Winners and Losers Podcast

I host a podcast called The Winners and Losers Show. It’s fun, loose conversations with fun, loose people — comedians, writers, actors, authors and anyone else willing to give me an hour or two of their time. For a while, I had a co-host, the wonderfully talented, Kelly Huddleston. Before that there are well over 100 episodes from my time as a newbie comedian in Chicago. The podcast is now based out of Los Angeles and although I can’t devote as much attention to it as I wish, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. I’ll update it sporadically as time allows.

Here’s the website: WinnersAndLosersShow.com.

Subscribe via RSS or via iTunes.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING SOME BULLSHIT

by Hank Thompson on December 5, 2013

What’s that, Internet? Not enough content? Not enough podcasts? Not enough loudmouth white guys sharing their opinions despite overwhelming ignorance? Well, you’re in the luck because The Winners & Losers show is coming back! You heard it here second. Chicago’s favorite podcast has a new home: Not Chicago. It’s been re-tooled and re-polished and will be blasting off in mere units of time! Set your watches, start your dials, drown your pets, the Winners & Losers Show is back almost!

Stay tuned.

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by Hank Thompson on October 1, 2012

EXTRA! EXTRA! LISTEN ALL ABOUT IT!

 

Celebrate with us as you listen to our 100th ANNIVERSARY SHOWTACULAR! That’s right, the possible became done. We did 100 episodes of this horrific podcast.

Winners and Losers Podcast

Joining me are first episode guests Lane Pieschel and Facebook-quitter Simmons McDavid. Two real men of America. Genuine heroes. It’s a real stumble down memory lane, this one. We reminisce about the early days of the Winners and Losers Podcast and discuss how life has improved in the last 2 years. (Nobody is any better off.) I try to make myself sneeze by snorting pepper. Then Lane’s mood sours when he gets called in to work. Kind of a terrible show, really. Plus lots lots more! Listen today!

out of context quote:

“How much longer are we doing this?”

Direct Download: 2012.10.01_WL_100_-_100th_Anniversary_SHOWTACULAR.mp3

Download via iTunes

Listen Right Here:

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WATCH THIS:

TOSSED – a short film about pizza, starring Simmons McDavid & Lane Pieschel, directed & edited by Hank Thompson

LINKS:

Simmons’ Twitter: N/A Simmons’ Facebook: N/A

Lane’s Twitter: @notnotLane

Hank’s Twitter: @Hank_Thompson

SUPPORT THE SHOW:

Sign in to our iTunes page and leave us a positive review. It actually helps the show and is a great way for you to feel like a good person for a few minutes. Also, don’t forget sunblock on your lips. They can burn, too.

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It’s the Yeast you could do

by Hank Thompson on July 5, 2012

I had the privilege of appearing on the Chicago-based podcast, Rye Bread Radio. Had a fun time talking with Akeem and Brian. We solved the world’s problems, one drip at a time.

Here’s THE LINK to my episode.

Click around for other episodes with all kinds of interesting people from Chicago’s performance/creative community.

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Get Caught Up on the Podcast

by Hank Thompson on June 9, 2012

I’ve been lazy/busy/distracted/out of it lately so I haven’t kept up with linking to the podcast episodes on here as they are released. I am sorry. I promise I will not commit such a heinous act again for the next few months.

Winners and Losers Podcast

Anyway, here are links to get us up to speed. Even if you don’t know who these fuckfaces are please give it a listen. They’re my fuckfaces and they will become your fuckfaces and then we can all facefuck together, okay fuckface?

(sorry, ‘fuckface’ is my new favorite word, fuckface.)

Episode 80 – Sean Flannery“I consider the NFL to be borderline evil.” Join the thousands and thousands of Chicagoans that have seen his one man show “Never Been to Paris” at The Comedy Bar, Thursdays. It’s grab-your-tits funny.

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Episode 81 – Megan Gailey“All these fancy people can’t be bothered by regulars. We don’t need them touching us.” Already got the SP write up.

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Episode 82 – Dan Ronan“I have scars on my legs still from rides in the Bluebird of Happiness.” Already got the SP write up.

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Episode 083 – Drew Michael“I have some open ligaments sticking out.” Drew features and headlines all over the place. He’s a founding member the highly respected weekly showcase, Comedians You Should Know.

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Episode 084 – Bombs Away with Kevin Hogan“When did I fail wizard school?!” Keep up with Kevin’s zany adventures on Twitter: @khogancomedy and at the podcast he co-hosts: The Friesen Point.

