Where to start? Well, we're not even sure what we're meant to call the subject of our review. It has been called, variously, TetZoo Podcast, TetZoo Podcats, Tetzoo Podcart, Petting Zoo Food Mart and Non-Christians Against Fish - though under this name, many people assumed it to be a clever hoax - it wasn't. For the sake of simplicity, we shall refer to it as 'Tezpo'. Tezpo backwards is 'Opzet', which is, coincidentally, the name of one of its presenters' pet tapir.
|The short-lived TetZoo Top Trumps.|
Being of a different time, it was of importance-absolute that I did make an effort to acquire a person familiar with the concept of internet. That person is the local postmaster's daughter, Hepzibah. She is of the Age of Digital, and owns an MP3-to-Wax-Cylinder converter, facilitating my scrutiny of these scientific lectures. The Digital Age is not so different to the Wax Age, with the exception that the Wax Age usually falters in Summer.
|Collector's favourite, John Conway.|
With the progression of the series, each episode quickly turned into a long list of corrections of mistakes from the previous episode. O! How awful a time the receptionist at Tezpo Headquarters must have when the mail boy brings in those sacks of letters from disillusioned listeners - though, it must be said, it doesn't appear to dissuade people from listening. It is almost as if they listen for the steady stream of errors - perhaps as many as three or four each episode - in the same manner that a social outcast might sit at a bus station recording the busses which pass through like sweetcorn passes unchanged through a child. Common errors include misremembering plot elements from films of the Planet Of The Apes franchise, announcing the discovery of only one new tapir EVERY episode, and mispronouncing the names of everybody referenced in the episode. On several occasions, I believe, Naish even pronounces his own name incorrectly, uttering "nich", and commenting on how it will upset listeners in Jamestown. And maybe Boston. Cohn Jonway never mispronounces his own name, for he is the thinking-organ of this outfit, as demonstrated by the discussions which sway in his favour.
It was not long until Tezpo disciples, or 'podkittens', concocted a method by which the backlash to these errors could be softened.* A drinking game was devised as a call-to-action for weak-willed listeners to ply themselves with thee deville's fluids, numbing the brain and resulting in a fog in which they were hopelessly lost. Drink must be consumed for such incidents as Naish forgets the show is about tetrapods and deviates into a monologue about a film he doesn't like. More drink must be drunk if Conway has not seen that film, and still more drink must be swallowed if Conway then offers forth an opinion about that film which he has not seen. ALL of the drink must then be had should Conway eventually realise that he has seen the film. And this happens for every episode. In addition, there are numerous other drink-worthy elements which recur with such frequency that it is hard to be believe that any Tezpo's listeners survive to hear the wind-down lounge music which terminates each performance. The result is that no one can remember any of Naish's vicious slurs against fish or invertebrates, and no fish-lovers or arachnoculturist harbour any resentment towards him, nor his Conway. The rules for this debauchery may be found here, along with many details such organisations would usually keep to themselves. It is clear from the titles held by its members that this 'Empire' has ideas above its station, with Naish and Conway seemingly keen on elevating their band of infamy to the status of a cult. Beware.
*This is usually attributed to The Shadow Man, Mike Keesey, though, as seems fitting for such an irregular set of individuals, a 'Yodelling Cyclist' has also had considerable input. Irresponsible alcohol consumption, cycling, yodelling. Where will it all end?
The Tetzoo Podcast, hosted by Darren and John, may be enjoyed sensibly here. John Conway's art may be enjoyed and, preferably, purchased here. Darren Naish blogs at Scientific American's site, here.
You can also support John and Darren at their respective Patreon profiles.