1083 – Teapot in Flannel
Love of adventure, love of comets, and finally true lulls with a side of love.
Episode 1083 – Teapot in Flannel
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, my patron peeps, thank you so much, patrons. I could not do this without you. I wouldn’t want to do it without you. You make it possible and you make it fun, so what do you say we get on with the show, my patron peeps?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether that’s thoughts, things on your mind from the past, the present or the future. It could be feelings coming up, feelings from the…but related to the thoughts or that are just there. It could be physical sensations, changes in time or temperature or routine. Whatever it is, I’d like to take your mind off of that and keep you company so that you could fall asleep.
The way I’m gonna do it is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, extra-creaky today, possibly ‘cause my flannel and then my heater was on earlier. Creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, and superfluous tangents. That means my voice is not traditionally soothing, and because it’s really more here to be soothing and distracting or just distracting enough to take your mind off of stuff. Pointless meanders and superfluous tangents mean I’m gonna get mixed up, I’m gonna forget what I was talking about, I’m gonna tell a story that’s not gonna make a whole lot of sense. Before I tell the story, I’ll be talking for a while, so it’ll feel like I never got started.
All of that is just to keep you company so that you can fall asleep, which is…the most important part of the show is you, and you getting the sleep you need and you deserve, and that’s the main message I want to get across at this moment, is that you do deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a bedtime that you don’t have to anticipate in a non-positive way, that you say oh, man…you deserve a bedtime you feel neutral about or that you could look forward to, and you deserve the rest you need to feel rested so that your life is more manageable and that you could flourish. That is very important to me, one, ‘cause I know how it feels not getting the sleep, dreading bedtime, tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep. All those things I’m very familiar with. So, I know how it feels there.
That’s why I call it the deep, dark night, but also because I know…because you deserve more…if you get some rest and your life is more manageable, that means your world’s gonna be better, your life is gonna be better, and that means the world for all of us is gonna be better. I know that’s a little bit high-falutin or whatever, but that’s really my goal that I strive for, because yeah, I know how it feels when I’m not rested versus I am rested, and it’s…life is tough enough to manage on its own. So, I hope I can help. Now, there are a few things. One is that this podcast just doesn’t work for everybody. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, so if you…you gotta give it a few tries to see.
This is literally…hundreds of thousands of people have told me it took two or three tries to get used to you because at first I was trying to listen or I was waiting for it to get started or to make sense, or for you to put me to sleep in some traditional way, and then I realized oh no, no, no, you’re just here to keep me company while I fall asleep. So, that can be…take some time to get used to, or you might be skeptical or doubtful or frustrated, and that’s the normal way to feel about this show when you first get here, because it is very different. It’s a very different approach and it…not…it doesn’t work for everybody, but it barely works for anybody on the first listen. So, give it a few tries if you can. The show’s free, so just give it a few tries and see how it goes. I hope it can help you.
Now, if you definitely don’t like me, you don’t like the show or the sound of the show already, or you say maybe two years from now I’ll check you out again, but for now I need something else, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou has a list of sleep podcasts and sleep audio and other sleep stuff or sleepy audio that you could check out. So, I hope some of that helps. So, Sleep With…I’m already forgetting…I already got mixed up. This isn’t a…this is a pointless meander that petered out. Or, petering out; how do you get your pointless meanders? Oh, let me count the ways. Petering out is one of them, a brain-stall. My brain just stalled right out because that’s what brains…what do brains do? Brains; that’s what we were born to do, stall out on Scoots. So, okay, so the other important things.
This is also a podcast that doesn’t put you to sleep. That can be hard to manage, too, is this is a podcast that keeps you company. I’m here to more be your friend talking to you across the deep, dark night whether that’s across one of the great seas of the world, across the air of the deep, dark night, or just across the room. I’m here to just talk to you, just like if you were calling a friend and you put them on speaker and you said just tell me about your day. I’m not gonna listen, though. Your friend might say huh, well, you want me to talk for an hour? Yeah, about an hour ‘til I fall asleep. That’s what my job is, to be that friend, your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-cuz, your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, ‘cause I…like, a regular friend, there might be some social compact or they might have some stakes.
I say well, sometimes I like to be listened to. I say for me, no, I’m here to talk and for you to…listening’s optional. So, I never really put you to sleep and you don’t really have to listen. You could listen. So, if you can’t sleep or you’re stressed out during the day or you just want to surprise fall asleep, that’s kinda what works best about this show a lot of times, is like oh, I just fell asleep at some point. I was kinda listening to him. So, just kinda see how it goes. Listen loosely at first, just like if sand was flowing through your fingers and your hand. You say okay, that feels kinda good, and…but I can’t really quite hold the sand. But it’s slowly moving through my fingers. So, kinda just barely listen to the podcast if you can. It might put you to sleep, but I’m more here to keep you company and then you just fall asleep.
The other things I like to tell new listeners about to get you ready is the structure of the show. The structure of the show is very intentional, but as you become a regular listener, it’s also flexible. So, there’s a lot of different ways that people use the show that are long-time listeners, but there’s really only one structure I can put out on a regular basis, so that’s the structure of the show. Starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and that’s hopefully so you seal…feel seen and welcomed in, or you seal seals, which I say…seal seals seals isn’t a verb, Scoots. I’d say, I…well, I just realized…part of my brain just realized it was correcting me incorrectly. Seals is a verb, but the way I was using it, you’re right, it was a faux verb, ‘cause I was thinking of…I miss…actually just a mispronunciation.
