806 – Scrabble Scramble
Another knock adventure leads down a meandering mixed up path full of sleepy letters.
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls and friends beyond the binary, it's time for the podcaster who's here to start a sleep wave, because there's other waves, you know. H-E-A-T waves. Maybe you're having one of those, maybe not. People do the Wave. I'm waving at you. I did an episode about that once, but patrons, you're the ones that kick off the sleep wave. Couldn't do it without you. Thank you so much, and let's get on with the show. Hey, are you up all night, tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome to Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed and turn out the lights, and press Play. I'm going to do the rest.
What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you can set aside with whatever's keeping you awake, whether it's thoughts, feelings. Maybe something's keeping you awake, emotions. Whatever you're experiencing. It could be travel. It could just be something where you say, “Just, I can't get to sleep. Somebody told me about this podcast.” Whatever it is, or maybe you listened for a little while years ago, and now you're back. You know, I'm here to help. What I'm going to do is, if you'll allow me, if you're new or a regular listener, is I'm going to send my voice across the deep, dark night. That's kind of an invitation. I got this nice place, smoothed and padded and rubbed down for you.
What am I going to do? I'm going to use a lulling, soothing, Creeky Dulcet tones, like a creak of a door, combined with a sweet bird song. When you combine those two things together, you get Creeky Dulcet tones. You'd say, “If that door in my grandmother's house could sing or do a podcast, it would sound just like Scoots does, I believe.” I got pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, extra words, filler words, too many words, words I mispronounce, words I don't understand, improper usage of words. Believe me, I've received that. I said, “Wait a second.” I said, “I know you got your own dictionary,” but I said, “When did you get the … ” I said, “Oh, wait a second. Is this one of these email things?” They said, “No. We're with Scrabble.” I said, “Okay.”
Luckily, they must be new at this, because I said, “Okay, I have some tea on. Would you like some tea?” They said, “Oh, sounds delicious.” I said, “Oh boy.” I said, “Let's sit down at a table and talk this out,” and they said, “Sounds great.” I said, “What are you here about again? Because I already forgot.” They said, “Misusage of words.” I said, “Oh boy. Oh, there's my teakettle.” I said, “Just wait here at the door one second please. I'm going to close it and lock it, you know, because my tea kettle, it's just part of my tea-making traditional. You'll have to excuse me.” I said, “By the way, those are lovely blazers. Are those the same blazers that Century 21 used to? Oh, really, you bought those at a big sale. That's a smart move. Very official looking while you're waiting for the Scrabble enforcement badges to come in. Wow. This is fascinating stuff. Okay, let me go get my tea kettle, and believe me, I'll be right back. You just stay right here.”
Then I scrambled away. You know, I closed the door. I'll be honest with you. Well, they're probably listening, but there was no tea on. I don't even have a tea kettle. I just have a pot. At the time, I was not being honest with the Scrabble people. Then I scrambled right out of there. You know, just like in the movies, that time. I snuck down the driveway, between the other apartments. I vamoosed. It would be more cinematic if I had Scrabble tiles. Maybe this could be a podcast episode. Holy cow. I think it will be, where Scrabble tiles were spilling out of my pocket as they attempted to follow me, but luckily I can't spell, so I don't leave very good clues. That was quite a story that I'll probably tell later tonight.
If you're new, I went off topic early there, so here, please just indulge me for a few more minutes. Let me tell you about the structure. One, I'm glad you're here. If you're skeptical, it's totally natural. This podcast is a little bit different. It's a little bit strange and goofy, and so what to expect is give it a few tries, kind of let it drift in one ear and out the other, and see how it goes, because it's kind of like a podcast mixed with nonsense. Structurally, what to expect, show starts off with a few minutes of business, which you heard. That's not essential for new people, just regular listeners. Then there's an intro, which we're doing now. The intro's around 12 to 15 minutes, which at first, you might say, “Wait, what?”
I'd say yeah, it's kind of like where I ramble for 12 to 15 minutes. I attempt to explain what the podcast is, and then usually something comes up, or I say, “Well, let me describe what the podcast is. Oof, are those Century 21 blazers?” Then I have to explain to everyone. I say, “Oh, well, okay. Century 21 blazers. So, Century 21 was a real estate agency.” I don't know if that's what they call themselves. I really know no facts about it, because mostly my experience with it was in fictional movies like comedies. What they did was it was like a nationwide one, where I think before this, and again, this is just an assumption, you know, real estate agencies were more of a mom-and-pop styles business. I don't know if that's true, but they were nationwide, and one of the ways you knew them is they wore a golden blazer with a patch on there, which told you you're in good hands.
