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Should cars have two horns? Why are humans the only animal that uses toilet paper? How do cowboys say goodbye? When will the first space murder take place? How do I have a Taskmaster birthday? Was there ever a day when nobody died? Hank Green and Sam Reich have answers!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

[intro music by Gunnarolla]

Hank Green: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

Sam Reich: Or as I like to call it, Dear Sam and Hank.

H: It's a podcast where two brothers, and sometimes a brother and a friend, give you dubious advice, bring you all the week's news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, and also something else that I've forgotten! Sam! What does Batman call his grandmother when he needs something?

S: Oh, I couldn't possibly tell you, Hank. But something tells me this isn't a rhetorical question. That you have the answer.

H: Yeah, he says, [singing the theme from the 1966 Batman TV series] "Nana Nana Nana Nana Nana Nana Nana." Like that.

S: That's funnier than I thought it was going to be.

H: Oh really?

S: Yeah.

H: Oh wow. I thought it was not good. So if you liked that one, tune into other episodes of Dear Hank and John, where they're even worse!

S: And that's our show!

H: So, if anybody knows who this man is, this is Sam Reich. He is the host of Game Changer. And also a creator/executive like me, over at CollegeHumor and DropoutTV, where they do so many wonderful, amazing things that I love to consume and enjoy.

S: Aw, thank you so much, Hank. Your fandom is truly humbling and intimidating. Every time you put something out into the world that says we're great I'm like, "Well! There raiseth the bar."

H: [laughs] Well, you keep raising your own bar. Which seems like a lot. Do you worry about raising your own bar so high that you cannot get over it?

S: I do. Yes. We are pole-vaulters here. 

H: Yeah. It's fun.

S: [chuckles] What I like to say is-- with every season of Game Changer I ask myself, "How are we gonna top this next season?" And then every season I tell myself, "That's next season's problem."

H: Yeah. That's right. And then you do it. At least so far.

S: So far. So far. You just wait.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

H: Yeah, when I first started watching Game Changer you said to me, "Don't watch the beginning." And that was totally wrong! Those episodes are so good, too! So what you need to know, one of the great things about being a Vlogbrother is that you make a video every single week and so you know that you're not going to get better every time. 

S: Sure.

H: Like, there's gonna be some weeks where it's just like, "Alright, I'm gonna do a... I'm not totally committed to this idea."

S: Yeah. That's a part of it.

H: "We're gonna do what we can with this one."

S: Yes. Yes.

H: Yeah.

S: I think that's a part of it. For me that's a part of it. And then what you have to decide is the goal isn't necessarily to strike gold every time. The goal is to create a good album. You have to look at it like musicians do. And say, "Well, over the course of, y'know, ten I'm gonna keep the bar high."

H: Very high. Gotta have a hit in there.

S: Yeah. You want a hit. But you also, you can't strive for a hit. That's looking directly at a star. You need to look somewhere adjacent to the star.

H: Ah, you're striving for a hit. You don't think Taylor Swift sits down and is like, "Well." Starts, like, [feel one?] and be like, I think this is it. I think this is the one. I think this is what we're gonna lead off the album with."

S: I don't know. If you'd managed to get her on the podcast we could've asked her.

H: It's true. I did actually say that, didn't I? That I had offered Taylor Swift your time slot but she hadn't taken it up.

S: Yeah. You said, "If Taylor Swift opts in I'm gonna bump you." And I went, "Honestly? If Taylor Swift shows up bump me forever."

H: [laughs] You can't do anything else, if Taylor Swift is gonna show up. That's the rules.

S: [laughing] Truly.

H: That's the rules of 2023. Or else you'll lose your whole audience. They will also won't forgive you.

S: Oh, for sure. For sure. Taylor Swift could successfully sub in for me in any moment of my life and be better than I would. 

H: Yeah. For sure. That would be amazing.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

S: She could stand in for me in DMV and just knock it out of the park.

H: I bet she's a delight at the DMV.

S: Yeah. I'm sure she is. 

H: Or was, back when she did that. Does California have a special thing for celebrities to go to the DMV?

S: This is a fantastic question. Do celebrities have to go to the DMV.

H: Is there, like a special DMV?

S: Right! Yeah.

