Denise, the receptionist, is on the phone when we arrive. "Hi guys," she says, covering the mouthpiece. "Hi Douglas," she adds in a voice that has all its own color, timbre, and pitch. We're 'guys', he's 'Douglas'.
"Gentlemen, right on time," says the studio owner, ushering us into the booth. The weird little guy who records a podcast before us is just leaving. Nick, the high school kid and owner's son, our very own engineer, gives us the thumbs up from behind the glass.
"So I hear there was a big event in Los Angeles this week?" the owner asks me. "You attended, yes? Press credentials and all. How was it?"
"Yeah, they have it every year. Los Angeles is really nice. Nintendo had a good presentation, but the Playstation 3 is in trouble. Rock Band is really cool."
"Ah, well." He has no idea what I'm talking about. I need to remember to prepare a 'How was E3' sound bite for mainstream people. "But I hear there's a price cut on the Sony Playstation 3, and that the Microsoft Xbox 360 has technical problems."
"Don't get him started," Trevor says as I get started. "We're going to get into all that for this week's podcast."
"Well, what with this price cut on the one and the technical problems on the other, I intend to get Nick a Playstation 3 for his birthday, which is coming up in two weeks," the old guy says, conspiratorially. Through the glass, I can see his son's dismayed look. Obviously, the mics are turned on.
"Welcome to this week's Shoot Club podcast!" Trevor introduces us. "This week, it's part one of our annual E3 Extravaganza. Wait, why are you picking your nose?"
He's looking at me. I most certainly was not picking my nose.
"Just because you're on a podcast doesn't mean you can pick your nose." He's silently laughing. Douglas is laughing slightly less silently.
"I wasn't picking my nose."
"Dude, you are totally busted. We both saw you picking your nose."
"Yep," Doug says, leaning into the mic so his voice booms in my headphones. Then he leans back and muffles his laughter.
I definitely was not picking my nose. They must have planned this in the car.
"I was not picking my nose. That's stupid."
"There's nothing wrong with it, but don't do it during the podcast."
"I wasn't. Jeeze, would you guys grow up?"
"Why are you so defensive?" Douglas leans in and asks, making his voice godlike and authoritative.
"Yeah, if you weren't picking your nose, why are you so defensive?" Trevor adds. "Hey, where's my slide whistle?" he asks, turning over the little cow thing to make a moo in lieu of a whistle.
Douglas is all but giggling, the nose picking gag compounded by having obviously taken the slide whistle when Trevor wasn't looking.
"Come on, man, what did you do with it?"
"You promise you won't use it?" Douglas says.
"No, fuck off. What did you do with it?"
"I'm not giving it back unless you promise you won't use it."
And that's how the first ten minutes of the podcast go. Finally, there's an awkward pause, which Trevor uses as a segue.
"Okay, on to E3."
"Let's hope someone doesn't have another meltdown like he did in the car." Douglas shoots me a look as he says this.
"It wasn't a meltdown. I just think it's silly is all."
"What was that word you used?"