Interviewer: How honest are you?
Casey: Honest? Oh wow. Okay, well, are you asking like on a scale from one to ten?
Casey: I’d say maybe a six.
Interviewer: Just a six?
Casey: Why? Is that low? You know what, can I change my answer to a seven? I feel like I’m kind of in between the two numbers so it makes sense to round up, don’t you think?
Interviewer: Makes sense. What was the last lie you told?
Casey: (whispers) Is Jake here?
Interviewer: I think he’s in the other room.
Casey: Oh, whew, okay good. My last lie was this morning. So we have this dog and he’s always going out back and eating grass but then, when he comes in, he throws up on the floor. Jake and I have an agreement whoever sees it first has to pick it up. Let’s just say, when Jake’s home, I never see it.
Interviewer: What was your most memorable fan encounter?
Jake: Oh man, I’ve had a few. One time these two girls come up to me and they were really excited but one of them was shaking so hard her teeth were knocking together… then bam! Down she goes. Just passes out cold. I was with a couple of bandmates at the time and as we’re trying to revive her, the girl’s friend just keeps chattering on like nothing happened – totally unconcerned. It was the weirdest thing. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.
Interviewer: Was she okay?
Jake: Yeah, she woke up and wanted a selfie. And there was another memorable one a couple of years ago. I boarded a plane and took my seat. The woman sitting beside me looked up briefly from her phone, gave me a slight smile of acknowledgment, and then went back to her screen. I was thinking, ‘sweet, she either doesn’t know who I am or doesn’t care. This will be an easy flight’. So we took off and were in the air for about an hour. The flight attendants had already served drinks and everything. Suddenly I heard this loud gasp, and when I turned toward the woman, she was gaping at me with these wide disbelieving eyes and said, “When did you get here?”
Interviewer: Do you believe in Bigfoot?
Kenzie: Did Kyle put you up to this?
Interviewer: He might have suggested a few interview questions.
Kenzie: Of course he did. Okay, so here’s the deal, I’m not saying I believe in Bigfoot, even though he has a museum and all, but I know people who swear to have seen him and they are all fairly sane individuals… well, except for Dumpster Dirk. He once carried around a dead raccoon strapped to his chest with duct tape for a whole week so… yeah… I can’t really swear by his eyewitness account. Oh, and Vanessa. She’s not all that believable either what with the whole fake pregnancy thing. Otherwise, the rest of them are very trustworthy.
Interviewer: Have you ever seen him yourself?
Kenzie: Heck no. I’m not a psycho. Can you ask me a real question, please?
Interviewer: How many times have you watched Blue Lagoon?
Interviewer: What’s it like having a rock star for a brother?
Kyle: It sucks because people are always asking me what it’s like to have a rock star for a brother. Ask me something else. I want a fun question.
Interviewer: Fun? Okay, would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
Kyle: Ha! That’s what I’m talking about! I’d rather fight a horse-sized duck, of course.
Kyle: Have you ever seen an angry duck? I haven’t. And even if the duck spent some time in the gym pumpin’ iron and gettin’ juiced, at the end of the day, it’s still a daffy little duck. What’s the worst it could do – demand an entire loaf of bread instead of a few breadcrumbs? Speaking of ducks, here’s a fun fact. I didn’t know ducks could fly until I was on the reality show, Marooned.
Interviewer: Really? How did you think they got from one place to another?
Kyle: That’s the thing, I’d only ever seen ducks hanging out on lakes or ponds. I just assumed they walked or floated everywhere.
Interviewer: Rate how useful your siblings would be in a zombie apocalypse.
Emma: Let’s start with Grace. She’s scrappier than she looks but take away her phone and she’s as helpless as a newborn baby. She wouldn’t rank higher than a two. Quinn, he’s always got something to prove so I’m confident he could fight his way through a herd of undead just to show up his brothers. I give him an eight.
Interviewer: And Kyle?
