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Why do we put butter in that thing in our fridges? How do I explain memory loss without garnering sympathy? Is mental illness as romanticized as it is stigmatized? Are righties called northpaws? What's the best donut you've ever had? Where is the Pogue's Run Tunnel? How do I make a Dr Pepper cheesecake? Hank and John Green have answers!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

[intro music by Gunnarolla]

John Green: Hello and welcome to John and Sarah. 

Sarah Urist Green: Or as I like to call it, Dear Sarah and John.

J: It’s a podcast where we answer your questions, provide you with dubious advice and bring you all the week’s news from AFC Wimbledon’s men’s team and AFC Wimbledon’s women’s team.

S: Ohhhhh.

J: No Mars news this week.

S: Yep, sorry about that.

J: Hank’s getting cut out of the podcast for a week. He’s… y’know, it’s not totally clear to me what he’s doing.

S: Well, we just told him that he couldn’t come this week, that’s all.

J: Yeah, we decided that he’s not available.

S: Yeah.

J: So, we’re gonna answer some of your questions, but first, Sarah, usually when we have guests on the pod — for those who don’t know, by the way, Sarah is my spouse.

S: Yes, I’m Sarah Urist Green. And I’m married to you, John Green.

J: That’s right. We’ve been married a long time.

S: Well. I mean. It’s all relative, John. Longer than some. [laughs] Shorter than others.

J: Longer than most, I would say.

S: For those who don’t know me, I’m a curator and art educator. I used to have a series called The Art Assignment on YouTube, which is still there. Still full of knowledge for you to listen to, glean whatever you like, and I have a course out called How to Appreciate Art with Bright Trip . Which you can find by going . 

J: That’s all true. I don’t have anything to promote right now. Oh! Except that I’m going to Miami. People of South Florida, I will be in your town— 

S: Say it again. Miaaaaami.

J: I’ll tell you about Miami.

S: Miaaaaaami.

J: [laughs] Well, I’m Floridian, okay, so the way I pronounce it is inherently correct. I’m going to Miaaaaaami on I believe March 23rd. You can get more info at . Books and Books is hosting the event. It’s the launch event for The Anthropocene Reviewed paperback and I’m really excited and I would love to see you there.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: So I guess we do both have things to promote. Go to Bright Trip and . Now, here’s my story about Miami. When I was a kid my dad worked for the Nature Conservancy.

S: I remember.

J: In Florida.

S: Well, I don’t remember ‘cause I didn’t know you then.

J: We weren’t buds. But yeah.

S: But I know this now.

J: So, he had to travel a lot for work. Go all over the state of Florida trying to conserve land. And convince rich people to turn over their land for conservation. And he would often have to go to South Florida because — I don’t know if you know this, but that’s pretty near the Everglades, which are a significant ecological phenomenon in Florida. And a deeply endangered one. So it was a big focus of my dad’s work. And so he often have to fly to Miaaaaami. And when I was about six — 

S: [laughing]

J: What?? That’s how you say it.

S: [overlapping] Miaaaaaami. Yeah, okay

J: He’d often have to fly to Miaaaaami. And when I was about 7 or 8 years old he said, “I’m gotta go to Miami this week.” And I said, “I don’t understand why you keep having to go to your ami.”
S: [laughs] My ami. Your ami. Our ami.

J: Yeah, I thought it was his ami. Maybe that’s why I pronounce it that way, actually.

S: That’s pretty cute.

J: It’s your ami. I believe we were also in the Miami International Airport, one of my most famous childhood temper tantrums when I put my bag on the ground along with my backpack, laid down on the floor of the Miami International Airport, spread my arms and legs out as wide as I could and said, “I just can’t do it anymore.”

S: Yeah, everybody understands that.

J: I mean, that’s how I feel right now.

S: Yeah, well, c’mon, it’s a beautiful day.

J: It is.

S: We’re podcasting together.

J: It’s true. That part is nice. It’s nice to be in your company. But let me ask you this question from Butterboy.

S: Okay, let’s hear it.

J: Butterboy writes:
Dear John and Sarah,
Why do we put butter in that thing in our fridges? 

 (04:00) to (06:00)

J: Why do we put butter in that thing in our fridges?

S: Now, by “that thing…”

J: Y’know, that thing. The butter holder.

S: The butter area.

J: But you often have a butter area in your refrigerator, but you also — many people, including us, have butter thing inside the butter area. What is that thing called? A butter holder?

