Dear Mike Birbiglia,
I recently was going for a long, windy, hilly run through the hills far beyond my house, when I tuned into the newest This American Life podcast for company. Little did I know that this would be a run I would never be able to forget. Your segment on First Contact, entitled Error at First Base, began as many of your stories do: in a lilting and strangely delivered fashion, quirky and amusing and of course, inspired. However, as I made my way through a rose garden, the phrase “homemade carnival salsa” made me laugh so hard I had to cease running, put my hands on my knees, and howl. I thought I might be okay to keep running once the giggles had subsided, but boy was I wrong. I passed a nice looking gentleman runner on the road up a huge hill that is better described as a butte, and we exchanged pleasantries at a stoplight. So there I am, farther up the butte, when you said “it was like a dog eating spaghetti with the fork” and I was done. I was on the ground laughing, and the kind gent came up behind me with obvious concern, and when I attempted to explain why this phrase had me rolling on a sidewalk not in my neighborhood, he gave me a peculiar look and backed away slowly. Sigh.
Thank you for sharing your life with a gagillion people, making us laugh crazily, and keeping us company on long runs.
All the best,
A Runner’s Delight