Bedtime stories to help grown ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night.
A real snoozy, snooze, snoozer, as Prez and Astro try and find the way to put the full in half-life.
Episode 1074 – Dreamy Dull Details | Spice Friends 11
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for the podcaster who’s here to keep you company, to take your mind off of stuff, and be a little bit confusing, because I’m more than a little bit confused, you could say. You could call me the Auto Baffler, ‘cause that was…I just listened to an intro where I mentioned that. The baffles are automatic when they come outta me. It’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep, and thanks for making it possible, my patron peeps.
INTRO: 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, feelings, so anything you’re thinking about on your mind about the past, the present, or the future, anything you’re feeling physically that’s coming up for you, so thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, any changes in time or temperature or routine, stuff going on, mysterious…well, my…stuff on your mind that’s not on your mind, or…was…I wonder if the original version…I talk about songs every once in a while.
I’m sure this one’s come up before, but it was You’re Always On My Mind, right? I think I talked about it recently. I think…is that a Willie Nelson song or a James Taylor song? For some reason I get James Taylor, Willie Nelson, and John Denver…not mixed up in my mind; clearly I could see all three of them, but some of their songs…I’m pretty sure it’s a Willie Nelson song. Always…I would rewrite it; I’d say always, always, always on my mind. Always…or…and then you say Scoots, could you put one more word in there? I’d say I could put ‘you’ in there depending on who the you is that’s listening, right? Or you could put you in a self-referential way, which you say well, that’s too much truth, so…for me, at least. I’m not speaking for any of you.
But really, I say well, that’s getting too much to the point, so I don’t think that’s…your songs can’t be that direct when I’m making them up about making them up. But if it was about you that’s keeping me awake, I could do that, or I’d say everything, too, is also…always, always…everything always, always, always, everything always on my…always…you, or it could just be you, you…that doesn’t work, though. It does sound like it could be that, though; always, always, always…that could be another shirt we could do. This is a new thing with Sleep With Me, these shirts that go on and on and on. I forgot the party one. But that could be another shirt we could do for our midnight mission fundraiser, always, always…how many always should we have? Go ahead and vote. Oh, boy. The truth comes out.
I’m always on my mind. That could be…put that one on the back, though. It’s true, though. I’m just a human being. Yeah, not…I’m mostly being, not doing. Human thinking…overthinking, always on my mind. So, I’m glad you’re here. If you could relate to any of that or you were like oh boy, who was…what did I just get myself into? I thought this was…I…as soon as you said Willie Nelson, my ears picked up, or my ears perked up or picked up, or I picked up something 420-style to celebrate Willie. I can’t do any of that, but that…’cause I was…I had you, as in me, always, always on my mind so much I said okay, I gotta deal with it through other means, through help…other people and taking little tiny steps at a time. But you might be in a different place, and that’s great.
I love hearing from my listeners that say it’s 420 somewhere. So, that’s…I’m…so anywhere, where are you, right? Holy cow. Whatever time it is, you might say what is…what in the hey? Okay, so, whatever’s keeping you awake, I’m here to take your mind off of it and keep you company so you could fall asleep. The way I do it is I’m gonna…I got a safe place here. I’m smoothing it, I’m patting it, I’m rubbing it down, I’m sending it across the deep, dark night, or offering it across the deep, dark night…send it across the deep, dark night using lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones. Means my voice is a little bit different, but it’s also somewhat lulling, somewhat soothing, somewhat forgettable. Creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, and superfluous tangents. We just had those back-to-back there.
Before we…I even explained what they were, you got them. I don’t know which one…I think when you use always 50,000 times in two minutes, that’s probably superfluous, and pointless was me trying to…you know, I made it about me, then I tried to make it not about me, which is pointless. You say Scoots, it’s…that’s what we relate to. It’s always about you because I understand, because it’s always about me. I say wow, you…we really get one another, don’t we? I’m so glad you’re here. I’m not kidding; right now I’m feeling a connection with all you listeners. Very, very deep. I hope you could feel it, too. I’m almost tearing up because I feel less alone because of moments like this, because we’re not alone. We got that stuff going on, right, and that’s some of the stuff that keeps us up in the deep, dark night.
I was alluding…before I went on that always tangent, it’s like, I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so I know what it…how it feels. That’s why I make the show, is because I know how it feels in the deep, dark night, in the wee hours of the morning, in the middle hours of the morning, and all that stuff. Even when I’m practicing good self-care, I’m always, always, always on my mind. Sometimes there…even all that meditation, journaling, all that stuff, sometimes it’s just hard to fall asleep. So, that’s one of the reasons I make the show. I know how it feels and I want to help.
But the other side of it is if you can get to a place like me, where most of the time my bedtime routine does work and most of the time I can get a good night’s sleep and most of the time I’m looking forward to bedtime because I have my routine and it’s comforting, is that if I can help with that so that…’cause you deserve a good night’s sleep. I really, truly believe that, and this time it’s not about me, because I wouldn’t…you know, I could…I can make…I have gripes with myself, but I can’t offer that to myself. I mean, I do; I practice what I talk about, but not so directly. But you do deserve a good night’s sleep. I really do believe that, I guess ‘cause I do want it for myself.
I know how important it is for you, but also, we live in the same world, and if you get the rest you need, your life’s gonna be more manageable and our world will be a better place to be in. That’s where this podcast came from, the lack of sleep and the challenges. I still want to do something so the world could be a better place to be in a little bit for us sleepless people who are always on our own minds. There’s no shame in that; it’s just…especially at bedtime. It’s more of like, what’s up with it? You were always…I was always on my mind all day long, too. So, if I can help, I’d like to. Now, if you’re new, you may be skeptical or doubtful. I think I probably helped with the skepticism and doubt, right? This is a very different show.
