– By William Cooper

Our little podcast is 26 weeks old today. Seems like yesterday that it looked up at us with those big, blue eyes and gurgled and garbled something at length that nobody really understood. Not much has changed. A week of podcast life is worth a year of human life, so it got me thinking about my 26th year on this crazy planet.

In 1992, I ended a long-term relationship, ready for the wilds of dating and single life. Little did I know this was the beginning of my Seven Sexless years of Solitude, which is quite a sad alliteration. It was also the beginning of my Seven Sexless years of rediscovering booze, which I’m sure is not related at all.

In 1992, I took a job at CompuServe and fell face-first into the world of Internet technology at a time when Al Gore was just beginning to consider inventing it. Twenty-four years later, I’m still battling code and browsers and fixing Things That Should Work But Don’t with twine, gum, and shoe polish.

In 1992, I was given a Ford Tempo, a beautiful beast of a compact that would become my best friend in those years of solitude, a comfortable hood for nights under the stars after long days of server juggling, and ultimately an escape hatch. It was this car that I took across the country in 1997, fleeing my old life and Columbus for good.

So, little podcast, here’s to your future, whatever it may hold. May it be as full of adventure and surprise as mine has been.

In this episode, we celebrate our half-year anniversary with too many brownies and just enough Murder Vans. Scott appears from the future with morbid first-hand knowledge and many adjectives to describe his levels of piss and vinegar. With Benders of Action afoot and rubbery goo at the ready, he attempts a last-ditch effort to revive the Murder Van. Sadly, chemicals are never the answer. Long live the junker jalopies! William presents a Train Pain Bonus Track that features urination targeting and multiple contusions in a tiny, lurching torture box. Can you hear me, Major Cooper? She Knows! Then the Murder Van returns to the sound of Whaaaaaaat!? It’s Manic Solutioneering with Scott Horn as he replaces ALL THE PARTS! Who needs sensibility, anyway? The phones are ringing off the hook as we raffle a lightly-killed vehicle and consider just how far Scott will go to extend a joke. Turns out he’s done this kind of thing before. With limited purchasing options, Scott solves our podcast’s recent loss by inheriting somebody else’s problems. To think, all this could have been avoided with precision editing. Congratulations, listener! William brings the Word of the Week, a Beyond the Porch sandwich, and pronoun trouble out of the queueueueue as we focus our attention on the notion of Birthdays. A brownie snafu has William texting for help and negotiating loan interest rates on dessert. Who doesn’t love big piles of sugar and frosting? Answer: Everyone over 40. Damn you, aging, healthy stomachs! Is this what regret tastes like? Then it’s time for a birthday retrospective as William learns about the long downward slide of forced married couple celebrations, Scott forgets how old he is, we reflect on an out-of-control mother-in-law fiction at the Cooper Family Christmas, and everyone eventually gets what they want – unless it’s young Scott who is out pimping hats or young, sociopathic William who finds other children disgusting. We bond over a two-year Walkie Talkie project and cry foul at Tandy toy substitutions. Never trust purple. Finally, a seamless segueway launches us into Music in Rearview. Is it word salad? What’s this magic mouth doing in the sun? How shapeless is my shoe? IS it the night? All these questions and more are answered with a green-field, genre-straddling, 1980s-iconic, deep-cut The Cars extravaganza, which you absolutely are required to enjoy. As William plays sponsorship matchmaker and Scott plays the electronic air drums, we end our podcast with a visit from an alliterative Jerry Lewis and decide that while we may not be creating art, it’s close enough for government work. Until next time, relax and and beware the egg salad!

The Cars – Since I Held You (Candy-O, 1979)
The Cars – It’s Not the Night (Heartbeat City, 1984)
The Cars – Gimme Some Slack (Panorama, 1980)
The Cars – Cruiser (Shake It Up, 1981)

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