It’s All Fun and Games. Stories about Rubber Chickens and more at Archie McPhee in Seattle
This episode is a conversation with the owner of Archie McPhee Mark Pahlow and Shana the High Priestess of Rubber Chickens at the Rubber Chicken Museum located in the Archie McPhee store.
We talk about the history of Archie McPhee from Mark's youthful business adventures to the retail store location of today. Including a strange coincidence between liquor stores and Archie McPhee.
The Rubber Chicken Museum and how it came into existence is covered. Shana provides a complete rundown on the museum and much more.
This was a very fun conversation and I am very happy that I was able to spend over a hour learning more about Archie McPhee and all of the zany things that they do to make it so you can have weird and fun things in your life. Especially today we all need to make time to have fun and be a bit silly.
If you want other great ideas of places to visit, or to find out more about people who are making amazing things in Washington State you can visit Explore Washington State.
Each episode will will have a chat with someone who has a great story to share about Washington State. From artists, to business owners. Musicians to athletes Exploring Washington State will showcase the beauty and creativity here in Washington State.
You can find all of our podcast episodes on our Exploring Washington State Podcast Page.
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Announcer : Welcome to the exploring Washington State podcast. here's your host, Scott Cowan.
Scott Cowan : Hey everybody, this is Scott Cowan and today I am talking to Shana Danger and Mark Pahlow from Archie McPhee. Welcome, everybody.
Shana Danger : Thank you. Thank you.
Scott Cowan : So, one of you, I'll let you decide to give us a little bit of the backstory of Archie McPhee and how it got started.
Shana Danger : Well, I'm gonna let Mark do that because he's the owner of a company and he started the company.
Mark Pahlow : If you really want to go back to the book of Genesis, it probably started when I was like eight years old. With I liked cool, weird things that I would see in the backs of comics like x ray specs and sea monkeys and all that kind of thing. And I was always interested in that. And I was also always interested in nostalgia and popular culture and, and these kind of things in everyday life that are part of the fabric of life, but people don't pay much attention to. And anyway, I had a variety of ridiculous businesses when I was small, you know, everything from charging a nickel to electrocute people.
Scott Cowan : I want to ask you about that because I read that online.
Shana Danger : It's one of my favorite
Mark Pahlow : We put the train transformer, you know, which was like a real electrical device with a dial on it and hook wires up to an aluminum folding chair and people would sit in it and they would get to shock as we turn it up, and
Shana Danger : how old were you at that Mark?
Mark Pahlow : I was eight or nine to 10. Yeah. And, I had an older brother, who was six years older, who was much more technical in terms of electricity and all that, but he was kind of, he was the nerd. You know, he later went and got a degree in physics. I mean, he was a total science nerd. But we hooked that up and I don't know, I just remember a guy named Neil from down the street that he put his feet on the metal bar, and we turned way up and he really got a shock and he walked that money worth he walked out of there kind of twitching. I was just, you know, it just a good thing that these liability suits and all that stuff, but this is like way far, this is. This is like 1960 I mean this is a whole different world exactly, except for
Shana Danger : The statute of limitations has run out
Unknown Speaker : But just to kind of bring it up to date, I mean, I was always interested in this stuff. I started in the 70s collecting cigar box labels and old toys and and all of that. And I would do, I would do drive aways where you would take somebody's nice car and deliver it, I would drive from LA to New York and then I would stop in little drugstores. I remember great finds in Kansas and Nebraska and the state roads and I would just buy all the toys from the drugstore, because they were often made in Japan, and they were often you know, from the 50s. And then they would never sold they were mint condition and they were they were on the shelf. They were dusty, but and then I would sell them in New York and you know, do it again and again and again. And it just moved along that way and I had mail order business.
Mark Pahlow : Eventually I moved to Seattle in 1982 put everything in a truck and got a store next to a place called the Pink and Pretty Beauty Salon on upper Fremont and started there in a tiny space. The lady next door who owned the Pink and Pretty had some storage space and I would store the pink flamingos there was very funky. And then it was just a series of finding places and then we found a place in lower stone way in, in the kind of frontier Battlezone between Fremont and and Wallingford, you know.,
Scott Cowan : Right, I remember that. I remember that. I was in that location. I think
Mark Pahlow : That was the best location. It was really funky, had wooden floors that were really old and if you dropped something it would go down into a crack and you'd never get it again. And then it used to actually be a Chevy car dealer. And those doors would roll up and they'd bring in like the 36 Chevy kind of thing. It was actually a little funky car room show. And Shana will remember where it was a guy we call Tar Pit Tony. Yeah, in the basement who had a roofing business, and he had big vats of tar that he'd heat up and the, the tar smell would come up through the floor.
Shana Danger : I mean, always on hot days, we had to choose between having the window open and smelling the tar, or, or closing the windows and being too hot. Of course, we didn't have any AC in that building, then that's often the building that everybody remembers, but a lot of people don't know about the Pink and Pretty era of Archie McPhee, but the one on 35th and stone way is where I started.
Scott Cowan : So Mark, what brought you to Seattle? What was the the impetus to come up to Seattle was incredibly cool in the early 80s. So I could applaud you but what was what was the motivation?
Mark Pahlow : You Find this amusing but it was cheap real estate, because I had married and LA and realized that it would be impossible to buy a home because LA was experienced this incredible appreciation of real estate. And getting commercial space for a business was was was extremely expensive and and then it was also just wanting to raise a family and wanting to do it in Seattle, not LA. And so that's that's why and and it all worked out and you know,
Scott Cowan : Rest is history. Yeah. So, Shana, how long so? When we talked earlier you mentioned you've been working for Archie McPhee for 29 years?
Shana Danger : Yeah, July will be my 29 year anniversary.
Scott Cowan : So what's your version of last 29 years got to start Now what's what you take us up kind of another decade? How about that?
