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Hi. Welcome to “A Thousand Words”, September 27th, 2019. I’m Richard.
I’ve been telling you stories on this podcast for a year now, and this is my final farewell  episode. The classroom idea I had at the end of the last podcast didn’t pan out . So I’m back here in the studio one last time. But I’m not alone - I’m here with Paloma and Sebastian, who are in another room listening and recording this. Hi, guys! And we’re not alone either, because I’ve brought in some listeners with me – actually, just their letters and emails; they’re still out and about  doing whatever they do at this time of day. Because instead of telling you a story as I usually do, I decided to print out their mails and put them into a basket . I thought it would be a good way to end the podcast by reading what some people have written in over the past year. So, I’m going to reach into this basket and pull out one letter at a time, at random . Not all of them – just until we run out of time .
So, let’s jump right in. Here goes. The first is from Benni in Dielsdorf. Benni writes: “Hi Richard. What was that last podcast about? I did not understand it. Horses and gifts? A homeless man and a woman who throws her food away at the end? I like stories that make sense and go somewhere. Please, in your next story, go somewhere.”
Oh, thank you, Benni.
The next is from Peggy – Peggy in Rapperswil: “Hello Richard. We think your podcasts are just wonderful. Keep up the good work. We listen to some of them in our English conversation class. We all enjoy your voice. But some of us would like if you could speak slower and use not so many words. A few others would like if you could speak with an Australian accent.
We went to Australia two years ago and just fell in love with the accent. It is a pity you do not have the same accent. It would be nice if you could do that on one of your next podcasts. Just a thought from a class that listens to you. Keep the stories coming!”
Mmm, ok, I’ll think about that.
Celine from France writes: “Funny, Richard, but my cat comes into the room and sits on the sofa when I play your podcasts. I clean my flat and she sits and listens to you. I think she listens, because sometimes when I call her name and talk to her she does not respond. She looks at the speaker where your voice comes from and is lost in her thoughts . I think she likes your voice. Maybe even your stories. I like them too.”
Oh, thank you, Celine, and your cat. I think I’d like to meet your cat one day.
Barbara from Zug writes: “I liked your last podcast about curves. My son found an apprenticeship too. He is also 15. I liked hearing about Junior College in the US. I would like to be a student all my life and keep learning and learning and learning. I never had my palm read, and after hearing your story I don’t think I want to. Someone said the world is round so we cannot see too far over the horizon. That’s ok with me. I’m happy about that. And happy nothing bad happened to you when you were 33.”
Thank you, Barbara. That’s very kind of you.
Stephen from Basel writes: “I don’t believe everything you say that happened to you really happened. You tell many crazy stories. Are they really all true? Sometimes I wonder.”
You know, Stephen, sometimes I wonder too.
Markus from Therwil: “I like your stories, even your voice, but please no more singing. Elvis had the right to sing, Jim Morrison too. Not you. Also, your Reagan impersonation  was rather weak .”
Thank you, Markus, very kind of you.
Bea from Holland writes: “Just listened to your podcast about luck – making your own luck. Before listening, I don’t think that I ever could say I was lucky that something from me was stolen. But after listening, maybe it is better sometimes to wait after a bad thing happens. Only time will tell . Thanks for the story!”
Yor’re welcome, Bea. Thanks for your comment.
Sylvia from Austria writes: “What a shame you stopped picking up hitchhikers! Just because one bad experience? Maybe try again. Here in Austria it is not so dangerous as in the US.”
Thank you, Sylvia. Next time I’m in Austria I’ll stick out my thumb.
Elvira in Zurich writes: “I liked your podcast about Billy Wilder. Such a lovely man. Great movies. Did you really walk past him? What kind of dog did he have? Did you know that his films are playing at Filmpodium this month? Is that why you told a story about him? How do you come up with things to talk about?”
Thank you, Elvira. I’m not quite sure how I come up with things to talk about. It’s a mystery to me.
Mledenka from Croatia writes: “I did what you asked and played hide and seek with you. I went to a park and listened, and I hid behind some trees. Is that where you found me? Very fun! But also sad what you said at the end, about hiding from people and waiting for them to find you. I am hiding from someone I hope will find me, but until now he has not. Maybe my hiding place is too good. Thanks for the game.”
Thank you, Mledenka. And I hope you’re found soon.
Martin from Germany writes: “You fooled me  too, Richard. I listened to you about Jim Morrison and could not believe it. But I believed it! You made me believe it! Then at the end you said April Fools! I know exactly how you felt because you made me feel the same. Just great!”
Thank you, Martin. Happy I could have fooled you.
Susanne from Rapperswil writes: “Richard! Does your mother know you popped magic mushrooms into your mouth  like potato chips?”
Well, Susanne, I think after this she probably does.
Lucienne from Lausanne writes: “I kill mosquitoes because they can have diseases. I kill spiders because I cannot live with them and I cannot get close enough to catch them  to put them outside. I kill flies. I kill ants. I kill cockroaches. And I would kill a flea if I ever saw one. Everything else can stay alive. It’s good to know where I draw that kind of line . Thank you for making me think about my line.”
You’re welcome, Lucienne. It’s good to know you draw the line with insects.
This one’s from Geneva. Karl writes: “I loved your last podcast, Californian Flame. I too know what it feels like to be a lonely small flame. I sympathized very much, especially when he was hiding. Too bad he had to hide because he only did what was in his nature to do.”
Thank you, Karl. Very thoughtful.
Cristina from Romania writes: “Did your father really put your cat into a bag and leave it in a forest? Why didn’t you learn from that? Why did you do the same to your own bicycle? Good story, but disturbing .”
Thank you, Cristina. Yes my father really did put my cat in the forest.
Nina from Holland writes: “I just listened to One Mouse, Two Mice. It was nice to hear you speak about an old relationship without being bitter.”
Thank you, Nina. I try my best.
Well, we’re just about out of time. Thank you everyone who spent their time listening to my stories. Stories are an important thing we humans do together. Whether we realize it or not , we’re always telling each other stories.
“What did you do yesterday?”
Nothing. Great – all the seeds  for a good story. Nothing. I can imagine that. Because I know what I do when I do nothing. And I wonder, is your nothing the same as my nothing? What that nothing did was make me use my imagination. And now we’re both playing together. From out of nothing a story can be made, a game we can play together, a game of the imagination – like verbal tennis matches where we serve each other ideas and rally  for as long as we can.
Thank you for playing with me this past year.
I hope you liked the podcast or others you’ve listened to on our website podclub.ch and our app. Our website and existing podcasts will be available until December 31st of this year. As of the next year all my episodes will be available on soundcloud.