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Interview with Josh Aman

Aman, Josh
Eudy, Jamie
Date of Interview: 
Childhood adventures; Relationships with people and places; Stories and storytellers; Tolerance and respect
Josh Aman talks about his memories of the beach, birthday traditions, school, and gender roles.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Jamie Eudy interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
JE (Jamie Eudy): Narrative, take one. This is Josh Aman. Say // hi. //
JA (Josh Aman): // Hi. //
JE: And I'm Jamie.
JA: I like Burger King. [Laughter] I like McDonald's better.
JE: Let's be serious Josh, this is a serious thing.
JA: I'm serious. I do like McDonald's better. [Break in recording]
JE: What's your favorite color and why?
JA: Blue, because I've always liked it.
JE: Why?
JA: 'Cause I've never liked any other color than blue.
JE: Why?
JA: I don't have a reason, I don't have to have a reason.
JE: Josh, you have to be a good interview person, though.
JA: Well, I like blue. It's the color of water or something, and it's going to sound gay, but I like blue. Blue // is just-. //
JE: // Why do // you like water?
JA: 'Cause its fun to swim in.
JE: And?
JA: And there's fish and they live in it. And there's other creatures and stuff and it's, it's cool, and you go in the water and you can swim with them and hang out in there and it's cool and refreshing and not hot. Except at the beach on hot days when it's real hot in the water it sucks to go in the water, I hate going in the water, I'd rather go in the pool where it's cold.
JE: Tell me your favorite beach memory.
JA: Favorite beach memory?
JE: Please censor this for the tape recorder. [Laughs]
JA: Uh, I went to the beach with my friend, Neal, and there was this house and it was their house in Lynchville, and that was in South Carolina on Pawleys Island, and it was about, I was about second grade, it was the coolest house, we rode-, we rode down to the beach with this dude named Joe and it was Neal's cousin and he had-, he was a comic book collector and he owned a comic book shop, so his whole backseat of his car was full of comic books.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // And // we read so many comics-.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // -I mean, // it was crazy. And that's all we did on the way down there, we also-, it was really cool because I got to see Gremlins II, it came out that, when we were at the beach and we got to go see it.
JE: Cool.
JA: And, uh, the house that we stayed at was like, a walk from the beach and it was on the sound so, like behind, like when we came home from the beach, it wasn't like-, we couldn't do anything, we were, you know, on the sound. And there was this little deck that was on the water, the Intercoastal Waterway and we, uh, learned that there was lots of blue crabs, and we went crabbing and pulled these blue crabs in with huge claws and, we caught an eel when we went fishing and, it was really cool. And we went to the beach and then there was this really big bridge, this bridge, it was like really high. And that dude with the comic books was like, "Let's jump off of it," and I was like, "No, I'm scared," he was like, "Nah, let's do it," and I was like, "All right," and so I jumped off the bridge with him, and I was really scared to do it 'cause I was scared that the crabs were going to be getting me if I jumped in the water.
JE: Did they?
JA: Nope. And then after that-.
JE: That was your favorite beach memory?
JA: Yeah it was really fun and, I don't know, everyone got mad at me 'cause I could tan easily and they got pissed 'cause they couldn't.
JE: Neal's family's kind of pale.
JA: Yep, so, and then the like last few days, um, they bought me all these popsicles 'cause I had a tummy-ache.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // And // like, I ate so many popsicles, it was crazy.
JE: Did that help or hurt? Or hurt it? // Or-. //
JA: // They // said it would hurt it, help it, but it hurt it actually I think. Then all Neal's family came down and his dad told us all these ghost stories, and he tells this ghost story about this, this thing called the Crab Man, and he lived in the marsh, and I got real scared and, // uh-. //
JE: // [Laughs] // Peed in your bed.
JA: I didn't pee in my bed, I only got real scared, I woke up and I went into Neal's mom and dad's room, and I started, "I'm scared of the Crab Man," 'cause his dad was like, "The Crab Man's at the door and he wants to know, who the two little boys were that's been stealing his crabs out of the sound," and that was us, like, 'cause we were crabbing.
JE: Uh-huh.
