200 — Citizen Of The World
[00:00:06] CHRIS: Hello to everybody who’s not looking for a fist fight! It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
[00:00:18] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it would be more fun and I’d get to know you and you’d get to know me.
[00:00:29] CHRIS: Hi, everybody. It’s Chris Gethard. So happy to welcome you to the 200th episode of Beautiful Anonymous! We’ve made 200 of these things! 200 hour-long conversations with strangers on the phone who very often have faulty phone connections. Who would have thought that this show would still be chugging along and still have such a strong community surrounding it? I have to thank everyone who has supported this show, whether you’ve been supporting since you heard it on This American Life, whether you got on board last week. Every single person who listens, you mean the world to me. This show has changed my life. It has given me hope. It has made me believe in people. It has made me feel like maybe, in a scary world, things might turn out okay. And that’s because I get to feel empathy and I get to see a community rally around individuals one at a time as they take some emotional risks, share their stories. What an incredible, beautiful thing that I’m lucky to be a part of. And obviously, so many people to thank over the years, from Gretta and the Reverend John Delore to Harry and Jared and Jordan and Anita and Andy and everyone who’s helped out with the show. Of course, all the Facebook mods. Thanks to everybody who’s joined the Facebook group, who offers up such thoughtful discourse surrounding these conversations. Mind-blowing. Lucky to be a part of it. This Friday, I’m putting out a special episode. It’s for all of us in the community. I’d like to think it’s a list of 200 things I have learned via hosting Beautiful Anonymous and I’ve been working on the list. I’m up to about number 150 and I’ve really tried to put thought into every single one. Legitimately 200 things I’ve learned or been firmly reminded of while hosting this show. Can’t wait to put that out as a thank-you to all of you. And guess what? The Beautiful CONonymous tickets should be on sale within a matter of days. We’re aiming for the first week of February for those to go on sale, so if you’re planning on coming out to Brooklyn in mid-May to listen to some live calls, meet some past callers, watch the movie Contact… And, I’m telling you, we are putting together the bills for these stand-up shows that are going to be part of it. They’re going to be the best shows in New York this year. These bills will be untouchable. The comics on them‒ And on top of that, you’ll hear music from Shellshag, you’ll hear music from the 18 000 songs guy… It’s gonna be great. Look out for it. On to this week’s episode. This one made me so happy. Partway through the recording, you’ll hear, I say we got to use this for the 200th episode. This is a nice, simple one that I think fits so well into the overall themes of what the show’s become. This guy just tells us about all the different places he’s been in the world; his impressions of them; what it’s like to be from the southern part of America, where there’s stereotypes towards people; how he bucks those stereotypes and how he’s gone all over the world, seeing how everybody everywhere bucks their own stereotypes. I think a beautiful reminder of what it’s like to be a citizen of the world, which is, I think, exactly what the whole point of the show has become. I will say at the end we were laughing because I keep calling him a citizen of the world; I’m even saying it now. Largely, that means Europe. Largely. We start to realize throughout the episode. I’m like, “You’re such a citizen of the world!” and it really means, like, America and 11 countries in Europe, which, I am aware, is not the whole world, but, still, the point stands. I enjoyed it greatly. I think it’s a great fit for the 200th episode. I sincerely thank all of you once again and I hope you enjoy it.
[00:04:17] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
[00:04:26] CALLER: Chris!
[00:04:28] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:04:30] CALLER: Hello!
[00:04:31] CHRIS: What’s up?
[00:04:33] CALLER: How are you, man?
[00:04:34] CHRIS: How am I. I’m doing all right. I’m doing all right. Generally, I’m very happy. Trying to figure out some sort of broad philosophical questions about my role as an artist, but outside of that, pretty good.
[00:04:48] CALLER: Okay, well, you know, so… so, what’s the… what’s the issue today with that?
[00:04:54] CHRIS: I mean, I guess in general, it’s‒ I found that doing comedy is making me less and less happy, which is a strange revelation after 20 years, and now that I have a son, it also feels like, why am I trying to cut myself off at the knees as far as my, you know, career?
[00:05:12] CALLER: Well, that’s‒ Yeah. That’s… That’s, you know, sad to hear. I mean, we all love your comedy. We love the show. We hate to see you, you know, get away from that. But, you know, if it’s not making you happy anymore, I guess there’s no real sense in, you know, belaboring that issue.
[00:05:29] CHRIS: Well, let’s be clear. Beautiful Anonymous continues to be an endless amount of joy. It’s fascinating and interesting and laid back. I just feel like at this point, we have to… we have to call it like it is and say, you know, that a show where you’re talking to people who have been through so many brutal things and‒ It’s not comedy. I’m talking more about stand-up. I love stand-up. And now when I do it, I find myself heading home and just feeling like, “Why did I do it?” Anyway, though, it’s not about me. How are you?
[00:05:56] CALLER: Oh, you know, I’m great, man. It’s Friday. On my lunch break and I can’t believe I actually got through, but here we are, you know? I told Jared, you know, it’s‒ You know, I don’t have anything in, you know, specific to talk about, but, you know, we can talk about what’s been going on, I guess, just in my life in general the last several years. I was‒ You know, I’d told Jared that, you know, I don’t I don’t think I’m your typical demographic. You know, I’m a middle-aged white guy living in the Deep South, who, you know, is also, you know, fairly liberal I think for the part of the world that I live in. You know, I’ve been divorced within the last several years and, you know, just trying to keep things on the rails since then. So, you know, that’s, you know, that’s been the big part of it.
[00:06:53] CHRIS: All right. Can I just say right out of the gate, I’m loving your energy. I’m loving just your general vibe. You’ve mentioned‒ I’m not‒ You’ve mentioned some stuff that I want to follow up with. That sounds like it was it was tough and… and I want to hear more. But just in general, you as a human ‒ feeling really good. Feeling really good about this.
[00:07:13] CALLER: Well, great, man! I feel really good about getting through. You know, I’m like a lot of people, I think. I found out about your show, you know, the, you know‒ This American Life, which, you know, was one of my other favorite podcasts. But I have listened to every episode since then, and it’s, you know… It’s the one podcast that every I listen to religiously every single week. You know, there are others that, you know, that I may go back and, you know, be two or three episodes behind and try to get caught up. But every single week, when yours drops on Tuesday, I’m listening to it that same‒ If not the same day, definitely that same week.
[00:07:58] CHRIS: Well, I really appreciate you and‒ Ahem. Excuse me. Anyway, I very often hear that. People say, “And I found it through This American Life and I still listen,” and that means the world to me, because we’re‒ That was Episode One that got featured. We’re coming up on 200. The week you and I are recording this, it’s the week before the 200th episode. This might be the 200th episode, or 201st, or something like that. So, to hear that people are still… still part of this strange little empathetic squadron of folks that we’ve built means the world. And also, I got a lot of love anytime I see someone tweet, “I just found your show yesterday.” The fact that anyone listens, I feel very flattered by. So, thank you, everybody.
[00:08:42] CALLER: Well, you know, the thing about it is that, you know, it’s, you know, a little hyperbolic, I guess, but everybody talks about, you know‒ Everyone has a podcast these days. And true enough, there are tons of them out there, but anytime I’m talking with someone and they asked me to recommend a podcast, yours is always the first one.
[00:09:02] CHRIS: Hell yeah. I love that.
