sequels are usually worse than their original film, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens and Terminator 2 top my list of films that Hollywood felt like needed a franchise, but like Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies we too like beating a dead horse with new renditions of the same idea.

Interview with Paul Scheer

Interview conducted via email.

SM: You’re the last surviving human getting ready to board a ship leaving Earth. What brief message would you leave behind?
PS: “Watch Gossip Girl every Wednesday Night at 9PM on the CW…Shit is it on Wednesday Night? I don’t know, I think it is…I DVR it, so I can watch it whenever. Damn. I should I have researched that before I made this final announcement. Anyway people of Earth goodbye.”

SM: Come to think of it, how did you manage to be the last surviving human?
PS: I made a backdoor deal with the aliens. I gave them all gift cards to the Olive Garden. They are suckers for unlimited breadsticks.

SM: When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween, and as what?
PS: Yesterday. Unfortunately it wasn’t Halloween. I dressed up like a sexy kitten. Meow!

SM: What was your most recent good deed?
PS: I created and produced NIGHT OF 140 TWEETS
a celebrity TWEET-A-THON for ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY which includes performances by Ben Stiller,  Weird Al Yankovic, Diablo Cody, Sarah Silverman, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, The Cast of Always Sunny and 140 more performers all reading their favorite tweets. You can actually download it on amazon and itunes. All the proceeds go to charity and Amazon also carries a special edition DVD which has appearances by Kevin Smith, Olivia Munn, Chris Hardwick, Questlove and Andy Cohen from Bravo.
So yeah. I’m helping people . What the fuck are you doing?

SM: When was the last time you had to wear a suit?
PS: When I had to perform a eulogy for Chester the Cheetah, he died of Cheese Poisoning.

SM: Where do you like to go to sort out your thoughts?
PS: Taco Bell.

SM: When was the last time you risked your life?
PS: Cereal or the board game?

SM: As Ludacris once remarked, ‘What in the world is in that bag, what you got in that bag?’
PS: A Pen, Some Pocket Lint and a Zune.

SM: If a wizard shrunk you down to the size of a green bean for 24 hours, how would you spend your day?
PS: Trying to jump into people’s salads and when they tried to eat me, I’d yell “MURDERER!”

SM: What is something you’d like people to know about you?
PS: That if it came down to it, I’d enter an arm wrestling competition to win back my son’s respect and love just like Slyvester Stallone did in Over the Top.

Paul Scheer’s website

Interview with Paul F Tompkins

Interview conducted via email.

SM: Please describe your most recent brush with danger.
PFT: I thought I was allergic to peanuts! False alarm. Totally psychosomatic. Now I eat peanuts by the shellful.

SM: Are you a good dancer? Please describe your style.
PFT: My dancing is not, how you say, so good. I only dance at weddings and only if I am sufficiently drunk. My style could best be described as Drunk Wedding, which also describes my martial arts fighting technique.

SM: When was the last time you had a memorable night in an unfamiliar city?
PFT: Oh, I’d have to say August 18th, 1999. I wandered the streets with two dear friends, passing a flask of fine old whiskey between us, talking of our hopes, fears and dreams, talking, laughing and, yes, even crying until the sun came up. Oh, and the city was THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS.

SM: If society encouraged men to wear make-up, how would you do yourself up?
PFT: Probably just a little lipstick, nothing too bold. I don’t need any eye makeup becaus I already have beautiful long lashes.

SM: What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you at the beach?
PFT: I suffered a complete nervous breakdown. Pretty crazy!

SM: What was the first thing you thought when you woke up this morning?
PFT: “AGAIN with this.”

SM: What’s in your pockets right now?
PFT: A portal to Narnia. I think it’s Narnia? It  looks all fantasy-y and whatever.

SM: Are you king of anything?
PFT: Well, I will be, if I could ever get this goddam SWORD out of this goddam STONE. Who even put this thing in here? Did they have to put it in there that deep? Thanks a bunch, guy (or girl, shouldn’t be sexist).

SM: When was the last time you took a gamble on something?
PFT: What time did you send this email?

SM: How would you recommend we recognize you in the afterlife?
PFT: Oh, you won’t see me there. I got a “to-haunt” list that’s longer than your arm. People are gonna be SORRY.

paulftompkins.com
Paul’s album Freak Wharf on Itunes



Interview with Aziz Ansari • Comedian

SM: Please finish the following sentence: “The days, they go by like…”

AA: The days, they go by like.. years as I wait for Time Warner to fix my Internet in my new apartment, as I slowly devolve into madness hoping I can steal a small nugget of Internet from the Wi-Fi network titled ‘sambar.’