JA: And I got real scared, I believed him, I was like, "Oh my God, he's at the door, he's going to be coming to get me when they go to bed, aaaaaaah," and I'm like, I went into their room and it's like, "Uhhh. Can I sleep in here?" They're like, "No, go back to bed, it's OK, we were just joking." And then there's this ghost on Pawleys Island, called the Gray Man, and he told us all about it, how's supposed to come out when there's a hurricane, there's a great big hurricane, the Gray Man will walk up and down the beach and be like, it will like, look at you, but won't say anything. And it's warning you of the, uh, the hurricane that's going to come. And, there's a story about the Gray Man, Pawleys Island and, you can walk on this girl's grave and your wedding ring's supposed to come off your, her finger or whatever, it was really kind of gay.
JE: Weird.
JA: But we went and did all that, but I never saw the Gray Man, but I've got a postcard that's got the Gray Man on it.
JE: You still have it?
JA: Yep.
JE: How many years ago was that?
JA: Second grade, and I'm a, sophomore in college now. It was a long time ago. Yep, yep.
JE: Do you like college?
JA: Yeah, I do like college.
JE: What do you like about it?
JA: I like that my parents aren't here to tell me what to do. [Long pause]
JE: You're giggling. What does that represent? What do you-, // what are you trying to hide? //
JA: // It doesn't represent anything. I'm not trying to hide anything. // ( ) [Long pause] OK?
JE: What's your favorite part of college?
JA: My favorite part of college is [pause], um, [pause] my favorite part of college is [pause], not having class all day, and being able to pick what my classes are, and having a random selection of friends, and being able to choose and pick what I want to do, not having any chores, [pause] and, I don't know [long pause]. That's uh, I don't know, the partying is fun [pause] I don't know. What else? [Pause]
JE: Do you like, do you like living in Charlotte?
JA: Charlotte is OK. It's not as cool as other cities.
JE: Like?
JA: [Sniffs] Like, Parker, Colorado. [Laughs]
JE: What's out in Parker, Colorado?
JA: I don't know, nothing really, it's just in Colorado, and Colorado is a really cool place. And Florida is cool, except there's too many old people.
JE: Huh.
JA: And gay people live there.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: There's a lot of gay people in Florida. I don't know.
JE: That's not very politically correct.
JA: I'm sorry, I'm not making fun of gay people, it's just an abundance of them in Florida, and I don't like getting hit on by gay guys.
JE: Josh, // That's not nice.
JA: // What? // I'm not mean, I'm just saying that I don't, I'd appreciate not to be hit on by gay guys.
JE: OK. I understand.
JA: Like, how'd you like to be picked up by a lesbian?
JE: It'd be OK.
JA: No it wouldn't.
JE: I'd smile at them.
JA: No way, I mean, do you like it?
JE: I do like it. // I like the attention. //
JA: // Why? // Why do you like it?
JE: I'm just joking, it's not like I like it.
JA: You're gross.
JE: I'm not gross.
JA: You like lesbians.
JE: Josh, // shut up. //
JA: // Yes you do. // [Pause] OK.
JE: If you could change one thing about this campus, what would it be?
JA: That people wouldn't go home.
JE: Amen.
JA: It would be to have lots more friends to hang out with when they didn't go home.
JE: Yep.
JA: Yaaaaay, it would be more fun, because this campus sucks on the weekend when everybody goes home, I wish I lived in like a, a school like Chapel Hill where nobody went home.
JE: Me, too.
JA: Yep, uh-huh.
JE: Tell me another story about from your childhood.
JA: Another story from my childhood? Like what?
JE: Whatever you want to tell me.
JA: I don't know, you can't go to sleep while I'm talking to you.
JE: I'm not.
JA: Yes you are.
JE: Huh-uh.
JA: Yeah you are.
JE: Huh-uh.
JA: [Laughs] Whatever.
JE: I'm sleepy.
JA: So what? You can't go to sleep.
JE: Shut up.
JA: Um, I'll tell you another story about me and my sister used to go to the same pre-school.
JE: I don't want to hear this story, I've heard it before.
JA: Alright.
