“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” That’s not me who said that. It was someone else, but I am too lazy to look it up right now. Let’s just say it was Abraham Lincoln. Mercifully, after Mr. Kerby left our offices, we were delighted to receive a response in the affirmative to our lunch invite concerning Mr. Jeff Wesner, the drummer for South Dakota’s house band, The Beards.
When we arrived at the restaurant, Jeff was already sitting at a table near the front window watching passers-by and waving to many of them. After the last two interviews, it was a welcomed sight to see a happy, calm, normal human being.
What follows is part three of Weareallbeards.com’s (WAAB) ongoing, exclusive interview with The Beards. We decided against heavy editing practices and tried our best to lay out everything as it happened.
WAAB: Jeff? Hi, I’m from weareallbeards.com. I think we spoke earlier on the phone.
Jeff: Sure, hi, welcome, have a seat. Some of my friends call me Jerry.
WAAB: Thanks. Sorry if I’m a little late, it is hard to get out of the office on time. After Kerby left, we all needed a few minutes to decompress. He can be intense.
Jeff: Right, sure, absolutely.
WAAB: I hope you didn’t wait to order.
Jeff: No worries. I have plenty of time before I need to get back to my tanks and my puzzles.
WAAB: Okay. (Looking at the menu) I wonder what’s good.
Jeff: Don’t know, I’ve never eaten here.
WAAB: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought that we cleared this place with you. Somebody said you had eaten here many times.
Jeff: I’ve been here plenty of times.
WAAB: Sorry, I don’t follow.
Jeff: People love coming here. I’ve been here plenty of times. I just have never eaten here.
WAAB: Well, you’re welcome to have whatever you’d like; the website is paying.
Jeff: Thanks, that’s nice of you, but it’s not that. I don’t eat many places.
WAAB: Interesting, do you have dietary restrictions?
Jeff: Sorry, I’ll be right back, I have to use the bathroom.
WAAB: By all means.
Jeff leaves out the front door and disappears around the corner of the building. He appears a minute later.
Jeff: Sorry, what were you asking?
WAAB: I was asking if you had dietary restrictions.
Jeff: Right. Yes. But to be more accurate, no.
WAAB: Again, sorry, but I don’t follow.
Jeff: I have dietary restrictions, but they are entirely self-imposed.
WAAB: Oh, so you’re like a vegetarian.
Jeff: Yes, like a vegetarian.
WAAB: So, you’re not a vegetarian?
Jeff: (After a long pause) How do I put this? I am what no one calls a racially sensitive fallen fruitarian.
WAAB: We’re not going to talk about music today, are we?
Jeff: Is that why we’re here?
WAAB: Why did you agree to come to a steak house?
Jeff: You can’t stop a thing from the outside.
WAAB: What is that supposed to mean?
Jeff: Not supposed to mean anything; It just does.
WAAB: So, what is a racially sensitive…
Jeff: Fallen fruitarian. Right. Well, it’s not so much about “what it is.” It’s more like “What” it is.
WAAB: Those aren’t the same things?
Jeff: Not even close.
WAAB: Okay, so “What” is it. I mean, I’ve heard of fruitarians before. It’s when someone eats only fruit because fruit is sustainable?
Jeff: Exactly, but to be more accurate, no, not at all. See, plants want to spread their seed, so the plant puts the seed in the fruit. They don’t have legs, I do. I put their seed in my tummy; I walk somewhere else; I plant their seed in that new place.
WAAB: By “plant,” you mean…
Jeff: Yes, George, that’s what I mean.
WAAB: Two quick things. First, why did you just call me George? Second, how are you “planting” the seed, doesn’t it just go down into the sewer like for the rest of us?
Jeff: First, I don’t think I did call you George. Second, it only goes into the sewers if you use modern plumbing.
WAAB: You don’t use modern plumbing?
Jeff: God, no.
WAAB: Okay, but what about the rest of it, what makes a person a “racially sensitive fallen” fruitarian?
Jeff: Sorry, I just have to use the bathroom real quick.
WAAB: Again, okay, sure.
Jeff again leaves through the front door of the restaurant and is back a minute later.
Jeff: Sorry. So anyway, I only eat fruit that has fallen off, I won’t eat anything that’s been picked. Also, I won’t eat any fruit that is a color we associate with race.
