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How do you define adulthood? Is it slice of pizza or piece of pizza? How do I reclaim my armrest when I'm in the middle seat? And more!

 Intro (00:00)

*intro music*

John: Hello, welcome to Dear Hank and John, a comedy podcast about death, hosted by myself, John Green, and NOT my brother Hank Green who is on tour, but instead, my mom, Syndney Green.

Sydney: Hi there! John Green.

John: Hi! How's it going?

Sydney: Uhh.. It's going pretty well. I'm sort of missing Hank but it's good to see you.

John: I also miss Hank but I'm very glad to have you here as a guest. So the way it works in this podcast is we answer your questions, we provide you dubious advice, and we give you all the week's news from AFC Wimbledon, and this week, not news from Mars, but instead a recipe!

Sydney: Yes! I'm very excited about the recipe!

John: I am too, because I just ate it for dinner last night and I thought it was delicious.

Sydney: I know! It was delicious! Who knew?

John: So how are you doing, Mom?

Sydney: I'm doing.. I'm doing well! I'm glad to be here in Indiana, it's a beautiful summer, spring, day. It's good to see the grandchildren, nice to see you!

John: Yeah! We're excited about the Indy 500.

Sydney: *gasp* We're very excited about the Indy 500, I've picked out my guys.

John: Who are you- do you even know their names?

Sydney: I do!

John: Who are your guys.

Sydney: I- you know- I- I have a personal love of Montoya, just because of the princess bride.

John: *laughs* The Inigo Montoya connection?

Sydney: Yes! Exactly! And-

John: *laughs*

Sydney: and if not him, I do like Simon just because he gave you such a hard time in the Grand Prix.

John: When I drove the pace car at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Simon Pagenaud, with whom I am personally acquainted, uhh.. kept riding my bumper. He kept- uh- I don't know- uh- if he was just trying to warm up his tires, or if he wasn't satisfied with the speed the pace car was being driven, but he kept roaring up, right up to my bumper.

Sydney: I know.

John: It was frightening.

Sydney: I know. So I sort of kind of like the idea that he wins.

John: *laughs* So- So you like him?

Sydney: And then you know, you can't help but not like the puddle guy.

John: Oh yeah, James Hinchliffe. 

Sydney: Yeah, what a story.

John: James Hinchliffe, he's an amazing guy, really great, a lovely person, very generous, does tons of work in the community here in Indianapolis. So, of course, when this podcast is being- uh- actually listened to, the Indianapolis 500 will be in the past.

Sydney: Yeah!

John: So uh- we'll know..

Sydney: It'll be interesting, who we picked, if we picked correctly.

John: Right, well let's hope that it's James Hinchcliffe, Juan Pablo Montoya, or uh- Simon Pagenaud, that's who you're rooting for.

Sydney: That's what I'm rooting for. Do you have similar, or different?

John: I have an Indy car fantasy league. I'm going to be reading all the questions because I have the computer-- Oh wait, Mom, I forgot about the short poem.

Sydney: You did! I was wondering. I'm very excited about this.

John: Alright, I do have a short poem. You'll never guess what it's about.

Sydney: Uhh Death?

John: It's about death. You're correct. This is a beautiful short poem by Langston Hughes, one of the all time best short poets in my opinion. Um he wrote--this poem is actually just called "Poem".

I loved my friend
He went away from me
The poem ends,
Soft as it began-
I loved my friend

Sydney: oh

John: It might not be about death; it might just be about a friend break-up, but it's very sad, isn't it?

Sydney: It is very sad. 

John: I love "The poem ends, / Soft as it began- " 

Sydney: I do too.

John: Ah he's good.

Sydney: Maybe you'll keep that one for my funeral.

John: Oh goodness gracious, must I? Must we go there?

Sydney: Well I don't know; it's a podcast about death.

John: Now people are seeing where I got the obsession from.

 Question One (5:01)

Okay, alright, so we are going to answer this question about so called proper adulthood. This question comes from Jade who asks "Dear John and Hank, a few times in the podcast, you have referred to proper adults (Trademark), and I'm curious, how do you define adult? I'm assuming that adulthood is a scale, perhaps weighing age and experience, not a binary. Do you agree? Am I, a 25 year old woman with an office job, a 401k, and great workplace benefits more adult than my identical twin sister who is a second year law student? Does it matter that I'm a minute older?" What do you think, Mom?

Sydney: Well, you know, I'm still candidly thinking about the fact that my adulthood started when you guys broke my uh cookie jar.

