It's been a six-week emotional roller coaster for anyone who listened to the Missing Richard Simmons podcast. At least for me, the roller coaster ride went something like this:
Episode 1: Wow, I had no idea Richard Simmons was still around until after he disappeared!
Episode 2: Oh my God, Simmons was a national treasure in a tank top, and I never really knew it! All this time, I thought he just Sweated to the Oldies, but in reality, he lent deep, personal emotional support to countless people. The world needs Richard Simmons, and Richard Simmons is gone!
Episode 3: We need to find Richard! He has been kidnapped by a witch, and he's the only person who can save humanity from itself! Let's all call 911 at the same time — they can't ignore us all.
Episode 4: Wait, why do I feel a little bit dirty about all of this? Do I even believe a witch could do that? Is this podcast holding up a mirror to our society and pointing out important issues about celebrity and privacy?
Episode 5: OK, I read a pretty damaging article about this podcast in the New York Times in which my morality was called into question just for listening this far. Of course, I'm going to finish it out just so I make sure I learn my lesson. Also, I need to know where Richard is.
Episode 6: Yikes, even podcast creator Dan Taberski seems to have read the NYT article. Everybody feels bad. And he talked to a few people and confirmed that the suspected witch was just Simmons' housekeeper and companion, who is not a witch at all and is just doing her job. And basically everyone on Earth who has talked to Simmons since he left the limelight says he just retired without officially announcing it. Major bummer.
This week, after the podcast was finally over, I thought everyone in the country was finally on the same page, emotionally and morally. The Los Angeles Police Department, bless their hearts, did another wellness check at the Simmons home in Hollywood and gave the thumbs-up. Simmons' manager told Taberski that Simmons is just living a quieter life and is done with his career. His beloved older brother Lenny told People that he's fit and rested and tending to hundreds of freaking hummingbirds, like the most magical, delightful retired senior fitness guru we can imagine: “He loves his birds and his garden. He has a lot of hummingbirds that he feeds — he has hundreds of them."
But then I saw this:
And everything became clear to me: We need an entirely new podcast series to cover this vital development.
After all of the tireless research conducted for Missing Richard Simmons. After all of the listeners pieced together their strange theories about what might have happened to the fitness celeb. After all of this, no one asked any questions about Simmons' recycling or how it gets from his house to the curb. We've only scratched the surface of this mystery.
Here's what we know, according to the People article: Simmons' housekeeper and confidant Teresa Reveles was seen taking recycling bins out of Simmons' home and to the curb. Also, she was wearing a white shirt with red embroidery.
Here's what we don't know:
Disclaimer, in case you need one: We do not think there should be another Richard Simmons podcast. Leave Richard alone!
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