HB: Yep. All for some delicious foodie.
SPAL: Yes. But we’re not going to mess around today. Glowstick is back and he requires a lot of attention.
HB: Maybe we can get him some good treats, too.
SPAL: We need to stay focused today, stupid. Let me handle the interview and you just keep quiet. And no leg-hugging either.
SPAL: We’re proud to bring you, Norma Beishir.
HB: Hello, nice lady. What do you like to snack on when you’re writing? Tell us why you like it. ***He looks at SPAL and whispers*** See, I did good.
NB: I like a lot of things, but dark chocolate-covered raisins are my favorite. They're soft and sweet and loaded with antioxidants. I love cheesecake, but if I eat cheesecake, I forget all about the writing. Besides, cheesecake causes writer's butt.
HB: Writer’s butt? ***he looks behind, nudges SPAL, and whispers*** Do you think I have writer’s butt?
SPAL: ***whispers*** Just stand there and let me handle this. Remember?
HB: Okay. ***he looks back at his butt and whispers***But do you think I have writer’s butt?
SPAL: ***rolls his eyes and whispers*** No. You have dingleberry-butt issues. Now be quiet.
HB: Oh. ***gives a confused look***
SPAL: Is this nosh crunchy or soft, nice lady?
NB: The chocolate-covered raisins are very soft. Geezers like me need soft food. We don't chew so well.
SPAL: I completely understand. I have to eat soft things now, too. Are these chocolate-covered raisins salty or sweet?
HB:***whispers*** What are dingleberry-butt issues?
NB: Sweet...but not too sweet. Just like the two of you. You guys are the cutest interviewers I've ever had. And quite possibly the smartest.
SPAL and HB: ***blush***
SPAL: Thank you, Miss Norma. But I’m the intelligent one of the two.
HB: I’m smart, too! ***whispers in SPAL’s ear*** What are dingleberry-butt issues?
SPAL: Later.***whispers back to HB and turns to Norma***Do the chocolate-covered raisins get your creative juices flowing?
NB: It gets a lot of things flowing...but that's a good thing. Most of the time.
HB: Will chocolate covered raisins get rid of dingleberry-butt issues?
SPAL:***whispers*** Don’t embarrass us. ***He looks at Norma*** Do you have any fur or feathered-peeps you like to share your nosh with?
NB: I had a feathered peep who used to be my main muse. Sam. He's gone now. I miss him a lot. He did indeed insist upon sharing my snacks, so no chocolate when he was here. I had fruit. He loved apples. And Honey Nut Cheerios. He liked to dunk them in water like donuts.
HB: It’s the ghost-bird! ***he whispers to SPAL*** Dingleberries and ghosts! Yikes!
SPAL: Shh! ***he whispers to HB and looks at Norma***Do they help you write like we help our Mummsy write? She says we’re her muses.
NB: Fur and feathered peeps are great muses. Sam was one of mine. I also had a pig, a couple of dogs, rabbits...everything but snakes. Snakes are bad. You can't trust snakes. They steal your work and eat your lunch.
SPAL: We’ll remember that and tell Mummsy that one. Do you have any published books out there that your pets helped you with?
NB: Oh, there are a lot of those—sixteen so far. Do you want all of them, or just a few?
SPAL: As many as you feel like giving.
SPAL: Thank you for sharing those. Please share an excerpt from your work in progress if you have something else you’re working on.
NB: With pleasure! This excerpt in from one of my four works in progress—the working title is Sucker-Punched, and is about five rowdy brothers (their only sister is one of the protagonists of An Army of Angels, sequel to Chasing the Wind—how's that for complicated?). The Cantwell brothers are pro-wrestlers with a real talent for getting into trouble....
I was in the center of the ring with my brother Mike hoisted high above my head, poised for a body slam. The crowd was roaring. It was great. I love it when the fans go crazy like that. Pro wrestling fans are the most verbal, least politically-correct fans in the world. That's what makes them so great—in my opinion, anyway. This is a crazy life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Mike was trying to break free. “Come on, Paulie,” he gasped. “This is the third time this week!”
