The Interview

Scene:

Small but clean and drearily depressing motor court room somewhere between the Rockies and the Appalachians. A site chosen for its anonymity and oh so jejeune.

Time:

Cocktail hour my lovelies, of course.

Enter Elise Harris, young lady reporter of infinite potential, dressed in a smart tailored pinstripe suite, grey I would think. She is blindfolded, and you can see her nostrils flare as they react to the smell of cheap disinfectant and luncheon meats lingering in the room.

She is lead into the chamber by an unidentified Frenchman, possibly Belgian. Elise hears a growl. Off comes her blindfold as the large cantankerous German shepherd stares intently at her quickening breath. Suddenly she smell something else, yes, this IS Lancelot. As her eyes adjust to the flourescent glare off the shiny tiles, she gasps as she focuses on the vision opposite her, unexpected and terribly pleasing. It's Trudy. Trudy is wearing a striking pair of Oliver Peeples sunglasses, with dark green lenses (very year 2000, don't you think?). A comparision could be made to Sophia Loren, very mysterious and I always got a kick out of Houseboat? You too? Perhaps you are too young. More's the pity sweeties.

Trudy:

Welcome my sweet. Sorry for all the precautions, but, you know, tax time and all, and they just won't let me alone.

Elise:

Trudy?

Trudy:

Yes?

Elise:

I was expecting something a bit more pat. A cold and calculating platinum blond.

Trudy:

Dear, don't speak poorly of dye jobs, it doesn't become you. No, I've passed my blond period. I realize that the continental look is for me and I haven't looked back since. Now sit down here near me, and let's see what I can get for you. Sazerac?

Elise:

Well, uh, I ...

Trudy:

Good. (Trudy begins the elaborate preparations that will soon result in what must be her favorite libation.) Now, you just go ahead while I mix these up and don't mind the flames...

Elise:

I'm sorry, Trudy -- I may call you Trudy mayn't I?

Trudy:

Lordy, what else could you call me? Don't answer that if you want Lancelot to stay, he's vicious you know.

Elise:

(Glancing at an otherwise docile 100 lb German shepherd) Oh? Well, Trudy, first of all I have to thank you immensely for the first class ticket here. I really was at wits end with you being so evasive and all. I knew that I simply had to talk to you, and I just didn't know where else to turn.

Trudy:

Well, it's just a lark, but I happen to have a few intimate acquaintances at the airlines. Sometimes the silly little affairs of youth turn into major miles later on. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip. I hope that Abattoir was not too abrupt during the drive from the airport?

Elise:

Does he speak English?

Trudy:

Here's your drink. Please honey, sip it to begin. Why, yes he does speak English, I suppose. Actually, I've never asked. Oh Abattoir! Oh, I don't know where he's off to. At any rate, let's get back to us.

Elise:

Well, I suppose to begin, I was wondering what exactly is your relationship with Digitopia? Do you work there?

Trudy:

(laughing like Suzanne Pleshette after Bob cracks a particularly witty quip) Digitopia? Work there? Oh that's rich. I have to tell them that one. You bundle of joy, let me just explain this whole set up. You see, there is this company called Mediapolis, and they run two domains, Digitopia and the Data Lounge (you know, both are their trademarks too!). Now, these domains are like big hotels for their clients who also have their own domains. It all begins to get very complicated at this point -- what, with off shore shell corporations and overseas partnerships, throw in a Swiss bank account or two. In short, I have no idea if I work for Digitopia. I suspect that we ALL work for Digitopia in some way or another. But, they have certainly been very pleasant about letting me just ramble on and on about my little circle. Given my current situation, I try not to seem too inquisitive.

Elise:

Oh, I apologize. I didn't mean to pry.

Trudy:

You didn't mean to pry? Then what good are you? You're a reporter (Barbara please), you must not let me get away with one unanswered question and if you print anything I say that isn't this side of stupendous, I will have you de-wigged! (Lance emits a low growl).

Elise:

I understand. Continuing on, and possibly returning to this later, what, in your opinion, does it take for a website to be "Trudy Approved" (tm)?

Trudy:

Thank you my dear. Well, basically I respond very well to sincere begging. I know how hard it is to work all day at some dismal job that can't even begin to fill all of life's little pockets of joy. Suddenly here is this opening, this burst of light, and you go out there and program your little HTML heart into shreds and then there is nothing, no hits. Sweetness, I've been there, and it isn't pretty. So, sincerity, effort, and, well, cocktails help. And it just has to be exceptional.

Elise:

Which pages are Trudy approved, then?

Trudy:

Well, I have no idea. You would have to ask my girls.

Elise:

Your girls?

Trudy:

Yes, the untiring little sluts -- sorry -- tramps, that work for me in New York at the Data Lounge team.

Elise:

The Data Lounge? Wait I thought that Digitopia ...

Trudy:

Yes, yes, enough of that. Now, about being Trudy Approved (tm): I believe that Newt Gingrich is. Not the man, you simpleton, but the anti-website. An important resource in these rambunctious times. I am also having a mad unrequited affair with the Tangled Webmaster who is too busy in Photoshop to pay me the time of day. All I can do is Approve from afar ....

