298: Library Creep

Chris Cowan from The Cowan Boys Super Movie Show shares a great fart story with a surprise ending.

Weekly Rewind:

  • James’ daughter doesn’t know which car she came in.
  • Chris has a horrible experience with Panara’s new self check-out.

Featured Story:

  • Chris farts in a library.

Listener Stories:

  • No-Ticket Dad – Myla
  • An 8-year-old Story – Landon
  • Candy Drawer – Katie
  • Skunk Sentry – Clare
  • Bathroom Imprisonment – Isabel

Bonus Audio:

Transcription of Weekly Updates and Featured Story:

James: Anyway, we always start with an opening story and this one’s no different. This is called No Ticket Dad by [Myla 00:00:06]. Myla says, “I started listening to the show a couple years ago, and I’ve loved every minute of it.” Really? Have you? Have you really loved every minute? I don’t know. I love our listeners, and they love my show more than I do. I am critical of every minute of my show, and I worry and fret over every story that I read. And then so when I read something like this, I’m like, really? That is the most amazing thing to hear, also the hardest thing to believe.

James: But anyway, today I have a story that happened when I was about seven years old. It was my birthday and dad took my sister, and I to a farmers market after school. This was one of those big farmers markets with jumpy houses and lots of stands. They have improved farmers markets since I was a kid, because it was just-

Chris: My farmers market sells like Spanish subtitle DVDs.

James: Ours just had bushel barrels of split peas and stuff like that. It was okra and junk, so there was nothing fun about it. It was just hot.

Chris: Yeah.

James: And anyway, it had jumpy houses and lots of stands. My dad bought me some tickets and let me go in the jumpy house while he watched my younger sister on another one. After my turn was up, I wanted to go again, so I went to look for my dad to get more tickets. I found him with his back to me, I ran up to him and opened his hand. He had no tickets in his hand though. And I remembered my dad had lots of tickets. So I asked him, “Hey, where are the tickets?” But he didn’t answer. I looked up, and I see a strange man with a confused look on his face who was definitely not my dad. I backed away quickly, found my actual dad, and we still laugh about my no ticket dad today. So, she has a real dad and a no ticket dad.

Chris: Oh my gosh. Have you done anything like that? Where you like …

James: Oh, yes. The worst is when you’re a kid, you’re on the toy aisle, and you turn over, and you say, “Mom.” And you look over, and it’s just some dude. Just some random dude because your mom slipped away and didn’t tell you and this dude slipped in her place. And he’s kind of smiling at you and you feel stupid, but you’re also scared because your mom suddenly looks like a dude for a second, because your brain doesn’t catch up.

Chris: Yeah.

James: It’s like when you wake up at your grandma’s house, and you forget you’re at your grandma’s house for a little while, you know? You ever done that?

Chris: Yeah.

James: That’s what it’s like when you turn around and you expect your mom and it’s some dude.

Chris: I had this one time at, this is actually going to be one of my featured stories possibly because I have kind of a theme for some short stories going on, but I’ll say it now because it ties in. Can I?

James: You should save it.

Chris: Okay. It’s really short but I’ll save it.

James: Save it for the feature.

Chris: I’ll just tease it now, and say that it ties into that story.

James: Okay. We will put a pin in it and hold on to it.

Chris: But I will say my mom made that mistake once with a guy she thought was my dad and came up behind him and stuck her hand in his back pockets.

James: Oh my gosh! That’s terrible. I’ve had to be careful of that my whole life because my wife is extremely short and extremely thin. And so, she looks like every 12 year old girl in the world from the back.

Chris: No.

James: And I’ve never, ever gone up to her and grabbed anything, or hugged anything, or put my arm around anything without first looking at the face and verifying.

Chris: Oh, man.

James: And there’s been a couple times that if I hadn’t done that, I’d probably gone to jail.

Chris: Geez. And as a children’s pastor, that would have, that would not be a good look.

James: Dude, you know, white people all look the same. All white girls look the same from the back, I’m telling you.

Chris: That’s true.

James: They got similar hair styles and everything. And it’s especially when you get a certain height, everybody looks the same. But anyway [crosstalk 00:04:25], without further ado though, let’s rewind the week, yeah.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:04:32]

James: Yeah, it’s one of those things I had to just put a little, go ahead and just do. And I have a feeling this year will be fun and it will be memorable. But I think next years will be the big one, you know what I’m saying?

