A friend of mine asked if his kid could interview me for a project. The kid asked for me because he wanted someone who, in his words, ‘doesn’t have a real job.’
With a build up like that how could I say no?
I told the parent I’d do my best but, you know me, anything can happen.
“Just don’t take long,” was the father’s response. “My wife’s going out so I have to be home soon.”
We sit in my office and the kid asks his questions and I give him my answers.
“What was the first thing you ever wrote and how old were you?”
“A suicide note when I was six.”
“Do you have fun writing?”
“No. It’s a calling. Something akin to ritual suicide or farting.”
“What’s the favorite thing you’ve written?”
“The final alimony payment.”
“What’s the thing that’s made you the most money writing?”
“A ransom note.”
“What do you try to accomplish when you write?”
“A full and complete word count.”
“Has your writing ever won awards?”
“Yes. Best Speller at the National Dyslexics Convention.”
“Who influenced you to start writing?”
“My first grade teacher. She’d make me stay after school and write ‘I will not hit others’ on the blackboard a hundred times a day.”
“What writers influenced you?”
“The father of the limerick, Edward Lear, and whoever wrote, Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.”
“What do you want people to learn from what you write?”
“That if they’re going to do something foolish they’re better off doing it far away from me.”
“What do you want to accomplish with your writing?
As they packed up to leave one thought ran through my head,
“I hope his grades aren’t too good to start with.”