duct duct duct
subscribe submissions contributors back issues trumpet fiction contact us legal links
support ducts
art gallery
ducts stage
best of ducts

Interview with Chris Genoa

Chris Genoa

Koko the Gorilla interviews controversial author

On January 1st, 2004, Eraserhead Press announced that Chris Genoa’s novel Foop! was the winner of their first annual First Book Contest, and that they would be publishing the novel.

Somehow, the press release found its way into the hands of a large number of Christian publications, predominately ones endorsed by Jerry Falwell.  Those publications did not like what they saw, especially with regards to his writing style which makes strange use of the Holy Bible, and they proceeded to attack both Mr. Genoa’s morals and personal life.  In response to these attacks, Chris agreed to sit down for a third party interview to give his side of the story.  The interview  took place in Chris’ plush apartment in Brooklyn, New York and was conducted by the world renowned and highly respected, Koko the gorilla.

Koko communicates through a modified form of American Sign Language, or ASL, which was taught to her by researchers at The Gorilla Institute in California.  Luckily, Chris learned ASL as a child in a failed attempt to communicate with his deaf cat, Mr. Puss. 

Koko also communicates via normal gorilla vocalizations of purrs and cries, beating her chest, and smashing things.  She has expressed the whole range of emotions associated with humans, like, happiness, sadness, love, grief, hate, fear, and embarrassment.  To date, Chris has only expressed the emotions of love and fear.

As an interviewer, Koko is known for not being afraid to ask the tough questions, and for her unique use of one to three word statements.  Koko has a tested IQ of between 70 and 95 on a human scale, where 100 is considered "normal."  While Chris’s IQ has never been formally tested, it is certain that he has, at the very least, mastered the concept of object permanence.   

Italics and () denote behaviors and actions.  Brackets […] denote sounds.  ??? indicate indecipherable signs or unintelligible speech, ZZZ indicates a participant fell asleep and is snoring,*** indicates feces being thrown, and {} indicates man/gorilla hugging..

KOKO – interviewer/female gorilla

CHRIS – author/male human

TINA – Koko's handler & teacher/female human

KOKO: Look at me when I’m speaking to you.

Koko swivels Chris’ chair around so they face each other.

KOKO: Let me explain what we're doing here.

CHRIS: (arms crossed) Fine.

KOKO: I’m going to ask you a series of "questions."  After I ask each "question" you will respond in kind with an “answer" to that question. 

CHRIS: I understand how an interview works.

KOKO: Good.  Then we can start.  That orange. (Indicating Chris’ shirt)

CHRIS: Yes.  It is.  

KOKO: I know it is.   Now, let’s get some general background info.

CHRIS: Lets.

KOKO: Could you talk a little about where you were born and what your childhood was like?

CHRIS:  Well, I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I had a pretty happy childhood except for the constant buzzing sound in--

KOKO:  Were you really born in Philly?  Or were you born in the suburbs and just say the city because you think the suburbs are terribly ordinary?

CHRIS:  Well, no.  I mean yeah, but I say Philly because…

KOKO:  Ah-Ha!

CHRIS:  Screw you Koko!

KOKO:  No, screw YOU Genoa.  Next question, what’s the deal with your writing style?

CHRIS: ???

KOKO:  I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that.

CHRIS:  That’s because I mumbled something under my breath.

KOKO:  What did you mumble?

CHRIS: Secret.

KOKO:  (pointing) I demand to know what you said.

CHRIS: (arms crossed) No.

KOKO: ***

CHRIS: ***

KOKO: *** (runs out of feces)

CHRIS: *** (runs out of feces)


KOKO:  Now where were we?  Oh yes, your writing style.

CHRIS:  Right. I guess there’s been some misunderstanding about that.  There was an article in The Christian Science Monitor a month or so ago that basically said that my books are blasphemous, not because what they’re about, but because of how I write.

KOKO:  And how is that?

