Tuesday, January 29, 2013
WHY I LOVE TELL 'EM STEVE DAVE
A little introduction for the uninitiated. Many, many moons ago Kevin Smith started a podcast called Smodcast. It has since evolved into a mass of aural pleasure that clogs the internet. When I say clog I do not mean in a bad way. There are things I love about the Smodcast Network and things I could care less about.
I am a huge fan of Clerks. Not a huge Kevin Smith fan because those people are a little off. There are things he does that I really like and things I could, once again, really care less about.
Two of Smith's life long friends are Bryan Johnson and Walt Flanagan. They decided to do a podcast and use Flanagan's tag line of 'Tell 'Em Steve Dave' that litters Smith's cinematic work.
I started listening from the beginning and have never been sorry. It's a slice of reality the likes of which no one has heard before. These are the people that are famous because of someone else's body of work. But, they are normal folk like you and me.
You hear Walt Flanagan explain the theory of Rods and it is fascinating. Bryan Johnson has his then girlfriend Suzanne on the show and you realize just what a great man he is. Brian Quinn, who tries to come across as a tough womanizer, shows us his true side when he rescues a cat during the hurricane.
Ordinary men with just a hint of awesome.
Some of their episodes are epic like Making Hay when they go to a flea market and discover the core of humanity in an unassuming place.
Tell 'Em Steve Dave arrived at a weird part of my life. I had been working for a print shop for a while. Then another print shop. I liked working at print shops. It was a lot of fun even though it was work.
Then I got laid off.
Forty-Eight and out of work...again. The good thing was that I received full unemployment benefits so I decided to do something that no one in my family had done; I was going to get a college degree. I researched and found that a business degree was the best route. Sure, I was the oldest guy in some of my classes and I had shirts older than some of these kids, but I was determined to get my degree.
Now, I drive about as often as Walt Flanagan flies so I rode my bike and public transportation to get to and from class. I actually like riding my bike. I even ride it in the snow. America is one of the few places that people think it is weird to ride bicycles and motorcycles in the winter. I love it.
Since I was spending so much time peddling my butt everywhere I became enamored with podcasts. I listen to a lot of them, but I never missed Tell Em Steve Dave. It was the best of the bunch.
I had no idea how important it was to me until I was almost done with school and the unemployment ran out. I had to go on a program to look for work through the state.
That was when I went to work for one of those warehouse clubs. You know the kind where you can buy thirty gallons of mayonnaise. Yeah, I worked third shift in the freezer. The people were, for the most part, assholes. A couple of nice folk, but that was it.
It was then that I discovered that with my youth my ability to work third shift had also faded. I was always tired and I still had classes to go to to finish my degree. People didn't seem to think the degree was all that important, but I knew that I wasn't going to quit. I was going to finish no matter what.
I had been at work for about a week and got done with my shift, tired and beat down. I rode my bike to the Crossroads Mall to wait for the bus.
I just sat there and ached. My arms hurt, my head hurt and I was physically exhausted. I wanted to go home and crawl in a hole. I was done with it. The stupid job, the stupid degree all of it. Just done with all of it.
I sat on the metal bench inside the enclosure that they put up at some of the bus stops and found my mp3 player and turned on the newest episode of Tell Em Steve Dave.
I think it was the episode where they were talking about serial killers, but it wasn't important. What was important was these three gentlemen had been with me through school. I listened to them to and from school. On bike rides throughout that time period where I was set on getting my degree. Sure, I had never met them, but they always talked like a group of guys who were more than happy to just shoot the shit with you.
They were my friends and like a lot of friends they like to cheer you up.
(Don't worry, I know they are not really my friends. I'm not that delusional.)
While I sat there on that chilly morning I relaxed. My anxiety seemed to just leave and a smile crossed my face.
In the end I finished school and got my degree. I quit that stupid ass job and got an introductory position at a huge banking firm and know that I will be there until I retire.
That one day sucked on so many levels and Walt, Bryan and Q were there for me. They pulled me through it and showed me it was bullshit and it would pass.
And that is why I love Tell 'Em Steve Dave.
Go listen to them HERE.
They have 138 episodes and I recommend you start with the first one.
You will not be sorry.