Biff, author of the wildly unpopular “Alistair and Alexis” series of allegedly humorous short stories was recently interviewed by Yuks and Chortles Magazine. What follows in an unauthorized, copyright-infringing excerpt from that interview.
Y&CM: We understand, Mr. Biff, that you consider yourself a humor writer.
Biff: Please. Just call me Biff.
Y&CM: Right-o. Biff it is, then. And you consider yourself a humor writer?
Biff: Not originally. No. I was an ordinary writer, but in college I kept getting my papers back from my professors with things written in red pen at the top of the paper like “Oh, you think you’re funny, huh?” and “Funny guy, eh?” and “Very humorous. Please see me after class.”
Y&CM: And that led to a life of comedy writing?
Biff: No, it led to a life of ostracism and privation. It seems comedy writers are held in the same regard as carpetbaggers, used car salesman, and people with pinkeye.
Y&CM: I see. Most interesting.
Biff: Not really, no. But thank you for saying so.
Y&CM: I would like to ask you about your “Alistair and Alexis” series of short humorous pieces.
Biff: Must you?
Y&CM: Yes. Your check cleared the bank and so this was our agreement.
Biff: You’ll edit this part out, right?
Y&CM: Oh yes. Without a doubt.
Biff: Good. Carry on.
Y&CM: A lot of humor experts and analysts say that comedy very often comes from a dark place, a place of pain. Is that true of the “Alistair and Alexis” series?
Biff: Oh yes. Indubitably.
Y&CM: And what is the pain that is reflected in “Alistair and Alexis”?
Biff: The pain and anguish that resulted from my not being born into a wealthy family.
Y&CM: So you live vicariously through Alistair?
Biff: No, I live precariously through myself. Alistair and I are nothing alike.
Y&CM: How so?
Biff: Well, Alistair is shallow, self-centered, highly educated while not being very bright, and he tends to drink alcohol when he feels nervous and unsure of himself.
Y&CM: And how do you differ from that?
Biff: Well, I prefer chocolate to alcohol.
Y&CM: But you’re alike in every other way?
Biff: No. As I pointed out earlier, he is fabulously wealthy.
Y&CM: And you’re not?
Biff: Well, I’m a comedy writer …. soooooo …
Y&CM: So, no.
Y&CM: And what of Alexis?
Biff: What of her?
Y&CM: Is she symbolic of something or is she merely a foil for Alistair? His “straight man”, as it were.
Biff: I think the politically correct term is “straight person”.
Y&CM: Straight person, then.
Biff: Or Person of Straightness.
Y&CM: As you wish.
Biff: Or “Human of linear extension with non-curvature”.
Y&CM: And you feel that accurately describes her?
Biff: Oh! Alexis! No, she has curves.
Y&CM: So if she is not merely the … er … um … foil to Alistair’s antics, then is she symbolic of something else?
Biff: Yes. She’s symbolic of his wife.
Y&CM: But she actually is his wife.
Y&CM: So that’s not symbolic. That is, in fact, who she is.
Biff: Symbolic. Symbiotic. Semiotic. Schmimbolic. Potato, puh-tah-toe. She just sort of appeared in the first story. What was I supposed to do? Tell her to hit the bricks? They seemed to hit it off okay so I thought, “What they hey?” And the rest is comedy history.
Y&CM: Is it?
Biff: No. It’s not.
Y&CM: So what’s next for the “Alistair and Alexis” franchise?
Biff: Well, Y&CM … do you mind if I call you Y&CM?
Y&CM: No, go right ahead.
Biff: Well, Y&CM, I hope to write enough “Alistair and Alexis” stories to be able to mimeograph them out into a small booklet and leave it in the waiting area of Gate 32 in Terminal C of the DFW International Airport. The plan is to have a literary agent, who might be traveling from Dallas/Fort Worth to, say, Wilmington Delaware in order to scout out a good military school for his bratty son, find the booklet and read it on the plane.
Y&CM: And you think he will find it so good that he will publish it?
Biff: No, I expect the mimeograph fumes will be so strong that he gets so high that he thinks it would a good idea to turn “Alistair and Alexis” into a TV series or a movie.
Y&CM: I see. That is actually fiendishly clever!
Biff: Thank you!
Y&CM: Well, Biff, I see from the time that your check for $32.50 has been consumed and so we must bring this interview to an end.
Biff: Must we?