I don't know. That was a different company that was good hands, but they said, “You know, Century 21. We know what we're doing. We got gold blazers. Why wouldn't you trust us?” I've never owned a home, so I don't know anything about any of that stuff. I don't know if I've been in an open house, really. It's interesting. I mean, I live in the Bay Area, so actually, they're kind of like parties now, I think, there's so many people that show up to them. Just in case you didn't know what Century 21 was, there's the incorrect version. That's why the intros are kind of long, but also, they're long because it's part of a lot of people's bedtime. The whole idea of the Sleep With Me is that I'm here to keep you company, to take your mind off stuff while you fall asleep, and that's a little bit different for everybody.
Some people only need a couple minutes, but some people need to ease into bedtime, and some people can't sleep. They just need a friend to be there throughout the night. Some people wake up, so the intro, when I say, “Oh, what's the most straightforward way to use Sleep With Me?” I guess, which there's no right or wrong way, but you start listening as you're getting ready for bed, or as you're getting in bed. Then you shut your devices off, but the podcast is already playing, and kind of ease your way into bedtime. You get ready. You're unwinding. Maybe you're doing something else tactile, or maybe you could read and listen to this podcast. I don't know, maybe people do that.
You might be puffing your pillow. You know, whatever it is. It's part of your bedtime routine. It's not the only part of it, right? The idea is it's a slow descent into sleep, for some of us. That's the intro. Then there's some business. Then there's the episode, which maybe tonight will be about Scrabble. I don't know. One of the few games, no matter how competitive I could be, I don't stand a chance. There'll be this bedtime story. Now, some people want to just get to the bedtime story, if they just skip to 18 or 20 minutes, but those are usually people that have been listening a while. They kind of say, “Okay.” You'll see how it goes. That's the kind of thing. That's the structure. At the end of the show are some thank yous. What else?
This is one podcast you don't need to listen to, which I kind of have already demonstrated. It's a podcast you kind of barely listen to, though if you need to listen, I'm here. That's the other side of it. There's no pressure to fall asleep. I'm here to help. I'm here to keep you company and to take your mind off of stuff, and if you need me, if you can't sleep, I'm here to the very end of the show, like an hour. You could queue up episode after episode if you need it. Believe me. That's my job is to be here to keep you company. Now, what else do we need to know? I think that's it. You don't need to listen. No pressure to fall asleep. The reason I make this show is because I've been there, tossing and turning in the deep, dark night, and I want to help.
I want to keep you company, and I want to be of service to you, and this is just my way of doing it. Now, the podcast doesn't work for everybody. With most of the feedback I get, I found out, yeah, it works after two or three tries. You kind of give it a shot, and it may or may not work for you, so just kind of see how it goes. That's no pressure from me. Like I said, I just want to help, so I hope it can help you. If it doesn't work for you, or you're still listening and say, “I just generally greatly dislike the podcast,” go to sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. Wherever you are in the spectrum of Sleep With Me not working for you, it's got some podcasts, some generally sleep podcasts, some other podcasts I like that are chill, and then actions you could take if you say, “Well, I just … ”
The most sleepy way of saying it is, “Your podcast does not appeal to me,” but a stronger version of that. Then you have a way to positively vent that energy without just sending me an email or whatever. That's how the show works. I hope it feels friendly, and I hope it feels like I care, because I do, and the main reason I care is because I know how much it sucks. Not only do I believe you deserve a good night's sleep, in my dreams of dreams, making this show, it would help you in a way that you could flourish tomorrow and a year from now, and two years from now, and be present in your life and enjoy it, and enjoy those things around you, because bird noises, believe me, I'm trying to get to that fuller zone. Right now, I'm in the turnip zone, and I think that's a Super Mario Cart track, but I think like I say, some days the birds sound sweet, and then other days, you're like, “Can you quiet it down? I'm not in the mood.”
That could be another … Bird Songs, I'm Not in the Mood, a Scooter Story. I don't know, if you're new or a regular listener, I'm glad you're here. I work very hard. I yearn and I strive, and I really want to help you fall asleep, so thanks again for your time. Here's a couple ways we keep the show a-going. All right, hey, everybody, Scoots here. We haven't done one of these episodes in a while, and it takes a lot of setting up, because people say, “What?” Maybe it's been a year or more, so let me see if I could set this up in the most sleepy and incoherent way possible. A lot of times, people say, “Well, how much time do you spend working on the podcast?” I say, “Well, it's a few full-time jobs,” and then people say, “What do you do to relax? Like, how does the Scoots unwind?”
I'm still waiting for people to ask that question, so then I just have been answering it, because people say, “Jeez, a sleep podcast. Your life must be, when you're not doing the low and soothing tones, it must be you're almost like an international man of mystery. You're mysterious.” Like I was saying BB-88 moves in mysterious … What did I say? Ovular ways? Spherical ways. They say, “Wow, what is it? Do you jet set? Are you après skiing? Hollywood? New York? What kind of glitz and glam is Scoots into? Tell us, oh Scooter. Tell us all the adventures you go on,” and I say, “Well, I do have one hobby.” When I'm not podcasting, I still am into audio, and the one thing I like to do … Now, you're not going to believe this, so maybe settled into your bed a little bit more, and let me set the stage for you.
