1090 – Mumble and Hum
Two friends from one soothing, sleepy, sound.
- Can I be wizened without being wise?
- Inaction in Action
- The Great Communicator
- Rattle & Hum
- Carol Kane
- “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”
Notable Talking Points:
- I’m typecast as an old, gnarled tree
- Some real bootstrap-y advice
- Something beyond self-actualization
Episode 1090 – Mumble and Hum
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and all of my patron peeps, so glad to be here in your ears, as Ray would say, or near your ears or across your room. Maybe, just maybe somewhere there’s a kid listening like me in the next room over, smiling that you’re getting tucked in by Scooter and indirectly, they’re getting tucked in, too. That’s pretty cool. Even if it’s just in my imagination, patrons, you make it possible. What do you say we get on with the show?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts, things on your mind that you’re thinking about, past, present, future, thinking stuff or just stuff running in there. Good old auto-thoughts. Those automatic thoughts; oh, how we try to love them so. Auto-thoughts…that’s a way to at least…they feel a little bit less powerful. They feel more automatic. Automated thinking; whoever invented it, please undo it.
So thoughts, feelings, anything coming up for you emotionally. It might be connected to those thoughts or could be feelings that are just there, it could be physical sensations, could be changes in time or temperature or routine. Whatever it is that’s keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind off of it and keep you company, to distract you so that you could fall asleep. The way I propose to do it or what I’m going to attempt to do, particularly if you’re new, is try to create a safe place, and this safe place is transferable. This is…if this safe place was a ticket, it wouldn’t follow any of the rules of tickets. It’s transferable, fully trans…it’s portable, transferable, you could use it at a…you don’t even need to have it.
You say, I don’t know if I…’cause I’m constantly one of those people patting my…anytime I gotta go anywhere where you need something, I’m look…I say oh boy, how many pockets do I have? ‘Cause one’s not enough and one’s too many, because I say wait a second, do I have that? What was it I needed again? I’m sorry. Was it a piece of paper? It could be crumbled or folded somewhere. Oh, it’s a digital form? Oh boy, I don’t know. Even those ones, you say how did I…I’m not kidding; I say, I’m positive I have that in triple kit or in three different places on my phone, and can’t find anything. Oh, can’t get…oh, sir, you’re directly plugged into the router. Yeah, still can’t get any service on here. Don’t know what’s happening. My wheels are spinning. So, this safe place, though, is unlike those things.
It’s always there and I’m always going. I’m always going nowhere for your benefit, and the way I do that…beyond that is I send my voice across the deep, dark night, I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, oh so creaky are my tones, with just a touch of dulcet in there, which is kinda sweet. You say you’re creaky, but you’re not bad. That’s what creaky, dulcet tones mean. You say well, I wouldn’t say…I’m not gonna hire you to do a voiceover for my book. You probably would play a character that would be rock-like. I’m picturing a character in…yeah, you could be a character, but it would be one…maybe like…not Treebeard, but Treebeard’s old uncle. Or in those Frozen movies, you could be one of those rock people, but maybe the grouchy one. But it’s not bad; we’ll still have you. I’d say, great. Sounds good.
Where do…oh, it’s in my…you’re one of the casting agents that lives in my mind? Well, I’m glad that…I’m glad I’ve not…oh, I’m glad I’ve typecast myself into…at least I can play two different types. Old, gnarled tree; could that be my…old, gnarled tree or…I wouldn’t mind…I guess I would be more…could Treebeard’s older uncle…Treebeard is a character from a film, a wise tree-being, very friendly, apparently has an older uncle, though, that I’ll be playing in an imaginary film that may never come out. Here’s the thing, though; I don’t want to get myself un-cast from this imaginary movie, but I would probably…knowing what I know about myself, I would be the one…I don’t think I would be the wise…could I be wizened? Is it possible to be wizened without being wise? It is.
Okay, good, because I would be more asking Treebeard for advice. Is it possible to be wizened and without any…anything…is it possible for me to have sage on me, like growing on me or whatever, but not to have anything sage…that I’m not…I can’t be…I can be associated with sage, but sage has contacted me; don’t let us be associated with you. I’d say, of course. There’s nothing sage about me, I mean, unless I have sage on me. Oh, okay, where was I, though? Oh, I was gonna send…creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents; you’ve kinda seen a couple of those already, which means I’m gonna go off-topic, I’m gonna get mixed up, I’m gonna talk about…that’s where the podcast never gets started and it’s always going.
But if you’re new, let me give you some information, ‘cause you probably arrived at this podcast doubtful or skeptical or like, what is this? Treebeard…thanks, Treebeard, for recommending the podcast, by the way. Oh, Treebeard did not. Oh. Oh, that was somebody else-beard. Okay, well, maybe the beard from that great show…that program, the great program. No, not that beard, either? Okay, well…oh, just a beard. Wait, so there’s a sentient beard? ‘Cause I don’t mean to get distracted, but you know, you got Treebeard, you got Beard from Ted Lasso. I’m sure there’s other Beards out there. There’s probably some Beards…Peter Beardsley; that came up in a Great British Bake Off episode. I didn’t look up who it was, but it’s on my list of things to look up one day. Oh, I’m introducing a podcast.
