20. The Bowerbird's Apprentice


March 9th, 2020

1 hr 5 mins

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early!




  • Jim's favorite episodes of this show.
  • Not being plugged in and having no idea what's going on.
  • The podcast ruining somebody's lack of internet presence.
  • Not being sure whether you defined Third Culture Kid correctly.
  • The four types of Third Culture Kids.
  • Being within five minutes of a Coca Cola at any given moment no matter where you go in the world.
  • Meeting a child of a Coca Cola executive at every international school.
  • Bathroom metaphors for your childhood identity.
  • Thoroughly describing the procedure of a scientific test.
  • The only guy you know who didn't show any bias on the Implicit Bias Test showing plenty of bias after living in the United States for 15 years.
  • Showing kids pictures of faces of different races and asking them which one is the liar.
  • Children turning out racist despite never having been explicitly instructed to be racist.
  • Taking a Third Culture Kid refresher course to refresh your lack of racial bias.
  • Confusing being a minority with being oppressed.
  • Nobody having enough experience with your race to know whether or not to be prejudiced against you.
  • People who sound like they have no accent because they live near Hollywood, California.
  • Turning on a camera and expecting the money to pour down around you.
  • Nobody giving you money because you're a boring naked person.
  • Sometimes logging on and making $0 and sometimes logging on and making thousands of dollars.
  • The liberation of leaving your retail job.
  • The ability to say no when you don't want to do something.
  • Realizing your ability to consent is way more present at your sex work job than at your retail job.
  • Not being able to ban the worst customers from the store you work at.
  • Feeling like you can get to the life you want if you stick through the hard times.
  • Quitting one job that sucks and ending up at another job that sucks.
  • Working 16 hours straight at your catering job and only being able to eat when you reach in and scoop a handful of spaghetti and meatballs out of the tray you're about to serve.
  • Heading back to the kitchen before your tray of hors d'oeuvres is empty in hopes that you can eat the last few yourself.
  • Taking the deviled egg tax every time you make deviled eggs.
  • Realizing that being a scientist is way cooler than working retail.
  • When the one guy you know who's always had it figured out suddenly changes it up.
  • The cool high school robotics teacher with a top knot.
  • God-tier hipsters.
  • All babies being born early because their head gets too big.
  • The word for when someone is deliberately slow at work.
  • Being jealous of your son's ability to learn skills extremely quickly.
  • Being jealous of your son's enormous head circumference.
  • Kangaroos basically giving birth to a fetus and the fetus climbing up into the mother's pouch when your kid is sixteen months old and still can't climb worth a damn.
  • Deciding this bower sucks, chirping out and trying to find a better bower bird with a better bower.
  • Bowerbirds innately knowing that they want to build big, blue bowers, but sucking at it until they apprentice under experienced bowerbirds.
  • Innately preferring big bowers and you can not lie.
  • Bowerbirds being super impressed by blue headphones with bluetooth support.
  • Joking about introducing paint to bowerbirds and finding out they already mix their own pigments to paint the interior of their bowers blue and realizing who is the true blue master here.
  • Tripping into a plexiglass window and realizing the guy from Hudsucker Proxy saved your life.
  • Having a rich friend who owns a golf cart and tearing the golf cart around while South African golfers shake their fists at you.
  • The golf cart not having a third seat so you just stand in the indentations where the golf bags usually go.
  • Diving off of a golf cart that is about to tip over.
  • Sustaining grave head injuries but the gate attendant still not letting you take the golf cart out of the parking lot.
  • Peeling the hair off your friend's face to reveal why the gate attendant should let you out of the parking lot.
  • After your concussion, not remembering who the president is or what year it is, but still remembering that you're going to get drinks at O'Hagen's tonight.
  • Getting a security briefing at the U.S. consulate about how to deal with a carjacking and he says to just give the guy a car.
  • Embedding a second PSA within your PSA.
  • Breaking a toe by kicking the softest thing you can think of.
  • Bringing up the Big Mike for maybe the third episode in a row.
  • Needing to come back on the show to tell the people the banana truth if it turns out that the Big Mike really does taste like the fake banana flavoring.
  • Giving a name to the dude you keep hallucinating standing in the corner of the room as you sleep.
  • Rearranging your bedroom to minimize shadows because the creepy dude only materializes in darkness.
  • Your wife waking you up to tell you someone's standing in the corner of the room and saying "ok good luck with that babe" and going back to sleep.
  • Not wanting to tell anyone you hallucinate while you sleep because of mental illness stigma.
  • Sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations totally explaining why people used to believe in ghosts.
  • Having the fun doesn't-ruin-your-life kind of hypnagogic hallucinations.
  • Existential dread only getting worse as your life goes on.
  • Not being able to finish watching an episode of Gargoyles because a shot from very high up gave you mortal terror.
  • Not being on the Internet except to look for memes.
  • Enrolling in every Cognitive Neuroscience program in the country because you're trying to befriend this week's guests to get their memes.
Support Topic Lords