Instead Of

A hypothetical podcast wherein three friends consider life's real headscratchers: What if instead of with hands, sign language meant communicating with cue cards? How much ranch dressing is too much…on a salad at Macho Man Randy Savage’s house? What are we all, like, even doing here? Think of us as the very best of the replies on AskReddit, because then we can think it too.

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    A Star Is Corn

    They say the scariest thing about corn is how unhealthy it is to put in your body, so during the month of Spooktober, we here at Instead Of don’t just eat corn. We also drink corn, walk among corn, and in this one, corn spooks us to our respective cobs. So turn up your fog machines, fill those mystery bowls with some corn, and settle in for a terrifying episode, in which: Josh joins a moisture-based fetish club, Mike gets a grip on his priorities, and Tapan’s just trying to share his sunshine.

    Pairings: a nice, juicy corn steak; sun guile; a licensed pediatrician

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    October: The Spooktabucular Month

    It's... different in here. The air is thick, heavy, tinged with the scent of something metallic—copper... or blood. When you step inside, the floor creaks beneath each footfall. A sudden rush of cold air blows your candle out. It's pitch black, and you're too scared to move. You regret shaving your beard directly into your own shirt. The floor creaks again ...pat...pat...pat... and you realize it isn't you moving this time. You close your eyes tight, try not to make a sound. The door creaks slowly shut behind you. It's collection time. Welcome to Episode 67, the first installment in our wildly popular Spooktober Spectabuclar series! In this one, we bring you three tales to haunt your dreams and ruin your life: the Thanksgiving tables are turned on an unsuspecting victim, two cursed cops take on a hell of a job, and one friend has “bad news.”

    Pairings: a spooky nom de Tweet; a stab-proof wallet; a square chip

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    Snobby Lobby: How Big Bike Changed Gears

    We all pass time. Or does time pass us? Either way, if there's one thing humanity's good at, it's passin' time. We're so good at it, in fact, that we came up with a word just to describe passing-time-activities, and that word is "hobby." Pass some time with us in this episode as we explore the wide world of hobbies, including: some riveting discussion on the hands and butts of bicyclists; magicians, and where they are; and the relative merits of finding yourself dead in the water.

    Pairings: a Dickens of philias; wonder; one hand, clapping

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    Marquee Lark and the Funky Bunch

    Like Gilgamesh and Luke Skywalker before us, we return home from our journeys in this one, and you better believe we brought a zesty elixir back with us. That's right, everyone: Mike is back this week, and we're filling a whole snacksack with something spicy to celebrate. This episode's festivities include, but are not limited to: Tapan taking his cruise-dad attitude to the streets, Mike making a powerfully coiffed enemy, and Josh, half in the bag, muling his way to a brilliant business idea.

    Pairings: cheek nuts; stackable surnames; nimble fingers

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    A Note About Notes

    Days like today make you question what's truly real in the world around us. When someone yells for aid and you rush over, how foolish would you feel to find out they're only looking for 'ade, because they need to quench their thirst with a sugary lemony beverage on one of the final hot days of summer? Josh and Tapan face off in their final friendship-off before Mike's triumphant return from across the pond. We discuss the merits of using every nasty feature of your phone and getting your money's worth from a sandwich shop. To top it off, buckle your seatbelt guys and gals, because we're also gonna give you a voyeuristic look into the exciting world of planning travel logistics.

    Pairings: a map of New England; an OtterBox phone case; a lot to drag me away from you

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    Pouch Potato

    Have you heard the news today? Have you truly thought about who might have reported that news, or how it might have been viciously twisted into something barely resembling news when they’re done with it? Today you can call us Rottweilers, because we’re chewing up some stories and spitting them out, poor mangled husks of what they once were. Tapan consults the middle of Josh’s Venn diagram of fashion and internet savviness, Josh challenges Tapan’s patience, and Mike’s international reporting continues.

    Pairings: seventeen championship belts; European toilet etiquette; 47.9% of a footlong sub

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    Warren Pizza

    Hundreds of years ago, sending a loved one across the Atlantic Ocean often meant you said goodbye to them for good. Since then, we've come a long way as a society with a penchant for technological progress. International correspondence being what it is today, you'd think Instead Of would be able to roll with the punches, but our favorite Bogart may as well be on the moon this week, because he's turned in the first excused absence slip this show has ever seen. Josh and Tapan are your only tour guides on this wild ride through the countryside, pointing out such national treasures as 'that pizza place you always walk by,' 'the elementary school where they taught us to write,' and 'the exact GPS coordinates of Josh's private home.'

    Pairings: a 48-hour tape delay; a cool, refreshing lemon-lime beverage; a regular slice of watermelon, obviously

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    White Bird Singing in the Dead of Rites

    There comes a time in every parent's life when their bundle of joy leaves the nest to fare for themselves. In this analogy, Tapan and Josh are the parents, and their fledgling Mike has flown the coop after recording this episode to mingle with the exotic fauna of Europe. This leaves the former goons to fend for themselves, which includes totally wingin' this description. In this episode, we get a look into Tapan's newfound interest in astrology, Josh's experience with zoo soundtracks, and Mike's childlike wonder about the art of magic.

    Pairings: Postpartum antidepressants; cutting edge TV technology; really good aim

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    Sorry, Part II Returns

    The badboys of podcast obscurity are back for part two, and boy do we have a lot of pizza to catch you up on. Here at Instead Of, pizza is our bread and butter, but in this episode, it’s also our cake and our raison d'être. We chew very slowly in this one, savoring every bite of topics such as where cake belongs, algorithm-based destiny, and various breads, including banana. Along the way, Josh meets a friendly bus, mike narrowly avoids scarendipity, and Tapan asks the question on all our minds: “comment j’ai deltaplane?”

    Pairings: bedcrumbs; legit tomatoes; nice, clean teeth

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    When Pigsnakes Fly

    As scientists, we think that mashing two animals together into one super animal is a pretty good idea. As ethicists, we... do our best. In this one, we mash science and ethics up, and, sure, we steal some stuff along the way, but in the end, we'll all be chewing on delicious flavor-blasted snakebacon, and that's what really counts. Meanwhile, Josh heroically saves a human life, Mike nearly ends one, and Tapan solves the age-old problem of having armpits.

    Pairings: pulleys in your pants; a custom car alarm; a sensitive tongue

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