Oh, so if you’re doubtful or skeptical or unsure, that’s a really natural way to arrive at this show, ‘cause if you have trouble sleeping, a lot of people give out advice, right, about sleep or tell you how to do it the right way. That doesn’t necessarily help, but it also…it’s tough to find something that works. I know because I’ve been there. This show, believe it or not, even though I make it and it’s open to anybody, it doesn’t work for everybody. But even worse than that for me, not for you, is that it doesn’t even work…for most people it works for, it doesn’t work on the first, second, or third try. It takes some getting used to naturally for a show that’s always going and never going anywhere to fig…you say, I think I get what you mean, but I don’t…until I see it in action, which I guess is already…we’re getting into that ironic territory ‘cause there’s…your action is…it’s not inaction; it’s an action.
I just accidentally said…I just accidentally made a pun in there. It’s action and inaction. Action, inaction. The Sleep With Me podcast. Put that as one word; I’ll probably misspell it, too. Action, inaction. Maybe that’s what that story…what I said in the intro…maybe that’s what it’ll be about, action in action. That sounds like a movie I would…might see. Oh, but if you’re a new listener…so, okay, other important things to know; this podcast doesn’t work for everybody. Give it a few tries, see how it goes. It’s a podcast you don’t really listen to. It’s almost like listening to something that’s going on in the background. You can listen, but if you start out just kinda barely listening, like softly like I’m just out of focus, that might help versus waiting for stuff to get started or waiting for me to get to the story or the sleepy stuff.
We’re in the sleepy stuff a little bit. I haven’t…it’s been a little while since I said this, but we’re in…if you’ve been looking for a podcast with morass or morass, you’ve…then I got you covered on more than one department, ‘cause we’re deep into the…we’re…I’m like, you know, I’m already off-topic. I’ve been off-topic multiple times. So, where was I? I’m not joking, either. Okay, so yeah, give it a few tries, see how it goes. Just barely listen. This podcast also doesn’t put you to sleep. It keeps you company while you drift off, and if you can’t sleep, I’m here for over an hour to keep you company, so…’cause my job is not so much to count down from ten and help you relax; it’s to be your friend, to keep you company, to make things a little bit less lonely in the deep, dark night, to be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-cuz, your bore-bestie, your bore-bruh.
That’s what my job is, your bore-friend. So, I’m here to keep you company so that you could fall asleep. If you can’t sleep, you say well, at least I got Scoots to listen to. He’s rambling about nothing. Good old mumble and hum, as my…that was the…that was one of the unreleased U2 albums, maybe. ‘Cause I mean, definitely Rattle and Hum is not good for bedtime. Mumble and hum; maybe. So, okay, so…oh, the other things to know; the reason I make this show, one, is you. You deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a safe place where you could get some rest, and I hope this show can provide it for you. But if it doesn’t, I hope you find what you need to be a part of your bedtime routine, or find something small whether it’s a book or a activity or another sleep podcast.
Sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou has got a bunch of them so that you have the space you need to wind down, because if you get the rest you need, your life’s gonna be more manageable. You could flourish, and that means our world is a better place to live in for everybody. I also make the show ‘cause I’ve been there; mind racing, tossing, turning, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, thoughts, feelings, physical sensation, all that stuff I’m familiar. So, that’s why I make the show. The other thing that can throw new listeners off and that takes some getting used to is the structure of the show.
It’s designed in a very specific way, but you can also adjust as you become a regular listener to find what works for you, but naturally questions come up and people have very strong feelings about them because our show is very different overall, but then the structure is even different, and unexpected, ‘cause you expect a sleep podcast to start putting you to sleep. If it was…if I had magic powers or whatever, I could do…I would do that, but I don’t. I mean, I guess I have…I have the power of being mystified, so…I mean, that’s what…the power I’m putting into you. I’m laughing ‘cause it’s true. I say well, I do have a magic power; I’m always mystified. Not very useful except in this context. Then it’s magical, and really, like I said, the reason I make it is because it’s magical, because I know how it feels and you deserve a good night’s sleep.
Oh, but the structure of the show…why is the show structured this way and what is the structure? Why don’t I tell you? We’re only fifteen minutes into this podcast. Well, the show starts out with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. That’s so you feel seen, welcome, you kinda get a bit of the tone of the show, it’s a little bit silly. So you say oh, okay, I could check this out. Then there’s support for the show. Again, it’s a little bit early for the support for some people, but that way the show comes out free twice a week, over 400 episodes to choose from, again for free, wherever you want to listen to your podcasts, whatever app you listen on. So, that’s just important to me, is that’s what I like. It helps the most amount of people the most amount of time it can.
I don’t know if that was actually a full sentence. So, that’s the greeting, then there’s the support, then there’s support for the communities around the show and listeners, then there’s the intro, which we’re already most of the way through, but the intro is a show within a show where I introduce what the podcast is, but it’s also the time during the podcast where you could get ready for bed or start winding down. It’s kinda the twilight or the transition. So, that’s another part of the podcast, is that ideally the intro helps ease you into bedtime so that you could get ready for bed or you could start relaxing and then get in bed or already be in bed relaxing, and then later, fall asleep. So, this is the get-comfortable time, getting cozy, petting those pets, blowing kisses to the fishes of the world.
