To the masses, John Waters is best known as a filmmaker, beloved for comedies such as Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Polyester, Serial Mom, and Pecker. He’s also an actor and visual artist and the author of several books, including 2019’s Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder. May 3 marks the release of his first novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance. Equal parts funny and bawdy, it centers on an inspired plot for revenge, and dabbles in all manner of dysfunction. On the occasion, Waters reveals his key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker

AirlineS: Domestic, JetBlue Mint. International, Air France La Première class.
Airport: Baltimore/Washington International.
Alibi: “I had to visit a friend in jail.”
Bag: Top-Sider.
Bike: A ratty old Pee-wee Herman type.
: A time to give presents to friends who put up with you all year.
: If you talk about love in public, it disappears in private.
Breakfast, weekday: Black tea.
Breakfast, weekend
: Saturday, scrambled eggs and bacon. Sunday, poached eggs and sausage.
: A used Buick.
Child: Bill, my fake son as written about in my book Mr. Know-It-All.
: A glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Cocktail appetizer: Nuts, hot nuts. You get ’em from the peanut man.
: Pier Paolo Pasolini and Maria Callas.
: A romantic evening at a demolition derby.
Diet: Black beauties.
Dinner, weekday: A recipe from Cooking Light.

Dinner, weekend
: Peter’s Inn, Baltimore.
Disguise: A Ravens hat.
Drive: Across the country with a person you love.
Enemy: Never give them that satisfaction.
Escape: Reading.
Family: Charlie ruined that word.
Flaw: I’ve had a bad-hair life.
: Pat Moran, my best.
: Jimmy’s HideAway restaurant, in Provincetown.
: Let’s take back the Chateau Marmont!
Indulgence: Wine Gums candy.

Calling someone a “hair hopper.”

Jacket: Comme des Garçons.
Kiss-off: “Eat one!”
Last meal
: A single leaf of arugula.
Lunch, weekday
: A turkey burger, no bun.
Lunch, weekend: Soft-shell crabs.
Movie: “Sissy Boy Slap Party,” directed by Guy Maddin.
: Uretha Franklin.
Nonfiction book: The Basement, by Kate Millett.
Novel: The Chandelier, by Clarice Lispector.
Piece of advice
: “A ‘no’ is free.”
: Obama.

: Bring back Prune in New York.
Ride: The Cyclone in Coney Island, on poppers.
: “The second rat gets the cheese.”
: Orville Peck.
Storm: Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
Television series
: Lie Detector, hosted by F. Lee Bailey.
Theme song to your life: “The Joker,” by Billy Myles.
: Michel Houellebecq, when kidnapped.
: From the top of the hill at Longnook Beach, in Truro, Massachusetts.
Wake-up time: Six a.m., from Monday to Friday.
Work of art: Claes Oldenburg’s Bedroom Ensemble.
Writing implement: A Bic Cristal ballpoint with black ink.

John’s Essentials

Clockwise from top left: the Cyclone in Coney Island; 2020 Goisot Saint-Bris Sauvignon Blanc; a Comme des Garçons Homme Plus floral jacket; The Basement: Meditations on a Human Sacrifice, by Kate Millett; The Chandelier, by Clarice Lispector; Orville Peck.