But seal seals sounds good. But don’t…here’s the thing; don’t seal up any seals. Well, no, incorrect; if your job’s…I actually used to seal driveways, so I was sealing seals…I mean, technically I was sealing something. Also, sealing rhymes with ceiling. Is that…that’s not an ononmon…that’s a synonym…a homonym, right? Oh boy. Sometimes my vocabulary is actually present. How about a homononomonopoeia? That’s what…I think that’s was Squiggy used to say on Laverne and Shirley; homononomonopoeia or maybe he was saying have an ononmonon…seal seals…I could think about seal seals all day long, but Susie sells…seals seals not by the seashore. That doesn’t work. Seals, seals…something ceiling…ceiling something. I don’t know. Susie seals seals…sells seals…ceiling seals.
There’s…I gotta…I can’t think of a way to put ceiling in there. Susie sells ceiling seals…celebrator…Susie sells celebratory ceiling seals. Ceiling, ceiling…I don’t…sailing something, something somewhere. Oh, this is the intro for a sleep podcast. Sorry about that. Oh, what are the things…structure of the show? So, it starts off with a greeting so hopefully you feel welcome and seen. I said sealing seals there by accident. Then there’s support for the show so it can come out…our goal is to have the podcast come out twice a week for free on all podcast platforms. So, the support of the listeners and membership and then the sponsors enable us to do that. Also to have a robust archive if you want to listen all night long, there’s over 350…370+ episodes in that free feed.
So, the sponsors and the patrons enable us to do that. Then there’s support for listeners, support for the communities around the show, then there’s the intro. The intro goes from like, minute six or minute eight to minute twenty or so, and it’s a show within a show. It serves a very specific purpose, but between the support and the intro, it can be frustrating for new listeners or people that expect something different. So, I understand that, but so, the intro, it really…it’s supposed to introduce the podcast, which I’m sure someone else could do in a very effective way. I cannot because once I go down that sealing seals road on the ceiling…oh, what a feeling when the seals are sealing on the ceiling. There’s a tongue-twister I could get behind with the L train.
So, so, so…but we could change oh, what a feeling…oh, seals are sealing. Seals are sealing on my ceiling. There you go. We came up with one that’s not technically a tongue-twister; I was reappropriating Lionel Richie lyrics. So, it’s technically an L-train twister. So, so, sealing when the seals are sealing on the ceiling. So, so…what’s…I don’t know. I’ll figure it out in my spare time, probably not in the beginning of a sleep podcast. So, this is what we do. That’s why the intro goes on and on and on. Homonomononpoeia. But it also serves a purpose…the reason you say why would you make a podcast intro twelve to twenty minutes long is because what I’ve learned about sleep and what…the feedback I’ve gotten for listeners over the past eight or nine years, however long I’ve been doing the show, is that people need a little bit of a wind-down time.
That’s what all the sleep stuff says, too, to ease you into bedtime, to get ready for sleep, to have a time where you transition from being awake to falling asleep. So, the intro helps with that. You could do something relaxing; you could be getting comfortable or getting ready for bed while you listen. But so, the intro’s supposed to ease you into bedtime. Now, there is some patrons that listen to story-only episodes that pay every month, and then there’s people that set their timer to skip…or skip ahead to twenty or thirty minutes into the show. But there’s also people that listen all night long, there’s people that only listen to the intros.
So, you could kinda see how it goes as you become a regular listener, but the intro…hopefully for those of you that are like me, I need a bedtime wind-down routine, and I’ve found that it’s something that really helps me emotionally and intellectually deal with bedtime and feel good about it and say okay, well, I have this bedtime structure now. It’s different ‘cause I co-parent, so the nights my daughter’s with me, we have one structure. Then on the nights I’m alone, I’m dog…I’m with Koa. Koa and I have a wind-down routine. No, that’s not a joke; I put my head on her dog bed, I put my legs up on her…my bed and then we meditate. That’s just one part of our wind-down routine, but it’s just an example. So for you, Sleep With Me could be part of your bedtime wind-down routine. That’s what the intro serves.
Then there’s more business between the intro and the bedtime story, again, so the podcast can come out twice a week, episodes over an hour, for free on all podcast platforms. Then there’ll be our bedtime story. Tonight it’ll be I guess…what was it called? A teapot and plaid or something? A plaid teapot? The teapot…a teapot and flannel; that’s what it is. So, that’ll…and then there’s some thank-yous at the end. So, that’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show. I’m really glad you’re here. I really hope I can help. I yearn and I strive. I work really hard on this show, and I really hope it can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to do this for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, tonight’s episode is called Teapot and Flannel, and oh boy, are we in for a treat tonight. This is another story that just hasn’t been told before, and it’s…once again, a story about a journey of…you say this…is this where you anthropomorphize something and it go…and I say oh boy, you are…you listen to Sleep With Me sometimes, occasionally. You may hear parts of episodes; that’s a great observation on your point. Though, some of you might be saying Scoots, when you say flannel, what exactly do you mean, and are you gonna have trouble saying I’m a little teapot, short…? I say well, don’t you know that my favorite thing is I’m a little…I’m a normal-sized…I’m a rectangular placemat, thin and flat? When you drop your crumbs, I got that.
