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META: An RPF fanfiction

There was nothing decent to watch on TV. Alex Trebek was dead, Pat Sajak was an asshole, and Netflix deserved to be boycotted for even daring to suggest they may cut off password sharing. For fuck's sake, the standard was to limit account usage to five devices - what more did those greedy bastards want?! At least it was Tuesday night; one of her favorite podcasts usually had dropped for Patreon donors like herself by now. "Citation Needed" - it was a shorter show than the podcasters' other offerings, but still scratched that itch for good old liberal intellectual comedy while waiting for sister shows "Scathing Atheist" and "God-Awful Movies".

She fired up her XBox and mulled over which game she could play while her mind was engaged with the guys' banter, transforming the mundane subjects ripped from the annals of the venerable site Wikipedia into comedy gold. It was a real shame it was not a video medium, but YouTube was rather pedestrian, so perhaps it was for the best. While they did have a handle on visual humor - particularly Eli, the oddball of the group - it did make attending live shows all the more exciting. Ah, live shows. A relic of the Before Times. She idly wondered if the group would dare to require COVID vaccination cards to attend future live shows once the bulk of the country was able to receive their shots. True, the listening demographic skewed sharply left and in favor of science, but was there an oddball or two lurking among the listeners who would challenge such a mandate? Well, it would give their frequent guest and resident lawyer Andrew something to entertain listeners with, once any potential gag orders were lifted.

The episode was queued up and began to play over her Bluetooth speakers, with Tom's baritone voice rambling on about Wonkavision as part of their usual cold open. Sorry, Wandavision. Same thing; she was uninterested. More importantly, it was time for Eli's shenanigans - a radio-show style acting out of some insane skit (generally) tangentially related to the topic, or his understanding of it, anyway. He did not disappoint.

"ELI!!! WHY IS THERE A KKK RALLY IN OUR STUDIO?" bellowed Tom.

"Aaaand Nazis," Heath interjected. "With swastika armbands. Eli found a bunch of real Nazis... Um, Eli, where does a Jewish man convince literal Nazis to come hold a rally in a tiny podcasting studio? It is really, REALLY cramped in here..."

"Well," explained Eli, "this week's topic was on podcasting! There was literally nothing exciting we could do without sounding extremely meta, so I decided we needed to be EDGY and really give our listeners something to talk about. Hans, Cletus, no, I told you already, no burning of crosses or Jewish people in the studio - it's against fire code regulations."

Three voices sung out in unison, "I quit the show" as Noah verbally began to pull up city ordinances, asking "Now, what jurisdiction is this supposed to be set in? I suppose it really depends... I mean, Eli, no. We don't want the types of listeners who would listen to us host a White Power rally just for the sake of being edgy."

Dejected, Eli queried, "We don't?" "No," Noah patiently explained. "We are perfectly content tailoring our show to a more... enlightened demographic. Besides, conservatives have memories like goldfish - they'll be off buying up Pepsi to 'pwn the libs at Coke' too quickly to bother investing anything substantial to make it worth alienating our existing base."

"Oh."

"Now, go dispose of..." She could hear the implied gesticulation from Noah. "... all this."

There was a sound of a shotgun being cocked. "NO, not like that! Ask them to leave!"

Even more dejectedly, Eli responded, "Oh. Okayyyy." As Eli barked his "get out" noises and some vaguely Germanic and American Southern sounds of annoyance played in the background, Heath asked Noah, "I mean, the shotgun wasn't a BAD idea..." but Noah quickly cut Heath off, eager to get on with the show without much more of a stomachache for poor lawyer Andrew. So began the episode on "Podcasts".