In our previous interview, Scrooge McDuck drew an outrageous conclusion from the Bernard Madoff scandal. To his
twisted highly original way of thinking, the affair suggests that G-d is a supremely talented creator of page-turner narratives in the manner of Danielle Steele or, most especially, Mario Puzo. I asked McDuck to elaborate.
MS: I gather you hold Mario Puzo in very high regard.
Scrooge McDuck: Yes indeed. Not only in his writings, but in certain aspects of his life as well. For example, when Bruce Jay Friedman suggested that the novelist James Salter start joining Friedman, Puzo, and Joseph Heller for breakfast, Puzo vetoed the suggestion on grounds that Salter was "too good a writer." I don't think this was entirely a joke. Puzo meant that Salter had not yet understood the commercial element in G-d's fiction, or non-fiction if you prefer. But we can clearly see that popular element in the Madoff story. It makes "Bonfire of the Vanities" look like a Sunday school picnic!
MS: So G-d doesn't listen to NPR?
Scrooge McDuck: He listens to it, but only as an aspect of his creative development. And we need to follow this divine example. If we are to be wise, we need to learn from everyone and everything. That's what the Talmud says. I remember once I was listening to NPR in my car. The reporter was talking about Scooter Libby, whose real name is Lewis Libby. So she finished the report about Lewis Libby, and then in closing she identified herself as Libby Lewis. Just very nonchalantly she said, "That concludes our profile of Lewis Libby. I'm Libby Lewis." Do you think that happened by accident? I nearly crashed my car! I burst into tears and shouted a quotation from the Book of Job: "Though He slay me, yet I will honor Him!"
MS: You're actually a very emotional person.
Scrooge McDuck: A very emotional duck. Rich, too.