I am trying to fill out an interview sent to me by a fourth grade class. This is harder than it should be.

The questions are somewhat generic, which isn’t too bad–I mean, interview questions are almost always pretty generic, so you learn to work around it. The tough part is trying to be clear and concise but not condescending. This makes me realize how much my writing style depends on a sort of verbal equivalent of waving my hands around going “You know? You know? Like–the thing–” (hand gesture, hand gesture.)

The other problem is appropriateness. I should never do such an interview in person–my vocabulary devolves into a sailor with Tourette’s when I’m nervous, and the first “Fuck! WAIT!–ARGH!” would slip out within thirty seconds. Fortunately this isn’t a problem with an e-mail interview, but I find myself choking on it occasionally nonetheless–for example, when asked “What is your favorite artwork?” the back half of my brain screams “It’s Saturn Devouring His Children by Goya! You know it is! LIAR!” Since there is an excellent chance that they might try to FIND that, we can’t have it–that painting gave me nightmares when I was in high school, let alone inflicting it on a pack of 10 year olds. (They’d probably love it, I know. Nevertheless, this has to get past the teachers.)

Likewise, while the answer to “Why do you like art?” is, in all honesty, “It beats flipping burgers,” something a little more inspirational may be in order. Unfortunately, if you think about this long enough, you realize you don’t much like art, you hate art, art done you wrong, art ran over your dog and ran away with your woman, and if art ever comes back, you’ve got a shotgun loaded for it, that bastard. This is also probably not appropriate.

Oh, well….

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