Monday, January 16, 2012

The interview

Continuing on with our theme of January being the month in which we look back at the past and also look forward into the future, I’ve decided (in consultation with my California Psychic) that now is the perfect time for the first ever thunderstrokes interview. 

So who will be the lucky person to serve as the subject for thunderstrokes’ inaugural interview?  Well, that honor can logically go to only one individual:  me.  That’s right, I’m going to interview myself. 

Now this idea may seem strange, but it actually makes sense.  Interviewing myself will allow me to go on the public record at an early stage about the blog, its humble beginnings, and the notable achievements of the first six months.  It will also help to reinforce the edifice of plausible deniability I’ve constructed to combat the rampant rumors that I am, in fact, the Batman.  Plus, this exercise will undoubtedly be helpful in preparing me for my future as a bestselling author, when I’m sure to be inundated with interview requests and invitations to presidential retreats. 

Luck, as I once heard a very small and wise person not named Yoda say, favors the prepared. 

So hold on to your hats, because the first thunderstrokes interview starts now!!!

(Note to self: get high-energy theme music before next interview.)

Interview with Kevin Thorson (KT) of thunderstrokes (by Kevin Thorson of thunderstrokes (TS))

TS:  Today we’re speaking with Kevin Thorson, the visionary force behind the hot new blog, and cultural phenomenon, thunderstrokes.

KT:  Well…(begins to laugh modestly, which turns into a coughing fit)  Excuse me. I was eating some peanuts, and I always get the papery part around the peanut stuck in my throat.

TS:  Oh, you like to eat peanuts?

KT:  No (turning his head and eyeing me suspiciously)…Why do you ask?

TS:  Forget it. 

KT:  No, really, I’d like to know exactly what you meant by that.

TS:  I didn’t mean anything by it.  Look, I don’t want to start the interview off on the wrong foot. 

KT:  Now you’re implying there’s something wrong with my feet?

TS:  No, of course not. They’re my feet too, remember?  Um, let’s just get right to the questions, okay?

KT:  Yes (gaze narrowing) … let’s do that.  But I have to say, I’m not sure I like you…

TS:  Duly noted.  So how does it feel to be a … wait, who added the words ‘internationally famous’ before blogger? 

KT:  Who do you think?  Just consider it one of the privileges that comes with interviewing yourself. 

TS:  But it’s not really accurate, is it?

KT:  Accurate, shmaccurate.  Look, for all we know, by the time this interview is published, it will be. Now c’mon, give the question again, this time without the snide remarks. 

TS:  Fine.  So, internationally famous blogger, what’s it like?

KT:  Well, of course, it’s a tremendous honor to be referred to with such a prestigious title.  And believe me, I view it as a very serious responsibility, one which I can only hope I’m capable of measuring up to.

TS:  Were it to ever actually happen, you mean…

KT:  Are you going to editorialize throughout this whole thing? Because if you are, I will end this interview right now!

TS:  Alright, alright, sorry.  Let’s move on.  Uh…next question.  So, what do you feel you’ve achieved in the first six months since you first started the blog?

KT:  Well, as you so rightly point out, the blog has come a long way in six short months, especially when you consider the fact that I was born one of eighteen children in coal mine country near Wheeling, West Virginia.  That part may not be unusual, but what is unusual is that I was literally born in a coal mine.  At the bottom of an 800 hundred foot shaft, to be specific.  Talk about your long birth canals. 

TS:  Wait, why don’t I know this?

KT:  Well, shut your flapper, and maybe you’ll learn something.  You see, that particular day, my dad had come down with the black cough, as would happen sometimes, especially after a night of binge-drinking and kicking dogs.  My mom, being the trooper that she is, volunteered to take his shift, so he wouldn’t break  his consecutive-days-without-missing-work streak, which was up to six.  There she was, deep in the mine, hammering away at the anthracite, when boom, suddenly the contractions hit!  The whole thing went so fast, she didn’t have time to get out, and before you know it, there I was, coated in a fine layer of coal dust.  And the kicker is, within the hour my mom went right back to work, setting some dynamite.  Didn’t want to get docked a half-day’s pay, so she skipped lunch, and squeezed the whole thing in - or out! - (laughs) during her lunch hour.  Man, (shakes head in disbelief) that’s one tough woman. 

