SM: What two elements would you recommend we combine to feed men in order to make them speak to animals?
CM: Humility and Acorns.
SM: C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot & William Blake have run up a remarkable financial debt to you, and have gone into hiding. Where will you search for them to recover your money?
CM: In the Lake district, on a ski boat.
SM: When was the last time you found yourself looking around and feeling like you couldn’t imagine being anywhere else?
CM: Last spring, on a surfboard in Hanalei bay, with a rainbow and waterfalls around, as well as what the special effects guys call God Rays streaming out of the clouds.
SM: Where do you look when you want to see something that soothes you?
CM: To the mountains.
SM: In the middle of the interview, an anecdote is requested.
CM: One night, about twenty years ago, I was working the desk at motel, when a tiny Arab man in a red stocking cap came in and said, “Can I trouble you for a small quantity of salt.” That seemed to be all he could say, and he just kept repeating it. He looked ancient, was wearing a wrinkled suit, and his eyes were a cold blue, a little bugged out. Anyway, I somehow, because I was at a desperate point in my life, I think, convinced myself that this guy was a genie, and I really, really, needed to get him the salt. I looked all over the motel office, and ended up leaving the motel unattended and running across the street to a pancake house, where I got some packets of salt. I returned, gave the salt to the old man, and he toddered off. That was it, except I said to myself, “Okay, I get a wish. I wish to be a wildly successful writer.”
Well, that character, that little old guy, ended up being a character in my first book, Practical Demonkeeping. And by the standard of a motel clerk working for five bucks an hour, I’ve become that wildly successful writer. Who knew?
SM: If you were seeking out a large group of people for something important, who would you be looking for and for what?
CM: Bone marrow donors. To save people’s lives.
SM: If you were to illustrate yourself on the day before the most important day of your life, what would you be sure to include in your drawing?
SM: If we removed a room from your current living arrangements, how would you adjust?
CM: I’d be spun until I could find a place to sit and write. When I travel, that seems to be the element of discontent.
SM: What’s to be done with the flatterers and seducers of this world?
CM: They should be paired up.
SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.
One joy among all the meat
South Beach diet blows.