Paul Levine

September 26, 2020


Hi, Mr. Pinkwater! My name is Paul and I’m a student at NYU Tisch studying playwriting. I’m currently writing a play about my childhood (yikes!) and using The Big Orange Splot as inspiration. I grew up in a suburb really similar to Mr. Plumbean, and my mom used to read your book to me all the time. I read some of your interviews, and I think the book might be semi-autobiographical? The play I’m currently developing is also semi-autobiographical! It’s about my parents, and the main character starts to believe her parents are robots because everything is perfect and has to stay that way in the house. I was getting discouraged with my work, but I called my parents yesterday, and it turns out they’re actually about to paint the house. I feel like that’s a sign to keep going. I’m not super sure what I’m asking here, but I’ve been doing a ton of research and I thought it made the most sense to go right to the source! What do you think would have happened if that bird had never dropped that can of paint? Do you think Mr. Plumbean would have taken the initiative on his own to paint his dreams? Any thoughts about any of this would be super insightful. Thanks!

Daniel replies:

It's a story. It's fiction. There was never a bird carrying a can of orange paint in reality except by astonishing coincidence. Mr. Plumbean is a fictional character. It's impossible to speculate on what he might have done that isn't in the story because he has no existence outside the story, and in fact has no existence. I can't imagine what they are teaching you kids in school these days.