This week, John sits down with the well-travelled Kaitlyn Jones, who has curled in five provinces and had the most success this season in Nova Scotia, winning a World Junior championship with her squad of Kristin Clarke and Karlee and Lindsey Burgess. She’s won several provincial titles at the junior and U-18 levels, and will look to repeat next season.
Welcome to Magical Question Fun Time, the Curling Canada feature where comedian John Cullen sits down with your favourite curlers for interviews like you have never seen. Each interview will feature eight questions: five standard questions that will be asked to each curler, two questions specific to that curler, and one question that the curler interviewed before them asks.
1. What’s the best shot you’ve ever been a part of?
Kaitlyn Jones: When I was playing in Saskatchewan, we were playing to qualify for the Canada Winter Games, and made it to the finals, where we had to beat our opponents twice. It was one of those super messy ends and they thought we didn’t really have a shot. They came a bit deep on their last one, which allowed us to make a pretty simple in-off for five.
John Cullen: Must be nice to refer to an in-off as “simple”. You’re talking to a lead here.
KJ: [laughs] I understand. It was one of those things that maybe it seemed easier because they really thought we had nothing and it was like, “oh”. I think it made them pretty upset, to the point where I’m not sure they recovered. That was the first game, so to make it I think set the stage for us to beat them twice, and we did.
2. If there was an action figure made of you, what non-curling accessory would it come with?
KJ: Probably a little Stitch doll, you know the character from Lilo and Stitch? I’m obsessed with that character, so I think I would probably come with one of those.
JC: That might be expensive, we’d have to pay for the Disney license to sell a Stitch with your figure. How did you get into that?
KJ: I’m not even sure really why I like him, I just got super into the movie and him in general. I remember going to Disney World and Disney stores and stuff, and I always want a Stitch doll every time I see one. He’s just the best. I don’t really have a better explanation than that. [laughs]
3. If you were forced to rob a bank, which two curlers—you can’t choose more than one teammate—would you choose to be on your squad, and what role would you play?
KJ: I think I would choose Satsuki Fujisawa, because she’s really small and could just squeeze into all the small places we’d probably need to get into. Plus, she’s absolutely charming. I feel like she’d be pretty distracting to the tellers. And then next, I’d choose BJ Neufeld. I don’t know exactly why, but he just looks so serious all the time that I feel like he’d be a huge help when it comes to robbing a bank. And I would talk to the cops.
JC: Okay, I was going to ask if you had a different feeling about this question since it’s been well-documented your dad is an RCMP Officer.
KJ: [laughs] He is! I think that makes me qualified to talk things through with the cops, maybe distract them a bit while Satsuki and BJ are doing their thing inside.
JC: Have you ever used this ability before? I feel like if your dad is a police officer, it might help with say, a speeding ticket.
KJ: I have been pulled over before, but I didn’t use it because I think my dad would be mad if I did.
JC: Wouldn’t he also be mad if you robbed a bank? That seems much worse.
KJ: Oh, absolutely! [laughs] I would hope the day we robbed the bank, he wouldn’t be working, because he would absolutely be able to stop me.
4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
KJ: I worked at Boston Pizza, and the job itself wasn’t too bad, but definitely the time I spent being a hostess was not…the BEST job. You just get the short end of the stick with everything: your hours are short, you don’t have to do too much, and you just kinda stand there by yourself without anyone on staff to talk to or hang out with.
JC: Yeah, I can’t imagine it’s a super-stimulating job. Plus, it’s probably annoying being the “face” of the restaurant or whatever when it’s busy.
KJ: For sure, I used to get yelled at all the time for things that were not my fault. Although that happened once I got to being a server, too. That was way more fun, but people also get way more upset with you.
JC: I had that as well. I worked at Safeway from age 15 to 19, and it’s amazing what people will blame teenagers for. Like do you really think I set the prices at the store? I’m still in high school.
KJ: Totally! One time this gentleman ordered a pizza and specifically asked for no mushrooms. I can’t remember the type of pizza, but he made it clear he didn’t want mushrooms. I don’t know what happened in the kitchen, but there was like, half of a little piece of mushroom on his pizza, and he flipped. He was legitimately screaming at me. I told him I was sorry and offered him another pizza, which is standard, but he just said no, that he wanted a pizza without mushrooms on it. He ended up leaving. [laughs]
5. What’s a stupid thing you incorrectly believed was true for a long time?
KJ: So I had to ask my dad about this, and the thing he said was that I used to believe that there was a “naughty and nice” list for Christmas, long after I knew Santa Claus wasn’t real.
JC: [laughs] Wait, how is that possible?
KJ: I’m not exactly sure, but I do remember watching Elf and the scene where they have the List, I remember saying to my parents, “SEE? The list is real!!” [laughs] I think I just thought that your parents sent it in to someone, or somewhere? I don’t know, but I definitely believed it. [laughs]
JC: [laughs] Was it just that your parents were very convincing to try and get you to behave better?
