The Worst Idea of All Time

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This is the most roundabout way to recommend a podcast, but here we go:

If you’re in Chicago you’ll remember that at the end of 2013 all 80-something of the Dominick’s grocery stores closed. It was pretty sudden and it was quite a blow to us here at FuzzyCo HQ. There was a Dominick’s literally a block away and over our years in the neighborhood we had gotten very used to the notion of grocery shopping in what my mom would call the European way—that is, deciding what we wanted for dinner as we got home from work and then walking over and getting (reasonably) fresh foods to make that.

With the closure of the Dominick’s, we had to start going to grocery stores literally one-half or one mile away. Exactly, like savages. We were excited when the alderman’s newsletter[1] contained the news that Whole Foods had purchased the store and then went a banner went up saying “Whole Foods—opening Spring 2015”. We were going to have to wait a year, but we’d not only have a grocery store right across the street again, but it’d be a healthy grocery store as well.

So if this long story has a short part, it’s that the year went by and last April the Whole Foods opened. It was as great as we had hoped, with a few exceptions like tortillas[2], and we’ve been happy little shoppers.

Whole Foods is, of course, by their own designation “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” and the whole place is a little hippy-dippy. I don’t know if it’s a corporate policy or just the kind of people they hire, but all the employees are very chatty. Everyone is always happy to give advice about food preparation in their various departments and the cashiers are always saying things like “have any fun weekend plans?” as they’re ringing you up.

So it wasn’t out of nowhere when, back in February, I was pulling out my headphones as I walked up to the meat counter and one of the butchers asked “what are you listening to?”. “Some podcast or another,” I said.

“You like podcasts? There’s this crazy podcast you should listen to where these two Australian guys are watching Adam Sandler movies over and over and talking about them each week and like how they’re all like tax dodges and stuff. I mean, I’ve never actually heard it, but it sounds crazy.”

And on that sterling recommendation, I went home and did some Googling and found “The Worst Idea of All Time” podcast. It’s a podcast where Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery, two New Zealand comedians, watched (for their first season) the Adam Sandler movie “Grown Ups 2” once a week for a year, and recorded a podcast about it after each viewing.

The two guys are really funny and they set themselves a ridiculous task which they quickly realize is completely untenable, but they keep going. And by pushing through, they emerge into comedy that I don’t think they’d ever have found if they had tried to head straight for it.

I got a little obsessive and over the last four months I’ve listened to every episode of the podcast[4] and I’m completely up to date. I got my brother hooked too, to the point where he soon lapped me and was dangling spoilers ahead of me. It’s been one of our main topics of iMessage conversation over the past few months. TWIOAT: “Bringing Families Together”.

Let’s go listicle!

  • There are three seasons: Grown Ups 2, Sex and the City 2, and currently We Are Your Friends, which the boys say will be their last season of this format.
  • You should listen from the beginning. The gents go on a journey and you should go with them. The audio quality is a little rough at the beginning, but it’s worth it.
  • You don’t have to watch the movies. I watched Grown Ups 2 and then Grown Ups when I finished the first season, but I’ve never watched SatC2 or We Are Your Friends.
  • Like anything else, it’s not for everyone. But if you’ve enjoyed some of the dumb projects I’ve done, you’ll probably like this.
  • I’m all caught up on the podcast and it’s a weird feeling to have to wait for another episode!

[1] Yes, I’m the sort of person who subscribes to our alderman’s newsletter.

[2] OK, pretty much everywhere in Chicago you can get big bags of your choice of a couple brands of tortillas, all freshly made in the Chicagoland area, for pennies. Except Whole Foods, where they only have the house brand, made in New Mexico and shipped in, and it’s like $20 for a pack of 5.[3]

[3] I exaggerate for comedic effect. A little.

[4] Yes, even the 5 hour episode. OK, I didn’t listen to all of the failed episode that only had Tim’s audio. That was too much to ask.