For ten dollars I’ll engrave your tweet on a brick and throw it at you.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) September 14, 2014
Location: In front of a computer
Number of followers: 76K
You’re a private person. You don’t share pictures or much about your life. When and why did you join the witness protection program?
It would be cool if I were a spy or something, right? I came to Twitter to escape. The more of my real life I bring with me, the less fun it is.
Underchilde? Can you explain that handle?
The Dark Tower has always been my favorite book, which has a connection to Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” poem. So it’s partly from that. But around the same time, I had been wondering what the opposite of an overlord would be. It was just a random thought. Overlords have great power and influence. I have absolutely none of that. So really it’s just me being self-deprecating.
What are you wearing right now?
Are we sexting? I’m almost always in jeans and a concert shirt.
Tell us about your family.
I have one son. He turned 18 last fall. He lives with me. It’s just been us two since he was in 6th grade. And I’m as crazy about him now as the day he was born.
Your head is so pretty and shiny! When did you first shave it?
I had really long hair. I lost a bet on the Michigan/North Carolina championship game in 1993 and had to shave it. I’ve shaved it ever since.
My boss said he doesn’t care how much coke I did in the 80s, I still can’t do it at my desk on Throwback Thursdays.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) September 11, 2015
When did you join Twitter? What has changed since then?
I’ve been here a couple years. It’s just lost that new car smell. The drama gets old, but mostly it’s pressure I’ve created. Nobody cares if I tweet, or if they suck when I do. But I care. I say a lot of stupid things, but I want them to be good. I don’t want to just toss a tweet up. I’m that way with everything, not just Twitter. And I stay because there are people here I love, and I’d miss them.
You’re one of the most generous retweeters here. Why do you do it?
I really just like to share. It makes me feel good to retweet people, especially small accounts. Some of the most creative people on Twitter have small accounts. But I do feel some obligation. Nobody comes on Twitter just to read and retweet me. It doesn’t revolve around me or anyone else. And Twitter is going to be the same whether I’m here or not. But when I am on Twitter, I try to make it a better place for everyone. If I can’t do that, what’s the f*ckin’ point of coming on?
I don’t think Twitter’s real. I think I’m in a mall in 1987 listening to “I Think We’re Alone Now” & my mind invented Twitter to protect me.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) September 17, 2014
When you have such a large following, do some view you as a celebrity?
I’m definitely not a celebrity. I’m sure others have great stories about some of the comments they’ve received. But I’m pretty boring; I keep to myself, and have the sex appeal of a radish, so I don’t get a lot of weirdoes.
Oh stop, radish man. You’re a humble person, but I know your tweets have been published in many newspapers and exciting places like Playboy. I say that because I know you won’t.
If you could change one thing about Twitter, what would it be?
I always wished there was an option to turn DM’s off completely.
What is the single funniest tweet on Twitter right now?
I don’t know the funniest, but here are two of my favorites:
You can keep an erection for up to 4hrs, but then you have to release it into the wild.
— Bandersnaaatch (@Bandersnaaatch) September 17, 2015
I remember 9 months before I was born, I went to a party with dad and left with mom.
— Funny Beach Girl 🙂 (@funnybeachgirl) May 11, 2013
I love @funnybeachgirl. She makes me laugh. If I could only read one person on Twitter, it would be her.
In your view, who are the real life comic greats?
George Carlin will always be my favorite. Eddie Murphy’s Delirious is the funniest thing ever. And Eleanor Kerrigan is always hilarious. Everyone should definitely check her out. I miss Robert Schimmel and Greg Giraldo a lot. Those two guys made me laugh harder than anyone.
Mediocrities was Socrates’s younger brother whose philosophies were so-so at best.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) May 3, 2014
Your earlier tweets are much saltier and saucier. Why the change?
It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to say on Twitter. A lot of the earlier tweets are just random, dumb thoughts and not attempts at actually being funny. At some point I started mixing in the serious/sad tweets. These days I think a lot about abandoning the humor altogether and focusing on the serious stuff.
You don’t fit a certain mold. Some of your tweets are hilarious, some are achingly sad. Which represent the real you?
Oh, without a doubt, it’s the sad tweets. Those are 100% me. I’m sad AF, and I don’t care who knows it. The inspirational tweets, anything serious, those are all me. The comedy is just filler.
Her: I’m leaving you!
Him [watching bass fishing on TV]: Maybe a sandwich, whatever you wanna fix.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) July 26, 2015
You’re one of the most sensitive and caring people I know. Do you wish to talk about your sadness?
I have OCD and an anxiety disorder. I’ve had them since I was a kid. I’ve always been depressed and sad. I cope by staying busy. If I’m idle, my thoughts overwhelm me. But I don’t think the sadness in me will ever disappear. It’s just a longing, like I miss someone very dear to me. I just don’t know who it is.
When was the last time you were truly happy?
I think when my son was first born—that whole first year. That’s really the last I remember being happy for any length of time.
He’s very blessed to have you as his Dad. Let’s shift gears and let my OCD take over with some random questions.
What are your five favorite words?
Obsidian, scrimshaw, mayhap, godhead, hope – stop making me use my brain.
If you write your autobiography, what will be the title?
Everything I Touch Turns to Sh*t. That would be it. I’ve always said that was my six-word autobiography.
One great way to make a difference in your community is by moving somewhere else.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) March 16, 2015
Paper or plastic?
Plastic – I can carry more at one time.
If you had a free day, how would you spend it?
I have OCD, so most likely I’d clean everything.
What’s the best board game ever invented?
Trivial Pursuit, of course.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a rock star, Nancy. What the hell else is there?
Dave Grohl always looks like he just got done chopping wood.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) June 27, 2014
Okay, those goofy questions are out of my system. So now for some more serious ones. I know you to be a well-read Renaissance man.
Who is your favorite poet?
I love Anne Sexton and I love Bukowski. I like Rainer Maria Rilke and Marie Howe. I just like to be moved, and to feel the words all the way to my bones. Those poets do that for me in one way or another. But, yeah, it’s definitely Sexton.
What about music? Who are your favorite musicians and bands?
I love blues, punk, hard rock, metal and everything heavier than that. But I love hair bands the most, and pretty much any pop music from the 80s. It’s just what I grew up with.
Describe the perfect woman.
I don’t think you can describe the perfect woman. I like women who are funny and intelligent and independent. It all starts with her heart. There has to be something there. And for me it’s about connecting on a deeper level. After that happens, I just know. I feel it when she smiles or when she tilts her head a certain way.
If hearing “I love you” was enough, we’d all buy parrots and live happily ever after.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) October 20, 2014
What traits are most important to you in a friend?
I like people with integrity and humility. Everything else is pretty flexible.
What percentage of the people on Twitter do you trust?
I trust about five people.
You are kind to so many. Are there people who have been especially helpful or kind to you here?
@bourgeoisalien. We kind of started together, and I love her like a sister.
If you would ever leave Twitter, what would you do with all your extra time?
I’d probably start writing short stories again. I was never very good at it, but I enjoyed doing it. I’d read a lot more. Maybe build an aviary, but for birds that are extinct.
If I ever commit suicide, I wanna jump off a cliff w/an open umbrella so people wonder if I thought it would bring me safely to the ground.
— Underchilde (@Underchilde) May 5, 2014
Thanks for the great interview, @Underchilde and @MomOfTeen!
Next up on Beyond the Bio: @LittleBlackRnCloud
In case you missed it, last time on Beyond the Bio: @HatfieldAnne.
A butt-load of the funniest parenting tweets all packed into one place! – The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets, available on Amazon. Or try the original, The Big Book of Parenting Tweets. They make great gifts!