I have my dog. Her name's Koa, K-O-A, and we actually share a pastime, the two of us, because I say, “Well, this is my best friend, my companion, always at my side, sometimes under a table. Always close to me is my sweet, sweet dog, Koa.” There's a world full of hobbies out there, and you could find your own pastimes, what brings you pleasure, and you say, “So, Scoots really likes, really, giving us the slow sell on this.” I say, “Well, one is most people don't believe that this is a hobby.” Yeah, it's a niche hobby. Very few people practice it, but globally, there are other people that have this hobby. Maybe some of them are imaginary. Maybe some of them are real. What Koa and I like to do is this.
I have my dog there. She's on her dog bed, and what I do is wait until the sun has set. I like to have the room, the lights down low, and I'll be sitting on the couch. Maybe I'll have my feet up on an ottoman, and Koa's there, but we're within viewing of each other, so there's no coffee table obstruction, so we can make eye contact or look at one another. Once upon a time, Koa had her own chair that she sat in too, and when she had her own chair, we were actually on the same level, but I mean, we're always on the same level, so now, even though she's on the floor, it hasn't impeded our enjoyment of this pastime. So, lights are down, and I have the speakers on, the stereo on. I don't have a stereo, but I have speakers, because stereo's, like, one of those things that's gone away, but I have Bluetooth speakers, or internet enabled speakers ready to go.
Hopefully, it's quiet, but it doesn't really get in the way. Then it's a bit of a theater of the mind that they talk about, when you're listening to the radio or to a sports broadcast like baseball, or audio fiction, radio play, or a nonfiction narrative, but this is a little bit different. People have never said it's avant garde, but I don't know if the new wave was into this or not, but I am. We'll sit there, and what we do for an evening, this is a real evening of enjoyment. Holy cow, does it bring me joy, does it relax me, does it titillate me, is listening to knocks. That's right, K-N-O-C-K-S, recorded knocks. Occasionally, it will get into other forms of knocks, but yeah, so I listen, Koa and I, actually, not just I, not just me by myself, alone. I listen to mostly recorded knocks.
You say, “More, tell me.” Oh, mostly people knocking on doors. 90% or so is humans knocking on doors. You say, “Scoots, you really listen to recordings of that. I don't know what to say.” I say, “Well, when I was a lad and my parents started to realize I was a little bit different than the other kids, and wondered what my future held,” this never actually happened, but in a formative memory situation like this, setting the table makes sense. They did sit me down one day, when I was just a boy, not even a boy on the verge of being a late blooming boy, becoming a man, or an adult trying to figure out what that means. This was when I was just a boy, and they sat me down, and they asked me those probing questions, and I said, “Mama? Papa? I love knocks, mama, papa.”
They gave me that same look you're looking at your pillow at right now, and they said, “I'm sorry, what?” Your reaction is contextually perfectly reasonable. Yeah, so Koa and I listen to recordings of people knocking on doors. That's the tl;dr version right there, and that's my hobby. With all hobbies, and with the internet, you know, before the internet, you would have to record your own knocks, so listen to knocks, and you may say, “Well, where does this come from, Scoots?” I'd say, “Well, we don't need to get into Freudian or Jungian depths here.” I would say, “I don't know.” I wasn't a very good paper boy, and I didn't enjoy that, so it probably wasn't from that, but that's the only time I had firsthand knocking experience, in the kind of manner, so I don't know.
It's probably remnants from another lifetime I lived in a parallel world, or a previous world, but it would have had to have been the last few centuries, because when people were knocking on front doors, so it could be alternative timeline, I don't know. I guess I don't know why I enjoy it so much, but yeah, basically, what we do, and as the internet has developed even more, it's made it easier. We call ourselves knock enthusiasts, so very simple. You know, knock fans, but knock enthusiasts is probably the best way to capture it and kind of put it in a sentence where there's no confusion other than you saying, “What you're a knock enthusiast?” Some people say, “Knockwurst I would understand, but door knocks?”
I say, “Well, yeah, I'm into it as a pastime, listening to it, not like that,” though when these topics come up, I do say, “Well, I do write … ” Cover your ears, but I'll say it, erotic knock fiction, in my spare time under a pen name, a nom de plume, so it won't ever intersect with the podcast. Those are themed, like my most famous one is, well, that one I couldn't put out because, like, “Knocking on Heaven's Door,” obviously, that's trademarked or whatever, but Knock Knocking, the sequel, Knock Knocking on Heaven's Door, which for some reason I put Knock Knocking on Heaven's Door 2, and a lot of my voracious fans, Mabel and Zeke, they said, “Scoots, it's … ” I said, “Oh, you're right. I didn't realize that. Thank you.” It's a double whatever, a double positive for my sequel.