“They love it, Mike,” I told him. “Listen to them!”
“Listen to me, you idiot,” he shot back at me. “I'm your brother!”
“Not here, you're not,” I said, preparing to make my move. In the ring, we weren't brothers. I was the Punisher—no relation to the comic book guy—a Heel, a bad guy, of the first order, and my kid brother was a Face, a good guy known as Pretty Boy. That was a stretch. Mike's a long way from pretty.
“I love you, bro,” he pleaded.
“I love you, too.” Then I slammed him to the mat.
“Was it my imagination, or were you enjoying that, bonehead?" Mike asked when we went backstage to the locker room afterward.
I grinned. "What do you think? "
"I think you're an asshole, " my brother said. "I think you like beating the crap out of me."
"I like winning."
“I was supposed to win.”
“Only by disqualification.” Mike was looking for something in his locker. Pain meds, probably. Who said to be a wrestler means being in constant pain? I can't remember—but whoever he was, the dude was right. Bruises, broken bones, torn muscles, concussions....
I was about to head off to the showers but got sidetracked. The reigning heavyweight champion, Mad Dog Mueller, came barging into the locker room, duffel in hand. Mad Dog is the biggest, ugliest creature to ever walk the earth—three hundred-plus pounds of pure mean and a face that looked like it had been on the losing end of a fight with a meat cleaver. There are few movie star faces in wrestling, but Mad Dog's got a face only his legally blind mother could love. And I'm not sure about her devotion to the beast.
His match was next up and he was just getting there. "You do know you're late, right? " I asked. “You're going to be the cause of the boss' next scheduled stroke.”
Mad Dog glared at me. Most of the heels in pro wrestling are nothing like their ring personas, but Mad Dog really is a world-class jackass. "What are they gonna do, start without me? " he asked, pulling off his street clothes. "I'm the champ. It's my show."
"Sure it is, champ, " I said, nodding. Mike was looking from one of us to the other but not saying a word. He didn't have to, really. He thought Mad Dog and me were about to brawl right there in the locker room. It wouldn't have been the first time. But no, I had no desire to roll around on the locker room floor with a naked Mad Dog. The other guys might come in and get the wrong idea, y'know?
“Mad Dog--” Mike started.
“Shut up, loser!” Mad Dog wasn't interested in anything either of us had to say. He pulled on his robe--he was one of the few who still wore a robe out to the ring anymore--and hoisted the heavyweight championship belt onto his shoulder with a smug look on his ugly mug. His entrance theme began, filling the arena with eardrum-splitting heavy metal music as he headed for the ring.
"Don't you think we should have told him? " Mike asked as we went out to the entrance to watch.
I grinned. "And ruin the surprise? No way! "
The crowd greeted old Mad Dog with the usual chant: "You suck! You suck!" He leaped into the ring and threw off his robe, his arms outstretched to allow the unworthy a view of his physique, which was a lot better than his face, visually speaking.
That's when the audience--and Mad Dog--realized he'd forgotten his trunks. The idiot was standing in the middle of the ring, in front of fifty thousand people-- and--God knows how many watching on TV--butt naked!
SPAL: Oooo… this is a really good excerpt. Thank you for sharing with us.
HB: But can’t someone tell me what a dingleberry-butt issue is? Am I going to die from this?
Before Hair Ball and I leave, we wanted to remind you tomorrow is Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Group. Mummsy will be posting for that but will be on hiatus through January. At this time the exact date is unclear.
Glowstick is back and he’s walking on two legs now. And he goes everywhere. He never stops.
So Mummsy will be reading blogs and commenting only. She’s been running around the house a lot when Glowstick isn’t sleeping or when she’s away at the Salon.
And also, she’s been wrangling with Create Space to get her margins done correctly for Secondhand Shoes. Only one page came up with a problem this morning.
In the meantime, Hair Ball and I will be dropping by your email boxes for some new interviews for next year.
Lots of licks,
SIr Poops and Hair Ball