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I’ll answer your questions, certainly. But I’m going to answer them in the manner that I see fit.

1.) Yes, I’m still alive. I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but would I be able to give this interview if things had ended differently?

2.) No, I’m not going to tell you who I really am. I used a pseudonym on the plane for that very reason.

3.) I love the internet. Just because I’m old doesn’t mean that I can’t use newer technology. The joys of anonymity are numerous. Besides, I responded to your message board post requesting an interview, didn’t I?

4.) Yes, the bills I was given were marked. You think I didn’t expect that? You’d be surprised at how easy it was to get overseas under yet another pseudonym, exchange the marked cash, and move on back in ’71. A few similar swaps with the right contacts, and I was a free (and very wealthy) man. Marked bills serve as one thing. A paper trail. If you know you’re leaving one, it’s easy enough to set a false path. Hell, I started one before I even left the states. $5,800 in marked bills served as a perfect distraction. Took their time finding those, though, didn’t they?

5.) The briefcase didn’t have a real bomb. Again, I’m not that stupid. Even with security standards as they were in the seventies, I wasn’t about to try to take a real bomb onto a plane. I wanted to get money, not hurt people. That stewardess actually gave a surprisingly accurate description, what with the “red cylinders” and whatnot. Good on her. She stayed pretty damn calm the whole time, too. I wonder what ever happened to her. Quite a gal. Shame I couldn’t have let her in on the whole thing, but too many loose ends get real damn complicated real quick. I’d have at least donated a few grand to get her out of the stewardess business, maybe help her get an education or something.

6.) I’m well aware that they’re still looking for me. It’s funny, honestly. Some people had been making me out to be some sort of Robin Hood. What bullshit that was. It was never for anyone’s benefit other than mine, though like I said, I wouldn’t have said no to tossing a stack of cash to that stewardess.

7.) If I’d known how things were going to go, I might have gone about it a bit differently. Picked a different night, tried to find a better route out. I did bang up my leg pretty badly when I landed, but it was nothing I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t plan to get caught, though, and I didn’t, so that’s pretty good overall.

8.) I suppose that someday I might let a memoir get published, let the feds know how I managed to dodge them for decades, but it’ll be a posthumous thing.  Oh well. I’m not anywhere they’re going to be finding me any time soon. Hell, by the time they realize where I really am, I’ll be dead and the money will be so far beyond their reach that it isn’t even funny.

9.) It seemed like a good idea at the time. Certainly caught the nation’s interest, didn’t it? Big media frenzy over the crazy hijacker, “Oh, he stole so much, how will we ever catch him?” Hmph. I was tired of regular life, see? I thought, as you kids would put it, that I needed to go big or go home.

10.) No, we can’t meet in person. Quite frankly, I’m tired of answering your questions now, so I’m going to go.


The Real Mr. Cooper

Time to break out the ironing board, ladies and gents, it’s my second job interview in the course of a week.

Under normal circumstances, this would be my first of two days off, but instead, I’m going to be going to interview for a forty hour a week job, that holy grail that we’re taught as children that we must achieve in order to be a real adult. This is a big deal, not because it would give me that immense psychological validation and approval from my parents (though it would do both of those things, I suppose), but because it would be something more than the part-time jobs I’ve been working for the last couple of years.

Now I’m in the process of preparing for one of the biggest job interviews of my career to date, and I’ve been given some really good advice. It’s not always quite enough to “just be yourself” in a job interview, because you still have to be the person that the company wants to hire. You have to stand out, especially when you don’t know how many people have already been interviewed before you and how many more are to come. To help me out, my girlfriend‘s mother sent me a list of the fifteen toughest interview questions that I might encounter. I’ve run into a lot of these before, and it’s really great to see some advice on handling the situations where you’re forced to think of something to say in response to “What’s your biggest weakness?” Worst question ever, by the way, aside from “How are you doing today?” Where’s my article telling me how to handle small talk? Ugh.

Anyway, as my longer-term readers are aware, I’ve been job hunting for effectively the entire time that I’ve been keeping this blog. I started The Swords of the Ancients while I was recovering from my first holiday season in corporate retail. Since then, I’ve interviewed for a LOT of different jobs, as I am always looking to expand my horizons and gain new skills and knowledge. Life gets kind of boring if you’re not learning something new, after all. I’m pretty well set in my current job, having worked here for over a year now, but it’s still only part-time. No offense to anyone, but it’s damn hard to live on a single part-time job, no matter where you are. Never mind the fact that I get a little crazy if I have too much free time. It’s a tricky balancing act. Something full-time would help me by forcing me to greater utilization of my time, and make me focus more on my writing during said free time, because it would be more precioussss. Gollum, gollum!

Ayah. See? This is what happens. I mean, yes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but some work and too much play makes Philip go crazy. I need to go put on a nice shirt and tie and go pretend to be professional for an hour. Hopefully I’ll have good news soon.