SM: What’s in your pockets right now?

AA: Wallet, blackberry, tiny joke notebook, keys.

SM: When was the last time you noticed something important about a stranger?

AA: When I was at a Chic-fil-a in Tennessee, I noticed that a young girl still had a “M” sticker on her shirt, unknowingly informing everyone she was wearing a medium shirt. I told her she liked like a fool, and she took it off.

SM: What’s your plan to get out of potential trouble when you are walking the street late at night?

AA: I’ll grab all the bills I have in my wallet, and toss them in the air and while the hoodlums are grabbing the cash I’ll run for cover. I carry a shit ton of cash all the time, so when I toss those bills up, it’ll act as a makeshift “money smokescreen” that will easily allow me to escape the criminal scum.

SM: Please regale us with an anecdote.

AA: I went to return some pillows at Crate and Barrel, because they were down feather pillows, and the feathers kept pricking me outside the pillow. It was a totally valid reason to switch the pillows to their down alternative line. However, I got to the customer service rep and started lying. I was like “Hey, I’d like to return these pillows…yeah, my wife was complaining about the feathers pricking her, so NOW she wants me to come here and switch em out.” (I’m not married, but my imaginary wife is apparently “A HUGE NAG!” and I treat her terribly at home probably. I’m a terrible imaginary husband.) And then the Crate and Barrel dude goes “Heh, I know the type… hey what’s her ethnicity?” Being that the wife was imaginary, I took way too long a pause before saying… “Asian.” The guy said “Oh.” I was bummed. I wanted to know what ethnicity I could have said to get the sexist stereotype he had stored in his head.

SM: What’s the most important item in your refrigerator?

AA: The only thing I own in my fridge right now is milk, so it’s most important by default.

SM: If you could shrink anything down to keychain size, what would be tethered to your keys?

AA: A tiny Chic-fil-a that I could expand to full normal size whenever I felt like eating Chic-Fil-A. For those not in the know, Chic-Fil-A is a kickass fast food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches and nuggets. They are predominantly located in the south and have yet to expand to LA or NY, where I spend most of my time. So, having it in that keychain version would kick ass. Although, it would make a very hard life for my employees, one minute being trapped in a keychain sized Chic-Fil-A, and the next second a full normal sized one. I guess they are trapped in the Chic-Fil-A anyway, so unless the expanding/shrinking process was painful, it would all be the same to them. Wait, I wouldn’t want to trap and enslave the Chic-Fil-A employees for eternity, so maybe its just some machine that lets me have Chic-Fil-A food whenever I want. I may have run a little too wild with this, given how crazy and “anything goes” my answer has gotten. I have the ability to break so many rules of reality and existence in this answer and all I’m getting out of it is some chicken. I should just switch my answer to “an everlasting supply of love and happiness” (which would include the Chic-fil-A anyway, as it is essential to my happiness).

SM: If you overheard your opponents talking about how they had to be careful because you had a regular hand and an “awesome” hand, what kind of hand would they be describing?

AA: I was a bit confused by this question, but after consulting dictionary.com, I now understand you mean hand under the definition of “talent or skill.” My regular hand is probably my knowledge of science and mathematics. My awesome hand is foosball. I fucking dominate in foosball. (I went to a high school for kids advanced in Science and Mathematics, but spent most of time dominating people in foosball.)

SM: Where do you think you’re going after this life?

AA: I would like to be reincarnated as Bear Ghrylls, host of TV’s “Man vs. Wild.”

SM: What’s your worst publicly acceptable habit?

AA: I’m afraid it’s the constant checking of Blackberry and I always leave my fly open, by accident, not on purpose.

SM: Please compose a haiku or short poem.

AA:
I am late for lunch.
I must leave now, so sorry.
Sorry, haiku sucked.

www.azizisbored.com
www.thehumangiant.com

Interview with Dale Beran • Writer of the online comic A Lesson Is Learned

SM: What compulsion would you say that you are proudest of?

DB: I had a friend in 6th grade who coughed every time someone he didn’t like walked by. One time in reading class Nicole (real name) had to keep squeezing by his chair for some reason or another and he had such a fit the teacher yelled at him.