John: (laughs) So, the answer I think, Mom's answer is that adulthood begins when the last memory of your college boyfriend is destroyed by your children. 

Sydney: Yeah, there's something to that, isn't it. Yeah. Or I feel like both you and your sister probably are right there in adulthood. Yeah, I think you're just making the transition.  It's a--in my opinion, it's a long transition.

S: Yeah.

J: But it ends when you can no longer plausibly say that you are not an adult, y'know?

S: I think that's true, yeah.

J: And there just comes a day when you look up and you realize that you are definitely not not an adult.

S: Yeah.

J: And therefore, you must be an adult.  

S: Yes.  Have you reached that stage?

J: For me, the critical moment, looking back, was when I put on an outfit--I've talked about this before on the podcast--and Sarah was with me, and I said, "I just feel like I look like a middle aged man in this outfit," and Sarah paused for just like, one second too long, and I realized that it had happened.

S: Yeah, yeah.

J: But for you, it was the destruction of a cookie jar.

S: Really, yes, it was.  Now you know why I cried so hard and why you guys, even though you were so little, you still remember it.  

J: It is a very intense memory for me, although, a faulty one, since Hank and I both thought that we'd destroyed Tuggle, the cookie jar that was shaped like a tugboat, which is in fact, in perfect condition.  

S: Yes, it is.  Well, the nose has been rubbed.  The paint has been rubbed away from the nose.  

J: Well, but still, compared to the college boyfriend cookie jar, it's in great shape.

S: Yes, it's true.  

J: Um, so, adulthood, in short, is a process not an event, but it is marked by events, perhaps.

S: Oh, beautifully said, yes.

J: Thanks, Mom.

S: You're welcome.

 Question Two (7:39)

J: Gosh, you should always co-host this podcast.  Alright, we've got another question, this one comes from Lauren, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I am currently about two hours into a six hour flight from New York City to San Francisco, and I'm sitting in the middle seat.  I failed to lay claim to an armrest when we sat down and now both the people in the aisle and the window seats are using both armrests. Since they have clearly not generalized the Dear Hank and John movie theatre armrest rule to airplanes, do you have any idea as to how I might acquire some armrest real estate? Any dubious advice is appreciated. Best wishes, Lauren. P.S. The attached picture was taken while both guys were sleeping." I cannot tell you how anxiety provoking the attached picture is. It's very upsetting to look at.

Sydney: I know, God, oh. you know this is why I've never divorced your father because he understands the armrest rule and he's always with me when we fly.

John: Okay, so, one way or another even if you're in the middle seat you get an arm rest 'cause you're sitting next to dad.

Sydney: Yes

John: I think that's a really good– but, I mean, you know, we probably just made Lauren's life worse.

Sydney: Yeah, we probably did.

John: Because now she's like "Great, I also don't have a flying partner".

Sydney: Yeah, and I have been in that situation before and it's just– only I remember mine I was next to basketball players who is very tall. So it was more than just the armrest.

John: His whole body.

Sydney: His whole body, yeah.

John: But it's a hard thing because he's also having an unpleasant flight because he's probably six eight in a coach seat,

Sydney: Yes.

John: So, you, on the one hand you want to be empathetic on the other hand you are suffering and it's hard, when you're suffering, to be empathetic.

Sydney: Yes.

John: So what would you do in this situation?

Sydney: Well, you know, I actually would kind of look at both and look for the more empathetic one, and, uh, lean over and ask him for the armrest.

John: Oh, you ask? See, what I would do, I would put my arm down if there's like, one eighth of an inch of the arm rest available for my arm I will put that arm down and I won't make physical contact with the person, but my arm hair will make physical contact with his arm hair...

Sydney: Brilliant!

John: and then they get the nudge and they're reminded: I am in the middle seat. I am the one who deserved these arm rests.

Sydney: That's brilliant!

John: Thank you. Thank you. I don't like to brag but that is what I do. I do not– I do believe if you are on the isle or on the window and you use the middle seat's armrest-

Sydney: That's rude.

John. You're a criminal.

Sydney: Yeah, I think so too.

John: That's just terrible.

Sydney: And I think the fact that your arm hair would touch their arm hair is, is a powerful statement of creepiness.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't believe in touching strangers but I don't mind if my hair touches their hair.

[Both laugh]

Sydney: Okay, that just creeps me out slightly.

John: Sorry. 

Sydney: I have a little shiver there.