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Episode 085 – Just the Gratuity with Matt Riggs“Tipping is a big deal in this country. Tipping.” Matt is a podcasting LEGEND. He talks into microphones all the time. Check out Bad News Good Timing and his other podcast: Matt Likes Girls.

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Episode 086 – Pat O’Rourke and Rob Gregory and Me“What is this? A Difficult-Bake Oven?” Check out their podcast: Somebody and Me. I was on it. I was fuckin’ hilarious. Twitter: @SomebodyFunny

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Episode 087 – Saurin Choksi“Is this really happening? Is this what he does?” Both of us new to the Chicago scene at the same time, Saurin was my first friend in Chicago comedy. Awww. Saurin’s website: SaurinChoksi.tumblr.com and twitter: @saurinchoksi

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Episode 088 and 089 – Tyson K, parts 1 and 2 – “I’m getting drinky.” During this episode Tyson, myself and co-host Joe McAdam start and finish a case of beer. That’s why it went so long and why it’s some funny-ass podcasting. Tyson’s Twitter: @TysonKComedy

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Episode 091 – Matt Kona“This taco truck. It was run by these burlesque people.” Matt was in town from Boston. Despite his huge beard we had a really interesting conversation. I also did an episode of his excellent podcast, Comics Coming Up. Matt’s website: MattKona.com and Twitter: @MattKona

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Episode 090 – James Fritz“Yeah, warts don’t always just come from women.” (out of order because I messed up the filenames. Oops). James and I are extremely nice and friendly towards each other, which is weird cause we’re not. And that makes for great podcasting. James’ podcast: You Could Be Dead and Twitter: @JamesFritzComic

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There ya go! I hope I got all the links right. Many hours of enjoyment (maybe). Putting this post together reminds me what I love about being in comedy: all the funny and interesting people you get to meet. The nobodies and the somebodies and everyone in between. Well, not everyone. Some of them are jackasses just like every industry.

If you listened to all of those without navigating away from this page then you really need to make better choices with your life. Please bookmark the podcast or subscribe through an RSS thingie or subscribe through iTunes. It’s a wonderful to not get a lot of work done while your stupid boss thinks you’re actually a good employee. Or car trips! Or while riding the local train/bus/prostitute.

Join the Winners and Losers Revolution, fuckface!

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Two episode update! Hey carbon units! Yeah, you. Check out these episodes of the podcast.

Episode 081 – Bedroom Sighs with Megan Gailey (@MeganGailey)

Megan Gailey (above)

Episode 081 welcomes comedian Megan Gailey back to the podcast. She’s a powerhouse of talent, and not just in the dressing herself department. Audiences first see her warm smile, classy accoutrements and confident demeanor but are quickly thrust into the tormented hellhole that is her mind, laughing and screaming the whole way. I’ve seen her command a room like a serial killer in a classroom on parent teacher conference day; try and ignore her! Plus she’s just fun and smart to talk to. I asked her what it’s like having your gender constantly pointed out in comedy, she shares her experience almost working at the Super Bowl and then attending it and seeing the Madonna. Plus we play another round of the famous DALAI LAMA or PORNSTAR game, the game of teats and tweets. We were joined by comedian and human tempura Joe Fernandez.

I first met Megan over three years ago in improv class, level 1, when she was making up a missed class by sitting in with ours for the day. I remember thinking, “Who the hell this hot bitch think she is being all attractive AND funnier than the rest of us? Sheeit.” And then I got into stand up and there she was. Now we’re tennis buddies. It’s cool. Oh, she also played an important role in the short film I made. See if you can spot her!

It won’t be long before she’s famous so I hope to have her back on the show as a guest as often as possible before she gets all over the magazine covers and starts living in a plane that never lands or something.

Direct Download: 2012.02.20_WL_081_-_Bedroom_Sighs_with_Megan_Gailey.mp3

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Listen right here:

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LINKS

Megan’s co-hosts her own podcast: NakedSportsLive.com and is a member of the hit comedy hit squad, Your Funniest Friends.

EPISODE 082 – Dan Ronan (@RonanComedy)

Dan's Twitter Avatar. Shrug.

Episode 082 is with my good friend Dan Ronan. We haven’t been friends long but the times we’ve shared together have been some of the most stimulating of my life. Oh wait, I’m thinking of egg rolls. Crunchy on the outside, filled with Yahweh-knows-what on the inside– the world’s perfect food.  Dan’s swell, too. Not egg roll swell but pretty close. He and I are going to know each other for a very long time because we’re both terrified of the world and that’s what keeps a person alive.

