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Last sync:2020-08-22 10:45
In which we have our first day off and, yes, it causes undo stress, but is, in the end, very worth it. My biggest take aways of the day are 1. High school students in their native peer groups are TERRIFYING (and I'm not joking, I was legitimately afraid) and FDR is probably my favorite president and DEFINITELY my favorite memorial.

 Intro (00:00)

Hank: Alright, after a long sleepy drive, we've pulled into the District of Columbia, where it is windy and I think that we're going to The Postal Museum? All museums in DC are free, or at least the ones that the government runs, so we're gonna go look at some postal history right here. It's exciting.  Are you excited? 

Paul: I'm excited.

Joe: First time here.

Hank: Wow, this is a pretty building.

Joe: Nobody's first choice of museum.

Hank: (laughs) Why is it our first choice this trip?

Joe: Cuz nobody else will do it.

Hank: Goop!

(intro plays)

Hank: Hello and welcome to Podcast Because Awesome, the daily tour diary of hank Green and the Prefect Strangers, Driftless Pony Club, Harry and the Potters, Andrew Huang and Rob Scallon. Today we are going to have our one and only day off on tour. I'm coming to you from the slightly distant future in which I stand on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial, it's lovely here. We're gonna have quite a day. There's a lot of sleeping in cars, but there's also you know, days off as they say in the biz which you probably haven't heard, can break up bands because nobody wants to do exactly the same thing, but you all have to do something. So yeah, I have some drama. I have something of an unpleasant experience in a chilly place, Paul kicks a rat, but mostly we just have a good time, as you might expect at this point in Podcast Because Awesome.

(music plays)

 The Postal Museum (01:45)

Hank: Thank you. So that's what it sounds like to go through an x-ray machine if you were ever wondering. Oh, there's a post office in the postal museum.

"I have read your sweet letter, it is the only way two souls can converse with so many miles between them."

Hank: Goosebumps.

The world's first postage stamp?

Paul: 1840 was the first time people put stamps on something.

Joe: That was a pretty novel concept though, right?

Hank: It's nice, it's in good shape, for the world's first-- it was one penny. Bet it's worth more than that now.

Alright, we're walking up to see the Inverted Jenny, which-- the Mona Lisa of stamps, here. A block of four, on loan from William H. Gross. 24 cent stamp from 1918. What is the error?

Andrew: The plane is upside down.

Hank: Oh, I thought that the plane, like that was the big deal was that was the first plane that got flown upside down.

Katherine: No, the fact is that they accidentally printed the plane upside down on the stamp.

Hank: And so there's an entire wing of the postal museum because that happened.

Katherine: Yes.


Hank: We're walking by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. They uh--

(?) --buzzers and walk away.

Hank: Tryna destroy the neutral internet right here. It's a really big building, they got lots of people and space and lobbyists--

Joe: but we won! ...for the time being.

Hank: For now.

Katherine: But I've got their Pansy!

Hank:  Katherine, yeah, Katherine took one of their flowers! Take it! Yeah, they don't deserve flowers.

  Invitation to Congress, pennies, and Canadian Embassy (03:40)

Ellen: If you have stuff to do, it's fine.

Hank: I'm not sure what we're going to be doing.

Joe: We have not planned it out yet. We have to load in at like 3 or 4

Ellen: Well I'm going to be like the most jerk DC person ever and pull out a business card.

Hank: Yeah.

Ellen: This is ridiculous and I feel very silly doing it. There you go.

Joe: Thanks.

Ellen: And there you go.

Hank: Thank you.

Ellen: If some of you want to stop by, I have great people who can take you around. I can take you through some pretty cool tunnels.

Hank: oooh.

Ellen: And the underground, like the little trolley train things. I can do those. I can do there's like cat-prints on some of the cement cuz we used to have cats.

Paul: House... cats?

Hank: Used to!?

Ellen: I know, it's really upsetting.

Hank: Come on.

Ellen: Yeah, like back before air conditioning and you know pest control... of cats.

Hank: Did you make a good joke?

Paul: House cats.

Ellen: Oh, OK I get it.

Hank: House cats, waka waka.

Ellen: It's very good. Well, enjoy. I'm sorry do have interrupted your day.

Hank: Yeah. Did you want a picture?

Ellen: I do. You're like "no" I was doing something. (? ~4:30)

Hank: No, do you want congress in the background?

Ellen: No, we can selfie.

Hank: Get out of there.

Andrew: (?)

Ellen: Yay. Thank you.

Hank: Thank you!

Ellen: Well enjoy your trip and I'm sorry I can't make it to your show, but good luck.

Hank: Keep up the good work.

Ellen: I know, so much work. (they laugh) Bye!

Many people: Bye.


Joe: See, she would be a good lobbyist for you.

Hank: Uh, I do need a good lobbyist. Um, we gotta get rid of those pennies.

Mike (?) OK, so you hate the penny and you think we should get rid of it. Have you thought about developing nations which only use American currency which rely on pennies and small change for bus fare and whatnot?

