Dear Texas Monthly,
A friend of mine noticed that, in your most recent issue, you included an interview with a Texas brown tarantula. On its surface, a good idea. It reminded me of the interview with a mosquito I did a couple of months back, except not funny. I’m not saying mine was funny — award-winning novelist Ben Fountain is. AND I QUOTE: “Interview with a Mosquito was hilarious.” Also, noted entertainer Tony Orlando, that guy I ran into at the bar, the other guy at the bar, and several other people agree. Anyway, I’m not here to spike the ball in your end zone. I’d like to help. As the foremost practitioner of fake interviews with bugs, insects, arachnids, Lance Armstrong, and so on, I’d like to give you a bit of guidance.
1) If you are going to fake an interview, you have to make it sound like how people talk, not just re-worded facts with casual language, like “gonna” and “wanna.” Read it out loud. If it doesn’t sound like someone talking, ditch it.
2) It needs to be borderline insane. You’re talking to, in this case, a Texas brown tarantula named Clarence. (Solid name, by the way.) It’s already ridiculous. Surf that wave. Does something sound too dumb to include? Then it is perfect.
3) You are creating a character. Find the voice. You sort of did this, but your character is kind of, well, it’s gross. It’s a 5-year-old talking about having sex, for the most part. I mean, yeah, I get it, it’s a 5-year-old spider or whatever, so that’s different, like a 5-year-old dog. But you have him more or less acting like a 5-year-old human, reading comics and so on. If you’re going to stick to the whole premise that you’re talking to him as he’s on the verge of having sex for the first time, steer away from the mentions of him being 5 and give it more of a Risky Business feeling. Just spit-balling. I don’t know which way I’d go.