Chris: Oh, yeah?

James: Like everybody’s going to be like, “Oh, I wish I could go. I can’t.” Even though a lot of people already have, I think next year is really going to be the year. But, don’t wait for next year. Come on out this year. If you live within driving distance of the Melvin Theater here in St. Louis, you need to come on out. I mean people are flying in. It’s really exciting. So anyway, my weekly update is pretty simple. Me and my daughter spent the day together. She got out of school earlier than her son, I mean her son, her brother. My son, not her son. And, so she and I ended up going and running some errands and ended up eating lunch together. We ended up going to a, which was great. We had a great lunch together. I took her to, what’s that place with the red robin? Red Robin. And we had hamburgers. I know, I’m slow.

James: And there was this really pivotal moment, I don’t know it was kind of cheesy, but I imagine that hopefully it will mean a lot to her. I don’t do it that often, but I just looked at her and I says, “You know what? You are the most beautiful person I know, and I’m so proud of you. You’re beautiful inside and outside. You’re a hard worker. You’ve done a great job this year, and I just love you to death.” And you can’t, I never had that. You know? I never had any man ever say anything close to you know, I’m proud of you or I love you, or anything like that. So, it’s so awesome to be able to do that for her and my son. Him, I kind of taper it down to more like, “Yeah, I put up with you and I deal with you, and yeah you’re okay. You’re not gross or anything.”

James: So anyway, we’ve had this wonderful moment. We’re walking side by side out to the vehicle after going to Best Buy. And, I’ve got to preface it with this, I drive a white truck. And my wife drives a green what do you call those things? It’s a Kia Soul. She drives a green Kia Soul. I drive a white truck with a big Buzz Lightyear logo on the back and my license plate says Lightyear. It’s awesome.

Chris: Very nice.

James: It’s dedicated to Buzz Lightyear, in case you didn’t know. But we’re walking side by side, we’re walking toward the truck, square toward the truck. And all of a sudden, she turns off to the left, and she’s walking away from me and I’m like, “What the heck?” And I look, trace a ray from her to where she’s headed, and there is a green Kia Soul over there with bumper stickers and everything on the back. My wife don’t do bumper stickers. But, it was enough to confuse my slightly blonde daughter. That’s what I call her because she has naturally brown hair but it’s very light and kind of has that natural highlight thing going on. And so, I call her slightly blonde. I’m like, [“Jenna 00:08:23].” She’s like, “What?” You know we came in my truck, right? You’re just playing. Oh, I didn’t see it. So, you know, she had a definitely dumb moment right there. A slightly blonde moment.

James: So, I actually had a really good weekly update. I told Chris about it beforehand, but I’m saving it. I’m saving it for the live show. And if you write in and your stuff doesn’t get read on the show right away, I’m probably saving it for the live show because I want that show to kick butt and take names. And so, I hope you guys will come out. It’ll be recorded and released, you’re not going to miss it or anything. But, it would be so cool if you would be there live. So, be there live. So Chris, what do you got for us?

Chris: All right, so I went on kind of a lunch date with my wife, as we do sometimes. And just kind of randomly Panera Bread sounded like a good idea.

James: Lemons, lemons.

Chris: And, I regret it so much.

James: Why?

Chris: So, I mean I’ve been there, it’s actually been months since I’d been there. And so we decided to give it a try, and because we felt like a salad or whatever, some coffee. So, we get in there and so first thing you notice is that they added like seven little kiosks, little iPad kiosks.

James: Yes, yes. For self checkout kind of stuff.

Chris: Yeah. To eliminate the need for humans in the workplace.

James: Even though it takes three times as long to do it there than it does to just tell the lady.

Chris: Yes, that’s what I’ve discovered, is that took way too long.

James: Well, there’s way too many options. That’s the thing. They’re like, “Do you want tomatoes and lettuce? And do you want Asiago cheese?” And you’re like, “I could summarize all this with one button.”

Chris: Well you can’t, yeah, well because if you order from a human you see the entire menu behind them, and you don’t have to tap 20 times to find out what kinds of salads they have, you know?

James: Tap them on the face. Okay, next. Tap them on the face.

