1099 – Bunsen Burner Love
Who knew Paul Rogers would be part of a sleepy, burning ode to metal valves.
- Enthralled with Nozzles
- Adult Contemporary
- Pre-Pubescent Chemistry Sets
- Bunsen Honeydew
- Bad Company
- Chuck Tingle
Notable Talking Points:
- The parrot that lived in the hotel lobby for many years
- The ubiquitous classic rock station
- Feel Like Makin’ Bunsen
Episode 1099 – Bunsen Burner Love
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for the podcaster who’s severely lacking in pop culture references that are relevant, because I just haven’t been listening to any pop…I mean, not just pop…pop music…it’s summertime for me. When you’re hearing this, it may not be summertime. Sum, sum, summertime. So yeah, I’m just here…you say man, this is confusing; I thought this was a sleep podcast. Yeah, this is a podcast that’s here to keep you company and put you to sleep. I’m glad you’re here. It’s a little bit different, but you’re the most important thing about the show. So yeah, if you’re new, glad you’re here. If you’re a regular listener, what up, my regular listeners? It’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. Thanks for making it possible, patrons.
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 you’re thinking about on your mind, so thoughts, anything about the past, the present, the future. It could be feelings, anything coming up for you emotionally related to those thoughts or just feelings that are there, physical sensations, anything you’re dealing with physically, changes in time, temperature, or routine.
Whatever it is that’s keeping you awake, I’m here to help, and the way I’m gonna do it is I’m gonna keep you company and take your mind off of stuff so you could fall asleep. Also repetition, accidental repetition. So, what I propose to do is I have this safe place; I’m gonna smooth it, I’m gonna pat it, I’m gonna rub it down, I’m gonna do the old magic hands or some sort of hands that say poof, safe place, and then I’ll walk away and you could check it out on your own. Or I could smooth it, pat it, and rub it down. Oh, I already…and pat…oh, I did say pat…I always think about patting safe places, to say okay, it’s ready to go now. How come…here’s an idea; hotel barons. I know there’s…I guess there’s not hotel barons anymore, but there probably are; they just…they’re…whatever, behind the scenes.
But you want to really fancify your hotel, have an official patter, bed-patter. They could have gloves or whatever. You gotta service your clientele, but you say all our beds are smooth, patted, and rubbed down. Not only do we do…have a turndown…no, no; our…no…we have a turndown service and a rub down and say…we have a turndown, smooth it, pat it, rub it down, turn it down service at our hotel, and then we pat it again. You can actually…here’s the thing; maybe it’s more comfortable to witness that. I don’t know. Maybe not, though. You say, not in my room. So, here’s what you do, then; here’s…it gets even better. You say, every fifteen minutes or so in the lobby in the evening when people are coming in and out from dinner or their conference ended, you have your smoothing; you pat it, you rub it down.
A bed…you have a raised bed. Just like in the rooms, it could be a little piece of performance art. You can’t…I don’t think you could hire me ‘cause I gotta work on the podcast, but we could work out a video or something. I mean, I can’t do it. I’m not good at any of that stuff, but you could pay…it could be done. Maybe put into your ads. You say oh boy, I might like that…I might like that bed if it’s smoothed and pat…rubbed down. But if you’re…there’s only certain hotels I’ll stay at, so not that I have to stay at fancy hotels. I just have had personal…anyway, not important. Let’s just move on. There was…one of my favorite hotels, they have a parrot that’s lived in the hotel for years and years and years. That’s just a regular…the…it’s not a super fancy one, but it has a lobby. You need a lobby to do this, so just lobby-based hotels.
But probably one of the super fancy ones, ‘cause I don’t know if I’ve had…stayed at a place with turndown. I’ve been turned down before, but not…I’ve been turned down plenty of times. I turn down Koa…I offer a turndown service for my dog, or a nesting service. Oh, I’m supposed to introduce the podcast. Oh boy, I went off-topic early there. What a delight. Alright, so if you’re new, what I’m gonna do as I smooth and…after I smooth and pat and rub down that safe place…and when I say rub down, I just mean…that’s just another version of patting. Patting the padding, you know? Patting the…I’m patting the batting. I put the patting in the batting. That’s also padding, but I’m patting and smoothing, if you catch my drift.
There’s no drift to catch; that’s actually what I would be doing, smoothing, patting, and I guess I wouldn’t be rubbing it down, but I would be just ‘cause that’s from a song I like. Then I’ll send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, which is my voice, imperfect but ideally distracting. A bit distracting and a bit comforting. Pointless meanders and superfluous tangents; you’ve already…I think I did a few of those in there. I was trying to make a point and then I got way too into my smoothing and patting, then I made a proposal, then I retracted my proposal ‘cause I said I was getting carried away ‘cause I said actually, I don’t know if any…just send me money, but only certain companies could send me money. Probably better off to just imagine it, right? Then it would be free.
The hotels would love that. They’d say okay, wait a second; so your idea costs us nothing? When people walk in, we hand them a card and we say close your eyes and imagine us…they say we’ll take it. The cost is zero, right? I’d say, sure. If that helps your guests, I guess I would be fine with it if you’re not charging for it. Imagine your bed. Imagine the fact…this is what the hotel…sir, they’d say, at some point today your bed was smoothed, patted, and rubbed down. We can’t confirm that, but nor can we deny it. So picture that as you head up to your room. In the elevator you could do it; the elevator could say that. So, that’s a point…those are pointless meanders and superfluous tangents. All this is to keep you company so you could fall asleep. So if you’re new, this show is very, very different.
