Saturday, August 27, 2011
The Contessa And The Blowhard Take The Knickers Challenge
You might recall my taking that underwear challenge thing earlier in the month. Well, I'm doing the same thing again, in the first of two blogs, but this time it's the characters who are answering the questions. For this one, I'm going with two characters who are among those who live only here in the blogosphere, and not in a book. Lars Ulrich would have come, but he was too busy beating the hell out of an entertainment reporter.
I've selected Keith Jarrett, the blowhard author of I Know Everything, So Bask In My Eternal Wisdom, Duck And Cover, The Buddhists Are Coming To Kill Us All, How To Cure Ebola, Gosh, I'm So Smart, and Mother Teresa: Tyranical Despot of India. He's being joined today by Contessa Evangelista Francesca Nicolette Viola Divinna, the explosives loving engineer who very nearly destroyed the Brooklyn Bridge.
All right, you two... behave yourselves. That means I don't want to hear about your latest book, Keith. Or I don't want you going around blowing up the Alexandria Bridge, Miss Divinna.
Contessa: That's Contessa Evangelista Francesca Nicolette Viola Divinna. You may call me Contessa.
Keith: But I'm really excited by my new memoir Keith Jarrett: Last Best Hope Of Earth...
Quiet, you. All right, you're supposed to answer a series of questions, to the best of your abilities, and really, Keith, do try to keep to the subject instead of going on and on about how brilliant you think you are. Here we go.
1. What do you call your underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them?
Keith: I call them boxers, because that's what I wear them for. And speaking of boxers, I've been thinking of writing the definitive biography of one of the biggest names in the sport. How does Mike Tyson: Gentle As A Puppy grab you as a title?
Contessa: Panties, of course. Though when I'm out in the field as a demolitions engineer, I have been known to call them knickers. In fact, last week I was all set to blow up the Golden Gate Bridge when I got a call from the city instructing me not to...
Is there a point to this?
Contessa: Yes, I was just getting to it...
Let's move onto the next question, shall we?
2. Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in only your underwear?
Contessa: Oh, certainly. I dreamed just the other night of being in Athens, setting charges in that unsightly pile of rocks they call the Parthenon, set to blow it up. For some reason, I was only wearing my polka dot panties and bra while working with the C4. Can you tell me what that dream means?
Keith: Certainly. In chapter 458 of my epic tome I Know Everything, So Bask In My Eternal Wisdom, I delve into the subject of the meaning of dreams...
Keith, stick to the subject. What's your answer?
Keith: Of course, yes. I've had that dream. I was standing in the United Nations General Assembly, making a speech on just how brilliant I am, and the whole audience was enraptured by what I was saying. Audiences just love to hear me talk, by the way. They recognize pure genius when they see it. Anyway, to make a long story short, in the dream, I gave the whole speech while wearing speedos.
3. What is the worst thing you can think of to make underwear out of?
Contessa: Poison ivy.
Keith: I can't argue that. Poison ivy would be horrible for underwear. Which reminds me, I once wrote the definitive work on poison ivy...
Not now. Let's just get through these questions, shall we?
4. If you were a pair of panties, what colour would you be?
Contessa: Orange and red, just like the colour of an explosion.
Keith: Plaid, and in the clan colours of the Clan Jarrett. We've even got our own family crest, all the way back to Glasgow, long history of Highlanders there. In fact, the Jarretts rode with William Wallace at Stirling...
Will you shut up?
Keith: Can I help it if people are naturally fascinated by me?
5. Have you ever thrown your underwear at a rock star or other celebrity? If so, which one(s)? If not, which one(s) WOULD you throw your underwear at, given the opportunity?
Keith: No, I haven't thrown them at anyone. Though I did once write an article for the New Yorker on the phenomenon of knickers being tossed at bands on stage. Perhaps you read it?
Contessa: Only once, and it wasn't a rock star. It was a comedian. Carrot Top. I'll thank you not to dwell on it.
Carrot Top? Are you serious?
Contessa: What did I say about not dwelling on it? I'm a Contessa, and I insist we not talk about such things.
Can I see any proof of your Contessaness?
Contessa: You'll have to take my word for it.
6. You're out of clean underwear. What do you do?
Contessa: Do the laundry, of course. You know, that's a funny thing to bring up. Last winter, I was down in New Orleans. My demolitions company was working on repairing the levees, and it turns out that local officials weren't all that fond of my plan to blow up the levees. Something about putting the city at risk or something... I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention. Anyway, so there we were arguing, and some of the charges went off. I assure you, the mayor had to change his underwear. Honestly, all I did was put a few tonnes of C4 into the levees...
Keith: Is this a trick question?
You're not going to answer this?
Keith: Not until I know if it's a trick question.
Never mind, let's move on.
7. Are you old enough to remember Underroos? If so, did you have any? Which ones?
Contessa: Do you honestly think a Contessa will admit to ever having an item called an Underroo?
Keith: Yes, I did. I had Napoleon underroos. Mom and Dad must have seen that just like him, I was destined for great things. I think it really had an influence on me. I'm thinking of writing a biography of the Emperor. How does Bonaparte: A Man Of Humility sound?
8. If you could have any message printed on your underwear, what would it be?
Keith: I have a message on the underwear I'm wearing right now. Keith Jarrett, super-genius.
Contessa: Not tonight, dear, I have a headache.
9. How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat?
Contessa: Look, I suppose you think such a question has some inherent amusement value, but I don't find it funny. A Contessa like me would never, ever spend anytime around a lowly creature like a goat, let alone dress it in panties. What kind of question is this?
It's supposed to get an honest answer out of you. Something to throw you off track.
Keith: That's an interesting question, and before I answer it, I thought I'd talk a bit about an essay I once wrote, called Goats: What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing. You know, the average goat really is a buffoonish sort of animal, something of a cross between a beaver and a duck...
You do realize you're talking about a platypus.
Keith: A what?
Keith: What's a platypus?
An Australian mammal that's a a strange critter, mix of duck and beaver. Looks like something made out of spare parts. A goat is an entirely different kind of animal altogether.
Keith: You're sure?
Yes, I'm sure.
Contessa: This explains why you got laughed out of the Sierra Club, doesn't it?
Keith: No, that was an entirely different matter altogether.
Contessa: Are we done with these questions?
Yes, I'd say we are.
Contessa: Good. Because I have to go explain myself to the city of Paris as to why my company blew up a bridge over the Seine. Honestly, it was there for hundreds of years! Who cares about something that old?
Keith: Curious of you to mention that. I was thinking I ought to write the definitive history of Paris. How does the title Backwater Of The Cultural World sound?
Paris isn't a backwater. It's a cultural gem.
Keith: It is?