One sign of advancing age is the refusal to take notice of the newfangled. My grandma Mabel had a telephone table. It was made of wire and perforated steel, with a plastic-covered seat about the size of a phone book, and an even smaller built-in table–a ledge, really–that held the phone, which was old-school, black and rotary, as a proper grandma phone should be. When the phone rang, Grandma would lumber (in her dotage, her long legs took their time but maintained a youthful length of stride) to the telephone table, fold herself into the too-small seat, and only then would she answer with a quavery “hello?” that definitely had a question mark at the end of it. To Grandma, talking on the telephone required sitting at that table. Next door, with our white plastic phone hanging on the kitchen wall, with a cord long enough to go around the corner and into the next room, we were living in some dystopian future of go-go boots and cut-off shorts.
Recently I had the realization that I have a telephone table mentality of my own. As Grandma was aware of the fact that a telephone could hang on a wall, I am aware of the existence of podcasts. But to me, podcasts are still like extra-long telephone cords were to Grandma: some foolishness of the Young People. Unless I’m hunting for a Knit to This, the vast majority of my radio listening occurs while listening to an actual radio, usually in the car.
Which means I miss a lot of good radio, because I am not in a car very often.
Today’s Knit to This is one of my favorites, which sounds just the same coming out of the computer as it does on the radio: Snap Judgment, hosted by Glyn Washington. I have been known to park in front of a Panera for 15 minutes to listen all the way to the end of a Snap Judgment episode. (Even though I know I could dial it up on my phone later, in podcast form. The phone cord reaches everywhere nowadays!)
Bonus content: my new radio is a mason jar. It’s pretuned to only one station, WNYC. Works great, as long as I stay in NYC. Mabel would approve.