Even if you don’t have a fish, blow some kisses. That could be a new thing; kisses for the fishes. Besos for pescados, you know? We’ll…is that right? I think I just used…Besos…para pescados…oh, that actually is nice alliteration. Besos para pescados. I know my pronunciation’s not perfect, but let’s all blow some kisses to the fishes everywhere. Okay, now that that’s done, you could also come up with your own bedtime routine or fun thing like that, but that’s what the intro does, is it goes on and on and on, which some new listeners find very frustrating, but it serves a purpose; it eases you into bedtime. As you become a regular listener and you say oh, I’ll just start the show at twenty minutes and then listen to the stories, or oh, I’ll support the show on Patreon and listen to story-only versions.
But what you might discover, which is what a lot of people discover, is that the intro becomes kind of…it’s…’cause it’s familiar every time but it’s different every time. I don’t know, a lot of listeners get…this is the part where you get to know my…where you get to know the…this is where I bring the morass, for sure. So, that’s the intro, then there’s business again, support between the intro and the podcast, again, just to meet my personal goals, I guess, that the show comes out twice a week for free, gets the most people as possible versus just being on one platform or behind a paywall. So, that’s that. Then there will be our story. It looks like tonight’s story will be something about…what did I say, mumble and hum? So, I don’t know.
I was gonna record a intro for something else, but tonight it looks like we’re talking about mumble and hum, so that should be…that could be anything. We’ll see how that goes. So, there’s that, and then there’s thank-yous at the end. So, that’s why I make the show. Again, if the show does not work for you, you feel strongly, you say I just don’t…you’re not my cup of tea, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. If you’re new, sleepwithmepodcast.com/new has a little bit of description about episodes and stuff. But otherwise, just see how it goes. Get comfortable and we’ll see where we go. I’m really glad you’re here. I really hope I can help you fall asleep. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to do this for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, Scoots here and this is one of these tales that I haven’t…tales…untold…tales never told, and I guess the subtext…is this subtext? My daughter is learning about subtext in school and I said, could you explain it to me again? She turned away and changed the subject. I don’t know; is that subtext? But why did I ask what was subtext? Oh, I said when I say tales…untold tales, the subtext in my brain…or it’s a sub-tweet, I think, or something. It says there’s a reason they’re untold. This all takes place…these are the tales I get to hear when I’m sitting outside. This time I decided to sit on one of the…there’s a broken carousel outside of a Kmart or what once was a Kmart. This is when I heard the tale, when it was still a Kmart.
One of my great regrets was not going in and having lunch at the K-Cafe or the K Kaf…cafeteria with a K. But I got to listen to the pigeons tell another tale about stuff…this one was called Mumble and Hum, and it was a tale about Mumble and Hum, and the…oh, also, I guess I gotta explain that this will also be a Carole King episode, though through a new method which I have to further explain, which is…so, there I was, ‘cause I was telling the pigeons…I said before you tell it, could we have this tale be influenced by Carole King? They said the great songstress and activist and leader Carole King? I said one in the…I mean, one in the same…well, not quite one in the same. One and much more than just the same.
That got the pigeon’s attention, ‘cause I said…and I said what about this…how about this; I tell you the tale of Mumble and Hum through the spiraling tresses of Carole…spiritually…quite the spiritual tresses of…spiraling tresses. They said you missed your alliteration there. I said I never thought I’d say wow, I feel understood, but to a…to anyone, but particularly I never thought I’d say this to a pigeon. I thought I’d only say don’t drive the bus or whatever. Sorry. I guess I thought I’d work…you know, I thought about starting an assertiveness training course. Well, I didn’t; I just thought of it now. But what if we…is that what don’t let the pigeon drive the bus is teaching us, assertiveness? You say I’m sorry, pigeon. I cannot allow you to drive this bus because you’re a pigeon.
I know you desire to drive the bus and I know I always desire to drive the bus. Oh, but…oh, sorry pigeons, I was explaining Carole King and my connection to Carole King. I also have a connection to Carol Kane, but this is different. So, once upon a time, in an era maybe called the aughts, or maybe it was the tens. No, I think it was the tens. Was it the aughts? I’m not sure, but there was something called an iPod, which is…now comes kinda built…well, now you stream stuff, but it used to be all your songs were on your…all the songs you owned…you didn’t rent songs back then or pay a generalized fee to access the songs. You had your music. It was a different era. It was in…it was an era…it was a short era, actually, but it was part of a earlier era.
So, you owned your music, in some sense, and you would put it…you could put it on a device called an iPod and it could hold thousands of songs. Maybe…I don’t know, maybe ten thousand, maybe one thousand, maybe twenty…a hundred thousand? I have no idea. Eventually they went from hard drives…platter hard drives to solid state hard drives, which were smaller, or they were…I don’t know, is that flash memory? I don’t have a lot…my memories are gone in a flash. But so, on these solid…on my hard drive which was a platter hard drive, I had all my songs, okay? Get that much. There was a…I believe; now, some have told me I’m incorrect, but I like to shuffle my music because otherwise I overthink it or I stay in my comfort zone, whatever the comfort zone of that particular day happens to be.
So, I would shuffle things and then what I believe, and I developed a belief system based on this, but I believe it to be true and not just a belief, is that every time you shuffled it or listened to a song outside of the shuffling process, the iPod algorithm would note it and say okay…let’s just say I didn’t…Star Boy didn’t exist back then, but it said well, Scoots has listened to Star Boy, whatever, 8,000 times, and he’s listened to Sacrifice 4,000 times. Maybe we’ll recommend this related track to him, but we’ll definitely…if we’re gonna randomize out of a thousand songs, we’ll definitely play…or whatever, a hundred songs, we’ll play…Star Boy would be more likely to be played than Sacrifice, but both would be highly likely to be played within a randomization of a hundred songs.