It’s not your average podcast. It’s not above-average either, and it’s not below-average. It’s to the side of average. You say, so you’re not a…your podcast is neither below or above nor average? I say no, it’s a…it’s a deviation from the standard deviation. If I knew what that meant, I’d…I could make a joke about it. But I say no, we’re outside of the average. They say well, how…so, we didn’t factor you in on the average? No, you…yeah, ‘cause I was so deviated from the standards, it broke your…I just told you not to include me ‘cause it would break your equipment. If I’ve ever been accused of anything, it’s breaking beakers and Bunsen…I wasn’t allowed to touch…at some point in high school they said don’t touch the Bunsen burner. So, that’s all I could think about for any science-based class.
I’d say, one day I’m gonna touch that Buns…not even the Bunsen burner. This is actually true; I would just stare at those nozzles. I was enthralled with those nozzles the gas came through for the Bunsen burners. I would smooth those and pat them and rub them down. I would…this is like a…what would we call it? Harlequin science class. My long…I had a longing touch where my hands lingered on the handles and the shiny stem of the nozzles that I fantasized would deliver gas to a Bunsen…imagine…Bunsen burner that would warm my heart. There you go. It’s true, though. That’s a total point…another pointless meander, but I would stare at those things so long in fantasy. I was really enthralled.
Luckily they would have them shut off, but I would always test it to see ‘cause I was…yeah, I had a longing touch. I think…was there…did…remember Chris Isaak? I think that was in the nineties or the eighties. I think that was one of the songs that wasn’t a hit. I don’t know, or maybe it was…who was Sylvia, too? The boy who loved a nozzle. How did we get here? Okay, so…oh, I was gonna…oh, pointless meanders; I was still explaining what those are. So, I’m here to keep you company. The show is very different. It goes off-topic, I get mixed up, then I backtrack, all that stuff to…just to keep you company so you could fall asleep. So, this is one thing that’s strange, is it’s a podcast you don’t really listen to. You just kinda barely listen to it. I think that’s pretty clear, right?
‘Cause you…if you’re new, you may be wondering is he serious? I’d say, as serious as…I mean, I’m serious about fall…I’m serious about all that stuff. That all happened. It’s all true. That makes up for the parts…the public…is it true that I think that’s a good business idea, smoothing and patting and rubbing down beds? Yes. Have I run my hands across a Bunsen burner nozzle or whatever the heck it’s called…gas outlet? I don’t even know. Yes. Stared at it all day long throughout class while the rest of my classmates were probably staring at one another. I was too…I said well, at least…this is the thing; I said at least I know you’re shut off. I mean, I would say well, can’t…it turns out you can be rejected by a nozzle.
Just, an authority figure has to intervene and say can you pay…can you get your hands off the nozzle and pay attention, please? I’d say well, you can’t…can you stop me from staring at it? I don’t think you can. I mean, you could ask me to. Okay, my soul is always revealed in this podcast in the most interesting ways. But I think there’s a lot of people out there that can connect with that. Like, whether you say huh, I wouldn’t mind somebody smoothing…I mean, that’s what the great staff that works really hard at these hotels does anyway that doesn’t get enough credit or tips. Throw those tips down. I’m sure there’s a large percentage of our listeners that have stared longingly at a…or had Bunsen burner-based fantasies that are purely…not anything that would be in a Harlequin book.
It would just be…I guess it would be a metaphor, but for me it would be true. Well, it’s not a metaphor. I’ve fantasized about having my own operating Bunsen burner or the teacher just saying go ahead; light it up, except for Andrew. That’s what the teacher would have said. Say, you could just hold on. So anyway, where was I? I was…so…oh, this is a podcast you don’t really listen to. I think that qualification is clear. You just kinda…I’m background noise or a friendly voice that you say oh, I feel…it’s not pity I feel for you; it’s a relatable empathy. I say okay, yeah, a little compassion. I can relate to…I mean, I can’t relate to that, but…Scoots, but I could feel for you and that puts me at ease. I know I’m human too in a different way. So, I can relax and listen and just barely listen to me.
So, you don’t really listen to me or you kinda listen, unless you need to, because I’ll be here all night to keep you company, to make the deep, dark night less lonely if you need to, but ideally just fall asleep. So, I don’t really put you to sleep so much as keep you company, be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, your Bun…I’ll be the Bunsen to your burner. I don’t even know…was Bunsen the person that invented it? I know there’s Honeydew Bunsen, but I’ll be the…no, I guess there’s too many…we can’t go there because it’s too metaphorical if we get any closer. Just like the teacher said; Andrew, why don’t you stand on that side of the room and watch us use the Bunsen burners? Okay, so where are we here? Don’t really listen to me, don’t pay attention. Why do I make the show?
I make the show because I’ve had trouble sleeping my whole life and I know how it feels in the deep, dark night. That’s why I call it the deep, dark night. But I also believe your sleep is important, so if I can help with that, that’s really what I’m here for, because if you’re getting the rest you need and you deserve, you deserve a good night’s sleep and you deserve a manageable life when you feel rested. If I could provide that, that would be my honor. If I can’t, check out sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. There’s tons of other sleep podcasts out there that are all a little bit different style than this one. This is the strange one. So, that’s what…but it also takes two or three tries. Hundreds of thousands if not a million people have said it took two or three tries for me to get used to this show.
Or also a million people more than that have said I strongly dislike you in so many words. So instead of doing that, just check out another sleep podcast at sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. Then you could get your needs met and keep sampling things. But if you’re partway in the room here or you say well, there’s something about that; I’m not sure…just give it a couple tries. Eventually, for the people it works for, they realize oh, okay, this is something I consume in a loose, out-of-focus way. The other thing that could throw new people off is the structure of the show, so I’ll go through that really fast if I can, is…the show starts off with…it’s structured in a very specific way so it can come out free twice a week for anybody that wants to listen.
