50 episodes

A scripted, absurdist take on history, pop culture, animals, religion, conspiracies, music, books, language, the paranormal, insects, Johnny Appleseed, The Harlem Globetrotters, McDonald's, Satan, God, humanity, crows, Reptilians, alternative medicine, bees, Eddie Vedder, Americana, Esperanto, Platypuses, me, you, him, her, them, and whatever Chris Gaines was supposed to be. Rife with lies. Sometimes there are songs.

The Irrationally Exuberant Reid Messerschmidt

    • Comedy
    • 4.7 • 31 Ratings

A scripted, absurdist take on history, pop culture, animals, religion, conspiracies, music, books, language, the paranormal, insects, Johnny Appleseed, The Harlem Globetrotters, McDonald's, Satan, God, humanity, crows, Reptilians, alternative medicine, bees, Eddie Vedder, Americana, Esperanto, Platypuses, me, you, him, her, them, and whatever Chris Gaines was supposed to be. Rife with lies. Sometimes there are songs.

    Lucid Dreaming

    Lucid Dreaming

    Intro: Dream

    It is light.

    It is dark.

    It is light again.

    It is very dark.

    Dusk settles - something like dusk - a queasy, night vision green, stamped with a throbbing amber moon.

    It is my backyard, but it isn’t. Josh is there and Ben and Ryan, but he’s very young, and then not Josh, and me, and Tony, and Brian Lauers, from high school, and Jake, and then Josh.

    They are golfing, and then not Josh, hitting balls, and it is light, silent, and I am watching, and it is dark, and I am not me, but I am watching me, and then Josh.

    And there are pigs in the yard - first the impression of pigs, followed by pulsing pig representations - and it is yellow dusk, and the pulsing pig representations are too big, and then Josh, and there is a baby that is not mine, that I need to take care of, that looks like me, and then not Josh, and then Josh, and then not Ben, and Josh is going into the neighbor’s house to take a piss and they aren’t home but the lights are on and I am furious, and then not Josh, and the pulsing pig representations are again just the impressions of pigs and they are many, and the pigs are in danger, I can feel it, and then Josh, and it is light, and the pigs are pigs now - tangible pigs - and have green eyes, and then Ben, and then not Josh, and Marshall is in the house, and I am in the house, and Josh is in the house, and then not Josh, and Kelly wafts through, blinking her eyes wildly, and it is very bright, and then Josh - and where is the baby? - and then not Josh, and I can hear an uncle in the other room, and it is very bright, and then Josh and Ben and Marshall and Tony and my brother and me and a pig and the baby and then not Josh and this doesn’t make sense, I realize this doesn’t make sense, and I realize I’m dreaming and then it is light and everything slows down, comes into focus. Everything is focused and still. Lucid.

    The house is mine and I am lucid.

    I am dreaming. I say this aloud and the words pulse through the air in concentric circles. I am in my kitchen. Everything is there. It is my kitchen, but more - ethereal, maybe. And Josh and Ben and Tony and Ryan and Jake and Marshall and Brian Lauers and the green eyed pig are just standing still, staring at me, waiting for me to do something. So I put a hat on the pig, with my mind. A beautiful deep brown bowler. Everyone smiles.

    I breath. This is my dream and I can do literally anything I want. The laws of physics and morality do not apply to me. I could fly through the air like a crow. I could make Josh do things to the pig. I could combine Josh with the pig to make a pig-Josh and have Ben do things with pig-Josh. I could punch pig-Josh into a billion smaller pigs with spaghetti knuckles. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I could do it. I could make them all perform an elaborate three part very special episode of Charles In Charge, where the pig plays Charles and Tony plays Buddy, and Buddy is experimenting with PCP, and Charles has to help him and hide it from the kids. It could be brilliant and disgusting. And I could play Mr. Belvedere, hell, I could be Mr. Belvedere, even though he’s not even in Charles In Charge. I could make Mr. Belvedere a member of the Charles in charge universe with my mind. Anything. This world, as they say, is my oyster. I could literally make this world into an oyster.

    Instead, I retreat to my studio to record - this - podcast . . .

    Part I: Lucid DreamingIn 1902, Willis Carrier recorded a remarkable dream in his dream journal. Two dream descriptions in a row might be a bit much, but bare with me.

    July 16th, 1902

    Dearest diary,

    Last night I dreamt the most remarkable dream. To call it a dream, in fact, does it no justice. It was more than a dream, I believe. Vision may be the word. Revelation, perhaps.

    • 32 min


    Bad news, friends. I died.

