It can be tough to know just how much you need a vacation until the moment it arrives. Yes, every day closer is another day closer, but until the last corner is turned and the beach (or the lake, or the cabin in the woods, or the perfectly serviceable La Quinta Inn & Suites room in a city you haven't visited before) comes into view, it can be difficult to believe. The days take a shape and hold it; they plug themselves into an edifice that soars and sprawls, sheer and blank, in every direction. Until a door appears, it feels reasonable—it feels, even, inevitable—to assume that there is no way through it. Until it becomes possible, it feels impossible.
Anyway, that or a less high-flown version of that is what I imagine Drew might have been thinking while listening to me say the word "like" 700 times while recording this Oops! All Funbag Questions episode mere minutes before he headed off to the beach for a family vacation.
We've been doing the podcast long enough that I am able to identify different types of episodes, and friends this one right here is very much a Pre-Vacation Episode. If last week's was more of a Classic Goofaround, this one has the sort of loopy but nearly liberated energy that can only come when one host is, mentally, already lowering himself down into a Tommy Bahama-branded beach chair. That would be Drew—I was decently stressed out and frequently meandered off-topic, if not much more than usual; the Ray Liotta imitation that Drew requested from me was flat and insufficiently nasal. He, on the other hand, was heading off for some family time and as much sun as his fair-haired self could stand. It was, in short, a good time to splash around in the Funbag.
And so we did, discussing bad menswear decisions and seasonal undergarments, the best and worst kinds of animals to have living with you in a workplace environment, the baffling American tradition of just picking another first name to go by and getting away with it, whether it'd be worth a million dollars to clomp around in ski boots for a calendar year, and just how deranged/deranging it is or isn't to imagine yourself as the protagonist in a movie every moment of every day. Were there some missed opportunities? Sure. My failure to mention that Bill Parcells, for instance, is a high-profile example of that sort of name-changing—his given name is Duane, somehow—could be chalked up to being checked out, but in reality I didn't know it until my friend Bobby mentioned it earlier today. There is also a parenting question that chilled me to the bone so thoroughly that I briefly lost the ability to think or speak, although when you hear it that will be easier to understand. Somehow Drew and I nearly booked ourselves on a Gentleman's Ski Vacation during the course of the episode.
There is a great deal of leisure in the monitors throughout—imminent, in Drew's case, and still sort of looming in mine. Next week, we are not going to be doing an episode; the week after that, we will be back, and do one of our Post-Vacation Episodes. That is a different energy, and a different type of episode. By the time we get there, we'll all have earned it.
If you would like to subscribe to The Distraction, you can do that at Stitcher, or through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you might get your podcasts. If you’d like to listen to an ad-free version of the podcast, you can do so on Stitcher Premium; a free month of Stitcher Premium can be yours if you use the promotional code “DISTRACT.” Thank you as always for your support.