It’s not a straightforward bedtime story where I do a rub-a-dub-dub, now I’m gonna count down and calm and soothe you and you’re gonna fall asleep. This is more of your friend here to keep you company so that you could fall asleep. I’m here to take your mind off of stuff, less so to put you to sleep, and I’m here to talk about stuff in a way that you could optionally listen to it or barely listen. There’s no pressure for you to listen to me because I’ve…I was…I’m…I…I’ve…I haven’t totally stopped making sense; it’s just that I’m making sense with…I don’t even know what a ha'penny is, but when they say Scoots is making sense but with a ha'penny and he doesn’t know what a ha'penny is, that’s the kinda sense I’m making. I’m trying to make sense with something I don’t understand anyway.
I know people have told me what a ha'penny was, but then it…I’ve forgot, ‘cause I just picture it…sometimes I…well, I picture different stuff. Sometimes it’s a wooden…I think a wooden nickel. Sometimes it’s a penny with hay on it, then sometimes it’s some sort of symbolic thing that I’m exchanging for hay. Or a…my favorite thing is when it’s a punchline to a joke I don’t have and I say hey, penny, and I do a finger thing and the penny laughs. So, see? Even that, you say okay, he was kinda making sense. So, you don’t need to listen to me. I’m not here to put you to sleep. I’m here to be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-cuz, your bore-bestie, your bore-bor, your neigh-bore, your bore-friend. I’m here to keep you company so that you could fall asleep and you don’t have to listen to me.
Another thing that can throw new people off other than the fact the show doesn’t make any sense, it has…it’s going nowhere fast, it’s a bit confusing, the structure of the show definitely throws people off because…and I guess that’s fine. The structure does not work for everybody. It actually…but it works for the people that it works for, or you adjust to it. So, if you’re new, just give it a few tries and see how it goes. It’s no pressure. I hope the show works for you, but it does not work for everyone. So, even the structure of the show, just…I’ll…I’m gonna explain why the show’s structured the way it is, but just give it a go and see how it goes. So, the show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, so you can feel welcome and seen, and then I say something goofy, so you say okay, I feel welcome and seen, but it’s by somebody that’s silly and goofy.
So, that’s important to me. Then there’s support for the show so the show can be free versus paid or part of an exclusive deal somewhere. So, the show…the sponsors and the listeners who support the show, it’s just a reality, right, that that’s how I can be here for free, offering this podcast twice a week wherever you want to listen to it. So, the sponsors do that, then we have support for the listeners of the show and support for the communities around the show, ‘cause that’s important to me and again, part of me putting so much work into this show is because your sleep’s important, but me kind of helping who I can is important, too. It stays true to the mission of we’re all together here in the deep, dark night.
Now, if you find this podcast…you gave it two or three tries and either the style or the structure of the show doesn’t work, there’s a lot of other sleep podcasts I have listed at sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou that you could check out. So, there’s that. So, that’s the structure of the show; starts off like that. Then there’s an intro, and the intro goes from, I don’t know, six or eight minutes to twenty, twenty-five minutes. Some reason, when people really dislike the start of the show, they lump the intro in with self-congratulations and inside jokes and the sponsor stuff, which is understandable. But the intro is actually a show within a show. I mean, where else are you gonna get 4,000 always, you know?
Except I guess the…if you put that song on replay, I guess, eventually you’d get 4,000…I mean, not…I’m not bragging that I said always 4,000 times. Oh, the one…the one-star reviews and the e-mails…you should see my e-mails on a good day. So, what was I saying? I don’t even know ‘cause I got mixed up. But the intro goes on and on and on, it’s a show within a show. So, for most listeners, it’s a part of their bedtime and wind-down routine, a transition from being awake time to getting settled in to eventually later on in the show, going to sleep. That’s just a reality of what most of the time works for most people, right? So, the show is a slow progression into bedtime. It’s not made to put you to sleep right away.
Like I said, it’s not even really made to put you to sleep; it’s here to keep you company while you fall asleep. Or if you can’t sleep, I’m here to keep you company because it’s lonely in the deep, dark night whether you’re awake or asleep, ironically. But so, that’s why the intro goes on and on and on, is part of that. Now, there is 2% of people that skip ahead. Sometimes it’s 3%, but somewhere…2% or 3% that skip ahead, start the show at around twenty minutes. Then there’s a couple thousand plus people that support the show on Patreon and listen to story-only episodes, but there’s a equal amount of people on Patreon that listen to the intro-only episodes, so it’s…kinda balances out. But so, that’s the intro. So, as you become a regular listener, you may find you listen to the…what are you gonna do during the intro?
Are you gonna be in bed getting comfortable? Are you gonna do some other chill activity? Are you gonna get ready for bed while you listen to the intro? It’s all your preference and you can discover it, but the show is structured that way so it can be free, reliable twice a week on…wherever podcast app you want to listen to it and have a bunch of episodes in the archives. That’s the structure. So, then after the intro is business again, sponsor support, to support that stuff, and then there will be our bedtime story, which tonight will be our episodically modular series, Spice Friends, which you can listen to in any order, though tonight I think it’ll be Episode 11. Then we’ll finish off the show with some thank-yous. All told, I’ll be here a little bit over an hour…is the ideal length of the show for me, so that you…there’s no pressure to fall asleep. You fall asleep whenever you want, or some people like to listen to the show over…in chunks.
You’ll discover what works for you. I’m here to keep you company and take you…really, I’m here to take you off…that’s really what works for me. This show and doing it…when I’m here for you, I’m not thinking about me. I guess I am, though. Huh. Never thought…I mean, but then when I’m thinking about me, it’s for you, ‘cause I say well, then you feel less alone. If you’re always, always, always on my…on your mind, sometimes the other people out there, the people that are sound asleep, they say why would you stop thinking about yourself? You say yeah, if it was only that…what were you saying? Sorry, did you say something? ‘Cause I was thinking about something I wanted to do later. Then they roll their eyes and that’s my imaginary…that’s my imaginary partner that’s doing that. But so, yeah, I’m glad you’re here. I work really hard, I appreciate you checking the show out, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep, and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to do it for you for free twice a week. Thanks.