KJ: That’s definitely possible. Maybe I still believe it. [laughs] I was definitely a pretty bratty child and definitely cried over it, so maybe there’s something to your theory.
6. Now for the Kaitlyn Jones-specific questions, and I’ve heard that you are continuing the great curling tradition of loving karaoke. What’s your go-to karaoke jam?
KJ: It’s true that I really do enjoy karaoke, and I’ll give my friend and fellow curler Mitchell Dales a shout-out, as he got me into Shania Twain karaoke and that was awesome. But I’ll honestly sing anything, anytime, with anyone.
JC: Do you have a particularly memorable karaoke experience?
KJ: On my 19th birthday, Mitchell and I went to a karaoke bar and sang “Sweet Caroline”, but they didn’t have a monitor, so we couldn’t hear ourselves at all. It was a nightmare. I mean, isn’t that WHY people do karaoke? So they can hear themselves? [laughs] I love to sing and perform, but I’m also always scared that people are gonna hate it and I’m gonna be horrible. What if people throw tomatoes at me?
JC: If people actually went to the trouble of bringing tomatoes to karaoke, I’d be impressed if they threw them at me more than anything. [laughs] I’ve heard from a few people you are a good singer, though. I’m sure you killed it.
KJ: I would say I’m decent at best, but hey, if people are saying I’m good, I’ll take it. [laughs]
7. Now another thing I know about you is that you’ve curled out of five different provinces, which is pretty impressive at your age. How did that happen and which has been your favourite?
KJ: Well as I said earlier, my dad is an RCMP officer, so we’ve moved a lot for his job. I actually started curling in your home province of B.C. at the Chilliwack Curling Club. I was seven, and started there. Then we moved to Ottawa and I started playing quite a bit more competitively there. I played there with another girl who curls out of B.C. now who you know, Kayla McMillan, and Kalissa Daley. We had some success and I enjoyed it, then I moved to Saskatchewan.
JC: It must be hard moving so often to find a team to play with.
KJ: Saskatchewan was hard for sure. I reached out to some people there, and there was a team that was interested in playing with me, but they were looking for front-end players and to that point, I had only ever skipped. The coach told me they really wanted me on the team, and that the coach would end up picking the positions. After our first practice, the coach told the team I would be skipping. I’m not sure the team was super happy about that, but we got over it and had some success. I feel like my team from this year has the best chemistry of any team I’ve played on. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go to school and last year at nationals, Andrew Atherton asked if maybe I would consider Dalhousie, since those girls needed a skip. I said yes, and thus far, moving to Halifax feels like the best decision I’ve ever made.
8. Amazing. And the last question comes in from your World Juniors teammate Sterling Middleton. He asks, what’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you in a play? He obviously knows you act a lot.
KJ: That definitely came up in Worlds, and I have two stories. The first was actually the second musical I was ever in, which is “The Wiz”. If you don’t know it, it’s like, an unfiltered version of the “Wizard of Oz”. I was playing The Messenger, so I didn’t have a ton of lines but it was only my second play so I wanted to make the most of it. Part of my role was that there’s a scene where I get dragged off stage, and the people who did it caught my foot on the curtain, so they dropped me and I was just stuck on the stage. The audience laughed and I was so upset and embarrassed. My second play ever!
JC: [laughs] I’m sorry for laughing like that audience, but it does sound funny.
KJ: It is now, but at the time, wow. So embarrassing. The second was actually the most recent musical I was in, this play called “Urinetown”. So obviously it’s about peeing…
JC: Wait, it’s about peeing? I mean, I’ve heard of “Urinetown”, but I just thought that was an ironic title, or a reference to something else.
KJ: Oh, no. It’s about peeing. [laughs] I mean, it’s a satire, but there’s a lot of toilet stuff in it. This is the embarrassing thing, at one point, there’s a guy who fires a plunger at me, and the plunger is, uhh…supposed to have been recently used. So in order to get that effect, the plunger is full of pudding. I’m sure you can use your imagination.
JC: [laughs] This musical sounds amazing. So you didn’t like the connotation of being covered in, well…
KJ: It was sort of that, but also just that I absolutely hate pudding. The texture is disgusting, and so every time we had to do that scene, I just looked so disgusted. I had to, for the scene, but I think people could tell it wasn’t even acting at that point. [laughs] And they’d try and towel me off after the scene, but it would always end up in my hair and would get hard. It was just gross.
JC: I’ll be honest, it sounds SO great. I want to see video. [laughs] Do you have a question for my next guest?
KJ: I love hypotheticals, can I ask a hypothetical question?
JC: Of course. I love those!
KJ: Okay, would you rather lick mustard off of a hobo’s foot, or bathe in ketchup for one year?
JC: Oh my god. [laughs] You’re gonna make me ask someone that?
KJ: It’s a tough question. [laughs]
JC: Thanks Kaitlyn, and best of luck defending your junior title next season!
As always, you can follow John on Twitter @cullenthecurler and Kaitlyn @ktjo21.