Dan’s still young but his soul is already shriveled up and dead. That’s why he’s such a funny comedian. After I ask him why the fuck I haven’t been booked at the show he co-books (The Lincoln Lodge) we trade childhood memories and insecurities and fears and shit like that. He’s like the little brother I always wanted to ignore.I don’t really remember all of it but it was a revealing conversation.

Aside from the constant eye contact it never got uncomfortable. Here!:

Direct download: 2012.02.27_WL_082_-_Dan_Ronan.mp3

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Listen right here:

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LINKS

Lincoln Lodge website: TheLincolnLodge.com Dan’s Twitter: @RonanComedy

Thanks, reader. Now get back to your regularly scheduled distraction.

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Winners and Losers – ep 079 – Pete Holmes

by Hank Thompson on March 11, 2012

Episode 079 of the podcast is a big one. Pete Holmes was the guest. He may not be a household name, but he’s certainly a householmed name… God, what a terrible way to start this post. Get it now, ya holmosexuals!

Direct Download: 2012.02.06_WL_079_-_Pete_Holmes.mp3

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Listen right here:

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Aside from being a headlining comedian, Pete writes for television, does voice over work (Ever hear of the ETrade baby? Of course you have.) and has published cartoons in the New Yorker. His sketchwork on the Internet is prolific and enviable and he does his own podcast, You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes on Nerdist.

Begun in October 2011, it instantly elbowed its way into my regular rotation, becoming a must-listen for me and my billions of friends on the Internet. A majority of his guests are accomplished comedians, many of whose achievements match his own as well as others who toil in different facets of the laughter industry. Pete’s favorite pommel horses are comedy, sex/relationships and religion and he approaches each topic like a malfunctioning tennis ball machine, peppering the listener with varying intensities of felty bruiseyness. The times he goes down Memory Highway with the comedy friends he started with in Chicago are of particular interest to me because I feel/hope I’ll one day pass similar signposts. It’s entertaining. It’s thoughtful. It’s pure Pete Holmes.

He was kind (or bored) enough to do my podcast. For all he knew I was just another Twitter jackass who asked him to do a podcast. He didn’t have to say yes. But he did. And that’s the kind of risk-taking that makes Pete such a strong performer, as I got to see for myself the night before the interview. A lady friend and I went to the Up Comedy Club at Second City to see him headline. He was everything I want to be on stage: tall, white, hilarious and paid. As for the lady friend… I can report that that relationship ended as quickly as it didn’t begin. Coffee is for closers. I drink tea.

Every time I watch a headliner perform a full set in front of a paying audience I observe the show with the eagerness of newly sentient robot pouring through a stack of books, seeking wisdom and insight– something, anything that could help me grow as a comedian. It’s kind of an awful way to be and is one of the things I lament as a comic: that I’ll never be a pure audience member, a work-a-day dolt out to see a performance, hoping for a good time and genuine laughs and that whichever babe I’m with eventually starts rubbing my thigh in anticipation of eventual toe-curling penetration. Instead I study the complex psychological interaction between the performer and the audience, the interaction I spend most of my time parsing and dissecting as I work on my own stand up career. Doesn’t stop it from being impressive; just makes it impressive in a different way.

After the show Pete was seated at the merch table (‘merchandise’ for you civies (‘civilians’ for you norms)). I introduced myself as the Twitter jackass and we settled on a time to record the show.

I’m always surprised that you can just walk into hotels, go to any elevator and wander around any floor, especially nice ones like where Pete was staying. (He assured me they’re rarely as nice.) I feel like I’m supposed to check in at the desk or something, let them know I’m not a psycho. But I suppose such a requirement would hamper the pizza delivery and prostitute industries.

Anyway, it was a great interview. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who’ve listened. The one frustration was that I screwed up the levels on the mixing board, making my voice sound a little off. See that picture there. All I had to do was turn that knob on the left down. DAMMIT! SO ANNOYING!

It’s really not that bad, you’ll see, but I get especially irritated when a problem’s solution is so easy. Thanks for reading.

LINKS:

Check out Pete’s website: PeteHolmes.com and follow him on Twitter: @PeteHolmez

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Winners and Losers – ep 078 – Stephen Markley

by Hank Thompson on February 25, 2012

Episode 078 of the podcast featured Stephen Markley. He’s a writer/author. He’s got credits coming out of his fingertips. We met at an open mic about a year ago. He wasn’t there to do comedy but instead did a brief reading from his book, Publish This Book. We chatted briefly about doing the podcast and ten months later I remembered and invited him on. Here’s the result:

out of context quotes:

“No one’s ever had a healthy relationship. It just doesn’t exist.”

“It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure except someone already made the choices for you. AKA a book.”

