WHIM EXCLUSIVE: J.D. Salinger, the Final Interview

Three years ago, reclusive author J.D. Salinger approached us to offer his first interview since 1980. The interview was contingent upon two things: 1. We start a humor magazine in the winter of ’09. 2. We wait to release the interview until after he dies. Salinger died yesterday at age 91. He met us in 2006 at a coffee shop in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Whim: So. How’ve you been?

J.D. Salinger: In all honesty, I’ve been great.

W: Really?

JDS: Yes. I get up every day at 6, go for a run, and come back to my desk and write for a few hours. Sometimes until sundown if I get carried away.

W: You’ve been writing all this time?

JDS: Uh-huh.

W: But you haven’t published anything for 40 years.

JDS: Actually … that’s not true. Tell me: are you familiar with Harry Potter?

W: Sure. Are you telling me …?

JDS: Yep. I wrote the second one, Chamber of Secrets. Come to think of it, I wrote all of the books after that.

W: What?

JDS: Yep. You honestly think that phony Jo Rowling knew how to string a sentence together?

W: Ha, wow.

JDS: You seem shocked.

W: It’s a pretty stunning revelation. Like finding out Harper Lee wrote Twilight.

JDS: That was me, too.

W: You wrote Twilight?!

JDS: Just the book, not the film. Let’s just say that this Pattinson fellow is not how I pictured Edward. Ok?

W: Wow. Ok. What else… have you been working on anything original during this time?

JDS: Oh, sure, sure. But honestly, the contract work really piles up.

W: Contract work?

JDS: NBC, ABC, Sony Universal. Hell, why do you think it takes so long between seasons of Lost?

W: You write for Lost?

JDS: Write for Lost? I created Lost. Hey, that smoke monster was quite the twist, wasn’t it?

W: Oh, come on. I suppose you also wrote Seinfeld, Encyclopedia Brown, and The Godfather Trilogy, too.

JDS: Encyclopedia Brown was originally going to be a member of the Glass family. Their know-it-all cousin Ralphie. As for Seinfeld, technically, I was a just supervising producer, though I’d do punch up from time to time. Pynchon actually wrote most of the episodes.

W: You might as well claim “Hey Ya” while you’re at it.

JDS: Ah, right. I made great use of simile on that one.

W: I don’t believe any of this. How do I even know you’re really J.D. Salinger?

JDS: Of course I am.

W: Prove it.

JDS (fishing in his pockets for ID): Uh … phony. Um … bananafish.

W: Shouting your catchphrases isn’t going to work.

JDS (sighing): You know, this is why I don’t do this kind of thing. I feel sorry as hell for people like you.

[With a poof, J.D. Salinger disappears into a cloud of smoke.]