    I was trudging along the banks of the Red River, as you do during an unseasonably warm North Dakota Winter. With the trees gone and the prairie grass tamped down by deer, you can get much closer to the water than in the Summer, but usually it's colder 'n the heart of a Saskatoon Psychopath and there's liable to be a foot or two of snow on the ground, so you're mostly stuck indoors, gaining winter weight.

    Not this winter, though. This was a couple days after the anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and it was still in the high 40s. Heaven on earth.

    So, I was trudging along, tossing rocks and kicking out rotted stumps when I came upon a peculiar sight. There was something wedged between two bare elm trees not ten feet from where I stood. It was red and green and, this being the Holiday season, I assumed it was some kind of out of the way Christmas decoration. But I pushed on to investigate, and, to my surprise, saw three words printed in big block letters on the mystery object.

    The words were these: The Phoenix Lights.

    I was taken aback. Why, that very morning I'd cracked open a book on The Phoenix Lights, the most famous UFO sighting in the Americas, maybe the world.

    I whispered, "Synchronicity," because that's what UFO weirdos do.

    Convinced that I'd stumbled upon some sort of cache of secret information, finally, or, at the very least, some sort of incoherent message from The Phenomenon - I rushed toward whatever it was, and this is where I died.

    My foot caught on an exposed root. I put out my hands to grab hold of a branch, and the branch snapped like a box of angel hair pasta over a bubbling pot of water. I tumbled, foot over fedora, down the river bank and on to the icy surface of the mighty Red. Shaken but okay, I stood up, brushed the dirt and cockleburs from my body, lifted a foot to ascend the bank and heard another crack - too many cracks for one day, if you ask me - felt the ice give way below me, fell backward again, and crashed through the thin ice, into the frigid, mud dark water. I felt a jolt of unspeakable cold, gasped, filled myself with water that tasted of clay, and was sucked Northward and to the bottom of Fargo's preeminent body of water.

    Next thing I remember, I was completely dry, which struck me as odd. I was back on land, in a dense green wood, ominous in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on. Poetical, somehow. The ground was rocky and inclined. This wasn't North Dakota. What was it?

    I heard a low growl. Not good. Low growls are almost never good. Even high growls aren't great. I heard a low growl and saw an enormous black bear slowly approaching me, snout wet, eyes wild with malice or hunger or both. I looked about for somewhere to run. There was a clearing! I started in that direction, but - Alas!- coming through the clearing was a guy I went to high school with who I'd blocked on Facebook. REALLY didn't want to talk to him.

    But it was this guy or the bear. I was frozen in indecision.

    Then, from above, an urgent whisper.

    I looked up. There was a man in the branches of a large Sycamore Tree, partially obscured. He looked older. Well dressed. A stranger. Not ideal, but better than the other two options. I briefly hoped he wouldn't be the chatty kind of stranger and then ascended the tree as quickly as I could.

    There in the branches of the Sycamore was a man I immediately recognized. He was Kurt Vonnegut.

    "You're Kurt Vonnegut!" I whispered.

    "Guilty as charged," said he.

    "But your d-d-d-dead!" I hissed.

    • 20 min



    Parasites. They are horrifying. More than normal bugs, even. Like bugs for bugs, but with insane, almost supernatural powers of manipulation. They are also fascinating and, I suspect, much more important to our lives than most would imagine.

    Some examples:

    There is a fungus that can infect an ant, make it leave its colony, crawl three feet up a tree at exactly solar noon, find a leaf on the Northeast side of the tree, crawl onto the leaf, and clamp its mandibles down on the thick stem running through it's middle. It then paralyzes the ant, waits four hours, and explodes its spores all over the ground below.

    This is a fungus, not even a creature, exactly.

    There is a wasp that can sting a specific type of spider, sedating it and filling its abdomen with wasp larvae. Already, this is unbearably grotesque, but there's more. The larvae then instruct the spider to build a web different from the beautiful, symmetrical one they'd normally be busy creating - something hideous and Lovecraftian, ropey and double stitched, suited to larval purposes. The web can be different depending on the location. If more protection is needed, it can be made in three dimensions, with a kind of ceiling hiding the gestating wasps. The larvae then devour the spider from the inside out and use the newly spun web to pupate and emerge as new, nightmarish adult wasps. Absolute degenerates.

    These are things scientists are only beginning to understand.

    There's the now semi-famous case of toxoplasmosis - a single celled monster that infects rats, decreasing their inhibition and making them more cat friendly. The cat eats the rat, and s***s out the toxoplasmosis, where it waits for a human to clean up the shit. Then it gets into the human brain and, it is theorized, makes humans somehow love cats, inadvertently creating 70% of the internet culture of the 2010s. Studies show that fully one third of humans are infected with toxoplasmosis. There's a really good chance your brain is riddled with it right now.

