Look Back at 504 – Phil Fushigi Riventeen
First I’ll ramble about Riven and then I’ll try and remember the story of the greatest Fushigi artist of all time.
- Rending Riventeen
- Subtextual, Social Circus
- The McElroy Brothers
- Braising Brad Brass
Notable Talking Points:
- Reporting from Outside Sleep With Me Podcast Studios
- Riven as a Story Model
- A Great Busking Routine
Look Back at 504 – Phil Fushigi Riventeen
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Alright everybody…whoops, hey patrons, it’s me. I started off…I don’t know what I was doing. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, it’s time for the podcaster who you enable…my…you empower my mistakes for good, patrons. What do you say we get on with the show?
Hey everybody, this is Scoots here. Usually this would be part of the…but this is something I support and I’m coming in here because I really want to encourage you to support the Asian members of our community. One thing I support and you could support is to go to napawf.org right now, and that’s the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. It’s the only organization focused on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect our lives, our families, and our communities. As a father of a AAPI woman, this is really important to me. But as a member of the…this community and my broader community and my local community, it’s important to me, too. So, if you go to napawf.org, you could take action right now in a few different ways. You can donate, you can sign their petition, and you can learn more. I want to empower you right now to take action to support the AAPI members of our community. Thanks, everybody.
Hey everybody, this is Scoots and this episode coming up here is a blast from the past as we slowly approach Episode 1000. I’ve been kinda looking back at some of the older episodes and some of the periods of the podcast and just saying oh, okay, these are ones I get a lot of feedback about or these are ones I have a strong association with. So, I’m gonna be pulling a few of these out of the vault here, leading up to it and by playing this, it also gives me a chance…that eventually, hopefully this summer I’ll be able to take a week or two off. So, that’ll be nice too, to prepare for Episode 1000 or to relax after it. But so, this particular episode is not just one I say…I really remember…I can remember making this, I can remember feeling good about it, but it was also a trip to the McElroys, from My Brother, My Brother and Me, and the extended McElroy family.
They just went out of their way…they’re all amazing individuals and amazingly supportive of Sleep With Me and the Sleep With Me podcast community. Particularly, Justin just went out of his way really early on to encourage me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it or repay it, and just remind me why I make this show and what’s really important and what he kinda learned from his journey. So, it’s great pride that I get to replay this episode. If you don’t listen to one of the many podcasts My Brother, My Brother and Me make, the McElroy Brothers, or any of the individual McElroys, you can check them out. They also have a new book about making podcasts that I bought, and I’ve bought it for a couple people out there that have been thinking about starting their…make their own podcast or working on it.
I’ll have links to all that in the show notes. You can find a lot of their podcasts on Maximum Fun, another great place to support if you listen to podcasts; Maximum Fun Podcasts. Maximum Fun; I think I sounded like I said Maximum Fum. But anyway, without further ado, I don’t know if I’m…I’m recording this; I don’t know if I’m putting it in before or after…before the intro or before the story but here’s Scoots from the past, from believe it or not, almost 500 episodes or 400 episodes ago. But it really seems like yesterday ‘cause I can remember checking this episode before it came out, I’m pretty sure, on a plane. So, thanks, and thanks the McElroys and everybody else out there that supported me along the way. Thanks.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Alright, yeah, hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that’s here to put you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story and alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna try to do the rest. What I’m gonna try to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts and things on your mind, physical feelings, emotion…anything you’re…whatever’s keeping you awake. You could be traveling, you could be…whatever; I’d like to distract you from that. What I’m gonna do is…the safe place, one; there’s no expectation on you. Really, no expectation of you to listen to me.
You don’t even have to like the podcast. Alls I usually ask is you give it a few tries, see what you think, but…and ideally it’ll put you to sleep. But you’re also under no pressure to fall asleep. That’s why I make the episodes about an hour, ‘cause I’ll be here and what I do is I send my voice across the deep, dark night. I use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones. Tonight they’re…I don’t…suddenly my voice has become extra creaky and dulcet, right when I sat down to record. I think it’s ‘cause my…this may be…what do you call it when you try to…when you use evidence…false evidence-inducing…what do you call that? Anyone? Because my oven’s on. I don’t know if that has anything to do with my voice being extra creaky. I have something in the oven. It’s not a bun in the oven.
Thanks for all of you that were saying…thinking that. That’s fine. That was…that’s funny. Scoots is making a big announcement tonight; we’re live outside Sleep With Me Studios. On the grass, there’s a little patch of grass. By the way, reporter, that’s where Koa…that’s Koa’s…you know, that’s her bathroom. Oh, we’re live here outside Sleep With Me Podcast Studios on the sidewalk. Great. Scoots has got a big announcement he’s about to make. Actually, I’m trying to do…you know, this isn’t the best time for a news report, believe it or not. I was…I think you’re here ‘cause I was gonna announce I have something in the oven, but it’s not a bun in the oven. Also, I don’t know what year you’ve come from for news reporting but I don’t know if that was ever…it doesn’t seem like an offensive term, I guess ‘cause a bun just…but I guess they don’t use that term anymore.
