It was a crisp morning in San Francisco and I sipped on a hot cider as I waited for my guest inside beatnik bar Vesuvio. He was running late, and as he shuffled in the door it was clear that time hadn't been kind--his coke-bottle glasses slipping down, his tattered white hat now more the color of an eggshell, now more miniature then ever. A bit of a hermit since leaving Smurf Village, Brainy put down his text books and turned to prose--rambling, quixotic narratives that have launched Brainy into the literary spotlight.
Cole Stratton: Thanks for taking the time, Brainy.
Brainy Smurf: No problem. I'm a big fan of the blog.
BS: (pause) Um, no, not really. I've never read it. My publicist just told me about it, and, well, you know.
CS: Right. Well, regardless, thanks.
CS: We're gonna spend some time talking about your writing, I promise, but do you mind if we talk a little about your time in Smurf Village?
BS: I'll be honest, it's not my favorite subject. But I've resigned myself to the fact that that's what people want to talk about, to know about. So...yes, but, well, ok, so...go ahead.
CS: Some have labeled you a tattle tale, a rat. Do you feel that's an unfair assessment?
BS: Of course I do! Is it so bad to go by the book, to play by the rules? People seem to forget that there was the constant threat of a maniacal madman who wanted to capture us and melt us into gold. HE THOUGHT HE COULD MELT US INTO GOLD. We're small blue creatures, not bouillon. They all wanted to take so many unnecessary risks. It's just dumb. Not too long ago Hefty cut his smurfing thumb off on a table saw 'cuz he didn't have the safety shield in place. And I'M the jerk here? I'm all thumbs.
CS: That's not what you think it means.
BS: I know that, I was being funny.
CS: Sorry, you're kind of hard to read.
BS: Papa Smurf always said I was funny, but nobody really listened.
CS: You like to quote Papa Smurf a lot.
BS: Well, yeah. He was our leader. He was my father. He was all of our fathers. He just kind of always knew what to say, he knew what do. That smurf was wise, kind. I miss him. When I was little I used to curl up next to him and stroke his big white beard and fall asleep.
CS: What was your relationship like with Smurfette?
BS: We didn't really understand each other. She...she wasn't all that bright. I mean, she was created by Gargamel to try to trap us. I think it's weird that we even responded to her in the first place, with us being unisexual and all. We didn't even know we had...desires. All that attention...I don't think she could deal with it after a while. That's a lot of pressure. Everyone was in love with her. Lazy, Handy, Reporter, Clumsy, Harmony, Dreamy, everyone but Vanity Smurf, really. She used to be a brunette, you know. Papa changed her hair color when he changed her nature. That says something.
CS: Were you shocked when she passed away?
BS: Yes, and no. We all were, but I can't say that I didn't see it coming. She had been eating magic mushrooms for years, but she kept upping the dosage. It's just tragic. She's the only woman we've ever known, or will ever know.
CS: Have you had a hard time adjusting to the human world?
BS: It's smurfing tough out here! Do you have any idea how many people discriminate against little blue people? I nearly get stepped on everywhere I go, I can't hold down a job--that's where the writing comes in.
CS: What other jobs did you have before you were published?
BS: Oh, good smurf, I've tried them all. I waited tables at Olive Garden, where you ARE NOT family, by the way, I had a paper route but couldn't lift the Sunday edition. I wrote for a while on According to Jim, but couldn't live with myself. Jim Belushi can suck my left smurf.
CS: Any thoughts on Blue Man Group?
BS: I don't doubt their talent, but, smurf, rip us off much? I figured I could at least get a job in touring production, but they are firm about the Blue Men being between 5'10" and 6'1", so that smurfed me there.
CS: Johan and Peewee...is that when you jumped the shark?
BS: Jumped the shark?
CS: Yeah...it's a term that was invented on Happy Days when Fonzi jumped a shark on his motorcycle, and the show was never the same.
BS: Oh smurf I hate Fonzi Smurf, it's all about HIM when it should be about Richie Smurf, and--
CS: Johan and Peewee?
BS: Yeah, those guys kind of bugged. I mean, Peewee always carried a lute with him. Who does that? And we'd be in the middle of a discussion about an Azreal sighting, or something, and he'd just start playing a lute solo for like ten minutes. It's like, "Hello? What the smurf are you doing? We're talking here, smurfhole!" and he'd just keep lute'n up a storm. Peewee had a Napoleon Complex, and yet he was several feet taller than us. Jerk.
CS: Your first book, A Smurfing Smurf Amongst Smurfs, has garnered a lot of praise, and a little head-scratching. Did you think it was going to be as challenging a read as it's turned out to be?
BS: I just write what I feel, what jumps into my head. I think it's more interesting that way. I'm not as concerned with narrative structure, or trying to work in a tight three act thing, or whatever. I just write. Editor Smurf wanted to take a stab at condensing it, but I wouldn't let him. They are MY smurfing words!
CS: I understand that. I noticed that the book was dedicted "For PS...you always said to follows my dreams."
BS: It's always been for Papa Smurf. Everything I do. One day, maybe I'll be a Papa Smurf myself, if science can figure out our whole reproduction thing. I don't know how much time I have left on this plane, ya know? If I can't create life, I can create words.
Brainy apologized again for being late, and excused himself to run to another appointment. It was the last interview he would give...as he was run over later that afternoon by a Hyde Street Cable Car. His words live on...