ACTUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH ROBERTA, NINE YEARS OLD

by Alex Rose

[McSweeney's Internet Tendency, June 2002]

R: Alex.

A: Yes, Roberta?

R: Alex.

A: What?

R: Do you like gum.

A: Yes, I like gum.

R: Do you think it’s yummy.

A: Yes.

R: Do you live here.

A: No.

R: Is this your house.

A: No, I live in Boston.

R: Do you live in Boston.

A: Yes.

R: Who’s house is this.

A: My mom’s.

R: Is this your mom’s house.

A: Yes.

R: Did you come here for dinner.

A: Yes, just as you and your parents did.

R: Alex…

A: Yes?

R: Did…umm…Alex?

A: What.

R: Did you think it was yummy.

A: Yes, did you?

R: Yes. Do you like goats.

A: Goats?

R: Do goats like gum.

A: I don’t know.

R: Alex.

A: What?

R: We keep gum in our house.

A: –

R: Do you like ratatoil.

A: You mean ratatouille?

R: No. Ratatoil.

A: Never tried it.

R: Never.

A: No.

R: Not in your whole life.

A: No.

R: –

A: –

R: Will you come to my house.

A: Sometime, perhaps.

R: We have lipstick.

A: Uh-huh.

R: And gum.