So, the show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, then there’s support. So again, that’s what keeps the show going, is people that support the show directly or support our sponsors. Then support for listeners, support for the communities around the show, then there’s a intro, which we’re almost done with now. So, it’s too late for me to explain it in time for the people that moved on, but the reason the intro goes on and on and on isn’t because it’s part of the support; it’s because it’s a show within a show, in a sense, to help ease you into bedtime, to give you some twilight between getting ready for bed and falling asleep. It’s this middle zone, and a lot of people listen as they get ready for bed and then they’re unwinding.
A couple people…a couple percentage of people skip the intro and a couple percentage of people might fall asleep during it, but for the most part it’s meant to ease you into bedtime. That’s that. Oh, then there’s support again so the show comes out twice a week for free. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of work that goes into the show. But it’s also just important for me that you can listen to it wherever you want, over 450 archive episodes for people that sleep all…want to listen all night or kinda sample what works best for them. So, then there will be a story. I originally thought it was gonna be one thing, but I guess tonight we’ll have to…we gotta keep exploring this Bunsen burner thing, ‘cause I had…while I was recording, I could see Freud and Young, and I’m pretty sure they were crying laughing, but they may have just been crying.
They just have some sort of…I don’t know if it was…I don’t know why this came in my head; a vestigial image. But for me it’s a vestigial image ‘cause it happens every day. I say, what…is that…are those the spirits of Freud and Young laughing at me again or…I mean enjoy, so I say well, it makes me feel good. If they’re laughing with joy and they’re rolfing or whatever, I gotta feel good about being human, you know? I can’t do any better. I mean, who else has that on their resume? Cracked up the spirits of Freud and…probably a lot of people.
They’re probably watching everybody. But particularly my love affair with Bunsen burners, my strong feelings about it, probably. So, that’s…oh, so we’ll have a episode; I don’t know what it’ll be about now, Bunsen burners or something. Love, exciting…not exciting and not new. Pretty mundane love. Probably won’t be…I don’t know. We’ll see where it goes. Then there’s thank-yous at the end of the show. So that’s how the podcast works, that’s why I make the show. I’m really glad you’re here. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways we’re able to keep this podcast coming out twice a week for free.
Alright everybody, this is…I don’t know how this is gonna go. This is…I was thinking about Bunsen burner love and my odes to Bunsen burners that I was…that I may have talked about in the intro. But then I said Bunsen burner love reminds me of a…when I was like well, what would that be? Could I talk about Bunsen burners for fifty minutes and…without just going about Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker? But then I said well, I don’t know, and then I…’cause…but then I thought about something that I don’t think I’ve ever talked about on the show, and that’s the song Radar Love, which I’m already embarrassed because I did pause it for a split second to look up. So, this is gonna be interesting because I didn’t even open…here’s the thing; I had amends to make and apologies to give before I even finished opening my mouth.
So, up until literally this point in my life…like, TI…today I learned…and I’m not kidding; this is not done for the podcast. My whole life…so, there’s a song called Radar Love, which I thought of Bunsen Burner Love. Let’s actually do the syllables. Radar Love; that’s three syllables. Bunsen Burner Love…Bunsen; that’s two. Unfortunately that’s two syllables. Bunsen…Bunsen…Bunsen Burner Love. Radar Love. Bunsen Burner Love. Too many syllables, so I can’t…but I…that’s a song I thought of when I thought of Bunsen burner love. Up until literally this point in my life, I thought that song was sung by the band Bad Company, and I’ll get into a little bit of that now. But it turns out it’s not…I’ve been living…yet another delusion that I’ve been living in, and a fraught delusion; that’s why I want to talk about it. So, I do feel some relief.
Now, those of you that are younger than me, you didn’t have to experience any of this in your life, so you’re very lucky. Once I turn my will of listening to music over to Carole King like you hear on the podcast, I didn’t have to worry about it much either, too. But so, what is the…where am I? So, there’s a song called Radar Love. We’ll talk about that in a minute, but there’s a band called Bad Company, and I’m pretty sure the lead singer of Bad Company is named Paul Rodgers. So, once upon a time when I was young, we couldn’t…you had to buy music. That’s a whole thing. There’s probably gonna be…or there’s probably documentaries about it. I was post-vinyl era, but so, you could buy music on CD or cassette, or they wanted…so, whatever. That was just…but you also listened to the radio.
I was born at the time where there was still college radio which was independent radio, but other than that, even back when I was a kid, there was…most of the radio stations were owned by a few different companies. Obviously they had to pay the bills, so I’m not sitting in total judgement, but there wasn’t a lot of variety on the radio. Now, there was more when I was a lad than there is now, but there still wasn’t a…and there was one station called…there was all…wherever you went, there was usually…I think there was something called adult contemporary. I don’t know what that is. Then there was pop. I don’t know if Chris…like, yacht rock is adult contemporary? I’m not kidding. I don’t know what that is, but that was popular. Let’s go through the dial of a kid when I was growing up in Syracuse.
So, there’d be two pop stations, and they moved around the dial, but one was Z89. I don’t know their call sign. Some of these I might be getting up with other places I’ve lived, but there was Z89. That was a pop station. So even…I don’t know if that’s still a pop station, but pop would mean Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Bieber, boy bands. A mix of popular songs, like the Top…maybe they called it Top 40 back then instead of a pop station. I don’t know. But so, that was…and I think 93…Y…there was Y94 FM. I think that was adult contemporary, and then there was 93.7, I think. That was also a pop station. Probably Y94 FM; that was adult contemporary. I just said that. I don’t know what 93 whatever was ‘cause I can’t think of it, but that was the other…I think pop station. Then eventually you’d get pop and hip-hop and R&B.
