If you were here right now, you would be wondering: why is the Man About Town sitting in a Kinko’s video conference room drinking straight tequila from a Big Gulp cup? Perhaps you would be wondering what happened to my pants. I will be the one asking the questions, though, as it is my distinct pleasure to be joined, via satellite, by one of Portland’s most celebrated drinkers and artists, the one and only Mario Robert.
Question: First I gotta ask the stupid question for the Portland readers who have no clue: What’s up with the dots?
Answer: The dots. People always want to know about the dots. Each painting has the same amount of dots. It is symbolic and holds a deep meaning for me… for all the exes I’ve left behind in Texas. Each one tiny depressed and insecure… Naw, actually painting the dots reminds me of my insignificance in the universe as a single organism… No truthfully… for real, I believe that the brain perceives the smallest of details… even hidden ones… and the dots help to kind of corral your eyes.
Q: Speaking of exes, my last ex-wife was from Texas. She actually DOES remember the Alamo. Seriously, though, the woman had so many hip replacements, they ran out and had to start using elbows. Seriously, though, this tequila is kicking my ass. Mario, or can I just call you M. Bob… when you sold your soul for incredible artistic ability, what kind of car was the Devil driving?
A: He wasn’t driving anything. But his teenage Brazilian whores were driving a hooker green 1984 Chevy Citation Hatchback with an old school orange BodyGlove sticker in the back. I remember the contrast was great!
Q: Wow, that is not what I was expecting! Hooker green… Brazilian whores… reminds me of my senior prom. Seriously, though, I feel like you’re five seconds in the future… telling my punch lines before I can even tell my jokes. This is why Tan Peluski stays away from tequila. Sorry, what was that?….. Oh, the Kinko’s guy wants me to ask you something: if the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe had a battle royal, who would be left standing?
A: I won’t waste my time with such an insignificant question, Peluski… but everyone knows the DC universe would turn the Marvel Universe into a Voodoo Doughnut cock n’ balls in the blink of an eye!!! But then again, have you seen freaking Marvel Zombies?!?
Q: You just made the Kinko’s guy cry. Seriously. He’s hiding his face in my pants. Kid, you need a shoulder to cry on, fine, leave my testicles out of it. So Mario, with all the nuclear testing going on in El Paso, what super power has the radiation exposure blessed you with?
A: Backwards powers. I will not win the lottery this year.
Q: I get it, kind of like: I am not aroused by this guy’s face in my lap. That is a roll of quarters in my pocket. I have not fallen and I can get up. Seriously, though, I hear you know a few things about showing up to court hung over. Mario Robert walks into a bar, what does he order?
A: Mickey’s 40 oz. When they say no I ask for the biggest coldest beer. Hopefully a Caguama. Tall boys. A shot. Usually two beers at once. I like good tequilas. Corazon Azul. In Mexico or in the US? I don’t want to get in trouble here… What was the question?
Q: Tall boys… on second thought, I’m not going to go there. Hey, what do you get when you cross a fat guy and two beers at once? Fuck if I know… Seriously, though, my head is killing me. The question that everyone in Portland is dying to ask… when are you coming back from Texas?
A: Thirteen more moons… maybe fourteen… definitely by the fifteenth.
Q: OK, I’ll admit it. The tequila was a horrible idea. I have no feeling below my chest, and my varicose veins are starting to separate from my legs and are crawling up the walls. Seriously, though, let’s talk a little history… how did the Texas Chainsaw Massacre influence you as an artist?
A: Not as an artist… but as a person it scared the piss out of me and made me into a man. When I was little I would make myself see the band KISS under my bed trying to get me. I made myself feel their hands grabbing my feet. Then it was the Exorcist. Then it was Leatherface. I started to carry knives on me and making homemade weapons like nails sticking out of a baseball bat, or a lock at the end of a chain. I wasn’t going to go out like all those fools in the movies. But then I got caught shoplifting leads for a mechanical pencil and they busted me with two knives and a chain. My dad beat my ass with that chain while holding the lock… I was crying, telling him “You’re using it backwards dad!”
Q: I don’t know how to respond to that. Mark it down on your calendars folks, Man About Town is drawing a blank. Speaking of drawing, M. Bob, what advice do you have for young artists trying to make it?
A: Make what, a cake? Love? Strawberries for both. I like strawberries. They look poisonous as hell. If Eve was trying to give me a strawberry I would be like “fuck no, lady” even though I’m not Catholic. But if she was, like, trying to feed it to me I would be like: go for it! That’s sexy!
Q: Seriously, though, I don’t think anyone will mistake you for Catholic. What do you get when you cross a fat guy with the body of Christ? No leftovers! So Mario, we’re all big fans of your video games… Luigi not withstanding… tell me, though, why does that crazy dude Wario hate you so much?
A: Mexico… Bar… Bad plumbing… Federales… Warphole rape… Wasn’t my fault.
Q: Wow, I’ve got nothing. Seriously, my head is on fire. Let’s put the column on Mario-pilot. This is where I would normally tell a joke, help me out, Roberto.
A: How many Mexicans does it take to screw in a light bulb? Juan.
Q: Well, the Kinko’s guy laughed. I can tell because his tonsils started moving. Seriously, though, you’re on a roll. Keep going!
A: A man comes home from the bar drunk as hell holding a duck. He goes into the bedroom where his wife is sleeping and says “This is the pig I’ve been sleeping with.” She says “You’re holding a duck, you idiot.” He says “I was talking to the duck!”
Q: Mario, it has been my great pleasure, although I will remember none of this tomorrow. Before I turn the TV off and introduce the Kinko’s guy to “burning sensations” is there anything else you’d like to say to the people of Portland?
A: Come see my work at www.myspace.com/marsr3, and put the nice saddle on the horse. You got horses right?
Yes indeed, they have horses and plenty of peanut butter, if you know what I mean. Well, folks, next time we meet I will probably be pumped full of pig’s blood and amphetamines, but everything I do to keep this old body going I do for you. Seriously, do you think Barbara Roberts [robot: more commonly known as Barbara Walters] is going to get that kind of interview with a serious artist? Brazilian whores? WARPHOLE RAPE? I’ve got nothing left, check out Mario’s website, buy his paintings, kiss his ass. Both cheeks. I hear sirens, that means I can pass out now.