Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Why I promise to never have a podcast

“You really should do a podcast,” a friend advised recently.

“Right. Because you can’t sling a dead cat without hitting somebody with their own podcast anymore, right?” I quipped. Because that’s what I do all day—quip.

“I know everybody says that…” she started

“Because it’s true,” I finished for her.

There are already too many podcasts. Even the ones I follow weekly and recommend to others before they can run away from me are starting to feel very same-y. Not you, “Smartless.” And definitely not you, “This American Life,” but all my political echo chamber favorites? Be gone. Listening to an hour of someone who agrees with you is less affirming and more soul crushingly dull.

“We agree to agree” is a bit of a snooze as it turns out. Give me some meat on that bone, something to make me question a long-held belief, for example.

There’s no denying podcasts can be big business. Some enjoy multi-platform success, inspiring books, movies and limited series of their own. The murder ones are particularly hot right now. A lot of folks say I should be listening to “My favorite Murder,” which is a weird concept but wildly successful. Two gal-pal hosts, obsessed with splashy murders, have such a huge following they occasionally hit the road. Girls’ Night Out is different now. Strawberry margs then over to the local civic auditorium to talk about grisly murders and laugh our butts off. Pass.

These murder podcasts are so popular I’m sure there are loads of sub-genres by now, say “with axe or hatchet” or “resulting from inability of husband to close any cabinet door ever.”

So, as a service to everyone, I promise to never have a podcast. You will not be asked to listen to my thick Southern accent which has been described as “not completely excruciating.” Talk about your damned with faint praise!

Because podcasting requires a pleasant, “Hey he/she could be from anywhere” kind of voice, I’m a poor fit. You see, years ago, I was told I couldn’t narrate my own audiobook on a popular platform that rhymes with “rawdible” because, apparently, I sounded too much like myself.

Yes, well. My bad. They said they’d prefer to use a narrator from their own “stable of voice actors” which amused me greatly when I heard this. Did these talented folk eat very fancy oats and get very soothing rubdowns after a demanding day of voice acting? There was some little bit of back and forth before I finally just said “Neigh.”

As it turns out, I did go on to narrate a few of my books but I never listened to a single one. I read somewhere that many actors never watch their own films even if they’ve won an Academy Award. Yes, it’s exactly the same thing.

Here’s another promise I will make. I will never become an Instagram “influencer.” Such a weird concept, this influencer business. It’s mostly much younger folks but every now and then a woman my age shows up in a “reel” watched by hundreds of thousands of “followers” as she demonstrates how to artfully tuck a shirt into the waistband of your pants. That’s all.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tucking-shirt tutorials for women my age who want to achieve what is now called “coastal granny!”

These are lovely, older women who always look very well put together if not a tad “Jerusalem” what with all that layering of loose fabrics that sway to the ankle. (Stone tablets covered in rules sold separately.)

If you had told me even a year ago, there was money to be made in showing people how to tuck in their shirts, I would’ve thought you were full of, well, stable droppings. And I’d have been right.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write to her at [email protected].

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Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Why I promise to never have a podcast