My Hollywood Knocks series, you know, that's the most well known on this podcast. Anyway, so okay, so bring it back again, because I don't want to explain it for 50 minutes, even though I would, so Koa and I now will listen to WAV files. MP3s if necessary, but real knock enthusiasts really want the broadest audio spectrum possible, so what you would do, let's just pretend you were knock curious. Again, that's available under my plume de nom. Oh no. That's fiction I write for myself, not even knock fiction, because I said one day, you know, “That's how we'll know we found the right one, Koa.” And Koa just puts her head down. I said, “That's how we'll know that's the one, you know.” Anyway, most people are curious about my enjoyment of knocks. They're not knock curious.
Where was I? Oh yeah, trying to make it make sense. You sit on the couch. You queue it up, and you listen to knocks. Now, you could listen to a sequence of knocks. You could listen to a themed, curated collection of knocks. You could listen to a mystery curated collection of knocks. You could listen to a mystery tape. Maybe you wanted to go down, you know, construct a journey of knocks, but you're listening to knocks, so sometimes you're listening to them more than once, and you're just enjoying all of the layers of the audio, really, and the depth to it, the depth of the world of knocks. It could be as designed or as natural and organic as you really want. There's an endless variety of enjoying knocks, so you just listen and you say, “Huh,” and then Koa will look at me, and I'll say, “Hm. Yeah, yeah. Oof.”
Sometimes you have people who will use knockers. Most of the time, it's a hand on a door, rap rap rapping, as, you know, one of the great, we would presume, knock enthusiasts ever used to say. I mean, because you don't use a word like rap rap rapping unless you're a poet or a knock enthusiast or both. So yeah, we just listen, and we kind of go with it. “Oh, okay, this is from alt.fan.knocks, or whatever.” That's not a real place, but it would be something like that. And so just kick back. We'll listen to it and enjoy it. Sometimes it's passive listening. A lot more times it's like food. How can people can like food, but liking knocks is considered … It's okay to giggle and laugh at my thing. It's a bit different, and people will say, “Scoots, are you the only person on the planet Earth that is a knock enthusiast?”
I would say possibly, but I have a tale to tell you, because as I've been free with my love of knocks, I've started to develop a reputation in the community, and again, maybe another part of it was that I was a kid of the '80s. I do have a particular taste for Eastern European knocks. It's just like a niche within a niche, a sub-niche or something. I think it is, because being raised during the C-O-L-D Raw, like you say, “Oh boy.” I would think about Berlin, and all that kind of stuff. I think it was just I consumed so much of that stuff as a kid, you know, whether it was James Bond or it was fiction, le Carré, or Ludlum, or you know, stuff like that. My dad was always reading Jack Higgins, so I probably read a few of those books.
I don't know, so maybe that's part of it too. Okay, so usually, if you're a knock enthusiast, you're also recording knocks at some point, and they can be tricky business, because you really have to be respectful of other people in the reality that this is just a wacky pastime to have, and so it takes a lot of setting up, unless someone's doing it under cover, which I guess people might say it's not okay, but people are just recording the knocks anyway. People are doing it while they're working, but the number of jobs, the correspondence of making things being easy to record and people having jobs knocking on doors, those are exact opposites on the graphing or inverted graphs. Just like I thought about creating knock adventures, I emailed this idea to Rick Steves or somebody like that.
I said, “What about a Rick Steves knocking tour?” I think it's just the info email address, so that's probably why they didn't get back to me, but I came up with this idea of knock adventures, so it would be two-way. You could record tours, kind of like this podcast, and then people could listen in their headphones and just walk down the street and hear knocks from that street. Again, I emailed museums and walking tours, and I said, “Why don't you add some knocks in there?” Now, I'll tell everything to you. I'll front load this so you don't got to worry about it at all, but when you're really enthusiastic about stuff, sometimes you want to believe that the whole world shares your enthusiasm, except when you're a curmudgeon like me.
Then you don't really care, but when you start to exchange messaging with other knock fans, you're like, “Holy cow, this is exciting.” Never thought about anyone saying, “Was that a left or right knuckle roll? Was that an elbow?” You know, stuff like that, talking about it, and you know Scoots. I'm kind of more in the artisanal side, but then it's good to interact with people that understand enamels and paints and door density. Then I could say, “Well, how does that make you feel when a knock resonates in your chest?” They say, “No, that one didn't resonate in my chest. It resonated in my upper back.” That's my knock thing, man. I started working, and again, you say, “Scoots, is this imaginary or real, you and your dog listening to knocks recorded on MP3s?” I say, “No, WAVs mostly, some MP3s.”
