I Interview Neil Josten // it’s been 2 months in quarantine don’t ask me what i’m doing

May 14, 2020 7:53 PM

I just want to put it out there that I absolutely predicted that the world renowned Exy star, Neil Josten, would show up for his interview wearing bright orange. I was right. He is rather awfully predictable.

Neil Josten
Photographed by: Nora Sakavic

He also looks like he hasn’t slept in days and is surviving solely on coffee. I’m pretty sure he eyed the couch rather intensely upon his arrival. This man is in severe need of a nap.

He drops into the armchair facing me like a sack of potatoes and sighs. We stare at each other. He attempts what I think is supposed to be a smile. It’s extremely weird.

N: You’re an awfully difficult person to get hold of for an interview, you know.

Neil Josten [nodding]: It’s because I hate interviews. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was not supposed to say that. My PR team hates it when I give interviews more than I do. Something about how I don’t know when to shut up.

N: I’m not having a hard time believing that, actually.

Neil Josten: You really wouldn’t. [pauses] There’s, uh, this compilation on YouTube of every time I said something provocative to the press. I’m like, yeah. I think it’s funny. Emotionally I’m just a really triggered 8th grader who just wants to fight.

Founder and Coach of the Palmetto State Foxes, David Wymack, comments, “What did he do this time?” when I ring him up after the interview. I think that pretty much sums it up.

I bet your relationship with your PR team is interesting.

Not really. I mean, they’ve basically given up on me. My correspondence with them is directly through Coach Wymack. Sometimes after I’ve said something… controversial? Yeah, they just ask coach why he would let me say something like that on live TV and he’d just be like, well, you see, I was over there on the bench. [shrugs] It’s a bit entertaining.

I’d want a sitcom out of that.

Let’s begin with Exy. What’s a typical day at practice like?

Dan yells at everyone, Matt tries to lighten up the mood, Aaron pisses everyone off, Renee keeps anyone from punching Aaron, Nicky and Allison do an excellent job of taunting each other. Usually, I hurt myself and Coach very observantly points it out and I’m like, can I play? And he just slowly repeats the fact that I’m hurt, to which Kevin goes, but can he play? At this point, Andrew just throws something at us. It’s nice.

I bet. Is it difficult to deal with academics and sports at the same time?

Kind of. I willingly exert all my energy on Exy and then when it comes to literally anything else like homework or cleaning, I’m just like, I’m too tired for this. I will do things when I’m less tired. And then I just never get less tired. I’m just in a constant state of being tired and it really takes a toll on me achieving anything productive other than what I want to do. It’s like selective tiredness. It’s a thing.

I’m actually not sure about that.

Yeah, it’s really, really not a thing.

I was actually going to be really subtle about this but nothing in this interview has been anything resembling subtle so far so I finally asked Josten about his relationship- or lack thereof- with fellow teammate Aaron Minyard.

“Oh, we absolutely loathe each other,” Neil says, cheerfully. “He’s an excellent- uh, player? Actually, nevermind. I mean, he doesn’t really care about Exy. I don’t get it but that’s his choice. He hates my guts.”

(A few days later, I called Aaron Minyard himself to ask him if Josten was fucking with me.

His comment: “It’s true. Everything he said. It’s completely true.”

I’ve concluded everyone on that team is slightly fucking with me but I’m not mad about it.)

Josten then goes on to narrate a “hilarious incident” to describe his relationship with Minyard:

This is so funny. I think this was sophomore year? Yeah. Yeah, so, I was in New York for a sports meet and have you ever had NY deli pizza?


Man, you’re missing out. Anyway, so we have a Foxes group-chat, right? I vaguely remember reading, like, Aaron’s texts about his car breaking down or something and if someone could pick him up. I obviously ignored that. [laughs] I spammed the group with pictures of the pizza I’m eating because, yeah. And then Aaron’s just like, I’m literally fucking stranded, you asshole, will you shut the fuck up for once? [laughs for a very long time] And I’m like, just- just the crust is so much better than other pizzas. [pauses] I thought it was hilarious. That’s pretty much us in a nutshell.

(Aaron Minyard commented on the story, “I don’t know if I was more pissed at him for being an inconsiderate prick or Kevin, who finally replied on the group to fucking lecture us on how pizza is not included in our dietary plan. I think Andrew removed him from the group halfway through and Renee added him back. I just really hate them all.”)

At this point, I’m at a loss on how to go forward with this. Neil is surprisingly very understanding. He tells me that he has this effect on people. I’m inclined to agree.

