Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Residents of Awesometown #12: Chad Gibbs





Chad Gibbs enters Awesometown and instantly becomes our equivalent of Will Smith. He's dashing, intelligent, loves Old Navy, is famous for his writing exploits (God and Football) and he's tangled a time or two with Alfonso Ribeiro. The comparison works better the less you think about it.

What follows is one of my favorite interviews in the history of Awesometown. It's a clinic of sorts and Chad provides fantastic answer after fantastic answer like a benevolent doctor deals out hope, cures and lollipops.

Additionally, today's interview includes (begin Oprah crescendo voice) A GIVE AWAY!!! Answer Chad's question at the end for a free copy of his book, God and Football and a pack of Desert Storm trading cards filled with some antediluvian gum. 

Make sure to visit Chad's blog here and you can find him on twitter @chad_gibbs. Lastly, if you haven't read God and Football yet, check it out here via Barnes and Noble.
  



Five Questions About Chad

1. Chad, what drew you to writing?  The women.  Christian-Sports-Humor writers live a life of debauchery similar to that of hair bands in the 1980’s.  There is a woman dancing on the hood of my car as I type this. 

2. What was the biggest struggle with writing your book, God and Football?  Spelling.  There were sixty thousand words in that book.  Spelling them all correctly was a challenge.  That, and I was working on a short deadline.  Most of the book was written in about an hour. 

3. Do you have a follow-up project you are currently working on?  I’m writing a book on hate, as seen through the lens of the most heated rivalries in sports.  That actually sounds somewhat serious, but I promise it will be funny. 

4. When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?  I like to golf – had my handicap under 2 at one point.  My wife and I go to a lot of Auburn football games, and we both enjoy traveling.  I do a lot of other things when not writing, like pay bills, take showers, and make sandwiches, but I’m not sure you wanted me to list them all, it would take a while. 

5. In terms of writing, who are your biggest influences? Bill Bryson, Chuck Klosterman, Nick Hornby, Dave Barry, Donald Miller, etc.  I love Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, Harper Lee, and some of the other greats from the twentieth century, but I’m not sure how much they influenced my writing.  I mean, no one has emailed me after reading God and Football and said, “You write a lot like Faulkner.”  I have gotten a few Lewis Grizzard comparisons, which are flattering. 

Five Rapid Fire Questions

1. Favorite current / all time book? The Great Gatsby

2. Favorite current / all time television show? Lost, or maybe House Hunters International

3. Favorite movie? The Empire Strikes Back

4. Favorite fictional character? Lando Calrissian

5. Favorite Meal? Shrimp and Grits

Five Hypothetical Questions

1. In 5 years, time travel will not only be possible, but it will be commercialized. As such, you are invited to participate in the Laser Tag Championship of All-Time, which is no doubt sponsored by ESPN and Geico.  Spanning recorded history, name the 3 people you would select for your team and why.

Deion Sanders circa 1992.  Dude could probably outrun lasers then.  Aretha Franklin, for obvious reasons.  And Stonewall Jackson, before he lost his arm.  Why don’t you just go ahead and give us the trophy. 

2. Let’s assume that through a cluster of savvy business moves, you have been named the Chief Operating Officer of a new company that will compete directly with Old Navy. Let’s further assume that the CEO of the company wants to engage Old Navy in conflict on all levels and as such, the CEO wants you to come up with a name that copies the format of Old Navy (Adjective + Military Term).

What would your best suggestion be for such a name?

You know, I really like Old Navy.  There stuff is so cheap you don’t feel bad about throwing it away when it starts to fall apart after the third wash.  It’s disposable clothing really, and even though I’m COO of this new venture, I think I want Old Navy to put us out of business.  So how about something like Jaundiced Coast Guard.  No one would shop there, right?
  
3. Let’s assume you are an artist.  While visiting a Starbucks and consuming a breakfast sandwich, an angel comes to you in a vision and bestows the inspiration for what will unequivocally be the greatest work of art that world has ever or will ever know.

The angel then tells you that only one gender will be able to view your work. Which gender do you choose and why?

Wait, am I creating one of those 3D posters people use to stare at in the mall?  If so, I’m not sure I want to participate in this hypothetical because I could never see whatever it was everyone claimed to see, and I’d like to be able to see my own art.  If not, I want only men to be able to see it.  I already have too many women after me for my writing. 

4. Let’s assume that you and your wife have just enjoyed a nice meal at Olive Garden. It was great. The penne was appropriately cooked, the meat sauce was rich and the breadsticks flowed like manna from God himself.

Let’s further assume that as you leave the restaurant, you plan on walking to a shopping boutique across the way. As you approach it, a 12-year old emerges from an alley and begins verbally assaulting you.

