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The Hardest Job on Earth (A Podcaster Simulator)

There's been a lot of guff hitting my ears as of late on the topic of Podcasting.

Listen, I don't know what "good" Podcasting is. Nor do I know what clip of recorded conversation will make the masses unite as one in group outrage. I don't know what other shows are scripting talks, or if what they do is intentional or not. The one thing I do know is that Podcasting (I WILL be capitalizing this as a proper noun out of respect) is one of, if not the, hardest professions on earth. Hell, there was a team of PHD's in Neil Armstrong's ear telling him every step on how to get to the moon. We have nothing. I was having this exact talk with my coworker Francis just yesterday as we were playing chess. (Yes he won, as he really knows how to maneuver a white knight).

The issue is, oftentimes the loudest critics have never attempted the very thing they criticize. Trying to come up with never before said material is a tall order, like Trump sending Barron to his room. Making personal stories relatable to every listener. Pulling ideas from thin air. All of it difficult. So to try and highlight the trials and tribulations of the recorded word, I have made a choose your own adventure, to put you in the NoBull™ shoes, the Birddog™ joggers, and the UnTuckit™ shirts of podcasters. 

Just read the scenario and click your decision. You win when your clip makes the main page of Barstool Sports.

DGLimages. Getty Images.

Day Begins

Errrrrt Errrrnt Errrrnt  Your alarm on your phone startles you awake. As you let out a yawn you send off a tweet to the fans, "Another beautiful morning". It's 11:55. You get out of bed and take one half step to your kitchen's refrigerator in your New York City apartment. The fridge light makes you squint, as its the first light you've seen, since your apartment has no windows. Steve Irwin has felt a ray more recently than you. You make yourself a HelloFresh™ meal, the 10th time this week, and begin to get dressed for work. You have to record in 4 hours, and don't have a clue what to talk about. No matter. You're a professional and have plenty of time. You can make any experience into a story. 

As you leave your apartment you are met with the first decision of the day. You can take the elevator to your building lobby, or the healthy option and take the steps (you body is on its way to you having a VERY secure job at Barstool)

You:

Take the Elevator

Take the Stairs


Elevator

Construction Photography/Avalon. Getty Images.

You pat your stomach, and a ripple goes all the way up to your fully formed man breast. "Ah I always fluctuate like this" you mutter to yourself, lyingly. Plus your knee is a little sore from the Yak wheel landing on the "Shatter your fucking patella with a hammer" sliver. The people loved it.

Ding

The elevator doors open. To your surprise you see the oldest woman you've ever seen in your entire life holding her laundry, she must be leaving the washers on the 7th floor. You fear if you exhale too hard she will turn into a cloud of dust right in her moo-moo. You put in your Raycon™ headphones in hopes she doesn't try to converse. 

As soon as the doors close you feel her tap on your shoulder. Christ. You brace yourself to be pelted by tapioca and Fixodent laden breath. "Hi there sweetie," her voice trembling like she's the lead singer of Bright Eyes, "I was wondering if you could help me with this laundry. I broke my clavicle just a few days ago." "Ah, she must have a Yak wheel of her own", you think to yourself.

You do need some material to talk about today, and maybe this will finally convince people you are a good person.

You:

Help Her

Do Not Help


Take the Steps

"Oh this is perfect, I can talk about my new fitness journey today on the pod. Turning over a new leaf." You've had more leaf turnovers than a first round choke job in Toronto, but that was the past. This is a new you. No this isn't because of the hundreds of comments saying your body takes the shape of whatever you're sitting in. And this sure as hell isn't because somebody said "I loved this weeks Unnecessary Roughness, Hail State!" on the subway. You quicken your pace out of shame. Before you know it your world is upside down. Dammit, you forgot to tie your shoes.

Crash

You come to at the landing. You struggle with 12 steps as much as Dana B. You're only a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. "This would be perfect for the Yak wheel" you think to yourself. You rise to your feet, woozy, realizing this is just what you needed for today's podcast. People love a good topple. But then again…you are getting dizzier and dizzier.