H: I feel like there's a way. I feel like somebody does it for her. It's gotta be.

S: Yeah. Like there's a VIP section somewhere in the back.

H: Yeah, DMV fast pass?

S: Yeah.

H: Yeah.

S: I want that now. That's a hot ticket.

H: We have that in Missoula. You can schedule ahead of time so you don't have to wait once you're there.

S: Really? 

H: Just like a fast pass.

S: Huh. Lookit that.

H: Sometimes it doesn't work. But sometimes it does. [unintelligible] questions from our listeners. D'you wanna do some of those?

S: Sure!

H: Okay, this first one comes from Michael, who asks:

Dear Hank and Sam,

I recently moved to a busier road and discovered that people honk their car horns in my neighborhood a lot more than I previously realized. That made me think: should we have a secondary, quieter horn installed on all cars for non-emergencies? Like, "just get off your phone at this green light, please?" 

You can take out any of the targets except for that one, that's,

H: What?

S: [laughs] Wha...? Fantastically surreal.

H: You can take out any of the targets except for that one. That's Michael. I don't get it. My goal?

S: You can take out any of the targets... now, I feel like I'm unraveling, like, poetry that I read in middle school.

H: I think maybe it's my goal. That's my goal.

S: Ohhhhh. That my goal. Ohhhhh. That's very astute, Hank.

H: Michael's definitely created some work for us. This is not the first time that the secondary car horn has been proposed on a podcast.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

S: Is that a fact? On this podcast?

H: That's my guess. In fact I'm pretty sure I've listed to some McElroy content about the secondary car horn.

S: Well, the answer to the question is clearly yes. 

H: Yeah.

S: I happen to know, anecdotally, that in Japan they turn off and on their hazard lights as a way of saying thank you.

H: Oh!

S: Which I always thought was a tremendous--

H: That's sort of a lot of a big reach, to do that. I don't know exactly what-- I'm always looking when I need to turn the hazards on. I'm like, "Where the heck is this thing?"

S: Yeah, for sure.

H: It could be anywhere.

S: For sure. Well, because we're not in the habit of using them. But I always thought that was a clever use of existing infrastructure, y'know? 'Cause it doesn't require that we modify anything except our behavior.

H: Well, yeah. Yeah, and it's a thank you. And that's not gonna get somebody's attention at a stoplight, but it is gonna achieve a goal.

S: Yeah, and I don't know about you, but positive car etiquette? Means the world.

H: We need more of that.

S: I live on a very narrow street and I have to dodge cars coming my direction all the time. And if I get a little hand, a little thank-you hand? It just makes my day. But if I don't?  My blood boils. 

H: [laughs] That's the end! I'm telling Taylor Swift about you!

S: Don't. She'll revoke my driver's license. She's got ins.

H: I was in a[n] Uber recently, and he had one of these. 

S: No.

H: This is why I wanted to ask this question. Is because he had a little device that had six buttons on it and when we were stopped at a stoplight and nobody was going he pushed a button and it made a noise that was not a car horn. 

S: No.

H: It was just a loud fart sound. It wasn't. It was like, [light horn noise]. It was like a [slightly different light horn noise]. 

 (08:00) to (10:00)

H: Like a little honk.

S: Whoa. So you only know what one of those six buttons did.

H: Yeah, there's five other buttons! At least.

S: It's a big mystery.

H: Yeah. I should've said, "Hey buddy. I want you to push all those buttons."

S: "Show me what your buttons do!"

H: [laughs]

S: I do really like the idea of a programmable car horn. 'Cause I'd love the opportunity to make it say human words, y'know? Like, how many times have you been driving where it'd just be convenient to be able to say, "Hey!" I guess that's a beep.

H: Yeah.

S: That's what that is.

H: Or. Or. Yeah. I guess. Thanks. Thanks with the lights is very good. I used to drive a Honda Civic, which occurs to me is a Japanese car, and the hazard lights was a very big button. 

S: Yes.

H: Over where the radio display, the stereo display? So like, maybe that's why. 

S: Maybe that's why, yeah.

H: Maybe that's why it's so easy to get to in a Honda Civic.

S: D'you know, I do do it. Like, if someone allows me to merge, I do because I was so enchanted by this idea. I turn off and on my hazards briefly.