CHRIS:  Well, I start every book the same way.  What I do is take out the King James Bible, flip it open to a random page, close my eyes, and drop my finger onto the text.  Then I open my eyes and write down whatever passage my finger is on.  For example, let’s say the passage was Genesis 18:15, which reads: "But Sarah denied, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. God said, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’  Sarah replied, ‘No I didn’t.’”  So I’d write that down and then take all of the letters in that passage and create a huge jumble.        

KOKO: You mean like the word game in the newspaper?

CHRIS:  Exactly, only much longer.  For Genesis 18:15 the jumble might be: hforshodsaewasafrtidohyeaidgusyhsasahderahreyinpednoIdibngdntiedsdlauagIdioudigdnotlauar.  So what I do is unscramble the jumble into a new sentence or sentences using all of the letters.  Whatever those new sentences are becomes the opening line or lines for my book.    Make sense?


CHRIS: Koko? 


CHRIS: Now what am I supposed to do?  Hello?  Is anybody here?  The gorilla is sleeping.



Koko’s teacher and handler, Tina, comes in and slaps Koko across the face.

KOKO:  (still sleeping) Mother?  Mother?  Run mother!  Run!  Forget about that damn banana and run!     

Tina slaps Koko again

Koko wakes up and slaps Tina

KOKO: Where am I?

TINA: You’re interviewing author Chris Genoa.  

KOKO: Ah yes.  Gimme. (Koko reaches for Tina's pocket which contains treats.)  Hurry!

TINA:  No. (Tina smacks Koko’s hand away)

KOKO: That black (indicating Tina’s shirt)

TINA:  Honey, my shirt is pink.

KOKO:  I was indicating your soul.

CHRIS: (waking up, groggy) ***

TINA: Hey!  Cut that out!

KOKO: ***

TINA: ***

CHRIS: ***

KOKO: *** (runs out of feces)

TINA: *** (runs out of feces)

CHRIS: *** (runs out of feces)

Tina hoses down the room while Chris and Koko freshen up.  There’s also another {} somewhere in there.

KOKO:  (sitting back down) Now where were we?

CHRIS:  My writing style.

KOKO:  Right!  After word got out about your, shall we say peculiar, writing style, you came under attack by a number of Christian publications.  Would you like to respond to any of them?

CHRIS:  Well, I think they’ve all misunderstood me and overreacted big time. 

KOKO:  May I quote from the article on The Family Research Council’s website?

CHRIS:  I’m not familiar with that one.  When did it appear?

KOKO:  This morning.  It’s entitled “Satan’s Ghostwriter: The Tragedy and Threat of Chris Genoa”

CHRIS:  That’s exactly the kind of sensationalism I’m talking about.

KOKO:  Here’s a quote: “A study of 229 convicted child molesters in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 86 percent of offenders against males described themselves as HUGE fans of Chris Genoa.’”


KOKO:  And here’s a nice little bit towards the end:  "The most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). The NHSLS found that 93% of Chris Genoa fans masturbate to the point of severe chafing." 

CHRIS:  How could they even come up with that figure--

KOKO:  And what about this article from last month’s Family Voice?  

CHRIS:  That’s the Concerned Women for America magazine right?

KOKO:  Indeed.  There’s an article in here entitled “Destructive Heresies” which lists homosexuality, pornography, abortion, and Chris Genoa as the biggest threats to Biblical values and the sanctity of the family.  

CHRIS: OK, did you read that article?  Because it’s insane.  Seriously, some of the stuff in there--

KOKO:  No, I didn’t read it.  Because I...can’t...read.


KOKO:  That’s right.  (Koko covers her face with her hands and sobs gently)

CHRIS:  I'm so sorry.  I didn't know.

KOKO: It’s at times like these that I like to play with my dolls.  (Koko pulls out two little ape dolls from behind her back)

CHRIS: Is that doll wearing lipstick?

KOKO:  I like to make their lips kiss.  (Koko makes one ape doll make out with the other)


KOKO: Lipstick kisses.  [Purr]

CHRIS: Could we uh, get on with the interview?