Of course this story involves not just a teapot, but of course a placemat, because why would I say that stuff? But you may say Scoots, what is flannel and what does it have to do…what’s flannel? Okay, flannel…I…technically, I don’t know what flannel’s…huh, great question. I wish I knew the answer is what…if I’m being honest, to quote Captain Picard or Guinan or Commander Riker or…someone else recently did it on a show I was watching. Once again, I was impressed, so impressed I forgot…I think it was one of the…oh, it was…was it Gandalf or one of the elven goddesses who said…I don’t know. So, here’s the first question I have; I’m not sure flannel is made from…I’m guessing it’s made from cotton and not wool, though I’d tell you now…I’d say flannel; probably best would be in wool if you could make it, because all the reasons flannel gets used.
Flannel; could be wool, but I don’t know. Maybe I should pause it and look it up. Great idea, great idea…is that called the continuance brain? Continuity brain. Okay, good news; of course it’s a Wikipedia article. So, one question quickly answered. I’m glad we looked it up. So, this is from Wikipedia. It says flannel is a soft, woven fabric of various finenesses. Fineness. No, not just…just fineness. It was originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, but now it can be made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. So, that’s interesting because I would say…now, I say against the skin, probably nice to have a synthetic or a cotton. I mean, for me, versus a wool or a yarn. But when I think about the purpose of flannel, to keep you warm and layering, you don’t want cotton as a layer in the cold…anytime you’re gonna be cold or wet, you want something…so, you’d want wool.
I think yarn…I don’t know. I can’t answer for worsted yarn ‘cause I’m the worsted when it comes to…but for my experience with feeling yarn, I’d say well, that feels like one of those non-cotton materials that could retain heat and…even…and wick moisture but retain your heat, even when it’s wet. Then synthetic fibers, I think, do that. So, flannel, according to this, is commonly used to make tartan clothing, blankets, bedsheets, and sleepwear. It may be brushed to create extra softness or remain un-brushed. Brushing is…oh, good; thank you for answering it, Wikipedia. Brushing’s a mechanical process where a fine metal brush rubs the fabric to raise fine fibers from the loosely-spun yarns to form a nap on one or both sides. If flannel’s not napped…here…hey flannel, take a nap.
It gains its softness through loosely-spun yarn in its woven form. Oh boy, even a correction for people…assumptions; a flannel shirt is often mistakenly used to refer to any shirt with plaid or a tartan plaid…pattern. However, flannel’s just the fabric and not all flannel shirts are plaid. Holy cow. Put that on a pillow; Not All Flannel Shirts Are Plaid. I could have told you that. The origin of the word’s uncertain. Welsh origin suggests that it could have been fabric similar traced back to Wales as early as the 16th century, Welsh cotton. French flannel is from the 17th century…German flannel…18th century. It goes on, but I think that…oh, there’s a diaper flannel. Now I want to say flannel. But then that makes me think of…well, yeah, stout…diaper flannel; stout cotton fabric. Ceylon? C-E-Y-L-O-N.
That’s wotton; wool and cotton mixed together. Wotton. How come they don’t call that wotton or wooten? What are you wearing? A wooten shirt. I’m walking around drinking Worcestershire and wooster. Walking around wooster drinking Worcestershire and my wooten shirt. Cotton or canton flannel is cotton, and baby flannel, used for children’s wear. Okay, I’m glad we got that covered, just so I didn’t make any…just so I could…so, okay, let’s make some other assumptions I have about flannel, though. Flannel is typically associated, in my mind, with a few different categories. One, of course, people in the lumber…this isn’t a…this is more of an archetype, I guess, than an assumption, but archetypal lumberjacks and Janes and lumber…people in the lumber industry, archetypal people or people in cartoons; that’s where I get most of my archetypes from…wear…may be in flannel shirts.
So, that’s one area. Or you say oh, you’re a mountain person. Oh boy, are you impressive. So, okay, so that’s one…here’s a question; I have…I think I got the Lumberjanes comic books, but I haven’t had a chance to read them. So, I’ll have to look when I read those, if the Lumberjanes…if any of the Lumberjanes are wearing flannel. Somebody’s probably already e-mailing me and letting me know. I appreciate that, too. Okay. Oh, other things; grunge is another place…that was a nineties music scene style, Seattle grunge, which has made some comebacks. I mean, I don’t know. So, that’s another thing I associate…or that flannel’s associated with.
I guess I don’t…well, I guess I can see some people either from my past, because I lived in the grunge era, or just seeing people in my mind or people dressed up like they’re grunge for Halloween with a flannel shirt normally around their waist, though, which I guess makes sense, especially if you’re in Seattle. Seattle; a place flannel makes perfect sense, especially flannel made from non-cotton material. Seattle; we give flannel a home that it’s comfortable in, and you’ll be comfortable in Seattle in flannel. Flannel in Seattle; two good things that go together. Seattle; the City of Flannels. The Flannel City? No, we’re the Emerald City, I think, but…Vancouver; the Flannel City, ‘cause Seattle didn’t take it and we said oh, we’ll take it. That’s a great idea, Scoots. So, okay, well, we got that settled.