SM: What is your first reaction to smoke?

DB: I cry in that mournful blare that comes out of Snoopy when the Peanuts gang went to Paris and experienced a fire.

SM: Please describe what you believe strangers are thinking when they first encounter you.

DB: They are probably surprised.

SM: if you could write one thing on water that would actually stay intact, what would you write?

DB: Directions.

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from adolescence.

DB: [see question 1]

SM: What is your first reaction to the sight of a man who looks nearly identical to you?

DB: I keep careful track of them. At college there were two Dale look-alikes, one was chubbier than me, a little more round-faced and German looking, and the other was better looking than me, a few inches taller, muscular chest and fore-arms. Unfortunately, all three of us owned a similar pair of glasses.
The better looking one was going to play me in my ex-girlfriend’s senior thesis film, which was a shot by shot remake of our violent breakup, but he was recast at the last moment. She did make the film, however I never saw it. I just remember walking into our old dorm one day to see her breaking the appropriate amount of glass bottles in
just the right corner of the hallway, to replicate the originals that were so long ago, aimed at me. “I can’t believe you’re reliving this!” I told her, and she just laughed.
My last semester there, chubby Dale came up to me and asked me to play his double in a comedy skit.
Our conversation went like this:
him: Um, we’ve never spoken but, funny question–
me: You want me to play your double?
him: Yes.
me: Yes.
Soon after that, he slimmed down and somehow no longer resembled me.
The last report came from another ex-girlfriend, just a week ago, who told me a homosexual Dale lookalike lives above the apartment she occupies with her new lover. I told her this was wishful dream-state thinking, but made a note of it in my log.

SM: If the street you live on could speak, what would the people who walk it know after hearing it?

DB: Very little, the throb of the overhead train scatters your thoughts like a frightened flock of birds.

SM: How do you plan on celebrating your 100th birthday?

DB: A slumber party, neighborhood girls, pillow fights, feathers in the air.

SM: What was the first thing you thought to yourself on waking up this morning?

DB: I dreamt I was playing the maid in Cinderella, sight reading the lines from a small book, though it was opening night. (I know Cinderella, in fact, was a maid, but I was the Shakespearian maid, the fretful archetype to whom secrets are confided, Dido’s Soror.) My younger sister was playing Cinderella herself. I thought it unfair that she knew all her lines because she had been Cinderella years earlier when we were just in fifth grade.
I sang a set of lines that I remember but I’m not going to tell you, changing the melody to accompany the piano my older sister was playing in the back room. It was to her afterwards I made the complaint about being jealous of not knowing the lines since I came in late singing them, thinking these lines were my younger sister’s and not mine.
This is why I had to change the melody on the quick. I have not checked with homosexual Dale, living above my old lover’s apartment, to see if he had the same dream or one, we might say, that looked similar.

SM: Please compose a haiku on the subject of your choosing.

DB: This is about a large window I used to have embedded in a wall:

reading all day and
needing to feel a little
better I call late

www.alessonislearned.com

Interviews With Comedians Andres du Bouchet & Anthony DeVito

Interview with Andres du Bouchet

SM: Do you know how to cook? My girlfriend says I will never be complete until I learn how to cook. Is this true?

ADB: I can cook, and indeed, I never felt complete until I learned how to cook. Because the thing I learned to cook was a NEW ARM FOR MYSELF SINCE I LOST MY ARM IN THAT TERRIBLE PLAY-DOH ACCIDENT WHEN I WAS A CHILD!!!

SM: When you find yourself in a crowd of people, what do you look for first?

ADB: Some sort of a slide or chute, or a trap door. Or a rope ladder dangling from a hot air balloon, or perhaps a catapult or a pair of spring-loaded shoes, or a supercharged po-go stick, or maybe even a giant friendly moth. Heck, even an unfriendly moth that can’t shake me off. As long as it can flutter me away from the crowd.

SM: Please describe how you feel others see you when they meet you for the first time.

ADB: Stooped, surly, awkward, burly, and probably eating something. Definitely drinking something.

SM: How would you prefer people address you if your given name was not an option?

ADB: Captain Manman: Overlord of the Testosterzone!

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from the last month.

ADB: My friend Mark did an awesome impression of Wilford Brimley, except homophobic and with a foul mouth.

SM: If you wore the lyrics to a song around your neck for a year, what would those lyrics be?

