Lauren Garrison

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Lauren Garrison (a.k.a. Princess Cornbread or “PCB”) does her laundry every two weeks and loves chocolate.

When she was in high school, despite being having a 3.75 grade point average, she was a real discipline case. In recent years, she’s done everything from managing a restaurant kitchen to selling clothes to assisting people with obsessive compulsive disorder in their everyday lives.

She does not know the artist of the song “Ghostbusters,” although she can sing almost the entire song… but not into a tape recorder.

Lauren, who is surprisingly upbeat for having such a dark name, was interviewed in 2000.

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DO YOU LIKE IT WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT?

[laughter] Jesus Christ. [laughter] It’s a yes and no answer. If I’m by myself I get completely terrified. If I’m with other people, I’m still terrified, but it’s fun because I’m with other people. Of course recently, however, my phobias seem to have disappeared, so I’m probably not afraid of the dark anymore. We’ll see… Try me! [laughter]

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO BE TRAPPED IN THE DARK WITH?

That’s a good question… [6 seconds] Hmmm. [laughs] I could get myself in trouble with this question! [31 seconds] I’d have to say, I don’t feel comfortable answering that question right now.

WHY NOT?

Because if I name someone I have a crush on right now it could change [laughter] like it always does. And they could find out! How embarrassing!

OH COME ON, CORNBREAD!

[laughter] Jesus, Tower! I’m not telling! And you know the answers anyway!

OKAY. SO I’LL JUST ADD THEM IN LATER!

[laughing] You’d better not!

OR WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I… will develop entirely new crushes, thus making your silly magazine a font of erroneous information! [laughter]

AUGH! FOILED AGAIN! YOU ARE ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD! [laughter] IS THE PLEASURE OF EATING LOTS OF ICE CREAM WORTH THE CONSEQUENCE OF HAVING AN ICE CREAM BELLY?

[laughs] I think that ice cream is a pleasure that I indulge in with moderation, so that the mild discomfort I experience shortly after partaking in ice cream is well worth the “pleasure” of the ice cream. I did have one summer, however, when I ate ice cream every night with Magic Shell and I gained lots of weight… it was not so fun to lose.

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IN RETROSPECT, IF YOU HAD IT TO DO ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU EAT THE ICE CREAM, OR WOULD YOU ABSTAIN IN LIGHT OF THE WEIGHT CONSEQUENCES?

Well, being that what’s done is done, I would still eat the ice cream because it was great to eat malted milk ball ice cream with Reese’s Cup Magic Shell frequently.

SO YOU CONSIDER THAT SUMMER TO BE A LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN REGARDS TO APPROPRIATE LEVELS OF ICE CREAM CONSUMPTION.

Si. [laughter]

DO YOU WISH YOU LIVED IN CASTLE TIMES?

[laughter] Well, since I am a princess, I feel that I would escape the misfortune that so many endured during “castle times” [laughter]. The kitchens then were amazing. And the gardens were “to die for.” Although I would hate having to spin cloth all the time, because even princesses had to spin cloth all the time. It was all they did… and have babies. Did you know that women were the keymasters?

NO, I DIDN’T. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

The lady of the manor’s job was to basically “run” the manor. She did all the bookkeeping and the ordering. She took care of the staff, and she held all the keys that locked everything. And she was in charge of defending the manor during an attack if the husband was away. If the “lord of the manor” was away.

[sarcastically…] FASCINATING! WHERE DID YOU HAPPEN UPON THIS “INTRIGUING” INFORMATION?

I took a class in the spring semester called Women in the Middle Ages. Now I know all about it.

I SEE. ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, HOW MUCH DO YOU ENJOY COOKING?

Well, hmmm. I’m gonna give it a nine, this time around. If I have time and I’m cooking for other people, I love it. If I’m just cooking for me, then the most I’ll do is make a sandwich and heat up a can of soup.

HOW PRETTY ARE YOU?

I don’t know. [laughter] I think I’m pretty. But I think I’m more cute than I am pretty. And I think I’m extremely cute. But “pretty”? I don’t know.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BETTER, BOYS OR SHOPPING?

[gasp] Well, right now I prefer shopping. [laughs] Because I know what I’m getting. With boys, I think I’m getting one thing and I usually end up getting something different than what I thought I was getting. If I go to buy a pair of pants, I know what I got. And they’re not going to change.

