♫♪  Cloud Diameter - Cloud Diameter

[“No Croutons Allowed,” fictional podcast, episode 0021]

RYAN: He’s still doing it. I don’t think we’re ever going to do one of these things when he’s not crunching away.

EVAN [crunches]: Nope.

RYAN: I mean, the whole point of even calling this podcast “No Croutons Allowed”… the main thrust of the title itself was so that you wouldn’t do that while we’re recording. Croutons are not a legitimate snack!

EVAN: You keep saying that, and yet I continue to prove you wrong.

JOHN: I’m over arguing about it. I mean, this is episode 2, after all; I suppose we could change the title of the podcast. And it’s not like anyone’s even going to listen to it, anyway.

RYAN: Right — we’re not great at catchy podcast titles. I mean, “The Critical Masses”? C’mon. That was a bad name from the start.

EVAN: You’re stuck with it now.

JOHN: At least “The Critical Masses” kind of made sense with what you were doing…

RYAN: It’s an albatross, an unyielding weight around my neck.

EVAN: You were neither critical nor were you a mass.

RYAN: Must you?

EVAN: I must.

RYAN: What kind of croutons do you have today?

EVAN (reads bag): “New York Texas Toast Garlic and Butter flavored Croutons.”

RYAN: I can’t even…

JOHN: They sound good, but I’d only eat them on a salad.

EVAN: Suit yourself.

RYAN: I’m just not going to eat during these. I’m not a fan of listening to other people’s mouth noises.

JOHN: Me neither! I think it sounds gross. Last thing I need is somebody smacking their tongue around inside their mouth or chewing loudly and with much saliva. All I picture when I hear that is the food, midway between solid and liquid, somehow escaping sloppily and publicly. I’m about to gag just thinking about it.

EVAN: Doesn’t astronaut food exist in that form? Otherwise it’d get all over the place in zero gravity.

RYAN: They do eat out of tubes.

JOHN: Now you’re making me think about eating the result of the mouth noises.

EVAN: You can’t drink liquid in zero gravity.

JOHN: Right.

RYAN: Well, not unless it’s in a space container.

EVAN: It’d get everywhere.

RYAN: It sure would.

EVAN: Also, I don’t think they’d allow croutons on board. I’d have to smuggle them in the shuttle in a pocket.

JOHN: An asssss-tronnaut pocket o’ croutons!

EVAN: They’d crumble into nothing on liftoff and float about the cabin. Then we’d be in for it.

RYAN: We’re actually recording this with a plan in mind, if you can believe it.

JOHN: Just sift through the nonsense.

RYAN: I’ll edit all this out… No, I won’t.

EVAN: Be honest: it’s better that way.

RYAN: I got this email from a guy named Sullivan…

JOHN: Sully!

RYAN: I bet his friends totally call him Sully. Although he’s from the UK, and they’re a bit more formal about what they call each other. Like, William, not Bill.

EVAN: Or Billiam.

RYAN: England is not like the southern U.S. — like where I am…

JOHN: There’s Brexit.

RYAN: Oh yeah — I guess the UK has its share of baffling and backward political movements too!

JOHN: Nailed it.

RYAN: I was talking about the informality of abbreviation, though. It’s so uncouth!

JOHN: How are you fit to police what’s couth or not?

EVAN: Yeah, all we do is quote movies and TV shows at each other whenever we get together. We’re pretty dumb people.

RYAN: Side note: Evan and I are brothers for anybody who doesn’t know that.

JOHN: I’m not related.

RYAN: But you wish you were.

JOHN: Not really…

RYAN: So, about Sully…

JOHN: Who’s not from Boston…

RYAN: Right, who’s not from Boston — Sullivan is from Hebden Bridge, which is REALLY far north from London, where I lived for a bit. It’s about five hours away…

EVAN: I can’t believe I didn’t come visit you when you lived there.

RYAN: You should’ve. Hebden Bridge is north of Manchester, and the quickest route, interestingly, is the M62, depending on traffic I’d imagine.

JOHN: I’m not sure about your definition of “interesting”…

RYAN: So, Sullivan emailed me his new record as Cloud Diameter, which is only available digitally at the moment…

JOHN: Good old Bandcamp.

EVAN: Hold on.

RYAN: Where are you going?

JOHN: … Sounds like he left.

EVAN: [muffled sounds, growls, whines]

EVAN: OK, I’m back. Sherman was chewing on the couch.

RYAN: Sherman’s Evan’s dog. Blue heeler.

EVAN: Yeah, he’s a big idiot.

RYAN: You guys get a chance to listen to Cloud Diameter?

JOHN: Yeah — I really like it. It’s spacey and weird but vibrant and terrestrial. Sounds like if a computer ventured into unexplored regions of a computer planet and discovered other computers cut off from the rest of computerkind.

EVAN: It sounds like digital orchestras tuning up for new digital episodes of Computer BBC’s Digital Planet series. God, Sherman!

RYAN: What’s he doing?

EVAN: He knocked his water bowl over. It’s right here, I’ll clean it up.

RYAN: Well, I wasn’t sure how one measured “cloud diameter,” what with the ever-shifting nature of clouds and all…

JOHN: Sometimes, they turn into rain.

RYAN: That’s true, John — very good point. Our kindergarten listeners are rapt with attention. But I guess Sullivan gives it an awfully good try, and that inspiration led to what sounds to me like digital weather devices attempting to rein in the composition of electric clouds, but each squirts away from the other almost constantly because the task is a fool’s errand. You can’t measure the diameter of a cloud! That, at least, is something I’ve decided.

JOHN: And the digital clouds move across Computer Planet…

RYAN: Digital Planet, if we trust the BBC.

JOHN: Do we? You know, Brexit…

EVAN: Did the BBC have something to do with Brexit?

JOHN: If you believe some people, the BBC was solely responsible for Brexit.

RYAN: …That sounds crazy.

JOHN: Most people are crazy.

EVAN: I’m not.

RYAN: You eat croutons for a snack! That’s the definition of crazy!

EVAN: Actually, the definition of “crazy”…

RYAN: I know what the definition of “crazy” is. You’re just ridiculous. Anyway, shall we play the quote-unquote audience a little bit of this Cloud Diameter thing?

JOHN: Yes, let’s.

EVAN: I’m in.

RYAN: Let’s take a listen.

1.”No Croutons Allowed” is the fictional sequel to “The Critical Masses Podcast,” which did exist, although internet records are sketchy. Mainly because I lost the episode files.

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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