Katie McDowell, Life & Leisure

Podcasts that will make you more interesting at parties

Katie McDowell
Katie Long McDowell

My dog Tulip will eat anything.

And I really do mean anything.

The fuzz Moo pulls out of his toys, leaves and sticks, dirty napkins, you name it.

Nothing is off limits.

This makes walking her a veritable minefield — every bit of rotten food, all manner of discarded wrappers; an empty, capless Chapstick once, and yes, the occasional piece of dried feces is fair game.

She scored a lollipop stick with a bit of green left on it after this last Halloween.

And the chicken bones. Lord help me, the chicken bones.

I do not understand it — I mean, I know people eat chicken, and the bones go in the trash, and the trash sometimes gets spilled. But the sheer number of chicken bones littering the streets of my neighborhood is nuts.

At least once a week I’m dragging her away from the wayward remnants of a drumstick, or what’s left of a half dozen wings.

It’s gross. It’s dangerous — chicken bones are brittle and pose all sorts of digestive risks.

But it’s also baffling.

“What is with all these chicken bones?” I have asked myself nearly 10,000 times since I moved to the area. (My inner monologue sounds a lot like Seinfeld.)

So imagine my surprise when, while catching up on a backlog of my favorite podcasts recently, I hit play to hear the episode topic, “Why are there so many chicken bones on the street?”

Not only that, it was a two-parter.

This is what I love about general-knowledge shows. You never know what fascinating fact you’re going to find out next.

I hate to spoil the suspense, so I won’t go into the details of the hosts’ findings. Suffice it to say, for now, the vindication that I’m not crazy — or, at least, not about this — felt pretty good.

So as to not leave you hanging, I thought I’d share the details of this particular show, as well as a few others I’ve been learning from lately.

1.) “Search Engine.” He of the chicken bone query, PJ Vogt hosts this weekly program that takes a deeper look into whatever thought is currently plaguing him: “How do you survive fame?” “When do you know it’s time to stop drinking?” “Who should be in charge of AI?” “Why don’t we eat people?” It’s fun and informal, while still being really informative.

2.) “Stuff You Should Know.” Not new, but new to me, this podcast actually started around 2008. In it, hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant talk about random subjects that interest them and share background, tidbits and opinions about those subjects. Last week, it was the board game Clue. Today, I listened to one titled, “Like, here’s the episode on ‘like,’” where they examine the origin of the word, its use in language, and why it annoys some people so much.

3.) “The Daily” and “Post Reports.” Hosted by journalists from The New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively, these shows are updated daily and delve further into the headlines of the moment. Recently, they’ve featured episodes on why many older women are choosing not to marry, the last refuge in Gaza, the issue of Biden’s age and why Boeing airplanes keep failing. Lots of info in half-hour bites.

Now, if only someone would teach me how keep Tulip from eating poop, I’d be all set.

Katie Long McDowell is the managing editor and lifestyles columnist for The Dominion Post. Email kmcdowell@dominionpost.com