But in this case, it wasn’t the weekend; it was Carole King. Somehow, Carole King, her power of song and joy and engagement with the world was so powerful, it invaded the algorithm within my iPod. What’s a miracle about stuff like this is that then it invaded the algorithm within my heart that keeps my heart locked up, in some sense. At some point it became accepted, so that every fifth song would be a Carole King song, even though…and this is nothing about…this is why it’s spiritual or beyond my understanding, if you’re more comfortable with that, was that I wasn’t…I never intent…I intentionally chose to keep repeating these Weeknd songs recently, or over the past, whatever, six years, but I never intentionally chose Carole King.
It’s like we chose one another through…we randomly chose one another, or someone out there said…beyond my understanding said…if Carole King’s bringing the message, Scoots will eventually get it. So, I became willing to turn the algorithm of my iPod over to Carole King and her powers beyond my understanding. I’ve had a lot of adventures since then, ran…hitting randomizing and pressing Play, and I’ve said well, a lot of the stories of the show that I’ve discovered have been through that. Now we move onto a new phase of…Carole King has physically invaded. I’ve let her in even further, and so, I have in my lap here, pigeons…this is what I was saying to the pigeons, listeners; sorry. I have in my lap…what are the…are these 45s? I don’t even know. They’re the single records. I think those are 45s, or they’re 33s.
I’m not kidding, I’m not even joking and trying to be facetious. I found…occasionally I have a opportunity because there’s jukeboxes out there, right, and people…so, there’s…you can buy random lots every once in a while of jukebox records for a low price because the people take out the records and say oh…so, you’re just getting random records. So, I just opened a pack of random records. So, our story is in the hands of Carole King, the story…so, without further ado, pigeons and you listening, dear listener, once upon a time there was a mumble and there was a hum. They played out in the universe, free-floating, a mumble [MUMBLING], like a…can hear that at the same time, the hum coming from my upper palate and the [MUMBLING].
Interesting that the mumble is coming from my chest and my throat, and they work together. It was this string moving through the universe. Believe it or not, it’s always there, because you can just do a [HUMMING] and make it and say it at a…and I…and if you ever know somebody needs…post-crying, usually…about fifteen minutes after somebody cries, this is a good time to introduce them to the back-patting version of Mumble and Hum, or just hum. You could start having them just hum and you pat their back, and then it becomes a sound that’s probably not conducive to sleep podcasting. But you know it, and if you haven’t experienced it, I’m not kidding; I highly recommend it, is you just let them go and you pat their back and it makes a syncopated sound. That might be the way to describe it.
It was one time; I had forgotten the power of mumble and hum when I was patting someone’s back who had just finished crying, ‘cause they said…they had just said to me it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. They said you would have cried too if it happened to you. I said, okay. They had already cried. So, they said it was their party, then they said they’ll cry if they want to, then they cried. I said okay, I’m here, I’m here. Go ahead and let it out. Would you prefer to be held or would you prefer to lie next to me or sit across the room as you cry? Okay, I’m here. Yeah, I’m here; go ahead. Let it out. It’s okay. Let it out. It’s just…let those…let it flow. Then afterwards…and this was one of those ones where it was a party, and so, the contrast of it’s a party and then I’ll cry if I want to, and then the crying, it ended up with some of the breath-catching afterwards and the sniffling.
Then normally I’ll say hey, what if we do some groaning and back-patting or humming? They said okay, this really helps now. Usually you can laugh with still some tears in-between it. They said where did you learn this? I said well, once upon a time, there was two friends and we’ll just call them Mumble and Hum. Mumble had planned this really big party for themselves, a really, really big party. They had said they were…they invited everyone they knew, everyone in town, and they said well, what was the party for? Mumble had…Mumble meant something different back then. It became Mumble…that’s how…this is how Mumble and Hum came into parlance, according to this story. This is more of a fable. But Mumble was one of those people that didn’t communicate the same way as everyone else.
They had felt bad about it; they said well, when I say stuff…it doesn’t always…or trails off. A lot of people, they’d say okay, say it again. [MUMBLING] Then they…this was a world with a lot of active listening. A little bit different than ours. They’d say okay, did you say you know an elephant that wears pants? Okay, that’s good, that’s good, that’s good. Is that what you said? Then Mumble would say [MUMBLING] elephant wears pants, uh-huh. They say okay, interesting. Do you…is that a metaphor or do you really know an elephant that wears pants? That’s just kind of an example of…sometimes Mumble…they understood Mumble, sometimes they didn’t. But Mumble was always aware that Mumble was one of those few people that’s…[MUMBLING]. Like that, mumbling.
Some people would say you gotta speak clearer or think about what you’re gonna say and then say it, or please don’t mumble. Mumble would say this is just…I don’t know. It wasn’t easy, right? Mumble would mumble and then Mumble would…and then Mumble was…finally one day Mumble said I’m gonna stop mumbling. From this day forward, I’m gonna stop mumbling. Mumble had a friend named Hum that would always be there to soothe mumble and not give Mumble advice. Hum would say [HUMMING], like as Mumble said; really tough. No one understands. I’m speaking for Mumble not in mumbles here. It’s really hard; no one understands me, I don’t feel like I quite get this thing, you know?