WAAB: So, what, you won’t eat anything that is red, yellow, brown?
Jeff: And white.
WAAB: Why white? How can that be racially insensitive?
Jeff: It’s mostly because I don’t like white nectarines and white peaches.
WAAB: So you can only eat, what, blue and green fruit?
Jeff: Perfect, but to be more on point, no. I also eat purple fruit, but the fruit has to fall off naturally. It cannot be picked or shaken off in any way.
WAAB: That sounds really limiting.
Jeff: Horribly, don’t ever ask me over for dinner.
The waitress arrives at the table.
WAAB: Hi, hello, I will just have the lunch special, but I will have pretzels instead of onion rings, thanks.
Jeff: Those pretzels are going to make you thirsty.
WAAB: Sorry, what?
The waitress turns to Jeff.
Jeff: Nothing. Turns to the waitress Hi, I will have the avocado and green pea mash with green apple slices in a black currant glaze. And you know, what the hell, it’s my cheat day, I will also have the elderberry and purple fig salad with the plum dressing on the side.
Waitress: We, literally, have none of those things.
Jeff: Honeydew and lime plate?
Jeff: Box of raisins and some one hundred percent purple grape juice?
Waitress: I can get you a Minute Maid juice box.
Jeff: (shaking his head, defeated) Eighty-six.
Waitress: You want eight six juice boxes?
Jeff: (insistent) Eighty SIX!
WAAB: I think it means no.
Waitress: Do you at least want a glass of water?
Jeff: I can list ten living microorganisms in your tap water right now. One, Cryptosporidium, first of all, it’s a living thing. Second, it will give you crazy diarrhea. Two, Rotifers, those aren’t gonna hurt you, so why you gotta hurt them?
The waitress turns to leave
WAAB: I feel bad eating in front of you. Are you not going to have anything?
Jeff: I’ll probably just chew on my beard. I soak it in blueberry pulp every morning. That’s why I’m always gnawing on the thing.
WAAB: So, maybe while I’m waiting for my lunch we can actually talk about music.
There is a commotion at the back of the restaurant.
Loud Voice: DID SOMEBODY SAY JAKE KERBY?
Jake Kerby appears at the back of the restaurant. He walks towards the table that Jeff and I are sitting at.
Jake: (Still loud) EVERYONE IN THE RESTAURANT LOOKED AT JAKE LIKE COMMON PEOPLE LOOK AT THE X-MEN, BUT ONLY IN THE GOOD FILMS, LIKE X-MEN 3.
Jake pulls up a chair and sits down at the table.
WAAB: Mr. Kerby, how strange to see you again.
Jake: You are welcome. Look, I know you guys are really low budg’ so, I had a guy, cause I know a guy, come over and take pictures of me while I took a nap. Very tasteful, very peaceful, I had him send them to your people. I also printed a few for you.
Jake: Of course. (Jake looks over at Jeff.) What are you doing here?
Jeff: Kraemer’s interviewing me for that website.
WAAB: Why would you call me that?
Jake: Ignoring the journalist who is so far out of this depth. Right, but I mean why would you come to this place? They don’t have your hippy dippy stuff.
Editor’s note: For those not following our exclusive series of interviews, refer back to interview two for an explanation of the typographical choices for Mr. Kerby’s sections.
WAAB: Sorry, that might actually be my fault.
Jake: Jake can’t remember addressing the journalist.
Jeff: It’s not hippy dippy. I told you, it’s the right thing to do, and if you tried it you would like it.
Jake points out the window and we all see a familiar face. It’s lead singer Joe Raiche. His hair is a mess, and his clothes are torn and filthy. It’s only been two hours since we last saw him, but he looks like he has seen months of hard living since then. Jeff knocks on the window and waves him in. Joe enters and stands next to the table.
Jeff: Are you okay, man?
Joe: Why do you ask?
Jeff: Because you look pretty rough, and I think that’s dried blood on your ear.
Joe: Don’t worry, it’s not mine. What are you guys doing here?
Jake: This guy, Jake motions to feeble journalist with bad posture, is interviewing Jeff. Jeff is trying to get me to eat bird food.
