1159 – Show Within a Show | All Intros 793-797
Tune into WMAC radio for the sleepy structure of an intro that is familiar but different each time.
- Morning Cat Mode
- The Three Little Pigs
- Spyro Gyra
- Looney Tunes
Notable Talking Points:
- Talking like 90% of PE Teachers i’ve met
- The Second Suggested Guideline
- Did Pismo Beach have a heyday?
Episode 1159 – Show Within a Show | All Intros 793 – 797
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Hey everybody, this is Scoots. This is…we pull episodes out of the archives every once in a while when I get listener requests, and this is a listener favorite that I’ve said, what…are we getting close to spring time? So, let me dig into the archives, find a episode people have been asking about, and give you a little bit of blast from the past. We’ll be back with a new episode. So, I hope you enjoy this episode. If you really love archived episodes, we have over 500 episodes in the free feed. $5-patrons get access back to Episode 355, and $10 and $20-patrons get access all the way back to Episode 2. But here’s one for you so you can really enjoy it. Take it away, Scoots.
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’s here to put 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 is the rest, you might say, you might inquire, you might ask? If you have ‘add a suggestion box’…I guess you wouldn’t put it in the suggestion…here’s a suggestion; answer this question. What’s the rest? Okay, I’ll take your suggestion, I’ll turn it into a question, and I’ll do it right now. What’s the rest? I’m gonna create a safe place. I’m gonna set it aside, I’m gonna carve it out, I’m gonna pat it out.
A safe place where you can set aside whatever’s been keeping you up at night, whether it’s thinking, you know, work thoughts, family thoughts, life thoughts, thinking, overthinking, under-thinking, anxiety, fear, stirred-up emotion, physical pain, noisy neighbors. Every week I hear from at least one person with an…a noisy neighbor. But whatever…if it’s none of those or, geez, all of those, holy mackerel, you better…maybe you should put one podcast…no, that wouldn’t work if you put my podcast…different podcast in each ear. But whatever it is that’s keeping you up, I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night, here. I’m gonna use…tonight I don’t…I think I’m a little worn down, so I don’t have…I just have straight, creaky tones. I don't know if I have lulling, soothing tones.
But I’ll tell you what; what my tones can’t do, my pace can, so I’ll have a lulling, soothing pace, pointless meanders, pregnant pauses. I guess they call them pregnant pauses because they’re usually…I think 'cause they’re pregnant with meaning is the subtext there. My pauses will have no…non-subtextual, non-textual…text-tier-list pauses. Well, no, I prefer my…actually, I prefer everything in the podcast that have a texture to it, so that’s not true. Pondering pauses, that’s exactly what we do here. What’s the P-word I’m trying to think of? I wish I…this is when I had a imaginary friend that was brighter than me. No offense. I haven’t spoken to my imaginary friend in like, thirty-five years. That’s the kind of person I am. Oh boy, way off the rails here.
But what I’m gonna try to do…geez, this could be the night I have imagine…this could be tonight’s episode, Imaginary Friend Reunion. I should call my mom to find out what my imaginary friend’s name is. Maybe we’ll do that live on the show. We’ve never done that. No, that’d wake people up. But I’ll pause it and call her. I’ll put it in the bloopers, too. I wonder if she…I don't know what time it is, though. I think it’s late there. But anyway, sorry about that. If you’re new here, what I’m gonna do is tell a little bedtime story. It looks like…tonight I thought it was gonna be about one thing, but it sounds like it might be imaginary-friend-based. But who knows?
But the main idea is, if you’re in bed and you’ve properly…either you just plopped into bed 'cause you’re worn out or you did all sorts of sleep hygiene stuff, or maybe you were just so busy, so busy, then you say, I’m going to bed, and then you lie down, and then sleep is elusive, because any of those things I listed…a lot of times there’s a narrative that crops up in your brain. Your brain’s trying to process it or make sense of it, and one way we do that is story, or it might be a dialogue, where you’re having a dialogue with yourself for different parts of yourself. Sometimes…I know for me, it can feed the inability to sleep and then start to really trigger more and more layers of feelings, and even desperation. Saying, well, geez, what am I gonna do now? They say, well, if you can’t solve these problems, you’ll never get to sleep.
But it’s not really useful at bedtime, and a lot of it is this kinda this…I don't know. I’m not…let’s just get this out there; I’m not a professional when it comes to sleep or mental health or physical health. So, I’m just a pregnant ponderer. Whoops…I’m just a pausing…I guess I kinda am a pregnant…I mean, my brain is pregnant with ponderings, for sure. No doubt about…yeah, I’m a ponderer, the pregnant ponderer, and my brain goes around and around and around. But all that stuff, it’s like, well, geez, I’m really powerless at bedtime to do anything about all these issues you’re berating me about. But see, you get…kinda…it’s kinda like that circular thing or that self…what do they call it? Self-fulfilling or self…you know, the thing that’s impossible that generates its own energy thing.
