HE: Today’s interview has us sitting down with Creeping Death himself, Pestilence. Good morning, Pestilence. How was your trip to Earth?
PEST: Good morning, Miss Ellis. Considering I had to get a bus transfer, it wasn’t bad. Once you make the transdimensional leap from Purgatory to the mortal realm several times, it’s old-hat. Little known fact: Purgatory started as a sort of safe zone for travel from Earth to and from either Heaven or Hell. It’s a sort of pressurization chamber, like divers use.
HE: What confounds you most about mortals?
PEST: Body odor [makes face]. I have no idea how God managed to create Humans in his image yet chose to have them excrete smelly substances. And this is coming from me, the Bacteria and Virus King. Eew [shudders].
HE: Where is your favorite place to reap?
PEST: Tropical climates are by far the best for reaping within my domain. I mean really, I almost don’t have to do anything except follow the molds and fungi around and pick up after them.
HE: If you were mortal, what job would you want to have?
PEST: Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure I could be mortal and sit in my own cloud of stench all day. In fact I need a shower now. But I’ll be fair and answer your question. I guess perhaps a lab technician at the CDC. That or a postal worker.
HE: Has a mortal ever escaped you?
PEST: Yes and fiddlesticks! Those Humans are so goshdarned clever that sometimes I think they’d do a better job than I would at reaping a la Pestilence. Do you know why viruses mutate? [waits for answer]
HE: Oh, you’re actually asking me [rolls eyes] – why do viruses mutate?
PEST: They mutate because I’m constantly having to make new strains to keep ahead of your best efforts to counter me.
HE: What’s the most negative aspect of wearing a meat suit?
PEST: Body odor. I’m sorry, am I obsessive here? A little Freudy-Doidy? Haaa ha hah ha… ahem. But seriously, body odor. I also tend to be very disturbed by no-reason boners.
HE: Is it hard working for God?
PEST: I’d like to say yes, and I’d like to say no. The sad truth is, he tends to come up with awesome creations but then inserts middle managers between him and his creation when he finds it too difficult to manage. So for in-the-trenches marks of performance, I have to give him an ‘F.’ However, for his strategic vision, nobody beats him.
HE: Is Lucifer as bad as they say?
PEST: He’s a doodie head. He does wear nice clothes though.
HE: What do you have to say about the Mayans?
PEST: I’d say they were pretty susceptible to infection just like everyone else.
HE: Your dream date is?
PEST: Hmm… so many to choose from. I think the day the Black Death started in Europe has to be number one, and the Spanish Flu thing there I did wasn’t bad either…
What? Oh THAT kind of date… uhm, well… I’ve never been on a date [hangs head].
HE: Beatles or Elvis?
PEST: Oh, I’m sorry. Neither? Okay, truth is I love classical music. You Humans got that right. I like most of what your composers created, and I am particularly taken by the Baroque artists. Rock and roll sounds like… sweaty Humans.
HE: Favorite sports team?
PEST: I’m not really into sports so much. I like watching Kasparov play chess – now that is exciting!
HE: Where do you see yourself in five years?
PEST: Reaping, of course, but can I sort of qualify that? Okay. I want to be better at what I do in five years, you know. Like perhaps I’ll make a better form of Ebola. It just kills me that after all that time and effort, that virus is only about 95% lethal. I think I can get it up into the high 98% range. Sometimes I secretly dream of creating some whole new type of pandemic… I mean, there’s bacteria and there are viruses… what if there was a whole new thing out there. I have dreams too!
HE: What would mortals be most surprised to learn about you?
PEST: I like to collect stamps, and macramé.