Elise:

How romantic.

Trudy:

Yes, but frustrating. Next.

Elise:

Do you suppose that gay content on the web could be fabulous or only pedantic and earnest?

Trudy:

Me voilą.

Elise:

I see. Is there any good drag on the web?

Trudy:

I do so hate that term, as I am after all a virtual gender illusionist (tm). And by the way, have you seen my Wigstock Photos?

Elise:

Yes, but still, my question stands.

Trudy:

Oh dear, you certainly have become assertive. I might see a comparison to Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday," but frankly I never saw the film. Goodness, no wonder you're becoming cranky, you haven't even touched your sazerac, and all the good bits are evaporating! You must take a sip right this instant while I attempt to rearrange my story. (Elise tastes the bitter wonder that is a sazerac.)

Elise:

Perhaps we should move on.

Trudy:

Lovely.

Elise:

Is there any good fashion on the web?

Trudy:

I would hardly know. I've always wanted to do a Givenchy retrospective web site. You know his early years were quite remarkable, and I suppose they would have loads of money. But, alas I don't speak french "courament?"

Elise:

Right.

Trudy:

I suppose in reality, the true question would be "is there any good fashion at all?" And to this I can only say one thing: Jezebel Thunder Pussy, a recent correspondent of mine who somewhere out there in the east is wreaking guerilla fashion warfare! She began to gather recruits through my calling cards and even managed to pull the Lady Constance Massengill de Coverlet into her trap. The Lady Constance was not exactly a fashion terrorist, but a somewhat middle of the road royalty. Now neither can be found, and I fear we may all be the worse for it soon.

Elise:

Interesting names. A touch misoginistic, perhaps ...

Trudy:

Ahhhh, well, I suppose if we are to tread on that ground, perhaps the whole world of gender illusionism ...

Elise:

I don't think we had better begin in that direction this time.

Trudy:

You are very bright indeed. A little caviar, "bella?" It's Osetra. I'm just wild about the taste.

Elise:

Mmmm, different. Speaking of dra -- gender illusionism, what other famous illusionists need to have a web page, and what should it look like?

Trudy:

An interesting question that. I can only imagine that all such famous personages (shall we call them drag queens just for fun?) should have web pages, and these pages should be a direct reflection of the pain and joy that they bring to so many of us.

Elise:

But can you give me an example?

Trudy:

Name names? I suppose. On young lady that has simply captured my heart completely is Varla Jean Merman. I saw her perform in P-town once, and I have been absolutely head-over-heels about her ever since. Her web page would have to be brash and sassy and yet at the same time pick-up that hurt little sparrow quality that she brings to each and every performance. I especially think she should explain about drinking gasoline .... Perhaps not.

Elise:

Anyone else?

Trudy:

Welllll, one other quickly comes to mind: that smart doll, Linda Simpson. I have been watching her on tapes sent from New York, she's on that cable show Party Talk, AND I believe she works for your magazine. This gal is going to go far. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Lady Bunny with all the peroxide in the free-world. But when I saw La Simpson take her on, I knew the new breed had arrived. Brava, brava!

Elise:

Thanks for the plug.

Trudy:

Don't mention it.

Elise:

Is there rivalry between queens on the web?

Trudy:

I understand that Elizabeth is cutting Fergie off, but I think you expect me to go in other directions. Oh, I can be so difficult. A rivalry? No, I think that we all manage to co-exist quite nicely. Most of the other girls that I have dealt with don't know beans about putting together a top notch website, but I think that they are marvelous for trying. Why just last week I was approached by some ravenous upstart who thought that I might want to write horoscopes for her web thing. Can you imagine? What a bore! There was also the charmer who wanted to send me e-mail about her exploits traveling around the country. WHO CARES! Well, uh, what I mean is e-mail, after all, it could have been a web page with pictures and sound and java and shockwave and feel-goodisms to make you just want to curl up around your computer and nap. In short, there is no rivalry, because there is only me. The secret is the sazerac.

Elise:

Oh.

Trudy:

Did I ever tell you about the variation on the sazerac, called the zazarac? It's very simply, you simply replace ....

Elise:

With all this attention to your web site, how else do you pass your time? For instance, what are the three main social events in your calendar this year?

Trudy:

... the bitters. What? Social? Well, there is always Cocktail Hour. That is very big. But beyond that I always try to make my pilgrimage to P-town, and I confess that I usually attend the national Philatelists Convention. Ever since the Post Office came out with the Grace Kelly stamp, I have been hooked like a trout in the Missouri.

Elise:

Do they have trout in the Missouri.

Trudy:

Simply a metaphor.

Elise:

Yes. Moving on, whom do you prefer, Patsy or Edina?

Trudy:

Patsy or Edina who?

Elise:

You're joking.

Trudy:

Yes I am. Were you? I think that perhaps you should leave now. You wouldn't want to be late for your plane. Oh Abattoir, Ms. Harris is ready to leave now. Bring the blindfold ....

Roll credits as Elise is slowly blindfolded and led out the door.