Emma: He’d be the first to die.
Emma: Have you met him? He thinks he can fight a horse-sized duck with a loaf of bread. I think that speaks for itself. He ranks a one.
Interviewer: What about Jake?
Emma: Jake’s the ultimate survivor. He’s like the weed that grows out of the sidewalk. You can chop him down to the roots but he’ll rise again. If there’s a zombie apocalypse, mark my words; Jake will be the last man standing. He scores a ten.
And that takes us to Keith. He’s a tricky one for sure. See, Keith’s the kind of guy who can’t fight worth crap but can talk his way out of anything. Problem is, zombies aren’t known for their communication skills. So I think if he hid behind Jake or Quinn and made it to a safe zone, Keith could eventually become their leader. So, I’d give him a seven.
Interviewer: And you?
Emma: Me? Oh no, I don’t do zombies.
Interviewer: You seem very comfortable with the McKallisters. Are they similar to your own family?
Finn: (laughs) Oh wait, were you being serious?
Interviewer: Yes, why?
Finn: It’s just the McKallister family is the polar opposite of the one I grew up in. Michelle and Scott are hands-on. My mother believed in free-range parenting, sort of like that mother on the news recently who left her young kids at home to fend for themselves while she went on vacation to Germany? My mother, Shelby, would have been the first one on that plane if she’d had the money for a ticket. And you know what? I probably wouldn’t have noticed she was gone.
Interviewer: So I take it you prefer the hands-on approach.
Finn: I just like the whole family feel. Do you know the McKallisters have a family group text where they talk about their day, share funny stories, and post raunchy pictures? If the Perry family had a group chat it would need a PayPal link.
Interviewer: Name your favorite family memory?
Keith: Ah yes. You’ve come to the right person. I’ve got a good one for you but my mother has forbidden the retelling of this story outside of the family unit. So I’m going to talk quietly (lowers his voice). When I was probably around fifteen, my family went to an amusement park. We spent the whole day there and my dad was getting tired and cranky so after dinner he was ready to go. We managed to sweet talk our mom into letting us go on one more ride but by the time it was over, both Jake and Kyle were feeling queasy. We hadn’t been driving for more than ten minutes when Kyle threw up out the window. That set Jake off but unfortunately, he was in the middle seat. My dad was forced to make an emergency stop to kick the boys out. He was already pissed and now he was cleaning up puke. Anyway, the rest of us in the backseat took a direct hit and since we weren’t that far from home, my mom had us take off our soiled clothes, stripped to our underwear. While dad was cleaning up and mom was tending to the boys, Emma got out because the smell was getting to her.
Interviewer: I’m already not liking where this is going.
Keith: Oh wait, it gets better. It was dark out and Emma couldn’t see where she was going. Suddenly she screamed, “Something bit me.” Turns out she backed into a cactus and the spines went straight through her underwear and buried themselves in her right butt cheek and the back of her leg. Every time she tried to swipe at them, the thorns transferred onto her hands. Emma was literally covered in hundreds of these little cactus spines and had to hold her hands out like Wolverine. My poor mom now had two pukers, three queasy kids, and one porcupine. She just lost it; laughed so hard she peed her pants, forcing her to undress with the rest of us. So there we were, all stripped down to our skivvies, with Emma lying over our laps because she couldn’t sit down. We were five miles from home when my father was pulled over for speeding.
Interviewer: If you could change one thing about Keith what would it be?
Sam: Oh, you’re trying to get me in trouble, aren’t you? Okay, there is one thing I would change. Keith has this thing with sauce. Everything has to be dipped, dripped, or drowned.
Interviewer: Can you give us an example?
Sam: Well, he’s got his standard pasta dishes, which I get. But Keith takes it that extra step further. In his own words, the ‘wetter the better.’ He dips his pizza in ranch, his veggies in ketchup, his fruit in peanut butter. You want to know how to ruin Keith’s day? Jip him on his ranch packets in the drive-thru. The other day the poor guy only got one dipping sauce with his 20-piece nuggets and had to ration it like it was World War Two.
