The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Henry's Interview Corner


A Beagle Dreams of Finally Getting Some Answers

Anthony’s Weiner

(Interviewed October 5, 2013)

H:         Ummm….

A’sW:   What?

H:         You’re… you’re…

A’sW:   Not this again. Why is the media so gob-smacked whenever I give an interview? How long did you guys think I’d stay silent?

H:         But… you’re…a …

A’sW:   Yeah. I’m a penis. Get over it already. You’re a talking Beagle, for cryin’ out loud.

H:         But…

A’sW:   The invitation said “Anthony’s Weiner.” Here I am.

H:         That was a… I can’t type too good with paws. And I’m not sure w-e-i-n-e-r is the right way to spell … it. I mean you.

A’sW:   Too late now. Here I am.

AW:       He could interview me.

A’sW:   Pay no attention to the guy in the black sheet behind me.

H:         You mean… Mr. Weiner.

A’sW:   No. For interview purposes, he just staging. He’s a backdrop. He’s nothing.

AW:       I can hear you, you know. I’m not…

A’sW:   Was I talking to you? Tony? Mr. Danger? Was I?

AW:       No.

A’sW:   Right. No. I was not talking to you. Just stand there and be quiet. This is my time. It’s in my contract. Don’t think I won’t sue.

AW:       Fine.

A’sW:   Thank you. Okay, Henry. Let’s get this done. First question.

H:         Oh. Okay. Well. There are so many, I guess.

A’sW:   I don’t have all day. I’ve got a three o’clock with Wolf Blitzer.

H:   …

A’sW:   Want me to start?

H:   Yes.

A’sW:   Okay. Most people want to know how I’m adjusting.

H:         Adjusting to… what…exactly?

A’sW:   Fame. It hasn’t always been like this. No one used to recognize me. It was always very awkward. You know? Like Oh my God! And lots of screaming and that kind of thing.

H:         I see.

A’sW:   Right. But now everybody knows me. My picture is everywhere. Everyone’s talking about me. I’ve been trending on Twitter for months. I have nearly a million followers, by the way, and …

H:         You tweet?

A’sW:   Sure.

H:         What do you tweet?

A’sW:   Oh, lots of politics, of course. But also cultural observation commentary. I’m a big observer. I’ve got my eye out.

H:         Really. What kinds of things do you observe?

A’sW:   Lots of shrieking, I guess. Also laughter and stupefaction. But I’m in a great position to make cross-cultural and cross-gender comparisons. You’d be surprised at how similar we all are. I post all of my findings on Facebook.” 

H:         You post?

A’sW:   Hey. Look at me. I am a post.

H:         … I mean, you have your own Facebook page?

A’sW:   Absolutely. I change my profile photo every day. Sometime multiple times a day. I’ve got something close to two million Likes.

H:         No… way.

A’sW:   Right? Though, to be fair, virtually all of those Likes are from you-know-who.

AW:       I have a name, you know.

A’sW:   No, not here you don’t. So zip it. And I’m speaking figuratively.

AW:       Fine.

A’sW:   And give us a quarter turn toward the mic. I’m tired of always having to reach. My point is, Henry, celebrity status is finally here and, let me tell you, it’s a relief.

H:         I see. So now you’re out … doing interviews apparently.

A’sW:   Yep. Yep. Time to finally stand up and be counted. I’m tired of you-know-who always speaking for me.

H:         You mean you’re not of the same mind?

A’sW:   Well, that’s a bit extreme. We’re clearly of the same mind. Haven’t you been paying attention? But we don’t always have a respectful relationship.

H:         Let me guess. He beats you.

A’sW:   That’s not…

H:         Manhandles?

A’sW:   All of that is too extreme. He rubs me the wrong way sometimes. Let’s leave it at that. And he looks down on me. A lot.

H:         A lot?

A’sW:   Always.

H:   Oh. Well that’s no good, is it?

A’sW:   Tina had Ike. I’ve got Carlos Danger here. Getting famous has really helped though. That was Tina’s salvation too.

H:   She strikes me as an unusual source of inspiration for you.

