For years efforts have been made to secure an interview with the reclusive Giant Panda. Finally, and after much negotiation, the Panda community acquiesced, sending a representative to meet with a reporter from the prestigious journal National Geoplastic.
Hello. My name is Sam Dumpty, standing in for Robert T. Irwin II, who was to conduct this interview but who recently fell victim to an unforseen and somewhat tragic accident (I had nothing to do with it!). I recently visited the Sichuan province of China on March 30, 2014. Upon arrival I was instructed to meet the Panda at the local Starbucks. Starbucks, I asked? I was told that Pandas love Starbucks coffee and that no interview would be granted unless this particular condition was met. Once I got to my destination I ordered the usual: tall, black. No Panda. I had heard that they were notoriously late. Indeed, every attempt to arrange an interview to date has resulted in a Giant Panda no-show. I had no reason to believe that this time would be any different. Just as I'm gulping down my last swig of joe I notice a commotion at the door. A rather large man in an Elvis suit enters with an entourage - no wait! That's no Elvis impersonator! I'd know that round face and those fuzzy ears anywhere. It was my Panda alright. They brought him to my table and he took a seat across from mine. The tension and excitement were palpable! He orders an extra tall latte. What follows is the actual text of the first and only conversation to date with a live Panda.
"Good morning, Mr. Panda sir. I'm Sam Dumpty from National Geoplastic magazine. Thank you for keeping our appointment."
"No problem dude, and please, call me J.T."
"Uh, sure. So it's J.T. Panda?"
"Well J.T., the world is eager to get to know you. I have a few questions, if you don't mind."
"Don't ask. Long story. Let's just say my PR guy has a twisted sense of humor."
"Tell me J.T., what's it like being a Panda?"
"Well, let me tell ya, it's a jungle out there - Ha! I always wanted to say that. Can I get a BOOYAH! (crowd responds with a loud BOOYAH)"
"Okaaay. Next question. Why do they call you a 'Giant' Panda?"
"Do you really want to go there, Sammy?" Can I call you Sammy?
"I see. Many are curious, why do Pandas have such over-sized heads?"
"What over-sized head?"
(awkward silence #2)
(Panda scratches himself - resulting in extended awkward silence #2)
"Sorry dude, old habit. Picked it up watching too much MLB. Here's a little known fact - Panda's love ESPN!"
"Is that so? Who knew? Here's something that you might find interesting about humanity. Recently, research has
begun on converting Panda dung into bio-fuel. Any comments?"
(awkward silence #3 - then...)
"Humans are odd creatures aren't they? However, I can provide a rather large sample now if you require ..."
"No, no, that's okay."
"Are we done here? I got a bamboo tree that's calling my name."
"Just one more question J.T.. Can you tell me what an average day for a Panda is like?"
"Oh, you know, eat, poop, watch ESPN, sleep. Next day - eat, poop, watch ESPN, sleep. Next day...
"Uh, thanks, thanks, we get the message. Well hey J.T. it was nice meeting you. Give my regards to the community, will ya?"
"No problem Sammy. By the way, anyone ever tell you that you resemble an egg? Never mind. (Off the record. Can we edit my last comment? I wouldn't want your readers to think we're all baseball junkies.
Not that there's anything wrong with that...)"
* interview edited for content