Shana Danger : Okay, so I started exactly as Mark said, the the flow. I started with trying to clean out those floors. Everything had fallen into the cracks. And at that time, you know, it was a very tiny little store just packed with stuff. And I, we were there for a good long time before then we moved to Ballard and we were in Ballard for 10 years. And so first of all, I'm going to talk about moving those things that was in St. was moving that whole store into that bigger Ballard location. It was absolute madness. And that was one of the bigger challenges ever for me. And then, you know, in that little store, we had all kinds of things happen, like celebrities would come in and we have our wallet, we started our wall of fame back then. And we had some interesting events like we had Mark, do you remember we had an ice cream social with Ben and Jerry and Ben and Jerry, the actual people Ben and Jerry came, and they were introducing their new ice cream which was Wavy Gravy, so Wavy Gravy, who a lot of people know from Woodstock came also and it was our tiny little store. I don't know how we would pull off these big events where there was real you know, these real people were showing up and like hula hooping and playing you know, with bubbles and giving out ice cream. That was one of our things at that store. And then we moved to Ballard which was, it was a, it was exciting, but also tear filled because we missed our little Stone Way store and our little we kind of became more well known, I think once we moved there, and also we started using, you know, barcodes and everything else. It was, it was fancy, but we've never sold out because we still were super cool. And we continue to have tons of interesting events. So Ballard we had our free Ballard movement which was talking about the we celebrated the hundred year of the end actually wasn't a celebration It was more like trying to end the hegemony of the of the Ballard becoming annexed to Seattle 100 years before. So we had all kinds of games, like the one of the rumors, because Seattle really wanted Ballard to be a part of it. 100 years previous. And so one of the things that they had done rumor, the rumor was is that they foul they'd defouled the water, the drinking water in Ballard so that you'd have to join up with Seattle by putting a dead horse in it. So we had little games where we would like toss horse heads into water. It was like defoul the water was a game and that kind of stuff. So we had a lot of things in Ballard that was 10 years. We were there. Till 1900 and 99 I guess it would have been no 2009 2009 we move Yeah, 1999 to 2009. We were in Ballard and then 2009 we moved into Wallingford. And this time we were back on stone way at 45th and Stone. And this is the location where it's, it's actually a very, really wonderful spot we've included now we have a lot more little experiences within the store. And of course, our biggest one is the rubber chicken Museum, which I'm sure we'll be talking about. But we have all kinds of things like the glow chamber and we have Motog, the talking Tiki and we have Captain Archie who gives up fortunes, and lots of little experiences like that.
Mark Pahlow : You know, an interesting sideline is our parallel life with the Washington State Liquor board.
Shana Danger : That's right,
Mark Pahlow : in that the Ballard location was a Washington State Liquor Store when this state had control liquor sales and we took it over, but You know, unfortunately for years after that, drunks and people would still stagger in trying to buy alcohol, you know, and all we have rubber, rubber chickens and things, you know. But then we got the Wallingford place and that was a Washington State Liquor Store as well. And they decided not to renew their lease and we got that space. And that was a liquor store and it had a liquor store vibe and and we even found like this was very cool, like, up kind of in the rafters up above the bathroom, little hidey holes with little those tiny little bottles of liquor like used to get on airlines, where I think the employees had like, taken them to the bathroom and chug a lug them and then they hit the bottles up in these little things in the rafters, you know, so you, you walk into this whole historical and social kind of thing and and it was just, it was amusing.
Shana Danger : People kept accusing us of taking over from, you know, taking over state liquor stores. If we were, you know, outmaneuvering the state, like no, they just didn't fulfill their lease didn't want their leases anymore. So they're great, great locations actually.
Scott Cowan : So, Mark earlier before we push the record button, you were talking about COVID Brain and all that. How are you guys adapting during because at the time of this recording, we're graduating I think you guys can counties in phase two now so you can open again? Yeah, so stores are open. How's that? How are you guys navigating that how how's that for retail business? How does that work for you guys? You having fun with it? I mean, are you guys I kind of think you guys be irreverent somehow and making not making fun of it but making light of the situation.
Mark Pahlow : We've actually been operating for a surprisingly long time I mean first, we did curbside which is absurd and ridiculous you know you drive up and we run out with a rubber chicken. And and but we did that we had curbside. And then we were just about ready to open what we call the chicken shack which was we opened the double doors at the back of the store and we had built a little kind of like lemonade stand wooden thing called the chicken shack where you could social distance and we had tongs and you could ask us for something and we'd run into the store and we'd come out we'd hand it to you with tongs and, and there was a little, you know, mobile credit card thing. That was amusing. I mean, all of that. And then and then we were finally able to open the store and allow 10 people in time and now it's 24 and people are slowly coming back, but it's very stressful. It's very hard to be masked and to do all of that stuff and there's a lot of fear and it's simply comfortable to work in a mask. We all know that and, and there's a few, you know, most 99% of the people are always fantastic. And there are so few jerks, like, you know, if you don't have a mask, we will give you one. And you know, and we had a guy that like what said, sig heil because we ask him to wear a mask. I mean, it's so disappointing that this incredible health crisis is become politicized. I mean, that's another story, but it's open. We did it mainly. I mean, we're losing money hand over fist doing this. But we wanted to show the world that life will go on. And it It made a lot of difference to a lot of people to start to see us open.
Shana Danger : Yeah, we actually, we actually had people call us and say oh, I'm not calling to place an order. I just want to tell you, I'm so happy. You're there. And we had multiple. We've had multiple people do that. And it's so cool to know what a big part of the community we are and such a sign of joy that we are. And, you know, we, we are trying to, you know, add that little little piece of joy Mark, you had said, you know, people have been buying all the practical things, everybody's buying flour and toilet paper and wipes and everything. And then at a certain point, people want a rubber chicken and a finger puppet, they just want something else they want to spend money on something silly, and we're there for them. And and as we were saying, you know, you can actually literally call us up and we will curbside pickup a single finger puppet for you little finger monster. A buck, you know, you can do that. So we're trying to create that little piece of joy there.
Scott Cowan : I think you know, I think it's really awesome that you guys are Doing curbside delivery, it's not not financially functional, I get that. A roasting a Coffee Company in Spokane. It's been filming. They'll do, people can drive by and they'll throw the coffee at them through the car as they're filming it, and posting it on Facebook and you know, the woman that's doing its, you know, behind her back and she's, she's getting very creative and, and they're having fun with it. And they're, you know, they're trying to you know, celebrate their clients and the customers are coming in, you know, coming out and they've got choices, right and same thing here you guys, you know, you're bringing finger puppets to the car you know finger puppet delivery. I mean, I don't think that was in your business plan ever. Right? I think that was part of the you know, when you sat down with with your banker back in the day and said, This is my plan for world domination. We're going to deliver finger puppets to cars, right. I don't think that's what you were thinking.
Shana Danger : We got to adapt.
Scott Cowan : Right? Yeah. Exactly so. So let me ask both of you about the store. What's your favorite item that you sell? What's your, like, your favorite item and Shana You go first this time.
Shana Danger : Mark, it's more time to think about, well, of course, you know, being in this company so long we at least I go through phases of different things being my favorite. And I suppose now that I am, you know, I have the title of the High Priestess of rubber chickens. And I think the classic rubber chicken has become my favorite item, even after all these years and all these different items. And the thing is, is that it's so ridiculous. It is absolutely the symbol of humor. But it's a ridiculous item. People don't know why it's funny. It just symbolizes being funny. And I love the history of novelties. I love the history of our type of business. And the classics and so I will go with rubber chicken even though sometimes I have other things that I'm more excited about at the time. But if you take the whole picture, I got to say rubber chickens, it represents us, it represents me. And it's, um, it's, we keep doing new things that you can squawk it, you can squeak it, you can make a bigger you can make it smaller, but there's that classic is just, you just can't it's undeniable.
