Falling Uphill – Episode 7 – The Third Degree

A writer crosses into a breakaway republic as an unlikely tourist and ends up a prime suspect.

Curiosity can lead in all sorts of directions. John Dennehy’s passions for history and travel led him to a place called Transnistria. This would prove to be a disaster. In between Moldova and Ukraine, it doesn’t officially exist. It reveres the former Soviet Union and runs its institutions accordingly. When John stepped off the train in Tiraspol, its capital city, he was hoping to experience the closest thing to time travel. By the next day, he was in a police station just hoping he wouldn’t be locked up for a murder he didn’t commit.

Produced by Matt Elzweig

Story told by John Dennehy

Illustration by Richard Chance


“CatTerrogation (how they stay so relaxed)” Matt Burnett

“Desert City” Kevin MacLeod

 “Maccary Bay” (ft. Brett VanDonsel) Kevin MacLeod

“Monsoon Circus Dub” Hayvanlar Alemi

“Ruins of Soviets” Technology of Silence

“Under Suspicion” Lee Rosevere

“Walking Blind in New York” A Paranoid Android


Davidgotskill, Decus



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Falling Uphill – Episode 6 – Father’s Wishes

For this narrator, a return to familiar surroundings is a completely alien experience. 



It’s hard to know where to start when you try to encapsulate Augustus’s* story in just a few pithy lines, so let’s try the beginning: born in the Phillippines to a Filipina mother and an American father, Augustus grew up in a privileged but dysfunctional home. Shortly after graduating college with a degree in philosophy in the US, he finds himself called back to the Philippines, a country to which he never wanted to return, managing a crayon factory for father’s company and being forced to entertain foreign business associates by taking them to brothels. To make things worse, Augustus, the closeted-gay son of an openly-homophobic dad, suffers from social anxiety and feels obligated to participate in everything that takes place in those brothels. At his wit’s end, he makes a last ditch effort at escape by landing himself in another place he doesn’t belong–business school. His father is thrilled of course, but the truth will come out.

*Not his real name.

Produced by Matt Elzweig

Story told by Anonymous

Illustration by Richard Chance


“Creepy Atmo” David Szestay

“Here They Come” Slipper

“Maccary Bay” (ft. Brett VanDonsel) Kevin MacLeod


“Hail to the Chief” (U.S. Department of the Air Force) 


DjDeeJaVu, highz



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Falling Uphill Episode 4 – “The Chairman,” Postscript: “Vito” Revealed (and out of a job)

Up hill ep1_chairman 2

If you listened to Falling Uphill Episode 1 (“The Chairman”), you know that “Vito,” a filmmaker with no college teaching experience interviewed for a job at a small college, and through a series of unthinkable circumstances was named Chairman of the Film Studies Department shortly thereafter.

A few days ago Vito lost his job.

But with every* catastrophe comes a free bag of Gummi Bears. In this case the Gummi Bears are a rambling epilogue delivered by the no-longer-anonymous Chairman (real name: Tom Rizzuto) recorded at Sean Og’s in Woodside, Queens, detailing among other things, how he was hired, let go, why steak fries are called steak fries, and how it’s all related to the Arab Spring. 

*almost every catastrophe

Produced by Matt Elzweig 

Illustration by Richard Chance



Falling Uphill – Episode 3 – Center of the Universe

For this Godless Angeleno and his girl, nothing says romance like attending a Geocentrist convention in Indiana.

Richard Chance


Although Lou Perez ultimately chose atheism after a lifetime as a devout Catholic, he remained genuinely interested in people’s beliefs and why they held them. So when he saw that a convention of Geocentrists–those who still believe that the planets and the sun revolve around the Earth, that man and dinosaur walked by side by side, and who favor a literal interpretation of the Bible–would be holding their first ever convention at a Hilton in South Bend, Indiana, he convinced his then-girlfriend that they should fly from California to the Heartland for a weekend of Geocentrist festivities. Could it save their turbulent romance?  



Produced by Matt Elzweig

Story told by Lou Perez (www.louperez.net and @LOUontheSUBWAY on Twitter.

Illustration by Richard Chance


“Beggin On My Knees Live” Frenzy

“Early One Morning (Assassinator Dub)” Hayvanlar Alemi

“Epiphany Chant: Introit – Ecce; Communion – Vidimus; I Vespers Hymn – Hostis Heredes impie” Freetime at University Pompeu Fabra

A Nation of Culls & Weeds” John Badger & The Moustache Riders of Doom

“Workin’ in the Office” Men

“Opening” Raphae

“Chords On The Floor” David Szestay

“Chords On The Floor 2” David Szestay

“Blizzard (PON I)” Kai Engel

“Morbid Imagination” Kai Engel

“Shaman’s Roar” Sergey Cherimisinov

“Satan in the White House” Comfort Cake



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Falling Uphill – Episode 2 – Smoking Is Good for You

A theater geek gets the callback he never wanted. 

It’s the mid-1960s and actor-director Jeff Bennett has realized he doesn’t have the stomach to pursue a career on Broadway. To make things worse, he’s just received a letter requesting his presence at an Army recruiting station to see if he’s physically fit enough to serve his country in Vietnam. Without enough teaching credits to spare him from what he sees as a pointless conflict and an all-around waste of his time, the only hope for Jeff is pneumothorax, a smoking-related lung condition. With papers documenting his ailment in hand, he reports to the center as instructed, but as he progresses naked through each exam station, no one in authority seems to want to hear about his extenuating circumstance. 



Produced by Matt Elzweig

Story told by Jeff Bennett

Illustration by Richard Chance


“Maccary Bay”  Kevin MacLeod

“Spacial Harvest” Kevin MacLeod

“StompDance” Kevin MacLeod 

“Bronco Romp” Waylon Thornton

“Adders Tongue” Waylon Thornton 

“Goofer Dust” Waylon Thornton

Der Heyser Bulgar” Eastern Watershed Klezmer Quartet

“Cylinder Four” Chris Zabriskie

“Reveille” U.S. Army Bands Online (ABO)/ U.S. Army Bands Audio 

“Dig-Dig-Dig Dig For Your Dinner” Gene Kelly 



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