Ryan was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and lived in Oxnard, California before moving with his family to Louisville. He has an unusual sleeping schedule and after a marathon of many months of unemployment, he has taken a job in the University of Louisville library.
He was interviewed in 2000 by Lauren Garrison who appeared in K Composite #9 and is the older sister of his best friend Betsey Garrison.
Hypothetically, tell the story of how corn dogs were invented.
[laughter] Well, at the Amsterdam World’s Fair in 1913, this old man named Sal Mineo had a pancake booth. The man next to him – at the booth next to him – had a hot dog stand… oh wait, that’s how ice cream became invented. [laughs] Well, anyway, there was this ice cream, right? And anyway, [laughter] the other guy, Jimmy Dean, he was the guy with the hot dog stand.
The sausage king?
Not the sausage king, Jimmy Dean. This was in 1913, though, it was a different Jimmy Dean.
No. Unrelated. This was in Amsterdam, you have to keep in mind, in 1913.
I didn’t realize that “Dean” was…
Jimmy Dean, yeah, it’s Dutch. [laughter] And anywhoo, long story short, there was an accident. Hot dogs on the grill in the pancake batter. They’re trying to pick things up. They’re trying to pull things together… I have no idea where I’m going with this.
So you don’t know how corn dogs were invented.
I don’t know how corn dogs were invented. Originally I thought I was going to ace the question by telling a false anecdote that I’d heard about how ice cream cones were invented, but halfway through the anecdote I realized it was about ice cream cones, not corn dogs. [laughter] It was all downhill from there. A trainwreck.
List all the nicknames you’ve had and how you got them.
[laughs] I haven’t really had many nicknames. My family calls me “RT” because my first and middle names are Ryan and Taylor. And Scott calls me “The Beef” because when Tower and The Betsey and Princess Cornbread and The Beef went to Thunder 2K, Ryan came out of the Second Street McDonald’s with three or four double hamburgers to get the most for his dollar. [laughs] The Beef.
What are you going to be when you grow up?
Is that all?
That’s all I know. [laughs]
Okay. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
[21-second pause] Um… Just somebody who won the lottery. [laughter]
Then you wouldn’t be poor. How pretty are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
[exhale] Well, I think that’s a sliding scale, depending on outside factors. You know, the day, lighting, how well the shower goes… [laughs] I think anywhere between a 3 and a half, and a 6 and a half.
A 6 1/2 is an F.
Or it’s a D.
Am I being graded? [laughter]
Okay, so you’re a D?
I… guess… well… yeah.
America will eventually be unseated as the world leader. How will this happen and who’s gonna do it?
[eleven seconds] Probably The Betsey. [laughter] I think Betsey is going to become increasingly adored, popular, and powerful [laughter] until she ultimately usurps America as the leading power of the world.
[laughter] Who is your favorite actor and actress?
Oh, man. This is hard. I don’t really have a favorite actor and actress?
Are you interested in space travel?
Not at all.
Space travel is boring.
Suppose you make a sculpture which is displayed in a public park. Twenty years after your death, a teenaged couple is leaning on your sculpture and talking. How does this make you feel? Keep in mind that there is a sign stating, “This sculpture is for viewing, not touching.”
[laughing] I seriously doubt that I made this sculpture! [laughs] I think someone would probably… I think the sculpture would be a fraud, basically. I don’t think I would have made a sculpture for a public park that would have had a sign that said you couldn’t lean on it. But I don’t feel any antagonism toward the fraud, though. [laughter] In fact, I’ll go ahead and call it my sculpture even though they made it themselves and passed it on as a sculpture I designed. Does that answer the question? [laughs]
Okay, let’s try this again. Say you make a sculpture which is displayed in a public park. [laughs] Twenty years after your death, a teenaged couple is leaning on it. How does this make you feel?
[12 seconds] Why not? [whispering…] This is the wrong day for interviewing me.
Companion interview in K Composite 10, Pages 240-241