A’sW:   Watch this. Big wheel keep on turnin’, Proud Mary keep on burnin! Rollin’…

H:         Stop.

A’sW:   Rollin’…

H:         Please stop.

A’sW:   Ooo-Ooo-Ooo…

H:         No. That’s just … so wrong.

A’sW:   Well. It’s not for everybody.

H:         Any regrets about your path to fame?

A’sW:   Regrets? I’ve had a few.

H:         Like?

A’sW:   Tony’s feet are always in the shot, for one thing.

H:         And?

A’sW:   In the early days he insisted on sitting down during these interviews.

H:         And that’s bad?

A’sW:   One, it’s humiliating. Two, I get sleepy. If I’m going to connect with my fans, I need to be up and out there. Jazz hand!

H:         I guess I can see that.

A’sW:   I know, right? That’s why I had my lawyer put those eye-level and no-sitting clauses in my contract.

H:         You have your own lawyer?

A’sW:   Duh. I’m not using his lawyer. My days of hanging around in the dark reading a book as he and Shelly Weingarten make all the decisions are over. Shelly went to Brandeis. My guy’s from Harvard. You look confused, Henry. What? What?

H:         You read books?

A’sW:   I’m a huge reader. Huge.

H:         What do you read?

A’sW:   I’m big into the young adult market. Also literary erotica. I’m half way through Fifty Shades.

H:         What do you think?

A’sW:   Meh.

H:         Hey, do you have trouble turning the pages? I have such a hard time with that.

A’sW:   Pages? Where have you been? E-books, baby. E-books. My whole world is nothing but digital. All you gotta know is how to point.

H:         Hmm. So what’s next for you now that you’ve … arrived? What’s on the horizon?

A’sW:   Not sure yet. More basking in the limelight. I’m going to bask.

H:         Forever?

A’sW:   No. At some point I’ll need to get down to business.

H:         Which is?

A’sW:   Running for office.

H:         Really? What office?

A’sW:   I missed my opportunity for Mayor. The filing deadline had passed, so…

AW:       I was already running for that.

A’sW:   Listen, pal. You are one more word away from an injunction. Got that?

AW:       Sorry.

A’sW:   You blew that race anyway, so …

AW:       No, I got some issues out there. I connected with the voters…

A’sW:   No. Tony. You blew it. Read my lips: bleeeewww it.

AW:       Could I get just a little support from you?

A’sW:   Support? You want support? Don’t get me started on support. Do I ever need support? Ne-ver. Look at me.

AW:       I can’t. I have a sheet over my head.

A’sW:   Be glad I didn’t encase you in elastic briefs. Stop your whining, get some backbone and stand up for yourself. You’re not going to be Mayor. Take it like a man. Sorry, Henry.

H:         Quite alright. You couldn’t honestly have thought that you could both run against each other for Mayor of New York. I mean…

A’sW:   I could have beaten this clown. If you haven’t noticed, he has a problem focusing.

H:         Focusing on the issues, you mean.

A’sW:   No. Focusing the camera. How hard is that? And he thinks he can run the City of New York? Give me a break.

H:         Well, he was in the United States Congress.

A’sW:   First, yeah, but look how that turned out. Second, it was the United States Congress. I mean how hard can it be? It’s easier than focusing. No way he could run this city.

H:         But you couldn’t run at all because you missed the filing deadline.

A’sW:   Sad but true.

H:         So, if not Mayor of New York, what office do you have your eye on?

A’sW:   Henry, my motto has always been to aim high.

H:         Really. You don’t say.

A’sW:   Yes. Yes I do.

H:         So…what does that mean? Wait. Don’t answer that.

A’sW:   It means 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I’m throwing my hat in the ring. Right here, right now. On your little show here. Boom. You’re welcome. … Again, with the confused look. What’s wrong?

H:         You have a hat?

A’sW:   Yes, I have a hat. And a scarf.

H:         Really?

A’sW:   Hey, beagle-boy, you’re covered in fur. It gets freaking cold in New York. Interviews. Posing for photos. All the glad-handing.