H: You're trying to make it happen.

S: But I've no idea if this is registered with anybody.

H: We have a thing like this in Montana. I don't know if people have this other places, but it's something that I can tell a number of people are trying to make happen but it hasn't quite happened yet. Which is, that there's a tunnel in town that goes underneath the railroad tracks. And when you go in that tunnel people honk sometimes. Rarely. And I honk every time. Because I'm like-- any time we're gonna do something together as a town, I'm like, "Yes." Or as a species, whatever. As Americans. I don't know if this like a-- like, more people do this but I get in that tunnel I'm like, honkhonk! And if anybody else honks it just makes my day. Or if I hear somebody honk first, then I'm like, "Ah! This is us. Us being humans! Look at us!" Feels good.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

S: Oh yeah. I mean, that's just tribal mentality right there. That's dancin' around the hearth, you know what I mean?

H: Yeah. I wanna do something with a stranger. Something very simple and easy.

S: Yeah, for sure. For sure.

H: Something nice. That's not the DMV. 

S: Yeah. I mean, I guess... So, to rewind for a moment, the question would be, Hank, if you had five car horns. Or six, as the case may be. What would you do with five car horns? What would you endeavor to express?

H: One of them's gotta be sort of like low-key. "Can I pet your dog?" 

S: [laughs]

H: That's gotta be on there.

S: I like that that's number one. 

H: Yeah, that's number two. After, like, [tiny honk noise]. Just, like, the little honk? 'Cause sometimes you go for a little honk and you get a bigger one than you intended?

S: Oh, all the time.

H: Yeah. So I want a definite little honk. And then number three... Would be an apology. And it would be Taylor Swift saying, "It's me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me."

S: [laughs]

H: That's the third one.

S: Fantastic.

H: Yeah, fourth one is a dog barking. And that's for when somebody's coming up to your car and you would rather them not be there.

S: For sure. It's a way to say, "There's a big dog in here."

H: There's a big dog in here! The fifth is a narwhal barking. Which, you don't know what that sounds like, but it's very cool. 

S: Oh yeah! And that one's there just for the novelty.of it.

H: Yeah! You wanna have that sometimes.

S: Yeah. You just wanna be able to show off to friends some strange sounds.

H: Yeah. And then that last one's just gonna be the sound of falling rain on a summer day.

S: Oh, that's beautiful! That's for the rare moments where you wanna sleep in your car and you need some good white noise.

H: I just want everybody around me to fall asleep. 'Cause that's what you want when you're driving.

S: 100%. 100%. Great answer to my question.

H: Thanks. Thanks.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

H: What does your seventh do?

S: My seventh goes, "Hey!"

H&S: [laugh]

H: "Hey! It's Sam!"

S: I think, though, the one that you -- very in character -- left out is the angry car horn. And the question is, what would that sound like in a world in which were evolved?

H: What do you mean? I think the horn is doing its job.

S: Well, you gave us six horns and the first one was a polite meep. And then the rest were all [indistinguishable]

H: [overlapping] Yeah, but I still got the main horn.

S: Oh. I don't know if you-- What I'm saying is I think there's an evolution of the angry car horn. It just goes, "You hurt my feelings!"

H: Yeah, that's good.  I think everybody needs to know that we're all fragile. We're all human. All just trying to make it through the world. 

S: Yeah.

H: It might look like just a big ball of steel. But there's a little soft man in here and he gets hurt feelings too. 

S: That's right. That's right. By taking ownership over your feelings you're immediately diffusing the situation.

H: Do you want to ask another question for us, Sam?

S: Oh! Sure.

S&H: [laugh]

H: I'm done with this.

S: This question comes from Anonymous:

Dear Hank and Sam,

Why is it that humans are the only animal that need to use toilet paper? My dog doesn't. The cat doesn't. I don't see any other animals needing to wipe their butts. It's the food we eat, right?

H: Well, certainly not. It could be in part the food we eat. But sometimes a dog needs to wipe their butt. Like, sometimes a dog gets into something and there's a whole situation back there.

S: I was gonna say. If you've owned a dog... In particular, like me, if you've owned a long-haired dog, you know just how... Not to say that there are any wrong questions, but this is an uninformed question.

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