S: We can call it a butter — well,  there’s, like, the butter area and then the butter holder. Yeah, I mean, this is actually a pretty good question. Y’know, usually… I mean, I would think that you need that need that butter container because if you just put the butter into the holder — 

J: It would get kinda sticky.

S: It would get kinda gross. And then you’d have to go in there with a knife and, like, cut it off of your fridge shelf. So you do need that.

J: I think you benefit from it. I dunno if you need it.

S: Well, you do need a ginormous cold box to keep way more cold to eat than we possibly need.

J: Probably not.

S: No. 

J: When we lived in the Netherlands we had one of those refrigerators that’s like a college beer fridge.

S: It was great.

J: And Sarah was constantly saying, “This is it. This is what we should have.” Then we moved back to America and we got a gigantic fridge.

S: Yeah, but there was a market around the corner from where we were living — 

J: That’s true.

S: —and you could just get what you needed and it was just, y’know, that walkable lifestyle that we could have if it was a priority, John.

J: That’s right.

S: But! Back to the question. I mean, there’s that question. Maybe it creates a humidity area for it. So it doesn’t dry out, like the crisper?

J: [overlapping] Well, I recently learned that the crisper has an actual purpose. And I’d always thought — up until I was about 44 — that the crisper was just the area of the refrigerator where one traditionally puts traditionally puts vegetables and fruits.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

J: It’s sort of like, why do you wear white at a wedding? You just do.

S: It’s just custom.

J: As long as you’re a guest.

S: Right. [laughs]

J: I always wear a white tuxedo to any wedding I go to. It’s a strict policy of mine.

S: Everyone enjoys it.

J: It’s a great bit!

S: Yeah, but, if we have fresh baked bread and I’m gonna be using butter I do like to keep it out on the counter. And I don’t know how you feel about that.

J: Sarah does not feel like butter really needs to be that refrigerated.

S: Well, if you follow certain protocol it doesn’t have to be.

J: Lemmie google that real quick…

S: [reading] According to the USDA butter is safe at room temperature, but if it’s left out for several days at room temperature it can turn rancid, causing off flavors. The USDA does not recommend leaving it out for more than 1-2 days.

J: But you can leave it out for a whole day and nothing bad happens.

S: Yeah, unless your house is really hot, y’know?
J: Yeah. If your house is, like, 130°[F], then you’re gonna get melted butter for sure.
S: Or rancid butter.
J: Alright, Sarah, we’ve got another question from Melody, who writes:
Dear John and Sarah,
I’m 22 and last spring I had a stroke, or maybe two, and as a result of this I lost a fair amount of memories of names and places. How do I explain this to people without getting all their sympathy? Like, I’m really fine but I also don’t remember your name even though I know that I know you. 
Anyways, the whole thing is hard,
J: That does sound hard.

S: That does sound very hard, Melody.

J: But isn’t that a good answer? Just say, “I’m fine, I really am, but I also don’t remember your name.”

S: Right. “Because I had a stroke.”

J: Or two.

S: Or two.

J: But then if you say, “I had a stroke or two,” I think Melody’s point is that, like, they don’t wanna have people feel bad for them. They don’t wanna be like, “Oh yes, every time I have to go through this sort of dance of sympathy when I’m fine. I just don’t remember your name.”

 (08:00) to (10:00)

S: Well, it’s like… I’m not suggesting this, I’m just throwing ideas here. Like, you could do the thing where you have a little card.

J: Yeah, I have a buddy who has a card. He just hands out the card and it says, “If I am struggling with my speech you don’t need to worry. It’s just a thing.”

S: Right. So you could do that and that you way you could pick exactly — 

J: What you wanna say.

S: What you wanna say. And it sounds like you’ve got a sense of humor, Melody. So you could make it funny… Or not. And you could communicate that way. But, y’know? I feel like… I dunno, John, [laughing] you never remember people.

J: I don’t remember a lotta names. I don’t remember a lotta names, it’s true.

S: And you don’t really have a good excuse.

J: Well, I certainly don’t have a good excuse.

S: What do you do?

J: Well, the first thing I do is… I get a little offended, Melody, if people expect me to remember their name because I don’t remember them to remember my name. And what is this thing with expecting… every time you see someone you should reintroduce yourself. That’s what I do. I say, “Hi, it’s John. Nice to see you again.”

S: Well, I think there should be a point after which if they’re a very close friend you don’t expect that. But yes — 

J: [overlapping] But I would argue—

S: I try to do that when I run into somebody. I’ll say, like, “Heyyy, Sarah Green. Great to see you.”

