An Excerpt from ‘Paul Ryan Magazine’: Proust Questionnaire, by Anna Heyward
Paul Ryan is the unofficial magazine of the Speaker of the House, brought to you by the team behind The Neu Jorker. Edited by James H. Folta and Andrew Lipstein, it’s “Paul Ryan refracted through an absurd prism of magazine hell, with each article parodying a different genre of magazine.” Learn more — and order it — here.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is of teens, and the possibility of a reckless, bullying majority that they represent. It is worst when they are polite; that’s when I am most likely to have something thrown at me.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The worst things about me are definitely all of the terrible Budget Acts and healthcare bills I have written. Not one of them good. They were more just for myself, like journaling. ;-)
On what occasion do you lie?
When I told Bustle in 2016 that being called a “cuckservative” by my foes and detractors doesn’t bother me. It does, and it hurts. People forget how physically strong I am because of how disingenuous my speech is.
Which living person do you most despise?
Not too fond of the poor, or other such weirdos tbqh.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It’s definitely not being Speaker of the House. This is really not enjoyable and I’m not doing a good job.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
One of my sons, so I can check their browser history without them telling me they wish they’d been born in another country, to different parents.
What are your favorite names?
Anything with the erotic charge of the single consonant. Brock, Chad, Kane, Trog, Kem, Tate, Boyd, Roan, Clyde, Grant, Beck, Blair, Greig, Lance, Nash, Lyle, Zeke, Ridge, Corn, Jude, Chance, Finn, Hank. Rhett, Chet, Tuck, Heath. When I first heard the name Reince Preibus, I thought I was being given a very clear instruction, and I was immediately transported back to my time as an altar boy. Out of sheer muscle memory, I began doing the nutbush.
(Illustration by Brandon Reese)
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I would make them more fiscally conservative.
When and where were you happiest?
1994, Janesville community craft workshop. Putting a little wooden ship into a glass bottle so you can’t tell how it got in there. Perfect.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
My powerlessness when confronted with my son’s aquaphilia. We caught it far too late—it was latent, and left to develop unchecked until the Ice Bucket Challenge. I was late to the trend, you know, didn’t hear about it until mid-February. When I grabbed him round his strong, Herculean torso and tried to rough house with him by pouring a torrent of ice directly onto his small head, he took fright and ran through the brick wall of our Mock Tudor, and then kept going over the economically stimulating open borders of our home. Oh, I wish you hadn’t asked!
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I really do stand behind the three actual bills I have passed, in my entire career. The one naming that post office. The one about taxing arrowheads for deerhunting, and the other one.