Jeff: It’s not bird food.
Jake: You know what, maybe you are right. Jake suavely motions for the waitress like they do in movies and places like California.
Waitress: Yes, sir. What can I get you?
Joe: I would like some raw bacon.
Waitress: Sorry, what was that?
Joe: Bacon, I would like some raw bacon.
Waitress: Sir, I don’t think we can sell…raw…
Joe: Can you at least check?
WAAB: Aren’t you worried about getting botulism?
Joe: First of all, botulism is like chicken pox, once you have it, you can’t get it again.
Jake: I told you that’s not how it works, that’s not how any of that works.
Joe: Second of all, I’m not paying to have them cook it, that’s where they get you.
WAAB: While I have you all here, maybe I could ask a couple questions.
Joe: Probably not, I have to get out of here.
Jake: Sure, did you do some digging and find out about my other awards, honestly, at this point I feel like it’s embarrassing for other people.
WAAB: No, nothing like that. I want to talk about your upcoming shows.
Jeff: Sure, but I have to “run” and plant a blueberry bush.
Joe: Right on.
WAAB: Is that a euphemism? And why air quote “run”?
Jake: No, it’s exactly what he’s doing. Has he not told you his old “plants don’t have legs, I do” speech? It is creepy as hell.
WAAB: Sure, okay, whatever works.
The waitress returned with a plate of raw bacon.
Joe: Perfect, hate to be a pain, but do you have a to-go box?
Waitress: Sure, I’ll go get it.
Joe: You know what, don’t worry about it, I’ll just put it in my pockets.
Joe rolls the bacon up and shoves it into his pockets. He pulls out a large wad of paper and places some of it on the table. He leaves quickly. Returning in the direction he came from. After he is gone, I pick up the paper he has left behind.
WAAB: What is this?
Jake: It’s probably cash from Zimbabwe. He converted all his assets a while ago.
WAAB: This is a ten trillion dollar bill.
Jake: Yeah, it’s worth about seven fifty. You know what, I should get out of here too. Got things to do.
Jake moved towards the exit. As he did, he started to speak loudly again.
Jake: AS JAKE EXITED THE RESTAURANT HIS PRESENCE PERMEATED THE ROOM LIKE THE MUSK OF AN AARDVARK.
WAAB: You already used that one. (I spoke quietly to myself, but somehow Jake heard and returned to the table. He looked really angry.)
Jake: What was that?
Jake: No, what was that?
WAAB: I just said that you already used that line when you left our offices this morning.
Jake: What line?
WAAB: The line about the musk of the aardvark.
WAAB: So, nothing. I was just pointing out that you already used it.
Jake: But so does the aardvark.
Jake: So does the aardvark.
WAAB: I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.
Jake turned to leave once again.
Jake: AS JAKE EXITED THE RESTAURANT HIS PRESENCE PERMEATED THE ROOM LIKE THE MUSK OF AN AARDVARK.
The waitress arrived with my food. I tried to eat as much as possible before Jeff returned so as not to eat in front of him. After a few more minutes, Jeff returned to the table.
WAAB: Everything good to go. You get that blackberry bush planted?
Jeff: Blueberry, and yes, it will have a happy home.
WAAB: So, if you weren’t a drummer, what do you think you would be doing?
Jeff: You know, I always wanted to pretend to be an architect.
WAAB: But not actually an architect?
WAAB: Okay. So, how do you feel about the band? I mean overall. It’s pretty rare for people in a small town to find one another and to work well together.
Jeff: You know, it’s so nice when it happens good.
Jeff: Hey, did Joe and Jake say where they were going?
WAAB: Jake said he had errands. Joe just left. He should have walked right by you.
Jeff: I saw him. He was wrestling with a manhole cover. Almost had it off.
WAAB: Well, unfortunately I have to get back to the offices. We have a skype interview setup with someone that can’t be rescheduled. Guy was very particular about the time.
Jeff: That’s cool, I have to use the bathroom again anyways. And, I should be getting back to my tanks and my puzzles. I miss my tanks and my puzzles.
WAAB: Well, it was nice to meet you, Jeff.
This concludes part three of our ongoing exclusive interview with The Beards. If you made it this far, you might as well keep coming back for more. We hope you do.