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Hot Damn

HOT DAMN #17 — Imaginary Friends


As a counterpoint to my usual cynical antics, I’ve committed myself to a weekly, year-long discussion of my life’s joys.  But, never one for the more traditional approaches, I intend to keep things a little off side, a tad outlandish, and always one foot outside of polite company.


You already know that I talk to myself; what you don’t know is that I also have an imaginary friend.

No, he doesn’t have a name.

These days I call him The Interviewer; back in High School he was better known as The Counselor. The long and short of it is that this fella is a man with questions, most of which I’m never fully able to answer with any satisfaction.

I know what you’re thinking, and, no, he isn’t just some silly bit of fancy mental voodoo I use to frame my inner thoughts around. Or at least not all of the time.

Us bros, just hanging out and stuff.  No big deal.

Us bros, just hanging out and stuff. No big deal.

As The Counselor, I used him as a means of wrestling with those icky things teenage boys struggle with. “How does that make you feel?” he would ask. “Gross,” I would say. “I’m all covered in it, and it’s gross.”

Or something like that. Never mind.

These days, as The Interviewer, he often asks questions about a novel I’m writing. I know that sounds like vacuous self-serving bullshit. Do I really need to masturbate my ego so shamelessly?

Apparently, yes.

But the whole thing is more complicated than that. Sometimes the questions come at random and out of nowhere. I might be at the grocery store debating about whether Frosted Flakes is better than Limited Edition Peanut Butter Cheerios, and then, BAM, The Interviewer pops up with a question.

Often when this happens it’s a question that’s arisen many times before. For instance, I used to be plagued by the question, “What is your stance on sex before marriage?” You probably know that I’m a non-believer who grew up in a devout Protestant family. That I might be conflicted about bumping uglies before tying the knot shouldn’t be that surprising: the shit you grew up believing as a child has a way of sticking to you like . . . well, like shit. In this instance, then, the persisting question makes perfect sense. Or some proximity of it.

But lately the question that consistently pops up like an unwanted zit has nothing to do with my childhood maladies, nor with any of my social, cultural, or religious views. I can’t explain it – it just makes no sense.

Over and over again, during every day of every week of every month, returns this one ultimate unanswerable question:

“What is the best Batman movie?”

I don’t know why. I’m not a comic book nerd. While I watched the animated series as a kid and more or less enjoy the movies today, I have no significant interest in the caped crusader.

Let me be clear: I do not care about Batman.

But for some reason The Interviewer thinks that I should.

If it wasn’t so incessant, I might think it was cute. It would be kind of like having Freud as a best friend, except he’s quirky and wears onesie pajamas to bed and chortles like Chewbaacca in his sleep.

As it is . . . well, I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Maybe Batman Returns.

Did you miss last week’s entry on SCRAPYARD BOYSCatch up here.

For a full list of all HOT DAMNs, click here.



  1. Pingback: HOT DAMN #18 — Firing Misogynistic Douche Bags | zs roe - May 16, 2015

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