PW: In The Prince, our narrator and his pal Brian dispense phrase upon colorful phrase, one of which is—“Does a shark have a watertight asshole?” What’s the geographic range of that gem?
SG: Okay, the geographic range of the shark asshole line… I’m not sure what you mean, exactly. The shark’s geography? Because, I mean, those things never stop swimming, right? Or do you mean how far the line traveled before it got to me? That one I can answer.
See, that line is, of course, first cousins with the whole family of captain-obvious-affirmations like: Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Or, does a fat baby fart? This particular line is, I think, a play on the traditional “Does a frog have a watertight ass?”
The fact of the matter is, this particular line hails from South Georgia because I stole it from my friend, Stephen P. Parrott, who is from Hahira, Georgia. We roomed together for a couple of years in college, and he arrived at school his freshman year loaded with lines like that. But he was a biology major with no plans to be a writer, so I felt it was my duty to follow him around and steal all the good stuff he said. Which has, this many years later, led me to the conclusion that I am a mediocre writer but one helluva thief.