Alright everybody, it is time for our episodically modular series, Spice Friends. I believe this is Episode 11. It’s episodically modular with a touch of seriality. If you’re new or this is your first episode, don’t worry. I’m gonna catch you up on everything you need to know right now, because that’s what episodically modular means, or the definitions I’ve decided for those words means you can listen to it in any order. This could be your first episode, and then you got ten prequels to listen to. You could listen to those in any order. Now, if you are a completist, I will catch you up on everything, but you could listen to it the second time, ‘cause ideally you’re gonna sleep through this anyway and drift off. This episode feels like it could be a real snoozer.
I’ve snoozed…I’ve stumbled onto some snoozy snooze, even though it’s kinda the…whatever the…the episode where stuff happens. Not much will…well, stuff…so, whatever order you can listen to…I’m gonna explain that to you. Just to give you peace of mind, I’m gonna catch you up. So just in case, I’m here to help. That’s what I’m here to do. This is a extra layer of comfort I’m trying to provide, and I always have. So, let’s get to it, I guess. What am I delaying for? So, the Spice Friends is a tale about a world just like ours, slightly different. You’d say, is it the same timeline? I’d say well, it’s a world you’re familiar with, if you’ve consumed any pop culture over the past while. It’s a world just like ours, very similar, or was like ours.
Just like in some of the movies and some fictional stuff where there’s giant beings…I think a general, non-trademark term is Kaiju, large beings, some mammals that even…you’d say, are you familiar with a video game like Donkey Kong or another game…there’s other…there’s video games about it, but there’s been films particularly about one that may…a giant something similar to a dinosaur, but not those dinosaur movies. These beings are slightly more…they have a little bit more personality than those park movies or world movies. I like those. So, not those movies. These ones are even bigger. I guess a normal human reaction would be these aren’t…where do these animals appear in the history of our planet? Because it doesn’t really make sense.
There must have been some sort of intervening event that caused these…and a lot of different fiction probes that. Where did they come from? Why are they here? Maybe not why are they here, because…I mean, you’re usually more dealing with…’cause they do things like they step on cars or go after neon signs. Maybe they tend to yell at dams. Sometimes they go…they find each other and then they have dance-offs and stuff. So, living in a world like that, even where it’s a infrequent appearance…you’d say okay, I have…I think I have gratitude I don’t live in that world, because that would add a extra…you know, I already gotta get my kid to school or make my own lunch or make a spreadsheet for work. So, oh boy, I don’t know if that’s my cup of tea.
So, okay, so we lived in a world where these beings would appear, and it wasn’t easy, right? They would step on cars, go after neon signs, do stuff. So, they kept appearing and then disappearing, and every…it was kind of associated generally with what they would call the Age of Atoms, but not the Addams Family, but atoms with a t. But it may be…you phrase it differently sometimes. Offense…the Age of Offensive Atoms. If the Addams Family became their own thing and were doing stuff, and then people would hire them out, nations, they’d say hey, Addams Family, deal with this. But you know, more with stuff with a half-life. So, people knew that those two…they were related, but they didn’t quite understand. So, it created a lot of stuff, you know?
Then when they appeared, they…people were trying to come up with ways to deal with it. At some point not that long ago, we had elected in the United States President Smith and Vice President Smith, the first father-daughter…I don’t know if they needed to change the laws. Don’t ask me that kinda stuff, ‘cause I don’t know the answer of…but it was President Smith and Vice President Smith. President Smith was…they were both already pretty famous and well-liked, and they had great leadership qualities. President Smith was forced to deal with one of the big…the big dinos type ones pretty frequently. It kept escalating. Now meanwhile, he was also working with another planet, Planet Zipper, for a longer-term solution.
But President Smith actually ended up…because this one just kept coming back…because of, again, fission, fusion stuff, Atom Age…this one kept coming back. ‘Cause there was even people in President Smith’s own administration working on using the…this Addams Family analogy offensively, and that kept bringing the Big Ones. So, President Smith had this serum that enabled him to become a Big One, and he…at first they said okay, President Smith already…we…there was a lot of cost at first, and maybe that also drove his decision. But people thought oh, he’s gonna have a dance-off; he’ll fix everything. Even though now he’s like, eighty stories tall and partially become some sort of giant dino-type thing.
But he…what he did was he led all of the Big Ones — ‘cause they were scattered around the globe — to this atoll, Big Ones Atoll, and got them there. Then Planet Zipper had this way to put everybody in hibernation, the entire planet into hibernation. They did that and the Big Ones went into hibernation, and so did the whole planet, but they were…because of their metabolism or whatever, because they’re larger, it took them longer to wake up. So, we awoke as a planet and then started renegotiating a lot of stuff of ways of living after you’ve been hibernated and dealt with the Big Ones, and then you have a looming thing. We had sent a team of astronauts to Planet Zipper. I’m trying to figure out how to summarize this faster, but I really can’t.
But we sent a team of astronauts to Planet Zipper to find a longer-term solution. This hibernation was just kind of a stopgap measure. Meanwhile, governments reorganized and at some point, it…Vice President…now, President Smith…I don’t know. I think it went to the big…we don’t know exactly, I guess. So, but Vice President Smith, she kinda stepped down. She was in hibernation too, but then eventually she returned to leadership as president of this Collective Nations, CN. She was awaiting the return of the astronauts with the solution.