J: But I would argue Melody’s very close friends and family probably already don’t expect Melody to remember the name, necessarily? So probably not them that’s the issue. And if it is that’s kind of on them. Like, they’ve had time to get used to it. So I feel like it’s mostly people like, “Oh yeah, no, I’ve seen you 30 times in my life. Or 100 times in my life. But I haven’t seen you in a while. And I don’t remember your name.”

 (10:00) to (12:00)

S: Right. I guess one approach would be to just talk to them while not… just sort of embrace not knowing who they are. And try to have a connection with them without knowing their name.

J: I love to say, “Hey, buddy. Good to see you, bud. How you doin’, buddy?” 

S: I feel like that’s a little bit patronizing.

J: Well, what do you want me to say?

S: [laughing] “Hiiiii!” 

J: I do that sometimes.

S: [rising, friendly intonation] “Isn’t this a nice day??”

J: I’ll say “hi” with uptalk sometimes. I’ll be like, [rising intonation] “Hiiii! Oh yeahhhhh, we haven’t seen each other in… [blows out a breath] Weeks? Months? Years?”

S: [overlapping] “Howwwww long has it been?”

J: [continuing exaggerated intonation] “You tell me. Yeah. I, uhhhh. It’s good to see you again." [returns to regular voice] Unless we’re meeting for the first time in which it’s, "Great to meet you.” I often say, “It’s good to see you again.” And then someone will say, “It’s nice to meet you.” And I’m like, “Don’t do that. Don’t do that.” Like, “You didn’t have to do it. Nobody benefited from you doing it.”

S: Welllll, you’re just sensitive.

J: I am a little sensitive.

S: You’re being a little over-sensitive.

J: Well, I just don’t have whatever that part of your… I just don’t have that.

S: You struggle with facial recognition. Period. So if anyone who’s listening to this pod has ever encountered John in any sort of circumstance and he should remember you but he doesn’t, you are not alone. John constantly, when we’re out, thinks that non-celebrities are celebrities.

J: We just saw Tony Hawk earlier today.

S: [laughing][overlapping] We did not!

J: Here in Indianapolis.  It was a shock. He was at Starbucks.

S: And then when you are around someone with any sort of renown you do not recognize them and can’t remember them.

J: Never.

S: [laughing]

J: [laughing] Never. Never. No. You’re totally right. The classic example of this is that I met an extremely famous actor at the MTV Movie Awards — you were there — and I met them. Their daughter introduced me to them and I said, “Hello. It’s nice to meet you.” And then, like, 45 seconds later the same person came up to me and shook my hand and I said, “Hello, it’s so nice to meet you.”

S: And my role is to be like, “Dear lord!” [laughing] “Not only have you met, you just met.”

 (12:00) to (14:00)

J: “John, you met Meryl Streep 45 seconds ago.” 

S: [overlapping] It was not Meryl Streep.

J: “Now you’re meeting Meryl Streep for a second time.” But I also have the recognition problem when we’re watching movies. And that is especially difficult to live with because I’ll be like, “Wait a second, is that the guy from earlier?”

S: [overlapping] [laughing] No. And I’ll be like, “Do I really need to say this?”

J: “Is that still Natasha Lyonne, the one who knows if you’re lying?”

S: You can recognize her.

J: I can recognize Natasha Lyonne. I have a little bit of a crush on Natasha Lyonne.”

S: Yeah, so do I.

J: I know. Who wouldn’t?

S: But Melody, I think in some… I understand you’re not wanting to have to say it again and again. But if you do feel like that’s the best way your tone sets the tone. So if you say it with a smile, or, y’know… I would never ask anyone to smile. But I just mean, like, whatever your attitude is, usually other people follow it.

J: Yeah, but also I think it’s important to remember that this isn’t your fault. This is happening because of who you are and what happened to you. And also a bunch of weird social constructions in our social order about when you’re supposed to know and use someone’s name. So, hopefully, anyone who’s cool and nice will just be graceful about it.

S: Right.

J: Alright, Sarah, we have another question. It’s also a little bit of a serious one. I’m sorry, but it’s just the vibe. This is from Alisa [J pronounces it as Alyssa], who writes:
J: [interjects] And Sarah, but mostly John.
[J continues reading]
I’m a second-year high school math teacher who’s currently completing further study in mental health. And I really enjoy your takes on tuberculosis.
S: [laughing]
J: Thank you, Alyssa. It’s a passion. If you think it’s fun on TikTok imagine living with me. 