Yeah, I mean, I guess part of my brain does but I can’t do a news report. I gotta get back to the listeners. I was just trying to explain…let me take that mic from you, actually. Thanks. What’s your name, Bradley? I think that’s a big news person’s name. Oh, Brad. Thanks, Brad. Yeah, I was trying to make a correlation. I think that’s what it is, a false correlation between the fact my oven’s on and my voice feels extra creaky. Don’t know if that’s true or not but I thought I’d say it. Brad, here, I’ll try to pitch you as the new listener, Brad. How do you feel about that? You’re just trying to do a news report; well, I’m just trying to open a…I guess we’re both trying to do something. I’m trying to open a podcast. Well, I’m trying to…well, no, no, no, I’m not trying to bake anything. Something’s in the oven.
I don’t know if…good question, Brad. Brad, I got a question for you; when you have something in the oven, are you baking it? What’s the difference between baking, roasting in the…what’s the one they say when you go to a restaurant that is cooked in a liquid? Braising. Do you know any of the differences between those? Okay, Brad’s refusing to answer these questions. Let me lay it on you, Brad; I think it’s like, half-submerged in liquid and covered. Is that…? Do you think it’s roasting or the other one? I already forgot what that word was, in the liquid. You know…you don’t know. Neither do…that’s the thing; I don’t know, either. But you said I was baking. I’m sure I’m not baking anything. Anyway, I’m gonna bake a sleepy cake as fast as I can. Well, actually it’ll be slow, about an hour.
But yeah, I was trying to correlate my creaky, dulcet tones to the fact the oven’s on, Brad, ‘cause I make a podcast to put people…in your case Brad, if I was doing it personally for you and your feathered hair and your perfect jaw and…no, no, I’m just being complimentary. No, no, no, the sleep podcast involves very strict boundaries. I can compliment you but I don’t mean it. No, I’m kidding; you do…I’m just stating…I’m correlating…you’re just…oh, because you can’t compliment something when it’s a figment within your own mind, based on your self image. No, no, Brad, you’re not based on me at all. Anyway, Brad, back to the compliments and…I forgot…oh, I was gonna say the podcast that puts you to sleep, Brad. In this case, it’s Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts Brad to sleep.
We do it with a bedtime story, Brad. Okay, I’ll stop saying your name. What I usually do…the structure of the show if you’re new here, since you are…it’s the first report. I’m really tempted to keep repeating your name. I like to do that for [00:10:00] some reason. That’s one sign you’re not gonna like the podcast. You say well, how many times are you gonna say Brad in the…? I say well, there was one…I remember an intro in the 200 or 300s that I said Brad even more ‘cause I was talking about Brad and then I started talking about brads, those things you use to hold screenplays and reports together. Hey Brad, what are the odds your last name’s Brass? That would be a really good news person’s name; Brad Brass here reporting on the bun in Scooter’s oven.
It turns out he’s doing that thing where…braise…he may be braising, he may be roasting, but he’s not baking a bun in his oven. Brad…what was it again? You don’t know either. It was Brad Brass. Brad Brass reporting. What do you think? Maybe you should…maybe you could start out with a Reading Rainbow segment. That sounds more like a kid on Reading Rainbow. Today’s story, the podcaster that had a bun in his oven. It’s the story of a reporter who goes to investigate…I liked this book because it was so silly. This is Brad Braderson reporting. Then it goes ba-dum-bum. You know that? You’re familiar with Reading Rainbow? No. Hm, it’s not…that doesn’t give me the greatest faith in our news system, Brad. You don’t know what Reading Rainbow…this is Scooter live doing a podcast intro within a podcast intro for Brad.
You’re right, Brad; I shouldn’t be doing any Reading Rainbow-based shaming. What would LeVar Burton say? He probably wouldn’t be happy with me but yeah, you’re right, ‘cause this is with…all within my own mind. It’s probably okay. Anyway Brad, usually the structure of the show, since you’re new here, is about a five-minute cover and getting the business stuff out of the way. Then we do eight to twelve minutes of an intro where I try to explain — in this case to a proxy reporter named Brad Brass — how the podcast works. That’s like, that puts a lot of people to sleep. For some people, the intro is a show within itself. It feels familiar but it’s…’cause this is the first time you’ve been on it, Brad. No offense; it’ll probably be the last.
Brad Brass is hard to say ‘cause I have to have a high sibilance awareness, Brad Brass.
Also rhymes with so many…I just want to keep rhyming it and then do something like throw you out of my pretend office and say get your…outta here, Brass. Anyway Brad, so…and then we’ll do a story. Tonight, it’ll be a little bit of…I don’t know what it’ll be. I think I know what it’ll be but it never turns out like that. But I’ll have lulling, soothing tones, I’ll take my time getting there. Oh wait, this was supposed to be a thirty-second report. Oh, this was supposed to be a joke. You’re supposed to be…this was a joke report. Oh, lighthearted segment. That’s what you call it at the news station. Well, I guess ‘cause I don’t have a bun in my oven, you picked the wrong podcaster to report on. I do…it’s not baking, Brad. We went over this. It’s maybe roasting or the other one.
Keeps slipping…what do you think that…what do you think is the deal with that, Brad? Do you ever wonder why is your mind…my mind’s fumbling with that word. I really can’t…it’s like, some things…it’s like, some words have a mail slot in my brain and some don’t. I go to put it in the mail slot; it just drops on the floor. Yeah, just like…I am imagining I’m working in a hotel lobby, an old fashioned one. You’re right, Brad. It’s braising. Brad…Braising Brad. We could call you…let’s…how about that, Brad? Braising Brad Brass. A couple things we could pitch that; we could get The Food Network. You could have your own braising show. I don’t like Braising with Brad Brass. Doesn’t have the same punch. I wouldn’t pitch…I would only pitch Braising Brad Brass. Also, then I can write a biography about you; Raising Braising Brad Brass.
