Alternative Realms and Tangents
(Note: To clear up any present or future confusion, I would like to make a statement. To those of you that thought negatively about the fact that I named an interview, I would like to say this: to anyone, who ever opposes my decisions or looks upon my works with contemptuous eyes, I rebuke you--Rob.)
Today, we are proud and honored to have with us critically acclaimed author and peanut butter/syrup freak, John Stacy Worth. Interview conducted by friend, co-editor and fellow chairman of the A.W.F.U.L foundation, Robert A. Taylor.
RAT: Hello Stacy, and hello everyone. I would like to be the first to admit that I am no acquaintance to the art of interviews, but Iíll try not to probe in the wrong places--so to speak. For my first question: What role were you given when you were assigned to earth?
JSW: My assignment has been and still is to save humanity from itself via my artistic abilities; a sort of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure sort of thing--except, for me, my tools are my writings and drawings, instead of music. And, of course, I'm also supposed to make millions of dollars while doing all this. It's sadly obvious that, so far, I am failing miserably, but hey, what the Great Zhitxma doesn't know won't hurt me.
RAT: Do you have any aliases? If so, what are they, why do you have them?
JSW: I currently have no aliases, but in the past I have been known as 4dots, the Green Comet, and the Lunatick, in that order sequentially. The first one was because I used to mark my pencils with four dots to identify them as mine. People were always stealing my pencils, I guess so they could have some object in their possession that had been touched by greatness. The Green Comet was my alter ego during my crime fighting days. At first, that was how I thought I was supposed to save humanity. Later I figured out that it was through the art in my brain, not the brawn in my arms that I could help humanity. Then, in my darkest hour, when I discovered that the criminals I was fighting were having more fun than I was, I became the Lunatick, a rather mischievous persona who has been known to wreak havoc in over fourteen countries. As bizarre as this all sounds, it is all true, as you yourself can attest to.
RAT: Do you have any lawsuits pending, or a record of any criminal acts? If so explain.
JSW: The Lunatick got me cuffed for DUI once, other than that I have no record of criminal activity. No lawsuits that I know of. I'm glad to be able to say that I've been sober now for quite a few years and am finally free of the dark side of myself that more than once almost destroyed me and constantly hindered my purpose here. As for the DUI, I broke about seven laws that night, but the cops let me off with only one charge, making sure that that one stuck. I was leaving a party; you were there. It was the night we vacuumed up my puke with a vacuum cleaner. We were drinking that rot-gut ten dollar a gallon vodka, and y'all, being the true friends y'all were, got Kevin 'Oz' Osburn to follow me home to make sure I got there okay. Well according to Oz, I passed out at the wheel, running the cops, which were coming down the road in the other direction, off the road. I got into their lane, running them into the ditch. They wheeled around and pursued, but Oz did his duty and wouldn't let them pass him to get to me. I, meanwhile, had come back to, and saw the flashing blue lights in my rear view, as the cops went into the ditch again to get around Oz. I floored it at that point and tried to get away. They caught up with me at my home. I had reached the blind curve before them, wheeled into my driveway and killed my lights. And it might have even worked, except for one thing. The house next door was on fire and there were cops and fire fighters everywhere. Anyway, I resisted arrest until they reached for the billy clubs and then climbed docilely into the back of the squad car. The rest, as they say, is a mindless blur.
RAT: What are your favorite food, song, band and board game?
JSW: As for food: Peanut butter! It rules. Try it with syrup, if you haven't already. My favorite song is "Sin Nombre" by my currently favorite group, The Refreshments. As for my favorite board game, I absolutely fell in love with chess from the first time I played. One of my most prized possessions is a second place trophy I won at an Invitational when I was in high school. To be honest, I'm not really that good; I was just on my game the day of that tournament and have yet to perform as well in the ten plus years since.
RAT: Is it true that you still have a two decade old Cap'n Crunch, decoder ring?
JSW: Bctpmvufmz opu!!!
RAT: Please, if you would, retrace your ancestry for us, as closely as you can (starting with you.)
JSW: Like all the members of my species, I am a clone of the One-Father, the Great Zhitxma.
RAT: What, and who, are your favorite movie, actor and serial killer of all time?