 Question Three (10:42)

John: I'm sorry Mom. Uh, alright, we have another question– that was upsetting– I probably shouldn't have answered that... Um, okay Mom, we've got a very important question from Hannah, who writes "Dear Hank and John, my senior prom is swiftly approaching and I'm having a major problem."

First of all, her senior prom has probably passed, so, sorry Hannah for not getting this advice to you on time, I'm sure you did fine- "First of all, how do you even slow dance? Do you just sway back and forth? Is there any foot movement? How much space should there be between me and my date? Where does my head go? Help me with my problem. P.S. you guys should crash my prom." Sorry we didn't make it to your prom Hannah, but here is your belated dubious advice on how to slow dance. Mom?

Sydney: ...There's a lot of pause there because, you know, not so much do I dance, but, in my day, when I was a teenager, I would practice with my friends and we would kind of figure out what was most comfortable for us, and that's what I would do.

John: So how long have you been married?

Sydney: Um, forty years.

John: Do you feel comfortable slow dancing with Dad?

Sydney: No. I really dislike it.

John: You just don't like doing it?

Sydney: I don't like dancing, and, and, no, I don't like, no, I don't like it.

John: You know that, that famous, sort of cliché phrase "Dance like no one's watching"?

Sydney: Never has happened to me in my life.

John: That, for me the issue is that if no one's watching, I don't want to dance.

Sydney: Exactly.

John: Yeah, I have no desire to be dancing. I also have no desire to be dancing when people are watching, but, like, when I'm alone in my room listening to music, I am not one to boogie down.

Sydney: No.

John: I am, however, 

Sydney: Hank, Hank 

John: Hank!
Sydney: Oh my god

John: Hank- Winter Park High School's Best Dancer

Sydney: Yes he was!

John: In 1994 he was voted Best Dancer at Winter Park High School. You know I used to, uh, introduce Hank on stage, back when we toured a lot together, and whenever I would introduce Hank on stage I would list his accomplishments: Inventor of 2D glasses, which render 3D movies in a crisp two dimensions, uh, founder of the environmental technology blog EcoGeek, um, and then I would say that, the last thing I would always say was that in nineteen ninety, uh, six or whatever, he was named "Best Dancer" at Winter Park High School- which is true!

Sydney: It is! It's absolutely true. And remarkable.

John: And he's a good dancer!

Sydney: Oh, he's a great dancer.

John: He and Katherine can boogie.

Sydney: Yeah

John: And somehow it did not come to my half of the family.

Sydney: No...

John: But, I am an expert in slow dancing. And here's my opinion. Just go with it. Um, just do what makes you feel comfortable, um, you should sway back and forth and it's okay to turn, I think, in a slow circle. So some foot movement, uh, I usually go in a clockwise circle, and then as far as how much space should be between you and your date, that's really a question of how comfortable you are with your date and not something I feel particularly qualified to weigh in on, but I think, you know, just, um, if you're not comfortable with them, it's fine to just hold the- lock the elbows,

Sydney: Yup

John: I think, just lock the elbows and just do not touch, except hand on waist, hand on shoulders, and just keep that comfortable distance

 (14:00) to (16:00)

John: But if you're comfortable then you can, you know, you can touch.

Syndey: Yeah, I think that the arm lock is also kind of a sweet look. 

John: I don't think I- before I got married, I don't recall ever slow dancing in a way that was at all comfortable.

Sydney: No, me neither, no.

John: And still I don't love dancing, but Sarah, like when we go to weddings, Sarah likes to dance.

Sydney: Yeah, fortunately your dad still doesn't like to dance either so...

John: That's nice.

Sydney: That is nice.

John: I"m a little jealous.

Sydney: [laughs]

John: I wish I'd married Dad

Sydney: [laughs more] yeah, well, Sarah's nice too.

John: Yes, no, I'm a fan of Sarah, she's great. You know we just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary?

Sydney: I know! It's so exciting, you know, and it reminds me of that magical moment of when we danced. And what was the song we danced to dear?

John: Well, the podcast listeners know, Mom

Sydney: Oh, that's right

John: Because Merle Haggard just died!

Sydney: He did just die, I heard that podcast.

John: It was 'Momma Tried' by Merle Haggard. I read the lyrics to 'Momma Tried' as the short poem for that week! [laughs]

Sydney: That's right, you did! I forgot!

John: I had an Emily Dickinson poem all lined up and then Merle Haggard died and...