    We know of but a minuscule percentage of a percentage of all existing parasites, but it has been estimated that these dastardly pests outnumber all other living things on Earth four to one. We are essentially living on their planet, at their behest. They live around us, in the food we eat, in the pets we keep. They live INSIDE of us, feasting on us and the horrific foods modern people engorge themselves upon. God knows what they're making us do. Our "free will" could very well be nothing more than the complicated intersecting commands of untold numbers of these wee, hideous beasts.

    Thousands upon thousands of times I have asked myself this question: What would make a sane human being - someone otherwise functional, perhaps even kind and good - become obsessed with donald trump, a man who looks like a used condom filled to busting with butterscotch pudding, a crude, too small caricature of Mussolini drawn near the top, topped with dog-shit flavored cotton candy, and a personality to match his looks?

    Could the answer be some nightmarish parasite?

    I think it might.

    I think the process may play out something like this:

    At a young age, a person without any defenses built into their system for such thoughts, feelings, and critters, ingests the parasite - we'll call it Magacepholis - perhaps through an undercooked fast food cheeseburger or some feral raccoon droppings or maybe it's passed down from their infected, reprehensible parents. Maybe the parents were playing with feral raccoon droppings or ate an undercooked McDonald's cheeseburger, or vice-versa, or their parents did.

    • 15 min
    Flat Earth

    Flat Earth

    References and allusions include, but are not limited to: God, Jesus, Mork and Mindy, NASA, Armageddon (movie), Aerosmith, American Idol, the United Nations, Freemasons, Bill Nye, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Degrasse Tyson, the New World Order, Satan, New York, Lutherans, Facebook, YouTube, PIZZA HUT, Disney, Metallica, Isaac Newton, "God Bless the U.S.A.", Pokemon Go, Feminism, the Coriolis Effect, Admiral Byrd, Red Bull Stratos Felix, Apollo 8, Strawberry Kiwi Shasta, Carl Sagan, Albert Eistein, Apple, Reptilians, and Mole People.

    • 41 min
    The First Night of College

    The First Night of College

    It's 2001, and I have just arrived on campus at the University of North Dakota in the city of Grand Forks for my first year of college.

    I am excited, slightly nervous.

    Grand Forks is only 81 miles North of my hometown, Fargo, and several of my friends are going to be here as well. This will be a lot like high school, only better, I assume, but I don't know, really. Most of my knowledge about college life comes from Saved By the Bell The College Years and I can't imagine that's very accurate.

    I'm excited to learn, I'm excited to party. I would very much like to lose my virginity. I am very typical.

    I've driven to Grand Forks in my Cobalt Blue 1994 Chevy Cavalier, a terrible plastic car. I wanted to, as a joke, get a personalized license plate that said FNKYDVA. I am now glad I didn't do that.

    My father has followed me to Grand Forks to help me get settled. He and my mother have just divorced. I am glad to not be in Fargo for all of that.

    We unload my stuff. Some books, clothes, a gorgeous blue iMac, fresh from Best Buy. We say some unsentimental goodbyes, and I sit on the curb to smoke my first cigarette as a free man and contemplate my new life.

    My prospects are good. I'm out of the house, finally. My parents are divorced, finally. That was a long time coming. This isn't the greatest college in the world, but it's fine. I'll maybe stay here for a couple of years and then transfer somewhere else. What do I want to be? A writer, mostly. Maybe a teacher. I think most writers also teach. Journalism? Maybe journalism. I'm not so concerned about any of that now. My social life is what I'm concerned about. Meeting girls. I want to meet girls. And I want to drink. Drink to meet girls, that's the goal.

    I am intelligent but not smart.

    I am perhaps the most free I have ever been or will ever be. I could get in my car and leave here. That option has always been in the back of my mind. I could, theoretically, walk up to any kid here, theoretically start a conversation, and begin a new life path.

    I don't do this.

    My friends begin to arrive. Brady, Jake, Jamie, Travis, Tony. I've known all of these guys since we were kids. I have not gone far outside of my comfort zone.

