Provincially famous reporter lands big Exclusive
By Johnny Bananas
It’s not often a small market and provincially famous reporter such as myself gets the opportunity to do an interview of this magnitude. The opportunity to demonstrate my abilities as a heavyweight journalist has had me up late at night drinking Starbucks coffee into the wee hours of the morning conducting the necessary research in preparation for this, my magnum pi opus. Taking notes while binge-watching the late great Barbara Walters, whose piercing style and merciless tilling for emotional pay-dirt created millions of dollars in ad revenue, I felt as if I couldn’t possibly prepare enough.
My interlocutor, it would seem to many, is incapable of the type of emotion that could seize the viewing audience and create the kind of fame and recognition a moment like this demands. I was not so sure he would disappoint. I was right.
Johnny B: Welcome to Vermont. So, do I call you mister or misses?
Evil: I’m non-binary, Johnny.
Johnny B: Well, you’ll fit right in here. So does that mean you don’t work with computers then?
Evil: Funny you should say that, I’m on computers quite literally all hours of the day.
Johnny B: Tell me about it.
Evil: It’s tiring really I….
Johnny B: (interrupting) That was a rhetorical question.
Evil: (stares blankly)
Johnny B: What I really want to ask is what was your childhood like?
Evil: You’ve been watching Barbara Walters again, haven’t you.
Johnny B: Is it that obvious?
Evil: You’re not the best at hiding things Johnny, you and I both know that.
Johnny B: (face turning a lovely rouge)
Evil: Childhood is difficult for me to recount, Johnny. It didn’t seem to last long. Few memories. I was forced to grow up in a hurry, so I’m a little bitter about missing out on things Goodness and Patience and Joy, kids from my neighborhood, got to enjoy. I didn’t have any of that. I also lost my brother, who I called Malice, to a terrible accident. My parents were so angry with me they sent me off to my uncle’s house, but I never made it there.
Johnny B: Please, go on.
Evil: What’s there to tell really? I was thrust into a lifestyle not fit for children and found myself surrounded by adults who only wanted to exploit me.
Johnny B: (nods head in feigned sympathy while checking phone for texts) That sounds awful.
Evil: It was actually quite invigorating. It took a while but I soon realized I had found my calling.
Johnny B: Getting exploited by adults? That sounds like human trafficking.
Evil: YES! One of my greatest endeavors. It’s a smashing success even to this day.
Johnny B: You sound quite proud of that.
Evil: Supremely! It opened the door to so many of my other ventures, all of which are succeeding tremendously to this day.
Johnny B: Such as?
Evil: Well the obvious is lying, but that is such a bore to me anymore. I find it much more enticing and challenging to accomplish my goals with truth. But as the saying goes, with great risk is great reward.
Johnny B: So you’re a big risk taker?
Evil: Actually no. I prefer calculating and risky behaviors often work against me. For example, after leading many a soul through years of awkward indifference and quiet desperation, do you know what the number one thing they would have done differently as they looked back on their lives?
Johnny B: Diet and exercise?
Evil: Risks, Johnny. They would have taken more risks.
Johnny B: I’ll keep that in mind. You mentioned calculating. Can you give me some examples?
Evil: Well, as you must know, I am also quite fond of rapacity and greed, but force is so easy to use which is why I turned many of my strategic ventures into manipulation and deception. The satisfaction of a well laid trap and the build up to it is almost a type of spiritual eroticism that, quite frankly, I’ve become addicted to. Shameful perhaps, yet that’s all the more reason to enjoy it!
Johnny B: I believe the kids today would call that “cringey”.
Evil: Ahhh, yes, kids today. My little minions. So impressionable and easy to sway into what I like to call the interstate. It’s a broad path really, and moves quickly once you’re on it.
Johnny B: I agree, they are horrible drivers.
Evil: Amusing. Though your point is taken. The key is they need to be driven, in one way or another. For some it is to simply light the match, while others remain in a constant state of being told where to go, what to do, what to think, but my complaints are only more music to my ears. I am an administrator after all.