 (14:00) to (16:00)

J: [continues reading]
Especially your observation that stigma and romanticization are not mutually exclusive or opposites. Do you think that’s currently happening with mental illness? We see the tortured artist and teenager trope, but we often don’t want to discuss the genuine issues with mental health. 
Not a Mona, just
J: Maybe I was pronouncing Alyssa’s[sic] name incorrectly the first time. But I do see this. And that’s part of the reason I wanted to make those videos about our historical responses to TB is that I think we see it not just with mental illness, but we certainly do see it with mental illness. Right?  Sarah’s made work about the idea of the tortured artist so I’d be interested to hear her speak to that. But as far as my personal experience goes… there is an expectation that writers will be a little crazy, or else that they’ll abuse substances, or that they’ll really tortured and miserable. And coincidentally, in the same way that a lot of artists in the 19th century had tuberculosis but being an artist didn’t cause tuberculosis, I have mental health problems but being a writer didn’t cause them. [speaking almost like an aside] I know that because I had them before I was a writer and I don’t think it makes me particularly creative, which I know because when I’m really sick I can’t make anything. [returns to regular voice] So I have experienced some of that up close. And I think in some ways I’ve probably maybe played with it. Maybe taken advantage of it at times. And so I’m conscious of that now. And I look back on those earlier times in my career, and I think, like, “Well, was I using this romanticization and as a result did I experience a different level or a different kind of stigma?” And, yeah. It is something I think a lot about. And it’s really important, I think, to internalize that if an illness is romanticized that doesn’t mean that it’s fun to have, or good to have. And illnesses that are romanticized can simultaneously be highly, highly stigmatized.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

J: That was certainly the case with TB. It still is — insofar as TB is still romanticized — it’s still the case with TB. It’s the case with poverty. We often hear about the happy poor person who has an uncomplicated life, who just, like, happily works in agriculture, or whatever. And that idea is as essentializing and as dehumanizing as any other form of othering people.

S: Well, I’ve made two Art Assignment videos that you can watch if you want. One is called The Myth of the Tortured Artist and the other one is called The Truth of the Tortured Artist. [laughs]

J: [laughs] You had to backtrack a little.

S: Well, but it’s also true there are some artists who are “tortured.” Mental illness intersects with other identities. I think that it’s also highly contextual. So I feel like in my world right now mental illness is not that stigmatized. But that’s because of where I am in my life and who I intersect with. And where I live.

J: But don’t you think illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder are still pretty heavily stigmatized?

S: I’m not saying that they’re not. But this is precisely what I’m saying. I feel like personally, in my lived experience, they’re less stigmatized, even some of those disorders, than they have been.

J: [overlapping] Certainly than they were when we were younger, for sure.

S: [overlapping] Than they were when we were younger. And we would use those terms as insults. 

 (18:00) to (20:00)

S: But I also think that it’s just tough. And people are many things. So, yes, I think that you can definitely make that comparison. I think that there are some artists who are highly organized and functional and happy… or not happy…  Fulfilled, or I guess just, like, not depressed. Let’s say, are not suffering any sort of mental health disorder. I mean, I think everyone does — 

J: [overlapping] To some extent, right, it’s very much a spectrum.

S: [overlapping] — it’s a spectrum. 

J: Yeah, I also think that — 

S: But there are some artists who suffer from mental health disorders and their art is an outlet for that.

J: Right, or is a response to it in some ways.

S: Right, it’s dangerous to say that, in some ways, but I think it is true for some people.

J: And you never wanna oversimplify, right? Like, people’s experiences are multitudinous and contradictory. I was thinking about that in the context of this book that we both love, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. A lot of the characters in that book — 

S: By Gabrielle Zevin.

J: Yeah. They act, interact, with each other in ways that are paradoxical or that are confusing at times. Their motivations aren’t always entirely clear. Which part of what I love so much about the book because that is so human.

S: It’s so like life.

J: And often, in stories especially, in action-packed plot-y stories, the characters’ motivations have to be so clearly mapped every single step of the way. Maybe that makes for good storytelling, or compelling Marvel movies, but it’s not really true. We all contain all those paradoxes and complexities. 

 (20:00) to (22:00)

J: But I think to get back to your point about the myth of the tortured artist and the truth of the tortured artist… you could just as easily make a video series that’s called The Myth of the Artistic Consumptive and The Truth of the Artistic Consumptive, right? Because there were lots of artists and poets who felt like their illness, their proximity to mortality… their, um.

S: Impending death?