SO, IF ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS WERE TO FIX YOU UP ON A DATE, WOULD YOU PREFER TO BE MET BY A BOY, OR BY A PAIR OF PANTS?

[laughter] Don’t get me wrong. I like the boys all right, and I go on dates pretty frequently… usually with boys who are wearing pants! [much laughter] But if I had my choice today, I would go shopping.

LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. YOU PREFER IT WHEN BOYS DON’T WEAR PANTS?

That depends on the boy. [laughter]

SO YOU DON’T DATE MEN? ONLY BOYS?

[laughter] That seems to be the case! Hopefully that will change soon.

SO, HOW MUCH DO YOU HATE OPRAH? AND DON’T LET ME DOWN ON THIS ONE.

Oh, I’m not gonna let you down. I can not stand Oprah, because it turns otherwise hormonally balanced women into blubbering idiots. I have watched too many women I respect sob at HER command. She picks stories on purpose that are so horrible and heart wrenching that the viewer is practically forced to feel the suffering. Just because it makes you cry doesn’t mean it is quality programming!

I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. I, TOO, THINK THAT SHE IS A WASTE OF SPACE. AND WHAT ABOUT THAT BOOK CLUB?

Please. I hate that almost more because I rarely watch TV, but I do read quite a bit, and I cannot bring myself to purchase books with those stickers on them, even though they are sometimes books that look interesting. I know that I’m being silly, but I just can’t do it.

I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DANCE PROPERLY WITH A MAN?

Hmm. I can waltz, and so a little bit of swing, but not really. I think that couples dancing is a lost art at this point. It’s really a shame. I’ve had several experiences at parties when I’ve been theoretically dancing with a member of the opposite sex, but since there is no set way anymore, it’s just really awkward and out of control. It usually makes the guy look pretty stupid. Don’t you think?

I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. MOST PEOPLE JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO LEARN I THINK. AND EVEN THOUGH IT WOULD HELP A GUY GET GIRLS, I THINK MOST GUYS THINK DANCING IS PRETTY GAY. [laughter]

But what about “ravers” and”club kids”? Those guys don’t think dancing is gay.

I THOUGHT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT FORMAL, BALLROOM DANCING. RAVERS AND CLUB KIDS, GAY, YOU FILL IN THE BLANKS. LET’S MOVE ON. DID YOU GO TO YOUR SENIOR PROM?

No, I did not.

WHY NOT? TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL? [laughter]

Actually, yes. My senior year was characterized by me showing an absolute lack of interest in anything having to do with high school. [laughter) My boyfriend was in college…

OH. YOU WERE COOL, WEREN’T YOU?

May I continue? And most of my friends, went to other schools. My senior year was also a time when I was “cleaning up act”, and growing up a little, which meant partying of a sober variety, if you catch my drift. I tried to stay away from typically drunken events.

[PLAYING DUMB] I DON’T UNDERSTAND. DON’T YOU HAVE TO BE TWENTY ONE TO DRINK?

Yeah. [laughter] If you give a shit what “the man” says. Drugs are always illegal, but some people I know manage to do an awful lot of them. All I know, it that I abide by the law these days, but have no regrets regarding my past, flagrant violations of them. Not that I’m admitting to anything.

THAT’S OKAY. YOU’RE NOT UNDER OATH. AND IF THIS MAGAZINE CAN BE CONSIDERED EVIDENCE IN A COURT OF LAW, YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE GOIN’ DOWN. — IF YOU HAD TO RIDE ON A MOTORCYCLE FROM LOUISVILLE TO LOS ANGELES, WHO WOULD YOU PICK TO GO WITH OUT OF THE FOLLOWING CHOICES: BRITNEY SPEARS, MANDY MOORE, CHRISTINA AGUILERA?

Christina Aguilera.

WHY?

I don’t know anything about her, but my sister is obsessed with her, and she dances like her constantly. So I’d be very curious to find out who this person is that has caught the attention of my sister for six months now. [laughter]

SO YOU WOULD LEARN WHY YOUR SISTER LIKED HER…

Sure.

…ON YOUR WAY TO CALIFORNIA ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE?

Sure. Well, I want to know where that dance came from. I want to see who the woman is who created that vulgar dance [laughing] that I’m exposed to so often.

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HOW PRETTY ARE YOU?

I would say I’m… [three seconds] Should we use a scale system or just tell you?

OH, I CAN’T HELP OUT WITH THAT ONE. IT’S UP TO YOU.