[00:09:04] CALLER: Because the thing‒ It’s… it’s the‒ The… The entire concept of this show is just amazing. And I also love, you know, the foreign callers. You know, the episode that I’ve just listened to, you know, this week, you know, the Moroccan girl living in the UK, I just find these things fascinating. I’ve, you know, I’ve done a good bit of travelling in my life. Mostly Europe. You know, I’ve been, you know, to Mexico, and granted, I only went to part of the States, but yeah. I’ve been to Puerto Rico, but‒ I’ve been over, you know large swaths of Europe, and the things that you see, the people that you meet, you know, the experiences that you have‒ Yes. I wouldn’t trade those for anything, and, you know, it‒ And it bothers me, especially as an American, because I… I feel like that‒ And especially today, that so many Americans either don’t want to travel, or they’re scared to travel or, you know. And I don’t understand it. It’s, you know, it’s an education that you’re not going to get anywhere else. So, you know, I would tell people, if you haven’t been out of this country, go. Do it now.
[00:10:26] CHRIS: I love that. I’m with you. I’ve mentioned on the show before that I was one of those people who was always very nervous about international travel. I’d only travelled, I think‒ Maybe before I met my‒ got together with my wife, I think I’d only travelled out of the country, not counting Canada and a very ill-fated day spent in Tijuana, Mexico‒ I think I’d only been to two countries. I’d been to Italy and Brazil, and Brazil was a big swing for a guy was scared to travel. Point being, my wife loves international travel, so I’ve been many places since we got together, and I’m with you. And I think, especially for people who listen to this show, I feel like it’s had a similar effect on me. That’s, I think, informed, what this show is, and that you go to the most far-flung corners of the world, in your mind, and what you find is that people are sitting there just trying to, like, have a drink and relax at the end of the day or just chill out with their families after a day of hard work… And that’s… that’s been true everywhere I’ve gone, where‒ You start to realize this idea that we all live so differently is on some level‒ Well, you know, we eat different food; we have different customs; we might have different religions or holidays, but on a base level…
[00:11:37] CALLER: Right.
[00:11:38] CHRIS: …we are animals who all evolved into this species, and everybody’s just trying to have a relaxed time and look out for their people.
[00:11:47] CALLER: Well, at the end of the day, I mean, we all pretty much want the same things, right? You know, regardless of where we live or what we do, I mean, we all, you know, generally speaking, want the same things. You know, you want, you know, a roof over your head, food to eat, and, you know, people that love you and, you know, it’s… it’s… it’s… it’s not that different anywhere else in the world.
[00:12:11] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:12:12] CALLER: I guess it’s just how we go about doing it.
[00:12:16] CHRIS: It’s very true, it’s‒
[00:12:17] CALLER: So, it’s‒
[00:12:18] CHRIS: Oh, you go ahead.
[00:12:20] CALLER: No, I was going to ask you. So, of your travels, you know, what, you know… what were some of your favorite places or some of your favourite experiences?
[00:12:31] CHRIS: I’m loving you, man. I love you. I love this call. Jared, this has got to be the 200th one, because this is the perfect balance of this lovely caller sharing his experience while also throwing it back. What a joy! What a joy! Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, by far, has been‒
[00:12:50] CALLER: Oh wow.
[00:12:51] CHRIS: I mean, I loved‒ I’ve loved so many places. I spent a month in Edinburgh doing the Fringe Festival there. Such an amazing‒
[00:13:00] CALLER: What a great city!
[00:13:01] CHRIS: Ooooh, to be someplace that old as an American? And, you know‒ You go to Edinburgh, Scotland, and you realize that by the standards of the world, America fell out of the sky yesterday.
[00:13:14] CALLER: Right. Right.
[00:13:16] CHRIS: I joined a gym. I was there for a whole month. I joined a gym and it was in the basement of a building that was a thousand years old! That’s… That’s wild!
[00:13:25] CALLER: Okay, so let me tell you‒ All right, so let me tell you one of my favourite stories from Edinburgh, okay? So, we’re… we’re in a… we’re in a pub, and it was a Friday, and it was, you know, five, five-thirty. And we’re right there, I mean, right on the Royal Mile. And we’re in there having, you know, pints, and a lot of women came into the bar. I mean, it was like a dozen of them, and they were all wearing, like, the same t-shirt. And I’m like, “All right, I’ve got to find out what this is about.” So, I go over and I speak to one of them, and I said, “Hey, what’s… what’s all this? What’s going on here?” and she said, “Oh, it’s… it’s a hen party,” which, you know, I guess is their terminology for a bachelorette party.
[00:14:10] CHRIS: Yup.
[00:14:10] CALLER: I’m like, “Ooooh, okay, okay, I get it.” She said, “Yeah, we all flew over today from Wales,” and I’m like, “Oh, even cooler.” So, I go back to the bar and, you know, I’m finishing my pint, and a guy walks in, you know, a local. He’s just gotten off work. He’s still in his suit, tie, everything. He walks up to the bar ‒ I assume it was, like, his local spot and he knew the bartender ‒ and he gets his beer. And he just turns to me and says, “Hey, what’s all this going on over here?” speaking of these ladies. I said, “Well, you know, as, you know, fate would have it, I know what’s going on here. They’re having a hen party. They all came in from Wales today.” The guy puts his beer down on the bar, rubs his hands together and says, “Awesome. Welshies are easy.”
[00:14:59] CHRIS: Whoa. Whoa!
[00:15:05] CALLER: I’m like, “Okay, all right, these… these are… these are the Scottish, okay.”
[00:15:09] Look at that. Now I have a counterpart story for you that you might enjoy.
[00:15:14] CALLER: Okay.
[00:15:14] CHRIS: So, when I was in Edinburgh, I did‒ You know, you go to that festival, you do your show for a full month, and for Americans, it can‒ It has a reputation where it can crush Americans, because American comics, you know‒ They really love a well-prepared show with a narrative or a theme in Edinburgh, and a lot of times Americans go, and we’re just used to telling jokes for an hour and that doesn’t always go well. So, I was bracing myself, but I was doing Career Suicide, which, it turned out, was a very perfect Edinburgh show. They like when things are dark and emotional, and it was obviously the show about, you know, the closest I ever came to killing myself. Anyway, it got good reviews. Good stars. You know, all the different publications give out stars. Mine was, like, averaging over, I think, four stars, or a little above, and that’s very good., and…
[00:16:05] CALLER: Yes.
[00:16:05] CHRIS: …one of the nights, a whole bunch of dudes show up together and very quickly it becomes clear that they are quite drunk. And they start‒
[00:16:18] CALLER: Not in Edinburgh! Really?
[00:16:19] CHRIS: Oh yeah! I mean, that city goes hard, baby! So, they start walking out one by one. And I was in a venue‒ You know, at the Fringe Festival, there’s thousands of shows going on, and hundreds and hundreds of venues, and a lot of them are just, you know, spaces that are not necessarily built to be the perfect venue. You got to do stuff everywhere. My venue was a very good one, but to exit, you had to walk down this sort of stadium-style seating, down a middle aisle onto the stage to exit. So, these guys are walking out one by one, stumbling out drunk, and every time they do it, I have to stop the show because they have to walk across the stage. So, I stop asking‒ I go, “I have to know what this group’s deal is.” Turns out it’s a stag party, which is the counterpart, what we would call a bachelor party.
[00:17:01] CALLER: Right.
[00:17:02] CHRIS: These guys clearly went out and got blasted, and then they were just… you know, they were like, “Screw it, let’s go see a comedy show!” And they just looked up whatever one was happening at that time that had good reviews. And they saw the stars, I would guess, but they didn’t read anything about the show, and it was going on, I think, 10:30 at night, so they probably thought it was, like, a late-night show. “All right, that one will be a little rough and tumble” But no, that’s because I signed up late and it was the only slot I could get. And I said to them, I go, “Look, I know, I know this is not what you guys were, you know, looking for during your stag party, but if anybody else wants to walk out, let’s just get it done all at once and we’ll… we’ll just call it fair.” And from the back, they’re like, “Nah, man, the rest of us are loving it! Let’s keep going!” And I started the show back up and then again, one by one, they started walking out. And there was a part of me that actually was, like… like gleeful on the inside, because I’m like, “Man, that is really funny, to be a drunk group of jerks having a lot of fun, ruining a show.” Like, that’s something me and my pals would have done in college when we were, like, young dickheads.