Mark Pahlow : And this is the perfect moment to mention that was Shana's idea a few years ago to within the store, create the rubber chicken museum. And right that took about a year to develop. And we you know, I pulled all of these old chickens out of storage and got a lot of old material and tried to remember their stories and we do this wonderful parody of a museum with the little information cards and the whole thing, and was Shana's idea. And it's, it's wonderful. And we've been, you know, we get donations of, of chicken items from people who want their thing to be in the museum. Like we got a rubber chicken that was from the MSNBC newsroom that what was the story on that? Did it go into space or something
Shana Danger : or no, that another one? That's a different one. But, but but you're right. The MSNBC one was a really cool story of when MSNBC first came to our area. And when they first were doing, you know, an online presence. And so they had, you know, 24 hour news and it was cable news and it was a new thing to them. And their newsroom had to figure out who was in charge because it was 24 hours. And so they put this thing where whoever had the chance And the rubber chicken was in charge for the day. And they did that for many, many years. And then eventually the chicken started to get kind of decomposed and everything so they put it they framed it as a symbol in their office. And when and then they, you know, then MSNBC became a much bigger thing and not local and everything else but they contacted me the person who had the chicken and said they would love to have it in our museum because what better place than a museum for that chicken and it was really, really cool. They contacted some of the old MSNBC people, we did a live Facebook for them and showed them their old chicken and we had around 30 people showed up live and then another hundred or so watched online as we dedicated the chicken and introduced it into the museum that they can visit anytime and they had great stories that they were telling each other. So that's kind of one of our features in the museum. But what's so funny about the museum is you know, people think haha rubber chicken museum even friends of mine, but when you go there it's actually really interesting to read the cards and see the stories and we have lots of cool chickens and cool stories and we've and as Mark said, We have many donations we've had people donate like a stained glass, rubber chicken. And, and by the way, the word rubber chicken. It refers to that class rubber chicken shape. We know that some things aren't actually made out of rubber and they're still called rubber chickens. I get some sticklers sometimes who are like Well, that's not a rubber chicken. That's a glass chicken. Now rubber chicken is the style of chicken that it is.
Scott Cowan : So all right. It was your idea to start a rubber chicken museum. You you get credit for that.
Mark Pahlow : Yeah, free free free admission.
Shana Danger : free admission.
Mark Pahlow : Let's Let's we have That's right. Let's make sure that it's clear.
Shana Danger : That's right.
Scott Cowan : We're okay. How did you get the inspiration? What what was you know why rubber chicken and not whoopee cushions or you know, or something, you know?
Shana Danger : Okay, so the original inspiration that I had was I went to Berlin and I went to this museum called, it was a museum, they didn't get di n ge dinge, a thing, the Museum of things. And I went, I read on Atlas Obscura, what to do in Berlin and I went to this cool museum that was up all these stairs and it was just this, this bunch of rooms and it was all these things put together in this very unusual way sort of things that were alike so maybe it would be doorbell buttons all together in a case or pay piles of paper clips. And, of course, one of my favorites and Mark knows this. I've always loved the imagery on mousetraps, the little red mouse that's on a wooden mousetrap. I don't want to sell mouse traps. Don't get into the mousetrap business but I always love that beautiful little mousetrap graphic. And they had a whole shelf of these mousetraps and I was like, oh I'm, I'm in heaven here. And I love this museum of putting things together in this different way. So when I came back from my trip, I said we have to you guys we have to have a museum we have to do a museum we have so many cool things. And then it kind of got into yeah, what would the item be? What's worthy of a of a of having a museum? Would it be a museum of multiple things? Or is it a museum of one thing and then David Wahl our other partner here are my partner at work was like, you know, we keep talking about rubber chickens Is that something which does not have enough and you know, we we started saying like, yeah, you we said whoopee cushions or poop or whatever. And we just kept coming back to is there enough to say rubber chickens. And we really started to put together our heads about rubber chickens and the different ones and we were like, Yeah, actually, we could do this. And we also have a rotating exhibit. Because Mark has this incredible collection of items of historical novelties and all kinds of things that he has in this room that nobody's allowed to go into called Room 6. And so we wanted to kind of try to get him to give up some of that stuff and let us see some of the good stuff from Room 6. So we have the rubber chicken museum and then we have the rotating exhibit from Room 6 that Mark personally curates. So I curate sort of the major rubber chicken museum and he personally curates the Room 6 exhibit.
Scott Cowan : We're gonna come back to rubber chickens. We're gonna ask Room 6, do they get named? It's a it's an odd name. So what's the story with Room 6?
Mark Pahlow : We had a location for some years in the 90s on a street called Bright Street off of Leary way in Seattle. And there was a hall with rooms and I took a room and started putting my collections and things in it and we need to have in a business you need designations. And I didn't want to put like, you know, secret Museum of extremely valuable collectors. I mean that would like be a tip off for a burglar, right? So I just put a post it note up and said Room 6, keep out. And so when we moved several times over the years and ended up where we are now in Mukilteo it just I just took a room and it just was the Room 6 room and everybody knew what it was. So it worked out.
Scott Cowan : So that's that's your collection of personal collectibles mementos, if you will, and then you you'll display some of them in the Wallingford store. Yep. How often do you change that out?
Mark Pahlow : Well, it was going to be every three months but it's been about two years and now now with Coronavirus, God knows when we'll change it out, but it will be changed out.
Shana Danger : It will be changed. We put out we have our bin of items for the next exhibit, but we have to write all the museum cards and it takes a lot of time and history. And it's hard because, you know, often we're not able to get together on these kinds of things. So it's been other priorities. But it's we've got the next idea.
Scott Cowan : So currently what's in that exhibit? if somebody were to go to your store in the near near future, what would they see there? What's on display now in Room 6.
Mark Pahlow : There are various novelty items from the 30s 40s and 50s. A lot of them a few from Germany, some from Japan, and they're made of materials that aren't used anymore like celluloid and actual rubber and they're terribly charming and terribly interesting. little delicate paper things. They're just to me, they're the most beautiful things in the world. Because, you know, I think about how they were made and the fact that they survived so long, you know, 100 years, and we have them here. And and they're just part of this tradition of basically craft items for people to sort of take life less less seriously, just use their imagination and try to make a living, you know?