Hank: Aw, dammit. We can keep saving them pennies.

Mike: Yeah, in El Salvador they only use American currency. They-- I think they might still be able to accept I think it's the Colon, but you go and get on a bus for like 13 cents or 17 cents.

Hank: Then you need pennies. That's interesting.

Joe: So, you don't need pennies, you can charge 15 or 20 cents.

Hank: No, no, in El Salvador that's a big difference. That's the first compelling argument in favor of the penny I've heard.

Mike: I've been places.


Hank: What do the Canadians think of your embassy?

Canadian Girl: uh, there's a lot of flags. It looks like they're setting up for a party and I'm really bummed we didn't get an invite.

Andrew: This is bigger than our Parliament building.

Canadian Girl: I know.

Hank: This is bigger than your Parliament building!? (Hank laughs)

Canadian Girl: Yeah, like twice the size.

Andrew: I mean it's larger than any embassy I've ever seen in Canada.

Hank: Yeah well--

Canadian Girl: Everything's bigger in America.
Andrew: Gotta fit in.

Hank: Most of what Canada's government does is interface with American government, apparently.

Andrew: Yeah, probably.

  Chili Bowl (06:00)  

Hank: We're inside of Ben's Chili Bowl (?) It's loud and busy and I'll tell you what it's worth it to go to weird places that are institutions but I'm really hungry and it's gonna be a while. I kind of just want to go to the like... the much worse version of this that I can eat at now, but there's too many people to make another decision. That's how it works when you're on tour.

So there, in this place are about 200 middle school students. Maybe elementary, I can't tell anymore. Jr. High/High School. And uh, they can't leave until their school bus arrives. They're taking up 2/3 of the restaurant. We are very hungry and I want to kill all of them.

Paul: They may think you're John Green.

Hank: And one of them recognized me from CrashCourse so the rest of them thought that I was famous. And they all stood up simultaneously with the eyes like that of little baby birds who had not been fed in days

Paul: Fame is needed for nourishment.

Hank: They wanted to suck the life out of me and people were like "take a picture with me" and I was like "What is my name" and he was like "...You're famous right?"

Paul: What's my name bitch.

Hank: So none of them knew what my name was, I like literally just had to turn around and like literally put my back to them.

Paul: And then they stopped caring.

Hank: Yeah, one of their teachers was helpful.


I had a legitimate panic moment. OK, like I like got really sweaty. It was weird. Freaked me out. 


Oh my god, I finally got my hot dog thing. I'm eating it and I love it. And it's not a 12 year old person trying to take a picture with me, it's just a hot dog. Everything is fine.

 Monuments and memorials (8:30)

They're pretending that the Washington Monument is a bridge and that they're walking up it.

Paul: On it? on it.

Hank: On it.

Paul: Through it, (?) to it.

Hank: Through it.

Mike: We're walking to freedom.

Hank: Is that where freedom is?

Chyna: Liberty!

Katherine: (?) inferno! (Hank laughs)

Paul: Liberty and pain go hand in hand.

Katherine: Hooray!

Mike: That's where the first space-elevator will be. (?)

Hank: Free shoes!? Are they George Washington's shoes?

Andrew: Oh, what?

Mike: Whoah. Some Air Jordan's

Hank: Jordan's? They're not in bad shape. They lost their laces, though.

Mike: They smell pretty funky. (they laugh)

Paul: Nine, size nine. Anyone?

Andrew: I actually am a size nine. Are you offering to take them? Are they that smelly?

Mike: Well, smell them.

Hank: (?)

Andrew: I mean they're pretty old. I've never had Air Jordans before. I don't know if that's really my style, but... it's just free shoes! I'm gonna leave them for someone who needs them more.

Hank: Are you a size nine?

Andrew: They fit me perfectly.

Paul: I'm a size nine, too.

Andrew: But they're not my uh, not exactly my style.


Hank: I c-- I've never been to the Washington Monument with no one else around.

Katherine: Yeah. It's weird.

Mike: This is the best time.

Paul: This is the best time to see the monuments

Katherine: So sharp!

Hank: The Lincoln Memorial.


Paul: Holy crap, that's a rat that I kicked. 

Hank: You kicked a rat?!

Joe: You kicked a rat? (all laugh)

Paul: I think so.  I think it ra--it must have like, stormed out of, as we walked by the--the trash, it must have stormed out and it ran into my foot. 

Andrew: Aw, man.

Paul: Kicked a rat.

Everyone (chanting): Kicked a rat, kicked a rat, kicked a rat.

Paul: That's our new song. Kicked a rat. I'm not sure it was a rat, but I'm gonna go with rat, because if it was a bunny, I'd feel bad. 

Katherine: Yeah, it could have been a bunny.


Hank: Walkin' up the stairs to see our 16th president, the reuniter of our nation, the freer of slaves, Abraham Lincoln. (Katherine sighs) He's looking pretty good, I must be honest.  Very distinguished. Yeah.  Yeah, temple, I like that they call it a temple. 