Then the Flannel City’s probably saying hey, what about us? We’re flannel…and I’d say okay, there can be more than one Flannel City. Okay, also, flannel, over the past fifteen years, I’ve seen it come and go. It’s one of those things that persists, but if you’re stylish, it comes and it goes, ‘cause I’ve seen people that I would consider stylish wearing flannel, but by the time I see them, then they’re probably already get…they’re probably already changing it up. But I would say when preppies dress down, they may be wearing flannel, but I don’t know if there’s preppies anymore, so I would say that style…prep…I don’t know what it is anymore. Not that you couldn’t be a…you could wear flannel if you’re not a prep. I have one flannel shirt.
I use it mostly to walk the dog or as my secondary layer when…but…and then I say well, I prefer something…a hooded sweatshirt most of the time. But I do have one flannel shirt. I’m not sure if it’s cotton or what it’s made of, so there’s that. Okay, so those are some things I associate with flannel. These are a few of…flannel things that I remember. Lumber Jacks and Janes and Seattle grunge games. Those are a few of the flannel things. Cold, foggy evenings, and a chill in the spring; those are a few of the flannel things I remember. Okay, so, but this is nothing to do with it. This is the…what is it? The…what was the name of the story? A Teapot in Flannel. We’ll start the story where…sometimes I start my stories in the beginning, some starts…time I start them in various places.
This one we’ll start right in this middle of this journey. There’s a teapot and the teapot was out already on a journey when we catch up with this teapot, because the teapot had seen where the teapot lived and stuff. There was…over the…starting many nights ago, before the teapot left, one, two…one, two, three…and maybe I’d say three-and-a-half comets, which we never see…I mean, that I know about…first of all, you…I know some of you are saying Scoots, what’s a half-comet? I say well, again, I’m not a astronomer or…I’m not a knower of the sky. I know the sky’s up there. This teapot was in the same boat as me, and the teapot didn’t have internet because this story took place a while ago. It’s been passed…it…this is one of those stories that was never passed down through generations. I had to go back and get it.
They said, why didn’t you…why hasn’t the Teapot in Flannel been passed down from generation to generation or cross-culturally in different ways? They said, have you heard the story? It puts everybody to sleep. I say one day…so, keep passing it on. One day…don’t worry, one day the story will serve…it’s already serving its purpose. You didn’t even realize it. I guess that I probably won’t do that if I have a time travel machine, but I should. It would be like, when I’m making my poor decision, once I have access to a time travel…I’ll say well, I should just go back there and tell him hey, tell the kids that flannel story, or that story that bases what your clothing is made of and traditional drink that your culture drinks, a vessel. Tell that story even though it puts kids to sleep. It’s an important one.
They say yeah, but we’re trying to…and I say yeah, but you’re putting everybody to sleep. That’s actually…don’t worry. Trust me; I’m from the future, and in the future…trust me, it doesn’t make any sense even to me, and I do it as a job. But it makes perfect sense. I say, see how…here’s what I’d say…here’s what I would do; I’d take them in a time machine to earlier in the day when all the kids were making noise. So, I’d be breaking all sorts of time…I mean, I wouldn’t be doing this ‘cause I’d be doing something else, like, whatever. Who knows? But I would take the…back in the day when the kids were being loud, and then I’d flash-forward again to the present moment when they were in the middle of telling the story and all the kids were asleep, or the majority of the kids were asleep.
I’d say, even look at those kids that couldn’t sit still; they fell asleep. Oh, now we get it. Okay, so…but so, in this story, the teapot was out on a journey because there was three-and-a-half comets, and five or six…no, six new stars in the sky one night, or over…I don’t know. I didn’t get the first part of the story ‘cause I was…I fell asleep before they started. I do my sleep podcast story-collecting in reverse. But so, okay, three-and-a-half comets I just have to explain, is like, some…so, there’s three comets every night. You could see them in the sky, slowly transversing the night sky. Behind them, the six new stars. Then some nights, you could pick up another comet. Maybe it was further away, maybe…I don’t know, but it didn’t appear every night as a full comet like the other three, but it was clearly a…the occasional comet.
A whole ‘nother story. So, this teapot set out on a journey. Now, one thing that was interesting is that because…you say Scoots, I thought you said this episode took place a long time ago. I say well, you took it as three or four hundred years ago. I just said it didn’t…the teapot didn’t have access to the internet. But the teapot…you say, how does a teapot trans…how does a teapot go on a journey? I’d say believe it or not, this teapot was in something that…those of you that have grown up in the past…now, this was something I never had before either, but it was…these things were called Power Wheels. It’s a driveable…it was a car for kids, a battery-powered car for kids. Not for the road. I don’t know…I’m trying to think if I’ve ever driven a Power Wheel.
You could get them in different styles, and this was not technically a Power Wheel, believe it or not. It was something…it was a go-kart, because it…I don’t know. But that’s what the teapot was driving. But you say wait a second, what? I say yeah, it looks like a Power Wheel or a go-kart. But a Power Wheel was a…I don’t know. I always wanted one. I’m glad I never had one because I think every time I wanted to drive one when I went to somebody’s house, they say oh, it’s not charged, or they would…they would have fun driving around. They’d say okay, the battery’s ran out. You could drive it now. But you could see Power Wheels…there was a famous…there’s many famous commercials, a really good jingle which was just simply Power Wheels, Power Wheels; power makes it go. Or something like that.