Chris: And so, that was first thing we were like, “Oh, let’s use this cool technology, right?” And so we do that and so we get through and we customize our order, my wife wants this not one of their default salads. She wants to customize it, and so we do that. And find out that they have limitations on how much you can customize it. But we get it done, finally get ready to order it. And then it doesn’t read the card. It doesn’t even read my card. So, we’ve done all that for not. And so, instead of being like, “Okay, let’s talk to a human.” We’re like, “Okay, well there’s like 20 kiosks next to it.” They multiply. So we go to the one next to it, and then try the whole thing over again.

James: Boo.

Chris: And finally, it does read my card this time. But we had to like re-customize it and everything. So, by the time we’re all done it’s been like probably half an hour because we’ve spent all this time just trying to place the order. And then we do that, and then I’m like, “Oh, wait. I wanted to get a coffee.” And we already placed our order. So, then I started to head back to the kiosk like an idiot. And my wife is like, “Or Chris, you could just order from one of these humans over here.”

James: Just tell the lady.

Chris: [crosstalk 00:12:14] you’re right. So, I’m like okay. Good thinking because clearly, the kiosk doesn’t work right. So, we go over and there’s humans just patiently waiting behind the counter. And then I order from them, and I say I want, it’s like some vanilla cold brew thingy. And turns out the humans don’t work either because she’s like, I’m like, “I want a hot vanilla cold brew.” And she’s like, “Oh, they only come cold.” And I’m like, I’m looking at the menu behind her. It’s under hot lattes. It’s a vanilla cold brew. I’m like, “Okay. But it says it right there.” And she’s like, “Oh, yeah we only do it cold. We don’t do it hot.” I’m like, “Put it in the microwave lady.” It’s right there. So finally she asks her supervisor, and this lady is not like, you know you go to Starbucks or any local hip coffee place, and they’re like barely out of high school barely tying their shoes. But at Panera Bread, they’re all like in their 60s.

James: Yes, 35 and up.

Chris: And, yeah. Oh, 35 is generous.

James: I am being generous. We have a lot of Panera faculty that listen to this show.

Chris: Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll be more respectful. But, so finally she finds out that they do in fact have the item that is on their menu, but then they’re like, “Oh, but the espresso machine doesn’t work.”

James: Ah. Lady’s like, “I knew it was something. I’ll never get you what you ordered.”

Chris: Oh, but then they find out it has in fact been [inaudible 00:13:59] and so, they finally get the order through. And so, finally we sit down and we wait for our food. And the rest of the time goes just great, and then I take the coffee to go. We head home, and right as I’m getting out of the car I take sip of the coffee, and there’s something in there.

James: Ah, what?

Chris: It’s some like rubbery black chunk.

James: Ah.

Chris: In my coffee.

James: Why? How did you pull it through the little sipper hole?

Chris: I don’t know, it just came through, and I sucked it into my throat. And I’m like, “This is not right.” So, thankfully I was stepping out of the car, so like-

James: Oh, a little bit of jelly got in there.

Chris: Oh, it was so gross. So I spit it out onto the pavement and there on the ground is some weird like black [crosstalk 00:14:57].

James: It’s moving.

Chris: Blob.

James: Ugh, coffee blob.

Chris: And, my wife swears it’s like a blueberry. Which, first of all, how does that happen?

James: Yeah.

Chris: But it tasted way more rubbery to me than a blueberry. It tasted like a piece of a tire or something was in my coffee. And I was on the verge of throwing up it was so nasty. So I’m never, I’m never going to Panera again.

James: Awe, you know what would have fixed all of that?

Chris: What?

James: If you’d just ordered, you should have just ordered their mac and cheese.

Chris: From Starbucks.

James: No. No. Order their mac and cheese because no matter what else happens, their mac and cheese is so good that it makes everything else grow strangely dim in the light of its glory and grace. And you won’t remember any of the problems. All you’ll remember is how fulfilling, and warm, and cheesy, and just absolutely amazing that mac and cheese was.

Chris: Well, but see we were trying to cut back on carbs, so that wouldn’t [crosstalk 00:16:09].

James: Oh, well. You’re talking to a fat man, and I’m telling you that I’m a lot happier than you are. Even though I will live less long, I will live happier.

Chris: You’re making it count.

James: Get the mac and cheese next time.

Chris: All right, I’ll do that next time and I’ll order from a human.

James: Yes.

Chris: And I’ll point, I’ll start off just pointing to the part of the menu where it says it.

