I love a good podcast. And I love pretending I have the technical know-how, requisite storytelling ability and captive audience to manage a successful podcast of my own. But um, I have none of the above.
I do have some ideas, though. A whole notebook full of ’em. And they’re free for the taking. Just please make sure, if you do go ahead and develop any of these ideas into the next Serial… let me know. So I can subscribe. Oh, and maybe let me do the MailChimp ad that will surely kick off each episode. Cool. Thank you.
THE NEXT SERIAL | IMAGINARY PODCASTS
Idea 1: Mystery Store
You might have one (or more) of these stores in your town, you might not… but you probably do. The signage is sort of murky. Maybe the store is called Jim’s or ABC America or Real Deal$ (for the record, I made these up, so if your store is actually called any of these things… sorry. I’m especially sorry if you used a dollar sign instead of an ‘s’ to spell the word deals. Really $orry.).
Or perhaps there’s no sign at all.
Maybe the store presents itself as one thing, but you kind of get the sense it’s another thing entirely. Like, you swear you’ve seen people walk in for a haircut and walk out with an electric keyboard. Or you notice a bunch of not-so-gently-used baby strollers out front, but the advertisements hanging in the window feature a “catch of the day” special.
Okay, so I’ve set the scene. The way this podcast works is simple, if not a tiny bit dangerous. You identify a store that fits the criteria outlined above. You enter the store, poke around a little (while describing the things you’re poking so your audience feels like they’re in the trenches with you, obviously), maybe act interested in something specific. When you’re finally approached by a salesperson, you engage them in some friendly banter and then BAM! You hit them with the million dollar question(or maybe $7.99 question, all depends on the store, right?):
OK. But what do you realllly sell here?
It’s anyone’s guess where the episode (and frankly, your life and safety) goes from here. Exciting, right?
Idea 2: Conversations from the floor
This one is inspired by the 2 year-old in my life. She seems to be spending an increasing amount of time on the floor. Sometimes she’s kicking. Sometimes she’s crying. Sometimes she’s looking for an errant cheddar bunny under the sofa.
Toddlers are really, really funny. This doesn’t always translate in the moment (tantrums can be really upsetting for everyone involved, and I don’t mean to make light of what seems to be an important phase of child development… except to say that we sort of all need a sense of humor to survive). But they’re funny, nevertheless.
Just this morning, I had the following conversation with Grace:
- Grace: Mom. Mom. Mom. Mama. Mommy. Mom. MOM!
- Me: Yes, honey?
- Grace: Mom. Mom. Mom. MOOOOOMMMMM.
- Me: Do you need something, or are you just saying my name?
- Grace: I’m saying your name.
- Me: OK.
- Grace: And I need something. I need a reflection light.
- Me: Can you tell me what a reflection light is?
- Grace: I need it.
- Me: I don’t know what it is. What do you use it for?
- Grace: I need it to look at trees at nighttime.
- Me: Can you tell me what it is again?
- Grace: I said it. It’s a reflection light.
- Me: A flash light? (lucky guess)
- Grace: Yes. I told you. Please, you’ll get me one at the store today.
Actually, maybe this podcast is more of a quiz show. You guess what the H a toddler is talking about. And if you’re correct, the toddler’s parents give you a handful of slightly moist Cheerios that they found between the seat cushions in their car.
The Pregnant Shopping Cart Impulse Shopping Why Am I Buying This? Title TBD
I’ll happily hand this one off to any currently pregnant moms. Or maybe we can cast a wider net and call it Impulse Shopping. Whoever grabs this tasty snack cake of an idea can sort of the details.
I came up with this one while nine months pregnant, carefully placing my organic produce on the belt at the grocery store check-out when… What’s this? Six bags of sour gummy bears?
I’d be lying if I said things like this only happened when I was pregnant, but I believe my impulse shopping was especially cool, weird and interesting when I was expecting.
And if you choose to stick with the pregnant lady angle, maybe this podcast could have a sort of public service element whereby you educate the masses on what you should/should not say or do to pregnant women. Like in episode one, you could (genuinely) complement a mother-to-be for looking so radiant. You ask her how she’s feeling. You respond kindly and enthusiastically and non-judgmentally to any details she shares.
You don’t say things like “Whoaaaaa! You’re about ready to POP!” Or assert that you’re positive there is a “secret twin in there.” (And yes, these are things strangers said to me when I was pregnant.) And maybe you make a point of announcing into your micro-cassette recorder (Or does it all happen on your iPhone? I don’t know. That’s why you’re making the podcast, not me.) that you are not touching anyone’s belly. You’re just not.
Or…. maybe you just stick to interesting impulse purchases. Or maybe you empower a toddler to make impulse purchases in a mystery store. Yep. That’s going straight to the top of the charts.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Not buying a reflection light
- Catching up on Oh My Gouache! videos
- Homemade snacks for summer road trips from Whole Foods Market
What’s your favorite podcast?