Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beverly the Other Half-Invisible Turtle, Interview

Tuesdays with Morzant: Getting to Know a Reader

MORZANT: Zulko, humans. Today Beverly joins me in my lab to discuss books and, more specifically, reading. Hello, Beverly.

BEVERLY: What’s the deal, Morzant? I got your message to meet you here. What happened to our plan to meet at the park?

MORZANT: It’s going to rain.

BEVERLY: No it’s not. I just saw the forecast.

MORZANT: Trust me. I have much more highly sophisticated meteorological equipment than your local news channel. It’s going to rain.

BEVERLY: Whatever. So, here I am. Interview me. I don’t know why, though. Nobody’s going to be interested in an interview with me.

MORZANT: That’s not true at all. You are undoubtedly the most interesting member of Bigfoot’s reading club.

BEVERLY: Really?

MORZANT: Indubitably. The Bigfoot Reads audience is clamoring to learn about your reading history and habits.

BEVERLY: Oh. I didn’t know.

MORZANT: Yes. Bigfoot gets scads of emails every day asking about you. Now, why don’t you make yourself comfortable on this stool?

BEVERLY: This is hard to climb onto. It would have been better if we met at the park.

MORZANT: Don’t forget the impending rain.

BEVERLY: Fine. Go ahead.

MORZANT: At this point in the last interview that I conducted, the interviewee told me to “fire away.” I don’t know why, but it really motivated me to ask engaging questions. Perhaps you could tell me to “fire away” as well?


MORZANT: Okay then. How long have you been reading?

BEVERLY: Probably since I was three or four. I was pretty precocious, I guess. My grandmother used to read to me. She’d point at the words—

MORZANT: Could you please slide that large pot over to me?

BEVERLY: Uh. Sure. Here. Any way, she’d point at the words as she read and that must have helped me learn to associate sounds with the letters. She was invisible from the bottom down, like Norman, otherwise her pointing at the words wouldn’t have been much help, of course. I also have strong memories of learning the alphabet from Maurice Sendak’s ALLIGATORS ALL AROUND. I loved all the books in THE NUTSHELL LIBRARY.

MORZANT: Hmmm. The Allegheny Mountains sound like a lovely place to learn the alphabet.

BEVERLY: That’s not what I said. Why are you turning on the Bunsen burner?

MORZANT: No reason. Tell me. what’s your take on the controversial practice of dog-earing pages?


MORZANT: Dog-earing. It’s occasionally done when a reader must temporarily discontinue reading a book. To ensure that they can locate the page where they stopped reading, some readers bend the corner of that page down in a manner that resembles a dog ear. More that of a Jack Russell Terrier than a Basset Hound. In fact, to me, it looks more like a cat ear. I wonder why they don't call it cat-earing. Maybe they're afraid people might mistake it for catering which hasn't got anything to do with books. Unless maybe if you have a book club meeting catered. No, after further consideration, dog-earing is more appropriate because cat ears don't typically fold over and it's really the folding over of the page that's being named—

BEVERLY: I know what dog-earing is. If those are the kinds of questions you're going to ask me, I’m not going to do this interview.

MORZANT: I understand. Sometimes it’s best to refrain from taking a public stand on such a volatile issue. Otherwise you risk causing offense. Could you please hold Mortimer away from the pot? He’ll burn his little nose.

BEVERLY: Here Mortimer. No, I mean I’m not going to answer stupid questions.

MORZANT: Not to worry as there is no such thing as a stupid question. I read that in a book. Where do you like to do your reading?

BEVERLY: Down by the creek there’s a fallen tree that’s hollow. I like to sit in there while I read. It’s private and quiet. I like being alone when I’m reading.

MORZANT: That sounds like a perfect place to read. Perhaps I’ll join you sometime.

BEVERLY: No, I just said I like to read alone—what are those? Are those marshmallows?

MORZANT: These? Yes. I suppose they are. Do you remember the first book you read on your own?

BEVERLY: THE YEARLING by Marjorie—Rice Krispies? Are you making Rice Krispies Treats?!

MORZANT: Yes. Do you ever listen to audio books?

BEVERLY: Morzant, did you lure me over here to help you study the tensile properties of Rice Krispies Treats?

MORZANT: Yesterday Mortimer and I discovered that we could stretch a single Rice Krispies Treat a meter if it was made with real butter. The previous batch had been made with margarine which apparently affected the elasticity of the marshmallow in ways that we hadn’t anticipated. For our next experiment, we desperately need a third participant. We want to see what happens when we stretch a Rice Krispies Treat in three directions. Mortimer and I have differing opinions about what the outcome will be. But we’ll find out soon enough. I’m tingling with anticipation. Beverly? Beverly? Where are you going?

BEVERLY: To the park. Where it isn’t going to rain. Where even if it does rain, it won’t matter because I’ll be reading inside my hollowed out tree trunk.

MORZANT: Wait. Come back. You didn’t tell me what you’re reading. Your fans will want to know if you snack while you read. Would you like to take a plate of Rice Krispies Treats with you? I have plenty all ready. They’re a little misshapen, but still entirely tasty. Beverly?

I guess this concludes our interview with Beverly the Other Half-Invisible Turtle. Good-bye for now, humans.

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