But whatever it is, it’s really hard to take a step out of that, and so, what I do is I kinda offer an alternative here. This is different; it’s a little bit strange, a little bit odd. It doesn’t work for everybody, but instead of getting caught up in your thoughts or your reactions or whatever you want to…however you want to define it for yourself, I say, hey, let’s just take a breath, here. I’m a little bit of a goofball. I’ll be…you’ve been listening to me ramble. I’m pregnant…oh, congratulations, you’re pregnant with a brain-load of ponderings. I say, great, but I don't really have the…I don't really have a way to deal with them other than to do this. So, see? It worked out just fine.
Did you see how my brain tried to go in and give it to me 'cause my brain’s…I mean, only the brain or the limbic system would try to say, okay…you got a brain-full of ponderings. So, another part of my brain said, well, we better shame him about that, because that’ll get everything straight. That’ll get him on the straight and narrow. Oh boy, that’s gonna get his life right in order. See? There’s really…it’s like the managers…I don't know. So, instead of even getting involved or pulled into that, you can just listen to me ramble. You can even point it out to your brain and say, geez…you could even call a meeting yourself just to…a quick meeting to be like, hey, brain and body team, emotion team, come on in. I just…we’ve been listening to this Scooter guy ramble on, here. Would you believe he’s pregnant with ponderings?
I believe…pausing ponderings or some such thing. The intelligence section’s like, excuse me, that’s not possible. Then that person gets…haven’t you been listening? It contradicts all known data, but it’s…so, you can just call your team in and let them be distracted by me, be like, well, you were doing a great job. Look at this Scooter guy. He said we can just listen to him, and he’s gonna try to entertain all our brain parts. Believe it or not, he has the utmost respect for all of you. He’s won Brainbot Entertainer of the Year in imaginary competitions two or three years running. Oh, no, my first year of podcasting I forgot to imaginarily nominate myself, so only just two years running. But that’s it. I don't have a bow to wrap it all up in, but it’s to take your mind off of your stuff and just listen to me, and the rest of it will be story-based.
This is an intro where I kinda…I attempt to explain the mechanics of the podcast, which are elusive even to me to try to figure out and explain. But just to say, hey, you don’t have to listen to me. You can kind of listen to me. You don’t have to remember what I’m talking about tomorrow. Maybe four days from now, you’ll see a pregnancy test and you’ll start laughing, and you’ll be like, that poor guy’s pregnant with ponderings. I say, yeah, I’m gonna give that…I got probably quick…more than quintuplets. I got bintuplets. But that’s it. That’s all I want to do here, take your mind off of stuff and lose your attention, kinda bring your attention here, and then you can drift off whenever you like. Now, if you can’t fall asleep, don't worry about that. I’ll be here the whole time, the next forty-five, fifty minutes, giving it my all.
I’ll be following some ponderings and seeing where they go. I’ll try to be mildly entertaining, humor-like, near humor. If you fall asleep, you won't be missing out on much, but if you can’t sleep, I’m gonna try to be your friend in the deep, dark night, just rambling on here, which is the intention of either putting you to sleep or keeping you company. So, I’m glad you’re here. I really appreciate you stopping by. If this is your first few times here, it doesn’t work for everybody yet. It’s outside of the norm. Give it a couple tries. I hope it works for you. If it doesn’t, let me know. I could try to help you find something else. But I appreciate your time and I really hope, I really yearn to help you fall asleep, alright?
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Trending Twitter Tuesday. So, I’m gonna look up trends here on the old…whatever the heck is this called? Tweet pod or something. So, I’m gonna pause, actually. Alright, so, I looked up the things but I forgot I was gonna call my mom. It’s 10:00 PM, March something. I guess I don’t call my mom’s phone that often. Oh, why don’t you call your mom’s phones more often? ‘Cause I just call my dad’s phone. Okay, that’s shaming. I don't see it anywhere in my recents. Boy, that’s embarrassing. Okay, this is really burning up time. I got so much I gotta do tonight. Oh, other than call your mother, I think. Yep. Yeah, like record the rest of this podcast, [PHONE RINGING] watch Breaking Bad…okay, take it easy. Okay, phone’s ringing.
Okay, so my mom didn’t answer there, so…'cause I was thinking while I was doing the intro…I said, huh…honestly, that was weird; I had this fugue I went into. I did do…that was more of a quick…I don't know if I have a term for that. I didn’t…usually I say, I fugue-stated, but…or fugue-slipped. But that was more…a fugue-flash; that’s definitely what it was. Somebody pencil that in and definitely see if you can get the DSVM6 on the phone. As long as they fired everybody in charge of the DSVM5…I’m just kidding. But really, see if we can get fugue-flashing in there. I say, okay, what study? I say, well, I’m a living study. But I fugue-flashed there. I said, geez, what…I forgot to take a picture of the trends 'cause I’m…but during the intro…I don't even know what the context was that came up about my childhood imaginary friend, and I know I had one.