I was interacting with people online. Now, I'll tell you right up front, it wasn't who I thought it was, right? Because also, making this podcast, sometimes I run afoul of people, and there's this group out there. They're not an official Scrabble group. They're not official at all, but they run in that world of Scrabble and Boggle, and Word Friends, and stuff like that. As I've grown in profile, some of that group … Again, this is steeped in mystery. I'm just trying to give you the basics. I get on their nerves, because they say, “Well, that's not even a word, or why can't you say mystery bard? It sounds like you're saying Mr. Bard, or Mr. Bard.” I say, “Okay, well, mystery bard.” “Dearest Scooter,” they say. “Is it dear Scooter?”
That was how it kind of started, and again, my curmudgeonly, but anyway, this really is a grand adventure, even grander than … I mean, talk about an adventure, going somewhere, making sure you have permission, and then recording knocks. I mean, come on. That's an adventure on its own. I'm surprised Thor or maybe Captain America would probably be into this. Maybe Chris Evans is into knocks, who knows. I mean, I could write some knock fiction about him, believe me, but probably not. I was sent to an undisclosed city, not Eastern European, but somewhere adventurous. Oh, holy moly, was I excited. I was told that my knocks would be revealed to me in a stage. I was given a flip phone, and I had my recorders, and I've kind of been working on my recording knock style to get the most depth, even though I don't ask enough questions.
I use a digital recorder with built in mics, but it also has two inputs, so then I use a boom, or a shotgun mic, and another condenser handheld mic, so all of those are pointed at the door with a little bit different angles. I call it the Knock 1000. It's like a tripod with attachments. Don't ask me for pictures of this stuff, because this is knock enthusiasts only. I use that to record four channels of one knock. I don't do any, because I don't really barely know what I'm doing with compression or equalization. I mean, I'll boost the audio sometimes, or sometimes do one where I'm doing some noise reduction, but mostly, it's just good to have wild knocks. Again, a book. Maybe Chris Evans stars in Wild Knocks.
I set out on this knock tour, and the first place I got, everything went fine. I set it up. I assumed that I had permission. I knocked on the door. It was a row of, I guess, row houses, what we consider, like, maybe they're called split levels in the US? I knocked on that door, got the recording. It looked from the street, but it was a deep, deep Navy blue door, with multiple layers of paint. It seemed to be hollow, but it was a good knock. It was a good knock to start the night. Then I went to the next location, a few blocks away, just out of the city center, and then suddenly, you know, I don't have any spidey sense, but I started to think, “Something strange here,” right? I don't know what it was.
I said, “Let me scout out my next location of knocking,” and I guess one benefit of me, especially when some other group is probably having fun on my behalf, is that I walk very, very fast, incredibly fast, and so anyone estimating the times of my arrival, even if they were putting, “Okay, he's probably pretty fast,” I mean, now I just outed myself. This group had not researched my walking speed, or my ability to navigate. Usually I either navigate seamlessly, or not well, so I was at the second location early, and I kind of took an off to the side spot to just get a look at the door. I was still in a bit of the zone, but even though this was set up, I was saying, “What if someone's home, or it's the wrong door?”
I stood out there and then I saw someone come to the door and look around, like, up and down the street, looking for probably me and my recording equipment, and my happy-go-lucky, knock-loving innocence, oozing that out. Someone opened the door, and the person that opened the door said to the person, and I was close enough. Well, I had my recording equipment on too. That's right. I hadn't thought about that. I was really in an Eastern European knock story, and so I had the shock mic. I had one of the mics pointed that way, and I heard the person open the door. They said, “Karch.” “Karch,” they said, and the person that had knocked on the door said, “Kiraly.” Then they kind of made some secret handshake, and they went in.
I said to myself, “Karch Kiraly. That sounds so familiar.” At first, I didn't realize. It didn't take me long, because I played a bunch of video games, but that was a famous beach volleyball player,” but it has an alliteration, resonance, that goes way beyond, “Karch Kiraly,” and especially when it was used as a secret code, like in that situation. I said, “Well, this is interesting. This is interesting.” I said, “What am I into?” I said, “Okay, first of all, they're already acting like you're … ” What is that word? Like Marty McFly? Gullible. Or George McFly. I said, “Keep pretending like you're gullible, Scoots,” and I said, “Well, this is some sort of like … Karch Kiraly.” My brain, you know, supercomputer that lives maybe not in my brain, but sometimes my brain has access to it, started running Karch Kiraly base algorithms.
I set up on the sidewalk. I set up my recording equipment. I was dressed nice, and so if somebody, anybody ever stopped, I'd say, “Oh, I'm just collecting some audio. Oh, I'm a podcaster, just collecting some audio sounds of someone knocking on this door.” I go with the real story, you know, except for the knock enthusiast part. I set up my equipment and I got ready in case they were watching me, and then I acted like I changed my mind, and I brought my equipment closer to the door, and I lowered my levels, because usually, I said, “Okay, that would be at a distance,” and acted like I was really, but really, I was just thinking, “Should I do this? What am I doing?” I had everything set up, and this door was ruby colored. Holy cow.