JE: Her nose ran and // stuck-. //
JA: // Yeah. //
JE: -Into her hair tied in pigtails or something.
JA: Anyway.
JE: And she couldn't wipe her nose because her hands were in her mittens.
JA: [Laughs] There's snot running on her face.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: I liked to play with GI Joes and Ninja Turtles, and I thought there was a monster in my bed in Charlotte, under my bed and like, in the closet 'cause I saw this thing on, on the cartoons on Ghostbusters about the boogeyman. He was this dude, this little cow, goat, these little goat feet, like two of them and this huge head, this huge nose and he was the boogeyman, and I thought that's what he really looked like and I was really scared. And I had gerbils, they were cool, I really like gerbils. I had two of them, they were named Freddie and Jeddie.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // They were // really cool. And they'd run in this little wheel and they'd go, "Eee, eee, eee," at night. And they'd-, we'd give them toilet paper rolls and they'd chew them up. They loved to do that. And [yawn].
JE: Tell me something I don't know.
JA: Something you don't know?
JE: Uh-huh.
JA: Um [pause] something you don't know. One time in Charlotte where we used to live, there was this person playing their violin like, across the neighborhood and I yelled out my window, "Shut up," and they stopped playing it. And then I felt bad, so I said, "It's OK," and they wouldn't play anymore.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: And I used to, there was this really steep hill and I used to ride down it on this skateboard that had, like, handlebars.
JE: The Skooter-.
JA: // Yep. //
JE: // -I had one. // Mine was pink, it was-.
JA: And I was like fearless, like I did not care, I didn't even-.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // -Think about // getting hurt, I mean, I was like fearless.
JE: [Laughs] My skooter can take anything. [Laughs]
JA: I mean, I'm serious. I went back to that hill and I'm like, "Wow, that is a steep hill."
JE: Dork, you're a dork.
JA: You're a dork. [Pause] I planted a tree that I got in pre-school, and I went back to Charlotte, to my old house and I saw it, it's huge. I always wanted to know what it looked like, and, and it lived, it was so cool. I was so happy to see that my tree that I planted actually grew. It was a Fraser Fir. But it was huge, no actually, it was a long, really long-leaf pine or something like that, something, it was the North Carolina State Tree. I got it from the governor 'cause I was a cool kid. Oh, I used to pee on my cot when I was in pre-school. I hated that. I had the biggest problem with peeing in my bed.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: Actually, I didn't stop peeing in the bed until I was about 11 or 12.
JE: This is being recorded, you know, ( ) forever.
JA: Who's reading this? Who hears this?
JE: Me and my teacher.
JA: Oh, great.
JE: A professor.
JA: OK, then we'll minus the part about peeing in the bed?
JE: Nope, too late. Mr. Pee Bedder.
JA: Alright. [Long pause] Next, ask me some more questions.
JE: Why are birthdays overrated?
JA: Because it's just a day.
JE: That's the day you were born.
JA: So? They're still overrated.
JE: Do you think we overrate them ourselves, individually?
JA: [Sniffs] Hm-, I think you make-, people make high expectations of birthdays, and then they don't ever come true so they end up, getting, angry or sad or something, that's why so many people commit suicide on Christmas, and stuff like that, 'cause there's so many high expectations and they don't get met and people get all, like depressed, you know?
JE: Uh-huh. Wonder where the, where the tradition of birthday cakes came from.
JA: The Germans.
JE: Why?
JA: Because they invented that, and they also invented kindergarten and Christmas trees.
JE: Hmmm.
JA: Yes, they did, it's the Germans, I'm telling you.
JE: You know everything Josh, don't you?
JA: No, I don't know everything. But I know it's the Germans who made, uh, birthday cakes. Either that or it's the, um, the, um, um, Puritans I don't know, // whatever-. //
JE: // The // Puritans?
JA: // Yeah. //
JE: // No-. //
JA: // Whatever. //
JE: // -Not the Puritans, // they were holy people, they didn't want all this trivial stuff.
JA: Why is there lipstick on your dresser?
JE: Because I, every morning I don't have anything to blot my lipstick off with.
