Visited the Printer's Row Bookfair today. At a panel for contributors to the Believer, moderated by Daniel Handler, Daniel brought a group of kids on stage at the end, all of them under 10. I can't say for sure how old they were, because I am not That Way, but I'm going to go with 11, at most. He put them in a row at a the table previously occupied by Believer contributors and went down the line, asking them a series of questions. This is a rough transcription.
Q: So when are you getting married, anyway?
A: I don't know. 25 seems like a good age.
Q: Have you ever been kidnapped?
Q: Would you like to be kidnapped?
Q: For a temporary period, or forever?
A: For, like, five months.
Q: Where would you like to stay while you were kidnapped?
A: In some guy's cellar, I guess.
Q: I have a cold, particularly in my throat. What would you recommend for it?
A: Take a hot bath and swallow some of the hot water, and then the cold won't be in your throat anymore.
Q: So, for my cold, you'd recommend a pun?
Q: If someone in your family were a spy, who would it be?
A: My brother.
A: Because he's always trying to find out when I don't do my homework, and then he tells my parents, or the teacher.
Q: When's your bedtime, and when would you like it to be?
A: 8:30 on weekdays, and I'd like it to be 9. 9 on weekends, and I'd like it to be 10.
(a rather lengthy conversation occurred here regarding what she did with her afternoons. It mostly involved supper, a bath, and watching movies. The general censuses was that she really hadn't presented a very strong case for the half-hour later bedtime.)
Q: If asked to quit school and join the circus tomorrow, would you join the circus?
Q: What kind of skills do you have to offer the circus?
Q: I understand you're in a rock band called the Blisters. What do you do for the Blisters?
A: I hold up signs.
Q: What do the signs say?
A: I heart the Blisters.
He then went down the line and asked everyone what their favorite song was. The answers are as follows.
-"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.
-"Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes.
(at which point it was remarked that they had sophisticated taste in music)
-Don't have one.
-"Meant to Live" by Switchfoot. Daniel Handler hadn't heard of that, and I haven't either.
End result of the panel--The Cos was right all along, and kids do indeed say the darnedest things.
Technical note--I'll be going back to Ohio for a few days in the middle of June, at which point there will probably be children around. I believe I will ask them things. I am hereby taking suggestions as to what I should ask them.
Also--there's a very fine film starring Adrien Brody and Milla Jovovich, written and directed by Greg Pritikin and called Dummy. It's funny and awkward and deserves to be seen.