Welcome! Today I bring you another interview from Five Minutes With a Custard. I’m using the same ten questions on another interviewee: my charismatic friend Teabag. Next, a very special guest appearance by lovely writer Pink Champagne. LC
Five Minutes With a Custard
Your host L Custard catches up with the charismatic Teabag for FTP’s next interview. Teabag discusses autumn and displays nonconformity in food choices.
Lemon Custard: If you were one of the four seasons, which do you think you would be? Note: be careful not to simply pick the season you like best, as that will only be groaned and eye rolled at – think of one you’re similar to.
Teabag: Autumn: mostly reliable weather, not too hot, not too cold, not too damp; small problem with leaves…
LC: Do you prefer handkerchiefs over tissues? Note: Give some basic explanation of why or why not.
T: I actually carry both at the same time.
LC: Do you have a least favourite kind of salad dressing?
T: Anything too acidic – say, lemon.
LC: Should hats be stored in hatboxes, on hat racks/stands, or in some other imaginative fashion that LC can’t think of yet (except maybe for chucking them on the ground)?
T: On hat racks… and can be done artistically.
LC: If you use Google, do you always feel incredibly lucky simply from looking at the empty search bar? Note: This may or may not result in clicking Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
T: Don’t use Google.
LC: Are you absolutely hooked on these unusual questions, can’t wait for more, and think all interviews should be like this?
T: Er – I’ll say – yes – definitely.
LC: While you probably don’t sit under tables as a rule, do you prefer sitting under coffee tables or writing desks?
T: If I had to, I’d say coffee tables.
LC: Are you normally awake at 4:30am? If you are, just sigh and say you are, but if not, proceed to the real question: Would you be more likely to be up at that time by staying up a little later or by getting up a little earlier?
T: I’m fairly often up at 4:30, when I wake during the night.
LC: On the average day, is lying still on a couch boring or relaxing?
T: More boring, because I’d only be doing it when I’m tired enough that I need to.
LC: If you are hungry right now, would you rather freshly shucked oysters with red chilli and lime juice with fried shallots, or slow roasted pumpkin risotto with baby beets, goats curd, asparagus and micro celery?
T: A mix of the two. Freshly shucked oysters with red chilli – no lime juice – shallots, pumpkin risotto, no goats curd – and asparagus and baby beets.
Next up, From the Plate presents a guest appearance by the lovely writer Pink Champagne! I’m sure this will be very special, as this the first fiction piece ever featured here, and we couldn’t have a better writer for it. Enjoy.
Tower of Destiny
By Pink Champagne
“Because talent won’t be quiet, doesn’t know how to be quiet. Whether it’s a talent for safe-cracking, thoughtreading, or dividing ten-digit numbers in your head, it screams to be used. It never shuts up. It’ll wake you in the middle of your tiredest night, screaming, ‘Use me, use me, use me! I’m tired of just sitting here! Use me, ********, use me!’”
– Ted Brautigan, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower VII
Some knew him as the boy who came to school each day in a pair of house slippers. To others, he was the kid whose athletic inabilities were what got him picked last for teams. A kid who sat silently at his desk in the back row, hunched over a spiral-bound notebook, in which he scribbled things no one but him ever read. He was someone unable to form and keep friendships, yet everyone knew his name.
Quinton McQuaide, the boy whose father had abandoned him and his pregnant mother when he was two. But Quinton’s lack of companionship had nothing to do with any desire to remain solitary. No. It was tied entirely to those around him. Those whose shallow opinions of people not fitting their definition of ‘normal’ had followed him like a shadow since childhood.
It had come about, through years of self-teaching and strict discipline, that Quinton was able to condition himself against those who dared inflict pain upon him. Like a tortoise concealing itself inside its shell, he found it just as easy to shut out the world around him. Whenever he felt tense, or things became too difficult, he had only to close his eyes and escape into his imagination. To worlds in which ideas flowed like rivers and words painted the skies like rainbows.
While most children had forts and tree-houses, Quinton was content to know he would always have something better. For as his peers began to abandon their forts and tree-houses, Quinton’s imagination continued to soar. It was maturing, just as he was maturing; he sensed this not only in his body and soul, but in what was right there in front of him. Could see it in the words he chose, and in how his handwriting was beginning to lose its childish scrawl.
There was something else, too. Something he had been putting off for years, only he didn’t know it. Not until the day he and his fellow classmates received flyers from their homeroom teacher for some afterschool club.
Normally, Quinton ignored such things, since most of his peers would sooner trip him in the hallway than be seen talking to him. Well, unless their intent was to make fun of him. Only then would he see the logic in their deprived attempt at socialization.
Were it not for the careless way Quinton’s teacher placed the paper a bit too closely to the edge of his desk, then perhaps it might not have fallen when the boy’s elbow inadvertently nudged it. But fate was on his side that day, and the paper sailed to the floor, landing face up. Seized by what felt like God’s own commanding hand, Quinton leaned over and snatched up the paper. He scanned its contents, his slate-blue eyes squinting behind the lenses of his thick glasses.
THE LITERARY JOURNAL HEREBY REQUESTS YOUR PRESENCE AT ITS NEXT MEETING!
Day: Wednesday, October 8TH
Time: 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Place: Art Room
All grades welcome!
Refreshments will be served!
Hope to see you there!
*If you have any questions, please contact Miss Moran (facilitator and guidance counselor).
Like the time-travelers in the science-fiction novels he devoured, Quinton’s mind reeled backwards in time. To an event in which he’d been very young, but not so young that his memories had been adjusted. In his mind’s eye he saw himself at seven years old, seated in the driver’s seat of his mother’s 1942 Plymouth. They had been coming back from the grocery store, when the car unexpectedly broke down just ten miles from their trailer. Flat broke until Friday’s paycheck, Quinton’s mother had ordered him to operate the pedals while she got out and pushed. Delighted by his mother’s suggestion, Quinton had obliged as eagerly as any sixteen-year-old about to take the wheel for the first time. Although a small woman, his mother had delivered to the car a mighty push, giving it the kick-start it needed. For precisely ten seconds, Quinton had reveled in the excitement of chugging up Main Street, seated in the driver’s seat of his mother’s car.
Perhaps the idea of attending a meeting of the Literary Journal was the kick-start he needed. A push in the right direction, as his mother would say. A push that might just send him stumbling down the yellow-brick road, toward his own tower of destiny.
Quinton tucked the flyer into the back pocket of his jeans just as the bell rang, signaling the end of yet another school day. Slinging his book-bag over one shoulder, he rose from his desk in the back row, and headed for the door.
Thank you to Teabag and Pink Champagne for featuring in today’s festival. Thanks to my readers; I’ll see you on day 5!