But usually, for someone especially me that has trouble pronouncing words, it would go pow-pow-Power Wheels. So…okay, but this was not a branded…this is not a…believe it or not, this is not a branded podcast. This podcast episode, not sponsored by flannel or Power Wheels. But Power Wheels; not exactly what’s making this teapot go, but this teapot was going in a vehicle similar to that. Just wanted to kinda put that image in your mind in a very ineffective way. Strangely enough, this teapot was not the only person…in this world, these small vehicles were how…huh, just like in our world, I guess. You say well, I thought we were…but so, this teapot was actually in this huge traffic jam of other cars, small cars, like Power Wheels or a go-kart. Now, this teapot’s vehicle was bright red. Holy cow.
You’d say, is it…was it…I’d say it’s candy apple red, for…no; cherry red. Yeah. Gumball…hot-ball red. Atomic hot…what are those called? Atomic Hot Balls? Are those a thing anymore? Atomic Jawbreaker? There’s a candy I haven’t had in a while; Cinnamon Ball. But so, it…that was the color of the car, and the teapot was in the car. Every night…well, for a while, the teapot had lived far away from congestion, so it was just following where it thought the comets were going. But eventually other people got this idea, and the teapot headed to more populated areas. It was in this traffic jam, and in a…now, the good thing about teapots is…you think this is a joke or a pun; it’s not.
It’s easy for them to let off steam, so even in a teapot-based world or kitchen accoutrements-based world…I don’t know if that’s what you call a teapot, but…kitchen accessories, vital…I don’t know. But so, teapots don’t get as irritable as humans do in a traffic jam, but they do try to consider all their options. So, the teapot eventually was like okay, this main road, a freeway…everybody’s traffic-jammed in here. Clearly there’s a…again, no internet, so teapot wasn’t sure if this was normal. Teapot had never been along this way before. We’ll just call the teapot T for efficiency’s sake. Teapot…except I…was like okay, well, maybe I need to find an alternate route, and eventually pulled up against…next to a cab.
The cab was carrying a couple saucers, but the cab was also sentient, where teapot was…in this world, the cabs were sentient too, where teapot’s car was just a vehicle or a Power Wheel. Power Wheel…but so, the teapot said to the cab, is a lot…is this traffic normal? The cabbie said well, it’s a mix of things. There’s a lot of people trying to follow those comets, and then…yeah, this is…yeah, it’s various layers of traffic here. It’s not one cause, but probably exacerbated by the people following the comet. I have no idea how far it’s gonna be. I gotta get these saucers somewhere. It’s a kitten’s birthday party and they gotta do this show, and then of course, then it’s this…I don’t know. It’s this whole thing.
So, I’m a bit worried and I’m…believe it or not, I’ve been sitting in traffic and I didn’t plan it and I’m low on power. So, I’m just…I gotta get to this next exit, but I don’t even know…once I get to the exit, I know where the…I’m trying to get to the party ‘cause they don’t really have time for me to stop and re-energize. The teapot said oh wow, sounds like you’re in a pickle. Maybe I could help you. The cabbie said well, what…great, thank you. Is there anything I could do for you? The teapot said well, I don’t…it’s a little embarrassing, but I’ll be honest with you; I’m one of these people following the comets. I know it’s a big deal, and they all seem to be going in the same direction. Some people say they’re millions of miles away or whatever, but it’s got my attention.
I wasn’t really doing anything, so I figured I would go anyway and follow them and just have an adventure. The cabbie said wow, that’s very courageous of you and very interesting, and…but I actually asked how I could be of service to you. The teapot said well, I don’t…I really don’t feel like I’m in an adventure sitting in traffic. So in some sense, you’ll be allowing me to go on an adventure by helping you, but after I help you, I guess I’m trying to figure out where to go next. The cabbie said oh, I could probably…I’ll look up a map while we’re going. So, I just need you to give me a push; like, get behind me and push me, ‘cause there’s the exit, and I’ll tell you which way…you just keep pushing me. Just follow me. I mean, while you’re pushing me, you’ll already be following me.
We’ll get these kittens to the…or the saucers to the kitten party. I got a way for them, so I can’t really take you on a…I’m…this is a full…the people that are running the party are paying me to get the saucers there and back. These are the Saucy Saucer Sisters. They sing song…and then the teapot said holy moly, really? Wow. Great to meet you. But they were kinda not…they were super famous, so they were kinda not giving the teapot the time of day, which was fine for the situation. So, the teapot starts pushing the cabbie and the cabbie’s looking up the maps while…when the traffic’s fully stopped. The teapot’s pushing and eventually they get off this freeway and they keep going. Whatever, they take a bunch of turns, roundabouts, up a hill, country roads. They get out to this beautiful farm.
There’s all signs and balloons, giant…holy cow. If you think you’ve seen yarn, you’ve never seen yarn like on this…it was a yarn farm. Balls of yarn, all that kinda stuff. Whatever, so they get out there and they had a recharge station for the cab, ‘cause it’s…I don’t know. I don’t know if it was a real farm or an estate party farm, you know? But the cabbie says okay, let me show you this map. Let’s go over the map. The Saucer Sisters went to work. They’re going over the map and then the cabbie says it looks like if you go along this road across the farm…like, I’ll give you this map. You understand how to read a map? No. So, they kinda went over the basics of it, but also the…it was a bit like a Thomas Guide for this world, which…I’m trying to think how to explain it…or a triptych, but not exactly, where it’s a book in a binder.