Scott Cowan : Sure. Okay. Now that's I just somehow this jog a memory of mine when I was in grade school, at a school carnival. And they gave away those you know, those chintzy cheesy prizes. And there was the braided tube that you put your fingers in.
Shana Danger : Finger trap.!
Scott Cowan : Why Why did that trigger that in my brain? I don't know. But it did and I'm, yeah, I have to tell you, we sell finger traps. And I have rescued so many people out of those. We actually made a little extra instructional video on how to get out of a finger trap. So help that eight year old kid. Many years ago How was I supposed to get out of the thing? Because I just remember kind of being in a panic like....
Shana Danger : we've had criers okay. I
Scott Cowan : think I cried. It was probably getting pretty close though. Yeah, my mom had helped me
Shana Danger : It's rather, I've had I've had employees get stuck, new employees get stuck in it too. By the way, it's not just children.
Mark Pahlow : You know, it's quite charming that there is a Star Trek Next Generation episode with Data who has given one of these things and you know, he's like the super genius Android, and he gets his finger in them. And even with his super brain, he can't get out of it. And there's something so gratifying about that.
Scott Cowan : Ay, ay warning. I'm gonna ask a question we didn't talk about before we started. New employee training. Yeah. You mentioned, you know, new employees get stuck in a finger trap. How does one How is one prepared to work at Archie McPhee? is there is there? Is there a manual? Is there a training guide? Or is it? I mean, what's the story there?
Shana Danger : Well,there's certainly manuals and training guides and everything else. But a lot of it has to do with having an excitement and a passion for what we do. And also not intimidated by having to memorize you know, 10,000 items, we have 10,000 items and you have to know where they are what they are. Probably 10% of them, you need to know the price of you have to just memorize it. And being able to think in a different way because we don't have that exact one thing that that somebody says Oh, do you have this thing you have to go, we don't have that. But we have this, this and that, that makeup that you can use this for that. So you have to really be able to think on your feet. And really sort of bring your own style. And one of the things that's such an important part of our, our jobs is everybody makes it their own. So if they're really good at hand lettering, for example, they will become the sign maker or if they're really good at social media, they might be the person. So everybody brings something and their personal thing that they bring is what their job becomes. So so there's there's that and we we, we used to have a series of tests that you had to do when you started, which was we used to have a nerd test, but we but everybody or everybody is a nerd now, but there used to be a nerd test on the back of our nerd glasses that said things like you know, do you know what a font is? Well, of course now everybody knows what a font is. It's harder to see how what percentage nerd you are because we're all our nerd scores have gone up so much. We used to make people you know, like there's a screw, we have screwdriver handles, they have a really weird smell. You'd have to like go smell the screwdriver handles do the nerd tests, and a few other things. And so that's, you know, the initiation. initial. Okay, so there is an initiation. Yeah, it's gentle. It's very,
Mark Pahlow : You know, since you brought that up, I would say it's interesting that smell is really critical in what we do. And every time we get a new item, or we design something, the first thing I do and everyone does is you smell it. Yeah, not only does it have to look good, but it has to have a smell that is not too repellent. And that is pleasing. And so it's a weird thing, which you can't do in the digital world. You got to go. You gotta go
Shana Danger : to do it. Well, the other thing we have to do now is to taste our candies right so we have weird candies. I the one that really stands out to me is the fried chicken candy. It tastes exactly like sweet fried chicken, which is kind of disturbing in a candy but it's amazing how it tastes and amazing how people have a different some people think it's like the worst worst candy, we sell it Some people think it's the best candy we sell. But yeah, we definitely make people taste weird things too. I mean, we make is strong, I guess, encourage,
Scott Cowan : strongly encourage social pressure.
Mark Pahlow : Okay. But you know, just speaking to that about him about employees, there's some, it's hard to say we look for something special about people who are willing to engage other people. joke with them, put them on educate them, and you can't really tell that from an interview. And it's, I mean, I actually I like to give people a hard time, you know, and and and you know, you know, just to sort of say see what happens. I mean, like people that say, Oh, yeah, I used to go to your store in Ballard. I mean, you know, that was a decade ago and and you know, Shana has the best answer. It's like, What? You've not been to Wallingford, you're dead to me.Get out.
Shana Danger : What are we done for us lately? Like, thanks a lot.
Mark Pahlow : Because a big part of retail of retail, people need a reason to come in. It has to be somewhat theatrical. And so we definitely, I have to tell you, people that have done improv, make really great store employees. People who've done improv make really great employees where they have to work with people, you know, in sales and these kinds of things. And it's, it's very interesting kind of what, what we're looking for.
Shana Danger : And it's not always the person who is though like wackiest because sometimes we have people who are like, I'm super wacky, and it's doesn't really you know, we love wacky, but it's not the only thing you can't you can't just bring that to the table, you know, you have to have some other abilities, I think it's, it's a really challenging place to work because you have to be good with people, you have to be able to count cash, you know, count, change back to people because we're, you know, small business. So we are, you know, people can buy things for a literal dollar. So you have to be able to count five, get changed from a five i
Scott Cowan : It's almost like a lost art
Mark Pahlow : it is
Shana Danger : I have to train people on it. And you know, anything having to do with we have to stock the sales floor and learn all those things. And you have to be able to lift heavy boxes, and you have to be able to organize things. So it's a, it's a, and we also have events for people and we have spin to wins and all kinds of fun things all the time. So
Scott Cowan : Sounds like it's never a dull moment in the store.
Shana Danger : It's an experience and That's one of the things that we're hoping, you know, people appreciate going forward with life is the experience of being somewhere, you know, not just buying things online.
Mark Pahlow : I think one of the hardest things for staff that all everyone will encounter is a lot of parents will bring their children for the first time, and they'll give them $1 or $5. And they say, okay, you're on your own, just go. This is, a lot of times this is I think, the earliest experience with money for a lot of children is our store. And they'll spend all this time getting, you know, a little plastic giraffe and a little, you know, doo dah this kind of thing, and they'll bring it up and they will have done the math, and, you know, it'll be like 99 cents, and they'll give us $1 and then the store person has to say, there's Washington state sales tax, and it's 9.8753. You know, it's like, the kid is like, What? Like this concept of taxation is oh horribly traumatic event.
Scott Cowan : So how do you guys handle that when the kid comes up with the, you know, he's got the carefully calculated 97 cents worth of things.
Mark Pahlow : how you how we handle it, the the employee themselves usually reaches into their pocket and puts a dime in cover it.
Scott Cowan : That's awesome. That's that's, that's wonderful, But we warn them next time you got to pay the tax. Right? Well, it's, it's a teaching mode.