 You:

Go to the Hospital

Go to Record


Help Her

Dobrila Vignjevic. Getty Images.

"Gladly" you say to her, ungladly. If this turns out to be bad content at least you can pocket a few Ativan from her medicine cabinet.

She hand you her bag of clothes, and it is much heavier than anticipated.The elevator stops at her floor and she leads you to a door marked 5L. She's fumbles her keys and eventually gets the door open. You take one step in and hear a rip sound. "I am so so sorry", you say, picking up a pair of skinny jeans, size 6. As you are moving around collecting the clothes in your arms, you realize you're holding a leather aviators cap. "Huh that's a weird thing for this old woman to own," you think, "I'll ask her about it."

Before you can say a word she asks, "So what do you do for a living?"

You explain to her what you do in great detail.

"Ah don't worry dear, I was unemployed for a long time too."

Did this centenarian really just talk down on your career?

You:

Snap on Her

Ask her what her Job was


Go Record

This is way to good of a story to pass up on. In your head you are thinking of jokes along the lines of "it's always a bad day when something falls in New York". You are giddy to clip it and embrace the onslaught of comments, good or bad, that will help propel your show into the top tier of Podcasts. You already start thinking of what your own personal studio will look like.

As you leave your apartment, limping to the subway, a figure materializes in front of you, blocking your path.

"I hear you are planning on doing falling down stairs content. Kinda my thing."

Fuck. You completely forgot Jeff hilariously fell down the steps of an Apple Store. Everybody knows Podcast content has to be original and never said.

"I…I'm sorry man…I forgot…I just need a viral cli-"

He cuts you off, raising his hand, revealing a Thanos gauntlet. A small child walking by compliments it, saying he has the same one. Jeff leers at him before returning his attention to you.

"Lucky for you this is the last mistake you'll ever make."

His snap is the last thing you hear as you fade away. Your last thought is "Wow, maybe everything has been talked about, and there is no such thing as original content."

Restart


Go to the Hospital

Paul Hanaoka. Unsplash Images.

"Eh, I should probably get this checked out.", you say as you move and feel a popping you have never felt before. You pull out your phone and call an Uber. In 5 minutes a man with 32 characters in his name, unpronounceable by the human tongue, picks you up in a GMC Envoy. His thick accent asks, "Hospital, yes?". You nod and the car is put into drive. Awkward silence commences, and you attempt to break the ice. "Ummmm, so are you from New York?", he turns around, his glare saying "Are you fucking serious" without actually saying it. "Umm, like, I meant to say where are you from." He keeps staring. His eyes haven't been on the road for 30 seconds. 

BOOM

The car screeches to a halt. My god you hit somebody. You look outside. A figure with black hair lay on the ground, travel mug of wine spilled on the cross walk. 

"Nooooot again", you hear, Barstool Fund papers flying everywhere.

You just hit a coworker. Fuck, and she is more hurt than you. Your story is ruined, as you are one upped.

Restart


Don't Help

NordWood Themes. Unsplash Images.

"Oh, I'm sorry I am running late for work.", you proudly tell her, "I need to go record a my Podcast", as if there aren't 5 million of them on Spotify. It's the equivalent of rushing to San Fransisco in 1854. You are thankful for this interaction, as you figure you can talk about this ancient bitch hitting on you on the elevator. 

Now you just need to get to the office and record. The people need to hear this. You decide to dial up an a non-coworker (friend), and use him as a focus group for your story.

You pull out your phone and call your best friend.

Ring Ring

"Hello?"

"Hey man you'll never believe what happened, gonna make the best clip for the podcast."

"Dude, I'm at work, you have to stop doing this. Nobody cares."

Click

Whatever fuck him, what do Pediatric oncologist know. Go spend your day with Caillou. Didn't ever once thank you for all that Hogs for the Cause promo. You'll come crawling back when you want a 15% off code for blue light glasses.