[both laugh]

 Question Four (15:13)

John: Oh man... alright mom, we've got another question- this one is from Akeif who writes "Dear Hank and John, I'm about to graduate from college, I'm an international student from a developing nation studying in the U.S., and I've always planned to go back and use what I've learned over here to help people back home, however recently my parents have been suggesting I try to get a job in the U.S. and embark on a more secure life in a developed country. I can see why they'd want me to do that, since there have been some recent incidents of radicalism back home, but I can't help but wonder if it would be extremely selfish on my part. On the other hand, I've always tried to keep my parents happy and listen to what they want me to do, thus I am in a dilemma and in desperate need of some dubious advice. How do I make them understand. What a big, difficult, complicated question.

S: I am really curious as your mother and also knowing you're a father, how you would handle this.

J: Way to deflect.  Yeah, way to bring the ball over to my side of the court.  

S: Yeah.

J: I mean, the truth is that I don't feel like we can give great advice here, because it isn't something that I have a lot of experience with and also because I think it's an incredibly complicated, difficult decision, but I thought it was important to read it on the podcast because I think it's important to remember, you know, the complexities of big decisions like that that people have to face when they're quite young.  I mean, this is a young person who's about to graduate from college but has to make, you know, a big decision about the rest of their life.  When I was traveling in Ethiopia, we got to visit with recently graduated college students, and what really impressed me was that to a person, they were committed to development, they were committed to, you know, education, engineering, you know, fields where they thought that their talents and the privileges that they'd had as college students would really make a big difference, and that's not something that you see as much, I have to say, in the US, like, when I was graduating from college, it didn't occur to me how can I serve my country or even really to be honest, how can I serve my community, most of it was can I get a good job that's gonna, you know, allow me to have a good life, and can it be in the world of the arts, which is the world that I love.  There was something kind of selfish about it, looking back.  I would have made a terrible mechanical engineer, so there's that, but I just--I thought this question really captured a difficult choice that some people make that maybe lots of us take the conclusion for granted.

S: Yes, I really agree with you on that.  This--when you live in such a world of privilege, like you and I ultimately do, it's almost impossible to visualize and certainly it's impossible to give advice on such a very difficult--except to say, this is a time for you and your family to really join together and love and honest, hard discussion.

J: Yeah, that's really true.  Somebody told me once that my privileges were like oxygen, and that's very true, it is very difficult to be aware of one's privileges, I mean, we all, you know, have them to one degree or another, but it becomes almost impossible to imagine other peoples' lives, you just, it's just--it's work, and if you don't do that work, it's extremely easy to assume that your life is normal.  

S: Exactly.  Exactly.

J: Alright, Mom, a somewhat-less complicated question.

S: Oh good.

J: But I'll be interested to see if this divides us.

S: Okay.

 Question Five (19:10)

J: This question is from Jones, who writes, "Dear Hank and John, What is the proper phrase, 'slice of pizza' or 'piece of pizza'?"  

S: Well, you know, when I was growing up--

J: Yeah.

S: In Alabama--

J: There was no pizza.

S: Exactly.  

J: Is that true?

S: Well.  We had Pasquali's Pizza, which was in Cressline--

J: Wait, so you're telling me that when you were a child, there was one pizza place?

S: And--yes.  And, mostly, your grandmother would roll out Bisquick and put some tomato sauce with cheese on it and call it done, so I don't think--that, actually, then I had real pizza and I went, huh, probably Grace really actually did not know how to make pizza.

J: She was a wonderful woman.  She was not an expert pizza chef.

S: No, she was not that. So, what did we say--I think, "Can I have a piece of pizza?"

J: So you would say piece of pizza.

S: Yeah, I think that's what I say.

J: I also say piece of pizza, probably because that's what I grew up saying.

S: Probably.

J: But also because I really like the alliteration of it, it's sort of like saying 'pizza pizza'.

S: Yes!

J: And I find that enjoyable.  

S: Okay.

J: But I think, I know lots of--like, in New York, for instance, they refer to slices.  

S: Yes, yes.

J: You're always like, "Can I have a slice?" and you go to a pizza place and they give you a slice for $2 or whatever.  Probably $3 now.

S: Yeah, probably.  Maybe $5.

J: Yeah.

S: I'm almost fascinated with the cultural differences in describing things.  Like, you know, those things on the stove, the little round things, how do you say it?

J: I do not refer to those things.  I don't have a word for them.  I would love to have a word.

S: Yes, you know.  No, no!

J: Uh, the grill?

S: That turns on, turns red, cooks the food--

J: Stovetop?

S: It's called--No.