Let’s talk about the other Foxes. Your friendship with Matt Donovan is a fan favorite.

He’s my best bud. Sometimes I’d do really stupid things and he’d just be like, you’re such a problematic child. And I’d be like, yes. And then he’d actually join me in whatever I was doing. Like the time we practiced our aim by throwing cheeseballs into the other’s mouths from across the room. I don’t know, he’s awesome. He gets all the bro points.

So, I know you’re not exactly at liberty to talk about this-

try me

-but I was wondering if I can have a statement from you about the Foxes rivalry with the Ravens.

You’re right. I’m so not at the liberty to say anything about this. Let’s just be cordial and say that I’d sell Riko and his entire team for one corn chip. There. It’s fine.

Moving on.

How would you describe your relationship with Andrew Minyard? I’m just saying there are rumors afloat…

Sometimes I breathe and he tells me to stop. [silence]

That’s… it?

That’s it. That’s literally it.


He’s alright. Yeah. [cough] He’s cool.

“Dude,” I tell him. “You’re all on crack.” (I studied Journalism in college, by the way. I bet it shows.)

He stares at me and sighs heavily. “I know.”

-e n d-

i know what you’re thinking.

i disappear for months and then i come back with garbage shitposts.

but this is the kind of person that i am.

i have no explanations.

let me know which fictional character i should interview next 👀

15 thoughts on “I Interview Neil Josten // it’s been 2 months in quarantine don’t ask me what i’m doing”

  1. Thank you so so so much for blessing me with this post, my quarantine has just exponentially improved.
    Also, you did such a good job portraying Neil’s character!! All of his responses sounds like something he’d actually say!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh, I didn’t catch on that this was an interview with Neil from The Foxhole Court until I read it again. The book is on my to-be-read list, but for some reason my library doesn’t have it?? I’ll need to just order it online. I’ve seen multiple people talk about how good this book is, and it has so many ratings on Goodreads, but for some reason it still feels kind of under the radar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aaaa let me explain it to you: tfc is probably the most “popular underground” book you’d come across??? the author self published it a long time ago but it didn’t get any publicity initially,,, UNTIL tumblr single handedly made it extremely famous. so, it’s not a very traditionally famous book but once you’re in a book community, i think you always do end up coming across it at some point. also, the fandom is INSANE (as depicted by this post, a fellow aftg fandom member lol)

      i hope you really love the series!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wait, it was self-published?? Whoaaa, that’s so cool. Okay, please explain how tumblr made it famous. Wow, this is cool. And I just started every sentence with an interjection. This feels like a book.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. it was!! nora sakavic is also a pen name, by the way. OK SO this book is literally about broken gay kids coming together and protecting each other and sports and EMOTIONS but also it has SO MUCH potential for shit posting and tumblr cannot resist that lol. there’s SO MUCH art about the series and so many funny text posts, you can’t NOT come across aftg if you’re on book tumblr.
        also stop being so funny, i’d have to ruin my dark and mysterious image by,,, laughing

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ohhh, thank you I did not know that.
        I’m trying to figure out what aftg stands for, but I can only get as far as A Foxhole something something. I think the problem is that I’m not on book tumblr.
        Oh nooo!! Oops, I really don’t try to make people laugh so it probably was just an accident. :))

        Liked by 1 person

  3. hi! i’m new here so i’m just popping in to say HELLO and that i adored this!! a someone who read aftg for the first time just under a month ago and who is still on the post-read high, this captured neil’s personality so well and you seem lovely ❤ can't wait to get to know you xx rhi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HELLO, RHI ❤ WELCOME TO THE BLOGGING WORLD i will now stop screaming at you, im just very happy you're here 😭

      god, the post aftg high (you described it so well) was one of the BEST bookish experiences for me, i think i even did a post about that??? (https://wordhavenblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/book-hangovers-me-getting-drunk-on-fiction/ – it's a very old post who even let that nimika to blog and why)

      I can't WAIT to absolutely stalk the shit out your blog, im COMING

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …. please stalk away…. i welcome new friends with hugs… but…. i meant new to your blog….. you will find two and a half years of posts on marshmallow harmonies wHOOPS should’ve been clearer


        honestly i have come down vaguely from it, but only vaguely?? i still think about them a lot?? but that post is excellent aaaaaa


        Liked by 1 person

      2. ASKSKSKS SORRY OMG i can’t believe i say that but it just means- as i’ve said before- i’m filled with idiot juice. i am TRASH for hugs, absolutely LOVE those things, give all of the hugs to me

        Liked by 1 person

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