Bruce Wordsworth here with Books ‘R Us on C-SPAN radio. Today, we’re talking with Tookie Woodstream, heroine of George Q. Kaplan’s Tookie series, in a telephone interview.

Q: Good morning, Tookie. I’d—

T: Mary Louise, please.

Q: Good morning, Mary Louise. I’d like to ask you some background questions to set the scene for our listeners. What are you wearing?

T: What do you have on?

Q: A gray suit. Why?

T: Needta know to give ya phone sex.

Q: But. But. Uh—

T: Ya do wanna have phone sex with me dontcha?

Q: Uh, uh. No.

T: Ya sure?

Q: Yes. No. I mean I don’t want to have phone sex with you; I want to interview you.

T: I’m not pretty enough?

Q: That’s not it. You’re very pretty but I have to interview you now.

T: Thanks, I guess. Just wearin’ a sweatshirt and jeans. Didn’t know I should dress up for this.

Q: No. No. You don’t need to dress up. I was just trying to give listeners a visual picture.

T: Should I strip then?

Q: No! Let’s move on to a different subject. I understand that your parents were alcoholics.

T: They don’t think so.

Q: Do you?

T: I guess.

Q: Do you attend A. C. O. A. meetings?

T: What’s that?

Q: Adult Children of Alcoholics. It’s a 12-step group for people who grew up in alcoholic households.

T: Don’t need to.

Q: Don’t you think living with alcoholic parents affected you?

T: Not in the least. I’m happy with myself as I am.

Q: I see that you have a bachelor’s degree in statistics.

T: With high honors.

Q:With high honors and worked in the pharmaceutical industry since high school. Did you always want to be a statistician?

T: No.

Q: What had you planned on doing?

T: Graduatin’ from high school.

Q: I meant after high school.

T: Nothin’.

Q: Nothing? You surely didn’t plan to not do anything, did you?

T: No. I hadn’t made any specific plans.

Q: That seems odd considering how parents plan out their kids’ lives before they’re born these days.

T: No one in my family had gone to college before and they didn’t have the money to send me, so we never discussed that.

Q: Didn’t you school counselors suggest it?

T: I moved east to New Jersey shortly after the start of senior year. I was way behind. They were way ahead of me. I struggled to catch up and didn’t bother with the counselors.

Q: Was your social life any better?

T: Worse.

Q: Can you elaborate?

T: My only date was to the prom with a geeky momma’s boy.

Q: Didn’t you have a boyfriend then?

T: Tim was overseas in the Air Force and didn’t return until late summer after graduation.

Q: Why didn’t that work out?

T: He wanted too much from me.

Q: He wanted sex and you weren’t ready for it?

T: I wanted sex; he wanted to get married.

Q: Are you in a relationship at present?

A: I’ve been in this one two months now. Things are going well. He’s smart and funny.

Q: How long do your relationships last on average?

T: Hard to say. Depends on how you define a relationship.

Q: Let’s just limit them to those that lasted long enough to sleep with.

T: That’s not much help.

Q: How about those you introduced to your family?

T: Too limiting.

Q: At least three dates?

T: Over a weekend?

Q: Yes.

T: None lasted two years. The mean relationship length doesn’t describe mine in any meaningful way because most were very short and few lasted as long as the mean.

Q: OK. How long do most of them last?

T: A night to less than a month.

Q: Only include the ones you sleep with.

T: I did.

Q: Did you live with them?

T: Not many.

Q: Any particular reason?

A: Didn’t usually want to. I’m getting tired.

Q: We’ll bring this interview to a close then and schedule another sometime in the future.

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