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Episode 153: Fall of Food, Canada! (Alice Munro, “Family Furnishings”)

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A listener recently sent us a box full of Canadian snacks, so this week we’re devoting the entire episode to America’s friendly neighbor to the north. We discuss an Alice Munro story (“Family Furnishings,” which is in her collection Hateship Courtship Loveship Marriage). In particular, we look at how the story uses food, and family meals, to explore the relationships between its characters. We consider the ways in which food can be a marker of social class, and specific periods in time, and we also talk about our own families’ eating habits.

Then, in the second half of the show, we eat some fucking snacks. Ketchup-flavored chips! Hickory sticks! Canadian Smarties! Some weird thing called a Big Turk that may have scarred us both for life!

We realize it might seem like an odd coincidence for us to be talking about Canada just a few days after the American election. But we’re not planning to move there. In fact, during the episode we talk briefly about why that knee-jerk reaction tends to grate on our nerves (short version: the privilege of being able to pick up your life and move to another country, and the better uses to which you could put that privilege).

But our plan to stay in America doesn’t mean we’re not great admirers of Canada. Its (mostly) peaceable nature, its beautiful landscapes, its love of gravy-covered fries and cheese curds. Pictured below, two of our Canadian listeners argue about which of the country’s favorite snacks is the best.


“Talk to the hand, ’cause the face don’t want no more of that King Turk bullshit.”

In all seriousness, listeners: this has been a rough week. We anticipate even rougher weeks to come. Sorry if that strikes some of you as melodramatic, but both of us are full right now of equal parts sadness and outrage, and both of us are exploring–as individuals, and as a show–what good, helpful things we can do with those emotions. We’ll let you know as we figure it out. But in the meantime, if you’re looking for places to channel your own energies, and your money, poet Tommy Pico has been assembling a big list of organizations that will likely need your help even more in the coming months than they already do.

As always, you can listen to today’s episode right here on our site, or you can download the mp3 file and take it with you. Or, visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts, and subscribe (for free!) so you never miss another weekly installment.

If you want to reach us, feel free to send us an email, or hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a response here on the site.

Thanks so much for listening!

Stream Episode 153:

Download Episode 153 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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