Episode 16- Celebrating the Birthdays of Inanimate Objects & Making Michael Jordan Laugh - Use All The Crayons Podcast

Episode 16 February 14, 2024 00:09:32
Episode 16- Celebrating the Birthdays of Inanimate Objects & Making Michael Jordan Laugh - Use All The Crayons Podcast
Use All The Crayons with Chris Rodell
Episode 16- Celebrating the Birthdays of Inanimate Objects & Making Michael Jordan Laugh - Use All The Crayons Podcast

Feb 14 2024 | 00:09:32

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Hosted By

Chris Rodell

Show Notes

Strange birthdays, the time I made Michael Jordan laugh, and reminiscing on family anniversaries. Welcome to Episode 16 of Use All the Crayons, the podcast where we celebrate the colorful stories of life. In this episode, host Chris Rodell explores the unique concept of celebrating the birthdays of inanimate objects, such as hot water heaters and furnaces, while also delving into the anniversaries of moving into homes. He shares a heartwarming reflection on the 14th anniversary of moving into his family's mountain home, and even dives into the amusing world of word birthdays and language exploration. And if that's not enough, get ready for an entertaining anecdote about the time Chris cracked up Michael Jordan. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this episode filled with whimsical celebrations and unexpected laughter.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Rodell [00:00:00]: Today, we'll be talking about birthdays and anniversaries, not the kind you most expect. I'm talking about the birthdays of inanimate objects like toasters, hot water heaters, furnaces, and dishwashing machines, and the anniversaries of things like moving into houses that become our homes. Do you know The words have birthdays? Oh, and we'll talk about the time I cracked up Michael Jordan when he was pretending I didn't even exist. Hi. I'm Chris Rodell. I've written stories and features for just about every major magazine or publication in America. This is the Use All the Crayons podcast, where I'll share those colorful stories with you. It's a big day at the Rodell House. Chris Rodell [00:00:37]: There will be balloons, a candle bedecked cake, songs, and warm recollections. The guest of honor, the Rodell House. It's 14 years ago today that we moved into our little mountain home up in the woods. My wife, our 2 daughters, and 6 years 8 months All, had outgrown our charming little home about a mile down the hill. We've lived there for 15 wonderful years before it became too cramped for our needs. As many of you know, moving can be stressful. I remember when Val and I commenced our then shack up in 1992, it was so mutually trying we didn't speak to one another for 4 days. 14 years ago, we became much more mature. Chris Rodell [00:01:11]: We've managed to remain verbal with one another, but spoke almost exclusively in profanity. But I love celebrating these types of otherwise inconsequential anniversaries. I guess in that way, I'm like the Native Americans of your who believe everything has a spirit. I do believe a house acquires the spirit of its residents. Nashville songwriter Craig Bicart must agree. Use wrote a magnificent song called Thris Old House. It is sung from the 1st person perspective of a caring home on the day a family it so loved packed up and moved out. Chorus. Chris Rodell [00:01:41]: I've been strong and I've been sturdy, and I've weathered every storm, and I've always kept your family safe and warm. Now you're packing up the laughter, and you're sweeping out the tears. If this old house were built on memories, I would stand a 1000 years. I first heard Bicart's song in 1997. Ever since I've apologized out loud to the wall before I pound a nail and hang up things like pictures of me holding a dead fish. It may be taking it too far, but I also celebrate the known birthdays of many inanimate objects. It all began when crafty beer makers like Anheuser Busch began stamping their brews with born on dates. The dates let dainty beer drinkers know their beer was fresh. Chris Rodell [00:02:23]: I took note for different reasons. If beers had born on dates, then it stood to reason they had astrological birth signs, to learn which beers were most compatible with which beer drinkers. Was The Pisces beer more compatible with a Virgo? It took a raucous afternoon of sudsy research, but we determined the compatibility is universal. All hail beer, that astrological totem to fair play and alcoholic refreshment. The beer can astrology project only intensified my interest in birthdays for other inanimate objects. So preparations are being made to celebrate the 11th birthday of our hot water heater on March 3rd and the 9th birthday of our new furnace just around the corner on April 7th. Thus, the hot water heater is a Pisces, the furnace, an Aries. It would have put the logic in astrological if the hot water heater had been delivered 2 weeks earlier so the big White vessel could have been born under the sign of Aquarius, the water carrier. Chris Rodell [00:03:14]: Pisces are described as being reasonable, artistic, and quiet. Hot water heater is 2 out of 3. It's never behaved unreasonably, rare for any 11 year old, and it's always quiet. I guess it would take The, late Andy Warhol to appreciate its artistic side. Aries is particularly apt for the furnace because its central zodiac element is fire. And in its years functioning within our home's walls, it's been steadfast in its delivery. I'm perfectly at peace with it. Yes. Chris Rodell [00:03:41]: It sounds contradictory, but I'm cool with the furnace. Happy birthday to these words. The word airhead. I prefer airheads to cement heads, but believe density is winning. B and D, bondage and discipline. Ever heard of it? Not into it. Deadhead. Whenever you see deadhead, I think it was maybe my best line. Chris Rodell [00:04:05]: If fans of the band, The