Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Dan Campbell (Banjodan), Member of the Month for September, has emerged as one of SMITH’s funniest and most prolific Six-Word Memoirists —accruing a fan base among the other sixers along the way. Campbell has written more than one thousand Six-Word Memoirs, many about his marriage to his wife Zoila who shares Campbell’s zany view of life. Last month, “My sex tape’s on Comedy Central” was featured as the Six-Word Memoir of the Day, and still sits near the top of SMITH’s “most commented” charts. Campbell and his wife don’t actually have his sex tapes on Comedy Central, he explains. “The sex tape memoir was just to make fun of people who have become ‘celebrities’ because their sex tape ended up on the internet.”
“My favorite memoirs on SMITH are the ones about relationships,” says Campbell. “My wife has a great sense of humor.” That’s a good thing coming from a guy whose sixes include, “Discovered my inflatable girlfriend’s a guy,” “Immature wife drowned my rubber duckies,” “Wife’s back! She kissed dog first,” and “Marriage: My mancave has pink curtains.” At the same time, memoirs like, “The days fall like loose change,” “Sadly, some storms last a lifetime,” among many others, reveal the softer side of this banjo-loving man, many of which will end up in a book of Six-Word Memoirs he’s currently putting together.
Campbell recently took a few minutes to answer six questions from SMITH Magazine.
Where are you based and what do you do there?
I’m based in DC. I served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador from 1974 to 1977, and since then, I have worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development on environmental health issues in developing countries.
How did you find out about SMITH Magazine?
By accident—I was just browsing the web.
Since discovering SMITH, how have you incorporated Six-Word Memoirs into your life?
Six-Word Memoirs are an important part of my writing now, and each day I try to come up with new memoirs to share with the SMITH community. It is great to write a memoir and then receive comments from other community members. I encourage all community members to comment on posts from other writers.
In addition to Six-Word Memoirs, what else do you write?
Before discovering SMITH, all of my writing was devoted to poetry. Poetry, like Six-Word Memoirs, is challenging. I enjoy how a good poem makes us see familiar things in new ways. One of my poems was turned into a song and performed in a chamber opera at the Smithsonian. I have also had one book of poetry published, but so far, only my sister has bought it…
What else are you passionate about?
Besides writing, my other hobby is playing the banjo. The banjo is the perfect instrument to reflect the drive and energy of the human spirit; playing the banjo always improves my spirits.
One of my favorite quotations about the banjo is from Mark Twain who wrote: “When you want genuine music–music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth’s pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose–when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!”
Finally, Dan Campbell, in this moment, what’s your Six-Word Memoir?
Whispered apology while eating her plums.