Episode 200 : Disturbingly Less Improbable Than You Would Like

200 freaking episodes! Can you believe it? We have the Producer on with us to give us a metaphorical pinch, to make sure we’re not dreaming. Then we talk about what a bad pirate Tony is, and all the terrible things he and Trish watched this week. There’s a lot of them. Then some good old-fashioned body swap fan fiction! And a special word from a special listener. Enjoy!


A la Freaky Friday, William and Tony exchange bodies.Ā  What’s the first thing you’d want to do as the other person?Ā — The Producer


This entry was posted in Episode. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Episode 200 : Disturbingly Less Improbable Than You Would Like

  1. jas says:

    A long time ago in a virtual world far, far, away, I played Sid Meier’s Pirate game. It was OK. I remember thinking it wasn’t as good as CIV.

    There is apparently a ship simulator that mostly does contemporary ships but has an add on for The Flying Cloud (18th century).


    I’ve been reading a book on sperm whales (“The Great Sperm Whale) that is really fascinating and has quite a lot of Melville references and a long section on 18th century whaling. I had to skip parts but it was still fascinating. Not done with the book yet, but most interesting fact so far–speculation that sperm whales are able to hunt giant squid (who are much faster) by using echolocation waves to stun them.

    Someone I know just finished serving as an educator on a semester at sea. I don’t know how one would do that if not currently an undergraduate, but it seems like a very cool idea. I’m pretty sure the Tall Ships programs have sailing classes.

  2. jas says:

    I completely get William’s intent in wanting to be sedated in Tony’s body, but I actually think that watching TV would probably have less detrimental effects than sedation.

  3. jas says:

    Body swap stories are some of my favs. I love the Farscape episode that plays with it. It makes sense to me that Will connects his dislike of it to his dislike of fiction–seems very related to me.

    Very often in my dreams I am someone else. Not even someone else real–just this made-up character. Maybe this is the effect of reading a lot of fiction. šŸ™‚

  4. William says:

    I feel like I owe the Producer a bit more comment here, partly because my answer was so disappointing, but also (and related to that) because there is an aspect of the question we only touched upon but didn’t explore. Namely, if I could get past the “controlling Tony’s body” factor and/or if I could accept that there were certain things that Tony would be OK with me doing, would I find myself interested in doing things in Tony’s body that I’d never dream of doing in my own body?

    To help me answer this kind of question, perhaps it’s better to frame it another way. So let’s ask it this way… if I lived in a world like the one portrayed in the film “Surrogates” where I could plug my consciousness into an artificial body and walk around in the real world, but let’s also specify that in that artificial body I experience things in precisely the same way I would in my own body — that is, if I tried a particular drug, I’d have the precise experience of that drug that my actual body would have, or if I tried a new kind of food, my artificial body would react precisely the same way as my real body, though let’s also say it would come without the ill-effects that my real body might have after being vegetarian for so long, etc. — in that scenario, how would I answer the original question? Essentially, I have an opportunity here to know how I would actually experience something without my having to experience it in my actual body. What kinds of things would I do? What would I most want to do? (Because I presume that would be “the first thing” I would do.)

    The answer is that I wouldn’t be interested in doing anything that I don’t already do. Because if I was interested enough in something that I’d do it in a surrogate body, I’d just go ahead and do it with the body I’m in. Now, if I was allergic to ice cream or something and the surrogate allowed me to eat ice cream, I’d totally do that. But there’s really nothing like that in my life. There’s no significant thing that a male human can do in the world that I can’t physically do if I’m inclined to do it. (I can’t physically bench 500 lbs, but since I imagine a strong man struggling to bench 500 lbs isn’t significantly different than me struggling to bench much less than that, then benching 500 lbs — or running a record 100 yard dash or even catching the winning “Hail Mary” pass at the end of the Super Bowl — doesn’t seem “significant” to me.) If there’s anything in my life I don’t do, it’s because I simply have no interest in doing it, not because I have some concern with doing it in my own body or with my own identity.

