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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Q&A: Hey, brother, learn to hold your water

Every few years, brothers Jess and Ralph Walter hit the road to cover their alma mater, Eastern Washington University, in various sporting events for The Spokesman-Review.

In December, they missed out on another adventure after their beloved Eagles football team lost to Sam Houston State in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs.

So Ralph, the S-R’s deputy design director, volunteered to interview Jess about his upcoming short story collection, “We Live in Water.”

Ralph: So you think you’re pretty cool.

Jess: Um. That’s not a question, Ralph.

Ralph: Do. You. Think. You’re. Pretty. Cool?

Jess: I’m not gonna answer that –

Ralph: So how many books have you written?

Jess: This is my eighth.

Ralph: Don’t you think that’s enough?

Jess: What –

Ralph: What do you think you’re compensating for?

Jess: Look, I don’t –

Ralph: How tall are you?

Jess: Look, can we please talk about my story collection?

Ralph: Yeah, I’ll ask the questions, thanks. So these are, what, short stories?

Jess: Yes.

Ralph: Uh-huh. Did you start writing short stories because people were getting so bored with the longer stuff?

Jess: No! Look –

Ralph: My favorite story is the one about how you wet your pants during a sixth-grade chess tournament.

Jess: What?

Ralph: Is that why the collection is called “We Live in Water?” Because that’s funny!

Jess: Ralph, you know there isn’t a story about me wetting my pants in the collection.

Ralph: Oh. Right. I’m remembering something that really happened.

Jess: What are you doing –

Ralph: Yeah, see, while you’re living in your little la-la fantasy land, making up your “stories” and writing your “fictions,” the rest of us are slaving away in a little thing we like to call “reality.” You should come visit sometime.

Jess: This is insane.

Ralph: But you did wet your pants in sixth grade, didn’t you?

Jess: I don’t see how that’s –

Ralph: Tell the truth.

Jess: This is –

Ralph: Tell the truth.

Jess: I –

Ralph: Tell the truth.

Jess: Yeah! I did! OK? I wet my pants in sixth grade! But I would get nervous sometimes and –

Ralph: Yeah, no one cares. Not everything is always about you, OK?

Jess: Yeah. I’m done with this.

Ralph: OK. Good talk.

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