James: Well those things you can tell are a product of somebody thinking about what is going to be best for us? Not what’s best for the customer.

Chris: Right.

James: Because from the employee point of view all they want is a screen in from of them that says they want this, this, this, this, and this. They don’t want to deal with the human going, “Well, I just want tomatoes that I only want on half. And then can I get that doubled? And can I get half meat?” You know, they just want the end result. And so, they sat in a room somewhere around a table, and they’re like, “How can we get the end result? Well, let’s do technology.”

Chris: Technology.

James: Yeah, so they started at McDonald’s with that crap, and it’s the same deal.

Chris: Right.

James: It’s not easier. It’s terrible. It’s like why do I need options for a cheeseburger? Just give me a cheeseburger plain with ketchup. That takes 13 mouse clicks. Or just one sentence to a human being.

Chris: Right.

James: Granted, it depends which McDonald’s you’re going to on whether you’re going to want to do the human side or the computer side.

Chris: With McDonald’s though, there’s like a 50/50 chance they’ll get it wrong either way.

James: Yeah.

Chris: So, it kind of doesn’t even matter what, who you’re talking to, whether it’s a machine or person. It’s McDonald’s roulette.

James: Well, I just know they never asked anybody and if they did, those people were stupid. Oh, this is delightful. How much are you paying us per hour again? You know, they’re product testing. I just love pushing buttons and stuff. Oh, it’s great.

Chris: Yeah.

James: Yeah, it must’ve been an employee’s of the franchise that made it happen, but anyway. All right, Chris [inaudible 00:18:19] I’ve been looking forward to it man. I’m rubbing my hands together in anticipation. What do you have for us sir?

Chris: I’m just glad this episode wasn’t sponsored by Panera Bread.

James: That would have been bad.

Chris: That would have been awkward.

James: Yeah. Here in St Louis they call it Bread Co, did you know that?

Chris: I did not know that.

James: Because it’s called St. Louis bread company and this is where it originated. And everywhere else it’s Panera, but here they just call it Bread Co. And so yeah, it would be really weird if you’re just like crapping all over Panera, and I’m like, “This episode brought to you by the wonderful elderly folks at Panera Bread and Bread Co.”

Chris: Right.

James: No.

Chris: Giving seniors a job.

James: Them and Walmart greeters. Yeah.

Chris: Yep. So, okay John isn’t here and I realize you know, he represents a certain demographic that I really felt obligated to stand in for.

James: Oh, gosh.

Chris: And so I’ve actually, rather than tell you one featured story, I thought I might kind of give you a collection if you will.

James: Yeah.

Chris: Anthology of short stories relating to well-

James: Panera bread?

Chris: Gas, or worse.

James: Farts, just say it.

Chris: I know that’s, poop, okay? Poop.

James: You know, I was thinking about that. I was thinking about that this week, how we’re the fart and poop show lately. And I’ve struggled with that personally. I’m like, you know that’s not very intelligent humor. That’s kind of juvenile. And John’s like, “I don’t agree. I think it’s funny.” And then I started thinking about what people consider mature humor. And it’s usually about all the stuff adults do behind closed doors.

Chris: Right.

James: And, that’s the same crap that I was talking about with my friends at 13.

Chris: Right.

James: So, what makes that more mature than what we’re doing here? I would argue that our stuff is just as legit and just as bad, good rather, I meant to say just as better, and it came out bad. So anyway, I’m proud of our farty, poopy, little crappy show.

Chris: Good. We stand on poop.

James: At least I say I am. Anyway, go ahead.

Chris: Well, so I don’t think there’s anything like, you know I might not be quite at the level where I think okay, just saying farts or poo is like inherently funny.

James: Right, right.

Chris: It all has to do with context. What is the context of the feces? And what is the method that you’re using to pass the gas and all that? It’s the surrounding environment [crosstalk 00:21:27].

James: So it’s the subtleties to you?

Chris: Make for a good story, yeah. Yeah. A recipe if you will.

James: Oh, that’s worse than what I said.

Chris: Yeah. I’m just being gross. Okay so this where, this is the one that kind of related to the opening story about mistaking someone for something else.

James: Yeah.

Chris: So, I don’t know where you’re at with the farting around spouses, but I imagine [crosstalk 00:21:58].

James: I don’t do it.

Chris: Having been married, you what?