TS:  That’s a fascinating story, but I have two problems.  One, everything you said is a blatant lie, and two, I don’t really see how any of it is even relevant to the question…

KT:  If you would stop interrupting me, you would see that it is relevant because I was trying, in an entertaining way, since I know, Mr. Smartypants interviewer, that’s what the audience wants, to make the point that we didn’t have much money growing up, and we didn’t have a lot of fancy electronics or cutting edge technology around the house. Unless you consider a Mr. Microphone cutting edge.  In fact, we were so poor that we didn’t even have Atari in our house.  We had to play Pong with a kernel of corn and two cobs.  And my brother kept eating the corn.  Do you know how poor you have to be when you can’t afford an Atari?  I mean, I knew homeless people who had Atari.  I used to see them, laying in the gutter, playing Missile Command

TS:  How did they…nevermind.

KT:  I swear, I even saw an old destitute woman once pushing her shopping cart down the sidewalk and playing Night Driver at the same time. 
TS:  Just stop it!  What are you doing?  First of all, we never lived anywhere near West Virginia.  We come from Milwaukee, and have lived in Arizona for thirty-three years.  And, we did too have an Atari, and a ColecoVision, and then we got that TI994A personal computer, and I still don’t know what any of this has to do with the blog!!!

KT:  I’m just trying to illustrate a point.  That I didn’t have the kind of money, family influence and connections that you naturally expect from people who become highly successful bloggers.  I didn’t start out with any of those high society advantages, and yet here I am now, being interviewed just like any other titan of the industry. 

TS:  You’ve gone back to guessing on your medication again, haven’t you? 

KT:  Medication?  What medication?

TS:  Oh, maybe that’s the problem.  I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but I’m pretty sure our readers expect to hear honest answers to these questions.  Now, I’m going to give you a straight question, and I really want you to give a straight answer this time. 

KT:  Shoot.

TS:  Trust me, I’d like to. Okay, here’s one. What has been the most surprising thing about writing a blog so far? 

KT:  Straight answer, huh?  Well, I guess the straight answer to that one is…is…well, I guess I’ve been surprised most by how easy it’s been to find things to write about, because, well, it just…

TS:  Yes…go on…

KT:  I can’t do it!  You want the truth?  The truth is:  honesty is boring!  I’m an entertainer.  People expect entertaining answers.  They don’t want to hear simple, straightforward answers to the questions.  They want to laugh, they want to feel good, they want to see the clown dance and hit himself in the head with a mallet and pull funny balloon animals out of his nose.  They can get honest answers anywhere; it’s up to me to give them a show!

TS:  You know what I think?  I think that it’s not about being entertaining enough, or the audience demanding that you make them laugh.  I think this is really about being afraid to be honest.  I think this whole charade is really just a desperate attempt to avoid expressing your real thoughts and feelings.  Don’t you think that the truth is interesting enough in its own right, without being exaggerated and contorted into some completely fabricated version of itself?

KT:  No, I don’t.  And I resent the fact that you think you can sit there, some lowly interviewer from some lowly blog, and pretend that you know me better than I know myself.

TS:  Well, since we’re the same person, I think I’m entitled to say I know you at least as well as you know yourself…

KT:  HA!  You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you? (Eyes narrow again) I knew I didn’t like you the minute I laid eyes on you.  You say you want the truth?  Here’s some truth for you:  you’re a hack interviewer, your writing stinks, your blog’s nowhere near as funny as you think it is, and you have rotten hair.  HA!  How do you feel about the truth now, huh?

TS:  Oh yeah?  Well I’m rubber and you’re glue.  Everything bounces off me and sticks to you!

KT:  Now wait a second, I’m getting confused.  Doesn’t that mean it still sticks to you then? You know, this whole me interviewing me thing is very disorienting…Which me is me? And who does the glue stick to?

TS:  Oh, who cares?  This interview is over. Where’s the beer?

KT:  Finally, something we can agree on. 

End of interview

If this whole sorry episode has left you as confused as we (I) are (am), well, you have our (my) apologies. 
This may explain why more people don’t interview themselves.
It also makes clear that I have a long way to go before I’m ready for Charlie Rose.  Boy, it’s times like this when you realize that obscurity has its advantages. 

Oh yeah, and one more thing:  psychics suck.


  1. Knowing you both, I must say this is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. You should take this show on the road; although you may argue over who gets top billing!

  2. Hutton - from the bottom of our heart we thank you. I'm not sure what it means that I found it so easy to write that way...