Well, this one’s gonna get personal quick 'cause I had a couple things on my mind this week, actually. So, I don't know how we’re gonna spin a story out of this, but we’ll figure it out. But somehow in there I had a interaction with my childhood imaginary friend, who I haven’t seen, whenever I decided to push that part of me…I say, well, I don't think I ever grew out of it. Man, it’s gotta be painful to be…has there been…has anybody…Pixar listening to this? Let’s get on this, the pain…it’s probably been done, but it’s gotta be painful being a imaginary friend. Like I said, it’s kinda like Toy…oh yeah, it was called Toy Story…Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3. You’re right; that’s exactly…I guess they did…that’s why I said, somebody probably did it. See? I’m even getting criticized here.
But yeah, it’s incredibly painful to be an imaginary friend, and I guess that was the premise of Toy Story 3, or all the…it’s gotta be — depending on which character you identify with — incredibly painful to be berated by Woody, or incredibly painful to be burdened with Buzz Lightyear, just depending on who…and I say, that’s the great thing about those movies. But anyway, I was saying, man, what if I had a reunion with my childhood imaginary friend? But then I was like, I had to call my mom 'cause I said, I don't even remember…I know I had one. Of course, my mom could get mixed up, and of course she’d say, well, it was Albert. I say, wasn’t that Kenneth’s…? That’s my youngest brother. Wasn’t that Kenneth’s best friend? No; his was Zeke. Are you sure about that, mom? ‘Cause I don't remember talking to anybody named Albert.
You say, geez, remember that episode where I was talking about Kenneth’s my buddy doll? I say, isn’t…there’s…buddy healed? Did they come with last names? Did Cabbage Patch Kids come with last names? I never had one of those, either. Oh, well, now you want me to feel bad 'cause I never…? No, no, no, mom. I was just asking. Hopefully she’ll call back during this, but I’ll put it in the bloopers. Don't worry; I won't wake anybody up. So, who was my imaginary friend? Then I’m thinking, geez, what qualities do you look for in an imaginary friend? I say, or is it just…holy cow, this…and again, I’m not trying to hurt any imaginary friends out there or lose that audience, 'cause god forbid I spend 80%, 90% of my time in my imagination.
But actually, at first…I didn’t think…this is totally a pregnant ponder because it offers us contrast. Say, geez, your imaginary friend was really…for a lot of people was an imaginary advocate, right? Or maybe it wasn’t that strong. But in some sense, once…for me, at least…maybe my imaginary friend got pushed out by my internal critic. I mean, huh, this is interesting. I’ve never thought about this before. I mean, I thought about a lot of elements of this, but when you…is that when…and I know everybody’s different, so this is just for me. I’m wondering for myself. I don't know if this is relatable. But when I turned my back on my imaginary friend or lost touch with that imaginary friend that was so important to me I can’t even remember his name, was that when this other part of me kinda took hold that was a little more aggressive and more into punishing me?
Or whatever, you know, whatever tactics you use. ‘Cause one thing I think of is that the imaginary friend likes to do stuff, you know? Imaginary friend would be like, hey, let’s go do something. I say, well, it’s raining outside. Well, let’s just do something…let’s have some fun. I guess as I’ve gone through maybe the past ten years or some point — and a lot of my struggles kinda run parallel to this — I would often wonder, when did I start taking life so seriously and when did I let life take on this weight? That a part of me was like, I don't know if the weight of the…that you give to your life is equal to the weight you feel like you’re carrying, or the level of seriousness that you’re giving it. But I said, well, geez, it sure feels that way, so I don't know what to tell you. So, I don't know if there’s a lesson in here. I mean, for me, that maybe is relatable.
Maybe this is the magic of the podcast, sometimes, for me, this…and maybe it’s a little self-indulgent, you know, but of getting to explore. Maybe I do need an imaginary friend reunion. So, I guess there’s a couple places we could go with this. I think…geez, I wish I had someone I could ask about this, like Ask Jack or Ask Somebody. I wonder if my…I don't think Jack would be a cool name for an imaginary friend. I mean, one thing would be figuring out the name of my imaginary friend. But I think it’s important…the qualities and maybe staying in the moment, 'cause another thing that came up for me this week…I’ve been thinking a lot about introversion and my own introversion and just some limitations I have, and being like, geez, is there a way I could be more respectful of these instead of being like, oh, this is a problem I gotta figure out and fix, or if it wasn’t for this, then I would be this, you know?
I don't know what caught my attention about…but I was thinking, geez, when…or…and I haven’t investigated this, but you think about introversion or extroversion or something in-between, and I was just getting curious about it. So, not on a clinical level or anything like that, but I was like, when do they start…? I guess I didn’t ask the question this week; have I…I guess it’s a way more accepting way, and maybe that’s why people fall into these different camps. But it’s like…I mean, I know for me, I’m always looking for certainty, so it’s like, oh, you were born a introvert. Be like, oh, that gives me some certainty. But that’s not where I was thinking this week. I was remembering way, way back. I was like, huh, was I always an introvert or not? Or was there any time…or social anxiety…maybe it’s different.
