Roman Mars Describes Things As They Are

Hello beautiful, homebound nerds. If I sound a little different, it’s because I’m recording this at home. I am not sick, you hopefully aren’t either, but many of us are staying home so that we don’t inadvertently become vectors for a virus, whose impact we don’t fully understand.

This is the right thing to do. We are all part of one big ecosystem and if any part of us gets sick, we all suffer — we are in this together.

So, my job in this world is to tell stories about all thought that goes into the things most people don’t think about. And since many of us are stuck at home, maybe alone or lonely, I thought we’d spend some time exploring this place we call home together — just you and me.

Sound good?

  1. Charles Campbell

    Roman,
    Thank you so much for this Bryson-esque episode. I especially love that you sang the song from Reply All. I laughed out at work, which felt really good today.

    1. Ktmelv

      Amen – I loved the gimlet / radiotopia crossover, a powerful manifestation of being in it together! Reminded me of the Alain de botton description of a french travel book “voyages around my bedroom”

  2. Andy Ligget

    Hey! So Much Better by Even Olson, I remember that song! JK it is completely new to me.

  3. Michael Robbins

    Omgosh, I love that you sang that song while washing your hands. I just listened to that episode of Reply All!!

  4. Erin

    I adored this. Thank you so much for taking me out of this stupid situation to ponder the curiosities around your home. It made me feel less lonely and anxious for 20 minutes, and that I am grateful.

  5. Ben

    *Share your love with me tonight*

    *doo doo do do doo*

    This song is following me around the internet – thank you for the spark of joy in handwashing, Roman!

  6. Johnny Van Cura

    Great, now that song is stuck in my head again.

    Roman’s singing voice is kinda James Mercer-esque. I want to hear some Shins covers.

  7. JackR

    Great episode. Light hearted, entertaining, informative.

    I have recommended it to more than a dozen friends and fam.

    I’d appreciate clarification of the surname of the broadcaster [Mark] quoted.

  8. Susan Cornell

    I just want to say that I usually love the beautiful custom music, extensive interviewing, editing, and production that goes into episodes of 99PI, but this episode was very different and simple and amazing! I appreciate the raw nature of this walk through your house, the sound of the water as you wash your hands, the sound of your steps as you stroll down the halls; it all feels so personal like I’m right there with you. As an architect, my minds eye can follow you perfectly and paint a picture of the rooms and orientations you are describing with some fun facts along the way. Just what I needed to take my mind off my home-bound boredom, great episode!!

  9. Kim

    Thank you for taking this seriously.

    My new way of saying goodbye to people is to say: I wish you good health! Don’t touch your face! Generally this is shouted from six feet away, or said over the telephone. Generally they laugh.

    I was feeling morose about how many folks are not taking this seriously. But I want your friend to stay alive. And my partner. And everyone’s granny. So thank you. I’m happy that you’re saying it out loud. I’m trying to say it out loud too. I hope if we all say it out loud, folks will start listening.

  10. Jacqueline

    Me too! I love that song! Thanks, Roman Mars, for introducing me to Reply All way back when; you’re both great.

  11. Jacqueline Costa

    I love that song too! Thanks, Roman Mars, for introducing me to Reply All. You’re both great!

  12. Morgan Andrews

    A gem of an episode. Feel free to drop more like these anytime. And yes, best song usage since that time one of your kids bust out some Teen Idles lyrics. Another best friend you just haven’t met yet.

  13. Sheila Christie

    Thank you so much for posting, and for the Reply All allusion. I needed that laugh.

    S

  14. Connie C

    Hi Roman,

    I just had 2 podcasts universes collide! That song that you sing while you wash your hands was actually a song that a podcast called Reply All just did an episode on. #158 The Case of the Missing Hit. I don’t know if you did this on purpose but it made me really happy. Stay safe and keep doing what you’re doing!

  15. Dyalan

    This episode – right down to the promo for Everything is Alive – reminded me that in addition to making me worried or stressed or fearful, the world around me also makes me smile and laugh, and occasionally sing. An important reminder at the best of times; an essential reminder at times like these. Thank you.

  16. Mike R Baker

    Love you, love this episode, love your love and caring, and love your listeners. It made me so happy and a little teary when you sang that song from Reply All. Like we’re all still connected, even though we’re miles (or 6 feet) apart. Thanks for everything.

  17. Mims

    I loved the sly podcast tie in to #158 th missing hit. But also loved the call back to
    https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/there-is-a-light-that-never-goes-out/.
    It is a classic 99pi. Maybe a silver lining to all this Covid stuff is that people will be forced to slow down and look more closely at the world around them and begin to understand the impact on the environment all our human activities cause.

    And of course, they will have time to listen to your great back catalog of episodes!

  18. Meredith Simpson

    Ok… I’m pretty sure I reached some sort of beautiful nerd secret level. Last Tuesday, I was driving 11 hours to pick up my daughter who had to move home from college. I listened to this episode I busted up laughing when I realized what was happening when Roman was singing and washing his hands! No one else in my car was laughing. And then I hung my head in a weird sort of shame. But lifted it again with pride; I really am some sort of beautiful nerd to recognize a Reply All and 99PI Easter egg / crossover with a handwashing song. Well played, Roman!

  19. Robert Fuge

    the fan thing… I lived in Italy (Palermo) for a year about 13 years ago, and would routinely get scolded by old people for not wearing a coat… in summer, just because there was a breeze. Old Sicilian wisdom has it that moving air = illness and possibly death.

    It’s incredibly amusing and frustrating. One of my Italian room mates at one point scolded me for 20 minutes for sleeping with a fan blowing… on my feet.

  20. Thank you for a great episode and introducing me to the band Beauty Pill. The song you played reminded me so much of XTC’s Deliver us from the Elememts. They were the band that got me through many a hard time in my life. Thanks for all you do.

  21. Melanie

    I, too, laughed out loud at the handwashing-singing bit — in my case, while walking around a deserted block after dark to shake off the weeping rage I’d been stuck in all evening. And it worked. Thank you.

    Unlike most of the commenters, though, I didn’t recognize the “Reply All” allusion, which clearly means I need to add another podcast to my feed. For which I also thank you.

  22. garrett carrigan

    I had no idea that so much work had to be put into making something so ordinary.

  23. Catharine

    Hello back, thou beautiful nerd! As I understand it, circulating hot air in a closed room is the source of the fear of fans in bedrooms (many people do not open windows or doors while sleeping for reasons of security and privacy); with a fan on in such a scenario you are not actually cooling down and are instead creating a rough convection oven but you’d have to know the science behind it and instead it’s simpler to fear having a fan on in the bedroom.

  24. Arina

    All of us at home, so let’s discover our places and stay safe together! I’m inspired by the phrase: everything will be all right it’s not the end and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end!

  25. I don’t know which is funnier….that Roman so eloquently described his home amenities that made it interesting to listen to, or that I was so mesmerized listening to Roman describe a hallway in his house, that I continued to listen to the entire podcast.Good work Roman.

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