From time to time, Derek Gores climbs into a magical Tilt-a-Whirl time machine to bring you exclusive interviews from people who died a really long time ago!
This one is another blockbuster with famed auteur Mark Twain, he of the white hair, whiter suit and whiter painted fence. Can't be 100% sure it was really him - Derek shared a seat on the Tilt-a-Whirl at Oktoberfest, and the gal running the thing left her post (I guess for a break), leaving Derek and whoever that was tilting and whirling for a very long time. He may have misquoted.
Derek Gores: Mr. Twain, recently I set my clock back like they tell us to on NPR. What did a guy like you do with that extra hour?
Mark Twain: Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well. Anyway, well enough for old folks to rise early, because they have done so many mean things all their lives they can't sleep anyhow.
DG: What can the average person do to feel a little more wintery, living here in Florida?
MT: The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
DG: I was thinking of developing a pseudonym like you did, since Samuel Clemens is your real name. Any pros/cons to be aware of for a writer?
MT: I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice. Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great. You see, I've come loaded with statistics, for I've noticed that a man can't prove anything without statistics.
DG: Ever go jogging in the dark?
MT: I'm glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again. The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.
DG: Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in Florida. What do you think they'd be, Surfers? Engineers? Proud products of Florida Tech? All of the above?
MT: There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded. Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered -- either by themselves or by others.
DG: I always ask whether the word 'art' should be capitalized. You have an opinion?
MT: The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
DG: Change of topic: In your day, did superstores have loud intercoms and self-serve lines?
MT: Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. Have you ever noticed, a human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
DG: Interesting! Did creaking real-wood floors hold the charm they do today?
MT: What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked. You can't reason with the heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.
DG: Wow. I bet faux finishers made a killing back then. Final thoughts?
MT: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author
DG: Got it. Bunch of nonsense.
Derek Gores, Mark Twain, Tilt-A-Whirl, Time machine