Yeah, no, I work with a niche publisher. We only publish fake biographies about fake people with, you know. Oh, you didn’t know you weren’t real. You didn’t catch on when I renamed you Braising Brad Brass? Oh, the days when you were at the schoolyard, Brad, running around, telling the other kids about cooking in liquids at 325. So, do you think that’s braising? You’d be the only one I would ask. If we could have started…this intro would have been two or three minutes if I would have known when we started you were…that the outside reporting outside my apartment was the one, the only Braising Brad Brass. I could have said Brad…well, first of all, you’d probably lose your name ‘cause you thought I was baking something. Oh, braising buns.
You’re right, that could be our first episode; Braising Buns in an Oven with Braising Brad Brass. Alright, you’re catching on, Brad. We’ll be fine. But yeah, I could have just gone outside and been like you’re…wait a second, are you Braising Brad Brass? ‘Cause I have something in my oven. It’s cooking; we can all agree on that. It is cooking but I’m not quite sure if I’m baking it, roasting it, or braising it. But so, I wanted to run it by the only person I could; you, Mr. Brass, the Braiser. Did they call you the Braiser at some point? Like, when you got to middle school, you went from Braising Brad to the Braiser? You don’t know what I’m talking about. Okay, well, anyway, believe it or not, Brad…oh wait, I was doing a pod…a personal podcast intro for Braising Brad Brass. What did you say, Brad? Oh, I don’t…Seuss just turned over?
Really, ‘cause I overused alliteration. Oh, well, I’ll tell you what; I’ll take your Seuss and raise you a Shel Silverstein if you want me to keep alliterating, buddy. I’m just…I don’t get aggressive. That was faux aggression. Don’t worry, Brad. I’m glad you’re here because really, if you’re…clearly these news reports are tough on you ‘cause you showed up here under some kind of pretense that I had a bun in my oven and really, you just want to spread the love of braising across the globe. Maybe when I take you under my wing, you can see the full horizons of braising ‘cause what I was gonna say is it seems like you want to spread your love…and that’s what I…why I started this podcast; a little different. I had trouble sleeping. I like telling rambling stories and having this kind of senseless banter with imaginary figures.
It seems like my area of expertise. I’m no braiser. I may be braising and podcasting at the same time but mostly I just like putting people to sleep with my silly stories and I’m glad I can help you as you try to decide the focus of…next stage of your career. You could…I don’t know, Brad. I can’t even…I don’t even know if I should pitch the audience on that. Blazing…the Blazing Braiser, Brad Brass. It’d be like a BBQ braising show. I don’t…you’re not gonna…are you gonna bleach your hair? Anyway, I gotta go. Brad, believe it or not, this has been lovely. I’ll be thinking about this until the thing’s out of the oven. But I gotta get…let me pretend you’re my…anyway, this podcast is a little bit different, if you haven’t noticed, a little bit silly, but you don’t have to pay attention. You don’t have to fall asleep.
You just kick back and listen. If you’re new here, like Quad B or whatever we’re gonna call this reporter…Quad B…I knew you’d like that. But if you’re new here, you’re welcome. I can’t promise…this podcast doesn’t work for everybody. It takes a few times, especially if you’re skeptical. Why wouldn’t you be? It is confusing, though ‘cause…and I’m not…still not sure if I’m baking, roasting, or braising, and/or all. Anyway, I apologize for Brad’s…he’s really young. He’s a young, young man but I’m glad you’re here and I really hope and really yearn to help you fall asleep. Thanks for stopping by.
Alright, hey everybody, this is Scooter and welcome to…I guess I’m always like…I get these ideas and one of the great things about the podcast is I get to test out random ideas. This might be a little dated when it gets released but well, one, this won’t be dated. I don’t know how many of you listen to the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me with the McElroys, but you should check it out. But if you don’t and you say well, let me tell you Lin-Manuel Miranda listens to My Brother, My Brother and Me, so there you go. Also, I like to listen to it and then a recent episode…well, the last episodes that I heard that came out, they were talking about [00:20:00] the changing of the year in January and what are we gonna call this new year? One of the pitches was Twenty-Riventeen. Okay, I heard the crickets. You say what did you say, Scoots?
I said yeah, Twenty-Riventeen, named after twenty years…maybe not. Is it twenty…is Riven twenty years old or ten years old? I don’t know. Whoa, it is twenty years old. So, right? Twenty…’97…so, hm. I kinda remember the game Riven and then on this particular episode which hopefully I will link to, they also had this other thing they talked about which kinda drew me in for maybe the second half of this episode. But I was thinking about this game Riven. So, Riven was a PC game. Now, I’m not gonna tell…I won’t tell you any facts because…yeah, but I guess this would…so, this was a Tuesday, so maybe it’ll be a Trending…Rending Riventeen. I guess that’s what it would be; Rending Riventeen, an episode in honor of Riventeen.