I know I’m a introvert 'cause I know…my understanding is, okay, if I’m around people, I need some…I don't get recharged when I’m around people. I can be around people and stuff, but my batteries are charged when I have some solace and some down time, where it’s my understanding that extroverts really gain energy from being around people. So, I guess that’s a little different than having social anxiety or just being a bit of a loner, I guess, is my thing, or uncomfortableness, all acceptable things. But I was thinking way back when I was probably under the age of six, 'cause this is when we lived in this small town, and I just remember being at this birthday party and it was for…it was on my street that I was…me and my parents lived on at the time with my…I think I just had my brother and my sister and my parents at that time.
I can remember going to this birthday party for a neighbor friend of mine, but I don’t…I guess maybe he was a little bit older than me, but I didn’t know his friends, and it was a big birthday party. I think I had gone to the party alone or got dropped off there or something, you know? I can remember, even though I was very young, that I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t know any…for people that are introverted or have social anxiety, I say geez, I don't know anybody here, which is surprising. When I was looking back at the memory of this week, I said, geez…I was already overthinking stuff. I remember…I said, okay, this is…this party is not for me. Then I also had a fan…I liked playing with toys and I also had a fantasy that one day I’d have a bunk-bed, because I didn’t have a bunk-bed.
I remember…so, I just went up to this kid’s room and got in the top bunk of his bunk-bed and started playing with some toys, action figures, or something. Then I remember a parent or his mother came up and said, no, no, no you gotta come down to the party. You can’t hide up there. I don't know if this is the same memory or a different one; then I remember winning at a Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I don't think I cheated, either, which was rare. I think somehow I won at Pin the Tail on the Donkey by accident. Maybe the mom did that as a present to cheer me up. Or maybe I cheated, but I can remember I don't think I did cheat like that. I was like, wow. Yeah, I…so, but I remember initially I didn’t like the idea that the mom was making…but then when it was more structured activities, I felt more comfortable.
Now, let’s not throw the imaginary friend under the bus, but I say, geez, I don't know if you’re named Buddy Heal or not or whatever, but why weren’t you at that party? The imaginary friend would be like, well, why didn’t you invite me? Oh, or maybe something else, but I don't know. I was just thinking about that 'cause I was thinking about introversion and stuff. But it makes me think about…well, geez, I’m still trying to buy time to see if my mom calls me back or I think of this imaginary friend of mine’s name. Patrick? No. I don't think it was Patrick. I think it might be a longer name like that, though. But thinking about this imaginary friend…be like, well, what qualities do…why does a kid choose an imaginary friend or some people choose a personified object?
Maybe, I don't know, like a blankie or a bunkie or something like that, or a stuffed animal? Or, I don't know, can you have stuffed animal transference? Anyone? Mental health professionals or blanket…inanimate transference? But then it gets into these…say, geez, would you want an imaginary friend that’s just like you or very different from you? ‘Cause I think my imaginary friend — the nameless imaginary friend for now — was a bit different than me, 'cause it seemed like he was always like, hey, let’s go do something. Not like…well, maybe sometimes. No, I was more the one…if I was gonna do something, it was a bad idea. So, if I was gonna do something, it’d be like…I say, what were you thinking? The imaginary friend would be like, well, we could go dig in the dirt. I say, no, we pretend we’re construction workers.
Say, okay, well, I was thinking about taking my clothes off and going in that creek we’re not allowed to go into, and trying to become a human dam. They said, my…then that’s when my imaginary friend would probably just bolt. They say, what were you doing in the creek? I was making a human dam and I figured I’d take my clothes off so I wouldn’t get in trouble. I never did that. I took my…I made a lot of human dams. I was big on making human dams with water. So, there’s definitely a difference between being lost in your imagination and being with your imaginary friend, 'cause…and I guess it echoes cooperative play, parallel play. Huh, 'cause that’s interesting because my imaginary friend was, I think, into cooperative play or parallel play. I think I’m still doing that for 90% of the time.
But I remember being big into these dams, just for an example, and always wanting to dam up stuff. Luckily we…I lived in Syracuse, so there’s a lot of melting snow. So, I spent a lot…a lot of my damming was on the hill we lived on, using snow to dam, or rocks and stuff. I guess I’m kinda buying time 'cause I’m just…I don't know how I’m gonna have a reunion with someone who I can’t quite picture, who’s so far into my past and I guess so…ethereal? Are imaginary friends ethereal or concrete? Obviously they’re not…my…I can’t…I think my imaginary friend…well, I guess especially because adults couldn’t see them. Well, I guess mine were…yeah, see, he was kind of a drifting spirit. Maybe…oh, you know what? I think his name was Bill. I think that was his name. I was my…I was self and that was Bill, was my best friend.
I’m pretty sure I just hit it. I said…'cause I was looking on the…it said Bill’s self. I said, that’s me and my best friend, Bill, I believe, my imaginary friend. So, I guess this is a strange hybrid thing we’re gonna do here, but if everyone can just lie back and relax a little bit more, if you can. I guess this is an imaginary friend seance, 'cause Bill, I don't know if you can hear me…please don’t freak me out, if you can, Bill, 'cause I’m trying to do this podcast. Bill, we were once best friends, and I’m 60% to 70% that was your name. Actually, I can’t say we were best friends, but we were friends. You were my imaginary friend. Bill, if you could hear me, give me some traits of yours into my brain. Or, you know what, Bill? I shouldn’t ask. Bill, I’m here with my podcasting friends. Some are slumbering and some are just resting with us, listening.