Grateful Dead are called Deadheads, what does that make those of us who revere the book Moby Dick? Part catcher. Noun. A servile assistant or follower, a lackey, a hanger on. Oh, I wish my situation allowed me to introduce someone as my fart catcher. Homophobe. I like what Morgan Freeman says. It's the wrong word. You're not afraid of anything. Chris Rodell [00:04:25]: You're just an asshole. I was 50 years old before I learned I was born the same year as the word dipshit. It was like the world in 1963 took one long look at me and said, Nope. Moron, idiot, and imbecile are insufficient. We need something truly loathsome yet oddly whimsical to describe this one. How about dipshit? I guess I'm glad my folks named me Christopher. I began sleuthing word birthdays about 15 years ago when I began a quest to coin a new word in the venerable Oxford English Dictionary, the o e d, the first and last word on words. I figured my shot at linguistic immortality would be easier if it involved writing one really memorable word instead of 1 entire book with upwards of 75,000 you previously used words. Chris Rodell [00:05:11]: At the time, I was paying $295 a year for computer access to the OED, and its 730,000 and counting words. By comparison, your standard old school doorstop dictionary contains about a 140,000 words. These are formidable numbers, especially when you consider the average American Uses just 20,000 words. Why would anyone pay $295 a year for access to Something so redundant and unnecessary? For me, it was the word birthdays. OED notes the exact year words became words. I learned for instance that the word computer is 400 years old. Use before they became essential, computers were people capable of computing. Chris Rodell [00:05:49]: And, of course, I looked up all my favorite swear words. I, for many years, compiled a list of words when they turned 50. I got away from it a couple years ago for two reasons. One, I was irrationally insulted to learn the OED linked my birthday to a word as coarse as dipshit. Noun, a stupid, inept, and contemptible person. An idiot. It was like paying for a hooker and having her joke about your genitals, or so I imagine. Plus, I learned you didn't need to pay o e d $295 a year If you had 1 valid library card, I, at the time, had 4. Chris Rodell [00:06:19]: I know what you're thinking. Dipshit. Here are some words that are 50 ish according to the o e d. Anti racism. Just 50 years old. It's sure given the word racism, 1850, a head start. Bong turns 50. There's only 2 words to say to that. Chris Rodell [00:06:38]: Far out. Double album. That's only 50 years old. This one warms my heart. Getting a great double album, like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or Exile on Main Street, was to me like becoming a father before I became a father. Light beer. 50 years old. Keeping beer loving spouses felt since 1971. Chris Rodell [00:06:55]: Weather woman. Always hear that and think it ought to be a superhero. Here's my Michael Jordan story. It was probably 2001. I was a contributing writer to a flashy upstart, Maximum Golf Magazine. They asked me to snag a press pass for the Merry LMU. Celebrity tournament at Nevillewood Country Club near Pittsburgh. Pat Lauer, Charles Barkley, and others from that crowd were there. Chris Rodell [00:07:17]: But the biggest deal was MJ. My editors wanted me to score an exclusive interview with him. My editors thought nothing of requesting the impossible. He was such hot stuff The press was given instructions on how to deal with him. The instructions were, in essence, do not. Do not address him. Do not make eye contact. Do not even think of asking him a question. Chris Rodell [00:07:35]: We were to treat him as if he were invisible. I couldn't do it. I remember seeing him on the practice range and thinking, man, This is the most magnificent specimen of a human being I've ever seen. I couldn't believe we were the same species. Tall, perfectly proportioned, poised, and rippling muscles from head to toe. He looked like something out of Greek mythology if Greek mythology were integrated. So I decided I had to mess with him. As he began heading to the tee, a posse of 7 or 8 dumpy little white guys fell in to shield his airness from me, a fellow dumpy little white guy. Chris Rodell [00:08:06]: My press pass alerted them to my professional menace. I spoke, mister Jordan, and held out a copy of the magazine as we walked briskly across the range. I remember 1 guy glaring at me and were mouthing the words, no questions. Too late. Sir, this is Maximum Golf Magazine. The Wall Street Journal just declared it the most exciting new sports magazine in the past 20 years. His security ring looked like they were eager to murder me. Jordan was so supremely stoic, he seemed to deny my very existence. Chris Rodell [00:08:32]: Still, I pressed on. I'd like to interview you for 10 minutes. In exchange, I promise we'll put your picture on the cover of the next issue. We think it'll make you famous. Now I've said funnier things, but situationally, it may have been the funniest thing I've ever said. The group exploded with laughter. Where there had been tension, there was now unexpected delight. No one was laughing louder than Jordan. Chris Rodell [00:08:52]: I sensed he doesn't get to laugh a lot, and my joke reminded him how wonderful surprise laughter feels. Still laughing, he said, man, call my agent. If you enjoy the podcast, We urge you to complete the podcast Road to Success Triathlon of share, rate, and review. Be sure to tell all your friends and urge them to do the same. Thanks to our friends at Headspace Media and Latrobe for technological expertise and for always being gentle on their criticisms. And thanks to Robindale Energy for their gracious and essential support. Learn the fine art of knowing precisely when to quit. Thank you.

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