JA: And you, and you kiss your // dresser? //
JE: // So I // kiss my dresser occasionally. [Laughter]
JA: Whatever.
JE: I do.
JA: Alright.
JE: Here, help me.
JA: Help you do what?
JE: Light this.
JA: Oh, OK.
JE: [Laugh] Thank you, my finger's got a blister on it [pause]. Josh, stop.
JA: // [Laughs] //
JE: // You're being a dork, light ( ). //
JA: This one won't light.
JE: It will if you try hard enough.
JA: Isn't this an interview?
JE: Yeah.
JA: OK. You're not, you're not interviewing me.
JE: Well, Josh I'm trying, it's not really an interview, it's just a-.
JA: I think you're-, you, you don't know what to ask.
JE: I don't know what to ask, I know everything in the world about you. Why do I need to interview you?
JA: Why'd you pick me?
JE: Because I like talking to you and that you're easy to talk to, and you're in my bedroom. [Laughs]
JA: Yeah, that's what I like about college, too. [Long pause] [Sniff] You can stay up as late as you want.
JE: [Laughs] Is that really one of the reasons you like it?
JA: Uh-huh, yeah.
JE: What time was your bedtime at home, when you were little?
JA: 10 o'clock.
JE: Oh my // gosh. //
JA: // No, // when I was little? Eight thirty.
JE: Aah, you were a little beddie boy. And then it's 10 o'clock, and then what time?
JA: Then it got to, during high school I could stay up until any time I want.
JE: Ooh.
JA: Even past like, at, at like, 10th grade, I could stay up until anytime I want.
JE: What time would you stay up to?
JA: Like two.
JE: Ooh. You're so-, what'd you stay up doing?
JA: Um, Internet porn, nah. [Laughter] I don't know, uh, doing projects I waited until the last minute to do.
JE: Josh.
JA: Probably, I mean, I wasn't really-, watch TV basically.
JE: You didn't have a project // due. //
JA: // Well, // this is what I would do, I would, I would come home and I'd procrastinate all day long and I wouldn't do my homework and I'd watch TV and then at night I'd be like, "Oh man, I got to do my homework." So I'd be like, trying to do my homework real fast at about 11 o'clock and I would finish up all my homework at about two, and then I'd be really tired the next day 'cause I had to wake up at six thirty. It would suck.
JE: 'Cause you lived so far away from school.
JA: Yeah, but I could speed and get to school in 15 minutes.
JE: Not very healthy, not very healthy at all.
JA: It is healthy.
JE: It is not healthy.
JA: When, uh-.
JE: Do you think that // girls are deserving of flowers? //
JA: // I think, I think it, // I think it stunted, stunted my growth process and made me shorter than I could be.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: 'Cause I didn't-, I used to not eat breakfast.
JE: Why?
JA: 'Cause I didn't have time for it.
JE: Why?
JA: 'Cause I would sacrifice breakfast so I could get to school in time.
JE: [Laughs] Why didn't you take some breakfast on the road with you?
JA: 'Cause I didn't like Hot Pockets, I mean-.
JE: Hot Pockets // for breakfast? //
JA: // Pop, Pop Tarts. //
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // And then // my mom tried to get me to try this Carnation Instant Milk stuff.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // This chocolate // syrup, like-.
JE: I know what it is.
JA: -Carnation Instant Breakfast, it was so gross, it was like, blah, like drinking fish water, I don't know. Were you talking about flowers?
JE: Uh-huh. Do you think it's overrated for a guy to give a girl flowers?
JA: Nope.
JE: Why?
JA: [Yawns] 'Cause you should.
JE: What?
JA: You should.
JE: You should what?
JA: Give girls flowers.
JE: Should girls give guys flowers?
JA: No, that's gay.
JE: What do you think about gender roles in society?
JA: [Laughs] I think they're appropriate.
JE: Josh.
JA: What?
JE: // ( ) //
JA: // You // don't see me walking around with a pocketbook.
JE: But that's not a // gender role. //
JA: // I mean, // sometimes I've always wanted to wear like, makeup, but like-.
JE: // [Laughs] //
JA: // -I can't // do that, it's not fair.