J: Yeah. Those feelings heightened their work in some ways. And there were artists who felt like, “Well, now I can’t do anything else.” Y’know? Like, “The things that I could do that were physical and active, I can’t do as much right now. And so my life is more interior. It’s more about writing. It’s more about painting, whatever.” So I think you have to make room for all of that. The important thing is that it is neither true that mental illness causes creativity or that creativity causes mental illness. Just as it’s not true that TB causes creativity or creativity causes TB. It’s way more complicated.

S: Yeah, agree.

J: Alright, Sarah, here’s a boxing question for you since you’re a retired boxer. Robin asks:
Dear John and Sarah,
If “southpaw” in fighting is when you fight left-handed, are right-handed fighters called “northpaws”? 
Keep me away from the bank,
S: [chuckles]

J: Instead of robbin’ the bank.

S: I get it.

J: It’s good.

S: I get it, it’s cute.

J: So what, in your opinion — first off, are you a southpaw?

S: No. I’m not. But you have to train both to keep it even. You train both ways. Or I always did.

J: But when you were actually sparring with someone, did you ever spar with a southpaw? And experience how weird and different it is because they aren’t a mirror of you, they’re like a continuation of you?

 (22:00) to (24:00)

S: No.

J: It’s very weird.

S: Did you dot hat?
J: I have before. Yeah, I was attacked by a young southpaw — 

S: [laughs] 

J: — when I was boxing during 100 Days. This nice young woman came into the gym and my trainer was like, “Well this nice young woman is going to box you now.” And I’ll tell you what. My heart rate to 170 instantly.

S: Wait, but what is the answer to the question? I don’t remember. To me it’s just “regular.”

J: It is. It’s a regular stance or standard stance.

S: Standard?

J: Yeah, or right-handed. There is a word. It’s “orthodox.” Are you an orthodox fighter?

S: I’m an orthodox fighter.

J: That’s where you keep your right hand back ‘cause that’s where all your strength is.

S: Yes, and your stance. Your left foot is forward…

J: [laughing] If Sarah sounds further from the mic it’s because she’s just taken up the stance.

S: [laughs]

J: She couldn’t resist the urge to go fully — 

S: But yes, your shoulders are also skew so your left shoulder is more forward. So you jab with your left — 

J: Jab with your left, and then — 

S: And then you can use your whole torso to kind of torque around so that your rear right arm — 

J: Is more powerful.

S: —has more power as you use your body to punch.

J: It also has more distance to travel, which allows it to accelerate a little more. But mostly it’s that you get to use way more muscles in whatever your power punch is. But once you get to a certain level of boxing — and it sounds like you’re there, Robin — you can do a lot of damage with either of your hands. That’s why I had to actually register both of my fists as weapons — 

S: [laughing]

J: — when I enter a foreign country. 

S: Everybody knows that about John.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

J: Yeah, people say that about me, that I’ve got a good left hook and a good right hook.

S: Scary.

J: Ally asks:
Dear John and Sarah,
What’s the best donut you’ve ever had?
Jams and jimmies,
J: I don’t know what a jimmie is. Or a jam, for that matter. What is the best donut you’ve ever had, Sarah?

S: Hoo. Well, I remember as a kid having Krispy Kreme for the first time. And I like that they sort of disappear in your mouth. They’re not very big.

J: [overlapping] Yeah, those early… warm, Krispy Kreme-

S: They’re warm and they just sort of melt away. They’re very airy. Sweet, good. Yeah, I tend to like more simple donuts.

J: Like a cake donut. You like a blueberry cake.

S: Also I’ve had a… potato flour? Donut?

J: Of course you have.

S: That was very good. And then… Y’know, I don’t tend to go for the real fancy ones. I had a mochi donut recently.

J: [overlapping] Mmm. How was that?

S: I like that gummy mochi texture, but I didn’t love it in this form.

J: Well, this is a common problem we see in both donuts and the technology sector. Which is that there is no need to disrupt something that is working perfectly.

S: Yeah, keep it simple.

J: Right? Like, I totally understand why food delivery needed to be disrupted. And I understand why bad email needed to be disrupted by gmail and whatnot. There are some things that just don’t need to be heavily disrupted. And one of them is donuts.

S: My favorite donut in the Indianapolis area is Long’s Donuts.

J: Long — not only is it my favorite donut in Indianapolis, it’s also by far the cheapest donut in Indianapolis. 

S: Yeah, and it’s been around for a long time. There’s no bacon. There’s no lavender. 

J: No, no.

 (26:00) to (28:00)

S: But John, I happen to know that you really like Dunkin’ Donuts’ blueberry donut holes.