ADB: “You can spend your time alone, redigesting past regrets,
or you can come to terms and realize
you’re the only one who can’t forgive yourself
makes much more sense to live in the present tense”

SM: If you were crowned king today, what would you be crowned king of?

ADB: Potential.

SM: If someone was trying to steal something from you (besides money), what would they likely be trying to take?

ADB: my good will

SM: When you hear the words,”city life”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

ADB: Drunken 3am snarfing down of Ben & Jerry’s while sending e-mails I’ll regret.

SM: Please compose a haiku on the subject of your choosing.

ADB:
i am the monster
hiding underneath your bed
pass down the cookies

www.andresdubouchet.com

Interview with Anthony DeVito

SM: Do you know how to sow? My girlfriend says I will never be complete until I learn how to sow. Is this true?

AD: It must be true, for 2 reasons. Firstly, girlfriends are never wrong, especially when it comes to pointing out gaping holes in their gentlemen. And B, I’ve been reaping like a maniac my whole life. Reap, reap, reap, ever since I was a kid. And I have zero to show for it. Why, because I never learned how to sow. I feel awful now.

SM: When you find yourself alone on a cold and overcast day, how do you pass the hours?

AD: This is an easy one, as I’ve had lots of practice. Usually, I’ll wander the city, pretending I’m on my way to meet Julia Roberts at that little café where we first met. You see, I bumped into her by accident and some of her latte splashed onto my great vintage overcoat. The witty verbal jousting that followed made me realize she was the one. I’ll often crank up Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” on my iPod mini (now discontinued) to help me along. Although I hate the part when she dies at the end, leaving me to bravely raise our little daughter Zoe alone. As long as we remember her, she’s not really gone.

SM: Do you have a favorite hour in the day?

AD: Do I have a favorite hour? Uh, ever hear of QUITTIN’ TIME?? Man, I cannot WAIT when that whistle blows so I can get the hell outta InvoiceCo (we make Invoices and Invoicing Supplies; I work in billing) and get my crazy ass down to P.J. Drinkington’s! It’s in the lobby of our building, and man do they know me there! WOO! Free wings! Whitesnake and Creed on the CD Jukebox! Sports! Does life get any better than this?

SM: How would you prefer people address you if your given name was not an option?

AD: If I could, I’d have one way for people I like and another for people I don’t. People I like could call me something that made them happy or that they were into. Like, “Hey, Downloading Music (me), could you help me get my leg out of this bobcat trap?” or “Yo, Lord of the Rings (me), I saw you do standup last week and you were really great.” That way, they’re talking to me and also giving me an idea of what to get them for their birthday. People I dislike would have to smack themselves in the face hard enough to get those red finger marks on their cheek. They would point to this in place of my name. This would please me, and also make them think long and hard about “addressing” me in the first place. Win-Win, they call it.

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from adolescence.

AD: So many to choose from. World-class acne, Catholic School, getting mugged at gunpoint at 14 (it’s okay Brooklyn, I forgive you), the UFO abductions (yeah, “Sleep Paralysis” my ass)… but I keep coming back to the moment when I finally admitted to myself that my ethnic hair would never do any of the things that Duran Duran’s hair did. Getting okay with that was a huge step forward for me. You have to accept yourself for who you are, at least until you can afford the surgery. A full set of DaVinci porcelain veneers can erase a lifetime of hurt.

SM: Please describe a favorite article of clothing.

A: I’ve always been partial to my giant red codpiece. I got it on ebay and the seller said it was the actual one worn by Cameo’s Larry Blackmon in the video for “Just Like Candy.” I wasn’t exaggerating when I left the positive feedback “Great Transaction! A+++++++++++++!”

I also can’t live without my “skinny jeans.” I know, I’m a nut!

SM: If you were crowned king today, what would you be crowned king of?

AD: I have this thing about dogs. I love them (some say too much) and most of them feel the same about me. So I would be crowned “King Of All Puppies” and I would greet my subjects with a hearty “Who’s a boy?? Yes you are! OojaboojaBOY!” Actually, I already do that every time I see a dog— I call it Canine Tourette’s. Still, it would be nice to have the title. I could park anywhere.

SM: If you were jailed for theft tomorrow, what would you likely have stolen?