Interviewer: Sounds like Keith has a junk food habit.
Sam: Oh yes. I try to have healthy choices for the family and limit sweets in the house. A couple of years ago, I found his secret stash. He hides it in the very top cupboard of the pantry, in a green plastic bin. It’s stocked full of Gummy Worms and Oreos and Frito Lays.
Interviewer: What did you do with this damming information?
Sam: Are you kidding? I shut the cupboard and walked away. Where else am I going to get my sweet and salty fix?
Interviewer: Do you have any irrational fears?
Quinn: I’m afraid of airplane toilets… and mayonnaise. I admit airplane toilets are probably a dumb fear. I mean what are the chances of being sucked through that tiny hole and spit out into the sky? Probably pretty small.
Interviewer: Actually, I think the chances are zero. Are you afraid of all toilets or just airplane ones?
Quinn: I’m not going to lie; the automatic toilets freak me out too. Like, if it flushes before I’m done, I’ll pinch it off and get the hell out of there.
Interviewer: What scares you about mayonnaise?
Quinn: Dude, I can’t even… it’s like the devil to me. The way it wiggles and the sticky sound it makes. (shivers)
Interviewer: So I take it deviled eggs are out of the question?
Quinn: Oh yeah. If I see food sticking together with something white, I automatically assume the worst.
Interviewer: Do you have any idea where this fear comes from?
Quinn: I’m the youngest of five boys… where do you think it comes from? One time, at Christmas, we were frosting cookies and mom called me away for some reason. When I arrived back in the kitchen, my brothers gave me a cookie with frosting and sprinkles and told me to eat it. I had a bad feeling because they were a little too eager if you know what I mean. I refused, but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They held me down and forced it into my mouth.
Interviewer: Let me guess, it was frosted with mayonnaise.
Quinn: Yep. And since then, I can’t even carry the jar to the refrigerator. Actually, I have a third irrational fear… my brothers.
Interviewer: What is something interesting people don't know about Quinn?
Jess: When he’s really tired, he sleepwalks.
Interviewer: Where does he go?
Jess: Everywhere. Quinn is a smart sleepwalker. He disarms security alarms, opens doors, takes the sleeping dog out for a walk. He even empties the dishwasher every once in a while.
Interviewer: Well, at least he's able to get some chores done.
Jess: Right? It would be a wife’s dream come true if he didn’t always insist on putting the spoons in the trashcan. And then, if I catch him in the act and question him, he either makes up a lie like, ‘spoons have to be stored in the dark' or he aggressively shushes me with a finger to his lips. But, honestly, I’d take his sleepwalking any day over his sleep-singing.
Interviewer: (eyes widen) He sleep-sings?
Jess: Oh yeah, like full-on top-of-the-lungs, imaginary microphone in hand, concert mode singing. The other night he got up, sang the National Anthem, took a bow, and then went right back to sleep.
Interviewer: Tell me about your kids?
Scott: They’re jerks… every single one of them. The only one I half-way like is (pauses)… no never mind, I don’t like her either.
Interviewer: (laughs) Why don’t you like them?
Scott: I’ll tell you why. I used to be a cool guy – the longhaired surfer dude. The kickass mailman rocking the snazzy little shorts. I was strutting around like a peacock. We’re talking sky-high self-esteem. And then I had kids. Suddenly everything I did was (finger quotes) embarrassing. Bunch of ingrates, if you ask me. Do you see anything wrong with bowling shirts? Of course you don’t because they’re epic. Yet, every one of my kids mocked me for it when I came downstairs. They made me change clothes.
‘Bowling shirts are all the rage,’ I said.
‘In the 1950s,’ they answered.