J: I've never known what to call them.  The grill?  The stove top?  

S: The burners?

J: The burners.  I say 'burners.'

S: Yes, and you know what my mother always said?  

J: What?

S: Billie Grace always called them the 'Eye of the Stove'.

J: Oh, that's great!

S: 'Cause they kind of look like eyes!

J: That's beautiful.

S: Yeah!

J: I think I should--I think we should start calling it the eye of the stove, we should bring that back.

S: Okay.

J: The other regionalism I think about a lot is that, I don't know if this was true for you when you were a kid in the South, but when I was a kid, when somebody asked me what I wanted to drink, I said 'a coke', and then they said, 'what kind?' and then I said, 'Sprite'.  Like, 'coke' was the word for 'soda'.

S: So--for soda, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Oh, yeah, well, yes.  This probably won't make the podcast, but I had a friend whose job when they graduated from college was to go around for Coca-Cola and ta--and he had a good palette--and he tasted Coke, if somebody said, he would go into a restaurant, order a Coke, and they would say okay, and bring him a Coke, and if it was a Pepsi, he would write the Coca-Cola company and they would send a letter to the restaurant saying you've gotta call it Pepsi, because they were trying to make sure that there was that distinction, because people were starting to call soda 'coke' and that was--would affect their patent.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

J: I think that's fascinating, actually!  I am super interested in trademark law, and one thing that all companies are terrified of is the genericization of their trademarks.

S: Yes, yes.  That's exactly what he did for a living.

J: Because if you just start calling 'soda', 'coke', then Coke loses the ability to be the only thing called Coke.  

S: Yes.

J: That's why, when we talk about Googling, people at Google always talk about 'search'.  

S: Yes.

J: They never use the verb 'to Google'. 

S: Yes, and you've talked about this before in your podcast.

J: Do you remember when Hank was on a very important business call with Yahoo many, many years ago, and they were like, so I don't know how familiar you are with everybody on the call, and Hank said, "Oh, I Googled all of you," and they--and they immediately afterwards, this voice comes over and she said, "Uh, we call it Yahooing."  Such a ludicrous verb.  I yahoo-ed you.  No, don't worry.  

S: That's almost like a poem.  Yahoo-ed you.

J: I know, I know your full resume, I Yahoo-ed you.  Now we're going to go completely off track--

S: Okay.

J: Because I'm going to tell the story of Sarah, on one of our first dates, Sarah grew up in the South, but she has Northern family.

S: Yes.

J: So she has a very interesting accent.  She always wanted to sound generically American and not Southern, but she grew up around Southern people, and this made her a lot of times put, the--she--she still a lot of the time puts the emphasis on the first syllable, no matter what, like, 'insurance' or 'umbrella' or 'garage' or whatever.

S: Ohhhh, yeah.

J: But she doesn't have an accent, she just does that one trick and so, on one of our first dates, she said something about the--she's conscious of it, so she's always trying to like, work against it, so she said something about Ya-who Mail, and I was like, what?!  And she said, "You know, Ya-who, the company."  

S: And you just wanted to go back, "Ya-hooooo"  

J: Yeah, I was like, I don't know where you got that from, man, that's super weird.

S: Oh, Sarah.

  Question Six (24:48

J: Alright, um, okay, Mom, let's answer a few more questions from our listeners before we get to the exciting news from AFC Wimbledon and your excellent recipe.  This question comes from Delen, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I am afraid of making phone calls.  When calling or receiving calls from my family or my best friend, I feel fine, but other stuff freaks me out, when making appointments or calling strangers, I get really nervous and my stomach is in knots for days.  I even sometimes ignore my phone if I'm getting a call from someone I know, or am friends with.  I usually text them later and pretend I was busy, but I feel bad about not answering.  I also just really need to make calls every now and then, and I'd like to avoid this hassle.  I know doing it is probably the only way to get over this, but how do I start?  How do I make myself just call them?"  

S: Well, I think that you know, John, this is probably my--one of my biggest issues with anxiety, and I'm terrible at this, I--again, you know, there are reasons why I'm married to your Dad for 40 years--

J: Yep.

S: --this is one, he'll make the phone calls for me, and the arm rest.  

J: Well, we now know the keys to a good marriage.  You need one person who can make phone calls and you need to have an agreement that whoever's in the middle seat gets the arm rest.  

S: Yes.  And then the rest will all fall in place.

J: That's terrible advice!

S: Isn't it supposed to be dubious advice?

J: Extremely dubious!  Okay, fine, answer these two questions and I will marry you.  