If you can hear me, Bill, I’m sorry. [Inaudible]. I’m not sure what it…what made me let you drift into pure vapor from something much more sublime. I don't know if…what states you were in, but I’d like to apologize…not for whatever you put into the friendship, Bill, that I may or may not have returned. I’m not sure what you get out…I mean, best…I don't know why I keep using the term ‘best friend’. I don't want to put that on you, Bill. But imaginary friendship, I can imagine it’s hard, Bill. I don't know…please don’t tell me if you were ten-timing me with other kids in the neighborhood or if you were just coming from my inside. If you were, it’d be…I think it would have been easier to access you, unless you’re in that giant repressed zone that takes up so much of me.
Oh, Bill, maybe you could be…don’t unlock my repressed zone right now, Bill, in the middle of the episode, please. Maybe you could sneak out of it somehow and keep your finger there, and stuff something in the hole and then go right back in and close it up. Please don’t unleash the torrent of the repression inside me, Bill. Oh, Bill, I remember laughing with you, genuine laughter, Bill. I remember talking to my mom about you and having three-way conversations. Maybe you were there when I didn’t like that noise at the pancake breakfast. Oh, Bill, my friend, my old friend. I can’t say…Bill, I’m not saying this hurtfully, but I’ve become so unfamiliar, I can’t even say with honesty that I miss you, for my memory is so faint of you…I think it’s part of your job, Bill.
Oh, Bill, I wonder if you’ve seen any of the Toy Story movies and if they did a good…if you enjoyed them, if you thought the part of Toy Story 3 was the end and you cried like everyone else. Oh, Bill. That sounds nice, but I don't want to overdo saying ‘oh, Bill’. Oh, Bill, I wonder if you find it deliciously ironic that now I’m a friend of Bill or if you knew that back then and you said, oh boy, this guy’s got it coming. But…and also, I apologize if you…if I didn’t call you Bill, but I’m pretty sure I did. I’m pretty sure mom…hey, mom, Bill wants some Froot Loops. Okay. So, Bill…I don't know, I can feel something there, Bill. [Inaudible] at puberty…I think it’s pre-puberty, though, that I lost you. Or is it these…did you take on this new role? Bill, when people say ‘shadow self’, are you related to the shadow self at all? I wonder that, Bill.
I thought it would be nice if we had a reunion, but this is kinda like a strange date with someone I’m not even sure…say, geez, I don't know if…you know what I mean, Bill? I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable, Bill. I’m not gonna try to date you. Don’t worry, Bill, that imaginary space is right on the edge of the repressed zone where they bump up against each other. So, I’ll keep you on the other side of the repressed zone, Bill. So, Bill…I don't know, can we talk like…I don't know how to talk to you, Bill, buddy. I don't know, what would you think…? I guess I’ll try to talk like you were a pen pal now. Dear Bill, I’m not really skilled at…I’m more good at blathering than pretending I’m writing a…but now I live in Alameda, California, Bill, and I got this podcast. It’s a silly podcast to put people to sleep; kinda fun.
You’re on it now. Congratulations, Bill. Yeah, I’ve been doing the podcast for a few years, and I got a bunch of other stuff, but that’s mostly…I go to work, I work on the podcast. I got a couple other things going, Bill. You probably know I’m a little bit of a nervous guy. Well, I guess I’m not nervous. You’re right, Bill. Thanks. Oh, guys…Bill just made…intervened on my behalf, I think. Bill, is this…do you like when I’m pen-palling you? No. Okay, we’re onto something. I’ve got Bill here. I’m sensing Bill. For some reason I got that guy from Northern Exposure. Bill, is that you? Do you look like the guy that’s in that new…My Greek Wedding 2 and from Northern Exposure? You also, I think, made fancy furniture on Sex and the City. That’s weird, Bill; I think you’re…you can’t be…that would make you a little bit older than me.
Maybe someone’s watching that movie and it’s just streaming through my brain right now. So, anyway, Bill…I don't know, he seems like a nice guy even though I can’t remember his name, either. I couldn’t remember your name, though, Bill, and I never…I think I’ve watched one episode of Northern Exposure. I think he was the DJ. Seemed like that show was just on at the wrong time in my life. I don't know when it was on, but he seemed cool. Then I did watch…I think I saw those Sex and the Cities with you, and I saw the first Greek Wedding movie. But now I’m…Bill, I’m sorry. I got a…we’re still seeing…okay. Oh, I just had his name from one of the shows pop in my brain and pop back out. Oh, I think that his name was Aidan, Bill. But Bill, I was just wondering if you want to join me for a reunion. Maybe we could start somewhere.