AD: A few precious moments with Lady Radcliffe. For though I am of quite humble birth and could never hope to inhabit her world, my heart burns with the heat of a thousand suns whenever I see her upon her steed Mephisto. And when she returns to her stables from a day of riding, I am there, ever hopeful to feel even a small wisp of her sweet breath as I help her dismount. Our eyes lock, and it is then that I know she indeed shares my most secret desire. But it can never be, as she is betrothed to that cur Lord Higginbottom, whom I would surely thrash if it would not mean my banishment from the manor and my Lady’s angelic visage.

SM: When you hear the words, “slow infatuation”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

AD: To be honest, kidnapping. That probably means something bad, but that’s literally what popped into my head. But not the kind that ends with the cops finding a head in a box. I mean SEXY kidnapping, where a spoiled rich girl is held for ransom, but the guy isn’t really bad, just misguided, and he’s just getting back at her evil father for destroying his family’s small fleet of fishing boats in the name of profit. Of course, she hates the guy at first, but eventually she comes to realize that “Daddy“ isn’t the kind of man she always thought he was. Then they do it.

SM: Please compose a haiku on the subject of your choosing.

AD:
Commercial go-sees
Remind me I’m a big wop
“Sorry, too swarthy.”

www.anthonydevito.com

Visual Interview with Polly Chandler • Photographer

This week, we continue a series of visual interviews, in which an artist or photographer replies to our interview questions with a sketch or photograph. This week’s visual interview is with photographer Polly Chandler. Click on the question to view her reply.

SM: Do you have anything you carry around for good luck?

SM: If you were posed in a photograph to be displayed in a museum, what sort of photograph would you like to have taken of you?

SM: When was the last time you noticed everything getting really quiet around you?

SM: When was the last time you had a case of insomnia, and what did you do to remedy it?

SM: Please describe one of your most frequent daily habits.

SM: If you woke up to find all the clocks running backwards, and the people around you going backward with them, how would you spend your day?

SM: If there was a door someone could open and see inside your head, what would someone have to say in order to open it?

SM: When was the last time something left you with a profound sense of mystery?

SM: Hypothetical: names spoken aloud are outlawed, and every one has to choose a visual symbol to represent themselves. Please describe your symbol.

SM: When was the last time you were drawn to an unfamiliar building?

www.pollychandler.com

Interview with Matthew Forsythe • Artist

This week, we continue a series of visual interviews, in which an artist or photographer replies to our interview questions with a sketch or photograph. This week’s visual interview is with artist Matthew Forsythe. Click on the question to view his reply.

SM: What do you suppose your arch-nemesis is doing right now?

SM: If we were to find you looking up, what you likely be looking for?

SM: If you were heard to remark,”Don’t worry, I’ll charm my way out of it.”, what would you likely be referring to?

SM: What do you think people see when they watch you dancing?

SM: What is currently the most useful object in your pockets?

SM: If you had to provide evidence that you are who you say you are, how would you go about it?

SM: When the devil finds out what you’ve been up to lately, how is he going to feel?

SM: If we sent you to live three thousand years in the future, what would you pack in your suitcase?

SM: Where do you like to go to sort out your thoughts?

SM: What would you like everyone to know about you?

www.comingupforair.net
www.horhaus.com/weblogs/mattgallery/

Interview with Nina Paley • Artist

SM: If you were looking for ghosts walking around disguised as men, what would give them away?

NP: Their online personal ads.

SM: If we were to replace your heartbeat with a song, what would you prefer it be?

NP: Something Bhangra.

SM: Where is the most soothing place near you that you can think of?

NP: My sofa, with my cat beside me and sunlight streaming through the window.

SM: How would you recommend we deal with loudmouths and braggarts?

NP: Spay and neuter.

SM: Please indulge us with an anecdote.

NP: My husband dumped me by email.

SM: If you were heard to remark,”It’s alright, I’m here from the future.”, where and when would you likely be?

NP: Here, one milisecond from now.

SM: What would you bring with you if you knew that tomorrow you were going to the most important place you’d ever been?

SM: Questions.

SM: If your dreams are a type of language, who are you speaking with?

NP: Myself.

SM: Please describe your style of dancing to someone who has never seen it.

NP: I only dance in private. Really! I’m too inhibited to dance in public.

SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

NP:
The fruit the producer supplies
is produced for a market that buys.
When production expands
beyond market demands
then the fruit is produced for the flies.

www.ninapaley.com

Interview with Keith Kin Yan • Photographer

This week, we begin a series of visual interviews, in which an artist or photographer replies to our interview questions with a sketch or photograph. Our first visual interview is with photographer Keith Kin Yan.

