1. Name the singer/band/performer you are most embarrassed to admit you actually paid good money to see in concert.
Ah well, we had the cultural boycott here in SA while I was growing up so I didn’t get to see many bands at all. I was so excited when the Rolling Stones and U2 made it to SA and I loved them. I was a bit disappointed when I saw REM in concert, but that was more about being so far away from the stage rather than the quality of their music.
2. Which reality TV show have you watched more than once (come on, I don’t believe you if you say “none,” unless you don’t own a TV)?
I went through a phase of watching Survivor and then The Amazing Race religiously every week. I also watched a bit of Big Brother when it first came out. I’ll still watch a bit of Idols from time to time (and I saw David Cook on YouTube).
3. Which complete trash novelist have you not only read but enjoyed enough to read more than one book of his/hers?
When I worked part-time at Exclusive Books for about 5 years I used to pass the time by reading trashy crime novels and graphic novels and the occasional teen novel (the ones about being at high school). Recently I did some research on magazine advice columns so I started to read You magazine and Huisgenoot (the Afrikaans sister magazine of You). Can’t remember reading a Jilly Cooper or a Mills and Boon though.
4. What sappy musical could you watch over and over and over again?
I love “Moulin Rouge” (does that qualify as sappy) and Chicago. I would go to sing-a-long screenings of The Sound of Music and The Rocky Horror Picture Show if I got the chance.
5. Who was your first celebrity crush?
I get crushes so easily that trying to work out my first celebrity crush would take a lot of excavating. I remember being totally smitten by the woman who took the lead role in our local Pantomime. She was so beautiful and talented and enthusiastic. When I saw her without her make-up and out of the lights then she was just an actress (and a lot older than I thought). Actually after that I think any leading lady in a movie was the object of a crush. Lois Lane in Superman springs to mind. How embarrassing.
6. Who is the most embarrassing celebrity on whom you have a slight crush today?
Haha, here goes any credibility that I might still have. I have a soft spot for Britney Spears. I wasn’t such a fan before all the drama and the fall from grace but I’m quite intrigued now that she’s been shown up to be pretty dysfunctional. And then the usual male crushes on talented, confident, beautiful singers and actresses. Beyonce would qualify here and I’m a fan of Reese Witherspoon (although that’s normal rather than embarrassing). Maybe Angelina Jolie qualifies as embarrassing. As Saul Bellow says, it’s that quack quack response (if you’ve read Herzog that would make sense).
7. What movie that everyone else and his cousin and even his dog has seen have you never seen?
ET – not sure how I missed this one but I did.
8. What were you drinking the first time you ever got drunk?
Beer. Good old South African Breweries Black Label beer. I had a pretty sheltered adolescence so my first date was my matric dance. Since it was a charity date (from her side) things did not go that well. The problem wasn’t so much that I drank too much (because I didn’t) but rather that I wasn’t used to the combination of alcohol and hard contact lenses. The inside of my eyelids got a bit swollen towards the early hours of the morning and I remember being in excruciating pain when I got home. I had to lie with a cold pack on my eyes for about 8 hours and I swore I would never wear hard contact lenses again (if God would just take away the pain).
9. Which old re-run will you still pause to watch if you’re flicking through the channels and see that it’s on?
Fawlty Towers (I was going to say Blackadder but I don’t think that qualifies as old enough). Basil Fawlty as an anxious, deranged but still rational hypomanic hotel manager is brilliant. I cringe when I watch it but I’ll watch it anyway. Actually Polly, Manuel, Basil and Cybil were all brilliant.
10. What book/movie/t.v. show that only a fifteen-year-old would think is funny makes you laugh?
I used to watch the Cartoon Network (when I was in my twenties) so Tom and Jerry (or Roadrunner or Bugs Bunny) was a favourite. Loony Tunes cartoons have a really basic plotline – one character is trying to catch another character and beat the crap out of them but always seems to fail. It’s timeless and it works. The triumph of the underdog (or in Jerry’s case, the under-mouse). That’s all folks!