Anyway, I’m getting way too mixed up. But so, there was one type of station…and I think in Syracuse, it was…I don’t know what it was called. I should know it, but I think it was 95.7. But that could be in the Bay Area. But I think the Bay Area, the Bone was their classic rock station; 107.7, The Bone. 95X; turn it up. Yeah, that’s what they would say because it was…they’d say it like…there’s that Freedom Rock; turn it up. But 95.7…what did I say? ZX9? 95.7…I had it. But whatever. Then at some point then they started changing stations to the Eagle…like, instead of being…the call signs were cool, they became uncool. I think that was about the time satellite radio appeared, where…again, this is not history. This is just my mismerember…misremembering of it. But there’d be 95.7, KQR…I don’t know.
Now I have all these numbers in my head. Why did I…? Is that Freedom Rock? No. Is that 95.7? Turn it up, man. I forgot what it was called, but that station was called Classic Rock. Now, in the nineties, what was classic rock? Classic rock was anything from the Beatles…I think after that it was whatever, but for the most part it was limited, unfortunately, to about…I don’t know if it was a hundred songs, fifty songs, or two hundred…it would be good to do that research. But it was not a lot of songs in repetition, and there’s…people usually…radio stations, in order to stay in business, they have a pretty heavy ad load, you say. So it’s like, if there’s a hour of…or for thirty minutes of radio…I think even then, the ad load was pretty heavy, where it was like 40% ads or whatever.
Understandably, ‘cause you’re listening for free in your car. So, you’d change the dial, but…so whatever, I listened to the…Classic Rock was one of the radio stations I listened to. Because there was some classic rock…but I developed…okay, and let me place another picture here for you. A lot of jobs I had, you weren’t allowed to wear…you weren’t allowed to have a personal device for listening to audio, because it would be considered inappropriate. So, you weren’t allowed to have headphones on at a lot of my jobs. So…and even if you did, well, we’ll get into that.
But I did have…when I was a cleaner, like cleaning apartments and doing landscaping and mopping, cleaning bathrooms…like when we were cleaning the apartments…someone would move out of an apartment and we would have to clean it to get it ready for the next person to move into it or for them to lease it. We would be able to listen to music…radio if we didn’t make it too loud. We would split up the apartments. So normally here’s how it would work; two people would be assigned to clean one apartment, and I think…I don’t know if you had to do two…on the days you were trying to turn over apartments, you already had your morning work until our morning meeting. I think I’ve talked about this.
This was my summer and winter job when I wasn’t in uni…school at university or college or whatever you want to call it. So, what you would do…I’ll walk you through this. Who would have known? Talk about Bad…my middle name’s Bad Company. But so, you would show up to work and you would have…I think we had to get to work at 7:30. I think we worked 7:30 to 4:00. 9:00 to 5:00…’cause we didn’t get paid for…I think we got a thirty minute break, so 8:00 to 4:00, or there was a unpaid thirty minutes. I don’t know. Yeah, thirty minutes paid break and thirty minutes of unpaid break. So you had to be at work for eight and a half hours. So, I think we got to work at 7:30, and we would…you would have your morning assignment, right?
So, you would go…my morning assignment…I worked in the lobby with…I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but maybe it’s just in my personal life. But so, I’d clean the lobby bathrooms and there was…we would vacuum and mop the lobby and clean anything else that needed to be done. I worked with this guy Jim; he was the main lobby guy. So, I’d be Jim’s assistant. Then we would have a morning meeting, everybody that worked there, and our supervisors. The superintendent and the assistant superintendent, they would say…they’d go…there’d be…there was a board with all the apartments, where they were, if they needed to be cleaned or painted. I don’t know if you cleaned or painted first. Probably had to clean it and then paint it? I don’t remember. Now, painting was…they had a painter, so…because that’s a skill.
So, Paul was the painter. They also had people that were skilled maintenance people. So again, we didn’t do any…fixing anything. I was just a cleaner. I think that was my technical job; cleaner or summer help or something. I don’t know. But so, there’d be a list of apartments or there’d be other jobs that had to be done. But so, you’d have to turn over these apartments. So, you’d usually get assigned an apartment with somebody else, and probably a set time. Again, I don’t know how…you wouldn’t want to be in an apartment for the…even for the full six hours. I don’t think…you probably had maybe four hours or less in an apartment. Again, there was a lot of other work to be done, so I guess I don’t quite remember how long.
There was different apartments; there was studios, which I think they called efficiencies, and one-bedrooms, and maybe two-bedrooms? I don’t know if there was very many two-bedrooms. So, this was a…this was only for adults. It wasn’t a retirement building ‘cause there was just apartments, but it was for adults over a certain age. I don’t know if it was fifty-five or sixty-five or sixty. But so…okay, but none of that’s important. So, you’d clean the apartment and you would be assigned there. I just wanted to set the mood. The apartments…I don’t think there was any carpet normally; linoleum floors or some sort of…not linoleum; tile. That would be the last thing you would do, is clean, wax, and polish the floors. Again, the waxing…and you’d take the wax off.
All those were skills that I eventually learned, but the…I don’t think I ever got the waxing of the floor down because it wasn’t…it was a permanent…it was a temporary permanent wax, so you’d strip the floors. I think you strip the floors first before you clean it, maybe, but you don’t wax it until…that’s the last thing you do after everything else is done, ‘cause then it has to dry. So probably it would go painting, then cleaning, then waxing. Okay, but we’re focused on the cleaning. So normally if you had a partner, the first thing you would do is you’d decide the…you’d think oh, the bathroom’s gonna be the worst, but the bathroom wasn’t the worst job. So, it was the kitchen, and normally you would divvy up the kitchen for two or three jobs.
So, I think you’d either get the appliances or the cabinets, because this was a generation of people that…I think at the time, you could still smoke cigarettes in your place. There was a lot of kitchen cabinets, so cleaning the kitchen cabinets was…you would either have to clean the kitchen cabinets or the refrigerator and the stove, the oven. So, you’d decide who was gonna do each one of those, or you’d switch it off, or somebody got into the apartment earlier and saw the fridge. So, sometimes you’d decide before you went in there and you’d get really unlucky because…anything could be cleaned. If it got to a certain point, they’d replace it, and eventually we would replace all the stoves and ovens. That was when I was working there in both buildings. These were two apartment towers.