In your blind rage of yet another friend not realizing the stress of you life, you walk straight into the construction worker surrounded pit, fixing yet another broken water line. Luckily the boil order will be reflected in your rent, lowering it to only $3400 a month. Another W. You arise from the pit, smiling, knowing this story's layers go just a little bit deeper. That smile stops though, when you feel a stabbing pain shooting up your leg. A shame your doctor friend is a complete asshole. You should probably go to the hospital, but you really should be getting into the office.

You:

Head to the Hospital

Go into the office


Head into Work

"Shit…" you mutter to yourself under your breath, "I need to get in and record." The question is, how are you getting into work? The subway is faster, and theres only a 3% chance your pushed onto the tracks by a man thats already done it 28 times and keeps getting out of jail that same day. OR you can spend more money and take the longer commute of hailing a cab. Either way, your New Yorker pride swells, you love not being able to independently travel.

 You:

Take the Subway

Hail a Cab


Ask Her About Her Job

Shutterstock Images.

You take the bait.

"Well what did you do?", you ask.

She smirks, "Oh I was a pilot!"

"A female pilot.", I say correcting her.

"The first to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean."

Your jaw drops. You have just hit the jackpot. You manage to find the words, "Wait..you're Anne Frank."

"Amelia Earhart."

"That's what I meant."

She nods, "Yeah, the fame got too much for me. I never got a moment of peace. It's exhausting being a hero to everybody."

Finally somebody you can relate to. Unfortunately, this story couldn't fit into a 15 second Podcast clip. You frown as you realize this has been a tremendous waste of time. And to add insult to injury, you need to get into the office. It's almost 2pm, and if you don't get there in another hour, you wont be able to tweet out "First in the office.", shaming your peers.

The question is, how do you get there?

You:

Take the Subway

Take a Taxi


Take the Subway

ANGELA WEISS. Getty Images.

Obviously you get pushed on the tracks. This is New York baby!

Restart


Take a Cab

Robert Alexander. Getty Images.

"TAXXeeeXXIIII!", you say, your voice cracks and you hear a snicker from a passerby. You clear your throat, "TAXXXXII!", you bellow, voice ten decibles lower than normal. 

A yellow cab catches your lumpy, poor postured self out of his peripherals, and pulls over to give you a ride.

"Thanks man, I'm headed to EASILY GOOGLEABLE ADDRESS, running late for work."

"Ah very cool. What do you do for a living?"

"I'm actually a Podcaster, I-"

"REALLY?!", he cuts you off, "That is amazing, how did you do in this years Boonta Eve Classic?"

Oh fuck not again, he thought you meant Podracing. Every time this leads to an awkward conversation.

 You:

Play Along

Correct Him


Correct Him

"Well, actually, its PodCASTING. I sit in a room with my fellow white cohost and we talk about things to get the people going."

"Oh…", he tails off disappointedly, "like what kind of things do you talk about?"

"Well everything, what happened in my day, what the best candies are, overrated TV shows, the list goes on and on."

"Oh…that's pretty fucking stupid. Get out of my car."

He screeches to a halt and dismisses you from your vehicle. This man only brings people to their destinations quickly and efficiently, of course he doesn't understand the importance of your job.

You look around and are still a good 50 blocks from work. You'll never make it in time…

Restart


Play Along

"Uhh yeah, I placed 9th this year. Actually headed back to Tatooine to run some test laps this weekend."

You look up and see the drivers eyes of adoration staring into your soul. Uh oh.

"Sir", he says with the utmost respect, "It would be an absolute honor to have you drive my vechicle."

Not again. You are running late though, and he was driving so slow, focusing more on asking about the specs of Sebulba's repulsorcraft rather than driving you to work.

"Yeah okay sure."

At the next red light you get into his driver seat.

You need to get north, but there is heavy traffic that way. You could always bang a left and try to bypass it on the highway.

You go:

Straight

Left


Go Straight

You really need to get to the office. You think of yourself a good driver, and can weave better than a beauty shop. You press on the gas and start dodging traffic left and right. Things are going smooth until you feel a BOOM hitting your rear bumper. 

You glance up at the rear view window. What in the world is that.

"Oh no, its Gasgano! That filthy Xexto from Troiken.", you driver excitedly yells from the back seat.