Please describe what you imagine strangers see when they see you for the first time.

What do you think your archenemy has in his pockets right now?

What do you think would be a good opening line for a romance novel?

What is the first thing you want to know on arriving in a strange city?

How do you feel most days, just walking down the street?

Where was the last place you drank to excess?

What aspect of your work are you proudest of?

When was the last time you found yourself looking around and feeling like you couldn’t imagine being anywhere else?

Where do you look when you want to see something that soothes you?

If you were seeking out a large group of people for something important, who would you be looking for and for what?

Keith’s photographs can be viewed at www.overshadowed.com

Interview with Robert Lanham * Author of The Hipster Handbook & Editor of Free Williamsburg

SM: If all the important aspects of your dreams were “marked” to get your attention, what sort of marking would they have?

RL: Esther Williams shows up to do a little aquatic dance number to highlight the important stuff.

SM: How do you calm yourself when you are angry?

RL: I crank Organized Konfusion’s “Bring it on Motherfucker” as loud as humanly possible. If necessary, I bust a cap.

SM: When was the last time you stood in a river?

RL: When I was baptized in Twin Falls, Arkansas by Mel Gibson.

SM: What is an activity that you consider yourself to be very good at?

RL: I’m horrible at pool, but ALWAYS win. You will hit the eight ball in when playing me. I promise. I’m also very good at doing it.

SM: Please indulge us with an anecdote.

RL: I have a bit of a Seinfeld germ thing, but nevertheless got so drunk at a bluegrass festival in Maine, I absentmindedly brought a slice of pizza into a Porta Pottie.

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from adolescence.

RL: My older brother told me Kansas was a really good band. I learned all the words to every song on Point of Know Return. I also learned (albeit much later) that Kansas is a horrible, horrible band.

SM: How do you feel most days, just walking down the street?

RL: I live in New York and love walking down the street. It makes me happy. That’s why I moved here. There’s no cheaper form of entertainment than people watching. Walking down the street and observing people inspired my latest book, Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees and other Creatures Unique to the Republic.

SM: What do you think your arch-nemesis is doing right now?

RL: I had an arch nemesis in high school, but am currently looking for a replacement. In high school, my nemesis was Kevin Whitehead. I was the fastest runner in school until he came along. He also tried to date Becky Henry when I was already going with her. I suppose if your last name is Whitehead, you’re destined to be a dick.
I’d assume Mr. Whitehead works at Hecht’s or JCPenney’s. Hopefully, he got married and now has an even more horrible last name like Kevin Whitehead-Lipscomb or Kevin White-Whitehead.

SM: If you were driving the devil to a party, what car would you like to take?

RL: I guess I’d get him and Karl to pick me up on Air Force One.

SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

RL: Like most people, I enjoy Wiccan poetry. Here’s one I recently penned:

I’m shrouded in goat’s blood
My cloven-hoofed demonlord
Oh blessed art thou, let me feedeth you
Ferret hearts
Lighteth thy eternal candelabra
And rejoice in carnal bliss
I sing to you sweet Hecate
Beloved praise music
John Tesh at Redrocks

www.freewilliamsburg.com

Robert’s most recent book, “Food Court Druids, Cherohonkee and other Creatures Unique to the Republic” can be purchased here:
www.foodcourtdruids.com

Interview with Deborah Orgel • Artist

SM: Please describe your favorite photograph that has been taken of you.

DO: It’s a black and white picture, taken at a friend’s wedding in September of 2001, that shows me laughing—it’s a moment that shows total abandonment, happiness, and what I look like with a seventy-five dollar haircut.

SM: If you were trapped in a loop of repeating one activity over and over for 24 hours, what would you prefer to be doing?

DO: Reading the Oxford English Dictionary in all its full multi-volume glory.

SM: When was the last time something a stranger did surprised you?

DO: When our sewage line was backed up last week, it was rather disgusting. I called Roto-Rooter, and the guy walked right into the backed up sewage, which was easily over his ankles. Yes, he was wearing boots, but his pants were still trailing in the foul muck.

SM: What pocket sized item have you owned the longest?

DO: I have a round, squeeze-toy from when I was a wee little one. It has baby faces, duckies, flowers, and rocking horses rising from its surface. I often pull it off of its bookshelf home to squeeze it and hear that squeaky whistling sound.

