This summer, I was coming back to work after a long weekend in Boston when my boss mentioned that she listened to an interesting podcast. The podcast addict that I am, I had to find out more about it.
At first, I was not sold on the podcast, based on the premise that everything around us could be alive, starting first with a can of coke, but I decided to give it a try nonetheless. And I have not regretted it for a single moment. Right after listening to the first episode featuring Louis the can of Coca-Cola, I subscribed to the podcast and started reminding my boss every time a new episode came out.
“Everything is Alive” is produced and written by Ian Chillag, who has previously produced programs for NPR including “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” Chillag and his inanimate objects always provide for insightful conversation, despite the fact that “Everything is Alive” is unscripted. So far his guests have been Louis the Coca-Cola can, Maeve the lamppost, Dennis the pillow, Tara the bar of soap, Ana the elevator and Paul the tooth.
Each guest brings their own perspective on life based on their purpose and location. Maeve the lamppost spoke of watching movies through people’s windows and how she was able to see the famous light post in “Singing in the Rain.” Many times Chillag calls up experts in the field to solve some of the mysteries the various “guests” bring up.
A new episode is produced every other Tuesday and with each episode averaging 20 minutes, it is easy to start off my morning listening to the entire podcast. The best part of this podcast is the mystery of life from the perspective of the object selected. When Paul the tooth is interviewed, he talks about what he could see from his perspective in the mouth. Ana the elevator talks about her life in the building.
The one disadvantage of this podcast is the tendency for the podcasts to go off the rails, talking about random, and at times slightly boring topics. Luckily, thanks to the length of the podcast, these moments of uninteresting conversation are over quickly.
The thing that really hooked me on the first episode was that Chillag changes the course of these objects lives. It doesn’t happen with every object, but with most of them Chillag does something to change their lives or informs them of something that they didn’t know before, which has the potential to be life-changing. This makes the listener realize how much of an effect we have on the lives of these inanimate objects.
This podcast is also family friendly. In the tooth episode, the topic of the tooth fairy comes up and the tooth talks about how creepy it is that there is a lady somewhere who has a huge collection of teeth. Children of all ages could listen to this podcast and enjoy it along with their whole family.
If you want to think about everyday objects in a different light, consider listening to “Everything is Alive.” Although it won’t take much time out of your day, you may start to wonder what your pencil might say if it could talk. Or maybe what your stove thinks about its contents.