Share a little – questions from the Download

By Maria Montalvo | Dec 22, 2017

One of my favorite shows on NPR is the “Dinner Party Download.” I hope to be running errands on a Saturday afternoon (noon to 1 pm) in order to listen to it here locally on KUOW. It ostensibly prepares you for a dinner party with interesting snippets or news stories, but in reality, it fills your afternoon with information you did not know how much you wanted to know.

During this holiday season, as you prepare to gather with friends and family, I wholeheartedly recommend binge listening to the podcasts to reduce any stress and provide stories to fill any uncomfortable silences that may arise.

The show starts off with a bad joke, transitions into a moment from history that inspires a cocktail recipe, transitions to listener-requested etiquette advice (often from Emily Post’s great-grandchildren), and then presents unexpected or hilarious celebrity interviews. Each week, they end the interview with the same two questions:

What question are you tired of answering?

Can you tell us something we don’t know … about you or the world?

Guests on the show are usually people who have been interviewed over and over, so they have many examples of questions they are tired of answering. I, however, cannot think of one but can certainly think of many I am tired of hearing others answer.

On TV news, it seems like the same questions are asked over and over and over, depending on the latest Tweet or outrageous act, rather than insightful questions about actual news.

Telling people something they don’t know – that is a different story. There is an endless supply of that.

I enjoy oversized, novelty items, like the giant remote control or Big Boy figure I received as gifts from my husband (also like undersized, miniature items like the tiny oil and vinegar bottles you get with an international flight meal).

I find holiday decorating with lights beautiful and fun, but bows (the ribbon kind) and bows (as in evergreen) not so much, but I often bow to peer pressure and put them up.

I find puns and wordplay endlessly entertaining, as the above painfully demonstrates.

I don’t like candles. Yes, seriously. I find them inefficient and if they are present, I am unable to not play with the molten wax and make a mess.

Here are some fun facts:

• It rains more in New York City than it rains in Seattle.

• Oscar the Grouch was orange in the first season of “Sesame Street.”

• Children’s book writer Shel Silverstein wrote the Johnny Cash’s song “A Boy Named Sue.”

• SPY magazine once sent some of the world’s richest people checks of 13 cents to see who would cash them. The only people to do so were an arms dealer and Donald Trump.

• The CIA tested LSD and other drugs on Americans as young as 8 to create a mind-control program (and the program was not decommissioned until the late 1970s).

• Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was banned from the radio during World War II because they worried it would lower the morale of homesick troops.

So if we are lucky enough to be with loved ones over these few holiday weeks, think about a few fun facts that others need to know and maybe even share them with this column or the Beacon in Letters to the Editor.

We could all stand to learn a little more about each other and the world.



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