So, you’d decide okay, who’s gonna clean the oven and the stove and who’s gonna clean the cabinets? You would also have to clean…well, the baseboards…I’m trying to think what else in the apartment…all the fixtures, anything…so what else do you have to clean? All the plates, the switches and stuff, all the light fixtures, and the bathroom. So, I think after the kitchen, you divvied up…one person would do the bathroom and one person would probably do everything else? I don’t know. I’ll think of it eventually. Yeah, so I’m guessing if it was one bedroom, you’re…oh, the windows; that was…so you’d have to clean the windows. So I guess…yeah, if you were the other person, you’d have to clean the windows and the…everything in the apartment except for the bathroom.
I didn’t find myself doing the bathroom too often. I think some people preferred the bathroom and some people didn’t, but whatever. But one of the key benefits of that is that someone would have a radio. So you’d set up a radio in the room. Now, most of the time, yeah, you would listen to classic rock because there wasn’t many options. Maybe you would listen to pop, but then you might get…I don’t know. It might be…classic rock was the one point most people could tolerate and agree on. You couldn’t…definitely wouldn’t be listening to anything talking. I’m surprised we didn’t listen to more sports talk, but probably wouldn’t have been too enjoyable, either. But so, you’d listen to the classic rock most of the time, and that would at least help you…you’d think…it became a exercise in futility, to be honest with you.
This is probably why I love podcasting and making podcasts and all that stuff, is that there’s so much variety. I mean, and then how lucky…those of you that have just grown up in the streaming era, how lucky you are. Now, the one thing that’s missing that companies are still…and I’ve tried to tell these companies to do it, is that even though there’s streaming and stuff, it’s like, people still enjoy having somebody that’s like a expert or a DJ, sometimes, in my opinion. So yeah, okay, so you’d listen to the radio, but it was barely tolerable because it was really — I’m not kidding — the same two hundred…if…on a best-case scenario, maybe three hundred songs over the week.
You would hear some songs and you just became…and this is just me; it’s not my…it’s not a judgement on the musical quality of this band, but one of the bands that had my ire was Bad Company. I’m not sure why. There was other bands…even at the time, there’s…Led Zeppelin you can mostly…is mostly good, even though they wouldn’t play very deep into the Led Zeppelin catalog, or the Beatles, and Rush, even. Sometimes they played Tom Sawyer too much, but you’d still be like okay, there’s something timeless about those bands most of the time. Even overexposure…you might have preferred not to listen to the same songs over and over again…or whatever, Rolling Stones, there’s…The Who. These are the classic rock stalwarts.
But Bad Company…if you were listening to a classic rock station in the nineties for three hours, you were gonna hear a Bad Company song. I did not…I was not a Bad Company fan. At some point…but let’s read about them from Wikipedia. They’re a English rock supergroup formed in 1973. Paul Rodgers is the lead singer, and then they’ve had different lineups. Let’s see how many years…they were active from ‘73 to ‘82, ‘86 to ‘99, 2001 to 2002, and 2008 to present. They had great success in the seventies, so that would have been twenty years. The nineties, that’s what makes…I guess twenty years is classic rock. Their singles were Bad Company…oh, Feel Like Makin' Love; that’s one of the songs. So, maybe we could…maybe that…I don’t know if we should associate that.
Can’t Get Enough, Good Lovin’ Gone Bad…Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy; that’s not bad. Shooting Star, Ready for Love…oh yeah, ugh. Feel Like Makin' Love I like, because it’s a great punchline for everything, but I just say it. History…so there was the Paul Rodgers era. I saw Paul Rodgers perform once. I was very under the influence and I have…so I have no idea where and what point in my life it was or where it was, because I was already too far gone. But I remember he was a very hairy man, and I don’t think he had a shirt on, or if he did, it was open to his belly. He performed mostly Bad Company songs. Let’s see, so…let’s see. Contrary to speculation, they named the band after a Jeff Bridges film.
Rodgers stated that it came from a book of Victorian morals that showed a child looking up at an unsavory character against the lamp post and said beware of bad company. There was two…four seasons of musicians from a couple different bands. Their debut album came out in ‘74, reached number one on the 200 chart in the US and number three in the UK. Certified five times platinum. Can’t Get Enough and Movin’ On…’75, their second album Straight Shooter came out. Number three in the UK and US, but went platinum in the US. Good Lovin’ Gone Bad and Feel Like Makin' Love. Third album, Run with the Pack reached number four. That was ‘76. Then Burnin’ Sky, ‘77. So, they put out a album a year. Smart…I mean, smart business.
Then they had an on-and-off…Brian Howe…they took over…’85…looks like they replaced…Rodger’s already had a new supergroup called The Firm. I definitely didn’t see him in the…maybe the late nineties or aughts. Let’s see…but yeah, they formed a new supergroup and they had other albums and stuff. This is…no offense to the…my issue with Bad Company is just overexposure to those same songs. Like, familiar…whatever they call it. Oh, return of Paul Rodgers, ‘98 to 2008. So, maybe that is when I saw him. I don’t know. I’ll have to ask around at…my friends, ‘cause it’s like, when did I see Bad Company and where? Or Paul Rodgers? It could have been at a music festival. I remember he was very enthusiastic, very sweaty, very hairy, but gave it his all. We probably had fun. I don’t know.
