Mark Twain Interviews Ben Franklin
December 21, 2010
Thanks to Mr. Ben Pfeiffer, managing editor of Beecher's Magazine, for making this interview possible.
I have read almost half a page of Ben and Me and what I want to know is if this tiny mouse of yours wore tiny people clothes or regular mouse clothes?
Mouse fashions change often and drastically; to this end, Amos's wardrobe consisted of doll clothes sewn together by my son, William, a strange boy who later became Governor of New Jersey. It is rarely understood in the Colonies that William's political ruin stems directly from his questionable sartorial career. My son was arrested in adulthood for using turtles shells in the fashion of carrier pigeons to transmit loyalist propaganda. Also, in his book, Amos exaggerates my friendship toward him considerably.
You have gone by the appellation Poor Richard, I have gone by Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, are there any appellations that you have used in the past that you would consider revealing in this forum? ( I have also been P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill Cody and Ruby Tuesday.)
My first Editorial was published under the name Silence Dogood, and I published for years as Richard Saunders, a.k.a. Poor Richard, but since then I have kept many pseudonyms, including Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Buffett, and Kevin Bray. Under this last name, I directed All About the Benjamins (2002) starring Ice Cube.
Your greatest invention? Your most democratic invention? Are inventions democratic?
After three hundred years, the only Invention I have never revealed to the public is a system for anti-counterfeit plates used by the treasury for printing legal tender. The unique patterns of sun-dried leaves made copying Ben Franklin money quite impossible; unfortunately, of course, such monies were devalued by the global recession, and are now quite worthless. All other Inventions I distributed for free, for such is the life of a gentleman philanthropist.
Here's a few inventions I have been thinking about; tell me if you think they are useless: try-focals: a place where people try on other people's glasses, bucket library: a library full of buckets you can check out.
Among my lesser known inventions, you will find a simplified alphabet, and also a rule for capitalizing nouns; many times I failed at inventing with ideas hardly more odd than yours. Never give up the dream, Sam, of becoming a famous Inventor.
I have a kite, your thoughts?
Go and fly it in a lightning storm and, please, Sam, let me know the outcome of your experiment. I will in turn dispatch a letter to the funeral-home explaining that Saturday services no longer work for my schedule.
If you want to read Mark Twain click here.
If you want to learn about Benjamin Franklin click here.
You can learn more about Ben Pfeiffer here.