Hopefully I can make this into a two-part…like, a two…like, where the story will carry into the next thing. But so, Riven was a PC/Mac game, I think pre…1997 it came out, so pre-console. It was a sequel to the game Myst and here’s what I remember about it personally, ‘cause in the…so, this would have been late 90s. I guess the game was re-released…I don’t know the date but this was the time I was in a relationship. I was live…late nine…the end of the 90s, so I guess not that long…I don’t think I played Riven in ‘97 but maybe at the end of the 90s I played it, maybe the early aughts. I’m not sure I played Myst and maybe…so, if you’re a huge Riven or Myst fan, maybe…I don’t know what to tell you ‘cause I probably will…also if you’ve listened to this podcast, my memory just doesn’t really…it records stuff when it feels like it and then says well, let me show you this picture.
I’m not…you make sense of it. That’s what it was like. When I took a test it would say well, I’ll show you these numbers; go ahead and figure it…and I’d say no, no, no, you’re my brain. You’re supposed to help me, here. Well yeah, here’s a couple pictures of…that’s what’s in my head right now; here’s a couple pictures of stuff. But let me tell you the most prominent pictures right now…was…so, I was living with my girlfriend at the time and she was not a gamer. I think this…we talked about video games not that long ago and I think this was at one point…actually, I think…okay, I’m pretty sure this was the end of the 90s ‘cause I’m pretty sure I know what my job was, was when I was installing ergonomic keyboard trays and stuff like that. Almost positive. It’s making more and more…maybe.
Let’s see, so, I remember…so, she was not a video game player, not at all. I hadn’t been and I think…so, we must have had a computer. So, maybe I’m getting my…I may be getting some of my dates mixed up here but…so, somewhere between 1997 and 2000. This could be anywhere in those four or five years. We were in…I know exactly where we were; we were in Pleasanton and so, this was still when you would…we were driving there. We were out there for some reason and this was…and if you listen to that video game episode, what are the two things I used to love doing? Drinking and playing video games. Myst and Riven are different, which we’ll get to. But so, I didn’t think this would be video-game-heavy but I guess trying to explain Riven, I really want my brain to work with me here ‘cause it’s a rich environment.
So, let’s see, so what happened was there used to be those computer…there was stores where you would buy…kinda like Best Buy. I don’t know what they were called. Comp USA maybe? Where you could buy video games. I have a couple other memories about stores like that, but so…and also, there was a BevMo!. So, at some point we were out there and I said jeez, let me…let’s just go into this Comp USA. Maybe we needed something other…else, too? But I think I pitched her on this, Riven. Maybe I had read about it or heard about it. I’m pretty sure it was Riven and not Myst but I could be wrong. It could be Myst but I’m pretty sure it’s Riven. So, we must have had a decent computer, so that would make it more in the later 90s.
That must have been what happened, is…I remember I got a decent computer at some point and then I said well, if I have a computer, I might as well start playing games again. Yeah, that makes sense, ‘cause I probably got it with a decent card and a decent sound card. Yeah, this is all starting to make sense. I still have…you want to talk about when you buy…you want to talk about going off-subject but so, this was twenty years ago-ish, or eighteen. Maybe eighteen or seventeen years ago so when I bought that computer, this computer that we’re talking about that I would play Riven on, it came with computer speakers. I still have those computer speakers. I don’t know if it was some sort of anomaly or…because the speakers, they came with the computer but it was like, the little bit…I bought it from an independent computer store that sold PCs, PC Clone-type computers.
I think they had different levels. You could customize but it was basically a super-cheap one, the middle one, and this was when computers were still kind of expensive, not…but so, I get the middle model which came with these speakers which were like…it’s just two speakers and a subwoofer. But the sound that comes out of these computer speakers, not only is it good…I mean, I’m not a audiophile but most computer speakers have weak sound. This one, I can’t even put it at full volume. Still, it would blow the windows out which is just strange. I think the…I don’t even know what brand they are. I think the company…I think maybe…I don’t know. But yeah, talk about getting your money’s worth. They’re still…I keep them in my kitchen attached to the Echo Dot and use those speakers every single day now, still twenty years later.
These are little square computer speakers. Twenty-Riventeen, the year I talk about computer speakers. But so, we went to…at some point we were out in Pleasanton, California which is a suburb of the Bay Area, not too far out there. I think at the time, it was the only place there was an In-N-Out Burger. Like, there wasn’t any in the Bay…like, in Oakland or San Francisco. I’m sure we ate in In-N-Out Burger and then we probably went to BevMo! and got some wine and beer. Then at some point we went to this video game store. I said we gotta check this game Riven out. Because it’s like, there’s games like this now on the iPad that are point-and-click adventure where you’re meant to discover the story. It’s not…it’s more of a thinkpiece, I guess.
I don’t know, that might be the wrong use of that word but nothing’s handed to you on a silver platter, even the controls or anything. My memory of Riven is the…I’m not sure if it came…how much literature it came with, but you start the game and you don’t even know what your goal is or…other…anything. You just start the game. You’re on these islands and my girlfriend, Natalie, she was like, she was into it ‘cause it was a very…it’s a very puzzle-based game. I don’t know if we completed it but I remember we spent some good time in…working together and taking notes, a lot of note-taking, ‘cause some of these puzzles were tough. It’s weird that I just made fun of my memory but I can see all her notes ‘cause she had good handwriting, so her notes would be readable and she was also good at analytical and math stuff.
