the little things you notice
He's rough around the edges, largely unpredictable, maybe even
a trifle rude. But throughout all
11 out-of-this-world chapters that Mel visited upon us last
year, you just can't help but love him. Can you? Nevertheless, with
our demi-hero in Portland for the holidays, we snagged a rare opportunity
to grab an interview. And so, without further adeau, heeeeerrrrre's
JESS GULBRANSON: Enjoying the rain, Mel?
MEL: What are you, some kind of smart aleck?
JG: Yeah, just a little joke to break the ice. How are things
progressing right now?
M: Like you don't know!
JG: Sure, I've been chronicling your adventures and misadventures
for a year now. But I have to ask you something.
M: It's your party, you can cry if you want to.
JG: [sighs] I can't believe I wrote you to be such a wiseass.
JG: Anyway, I'll fill in for the purposes of the interview.
You're stranded here in Portland, an alternate version of Bridgetown,
which is your hometown in another dimension.
You came here with the legendary vampire-slayer Frank Burley, following
Smith, your green-sweatshirted evil twin. Both of them have been
killed by the vampire Vlad Tepes ... how are you dealing with that?
M: Smith can burn in hell. But Frank, well, he was a great
friend; I miss him terribly. Although I have this feeling that he's
not gone for good ...
JG: I have that feeling, too. Hey, did you know there's
a Frank Burley here in Portland? He's a punk rocker. I went to high
school with him. Any plans to look him up?
M: Nah, that'd be kinda weird. Look, I have ...
JG: ... a date with that redheaded girl in 15 minutes. I
M: I'll never get used to you being the omniscient author.
That's just fucked up.
JG: We'll keep it short. You were saying?
M: Well, remember what Doubting Tom said about Frank?
JG: I should hope so. I wrote it.
M: [laughs] Who's the wiseass now? Anyway, he said something
along the lines of "There are a bajillion Franks out there,
all unlikely heroes." I'll run into him again, and probably
Vlad the Impaler, too.
JG: I have no doubt.
M: I don't like the sound of that. Anything you can
M: I like the sound of that even less.
JG: I've got plenty in store for you in the year to come.
Look, I'll let you get to your date, but answer this first: What's
it like being a dimension-hopping adventurer?
M: It's just like Barbarino said in "Pulp Faction":
"You know, it's the little things that you notice."
That's so true.
JG: Give anything good for Christmas?
M: You kidding me? I dropped the new Oggy Pip CD on all
my friends. I'm surprised a lot more people didn't think of it.
Mmm hmm. One last question: Ever gonna wash that red hoody?
M: It's not exactly up there with food, water and shelter,
but I'll make sure it happens. I've still got a reputation with
JG: Yeah, right. Good luck with that. Speaking of which,
get outa here and give my best to the redhead. You'll be hearing
from me soon enough.
M: Have a good year, author-man. And I really mean it.