On this edition of Conversations, Matt Geiger joins us to talk about the collection of humorous yet emotionally powerful stories and essays you’ll find in his latest book, Astonishing Tales! (Your Astonishment May Vary). Geiger is an award winning essayist and journalist, who is frequently heard on public radio.

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 9.33.14 PM.png

Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Matt Geiger to Conversations LIVE to discuss his new book ASTONISHING TALES.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 2.15.46 PM.png

The Case Of The Two-Headed Calf

The Billboard had promised gasoline, sandwiches, and the opportunity to see a two-headed calf named “Heady”.

Standing in The Pit Stop in Mineral Point, I gazed up and scanned for signs it was a hoax. Maybe the deformity was the result of a clever taxidermist’s touch rather than the handiwork of a hilarious, but also cruel and uncaring god?

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 2.19.09 PM.png

Boring Death: A Theory Of Midwestern Cemeteries

Graveyards in the American Midwest feel like missed opportunities. The neatly mowed rows of economical, hardy, unpretentious headstones.

To walk through a graveyard in Wisconsin is to see 300 dead people trying desperately not to outdo one another. The markers are neat, tidy, and all nearly identical. You can just see the dearly departed, while still alive, clutching a loved one’s hand as the light inside starts to flicker, wheezing: “Please, when you select my headstone, make sure it’s… unremarkable.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 2.23.58 PM.png

An Existential Christmas

I judge each child I meet based on her or his merits. I don’t always end up liking them, but at least those who receive my love have done something to deserve it. I’m not the only one who does.

On my daughter’s third Christmas, we marched her down to the Mt. Horeb public library to see Santa, a man famous for judging kids. Child after child plopped down on his lap to ask for an assortment of plastic things. Little did they know Santa wasn’t the only one judging them on that particular morning.



Essay collection 'The Geiger Counter' radiates humor and insight

ROB THOMAS | The Capital Times | | @robt77 | April 24, 2017

In the 44 humorous essays that make up Matt Geiger’s first book “The Geiger Counter,” the Mount Horeb author writes about every stage of his life, from being a kid to being a new parent.

But one theme binds them all together.

“I don’t know what the hell is going on,” Geiger said.



Curled Up With a Good Book


Being a comedian or a humor writer is a difficult job. We all have different concepts of what is funny. Isn’t responding to a comic writer or actor based on at least a similar sense of humor, and perhaps on a similar view of the absurdities of life?

My two favorite comedy writers are/were David Sedaris and (sigh) Robin Williams. Both have a somewhat slanted point of view; while Sedaris may write about dysfunctional families and oddities of behavior, Williams could be downright raunchy, as he was in his hilarious, fast-paced, off-color performance DVDs. Suggestive, witty, incredibly fast-paced. Often ad lib, seldom about his life.