It’s a gaudy building. That’s the first thing I realize. In the middle of London, blocks away from King’s Cross Station, stands this behemoth double-digit high-rise that blends in like Denzel Washington at the Oscars. Here, I’m supposed to meet with Greg Gottfried: junior at IU, washed-up Weekend section editor and student studying abroad in England.
I already know what he looks like, because I too am Greg Gottfried. The Indiana Daily Student doesn’t actually have the money to send another student across the pond for a one-off interview, so Greg will perform both parts of this Q&A.
As I get in the elevator and push the button to the 11th floor, where he told me to meet him, I’m anxious. He stands there as the doors open, shakes my hand and walks me over to his place, 11.44. He has a spectacular view of London, but also a room the size of a single freshman dorm. Greg awaits the first question.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been shortened because Greg likes to talk a lot about himself and he’s not important enough to have 1500 words.
So...uh, how’s London?
Really, that’s your first question. Goddamn, they couldn’t have sent someone good. (He sighs) London’s great. There’s a lot to do. I’ve only been here three weeks, but I’ve gone to some clubs, done the touristy stuff and eaten at some exquisite establishments, like McDonald’s.
Oh, that’s cool. Can you elaborate on touristy stuff?
Sure. I went to Big Ben, took a boat ride on the Thames, checked out the British Museum and made some puns about mummies. You know, the normal things. It’s been the random, out-of-the-way stuff that’s been better though.
Walking through Oxford Circus — not a real circus by the way, which is bullshit — I happened upon a hotel called Sanderson’s that looked like it was pulled out an art-deco poster. Also, a bunch of us found this dessert place in seemingly the middle of nowhere, which would give the Chocolate Moose a run for its money.
How are classes and schoolwork?
Not too bad actually, knock on wood. The classes are long, two and a half hours each, but they’re pretty interesting. I have a class on Shakespeare and for one of my film classes I have to watch a movie nominated for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards by the next time we meet.
All you have to do is watch a movie?
So, you can drink now. What’s that like?
It’s a nice thing to have, sure, but I don’t think any of us are idiots about it. Ordering a beer with food or being able to go to pubs is just a normal thing here, so no one has gone too nuts...yet.
You kind of mentioned this before, but how are the clubs?
This is going to surprise you, but the clubs are fun. We found this place called the Mason House, which was playing Outkast and Bieber, so you know that’s great. Drinks were also cheap the night we went, which is important. There’s also this karaoke place called Zoo that turns into a dance party. I’m always down for a dance party.
Of course. Me too. Did you sing?
Nah. Not yet. I had to see how everyone else was first before I go out there and knock Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape” out of the park.
There was this old guy that sang Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs,” which was simultaneously the creepiest and funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Also, there was this one woman who rocked Beyoncé’s “Halo”. I’m not saying she was better than Beyoncé, but I’m also not saying she wasn’t. You get the picture.
I don’t, but we’ll let that go. We’re reaching the end of our time, so I’m gonna end with a bit of an obscure question. Were there any issues regarding condiments at Heathrow Airport customs?
Wow, that’s a specific question, and also a great one. Yeah. There was this woman screaming and cursing at the security guards, who wouldn’t let her bring a large jar of mustard through customs.
What? Surely she was alone, right?
Nope, she had two little kids with her, listening to her berate some guy whose job it was to keep everyone safe and calm.
Was there ever any doubt? And no, she didn’t get the mustard through. She eventually gave up and stormed through, causing a scene while the security laughed at her once she disappeared through the door.
Great stuff. Thanks for sitting down with me. I’m glad that we had this oppor—
(Roommate wakes up)
“Hey, Greg. Stop talking to yourself. It’s three in the morning and we have class tomorrow.”
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