The astronaut…only one astronaut returned from Planet Zipper, and the astronaut said the way to fix everything is through teaching children and adults to express their feelings through song and dance, which at first didn’t make sense because there was a lot of theories that were beyond…that didn’t make any sense either, and said also, that doesn’t sound like a good way to deal with giant beings, you know? But he said trust me, and it ended up working; it created these giant spice-based beings. Again, it had a whole…there’s a whole, complicated…even more whole, complicated backstory with lots of details or world-building. There’s TV shows, breakfast cereals, all that stuff.
But by teaching people to express themselves and their strong feelings, that made…these Spice Friends came, and the Spice Friends would kinda have these dance-offs with the Big Ones. Again, that caused its own issues. But sometimes they would kinda fuse and fly away or whatever. Then eventually, people used…human beings used this chaos as a advantage to kind of do more stuff, like take more stuff. There was different plans; they didn’t work out. Just like human beings, even President Smith and the astronaut now known as Astro, you would lose sight of things ‘cause again, it’s…it is hard to kinda return to the idea well, I just gotta express my…’cause nothing works immediately, right? But we just express ourselves through song and dance and everything’s gonna work out fine.
So, again, you’d go to this…’cause it’s not a solution so much, I think is what we were learning; it was a thing. Again, I was like, wait a second, I don’t understand. Then when you’re a human, your default mode is to be a human being, so again, that is a extra layer. Now, also, the astronaut and the president were just as fallible as the rest of us. That’s one thing. The second thing we found out was the astronaut made some poor choices on the way to Zipper, and also, he discovered that Planet Zipper was a planet of a collective being that could also bud off into individual beings. It was the last planet of its kind, so I guess there was other planets with collective…this type of species of collective being, but they all slowly…they dealt with the Big Ones and the Big Ones moreso dealt with them.
Part of it is the strength of the collective feelings, possibly. Again, this is all theories. But this Planet Zipper had discovered Earth, and it really loved Earth in a way I guess that spans the spectrum of feelings. They just liked watching Earth and seeing Earthlings. They weren’t a collective…they weren’t a individual being even though some of them were budding off occasionally. They would observe Earth and eventually they saw that Earth was impacted by these Big Ones, too. So, they said well, maybe we should intervene because we love Earth so much.
But they also discovered that wait a second, when we were focused on Earth, we weren’t having problems with the Big Ones, or as a big of problems, and that something about Earth’s feelings…eventually we discover in the story that’s thus been told that the Big Ones…I don’t quite know if they’re attracted or they consume or they’re sustained or they…but human feelings impact them strongly, and Zipper…Zipparian feelings. So, then you had a situation where we have Planet Earth, got these Big Ones walking around, still pretty chaotic. Planet Zipper wants to get through and keep…they’re the last planet of their kind and they love Earth, so they kinda came up with this thing, along with some of the leaders of Earth that wasn’t President Smith, that hey, why don’t we just get some sort of compromise where we’ll help…’cause otherwise, if you don’t work with us, we gotta make sure our planet gets by, right?
We gotta keep the Big Ones on your planet and we’ll keep our feelings focused on your planet. But we could do that in a way where you just…it’s like, somewhat cooperative but with an ultimatum. Obviously, Earth didn’t like that because it actually created a lot of malaise, because people said well…so, I gotta kinda keep my…our feelings are gonna be kinda moderated by Planet Zipper or something like that. I don’t even know. But that’s the basic gist of it, is keep your feelings in check and everything will be fine. Just listen to us. But what happened was…and again, I’m not a expert on this. This is history that I’m recounting that’s been all vocally told. I don’t have written history of any of this stuff. Also, by the way, pretty complicated ‘cause it’s happening on a alternative timeline.
I don’t know if you tried to communicate with anyone in this timeline, but try to do…try getting your information from another timeline. It’s…I don’t know how they did it with that one show with the people and the jet skis and stuff. But I say well, that’s gotta be tough. So, where was I? Nowhere, once again. Okay, so, we were building and building and building, and then eventually people turned back to…President Smith and the…and Astro, they were out of power. They were actually considered jokes, and…because all the other leaders, the leaders that considered themselves to be strong of arm, they said we’re gonna work with Zipper. We’re the…we’ll keep things the way we like it and those two are a joke.
But eventually people found their way back to saying wait a second, when I express my feelings, I have a positive…in a positive way, if I have a outlet for my feelings, living a life of lacking and feeling or stuck in your feelings is…it’s not what works best. Maybe…I don’t know. Again, this is just…I’m putting my words to it and basing it on my experience and what I’ve observed in this other fictional timeline that happens within my brain, so that’s…even makes it more complicated. But so, that by…the people like expressing their feelings in a healthy way. Not easy, and through joy…the joy of song and dance, even when it’s a mirthy feeling, it feels good, or other means. Again, they expanded upon this idea.
Then, that’s when the…President Smith and Astro realized wait a second, it’s not fission or fusion or half-life material used in an offensive way; it’s our inherent feelings about that fact that is what…is related to these Big Ones. That’s when they realized the Big Ones are not interested in those type of materials that a band would say are radioactive in between dance beats or whatever. The Big Ones are interested in our feelings, and our feelings just happen to be deep but latent ones, probably, strongly related to that because of…just because of implications, obviously. So, big beings, big feelings. Even though the feelings, you keep it on the down-low, they said okay, this is about feelings and not about fission or fusion. There you go; put that on a t-shirt.
It’s about feelings, not…but it is actually, and then it’d be more complicated. But so, as they discovered this and then they kind of got back into this process of song and dance and expression, they…Zipper was like wait a second, so you’re not gonna listen to what we’re doing? You’re kinda gonna force our hand. Then they said well, what if we buy…they didn’t have many options, Earth, and I think Zipper started building some sort of device, some sort of beacon system or amplifier to get closer and closer to Earth. So, we were…the president, like a great leader does, similar to Jean-Luc Picard, said I don’t know what to do. I know we have to maybe trust…we have to keep trying even though we don’t know the results or even how we’re gonna get to the results.