KOKO: No.  (Koko puts down the dolls and climbs up onto a TV set on the other side of the room)

Chris looks over at Koko suspiciously.  They stare at each other for several minutes.

Tina enters the room.

TINA: I’m really sorry about this.

CHRIS:  It’s OK.

TINA:  Why don’t I just finish the interview?

CHRIS: Fine with me.

Tina sits in Koko’s chair.

KOKO: [Huff] 

TINA: So uh, is there anything else you wanted to talk about.

CHRIS:  Well, yes actually.  I’d like to talk a bit more about that Family Voice article for one. 


Koko climbs down from the TV and walks over to Chris, putting her moist, throbbing chest inches from his face.

CHRIS: So uh.  As I was saying, the uh…the article.  It’s, well…dear Lord.   

TINA: Is there a problem, Mr. Genoa?

KOKO: This.  (Indicating her left nipple to Chris)

CHRIS: I’m having trouble concentrating.

TINA:  Koko honey, he doesn't want to see that.

KOKO:  Lipstick kisses.

CHRIS:  I think she wants her dolls.   You're sitting on them.

TINA: Actually, I think she wants you to kiss her nipple.

CHRIS:  I'm not going to kiss your nipple, Koko.

KOKO:  (Hands on hips) Well why not?

CHRIS:  Because you are a gorilla and I am human.  People would get the wrong idea.

KOKO:  I'd be good to you, Genoa. 

CHRIS: But you don't even know me, Koko.  Oh sure, I seem like a great guy.  A young strapping author who’s funny, sweet, kind of sexy…  But in a few months, or maybe a year, you'll start to find things you don't like about me.  Horrible things.  Things that will make you lock yourself in the closet, naked, wet, and shivering.  And you won't be able to change these things about me, no way, no how, no matter how hard you or I try.  

Koko gently puts her hands around Chris’ face and draws him closer to her.

KOKO:  I wouldn't want you any other way.

CHRIS:  What?

KOKO:  (Her eyes filled with tears) I love you just the way you are.  Horrible, naked and shivering things and all.

Tina's eyes fill with tears.

CHRIS:  You do?

KOKO:  Yes.

CHRIS: Koko?

KOKO:  Yes Chris?

Chris gets down on one knee.

Koko puts her hand over her mouth.

Tina bites her lower lip.

Chris puts his hand down his pants.

CHRIS:  ***

KOKO: No!  Stop it!  How could you?

CHRIS:  No one will penetrate the vast caverns of my solitude!  No one!  ***

TINA: (Hands over ears) This isn't happening!  This isn't happening!

CHRIS: ???  ***

KOKO: (collapsing in a corner) Tell mother, tell mother, I died for love…useless…useless.

TINA:  Koko!  Noooooooooooooooo!

CHRIS: ???  ***

TINA:  Stop it, you monster!  You're killing her!

CHRIS: ***

KOKO:  (her eyes closing) …the fog is rising.


CHRIS: ***

TINA: ***

CHRIS:  ***

TINA: ***

CHRIS: ***

TINA: ***

CHRIS:  ***

Chris and Tina run out of ammunition.  They face other, panting.  Koko lies motionless in the corner.  Everyone and everything in the room is covered in filth.

Tina runs at Chris and pounds on his chest, but she doesn’t have anything left.  She collapses into his arms and sobs in his embrace.

CHRIS:  I’m a monster.

TINA: Yes, but look…the sun is rising.

Through the window, the first signs of sunlight can be seen.

CHRIS: (Turning away from the light) I wish it wouldn’t.

TINA: But don’t you see?  It’s a new day.  A chance to start over, and get things right this time.  Haven’t you ever heard that famous quote?  “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

CHRIS: Wow.  I never thought of it that way.

TINA:  Yeah, it’s nice, isn’t it?

CHRIS: Yeah.

TINA: Yeah.

They both smile and hold back giggles.  Tina blushes.

CHRIS:  Hey, who said that?

TINASaid what?

CHRIS:  That brilliant quote about tomorrow.

TINA: Lyndon Johnson

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***

CHRIS: ***


Return to Fiction