It was an enticing door to be knocked anyway, and I said, “This is going to be interesting,” but I still didn't know what to do next. I was like, “Wait a second,” and I started to go through, like, “Okay, Karch Kiraly. Sounds like some sort of secret society, clearly.” Then I said, “Well, which secret societies am I not on their good list? Currently at the top of their not good list?” I said, “Okay, that Scrabble, Boggle, those word people.” I said, “I'm pretty sure I associated not Karch Kiraly, the Karch Kiraly,” but I said, “I got a feeling,” and then I reached into my pocket, and just for reassurance, I had my Carole King iPod that I have that has a spiritual connection to Carole King, and that I can turn to in times of need.
I hit shuffle on that, and a Doors song came up. I said, “Okay, clearly Carole King knows that I'm in need of things,” “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar),” and I said, “The odds of a Doors song coming up when I'm about to knock on a door.” I said, “Okay, okay, so I'm in good shape. Just knock on the door.” Then I knocked on the door, and I forgot to hit record, because I was still over there, and I said, “Okay, let me go back and record it.” Then I knocked on the door again, and then I said, “Okay,” and I got the recording, but then I stood there, and I saw something, and this is a little bit complicated, so I won't explain how I did it, but I started a livestream of my knocks. Again, this technology only was existing at that moment in time, and ended up it was only possible that one night.
I said, “Okay, turnabout is fair play,” because then my phone buzzed with a third location, and I checked Carole King. I checked my iPod, and Teenage Fanclub, “I Don't Care,” came up, and I said, “Okay,” because originally I was doing the knock stream just for if anybody out there wanted to stream my knocks, but also as a just in case. I don't know what these word fans are up to. I said, “Okay, I'm developing a plan, a turnabout is fair play plan,” so then I knocked again, and no one answered, of course, and then I waited a few minutes and I knocked again. This is one of my classic routines to get interest is to kind of be a little bit irritating, but in a sense of utter ignorance. Then I said, “Okay,” and then I got the URL for the livestream of the knocks, and I texted it back to the person that texted me.
Then I put, “I don't care,” and then I knocked on the door one more time, and I said, “Karch Kiraly,” right through the door, and oh boy, did this door … To say it had a resonance would be like … It had resonance for the residents of the home, but I mean, it clearly was being rented out or something. Then I hit Shuffle on my iPod, and “Space Buddies 4” from the Phenomenauts came up, because I said, “Well, where am I going to go? I'm going to lead them on a Carole King shuffle iPod inspired goose chase.” Then I said, “Space Buddies 4,” and then I kind of pulled out yet another device. I was over-deviced. I Googled “Space Buddies,” and it just happened to be that there was a Space Buddies arcade. I said, “Okay, let's see how swift these Karch Kiraly club is.”
I headed to the arcade. I went down the alley to the back door, because the front door was glass, and it was busy. They had a back door, and I set up my recording equipment, and I said, “Well, I might knock, and someone might say, ‘What do you want?'” It was a metal door, kind of a steely forest green, with dents and dirts, and it was a Space Buddies arcade. I said, “I might go in,” and I took a few breaths, and I knocked, and no one answered. Then I waited to see if I would get another text, or what did the Karch Kiraly say, because I said, “Well, this wouldn't be a very good goose chase if they don't know where I am.” I said even a hardcore knock enthusiast would have trouble pinpointing where I am, but I said, “Oh, they did give me the phone.”
I said, “Okay, they must know where I am, but they don't really have any other plans,” so then I shuffle my phone again, and Duran Duran, “Girls on Film,” came up, and I said, “Carole King, what kind of mystery are you bringing me on? A mystery.” I said, “What is this Duran Duran song even about?” I said, “What does she want?” I was like, “What do I even Google?” Because I was not comfortable with Googling the title of the song. I said, “Duran Duran,” and then I realized, after some kind of backwards thinking, that Roberto Durán happened to be running … It was for all young kids of any identities, but an evening self-esteem class, with physical fitness. I said, “Okay, that must be where you want me to go, Carole King.”
We headed there, I mean, me and my recording equipment, and the spirit of Carole King, and my 4,000 devices, and I set up there. I knocked on the door, because it did actually have a door, because I guess because it was evening, there was a breeze, and everybody was learning whatever the class was in there, but the class was over, so I knocked on that door. It was one with a little window, also a metal door, hollow, kind of a slate gray, but then it had a mural on it of Roberto Durán, with a bunch of kids around it, or who I thought was Roberto Durán, I guess, because when I knocked on the door, and I got it recorded, I had it streamed, Roberta Durán opened the door. She said, “Can I help you?”
