Etienne: Ben! I love you man! Anyways, now that this is totally awkward, I have a TON of questions for you.
But first and foremost, you have to tell me what vegemite is. Every time I hear that “Land Down Under” song I’m like what the hell is vegemite?
Ben John Smith: Mate, I wish I had some real poignant Mark Twain shit to give you here, but unfortunately the truth is much more un interesting. Vegemite is a shit colored breakfast spread usually plastered all over your morning toast, beard and fingertips. Good with hot butter, taste kind of like a yeast infection… Or at least what I think a yeast infection would taste like. Ahem, sorry – I didn’t think I’d be going downhill so earl.
Etienne: That sounds, really sucky. We got something like that here. It’s called PBR, or Pabt’s Blue Ribbon. It’s awful but everybody seems to like it because it reminds them of a simpler time in our history. Before, cell phones and sweater vests turned men into pansies.
Speaking of alcohol, one of my favorite poems in the book it “Too much to drink”. Was that inspired by actual events, or is it something that you could easily see happening should somebody say, “Ben, I think you’ve had too much to drink.”?
Ben John Smith: Hahaha, shit. Well, I try to pride myself on being gutturally honest in all my poems, which often has a double edge sword effect. I either do something stupid – write about it; or do something intentionally stupid with the sole intent to write about it knowing its truth. But no, with great embarrassment I can’t claim I have shit in the cats bowl just yet – foreseeable? Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind there could reach a stage in which this premonition comes to fruition, especially if someone would be to tell me I have had too much to drink and especially in my own mother fucking house. Plus I really love my cats, and the humans in my life get enough shit in their bowls from me. The cats are trying to eat my chicken noodle soup as we speak. It’s a constant struggle between eating and shitting from/in our bowls. But you know, is like that song “I’m just a woman, help me believe in what I could be“ or something like that.
Etienne: Oddly enough, I never took you for the kind of guy that rocks out to ‘White People Gospel’. The cat thing, meaning your love for cats, I gathered from your poetry. I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Because I friggin HATE cats!
At the risk of getting into a fist fight over the cats v.s. dogs debate, I’m gonna go ahead and ask. Do you hate dogs, or do you just love cats more?
Ben John Smith: I have nothing against dogs in the slightest; and I sure as shit don’t need to be on the dog lovers shitlist as well as the collective others. I just don’t understand them. They are very needy and all in your face all the time, slobbering away at your meals, barking loudly. I find them unattractive in these ways. Maybe because I see much of myself in them and see nothing about myself in cats at all. They are self-reliant, unaffected, sleep man hours a day and truly understand that nothing is really that worth getting excited over; aside maybe a feather on a string – or my chicken corn soup. I wish I was a cat because of them reasons.
My fiancé often says “What do you see in me, I am nothing like you at all” – I let her know that is exactly WHY I love her. Who would want to fall in love with themselves? I am a dog in a human’s body. Very needy and ego hungry. I keep telling myself I will one day move to Olinda and live my last days as a hermit; but I won’t. I need people as much as they exhaust me. Kinda got a little bit deep there hey, maybe we should continue with another dick joke?
Etienne: Sounds good to me.