LARRY KING: Today we’ll be talking live with worldwide pop music sensations, The Compson Brothers! Let’s jump right in, boys. A few years ago you were living at home in Yokpana… in Yakanap… in rural Mississippi. Today you’ve gone platinum in over a dozen countries. How did this all come about, Quentin?
QUENTIN: Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames.
LARRY KING: You’re referring to the chorus of your breakout hit “Year 1909: It Was I, Father.” You wrote the lyrics after a family “tragedy” of sorts?
QUENTIN: When she said I’m sick you’ll have to promise shot his voice through the floor of her room I said Father I said it was I Father said when we come to realize tragedy is second hand.
LARRY KING: I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to repeat that.
QUENTIN: (Removes watch, places face down on table_.) Man the sum of his climatic experiences. Stalemate of dust and desire. (_Pauses, broods.) Philoprogenitive!
JASON: Goddamn it Quentin, will you cut that shit out already? Talks like he thinks he’s some kinda Harvard philosopher. Ain’t no secret he wrote the song about our slut of a sister.
LARRY KING: I was just going to mention Candace—the “Bonus Compson” as she’s popularly known. I understand you call her “Caddy?”
(BENJY moans. Rubs soiled slipper hard against cheek.)
JASON: Stop your goddamn bellowing, Ben. That one belongs in Jackson, you ask me. And don’t call her Cad… don’t say that name in front of him.
LARRY KING: Sounds like you don’t agree with the “bonus” label, Jason?
JASON: Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say.
LARRY KING: And your family considers the incident with Candace—we might as well say it, the unplanned pregnancy—a tragedy because…?
JASON: You said we weren’t gonna talk about the purity rings deal.
LARRY KING: Well, but you have to admit, in this day and age the whole virginity thing seems a bit old-fashioned…
QUENTIN: Did you ever have a sister Larry? Did you? Did you?
LARRY KING: I didn’t mean to suggest… I’m just wondering if it’ll be hard for you boys to, you know. Maintain?
JASON: Ain’t gonna be hard for him. (Camera spots BENJY, who rocks, moans, drools on slipper.) It’s our mother’s goddamn sense of family honor. She always said I was the only Bascomb in the bunch. Rest of ’em’s all father’s side, straight up Compson.
LARRY KING: Let’s talk about your father. I’ve met him, wonderful man. I understand he’s played a pivotal role in shaping your religious faith?
QUENTIN: Like Father said down the long and lonely lightrays you might see Jesus walking, like. That Christ was not crucified he was worn away by a minute clicking of little wheels.
LARRY KING: I have no idea what you just said.
QUENTIN: The good Saint Francis that said Little Sister Death. That never had a sister.
LARRY KING: Um. Jason, is it true you broke up with your girlfriend during a 27-second phone call?
JASON: I told her never call me on the telephone. I didn’t mind her writing to me now and then in a plain envelope but I said if she ever took a notion to call me on the telephone she’d best count to ten before she did it.
LARRY KING: And now she’s written a song about the breakup.
JASON: Never promised her anything. I never promise a woman anything nor let her know what I’m going to give her. Only way to manage them.
LARRY KING: Allegedly she’s heartbroken, Jason.
JASON: Damn good riddance, what I say.
LARRY KING: Benjamin, let’s talk to you for a moment. You had a health scare that landed you in the hospital. Afterward, you wrote a song about it—“Wish I’d had Them a Little Bit Longer.” Can you tell us about that experience?
(BENJY emits high-pitched moan, licks slipper.)
JASON: I don’t reckon he knows WHAT they done to him, Larry.
LARRY KING: What is the deal with the slipper?
JASON: Got a thing about smells. We all do. Smell of gasoline makes my head feel like a goddamn explosion.
QUENTIN: Honeysuckle is the saddest odor of all.
LARRY KING: Let’s talk about what the three of you do when you’re not working. Any hobbies?
JASON: Golf. Had plans to build our own course, till Father sold a certain pasture. Gotta carry our own goddamn bags if Ben comes along.
LARRY: You boys have made a hell of a lot of money. How do you manage it?
JASON: I got mine in stocks. And damn if I believe anybody knows anything about that damn thing except the ones that sit back in those New York offices and watch the country suckers come up and beg them to take their money.
QUENTIN: Tell Herbert to hell with his money!
LARRY KING: Who’s Herbert?
JASON: Don’t even go there, man.
LARRY KING: The music industry isn’t exactly the world’s most secure career choice. What are your plans for the future?
QUENTIN: Future? What time is it?
LARRY KING: What time is it? I guess it’s about a quarter pa—
QUENTIN: Reducto absurdum! (Starts smashing watch with fist_.) Masoleum of all hope and desire! (_Stands; bends over, removes bulging paper bag from beneath chair. Exits. BENJY follows, shuffling, slipper now stuffed entirely into mouth.)
LARRY KING: What’s he got in that bag?
JASON: Hell if I know. Something to do with getting his shoes fixed.
LARRY KING: I’m not sure I understood a single thing that just happened here.
JASON: We get that a lot.
LARRY KING: Off the record, I have no idea what all the Compson Brothers hype is about.
JASON: Goddamn bunch of sound and fury, you ask me.