J: I do. I love any cake-based donut. Like, I don’t want it glazed. I don’t want it to be Krispy Kreme melt-in-you-mouth — 

S: Well, it could be caked, but glazed cake — 

J: Maybe slightly glazed. But, speaking of Long’s Donuts, I’m reminded— 

S: [laughing] I knew you were gonna bring this up. Splendid.

J: —of Indianapolis rapper Tevin Studdard… has this song about Long’s Bakery that is one of the greatest—

[instrumental intro to the song begins playing in the background

J: —I don’t wanna over-hype it. But it’s one of the greatest rap songs about donuts ever made. He made it in the middle of the pandemic. And he made the song as a way of letting people know that Long’s was open again.

S: [laughs]

J: That the lockdown had ended, and Long’s was back on the menu.

S: You have to look it up. There’s a wonderful music video on YouTube.

[a few seconds of song lyrics play:
You know how many times the yeast bless my body
Prolly have me back in Eskenazi
then song returns to the background]

J&S: [laughing]

S: It’s really great. [laughs]

J: [laughing] Eskenazi is a hospital in Indianapolis. I’ve just always loved that rhyme so much. “You know how much the yeast touch [sic] my body, probably have me back in Eskinazi.” [laughing] It’s so good! The whole song is great, though. So Long’s Donuts is the best donuts place in Indianapolis.

S: Long’s Bakery.

J: And Tevin Studdard is a really great Indianapolis-based rapper. Which reminds me, Sarah, that today’s podcast is actually brought to us by Long’s Donuts.

S: Whaddaya know?

J: Yeah, Long’s Donuts. They’d like us to know that their name is Long’s Bakery. And that I should stop saying the name wrong.

S: [laughs] Today’s episode is also brought to us by Butter! Which can be left out for 1-2 days.

J: It’s good. That’s good. You have a very good announcing-the-sponsors voice. Do you wanna do our ads?

 (28:00) to (30:00)

S: I don’t think… I think Dear John and Hank needs Hank or John to read the ads.

J: [overlapping] No, I really like the idea that there’s a third person who just reads the ads in that, like, lovely voice.

S: I think you’re biased.

J: I don’t think I am.

S: I think that you like me — and I’m glad you like me…

J: I do like you. Do you wanna read the new Policy Genius ad? It’s hilarious. [laughs]

S: I can try, but you’re the Policy Genius genius. [laughs]

J: There is nothing in my life that I work harder on than those Policy Genius ads.

S: I love that.

J: Today’s podcast is of course also brought to you by The Idea That Stigmatization And Romanticization Are Not Opposite But Complementary Strategies For Othering People. ...I don’t have a tagline for that one.

S: [laughs] Today’s podcast is also brought to us by John’s Left Hook.

J: [laughs] It’s a banger! We also have a Project For Awesome message from Karen to Rob:
Dear Rob,
I’m so glad I’ve successfully inaugurated you into the world of Nerdfighteria. I love listening to the pod with you in the car, catching up on the latest Vlogbrothers or Crash Course at lunch now that you’re my stay-at-home coworker too, and just being silly together. I love you and can’t wait to be your wife.
PS - You’re the stinky one.
J: I assume that’s a sweet inside joke, but if it’s mean… Rob, I think you’re great.

S: That’s not mean.

J: That’s very sweet.

S: It’s a term of endearment.

J: That’s so cute! Thank y’all. Alright, Sarah, we’ve got an Indianapolis-specific question before we get to the all-important news from AFC Wimbledon and AFC Wimbledon’s women's team. From Yasmin [sp?] who writes:
Dear John and Hank,
For my last birthday my husband surprised me with a trip to Indianapolis so we could do a book tour of my two favorite books: The Fault In Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down (available everywhere books are sold). 
J: Yasmin, that’s great work. Really critical work. [laughing]

 (30:00) to (32:00)

J: [continues reading question]
It was such a cool experience to explore Indianapolis with the eyes of Hazel and Aza. We ate where Aza ate at the Applebees, we got slushies from the Speedway of Augustus’ medical emergency, and visited Crown Hill. We discovered the beauty of the White River while trying and failing to get to Wallet Island. 
J: [laughing] That’s a dangerous trip, Yasmin.

S: That should only be done on certain days of the year.

J: Yeah, and if you don’t have any open wounds.
[continues reading question]
But John, where on earth is the Pogue’s Run Tunnel? My husband and I drove all over Indianapolis and tried many different addresses and couldn’t find it. 
Birthdays and Books,
Yasmin, the birthday queen.
PS - we gave our birthday book tour of Indianapolis four and a half stars.
S: That’s so great! And it’s a wonderful picture, too.