Direct Download: 2012.01.26_WL_078_-_Stephen_Markley.mp3

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Listen Right Here:

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Stephen also writes a regular column for the Red Eye called Off the Markley that covers movies, politics and culture. I’ve become a regular reader of it and you should to. The guy is pretty good at putting words together and as a person who for a long time wanted to put words together for a living I can express only heartfelt jealousy at his publishing achievements.

Always judge a book by its author.

It’s a real book, by the way. By a real publisher, made of real paper and real ink. (digital versions available). The guy isn’t even in his 30s and he already published a book, which makes me think I gotta finish one of the several novels I started between video game/masturbation/confusion sessions in college. I got this one idea. It takes place in the future. The world has run out of oil. People cook with butter only. The two leads are more alike than they’d care to admit, two sides of the same loin, you might say. After implausibly trading identities they match wits, recipes and more throughout the story in a race-against-thyme free-range thriller that spans the Northern Illinois Metropolitan region. It’s called Butter Face Off. It’s mostly just dudes running and beating each other up with prison trays. There’s also a single sentence multi-page sex scene to keep the reader excited. And some shit about insect-shaped cars. I’ll start chapter 2 eventually.

So yeah, check it out. It’s a great episode that covers a lot of ground, from the usual Winners and Losers fare of body fluids and body fluid harvesting to the intricacies of the literary world, with a good dose of politics for you head-nodders out there. We figure out Lost and share our most intimate desires in another round of ROMANTIC FANTASIES, which is a segment we do on the show where I make guests uncomfortable by asking them to describe a romantic fantasy. Stephen’s not a comedian by trade but he seems to think like one, which is probably a compliment?

I’d like to have him on the show again to talk movies and politics and to argue about all sorts of things about which I’m too ignorant to have an opinion.

LINKS:
Follow Stephen on Twitter: @StephenMarkley. Read his Red Eye column. Get his book: Publish This Book! His website: StephenMarkley.com
Here’s my Twitter: @Hank_Thompson and co-host’s Jeff’s Twitter: @jsteinbrunner.

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Episode 077 of the podcast featured comedian and film star Liza Treyger. She lives somewhere around here and is very funny and very fashionable, unlike me. I have stains on my clothes. If I can’t remove the stain with sink water then it’s bleach. If I can then it’s food. It’s the Chicago way.

Have a listen!

out of context quotes:

“Today I was watching a Law and Order: SVU called ‘Slaves.'”

“Because they’re surrounded by yes women.”

Direct Download: 2012.01.23_WL_077_-_Rich_and_Stylish_with_Liza_Treyger.mp3

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Listen Right here:

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LINKS:

Liza’s Twitter: @GlitterCheese

Jeff’s Twitter: @Jsteinbrunner

Hank’s Twitter: @Hank_Thompson

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In this episode I welcome Mike Lebovitz and Kenny DeForest to the podcast. These two men have booming voices, ears that barely work and the kind of attitude that wins wars. These two motherfuckers will strip varnish whether you want them to or not, and sometimes you do. They don’t just sink your battleship; they reach over the divider and put your little boats in their mouth and spit them back at you while your mom makes lemonade in the kitchen. They’re banned from most public parks, not for nefarious reasons but because recreational metal crumbles under the weight of their smiles and woos. They tie knots and eat pussy with their eyes closed. They solve cereal puzzles before they get out of the parking lot. They throw dance parties on bridges and cause minor earthquakes when they clap. Their rage causes sunspots. Their chuckle is an extreme sport. Their minds are flawless, lawless and awwless. Their fists can pound nails and their shoes usually match. Celery grows out of their ears. They sink like witches, have lips that can fold laundry and every meal they’ve ever had has been in bed and delivered by a grateful woman with careful feet.

Really fun show! Give it a listen:

Direct Download: 2012.01.19_WL_076_-_WithMyDick_with_Mike_Lebovitz.mp3

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Listen right here:

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Screengrab of #withmydick, trending locally. Click to zoom.

We discuss the hashtag #withmydick. It originated in the mind of Mike as a fun phrase he would use on stage but because of the miracle of Twitter and the alcohol-lubricated intentions of post-show revelry it became something far greater than Mike ever imagined. Read about it in this article Kenny DeWrote on the Chicago comedy blog: ComedyofChicago.com. It happened the day before Christmas and united the Chicago comedy scene into a unified whole.

The center of #withmydick is the two-chambered beating heart that is Mike Lebovitz and Kenny DeForest. One ventricle, one atrium, and a whole lot of fluid with nowhere to go. All the proof you need is contained in this screenshot from the bottom of Kenny’s article:

This kind of love brings a tear to my brown eye.

