9. Readers with a psychological bent have interpreted your wife’s fate as a symbol of her tears and paralysis over a dysfunctional marriage, her husband’s affections supplanted by the beautiful daughters:
Right. And Hamlet had an Oedipal thing for his mom. We have much to appreciate from modern psychoanalysis, but, you know, when they get into literary territory, well... (Note: Again, the bemused shrug is preferred, nothing defensive.)
10. About survivors’ guilt over the complete annihilation of family, friends and neighbors in Sodom -- while, due to Abraham’s weight with God, you were spared:
(Note: We know you’re sick of this question, Lot, but please resist the temptation to roll your eyes and groan. Rather, aim for somber humility, grateful to the well-connected uncle, lighthearted about God with whom you share a calm, congenial, gym-buddy kind of rapport. And if it seems natural, you might even pause thoughtfully and glance -- don’t wink!-- at the ceiling. Okay here to use your firstborn and favorite daughter who died in the flames as a detour from wife-mourning and the seduction controversy; that is, if we can balance it with the tricky terrain of “aging’ you as the father of an adult woman. Can you think of a female-friendly anecdote from the incinerated daughter’s childhood? A cherished personality trait, preferably underappreciated in women, that your female listeners can see in themselves? Trust us, they will handle the subconscious equation from there.)
11. Does it bug that you were passed over for an inheritance and got stuck with a pair of barren, filthy, sin-soaked cities while Abraham got both The Covenant and the Heights of Hebron?
Jealousy has never been an issue, if that’s what you mean. I’m a humble man, but strong; more arty than materialist. (Note: If you can’t skip the territorial dispute with Abraham, at least present it as a conflict between your respective shepherds -- not “slaves.” Stress friendly parting. You could also turn this question into an opportunity to talk about the nourishing solitude of the desert, your soul-centering ritual of wandering the untamed earth, etc. Americans still love a maverick who is understated, but flouts convention, walks alone, etc. Good to imply a mysterious -- rather than mundane -- private life.)
12. Some scholars posit that the cave events were just religious propaganda to help create a national enemy and validate Jewish hostility toward the tribes founded by the grandsons born of your union with your two daughters:
It’s always disconcerting to be told that one’s life is a complete fiction. Even so, you might give some thought as to why my family story is so utterly captivating, more than three thousand years after the events were recorded. I would suggest a look at the metaphorical value -- the land grab, the forbidden territory, the notion of entitlement, the parallel constructs of parent-child and divine-human relations, destiny v. free will, election v. morality, etc. Also, could you be interviewing me right now on your show if I didn’t exist? (Note: Here is where your philosophical volubility can actually be an advantage, Lot. One smiling existential reply like that and the interviewer will flee the topic, we guarantee!)
Special considerations for the daytime-tv audience:
The following suggestions, Lot, are based on focus-group feedback about past media appearances:
A. Keep 70s retro, neck chain, chest-toupee, etc.
B. We need you to mourn the woman that was; not the marriage that wasn’t. Quoting your departed wife’s complaints -- “You always side with our girls/walk ahead of me/make me carry the water jug” -- is contraindicated.
C. If asked directly about your grandsons, tell a schmaltzy story about teaching them how to pitch a tent or use a slingshot. Don’t get into nation-building, homeland security, etc. Geopolitics too contrasty with lover-image.
D. You are the interviewee; do not ask your interviewer any serious questions. (“Orpah” is still angry that you messed up her name and inquired about her Philistine ancestral ties to Goliath.)
E. Be sensitive to your contemporary, multiculti audience: “interfaith community” and “religiously diverse population,” not “idol-worshippers.”
F. Play up the quest to multiply (you’ve really got to have a woman), but don’t refer to descendants as your “seed.” (Women hate this.)
G. Most important: Delete “back in my day...” from your public-appearance vocabulary. Retain the patina of antiquity but avoid references to anything that draws attention to your chronological age: King-James diction, radiometric carbon-dating, foreskins won in battle, etc. Rather, capitalize on your timelessness and universality, your status as both faulty hero and exalted mortal, recruited by an anonymous scribe to insure that mere humanity, in all its senses, would endure.
Silver Talent, Inc.