I said, “Quite possibly, you can.” She said, “What's the recording equipment?” I said, “Well, it's tough to explain.” She said, “Try me,” and I said, “Okay, well.” I said, “Would you believe that I'm recording knocking on doors?” She said, “Well, you just knocked on my door. Did you record it?” I said, “Yeah,” and she said, “Can I listen back to it?” I said, “You can, but I'm also live streaming it, but don't worry, our conversation's not being recorded. I hit Mute.” I played for her. I had to rewind. I scrubbed it back in the live stream I had going, and she listened to it, and she said, “Huh.” I said, “It's a great door, by the way, beautiful door.” She said, “You look a little offput.” I said, “Well, I'm here in town.”
She said, “Why don't you come in?” I said, “No, no, we got to keep moving.” She said, “We?” I said, “Does the word Karch Kiraly mean anything to you?” Her face went, like … There's no denying she knew exactly what it was. I said, “Let's go talk,” because I said, “They're on their way here, probably.” She said, “How?” I said, “Well, I created a giant goose chase, led by a Carole King infused iPod.” She said, “Were you really recording knocks?” I go, “Yeah, I'm a knock enthusiast. It's another long story we don't have time for, because I need to hear your story.” We went to a café, and she told me a tale, which was pretty convoluted, that they run classes in self-esteem, martial art based classes and beyond, for anyone interested in it, especially groups.
They're very involved in this community, and so even at the holidays and other times of the year, they're doing things for the youth, as part of their youth programs, because esteem is more than just physical fitness. It's one of their tenets, and so they're big into board games. They were doing this class for this group, and she said at the time, they had gotten all these donations of board games, and they happened to have it in the dojo side, and part of the dojo side was set up with all these board games on tables. She said this was a mysterious group that hired them, but a lot of times, she said it was people that could use the training, but she said that it never kind of sat right with her. There was something about the group that was ominous.
She said this was after they had been doing a few weeks of classes, and she was already like, “Okay, I'm not sure about this group of people.” Then she said she got a call, and she had to go into the back to look up some numbers or something, and it ended up being a longer call than she expected. Then she heard all this commotion, and she said it sounded like rattling game pieces, and she goes, “Another thing we do is take it one step at a time. Take it slow. Don't just bound into action.” She said she kind of slipped her way towards the dojo, but didn't just burst in because there was a commotion, and she said when she looked in, and she said, “Again, these were grown adults, all over 30 years old,” and she said that they had taken all the word based games, Scrabble, Boggle, Words Worth, all the other great board games, and she said they had set them up where you would chop concrete blocks that you would then try to chop wood in half.
She said that's kind of like a part, everybody wants to do that, chop the boards in half. She said they were chopping the games in half, and she goes, “When they did it, they would say, ‘Karch Kiraly,' as they were chopping. They would say, ‘Kiraly,'” and she said she was upset because they were for donating to youth, so she went in there and they had to work out a payment plan, and she said, “Never again will you ever come to this class. I never want to see you, not in any dojo in town either, for any martial arts, mixed martial arts, arts and crafts, nothing, not one of you.” She said they slunk off, and she goes, “That was eight years ago,” and she goes, “Tonight, this very night.” I said, “Well, that's ominous too, probably.”
I said, “Maybe it's not an accident we met.” She goes, “It wasn't. You said Carole King infused iPod brought you there.” I said, “Yeah, they're planning something tonight. I don't know what it is. I thought it was just to embarrass me because I love knocks and recording knocks, and I was streaming it live on the internet.” She goes, “That's embarrassing enough, isn't it?” I said, “Right, but they wanted to really … ” She said, “No, but they're probably up to something else. You're right.” I had forgotten that I had the phone on me, and they would easily be able to find us, and so I hit my iPod for my next move, and Gipsy Kings' “Amor Amor” came up. I said, “Amor Amor,” from the Gipsy Kings. It started playing, actually, and she goes, “I know where to go.”
We rushed off, and we rushed off to this town square, and the town square actually had a doorway, an entryway to it, and it was a door that was closed, but beyond it was night lights hanging, or whatever you call them. Market lights, I think they call them, and music was playing, and she said, “Go ahead and knock on the door.” I knocked on it. It was more of a gate. It was a door, I guess, a doorway. It opened to this plaza, papel picado, lights, dancing, and just enough distraction that we could get lost in the crowd, so then the two of us started dancing, and she said, “What's next?” A lot of people knew her, because she was a member of this community, and I said, “You get some dancers ready and coordinate something, because maybe they don't know that we're together yet, and I'll just play myself.”