[00:18:09] CALLER: Right.
[00:18:10] CHRIS: So, that’s my‒
[00:18:11] CALLER: Yeah. Well, you know, we… we don’t get a lot of, you know, comedy shows in the city where I live, you know, but it’s‒ So, I will say I just saw recently where Ron White is actually coming to town.
[00:18:29] CHRIS: Awesome.
[00:18:31] CALLER: Bill Moore, he’s been‒ Bill Moore has been here before. So, you know, we’ve had some people in the past, but it’s just not an area where, you know, stand-up comedy is a really‒ You know, is as much of a thing here, even though I’m a huge fan. I mean, I… you know, I love, you know– You’re a comic. The thing is, stand-up comics are all so different. You know, it’s not just, you know, this generic cookie-cutter type of industry where everybody’s doing the same thing, and so, you know, I love your work, you know.
[00:19:06] CHRIS: Thank you!
[00:19:07] CALLER: I love Segura’s work; I love Burr’s work; I mean, you know, Chappelle, all of it. You know, I love all of you guys. And so even though I don’t get an opportunity very often to see things in person, you know, I still have, you know, obviously, access to it. So, it’s nice. Speaking of comedy, and, you know, outside of this country, people‒ What you do find for sure is that, you know people’s senses of humour are a lot different, you know, depending on where you are, and especially when you’re in a country where English is not the first language. Yeah. I don’t think it’s terribly different in places, you know, like the UK, where, you know, its‒ Things are similar, and, you know, what we find funny or not funny– But, you know, so many times, when I was in other places, you realize that, “Oh, I was trying to be funny here and this person has‒ It just went right over them, you know?” Except for the Belgians. I will say that the Belgians, for some reason or another, seem to have a very similar sense of humour to Americans. And, you know, I guess it makes sense when, you know, their national hero was a cartoon character. It kind of makes sense.
[00:20:36] CHRIS: You are a citizen of the world! I love this call! And let’s say‒
[00:20:42] CALLER: Well, you know–
[00:20:44] CHRIS: Oh, no, go for it. Well what? Well what?
[00:20:47] CALLER: Well, I was just going to say, I mean, if I… if I could find something, Chris, you know, that would allow me to just travel the world, you know, I would be on that in a second.
[00:20:58] CHRIS: And‒ Okay. I got two things I want to say. One quick point. You brought up Ron White. I want to say, a lot of people might know me as this, like, hipster emo New York comedian and think “Man, Ron White, he’s one of the blue-collar guys. They don’t have anything in common.” I’ve wound up doing a show that Ron White was on it, South by Southwest. That guy’s amazing. That’s one of the best comics you could see. So, if you got Ron White coming through, you’re lucky. That guy’s the best.
[00:21:24] CALLER: Well, I’ll say this, Chris ‒ and this is, you know, obviously not to, you know‒ I’m not trying to, you know, lessen the effect or, you know, the popularity of those other guys, but Ron White is far and away the most talented guy to come through that group.
[00:21:43] CHRIS: He’s the one with‒ He wears the cowboy hat a lot, right? With the cigar? I got the right guy?
[00:21:47] CALLER: He’s got‒ He comes out with‒ Yeah, he’s got the scotch and the cigar.
[00:21:51] CHRIS: Yes, I’m‒ That’s the guy. Yes. That’s‒ I wanted to make sure I wasn’t accidentally plugging Larry the Cable Guy too hard. No offense. Everybody, make your rent. He’s the one who‒ Yeah, he’s far off the grid as far as what we do. Ron White is brilliant and I give respect to all those guys. They’ve… They’ve earned a real living. Ron White is next level, I would say.
[00:22:10] CALLER: Oh, yeah, really, really funny guy. And so, yeah, you know‒ And I may actually go check that out. So, you know, we’ll see.
[00:22:20] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:22:21] CALLER: But yeah, I would… I would love to be able to, you know, you know, do more travelling, see more places, you know, have more interactions with people. And… And I know for you, you know, not drinking any more, that sort of thing, but I have found just about everywhere I’ve been that, you know, if you want to meet the real people in the cities and the towns that, you know, you’re visiting, just belly up in a bar somewhere, and that’s where you’re going to find them.
[00:22:52] CHRIS: There you go.
[00:22:53] CALLER: Because, you know, I mean, if you’re walking down the street in London, nobody wants to talk to you, but you find them in a pub in London and, you know, they’re‒ Yeah, it’s… It’s like you’ve known them, you know. For a while.
[00:23:10] CHRIS: Yes. London‒
[00:23:12] CALLER: And, plus, you know, it’s always‒ Yeah. And it’s always fun for me to see the interactions between people, you know, in that setting, even if maybe they are, you know, from the same city or town and‒ There was‒ We were in London in a pub, and we’re having dinner, and there were some girls who would come in and they were going to see a show in London that night, like, I guess in the West End, I guess, is where a lot of the theatres are. And, so, they had like this flyer thing and they’re looking at it, but they couldn’t figure out‒ I guess it didn’t have like the… the… the theatre name or where it was going to‒ You know, it had the date and the time, but it didn’t say where the show was going to be. And so, they were talking about it at this table, and there were a couple of guys, local guys, there, you know. I guess‒ And then, one of the guys walked over and said, “Let me see that.” She’s like, “Why?” He says, “Well, because you don’t know where it’s at, so I’m going to look at it.” I guess he’s over to mansplain to her the thing, and she’s like‒ And I’m, you know, I’m going to apologize for this already, Sally. But, so, she looks at the guy and she says, “The name of the theater is not on here. I can fucking read!” You know, it’s these kinds of things, you know. I just– I love, you know, that type of interaction between people and, you know, it’s‒ So, yeah, and especially in bars and pubs, you know, you’ll find that, and, you know, people are much more willing to interact with you, and, yeah.
[00:24:55] CHRIS: Well I’ve‒ I will say I’ve noticed that your stories seem to all‒ Like, if you were a writer, if you were a playwright‒ Your…your stories all tend to follow a similar structure, which is you start with the where, which is a bar, and then as far as the inciting incident, it’s “And then the women showed up.” That seems to be the starting point for two of your stories thus far.
[00:25:17] CALLER: Can I tell… Can I tell you about the time I almost started an international incident?
[00:25:21] CHRIS: Absolutely!
[00:25:25] [AD BREAK]
[00:25:55] CALLER: Can I tell you about the time I almost started an international incident?
[00:25:58] CHRIS: Absolutely!
[00:26:01] CALLER: Okay. So‒ And I forget the year, but it was… it was in the 2000s. It was the year‒ There was‒ The Rugby World Cup was going on that year.
[00:26:12] CHRIS: An incredibly popular sport outside of the States.
[00:26:16] CALLER: Yeah, and I had never watched rugby in my life until that particular trip, and you were just forced to watch it because that was the only thing that was on television all day, every day. Or at night, you know, you walk into any of the pubs, it’s on. So, that particular night, we’re at Davy Byrnes’s pub in Dublin, and it’s not a very big pub to begin with‒
[00:26:42] CHRIS: Those are the funniest people, by the way. Not to‒ Sorry to interrupt; I want to hear this story desperately. I will say, you said the Belgians have a very good sense of humour? Maybe I’m just partial culturally because my background is Irish. The Irish. There’s a people with a good sense of humour.
[00:26:57] CALLER: Oh, yeah! And the other thing that I love about the Irish, and I know it’s an overblown stereotype, but‒ You know, I’m also, you know, of, you know, Irish descent, and, you know, those people love to drink and fight, and it’s‒ Even though I was a little disappointed… I was a little disappointed, Chris, that I didn’t actually see a fight in Ireland till we got to Galway.