Mark Pahlow : Absolutely.
Scott Cowan : But you also made the kids super happy that he got 97 cents for the stuff and
Shana Danger : Although sometimes we get scolded by the parent, no, they have to learn a dime back. Okay, well, we also have our the employee who now we have been around long enough that we have an employee who was that child and now as an employee, so she remembers buying things as a kid and I, I helped her, you know, I waited on her as a child and now she's an employee and she has things left that she bought in the 90s. You know, with her her allowance money, and now she's a store employee. So it's really, it's, that's very cool.
Mark Pahlow : Who are you referring to
Shana Danger : Angela
Mark Pahlow : Okay.
Scott Cowan : Yeah. See? That's very cool.
Shana Danger : Yeah, she has a Devil, Ducky wastebasket, and all these things that she bought with her own money, you know, and she probably didn't have tax money and all that. So it's very cool. But we're really proud of you all.
Scott Cowan : So she of all people should be compensating tax.
Shana Danger : Right. That's right. reminder of that.
Scott Cowan : So let's go back to the rubber chicken museum.
Shana Danger : Yes.
Scott Cowan : Approximately how many exhibits are in this museum?
Shana Danger : Oh, let's see. Let's go with 120.
Scott Cowan : Okay,
Shana Danger : we're keeping adding to it you know so we're not taking anything out so far we just keep adding.
Mark Pahlow : I mean you have to understand some things are very small like there is the world's largest that we have the world's largest rubber chicken but we also which is seven feet tall we're the world's smallest chicken which you can only see with a big magnifying glass
Shana Danger : yeah
Mark Pahlow : and then we we have some very tiny chickens
Shana Danger : and we have the world's second smallest rubber chicken because one chicken it was just not small enough so we have this world's second largest smallest rubber chicken I'm the world's smallest rubber chicken the world's largest rubber chicken.
Scott Cowan : Why, do we have microscopic rubber chicken
Shana Danger : Listen, why do we have any chickens? It's it's hilarious. What was the two? What do you know the historical story of the world's smallest rubber chicken. How did it come about? Well, I just said we needed the world's smallest rubber Chicken and we acquired it.
Scott Cowan : You acquired it.
Shana Danger : We made it happen let's say.
Scott Cowan : Let's say it's provenances was well documented.
Shana Danger : We have we have some amazing chickens of note. We have a we have a rubber chicken that was for locals that was signed by JP Patches and Gertrude. Okay, we have a spin ghuli for those who are spend ghuli fans. We have a Svengoolie signed rubber chicken and we are his official rubber chicken supplier. We have a memorial chicken which a customer this was one of our really actually before we open the museum. A customer had said that his wife passed and she really loved Archie McPhee and really loved the rubber chicken and he asked if we would put he he put her name on a chicken and send it to us and asked if we would put it up in our store. And that was really, really touching We ended up really we were excited when we opened the museum because we said oh now actually, I mean, we had it in our store hanging but having it in a museum was really really lovely. So, no, it's actually you know, rubber chickens mean something to people
Scott Cowan : I'm pausing because I'm trying to formulate my thought there. I think it's really cool personally, I do it's it's just so out of out of left field for me, I guess you know, and it was like, when I reached out to you guys and you responded back to me Shana with the High Priestess of rubber chickens. I was like, Oh, this I hope they say yes because this will be a fun conversation and and it just is i think it's it's great. It's irreverent it's it's puts a smile on your face. You can't say the word rubber chicken without kind of grinning just a little bit. I mean, you just kind of it's, you know, it's a chuckle So in the museum what is what is the I don't know rarest the world's smallest chickens probably the rarest but you know what is in the grand scheme of things are there rare rubber chickens?
Shana Danger : There are rare rubber chickens we have. I think everyone has a different favorite. We have a crushed haunted chicken that was crushed for decades under pallets in our warehouse and it's it's on a plate and it's sort of this scary haunted chicken. So some people really love that. And of course you know getting your picture with the world's largest rubber chicken is is sort of a must you have to get your picture taken with the world's largest rubber chicken it just has to it has to happen. And then we also have swag so like you can get the postcard of the world's largest rubber chicken we have the rubber chicken museum gift shop of course.
Mark Pahlow : We have a goofy sign that says you know exit here to the gift shop
Shana Danger : exit to the
Mark Pahlow : Basically, Obviously, the whole place is a gift shop. But you know, we are in that genre that I love so much of all over the country. and even in the world. I've been to places in France in the UK, where some little town who, for some reason, somebody says, I'm going to make the biggest ball of string and put a sign up on the road and, you know, maybe make a buck or two, or the biggest frying pan, you know that that stuff is actually really huge. It's terribly charming. Where are these people in isolation, we'll try to do something that often they're quite serious about and want to show it to the rest of us. And in this world that is just so fast moving and so digital and data driven. These are like, these are like sitting around the campfire telling stories. These are like really primal, human behaviors that bring us together and that are very good. touching that are accessible to everyone. You don't need an education, you don't need any money. I mean, you can you can, you can access these things. And I mean, one of the things I had planned to do in 2020 was a major road trip all through the US and I was going to hit because there's a couple of good books out there on the the biggest frying pan and all that I was going to hit all those places because I just, and a lot of those people come to see us to the, you know, you probably know about the art cars at the Fremont Solstice Parade and you know, a lot of those people will come and see us when they're in town for that and a lot of them are of that era because they you know, their car is their museum. And there's a real strange Band of Brothers kind of things and sisters going on with this thing that is really heartwarming and in and I just love it because it's not it's not corporate, you know, it's not Amazon It's not Google. It's not. You know, it's not all that stuff. It's the people, people's thing.
Scott Cowan : I can't imagine Walmart delivering anything to my car. But Mark, I asked a question earlier that you you avoided so I'm going to come back and see if I can pin you down. What's your favorite? What's your favorite item in the store? You Shana answered and we know we went off on a tangent, so bring it back.
Mark Pahlow : Do you just mean favorite, favorite? Or do you mean the one that I would grab if the place was on fire?
Scott Cowan : No favorite. What's your favorite the thing that you guys sell that you get the most enjoyment out of that you're proud of?
