by Pete Milan.

Interview Two


(A dressing room in the back of a rock club. The opening act can be heard distantly, the bass reverberating through the room. There is a pretty young woman sitting on a much-used couch. She is dressed in the glam-rock style. More intriguing, however, is her skin. She's a blue girl. Her hair, her lips, even the whites of her eyes are all differing shades of blue. Violet, to be precise.)

Q: Augustus sends his regards.

A: He's a nice guy. Just wish he'd eat something.

Q: How long before you go on?

A: Oh, we've got a while. The boys are just starting their encore. I--

(Another young woman enters. Her skin is also blue, but as she approaches, it is clear that she's wearing makeup.)

A: What? No, I think Jen's got it. Yeah. Could you guys give me a couple of minutes? I'm being interviewed., it's not about the band.

(The newcomer leaves.)

Q: Who was that?

A: Trinny. Keyboardist. She gets a little jealous when I do solo interviews.

Q: Ah. Well--

A: You want to talk about the factory.

Q: Yes, please.

A: I don't know how much there is left to say. I went, I chewed a piece of gum, I ended up looking like this.

Q: How did you feel when you first found the golden ticket?

A: Sort of excited, I guess. I mean, I liked chocolate...who doesn't like chocolate? But gum was my thing. I just always loved chewing gum. I mean, don't ask me why, I have no idea. I just always liked it a lot. And I knew he didn't make gum, so...I don't know, I just thought it'd be fun, you know?

Q: So when--

A: And it was a little convenient, don't you think? That as soon as I show up at the factory, he unveils this magic three-course-meal chewing gum? Why not have it in a pill form, or, I don't know, a three-course-meal candy bar? You want to know what I think?

Q: Of course.

A: I think it was a trap.

Q: ...a trap?

A: Think about it. He sends out these golden tickets to five children because he wants to pick a kid to take over the factory, right? And what does he end up with? He gets Charlie, who's like this total golden boy who never did a bad thing in his life, and he gets four normal kids. And you know what kids are like. They're all pains in the ass. I don't think any of us were so horrible that--well, okay, Veruca was nuts. Pardon the expression. And Augustus was probably headed for a heart attack by the age of 13. But all Mike did was watch a lot of television! Oh, no, a ten year old kid who watches a lot of TV! He must be some kind of sociopath!

Q: You're saying that--

A: And me! Like I was deserving of punishment because I chewed gum! I mean, jeez, did you know the year before I went on that factory trip, I helped raise money for MS? I was in the Read-a-thon. I came in third in my class. I always collected for UNICEF when I went out at Halloween, too! It's not like all I did was chew gum!

Q: So--

A: I think, and I've heard rumors, that he always knew he was going to give the factory to Charlie. He had his spies do research on, like, every kid in the world, and he picked Charlie. And then he picked out four kids to mess with, to serve as object lessons to the whole world. Do these things I don't approve of and you'll end up like these four!

Q: That's quite a theory.

A: {sighs) I know. You think I'm nuts. But ask yourself this. How come he never released that three-course-meal gum? It's been twenty years. Is he still working out the side effects? Or was it only designed to be used once?

Q: Well, if we can move on from did you adjust to your, your new condition?

A: It was rough at first. Being the size of a bathysphere wasn't much fun. I was going through my awkward phase, you know, and that really didn't help my self image. I went through a long series of operations to get...dejuiced. And even after that, I couldn't taste anything for months. Everything tasted like blueberries. I even smelled a bit like a blueberry. But that all faded away after a while. This--(She holds up her hand, showing off its color.)--didn't.

Q: Was it hard to deal with being blue?

A: It was, at first. We tried a couple of skin-bleaching operations, but it didn't work. And yeah, I got teased a lot once I came back to the States, but you know what? After a while, I started to like it. I'm unique. And it certainly got me a lot of attention.

Q: Yes, I remember when you first started showing up on magazine covers...

A: Modeling's been very good to me. It helps that once I got past my awkward stage, I've always been pretty skinny. All the gum, you know? Sugarless. And I know I only got my foot in the door because I'm basically a freak, but you know, I'm okay with that. Who isn't a freak nowadays? Did you buy a drink at the bar?

Q: No, not yet.

A: If you do, check out the bartender. He's got his tongue split down the middle so it's forked. Had it done. Compared to that, I'm normal.

Q: You used modeling as a stepping stone into the music business.

A: Songwriting was my first creative outlet. When I first formed the band, I didn't want the focus to be on me, but...well, you've got a girl with blue skin on guitar, she's going to turn some heads. So I thought, why try and hide it? Why pretend we're just another band? So we became Violet and the Blueberries, and the other girls wear makeup. That way, we can be unique together.

Q: If you could say anything to him, what would you say?

A: I'd say...I'd say I didn't deserve it. But thank you anyway.

Q: Thank you for your time.

A: No problem. Where are you headed next?

Q: I'm going to see Veruca.

A: (She laughs, then pulls a pack of gum from her pocket. It's the brightly colored sugary kind. She unwraps a piece and pops it into her mouth.) Good luck.

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Pete Milan is a bon vivant. More of his work may be found at