Maybe I could take you somewhere, Bill, with me. I guess I didn’t think you’d put me on the spot, though, Bill. Where should we go? Some place nice. You could sit here while I podcast. That wouldn’t be a very good way to reunite, though. Or, I would sing to you, Bill, but…reunited with my imaginary…were we best friends, Bill? It terrifies me to ask; what qualities did you see in me as a best friend…potential best…imaginary human. Imaginary human, they interact…in the story. Gingerbread Press, 2020. I think that might actually be…Bill, would you be the imaginary…could you write a autobiography for me? Don’t put any real stuff in it, Bill. Just make it fiction. Thanks. But Bill, I guess I got off track, 'cause I think I was getting too emotionally…I gotta brave some intimacy. I know, Bill. So, I guess, Bill, I’m sorry.
I guess I was trying to use different tactics to make it less intimate. But I’m sorry. I don't know what happened. Some stuff they call progress or development happened, and I got this real grouchy part of me that grew, and I don't know if that’s you, Bill, or that’s me. Were you a part of me or were you an external part? I don't know, Bill, any of that stuff. I don't really understand it, though I spend so much time and money trying to, or a lot of times just thinking about it. But Bill, I don't know if…I bet you…I’m sorry. I bet you it hurts your feelings, you know? Wherever you are…we had some fun times together and I don't know if I always took you up on the fun times, but you were there for me. I don't know if it’s worse that I lost track of you and let you evaporate, for lack of a better term, or that I didn’t delight in the time I had for you.
I think that’s probably the bigger sin, Bill, not delighting in the time I had with you. So, I’m sorry for that, and I guess…I’m honestly having as deep as level of sorrow as I’m comfortable with right now, Bill. You know, geez, I’m sorry I left you behind. I don't know if you’d want to reunite and do something. Do you think we could go on a Ferris wheel ride? No. That’s good; you…Bill’s got an opinion, so that’s a plus. Great. Everybody that comes on this podcast has got an opinion. Okay, Bill. Well, I’m trying…I’m out of ideas of what we could do. Would you want to go on a drive with me? Maybe? Okay. Bill shrugged his shoulders. Okay, you’re definitely…this is definitely the right imaginary friend. Oh, you want to go back there, to our childhood home. Well, it wasn’t part of our childhood home.
Were you there when I visited this summer? It was a strange feeling, yeah. The house I lived in ‘til I was like, five or six years old. Yeah, it was weird, Bill, going back there. The house was a little bit different and things looked the same, but different. That was…and then we went up that street that ran parallel to it, and I said, geez, this is a street from my dreams. It was just a recent dream that I had been on that street where the backyard of the house…remember my…we were looking and we could see the back of the house from my childhood. But yeah, I remember being in that backyard. It was small. It had a giant industrial tire painted red or blue at different points. So, I can remember that, Bill.
Then I can remember it was surrounded by an old, wooden fence, a tall wooden fence with those…but I remember we had some good times at that tire, Bill. Yeah, I remember the rocking horse. I know you were gonna bring that up. It’s dangerously tropey, you know? ‘Cause DH Lawrence kinda cornered the market on rocking-horse-related childhood metaphors. But I can remember rock…that was before we were even…maybe you did know about DH Lawrence back then, Bill, but I didn’t. But I remember rocking on that rocking horse. I don't think they make those, 'cause it had the springs, you know? It had probably eight springs; two on each side, two on the front-left, two on the front-right. So, it was kind of a bouncing…it wasn’t a rocking horse. No, I think it did rock back and forth, but with a spring motion.
I can remember being there, Bill, with you, and I think it was my grandfather and they were watching horse racing, and I was racing with you, Bill, and the horse, of course. Were you my trainer? Yeah, I can remember the energy of that horse and the movement, and it being soothing and cathartic at the same time. But I don't really remember any other stuff we did, Bill, what time we spent together. I guess…and I don’t…I think…I don’t think you left me; I left you, 'cause they say, geez, maybe we need to reunite you and I, Bill. Maybe it could be a relatable way for other people to start this quest. Then maybe we could make some money off it, write a book; Return to the Imaginary Friend, and then we could do one about parenting, you know? Fostering imaginary friendships? That’s too clinical. What do you…?
No. Bill…okay, well, we should just do it for free, right? Free and imaginary. But I kinda wonder, Bill…I was thinking…I was saying this before I reached out to you, and I got my fingers crossed 'cause I hope your name’s Bill. Holy mackerel, can you imagine if I crossed paths with somebody else’s imaginary friend or the kind of…I don't know if there’s a place where you all…all the imaginary friends hang out, but if you have to go back there and they’re like, your human didn’t even know your name…oh, Bill, I’m sorry. But that would be…that’s kinda par for the course, being my imaginary friend, right? Okay, so, you get me. That’s good. So, Bill does get me. But you know what I mean, Bill? ‘Cause I was saying, what if there was an imaginary advocate?
