Friday, June 30, 2006

Interview with a Vampire

As many of you old-schoolers know, I've been wary of giving interviews since that fiasco with Barbara Walters. These bloodsucking journalists just waste your time and make you feel like an asshole.

But that said, I did relent yesterday and sat down for a few minutes with Alex Beam of the Boston Globe; I decided a little advance pub for Loot the Church couldn't hurt. Plus, at some point as World Hegemon I'll be giving press briefings, and I figured it would be a good idea to start exercising the ol' bullshit-and-stonewall muscle.

The full transcript of the interview will run in today's Weekend section, but here are some highlights:

* * *

Q. Phutatorius, you describe yourself as an Internet Personality, but I've never heard of you. What gives?

A. Well, it sounds to me like you need to bite the bullet and finally buy yourself a computer. For beginners, I recommend one of those cheap-ass Dells. And of course you'll need an ISP. America Online is like a set of training wheels for the World Wide Web; I'm sure you get their CDs in the mail. Give AOL a try, and join us in the 21st century.

Q. What do you think qualifies you to take on this challenge?

A. Well, I've taken a few correspondence courses in event planning —

Q. No — not the fundraiser, Phutatorius. The ruling the planet bit.

A. Just the planet, Alex? Why limit myself? But seriously: I had a Moment last September, and a kind of clarity of purpose descended on me. It was like a visitation. Since that time I've turned my body into a kind of temple. I've gone to a remote mountain redoubt and learned the arcane wisdom of the Elite Incan Dance Fighters, and at home in the mornings I do a lot of strength and agility training. I keep in touch with my EIDF mentor over the Internet. You really should get yourself connected, Alex. There's so much potential in it.

Q. Some people say you're too impetuous a character — that you make enemies easily. Is that the sort of personality that the world population really wants as its leader?

A. Well, first off — I don't know how true your assessment is. The Cardinal and I had some knock-down, drag-out negotiations going on over this church rental — he's a screamer, by the way, and at one point he threw a ball-point pen at me — but when it was all over, we went out for a few beers, he and I, and it was all good.

Q. I thought you said your body was a temple.

A. Yeah. And?

Q. But you're out drinking beer —

A. I don't get your point. But while we're on this subject, I'd like to let you know that our temporary liquor license went through, and we'll have Harpoon and Miller Genuine Draft on tap at the fundraiser on Saturday. We're still talking with the people at Heineken.

Q. On the subject of the fundraiser —

A. Just a minute, Alex — I want to finish my answer to your question about my purported personality flaws. Suppose your lying ass is right, and I do make enemies easily. What of it? That might be a problem if I'm leading a country, and I'm dealing constantly with other heads of state. That's the kind of situation that leads to a war. But if I'm running the world, what meaningful person am I going to butt heads with? The President of Mars?

Q. You have interesting logic.

A. You like me now. Wait until I hire my full-time Logic Minister.

Q. Now to the fundraiser. Some say —

A. What's with all this "some say" crap, Alex? Name names or knock it off.

Q. All right, fine. Everybody says —

A. Better.

Q. Everybody says that it's exploitative and obnoxious for you to take a sacred space, a religious space, and use it to appeal to people's basest instincts so you can make money. What do you say to that?

A. You've just described every priest, every minister, pastor, rabbi, imam, swami, prelate, and pope. The only difference is that with me, the people know their money is going to a good cause — the Phutatorius & Co. World Domination Fund.

* * *

Well, what do my Brothers and Sisters think? How did I hold up against Mr. Beam's obviously hostile lines of questioning? I think I did terrific — maybe a little edgy with that last bit, but whatever. That's the kind of snarky attitude that will bring the kids to church on Saturday, and you've got to appeal to every demographic.

Anyway, back to work. We're baking up a storm here at the apartment. PePe's got a bitchin' Tollhouse cookies recipe, and the off-duty Stenos are rolling the dough for pecan and rhubarb pies. We'll sell the cookies for $1.25 apiece tomorrow. Ten bucks for the pies. Hand over fist, I tell you. Hand over fist.

Well, I hope to see you all tomorrow at the church. I am stoked!

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