Mark Pahlow : It's probably the deluxe finger monsters. It is in what I call the Hall of Fame. Most of what we do only sells well for a year or two and then fades away. But there are certain things that just work We sell and the finger monsters always sell. But there's they have a special meaning to me because it was one of the first items I ever marketed in the 80s. And they came from a company whose for the novelty and toy collectors whose logo was called Gigantor. And they kept degrading them they there was what is what's called quality fade in the novelty business. They kept getting worse the the floppiness of the rubber, it stopped being so floppy, which was the charm of the I know the guy. And the painting got really sloppy. I mean, they paint the eye on the forehead and the whole thing and I got, you know, I would offer extra money I would do like please make these things well, and you know, they didn't really care and it's like so many of our best items. I developed them out of spite . I call them like the Ganesh, the Hindu god of overcoming obstacles. It was a Ganesh item, okay? You're messing with me, you pissed me off, I'll make this thing I will make this thing better than you and I will sell more of these things and I will triumph and I will conquer this item and we will be what the world comes to and which is exactly what happened with with the deluxe finger monsters. Our own art guys, we worked really hard on this. We named them we argued about color schemes. We studied the polymers of the plastic and we did all this technical stuff. We paid a lot of money for these custom molds. And that's our thing now and nobody touches us with this. I mean, we got we got the best thing and and it was all because, you know, people let me down. And that's true on several other items like that. They Have did become kind of the foundation of the company? Because it was it's a very risky thing to do something like that, particularly when we were much smaller. I mean, if it didn't work out, it might have meant the end of the company. So
Shana Danger : our top sellers of all time.
Mark Pahlow : Yeah.
Shana Danger : Probably the top seller.
Scott Cowan : So you mentioned the Hall of Fame. Through the years you've launched products.
Mark Pahlow : Yes,
Scott Cowan : Has there been one spectacular failure that you thought for sure, was gonna be, you know, the hit, and that the market just didn't respond.
Mark Pahlow : There have been many of those and I try to black them out, blah,
Scott Cowan : Sorry.
Mark Pahlow : No, it's painful. It's really painful. I'm sorry, you brought it up. But I'll give you I'll tell you one that we were talking about the other day is at the beginning of the internet, in the mid 90s. And you know, we had our website in 1995 before Amazon did, they've obviously done a lot better than we have. But I did there was all this thing about, you know, people being addicted to video games and the internet and all that stuff in the 90s. That's kind of faded away now that we are all already addicted. But did it I've found a urinal, a plastic urinal, like truck drivers would use who couldn't get to a bathroom. And then I screened a little logo of like a guy in front of a screen and the words internet urinal on the urinal. And I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. And it was really practical and really useful. I mean, I still keep one in my car because I've been, I've been stuck. I've been stuck on traffic jams on I-5 when we used to have traffic and it saved my life. But it was a spectacular failure. That took about 10 years to sell out at loss. That was one of them.
Shana Danger : Yeah. But people do still ask for that item. So you always get that passionate few. But sometimes it's just not enough.
Scott Cowan : That's Oh my gosh. All right. All right. So the one question. All right, so, double back. You've told us your favorite. Now, if, if Archie McPhee store was burning,
Shana Danger : not happening,
Scott Cowan : Right? If everybody was safe and you could take only one thing from the store, what would you take?
Mark Pahlow : I would take this creature we call the Wallingford Beast, which is something we created when we opened the store. And it's kind of a combination of or maybe you're familiar with PT Barnum's Fuji mermaid where they kind of glued they. There's one at the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, I think down on them all on the waterfront, but it's basically They kind of like a skeleton head with a body of a cockroach and some aspects of, of a fish and a monkey and it's this made up creature and we call it the one
Shana Danger : We found that creature when we moved to Wallingford, it was slipping underneath. We found it in a hole right in the in the boneyard.
Mark Pahlow : Yeah, I'm completely mistaken. Shana is absolutetly right, a real creature that was scuttling around that abandoned liquor store that we took over. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking about. But we have it in a locked plexiglass container was warning sign that a big padlock on it. And you know, we like to have little kids get up close to it and kind of tell them don't get too close. And, you know, that's a lot of fun. But it's such a delightfully Goofy, ridiculous thing. And that kind of reminds me of Like the alien and an alien, and I would grab it, I would grab it and run out the door and I would hold it close to my heart and say I saved you beast. I saved you. That's what I would do.
Scott Cowan : Shana, how about you?
Shana Danger : Uh, well, okay, this is really hard. So I guess I'm just gonna I can't take the whole museum with me. So I guess I would just have to drag out that world's largest rubber chicken. I'd have to. Because I can't take the whole museum.
Mark Pahlow : You could be burned to death. That thing weighs a ton.
Shana Danger : I know. But I didn't have to drag that thing. It's It's so it's so important. And I love it so much. And yeah, I'd have to just somehow get it out. And we have double doors. I'd have to figure it out. Maybe I'd have to roll it I don't know.
Scott Cowan : So you would take the seven foot rubber chicken?
Shana Danger : I think I'd have to.
Scott Cowan : So all right. How did you guys procure a seven foot rubber chicken.
Shana Danger : Nadia made it. I said, I said, you know, we have to have the world's largest rubber chicken and Nadia who works at our store. As I said store people have amazing talents. And one of hers apparently is building rubber giant rubber chickens. She didn't know this was a talent of hers. But we soon learned it was and we have a wonderful, fast video of showing how it was built. But she did it. It's incredible. I love it so much. And it's so funny because at first it wasn't big enough. And we realized it had to be bigger. So it is seven feet tall. And it is a marvel. And we had to we built it up in our warehouse. We had to use the forklift to move it from one location to the next. It was quite a feat getting it down to the store from our from our warehouse, and now everybody's got to get the pictures with it and it's just wonderful. I love it so much. And by the way, what she always jokes with me because I, you know, I said to her, you know, every time she was working out, I was like, Nadia, you know, you're making chicken money right now. So her favorite thing on this earth is to make chicken money.
Mark Pahlow : I do love the image though Shana of if there was, God forbid, with Wallingford burned, that you were standing out in the middle of 45th. You have the giant chicken that you're you're struggling to keep up, right. And I have the Wallingford beast clutched to my bosom. And it's sort of like, we're all that's left of Earth, and we will have to rebuild society and agriculture and food production with these creatures.
Shana Danger : Yep, that's all the ingredients we need. Really.
Mark Pahlow : Yeah.
Scott Cowan : So all right. So you sit here claiming that the seven foot rubber chicken is the world's largest rubber chicken. Prove it's not I was just gonna ask how big is the second largest? I mean, how did we get to that? It was, did you
Shana Danger : Say I'm gonna say the world's second largest chicken is, is something like, you know, 21 inches or something like that. Now there's people now there's people who like have rubber chicken costumes right now,
Scott Cowan : but we're talking real
Shana Danger : Chicken. You know, it's there's nothing close to that. That's awesome.
Mark Pahlow : Yeah, well, the commercial one our nickname is the squalling chicken is about two feet, or two and a half feet or so that is very popular. It makes sound right. I think that's the largest commercial rubber chicken
Shana Danger : Biggest and loudest.