    Now, I have to amend here a bit, I think, to address extreme acts that would invariably end in my death. For example, with the surrogate, I could experience what it’s like to fall to my death from the Empire State Building without actually having to risk my life. Jumping from the top of the Empire State Building is something any human male can do, but one would expect it’s something I’d avoid doing specifically because of the consequences to my actual body. So in my surrogate, would I try that or something like it? Again, no. While it’s true that my main motivation for not doing such extreme things is because I have no interest in ending my life, I also am not particularly interested in experiencing those things. If I was, I’d already engage in extreme sports or something in order to simulate those experiences.

    So I think I can safely say that if I suddenly found myself in Tony’s body and could somehow be made OK with just doing whatever I want in it, I’d probably just go about my own life, only in his body. Which is to say I’d do nothing at all interesting with it.

    Go back to the surrogate example and make it not a copy of my body, but a copy of a person who’s another race or age or sex or size… and my answer would be the same, although I’d surely run into very different obstacles and opportunities as that other race or age or sex or size. I have no reasonable way of guessing how I’d respond to those different obstacles or opportunities.

    Clearly, my answer doesn’t get more interesting. But at least it explores some nuance to the question. šŸ™‚

    • themagicaltalkinghat says:

      Yeah, I don’t think you owed the Producer this.

      Unless she did something bad to you recently that you’re mad about…

    • The Producer says:

      ok, in regards to this:
      “Iā€™d surely run into very different obstacles and opportunities as that other race or age or sex or size.”

      Would you be interesting in inhabiting a surrogate in order to better understand the obstacles and opportunities of a different gender/race/whatever, or do you feel you understand them well enough without needing first-hand knowledge?

      • William says:

        While I think people often short-change the powers of human empathy and imagination, nothing quite trumps first-hand experience. So I would be interested in attempting to experience those things myself, though I’d realize my ability to withdraw from those experiences at any time I like would mean I still wouldn’t be experiencing them to their fullest extent.

  5. jas says:

    Oh and Happy 200th! šŸ™‚

  6. Dave of Id says:

    Happy 200th!!!

    If I was in Tony’s body I would hope that it was while he was visiting Oregon as I have fond memories of visiting that state years ago and wouldn’t mind visiting it again.

  7. Mark says:

    After being shamed by my neighbors for not listening/commenting (thanks Carol), I’ve decided to make a fresh effort to get caught up. Though my podcast app doesn’t have all the episodes I’ve missed so I’m starting with the oldest episode I’ve still got and will try going back to the other later.

    Why have I been gone for so long? Well… I generally listen at work and my current job has required too much brain power to listen/comment. Additionally 2014 was a hellish year (multiple car accidents, illnesses in the family, some head trauma, burglary, etc.).

    New Laptop: Nice!

    Wind Chills: Funny enough, we’ve got the same sort of weather you were complaining about is exactly what we’re having today.

    Alas poor Ezzie, I knew her… not all really.

    Heating pants with a dryer: BRILLIANT!

    Assassin’s Creed: I’ve recently had an opportunity to play the first game in this series, on a PC, and lord it’s controls suck so hard.

    Air assassinate an ocelot: LOL

    Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters: I’ve seen worse, but not a lot. Van Helsing was an excellent comparison.

    Prince of Persia (movie): I liked that movie but then I loved the games it was based on so I’m probably biased.

    Black Mirror: I’ve watched the first two episodes; but man it’s so dark. I “liked” them, but it’s not something I could binge watch. So far I’m agreeing with Tony; the first episode was stronger (even if I didn’t like it as well as the second).

    William as Tony: I rather imagine he’d go running & screaming in the streets in the confusion.

    Freaky Friday question: Umm, wow. I kept thinking I’d have comment on this but every time I thought of something you’d go off on some weirder & weirder tangent. So I think I’m going o

    TMTH Wiki: I’m just starting to get caught up but it’s going to be a while before I’m caught up and then it’ll take even longer until that sort of wiki gets setup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *