That Guy: Chris Edwards
February 23, 2007
Clutched by the perpetual fear of straightforward social interaction, you have probably found yourself staring at someone whose appearance or demeanor is downright arresting, wishing desperately for guts or a “get out of propriety free” card because you know the conversation would just be so interesting. Just about anyone who knows Chris Edwards could attest that his hand-drawn T-shirt, vintage cardigans and signature ’stache are mere accoutrements to a personality that would make any awkward icebreaker worth the interaction. I personally laughed so hard I almost couldn’t do the interview. Fortunately, I persevered, and here That Guy muses on muskrats and the PC term for “pinheads.”
p. **Where do you get your clothes? Do you make them yourself?**
p. Well, all shirts with marker drawings on them are ones I made myself. I go thrifting a lot. I have been twice, by the same lady at the thrift store, been called a drag queen. I’ll buy a sweater or cardigan in the ladies section and I think I didn’t even buy it once, I was just looking at it, and she said something, like “On Maury there are these drag queens …” while looking at me. I was like
p. “It’s a men’s sweater that just happens to be in the ladies section!”
p. So we’re friends. Kitty, I call her.
p. **Have you always been a funny man?**
p. I don’t really know. I [was] when I was eight. I won third place in Lemonade in the Shade, which is a local contest for children in Newtown, Iowa [my hometown]. I was going to do puppets, but the puppets didn’t work out, so I told jokes instead, and I won third place. I got beaten by a Chinese girl playing the violin and a cowboy playing the banjo.
p. **Did you do anything comedic in high school?**
p. Yeah, I was in a sketch comedy group called Graffiti. We were terrible. We had a girl in the group who we let in because she was crazy. Like one week we were filming and she ran away with her friend who was addicted to prescription pills. Everyone said she ran away to France because she was really into “Phantom of the Opera.” I don’t know what that has to do with anything. She actually ran away to northeastern Iowa. She was still pretty crazy when she got back.
p. **Why were you in Europe this summer?**
p. I studied abroad in Prague over the summer. It was pretty awesome. I bought an airplane hat, and a taxidermied muskrat, and I met an adorable street urchin. She was actually really old. We were friends; she always asked for cigarettes, and I never had any. That was our thing.
p. **How did you meet?**
p. We were going home at 4 in the morning and she came up and asked for cigarettes outside of a store. We still e-mail.
No, those people don’t have computers. She spends her money on drugs. We actually only met once, but I think about her all the time. She was pretty important to me.
p. **You’re a senior. What are you doing when you graduate?**
p. Well, my modeling is really starting to take off, so I’ll probably go to Milan for a couple of years. But if that doesn’t work out, I’m probably going to go to the Kansas City Art Institute for a year to do my post-baccalaureate stuff before graduate school. I’m a Studio Art major. I do ceramics primarily.
p. **What are the fruits of your studies? Do you have a room full of jars somewhere?**
p. No, I do more sculptural ceramics. My mom has a room — my old room and now the quilting room, but the room that I stay in when I go home is full of my stuff.
p. Right now I’m doing a series of circus freaks. That’s pretty exciting. They’re in miniature. One is a Siamese salt-and-pepper shaker; the salt shakes out of one shoulder and pepper shakes out of the other. I want to do pinheads. I don’t know if that’s the right word anymore.
p. **Any special memories about 7th Grade Sketch Comedy you’d like to share?**
p. The greatest thing that happened during a show ever was in “Applebee’s the Musical” — that real crowd pleasa. Shaun was at the part where he slides triumphantly across the stage on his knees. He slid right off the stage. I think someone in the group actually peed their pants laughing.
p. **So how has senior year been treating you?**
p. My turtle died this year. Large Marge. She was a terrapin, about the size of a hamburger. I’d had her for six years or something, and I just found her dead one day. We buried her at Lake Mataoka — we just put her in the lake — and we had a reception at Nawab. Actually we just ate at Nawab for lunch.
p. **Any last thoughts? About your person? Or your time at William and Mary? Or pinheads?**
p. I really don’t think that’s the appropriate term for it. What is it? Oh, microcephaly.