Communicating like all these other people, judging your insides from your outsides, outsides from your insides, that whole thing. But Hum would always [HUMMING]…yeah. Mm. Mostly just that; mm. Mm-hm. They went back and forth, and Mumble said that…Hum would talk sometimes, but mostly Hum would try to guide…but one time…the one time Hum said something, it said sometimes I look in the mirror and I say, you’re the only one that could make me feel these strong feelings that I don’t necessarily like to feel. Now, what Hum didn’t know is that Mumble still had to go on a journey, so…or Mumble…Hum was trying to help Mumble. Mumble still had to go on a journey, but it planted that seed. It said okay, so you’re the only one that can hurt me.
Maybe Mumble was just a little too young for this information. Mumble had to live a little bit more. Hum was in a place where Hum could just hum and knew I’m just here to hum. Mm-hm, mm-hm, and give my experience. Well, that helped me. But Hum wasn’t a parent, and Hum wasn’t a…so, maybe there was just a little bit missing, or maybe Hum was so hum…full of comforting hums that Hum was able to just put that out there and know that at some point Mumble would get it. But this wasn’t the time, particularly this part of the story, that Mumble would get it, ‘cause Hum left. They couldn’t spend all their time together. So, Mumble was alone looking in the mirror and didn’t decide to call Hum and run things by Hum or talk to someone else.
Mumble had kinda got tired of asking other authority figures or even other people Mumble’s age for help, because they said well, just stop mumbling. Why don’t you get…why don’t you just…Mumble didn’t know there was podcasters that could actually have trouble communicating, and it was okay. Didn’t always feel okay, Mumble, but…so, Mumble thought that Mumble would look in the mirror and instead of sparking that humming comfort at first, it sparked something different, a different strong feeling, a feeling kind of like B-L-A-M-E, blame. Mumble started looking in the mirror and said well, this is me. This is…F-A-U-L-T kinda thing. You’re making me feel this way. You gotta change.
But Mumble did have…one extra piece was like okay, well, I have always been…like these adults, I don’t like how it feels when people don’t validate my mumbling and how I communicate, or they don’t just sit there…I like it when Hum sits there and just hums and accepts me. I don’t understand this whole change, or I’m supposed to communicate differently or pull up my bootstraps or whatever. But I do know this Mumble that I’m seeing in the mirror. So, Mumble said well, maybe there has to be two Mumbles. Mumble even sang a mumbling song.
It reminds me of this song, Two Faces Have I, that I don’t quite remember the lyrics to it at all, but Mumble sang that song in the mirror and decided okay, well, and then realized okay, one of my faces is mumbles and one of my faces is maybe this more…this face I got from all these adults saying…point…finger-wagging and saying pull it together, Mumble. Stop mumbling; speak in a clear voice. Make eye…pull your shoulders back and lift your head up, belly button in, the whole…and Mumble said well, that’s…[MUMBLING]. So…said, I got these two faces, have I. I don’t know, this face said…has…is wagging me in the mirror and saying that it’s my fault. I don’t necessarily think…that just makes me sag my shoulders more.
[MUMBLING] So, Mumble got…said yeah, well if I…maybe I can entice that part of me with a party, a goal, this grand goal. Oh, one day I’ll never mumble again. I’ll get this together. Just like people said, I’ll pull every…I’ll take total control of my communication and no stone will be left unturned until my mumbling is gone. [MUMBLING] But Mumble still mumbled a lot, but Mumble went out and went in search of the world. First said okay, where are the best diction coaches? These adults that were disempowering me…went back to them and said [MUMBLING]. They said, okay. But the ones…they were still trying to actively communicate in this world but still saying…it’s…it wasn’t easy. Remember, Mumble’s just a kid, ish, at least emotionally. That’s why I identify with Mumble so much.
But Mumble said where’s the…who do you recommend if you…? [MUMBLING]…change my talking and stuff like…and they said well, just…a lot of people didn’t have solid solutions, so Mumble would just move on and say well, maybe you weren’t…at least Mumble was catching stuff. Okay, well, I’m trying to be empowered. Now, I would say Mumble was taking on a lot of power to change everything at all costs, and that…but that’s the road Mumble went down. Mumble kept searching and then eventually found people that say oh, well this diction coach is there and this diction coach is there. Mumble started working with them where Mumble would say well, I gotta get…I gotta figure out…well, they said this is my fee. Well, what can I do? I don’t have your fee.
Well, come back when you do, or oh, you could do this work for my fee. Mumble was willing to do what it took to get…to pay those fees or to barter for those fees. But each thing…it was like these diction exercises or oh boy…I don’t know ‘cause I wasn’t there. This part of the story I wasn’t there, but it was a lot of repetition and all that kinda stuff. Mumble said I don’t know how to…[MUMBLING]. But Mumble could start to realize that…well, maybe this is different. Maybe that two faces thing is…I had something there in the mirror. Remember what Hum was trying to say? Now, it wasn’t what Hum was trying to say. We know that, but Mumble didn’t know that. So, Mumble said okay, maybe I have to become two parts of Mumble; Mumble and not-Mumble.