JE: Why?
JA: 'Cause it's not fair, 'cause girls can wear guy's clothes and it's OK, but if I tried to put on, like a bra, I would get made fun of, it's not funny. And I can't wear make-up or pigtails or, it's not fair, I want, I want to do my hair in different, different styles. I can only do my hair in one style, the boy way. I can't like put like pigtails, everybody would be like, "What." Or wear a dress? I can't do that, [sniffs] I don't know, I think it's alright, though, like pink and stuff, colors are girl colors.
JE: That's not really like a gender role, though. I'm talking // about-. //
JA: // Well, // what's a gender role?
JE: -I'm saying like men mow the yard // and women keep the house. //
JA: // Oh, that's crap, // that's crap, whatever.
JE: Do you think they still stand?
JA: Whatever. My sister mows the yard.
JE: So? My mom does, too.
JA: // Well, OK then. //
JE: // She lives for it. //
JA: Then that's too bad.
JE: But typically-.
JA: So what? If you're typically, then you're just, ignorant.
JE: Not true.
JA: Yeah, it's true.
JE: Not true.
JA: Well, whatever, 'cause some men like to cook.
JE: True.
JA: And some men like to play with kids and some women are just butch.
JE: Yep.
JA: They like to work on cars. // [Laughs] //
JE: // So why, // why would you call and, and why did you not call a man that was-.
JA: Well look, a woman is actually a man with a "wo" in front of it.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: // So // I mean, it's all the same.
JE: [Laughs]
JA: // It's // just a wo-man. [Laughter]
JE: Well, no what, you just called that woman butch because she liked to work on cars.
JA: Well she probably is butch.
JE: So what does butch mean? Define butch.
JA: Butch means, like, manly.
JE: Why would, why would you have such a negative derogatory term?
JA: It's not negative and it's not derogatory-.
JE: // ( ) //
JA: // Some people, // some people take butch as a compliment.
JE: Josh. [Laughter]
JE: There's no woman ever, // no, there's no woman-. //
JA: // Jay, Jay did, she wanted to be butch. //
JE: There is no woman-.
JA: What about those ladies that joined the Citadel? Yeah, they're butch, they know they're butch [low voice], "Like, yeah, whatever, I can beat these boys, ho, ho, ho."
JE: But they still-.
JA: Whatever, they cut their boobs off.
JE: Josh, // come on. //
JA: // I'm serious, // yes they do, to prove it, the Amazon women used to cut their right boob off so they could shoot their arrow better, in the jungle. Did you know that? They could pull the bow, 'cause look, look, if you think about it, pull the, pull the, pull a bow string back with a bow and arrow, and your boob gets in the way, so the Amazon women would cut their boobs off so they could shoot their arrows better.
JE: Well, they were just hardcore hunters.
JA: Well, that's true, 'cause they shot better arrows [sniffs].
JE: // I don't know. //
JA: // See, I think, // see that's why you got to say like some, sometimes women's bodies aren't adapted to do things.
JE: I agree with that.
JA: Alright. You don't see men walking around with boobs, // though nowadays, you do. //
JE: // You don't see, // you don't see women walking around with penises, either.
JA: Nowadays you do.
JE: Oh, you do not.
JA: Whatever. Have you not watched Jerry Springer lately?
JE: No, I don't know, I have a very strong opinion about-.
JA: Yeah, but that's cause you're raised in the deep, dirty South. [Laughter]
JE: It's not dirty.
JA: Sometimes it is dirty [pause] in trailer parks and stuff.
JE: OK. So the interview is up.
JA: Why?
JE: Aren't you done?
JA: [Yawns] Huh-uh.
JA: Isn't it supposed to go longer than this?
JE: Huh-uh [yawns].
JA: How long is it supposed to go?
JE: [Yawns] Until I get four pages of written materials, and I have four pages and they're stupid.
JA: You think this is // four pages? //
JE: // Crab story. //
JA: Written material?
JE: Yeah.
JA: Alright. Well, goodbye interview.
JE: Bye. Thank you ( ).
JA: Goodnight, I'm going to sleep now. Bye.