The latter turn out to be soupmakers of doom.
But I encountered the dangers of podcasts this week. Let me explain. I have discovered the joys of listening to all sorts of things on the Stitcher platform for smart phones. (Does this make me worried that my own show is not on Stitcher? Yes, it does.) My current favorite is “The Nerdist. I confess I didn’t know who Chris Hardwick was (and is). I somehow missed his career. (It’s an age thing.) But the podcast is often great, and one of the latest episodes showcased the improbable comic chops of wrestler Chris Jericho. I just assumed wrestlers were kind of pre-verbal. Not this guy. In a room with fast-talking comedians, Jericho set the pace. I listened to the first half of the show on a morning dog walk. I decided to finish it up in the afternoon, in the dentist’s chair, during a crown fitting. Bad idea. Terrible idea. (And why do we call it “the dentist’s chair?” Isn’t that the one in his office where he sits?)
So with my mouth propped open and some kind of tiny high speed immersion blender boring into my enamel, I’ve got my earbuds in,relishing the distracton from my plight, and the guys hit an especially funny patch that involves not understanding the whole brontosaurus-to-apatosaurus merger. Which discussion had been triggered by prior speculation that the brontosaurus could fellate himself. And it turned out the the guitarist Slash is a soi disant expert on dinosaurs and that Jericho knows him well enough to text him about this — the taxonomy question, not the self-pleasuring — in real time.
And the whole thing came to a head, as it were, while I was in this horribly vulnerable position. And I started laughing. I tried, in every possible yogic way, to control the effects of this, but it’s very difficult to laugh without shaking. And it’s probably difficult to (competently) drill somebody who’s shaking, but Dr. Jerry’s primary concern was that I was having some kind of terrible reaction to all the unpleasant things that were happening to me — a seizure, a panic attack. Who knew?
There isn’t a really big finish to this story, except that all the equipment had to be removed from my mouth so Dr. Jerry and his staff could make sure I was OK. And I didn’t want to admit that I was laughing, especially because my plan was to put my buds back in and go right on listening. So I was non-comittal but droolingly assured one and all that I was fine. Fortunately the next episode I listened to was Timothy Olyphant, and he wasn’t quite as funny.