It’s a bunch of maps and when you turn the…you can look at a grid that sees where all the maps are. Then when you turn the page, the map is going either north, south, east, or west. But then if you have to go north, south, east, or west, you can find the page number at the side of the map. So, it’s like maps within maps laid out on a grid system. Easy to cross-reference once you learn the system, which this…and this was more of a regional Thomas Guide, where traditionally if you’ve lived in Los Angeles…when I lived there, the Tomas guide was key to getting around before the internet. I’d probably say…I guess ‘cause streets and stuff change; these apps have probably made it less…I wonder if there was ever a…there’s…I wonder who owns that now. But so, I don’t know.
So, it was just…this was similar, but on a regional…so, more like…not a triptych…I don’t know. Triptych’s a whole…triptychs are very similar. You could still get those, but I tried to get one and figure it out, but I couldn’t. This is actually the same thing the cabbie was explaining to the teapot, ‘cause the teapot said the only maps I ever seen were the ones that you just…the one I have, which just covers…it was a state map in their world. So, the cabbie then explained what a Thomas Guide was, which they called a Floorshin guide there, because it’s just based on whoever…Flooshin. Yeah. You say Scoots, could you say that one more time so we know it’s not a made-up word? Flooshin. Don’t ask me later though, ‘cause they just called it the FG anyway. But then the cabbie said a triptych is similar.
You would go to the Triple A in our world, and…if you were a member, and then you’d say hey, I need a triptych to go from this place to this place. Just like you would do on your app, but they would do it there. I think you had to order it. But they would assemble maps on the most efficient journey with highlights, but also, you could fold the map out to have a more…area map, and it had suggestions for where to stop. That was what a triptych was. Now, why is that important? I don’t know. It just popped in my head and dis…well, the cabbie was like okay, so this is how you’re gonna go. But you know, obviously you’re gonna…you might change your mind. Or, I wanted you to know how to look up and find where you are. Basic wayfinding lesson.
Now meanwhile, while all this is going on…but right towards where…and they were listening to the Saucy Saucer Sisters sing and dance, so that was very soothing. I don’t know, they were getting to the point. It was a beautiful evening. Comets were in the sky, then the six new stars, all four…three-and-a-half or four comets were in the sky at this point. But then there was this hubbub, right? The next thing they knew, this duck with a very…was in a bad mood and was giving a very intense speech to this placemat, which in this case was a flannel placemat; spoiler, but not totally a spoiler. The placemat kinda had its head down and the duck was…the basic crux of what the duck was saying was that your job was to sit still. Your job is to be placed; you’re a mat, placemat.
Even said you’re the worsted wool I’ve ever seen, and basically was…they were jointly deciding that this placemat would no longer be employed at this…and even they…things that I would…some of the kittens could just play with you. But the placemat said no, I’d prefer to go out on my own. The placemat was pleasantly surprised, ‘cause the placemat, at least internally, was like okay, well, I got a long walk ahead of me. I don’t even know where I’m gonna go. That’s what the placemat said when its face lit up in surprise at seeing the cabbie and the teapot in a pow-pow-Power Wheel. It said holy cow, hi. I just got…I just…my employment status just went from full-time to free, and it looks like I’m on an adventure. The teapot said funniest thing; I’m on an adventure right now, too.
The cabbie kinda looked at both of them and a light went on. It was a glove-box light, but it really was also…and the cabbie said you know what? The hardest thing about being a cabbie…I know most of these maps by heart. I only have to look at a map when I’m stopped and I’m going someplace new, but usually I already plan out my route, and then I double-check it so that my mind’s absorbed the material. But you know, I don’t have anybody…part of this idea of the Thomas Guide or the triptych is that it’s a team effort, because…and the flannel placemat actually was like oh yeah, yeah, I remember when I was just a wool ball like the ones you see out there made of yarn. So, the placemat was actually familiar with this stuff, so then we didn’t have to…no one had to re-explain it, even in a sleep podcast.
But the cabbie said you know, you need somebody to help you. It works better as a team, basically. A triptych, Thomas Guide works better with a driver and navigator. So, maybe the two of you could work together. The placemat said work together at what? The teapot said well, I’m trying to find…I’m following these comets that have been in the sky, and it’s just kind of been an adventure so far. So, I guess I’m kinda following the comets and I’m enjoying the new stars, and curious about it and thinking about it. That’s my adventure; I’m trying to follow the comets, basically. I realized…and if that’s your opinion, I respect it and I don’t need to hear it, but that some people would say this was pointless and that it’s impossible. The placemat said well, I got nothing to do and I love this idea.
Would you have me as your navigator or your helper? The teapot said why not? Why don’t we get going? Then they had a bit of an extended goodbye with the cabbie, because…or the cab because they had developed a quick friendship. Then they went out behind the farm, took a right, then they took…they take a right, then another right, then a left, then they went up this really big, big hill, then the kinda…hill went down a little bit and then they rode for a while, straight. Then they went on a curve…I think left. Then they came across…what is it…one more hill and one more curve. They saw in the distance this giant lighthouse.