Mark Pahlow : Yeah.
Scott Cowan : Okay, which we sell, of course. So, you said that you've had a website since the early you know, mid 90s. So you were right there really when there was this defied. Were you The Internet was supposed to be free and how dare you make money on the internet? There's remember back in the day when there was this, people were held in contempt for selling on the internet, which should be free and, and now look at it. Um Do you guys? I mean, I think the internet's awesome because some some kid in Clearwater Florida can buy rubber chicken from you. You know he can order it and you guys will ship it to him right? Like, but it's not the same experience but your website's kind of got that same sort of it's kind of got a kitschy feel to it. I like that. Do you guys like being on the web? I guess is a question. I mean, do you it does it? Do you guys think of creative ways of making the website fun and cool, or is it is it an unnecessary evil? I if you will.
Shana Danger : I think we both have opinions about this. I'm gonna just one thing I will say. And I think Mark probably has a lot more about it, but we are reaching our kind of weirdos And that's the biggest thing that's cool for us. Obviously, it expands our you know, our ability to be a business because we can sell to all these people. But we are connecting as if we're in a club with all these weirdos around all of all of the U.S. And that is important to us. We have super fans who subscribe to everything that we do. And we have people who it means something. And we, we send catalogs out and my one of my very favorite stories is there's this woman who contacted us and she lived in, she lives in a very remote small town in the US and she said, she said, Hey, does anybody else in my town order your catalog? No way. So we, you know, we can't give. We can't give out addresses of our customers. You know, we can't give our contact information to our customers. She was Oh no, I don't want their contact info. I just want to know that I'm not alone. And I feel like that's what we provide. We're saying no, you're part of us. And she was so excited when we said yes, somebody else in your town orders from us. And she's like, Oh, I love my town, and she was happy. And that's what we can do.
Scott Cowan : So, so in a way that isn't the website, kind of like the back of the comic book for when I was a kid, and you could order you know, the X ray glasses and all of that stuff. I mean,
Mark Pahlow : Um, yeah, I mean, I still call the online, retail business, mail order mail orders, the old fashioned, you know, thing because, because we started in mail order, I mean, you know, it was we would, you know, I would advertise in classified ads, and I would ad, you know, was to all print, just like the comic book thing. And, you know, we in the, it would come by mail and if people would write us checks and sometimes we'd get envelopes full of pennies and quarters and dimes from kids, I mean, it's it was how it was. So I mean, I don't have a spin or some kind of, I mean, the internet is the evolution of our lives and it's in everything now. And, and for us. I mean, my only plea is I would like a level playing field because I do believe the big tech companies have monopolistic private practices that just crush and control small business. But that's another story. And you know, unfortunately, the Department of Justice and Congress are too stupid to figure out that this is going on or they don't care, but I'm neutral about the internet in the sense that yeah, it's our so our catalog is on a screen and and you can you know, and you use a mouse and you look through it, it's pretty efficient and and it gets better and better. And But the big thing Though and this is what will save us is we can reach the tribe. The tribe is that woman that wanted so much to know that in her zip code, there was another human being she didn't care what gender it was, but just thought like her that thought this was funny. And that's, that is what I mean in through this COVID crisis. The only thing that's growing is the website, the retail website, everything else we're just crushed and and, and we're going to be a smaller company in the future but we will survive because of the website because of that ability to reach people. You know, talk about social distancingand and safe commercial activity.
Shana Danger : Yeah.
Scott Cowan : No, I I love the attitude about it. Because you know, I do think It's cool that on my screen here, I'm looking at the rubber chicken madness jigsaw puzzle. And the reason I'm looking at this is because my mother asked me yesterday if we had any jigsaw puzzles that she could put together. And the answer was no, I don't have any in the house. So I'm going to be ordering one here in a little bit, and it will be a rubber chicken jigsaw puzzle delivered to her. And from the looks of it, she's gonna have a hard time.
Shana Danger : I tell me, I have done that puzzle myself. It is we have five different puzzles that we sell, and that is the most challenging, but I did it it can be done. So tell your mother I said it can be done.
Scott Cowan : I'm going to it's gonna be I think it's awesome. And so I'm gonna, I'm gonna order one here. And because I'm not going to drive over to Seattle today to pick it up, but so I can I can I can participate in in Archie McPhee from the internet. I think that's cool. So, to wrap up, you know the goal of my podcast is we talk about Washington State cool things are going on. So in the Wallingford area, when you're out and about, do you have cool neighbors around the store?
Shana Danger : We do have some cool neighbors. We definitely do. We we have Bizarro, Bizarro Italian Cafe is right around the corner from us, which is sort of like it's a funny thing. It's almost like an Archie McPhee style restaurant. They have our same sort of aesthetic and vibe. And they're such a they're they're super fun to work with. And like we have little neighborly things like they can have somebody you know, waiting for their reservation, send them over to Archie McPhee, they can call us up and we'll send them over that kind of stuff. We have Molly Moons Ice Cream nearby. Fantastic, yummy. And The Bounty across the street is the coffee shop. We always communicate with and talk about like, how late are you guys staying open? Also they've used our games in their coffee shop like they they play the crazy cat lady game and the Mr. Bacon game. They have them available. We gave them those next door right next door to us is the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club. And we right now we're selling the these really cool masks with your favorite item, rubber chickens. And 20% of the sales that are going to the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club. We were able to give them their check the their first check the other day.
Scott Cowan : So So you guys are okay. So I say let's, let's, let's let's stop bypass. So your rubber chicken masks are available.
Shana Danger : Yep.
Scott Cowan : And you're donating 20% to the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club? Yes. I'll put a link in the show notes to that. So if somebody buys off the website, you'll do the same thing. Yep, absolutely. We can put a link to that so that somebody wants to Do something cuz that's a great cause that's now on a side note, are those masks acceptable to wear in public? As far as COVID goes, can I can I go shopping with a rubber chicken mask on?
Shana Danger : It's encouraged,
Scott Cowan : Encouraged. Okay, I think I'll order one of those as well, just because because there's been this whole debate with my beard that the mask Oh, anyway, it's like, you know, and it's not long enough to fold up over to be a mask,
Shana Danger : right
Scott Cowan : Um, so But if I can have some fun with it, I think a rubber chicken mask would be.
Shana Danger : I think the thing about wearing masks is we have to this is going to be a part of our lives for so long. I think making them fun accessories is the way to get it to be palatable for everyone.
Scott Cowan : I think so I think so
Shana Danger : an that it still expresses something about ourselves.