‘Cause at some point, not only did I just give up on you, I kinda gave up on myself. You know that. Maybe that hurt you, too. But then I said, well, let me figure out a way to manage all this, and I kinda got this part of me…and this is the kinda broad generalization, this critical part of me, Bill. I guess I’m still curious; are you involved there or did I repurpose your role? Maybe I could un-purpose it now. Or if you’re two separate parts of me or if it even matters, you know? Or maybe that’s where I could ask for your help, though, to intervene here. I’m trying to help this other part of me out. Trying to figure out how to treat human beings — and all the wonderful personalities that make me up — with some dignity and respect. But I guess it’s…maybe it starts with us, Bill. What do you say we go to the New York State Fair?
Yeah, let’s go. Just a few minutes, Bill. We’ll go in through the gate across from Crucible Steel Mill. I think it’s now owned by Bethlehem Steel, Bill, but back when…did I ever take you to the New York State Fair with me, Bill? Oh, you’ve been. Mm-kay. So, we’re going through. It’s a weekday, 'cause I know dad would take an afternoon off of work so he could go on a weekday to the New York State Fair. We’re going in this entrance by the steel mill. I can’t remember where we parked, but we’re…I’m a kid; I don’t really need to know. We’re getting our Lost Kid tags…Wegmans New York State Fair, bright orange. We’re gonna write our names on it. I’m gonna make yours out Bill A, and I’m gonna put my name and address on there, Bill. Maybe I’ll take you. I’ll be me now and you could be Little Bill.
How’s that sound? Yeah. Let me take your hand here, Bill. So, if you get lost, just find one of these guys and say, hey, I’m lost. My name’s Bill. I don't know if they’ll be able to see you or not, but in this case, they will. So, yeah, the New York State Fair, Bill, is the great New York State Fair. You can hear all the announcements going on, and the smells. To our left is this Progress…the Center of Progress or Progress Center building or something. That’s where they sell the crap in there. It’s fun to go in, though. But we won't go in there today. We’ll just spend a few minutes. You gotta use the restroom? There’s a restroom there. Oh, no, you don’t have a bladder. Great. Does that mean I don’t have to buy you any frickin' food? Oh, you want…that smells good, huh? You want some cotton candy, Bill? No problem. So, we’re gonna walk here.
This is the main entrance up here on the right. There’s a couple radio stations; 95X. That was…used to be classic rock. I don't know. Then there’s 94. I think that used to be…adult contemporary, I think they called it. Yeah, so then if you…if we…this is…it used to be…I think it’s Cole Muffler Court, or it used to be Cole…I think it was Miller Court. Now it’s Cole Muffler Court, Bill. Then here is the New York State…celebration of things made in New York State. Yeah. Well, no, like goods, you know? I can see there’s cider and it’s like, artisan goods. Artisan goods; yeah, Bill. What’s the one thing you want to do when you’re here, Bill? Would you like to go on a carousel ride or a Ferris wheel ride with me, Bill? I’ll buy you cotton candy, maybe. Well, let’s just walk through here.
There’s stands of deep-fried…and fried foods and so many options and smells, but I guess I’m getting distracted. Bill, it’s good to be walking with you. Do you like it here? Do you like the warm summer air? It’s the end of the summer. I guess…I know, Bill. It’s a little strange reconnecting after all these years. I want to welcome you back. I know you’re hesitant to trust me, and I can totally understand that. Don't worry; I’ll buy…let’s see, do you want some pink or some blue? You want it in a stick or in a bag? Of course on a stick. Who…? In a bag just feels like…you’re right. Oh, she’s giving you both. I won't tell you that, in my opinion, it all tastes the same, but it tastes great, huh, Bill? Oh, wow. So, you can eat cotton candy but you don’t need to use the restroom.
So, let’s just skip across the fair, Bill, and let’s go straight to the midway, ‘cause it’s dusk now and the lights are starting to go on, huh? The noises…we can hear the squeals and the sounds, Bill. Yeah, let’s get in line here. I got us some tickets. They usually don’t use tickets, but since this is a…within an imagination…yeah, that’s right, Bill; none of this is real. It’s all a construction. Construct…oh, thanks. I didn’t know you had better grammar than me. That’s good to know, Bill. Even better. So, yeah, this is a giant Ferris wheel. We’re gonna get a view of the sun just setting. It’s the perfect New York State temperature; summer. Oh, Bill, I can feel it in my skin, in my pores. I can smell deep-fried combined with summer combined with the livestock here, and the sunscreen on this safety bar.
But Bill, I wonder if you haven’t been around already helping me on this podcast, 'cause I’ve been wondering if maybe I have to thank you for this podcast, Bill, 'cause I don't know how I’ve done it. Every once in a while when I stop and I try to say that it’s all real, that I’ve been following through on this podcast, Bill, I get terrified. I say, geez, this can’t even possibly be real, that I’ve been telling these stories. It’s counterintuitive and it’s different than how my mind thinks about stuff. Even what a lot of me believes…oh, this…you’re…you know it all, Bill. You know me deep down. But there had to be some…there has to be something driving this, Bill…me following through and having fun despite myself, and I wonder if it’s you I should be thanking, Bill. Is that part of your ephemeral nature or whatever the correct word is?