[00:27:26] CHRIS: That’s‒ And that’s where I saw a rugby match, when I went to Galway, which is effectively just a fight with a ball. What a serendipitous crossover!
[00:27:35] CALLER: Right? And I mean, look, I’ll tell you this. Galway was far and away my favorite part of that trip or that island. Dublin’s a great city.
[00:27:41] CHRIS: Me too! You and me! I have not connected with someone on a friendship level since that Australian fella! I want‒ Me, I want‒ I wish‒ My life is pleasant. If‒ Listen. I love my life. I love my wife. I love my son. Everyone who listens to the show knows that. But if this was a few years ago when I was a single man, I would say, “Let’s me and you pick a city and meet in it! And that’s how this call will end.” I want to travel with you! I want to travel with you! Galway’s the best! Now wait, I wanna hear though. So, you’re in Davy Byrnes’s pub, rugby is on.
[00:28:13] CALLER: Right, so, and it’s packed. Rugby that the Irish team is playing, and they’re playing the French. And, like I said, it’s, you know, it’s just a‒ We… We get our pints and we leave the pub to go out onto this tiny little patio that’s right out front there. And of course, it’s on TV on the patio as well. And I’m talking to a couple of guys from Dublin there, and the Irish were just getting their asses handed to them. And so, we are… we’re having our beers, and I look over at one of the guys and I said, “Man, you know, it’s one thing, you know, to be getting your ass whipped like this, but, you know, to let the French do it?” And, you know, they’re having a big laugh about it, except there was a woman on the patio who was French.
[00:29:01] CHRIS: Uh-oh. Uh-oh.
[00:29:01] CALLER: And she… she got… she got into me hard. And I’m like, “Hey, it was a joke, you know?” And I was‒ Look, and I’m not one of those guys, you know; I’m not one of these, you know, “bash the Frenchies” type of guys. You know, it’s‒ Yeah, I try and tell people all the time, you know, if it weren’t for them, you know, we’d still be part of the UK, so… You know, I understand that, you know, people’s… people’s, you know, memory of history is very, you know, short. But yeah. So, it‒ But it was a good time. But Galway, yes, was‒ You know, we… we’re coming out of a pub there.
[00:29:40] CHRIS: Uh-huh. As is your way. As is your way.
[00:29:43] CALLER: As is our way. And there’s a panhandler that’s following a guy down the street, and he just would not leave him alone. And the guy that he’s following, Chris, he couldn’t have been much more than about, I don’t know, 5’4″ or 5’5″, and he was wearing a backpack. And this panhandler follows him for about 50, 60 yards before the guy finally just had enough, and he just swings his backpack down on the ground and went‒ And they went at it.
[00:30:14] CHRIS: Whoa.
[00:30:14] CALLER: So, he beat this guy down and [inaudible] and yeah, Galway, this is my kind of town.
[00:30:19] CHRIS: You love a good fight. Now, can I ask a stereo‒ I’m going to ask something. It’s a stereotype, and‒
[00:30:26] CALLER: Please.
[00:30:26] CHRIS: I’m wondering, though, because you… you say you’re of Irish descent; you live in the South in an area that doesn’t have too many comedians passing through, which is an illustrative fact to share; and that you love a good ass-whipping. Are you of Scots-Irish descent?
[00:30:43] CALLER: Yes.
[00:30:44] CHRIS: Yes! I knew it! Some stereo‒ The Scots-Irish, man, they‒ Like that’s… that’s their reputation, right? A rough and tumble folk that you don’t want to mess with.
[00:30:53] CALLER: Look, I‒ You know, there’s… there’s nothing I enjoy more than, you know, you know, a pint of Guinness and then, you know, a glass of Jameson and then let’s, you know let’s… let’s see what we can get into. But no, I mean‒ Yeah, let’s [inaudible] Yeah, and no, and listen, that’s‒ I… I don’t… I don’t want this to come across the wrong way. I’m never the guy that’s out looking for trouble. But, you know, if it presents itself, then sure, you know, let’s…
[00:31:21] CHRIS: Let’s knuckle up!
[00:31:22] CALLER: Let’s get it out, [inaudible]. Bro, yeah, you know.
[00:31:25] CHRIS: I always heard a great story. I think one of my history professors in college told me this, and I don’t know if this is just, like, folk tale or if it’s true. You might know more about it than I do. You know, so, apparently during the Civil War, you know, when this‒ When I think the count‒ You know, there was no Internet, it took forever to travel, America really was still, I think, a collection of separate areas, clearly during the Civil War.
[00:31:47] CALLER: Right.
[00:31:48] CHRIS: And apparently, you know, the Scots-Irish, I think, who have been known to, I think, you know, inhabit everywhere, but a large concentration in, you know, some of the Appalachian areas, right? And living pretty isolated. And apparently, they said “We’re gonna stay neutral in this war. We don’t really want anything to do with it.” And they were kind of living in the mountain areas, not easy to access, and they said, “We’re staying out of it.” And then apparently, some… some generals of the Confederacy approached them on their turf and said, “Look, you gotta pick a side and you better pick our side.” And apparently, then, a large number of Scots-Irish were like, “You’re gonna come up here and threaten us? We’re joining the Union and we’re whipping your ass.” And that was apparently a thing, and I always loved that story. I always thought that was illustrative of the people of your background in a… in a really cool way.
[00:32:41] CALLER: Oh, yeah, absolutely, you know, it’s‒ Yeah, you’re not going to tell us or force us to do anything.
[00:32:49] CHRIS: Now, you know–
[00:32:51] CALLER: [Inaudible] now, and thinking of… of… of history, if in‒ If I’m not mistaken, I think, you know, your island is the only one that the Romans never conquered.
[00:33:04] CHRIS: Wait‒
[00:33:06] CALLER: And I think maybe a lot of it was just because, you know, they didn’t see, you know, any worth in it, but‒
[00:33:11] CHRIS: You talking about Ireland or Manhattan? I’m not sure which island‒
[00:33:13] CALLER: Yeah, Ireland.
[00:33:15] CHRIS: Oh, Ireland. Okay. Yeah, I don’t consider Ireland mine necessarily, but… but I appreciate. it. I do love the Irish people. If I could‒ I feel like if I spent a year living in Ireland, it would enrich my life in a way I can’t imagine. But anyway, so the Romans never bothered.
[00:33:29] CALLER: Oh, I’m sure‒
[00:33:30] CHRIS: The Romans didn’t bother with Ireland.
[00:33:33] CALLER: Well, I mean, you know, why would you want to go over there and fuck with those people? I mean, you know, they were‒
[00:33:40] CHRIS: Especially back then. Painting their faces!
[00:33:42] CALLER: Well, especially back then, you know. All that sort of thing? No, they would have scared me to death!
[00:33:49] CHRIS: Bunch of warriors!
[00:33:49] CALLER: So‒
[00:33:50] CHRIS: Bunch of large clans battling it out with clubs.
[00:33:53] CALLER: Yeah. So, let’s shift gears here real quick, Chris. I’ve got another story that happened right here at home.
[00:34:03] CHRIS: Before we get to that… before‒ Because I love… I love shifting to the home stories. There’s a thing I want to point out. There’s a thing I want to point out that I think is a very valuable thing to point out about you and about how this first half‒ Because we’re coming up directly on 30 minutes, so it’s a great time to shift directions. But I want to say something, which is that when you think of Southerners of Scots-Irish descent, they are a group of people that fit into some stereotypes, just as the way that a neurotic New Yorker might. I say that with love. But you think of that culture maybe more as like the NASCAR crowd, which is the exact crowd that I think gets… gets unfairly judged as far as like, well, they’re the people who never want to leave the States. They’re the people who never want to travel. And here you are listing off stories from like nine different countries off the top of your head. I think that’s beautiful.
