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The Fluther Interview: AstroChuck

11:18 am

AstroChuck You know him, you love him… it’s everyone’s favorite six year old mailman, AstroChuck! AC has been a fixture here at Fluther for quite some time, making us laugh, making us think, and generally being an all around smartass. I mean that in the best possible way. Really.

Recently, he was kind enough to submit to the torture of being my first interview subject. I’ve learned a lot from Chuck in the past, but he still has things to teach me. As always, he’s the funniest smart guy I know.

Fluther's Avatar What first drew you to Fluther, and what keeps you coming back?

AstroChuck's Avatar In the beginning I came for the free doughnuts but the great coffee and lurve kept me coming back. Okay, I’ve got the smartass answer out of the way, which is what everyone is going to expect from me. And now for the serious response. The real truth is that I honestly don’t remember initially signing up. All I remember is sometime in Spring 2008 looking at all the iPhone web apps on the Apple site and finding different ones of interest, one being for Fluther. When I attempted to sign up I was told that there was already someone with the account name AstroChuck. I thought, ‘How odd.’  I decided to try and log in using the password I knew I would have used and discovered that I had created that account a couple months earlier. I have no memory of creating the account but ever since my “rediscovery” I haven’t missed a day on Fluther.  I suppose both the sense of community and quality of its members have kept me coming back. Basically, Fluther feels like home.

Fluther's Avatar What is the best experience you have had on Fluther? What has it been like watching Fluther grow up?

AstroChuck's Avatar Making friends and the feeling of community has been the best experience I’ve had here. (Also, great pancakes!) As to the second part of the question, I’d rather know what it’s been like for the collective watching me grow up. (Which is something I still haven’t managed to do.)

Fluther's Avatar What, if any, is your favorite Fluther question?

AstroChuck's Avatar I don’t know which one I would call my favorite (possibly whatthefluther’s marriage proposal to sccrowell. How can you beat that?) but I think the most fun I’ve had participating in a thread was the one where my head exploded.

Fluther's Avatar Favorite question asked by you?

AstroChuck's Avatar Hard to say but my first, “How do you visualize the calendar in your mind?” was one of my favorites. I always felt that this was a pretty good question but apparently nobody else thought much of it. I just don’t think many understood it. I suppose not many people have a visual image of the year. I tend to apply visual imagery to non-material things. Anyway, I still think it was a good question. And although it’s not really a question, I have to include this one as I believe it still has the most responses on any thread on Fluther: The Song Title Game.

Fluther's Avatar Were you always the class clown?

AstroChuck's Avatar Not really. I was the kid who found things funny that others didn’t. I ran with a small, strange group of friends who shared my sense of humor, or at least enjoyed mine. I did get in trouble a lot for talking in class though.

Fluther's Avatar Do you feel like people have come to expect a certain style of answer from AstroChuck?

AstroChuck's Avatar I think most people expect I’m going to be a wise-ass with every answer I give and I suppose that’s because I usually am. Every now and then I like to pull the rug out from under everyone and give a serious response. Also I tend to give short answers. That’s mostly because 99% of my time on Fluther is spent using my iPhone. I’m pretty lazy and hitting that little keyboard is a lot of effort for such a lazy ass.

Fluther's Avatar When and why do you choose to be funny rather than serious and vice versa? How do you make the choice?

AstroChuck's Avatar I don’t know. If something pops in my head I’ll usually post it. Usually it’s some quip. Then there are those rare times when I actually can be of service and provide help. Also there are a few topics I am passionate about, such as adoption, civil rights, vegetarianism, politics, and making shrunken heads.

Fluther's Avatar We know you are 6 years old in the Flutherverse, but how old are you really?

AstroChuck's Avatar Well, let’s see. I was born in 1961 so that means this December I’ll be turning, uh, six!

Fluther's Avatar Tell us a little about your family life.

