You call the repairman to fix a balky garage door, but when he gets there, it inexplicably works. You summon a plumber, only to find that when he arrives, your toilet’s no longer leaking, and you’re out $150. Or you discover that somewhere between your home and the doctor’s office, your kid’s sore throat miraculously healed. A caller in Traverse City, Michigan, is tearing her hair out over this phenomenon, which she calls phixophobia. But, she asks, might there be an even better word for the way inanimate objects seem to conspire against us? We think so: resistentialism. This is part of a complete episode.
- Care Package (episode #1511) 11/12/2018: Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of... [more]
- Ding-Ding Man (episode #1509) 10/29/2018: In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying... [more]
- Take Tea for the Fever (episode #1508) 10/22/2018: Silence comes in many forms. Writer Paul Goodman says there is, for example, the noisy silence of "resentment and self-recrimination," and the helpful, participatory silence... [more]
- Sundog (episode #1507) 10/15/2018: A clever pun can make the difference between a so-so phrase and a memorable one. The phrase "the last straw" refers to an old fable... [more]
- Oh, For Cute! (episode #1506) 10/08/2018: A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots... [more]