She said, “Okay, I guess,” and they said, “Any particular music you'd like?” I hit Carole King, and I said, “Yeah, I think this is Romanian. I don't know where I got it from, but it's by [Pinky 00:56:27]. It's Corina.” I said, “It's featuring Smiley. I don't know, it might be Czechoslovakian.” They said, “Why don't you just mutter that to yourself, then, while you wait for them to surprise you?” I said, “Okay,” and they said, “We'll get ready.” Then I got back by the door, and I set up my recording equipment. I was pretending that I was going to get the knocking on the door from both sides, so I had the door open, and I was getting everything ready, and then I saw some cars pull into a nearby parking lot really fast, and I said, “That must be a Karch Kiraly team.”
Then they pulled in, and then they tried to act casual, getting out of the car, and I acted like I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn't even notice them, even though, I don't know. They kind of wandered in, because the other side of the square was not blocked, even though there was a doorway on one side and there was a fence around it, so they wandered into the other side of the square and kind of filtered in, and because they didn't see Roberta, again, I was setting things up, and then I noticed them talking to whoever was the DJ, and I saw them pull out a giant stack of money and hand it to the DJ. Then one of them had the mic, who looked like the ringleader. He was the one who answered the door.
I said, “This is going to be some sort of speech situation,” then I said, “Carole King,” and Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Can't Take Love For Granted,” came up. I said, “Well, I'm here because I love knocks. These people are here because they love dancing, and maybe this is all going to work out just fine.” Then they gathered on the dance floor, but they didn't realize that Roberta had organized the dancers, who formed a dance square, so they were in front of the DJ, and there was a square of dancers around them, looking like they were just there to pay attention, and the guy, he started to make this long speech. There was feedback, and he said, “Sorry to interrupt your dancing.” He actually had what I thought was a vague spy accent, and went on and on about the sanctity of words and language, and communication.
Actually, someone, even in the audience, was like, “Boring.” Eventually, I just said, “Okay, let's cut to the chase,” so I walk out to the center of the square, aka the dance floor, and I said, “I think I know why you're here.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Karch Kiraly,” and then Roberta Durán, she did a flip tumble, and then a move, and said, “Karch Kiraly.” Then they were all shook, but she was doing it more stylistically, and I said, “I'll take that mic.” I just said, “You know, I don't know the words of the song ‘Can't Take Love For Granted,' but I do know something about life,” and I made a super long boring speech, but it was basically explaining to them that I love knocks, they love words, and sure, I could go through life listening to how people knock on doors.
They said, “What are you? You're a knock amateur. Have you ever knocked on a door before?” I know there's people out there that do that, that say, “If you want to get somewhere in life, you got to knock on the door with authority.” I said, “And some people do, and some people don't. Some people knock on a door like a mouse, and that's okay too. It's okay that you love words so much I get on your nerves. Perfectly understandable.” I said, “If I had a laundry list of people whose nerves I got on, it would be pretty long, believe me.” I said, “These people are here because they love flamenco dancing, and Roberta Durán's here because she loves teaching children self-esteem through martial arts and martial arts related activities, as well as many other activities meant to build children's self-esteem, including board games, for some bizarre reason.”
They said, “We just got carried away.” Then they made a genuine apology to Roberta Durán. They said, “We just got carried away. We didn't mean to break the games. Well, we did, it just was so much fun. We're usually so serious with our game play and word play. It was like a reverse of self-esteem. You gave us so much self-esteem, we let our guards down,” and then the music started to play, and we realized we all spoke a different version of the same language, of love. I loved knocks. They loved words so much they loathed me. I guess I said it in my speech, and then we danced the whole night away, and then we actually came up with a new joint thing, because I said, “Tell me about your plan.”
They said, “We were just going to have you knock on some doors until you were relaxed, and then knock on doors where people were home, and they would have said, ‘Don't knock on my door.'” I said, “Oh, you mapped out the grouchiest people in this area?” They said, “Yeah.” I said, “People have done that to me before,” but I said, “How many vacant doors do you still have access to?” They said, “Eight,” and I said, “I have a little game we could play, since we know no one will be bothered.” I said, “Roberta, please tell me you don't have those game boards they all karate chopped in half,” and she said, “I do, because you can never have enough Scrabble tiles when you're helping kids. You can never have enough Boggle letters.” I said, “Oof, no wonder you teach self-esteem. You ooze esteem and intelligence.”
She said, “By the way, I'm in a committed … ” I said, “No, no, no, I'm just complimenting you in a platonic way.” I said, “Sigh.” Then we got together, and we went on this tour where instead of knocking on a door, we would throw Boggle pieces and Scrabble tiles at the door, and I recorded it. It sounded pretty darn good. It was pretty pleasurable, and then I gave all of them copies, and I made them swear. I said, “What's with Karch Kiraly?” They said something to me about double … I said, “Well, that's a proper noun,” and then they explained it to me again, and I said, “It doesn't make any sense to me.” Then I said, “Sorry about that,” and I still sent them MP3s and WAVs. I don't know if they're annoyed with me again or not, but that was an adventure I had because of my love of knocks. Good night.