AstroChuck's Avatar I’m married to Parrothead (aka Becky). She’s not on here often but she pops in from time to time. She is also known as Saint Rebecca as she has been putting up with yours truly for over 22 years. We have a wonderfully funny nine year-old daughter named Halle who will be turning 18 (or so she thinks) in January. I also have two beautiful daughters who’ve made the mistake of growing up, getting married, and moving away, one of them 3,000 miles away. That last one, Valerie, has provided us with 7 grandkids (two sets of twins in there) while Maren has been content with just the two. In addition to our family we have 3 indoor cats, a parrot, and a farting dog named Juno. She’s our most recent addition. When she’s around it smells like a bunch of farts got into a fight.

Fluther's Avatar You have grown children, grandchildren, and a younger child… Has your parenting style changed over the years?

AstroChuck's Avatar Yeah. I’ve learned to be patient. I no longer feel I need to lock my kids in the crawl space.

Fluther's Avatar Has it gotten harder or easier to raise children these days? Is it any different at all?

AstroChuck's Avatar I don’t know if it’s gotten any harder or not. Each kid has been different. I think if I had had boys it would probably have been easier. With three boys you only have to worry about three penises. With girls you have to worry about all of them.

Fluther's Avatar You’re Fluther’s favorite mailman, and we want the nitty-gritty. How many dogs have you been bitten by?

AstroChuck's Avatar Three: a boxer, a pitbull, and a medium-sized black mixed mutt. That last one got me in the thigh pretty good. The pitbull was the scariest though. I’m in my 25th year of carrying mail and I’ve only gotten the three bites. I’ve been pretty lucky.

Fluther's Avatar Tell us about your decision to become vegetarian. Was there a critical moment, or did it come on slowly?

AstroChuck's Avatar I happen to be an animal lover and felt for a long time that I had been compromising my principles by eating them. I’d always wanted to give up meat but the problem was I never really cared for vegetables. At one point I just felt it was time to stop thinking about doing it and just do it. That was in June 1990 and I’ve never gone back. And the good news is that I like vegetables now. Especially dipped in batter and deep-fried!

Fluther's Avatar Outside of Fluther, what is your favorite pastime?

AstroChuck's Avatar It’s between baseball and pornography. Hmm. Baseball. No, pornography. Nah. I’m gonna go with baseball. And food.

Fluther's Avatar Do you play any instruments? What type of music do you most enjoy?

AstroChuck's Avatar I do play the guitar, just not very well. I also goof around with drums but I just don’t have the motivation to really learn them. I mentioned earlier that I was lazy, remember? I have pretty eclectic tastes. Beatles, Jimmy Cliff, and Alan Parsons are my favorites but I’m all over the board. I listen to reggae, rock, alternative, r&b, punk, opera, classical, Hawaiian, some hip-hop, and so on. Just no chamber. I loathe chamber music and most country.

Fluther's Avatar What was the last great book you read? What made it great?

AstroChuck's Avatar I’m reading “Physics Of The Impossible” by Michio Kaku and it’s pretty good. “The Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson was the last book that I couldn’t put down, though. I love language and I love Bill Bryson (both platonically, of course). Put the two together and it has to be great.

Fluther's Avatar If you could live anywhere in the world, and money was not an issue, where would you want to live?

AstroChuck's Avatar Being as I’m an only child and my aging parents rely on me I’d have to say I’ll stay put here in Sacramento. But if I had no connections here and money was really not an issue I’d move to the Hawaii Kai neighborhood on Oahu. But I’d still miss NorCal.

Fluther's Avatar If you could give us one piece of advice, what would it be?

AstroChuck's Avatar Okay, I’m going to be serious here. ALWAYS BE HONEST. It’s the way I was raised and it’s the way I’ve raised my kids. There aren’t many things more important than to have the trust of those you love. Also, don’t take the brown acid.

Fluther's Avatar What question were you hoping we’d ask, but didn’t? Will you answer it now?

AstroChuck's Avatar Q: Is it true one should avert one’s eyes and kowtow when you approach? A: Although it’s not necessary it is always appreciated. Remember, I may be a god, but I’m not the God. A simple hello will usually be met with a kind word.

Fluther's Avatar Thanks so much for being my first, Chuck! Interview, people… my first interview. Sheesh. Get your minds out of the gutter. ~

Thanks also to Dr_C, andrew, SuperMouse, gailcalled, janbb, breedmitch, jonsblond, petethepothead and everyone else who contributed questions!