We’ve reached the end of our silly Summer in the City interviews!
The final instalment of Infrequently Asked Questions features Roly, YouTube’s non-binary body-mod babe. They reminisced about encounters with other people’s mums, revealed the secret abilities of ravens, and came up with an evil masterplan to pierce the corpses of the human race.
And yet the weirdest bit of the whole conversation came from a member of the TenEighty crew. When we tried to ask Roly the now-traditional trapped-in-a-toilet question, one of our team casually revealed that he leaves his house to find a public loo whenever he needs a poo because – and we quote – “I don’t want to have that in my house, in my nice toilet”. Basically, this whole interview series has been a waste of time – it turns out nobody on YouTube is anywhere near as strange as we are.
So please enjoy this comparatively ordinary chat with Roly. It’s not poogate-level weird (we’re calling it poogate now btw, it’s totally a thing), but it does have Girls Aloud, angry grandparents, and an alien invasion.
Hi Roly. What do you think when you look at trees?
ROLY: “Kind of ‘eww’. I mean, I like a tree, but… They’re there. ‘Thanks, you can stay away from me.’ The thing is, I’m from the countryside, so being near trees was like, you sit down and you get a load of ants on you. I like a Venus flytrap – they can get rid of the bugs. I quite like those ones – I don’t know what they’re called – that have the juice that’s in the centre, and flies go in and dissolve in the weird acid that’s inside?”
Pitcher plants? Is that what they’re called?
ROLY: “Maybe. I saw another one this morning, actually. I was watching a video of Venus flytraps eating things, and there was this one long plant that had little strands on it that had goo on the end, and when something would hit it, it would wrap it up. It was amazing. I was like, ‘Nature’s incredible!’”
If you were a Bond villain, what would your plan be?
ROLY: “I’ve never watched James Bond in my life, I don’t know.”
Same. But it’s a baddie with some kind of evil scheme, right? What would yours be?
ROLY: “Well I’d probably pierce everyone. Might as well make it about me! [laughs] How would I do it? I don’t know. I’d probably take over the airwaves in some way, and pretend that some alien race is coming in that’s going to kill everyone, and make mass panic. And then they kill each other, because they think everyone’s going to [die anyway]. And then pierce their corpses. I’m going on a completely different track than I first thought!”
If the human race ran out of conventional food, but discovered a way of transforming YouTube content into edible pellets and had to eat them in order to survive, what would your channel taste like and how nutritious would it be?
ROLY: “It would taste like metal. And there’s no nutrition. It’s just iron.”
Who’s your favourite Teletubby and why?
ROLY: “This is going to sound a bit funny, but just because you said ‘Teletubby’: they’ve made babies! That is disgusting!”
I know! The Teletubbies are supposed to be toddlers, so either they’ve somehow reproduced, which is gross, or somebody has left them in charge of some random babies, which is negligence.
ROLY (fuming): “It just weirds me out! I don’t understand how they can—! [sighs] Po. I’m very much like Po. I was the youngest of the family, so…”
Girls Aloud once sang, “I can’t speak French, so I’ll let the funky music do the talking”. Can you speak French, and have you ever let the funky music do the talking?
ROLY: “Bonjour, and no – I’m too much of a control freak to let anyone else do it.”
You can have any animal you like as a new pet, on the condition that it’s dressed up as a different animal. What do you choose, and what is it dressed as?
ROLY: “This is maybe not very original, but I’d dress up a cat like a lion. That would be fun – this cute little roary bitch just running around the house.”
Do you get on well with other people’s mums?
ROLY: “Do you know, actually, I have met so many today it has been unreal. And I have been like, ‘COME HERE, GIVE US A HUG’, and they’re always a bit like ‘Wow, you’re intense’, and ‘Why is my child watching you?’ But, you know, it’s fun.”
What’s the best interaction you’ve ever had with someone else’s mum?
ROLY: “At DragWorld last year, I had a mother come up to me and said, ‘I really want to rub your head’. Normally I’d say no, because it’s gross, but I was like, ‘Go for it’. I can’t remember her name, but her child was called Angel – I remember that.”
And what’s the worst interaction you’ve ever had with someone else’s mum?
ROLY: “I don’t think I ever have had a ‘worst interaction’. Everything’s been good. I mean, I get the funny looks sometimes – like, ‘Okay, my child watches some weird people!’ – but… Oh, my best friend’s mum hated me when I was a kid. But then, my grandparents hated them. It was almost like Romeo and Juliet, just without the sex and death.”
What did your teachers say about you at parents’ evenings?
ROLY: “‘Shut up’, basically. ‘Stop talking’. I was easily distracted. It was ‘Pay attention more’.”
What’s your least favourite episode of your most favourite TV show?
ROLY: “Oh god, that fucking Lady Gaga episode of The Simpsons. That was the worst thing ever. Like, [retches]. It was just shit. ‘Let’s just have a star in this episode!’ Shut up. It was awful. It was awful. I love The Simpsons – I still love them – and that was the worst thing they could ever do. Ludicrous. No. Just no.”
What are birds?
ROLY: “Squawky little things. I mean, I like parrots. They’re nice. They talk. Ravens talk, too – did you know that? They can learn how to talk – can literally talk like parrots – but people don’t give them a chance because they’re kind of gross. I watched videos about it on YouTube. It just came up – you know when you go on little tangents sometimes, and you see cat videos and stuff? There was one about talking birds, and there was just this raven literally talking. I was like, ‘Wow’.”
Finally, what’s your second favourite vegetable and why?
ROLY: “Second favourite? Broccoli. Because I kind of like the way it looks.”
Like a little tree?
But you said—
ROLY: “The thing is, I don’t really like trees so much, but do you know the bonsai trees that are kind of wincy? They remind me of that, and I used to like them when I was a child. I had a weird sort of fascination with them. And now I’d eat them.”
Photos by Emma Pamplin.
Visit our Summer in the City section for all our coverage, or check out the previous instalments of Infrequently Asked Questions:
- Riyadh Khalaf: “I am obsessed with trees”
- Dean Dobbs: “Cry into a flannel and smell your tears”
- Jon Cozart: “Teletubbies seemed almost sacrilegious”
- Elle Mills: “I thought humping made babies”
- Ricky Dillon: “Banish onions from everything”
- The Midnight Beast: “Mummy wants a cuddle”
That’s all for this series for now, but if you’d like to see more of these interviews in the future, tweet us and let us know!
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