You need to get this 24 fingered fuck off your tail. But you aren't quite sure how.  You can always try to outrun him. But you could play it dirty and slam on the brakes.

You:

Try to Outrun

Slam on the Brakes


Take a Left

Fuck it, lets take a shortcut.

You whip the wheel left and -

BOOM

The car screeches to a halt. My god you hit somebody. You look outside. A figure with black hair lay on the ground, travel mug of wine spilled on the cross walk. 

"Nooooot again", you hear, Barstool Fund papers flying everywhere.

You just hit a coworker. Fuck, and she is more hurt than you. You will never make it to your recording slot on time now.

Restart


Slam on the Brakes

"Lets teach this guy a lesson" you say. Your driver nods. With one slam of the foot you come to a screeching stop.

BLAM

Glass shatters and you see the four armed alien flying through your rear window, and slamming into yours.

Oh no what how you done.

He looks at you, and with his rattling last breath whimpers, "It's not that serious."

When he passes, you se a golden locket hanging from his pencil neck. Against your better judgement you open it.

My god. He had a young daughter.

You are a monster.

Restart


Try to Outrun Him

Shutterstock Images.

Your competitive nature takes over and you press the gas all the way to the floor. Gasgano smirks at you from afar and veers left to pop the curb as a shortcut. What he doesn't see is a tall dark hared woman sipping wine and interviewing to MADtv's Taran Killam.

He tries to swerve but absolutely pulverises the woman, as she does multiple cartwheels midair. 

"Hope she knows the legal system well.", you think to yourself. You let off the gas as you approach the office with a sigh of relief and walk inside. 2 minutes until record time. You walk up the stars and hear the security guard Ebony call you a word you cant type in a blog.

As you sit into your studio seat you have to break it to your cohost, "Hey man, I have nothing to talk about today, I'm sorry." 

"It's okay I have nothing either. We have about a minute until we have to record, do you mind if I eat a sandwich really quick?"

"Yeah go ahead.", you say. He goes to his backpack and pulls out a hot dog. Wait a second…did he just call that a sandwich?

You:

Decide to Talk About That

Keep Thinking


Keep Thinking

"No, that'll never work." You sigh and keep thinking. As you sit there in silence there is a knock at the door,a dn it creaks open. "Oops, wrong room.", says wrestling superstar CM Punk, "But you guys look cool, mind if I hop on your show?"

A godsend. 

"Yes please come on in.", you cohost says. You interview him, get some fantastic candid moments, and share some good laughs.

The Podcast is posted the following day and had 400,000 views on YouTube.

But you look for your shows clips on Twitter. Nothing. As your scrolling, a notification pops up on screen. An email.

You read the expected email as a frown forms on your face. Everybody can see the mirrored words "PODCAT CANCELED" in the reflection of your Felix Grays™.

Game over.

Restart


Talk About That

It hits you like a GMC Yukon hits a blogger.

"Dude, did you just call that a sandwich?"

"Why wouldn't I?", your cohost snaps back aggressively. You nod to your producer to start recording, and continue the debate.

You come to, reading the final ad. "What just happened?", you ask. 

"Magic", your cohost smiles. You go home and shower in brown water, and lay down in your twin size bed after flicking the fresh rat pelt off of your pillow.

Morning arrives soon and you open up your phone, and a smile overtakes your face.

You've done it. 

YOU WIN(?)

Restart


Snap on Her

"What the fuck did you say to me you old wench?". You start going on a tirade. It sounds like the Mets just gave up a run, and are now only winning by 11 runs.

"Honey, I think you should really respect your elders.", she says.

You continue to berate her, flailing your arms so wildly you knock off the faucet of her sink. Water starts flowing in her apartment, running under your feet. So much it forms a stream. But your rage does't subside. You look at a framed photo of who you assume is her grandson, and say "Fuck you and your ugly ass grandson." She glares. "That's not my grandson, that's my sponsor, I am a recovering alcoholic." She raises her 6 month chip.

You know you just made a mortal mistake.

You just shit talked a sponsor on a live stream.

You are done for.

Restart