Ask the Author: Daniel Gutstein

Daniel Gutstein brings his quirky humor to the March issue and talks with us about kicking a mockingbird’s ass, time saving devices and the heroics of a Beef Pineapple Robot.

1. Instructor Gutstein, what techniques would you use to kick a mockingbird’s ass? What belt level would you require the successful asskicking of a mockingbird in order to advance?

My own karate instructor, Neil, had us practicing an axe kick, which was designed, if everything lined up properly, to break a man’s collarbone. Sometimes Neil shouted the command so quickly, it sounded like “Ass kick”, and then it was unclear what he wanted us to do, and the lesson would kind of fall apart, like a disjointed symphony, brass coming apart from strings, etc., some students even throwing roundhouse kicks to the derriere of the opponent. I don’t think an axe kick or an ass kick would stop a mockingbird, but perhaps resorting to crane style — you know, emulating a piece of heavy, looming machinery — would give the mockingbird pause. I have also been a practioner of Shaolin Moo Shoo Porkbarrel, which is useful if you live in the shadow of Washington D.C.’s bicameral mammals. And I have also practiced Shwarma Style, by devouring shaved meats. No, it’s funny that PANK should ask me about hand-to-wing combat, given that I used to teach a version of the martial arts and that my good friend, Kevin, a great fiction writer who teaches in the U-California system, always calls me “Danielson”. (Not the old Lions QB). In real life, I have rumbled with a mockingbird once, took a big fat swing that missed, after he pecked the Baltimore Oriole on my old baseball hat. A mendicant laughed at me, in front of a church, and the Lord worked in obvious ways, by tormenting the weak, and rewarding thugs and billionaires.

2. Could Beef Pineapple Robot singlehandedly defeat the war on terror? How?

Domo au regato, Mr. Beef Pineapple Roboto. It’s possible that just such a Roboto could defeat the war on terror, except that you’d be expecting said Roboto to defeat the war, as opposed to the terror. So, the war would probably come to an end, but then you’d have the terror, still, to worry about. For that, I might suggest Beef Pineapple Dorito, or, if you preferred a female heroine, then Beef Pineapple Dorita. The “How?” part of your question depends upon the resourcefulness of our 80s rock ‘n’ roll stations. Were they to blare enough Styx, and waft such blarings, affixed to drones, etc., in the direction of the offending party, then chances for a swift resolution would increase. Otherwise, we could always manufacture several dozen replicas of a famous Panamanian boxer, Roboto Duran. Would you want to mess with Roboto Duran? Not unless you were The Hit Man Hearns.

3. What labour saving device do you need?

I require, above all else, a Vulgarity Saving Device. Boy, that sure would save me a lot of effort. The Vulgarity required of your average American, these days, is overwhelming, and can have a seriously debilitating effect. One the other hand, I have read of people who have purchased what I’ll call “Personal Gratification Devices” that went all haywire after a modicum of pleasure had been achieved. Instead of ceasing, at the application of the off button, the devices accelerated, and led to various hospitalizations, in the Gratuity Ward. I’m aware that the Dept. of Homeland Gratification is investigating the link between these motorized pleasure devices and the Auto (erotic) industry, but a relationship has yet to be established.

4. If you could make a mythical beast into an item at a fast food franchise, which mythical animal would it be and what fast food franchise would serve it?

First of all, might I suggest that you, and your readership, get into the habit of going to Wendy’s and ordering some Taco Bell? Otherwise, it’d be fun to order a six piece Harpies at Hardee’s.

5. If you were king, what would be your entrance music?

Saxophone. I would not get tired of hearing Big Joe Houston’s “All Night Long”; Big Jay McNeely’s “Roadhouse Boogie”; or Johnny Sparrow’s “Sparrow’s Nest” for example. Jump blues forever!

6. Have you just published a first collection of writing?

Actually, that’s my question, that I inserted, just trying to fake you out. I’m not one of those aggressive self-promoters, but my first book, non/fiction, will be officially released on April 1st, through Edge Books. Advance copies can be bought at SPD.

Rock on, PANK. You’re the BEST.

  • Dahlia

    Funny! Thanks, Dahlia

  • Mira Nillson

    i just came across this interview. it made me laugh very hard. coffee everywhere. thanks for posting!