Katherine: Avert your eyes.

Hank: Oh, you're not allowed to look at him?  Oh, somebody left a flower.

Katherine: What do you think?

Tessa (?): You can't look up unless he give you permission. (they laugh)

Hank: I was looking right up.  I figured, you know, like, supplication, but also equality.


Lincoln: Hank Green. (Hank laughs)(?) Can I have a picture with you? (all laugh)

Hank: Oh, Andrew, don't laugh too loud. That'll echo for like 25 minutes.


I just recorded the intro for this video here at the Lincoln Memorial and while I was doing it I interrupted a couple that was making out on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, but it didn't seem like I should mention that during the intro, but now I want to mention it now. I just caught a couple people making out, Joe.

Joe: It's a great date spot.

Hank: It's a totally great date stop, but I was like--

Joe: They're making-- they're forming a union.

Hank: I was loudly recording my podcast intro just now and I walked around a corner and there were a couple people makin' out. 

Katherine: Oh shit.

Hank: Yeah.

Katherine: What were they doing?

Hank: They were making out.

Katherine: Why are they doing it here?

Hank: They were between the big pillars. I don't know, it's kind of inspirational.

Katherine: No. Yeah, but no.

Hank: It makes you feel, your heart gets bigger, and you're like, you know, I'm gonna love the things I love even more than I usually love them.

Katherine: [raspberry].

Hank (laughing) Let the record show that Katherine says pfft. 

Katherine: No, I said [raspberry].


We will touch him.

Joe: (?-12:30) His face, let's shine up that face.

Hank: Nobody touches his face

Katherine: Yeah, sweet sweet Franklin.

Paul: really shiny glasses

Katherine: Sweet Franklin.

Hank: "Nobody touches my face anymore."

Paul: Kiss him!

Tessa (?): Wait, I want to photo (?)

Katherine: Really buff those glasses up.

Hank: people touch his hat a lot, though, but never his face.

Katherine: They're being respectful.

Hank: Touch his lips and nose.

several people: Touch his face.

Hank: Touch his face, I feel like my fingers are getting dirty. Touch his face.

Katherine: That's how it works.

Hank: But no one else has touched it.

Paul: lots of people have touched his lap like Santa.

Hank: Yeah, lots of people have been on that leg. And his shoes are nice and shined up.

Katherine: And his shoulders, super shiny.

Hank: And his hands, people are on his hands a little bit.

Katherine: Buff that.

(? 13:10)

Hank: Give that tie a tie job.

Paul: Go like this (kissy noises)

Hank: Give him a kiss. Give him a kiss on the cheek.

Katherine: Crotch area's nice and dull.

Hank: Yeah, nobody's touching the crotch, that's nice to see.

Tessa (?): I was totally thinking that would get touched. (they laugh)

Paul: It's the shiniest. (they laugh)

Hank: We should just come by one day with an electric buffing machine-- (they laugh)

Katherine: My god

Hank: It's like "somebody was having a good time last night"


Hsnk: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. I see one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished."


Hank: People touch the doorknob a lot. This is not a wooden door.

So we've reached the main memorial and his left index finger is so shiny. The rest of the statue is like, it's copper, so the rest of it's green, green patina, but people have just touched that finger lots of times.

Paul: Or been sucking on it.


Hank: They have not been sucking on it. His knee is pretty well-worn as well. Those will eventually wear out.

Paul: The fingers?

Hank: Like if people keep touching it forever, eventually they'll have to rebuild it but like--

Paul: Why they call him "Fingerless Frank."

Hank: Hundreds of years, talkin. And this puppy gets lots of touching. Lots of touching.

Is that Katherine? Is she on top of rocks? What are you doing on top of rocks? Get down from there!

Katherine: They're here. (Hank laughs)


Hank: Oh man, we only got 10 minutes to go see Tom. We've got one more monument.

We made it to see Thomas Jefferson. We have four minutes left so yikes. Sorry Tom, we got caught up.


Paul: (echoing) Howdy Hank Green, I'm Thomas Jefferson.

Hank: The presidents keep speaking to me. Yeah Tom?

Paul: "I'm not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered, and manners and opinions changed. With the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

Hank: Thanks for your, sharing your wisdom with the Podcast Because Awesome, Thomas.

Paul: You can call me TJ.

 Outro (16:35)

Hank: And that's it for this edition of the Podcast Because Awesome, the daily tour diary of Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers, Driftless Pony Club, Andrew Huang, Rob Scallon, and Harry and the Potters. Thanks for joining us, if you want to leave a rating on iTunes that would be great. I hope that you enjoyed and if you want to ask any questions to us you can do so on twitter I'm @hankgreen and hashtag is #podcastbecauseawesome. DFTBA.

(singing notes harmonizing)

Andrew: OK everyone think of a note, think it but don't let anyone else know what it is and on 3 we'll all go, let's see what we make. 1-2-3

(low groans from everyone, they laugh) 

Andrew: Yep.

Hank: (laughing) Everybody made the same awful note.