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Perspiring Freely, To Honor America

A photo of people watching fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan.
Getty Images

On the day that America's birthday was observed, in the city in which I live, the weather was miserable and dense. By the numbers, it fell into the range that Maitreyi identified as "extremely gross" back in 2021; from one moment to the next the day was gluey and slow and profoundly Sunday-ish, and about the most that I can say for it is that there was not a single thing that I was obligated or felt even vaguely compelled to do. It was a pretty good day to stay inside and record a podcast, in other words, but happily I didn't even have to do that, because Drew and I had gotten together last week and recorded what we intended to be a very special Oops! All Funbag episode. This, more than anything, made it possible for me to go the movies. I'll always remember that.

In reality, it wound up being more of an Oops! About Half Of This Is Funbag Questions episode, with the rest taken up with a heavily qualified celebration of life in these United States, and some truly appalling Arnold Schwarzenegger voices. Even by the standards of the episodes that are just me and Drew, I would describe this one less as "tightly disciplined" and more as "edging slowly towards the door while already wearing a bathing suit," although I'll say upon having listened to it again that I think that type of experience has its charms. A hangout podcast is about hanging out, and July 4 is also in practice if not in theory about hanging out, and as an American I believe that it still counts if that hanging out was done several days earlier, and over Zoom.

So what you will get, in this particular session, include one of my most ill-considered "this thing is like the Mets" comparisons of all time, a very high man being starstruck by the prospect of someone knowing Distraction editor Brandon Grugle in real life, a discussion of old-timey American food embedded within a question about high-risk pooping, and a heartfelt apology from me to former big league closer Jeff Reardon. We also discussed current trends in MLB nameways, worst practices in sports Hall of Fame voting, and former Bears hump Steve Stenstrom. I made an old-guy name-confusion blooper that no one is allowed to talk about, or get mad at.

I wouldn't ordinarily say that anything I'm associated with has Summer Vibes—I personally do not have "summer vibes" as a general rule, to the point where I have some weird personal rules about when it is and isn't OK for me to wear shorts—but overall this is a summery, long-weekend/short-workweek episode in which, at the very least, I hopefully have made things right with a member of MLB's 300 Save Club.

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