So, we would play…we played this game. I don’t know how consistently we played it. I know we never finished it ‘cause there was a couple puzzles that we just never…I don’t know where we got hung up on or maybe just got burned out. But my memory of the game is it’s very atmospheric. It has very atmospheric music. You’re on [00:30:00] these islands and there’s architecture. I’m pretty sure there’s these monorail-type things that connect the islands and you’re trying to get access. I remember underwater viewing; I think at some point you communicate with a whale or something and that’s one of the puzzles. I think a puzzle is like, monitoring…remotely monitoring lights. I guess maybe this won’t take…and then it was very tropical, like these jungles, and everything’s slowly rusting.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautifully done game. I actually found a bunch of Wireds from 1987…’97, and I have one on the making of the game that I’m gonna send…I think I’m gonna send it to Justin, the…on Mac…My Brother and Me just ‘cause he’s so nice. But I was like, I’m gonna try to read the article first. But so, I guess that’s what I remember about Riven. I’m trying to think anything more that comes up. I think I…’cause I didn’t know. So, I was thinking about Riven and then I was thinking about…I was like…I was thinking huh, could that guide us through an episode? Okay, so I was thinking how would we do this as a Rending…how can we really ring in Riventeen with…the way it deserves it? I think I thought of an idea to use Riven Rends in a way that’ll work in a story.
I guess this is a little bit of a gift to the McElroys ‘cause they’re such really great people and really great influence on podcasting. So, settle back for the first story of Twenty-Riventeen. You might say jeez, what is gonna be the link between Riven and this story? I’d say very little. Maybe the link would be in the circus-like nature of my thoughts, in the thoughts of the news and the waning fortunes of circuses in this day and age, and the need to have your circus be cutting-edge is…as you know, I’m a person who thinks about going to circuses a lot and not necessarily that…who does but says man, I’d like to be a person that goes to more underground circuses, or circi, or circ. But I’m not always that person and…but I was, as you know, I’m familiar with the story the Purple People Circus, the found…I’m…actually, I don’t know anything about the founding but when the founders met, you might recall the episode.
I don’t know the episode number but it was…the title was something about a ventriloquist dummy and that was about the…when the founders of the…well, the creator and his part…his future partner for the Triple P Circus, the Purple’s People’s Circus…I don’t know why it’s called the…I think I was the one that gave them the title the Triple P Circus. I’m just realizing that there’s only two Ps. There might be another one but Barry, Mr. England, he was in London searching for the next big busker and that’s where he met Martha, Martha Mark. She had this new ventriloquist act, a little bit more…but a little bit more…hers was just a little bit more fun…it was more busker-based, like a more modern ventriloquist dummy show where you’re not sure if…you know, she’s just…but anyway, they had met and I guess that’s all we knew, was they met on the streets of London where she was busking with her dummy whose name hopefully I have somewhere.
But I guess I don’t; I actually have notes…what does this say? Money is movie. I don’t know, but her dummy was…who’s the dummy now? Her dummy was kinda over-sass and snark, so…but whatever, they ended up forming the Purple People’s Circus. If you wanted the details on your…their wedding, I’m sure it’s at circuscelebs.com or something but I know they used Archer’s Theme. They always say…I say Ator…Atrus…Artruss’ theme. I’m not familiar with that song but I think for…and they were married before the…when the Purple People’s Circus consisted of three people if you count the dummy. After they were married, they had this dream of building this new circus, a social circus, subtextual social circus.
Maybe I’m projecting some meaning onto it but that was just a circus for the day, and I guess maybe that’s what we’re seeing now. I think I talked about it in that episode. Maybe it’s where Cirque du Soleil tries to be…I don’t know. I guess I don’t want to weigh in on the circus industry. But so, they started searching the world for performers and just traveling and busking when they could to pay their bills. I guess it was their…you could say it was their honeymoon. I think they…I want to say they were in Prague because I love…I have visited Prague once and I loved it there. I love the people there and the architecture. They were going through…what’s that called? I don’t know the name of anything anymore.
But I tell you, there’s this one plaza and there’s this old church that’s just very mysterious and then there’s a bell tower that I went up…or some sort of tower that I was able to go up and I kept looking at this church. I said this is a…this is something that’s been…or a cathedral, maybe. You’ve seen it; it’s on the other side of the river from Prazsky hard; that’s what…Prazsky rod or whatever you call it, Prague Castle. I call it Prazsky hard. What is…starring maestro…old town…but in…near the old town and on your way to the Charles Bridge…I think on the parade grounds or whatever the road is called. I guess I won’t be invited to Prague but I love it. It’s fine. That’ll make it hard if you don’t invite…you know, you’re right, I should get my facts straight. So, what was my point? So, there’s this gatehouse that you go through.
I think a gate room, they call it, on the way there. They heard the cheers, the cheers of a happy crowd being busk…buskees. It was just breaking up and they saw this gentleman there. He was dressed in a strange, strange outfit, like striped pants clashing with a checkered shirt but he wasn’t a clown. The crowd was still like…they were going up to him and giving him second tips and clapping and just disbelief, disbelief. Then they looked at each other and they went right up to him. He was packing up ‘cause it was late afternoon. This was the fall and there was a chill in the air. They played dumb, you know, they…Mr. England said…and Mr. England, Barry, he…I think sometimes he uses a English accent but I’m pretty sure we found out he’s from Minnesota, unless Martha…but anyway, it doesn’t matter.