The lighthouse was cool because…or at least to me, because I had never seen…well, I probably have seen…but typically this was a sea-blue lighthouse, or a sky-blue lighthouse towering up in the distance with a light on it, scanning the sea so they could see the sea. They said wow, that is some lighthouse, and the placemats…the strangest thing is that the lighthouse is higher up; it’s got a great view. I’ve heard word that…and the teapot said where’d you hear word from? It said well, we’ve only been driving, whatever, however many hours it was. It was actually a lot longer than I made it sound, ‘cause it was the next night. The placemat said well, I heard it at another party we had at the farm that I was working at before I was a placemat.
I only recently became a placemat, and I’m just not…it’s…being a placemat’s not my thing. The teapot said okay, but we were talking about the…oh, and it said okay, so I heard from some guests at the party that they had been at a lighthouse and the lighthouse had astronomy equipment, like stuff to look at the comets from. But this was before the comets; they were just looking at the stars and the moon and the stuff in the sky. The teapot said wow, so we could look at the comets. The placemat said yeah, and we could get a better idea of where they’re going and maybe even get a better view of the comets. So, they drove down…now, this was a very big lighthouse and it was on a coastal isthmus, so anybody that’s ever driven in that kind of situation knows it takes a while.
You get your anticipation buildup and then you go oh boy, that’s a lot of turning and going up and going back down. Eventually, halfway out the isthmus, they came across a quiet little town, the definition of quaint. Holy moly. I don’t know what they call those roofs that look like they’re…I don’t know. Are those gingerbread roofs or something? But beautiful roofs, different colors, cobblestone streets, the whole nine yards. They drove through town and they stopped and they said hey, there’s…we’re just driving through town here. They said where are you headed? They said to the lighthouse. They said oh boy, did you know? Are you really going to the lighthouse? They said well, we’re trying. Is there some sort of obstacle in our path?
They said well, there’s an obstacle in our path, because we need…we’re the last town before the lighthouse. We’ve been a quaint spot and we lost a lot of people that are following the comet, and also a lot of our younger residents, they move on to the big city. We’re actually the home of the Saucer Sisters. They said, you gotta be kidding me. They said no, no, no; they’re actually just best friends. But anyway, yeah, they grew up here and ever since they hit it big, they…everybody kinda…it kind of encouraged our town to dream. Not a bad thing, but the thing is that it’s interrupted our…we can’t get anybody to run the lighthouse. They said it’s just been this thing. The other thing is we have a very…so, that’s one thing. They said well, it looks like it’s running fine. They said well, we gotta leave the light on all the time.
That’s normally how we do it. So, it’s like…they said it’s hard to explain, but basically we’re all volunteering to keep the lighthouse moving and all that stuff, and in the past, we’ve had lighthouse keepers and…or, well, but they keep the lighthouse and then they run the lights. So, we were hoping you were here to apply for the job. They said well, we don’t know any…and they said oh, you could get…you could learn. Then the townspeople said well, why don’t you go look at…they said why don’t you go look at the lighthouse and stuff? They said well, can you tell us more about this job just so we know about it? They said okay, so, normally this lighthouse is part of the path. Like, if you look off to the west or your left, you’re gonna see…this isthmus sticks out, and so it’s…so everybody can avoid this isthmus, right?
But at this point, normally ships are only supposed to come through when the moon is between half-full and half-half. Anything less than half-full or…whether it’s coming or going, ships are not supposed to be traveling in this region, because there’s a couple places that the moonlight…there’s other places that don’t have a lighthouse, that you probably…if…as long as you have half-moonlight, easy to avoid. Because our lighthouse is lit…and you say okay, so I know how far to go out. But the rest of the time, the lighthouse is off, the light. Now, you’re not off-duty ‘cause then you’re keeping the lighthouse, which is a bit of work, and that comes…that’s part of the job.
Free room and board, you get paid, and then the light’s off, and then we all sleep a lot better because the way the light…that lighthouse works, it just throws off…it’s a particular type of lens they use, because we’re just trying to…again, tough to explain until you get into the job, but that keeps us all up at night, and…or just doesn’t…our quality of sleep is not the same, because also there’s a slight buzzing up there. So, yeah. So, we want to shut that light out…lighthouse off, because then we sleep…our sleep schedule…we don’t sleep like those mammals. Our sleep schedule was based on the moon. This was utterly confusing to the teapot and the flannel placemat. They said okay, we kinda get it. But yeah, could we go see the lighthouse? They said oh, by…go ahead. Go down there. Go on upstairs.
There’s probably…we don’t…I could check who’s on duty, but somebody nice. We’re all nice around here. Check it out. See what you think. So, they headed out and they headed down there. This just happened to be one of the times when the moon was less than half-full. But what they didn’t explain was kinda what they…so, they went to the lighthouse, then they knocked on the door. Now actually, this was another team job. There was actually a bell you rang, but it took them a while to figure that out, ‘cause they had never been there before. The bell rang in one…it was one of those bells on a rope that went way up with a pulley system. But so, at this time, there’s two people there; one person…kinda like this team thing with the guiding. So, one person came down.