JSW: My favorite movie is a tossup between Pee Wee's Big Adventure, The Wizard of Oz, Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail, Back to the Future (Part I), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Groundhog Day. My favorite actor is Jason Alexander, (you know, George Castanza on Seinfeld). As for serial killers, I have no favorite. It is a terrible thing to kill another person for no good reason.
RAT: Is it true that you once coated James Rayís linoleum covered, kitchen floor with peanut butter because it was, "the only known, natural repellent," for certain anonymous alien 'unfriendlies' that were harassing you?
JSW: Man, all I know is that I was scooping peanut butter out of a jar and flinging it onto the floor in huge, splattering gobs. I was acting as the 'tick back then and was not completely well. I think I just liked the sound of the peanut butter as it went "SPLART!" on the floor. As for the alien unfriendlies, I must now confess that they were a complete fabrication. They were the only excuse for my behavior that I could think of at the time.
RAT: Tell me, in your opinion, what are the advantages (if any) to suffering from multiple personality disorder?
JSW: How should we know?
RAT: Whom did you root for in Star Wars? Who did you see as being the true victim, and why?
JSW: I rooted for Luke's Uncle Owen, a man of the earth, a hard working man, like myself. After he and his wife were killed and the farm destroyed, I kinda lost interest in the movie and wandered out of the theater. I was quite pissed off that I had been so blatantly robbed of my buck fifty, which was the going price for a movie ticket back then (I was nine years old). I never have fully gotten over that crap. Needless to say, I think Luke's uncle and aunt were the true victims because of the fact that they were so heartlessly killed. I think George Lucas owes the whole world a really big apology. And I would like my buck fifty back.
RAT: The question is more for me than the readers. My good, good friend, honor graduate, double BSs in teaching and Biology, co-editor, and esteemed author, please tell me this: Why, in the name of Hades, did you pull out in front of that fast moving, fully loaded log truck that time? (You know the time Iím talking about.)
JSW: Ah, I'm really glad you brought this up. It gives me an opportunity to tout one of my pet theories. I call it the 'self-destruct button' theory. On a subconscious level, I believe that all living things want to die. Take, for instance, the birds that swoop down in front of passing cars, or cats, waiting until you are right up on them before they dash headlong into your path. While all living creatures possess this subconscious button, in humans it is especially interesting to note that the tendency to push this button increases proportionately to the level of personal happiness. For example, human males especially can't stand it when things are going good for them. This is why they do stupid stuff that screws up their lives. They know they don't deserve this happiness and so they reach in and press the button and mayhem follows. Since I've taken the form of a human male during my visit here, I surmise that I must have been extremely content and happy with my life when I pulled my now infamous "chicken with the log truck" stunt.
RAT: Are you planning a sequel to Grock? Whereís he headed now?
JSW: Funny you should ask. Just a few days ago, I envisioned a sequel to Grock. It is tentatively titled The Return of Grock. I'm not going to expound on it, because I want everyone to read it and enjoy it for themselves. If I say even the least little bit about it, I fear I might give the plot away. It will probably be several months before I get around to writing it and publishing it here. I don't want to put very much of my own writing in our 'zine for obvious reasons. Also, I believe in letting a story 'gel' in my mind for a while before rushing in and putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys, in my case.
RAT: Are those men from the Naturalization and Immigration Service still harassing you?
JSW: Yes, and I'm getting pretty darned tired of it too. How many times do I have to travel into the past and preclude someone's existence with historical manipulation before they finally run out of people to harass me with?
RAT: Do think that we may be breaking any laws, either man made or natural, with this web-zine?
JSW: Man, I just know we are. But, in case we get caught, I'm of course going to lay all the blame where it rightly deserves to be: on your head.
RAT: Do you sometimes still wake in the mornings and find the bite marks on your wrists?
JSW: Yes, I still find the bite marks and I'm really rather sick of it. For the umpteenth time, you're a good friend and always will be, but I will not join you and your unholy coven of the undead.
RAT: Do you feel like Dave Mustaine was the true talent and driving force of early Metallica?
JSW: You know, I remember when the whole Mustaine/Metallica feud thing got started. I thought it was the biggest bunch of crap. I refuse to get involved in it.
RAT: Did you ever make friends with someone only because you knew they were weak-minded and easily manipulated? If so, what was her name?