[00:34:51] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah, sure! But you know‒ And you’re right. I mean, I think, you know the South‒ Yeah. We’ve earned our reputation. You know, I’m the first to admit that. But I‒ You know, but… but there are people in the South that are not what somebody in Manhattan could possibly ever even fathom, you know? I mean, I‒ It’s… it’s… it’s… it’s… much more diverse, I think, than people give it credit for, you know, in a lot of different ways. Now, you know, I think that hardly ever manifests itself, you know, politically. But when you’re dealing with people on an individual basis down here, you know, there’s a lot of… a lot of really, really good people. Really, you know, open-minded, educated people. And, you know, that’s something that I don’t think is talked about very often, because as you said, I mean, you know, when people think of the Deep South, sure, that’s exactly what they think about, you know, is NASCAR and, you know, guys just turning left for 500 miles, and, you know. Now, I will say this. You know, I’ve been– I’ve actually been to a couple of NASCAR races in my life, and it is a spectacle.
[00:36:26] CHRIS: And a party from what I hear.
[00:36:28] CALLER: I was‒ Let me tell you, Chris, if the… the… the race at Talladega in Alabama is‒ I have‒ It is the largest gathering of rednecks in the world. And it is…
[00:36:42] CHRIS: Oh, that sounds fun.
[00:36:43] CALLER: …so fun to just‒ I mean, the‒ You know, you have to walk up this giant hill to get into the track, because that track is banked such that, you know, you could‒ You… you can’t even really stand up on it if you were just on the track. So you have to walk up these hills, or‒ They’re… they’re… they’re paved, but you have to walk up to get, you know, into the track, and I have seen guys when that race is‒ Because, you know, back in the day, you could‒ They would allow you to bring an ice chest and as long as it would fit under your seat‒ And of course, these people… these people were shit-hammered before they ever got to the track and then they’re dragging their ice chest in with them. I couldn’t tell you how many times I saw guys sitting on those little coolers after the race was over, and they would slide down that asphalt walkway, all the way, and then just bust their ass at the bottom. I’m like, “Let’s [inaudible].” So, yeah. So, yeah, I mean, there’s still no shortage of that down here, but, you know, there’s… you know, there’s‒ There are other things.
[00:37:49] CHRIS: Yes. I‒
[00:37:50] CALLER: If anybody listening is like, “Yeah, I’d never go to the South,” I’m like, “Yeah, come check it out, because–
[00:37:55] CHRIS: Beautiful.
[00:37:55] CALLER: You know, there, you know. Yeah! And, I’ll tell you this, the food down here is, you know‒ Of… of everything I’ve eaten all over the world, there’s nothing better than food in the southeastern United States.
[00:38:10] CHRIS: Look at that. I love it. I‒
[00:38:12] CALLER: And, plus‒
[00:38:13] CHRIS: Yes!
[00:38:14] CALLER: We… We have Waffle House.
[00:38:15] CHRIS: Oh, don’t get me started on Waffle House. I did… I did a whole tour of the South, I think last year, and I was a little nervous that people weren’t gonna like me just because, you know, there’s supposedly so much division now. First of all, I will say, I ate at many Waffle Houses. I talked on stage‒ I spoke on stage about how Northerners have a real fascination with Waffle House because we don’t have it, but when you grow up in the South, Waffle House is not necessarily a romantic place. It’s like a place where desperate people are surviving at 4:30 in the morning, God bless them.
[00:38:49] CALLER: Where we all– It’s where we all go to sober up at 1:00 in the morning, Chris.
[00:38:52] CHRIS: Yes. Yes. And there’s parking lot fights and stuff. It’s not this magical place that the Northerners imagine it to be, just because we don’t have it.
[00:38:59] CALLER: Right.
[00:39:00] CHRIS: I was saying on stage, I found myself‒ And to be fair, I did cities, you know, like Huntsville. I was… I was nervous to perform in Alabama. I’m like, “That’s the Deep South. I don’t know if they’re going to like me.” Stereotype. Turns out half of Huntsville is NASA employees. They’re all, like, super nerds. Like, I did‒
[00:39:17] CALLER: Exactly. Yeah.
[00:39:18] CHRIS: Nashville, Atlanta, Durham. Durham was like a little punk rock haven. And I was saying on stage in the course of that tour, by the end of it‒ And I want to put the caveat out there that I’m a… I’m a straight white guy. I’m a white guy married to a lady, so it’s easy for me to travel, and there’s other people who have, I think, larger concerns historically and more earned‒ A more earned right to have anxiety about travelling in the South. And I think that’s just true historically. I get it. I found myself saying onstage, though, you know, “I thought this whole tour I was going to have to battle to get you guys to like me or pay attention, and I don’t think we’re as divided as we are being convinced.” And I have a feeling that the reason we feel like we are so divided as Americans right now is because Facebook makes a lot of money convincing us we’re divided. I think Mark Zuckerberg and his friends…
[00:40:08] CALLER: Oh, absolutely.
[00:40:09] CHRIS: …line their pockets by getting us to click on stuff that makes us mad at each other. I think it’s a real problem. That being said, join the Beautiful Anonymous Facebook community. It’s a wonderful giving community.
[00:40:20] CALLER: Right, yeah, yeah. Well, no, I agree. I use Facebook. I mean, that’s their entire business model, right?
[00:40:24] CHRIS: Getting us pissed off at each other.
[00:40:25] CALLER: Yeah, which‒ Yeah, and, I mean, and I have an account, you know, obviously, but, you know, I‒ The only reason I still have that account is‒ Because I haven’t‒ I don’t think I’ve posted anything on Facebook in six months or more. I just‒ I was‒ I was like you. I got to the point where I’m like, it’s… it’s just nastiness, and I don’t need that in my life. And, you know, the reason that I still have it is because I made two really good friends on a trip to Liverpool, and that’s really the only way that we communicate.
[00:40:59] CHRIS: You’ve been everywhere! I love it.
[00:41:02] CALLER: That’s why I still have the account. Yeah.
[00:41:04] CHRIS: Love it! Now‒
[00:41:07] CALLER: So, well, going back to what you were saying about, you know, travelling in the South, let me tell you this. I think that’s another common misconception. And again, you know, not that it’s not an issue or, you know, things don’t happen, but the Deep South, and especially where I live, the… the gay community thrives, Chris. I mean, I have‒ And this is a joke that I make with people, but, you know… you know, I have — personally, as a straight white male — I have a harem of lesbians who are, like, some of my best friends in the world.
[00:41:45] CHRIS: I… Taken out of context, that is a concerning sentence. Everyone who heard it, he feels [inaudible] But “As a straight white male, I have a harem of lesbians,” in a vacuum, is a very confusing and concerning sentence.
[00:41:59] CALLER: Yes, and, you look‒ And I… And I get it, but you know, it’s… it’s‒ But it’s so great because, you know, there’s‒ You know, I get… I get all these different perspectives and, you know, from… from all of them, and also, what I have learned is that, you know, the‒ I think, you know, the other running joke is that, you know, there’s typically a lot of, you know, drama that runs in those circles, and I can confirm that, but, my God, it’s fun to have them around.
[00:42:35] CHRIS: Wow! Now, listen, you and I could‒
[00:42:37] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:42:37] CHRIS: We, you and me, can just keep ping-ponging back and forth and going… going off on many a tangent, which I love. You did at one point though, around 30 minutes, which was 8 minutes ago, you said, “Now, I want to tell you a story about America, being in America.” And I feel like we went on some tangents, but I do want to hear that story. Do you remember what it was?
[00:42:56] CALLER: Well, no, I should‒ Well, I‒ Actually, what I was going to tell you, I was going to tell you my Waffle House story.
[00:43:00] CHRIS: Ooh!
