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Squid #256
(published December 8, 2005)
Notes from the Giant Squid: The Non-Podcast and the Curse of Radio Shack
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Hey folks,

Ivan here again with my second not-really-a-podcast podcast. First let me say this: if I ever mention going shopping at Radio Shack again please punch me hard in the nose. Do it quick and rabbit-like, because I have hella good reflexes for this sorta thing and only a true suckerpunch will get me.

Radio Shack can suck my balls. That's all I'm gonna say. No more. I won't go into how they always ask if you need batteries, even if all you're buying is, say, an "internet headset." No, I don't need batteries. Piss off and away with ye. I also won't go into how they fucking lied to me three times about microphones. Three times. It's like the eminently quotable Ex-President Bush once said, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, won't get fooled again."

It's not even like it's nearby or something. I'm one of the few people that actually live in Detroit. Which means that if I want to buy anything besides fast food, car parts, overpriced corner-store groceries or booze I have to drive half an hour each way. So that's three freaking hours of my life that Radio Shack has stolen from me, in my quest to find a mic for this job so I can record some apeshit podcast for my new boss who happens to be "a 35-ton Giant Squid"—they assure me of this, although I haven't seen the guy yet—who seems to think my name is "Ellen."

Fuck you, Radio Shack. You're on my list.

So in the last few weeks here my entire job has been to record a monthly podcast. I haven't managed to do this, and I'm worried they might fire me. I sit down in my little cubicle at about 10:45am, three days a week and spend half my day reading email and trolling internet forums. I know I should actually do work, but the heroin thrill of the Internet is a big monkey on my back. I can admit that. My name is Ivan and I have a problem.

But the odd thing is that no one seems to care here. Everyone seems too wrapped up in their drama to even remember my name. Sang just walks around adjusting dials and ticking things off on an overstuffed clipboard. Molly is only in for a day a week, and she's constantly on the phone in her office and taking swigs from a bottle of Jameson's that I'm pretty sure she refreshes every morning. I can't tell what she's talking about, but from the diagonal paths of her conversation I can only imagine she is talking to The Boss. They go something like this:

"Like I was saying, I met with the D.A.R. this morning. That's the 'Daughters of the American Revolution,' not the security group."


"What? No. No. Wait."


"They aren't really that old. They aren't literally the daughters of the Revolution. They're like, the great-great-great-etcetera grand-daughters of the Revolution."


"No, I think 'revolutionaries' is not the proper way to describe them."


"Alert the FBI? What? No, they aren't some sort of long-lived or eugenicized bred-for-revolution group. They're just a bunch of fussy Republicans."

[long pause]

"Okay, but this is on your hands. Tentacles. Whatever. I don't want any blood spilled. Bye."

Now imagine that all day long, echoing around the office. I can understand why she drinks. Rob talks to me, but only to try and get me to do his job. Also he can't remember my name and keeps calling me "Dirty Pants" or even just "DP" which I really don't approve of. Also, he mutters a lot; it's creepy.

They stay out of my hair, but I still can't manage to get balls done around here. For the first week it was my computer. It was this oldish Dell that Sang said used to belong to this guy, Tom, who used to work here. It had a bunch of his private files on it, but whenever I started using it the monitor would turn off, or stray characters would appear on screen. I blame the OS: Windows Professional 2000. Or maybe a virus. Whatever, it was glitchy and spooky.

The second week I brought in my iBook from home and that worked fine. But the mic I had for the Dell—that I bought at goddamn Radio Shack—didn't work on the Mac. I went back there and picked up a mic they said would be perfect for my iBook. But when I got back here I saw that the Mic/Headset thing they sold me had two inputs for the computer, whereas the Mac only has one port for that shit. I drove back there and they refused to take it back as I'd opened it, until I started screaming and flipped over a display table of RC cars. I'm really half Russian and half Irish, it gives me a wicked temper and the desire to cheat people constantly, as well as a powerful taste for the drink.

My third mic, which did work with my iBook, had this "noise canceling" feature that everyone on the internet agreed was invaluable. But somehow it cancels out the extra noise from speech—the pops and hisses from your breath smacking the mic—but fails to cancel out all of the other extraneous noise in the office. So you could hear Molly shouting, hear Sang ticking his clipboard, hear Rob's porn echoing from his cubicle. I went back and returned that one, too, and they didn't fuck around this time. Looks like they know who they're dealing with.

I've ordered my fourth headset off Amazon. If all goes well I should have the first real friggin podcast up for you by then, and, hopefully, I'll get to describe for you then my first meeting with the "Giant Squid."

Until then,

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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