Date’s Subtle Reference to Joe Rogan’s Podcast Triggers Woman’s Fight or Flight Response

(Somewhere in the USA) It had been a long year and Devin McKenzie was looking to get back out into the dating field. With her vaccine passport filled out like a sandwich shop loyalty card and a pile of new clothes ordered over the course of the pandemic, it was finally time to re-download Bumble and find someone to spend the next pandemic with. After some swiping, some chatting, and then some flirting, Devin found Chris and arranged a date. Although they had exchanged pleasantries and basic information over chat, Devin was looking forward to spending time with another human being, no matter how poorly the date would end up being. And poor is generous when we tell you what happened.

The date started off pretty normally, all things considered. After all, neither of them (according to his bio at least) had been out to a restaurant since the start of the pandemic the previous March, so some initial awkwardness was going to be unavoidable. Hoping to dull her senses a bit, Devin ordered them each a margarita with the goal of freeing their tongues a bit. She would soon come to regret this.

When the drinks came out, Chris pulled a small vial out of his pocket, opened it, and dumped the powdery contents into his water before stirring it up and taking a sip. Not wanting to be presumptuous, Devin asked “What’s that for?” to which Chris replied something about it ‘helping him think clearer.’ Devin took this at face value and assumed it was perhaps a prescription or something, so she let it slide.

But then, a little while later after the appetizers had come out, Devin felt another pang of familiarity as Chris said something about ‘tuning in to the Experience.’ “I just thought it was a really good interview, did you see it?” he asked.

“Sorry, the ‘Experience?’ I’m not sure if I am familiar. Is it on Netflix?”

Chris laughed to himself, “No no, I mean the Joe Rogan Experience, it’s his podcast. You haven’t heard of it? I guess I’m in a bubble, I thought more people knew about it.”

“Oh, ha, yeah,” Devin replied as her heart rating started to climb. “Joe Rogan, you like his stuff?”

“Of course. No one else is doing what he’s doing-” but before he could continue, Devin had abruptly stood up from her seat, purse in hand.

“Sorry, I need to run to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”

Finding the bathroom in a fugue state, Devin was able to finally center herself by staring at her reflection in the mirror and taking some deep breathes. “It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean anything about him. It’s just a podcast.”

The bathroom attendant handed her a towel as she splashed water on her face before leaning over and asking, “Bad date?”

“Oh it’s not terrible,” Devin said with tears in her eyes. “I just, I had to get some breathing room.”

“Well,” the attendant replied, taking a second to collect her thoughts. “If it’s really bad, there’s an exit in the back of the bathroom that’s hidden but used for just this purpose. We call it ‘The Joe Rogan Date Experience.’ It’s there if you need it.”

And without another word, only a subtle nod, Devin followed the attendant to a small door hidden in the corner stall. It lead out to the parking lot and, before she could say thank you, she was left out in the cold dark of night. It felt like freedom and it felt good.


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