Let's Digress

The No-Tail

Once upon a time in early 2013, Zack and I were recording a podcast…

This was still during the developmental baby-days of Insomnia, and it was a cold January night in Indiana at about 11pm. Zack and I had been recording podcast stuff for about 7 hours on end in our makeshift recording studio. We had finally hit a wall with recording; our moderately mediocre creativity had stopped. We were both tired, Zack was getting close to being grumpy and falling asleep in his chair, I was slaphappy and found everything hilarious.

We had been recording on and off that night, mainly because we hadn’t quite found our podcasting groove and didn’t know how to talk into a mic for more than 3 minutes. Record, stop, erase, record, keep, record, stop, erase, over and over. It took 3 hours to make 22 minutes of material.

We had decided to give recording one more try before we gave up for the night. Zack, sleepy and disgruntled, hit the record button for one final time and started to talk into his microphone. I don’t remember what he was talking about, that whole evening is still kind of a blur, but he was probably talking about the news or his wife or something.

I decided to jump in on this conversation and give my 2-cents. I sat up, leaned into my mic to talk, and then… That’s when it all changed.

I don’t remember what I was originally planning on saying, but I do know it definitely wasn’t what came out of my mouth. It shocked both of us but it really caught Zack off guard.

I said, “Zack, if you could have a tail, what kind of tail would you have?”

He looked at me, speechless. His facial expression was a mix of horror and confusion, and mine was one of pure amusement and delight. As soon as I said it, I knew we’d hit metaphorical podcast gold.

After taking about 10 seconds to process and compose himself, Zack finally responded to my random question. He looked at me very intently and squinted, all joy robbed from his being. The only thing left was the gingerized death in his eyes. I felt a grin begin to grow on my face, which only seemed to make him squint more intently at me. I’ve never been so amused and frightened at the same time.

(I would like to point out that to leave Zack speechless is no small feat. He doesn’t get taken off guard very easily, and I don’t think this would’ve had the same effect on him if I had asked it during normal daylight hours when he’s properly caffeinated.)

That span of 20 seconds felt like an eternity. He finally started to answer the question with the same amount of passion in his voice that Braveheart had in that scene where he yells “FREEDOM.” So, very slowly and intently he said, “I would have… no tail. None. Ever. At all. Not even a stump. No. Tail.” He said it like the very thought of having a tail was both an abomination to humanity and that even considering it was the worst waste of time possible.

The grin disappeared from my face. And that’s when I saw the Ale-8 bottle coming towards my head at a high rate of speed.

So, like any mature and thoroughly disappointed 22-year-old, I responded with kind, heartfelt, and loving words that I’m not allowed to repeat on here, followed by me throwing my own Ale-8 bottle at him. Except mine still had the sparkling soda of the Greek gods in it. Oops.

The newly dampened Zack was not a happy camper, and me asking him if he’d like to rephrase and change his answer was not well timed. However, after that, we found our groove and Insomnia-type awesome exploded all over the place and made the show what it is today. It was great! We found our second wind and recorded stuff for another couple of hours that night.

And…this entire thing was recorded.

Unfortunately, in our fit of exhaustion one of us might have exited the program out of spite before saving. It’s now The Lost Episode.

The one that went up in its place is what happened after all of this went down.

That’s the tale of how the tail question and Insomnia got started, and they’ve both blossomed into something beautiful. Unlike Zack’s tail, which never grew or blossomed because he’s childish and decided he wouldn’t have one.

But don’t worry, Zack wants one; he just doesn’t know it yet.

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