January 08, 2011
How recent is that photo, and how much has it been retouched?
It was taken the week before the first column, by a very well known and talented photographer. A friend of Mr. Dust’s that I’m not at liberty to name. It has been touched a lot, but never retouched. Why do I suddenly feel like I need a haircut?
Because you do. How did you meet Dust?
I was hired by Mr. Dust’s previous assistant, Candy. She trained me and had me up to speed before I actually ever met him.
Do you address him as “Mr. Dust” to his face?
I address him as “sir.”
What do you call Mrs. Dust?
Are you paid for your PA labor, or is your relationship a master/slave sort of arrangement?
You’ve been reading too much Sasher-Masoch. I am paid a salary that accurately reflects my talents. I punch in, punch out, home in slippers and sweats by 4pm. But I’m always on call.
Are there a lot of late night emergencies?
Mr. Dust keeps unusual hours. Doors are often locked, strange noises are accompanied by wafts of smoke, and a number of the local working girls have mysteriously gone missing. Actually, no. Mr. Dust just sometimes has ideas at night that he’d like me to transcribe before he forgets them. He also uses me as a sounding board for new projects.
A Billy Mays museum. Writing the sequel to Tango and Cash. Pork soda.
What can you tell us about Castle Dust?
It has more books and records crammed into it than the Library at Alexandria.
Are you The Dust’s only employee?
No. There’s Tomoko the gardener. And Claudette the nanny. Also, Marlon comes twice a week to do the rolfing.
What is rolfing?
Extremely painful inter-tissue deep muscle massage. Mr. Dust is thoroughly rolfed on Tuesdays and Saturday afternoons. It makes the dogs howl, like only they can hear the high-pitched frequency of screaming flesh.
The Dust has dogs?
A pair of AKC Weimaraners. Zelda and Sir Huntington Woof.
The column seems to have spurred a lot of strong reactions, even though The Dust himself somehow seems above the fray.
Provocative Amelioration is an unsung talent. And, like “Threepeat,” is also one of the few phrases that has received its own US patent.
Who are you talking to on that headset?
Probably Werner Herzog. Esquire magazine calls a lot. Also, Mr. Dust’s editor is good for about three top-volume rants a day.
Tell us something we don’t know about Dust.
He plays saxophone.
Thank God he doesn’t have a podcast. But saxophone? That’s as lame as Kelly Osborne’s answers to the “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” section of Us Weekly (to which I presume you have a subscription). Tell us something juicy.
Mr. Dust is the best boss I’ve ever had. He tends to scare people who don’t know him well, and as a consequence, he has few close friends. No one wants to make the effort to break through the imposing outer appearance. Also, he’s enormous. So it’s understandable. But he’s actually a very kind and gentle person. If it’s considered juicy that he speaks through me as a way to handle his astonishing workload as well as a near-debilitating shyness, you go ahead and squeeze that lemon.
Consider it squeezed. Some of the TNB ladies, as well as a few stray dudes, want to know: are you single?
I am open-minded, unmarried, and can dance the fuck out of a pair of cheap dress shoes.
You hear that, DWTS? Fabian’s ready. Moving on. Dust wrote quite eloquently on the Mike Vick/Tucker Carlson brouhaha. What’s your take on that?
I don’t have one. I learned long ago that in order to serve Mr. Dust best, as well as maintain a professional distance, I needed to render myself opinion-less. Also, he’s always right. So, pretty much what he said.
Wise policy. Beatles or Stones?
Culture Club. And Nina Simone.
Joyce Carol Oates or George Bernard Shaw?
Jim Carroll and George Saunders.
Who is your favorite contributor at TNB?
I decline to answer due to a conflict of interest. But I will say that there are a handful of people who I make a point to read. Some others not so much. Also, Lenore Zion is pretty. So is David Wills. Honestly, though? I don’t get the lightsabers. I see one of those, and it’s like, next.
I myself will only abide lightsabers if squirrels are also involved. Final question: Are the rumors true? Did Jake Gyllenhaal dump Taylor Swift to be with Fabian?
He’s way too old for me. But I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like I let any old cleft chin buy me a drink. When Maggie decides she wants in on the action too, then they can give me a call.