The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #38: Alana Noël Voth in Conversation with Her Best Friend, Judy Salamon

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I’ve known Judy Salamon two years. We work together, and she’s one of the main reasons I enjoy my job. Judy tells the best stories. She’s also a kind and accepting person. After meeting her the first time my son said, “A lot of people pretend to be nice. Judy doesn’t. She’s actually nice.”

Hey, kids know.

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Alana: You’re the nicest person I know. Who’s the nicest person you know and why?

Judy: My friend Adrienne R. is probably the nicest person I know. (Present company excluded). I’ve known her since I was sixteen; she taught me how to drive and I taught her how to toke a joint. (Can I say that?)

Alana: You have two dogs, Molly and Murphy. When are dogs nicer than people?

Judy: Dogs are nicer than people every day. I went through a difficult time with my then thirteen-year old daughter. She was mean, destructive, and in a bad place. I use to take my Labrador Allie on really long walks. Allie smiled every day, all day, and never complained about anything.

Alana: You once ran into Robert De Niro. What was that like?

Judy: I was an extra on a movie and during a “party scene” I was suppose to pass by him… shoulder to shoulder. We had to retake the scene about ten times and each time we bumped shoulders he said “Excuse me.”

Alana: Some say nice guys finish last. Name a nice guy who didn’t finish last.

Judy: My brother Dave. Really nice guy.

Alana: You’re in the insurance business. What’s the biggest misconception people have about folks in the insurance business?

Judy: That I am the insurance company.

Alana: Is it true Bradley Cooper likes your smile?

Judy: There is a rumor that he said that…

Alana: You used to be in the movies. Is the movie business naughty or nice or both?

Judy: Totally naughty. If you have big tits you’ll get noticed.

Alana: How many times a day do you say, “I love this song,” when we listen to the Bridge on Satellite Radio? What is your favorite song?

Judy: Well, I probably say “I love this song” about six times an hour. My favorite song is “Put the Lime in the Coconut.” LOVE THAT SONG!!!

Alana: What was your favorite song when you were thirteen?

Judy: Totally it was Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

Alana: Why are so few people nice anymore?

Judy: It’s easier to be mean and grumpy. Just like it’s easier to believe bad things about yourself rather than good things. If you believe bad about yourself, then you believe everyone else is bad too. And if their bad, why be nice to them, they won’t be nice to you. Negativity breeds negativity. Each one of us must stop the cycle. One thing at a time, once a day. The next time you go through a toll booth and pay $1, give an extra $1 for the car behind you. You may never know how wonderful the recipient feels. However, I guarantee it will make you smile.


Alana Noel Voth's work has recently appeared in The Lit Pub, Specter Magazine, Dream Lover, Bluestem, Best of Best Gay Erotica, volume 3, and The Used Furniture Review. The editors at Bluestem recently nominated her story, "Boxy Temples," for a Pushcart Prize, and her story collection, Fall, is due out in 2012 from Tiny Hardcore Press. More from this author →