Friday, November 6, 2009

Mr. Subjunctive: the Nina Interview

I noticed not too long ago that I was going to have my 500,000th page hit at PATSP soon, and I thought I should do something special for the occasion (besides Gazania pictures: if you've been reading the blog long enough, you know Gazanias are the official PATSP flower of celebration). On Poor Richard's Almanac, in the comments for this thread, our friend Ben suggested that maybe Nina could guest-write a post for the occasion. So I asked her, and she said okay, but it turned out that she can't muster enough force to press the keys on my computer's keyboard, so I had to transcribe, and then I figured as long as I had to be there anyway, she may as well just make it an interview with me, so that's what we're doing. (I think the main reason Nina agreed to doing an interview is because it sounded like less work.)

Anyway. So we passed 500,000 early in the day yesterday, and so here, in celebration, is the interview. Nina's dialogue is in boldface, mine is in regular type.


So I just jump in and start asking questions?

Pretty much.

Okay. What kind of crickets do you like to eat, the brown ones or the black ones?

Well, I'm not big on eating any crickets, actually.

Ah. A mealworms man.

Not really.

So what, flies, then?

Maybe we could sort of direct the conversation away from food?

Whatever you say. How has blogging changed your life? Also please tell me what blogging is.

Well, it's -- wait a minute. You didn't read the background papers I gave you?

I skimmed them.

That was one of the things I explained in the background papers.

That was a million pages long! You actually expected me to read all that?

Well yes. I don't just write long documents for the hell of it.

Jeez. My bad. I'll read next time. Just tell me what blogging is so we can get this over with.

Blogging is writing. On the internet.

I see. What sorts of things do you write about?

Mostly stuff the plants are doing. Occasionally you, or graffiti, or . . . you know, stuff. Whatever. Sometimes I do plant profiles, where I research a particular plant and write about where it comes from and how to take care of it and stuff.

So blogging pays well?

It doesn't pay at all, actually. You know, I really wish you had just read the information I gave you.

It doesn't pay at all. So you're writing long documents for the hell of it and putting them on-line even though you just, not thirty seconds ago, told me that you don't write long documents for the hell of it?

Holy crap. I'm getting called out on contradictions by a lizard.

Just answer the question, please.

Um, yeah. I guess. Or no. It's complicated. It's not about the money, obviously. But there are rewards to it too. People leave comments on the stuff I post, and sometimes I can ask questions and people will answer them, or whatever. There's sort of a community thing there. Engaging with other people and all.

Interacting with this on-line community is better than interacting with people face-to-face?

Well, since this is mainly going to be seen on-line, I'm going to have to say yes. On-line people are vastly superior.

Very diplomatic. What do you do when you're feeling frustrated because you really want to lay eggs but can't? Or can you lay eggs?

No, I can't lay eggs. I'm to understand this is a problem you've experienced?

Sometimes. But I'm asking about you.

Well I don't . . . humans don't lay eggs, so much. Actually. And I'm a male, too, so even if humans did lay eggs, this wouldn't be a problem I personally would have.

Wait. You're a male? Where's your pink throat fan, then?

Well, again, human, not anole, so no throat fan.

Well this is embarrassing.

Not at all. You'd be shocked how many people can't tell male and female anoles apart, either. To answer the intent of your original question, though, maybe a hobby would be good for those frustrating moments? Though I'm not sure what would be good for someone without opposable thumbs. Maybe you could express yourself through dance?

You think I should dance?

Well you can't take up crochet, or painting, so. . . . I mean you don't have to. I'm just throwing it out there as a suggestion. Lizards do dance sometimes.

Hmm. I'd like you to get me some of that water.

You really don't. It doesn't work like that in real life. I could bring you some tequila sometime, though.

Tequila will do that?

We'll, it'd sure as hell do something. I don't know if it'd make you dance. [pause] Usually it just makes people think they can dance.

So is this the interview going well?

I'm really not sure. It's not striking me as being very well-focused.

What were you expecting? It's my first interview.

And you're a lizard.

I don't see what that has to do with anything.

Some of your better reptiles will read the background information before charging into an interview.

Hmph. Just for that: if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

I don't know. What kind of a dumb question is that?

You can't just say it's a dumb question. You have to answer.

No I don't.

Yes you do! It's an interview! You have to answer all the questions!

Okay fine. A pine.

Why a pine?

Okay, seriously, this is the last question I'm answering.

Aw, already?

A pine because they're slightly prickly but they're fairly stable. Also they like cold weather. Or maybe they don't like it, but they handle it well.

And also they smell.

Back in the cage, you.


Water Roots said...

Har har har...hilarious! Thanks for a great laugh! A wonderful way to start the day.

our friend Ben said...

Ha!!!! I love the idea of Nina interviewing you rather than the other way 'round, Mr. S.! Very clever! And 500,000 congratulations on reaching 500,000!!!

James Missier said...

I didnt quite follow why Nina wanted to eat bugs, then I realise the lizard interview.
Very nicely done, thanks for sharing & congrats for the 500,000.

liza said...

That cracked me up! Thank you and congrats!

Aerelonian said...


CelticRose said...


Lance said...

So... You don't eat crickets?

Kenneth Moore said...

Crickets do come chocolate-covered, you know. A nice crunch. Crunchy chocolate is my favourite, so bugs are an obvious choice to coat with the delicious stuff.

Karen715 said...

Congratulations on 500,000!

"Ah. A mealworms man." I cracked up, and continued to do so throughout the interview.

Thanks for a much-needed laugh, and for all the wonderful posts over the past couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Very funny and original. I like her attitude! And the pictures are breathtaking.

Daffodil Planter said...

LOL! Does Nina sound like Barbara Walters in real life?

Thomas said...

Congratulations on 500,000, and thanks for a great post, made my day.

James said...

I keep hearing about insect tastings in SF but have never had a real interest in trying them out.

Congratulations on hitting a half million views! Anyone can writing on the internet, but when people are reading on that scale, you're obviously doing a lot of things right!

lynn'sgarden said...

Congrats, Mr. Subj! but no surprise there! Very cute and clever interview...i love the video!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

This is priceless! And I had never seen the Thrillicious video before. Obviously I need to get out and about far more than I do. Oh and congrats on the 500 k page hits, and here's to a million even sooner than you might expect.