The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

Dear Diary: The Interview

This is an end of Dear Diary, at least in some liminal sense. I’m not going to be EIC as of Friday morning, so if I ever feel like doing something really dumb in this space, there would theoretically be someone who could say no to that idea. So this is the end of the unsupervised Dear Diary. On that note, being lazy yet still wanting to write something, I decided to interview myself.

I didn’t get fired or anything, incidentally.

“The Interview”

Moderator: Hi.

Pete (in italics): How’s it going?

Pretty good.


Let’s get started here.


Let’s look at some of your work.

From “How to Beat Me Up,” November 11, 2002

Home: I am completely defenseless in the morning. If you catch me asleep or naked, I can virtually guarantee that you could beat me up. Punching me in the face while sleeping would send a nice message. During the afternoon and evening, I tend to lock doors and stay away from windows. However, pretending to be a delivery man would probably work, and you’d definitely get in a punch or two. P.S. when you knock on the door, say “Candy-Gram” and then jump kick me through the wall.

This came after the Maroon ran the advertisements, which upset a lot of people. Most all of the people who were upset took it upon themselves to e-mail me about it. I thought the best way to deal with all that negative energy was to tell people how to beat me up, which is not to say that anyone actually threatened to beat me up in the weekend prior to this article’s appearance. And there’s a reference to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in there, which in and of itself is actually a reference to some other movie. And the thing about punching someone in the face while they’re sleeping is an inside joke between Ben and some friend of his from high school.

From “Trite Observations,” February 14, 2003

Girls are crazy! Sometimes you hurt people you love!

I got on this kick where I would make trite observations but identify them as such. That was something else. What I was looking to do here was point out that girls are actually crazy.

From “Thoughts on Baseball,” October 14, 2002

Baseball player of whose pants my dad once turned into a pair of shorts: John Wesley “Boog” Powell.

This is actually true. Somewhere in the attic of 2587 Ashton, there is a pair of ugly red shorts. These were once the uniform pants of Boog Powell. It remains unclear how my dad got a hold of Boog Powell’s pants. I think he said something about a rummage sale at old Municipal Stadium, but that seems unlikely. I mean, why would they be having a rummage sale at a stadium? Further, why would they be selling Boog Powell’s pants? Anyway, I think this is an important moment in the oeuvre, because it highlights the importance of my dad as a mythological figure.

From “Silver Jews: The Indie Rock Diaspora Continues,” January 8, 2002

“the conversation”

trapper: Tell me your feelings on country-rock.

korean baby: I own and love Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

trapper: Me too.

hawkeye: Well, I like the Silver Jews.

trapper: The Silver Jews aren’t country! The Silver Jews are a bunch of grad students sitting around making fun of country music, you stupid motherfucker. How is it possible for someone so ignorant to be a doctor?

hawkeye: (lunges at TRAPPER with scalpel)

End scene!

Well, it’s hard to understand this out of context. This was an argument I had with Sam Eccleston once in the Maroon office, obviously fictionalized somewhat. Hawkeye is me, and Trapper is Sam. I didn’t actually try to stab Sam, nor did he call me names. And the Korean baby didn’t say anything about Sweetheart of the Rodeo. I think the baby might have actually been out of the office during this conversation.

Also from “Silver Jews: The Indie Rock diaspora continues,” January 8, 2002

3) If this record was a car, what kind of car would it be?

A big charter bus going to a college football game that accidentally hits a homeless guy while pulling into the parking lot of a convenience store with a big sign that says “We Sell Beer At The State Minimum.” The homeless guy is OK but he acts hurt and says he is going to sue them but then they are all drunk and in team logo parkas and they just laugh at the bum, and then the driver takes off his David Duval sunglasses and apologizes, makes sure he’s OK, but then the assholes start yelling at him and some guy on the bus either dumps or accidentally spills a beer on him from the window and the jerks start laughing and he walks away with hurt feelings.

Well, this is interesting, because you’ve dug up another time that I interviewed myself. It’s not actually from Dear Diary, either. Yeah, so I’ve used this fake interview trick before. Except this time I also cut and pasted a bunch of stuff I already wrote. It’s the old flashback trick. This way I got to write a Dear Diary without actually writing anything, except for these little transitional numbers.

From “Lakes,” October 22, 2002

Dramatis personae

(something I’ve been working on)

Lake Superior: King of all the lakes (superior means “kingly”)

Lake Huron: The mayor of lake town, q.e.d.

Lake Michigan: The railroad tycoon of the lakes?

Lake Erie: The young Turk of lakes? A lake-about-town, then.

Lake Ontario: Secretary of the lake’s dinner and pinochle club.

The whole idea to write a column just about lakes came about when I ran into Ben at the Reg and he said something about people trying to make Lake Champlain a Great Lake. I got angry and this was the result. This particular column is kind of hard to understand because a big chunk of my argument was on the Internet, on this Web page, but as you know, hyperlinks don’t work in newsprint.

From “A Thousand Slow Deaths,” January 21, 2002

New England is less a New England than it is a big VFW fish fry. Everyone there has seen better times, but the beer is cheap and there are plenty of places to sit.

This might actually be clever.

From “Wass Tun, Herr Schlangekopf?,” July 19, 2002

There was going to be a big sentence where I explained my painfully beautiful theory of why life is awesome through the carpetburn story but either A) I never had that sentence or B) I had it and I lost it. Shit state of affairs, but that’s the way I ordered my meal, apparently.

This is from the summer. I was in a bad mood, and I saw something on CNN about a comet hitting the earth in the year 2019 or thenabouts. So I wrote an article whining about how life sucks. It was pretty insufferable, except for that last line. I’m not actually sure what it means. It looks like I’m running out of space here. Aw, shit. Well, I had some more stuff in here, but I’m going to have to cut things short a bit. Anyway, I’m out of here. Thanks, I guess.

Thanks for coming.

Yeah, no problem.


So we’re done here.



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