So, she decided well, we’ll have an Olympic-type event between the Spice Friends and the Big Ones to buy time, but it was also like, if we don’t, if we buy enough time, we’ll figure it out. Maybe we’ll win the Olympic event. But it didn’t seem like…I don’t…and then the president realized if the Olympic event is never completed…there’s multiple events, but the last thing was this relay race, right? She realized if the relay race is never completed — none of the Big Ones or the Spice Friends complete the relay race; it takes them forever — then she was still buying time, waiting for a solution to prevent…present itself. That’s kinda where we left off, more or less. So, what…where we are is…oh, also, the Big Ones returned. So, there’s three kinds of giant beings, okay?
The original Big Ones, the Spice Friends, which are…I don’t want to use the term good or bad, but representative of strong feelings, I would say, and the Spice Friends are more representative of positive feelings. The Big Ones are representative of feelings…either one if you get too caught up in your feelings, you know, you’re gonna make a choice…they’re feelings. They’re meant to be felt, and…so, and then there’s a third set of Big Ones which are kinda fused Big Ones and Spice Friends together. They had been away, and so, we…I guess we don’t know what’s going on other than we’re out on a plain in the middle of nowhere. There’s hundreds of thousands if not millions of humans gathered there in these villages expressing themselves through song and dance and feeling, and there’s the Big Ones.
Zipper’s getting this device closer and closer to Earth, and we gotta…obviously things are headed in a certain direction. But as the president always says, she says all will be well, just like Emma Otter used to say. It’s just a matter of trusting her leadership and the…our ability to have our feelings and go into the unknown together. But speaking of unknowns, one thing I don’t know is how someone can be so generous, so charming, so devastatingly…I mean, handsome, but I was trying to think of something else because it’s just…whose charisma and really, even your handsomeness, really…and I’m not saying this…I really mean it to the depth of my core; exudes from your heart and your spirit and not your outsides. I really, genuinely believe that.
Your eyes light up the room because there’s something coming out of you. Or maybe it’s coming into you and outta you at the same time. That’s a person that takes their time to drive here from Los Angeles, ideally doesn’t…uses the restroom and then doesn’t drink any water two hours before he gets here, and then dresses in a Tyvek suit with booties…well, not Tyvek, because we discovered that was too noisy. It’s actually a suit I designed made of moving blankets, so it doesn’t really fit him or…but he makes it work anyway. He looks like a poorly-dressed beekeeper in a beekeeper suit made of moving blankets. But they keep falling off him, but he still comes back all the time. That’s the new…that’s my newest invention, though. It’s Mr. Antonio Banderas.
The friends beyond the binary, the ladies, the gentlemen, the boys, the girls, it’s time to get spicy with Spice Friends. Sizzle. Thank you for your kind words, Scooter. You bring me joy as well, and the listeners, too. It’s the joy of connecting with all of you in the deep, dark night that exudes from my heart and my spirit. Wow, that sizzled me, so thank you. That’s Mr. Antonio Banderas, and this is Spice Friends.
Okay, this is Madam Prez, I guess. We’ve got a conundrum here and I’m not seeing…once again, we’re in a position…and I don’t know if the details really matter anymore. I’m trying to record this for…not for posterity. I guess I’ve learned that this communication method and letting someone else listen to it where I feel unguarded and safe to express my ideas, it’s been working as part of our process, but I guess this will be recorded for posterity. But even in figuring out the solutions now of what to do, do the details matter as much as where we’re feeling and what we’re gonna do about it and how we feel about that? So, I guess I’m thinking about this communication through this part here. I don’t know if we need to communicate as much of the details, but maybe at the end.
But I can talk about the fact that it’s like we’re in a place…my father used to like this song that…can’t get there from here, I think was the hook. Maybe he didn’t like it and I liked it, but…and we’re in that. We can’t…we want…we’re stuck in trying to compromise and build some sort of compromise…that we don’t see…be able to see a way, again, to get to. But also, it’s kind of this thing of like, wanting to go back to a time that never existed or go forward into a future that is fictional and cannot exist. It’s like, we can’t get there ‘cause it’s like oh, well, what would be the ideal solution is like, a pre-Big Ones’ time or…but is that even…that’s not a place we could get back to. Did it even really exist? Even though it existed, maybe. But the fission, fusion was what brought the Big Ones here, our feelings about that.
Also, it’s kind of like…now, Zipper…we don’t have a lot we can do. It’s kind of like they’ve taken aware we’re in a sand…I don’t know. Astro, he said just think up an analogy that doesn’t make any sense and maybe you’ll find the right way. Again, don’t focus on the details, but I do feel like we’re children feelings-wise, and we’re in a sandbox. All our toys have been taken away, and Zipper’s watching us and saying go ahead and play. You say well, I was used to playing with that toy or that one, and I don’t know if I want to play when you’re telling me to play. I would rather…and also, you’re saying I can’t do anything else. But yeah, you’re almost making me play as a job for you, and you’re getting something out of it. I don’t know. It’s like, my play is not entertainment for you.
But a child can’t put that into words, but also…I mean, maybe they can. They say well, I’d rather play with toys or I’d rather play alone or I’d rather play when I feel like playing. Zipper’s saying nope, you’re gonna play in that sandbox, period. End of story. Then we’ll have dinner when I feel like you’re done playing. Then I say well, what if I decide not to play? They say well, we…that…believe it or not, the act of not playing is for us…you will be playing. Then I say well, what if I decide to get out of the sandbox, then, and not play in that way? You say well, you don’t have that option because the sandbox is…you’re in the…you don’t have that…we’re not gonna allow…and I say, okay. You say wait a second, they kinda…so, say well, I’m not so sure I’m comfortable with that, but I’m feeling like those kind of…then that brings up feelings, right?