S: I know, please don't make a decision based on those.  Um, so, yeah, so I really struggle with this, I still really struggle with this, and one of the tricks that I do because I really do get anxious about phone calls is there are times in the day when I feel stronger, like, between 10 and 1 o'clock are my strongest times emotionally and mentally, and so I will postpone those phone calls, but I'll write them down and then I will call between 10 and 1 and I get the great joy of putting a line through the name, and that's just one of--that's my trick, and the other is, now that I'm 64, I get micro--but you can't do this, this is really dubious advice, you have to wait 'til you're 64, is I give myself permission to tell people that I'm sorry that I don't return their phone call, and then communicate through text.  That's really not healthy of a strategy.  Maybe it is?

J: Well, I mean, you know, you do whatever you need to do.  I also feel somewhat anxious about calling--having phone calls with strangers.  I feel it much less now than I used to.  My anxiety has found other ports of call.  

S: I'm still stuck on phone calls.

J: But I have to say, when I hired Rosianna, my amazing brilliant production partner, the first question I asked her is, "Do you mind calling strangers?" and she said, "No, I like calling strangers," and that was not a lie.  It is an amazing--

S: That is amazing.

J: To me, it's like she has a superpower.

S: Yeah.

J: So like, if--I am incredibly lucky that if I feel anxious about something, like, about a phone call, that I have someone who will make the phone call--essentially make it for me.

S: So Rosi is your--your--your Dad.

J: Yeah.  Yeah.  I don't know, I give her--yes, I guess so.  But, so like my mother, I have an anxiety disorder.  I have, like, for instance, an incredibly hard time mailing things.  It's very easy for me to put the thing in the envelope, it's very easy for me to seal the envelope, to put the stamp on it, to write the correct name and return address, et cetera.  The part that is difficult is the part where I walk to the mailbox, I put the item in the mailbox, and I lift that little flag that lets the mail carrier know that I wish to send a letter.  I recognize that this is ludicrous, right, that like, people can do this, lots of people do it, it isn't physically taxing, and I feel the same way about phone calls in a lot of ways, like, it's easy to minimize it because lots of people can do it because it's ostensibly very easy to do, et cetera, except that it doesn't matter that it's easy for other people to do it, it doesn't matter that it's supposedly not hard, it is hard!  Like, it's very hard for you and you are living inside of the only consciousness that you can live inside of, so if I treat it as a thing that's hard that I am going to do, and that after I finish this hard thing, I will be proud of myself in the way that I am proud of myself when I do hard things, it somehow becomes easier.  Like, I build up sort of rituals around it, I make it--I take it into tiny little steps, you know, there's the step of dialing, there's the step of hitting the call button, for me, there's the step of picking up the letter and walking out of the house and then there's the step where I open up the mailbox, there's the step where I put it in, the step where I close the mailbox, where I raise the flag, where I walk back, feeling this immense joy because I have done this thing that for me, is genuinely difficult, and so I think for me, like, that helps, but I think different things help different people.

S: Yep.

J: Mom, it is almost time for us to move on to the very exciting new segment where you tell us how to use Dr. Pepper to make pork chops.  Is that what we're making?

S: No, we're making pork tenderloin.

J: Pork--pork tenderloin.  I apologize.  I--not only do I not know what the eye of the stove is called, I don't even know what a pork tenderloin is, apparently.  

S: Would you like to?

J: I would love to!  No, I grew up eating pork tenderloin, I know it, I know about it, anyway, we have a couple of responses from previous podcasts that are very important, in addition to the fact that Tuggle is not dead.  

S: Yaay!

 Updates (31:00)

J: We have a couple other updates.  This from Skip who writes--

S: But my college life was.

J: I know, your college life is dead.  I'm sorry, Mom.  

S: Okay, sorry.

J: This update is from Skip, who writes, "Dear Hank and John, In your most recent podcast, you mention the Yellowstone supervolcano and how John would like to move to Australia in the case of an eminent eruption.  I would just like to point out that the world's most active caldera supervolcano is located in Tasmania.  There is no escape."

S: Oh.  Oh, God, there isn't.  

J: No.  

S: Oh, I'm sorry.

J: Well, the good news, Mom, is that when the supervolcano comes, it will be an exceptionally slow death, because really, we'll end up like, all dying of like, starvation because the cloud of ash will make it so there is no sunshine and therefore, no crops.  

S: Mhmm.  Boy, I'm excited about that possibility.

J: So we'll be desperate.

S: Yes.

