Billy Zoom: Hello.

REBECCA: I see you are drinking a Safeway Select Diet Cola. You know, it's all full of chemicals. That can't be very good for you.

ZOOM: I'd prefer cyclamates, but you can't get them anymore.

REBECCA: Cancer in lab rats?

ZOOM: Actually, aspartame is the worst of the lot. There were studies showing ill effects from cyclamates, but they were discounted. Every couple of years, they redo the study and disavow the whole cancer scare. The only one they agree is bad for you is the one they use right now. I think it's the cheapest to produce.

REBECCA: What would make you cry?

ZOOM: My guitar getting stolen. That would make me extremely upset.

REBECCA: Have you ever had your guitar stolen?

ZOOM: Oh, yeah. I've had everything stolen. I don't think I cried, though. The last one stolen was the original silver sparkle Gretsch Silver Jet. It was stolen in '79. I got it back eight months later.

REBECCA: I'd like you to relive that moment, Billy. What happened?

ZOOM: We were playing Madame Wong's, and Madame Wong made the bouncer go yell at her people for dancing instead of watching the dressing room. She didn't like her people dancing. The bouncer left the door open and everything.

REBECCA: So it was stolen. And . . .

ZOOM: Someone showed up at a show at Club 88 eight months later and asked if I would be willing to take it back, no questions asked, and I said, "Yes." We went out to the guy's trunk, and there it was.

REBECCA: But that's a happy story!

ZOOM: Not when it was stolen.

REBECCA: If you were a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be?

ZOOM: Are you serious?

REBECCA: Mmm-hmmm.

ZOOM: I don't have a clever answer to that.

REBECCA: I would be a cow-tongue sandwich with horseradish.

ZOOM: Why?

REBECCA: Because that would be really disgusting.

ZOOM: I would be a peanut butter and banana sandwich because that was Elvis' favorite.

REBECCA: Didn't he fry them?

ZOOM: I believe so, yeah.

REBECCA: . . .

ZOOM: . . .

REBECCA: . . .

ZOOM: . . .

REBECCA: You know, you stare through people a lot.

ZOOM: I do?

REBECCA: Yes.

ZOOM: . . .

REBECCA: . . .

ZOOM: Could I plug some stuff?

REBECCA: Sure. Plug away.

ZOOM: Well, I'm putting the finishing touches on my new recording studio right now; I'm looking to produce indie projects and bands and stuff like that there. I hope to have projects in there by Christmas.

REBECCA: Do you want to be inundated with really bad demo tapes?

ZOOM: Well, I guess not. I guess I'm really looking to produce bands from indie labels.

REBECCA: Be careful what you ask for. Okay. Dead pets?

ZOOM: I had some rats that died. Rats die the most because they only live about a year and a half.

REBECCA: Are you crying?

ZOOM: No.

REBECCA: Do you still have no use for your band mates in X, as you said in that interview with the Weekly's own Buddy Seigal?

ZOOM: I think I said I like DJ [Bonebreak, drummer], didn't I? That came out ruder than I'd intended. I don't dislike my band mates. We just travel in different circles; we don't really hang out together a lot.

REBECCA: Let's go back to the rats. Were you sad when they died?

ZOOM: Mmm-hmmm. Rats are really sweet pets.

REBECCA: I think we're done. I don't really have any more questions.

ZOOM: That's it?

REBECCA: Why? Is there something else I should ask you?

ZOOM: I had a girl interview me yesterday; she asked me lots of questions about music.

REBECCA: Ha ha ha hahahahahaha! I'm so sure! Like, "Who are your influences?" Ha ha ha ha ahahaha!

ZOOM: She asked me lots of questions like "Who's your favorite musician?" I couldn't answer her questions at all. There have been an awful lot of musicians!

REBECCA: But I don't care who your favorite musician is! We should go have some drinks.

ZOOM: I only drink at home alone.

REBECCA: Do you cry when you drink at home alone?

ZOOM: No.

REBECCA: I do.

ZOOM: About what?

REBECCA: Nothing. I was just lying so you'd feel more comfortable about disclosing the fact—if in fact you do cry while drinking at home alone.

ZOOM: I only have one light beer. A Coors Light, because it has the fewest carbs. It has 5 grams of carbs. I'm on the Atkins Diet.

REBECCA: Were you fat before?

ZOOM: No, I used to starve myself. With Atkins, I eat more than I've ever eaten in my life. I eat sausage.

REBECCA: Billy, don't starve yourself anymore!

[REBECCA begins to cry. Zoom, bored, begins poking around in her purse.]

ZOOM: What's that?

REBECCA: That's my cell phone. It causes memory loss. This is where I keep my cards. These are my mints. Would you like one?

Zoom [examining box of mints]: Phenalalanine. That's Nutrasweet.

REBECCA: Fucking great. Now I don't want them anymore.

[Cut to Rebecca at another location.]

REBECCA SCHOENKOPF: Welcome back to this very special episode of the Very Special Rebecca Schoenkopf Interviews. With me is a county government watchdog some have likened to Cujo. Shirley Grindel, winner of Orange County's Best Citizen Award, thank you for coming.

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