SM: Please indulge us with an anecdote.

DO: I was bartending and shift-managing at a Washington, D.C. bar (not far from the Capitol) one summer night a few years ago, when the (dishonorable) former D.C. mayor of “the bitch set me up” fame came in and walked up to the bar. He wanted to cash a check for one hundred dollars. I told him I couldn’t do it, when he reminded me who he is and insisted that it wouldn’t be a problem. He waited until I called my manager at home, who gave me the permission to cash the personal check—presumably to avoid offending him, as the former mayor had been recently elected to the D.C. Council. I was feeling a little crabby so I only cashed it for fifty. This encounter brings forth so many questions:

Why did he need to cash a check? Why not use the ATM right across the street? Would the check bounce? What does he need the hundred dollars for so badly that he’ll come into the bar and ask us to cash a check? In my time there, he hadn’t been in before with such a request and never came back for a repeat performance. Hmmmm….

SM: When was the last time you engaged in an act of pure spontaneity?

DO: A few minutes ago. I wrote an email and sent it without consulting the etiquette gods as to whether the content was appropriate. Alas, it is gone.

SM; Please describe an impressionable moment from adolescence.

DO: My father and I were sitting outside of a supermarket waiting for my mother to get “just one thing” when I noticed a sign on a store that read UNISEX Hair Salon. I asked my dad what this word UNISEX meant on that sign and he said, “It means haircuts for both sexes.” I understood this to mean that the only people who would get their hair cut at this salon must be people who were both male and female. I stared out the window at the customers who left this place wondering just what, exactly, was under their clothes.

SM: If we told you to draw God as a cat with a thousand eyes, how would you illustrate a portrait of him or her?

DO: I’d show ol’ godly cat passed out next to a bottle of Thousand Eyes Pale Ale. Sometimes the job has to be too much, I think, to be everywhere and everything at once.

SM: What song would you like to hear first thing tomorrow?

DO: Portland, Oregon by Loretta Lynn and Jack White. It’s my current favorite.

SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

DO:
deadlines are bedbugs
pestering as I doze
wish they’d just scram already

www.deborahorgel.com

Interview with Martin Cendreda • Illustrator/Creator of “Dang!” & “Zurik Robot”

SM: When was the last time you felt yourself close to understanding something that has puzzled you for a long time?

MC: First grade. When I learned how to draw perspective. It wasn’t true perspective, more like a 6 year old’s cruddy approximation of it. But still, it was a momentous occasion. Everything else, I’m nowhere close to understanding.

SM: What do you feel you are entitled to?

MC: Not much. Actually, I’m entitled to not be killed by shitty drivers.

SM: Please describe an article of clothing you’ve developed an emotional attachment to.

MC: A frayed black and yellow flannel shirt that my grandfather gave me when I went away to college. It made me stylish for a short time during the whole grunge debacle. I still wear it today.

SM: How would you recommend we fight encroaching darkness?

MC: Polite discourse. Failing that, mutual assured destruction.

SM: Please indulge us with an anecdote.

MC: I’m no good at anectoding. Sorry. However, one time when I was sick with the flu, I accidentally hawked a thick green loogie on a jogger’s leg. Is this an anecdote?

SM: When was the last time you kept something you found on the street?

MC: I can’t remember, I pick stuff off the street all the time. The coolest thing was a on old fisher price music box I dug out of someone’s trash.

SM: If you were heard to exclaim,”Please hold on a minute, I know what I’m doing.”, what would you likely be talking about?

MC: Having sex.

SM: When you wake up in a strange environment, what’s the first thing you usually want to know?

MC: Am I dead?

SM: What would you say to the first person who witnessed you appear out of thin air right next to them with no recollection of how you got there?

MC: Anyone for tennis?

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from adolescence.

MC: One time in gym class, we were playing warball (aka dodgeball). I was a skinny nerd so naturally I hid towards the back, while everyone else around was throwing balls and getting hit. Eventually, there was just two people left: me on one side, a fat kid named Saul on the other. I was sure that I was gonna get creamed. He picked up a ball, took two steps, and hurled the ball at me. I caught it. And we won.

www.zurikrobot.com

Interview with Nick Gurewitch • Artist/Creator of “The Perry Bible Fellowship”

SM: When was the last time you had on a set of headphones?