He said hey…I’ll just use…this is a recreation; he said hey, wow, did we miss the show? The performer said you did; I’m just packing up for the night. He said oh, it’s a shame, dear; I’m sorry that you won’t see…he goes, I’ve been hearing about your performances all over the city. People said you gotta get down there. My wife, she loves…she loves…and he kept pausing. This guy was kinda…the performer was kinda like, hm. He goes, she really…she really did not want to miss…and he said Fushigi art? He said well, I…yeah. What? Yeah, she [00:40:00] couldn’t…no, no, no. He goes, I thought this was the jungle totem. He said jungle totem? He said well, that’s what we heard, was…it was like, a guy that could do these…he could make the illusion of trees and then he would climb a pole and he would stand at the top of the pole and pretend he was a tree. That’s not you?
He said, do you see any poles around here? Mr. England said well, as a matter…wooden poles? No, I don’t see any wooden poles. The guy was not…he goes well, honey, I guess it doesn’t matter. We don’t need to see this show. She goes huh, a shame. Then she goes dear — this is Martha speaking — she goes dear, what times does the train leave? Mr. England said well, I’m pretty sure we’re gonna be close to missing it but the rest of the performers are on their way, on their way to Bucharest. The guy said, the rest of the performers? He said oh yeah, yeah. He goes, we’re working on a new circus and we really wanted the totem tree guy for this circus. But yeah, that’s fine. Anyway, what did you just say? You said you’re some kinda artist. We thought you were a performer.
The guy goes, I am a performer, the greatest performer…he goes, you…he goes, I never even…he goes, I’ve been performing in Prague for months and never heard of this to-to…tree totem or whatever. Mr. England said well, I don’t know; every survey…these theme…these busker surveys…he goes, you don’t go to buskersurveyislandtheme.com? The guy…’cause this was the old days when…I think that was the…I don’t know what year this was, but you know how you have to go to GeoCities; I think it was like a GeoCities website, but islandtheme.com or something. He said no, no, no. Anyway, that was too boring for the podcast. I just…well, ‘cause it was confusing. He said well anyway, sorry to waste your time. We gotta get going. We gotta catch a train with all the other performers. We’re headed to Bucharest.
Then the guy…he said well, it’s fine. He goes, I…well, maybe I’ll just do one more show. Go ahead, though. Then he started his warm-up where he said…he started looking around for kids and then he started pretending…this is the kinda good…this is when you get into these good perform…he’s like, started looking frantic like he’s looking for something. He starts digging through his box and throwing things and then the kids that are nearby…he’s throwing a rubber chicken and a boot and a can comes out of the boot. It’s all this little suitcase…this guy was not a clown but he did have clown influences as a lot of buskers do. Then he’s like…then a roller skate, then he’s trying to pick stuff up, then he slips…you know, the…he’s…had a comedic but very…tin cans to get a lot of attention, a lot of noise that we don’t need right now.
But fun noise. The funnest noise of all…kids laughing at people…banana peel…all…every bit, even he accidentally stands on the rubber…he thinks he’s…he pretends he can’t see the rubber chicken, then he stands on it and then it makes a noise, and then he looks around. Then the kids are…that brings the kids over ‘cause then they say what…and he says…they say, under your feet. Then he pretends that the chicken…he says oh, oh, Bernice, oh, Bernice. Then the kids are cracking up and the adults have to come over. Then he asks the kids to help; just put the stuff away. Then they say…the kids say what do you…he said well, I was gonna…I just gotta get going. I’m heading to Bucharest with these two. Unless you…does anybody want a show?
Then he goes oh no, I can’t do my show because I can’t find my Miss Marmalade. Then he says jeez, I gotta go to the church, I gotta go to the temple, and I forgot I can’t find my Miss Marmalade. I need…I gotta…I need some help from beyond. Then he pretends to weep and the kids…then there’s even more kids and more parents, and the parents…it’s a little bit over the top, so the parents…even the kids can pick up on the fact that he’s kinda kidding. Then he whispers to Martha to get over to his boom box to play Village Entrance Theme #1. She says okay, okay. Then he…I can’t remember this bit. He has something that’s really good that of course I missed or I forgot, but something to connect his sadness to hope where he…whatever; he does that and then he says well, then I have a great…that gives me a great idea.
Maybe a…I think what happens is he waits for somebody to sneeze or whisper…I think it must be that, like situational. Maybe someone sneezed. That was it, and then he pulled out tissues clown-style, thousands of tissues. That’s when he gets the idea. I don’t know if he does it if no one sneezes, ‘cause then he does a bit…what do you call that? A mime bit where he’s trying to pull back the tissues and it’s too hard. Then he says oh…he says, do you think you could all help me? Then if anyone isn’t there, he call…he says ladies, come over here, come over here. Who believes in the power of magic? He goes, I’ve misplaced Miss Marmalade or…I don’t remember again. Everyone goes who’s Miss Marmalade? He says well, not my cat. He goes, it’s a magical ball, my crystal ball, Miss Marmalade.
He says I can’t…I looked everywhere. He says sometimes she gets the idea of going off on her own, so I have to bring her back. He says, do you want…do you think you want to help? Do you think you want to help? They say oh yeah, yeah, yeah. He goes, this usually works. He goes, the first time I met her, I was off on an adventure. Then he still has the…and this is very cool stuff. Believe me, at this point, Marta and Mr. England are like, jackpot. Too bad we lied about the circus in Bucharest, but we’ll figure that out ‘cause he has all these tricks. So, he has the string of handkerchiefs but then he starts swinging it like a rope and telling this elaborate tale of climbing the Alps, or obviously the local mountain range, wherever…I don’t know all the mountain ranges of the world, ‘cause…let’s just say the Alps.
