Good day, bad day.

Cross-posted at

So Sunday night my friend Perry died, and I spent the evening downing whiskey in his memory. He’d appreciate that. Monday morning was full of that post-bad news haze, where you have to first figure out if that was a dream and then kind of come to terms with it again.

The bizarre thing is that I never actually met Perry — I just spent three or four hours talking to him every week for more than a year as we worked on the podcast. So, we’d sign on, talk about science, argue, laugh, agree on something random, and call it a night. Perry was my opposite in a lot of ways (like gender, physical fitness, political leanings, diet, hobbies) but also very much like me in other ways (sarcasm, inability to hold the tongue, skepticism). It’s taking awhile to get used to the idea of him not being there every Wednesday to tell me what a foul-mouthed hippie I am. Like:



PERRY: Steve do you hear this girl? Rebecca, you kiss your mother with that ****ing mouth?

The bulk of our interactions never actually made it on air. Steve’s a good editor.

Anyway, Monday was rough. It was midway through the morning that I remembered it was the day I would find out whether or not I made it to Round Four of the Public Radio Talent Quest. At that point, I went from sad/angry to sad/angry/nervous as hell. My coworkers had no idea about any of this, so naturally assumed that I had been out partying all weekend (easy to let them think that since it was actually true).

By the time Izzi from PRX called to tell me I actually had made it into Round Four, I was sort of a mess. I think my response was something like, “Oh wow, that’s great. I’m so happy. Thanks so much. [AWKWARD PAUSE, SLIGHT CHOKING UP] Okay well I have a lot of work to do, so . . ..”

Now it’s Tuesday. There’s still so much sadness, and now at the same time so much excitement about the future. Perry was really supportive of me in the Talent Quest, even though public radio is run by a bunch of radical liberal socialist whatnots. I think he saw the importance of being that candle in a dark world in whatever way you can. Judging by the incredible response to the news of his death, Perry succeeded in doing that. I hope by the time I go (sometime next week, decade, or century I’m pretty sure), I’ve made a similar impact, whether it’s through the podcast, my site, a public radio show, or whatever crazy adventure is just around the corner.

Anyway, this is the post that lets the readers know I’ve made it into the next round, while letting the PRTQ audience know a little bit about what’s going on in the background. I’m going to dedicate the next round to Perry and his lifetime spent promoting science and skepticism. Then I’m going to eat a big juicy veggie burger, hug a melting glacier, and vote for a democrat.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. It's ok, everybody knows being a hippie is just about making yourself feel good, rather than actually accomplishing anything.

    Remember, everybody, you can't hug a glacier with nuclear arms.

  2. Nah… you've just got to wear some sort of insulated suit while you're hugging a glacier. That way it won't melt and you won't get frostbite. Win-win!

  3. Well, fleece and other fabrics can be made from recycled soda bottles, so you could fashion something out of that. Plus, then the fleece can be recycled when you're done with it! :)

  4. I really wanted to comment in yesterday's thread about Perry, but I just didn't have the words that seemed fitting. It is a strange thing how life often throws us good news and bad news in such a short time frame.

    Congratulations Rebecca, I hope that you find success in the next round of the talent quest. With the massive decline in quality of science outlets like the history and discovery channels every candle of reason lit is one sorely needed.

  5. Woohoo, Rebecca! Congrats yet again on moving forward. Your entry for the last round kicked so much ass, though, that I had little doubt of it. Seriously, you were like a monkey in a fight with a group of birds, and I THINK we all know how that turns out.

    Also, there's something disturbing to me in the phrase "juicy veggie burger." For one thing, I didn't think cardboard HAD juices…

  6. Hey Rebecca! Never a doubt about making it to Round 4 right? Congratulations and keep up the excellent work on PRTQ, SGU, & here.

    Interesting how some of us process bad news like that about Perry. After I heard/read and posted a few thoughts, I headed straight for the Auchentoshan bottle I'd been saving. Nothing like a single malt to mellow out with in my book. And I think you're right–he'd appreciate that.

    So . . . now you're going to address monkeys-vs-birds in Round 4? ;-)

  7. That's *awesome* you made it into the 4th round, but I really didn't think it was in doubt.

    I just wish that you had that news at a happier time :(

  8. Is the insulated suit made from a kind of plastic? Because that would be bad. For the environment.

    Of course not. Everyone knows the best insulated suits are made from baby seals. And kittens.

    And congratulations on making it to Round four!

  9. I still had a veggie burger in the freezer that I fed to the birds outside. I figured Perry's dislike of anything veggie and birdlike…

  10. Congratulations on making the 4th round. I know Perry would have been proud. While I doubt that there's an afterlife, he will live in through the lives he touched.

  11. Also, there’s something disturbing to me in the phrase “juicy veggie burger.” For one thing, I didn’t think cardboard HAD juices…

    I think it's more like soggy cardboard.

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