J: We'll be terrified.

S: Yes.

J: There will be no internet.

S: Yes.

J: And then everything will end.

S: Okay then.  Thanks.

J: You're welcome.  Thanks for joining me on the podcast today.

S: Now I'm going back into therapy.

J: Yeah.  We have one more--

S: Okay.

J: --update, this one is from Cancy, who writes, "In reply to John's thoughts on writing his next novel completely in emojis," Mom, do you know what an emoji is? 

S: I do know.  

J: Alright.

S: They're those little things that--I--they're supposed to mean things, like--

J: Do you have a favorite emoji?  Do you use them?

S: I do, I really and truly hate all the smiley face ones, just under principle, because they're yellow and I don't like the color yellow.

J: You can actually change their colors now, but go on.

S: Okay, well, that might make me feel better.  I like snake one.

J: Oh yeah, you love snakes.

S: I do love snakes.

J: Yeah, my mom is a painter of snakes, just a fan of snakes in general.

S: Yep!

J: It's not a passion I share with you.

S: So few do.

J: I did come across--I was kayaking yesterday, and I came across a small water snake that was perhaps 6 inches long, and I thought of at least trying to photograph it for Henry, but then I became very anxious, so I didn't.

S: Do you remember the time that the snake ate your fish at the cabin?

J: I do.  I do.

S: Yeah, that was very upsetting.

J: We had had this amazing fishing day--

S: Yes, incredible.

J: The best fishing day ever.

S: Ever, yeah.

J: --and um, and then a snake ate our fish.  

S: Yep.

J: It was very upsetting.

S: Yeah.

J: And it was very gross to watch it happen and it was a little bit traumatic.  So my two main memories from childhood, breaking your cookie jar and the snake eating the fish.  Alright, anyway, this--

S: Oh, such visuals.  Okay.

J: This is from Cancy, who writes, "In reply to John's thoughts on writing his next novel completely in emojis, I wanted to share that there is already a book by the artist Xu Bing that does exactly that.  It's called From Point to Point, and it is a 112 page novel about the everyday life of an office worker.  If you Google it, you can find images of the pages.  It's surprisingly comprehensible.  Not really a question, just love the podcast."

S: Really?  Wow.

J: Isn't that cool?

S: That's very cool, we have to look that up.

J: Well, I did Google some images of it, we'll try to put them on the Patreon, and let me sh--I can show you what it looks like, Mom.

S: Okay.  

J: And we can show people on the podcast, but it is kind of readable.  It looks like this.  Isn't that cool?

S: Oh, that is very cool.

J: Yeah, so it's like, it is just a novel in emojis, which I do think, by the way, I think is completely legitimate.

S: Yeah.

J: I know that lots of people--

S: Yes, totally.

J: Yeah, I think if you can use--there's all different kinds of ways to use language and language isn't just made of letters.  

S: That's absolutely true.  

J: Okay, so, it's now time to talk about the news from AFC Wimbledon.

S: I'm so excited.

J: But first, what is your recipe?

 Recipe (34:39)

S: Oh, my recipe.  Well, it's important to know where this recipe comes from.

J: Okay.

S: Because it comes from Gracie.

J: Right, my cousin Grace.  

S: Yes.  And we love the Gracie, as we all like to say, so Gracie's boyfriend, Trace Barnard, he's a chef in New Orleans, he owns a restaurant called We Got Soul, and I noticed on his menu that he prints weekly that he had some pork tenderloin that was marinated in your favorite soda.

J: Mhmm, Dr. Pepper.  

S: Dr. Pepper.

J: Well, I--it must be said, I don't love Dr. Pepper.

S: Well, diet, yeah, I know.

J: I feel like it's a little too rich for my palette.  

S: Yes.

J: But Diet Dr. Pepper, not as good of a marinade.  

S: No, but you have to have that richness for a good marinade.  So you have to use--you have to really use the straight stuff.  

J: Alright, so, it's pork tenderloin.

S: Yep.

J: Marinated--

S: In Dr. Pepper and brown sugar and crushed red pepper and a vanilla bean and bay leaves, and you cook it, which it's kind of fun to cook Dr. Pepper, it bubbles a lot, and reduce it by half, cool it off, put the pork in there, let it marinate for at least 8 hours, and then grill it, and it is fantastic. 

J: I have to say, I was deeply impressed.

S: I was, too.  That Tres, he's a good chef.

J: I had low expectations, but I was very, very impressed.