Even pre-sandbox feelings. I say well, can’t we work something out? Because otherwise I will be in a place where it’s like I’m kinda flailing my arms, is how I would be feeling, and making loud noises instead of playing. Wouldn’t you rather…can’t we reach a compromise where I want to be here playing? I guess ‘cause I am an adult, right, even though I’m…we’re placed in a position where…and I say also, I don’t think you…I think you’re underestimating…’cause there’s something else with Zipper that I sense and other people sense. There is a sense of…they’re…they have feelings that they’re not being honest with us about, and that those feelings are kind of influencing them, right? So, yeah, it’s like, what…I don’t want to have to…we…can’t we work this out?
But again, I guess what I’m most concerned with right now is that it’s intractable, because in some sense, I don’t want to work things out, right? I say, I want…and I can’t quite get past that either, is that I don’t want to work stuff out. So, Planet Zipper, I guess the details or the summary; they say they can…they say we could go back to working this out where we kind of perform for them and just be ourselves within certain contexts, or that…now they have this ability or they’re almost finished with this ability. But even then, it’ll probably work to just go back to the high…they…’cause they said they voted and they didn’t…they said we could come to Earth or we could send some budding-off Zipparians to Earth and then try to…but then we said the Big Ones are already there, or we could project ourselves onto Earth or whatever.
But they said what we realized is we could just keep putting you in hibernation over and over again, because what we really need is your humanness. But the…maybe…’cause we said well, you’ll probably devolve if you keep…if you go through this long period of hibernation, then you wake up and we let you be human for a little while, then we re…so, a constant cycle of hibernation and humanity. They said they’ve been running models there and that that is probably the solution. They said if it’s not, they can always change their mind. So, that would be the…that’s what they’re saying for us, is if you get out of the sandbox, that’s what’s gonna happen; we’ll just put you to bed, I guess. You’ll have to go to bed and go to sleep. I say, but it’s 2:00 in the afternoon. Oh, well.
So, that’s where we’re at right now, is we don’t know what else to do. Oh, and they also kind of…the Big Ones, they’re having this conference with all three groups, but they’re very static. Yeah, so…and so, we don’t know…so, that’s where things are at. I know I have one other choice, I guess, but I’m not sure how that choice fits in with things. So yeah, Astro, I guess I’ll just turn it over to you and see. We’re playing a waiting game, I guess. Okay, so this is Astro here. Yeah, I guess like you said, Madam President, the details don’t matter and it’s tough to compromise when you don’t feel like you have any power in the compromise, like you said, and you don’t feel like you have any options, and we don’t want to be put to bed, but also that those are the feelings that come up, strong feelings for us, right?
Dismay, frowny face…oh, a face of like…that Munch painting and just wanting to thrash around and yell. Very infantile, I would guess, I say, but also that Zipper is still worried about things. But also, Madam President, I feel like you’re not being honest with me, and I know I’m not being honest with myself, and also thinking about okay, well, what happens next, correct? What happens next and where…we are gonna have to take action, and I know that Zipper’s probably feeling the same way. Maybe we’re just buying time. I feel like we do kind of have some ideas, unfortunately, of what actions to take, but then that brings up unfinished business here on Earth, I guess is what I’ve been avoiding.
But I think what you’re avoiding too, Madam President, if you don’t mind me saying so, is that whatever you’re not telling me, I can sense…and I want to say this in a way that doesn’t feel like an obligation, but that right now, you understand how to be in a process of creating solutions or finding solutions without having to…the world needs leadership like that, Madam President. I can return to the process and say hey, this process works, even though we keep forgetting it, even though my actions right now are in the process of avoiding exactly what I’m talking about. But that…so, let me see if I could describe it in terms. I know something’s going on with you and that maybe you have some solution in your mind that has some sort of stakes that…because…so, you don’t want to reveal it, but I can sense that part of it is that you won’t be here to help lead us anymore.
I can sense that…I don’t know if you’re planning on going to Zipper or doing something or saying hey, I’ll come to Zipper. I can’t figure it out and I’ve let go of trying to figure it out. But I sense that. I sense something’s going on with you, and I would say one of the solutions is you have to be here to teach other people and to be an example so other people can learn to lead like you’ve led us. There are people cropping up. At the same time, I know that I’m avoiding something big, too, and having this…what feels like a timeline to a solution or a timeline to change, I guess. Things will change, clearly, maybe…and it seems like a big unknown. One thing I do know, Madam President, even though I don’t know what’s going on with you, I know what’s going on with me, is that I’m avoiding something.
What I’ve been avoiding is…more and more people have come out to participate in the process of expressing our feelings and wondering why the Big Ones aren’t reacting to them, but people collectively feeling relief, and then again waking up the next day with the knowledge and then needing to express their feelings or other feelings again and again and again. More and more people have come to participate, and they’ve invited me to participate with them, including families of my team that went to Zipper. While I’ve greeted them, I have not joined them in song or dance or artistic expression, drawing, singing, crawling around, playing, talking, cooking. They’ve invited me multiple times because I know I have to be honest with them, right? Be honest that I’ve made some mistakes and then move to a solution.
So, that’s what I need to go and do now and say hey, I…my choices have impacted you and how…what do I need to know? I was wrong. You know, those kind of things, and express my feelings. I’ve been doing it, I guess. That’s why I’m ready to move forward now even though I’m not 100% confident I will. Again, having the looming unknown but the…almost like a countdown. I know I have to do this not just because of the unknown but because we’re stuck and maybe this will…maybe again, process of being unstuck. So, that’s where I’m at, Madam President, and I’ll talk to you soon. Okay, Astro.
