Zyklon-V from AntiKosmos is the mammal pictured above. She is wearing animal blood and wooden shoes. Myself and a team of botanists from NASA interviewed her moments before the heat death of the universe. Here’s what happened…
Me: AntiKosmos?!?! What…do you just want to see the Kosmos banned? Then what, only criminals and the government will have access to the Kosmos? You know who banned the Kosmos? Hitler! You know who thought it would be a bad idea to ban the Kosmos? Gandhi!
V: I’ve always found “Turkish Delight” to be a really presumptuous name for a candy (or, I should say, so-called candy). I mean, what’s delightful about popping a sweet into your mouth only to discover that some nasty, fez-wearing miscreant bent on revenge against the decadent West has swapped it out for one of those decorative rose-scented soaps your grandmother used to keep in the guest bathroom but yelled at you if you actually tried to use to wash your hands? “Turkish Disappointing Surprise You’ll Be Tasting With Every Burp For The Next Presidential Administration,” more like.
M: It’s your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet. How do you react?
V: I once listened to “Yakity Sax” for 36 straight hours on a loop while totally naked in a sensory deprivation tank, with no breaks for food or toilet. When I emerged, everything was exactly the same as it had been when I went in, except there was a gentle trickle of cerebro-spinal fluid from my ear that continued for a week, and I subsequently lost the ability to taste mallocreme. I think this is as relevant a commentary on the state of black metal as anything I have read in a glossy music criticism publication.
Q: If Arby’s began selling a sandwich covered in the sweat of Glenn Danzig, why do you think we faked the moon landing?
V: When I was a kid in primary school, I fell off my bike and scraped my knee so bad the kneecap was visible. My mother wanted to use a toothbrush to get the pebbles out of the wound, but my father said that was torture and used a washcloth. After that, I charged my classmates money to pull the bandage back and gaze upon the wound, like the contents of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. I got addicted to the fame, and after the wound healed, I would eat anything brought to me for money – I ate bugs, pre-chewed gum, once all I had to do was put a found mouth guard in my mouth for thirty seconds. I guess what I’m saying is that child prostitution is educational but ultimately dehumanizing, and AntiKosmos does not use fake blood in our performances, so please stop asking.
H: Have you ever walked up to someone wearing those weird plastic “Bubba” novelty teeth that are pointing out in all weird directions started pointing and laughing hysterically then realized the person is not actually wearing novelty teeth and really looks that way?
V: For years, I avoided eating bananas because I read that an enzyme your skin secretes after banana consumption makes you more susceptible to mosquito bites. Then I realized I live in a high rise apartment complex in the middle of a city, and I haven’t seen a mosquito in almost a decade. So I bought a bunch of bananas, and when I reached for the first one, as if to mock the celebration of my return to banana-dom, I was immediately viciously attacked by a tarantula that had hidden itself amongst the bunches in a do-or-die immigration attempt from Honduras. Needless to say, I don’t watch televised figure skating anymore.
Ed: You get into a taxicab. The man sitting in the seat next to you has a necklace made out of the ears of deceased members of the Kennedy family. You ask the driver to go north, he immediately proceeds south. He has a picture of a Benito Mussolini branded into his forehead and looks slightly like Florence Henderson on the early episodes of The Brady Bunch. Over the radio, you faintly hear the whimpering of a small dog. What do you do next?
(warning the following answer contains strange Dutch stuffed animals talking to one another If you are allergic to stuffed animals or Dutch people or your workplace has a policy in which watching talking owls can cost you your job, do not click the link)
Click here if you dare
K: In John Cassavetes’ 1976 masterpiece, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, the lead character, Cosmo Vitelli, skillfully played by Ben Gazzara, is sent on a mission for the local mob boss to whack a bookie that is cutting into his business. At some point during the film, a nuclear bomb is detonated in the city of Calgary. Years later, three-headed Canadian beasts emerge from below the surface of the earth and consume all of the margarine available on the United States mainland. Have you ever committed a blunder and later regretted it?
V: People make a lot out of famous last words. I think some people reveal themselves to be utter deathbed try-hards (not naming names here, but I’m definitely looking at you, Oscar Wilde). For my money, the greatest last words ever uttered were those of Thomas Grasso, who was executed in 1995 for strangling an elderly woman to death with her own Christmas lights over what amounted to $137. His words stay with me to this day, and now I’m passing them on to you so their wisdom will echo through the ages. He said, “I did not get my Spaghetti-Os, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.”
KL: You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar. What do you do?
V: Did you know that there’s a sort of tunnel-like spot in the architecture at the Canadian Embassy in Washington where you can scream as loud as you want, but nobody outside the tunnel can hear you at all? I’m starting to feel that way about this interview.
5: You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize there’s a wasp crawling on your arm.
V: I get a lot of emails from Smithsonian magazine. They’re that sort of “we want you back” emails that you get when you let your subscription lapse. They’re all intended for an ex-boyfriend I dated 6 years ago. I never mark them as spam or take myself off the mailing list, because I enjoy reading the mini articles they use to try to tantalize you into re-subscribing. There’s probably some ironic commentary there about the detritus of old relationships haunting you long after they end, but right now I’m much more concerned with when the 100,000 Dollar Bar changed its name to 100 Grand, and what made them think they could be so colloquial all of a sudden.
U: You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?
V: As a small act of protest against the patriarchal hegemony asserted by this question, I’m going to ask your readers to join me in a silent, ten-minute contemplation of the McRib sandwich (not available in all markets; check your local franchise for details and nutritional information; limit 17 per customer).
K: One more question: You’re watching a stage play – a banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog stuffed with rice. The raw oysters are less acceptable to you than a dish of boiled dog.
V: Great question. I get this one a lot, and it never fails to really trip me up and make me think. The thing we all have to come to terms with, I think, has less to do with whether human life is imbued with inherent value by nature or some sort of creator being (I think we waste a lot of time contemplating this – time that could almost certainly be better spent ingesting frozen custard), and more to do with whether there really is an “airport rate” that hired cars in Albuquerque are required to charge for rush-hour travel through downtown, or whether that cab driver was ripping me off. Look out for AntiKosmos’ debut long-playing record album “Lachryma Mortis,” available at finer stolen car chop-shops later this year.