[00:43:03] [AD BREAK]
[00:43:29] CALLER: Well, I‒ Actually, what I was going to tell you, I was going to tell you my Waffle House story.
[00:43:32] CHRIS: Ooh!
[00:43:33] CALLER: Yeah. This… This was, you know, my 15 minutes of fame. So, this happened, I guess, about two years ago. I was on‒ It was a Saturday morning. I was on my way out of town, to‒ You may find this hard to believe. I was on my way out of town to help judge a homebrewing competition at a, you know, a bar, you know, about 90 minutes south of where I live. And, so, I’d gotten up early that morning and stopped to get gas. And my original plan was to just go through the drive-thru at Whataburger, grab a biscuit, and hit the road. Well, you know, I’m running ahead… I’m running ahead of schedule, and I thought, you know, because… because there’s a Waffle House right next door to this particular Whataburger, “Yeah, screw it, I’ve got time. I’ll just go into Waffle House and sit down and have breakfast.” So, I go in, I sit down, place my order, and about 30 seconds after she brings it out, sits it down in front of me, a woman‒ And, keeping‒ Now, you know the… the general layout or structure of a Waffle House. They’re all tiny. And so, I’m sitting at this little low top, you know with my back to the front of the Waffle House. A woman drives her car through the Waffle House right into the back of me.
[00:45:06] CHRIS: Into you.
[00:45:07] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:45:07] CHRIS: Into your back.
[00:45:08] CALLER: Into me, yes. And so‒
[00:45:11] CHRIS: And you’re just trying to sit there enjoying your hash browns covered in cheese, onions, mushrooms and nine other substances.
[00:45:15] CALLER: Exactly, right. You know, that’s… that’s the… the running joke amongst my buddies, is that, you know, ever since then, it’s, you know, like, “Yeah, we’re going to Waffle House,” and you know, and‒ Well… Well, now, see, I would have to say my name for this, but I’ll let you beep that. It’s– They say “Yeah, we’re going to Waffle House, we’re going to get our hash browns, you know, scattered, covered and [BEEP]ed.” So, I’m like… I’m like, like, “I… I don’t even know what that means!” They’re like, “Yeah, you know, so what we‒ You know, know, we ordered the waffles‒ the hash browns and they’re full of glass.” I’m like, “Yeah, perfect.” Because there was so much glass in my head.
[00:45:57] CHRIS: So, how‒
[00:45:58] CALLER: You know, and a broken rib, and a bruised kidney and you know, the whole bit, and‒ So, then, you know, they had to come and get me, load me up in an ambulance, take me to a hospital where, you know, I sit in an ER for several hours, and, you know, I had to call my buddy and say, “Look, man, I’m not gonna be able to make it down to help judge the competition this morning.” I said, “You know, you may not believe, or you may believe it,” I said, “But I just got run over inside a Waffle House.” And he’s like, “Yeah, I can totally believe that, coming from you.” So, yeah, that was my Waffle House story.
[00:46:36] CHRIS: Oh, what a dream of a story! And imagine you’re this…
[00:46:39] CALLER: Right?
[00:46:39] CHRIS: You’re this person. You’ve been everywhere. All over Ireland, all over England, all over Scotland, all over Belgium, and who knows where else; I imagine some other places, as someone who loves travel. And imagine, if you get…
[00:46:51] CALLER: Oh, yes, yes.
[00:46:52] CHRIS: You get taken out in a Waffle House a few blocks, I mean, a few miles from your home. Can you imagine?
[00:46:59] CALLER: I know. And that‒ And you’re right. That was the thing, I mean, because this particular Waffle House is, you know, no more than, you know, five miles from my house. And I’m like, “Wow, this is, you know‒” And… And thank God for the greasy floors in that place, because otherwise‒ Because the chair‒
[00:47:15] CHRIS: *Audible glasses throw*
[00:47:16] CALLER: The chair came right out from… from under me. I kind of, you know‒ I bounced off the woman’s hood and the whole bit. But, you know, if that chair had not come out from under me, it would have just pushed me straight into that low bar there and would have crushed me to death.
[00:47:31] CHRIS: So, are you here today claiming that the… the… the… the low… the… the low quality of cleaning of the Waffle House floors saved your life? That the… the layer of grease that congregates in Waffle House…
[00:47:49] CALLER: Yes.
[00:47:50] CHRIS: …saved you?
[00:47:52] CALLER: It saved my life that day. Now, you know, the other thing about a Waffle House is that, you know, they will kill you one way or another, but‒
[00:48:06] CHRIS: *Slowly makes his way back to the microphone from some corner of the studio where he went so he didn’t mess up the recording by laughing too hard* Oh! Oh, I hope we get to cross paths someday, but I don’t really hang out in bars, so I don’t know if that’s going to happen.
[00:48:13] CALLER: Well, you know, you know, maybe we, you know, we might run across each other, you know, if I ever, you know, leave the country again, you know. It’s‒ The… The last trip I took, I went to‒ And I love… I loved to go out to Denver, and I had a… a… a friend of mine who, and I don’t guess there’s anything wrong with me saying‒ But I have a friend who lives in Nashville and‒
[00:48:40] CHRIS: Great town.
[00:48:41] CALLER: Oh, it is a great town. I was just up there several months ago. But he… he calls me and he says‒ And he’s… he’s married with two small children, and he had a third on the way. And he said, “Look.” He said, “Before, the third kid comes,” he said, “I really need just a couple of days for myself.” He said, “Do you want to meet me in Denver?”
[00:49:07] CHRIS: Yeah, we all know why. We all know why, buddy.
[00:49:10] CALLER: And I said‒ Right? I said, “Sure, you know, I’ll meet you.” And so– But we don’t talk again for several weeks, and so, I get back in touch with him, I mean, just days before I’m supposed to meet him out there, and I’m like, “Okay, well, look, you know, where are you staying in Denver? Because I’m getting ready to either try to get a hotel room or an Airbnb or… or whatever.” And he says, “Oh, no, no, no. We’re not staying in Denver. We’re just meeting in Denver.” I’m like, “Well, then what are we gonna do?” He’s like, “I’m renting a car, man, and we’re just gonna drive all over Colorado.” And I’m like…
[00:49:47] CHRIS: Ooh!
[00:49:47] CALLER: …”Okay, well, you know, that’s, you know.” So, we did that and we stayed in some really interesting Airbnbs in some really remote parts of Colorado and it was amazing. So‒
[00:50:02] CHRIS: Colorado, western Colorado, might‒ I think that might be the most physically beautiful section of the United States. And I haven’t been everywhere! I haven’t been everywhere. There’s still… I think there’s still four states, maybe five I haven’t been. Five states I haven’t been to. But I’ve‒
[00:50:18] CALLER: You know, I’ve never been to California, but, you know, just about everywhere else.
[00:50:22] CHRIS: I think for me, it’s Alaska, the Dakotas‒ Oh, no, it’s six. It’s Alaska, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and, strangely enough, Wisconsin. Even though Wisconsin has one of the most notoriously great comedy clubs in the country, I’ve never been booked there. Madison on State. It’s a bucket list item. I got to play that club.
[00:50:40] CALLER: Really!
[00:50:41] CHRIS: Yeah! Wisconsin, of all the places to miss! I’ve been everywhere else in that region. I’ll get them. I told my agents‒ I’ll tell my agents, “Find me gigs in those states. Let’s do it.”