H:         Wow. I don’t need that image in my head.

A’sW:   You asked about the scarf.

H:         Okay. So practically speaking what does a run for the White House mean for you?

A’sW:   Well, first it means an in-your-face primary challenge to one Hillary Rodham Clinton.

H:         That’s going to be tough, don’t you think?

A’sW:   Of course it will. She’s really garnered a lot of experience as Secretary of State. A brilliant move on her part, politically speaking. She did a great job for the country and, at the same time, she polished her resume. So I give her a lot of credit.

H:         But?

A’sW:   But you-know-who has been polishing my resume almost continuously since he was twelve, so.

H:         This is getting disgusting.

A’sW:   Politics is a dirty business.

H:         How is it you think you can beat Hillary? She seems unbeatable to me. What’s her weakness?

A’sW:   Her weakness, my furry friend…

H:         It’s hair, actually.

A’sW:   Whatever. Her weakness is that proverbial three a.m. phone call.

H:         Huh?

A’sW:   I never sleep, Henry. I’m always awake. Hell, at three a.m., I’m probably already on the phone. Or under the phone, or in front of the phone. I’m RIGHT BY the phone is what I’m saying. Posing for pictures. I don’t care what time it is. I’m there. Boom. Ready to go. Totally different deal for Hillary.

H:         If you manage to defeat Hilary in a primary battle, what do you think is the single most important issue that will define the electoral contest with your Republican challenger?

A’sW:   Easy. Size of government.

H:         How so?

A’sW:   I’m unabashedly a big-government guy. The bigger the better as far as I am concerned. I am not afraid to show them what an enormous and unfettered government can really do. Let’s stop all the talk about cutting government. No more cuts. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. One cut is enough.

H:         There’s a t-shirt?

A’sW:   The middle class in this country needs help. It has had enough of gridlock sequestering our democracy into a prolonged, debilitating recession.

H:         I think we’re finally out of the Great Recession at this point.

A’sW:   Please. First, there was nothing great about the recession. Second, you call this a recovery? Our economy should have been back up to full strength a year ago. Twenty minutes and I’m good to go.

H:         I don’t think…

A’sW:   The world is watching and America looks like it’s trying to climb out of a cold bath. The country needs a big stimulus package. And it needs it right now. I can deliver that.

H:         So, do you really think you’re ready for the White House?

A’sW:   The Oval Office?

H:         Please don’t….please…

A’sW:   Baby, I was made for the Oval Office.

H:         Okay.

A’sW:   Bubba Clinton was a big inspiration for me.

H:         You mean Bill?

A’sW:   No.  …  I mean.  …  Bubba.

H:         Um.  Ooohhhhh.   Right. Right.

A’sW:   The whole, inter-coital phone call to Congress. Brilliant. And efficient.

H:         I think that’s probably more than enough.

A’sW:   Really? I can go longer than that.

H:         I’m sure you can.  So, it sounds to me like this past few years has really been a positive change for you?

A’sW:   Absolutely. My self-confidence is up. The exposure has been wonderful.

H:         And by exposure… you mean …

A’sW:   The fresh air.

H:         Got it.

AW:       My legs are getting tired. And I’d like a drink of water. And it’s hard to breath in here. You know… under the sheet.

A’sW:   Oy vey. Do you have any idea what it’s like dragging this guy around all day? I guess I’ve got to bounce, Henry. You know how Wolf gets if you keep him waiting.

H:         Well, thanks for dropping by. Let us know how things are going.

A’sW:   Yeah, yeah. I’ll poke my head in next time I’m in town.

AW:       I don’t want to do an interview with Wolf.

A’sW:   One, it’s not your interview. Two, clause 15(d) and my Harvard-educated lawyer says you have no say in the matter. So stop being such a tool, Anthony.

AW:       But…

A’sW:   Nope. Let’s go Carlos. And what’s with the posture? Stand up straight. March. No! Don’t you touch me! I will beat you senseless! I will…. Ooo, paparazzi! Smiles everyone! Big wheel keep on turnin’…

Next Guest: The Fox


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