FICTION – Interview with a Turnip by Douglas Watson

Q: Good evening, and welcome to another exciting episode of Dig Deeper! Our first guest tonight is a turnip. Turnip, thanks for being with us on the show tonight.

A: …

Q: We’ll start with a question from one of our viewers. This is from Bart Skarzynski of Madison, Wisconsin. Ooh, is it cold up there this week! What Bart wants to know is: Was it wonderful living underground?

A: …

Q: Now a question from me. Your days are numbered, obviously. You’ve been dug up and are slowly dying. Any particular recipe you hope to be a part of?

A: …

Q: A lot of turnips are bought but never eaten, you know. They end up in a landfill with all the other unwanted things. Care to comment?

A: …

Q: Not too talkative today, are we? You remind me of my wife. Not your looks but your conversational skills. She recently broke one of her long silences to tell me that the only reason she hadn’t left me years ago was that being around me and my as she put it false cheer had so depressed her spirits that she couldn’t work up the energy to walk out the door and couldn’t see what difference it would make anyway. Then she shut her trap and hasn’t spoken since. That was six weeks ago.

A: …

Q: Still, we’re basically happy together. I would give her a shout-out, but she doesn’t watch the show anymore. Say, do turnips fall in love?

A: …

Q: Hard to meet one another, right? Or do you actually get to know the ones growing right next to you?

A: …

Q: Here’s another viewer question. This is from Michelle Burke of Brooklyn, New York. Pretty wintry there too! Michelle asks: What do you think of the new pope?

A: …

Q: Let’s shift gears. Turnips are being outsold by rutabagas this season. What went wrong?

A: …

Q: I figured that one would stump you. But we’re almost out of time, which means it’s time to—that’s right—dig deeper! Tell us, turnip, do you miss the special little divot in the earth that was your home? You’ll never see it again, you know. You’ll never see your fellow turnips again, either. But did you even know they existed? Maybe you thought you were the only one. I can just picture you—

A: You are a fool.

Q: —so wrapped up in your little project of sucking the life out of the dirt you’re displacing… Excuse me, did you say something?

A: …

Q: Viewers, I ask you—I forget what I was going to ask you. Turnip, what was I going to ask them?

A: …

Q: Ah, I have it! A question, I was going to ask you a question. Does anyone know a good turnip recipe? A gem from the old country, say? I told my wife I would cook dinner tomorrow. Of course she didn’t respond. She dislikes root vegetables, dislikes all vegetables, in fact. Yet she eats what I put in front of her. God, what a smile she used to have. Met her at college. Beautiful girl comes walking toward me across the lawn, like in a movie. Now I can’t think of the last time I saw her smile. ’Cept when she’s on the phone, of course.

A: …

Q: Turnip, will anyone miss you when you’re gone? That’s what’s so great about having a wife, even if she won’t speak to you. You know that when the time comes, you’ll be mourned. Unless she goes first, of course. But as a turnip, you’re pretty much on your own, aren’t you?

A: …

Q: If you have to be alone, it’s better to be alone with someone else, I always say.

A: …

Q: Another viewer question. This one just came to us via the World Wide Web. It’s from Garrick Chow of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Foot of snow there this week, I believe. Let’s see here. Garrick says: Aw, man, can’t you let the turnip speak? You’ve got a talking vegetable on the show and you think we want to hear from you?! Huh. That was more a question for me, I guess. But okay, turnip, anything you want to say to all our Dig Deeper fans out there tonight? We’ve got at least one viewer who’d really like to know what’s on your mind.

A: …

Q: The floor is yours.

A: …

Q: Nothing? Nothing at all?

A: I guess I’d—

Q: And we’re out of time. Folks, if you know what kind of knife works best on a turnip, dial 1-800-D-I-G-D-E-E-P. Meanwhile, make like a turnip and don’t go anywhere! We’ll be right back after these subliminal messages about how phallic root vegetables are! Our next guest? A giant carrot from Siberia! Talk about cold!

 

 

Douglas Watson is the author of a book of stories, The Era of Not Quiteand a novel, A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then DiesHe lives in Brooklyn.

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