I think it depends on who’s looking at me. I think that I’m pretty. I think that if I had to describe it, it would be more of a cuteness or something more, I guess, endearing, or something like that. But I think I’m pretty. I don’t know. I feel fairly confident, I mean, I don’t think I look like a model, I don’t think. I think if you take all the women in the world, I’m fairly pretty. I’m doing all right.

SO YOU’RE SAYING YOU’RE PRETTIER THAN ALL THE WOMEN IN THE WORLD?

[laughter] No, I’m saying that… because a lot of times I don’t feel like I am, but if I consider all the different types of bodies, and all the different faces and hair and everything else. I also think there are a lot of different types of “pretty” and I think I fall into the freckle-face category, which is, you know, kind of cute. Whatever. But I definitely think I see women all the time who I think are gorgeous, and I don’t feel like them. But it could be worse. [laughs]

TELL ME ABOUT WHEN YOU WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Oh my gosh. [laughter] Well, I went to Sacred Heart Academy and I went there on a partial scholarship for academics. I played sports there so that helped. I played soccer the whole time I was there, and I was, I guess, a good student. I had a 3.75 [grade point average] and was in advanced classes, things like that.

But at the same time I was completely out of control. I was kicked out of the National Honor Society for disciplinary, behavioral, and service-oriented probation, because I wouldn’t do any of the stuff they wanted me to do. It was strange. I maintained this balance between functioning in the environment, but at the same time not being able to feel like I belonged there at all, or like I fit. And I had a small group of friends in my class who I was really close to.

I had kind of good social relations with everyone, but lots of outbursts with teachers. A couple “scenes.” I got to know the Dean of Students really well. We got along wonderfully, so whenever I got sent to her office I looked forward to it. “Fine, I’ll go to the Dean’s office,” [laughing] “See ya later!”

So it was a strange experience, it was just really confusing and, you know, having family problems during most of it. Just a… I’m glad it’s over, basically. I think I did what I could just to get through it. I don’t think I needed to be at Sacred Heart, and I asked to be transferred a couple times, and they thought it was, you know, better for me to stay there. Because they were afraid that if I went to a public school that I would just spin out, which might have been true, but I’m not sure.

So I’m glad it’s over, and I don’t look on it fondly, and I didn’t go to my senior prom, and I didn’t go on the retreats. Things like that. And when I graduated I just left. I didn’t say good-bye to anyone. Went home and hung out with some friends who didn’t go there. And that was it. Just over.

THE BEST SIX YEARS OF YOUR LIFE?

What? [laughter] High school?

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WHO IS THE ARTIST OF THE SONG “GHOSTBUSTERS”?

Oh shit. [laughter] I don’t know.

YOU DON’T KNOW?

No.

DO YOU WANT TO GUESS?

I can hear it.

JUST GUESS IT. JUST GIVE ME A NAME.

Eddie Murphy. [laughter]

EDDIE MURPHY IS THE SINGER OF THE SONG “GHOSTBUSTERS”? YOUR LAST AND FINAL QUESTION IS: HOW MUCH OF THE SONG “GHOSTBUSTERS” CAN YOU SING?

I could sing quite a bit of it, I’m sure. Do you want me to sing it for you?

YES.

Okay. [laughter] I don’t want to sing in front of you. This is difficult. Okay, hang on… [4 seconds] I’m trying to remember the beginning. You can watch me. I don’t care… [13 seconds] “If there’s something strange and it don’t look good…” [not singing at all, just talking] “Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters…” If I sang it I would know every single word, but I’m not singing this for you. I’m not doing it. I’ll sing it with you. [laughter]

NO. I’M MUCH OF A SINGER. YOU’LL HAVE TO DO IT ON YOUR OWN.

I don’t think I can do that right now.

SO THEN YOU’RE DONE? YOU’RE FORFEITING YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO SING “GHOSTBUSTERS”?

Yes.

JUST THE CHORUS?

[laughter] What, are you going to download this on your webpage?! [laughter]

MAYBE. COME ON.

[emphatically] No!

WOULDN’T YOU LIKE FOR PEOPLE TO GO GET AN MP3 OF YOU SINGING, “BUSTIN’ MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!” [laughter]

It’s a joke. I don’t want to sing it. Don’t make me.

OKAY, YOU’RE DONE.

Awesome.

YOU’RE FIN.

Fin.

Companion interview in K Composite #9, page 223

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