Johnny B: Administrator? I feel like I might have worked for you at some point?
Evil: Pity you don’t remember, Johnny. Everyone works for me at some point. I’d hoped it was more memorable than that.
Johnny B: Some things are worth forgetting.
Evil: I agree. Indeed. In fact, I rely on that instinct to accomplish some of my best work. History, you see, though it reads like my personal ad campaign, actually causes me many problems, which is why I am so fond of social media and this new “woke” movement.
Johnny B: (texting) Uh-huh.
Evil: Can you imagine having your greatest achievements broadcast throughout the world also be the means by which you fail? It is the irony of ironies.
Johnny B: Actually I can.
Evil: Let’s not make this about you, Johnny. The point is, in my field of expertise, though I love the attention, a short memory is key to my successes. This is why I have invested so much into both social media and what I like to call “the new religion”.
Johnny B: (looking at phone) I thought Catholicism was an old religion?
Evil: I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT CATHOLICS YOU NITWIT! For the love of all that is hateful and grotesque will you please pay attention!
Johnny B: I’m sorry, but you’ve got to see this new Tik-tok video where the guy has the talking dog…
Evil: I am talking about being “woke,” Johnny. It’s like being born again – only much greater. I’ve put a Hindu twist on it so you have to keep being born again and again into perpetuity. Unlike Catholics who can be “saved” and “made new” by that horrible upstart, being woke is a progressive process that goes on and on with no end in sight.
Rather than having the work done for you by Mr. Goody Two-Sandals, wokeness appeals to people’s desire to work when they don’t have to. Guilt, you see, one of my favorite recipes, can provide a nearly never ending impulse to look inward rather than upward. It is designed by a narcissist for narcissists, only they are told it’s for the good of everyone. It is quite clever if I do say so myself.
Johnny B: Right. I never did understand woke and now I’m certain I don’t. Next question. Your thoughts on the pandemic?
Evil: I was wondering when you would ask. It is what I like to call my Magnum Opus. When have you ever seen so many people so fearful, so panicked and so divided? Never! Not even the Great Flood, for which I can only take some credit. It took years of planning and several dry runs but I think I can say with confidence this is my finest hour. Have you seen Australia? Nearly 26 million people shut in with only one person dying per week! Talk about a return on investment.
Johnny B: Speaking of investing, what are your thoughts on crypto-currency?
Evil: We’ll not let the cat out of the bag too early, Johnny. I am still reveling in this Great Awokening and pseudo-plague I’ve worked so hard to put on stage. All things in due time my good man. (Winking)
Johnny B: I notice you’re not wearing a mask. You appear to be healthy. Does that mean you’ve been vaccinated?
Evil: There is no vaccine for me I am afraid, though I do wear masks. Many. I am not surprised you think otherwise.
Johnny B: I realize you don’t have much time left so I only have a few more questions. What are your thoughts on politics?
Evil: I don’t really think about them, Johnny. It’s more like music for me. I simply play it.
Johnny B: Interesting. So you don’t favor one political party over another? If I had to guess I’d say you’re a democrat?
Evil: Of course you would, Johnny. It’s so easy to paint the other party as the evil one. The truth is, like churches, I do some of my best work in political parties. It doesn’t matter which one you’re in. They are all subject to dogma, intractability, cowardice and judgment. Even the Green Party.
Johnny B: Don’t get me started on those soy eating, Prius driving, tree huggers.
Evil: I don’t need to, Johnny. You’re already right where you ought to be.
Johnny B: Is this some type of Jedi-mind game you’re playing on me?
Evil: Why yes it is! In case you haven’t noticed, that is my domain.
Johnny B: Thank you for reminding me you’re on the internet. If anyone is looking to find you would you like to share your web address?
Evil: Oh Johnny, you are adorable. My web is already worldwide. Anybody looking to find me will have no problem doing so. They never do.
Johnny Bananas is the nom de plume for a mostly peaceful, not fully vaccinated raving reporter and Vermonter who covers the local and global fake news stories of the day.