[00:50:51] CALLER: Oh, look, I love‒ I‒ Just recently‒ It was my first time, but back in the summer, I was in Milwaukee for a week working and loved it, because, you know, where I‒ Because this was August and, you know, August where I live is just God awful. You know, I mean, you… you just‒ You’re walking around with swamp ass the entire month. You know, it’s just– It’s… It’s 95 degrees, and the humidity is 80 percent, and it’s just‒ There’s no relief from anything. And so I get to Milwaukee that‒ You know, at that same time, you know, and it’s, you know, it’s 70 during the day, you know, and it’s 55 at night, and I’m like, “My God, I could live here.” You know, that’s the hardest thing to me about living in the South is that, you know, this‒ The summers down here are just brutal, you know. I‒ And let me tell you this story. I was work‒ I was‒ Another work trip. I was in Philadelphia one year and was getting a cab, and the‒ My cab driver was from the Congo. And, so, we’re talking, we’re having a conversation, and he asked me where I live, and I told him, and he said “Oh, it’s… it’s really hot down there this time of year, huh? With the humidity and such.” And I’m like, “Yeah, it’s… it’s brutal.” Now, this is a guy from the Congo, Chris, who tells me “You need‒ You should leave there. You need to leave there. That type of weather takes years off your life.” So, I’m like‒
[00:52:25] CHRIS: Hey, you asked me in the beginning what my favourite place I’ve ever gone is and I said Sri Lanka, but I’ve never asked you, out of all these places, all these American cities, all these international places‒ I never got a chance to ask you, what’s your absolute favourite?
[00:52:38] CALLER: You know, Chris‒ All right. Let me start with saying that the… the place that I think surprised me the most in a good way was Edinburgh. I just‒ It’s such a great city and not that‒ You know, and I’ve had a great time everywhere that I’ve been.
[00:53:00] CHRIS: I know you have.
[00:53:03] CALLER: But… But I don’t… I don’t‒ You know, I think you always have certain expectations of things when, you know, you’re when you’re traveling somewhere. You know, you just have certain expectations, and I’m not sure that I just really had a whole lot, you know, for Edinburgh, but when I got there, it was amazing.
[00:53:22] CHRIS: It’s magic.
[00:53:23] CALLER: I love that city. Yeah, oh, it’s so… it’s so‒ Yeah. And I would say, probably‒ Maybe the other favourite place‒ And maybe not one city in particular, but, you know, you know, the Bavarian region of Germany, was‒ I mean, it’s just‒ It’s… It’s almost impossible to explain to someone who’s not been there or seen any of it. It is… It’s the prettiest part of the world I’ve ever seen. Just, you know, you’re never more than just a couple of minutes walk from having a view of the Alps. Everything is so clean. You know, the Germans are such‒ Just, you know, they’re so, you know, particular about everything. And then, when‒ We went to Oktoberfest while we were there, in Munich, and it’s… it’s another, I think, misconception people have about Oktoberfest, is it’s just like this giant, you know, drunk-fest, which I mean, it is, but‒
[00:54:29] CHRIS: Which is why you went.
[00:54:30] CALLER: I mean, it’s‒ But… But it’s a‒ It’s… It’s their giant state fair. That’s what it is, you know. It’s… It’s a state fair.
[00:54:38] CHRIS: Uh-huh.
[00:54:39] CALLER: And… And it’s… it’s on, you know, these huge parade grounds out there, and, you know, I mean, you had to look for a trash can. It’s not like there was a trash can, you know, every 25 or 30 yards. You had to, you know, actively seek one out, but there wasn’t a single piece of trash on the ground anywhere, you know. And so those are the kinds of things that, you know, that I would notice. And that was back in 2005, and to this day, I still marvel at, you know, German efficiency, because, you know, so many of the, you know, different hotels, you know, we stayed in‒ You know, you’d have to stick your key card into this little slot on the wall to make any of the electricity work, you know, and you only got one card, so when you left that room, you had to take that card with you and everything shut off, as opposed to Americans, where the first thing we do when we walk into a hotel room, especially in the South, is we turn the air conditioning as low as it will go, we turn on every light, we turn on the TV, and then, you know, we leave and we just leave it all on. So, you know, those were the kinds of things that, you know, that… that fascinate me, you know, with travel in particular.
[00:56:01] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:56:01] CALLER: That you’re like, “Wow, this is a really good fucking idea. Why aren’t we doing it?”
[00:56:07] CHRIS: Meanwhile, Manhattan has a garbage can on every corner and is filled with trash, just filled with an endless amount of garbage. I was walking here to this office, and‒ Let me reiterate, the Earwolf office. I get out at a corner; I walk maybe 30 feet and I just saw a loose shoe on the ground. There’s garbage cans on every corner. Loose shoe. And, who knows, that might be someone having a really bad day when you see a loose shoe. Maybe something bad happened. I’m not trying to judge. Anyway. Give me the bullet point list.
[00:56:39] CALLER: Losing a shoe‒
[00:56:39] CHRIS: Have you‒ Oh, have you ever been to New York City?
[00:56:42] CALLER: You know, I have not.
[00:56:43] CHRIS: What???
[00:56:43] CALLER: I’ve been to Boston. I’ve been to Philadelphia; I’ve been to Boston‒
[00:56:45] CHRIS: Boston and Philly!
[00:56:47] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:56:48] CHRIS: And you’re skipping New York!
[00:56:49] CALLER: I’ve not had the opportunity to get there. Look, let me tell you this. I have a friend here where I live. She works for a consulting firm here. And they‒ Mostly what they do are write and administer, like, promotional tests, you know, for, like, police departments and fire departments and… and that sort of thing. Well, they have recently‒ They’ve… They’ve landed, like… like a prison contract there in New York, and so she’s in New York a lot now, and she loves it. And, you know, and… and I’m, you know, friends with her and her husband, and they’re like, “Yeah, we’re definitely moving here.” And I’m like, “You’re moving to New York from here?” And she’s like, “Oh, yeah.” She‒ You know, they love it. So, I’m like, “All right, I’m… I’m coming up.” I’m gonna get there eventually.
[00:57:46] CHRIS: Oh, I would love to hear it. We got to do a follow-up call with you someday where you tell me all about your impressions in New York, because you might love it more than any place, or you might hate it. Hard to say. I don’t think there’s too much of a middle ground with this town.
[00:57:59] CALLER: Well, you know, it’s‒ I…I…I‒ The thing that I love about travel is that, you know, any, you know, you know, issues that you come across that you don’t like‒ I’m like, “Well, you know, I don’t live here.” But, you know, there’s also the other things that you do love. And, you know, hey, look, I mean, I’ve‒ You know, I’ve been to‒ Not‒ Obviously not New York, but, you know, when Philadelphia and Boston and hell, even, you know, New Orleans, which is, you know, not terribly far from where I live‒ You know, those‒ You know, things can get crazy in those cities, and, you know, it’s‒ And… And I generally do pretty well with it, but, you know, I have to ask myself a lot of times, you know, could I live in that environment? So yeah. I don’t know.
[00:58:51] CHRIS: Now‒
[00:58:51] CALLER: But you should come down! You should come down here because it’s about this‒ You know, one year we’ll take you to Mardi Gras.
[00:58:57] CHRIS: Okay! I love that. I love‒ And there’s a bunch of cities with Mardi Gras. I just looked that up. It’s a bunch, like‒
[00:59:04] CALLER: Well, you know, the people‒ Oh, this is… this is‒ Look now. Here’s something you should know, okay? Just, you know, for your own personal knowledge. That, you know, the people in Mobile, Alabama, you know, will claim or‒ And‒ That they started Mardi Gras, but for whatever reason, now, you know, New Orleans is the city that’s known for Mardi Gras. So, you know, that’s a thing.
[00:59:27] CHRIS: And I think there’s one maybe in Galveston, Texas, too? I think there’s a few of them.
[00:59:33] CALLER: Oh, I’m sure‒ Yeah, I’m sure they’re all over the place. But yeah, but the original Mardi Gras started in Mobile, Alabama, but now, you know, New Orleans basically owns it
[00:59:42] CHRIS: Now‒
[00:59:43] CALLER: Because‒
[00:59:43] CHRIS: Do you travel‒ I haven’t even asked you. Do you travel all of‒ You’ve mentioned that you travel for work within the States. Is the international travel work-based as well or is‒
[00:59:51] CALLER: No.