James: I don’t do it.

Chris: You don’t do it?

James: No, we try to hide it from each other.

Chris: Oh, man.

James: Especially the girls in the family. I’ve never heard my wife pass gas.

Chris: That is incredible. Well, I will not comment on my situation with my spouse. But I will say she has heard me fart before.

James: Okay.

Chris: And it’s one of those things where we’ve been married actually it’s going to be 14 years next week.

James: Congratulations.

Chris: Thank you. And it’s just, over the course of that long, I’m amazed, okay? I’m amazed that you have not been exposed to that.

James: Yeah, not in 25 years. I mean we’ve dated for 4, so yeah married for 21.

Chris: That’s incredible. Because I kind of looked at it as okay, the dating period, oh no, never. You would never let one slip out. But I kind of feel like after a few years you kind of start to acknowledge.

James: Now, if she heard me, yes. You know?

Chris: Right.

James: But, can I just do it freely without consequences? No. There’s going to be a lot of high pitched yelling and screaming from both my wife and my kids. And I know this because it’s happened. Because I had surgery on my rectum, and there was a period of time where I couldn’t help it. And I got yelled at. And I’m like, “I have a disability, people.” Anyway.

Chris: So, my case I tend to be less of a trumpet and more of a sneak attack.

James: Okay.

Chris: But, in this particular incident, so suffice it to say, my wife is used to me being comfortable with passing gas around her.

James: Gosh. Can’t imagine.

Chris: She doesn’t love it.

James: See, you’re a good looking guy. That’s why you can get away with it. I got theories about you guys, that you guys have lots of opportunities that us ugly guys we can’t do that, because we’re already gross. Just getting up in the morning, showered and shaved, we’re still gross. And so, farting on top of that just makes us completely unattractive. It’s true.

Chris: That’s just the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

James: It’s just true. I have to be genteel. I’ve got to be careful.

Chris: That’s funny. No, but so in my case either way. So she’s, I’ll do it and I have to be careful which ones. Like if it’s one that makes a little noise, that’s kind of more acceptable. It’s the ones that are followed with you know, that slow realization of toxicity.

James: Oh.

Chris: Those are the ones where I can’t, I get in huge, huge trouble.

James: So if it bothers her nostrils, you’re in trouble basically.

Chris: Yeah.

James: Yeah.

Chris: Ears is fine, nostrils is a huge no.

James: Yeah.

Chris: And I get that.

James: Yeah, I do too.

Chris: And then mouth, we won’t even.

James: Ah. Gosh.

Chris: I’m playing, I’m playing. I’m playing.

James: Pushing all my buttons today. You had a nasty piece of freaking snail gunk in your coffee, and now you’re, ah. Blah. Go ahead.

Chris: So anyways.

James: Now I know why we haven’t had you on in a while. Trying to recover.

Chris: Right, right. It’ll be a while after this. So, I’m at the library and we’re at the library. Just her and me, I don’t know where the kids are because this was a little while ago. And we’re in the same aisle, and just looking at books, and I’m reaching for a book and I just kind of let one loose, you know? Not super loud. Not like the whole library [crosstalk 00:26:13].

James: The librarian didn’t shush you or anything.

Chris: Right, right. But you know, enough to where someone in the same aisle as me would hear it. And so, I let one loose and then I’m like, “Oops.” And I kind of have this dorky smile as I look over at my wife, thinking okay we’ll just kind of share a little smile exchange and laugh it off. So, I look over and smile at my wife, and it’s not my wife!

James: Yay! I was hoping that would be the case. Yay.

Chris: So I not only just farted next to a random stranger, this girl, but then I turn and give this creepy smile. So she immediately leaves the aisle which makes it even worse because if she just gone back to looking at books or something, it would have been like, “Okay, we’re moving past this.” But the fact that she moves to another aisle, legitimately means she was creeped out by me. Because I let one loose, and then smile at her. Like, this is my little gift to you. You’re welcome.

James: Share this magic moment. When I look into your eyes. Oh my gosh. See, good looking guy farts in the library, has an awkward exchange with another woman. Me? If I did that, I’d had been arrested. Somebody would have called the police.

Chris: I don’t know, man. I don’t think it gets much creepier than that.

James: No, I’m telling you. You just add this body to that situation, and I am making front page headlines. Farting creepoid picked up at local library.

Chris: Wow.