 Commercial Break (36:05)

J: Today's podcast--

S: Oh, it's brought to you by--

J: Yeah. 

S: Dr. Pepper.  Not only good for your taste, but good for your soul.

J: Oh, there we go, that's a nice advertisement for Tres' restaurant. And today's podcast is also brought to you by the middle seat.  The middle seat: you have the right to both armrests.  

S: And do it via touching arm hair.

J: If necessary.  Whatever it takes.  

S: And this podcast is brought to you by the end of college.

J: The end of college: it doesn't really end until you lose your cookie jar.  And lastly, this podcast is brought to you by a supervolcano set to erupt at any moment in Tasmania, or possibly the United States, we have, essentially no way of knowing, or if we do have a way of knowing, we don't have a science person on the podcast right now to tell us that we should be calm about this so we're going to panic.  

S: Okay, that sounds like a good strategy for the two of us. 

J: Alright, Mom.

S: Okay.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (37:09)

J: So, the news from AFC Wimbledon is that as this podcast is aired, I will be in London--

S: Oooh

J: With Rosianna and your husband, my dad, and a few other people from here in Indianapolis, at Wembly Stadium, a 90,000 seat stadium, where AFC Wimbledon will be playing in the playoff final for all the marbles.  Right now, as I'm talking, AFC Wimbledon has a 50% chance of having a 100% chance of becoming a 3rd tier English soccer team next year.  The game--it's just, it's incredibly exciting.  It's almost impossible to contextualize how unlikely this is.  For instance, AFC Wimbledon has the smallest stadium in League II, the league they're currently in.

S: Really?

J: Yeah, King's Meadow is the smallest stadium in League II, and yet, somehow, they have found their way, one victory against Plymouth Argyle, from then having the smallest stadium in League I. I'm really, really excited, I mean, obviously, I desperately hope that AFC Wimbledon win the game.  If you see me at Wembly, please feel free to say hi, it would be great to be able to meet you. Thanks to--I know lots of Dear Hank and John listeners are going to the game at Wembly which is so cool.

S: That is cool.

J: Thank you for getting onboard with my eccentric passion for this football club, but I talked to--in the last couple days, I've talked to both the founding commercial director of the club and the CEO, and they're just, they're so excited, they're so excited to be Nerdfighteria's club, they're so excited to be playing at Wembly, and I am just--I am looking forward to having a great day out, no matter what happens, because it is already wonderful to have made it to Wembly, it's a massive, massive deal for the club, both in terms of, you know, coverage, financially and everything.  But obviously, it will be an especially great day out if the improbable happens and Wimbledon go up.  It would just be absolutely magical.  

S: That's such a great, great story.  I'm so excited that you guys are going.  I know your Dad is just--really thrilled.  And the good news is, he'll be there to keep you calm at all times, and if you need to make a phone call, he's happy to do it.  

J: Not only that--

S: And he'll mail a letter for ya!

J: He'll mail a letter for me, I feel like Dad will probably give me the armrest if it's an emergency.

S: Yeah, he totally--yes, he will.

J: So yeah, he's a good guy, our--I was gonna say our Dad, but he's not your Dad.

S: No, he's not.

J: But I'm used to talking to Hank. 

 Outro (39:58)

J: Mom, thank you so much for joining me on today's episode of Dear Hank and John, you've been my favorite guest host ever, and the only one that we've ever had--

S: I was gonna say, yeah.

J: But still my favorite.

S: Aw, thanks.

J: And uh, thanks to everybody for listening.  We really appreciate it.  Today's podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, our intern is Claudia Morales, Rosianna Halse Rojas helps us out with questions.  If you wanna ask us a question, you can e-mail us at or use the hashtag on Twitter #dearhankandjohn.  If you wanna ask my Mom a question, you can do that as well, you can just use the same hashtag and I'll have her look for it.  But thanks again for listening.  Oh, our theme music is by Gunnarolla, I always forget the theme music is by Gunnarolla.  You can follow us on Twitter.  I am @johngreen, Hank is @hankgreen, Mom, what's your Twitter?

S: Mmmm...

J: You don't really remember?

S: I don't.

J: Hold on, I'll look it up for you.  I think it's @momvlogbrothers.

S: I think it is @momvlogbrothers.

J: It is.  It's confirmed to be @momvlogbrothers.  Right now, on top of her Twitter feed, you can see a snakeskin.  Not kidding about the snakes, people.  

S: That's how I decorate.

J: Yeah.  It's beautiful.  It looks great.  Thanks again for listening, and as we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.