Follow Mike Lebovitz on Twitter: @MikeLebovitz and check out his show Comedians You Should Know

Follow Kenny DeForest on Twitter: @Kenny_DeForest and check out @SpeakEZComedy and Truckload O’ Comics

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In this episode of the podcast Jeff and I spoke with Mike Stanley. He’s is a Chicago-based comedian who earns the respect and laughter of audiences wherever he performs, which seems to be everywhere. Or places that have parking lots, at least.

Direct Download: 2012.01.16_WL_075_-_Wreck_Loose_with_Mike_Stanley.mp3

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Listen right here:

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Mike Stanley's head. Not pictured: Mike Stanley's body.

Here’s a picture of what he looks like so you’ll recognize him when he’s all over television in a few months/years.

Mike is very easy to talk to and will be making more appearances on the show. Check out his website and see him perform sometime. Buy his DVD. Or just add him on fucking twitter (@MikeStanley1).

We had fun dissecting the story of a wedding he attended at a castle in Vegas that was officiated by a wizard. A real life wizard. There’s still dudes that do that. They’re even rarer than clowns. Now, of course, modern wizards are different than wizards of the past. Their garb is made in Asia. That’s the difference. It’s kind of hilarious to think of anyone other than a child, middle school actor, or sexy babe dressed up in a purple mumu holding a wand. And isn’t that the perfect word? A mumu? Seems like it should be moomoo but changing the lexicon would require an act of bovine intervention. What an awful joke. Sigh.

Photo of an actual wizard

Wizards are people, too. Lets not forget that. So what if they’re immortal and control the weather? They’re just like you and me; they put on their mumu one fat or skinny arm at a time. They pay taxes (to the Wizard Council), they waste time on YouTube, they summon creatures to do their bidding (mostly cleaning ladies). And do you know how hard it is to find a tasseled rope belt these days? I’m a big supporter of wizard rights, of the hex-positive movement. But sadly it seems that to make societal progress the wizard community needs to start within its own ranks. They’re not fond of each other. When have you ever seen more than one? Not unlike egrets they prefer solitude and get easily spooked by drunken fishermen. Wizards are constantly warring– directing storms and vortexes at each other, casting spells and poxes and generally scheming about the various dim futures they glimpse inside magic orbs. Even when they’re not fighting they’re pouring over dusty ancient texts and designing newer and better winding staircases. But when it comes to showing a little love to each other they seem hardly capable. Reticent at best. I call on all wizards to put down the minions and pick up the funyuns! Why am I typing this shit?

You’ll be fascinated later on in the podcast where Mike tells the story of being bitten by a brown recluse spider. Don’t – repeat, DON’T – Google pictures of brown recluse spider bites. It’s nasty and gross and not something you should ever see unless you get your own bite, in which case you kinda hafta look. Here’s a picture of the spider:

Look at that motherfucker.

Mike didn’t have health insurance so by the time it forced him into the doctor it had progressed to the point of emergency. The bite became a terrible festering wound. He almost lost full use of his arm. This presents the solution to the health care crisis facing our country: ban spiders. Make them illegal. Problem solved.

There should be a bounty on the heads of all spiders. Use a lesser quality paper towel and it might get messy when you squish it. Bounty. Get it? That was a paper towel joke. Of course you got it; You’re good-looking and expensive.

The venom kills tissue at the site of the bite and causes all kinds of havoc if left untreated. Here’s a quote from the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet on entomology:

“The severity of a person’s reaction to the bite (from brown recluse) depends on the amount of venom injected and individual sensitivity to it. Bite effects may be nothing at all, immediate or delayed. Some may not be aware of the bite for 2 to 8 hours, whereas others feel a stinging sensation usually followed by intense pain if there is a severe reaction. A small white blister usually rises at the bite site surrounded by a large congested swollen area. Within 24-36 hours, a systemic reaction may occur with the victim characterized by restlessness, fever, chills, nausea, weakness and joint pain. The affected area enlarges, becomes inflamed, and the tissue is hard to touch. The spider’s venom contains an enzyme that destroys cell membranes in the wound area with affected tissue gradually sloughing away, exposing underlying tissues. Within 24 hours, the bite site can erupt into a “volcano lesion” (a hole in the flesh due to damaged, gangrenous tissue).”

Yikes! You never want to see words like “sloughing” and “amount.” Volcano lesion? I’m definitely not googling that.

Oh, and I came across this: Brown Recluse Spider: Range Could Expand in N. America With Changing Climate.

So we have that to look forward to. Listen to the full story on the podcast.

In summary I am for wizard rights but I am against spiders’ rights to bite my friends in the armpit.

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