So, Mumble would then go into these diction classes and try to…not pretend, but compartmentalize I guess is the best way to describe it, and kinda forget about mumbles or the feeling. I guess Mumble wasn’t…it said okay, well, I gotta create this new place and this new part of me that’s gonna be the communicator. Oh boy, am I gonna communicate clearer, as clear as the clearest day and the clearest sky, like a window without streaks that’s just been washed. Holy cow, look out birds because there’s a window here. Maybe I…I ask…I have to keep it clean to communicate, but maybe I could…maybe I could just tell you not…that there’s a window here, but it’s so clear because of my communication. But what Mumble noticed was that even…that it was really exhausting holding that up, and all the work that went into it.
It worked, but when Mumble started to get tired, or sometimes when Mumble…Mumble’s focus slipped or Mumble was a little down or feeling lonely or hungry or upset, the mumbles would come through. Sometimes they came through when it wasn’t the perfect time, right? Like, because Mumble had slowly started to build a reputation as a clear window speaker. Pa-ta-poom, pa-ta-ping, to the highest bidder comes mumbles, where it became an ironic name. They said tonight, this super silver speaker is gonna be Mumbles. People thought it was a joke, almost. But not every time, right? Every once in a while, the mumble would creep in and maybe Mumble would cover it up. But Mumble would go back to the mirror after that and say I can’t believe that leaked out, those mumbles.
Maybe no one…sometimes the only person that would notice it was Mumbles. But Mumbles was still not satisfied, and so, Mumbles started to travel the world and say…and it was actually Hum that said hm, hm. Hum and Mumbles hadn’t been in touch ‘cause Hum said hm, like that a couple times, and Mumbles didn’t like it during this journey. [HUMMING]. Or hm, that’s…when I look in the mirror…and so, Mumbles had kinda said you know what, Hum? You’re the one that told me to look in the mirror. Strong…they parted ways. Their journey had separated, but Mumbles was still on this quest to find…I gotta find a solution here. I gotta find…and I guess it was Hum that said look out…hm, outside the box, maybe. But Mumbles…again, it deteriorated after that. Hum was trying to say hm, but maybe don’t do anything.
Maybe…huh, hm. [HUMMING]…sounds tough. So, I guess I’m realizing that the pigeons are resting, but I’m not sure this humming and mumbling, how it’ll play out in the episode, but it’ll be fine. I’m here to keep you company, right, and tell you this story about Mumbles. So, Mumbles was searching the world, searching so hard because of the H-U-R-T inside, and said I gotta get this hurt dealt with, right? Yeah, and we can all recognize that maybe even be…we wish…this part of the story is where you wish you could be an invisible hum saying hm, mumbles…so we could just all hum if we need to or do some sort of talking or imagining, just like we’re humming to comfort Mumbles. But Mumbles wasn’t in the comforting spot; Mumbles was in the active spot.
Eventually, Mumbles heard about this one teacher who said I don’t teach diction, I don’t teach pronunciation, I don’t teach mumbling. I teach more than that, but known to be the greatest communication teacher in the world; not…I don’t take on new students, but Mumbles would not…said I’ll sit outside of this place for as long as it takes ‘til I can communicate clearly. But there was something in the eye of that teacher, right, who said okay, I see you. I see you’re hurting. I see what you want. Maybe there’s a way I can help. Finally, the teacher came out and said to Mumbles, if you really want to learn to clearly communicate, you’re gonna have to kind of let go of what you think communication is. Mumbles said, I’m…are you willing? Mumbles said I think so.
Like a lot of other teachers that use confusing methods, this teacher was big on that. The teacher gave Mumbles this giant ball of string, gigantic. Like, it was a ball…you know, like a ball of yarn, but that you would have to scoop your arms to carry it around. Now, it was light; it was…it was big, but it was light and it had the string coming out. It was a ball of yarn. I don’t know if…what it was made from, but it wasn’t…as long as it was dry. Don’t get it wet. Then Mumbles had to take a break. But it had a…where the…I don’t know how you make a ball of yarn, but usually…what…it had about…so, if you scoop…picture yourself, I guess, as Mumbles.
You have this giant ball of string scooped in your arms, but dangling down, right about just past your knee if your arms are scooped and above your hips by about six inches, maybe just six inches below your knee would be the string from the yarn. The teacher said please don’t drag that string around. Mumbles said okay. Then Mumbles said what’s next? The teacher said, I want you to go north to Alaska. Mumbles said is that a metaphor or truth? The teacher shrugged and went back inside. Of course, Mumbles went through this thing of feeling stuck, right? First Mumbles was still holding the string or the ball of yarn, but yelling at the door and calling for the teacher to come out, getting tired.
Now, Mumbles also did think about it and said okay, didn’t…the teacher didn’t say I had to…just said don’t drag the string around. But apparently I had to carry this string wherever I…this ball of yarn wherever I go without dragging the string around. So, it’s not like Mumbles had to carry it 24/7. But that was…so, that was a part of the story that was not even…too dull for a sleep podcast, but it was a few days where Mumbles would carry the string at first and yell through the door, and the teacher would say north to Alaska. Please don’t drag that string around. Please don’t drag the string around; north to Alaska. Mumbles was frustrated, but finally Mumbles gave in and said okay, whatever that means. I’ll head north to Alaska and carry this…try not to…please don’t drag the string around.