They said hey, and they said hey, we just started…they said, you’re here for the lighthouse job? You’re not from around here. Flannel placemat and a teapot; perfect. You two…you look like you already work well together. They said well, I’m keeping…I’m off-duty, so I answer the door and stuff, and my partner’s upstairs. We’re tuckered out. They said okay, well…and then the teapot said okay…and they said well, come upstairs; we’ll talk. They said okay, well…this is the lighthouse, this is the light, and when you’re on-duty, currently, we…they had to run in this wheel, like…a bit like a hamster wheel, but you don’t have to run fast. They said yeah, this is how we keep it going. That’s what keeps the light on.
That’s why we would prefer to…they explain that to get the light started takes a lot of energy, running really fast, but then otherwise you’d just have to kinda…you don’t even have to do it all the time, but there’s a clock that lets you know. When winded up, they said it’s just too tiring for us. It’s easier for us to keep the light on all the time. We’re just…with all the volunteers and stuff. They said whoa, look at all these telescopes. They said oh, you like telescopes? Yeah, we…if the light was out, we could be looking at the comets and stuff. You really learn more about the…you’d learn so much about astronomy and things. You would be blown away at how much…you could see the comets, you could see what they’re made of. You can even see that there’s four comets all of the time.
It’s just the way the sunlight and the moonlight is that you can’t see the fourth one all of the time. The placemat and the teapot…’cause they had been talking a lot about comets and their downtime when they’re driving. So, they were like, wow. They said well, this is pretty cool. So, you live…we live here. They said, could we try it out? They said well, we’d prefer a six to twelve-month commitment, ‘cause…so we could catch up on our sleep. But you could try it out for a couple days and see what you think. We just ask they keep it lit for now and that we’ll just stay here with you, ‘cause there’s guest rooms. So, they did. They tried it out and they learned the basics of this type of energy source and lighting and moving it around and…actually at the perfect time, ‘cause there was really no stakes.
They said okay, and we could keep a volunteer coming by at night to help one of you, whoever’s running the light and whoever’s off-duty. You know, we could do all that. Then the teapot said well, you know…but we could sleep during the day, right? They said well, sometimes it’s like, one lighthouse keeper. You could figure out your schedule between the two of you. They said, one other thing to know, though, is it’s pretty chilly up here at the top of tower when you’re running…even when you’re kinda moving the wheel, based on the wheel schedule. So, you’ll have to think about that. They said okay, well, we’d like to see the lighthouse without the light on before we take the job. They said okay, but then if you do…if we do it, you two have to get it restarted, ‘cause all of us here…we’ve just lived full lives, so running that wheel…it’d probably take the two of you to get the light restarted.
Not too long, but again, you’re a healthy teapot and a placemat. So, they shut down the light and…mostly because they wanted to look through the telescopes which you couldn’t see through, ‘cause the light…when the lighthouse was lit up. They were blown away. The teapot already said okay, now I realize what everyone was telling…this is my adventure, ‘cause the teapot immediately was…went from having this distant kinda fantasy goal of following the comets to suddenly now studying the comets. But the…and the flannel placemat also said I love…one, I really have extra energy to burn, so running this wheel is great for me. But also, what had happened between the two of them formed this deeper bond, and they realized also that there was a physical connection between the two of them, ‘cause the placemat could surround the teapot.
The teapot again…I didn’t get into this…mechanics of the teapot, but of course it’s made to keep tea hot or warm. They realized that their partnership was more than just wayfinding and working together. It was much more deeper than that; they were in love, and they found that their love and companionship could sustain one another through cold nights, metaphorical but also real ones. Eventually, they learned that they had separate interests and skills within the lighthouse and astronomy community, and the thing about the placemat was…the placemat said okay, well, how much are we…what’s the budget for the lighthouse?
‘Cause we could bring on other part-time help, because I know plenty of people out on the…they’re…there’s a lot of wool being produced, and placemats and other flannel things…I probably could get some more young people in this community, not all…full-time. Teapot discovered these libraries, these astronomy clubs, but also a profession as an astronomer, and found out the wonder of these comets, the real wonder of these comets. In their world, it was much more than just flying ice or whatever a comet is in our world. So it did…there were other payoffs, ‘cause the comets were going somewhere to cool something down, which again, doesn’t happen in our world, but they said…they were balls of ice traversing the sky, but they were going to…some demi or full-fledged spiritual being needed some ice water.
That was the famous four comets, six stars for one…that was another tale. Ice water for a celestial being. That was a theory that gained great acclaim and happened…all was formulated at the top of this…well, not all at the top of the lighthouse, but…I don’t know. So, that’s how it ended up, was most nights when it was cool up there, you would think they were one, because the flannel placemat would be around the teapot, and the flannel would be holding the heat in and the teapot would be…they were together, keeping one another, sustaining one another through cold nights when the moon was less than half-full, or almost getting towards half-full. So, that’s the famous story that…I say well, okay. Could see how it wasn’t popular. This is my version of the tale that was not told through time, but maybe if people in the past knew, that it could help people get the rest they need, just like those two would rest; intertwined, or sometimes I say no, I’m gonna take a nap. You keep working. That’s the tale of the teapot and flannel. Goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)
- Oh what a feeling when seals are sealing on my ceiling
- Accoutrement-Based World (ABW)
- Coastal Isthmus
- Lionel Richie
- Atomic Fireball Candy
Notable Talking Points:
- Seattle: a place where flannel makes perfect sense
- Look at all these telescopes