Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 325

Austin talks to the proprietor of the company that makes these clocks this episode
Photo Credit:
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: “Steve Austin’s Bucket List” (325, May 17, 2016)
Run Time: 1:09:48
Guest: Curtis Stimpson (8:25)

Summary: Austin wants to check some items off his bucket list, and first up is learning how to make a neon clock. (This is not surprising in context of what Austin’s revealed about himself over the course of 324 episodes.) So he’s at the shop of Curtis Stimpson, proprietor of Curtis Clocks ( to learn at the feet of a master. In addition to dropping all sorts of neon knowledge, Stimpson also talks a bit about being an RV owner. There’s a longer than usual go-home segment this week, during which Austin plugs a random YouTube user who gave his new Cold Steel Broken Skull knife a five-star review.

Quote of the week: “My whole life I heard, ‘Oh you can’t learn neon. It’s too hard.’ And tell me that, I gotta learn neon now! I mean, so, sure enough, I went to find out how to do it and couldn’t find anyone. There are no schools, there’s nothing. I ended up hiring a private artist in town here and took a course, a six-week course; it cost $4,000 to learn how to do neon. And I can tell you, after doing a lot of things my whole life, welding, fabricating, sheet metal work, learning to bend neon is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is hard. Working with molten glass — it’s hard! But it’s rewarding.”

Why you should listen: Austin loves him some neon clocks, and you can hear that passion bleed through in his interview with Stimpson, who seems like a really nice guy who happens to be a quality craftsman. It’s a fairly interesting chat on a seemingly random topic, and I have a lot of respect for Austin’s willingness to humbly admit when he’s an absolute novice and do so genuinely without playing it for cheap laughs.

Why you should skip it: If ever a podcast cried out for video, this episode most certainly does just that. Hearing a visual artist describe their work — especially when all we’re likely to be able to picture is a finished product while the conversation is almost exclusively about process — is more than frustrating. Rarely have I felt “this interview would be so much more enjoyable if I could be sitting at the table with Stone Cold and X-Pac,” but I absolutely wanted to see Stimpson’s workshop. (Also, just shut the damn thing off after the interview ends, unless you really want to hear Austin’s thoughts about texting while driving.)

Final thoughts: Austin’s Thursday guest this week is a bodybuilding legend whose name I’ve heard at least twice and still can’t recall, and I’m already bored with that conversation. Somehow I found the clock chatter riveting. There’s probably no accounting for taste in this particular instance, but I found this talk quick and fun. You can most certainly skip it if you’re hoping to hear cussing or chatter about wrestling, drinking and hunting. But hey, the clock dude is a little bit of fun, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of him.