Mumbles just started walking, of course, and went through a journey. Like a lot of great tales that are in this particular genre, there was…it was walkable. It was a walkable world and it had hills and it had valleys, it had forests and rivers, towns and streams, and small cities, farmland, mountains, and weather that was suitable for the clothes and the bag that Mumbles was carrying. Mumbles would go into town. Now, Mumbles also…if you’re carrying a giant ball of string, you kind of…eventually…you can’t put it down to rest, but if you’re carrying it, you kinda move it around, which Mumbles would do.
Mumbles would put it on Mumbles’ shoulder or…but then…or then it would shift to the other shoulder and then it would do the scoop, or Mumbles would try to hold it under Mumbles’ arm, but that was dangerous ‘cause the string would get close to touching the ground. Mumbles knew somehow in their mind that if they…if that string touched the ground, that was it for the lesson that Mumbles was supposed to be learning from this great, wise teacher of communication. But so, Mumbles would go to these towns carrying this ball of string. Now, the thing of this string was that it was so big that it was…depending on how you were holding it, it could obscure your vision.
Now, Mumbles would eventually…if you were holding it in the most comfortable way, your hands would be against your abdomen — or at least this is Mumbles’ opinion — and you’d have it scooped in your arms like you were carrying a bundle of hay, ‘cause you were…basically, that’s what you’re doing. But then your vision would be obscured and your mouth and your nose, and just the bottom part of your eyes. So, you could kinda make eye contact with people, but then if you moved it around, you know…it was always awkward, I guess, and it would be awkward and then people would ask about it, and…but everybody had…most people had a knowing glance. They said, what are you carrying…? Mumbles said well, I gotta get the…I’m carrying the string north to Alaska, this ball of yarn, and…yeah.
But Mumbles didn’t pick up on it right away, but it was a lot of different…of course if you see someone carrying…if you’re a pleasant enough, curious person and you see someone in a walkable world carrying a giant ball of string, you’re…if you have an opportunity…I mean, you might not…some of us might cross the street and say hey bub, what are you…where’d you get that giant ball of string? What are you doing with it? I know children would say can we play with it, or kitty cats would follow Mumbles through town and then people would follow the kitty cats, that whole thing. That’s a whole ‘nother thing. Kinda dull though; the cats would just jump at the string, but Mumbles would keep moving and eventually Mumbles was putting off this vibe for the cats to be like yeah, you could…just be careful.
Or Mumbles would put it up somewhere and the cats would…just where the cat could just hit it, and Mumbles would hold it against so it wouldn’t roll off. Nothing would touch the ground. Also, whatever the yarn was made from, it would never get caught in the cats’ claw, so it made…it was adjustable. Again, Mumbles was continuing to adjust carrying the string, and having a lot of conversations about it. Eventually what happened was Mumbles got…unexpectedly, Mumbles got to a town called Alaska, a really small town. No idea, ‘cause Mumbles was just following the road north, the signs north. It was before…Mumbles said how am I gonna even get to Alaska? People would say oh, I’m going to Alaska. They say don’t worry; you’ll get there fine. Mumbles said okay, maybe I will get there fine.
It seems really, really, really far away. When I do look on a map, it’s like thousands of miles. Luckily it just happens to be the right time of year to go that direction. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. Mumbles ends up in a town named Alaska. Doesn’t even know it ‘til Mumbles sees the sign coming into town. A small town not on any map known or unknown at this time. Mumbles rolls into town and says holy cow, what am I supposed to do now? Just like people said…and some people would say hey, come on, do this. Also, Mumbles would…eventually Mumbles started…people with cats would pay Mumbles, or Mumbles would do…Mumbles figured out a way to pay the bills without the string ever touching the ground. Eventually Mumbles said hey, I’m…I was supposed to come here, actually.
They said, what…they said the great communicator told me to take this ball of string and head north to Alaska. They said well, you’re in Alaska. You’re in the right place, then. A lot of people would pat Mumbles on the back. Mumbles never knew why, and eventually Mumbles found some people…’cause Mumbles started to get down; said well, I can’t leave Alaska. Am I just supposed to go…Mumbles felt stuck. Should I go back? Should I go north to the state of Alaska? Am I in the wrong place? Kept asking well, I don’t know if I’m supposed to be here. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Eventually this one woman…Mumbles was sitting there and she said okay, tell me everything slowly, over time. Mumbles told her and she said…told her about the stuff with…she said okay, tell me about your friend Hum.
Hum sounds great. Eventually Mumbles developed trust to where he kinda let it all spill out; the mumbling, the compartmentalizing, and the mirror. Now, the mirror was the last piece. She actually had to pull a different kind of string to be like…’cause Mumbles had almost forgotten about it now that Mumbles…and plus, Mumbles had kinda fallen into this other version of Mumbles’ self, going around town, not doing that much communicating when Mumbles was alone, but then in town, I guess something about it…and Mumbles said maybe it worked, that just by carrying the string and focusing on carrying the string, I’m able to communicate clearly. The woman, she wasn’t ready to get…she goes, I don’t know. Tell me more…keep telling me more. Okay, tell me what happened.
