Nick Holle is a man of many talents and vocations, but he has made his mark mostly as a writer, humorist, and friend to the commoner. He is best known for spending a year-and-a-half working undercover in Myanmar, disguised as a woman, for his book I Sure Wonder What It’s Like To Breast Feed: An In-Depth Exploration Of Southeast Asian Human Dairy Farms. I Sure Wonder…was his seventh book. He also writes plays, movies, and songs about heartbreak.
Earlier this year, along with James Seidler and Michael Zimmer, he formed the semi-popular humor site FLYMF.com. This month, Cool Male interviews Nick at his ranch in Baja California, and we find out what makes him laugh, what it’s like to work at FLYMF, and why he keeps his CD collection in his dishwasher.
Cool Male: How do you like your eggs?
Nick Holle: Over easy.
CM: You pretended to be a woman for a year-and-a-half. What was that like?
NH: It was tough because it was an undercover type thing. My family didn’t know where I was. I had to send them encrypted postcards through a middleman I had working for me in Phnom Penh. I couldn’t tell anyone who I was or what I was doing, not even the girl I was sleeping with.
CM: Did the girl you were sleeping with know you were a man?
NH: No. No way. I couldn’t risk my cover. It was just your average, run-of-the-mill lesbian love affair. There was a brief scare when she thought she was pregnant. Knowing she never had sex with a man, most of the village speculated that it was the Christ child. Boy, as you can imagine, I was nervous. It turned out it was just gas, and the whole thing blew over.
CM: What did she do when she found out you were a man?
NH: She was devastated, naturally. But when the smoke cleared and the book came out—essentially shutting down the illegal human dairy farms by itself—she understood. We still e-mail and stuff, so it’s cool. She’s got another girlfriend now and is happy. She’s in love. That’s all you can ask for. And I’m happy for her. This is all in the book, by the way.
CM: Very few of our readers actually read books.
NH: Yeah, why would they?
CM: What do you look for in a woman?
NH: Well, since the book, I always check to make sure she’s a woman.
NH: Ho-ho-ho-ho, Cool Male, it’s not what you think. I just ask for a driver’s license or birth certificate. Something of that nature. But what else do I look for? Well, I’m not picky. I like funny ones. Ones with big hearts. I feel lucky when I meet a girl with a full set of eyebrows. And teeth! When a girl has teeth, she’s earned huge bonus points with me. Those things aren’t too much to ask, are they?
CM: So you’re not a tits and ass man?
NH: No. A few years ago I was in this vocal and dance group called The Tumorisimos. We were sort of like a boy band, but we cut our own hair. But I wrote this song that turned out to be, pretty much, our biggest hit. It was called “It Ain’t Your (Tits And Ass), Baby (Not Even Close).” And I don’t just write songs. I live them.
CM: I see.
NH: See how I did that? This is my first professional interview, and already I’ve been able to steer it into shameless self-promotion.
NH: That’s the kind of shit you guys eat up over at Cool Male.
CM: What does FLYMF stand for?
NH: I’m not really sure. I can tell you what it’s not. It does not stand for Fly Motherfucker. People always say that. I’ll be walking down the street, and some asshole yells to me out the window of his Bonneville, “Fly Motherfucker! He-heh.” And always the “he-heh,” like he’s in on some grand joke. I mean, what kind of shit-for-brains douchebags would name their magazine Fly Motherfucker? I don’t know. FLY-M-F. Some people think it’s an acronym. Others think it’s a state of mind. In reality, it’s probably somewhere in between.
CM: What’s it been like to work with James Seidler and Michael Zimmer?
NH: It’s all right. Are they assholes? Yes. Are they talented? Yes. Are they funny? Occasionally.
CM: You give the impression that the three of you don’t get along too well.
NH: That’s true. We have a lot of creative differences, about what’s funny and stuff. We fight a lot. I like to use my fists, you know? James enjoys tossing things, plates, air conditioning units, things like that. Michael’s a yeller, a baritone yeller. We yell back, of course, but he’s bigger than us, so we try not to get too physical with him unless it’s a double team and we’ve taken him by surprise. I don’t like their girlfriends either. That’s another thing. That’s a major source of contention. I mean, you know how girlfriends are. Hanging around, always saying, “you know what would be funny?” or “it’d be hilarious if you guys tried such-and-such.” Whatever, man.
CM: Do you think this conflict hinders your collaboration professionally?
NH: I think we can still put out hilarious stuff if that’s what you mean. We’re sort of forced to write with chips on our shoulders. And chips are very funny. So are chimps. But look at the cast of Friends. They hated each other and still put out gold for ten years.
CM: Actually, I think the cast of Friends got along pretty well.
NH: I know. I was being facetious.
CM: About which part?
NH: The whole part.