Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nosy Interview: Peter Mountford

 Peter and Anna nuzzle in front of Comet Hale-Bopp over Val Parola Pass, © A. Dimai

Peter and I met through Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools program. His debut novel, A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism, was released in April, and if you're lucky you can still catch him on tour. For more on Mountford, please visit his website.

What do you smell like? 
There was a girl I dated for a while once, a long time ago, who used very pungent perfume, very trashy perfume. It was great. My clothes would all smell like I'd been at a brothel. It was a hoot for a while but unsupportable in the long run.

In high school, I worked as an ice cream scooper at Ben & Jerry's in DC and stank of sweet cream. That was six months of my life there. Ten years I didn't eat ice cream after that. 
 
Nowadays, when I take a long flight, I stink. Why is that? Like, at the end of a day at home, I don't stink, but if I spend twelve hours on an airplane, I need to put on some deodorant. What's up with that?
 
Otherwise, like, in general, I don't smell me, so I don't really know how I smell. I use the cheapest and plainest deodorant on the planet, just regular flavored speed stick. And, don't tell anyone, but I also spritz myself daily with a blast of fancy cologne. My wife, she doesn't ever complain.

What do you like to smell?
I have this baby who I used to like to smell. Her name is Anna and for a long time she smelled just great, like fresh milk and baby. No washing needed. Breath was pristine, too. Even her poo didn't smell that bad, just kind of like butter. It's hard to dislike someone who smells that good.
 
This was all, I've learned, part of nature's chicanery: it's just a ploy to trick parents into not ditching their babies, because the babies smell so damn good and have these big sweet eyes and then you think twice about chucking them into the river when they howl at night. 

That smell was incredible, though!  She got filthy and still smelled the same. That was great. Then she got a bit older and we started feeding her tiny cheeseburgers and buttered succotash and stuff and suddenly the poo became really horrible and her general smell was not far behind. We wash her all the time now, but at best she smells like a person who just got out of the shower. It's okay. Her breath is still good. And I still like her, but it's not the same.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love Peter Mountford's phraseology and can't wait to read anything he's written. Nice interview, Elizabeth--your writings are the first things I turn to for the pure pleasure of reading!
(Aunt)Chris

dianestaudt said...

Oh, what a fun interview! Based on my experience, a similar chicanery applies to puppy smells. Ha.

Preets said...

I love many things about this, including the fact that it's the first Nosy Interview of a guy! It's funny, I said in my interview how I can't enough of the smell of my daughter, but it's not because I believe that she objectively smells good all the time -- I wonder, is it just hormones? I don't think people who are not her mother want to eat her all the time. But then, Peter implies that Anna's mother feels the same way about her new smell(s). Maybe the cheeseburgers are to blame.

nosy girl said...

(Aunt) Chris, I'm so glad you're enjoying the nosy site! I hope this means you'll let me interview you?

Preets, yes, we're having a very masculine week around these parts. I hope more gentlemen will follow Peter's lead and tell us all about their smells.

janet brown said...

Yeah, what is up with that airplane funk? Great interview,cool guy--can't wait to find his book when I get back to the land of print!

Britta said...

This is totally hilarious.

Beth Mattson said...

I have been concerned for some time, since I first read this and Preeta's interview, that everybody else's baby smells so good. I mean, mine smells ok. He's not terrible, and his neck and head can be downright good when he hasn't barfed on himself in a couple hours .... and I AM addicted to him, so I think everything about him is awesome. But why doesn't he smell like rainbows like other peoples' offspring???

Anonymous said...

Beth, don't fret. Anna was not a pillow of rose petals from the slimy start. But I was not offended by her diapers for a long long time and that meant a lot. And then her diapers...well, she'd eat Indian food and, in the diaper, it'd be like anyone else who had eaten Indian food. Now, I try to stay busy when I hear making than heavy-breathing grunting noise, that squatting noise. She starts grunting, crouched in that position, and I'm up to wash dishes, or water the plants.

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