Let’s back up; let’s go back to that. Then that stuff with the mirror came out and she said oh, a mirror. She said, have you been up to the waterfall that overlooks the town? Mumbles said no, ‘cause I don’t want to get this ball of string wet. She said don’t worry; it’s…she goes, it’s the summertime, so the flow is really low. She goes, there’s a cinch…we got this big art installation up there. It’s been up there for a long, long, long time. I think you should go up there and look at it. She goes remember, not everything means what we think it means, right? Maybe it means something else or maybe it means two or three things at once. Mumbles said okay, okay. The Mumbles said okay, okay, okay.
So, Mumbles went up the hill carrying the string to the waterfall outside of the town of Alaska and started to see this shine; said wow, that’s a shiny waterfall. There was a little stream, very picturesque. At this point, Mumbles was in really good shape from carrying this ball of string. Eventually Mumbles realized that just past the waterfall was where the shine was coming from was a giant mirror. The mirror was…so, the mirror was to the right of the waterfall but on this thing that was facing…so if you’re standing in front of the mirror looking into the mirror, behind you was…to the left would be just the part of the waterfall and then this vista of an entire valley, the town of Alaska, and on a clear day they say you could almost see forever in this mirror. You could turn around and do it, too.
But that…and then on the top of the mirror, carved in wood, it said All For Myself. You could also sit on a bench and look up in the mirror. At first, I’m…almost kinda got the joke; like oh, if you come up here and you say all this is for me, all this beauty, all for myself, I got it all to myself, this is what life really is, then something else creeped up, and Mumbles didn’t even realize it at the time. But Mumbles started to relax in a way they never had before. Their arms went down a little bit and the string thing and something…at the same time Mumbles started to relax, this thing creeped in like…all for myself, all for myself…and thought about Hum and just thought about the…everything came together slowly. The string hit the ground, right? We’ll just point that part out.
Mumbles said, I’ve been doing this all for myself but not myself. Like, for that self…you know what I mean? Mumbles realized that this whole journey about communication had been for myself, but not myself at the same time. Then somebody else was hiking, and they were hiking behind Mumbles. They saw Mumbles just staring in the mirror, and they said you must have been a beautiful baby. Then they just kept going. This was…if that was a musical, it would be numbers in a musical, right? Carole King would probably be figuring it out, but…Mumbles said I think I was a beautiful baby, and thought about…oh, every baby’s beautiful to it’s mother, you know. Hardy-har-har.
But I don’t know, something shifted again in Mumbles and Mumbles started mumbling and saying huh, remember when…and thinking about Hum and how Hum was always kinda just there humming away most of the time. Most of the time, Hum never communicated anything other than that hum. What did the hum do when Mumbles needed it, but it soothed Mumbles. It gave Mumbles something. If it was a musical, Mumbles would have sang a song in mumbling at this point. Like, why am I so shy? Because Mumbles had that moment of…I guess in this case, because it’s a parable, it’s a stark moment of self-realization and acceptance that only a story like this can…and Mumbles started to mumble and mumble and mumble some more, and started to feel better. It was half-heaven, half-heartache at the same time.
Mumbles totally let the string…the ball of string roll on the ground and fall out of their arms, and headed out, let the string roll, and went in search of Hum. It took a while, but Mumbles suddenly realized…Mumbles said I think I have some sort of purpose, and it’s to accept my mumbling. Maybe my mumbling isn’t a problem. It’s my communicating that’s the problem. Then Mumbles started to make these connections, like all of the blocking of the string and the inner…the non-verbal communication and all the listening people did on the journey to mumbles. Again, all of that hum, and something beyond self-actualization happened. I don’t know if that’s the right word, where it was like…the question that Mumbles was really asking and that really Hum was asking; when will I be loved?
Mumbles said that’s what you were asking me in the mirror, not why can’t I communicate. When will I be loved by me, by Mumbles? It’s not about the mumbling at all. It’s about that feeling. Oh, when will I be loved? That’s what Hum was trying to tell me. Eventually, they reconnected and they would work together in spreading the word of non-verbal, soothing communication. Now, it didn’t…unfortunately, this is the untold tale. Never caught on; I don’t understand it. They tried the Mumble and Hum Method. That was a book they published, and then More Mumbling and Humming; that they self-published, and yet another…I don’t know, the titles got longer and longer, like Yet Another Dose of Wisdom from Mumble and Hum, More Mumbles; More…How to Hum.
So, that part didn’t work out, but what did work out was they stayed dedicated. They knew their purpose then. Oh, I’m here to mumble and…it’s not about my mumbling. People mumble, some people don’t, but I can mumble with a purpose, and…just like Hum did. They said well, it’s…because it’s not working out, maybe our world’s just not ready for it. That was when the power…the cosmic power of those twirling tresses of Carole King came in and de-actualized, I guess…said, let’s just let you loose in the universe, mumbling and humming you off and saying hey, [MUMBLING] it’s okay. We’re here to help, but if you need to, you could always hum or talk like this, pat your own back, or just do it. It really does feel good…and just let it go, and let it go. It’s gonna be okay. I’m here to help.
I see you, and when will you be loved? It’s just letting that love in a little bit, maybe. But just remember, I was telling this…also, I was telling this story to pigeons. I realized they had flown off. But it was fine, ‘cause I was telling it to the horsie I was on on a little tiny carousel, a red horse with blue eyes. I think that horse got the story by way of Carole King. So, thank you everybody and let me hum, tuck, mumble you in and say goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)