Interview with an Eight Year Old

As part of my further exploration into the interview format, I decided to test it on my eight year old son.  It is pretty much uncut, except one long soliloquy I removed.  I thought it was enjoyable to do, and hopefully it’s fun to read.

IMM: Tell me about yourself.

NSM: Seriously?

IMM: Yeah, describe your life.

NSM: What about my life?

IMM: What are you all about?

NSM: Give me time!  [Long pause]  I don’t mean to brag, but I’m creative.  I kind of like machines.  I have a temper, that’s for sure.  I like Legos.  I suppose I find interest in liberty.

IMM: What is your passion in life?

NSM: Just being creative.

IMM: Do you look forward to growing older, or do you wish you could stay a kid?

NSM: I wish I could stay a kid for a long time.

IMM: What’s great about it?

NSM: One, you’re not a person who just has to do work, work, work, sitting in an office all day.

IMM: You think you’re the type who wouldn’t enjoy sitting in an office all day?

NSM: Yes.

IMM: What kind of thing would you enjoy?

NSM: Watching TV and eating snacks.

IMM: So you don’t want to sit in front of a screen at work all day, you want to sit in front of a screen on the couch all day?

NSM: [Laughs] Yes.

IMM: What’s the difference?

NSM: You’re not having to press buttons and do all the work and write articles and stuff.  All you have to do is sit there, relax, and watch the moving cartoon figures.

IMM: If you could work in a coal mine all day, or you could work in front of a computer writing and thinking, which would you rather do?

NSM: [Pause] A coal mine, if I get to use TNT.

IMM: What’s one thing people think about kids that’s not true?

NSM: That they’re so irresponsible.

IMM: Do you think you’re pretty responsible?

NSM: Who knows?  I can’t really tell, can I?

IMM: You think kids are more responsible than adults, or less?

NSM: More.

IMM: In what way?

NSM: In a way.

IMM: What’s your greatest triumph in life so far?

NSM: Hmmm…defeating Rocky Rhino on Zombie Farm.

IMM: That’s your greatest triumph in life so far?

NSM: Yes! I defeated Rocky Rhino!

IMM: What do you think your life will be like in 20 years when you’re my age?

NSM: Boring.

IMM: Why do you think it will be boring?

NSM: Changing diapers, doing workouts, writing articles for about fifteen hours…

IMM: Hold on, hold on.  That sounds like my life.  Do you think your life will be just like that?

NSM: Grownups all do the same thing.  That’s what makes it even boringer.

IMM: Grownups do lots of different things.

NSM: No, it’s all just a simple life.  Walk over, push button, write article for fifteen hours, go downstairs, do awful killer workout, lie down, forget something, go do it, keep forgetting things, never get a rest, and change poopy diapers.

IMM: OK, so what would you like your life to be like in 20 years, if you could do anything?

NSM: Maybe do some sports.  I’m getting interested in tennis.  Go down, swim at the pool.  Maybe call a few people.

IMM: You like to talk?

NSM: I don’t really know.  Just chill out, that’s what I want to do.

IMM: If you could take a trip to anywhere, where would you go?

NSM: New York city.

IMM: Why New York City?

NSM: Because it’s big, and there are hotdogs.  And there’s ice cream.  And there’s lots of different treats, and lots of fancy hotels.

IMM: Hot dogs and ice cream are everywhere, aren’t they?

NSM: Well, they come around a lot more in New York.  There’s a hot dog or ice cream cart strolling around just about everywhere.

IMM: Would you like to live in a city like New York?

NSM: Well, if I go on a trip there, I’d check it out first.

IMM: What would make you decide if it was worth moving there?

NSM: I just mentioned it.

IMM: If they had tons of hot dogs?

NSM: Yes.

IMM: What makes a place exciting?  It can’t just be the hot dogs.

NSM: Well, being around lots of cities and buildings, and fancy hotels, and restaurants and things.

IMM: Tell me something about yourself most people don’t know.

NSM: I can dance pretty good.

IMM: Why don’t most people know that?

NSM: I’m too shy to show them.

IMm: What makes you shy about dancing?

NSM: Geez, do we have to go there?

IMM: No.  What do you think is a good question to ask someone in an interview?

NSM: Wait…we’re recording this?  An interview about an interview?  [Pause]  Well, maybe ask someone if they believe in something that’s like a myth or something.  Take aliens for example, or maybe King Kong, or Godzilla.  Just made up things.  Just pick one.  Any one!

IMM: Do you believe in the Greek myths?

NSM: I believe possibly it could have happened.  Maybe it did.  We don’t know everything, and it’s not like we can just warp back into time and see for ourselves.

IMM: Would you like it if they were true, or would you prefer that they just be myths?

NSM: I’d like it if they were true, except for some things.  The gods were kind of gruesome…yeah.  The Minotaur ate human flesh. [Long story about Greek myths]

IMM: What about aliens?  Do you think they exist?

NSM: I think Martians exist.

IMM: You think there are people on Mars?

NSM: Not necessarily people.  Now, there are types of bacteria, but I mean, like, human-like life.  Maybe there’s some secret.  We don’t know.  It’s not like we’ve gone deep into Mars’ volcanoes or all the way to the center of Mars or anything.  We don’t know everything about the planet.

IMM: How likely do you think it is that there is intelligent life on Mars?

NSM: Ahh…pretty likely.

IMM: Even though scientist think it would be really hard to live on Mars because of the cold and lack of water?

NSM: What if there are creatures that can survive the cold?  What if they need it to survive?  What if they use ice caps?  Everybody says, “Martians don’t exist! Martians don’t exist!”  It kind of makes me feel bad.  I don’t always listen.  I still think about Martian theory, even though no one believes it.

IMM: Is there any evidence that would make you not believe your theory?

NSM: Not really.

IMM: Not even if you could go explore it yourself, underground and all?

NSM: Maybe.  But maybe if they weren’t there, it just meant they got too hot or too cold or got some kind of plague and abandoned Mars for some other outer planet or something.

IMM: You’re pretty connected to these Martians, aren’t you?

NSM: I want to meet a Martian someday.

IMM: What about aliens from other planets or galaxies?

NSM: I don’t believe they exist.

IMM: Really?  Why?

NSM: Because Mars is the most similar to earth.

IMM: What is your idea of a good weekend?

NSM: TV, not doing anything, TV, potato chips, hot dogs, staying up late, more TV.

IMM: Do you like to read books?

NSM: Some books.

IMM: What makes a book good?

NSM: Underwear.

IMM: So only books about underwear?

NSM: There are lots of books with underwear; Captain Underpants, Dinosaurs Love Underpants, and others.  But I like other books too.  Like Hoot.  It’s pretty interesting.  Never judge a book by its cover.  At first I thought it was some awful baby book.

IMM: Anything else you’d like to add?

NSM: [Long pause]…..uhhhh…mmmmm….no.

IMM: Thank you.

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