Well, we had a conversation that you didn’t record because it was so personal and…but it also moved you towards the solution and the theories with some of the other…and again, yes, you know I’m holding onto something too, so maybe I should talk about that first instead of talking about the details, but that…’cause I guess the details aren’t something we’re all comfortable with. But yeah, things with my father have been complicated for me, right, because he did leave me with something, and I don’t know…even…I’m presuming it will allow me to become as he was, and I’m just not sure or I wasn’t sure how…what that would do, right?
Or how that would…right, that how that would…yeah, like you’re saying, I’m torn because it’s like you’re saying I should stay here and lead Earth, but my father was the truist hero and…to me, and now you’re saying it would be more heroic for me to stay here and be a leader than use what my father left me, which is only to be opened…so, I mean, he left me instructions and he said wait; just wait, wait, wait. But we did come up with a plan, and again, we’re still in disagreement about how to implement that plan, but you said wait a second…and again, we have teams of…and it’s so funny how we found this…this didn’t occur to you until we got to the point where you had made…fixed some things. I’m still struggling with this thing with my father, but at least admitting to you that it’s a struggle and that maybe you’re right, but then what do I do about it?
Because I’m being pulled towards this one thing, right? I have to do this, and you’re saying you don’t have to, or could someone else do it or whatever it is. Or what if it’s not what you think it is? Then it’s like, what could it possibly be if it isn’t what I think it is? Is it just another red herring, then? Though the feelings and the Spice Friends aren’t a red herring, even though they’ve gone silent still, and we…that was one of the things we tried, to get their attention or keep expressing our feelings. Maybe they’re growing in power or maybe they’re in the same kinda stuck thing of not knowing what to do. But you kinda came up with the thing. You said, okay…and again, working with our team, said okay, they’re planning on using this amplifier or this series of beacons as a way to keep Earth snoozing and keep bugging us or whatever, and that’s pretty clear that that’s what they’re up to.
You said okay, there’s a couple possible theories that we’ve been working on and that the teams have been working on, and one of those…you said well, okay, support systems; Earth is…what…everything Zipper is saying is that Earth is their support system and that they need us, and they need us to be the outlet for their feelings or whatever. In some sense…I don’t think…I don’t really know all this stuff, how it works in a one-on-one setting, but that they’re gonna put us…they’re projecting onto Earth and they’re gonna use this thing as a projector to put us in hibernation. But you said it must work both ways, right? Your sense is that it’s a support system, right? They’re gonna be…or may…that even this was existing in some other form; that was how they had all this…easy way to observe Earth and how this device came together, which is a big device.
You said maybe there was nanotechnology or something. Again, details don’t matter. What are we gonna do, right? But that we could…if we could use the device in some way to separate us from Planet Zipper, to isolate us or to isolate Zipper, is there a way we could do that, and how would we do that? Again, we brainstormed, and again…and then the idea came out of our delusional thinking, right, that we were both behaving in a slightly delusional way and that maybe that’s a part of our history or part of who we are, and that again, that is almost where the Spice Friends came from, was like, the things that exist below the surface of the delusion or the sky reflecting the sun. We were like someone that thought the sun was in the sea or the pond. Then you say well, how can I go fishing in the sky, or whatever it is.
I can’t go in that water because the sun’s there. There’s probably some myth like that. We were unable to see past the projection and the delusion we had con…to the depths below. Again, that…maybe that’s the thinking…even though Zipper’s a different type of being than us, they seem to think this is gonna work, and it’s not gonna work, and we tried to explain it to them. They said well, we don’t have a choice at this point, so if you can’t think of something, then we’re gonna have to use this hibernation method. Then we won’t have to worry about it and you won’t have to worry about it. It’s a very nice solution. You sleep, you wake up, you kinda restart things. Again, we’ll give you time to…a repopulation time and then back to hibernation. We’ll let nature take its course with hibernations in-between.
Again, we tried to explain to them that they can’t…and they said okay, well, two…we’ll give it two or three tries and then we’ll reset. Then our individualisms held on; well, no, no, no, you’re not gonna…you know. Again, we couldn’t keep this secret from the world because we had to keep expressing our feelings through song and dance. As we did that, now I feel like the Spice Friends and the Big Ones are more active. There’s some sort of motion going on and we’re trying to communicate with them to get them to do something, but it’s like…right now, it’s figuring out if we can send something or do something to separate ourselves from that planet. Again, just cut it off, or is that delusional thinking? I don’t know, but that’s the details currently. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Well, Madam President, it’s me again, and…so, well, since our last thing, I don’t know, I guess they’ve…Planet Zipper showed us another side to themselves while we delayed and debated, and…yeah, and it’s like they showed another side to themselves and now our feelings are stronger that we should just deal with them, and we have a idea of a plan. You admitted to me that you had this device of your father’s, or this box, and that presumably there’s some sort of serum or something in there that will turn someone into a Big One. We have to believe that there’s two options. Again, we found this delusion option working with a…the greatest…I mean, everybody on the planet wants to work together. It’s that what if we could send something back through the beacon? We’re pretty sure we can do that.
But also send two things back or something back with everything, because whatever…very similar to what started all this here on Earth, what if there’s a way to create a…something similar to a asteroid belt, right? This is what we’re going to try, that will separate us from Zipper forever and kinda create a block. They’ll have to deal with their problems and we’ll have to deal with the Big Ones. But also, sending someone through that’s changed, me; I mean, it’s what we’ve decided or I’ve decided, and you’ve kind of decided. But no one will know. I’m still pretty much…I’m just Astro.
