International spymaster, professional wrestler, and pop icon Ari Francis Schultz on overexposure, open heart surgery, and Old Spice.
Tell us about “The Decision.” Why did you make the move?
Children’s Hospital was my home for more than half of my life. I’ll always have a special place in my heart (get it?) for the team and fans there, but it was time I took my talents to Stow.
As a part of the New Big 3 – Moms, Schultz, and me – I think we can really do something special, something worthy of the record books. With Ray Ray and Toby coming off the bench, we have some real depth, too.
And who knows what will happen in the draft in the next few years…
Word on the street is you are considering a run for national office. Tell it to us straight. Will you run?
Look, I’m flattered and all with the calls to throw my hat into the ring. I have a full plate right now. Let me be perfectly clear, though: I always say never say never unless it’s one of those times it’s important to do so or not, depending.
Still, it’s not something I’m actively pursuing. However, should I run, I want the people to know that I will always be straight with them. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay. Support gay rights.)
In the service of full, proactive disclosure, I would like everyone to know that, as of my last cardiology appointment several weeks ago, I have pulmonary hypertension and expect to have open heart surgery in the coming months. (Heart condition, gay rights supporter, national ticket…feeling very Dick Cheney right now.)
As long as I keep gaining weight steadily – I’m just over 9 pounds now – my medical advisors believe we should “kick the ball down the field” until a few more months pass. And then…cuts-ville-city.
What’s the surgery going to be?
All I gots is a fat TBD.
I asked the Doc, “Yo what you got in store for me?”
They say, “Can’t put a box ‘round my art-tis-try.”
How poetic. In fact, your reputation as a rhyming stylist has been growing steadily. Why do you think your work has been resonating so strongly?
‘cause I’m the baddest rapper in the history of rap itself. Not bitter or mad, just proving I’m bad.
You want a hit? Give me an hour plus a pen and a pad.
For a time there, media stories about you and your escapades were almost inescapable. You’ve pulled back in recent weeks. Is this an acknowledgement of those who’ve called you out as overexposed?
Not in the slightest. People can’t get enough of me. Hell, Twitter called. They asked me not to sign up because they can’t handle the traffic. Boom.
When you’re 2 Legit, you’re 2 Legit.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
I’d say cute, but after me, the term has new meaning. And Love Master Master Love is four words so can’t use that. Let’s go with:
What have you been reading lately?
I’ve been on a bit of a Seuss kick. That Horton guy…he keeps it real.
I hear Wall Street Journal bestseller Rainmaking Conversations is sweeping the nation. Everyone should get a copy for themselves, their loved ones, and for at least 10 random people they meet in the mall.
Do you have any travel plans coming up?
No, summer on Lake Boon is supposed to be quite nice. Shirt might come off, ladies…
I’d like to book a trip to Italy sometime soon, though. Americans…we all eat so fast. I like to take my meals slooowww. Savor the food. Savor the company. Savor the Miralax. The ‘rents want me to eat in 30 minutes or less. Something or other about conserving cardiac function.
Uncivilized, if you ask me. In Italy, meals last hours and hours. More my style.
Guess this gives me a reason to call Clooney back.
Summer on Lake Boon. Sounds nice. Does this mean you’ll be entertaining visitors?
Well, you’ll have to check with my agents, but, I do so find mingling with the people to be enjoyable and enriching.
I’m still restricted from the malls and other hoi polloi stomping grounds, but I welcome visits. Feel free to put in a reservation request. Getting a spot can be an El Bulli-like experience, but you never know, you might get lucky.
Will you renew your contract with Dos Equis as the most interesting man alive?
If it pleases me, and doesn’t interfere with my heavy spelunking calendar. Plus, Old Spice has been calling. They say they have a horse with my name on it.
Whatever comes, it’s cool. It’s cool.
‘Cool’ is a word often associated with you. So much turmoil. So much uncertainty. The path can still go any which way. And yet you seem unfazed by it all.
I haven’t always been like this. But I’ve been around, you know?
If I were the man I was five years ago, I’d take a flamethrower to this place!
Sure, I’ve taken my lumps. They’ve cut me. They will again. They can do their worst and that’s fine, but there is nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit.
Only I can cut that, and I’m not putting it on the table.
Have questions for Ari? Politics, fashion, music, literature…any topic at all? We’ll do our best to track him down and get a response. What’s on your mind?