Somehow he throws it up in the air and it sticks and then he pretends he’s climbing. He doesn’t actually climb but I don’t know how he made it…just handkerchiefs into a rope that…and then maybe into a stick. I don’t know the illusion. But he talks about how he’s going into Moidy caves and he was adventuring there, looking for this rare ice they had that his mother liked to drink. Then he gets silly again and does an imitation of his mother. He asks the kids if they have to do chores ‘cause he says this was my chore, to climb the Alps and bring this ice back to me mother. He was like, he even…then he tells…play the Moidy Theme or whatever to Marta. Then he says…he was in the cave and he was looking at the ice and then he saw this ice glowing further on and then he slipped and he fell in this giant ice, the kind a polar bear would ride.
He said it was like a boat ride; it was in this river in the cave. He said he’s traveling through the river and he goes into this giant, glowing room and he said there’s a wizard in there. The wizard says oh, finally you’re here. He goes oh no…he goes, I just need…I’m just here for ice for my mother, and then he does…he said have you ever met a wizard, to the kids. The kids, depending on the…I think they said no, no, no. He said well, there’s some unpleasant wizards and this was one of them. Then he said I was telling them about my mother and then he was like, wanting me to [00:50:00] be quiet. He’s like, I’m just here for ice for my mother’s drinks. I gotta get back to the village. I can’t stay for much longer. He goes…the wizard says well, you’re gonna be staying for a long time. He goes, because look around; we’re not just in a cave.
That’s when he realizes they’re in an ice bubble, like a giant globe. The busker says I don’t understand. He goes well, this…he goes this is…he goes, I don’t know how you got in here…but he goes I think I’m gonna swap spots with you ‘cause this is my prison. I’m the wizard Moidy and this is a whole ‘nother tale but he goes long ago…I think he links it back to his mom. He says my parents…I didn’t do my chores…so, he hams it up for the parents and starts to soften them up for a tip later. Well, do you get paid for your chores? A lot of banter; really well done. Also, he was doing…he had other props but he says oh no, no, you won’t…he goes what do you…he goes, I’m trapped within this bubble. Then he says well, I’m not…I gotta get this ice back to me mother and I’m not gonna stay here with you.
So then he says there’s a chase and he said I couldn’t believe there’s other rooms within this bubble but then there’s a red cave room and then I got into this room; it was Wark’s room or something. He said I’m in here in Wark’s room. He was trying to hide from the wizard. He had his cheek up against the wall of the…I guess the bubble and he said jeez, I’m just…he goes, I’m…and then he’s like I wonder if I can melt this bubble and get outta here. Then he said I felt the bubble speak back to me and it said you can; your warmth…think of your mother and your warm feelings. Then he had a…then he used that to make the audience laugh. But he said I need some ice for my mother.
Then the bubble kinda…this is the short version but the bubble said well, I’ll need your help to keep Moidy within the…in here so that no one else stumbles upon his prison again. You know, that…then he said that’s when I met Miss Marmalade. Then he does a thing…like, Miss Marmalade…and this is very elaborate; not good for a sleep podcast, very visual but basically up…he still had the pretend mountain-climbing thing. Then up at the top you see the shiny flash of a ball, a crystal glass ball with something glowing in the side, inside. You don’t know if it’s the reflections. I guess technically it’s called a Fushigi Ball. I didn’t know this ‘cause I thought it was…I thought it was his creation, magical creation. But then it rolls down the handkerchiefs into his hand and he says well, perfect timing, Miss Marmalade.
I wish I would…paid attention when…with the name, ‘cause that doesn’t seem to fit, but at the same time it does ‘cause the kids…and then he’s talking and he’s doing these…I think these Fushigi things, I did watch a YouTube video and they’re like those balls that seem to levitate. Now this one, it seemingly levitated. It didn’t seem to levitate. It was…I don’t know. This was high…if it was Fushigi art, this was the pinnacle of Fushigi art. So, then he’s doing things and then they’re kinda…he’s closing out the adventure of how he escaped and she shrunk down. He was supposed to rescue her, then he didn’t have the ice, so then he said I started…I made a deal with Miss Marple…Miss…her name’s not Miss Marmalade…in order to keep the…Moidy in prison. Then he says play Catherine’s Prelude.
He goes we still weren’t sure ‘cause the globe was shaking when I got it back to my house, so I think I got ahead of myself. Then the mother was trying…like, what is this? Maybe we’ll sell this for ice. He said no, no, no. He said when he was struggling with his mother, he realized that it was sapping the wizard of the wizard’s power. So then he said well, then I got away from my mother because I earned my freedom from her as her ice…he goes because I bolted. He goes, now I have to do these tricks with the ball to keep the wizard…so the wizard goes to sleep. It’s kinda like…and then he goes do your parents ever rock you to go to sleep? All the kids are like oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I remember being rocked by my parents. Yeah. He goes yeah, they sing you a song, Thegen lullaby. The kids are like Thegen lullaby?
He goes well, that’s the lullaby I sing to Moidy. But he goes, it’s actually more of a…he goes, because of the prison…and then he…but then he also does stuff ‘cause the kids don’t buy it of course, so a lot of the tricks…I don’t know…I guess a sleep podcast isn’t the best place to promote the greatest Fushigi performer ever, but then he pretends…I think the…maybe…I’m trying to think if I should tell you about the climax of the show ‘cause I think he says…’cause I think I missed the part where he…so, he goes and gets it, then at some point he realizes he gets out and then he makes a deal to…with the magical orb, Miss Marmalade, to shrink down, to have him hold it and guard it. I think he becomes the guardian of Marmalade.