So, that’s about Bad Company. I don’t know why…so…okay, but so, up until…I guess that took me twenty minutes or something to explain that. Up until today in my life, I assumed the song Radar Love…which I guess I can see, because they have different love songs. I really like…so, there’s a song called Radar Love, which we’ll talk about in the Bunsen burner…I don’t know how we’ll relate it to Bunsen burners, but we will. But it turns out Radar Love is — I just learned this — by the Dutch rock band Golden Earring. I really like Radar Love, and the only thing I had against it…well, one, it was slightly overexposure, but it has a couple different…it’s one of those songs that has a couple different acts in it, or feels like it changes. It has a couple different feels to it.
There’s a part where you’re driving and they’re talking about driving, and then the rock comes in and it comes back out. There’s a…not a quiet desperation but a desperation that I like about it. So, we’ll talk about it and maybe think about how Bunsen burners relate, but it was news to me that it wasn’t by Bad Company, and that was…other than slight overexposure on classic rock radio, that was my only other beef, was like, I love Radar Love but I loathe Bad Company. Only, again, nothing against Bad Company; it’s just my…it’s my issue only. Nothing against Bad Company, just my feelings about them. So, let’s find out about Radar Love and maybe Golden Earring before we get into the lyrics. Let’s see, this is mostly technical stuff, so we might just have to get into cover versions.
It’s been covered by Tribe 8, Ministry, U2, REM, Ian Stuart Donaldson, Blue Man Group, Def Leppard, and a lot of other bands. Holy cow. Ghost Dance? I’m gonna have to look up some of these covers and listen to them. It was in Guitar Hero, it’s been featured in a Simpsons episode twice, two different ones, and in a movie, Baby Driver, and George Clooney’s film that just came out, the Tender Bar. So, I guess I’m not the only person that likes this song. Let’s see, it hit the charts in…it came out in ‘74. Thirteen in the US billboard…UK single, seven. Number one in Spain, number one in the Netherlands. But I mean, it had a long…it must have been some sort of super platinum or whatever. I think Golden Earring maybe had another…? I don’t know if…let’s see, Golden Earring. Whoops, that’s the wrong button.
They’re a Dutch rock band founded all the way back in ‘61 in The Hague as the Golden Earrings. Radar Love, they had a song Twilight Zone and When the Lady Smiles. Thirty top ten singles on the Dutch charts, twenty-five albums. I can hear someone saying their name, so maybe that’s a factoid. People tried to say that song’s not by Bad Company; it’s by Golden Earring. I said thanks for…I…oh, do you know that I loathe Bad Company? But that’s only my own bad feelings. So, okay…so let’s think about this here. So now that we’re…now we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me look up the lyrics. Radar Love lyrics, and then…oh boy, wrong way. Then we’ll look up Feel Like Makin' Love lyrics. Feel Like Making Bunsen Burner lyrics to you. I don’t know, I always like punctuating…feel like…not like when I mean it.
Okay, let’s start out with Bunsen burner. So, this goes out…so, picture me again back towards the intro as a boy in a…so, once upon a time, we had these science classrooms in high school. One of my great…now, I think I’d seen the movie ET and I’ve watched enough movies to know that this is where rom-com…the first sparks of romance happen, mostly…or one of the places they happen, other than random collisions, is across the tables in a chem…I guess it would be a chemistry lab and not a…well, that’s right; a…oh, ‘cause you would…it would be a lab you would use for biology or chemistry. I think we had two different labs, now that I’m thinking about it.
We did, at my high school; we had a bio lab and a chemistry lab, because I can remember the desk…the teacher’s desk was in different places, ‘cause I’m picturing my chemistry…my chemistry teacher was also our economics teacher, Mr. P. I talked about that one other time, I think, about the economics stuff. Mark was my partner in chemistry, or…no, I guess that was economics. I wonder if he was also…maybe we had economics and chemistry together. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense, but it would, you know? But anyway, chemistry labs and science labs anywhere…now they call it…I don’t know if they have a STEM lab. But this is where…for me, no romance ever happened there except for the ones I saw on the big screen.
But I always hoped it would happen, and I can remember forlorn feelings, both of my classmates but also thinking about that it’s very Freudian, I guess. There’s nozzles and connectors and heat and warmth and sparks, chemicals. I don’t know if they’re bind…they’re mixing and intermingling. Heady stuff for a high school student, you know? But also for a person like me, who I guess we…maybe we should run through my history with…I think I’ve talked about chemistry sets before. Once upon a time, that was what you would ask for when you…when they said you’re too…at some…any point, if you watched enough television and movies like I did, you asked for a chemistry set. This was pre-pubescence, where you would hope a chemistry set would unlock the powers of the universe.
Now, for some people it did, because they actually took the time to read the instructions and stuff like that. I was already doing…running my own experiments before that, based on nothing more than what…so…but so, yeah, you’d…I think more than once I got one, and I would proceed to kinda do stuff to be like well, let’s see if we could take…adjust our house’s foundation or make things smell not good, or whatever, stuff…let’s see what this…happens with this stuff. It was a different era. I’m sure that they were like yeah, whatever, give it to the kids. They’ll figure it out. Put a label…this might have been pre-label era. A lot of the tests, they…I was the kid that…but so, I did get a chemistry set, at least one, or some…and then probably other of my siblings did.
I remember one that was nicely organized and it had a slot for everything. Back then, yeah, it was the day; I was like okay, if I can just get this right…once again, I guess then it projected into the lab. Everything else is gonna fall into place if I could just mix these right elements. Then emotionally I’ll feel fine. That didn’t happen, but I tried. Then that, I guess, projected into these labs where I would sit there and I already had that sense that…it was this ‘one day’ sense, right, that one day…and that I had…I think then I was like, one day I’m gonna get into one of those labs in the movies where there’s nozzles, and I’m gonna do some Bunsen burning. I’m gonna get a beaker, I’m gonna get one of those other things that…those bubblers and those tubes with…I’m gonna do some swirly stuff, I’m gonna do some…I don’t know what distillation is or…I’m gonna unlock chemical bonds, man.