NG: Yesterday.

SM: Barring yourself, what’s the best thing to come out of your hometown?

NG: Trains. Though I have yet to come out of my hometown.

SM: What was your last good deed?

NG: Babysitting for free.

SM: What was your last encounter with a lunatic?

NG: Ex-girlfriend / current-friend / loving hate-buddy Sarah. Over the phone. I’m sure she’d say the same for me.

SM: Regale us, please, with an anecdote.

NG: One time I hit a deer while riding a bicycle.

SM: Please describe an activity at which you are not very good, but that you hope to eventually be good at.

NG: Expressing my feelings to someone I don’t want to talk to. Archery. Walking confidently in the dark. These are all the same thing.

SM: What is your first reaction to a roomful of strangers?

NG: Excitement usually. Though sometimes I additionally feel regret and shame if they’re in a room I’ve accidentally walked in on.

SM; What was the last circumstance in which you found yourself that you could not comprehend entirely?

NG: Perhaps this morning. On the verge of being awake, I got that scary feeling that all the dreams I had been having might in fact be real.

SM; Please tell us a story about a low paying job you’ve held, and if you’ve never held a low paying job, please tell us a story about any job you’ve held.

NG: I worked on a farm 7 days a week many summers ago. I worked every day from 6 AM to late afternoon. Corn. Tomatoes. I picked these two things. Tomatoes were my specialty. One of the overseers was very fond of my work ethic, and I was happy to please him. One day however, I asked him if I could leave work early to tend to something I felt was more important (a movie perhaps). He said: “Nick…we need you. Don’t leave.” This troubled me, as I had already arranged to leave early this day. With my friend as a reluctant advisor, I weighed the pros and cons of defying such a strong-willed, powerful man. With a heavy heart, I used my converse shoes to sneak off the farm with great stealth, and met my ride at the entrance of the farm. Before work the next morning, I was dreading having to face him. I had heard reports that he muttered the word “sonovaBITCH” upon hearing about my AWOL status. After a while, on this very rainy morning, it had been announced that he was arrested the night prior for some deed pertaining to a shotgun and his wife. I never saw him again.

SM: Please describe an area of expertise you are willing to feign knowing something about to strangers.

NG: Picking tomatoes (You’ve got to grab them near the stem. And don’t yank softly. Snap hard. Wear gloves if you got em).

The Perry Bible Fellowship

Interview with Tom Wilson

SM: When was the last time you found yourself in an unexpectedly sinister circumstance?

TW: Being a champion of what is right and good, I never find myself in an unexpectedly sinister circumstance. But I have dealt with realtors and insurance salesmen.

SM: If you were to illustrate yourself meeting another version of yourself that was raised on the other side of the world, what would you be sure to include?

TW: An unusually large head, on a body that simply can’t decide between mesomorph and endomorph.

SM: Please describe your current relationship with new technology.

TW: ctrl-alt-del.

Well, it’s good for buying obscure books online, and finding new yoyo tricks. Other than that, I don’t use it much.

SM: What item in your home are you most pleased to show new visitors?

TW: Whatever painting I’ve just completed.

SM: In the middle of the interview, we request an anecdote.

TW: Many, many years ago, I was at a “Hollywood party,” attended by some of the actors from the movie “E.T.” I mistook the very small young lady who squeezed into the tiny “E.T.” costume for a barstool and sat on her head.

SM: Please describe what you imagine strangers see when they see you for the first time.

TW: Raw, physical power, tempered by a kind and compassionate countenance.

SM: What do you most people want from you, and what would you rather them have?

TW: They want me to put them in a headlock, knock them on the head, and say “Hello?! Anybody home?!”
I would rather they have actual interpersonal contact, not a performance through a thick filter of pop objectification.

SM: Please recommend a method for us to recognize you in the land of sleep and dreaming.

TW: I am the one flying, with a cape, throwing toys and candy to happy children.

SM: When you are feeling low, where do you look for empathy, understanding or assistance?

TW: Well, whenever I’m really feeling down in the dumps, I turn on the T.V. and listen to what the politicians have to say. You know, they have a lot of good ideas to really fix things, and their empathy, and understanding, and assistance makes me feel a lot better. Yay politicians!

SM; Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

TW:
Pixel screen,
and the tapping, tapping
private me in public view. Hmm.

Tom’s Art can be viewed at
www.bigpopfun.com