Mark Pahlow : You know, I'm talking about the Wallingford neighborhood, which is such a great neighborhood. I'm also quite charmed. There's one of those cat cafes on the next block where you go in for a fee or the The price of a cup of coffee you go into a room and they have all these cats that can you can pet and they're there. They'll sit on your lap and purr. And if you want you can actually adopt one. But it's actually quite a viable business. And I mean it requires I don't know, I don't how viable it's quite a it's quite it's there are a lot of these things around the world. I think they started in Japan, where in Japan they've got like you there's like a hedgehog place and all these cool places you can go and hang out with these animals. But you know, cats are probably the dominant after chickens. creature for our company, we have so many cat items. And I mean, we just we own the cat space category. So it's nice that there's a unfortunately they've had to of course shut down because of COVID but one day they'll be open You can go sit with a cat and I think that's just I love again. It's it's like the museum for the world's largest frying pan. I mean, this is a real basic human activity and thing that people can do. So,
Scott Cowan : I'm on a side note, my cat was just chewing on my sunglasses. Off camera. Of course. Yeah. Yeah, he's an interesting little guy. Yeah, Wenatchee made the world's largest apple pie, there's a sign when you drive into Wenatchee the home of the world, world's largest apple pie in 1997 or something like that. So
Shana Danger : What was the second largest
Scott Cowan : Probably made in cashmere. I don't know. I mean, but Guinness Book of World Records probably came out and met. I mean, that's the whole thing. There's that the Guinness Book of World Records. When I was a kid, Ripley's Believe It Not, you know, all those crazy things that people have been, you know, we're interested we're fascinated by so. So, so Oh, we'll wrap it up Mark is anything you'd like to say before we go. And thank you for being on. This has been incredibly enjoyable for me. And it's been informative, and I will come over and visit one of these days.
Mark Pahlow : I hope you do. And well, I try to give you a hard time and a good time.
Scott Cowan : I would be disappointed if you guys didn't give me a bad time. I'd be offended frankly. But Shana, if you have Archie McPhee has a podcast.
Shana Danger : Yes, we have a podcast. Thanks for mentioning it.
Scott Cowan : Tell us tell us morre
Shana Danger : yeah, so it's called less talk more monkey the Archie McPhee podcast and it's David Wahl and Heff, who's the David Wahl is the Director of Awesome and Heff whose finger whose hands are the model for the finger hands, and myself High Priestess of rubber chickens. And then we have wonderful guests like Mark has done some actually our most popular episodes are the ones with Mark because he's got the cool stories. And but we talk about behind the scenes stuff about product development, and we talk about upcoming products and popular culture. And thanks. Yeah, so it's pretty cool.
Scott Cowan : So how often is the how often you guys publish?
Shana Danger : Um, well, we did publish it about approximately once a week but during these times, we've only done one since the quarantine so we're looking forward to get back getting back to that. So but we have a good backlog with tons of cool information in it and just just funny stories. We talk about all kinds of strange, strange things and strange histories and we have some cool things on it too.
Scott Cowan : Very cool so we'll put a link to that. Also in the show notes and where so why don't you tell everybody where you guys can be found both physical and online so that they if they don't know they can find you.
Shana Danger : Okay we are at the corner of 45th and Stone Way in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. And we've got that nice corner spot with a little with our own parking lot even which is very rare in that neighborhood, or any neighborhood in Seattle. And we still offer curbside and we offer we have the the store curbside pickup and of course the free rubber chicken museum is inside the store. With a press Penny machine you can get a little souvenir and then if you can't get into the store, we are at www.mcphee.com that's McPhee.com. And that's where you can get our stuff and, and a lot of wonderful little souvenirs and stories and we have a cool blog and obviously we're on all social media we have Instagram and Twitter and Facebook and anything Tick Tock and anything else you can imagine. You guys are on Tick Tock. We even have Tick Tock.
Scott Cowan : Okay, so so Okay, last question. I promise. What's your favorite social media platform for Archie McPhee? Where do you guys what resonates with you guys?
Shana Danger : I think Instagram, Instagram is fun because you we've got it sort of got it all you can tell a story. You can show stuff. The staff can just be inspired to just do some funny little thing and do some quick little story or you can kind of get more in depth. I don't know. They're all they're all pretty good.
Mark Pahlow : And I would, I mean, I would say Twitter, more towards the fact I have my own Twitter. @Mcpheeceo is the handle that I'll always remember the guy that started Twitter years ago, in an interview, they said, Why did you do this thing? And he said, I did it. So people would be less lonely. that this would be a mechanism. And I think again, in a way Twitter is like, the giant Archie McPhee tribe, where you can get, you know, yeah, there's all this weirdness and trolling and all that stuff. But you can, you can have unbelievable experiences and conversations with people and I mean, sometimes I'll just spend hours and I'll be, you know, I'll be having little interchanges with like William Gibson in Vancouver and and, you know, famous writers and scientists and people people are surprisingly accessible on Twitter. If you know where they are, and if they're doing it and if they're active, there's certain there's certain people that really like Twitter and you this is again, like I'd never be able to really meet these people. But I can have, I can give my opinion I can say something funny, I can ask a question. And you that's another thing I wanted to that I wanted to do on a road trip would be to actually contact all these people I've met on Twitter and go see if they'd have a drink with me. I mean, it's kind of that's kind of kind of weird, but it's another like, road trip kind of thing. You know, it's just, it's like, you know, instead of having X number of friends I've got, they're not friends. They're acquaintances, I suppose. But I like Twitter. I like it's immediate. You do something, and you know, at three o'clock in the morning, and bam, you're going to have a dozen people from around the world respond to it. There's something really great about that, to me. personally.
Scott Cowan : I don't I disagree with you in the sense that I don't think it's weird at all that you'd go and, you know, if you went up to Vancouver and asked William Gibson if he'd have a drink with you, and if you He said yes, that's, that'd be cool.
Mark Pahlow : Wouldn't it?
Scott Cowan : I don't think it's, I think I think you know, you've, if you've, if you've had a dialogue with this, this individual through years, right, and weeks or whatever, and you pull up to, you know, Missoula, Montana, and there's somebody there and you say, Hey, I'm gonna be in Missoula today, cup of coffee? I don't think that's weird. I think that's a great way of taking that online relationship and transferring it into the real world. And it's, I Twitter's a great platform for that. And I think it's, I think it'd be a lot of fun to do that. I mean, I've met some great people online that we've converted into, you know, you know, real world conversations and when I come to town, I think so. That's awesome. So, well, I'm gonna wrap this up, because this has gone long. I appreciate you guys both for being on the on the podcast. We'll get it out there and we'll let you know when it's going on. So thank you. Thank you. We will talk at a later time.
Announcer : Join us next time for another episode of The exploring Washington State podcast.