    Once we're moved in, we gather in Jake's dorm room to make plans for the night. Jake's dorm will become a central meeting point as he will soon have driven his roommate out with a plan of making himself impossible to live with and leaving dildos everywhere. Jake's room will soon become barely inhabitable. One night, ripped on whiskey, with whiskey left, but out of chaser, we will take some pudding cups out of his mini-fridge while he is in the bathroom and chase the whiskey with that. He will be furious that we have stolen his pudding. He will become more furious when he notices that we are getting cigarette ash all over his floor, as though he's not the worst offender. He will yell at us. Jaime, who is an a*****e, will look him dead in the eye, drop his cigarette on the flour, and grind it into the rug with his foot. Jake will lose his mind and kick us all out. By the time I get back to my dorm, just down the hall, he will have left a message on my answering machine. It goes like this:

    "I'm sick and tired of you guys coming into my room, eating all my pudding cups, and putting out cigarettes on my floor!"

    He will then call my mother at 2 in the morning and make the same complaint to her.

    This quaint anecdote is my freshman year of college in miniature.

    This is a digression.


    • 11 min



    Hello, friend. Welcome back to The Irrationally Exuberant. I hope you're taking care of yourself in these troubled times. Which brings me to our topic: Self Care, specifically, dealing with depression. I have it, you, I assume, have it, since you're listening to this show. Your Mom's probably got it. Your Dad's in denial about his, has never done the work needed to overcome it and has instead repressed the deep sadness he feels intrinsically, but also about dreams unfulfilled, potential untapped, relationships irrevocably harmed, and maybe expressed that hurt as anger and resentment over some perceived change in the world that has left him behind, a victim of some ambiguous other.

    Little Timmy Messerschmidt: Dis isn't funny, Weid. Dis is pwetentious pwojection and not neewy as cweve as you fink it is. Why do you even botha? Does anybody even listen to this widiculous show?

    Oh, hello Little Timmy Messerschmidt. Ladies and gentleman and ungendered friends, this is Little Timmy Messerschmidt, a little boy/physical manifestation of my depression. Timmy, I thought you were sleeping?

    LTM: I don't neva sweep, I jus west. Isn't dis show just a futile attempt to mask the meaningless of wife wif artistic pwetensions wifout actuwawy physicawy exposing youself to the outside wold? Isn't dat just a wittle pafetic? Yo a gwown man doing goofy voices in his basement.

    God, Little Timmy, you're just awful, but also painfully insightful. You know, that may be somewhat true, but that's what everybody does, or just about everyone. I understand that life is meaningless, probably, but that's fine. There's literally nothing you can do to give it meaning, so why worry about it? Even if I were somehow performing this show in front of thousands of people and effusively praised and rewarded, you wouldn't go away, right? You'd still have negative things to say about it - probably something about selling out or being an imposter or whatever, right?

    LTM: Hey wememba all dose times wen you were wiwy dwunk and you cawed wike evwyone you know and just wambled on wike an a*****e? You fink they forgot about dat? Or do they just constantly have in da back a der mind how widicuwous you weawy a?

    Uh. Timmy, I'm trying to do an episode here. I don't have time for this. Why are you a little boy, by the way?

    LTM: Dunno. I fink you jus had dis dumb voice and fot it would be funny to make it say depwessing fings. So owiginal.

    You know what? Since I've got you here, and this show's about depression, why don't you just plop down in that chair and I'll ask you some questions. You're going to be here whether I want you to be or not, so you may as well make yourself useful.

    LTM: Weawy? You wusuawy jus igno me. Wew . . . okay. Dis is all jus a finly veiwed and gimmicky pwemise dat you have aweady done befo wif Foam Chomsky.

    Great. How old are you?

    LTM: I'm dis many!

    He's flashed all ten fingers three times and then held up eight of them, so thirty-eight. Same as me. Makes sense.

    Let's try this another way. Can you think of any reason you might look like a little boy?

    LTM: Wew, maybe I'm da age you were when you stahted to wealize dat maybe wife wasn't pewfect and yo pawents wasn't pewfect and evewyfing didn't wevolve awound you.

    I assumed I was a bit older when that realization came. You seem like, three, maybe an immature four.

    LTM: Wew, I guess you assumed wong. You pwetty dense awot of da time, even do you fink yo soooooo smart, or act wike you do, anyway.

    Great. Okay.

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Azulamor40 ,


I will admit I wasn’t sure what I was getting into , but in glad I stopped by lol I will be back for more, I love learning and laughing 🤣... very entertaining ✌🏼❣️~Lydia

The Misery Machine ,


Excellent find! We came across your show and decided to give it a listen - very glad we did! The hosts are a breath of fresh air and a joy to listen to - the topics are interesting and bingeworthy. Keep up the great work <3 Yergy & Drewby

stimthestoolman ,

This podcast is sooooooo good

I didn’t know what to think when I heard about it but this podcast is so much fun, you learn a whole lot and laugh a whole lot more! This podcast also deserves waaaaaayyyyyyy more attention

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