That you’ve been dissipated just into my general imagination? ‘Cause I always wonder who makes these podcasts, Bill, because when I’m not making them, I’m thinking about them and worrying about them. I’m like, well, this isn’t the same person that’s making these shows. Or when I look back at when I took a separate path from you, I say, how does all this…? What’s going on here? This doesn’t make any sense. Oh, thanks, Bill. You didn’t have to…are you holding me? Yeah. That’s nice, Bill. Thank you. So, I guess I gotta thank you. Is this like the footsteps in the sand moment? Imagination…there’s no footsteps in the imagination. Okay, so, then that’s…makes it tough to tie into a nice, little phrase. But so, we’ve been together the whole time? I’ve just needed to reunite with you.
But I still am having trouble…oh, it’s not supposed to be easy, huh? You’re right, I guess. Bill, you’re so wise. Why am I…why wasn’t I holding your hand when you were holding mine? Can we put that on a card? Do you think, Bill, that we could sell that? Don’t worry about it. It’s gonna be fine. Oh, you are wise, Bill, so…you’re not wise 'cause you have other imaginary people, do you? Please don’t tell me that. The only thing worse than that would be when my pillows are…yeah, I am trying to deflect from my uncomfortableness, yeah. It’s okay? Yeah. Well, so, Bill…geez, it’s good here to be in the sun. I guess I needed the New York State Fair and this funnel cake I’ve had in my pocket that I’m gonna eat now while you eat your cotton candy.
Late summer sun setting on the horizon, this huge, huge Ferris wheel, so safely constructed by these wonderful people running it, that we’re…under the other company. Great. Yeah, don't worry. I won't worry, Bill. I’m not worried at all. My teeth are chattering from joy and all the smells. We still needed to reunite, didn’t we, Bill? So, what do we do about the…? We don’t need to do anything? Okay. Is that kinda one of those paradoxical wisdoms? Maybe. Bill…oh, I guess I wasn’t ready. That’s why I had to set you aside. You’re too complex for me, even now. But as a kid, I kinda just needed these answers, huh? How the hell did you get so much nuance if you haven’t been…? Oh, right, you’ve been here the whole time, but I…we can’t use that other metaphor. Or, have you been with other humans?
Again, please don’t…'cause I say, geez, was…Andy was…'cause I remember when Andy took…at least, I remember when you took Buzz Lightyear out of the box, so…did you like those movies, Bill? You did. Okay, that’s great. Again, Bill, I tried to call my mom to confirm what your name was, but…so, it’s been good to be in with you, here. Thanks for holding me and thanks for helping me, I guess. I hope we can reconnect and reforge a friendship. Might be fun. You’re laughing. I seem to have forgotten what fun is. You’re right about that, Bill, but maybe I could rediscover it with you. It’s okay that I’m extroverted? Thanks. And that I have social anxiety? Thanks. You don’t think you could help me with…? Maybe, because I say, remember what…that Worcestershire sauce? No, that wasn’t a joke. That really happened, Bill.
I thought you were…oh, you’re not always there. Yeah, no, that wasn’t a joke that I said on the podcast; that really happened. Well, that’s the kinda stuff that always happens with…when I’m trying to say, hey, how you doing? We’ll work on it. Do imaginary friends date? Please don’t…oh, man, Bill, don’t tell me that’s gonna happen, where I’ll get a crush on somebody and they’ll say, well, I kinda like Bill. Bill’s my imaginary friend; he doesn’t exist. Yeah, but I like Bill. I’m sorry, you’re nice, but Bill’s just so…'cause that always happens to me. You know that, Bill? You were there for those? Yeah, great. Thanks. So, I think you’re probably…are you…you’re very sexual? Bill, please don’t say those kind of things to me. Not now. Oh, but you live within me? I can’t understand any of this.
Maybe you…could you take on more of a kung fu master role at some point for me? I don't have the discipline for kung fu. I meant metaphorically, kind of. Did you just sigh, Bill? Well, anyways, good to reconnect with you as this Ferris wheel spins. I’ve been on a spinning Ferris wheel for so long, and now I’m in the…I guess this is the same wheel in a different car, or the same car I’ve been in all along, but now I’m realizing my best friend here, my imaginary friend, that he’s somewhat real. Totally real. Sorry, Bill. You don’t have to glare. I didn’t think imaginary friends glared, either. Are you playing with me? I think my imaginary…my playful, imaginary best friend, Bill, a real…in some sense of the word…well, this is being recorded, Bill. It can’t be on record 'cause California’s [inaudible]. Okay.
Bill’s trying to not be critical, but correct…he’s trying to correct my behavior. Not used to this kind of dueling of equals. Near equals, Bill said. Bill thinks he’s a fricking comedian. That’s just what I need, an imaginary friend that’s a comedian. Bill, we should get on that. Imaginary Friend Comedy Tour. Hey, take…and then if I get nervous, I could just have you take the…hey, take it, Bill, my imaginary friend. Alright, so, as we travel, we’re moving in a circle. The sun is setting. My best friend’s arm is around me, and I feel well. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)