Cover Story: Who's Zoomin' Who?

The Bob Woodiwiss Interview by Bob Woodiwiss

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I recently had the opportunity to sit down with myself over dinner at a midtown bistro. Being the same person, we arrived simultaneously and were seated together at a table for one. While savoring a vegetarian ragout baked and served inside the stomach of a giant panda, the discourse was lively, reminiscing about favorite childhood meds, slandering mutual acquaintances and arguing the relative merits of Dash Riprock versus Sonny Drysdale vis-à-vis Ellie May Clampett's long-term happiness. Not until coffee was served did I attempt to really draw myself out, to touch on more serious, more relevant issues.

BOB: So how big do you figure Dick Cheney's wiener really is?

Bob: Are you kidding? Mr. Snarling Bully Man? Señor Macho Crapola? You know he's Johnson-challenged. Penile-y microscopic.

B: You got it, dawg. He's a banana-less second banana.

Which brings up an interesting question and brazen segue: Of the 50, 60 pieces that're in your new book, Keys to Uncomfortable Living, how many are about Dick Cheney's teeny-weeny wiener?

B: Explicitly? None. Implicitly? Well, that's for the reader to discover.

B: Fair enough. How about discussing the book in broader terms then? What's the book about?

B: I guess I'd describe Keys to Uncomfortable Living as a collection of humorous and satirical essays where personal experience, cultural criticism and political observations are indiscriminately embroidered with crude mockery, crazy-ass distortions and gratuitous slurs.

B: Wow. If I'd known you were just going to recite one of your canned, boilerplate answers I'd have preferred the one where you call Keys, "the book America's been waiting for except with a different title and by somebody else."

B: Sorry. Why didn't you say something earlier or pass me a note?

B: I wasn't thinking. So, is the book autobiographical?

B: If by autobiographical you mean a pack of lies concocted by a real life liar, yes. If you mean have I written a biography of a particular brand of automobile, then no. Of course, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

B: And what, ultimately, do you hope readers get out of the book?

B: I sincerely hope they'll get a workable Middle East peace plan out of it, but I'm the first to admit that's a long shot.

B: Gotcha. Overall, are you happy with how it came out?

B: Oh, yeah. I sincerely think one day it will become part of the American canon. If educational standards continue to decline at the current rate, that is.

B: What made you want to be a writer?

B: I needed a pretext for drinking during the day.

B: And besides numbing your senses and feelings with alcohol, do you have a writing routine?

B: I try to write at least 1,000 words a day. But since I don't always remember to make some of them verbs, I often have to shit-can the whole day's output.

B: How about advice for young writers just starting out? Any tips?

B: Well, obviously, mind your verbs. Also, don't waste a lot of time and energy on trying to write something fresh or new. Never forget: Originality is just a tired idea in front of the right people.

B: Has anything changed for you in the couple weeks since the book's publication?

B: My underwear, of course. But mostly, I'd say no. I'm just keepin' it real. Leading my normal, boring life. Which isn't too hard. I mean, my dog's still recovering from her recent breast augmentation surgery and, if I don't hang at home and take care of her, who will?

B: Lastly, I'm well aware this book is the culmination of a dream born many years ago. And I know that on the day you finally saw it in print, held it in your hand, you were exultant. Overcome. Tearful. Talk briefly about what this book means to you, about your emotional investment.

B: Whoa. Wait a second. Are you gay? 'Cause that little speech really sounded gay.

B: Yeah, right. It's me. Like I'm the one with the Precious Moments collection....

B: That collection is meant to be ironic and you know it, jerk-off....

At this point, with the volume of our discussion rising, we were escorted from the restaurant. Out on the street, attempting to storm off in different directions, we severely pulled our groin muscle, whereupon we hailed a cab and rode home in seething silence. ©

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