Hello everyone. I got another interview in the locked-down & bored series, this time it is one of my favouritist one-of-them-that-writes-books people. He once was the proud owner of a moustache and is rumoured to have a collection of giraffes.
Please wave enthusiastically at Jay Spencer Green!
Question 1: How are you handling the lockdown? What’s the most exciting thing to happen to you so far?
Hi Jason. My pre-lockdown life involved sitting at my desk all day (with the odd break for tea) editing other people’s work—you know, people who actually venture out into the world and experience things—but last year I was struck with a bout of sciatica, so just before lockdown I bought myself a standing desk. Thus, my lockdown life has consisted of standing at my desk all day (with the odd break for tea) editing other people’s work. The arrival of the stand-up desk has been the most exciting thing to happen, but technically it was pre-lockdown and doesn’t count. The most exciting thing has therefore been the absence of sciatica. As my Instagram profile says, I am boring as fuck.
Task 1: (Testing artistic skill) To celebrate the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, draw a picture to commemorate to event.
Here’s Keir Starmer taking the knee for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter while weeping uncontrollably about the Colston statue being removed “the wrong way.”
And here is my masterpiece, I feel nobody asked the little fishes if they wanted a statue in their house.
Question 2: For those trapped inside recommend 1 book, 1 movie and 1 album.
Book: I’m a really slow reader but even I have managed four or five books thus far during the lockdown, so if you’re looking for one book to last the lockdown, it will have to be a biggie. I recommend Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang. It’s over 1300 pages of fascinating, inventive, and imaginative word use. Where else would you learn the meaning of “finty,” “munket,” or “felcherman”?
Movie: I suppose it needs to be lockdown-appropriate, so Room or The Shawshank Redemption. For the more adventurous, Pasolini’s Salò.
Album: Not an album as such, but the Genius Jon Langford, who designs the covers for my novels, has just embarked on a massive project that will see him release 23 singles in as many months. The first three have been released as an “LP” and can be bought HERE. You also get a Jon Langford–designed cover if you’re fed up waiting for my next book to come out.
I quite like Jon Langford’s video for Losers, it reminds me of somebody but I just can’t quite put my finger on who…
Task 2: (Testing athletic ability) My favourite game at a party is musical statues, sticking with the statue theme, how long can you stand still? Bonus points given if your family don’t notice you.
See my answer to question one. I’m usually standing for eight hours every day (with the odd wobble). And as I’m shut away in the study, nobody notices me at all.
Well I stood no chance there….intentional pun…little did I realise I was up against a professional standing hermit. I managed just over a minute before I gave up, the dog staring at me started to freak me out, maybe I shouldn’t have stood by his lead for this challenge?
Question 3: As you are a writer, you got any good ideas for a quarantine story?
Huzzah! A chance to plug my next novel (thank you for the set-up, Jason): The inhabitants of a remote desert island in the Atlantic endure a state of peaceless co-existence with the Gambies, victims of a strain of non-lethal rabies that renders them something of an inconvenience to the tourist industry. This suits Manuel Estímulo, retired from an illustrious career as a brothel-keeper and drug dealer for Spanish intelligence, who generally tries to keep a low profile and rarely receives any visitors, devoting his days to producing his fascist encyclopedia. However, when news reaches him that the Beast with Three Fingers has arrived on the island, thereby fulfilling an ancient Falangist prophecy, he is forced to up sticks and make the perilous journey South to the Nazi redoubt of his longtime friends the Köhlers. Equipped with only a Spanish army knife, a map of England, a vast armory of guns, and the body of his sister Candelaria, can Manuel make it to safety, or will his past catch up with him on the land that Time just remembered? You can find out by reading Manuel Estimulo’s Fascist Book of Everything, the ultimate zombie-Brexit-Nazi satire until the next one.
I’m really looking forward to this one, and what a great title….it’s weird you starting writing this before the pandemic…it’s almost as if you released the virus as a publicity stunt???
Task 3: Jay is to decide on a task, carry it out and challenge me to best him.
Could you take the washing in for me? I did it the other day and was stopped by a neighbour for not wearing the correct PPE.
OK, no worries I was in the bushes in your garden anyways….it was going well until I saw your neighbour so I quickly threw a pair of pants from the line over my face and that seemed to satisfy him. Either that is considered correct PPE or he is used to seeing you running around the garden with pants on your head. I took the liberty of folding the clothes and putting them away…I also laid out what I’d like you to wear tomorrow.
Question 4: There have been a lot of crazy conspiracy theories about this virus, create a new one now, let us spread it on social media and see how long it is before breakfast news or Trump mentions it. (so far he has ignored all attempts to trick him)
Always ask, cui bono? Who benefits? Clearly the virus is the work of mask manufacturers in cahoots with Big Rubber Gloves.
Question 5: What’s the thing you miss most about life before the lockdown and what’s the first thing you’re gonna do when we are free again?
Oh god, I’ve really missed shoplifting. I can’t wait for the big stores to re-open. I have an order list as long as your arm (though not as long as mine, obviously). Plus, we have a big wedding anniversary coming up this year, so the priority will be jewellery or sex toys, depending on what the charity shop has in stock.
Thank you Jay for taking part in this and I hope you have a nice anniversary…it looks like you’ve got it all sorted to be a day to remember. For the stalkers out there go find Jay on Goodreads, Instagrams and Twitter. Check out his books because they are hilarious, if you look at the gallery on his website you’ll find my dog modelling the books.
If anybody else out there wants to do one of these then just give me a shout.