I’m gonna do some chemical bonding and then it’s gonna be okay. I remember sitting in that class, like I said in the intro, and just touching…’cause they were the special kind of silver, really well-made. You had…at least our labs and the…so, the archetypal bio chem labs for me are these thick, black table tops. Couldn’t even write in them, but they were made to, I don’t know, absorb whatever. You sat up…I think you sat on stools ‘cause you were up high. Then there was those nozzles. Like I said, most of the time the teacher had them turned off or they weren’t connected to anything.
But I would…I can feel it in my hands right now, that hard, cold metal that would get warmer and warmer under my touch, and just wondering if I turned the thing, if the gas was on, if I’d get in trouble because it would make a noise or a smell, and everybody knew that I was the one stroking the…and that’s what I was doing. This is substitute, I guess, for other things. Like, I would…running my hands softly over the…touching those nozzles and thinking about plugging that tube in there and then that attaches to the Bunsen…one day. They probably were like, you’re gonna need five permission slips to…when we do actually use the Bunsen burner, maybe your parents should actually be here with you, because…but yeah, it was like oh, Bunsens, when I think about you, I…oh, do I think about love.
Oh, Bunsen burners, I don’t want to live…I couldn’t wait to hold you in my hand, to connect you together, and your love that you would bring me somehow. I wasn’t sure how. Those golden dreams I had…I wasn’t dreaming of my yesterday yesterday. I was dreaming of my future to wrap you…the heavenly rapture of connection. To forever, forever, forever…oh boy, on the way. ‘Cause I felt like making Bunsen burner love. Oh, did I feel like making Bunsen…did I feel like making Bunsen…feel like making Bunsen burning with you, oh Bunsen burner. Yeah, ‘cause oh Bunsen, if I think about you, I think about…not just love, but the underlying feelings that lead to love; the spark, a big bang within me right below my stomach, up…shooting up right now. I can still feel it. I feel titillated and I’m not afraid to say it.
Without you, Bunsen burner, I couldn’t do…I couldn’t make it without the connector, the valves, and the…that slotted thing and the tube. I couldn’t make it Bunsen burn anyway. I don’t ask for much. I don’t need the sun, I don’t need the moon, I don’t need the sunshine on me. I just want to get connect…that rubber tube and then turn that valve and maybe use that sparky thing that looks like a cup, and you push it together and hear it, and then hear that sweet, sweet thing that sounds like a fan at night that helps me sleep. So satisfying. ‘Cause my whole life, I’ve felt like Bunsen burning…oh, felt like making a Bunsen burn. Oh, feel like making a Bunsen burn, feel like making a Bunsen burn with you. Like I said, these are the golden dreams I had as a lad. Not a lot of lyrics here. Bring me to another place.
Take me away, Bunsen burner. I could be reborn just by watching you, by hearing your power. Oh, on my…I’m on the way. I’m going somewhere. I’m gonna be somebody, ‘cause I feel like Bunsening. I feel like Bunsen burning. I feel like Bunsen burning. I feel like Bunsen burning…I feel like Bunsen burning with you, Bunsen burner. Yeah, yeah. No, well, I do. I feel like a Bunsen burning. I do feel like burning my Bunsen. I do feel like burning my Bunsen with you. Yeah. Yeah, that’s repetitive, though, so…so that’s…I feel like Bunsen burning. But I’ve been sitting in science class in the lab, my hands sweating on the valve. There’s a voice in my head that drives the heel of my palm. It’s this sweet, sweet voice calling from deep within me. It feels so good; it feels like what I imagine love and two-way attraction feels like.
It’s saying I need you to turn me. It’s like, halfway through class and I’m turning you, valve, shifting you a little bit. But when that valve gets lonely, it’s longing. Oh, am I longing too for that connection. It’s too much…that valve needs a tube coming in from a Bunsen. Don’t need nothing at all, because I got a thing; it’s called Bunsen burner love. I got a wave of my palm to turn that knob. It’s Bunsen love. You know, there’s a song playing in my head. It doesn’t even have a tune; it just has that feel. Not even a forgotten song, and I can feel the need to turn that valve and connect it and let it flow, let that gas flow. This knob, this Bunsen burner’s got me hypnotized and I’m ready to start the Bunsen burning surprise. ‘Cause I got a thing; it’s called Bunsen burner love. I’ve got a love for the Bunsen. Bunsen burner love, man.
Yeah, I don’t need…I don’t need to speed. I can take my time, but I gotta play it cool ‘cause the teacher’s looking my way. Gotta take care. If only I could be alone with you, Bunsen burner and nozzles. It’s coming on strong, that feeling to turn you, to connect you, to let you fire, baby. Yeah, I can hear it on…they’ll probably be talking about it…Bunsen…they could call me Bunsen boy. They could call me Nozzle Boy. Say, were you…are you stroking the nozzle there? I’d say yeah, I got Bunsen burner love. When I get lonely and I’m sure I’ve had enough, that Bunsen burning touch comes in. It’s almost like it comes in from above. I don’t need nothing, nothing else at all, but my hand on that nozzle and the attachment of the hose. ‘Cause I got a thing; it’s called Bunsen love. I got a fire from my belly to the sky.
I got a thing; it’s called Bunsen burner love. I got a thing; it’s called Bunsen love, man. So yeah, that’s my ode to you, Bunsen burner. But yeah, I mean, I think about that some people might say we could…we’ll just spend a few more minutes dissecting this, ‘cause you’re right. What is it about this? Oh, Freud, what would…Young and Freud are watching now, and all the greats, rolfing with…on…rolfing at my expense. But yeah, they know it’s the truth because wherever they are, the big farm in the sky, all those people have known me…they saw me there. So, let’s think about it. I mean, the truth is, right, I wanted…I was yearning for a fiery connection. I was yearning for…I’m trying to think about this…well, I was just talking about it metaphorically and truthfully. So, there was the cold metal and this…but this unfamiliarity, right?