That was one the kids laughed about, I think, at least in the places where people know…maybe he calls it Miss Jam in other places, or Miss Jelly. Then he talks about the thing with his mom. I covered that. I missed something in there about…but I think at one point, maybe the…maybe I’m…I think then the wizard one night comes to him. Oh, ‘cause I think he gets homesick. I think that’s the other thing with the kids; he uses that one, the heartstrings. Also he uses it to get the tips ‘cause he says oh, I moved away and I learned to do these tricks to kinda…maybe he did. Yeah, he…that’s it, ‘cause then he says yeah, all my tricks are lullabies to put the wizard to sleep. So then he does some tricks. Maybe they’re slow motion. Maybe that’s to Catherine’s Theme.
I think also Martha had never queued up the music for this performance before so it was not…it wasn’t perfect. But then he says one…I think the climax…oh boy, I knew…I remembered the…oh, that’s what it is. He becomes homesick, so that’s the…’cause then the wizard one night comes to him…singing all the lullabies and everything. He starts to miss his mother. I think ‘cause he’s…maybe he’s in Iceland ‘cause that would be…you could probably make that funny for kids and that would make sense. So, then one night the wizard comes to him in his dream, a very nice wizard now. Gotten so much good sleep from being rocked and lullabied. I mean, you think about a good place to sleep; an orb climate controlled by magic, you know, is a good place to sleep with some padding and stuff like that, like clouds.
But so, let’s see, where was I? So, the wizard comes to him in his dream and he says I see a fissure in you; you miss your mother. Then he shows…this is very…this is a little bit par for the course; he shows him the movie about his mom within the globe and she’s missing her son. Then a fissure opens up in the thing. He says…very emotionally resonant. Then he’s like, even sitting and somehow…I guess…I don’t know the technology but at some point he’s sitting in the audience and this is project…like, you’re seeing this, the audience is seeing this. So, this is some…it’s not even VR level. It’s our actual…AR, actual reality Fushigi. Somehow…I mean [01:00:00] presumably he’s projecting a image within the Fushigi Ball. I guess the fidelity is pretty good, so then he, the busker, is sitting there watching it with a family of his mom and then he does more of the…oh, maybe I should go back.
Then it gets into more mimey thing where he’s showing his emotional pull and pull with the ball, a little interpretive dance…I mean, I don’t want to…like I said, jeez, I mean, if I was telling this story, we would have had one less plot point or no, I guess two more plot points or plod points. But he has this whole thing with the ball and back and the forth, and deciding and should I go into the ball? Then he gets interactive with the kids and the parents. Then, you know, the wisdom of children, he finds a kid with a mom and he says well, would you go…and then the kid says well, no, no, no; there’s…you have to keep the wizard in there. You could just go home and visit your mom, not by magical rift; just go home. He says oh, thank you, thank you. Then this was a little cheap, too; he says well, the train tickets are so expensive.
He says well, who would want…I said man, I don’t know if this is ethical. He says well, and of course, you get…he rolls it in. People are like, well…he goes, whoever would want to help me go visit my mom, throw in a few dollars. Even…but I mean, it’s rough out there being a busker so who am I to judge? But don’t worry because then…once he gets everybody’s money, he does this…he does the climax where he says then I realized that there was still a fissure within the thing, and…’cause then Miss Mar…whatever they call…Miss Marmalade called him. So, then he does a whole ‘nother show, a climax where there’s…he’s battling the wizard and trying to get the wizard back to sleep, and then using the…he said well, do you…have you ever…who has a older brother, older sister?
Then…’cause then he comes out with this very soft marshal arts solution; non-conflict-oriented. He said jeez, does arguing with your siblings ever work? So really, the parents are getting their…money is getting…money…and then another thing with fireworks inside the Fushigi Ball, and then finally, then this heartbeat within the Fushigi Ball, it’s raising him up off the ground, then he really does, he climbs up that rope that he…whatever mechanism he had. Must be really strong ‘cause he pretends the Fushigi Ball is pulling him upwards, up the Alp…the rope that he had going up the Alps and levitating him which totally mesmerize…and then there’s fireworks. Then he must pull a little…another Fushigi Ball, a miniature one that’s…has an ice projection and then he flicks it out and brings it back down and drops it in a drink, and then sits down exhausted.
Then the show’s over but he does sell a cheap…pretty much like one of those light-up ice cubes to the kids too, if they want that. Of course, after the show…I mean, it’s not perfect; it could use refinement but Martha and Mr. England, Barry are like holy cow. By the way, we’re not the most ethical; we don’t have a circus yet and we don’t…we’re not…we’re heading towards Bucharest in search of performers. They said…they didn’t even know what Fushigi was, much like me. I don’t know if that’s a brand name, so I don’t even know. That’s just the…but I guess I don’t know what you’d call it, a glass…what is it called? What do they call them? Crystal ball but the Fushigi’s more of the levitation part and bringing it to life. So, they say jeez, so that was how the first plutonic performer of…weird that the ventriloquist dummy wasn’t there but yeah, and that’s how…I don’t even…I never caught the dude’s name…[inaudible]…Phil Fushigi but maybe that’s an…I couldn’t…but yeah, that was a little bit about the first plutonic performer hired by the Purple People circus. Goodnight.
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