J: That’s great.

S: Pictures.

J: Multiple pictures of multiple Pizza John shirts and multiple locations.

S: This is great.

J: Pretty great. So… It’s pretty good, Yasmine, [laughing] that you didn’t find the entrance to the Pogue’s Run Tunnel. The first… I would say, maybe the first 500 yards of that tunnel are not that… not super safe?

S: So, for the wider audience who doesn’t know what you’re talking about: What is Pogue’s Run?

J: So there used to be this creek that ran through much of the near north side of Indianapolis and then dumped into the White River right downtown. And then they were like, “Oh, we’d like to use this for housing, so we’re gonna put this creek underground.” And that’s what the Pogue’s Run Tunnel is. It’s a way for this creek called Pogue’s Run to run underneath the city and then dump out right by the football stadium. You can see the place where it dumps out by the football stadium, which is actually cooler to see. But I feel like I shouldn’t tell people where the entrance to the tunnel itself is because (1) I don’t think it’s super safe, and (2) I don’t really wanna it getting overrun. 

S: Yeah.

 (32:00) to (34:00)

J: You can ask around.

S: I haven’t been there. I’m content to just read about it in your book. [laughs]

J: Yeah, and I definitely made it more interesting in the book than it is in real life. Like, in real life it’s just, uh. A tunnel.  There’s no side tunnels. It just pretty much goes straight for about a mile in total darkness. And, uh. Yeah. So, I think you did all the fun stuff, Yasmin.

S: Yeah, you really did.

J: You did the good stuff.

S: You did it.

J: You got that slurpie. You had the dream. Sarah, would you — 

S: [overlapping] I’m so glad you had a good time.

J: Me too. We’re sorry if you can hear that beeping, by the way. It’s also annoying for us. We’re planting trees here at the house. Alright, Sarah, one last question from Jasmine, who writes:
Dear John and Sarah,
How could I make a Dr Pepper cheesecake, and would you eat a Dr Pepper cheesecake?
S: Mmm. Yes.

J: You totally could make one.

S: You could totally make one. What I would do is make a syrup. I would boil down some Dr Pepper and concentrate it into a syrup and then I would probably, like, swirl that syrup into the cheesecake. And then maybe put a little bit on top or something? I would try that.

J: I’d probably eat it. Like, I've had a lot of the weird cheesecakes at Cheesecake Factory over the years.

S: Mmhmm. [laughs]

J: And I’m always, like, “That’s a good cheesecake!”

S: It’s still pretty good! [laughs]

J: Yeah, I mean, y’know, it’s hard to mess it up. Like, it’s sweet. It’s got some — 

S: Yeah, but what I’m guessing the question comes from is the… since it’s not derived from any flavors in the real world— 

J: [overlapping] Oh yeah, no, I think you have to use Dr Pepper.

S: —you have… right. You can’t try to recreate the taste. You would have to use Dr Pepper.

J: Totally.

 (34:00) to (36:00)

S: You might incorporate it in different ways.

J: Yeah, but you’d have to use Dr Pepper syrup. Like, even when we make soda water with our soda stream and then try to put the fake Dr Pepper stuff into it? It’s so bad. Because only Dr Pepper is Dr Pepper. Actually, that’s one of the, sort of, axiomatic facts of the universe.

S: Actually, know what I think I would do? I would make cheesecake bars so that they were in a 9x13[inch] pan and then I’d just put the syrup on top and let it sort of be a Dr Pepper syrup layer on top.

J: Mmm. Okay, well, you’re the expert.

S: I don’t think it’s gonna be the next big thing. [laughs]

J: I mean, Dr Pepper’s trying to get it out there with Dr Pepper Peeps.

S: [makes disgusted noise]

J: They’re so bad, unfortunately, and I’ll have a Dr Pepper anything so I was shocked. So, Sarah, let’s move on to the news from AFC Wimbledon.

S: Okay.

J: You’ll recall that one thing about AFC Wimbledon is that over the last three seasons, even though we’ve had three different managers and many different players — so many players coming and going. Very few of the same players over these three seasons. The one constant is that no team in professional football — literally — is more likely to give up a lead than AFC Wimbledon.

S: Oof, that hurts.

J: And we have given up leads in each of our last three games. And we have gone to lose two of those games. Which has just been infuriating for me. So over the last three games our new January signing, Ali Al-Hamadi, who moved from Iraq. He has an incredible life story. 

