You may be thinking to yourself, “Self, why is the title of this blog entry ‘Podcasts’ when the picture is clearly goldfish crackers?” Well, as with most things I find myself trying to explain, there is a story there. Back in March of 2013, I fancied myself to have the potential to be a runner, so I convinced my sister to sign up to run a marathon with me. April 1st, we began our training. I quickly learned that when I am running for longer than about 30 minutes at a time, my brain gets bored. When my brain get bored, it starts to tell me that my legs are tired, and when I think my legs are tired, I want to stop running. It was imperative then that I find something to distract my brain. At that same time, my brother-in-law had asked if I would be willing to DM a game of D&D the next time I was in town. I, of course, said yes. I promptly had a panic attack. While I love helming role-playing games, at that point it had been almost a decade since I had last done it. Luckily, this is when I discovered podcasts and was able to kill two birds with one stone, as the adage goes. I discovered a wonderful podcast (one I still listen to religiously every week), Critical Hit. Critical Hit helped me pass many, many miles, and, while my dream of earning a marathon finisher’s medal were dashed in August, my addiction to podcasts had been cemented.

At some point after the first year of working through the hundreds of backlog episodes of Critical Hit, it dawned on me that I was going to run out of episodes if I didn’t slow down my consumption or diversify my podcast habit. The group that puts out Critical Hit also produces a weekly pop-culture and comics podcast called The Major Spoilers Podcast. I tried to start this one at the beginning as well, but as it is more like a news show, I decided that the best place to start would be with the most recent episodes, so I began adding one timely podcast a week into my mass consumption of backlog. Then it happened. I ran out of Critical Hit. It was (and is) still being released, but a single one or two-hour episode a week was not going to do it for me. I needed more! I delved into the other podcasts being produced by Major Spoilers, and rapidly devoured the back log of shows like Munchkinland and Top 5, even delving into Zach on Film, even though I have only a passing interest in movie history and production.

So how does all of this tie back around to the goldfish? Well, one of the hosts (also the founder) of Major Spoilers had mentioned something repeatedly over the years. Something about eating Cheetos with chopsticks. The first couple of times he mentioned it, I just kind of chuckled along and didn’t think anything of it. Then one evening I was heading to bed, but I really wanted to have some Doritos. You know the ones with the fake nacho cheese powder that doesn’t really taste like nachos or cheese but we let them get away with calling it that anyway.  The kind with the dust that sticks to your fingers allowing you to eat them only as long as there are not nice clean bed sheets that it can leap to. I have always had a great appreciation for clean sheets, so I was trying to puzzle out how I could satisfy my late-night desire for the fake nacho cheesiness and keep my sheets orange-dust free at the same time when it finally clicked. Eating Cheetos with chopsticks was not a joke! It was the most fundamentally genius idea I had ever born witness to. I grabbed the chopsticks from the drawer and dumped some deliciously unhealthy corn and salt by-product into a bowl and headed to bed. As I settled in to enjoy my snack, my wife lovingly inquired as to what the hell I was doing eating Doritos with chopsticks. The message was lost on her. She was unable to grasp the brilliance of avoiding cheese-dust sheet-contaminations. I tried to explain it to her, but I fear she will never be a convert. So now, I always eat my Cheetos, Doritos, peanuts, and goldfish crackers with chopsticks, unless chopsticks are not available (like today at work), then I will settle for a plastic spoon. Never a metal spoon. That would just be weird.

by: Tim Kiester with extensive grammatical edits and one tricky transition resolution provided by Laura Nelson (check out her blog; she is hilarious).


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