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“Did You Talk to Any of My Daughters?” Hard Drive Interviews Duke Nukem

When former video game star and controversial public figure Duke Nukem asked me to meet him somewhere called ‘Piss Alley,’ I figured it was one of his signature jokes. When I entered the directions into my GPS, however, I discovered that Piss Alley was all too real, and that Duke Nukem is in a pretty bad way these days. Even if you put the name aside, this was a disgusting alley. Pretty sure people piss in it, too. 

Having done enough of these disastrous interviews, I figured I would just get down to business and chat with Duke and get up and leave before any more trouble could find us. He was laying face down in Piss Alley, the rain appearing to be the closest thing he had to a shower in weeks. Whatever. I was going to be a journalist today, not a fan. I was going to get my story, and get out.

At least that was the plan. 


Hard Drive: Hey Duke, thanks for agreeing to meet with me. I found the place no problem. 

Duke Nukem: That’s great. Are you the hitman I hired to kill me last month? 

Hard Drive: No Duke, I’m with Hard Drive magazine. Actually it’s a website. I’m with Hard Drive website. We have an interview scheduled. 

Duke Nukem: Oh ok. That makes sense. I gave that hitman a bad check. 

Hard Drive: Geez man, that’s pretty grim. Maybe things will pick up and you can afford to pay a hitman to uh, kill you sometime soon? 

Duke Nukem: Ah geez kid, you’re right. Here, wanna help me up?


Duke Nukem is still very strong. My attempt to help him up just resulted in him pulling me to the ground, into the same puddle as him. Which I’m pretty sure he’d been pissing in. For how many beers he was drinking, I don’t see how he wasn’t. Still though, he was forthcoming and generous, even sharing his warm beers with me.

Do you want to know something weird? Laying in a puddle and finding out what Duke Nukem’s been up to as a thunderstorm raged above us somehow wasn’t even the worst interview I’d done in a while. It was kind of the best, actually. 


Duke Nukem: See, the nice thing about laying in a puddle and getting drunk in the rain, is you are kind of showering the whole time, so you don’t feel as bad about yourself. Then you pass out, take a soak, and wake up feeling great. Like a new man. 

Hard Drive: So do you do this a lot? 

Duke Nukem: Well, I live in Piss Alley, and it’s been raining a lot this summer, so yes. I do this a lot. You got a problem with that, or am I gonna have to get medieval on your ass? 

Hard Drive: Oh no, not at all Duke. I was just asking. 

Duke Nukem: Hey lighten up, I’m just giving you a bit of the schtick. Hail to the king, baby. 

Hard Drive: That’s great, Duke. 

Duke Nukem: You want me to say it again? 

Hard Drive: You don’t have to. 

Duke Nukem: Hail to the king, baby. 

Hard Drive: Nice. 

Duke Nukem: Sorry I keep saying it. 

Hard Drive: No, it’s fine. 

Duke Nukem: No, it’s annoying. But, somewhere along the way it went from being one of my catchphrases to being like, I don’t know, some freakin’ mantra or something. When I catch myself getting down about how far I’ve fallen, how much money I’ve lost, how many friends I let down, I just close my eyes and remember the good ol’ days and say “Hail to the king, baby,” and it makes everything feel a little better. 

Hard Drive: Well, it’s good to have something like that. 

Duke Nukem: I think so. Say, have you been working on this article about me for very long?

Hard Drive: A little bit. I did some research earlier in the week and spoke to some folks about you. Nothing major. 

Duke Nukem: Did you talk to any of my daughters?

Hard Drive: No. They all said no. 

Duke Nukem: Hail to the king, baby. Hail to the king. 

Hard Drive: I’m sorry. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I don’t want to lie. 

Duke Nukem: No, that’s fine. Wow. You contacted them all, huh?

Hard Drive: Yeah. 

Duke Nukem: Chloe said no? And Stephanie?

Hard Drive: Yes, they both wrote me back rather quickly. 

Duke Nukem: What about Budweiser?

Hard Drive: Same. Texted me and asked to never contact her again. 

Duke Nukem: Man. That’s my baby girl. That hurts. 

Hard Drive: Sorry, Duke. 

Duke Nukem: Not your fault. Say, do you need another beer? 

Hard Drive: No, mine’s still pretty full. But thanks. 

Duke Nukem:  I think it just got rained in. You have to learn to kind of hover over your can, so the rainwater doesn’t get into your beer. 

Hard Drive: Oh wow, you’re right. I thought this tasted weird. I’ll take another one. 


And so we had another. And another. And the interview turned into a hang. He told me which Mortal Kombat stars he’d fooled around with and which ones he hadn’t. He told me off the record stories about how him, Gex, Bubsy, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire (known as ‘The Pussy Posse’ in the ’90s) used to cruise NYC for chicks. I noticed at one point that we were drinking Miller Lite’s. I wonder if Budweiser’s made him too sad. 

We drank and laughed into the night, sitting close to stay as warm as possible in the puddle we were sharing. Even if I wanted to tell you half the stuff we talked about, my notes washed away in the rain along with all of the stress from this abysmal series of interviews I’d spent the last few months working on. I soaked overnight and to my surprise, woke up feeling refreshed. 

I was all alone, but less lonely. I’d made a new friend. Although he wasn’t around when I woke up, and my wallet and jacket were gone, and I’m pretty sure he pissed on me, Duke was right. I woke up in that alley and felt like a new man. Hail to the king, baby.