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Fit, Frisky, And 100, With Brandon Nix

Armenian-born Argentine 100-year-old Artyn Elmayan plays tennis in Buenos Aires in 2017. The reason this image is on here is that this is our 100th episode.
EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP via Getty Images

You can’t think about it too much or too deeply, especially while you are actually doing the thing itself, but there is something silly about doing a podcast. Not all podcasts—the amount of work that goes into a Normal Gossip episode far outpaces what I do in an average month of writing, for instance—but when your podcast is the kind of podcast that The Distraction is, you can’t really think about it too much. From one recording to the next, that strategic not-thinking-about-it is just about maintaining the quality of the performance; given that the podcast is fundamentally about Drew and me trying to make each other laugh about whatever it is we happen to be talking about, self-consciousness is a serious must-avoid. But more broadly, this is a thing we have been doing for a long time between this podcast and the previous one, and it is always very silly, and it feels strange that this silly thing that it is also is just what it’s supposed to be. That doesn’t feel bad, at all. It just feels like getting away with something to get to do this every week and file it under “paying work.”

It feels stranger still to think that we have now done it 100 times under this name, and under the strange conditions in which we’ve done it. And so, as a treat, we decided that it was time to effectuate a tactical navel-examination maneuver and look back at whatever it is that we’ve accomplished, here. We badgered our producer Brandon Nix into dusting off his microphone, got him on the episode, and did that thing we do, for the 100th time.

Again, it is right and proper not to make too much of a big deal about this sort of thing, and while this episode was three people who talk to each other a lot talking about some of the previous times we had talked to each other, I think we mostly managed to treat the proceedings with the (extremely limited) amount of respect they deserved. This is the other strange part: that something as goofy as this can come to mean as much as it has. Episode by episode, it is just what it is. But I also think what this silly thing has come to mean to us, to Drew and me and Brandon—and to our buddy Daisy Rosario, who left Stitcher but brought us into the fold to do our show—comes through. Also we all like each other, and like goofing on each other, and I think that comes through, too.

Drew and I signed our deal with Stitcher before Covid, recorded a pilot after some administrative fits and starts, and then… just kept on doing it as everything else in day-to-day life fell away, and as this website came to exist, and as the world came not up from or out of the strange and awful circumstances of those years but into a kind of uneasy equilibrium with them. To say that being able to do this every week helped me get through all that would be an understatement. To say that I’m grateful to have the opportunity to keep doing it would be an even bigger one. Again, it feels wrong to say it. You don’t want to jinx anything, but also you don’t want to sour the moment by pointing out, as that moment unfolds, how odd it is to feel this lucky, and this good.

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