INTERVIEW WITH ANDY RIVERBED
i interviewed andy riverbed. he does translations and he wrote the book DAMAGED. he has an e-book coming out through EVERYDAY YEAH on friday. interview after break. there is mention made of mc hammer.
HTMLGIANT: what is a good, polite way to show another human you feel affection for him/her?
RIVERBED: I think the only way to get honesty out of a person is to get him or her drunk. I cannot dictate a standard manner of expressing affection for another because whatever form the best manner may take depends on the individual’s experience, so it is all relative to one. But I can tell you what I do when I get too drunk and have a girl’s phone number: I send her pictures of retarded shit with my cellphone, and sometimes I include side-comments. I also support the fomentation of stalking. I would tell my son if he asked me during the commercial segment of his favorite Nickelodeon cartoon, Ren & Stimpy, while he allows me to caress in-between his fingernail and his finger, to get as much information about her as possible and to catch eyecontact with her for a second and then look away and play a serious face. I would tell my son, if she were to say that her name meant “the Sun,” to say that his name meant “the Moon,” and to motion with his hands—his fingers crooked—parallel in the air at the same time as he voiced the utterance.
HTMLGIANT: you are a mortal kombat character. describe your attire and your finishing moves, including your “friendship.”
RIVERBED: I wear baggie Sean John jeans that say “Sean John” on it many times in contrasting and at ugly angles; I wear a 70s glossy coated dress shirt buttoned only halfway up to show off my chest hair (of which I have a lot). I have a big, curly afro; I have platinum teeth, and a large emblem is hung on my neck from a thick gold chain—the emblem is of the word, “Riverbed.” Sometimes, if the player presses the correct code-combination before selecting me in the character menu, I appear wearing a Puerto Rican flag bandanna on my head with the lone star facing forward and its stripes tied together at the back of my head. In this costume, I wear a Piculín basketball jersey that says, “Puerto Rico” in cursive by my right shoulder. One of my finishing moves is called, “El Grito de Lares,” in which my head grows to an enormous size and takes up half the screen; and then skinny, burnt, starving children use my lower jaw as leverage to climb out of my insides; they see my opponent in knocked-out mode and jump on him eventually devouring him like piranhas unaffected by the fact that they are not swimming in the Amazon River. In my Friendship move, I kneel down into an Indian crouching position and pull out a bowl of rice and beans from my ass; I offer my opponent some, but because he is knocked out, he ignores me; he is wobbling, about to fall, like a junky on the corner begging for his next fix; he has stars circling his head. I get angry because he ignores me and throw the food at his face and use my steel bowl to slap him until he begins to bleed from the orifices of his head. I then feel bad and hug him and kiss him, blooding up myself up too. I tell him, “I kiss to say, ‘Sorry, I don’t want to hurt strangers.’”
HTMLGIANT: if you could train any animal or any human to be your pet, what or who would it be and what would you name it or him/her?
RIVERBED: If I could have anything be my pet, I’d petten “Eric” the guy who does all the dirty work for Freddie Nueve, the owner of Gator Domino’s here in Gainesville. I’d rename him, “Soulless Piece of Shit” or “Sippy” for short, and whenever I’d feel bored and low on my self-esteem and questioning my own worth in this plane of existence, I would take my taser-gun and shock Slippy and observe her (Sippy is obviously a girl’s name!) flapping and spazzing on my tiled home floor. Doing this would make me feel much better about myself and would cause me to laugh a lot.
HTMLGIANT: what is the first tape/cd you purchased?
RIVERBED: I had an MC Hammer cassette that I got with an MC Hammer doll my mother had bought me which is one of the first things I remember listening to obsessively. When I started buying CDs, I bought a Sugar Ray CD, Sublime’s 40oz to Freedom CD, and a Dead Milkmen CD, a yellow one with a cartoon cow on the cover. The Sugar Ray I come to say now sucked, but for some reason I had a fondness for it in my youth (the fucking-cash song pumped me up). The 40oz to Freedom CD, I liked a lot, and it had that Descendents cover, and a Bad Religion cover too (though I am not a fan of anything Bad Religion has done in a long time, and I tend to relate hearing Sublime to stupid white-boys now). I didn’t come to realize what I had in the Dead Milkmen CD until I was a bit older and had started forming bands with friends from shows.
HTMLGIANT: what would scare you less to find in your food, a press-on nail, or an eyebrow? why?
RIVERBED: Definitely a press-on nail; that’s possible; it could happen to me if I were to be working at McDonalds on Halloween and all us employees were allowed to wear costumes and I chose to dress up as a skanky whore. An eyebrow, that needs a story. How does an eyebrow come to appear on my Italian sandwich at Burger King, or on my ribs at Chili’s, or in my milkshake at Ben & Jerry’s?
HTMLGIANT: you are a mythical creature. what is the only way to kill you?
RIVERBED: You must go for my left ankle with a swipe at the ball of the joint, the round bump that looks to my right side. Then my foot will break apart from the rest of my skeleton and you must pull at it with much force—if necessary get your car and tie my foot to its bumper and drive away at full-speed—until my skin tears. Then you must take my foot and throw it into my mouth—but don’t forget to sprinkle on some salt and pepper because if not I will not enjoy the taste of my foot—and make sure that I eat it. Remember also that I am twenty feet tall. If necessary, you might have to call John Travolta so that he can help you with his jet-plane. Once I have eaten my foot, you need to call the President and have him touch the red button under his desk, and I will explode. If the President says that he is horny, you will need to call him a hooker, but you need to make sure that she is skinny, short, blond, and open to anal-sex, because he doesn’t like them any other way.
HTMLGIANT: what is the last book you read that you immediately wanted to make others read, perhaps by organizing underground caves in which you’d chain the reader down and whip them until the book was completed?
RIVERBED: Ask the Dust by Fante. I leant it to one kid and I don’t know if he read it. I think, after a long time of telling me he hadn’t read it yet and was going to (he promised me), he did tell me that he had read it. I don’t know or care if he did read it or not, but I told a lot of people to read it. I think I told people in my writing classes to read it. I’ve read other books since then, but that one motivated me to tell people to read it. And The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews. For different reasons though, Fante for passion, Crews for grittiness.
HTMLGIANT: give a four line book report for a book you read recently. you have to use the phrase “jimmy chen’s bicep.”
Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
Wannabe liberal couple gets co-opted into suburbia
and lie to themselves to convince themselves
of happiness until she gets impregnated by
Jimmy Chen’s bicep and kills herself.
HTMLGIANT: do you think it is possible to love another person and what is one thing that characterizes love?
RIVERBED: I think it’s very possible and terribly unfortunate to fall in love with a person. This feeling is characterized by denial of the truth and satisfaction with mediocrity when one desires excellence. But it can also be marked by creative outbursts, free-flowing conversation, nonjudgement, and pure acceptance of each other.