 (36:00) to (38:00)

J: His father was imprisoned as a political prisoner by Saddam Hussein. His family escaped to Britain and then eventually his father was able to get to Britain as well. And he became a professional footballer. He plays for AFC Wimbledon. He’s been incredible. I think over the last four games he scored five goals, all of them beautiful.

S: Wow, that’s very exciting.

J: I know. He’s great. He’s only 21 years old. He’s also from Liverpool so he has an extremely thick Scouse accent, which makes me feel right at home listening to a footballer interview.

S: Can we keep him?

J: Great question. Not long-term, but he did sign a two-year contract so we can keep him for at least a year, hopefully. I’d love to have him next season because hopefully we won’t be quite as bad. So we lost to Stevenage after going 1-0 up. Both goals, we lost 3-2. And then we to Mansfield Town over the weekend 3-1 after going 1-0 up from a goal from Ali Al-Hamadi. And it’s getting very frustrating. I don’t know what else to say about it. We’re in 16th place. We’re probably not gonna get relegated. It’s just super annoying.

S: I think you need to go to a match.

J: Well, so the last time I went to a match was our last win.

S: Yeah.

J: And since then we’ve been on a terrible run. So I think I need to go to another match to flip the script again.

S: Yeah, I think so.

J: I think it’s about me.

S: Get outta here, John. 

J: I will.

S: Go.

J: I will. I actually am going to a match, as you know, in a couple of weeks.

S: I know. [laughs]

J: The news from the AFC Wimbledon women’s team — which, I’m not sure if you know this, but is sponsored by Rosianna and me.

S: I know.

J: Partners in Health on the back of their shorts. They have been undefeated since Rosianna and I started sponsoring them. And they beat the best team in the league, #United, 4-0. And then earlier this week they beat Chesham United 4-1. And frankly, looked excellent. 

 (38:00) to (40:00)

J: Now only two points off first place in their division, which is the 4th tier of professional women’s soccer. And a real opportunity to win the league and get promoted. And next season Rosianna and I could sponsor a 3rd tier women’s soccer team.

S: Outstanding.

J: Very exciting stuff. So. The good news waxes and wanes in football. My other team, Liverpool, did beat Manchester United 7-0 over the weekend!

S: [resigned] Yes, I… I witnessed it.

J: Ah, that was fun. God, that was fun. [sighs happily] I love football.

S: I know.

J: [laughs]

S: I will admit to you that I really have to focus when you start talking about football. I’m like, “C’mon!” I start to think about what I’m doing after this…

J: Yeah, like, “I can’t wait to go for a walk.”

S: And I’m like, “C’mon, Sarah!”

J: Lock it in.

S: “Lock it in. Focus! John cares about this!” [laughs]

J: I don’t think you have anything like that, that I struggle to pay attention to. But you probably… I dunno, at the beginning when you were really into pottery and I didn’t know anything about it. But then I did the work to get into pottery.

S: I haven’t not done the work, John.

J: To get into soccer?

S: Yeah! 

J: Well, I’m not sure you could name an AFC Wimbledon player. And that’s okay. That’s okay. But I didn’t used to know a lot of the pottery terms.

S: I could when we were at a game. A match.

J: Yeah. No, it’s all good.

S: I know to say match.

J: Yeah, no, you know a lot. There’s a lot you know — 

S: I know it’s not a field, it’s a pitch.

J: It’s that old thing where everything you’ve learned about soccer you’ve learned against your will.

S: But I did actually play soccer.

J: I know! You understand, tactically, very well.

S: I understand the rules.

J: Yeah. You enjoyed the World Cup Final.

S: [long pause] I did.

J: I mean…

S: I did!

J: It was impossible not to enjoy. It was one of the greatest events in human history.

 (40:00) to (40:39)

S: I was shocked. [laughing] How much I enjoyed it.

J: It was a really good football game. I mean, it’s not quite the same as playing Mansfield Town on a Saturday at 10 am.

S: Right. Right.

J: So I think that’s the difference.

S: Yeah.

[outro music by Gunnarolla begins]

J: Well, thank you for podding with me. Thanks to everybody out there for listening. 

S: Thanks for having me.

J: Thank you again for listening to Dear Hank and John. You can email us at hankandjohn at gmail dot com. This podcast is edited by Josef “Tuna” Metesh. It’s produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas. Our head of communications is Brooke Shotwell. The music that you’re hearing now and at the beginning of the episode is by the great Gunnarolla. And as they say in our hometown,

J&S: Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.