JSW: Man, who hasn't? But tell me something, why do you naturally assume that I would do this sort of thing to a female? I mean, if you can easily manipulate a female, doesn't that take all the fun out of it? All of the challenge? No, I choose only male friends on that basis. And, while I won't be so cruel as to reveal any of my victims' names here, I will hint at the initials of one in particular: they spell a word, a common type of rodent, in fact. Sorry, but I can't say more than that.
RAT: Sometimes, when youíre in a room full of people, do you feel superior to everyone else around you?
JSW: Why do you ask you sniveling worm, which is not worthy to lick the dust from betwixt my perfectly sculpted toes?
RAT: Is it true, Mr. Worth, that once at an informal, social gathering you did, in fact, accept a marijuana cigarette and did, indeed, press it to your salivating, euphoria hungry lips and inhale?
JSW: Unlike some people, I don't have this unrelenting need to appear squeaky clean and spotless. Of course, I'm not running for office at the moment. But, hey, even if I were, I would still stand up and boldly, if not proudly, confess that yes, you sorry bunch of delinquents that I called my friends poured unbearable peer pressure upon me until I was forced to cave in to your stupidity and get high with you. I smoked that joint just to shut you turds up, and I hated every minute of it, and never, never, NEVER touched any other illegal drug afterwards!
RAT: What was it that forced you to pry open the tight grasp, which doom had so tightly placed around Chadwick Chaney, the day you guys were playing in the river? The day he lost himself to the current. Was it because of pity? Was it so you could ridicule him later? Or was it just that you feared he might have some money in his pocket?
JSW: Well, there I was, drunk on the banks of the Ocmulgee river, and there was Chad, also drunk, practically drowning right in front of my eyes. I did what any friend would do for another. I swam out to him and helped him to shore. Really, Robert, you need to stop transferring your anti-social tendencies onto other people. We're not all psychopaths, you know.
RAT: What are your hopes for the future of ART, and yourself?
JSW: That it becomes the cornerstone of American literature, the standard by which all other writers are measured and compared. And that I make millions of dollars in the process.
RAT: Do you feel, as though you have been greatly influenced by any of the literary icons? IF so, who and why?
JSW: Literary icons? I don't know if you could call him that--yet! But I guess you could say my biggest literary influence would have to be Orson Scott Card. The Ender saga is by far, the best science fiction series ever written. (In my opinion, even better than Asimov's Foundation series) His Alvin Maker series is also quite fascinating, and I wait with bated breath for the next installation. Card does something that I greatly admire in a writer: he understands the complexities of human nature. His characters, while sometimes short on literal physical description are, nonetheless, vivid and alive, via the soul that Card breathes into them. Card is also never short on idea. Read Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, and you'll quickly understand what I'm saying. His worlds are always richly drawn and peopled with the most amazing characters. And here's what I really dig about Card: he doesn't bog you down in "eloquent" writing. His writing, I have found, is always quite pointed and direct. You don't have to be an English major to appreciate his work, neither do you have to have a vocabulary straight out of Webster's. The man, simply put, is a genius.
RAT: Please, in your own words, define what reality really is, precisely.
JSW: Reality--the number one cause of stress and therefore drug abuse and alcoholism. It is a menace to society on all levels, and we should all ban together and put a stop to it ASAP!
RAT: Is there anyone who you would like to kill if you were certain to get away with it? If so, can you tell us who he, she or them might be?
JSW: Just one, myself. I have this strange desire to go back about ten years, kill my then self, and take his place. That jerk just got too slaphappy with the self-destruct button and totally screwed my life up. I'd like to kick his butt for it and then some. While it's true I have time travel technology available to me, I've yet to attempt this feat, since I don't know if by killing my younger self that I might, at the moment I kill him, also cease to exist. And then I have to wonder if, because I never existed to go back and kill myself, would he then possibly come back to life, causing me to come back to life, allowing me to go back again and kill him, getting me and my former-self caught up in this unending temporal loop thingie forever? So you see my dilemma? If you know anybody skilled enough in Quantum Physics to clear this matter up, or make this dream of mine a reality, then please let me know.
RAT: In closing, I would like to be courteous. Is there any question, or questions, that I failed to ask that you would like to answer?
JSW: Yes there are.
RAT: Well, old friend, I would just like to say this has been interesting, to say the least. Good luck and I hope to see you around here in the pages of ART, for a long time to come--Rob