I wasn’t even born in the 50’s. Jerks! And then, at lunch, they made fun of the way I ate carrots. Carrots! I mean if there’s a quiet way to eat carrots, by all means, educate me.
Interviewer: Is there anything you like about your kids?
Scott: I like when they go home.
Interviewer: I asked your husband this same question. Tell me about your kids?
Michelle: They’re just amazing. Smart, kind, generous. I’m so proud of the wonderful people they’ve become.
Interviewer: Huh, yeah, a little different than your husband’s answer. Do you have a favorite child?
Michelle: Absolutely not. I love them all equally. I guess you could say they are all my favorites.
Keith: (Interrupts the interview) But if we were all dangling off a cliff and you could only save one of us, who would it be?
Michelle: You know I’m not going to answer that, Keith.
Keith: So, you’d just let us all die? Is that what you’re saying? Great parenting.
Michelle: No. I just refuse to play your ‘Would You Rather’ game today. The choices you give are impossible.
Keith: That’s the point of the game. Answer this one and I’ll leave you alone about your poor parenting choices.
Keith: Would you rather wake up every morning to Mike Tyson aggressively punching you in the stomach or poop your pants every time you get excited.
Michelle: (long pause) I’d let you drop.
Interviewer: Being the youngest sibling, do you find yourself always competing for attention?
Grace: Not really. The older ones are all out of the house, so I get more attention than I want. I love having a big family and am super proud of my older siblings. Plus being the baby has its perks.
Grace: Well, for example, I was watching PG-13 movies when I was two. Keith didn’t get a phone until he was seventeen. I had one when I was eleven. The only thing I don’t like is when my siblings come home I’m automatically relegated to the backseat, even when I call shotgun.
Interviewer: What do kids at school think about Jake being your brother?
Grace: They’re pretty cool with it now. It was worse when I was younger. One time when I was in middle school my parents had to go out of town with Quinn for a music exhibition. Emma was supposed to watch me but she got sick last minute and the only one available to pick me up from school was Jake. I mean when it gets to Jake, you know the entire chain of available siblings has been completely exhausted. Anyway, that day I’d accidentally left my phone at home so I had no idea he was coming to get me. I was looking for Emma’s car, not his, so after aggressively trying to get my attention by honking like a lunatic, he was finally forced to get out the car and come find me. As soon as they saw him coming, the entire student body started screaming, just totally freaking out. It was like a One Direction concert in the parking lot. And then, to make matters worse, Jake had to take me to the Nike store to get new basketball shoes and then go with me to my first practice that night. I didn’t learn a thing because no one could concentrate on basketball. No lie… there was a lot of mania and weeping going on that day.
Interviewer: Can I ask you a couple of questions?
Lassen: Me? No, I’m just here for the free food.
Interviewer: You’re Jake's driver, right?
Lassen: I plead the fifth.
Jake: Lassen, you’re not on trial. You can answer the question.
Lassen: Fine. Yes, I’m his driver and no, I will not get you an autograph or a pair of his underwear.
Interviewer: Okay, good to know. How long have you worked for Jake?
Lassen: Too long.
Jake: Please, you love me and you know it.
Lassen: I tolerate you. It goes no further.
Interviewer: Yet you came over for lunch.
Lassen: Lunch yes. Interview no. Jake has a habit of tricking me into things he knows I would never do if I had all the facts up front.
Lassen: Like this damn bow in my beard. Don’t pretend you can’t see it.
Interviewer: I just thought it was a fashion statement.
Lassen: Yes, it says, “My employer is a douche.”
Jake: Hey, don’t blame me. Grace was the one who suggested the beard makeover. All you had to do was say no.
Lassen: Oh right. Like I’m going to say no to a little girl.
Jake: Lassen, she was a little girl over a decade ago. Now she’s a young woman with a really bad sense of beard style.
Lassen: See, this is what I’m talking about – I need up-front information, Jake. Would it have killed you to let me know she’d grown up years ago?