You brush it off, but the kid is relentless and begins to insult your wife, your manhood, and Bo Jackson’s title as most athletic human being ever. This barrage continues for some time and begins to get extraordinarily personal and concentrated on your wife.

The kid then shoves you so hard that you fall to the ground. You get up and realize that in the interest of your dignity, your wife’s dignity and for everything Bo Knows, you have to fight this 12-year old.

As you begin approaching him, his jacket shifts and you notice that he is wearing a karate outfit and the belt he is wearing shows that he is a 10th degree black belt.

Do you proceed in fighting him and if so, do you believe that you would win the street fight? Why or why not?

This actually happens to me a lot.  Remember this scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark?  Well, if I’m eating at Olive Garden these days, you better believe I’m packing.  Bo Knows this kids belt color isn’t really going to matter, is it? 

5. Let’s assume that in the future, you endure an accident that renders your natural vocal chords obsolete.

Through a friend of a friend, you are contacted by a group of government scientists that have been experimenting with vocal chord restoration. They will restore your vocals chords in exchange for them being allowed to observe you as a test case. These observations will be of no inconvenience to you, but you learn that, given the nascent nature of the science, you only have four choices of vocal chords: that of Newman from Seinfeld, Scooby Doo, Eric Cartman or Gilbert Gottfried. Which voice do you choose and why?

Gottfried.  Then I could go to work for Aflac, since Gilbert was fired for finding the Japan earthquake just a little too hilarious. 
  
Five Final Random Questions

1. Would you rather that your natural fragrance be the faint scent of fish sticks or that you had a facial tattoo like Mike Tyson?

I think I would take the scent of fish sticks.  We could just move to the beach, and folks would never assume the fish smell had anything to do with me. 

2. What’s something the average human would be surprised to learn about you?

I cry every time I watch the following movies.  It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudy, Chariots of Fire, Rocky, and Babe (yes, the pig movie) 

2A.  I was disappointed you didn’t give me the Beatles question, so I’m asking it to myself.  Do you think the Beatles are overrated, underrated, or properly rated? Why?

Chuck Klosterman once did a piece on the most accurately rated bands of all-time.  Here is what he said about the Beatles, and since I agree with every word, this can be my answer too.  “The Beatles are generally seen as the single most important rock band of all time, because they wrote all the best songs. Since both of these facts are true, the Beatles are rated properly.”

3. As an Auburn fan, give us an analogy explaining your relationship with Alabama and specifically, their fans.

I have an interesting relationship with Alabama fans.  As an Auburn fan I am suppose to hate them, but my mother is a Bama fan, and the Bible says I’m suppose to honor her.  Then Jesus said something about hating your mother and father, but I don’t think that had anything to do with college football allegiances.  Throw in the fact that I want Bama fans to buy my book, and things get even more complicated.  Have you ever watched 2001: A Space Odyssey?  You know the scene at the end, where the giant baby in the egg just stares at you?  Well, my relationship with Bama fans is nothing like that, but it is equally confusing. 

4. What is your biggest pipedream?

I’m married to a pretty, redheaded doctor, and I write about sporting events I travel to for a living.  I mean I wish my hair wasn’t going gray, but as far as pipedreams go, I think I’m actually living mine. 

5. In 10 years, where do you hope to find yourself?

Tricia and I will be living in a luxury apartment in the Montmartre district of Paris.  In the mornings I will walk our well-behaved children, Lando and Zelda, to school, then stop at a neighborhood market on my return to pick up some fresh ingredients for dinner.  The rest of my morning will be spent writing a follow up novel to my wildly successful fiction debut, a coming of age tale about a high school senior whose girlfriend dumps him on national television after she wins American Idol.  For lunch I will meet Tricia down at our favorite café, Deux Moulins on Rue Lepic, and we will drink wine and eat crepes while the neighborhood women pass by and say in hushed tones, “Il y a l'auteur américain et sa belle épouse. Ne les tracassons pas, ainsi il ne nous tuera pas comme il tuait la ceinture noire au Olive Garden.” My afternoons will be spent lying in the grass, sketching buildings, and tossing the Frisbee to our dogs, Bob Vance and Harper.  In the evenings I will pick up Lando and Zelda from school, and as we walk home they will tell me what they learned, in perfect French.  Around seven I will cook dinner, using Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Volume One, and after dessert we will help the children with their homework.  Once the homework is finished, and we have watched an episode of House Hunters International, we will put the kids to bed.  Then Tricia and I will sit on our balcony, sipping imported Diet Grapico, and watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle in the distance.  Oh, and I will have singlehandedly brought men’s capes back into fashion.  

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Chad's GiveAway Question
Who is your favorite historical or fictional character to wear a cape? Answers in the comments...


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