Jacob McGinnis: Less Complicated Than You Think

But Not As Weird As You'd Expect

Interview with myself 

I knew this interview would be difficult. My subject, well known to me, would be well prepared for any questions that I managed to work into the conversation. I knew his fears in this matter, how to make himself sound interesting, how to stand out and at the same time present as genuine. As a boy, my subject spent the better part of each day reading, often eschewing school work to plow ahead in a novel, a magazine, a comic book. As he progressed into teenage adolescence, dealing with insomnia he wouldn’t understand for years, my subject spent the better part of each night watching television- episodes of Bob Ross, Inside the Actor’s Studio, and Sportscenter flickered a bluish light into his bedroom of the too large home in Weston, Florida. Knowing these things helped. I could possibly beguile him with questions from different interviewers that he admired, and if it worked we would both succeed in our tasks.

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What do you most value in your friends?

Oh—I suppose that they continue to be my friends. I don’t think I’m particularly difficult to be around, I probably try to tell too many jokes, probably a bit quick with my attempts to be witty, because I enjoy, above nearly all things, the sound of laughter. I guess it always amazes me in life when we make friends, that there is some spark amongst two people, or a group of people that tells you, “yes, this one. Let us understand this one better.”  

What is your favorite word? And your least favorite word?

My favorite word? Ah, the James Lipton questions- I do enjoy these questions. I’m not entirely certain if I have a favorite word. My daughter asked me the other day what my favorite letter was, and I said it was Q. I know that given the opportunity in Scrabble I will try to play the word “Quoin,” I will hold onto letters to ensure that I can spell it, but I’m not certain it is my favorite word. My favorite word… perhaps perseverate. My least favorite word is equally difficult- I suppose some people might be tempted to list off curse words, but I adore those as well, and there is the trend on the internet to be disgusted by the word “Moist,” but even there I don’t find anything deplorable about the word. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I can’t think of anything that feels like happiness better than being close to the people that you adore. I can say a moment I truly enjoy, when that puffy cloud of happiness descends are on the weekend mornings. Usually the children are already up, absorbed by cartoons and my wife and I are still in bed, and there alone in our room we chat- about nothing in particular, but it is warm and there is laughter, and sometimes we’ll just cuddle, and I think that’s as close to any idea of heaven as I’ll ever get.

What is your most useless talent?

There are many things I could list here. Aside from making story time a bit more interesting for a my daughter, my most useless talent is my ability to mimic voices from movies: Bane from Batman; Sméagol from Lord of the Rings; Dumbledore from Harry Potter- and others. It has earned me nothing but occasional chuckles and general derision from my peers. 

What are your desert island books?

1. American Gods- Neil Gaiman

2. Fortress of Solitude- Jon Lethem

3. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus- Mary Shelley

4. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes- Bill Watterson 

5. Nights at the Circus- Angela Carter

Any last thoughts?

When in doubt- wear pajamas. 


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