But I’ll go through…if we…if this works, it should work even though it doesn’t seem like it…that I can change, use your…whatever your father left to become a Big One and there…to get back to Zipper somehow, either through the device or through feelings or through projection, whatever it is, and at the same time, take their devices with them and use that as a foundation to create a cloud. I guess like a cloud of confusion or delusion or something somewhere between Zipper and here that separates us permanently. Now, that’ll probably…unfortunately doesn’t…that’s the hardest part; it doesn’t feel okay, though. It’s like…there’s the whole idea of will it work, but those are the details that I’m just communicating, not that the details matter. It’s like, what if it does work?
What does that mean for Planet Zipper and what does that mean for us? We still have all the Big Ones and we still have…we don’t even know what is in your father’s thing. We’re gonna open it, and I wish the big…I wish it was clear, but I…it’s like, is…this is one of those situations where it’s like, what’s more important? I guess you would say, Madam President, should we just keep going into the unknown? Because I think separating us from that planet…but without…I think is good, to have the boundary, but not to force the boundary, right? To say hey, you’re…you can’t have contact with us through this thing. You deal with your stuff. I mean, that’s normal, interpersonal stuff. Totally makes sense, but this is a whole planet and the last planet. But what if we…I don’t know, Madam President.
What if we check the device and try that, but also let the Big…really let the Big Ones know. I know they can already feel it, but see if they have an answer. Maybe it’s that. We’re expressing our feelings now. Maybe we have to express some of our needs or the gravity, or maybe the Big Ones are working on it ‘cause they’re close together. I don’t know. Let me know, Madam President. Okay, well, it’s Madam President here, back. President of the World; hardy-har. Okay, well, here’s where things are; they didn’t quite work out as expected, and they haven’t worked out for anybody because we used…we opened the thing and it was not a serum to change someone.
It was a beacon, and we had somehow…again, talk about layers of delusion; we had forgotten that there was one other…it had died down again and again, I guess all the theories of the team collecting the data had said that’s probably one of the Big Ones…fused Big Ones, was that there’s another…there was another large Big One out there and we had misinterpreted that data. This beacon called them back and called them out of wherever they were. But not just here, but on Planet Zipper, too. We’re trying…at the same time, we also talked to the…we talked to the Big Ones and the Spice Friends and the fused ones and said what are we gonna do? We don’t know what to do and we don’t know how to communicate with you, but we feel like you sense our feelings.
Maybe you sense something more, and we don’t need a clear…we need some help from you because we’re not…we have a way to deal with this, but it doesn’t feel like the best way. Again, we’re in the unknown. They seemed very responsive, and there seems to be something working with them. But unfortunately, we created a new problem, and is it best…so, now, we have a really, really, really Big One, independent of all of this…thoughts and feelings, somehow present or appearing on both planets, and pretty much is gonna…I guess would cause the Zipparians to react once they get things under control there, or they’re…we’re trying to communicate with them too, to say hey, let’s fix this.
I guess the Big One, it has made its…it was looking at first, and it’s kinda…it’s got this cloud around it, so we haven’t been able to get a lot of details, but it’s very loud and steamy or whatever, or some sort of shell, too. Like a…whatever, like a…and it’s coming here to the plain. I guess we’re waiting…now…may have to get hibernated, because then they’ll hibernate all the Big Ones and the Spice Friends, too. But we have to believe there’s a way to fix this when this thing gets there, and that Zipper…now Zipper knows we want to help them too, but…’cause they watched all this unfold, right? We could have…we had the chance, briefly, to just let Zipper…and again, they could try to hibernate us but we could also just as easily use this pulse that we’ve designed and send our feelings back through and create this separation, this cloud, this belt, asteroid belt, because it turns out that it’s closer to Zipper.
There is some…something…I don’t know; that’s science stuff. But so, we have to work together now, and we have to work together now because of our mistakes, interestingly enough, because we made choices just based on us and wanting…feeling like the only way to work it out was for ourselves alone or for Zipper’s self alone. Now we’re in a position where we’re dependent on one another. It looks like you could make a rash decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s gonna work out. So, we go yet again into the unknown together to try to solve this while we’re still expressing how we feel about it, and now Zipper’s expressing how they feel about it. It does seem to be that the Big Ones are all getting excited, and the fused Big Ones and the Spice Friends, so we don’t feel like we have to deal with this alone, either.
I guess that’s the under…it’s like oh, if this giant Big One gets there, we don’t…it’s kind of unexpected. It’s kind an unknown, too, but have a team here and they do feel like they have caring for us, and something changed in them when they knew we were conflicted and unwilling to move into the…a con…to move against our values even if it was what we thought was best for us versus the unknown. So, just like Emma Otter says, I know all will be well. I don’t know how it will be well, but I’m recording this and I’m confident when this Big One arrives and whatever’s happening on Zipper, that we can reach a solution together.
Maybe we’re even…I feel…that’s strange, and maybe it’s just my leadership qualities that people point out; I feel like even though things are…have ratcheted up in the unknown, that we’re closer to it all working out…I don’t know if Emma Otter would have said that, but maybe that’s what she meant when she said all will be well. Even though we’re approaching a new precipice, I feel like that precipice is…that there’s an invisible bridge or something there, or that looking over it, I’ll see oh, that’s where I dropped my keys. So, thank you, Emma Otter, for telling me all will be well even though I don’t always understand it. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)
- Cloud of confusion and delusion
- Willie Nelson
- The Addams Family
- The Scream by Edvard Munch
Notable Talking Points:
- I haven’t totally stopped making sense
- I’m concerned that it’s intractable
- A forgotten Big One
Listen to the latest episodes
Hi, you can call me Scooter.
Drew Ackerman is the creator and host of Sleep With Me, the one-of-a-kind bedtime story podcast featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, and Dr. Oz. Created in 2013, Sleep With Me combines the pain of insomnia with the relief of laughing and turns it into a unique storytelling podcast. Through Sleep With Me, Drew has dedicated himself to help those who feel alone in the deep dark night and just need someone to tell them a bedtime story.