Before I introduce you to our very special guest today, I confess I went a little crazy here and busted the 500 word nominal limit, by a lot.
For those of you who have been following us for a while, we have a special surprise. Dr. Cuthbert Soup graciously agreed to be our guest on the BoFN today. Something Dave hinted about in FNITN #38.
But first an introduction is in order.
Given the name of Gerry Swallow at birth, he began his humble career in Seattle as a stand-up comic before moving to Los Angeles. Once there, he turned his attention to screen writing and more recently to writing children’s books. Additionally, he has film credits and made multiple appearances on talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Today Show.
Little is known of Dr. Soup, as he does not yet have a Wikipedia page, thus the interview. But according to Amazon.com and Kidsreads, he was born in Vienna, Austria, at the height of the Great Sausage Famine to Filbert and Roberta Soup. In an interview, he mentioned the affects of the 1968 Cheese Whiz Embargo on his life.
He dropped out of high school at the tender age of twenty-three and moved to New York City. While there, he landed a job playing elevator music with his trombone. Sadly, he was soon fired because his trombone kept smacking other people in the elevator.
Afterwards, according to his website, he attended Southwestern North Dakota State University, home of the Fighting Paperclips, where he was the star quarterback and in the pep band at the same time. It is where he earned his Ph.D. in Unsolicited Advice.
Currently, he is the founder, president and vice president for the National Center for Unsolicited Advice. Where he earned millions by making himself so annoying people pay him to go away. He has served as an unofficial advisor to CEOs and heads of state and has given multitudes of inspirational lectures to unsuspecting crowds.
Aside from a busy lecture circuit (I get to hear him speak next week), he is working on a Broadway musical performed entirely by sock puppets on ice. More important, he lives with his two pet snails, Gooey and Squishy, who have their own talk show, and his dog, Kevin, who is neither gooey or squishy.
As a children’s author, he has written three books, A Whole Nother Story, Another Whole Nother Story and No Other Story, which revolve around the Cheeseman Family. Can you feel the influence of the embargo here?
Without giving too much away, Mr. Cheeseman and his three smart, polite, and relatively odor-free children travel in time trying to prevent the death of Mrs. Cheeseman. (Do you suppose his initial’s influenced the names of his characters? C.H.E.S. Hmmm.) They use the Luminal Velosity Regulator (LVR) to assist them in their travels. Their fabulous side kicks are a sock puppet named Steve, and their hairless, psychic, pet dog, Pinky.
On a separate note, my new guilty pleasure is the “Fun Stuff” on Dr. Soup’s website, where I have spent a lot of time playing with the New Identity Customizer (N.I.C.) Names. My favorite N.I.C. Name to date is Jambalya Cocojamma. I’m like a moth to flame.
Please help me welcome Dr. Cuthbert Soup. *Fannie cues up the Mouseketeers*
Fannie: You started your career as a stand-up comedian in Seattle. How much would you say your given name inspired your career choice or influenced your success?
Dr. Soup: My career choice was inspired strictly by my complete lack of any other marketable skills. It was a tough choice between stand-up comedy and purse snatching, neither of which provides dental.
Fannie: Some of your screenplay credits include: “Say It Isn’t So”, “Black Knight” and “Ice Age: The Melt Down”. Do you enjoy writing more to adult audiences or to children and why?
Dr. Soup: Writing for children is my one great passion in life because I have always loved money. No, wait. Children. I meant to say that I’ve always loved children. Yes, that’s it. Children. Children with money. Who buy books.
Writing for young people is beyond gratifying because I know that I am helping to shape young minds. Just which shape, exactly, remains to be seen.
Fannie: What inspired your Pen Name?
Dr. Soup: The name was chosen as a tribute to St. Cuthberto Sopa, the patron saint of non-sequiturs. Hey, I hear it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.
Fannie: As Dr. Cuthbert Hubert Egbert Soup, which influenced you more, the Great Sausage Famine or the 1968 Cheese Whiz Embargo?
Dr. Soup: Though Vienna Sausages are the official Austrian national dish, the Great Cheese Whiz Embargo was more difficult to endure because, without Cheese Whiz, it is impossible to make a proper Spam chowder.
Fannie: In your latest book, “No Other Story”, the LVR (Luminal Velocity Regulator) has been replaced with the LVR-ZX, what does the ZX stand for? (By the way, solar-powered musical pants are inspiring.)
Dr. Soup: Though I am no scientist, the obvious assumption is that the ZX stands for zirconium xenon, the same elemental fusion that gives us large, inexpensive engagement rings.
And yes, I agree that solar-powered musical pants are inspiring, and can really liven up an outdoor funeral on a sunny day.
Fannie: Since the National Center for Unsolicited Advice went from being open one day a week to six days a week, how have you juggled your duties as President and Vice President?
Dr. Soup: I juggle my duties the same way that Dick Cheney juggled his duties as president and vice president.
Fannie: Were your appearances on the Tonight Show the basis for the Gooey and Squishy Show book trailer?
Dr. Soup: Appearing on the Tonight Show was a very good warm up for being a guest on the Gooey and Squishy Show, the highest rated and longest running show ever hosted by mollusks.
Fannie: Since you announced you based the Cheeseman’s hairless, psychic dog on your dog, Kevin, how has Kevin handled his fame?
Dr. Soup: Kevin has handled his fame remarkably well, other than the fact that he recently cut off all his hair and has become a Scientologist. We are looking forward to hosting the Travoltas for dinner next week.
Fannie: As you were the only student at Southwestern North Dakota State University to be the star quarterback and in the pep band at the same time, do you expect an elevator to be named after you or just a plaque immortalizing your trombone?
Dr. Soup: The university is located in rural Ruralton, North Dakota, which is a one-storey town. The only elevator within a hundred miles is in a grain silo off old Route 33, just down the road from the World’s Largest Thimble™.
However, there has been some talk of naming a local rope ladder in my honor.
Fannie: “No Other Story” was released in September 2012, based on your comments that you write your books on the walls of a cave, will there be room for one more installment of the Cheeseman Family? As the title suggests you might not, but your televised interviews make it sound like one more installment may be forth coming.
Dr. Soup: Unfortunately, cave wall space is in very short supply and, as a result, the rental fees can be quite exorbitant. I’m currently looking into modernizing my writing techniques a bit, but my local Staples, as it turns out, does not stock papyrus. It looks as though, that for the foreseeable future, the Cheeseman family saga has come to an end.
Fannie: Your website has marvelous unsolicited advice. What advice would you offer to up and coming writers?
Dr. Soup: My advice to writers is the same as my advice to anyone who has a goal that he or she wishes to accomplish. Every day, get up at least one hour before you have to. That, and be relentless.
Dr. Soup, thank you for joining us today on the BoFN.
My Unsolicited Advice: If you read any of Dr. Soup’s books, don’t do it while using exercise equipment. I speak from experience. I laughed so hard I fell of my bike after page seven. (I’m all right.)