This newness, it was tactile. There’s two knobs and two nozzles, normally, for each side of the desk. There’s something shiny about it, right? I hadn’t really been exposed to…there was also something concrete. There was a weight to it. Even though you didn’t have to hold it up, you could sense the mass in your hand, that this was well-made, that even when I tapped on it multiple times and held the handle…this wasn’t a handle for water like a normal handle I had had experience with. You know who would like this, is Chuck Tingle. I’m feeling like this is a bit of a tingler, but indirect tingler…in my hand, and I can move it. I had some control even though the authority figure may have turned off the control to the actual gas. At this point it was just a dream, like a fantasy.
I guess that’s a rock and roll fantasy; instead I had a Bunsen burner fantasy. It really was that simple. Let’s play it out, that the gas is on. Then there’s the nozzle, and there was something about those nozzles, too; the weight, the mass, the strength, but the different notches on there. I don’t know, that really got me, man. You got me. Holy cow, do you. There’s something, again, tactile…I could put my finger on it and bump down each notch, and then again, go…and each notch, I could tap the tip of my finger against that little circle that the gas came out, right? Maybe you even make a sound if the classroom was quiet enough and people were probably taking a test or whatever I was supposed to be paying attention for. You had my full attention, every inch of you. Holy moly.
Again, I’m not even doing this to be funny; this is just capturing this truthful moment that I had over and over again. Yeah, it has other things in there, but this is also a real moment I had. I shared moments with a Bunsen burner…whatever…whatever the heck the term for the thingamajig is. The Bunsen wouldn’t burn without it, right? That’s how I spent most of my time, was just with that nozzle and the handle and the metal apparatus. But then there was a time…and I believe the Bunsen burners had a red hose…sometimes the hose had been trimmed. It was well-worn, you know? I went to a school that probably didn’t get Bunsen burners but every…maybe the Bunsen burners had been there the whole time.
But it had that hose, so I could feel the rubbery hose in my hand and the light…somewhere between red and faded red and maroon. Finally, I would get to connect it to the connector and make sure it was snug, right? No gas…but then you say okay, is it…I don’t want to over-snug it, you know? Then the teacher’s telling us what to do. Then down that hose it ran to the actual Bunsen burner, which was a little bit like a metal candle. Then you say, this what it…all it is. It’s just a tube with a base, then it has this thing, and that’s it. That’s where the magic happens? Then normally it would either be attached to the thing you would put the…not the beaker, but whatever the heck the thing is that you’d hold stuff in. Again, the teacher would probably go over making sure you use something that’s Pyrex and all the rules.
Maybe that’s as far as we’re allowed to get, but usually there was a stand. That was also a different kind of metal, but still a heavy, strong metal that maybe you could attach to the base of the Bunsen burner, or maybe you just slip…slid the Bunsen burner underneath there. Not sure about that because I wasn’t really interested in that or the beaker or the chemical reaction. I was interested, I guess, in the…I had already got most of my interest in that long tube. For me, that was really what it was about. It’s like wait a second, so I get to turn this…and maybe there was some anxiety that first time, that second time, that third time, that tenth time. Did I get the tube on? Again, this isn’t…I’m not trying to be funny. This is really what it was like for me. I’m not even speaking in a metaphor. I’m not speaking in a metaphor.
Yeah, though the people [inaudible] are laughing like it is a metaphor. Say no, no, this was just…this was what I had. Then it’s like okay, now I got a mixture…and then maybe if your lab partner was there, maybe you were discussing…were you working as a team or as a individual? Or they were like…the teacher said Andy, you cannot be involved in this at all other than as an observer and a setter-upper. So maybe that’s why I had so much investment on just those parts, but yeah, you’d have the thingamajig that made the spark. You would turn the gas on and then they had to be a blue, yellowy, orangey, golden flame, and that sound. I can’t do it on a sleep podcast because it comes…there’s more water in it and more tongue, and it would make that sound. Again, I knew that that’s where I had to maintain control.
Up until then, I had been totally lost in you. I knew that that’s where I had to behave appropriately, because then the…like I said, well, if you mess with it once it’s on, whatever, you probably gotta go to the principal’s. For me, once a Bunsen burn…I didn’t want to lose the rest of it, the process I had just been through, the connection. Maybe that’s what I was really looking for there, not the metaphor you’re all thinking of and giggling about, which is fine. I know that’s what it’s like, the connection that something flows through. It’s connecting and opening the valve. Yeah, maybe for me, it didn’t always result in a flame, a burning, burning flame, but it was like, loving that. That’s what I was looking for, connection and flow. Some would say that’s release; I say no, no, no. That’s your metaphor, not mine.
So, I don’t know, I guess I’m…I didn’t realize this is where it would go. I’m not…but that’s where it came from from the intro, is like, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I always had Bunsen burner on my mind, always on my mind. So thank you to Golden Earring and Bad Company and Paul Rodgers and classic rock for leading me here. Quite a…I didn’t think this is where we’d end up. But yeah, eventually turn the valve off and let stuff cool down. Then you take it apart. I don’t know how…if they use a timer for that or how they did that.
Probably were supposed to…we had gloves and goggles and smocks on. Almost positive about that part, but I didn’t think about that ‘cause all my focus was drawn in on that handle and that tube and that metal. That’s my experience, and I’m sure other people had a different experience. I’m sure people were watching me and being like, that poor kid. But I’m grateful to be able to rest my hand on something and let it slowly warm up under my touch so that it can relax and expand and unwind. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)