[00:59:52] CHRIS: You just love it.
[00:59:53] CALLER: No, I wish. You know, I just‒ It’s just, you know, you know, within the States that I… that I travel for work. So, yeah. I… I… I’d love‒ Like I said earlier, I’d love to have a job where, you know, I could do that, you know, internationally, but, you know, it’s‒ You know, I haven’t I haven’t found that particular role or that job yet, so‒ You know, and then the other thing is, if I did that, you know, I’d have to find somebody to take care of my dog, and I know how much you hate dogs‒
[01:00:26] CHRIS: I don’t hate them! I don’t hate dogs! My wife has now told me we are getting a dog. My wife has informed me, “It’s no longer a discussion. We’re getting a dog.” We have a son now and he’s gonna be an only child. She says if he’s not going to have siblings, he’s got to have a dog, and… and how can you argue with that?
[01:00:43] CALLER: Okay, well, look now, here’s my advice. And based on what the, you know, what the girl in the UK was telling you the other day‒ Yeah, definitely you don’t want a border collie or Australian shepherd or anything like that because, you know, those are working dogs, and if you’re leaving them in an apartment, you know, in, you know, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, wherever you are, that dog will destroy everything you own.
[01:01:06] CHRIS: Okay.
[01:01:08] CALLER: They need to be… they need to be out. They need to be able to run. They need to be able to work. You know, they need, you know, constant interaction. The greyhound that she mentioned, it’s just such a big dog, so, you know. I would think, you know, you might look for, you know, like, you know, some sort of mid-sized dog, you know. Maybe, you know, a bulldog, you know, or something like that.
[01:01:36] CHRIS: But then you got to clean under its jowls, and I hear that that’s a horror show.
[01:01:41] CALLER: You know, I’ve never actually‒ I… I have a pit bull mix and pit‒ Yeah, he’s… he’s great. I know that those dogs get‒ You know, they have a horrible reputation, but, you know, they’re such great dogs, and he’s just as sweet as he can be, you know. And I‒ There are people constantly in and out of my house and, you know, without even‒ People just walk in and not once has he ever, you know‒ He doesn’t care about anybody or anything that comes into my house. But, now, in the backyard, you know, anything comes into that yard, that’s his. So, you know, he owns… he owns that part, but otherwise‒ No, he… he’s just a great dog.
[01:02:27] CHRIS: Love that!
[00:1:02:28] CALLER: Yeah! And I also have a cat and‒ Which is odd, that, you know‒ And they get along fairly well. You know, it took us a few months for that to happen, but you know, once swatted him several times and kind of, you know, laid the ground rules. It all worked out.
[00:1:02:46] CHRIS: Can I ask you, we’ve heard about so many places you’ve been. Do you want‒ Can you just give us a bullet point list of some of the places we didn’t get to hear about today? Just rile them off.
[01:02:55] CALLER: Sure, man! All right, so, we talked about, you know, the UK, Belgium, Germany. Holland was another favourite. Hungary. Budapest was‒ It was not‒ And it was‒ The tourists I don’t think had really found Budapest at that point. It’s… It’s an amazing city, which‒ With such great contrast, because I‒ You know, being part of, you know, that whole Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, the… the, you know, old ancient architecture in that city is beautiful, and then you can go one or two blocks over and it’s nothing but those old Soviet-era, you know, concrete block structures, you know, that they slapped up when they were there, so it was really wild. I’ve been to the Czech Republic. Prague is a great city, but it’s just overrun with tourists. So yeah. But yeah, and also, you know, going back to Holland, you know, I’ve been to Amsterdam twice and… and you’re gonna say, “Oh, yeah, yeah, sure, we know why you were in Amsterdam,” but no, really, that’s… that’s not why I was in Amsterdam. It’s‒ Every‒ Any time an American mentions Amsterdam, you know, your first thought is, “Yeah! You know. Pot and hookers.” But there is so much more to that city than that. You know, it’s… it’s beautiful to begin with, you know. Everybody speaks English, you know. Everybody’s‒ You have to be careful because several‒ On several occasions I was almost run down by people on bicycles, because everybody in that city has a bike. And if you’re not careful, you know, you will get run over. And yeah, I know that we have cities like that in the States, but again, where I’m from, you know, people don’t ride bikes to get anywhere. You know, they may have one that they take out for, you know, a workout, you know, or, you know, exercise, but they don’t use a bike as a means of transportation. But over there, yeah, everybody does it, and if you’re not careful, they will plow right over you.
[01:05:16] CHRIS: Now‒
[00:1:05:16] CALLER: So‒
[00:1:05:17] CHRIS: Can I give you some sad news? We’re out of time!
[00:1:05:20] CALLER: Oh! Well, you know. It was a great call, I thought. You know, I’ve enjoyed it.
[01:05:25] CHRIS: I loved it too!
[00:1:05:26] CALLER: It’s like everyone‒ It always‒ It… It… People were right. It does just fly by.
[00:1:05:31] CHRIS: Now, can I say something a little tender?
[00:1:05:34] CALLER: Please.
[00:1:05:35] CHRIS: You mentioned at the top of the call ‒ we didn’t even get to talk about it ‒ that you’re recently divorced within the past few years. I know that’s never gonna be an easy thing. I’m telling you, I bet there’s a lot of our listeners right now who are going, “Who is this guy who’s so easy with the conversation, quick with a joke, loves a drink, and wants to see the whole world? How do I get in touch with this guy?” I bet there’s a lot of listeners thinking that right now. I hope that’s a self-esteem boost for you.
[00:1:06:03] CALLER: Well thank you!
[00:1:06:03] CHRIS: Are you, like, also, like, 6’‒ 6’4″and super muscular? You got washboard abs?
[00:1:06:10] CALLER: I am… I’m six feet, 180 pounds.
[01:06:14] CHRIS: God damn it. That’s pretty‒ All right. I like‒ Okay, you’re good to go. Listen, what a joy to talk to you. What an easy conversation. And‒
[00:1:06:24] CALLER: Chris‒
[00:1:06:24] CHRIS: Thanks for letting us know about what it’s like being such a citizen of the world.
[01:06:27] CALLER: Hey, thanks so much for everything you do, man.
[01:06:36] CHRIS: Caller, I… I loved that conversation so much. I’ve been so lucky that between work and my marriage that I’ve been dragged into so much travel, and hearing that you have that same excitement about it, and hearing how much of it is about bellying up to the bar and meeting people where they really live… What a refreshing conversation to have. What a reminder that, even as things are tense right now in this world, that people are good, and thanks for underlining that again for me. Thank you to Jared O’Connell in the booth, and thank you to Jordan Allyn in the booth. Thank you to Anita Flores in the booth! Everybody is in the booth right now! We got so many people in the booth! Thank you to Shellshag for the music. You want to know about me when I’m hitting the road, Chrisgeth.com. If you like the show, go to Apple Podcasts. Rate, review, subscribe. Really helps when you do. See you next time.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:07:44] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous: A bird-spit-sorting, pill-illegally-shipping teenager calls in to tell us about the state of the world.
[01:07:57] CALLER: I have recently, like‒ I’ve been at home with nothing to do and these are the two activities that I’ve been doing while‒ since [inaudible] “and I thought that you might enjoy sifting through bird spit?” Like…
[1:08:13] CHRIS: Excuse me?
[1:08:13] CALLER: Like… Like, bird… bird spit. I don’t… I don’t really know what… what it is, but apparently, it’s like one of the most expensive substances to exist or something? I don’t know. It’s, like, clear. I wear, like, rubber gloves and, like, pick through it.
[1:08:32] CHRIS: What are you talking about? What are you even talking about?
[1:08:36] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.