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How do I keep enjoying music I enjoyed with an ex? How do I recover from being doused in bull semen? What are my responsibilities when people ask me to watch their stuff? And more!

 (00:00) to (02:00)

H: Hello, and welcome to Dear Hank and John.  

J: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank.  

H: It's a comedy podcast where me and my brother, John, we will answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  Hey, John, how are you doing?

J: You know, I never prepare an answer to that question, even though you ask it every single week.

H: You should!!

J: I should probably spend like, 30 to 40 seconds before we start recording the podcast considering how I'm doing.  I'm fine, I don't know.  I've just got back from--

H: You wanna tell me a story?  Yeah, tell me a story.  

J: I just got back from London, so I'm a little bit jet-lagged, but we had a wonderful, Sarah and I had a wonderful trip to London.  We saw lots of art, we were there for The Art Assignment with--got to film an Art Assignment with the Guerilla Girls, one of the great art collectives of the 20th and 21st centuries, which was incredibly exciting.  That was super cool, just getting to hang out with them was amazing, super cool, and other than that, I mean, I guess the big news from my trip to the UK, other than the news that's gonna come at the end of the podcast in the form of the news from AFC Wimbledon, is that on my 6th day in England, after having spent more than $100 on data, I did catch Mr. Mime.  

H: I don't know what Mr. Mime is.  Oh, that's a Pokemon.  Is that a Pokemon?  

J: Yeah.  There's--it's the Pokemon that you can only catch in Europe.

H: Oh man, that is...a terrible thing that they have done to people visiting Europe, because you could be looking at Europe and instead you're looking for a special Pokemon, but I guess it's all part of--

J: Oh, I mean, I--Hank, when I found that Mr. Mime on the banks of the river next to the Tower of London, I--it took me 20 Ultraballs, 20 Razzberries, I was sweating.  I was like, shaking and sweating each time he would pop out, thinking, "God, please don't run away, Mr. Mime, please don't run away."  By the way, I don't know if you've ever seen a Mr. Mime Pokemon.  

 (02:00) to (04:00)

They are distressing-looking.  They are extremely disturbing.  They're part of the scary clown movement of 2016.  Anyway, when I finally caught him, I honestly like, like, I didn't start crying but I did feel the welling up that you feel before you start crying and then I was like, you've gotta find some other meaning to your life, man.  How are you doing?

H: I'm fine.  I'm fine.  I am not--I have not played Pokemon Go in months, I have not played a video game in months, I am just trying to get all the things done before I become a dad, and which--and at that moment, I will stop making Dear Hank and Johns for a while, so I hear that you may have some special guests coming up?

J: I mean, we've got some great guests.  It's gonna be super fun during your paternity leave, but uh, we also might end up skipping a couple weeks just because I also have a little bit of personal and professional business to attend to, but no, it's gonna be--you're gonna have an awesome paternity leave.  My only concern is that you won't want to come back to work.

H: Uh, yeah.  I also have that concern.  I--I--I am worried about leaving it all behind, and I think that's natural and normal and I think it will all be okay though.

J: It'll all be okay, you're not gonna wanna leave it all behind.  Babies are too stressful and overwhelming to spend 24 hours a day with anyway.  Hank, would you like a short poem for the day?

H: Yeah.  

J: This poem comes from W.H. Auden, it's one of the short poems in his poem 'Three Short Poems', was recommended by a listener.  I quite like it.  "Leaning out over the dreadful precipice, one contemptuous tree."  

H: I love those trees, John.  

J: I do, too.

H: Whenever I go tubing down the (?~4:02), sittin' in an overinflated tire tube with some beers and some friends, I always love looking at those trees that are just like, I'm gonna do this!

 (04:00) to (06:00)

J: Yeah, I--

H: It shouldn't be, I shouldn't be here, it's--it can't be possible, but I'm gonna do it anyway.

J: Yeah, there is nothing like a tree clinging to a riverbank, in my opinion.  It just, it captures everything about human life.  

H: Yeah, I--yeah, it's remarkable.  It's something to--'cause you also gotta know that like, that tree is just like, it's only doing it 'cause it can, and it can, so it's doing it.  That's how trees work.

J: Right, I would argue that might be how we work too.  Let's answer a question from our listeners. 

H: Alright, this one is from Maria, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, When a stranger in a coffeeshop asks you to keep an eye on their stuff while they go to the toilet, what are they really asking of you?  Are you supposed to chase after a thief and tackle them to the ground or just yell at anyone who gets too close?  Are you supposed to watch the stuff get stolen and then when they get back from the bathroom, just point at the empty space where the stuff was and say, "Somebody took it."?  I'm always asked to do this job and I am never ready for the responsibility.  Are there any realistic expectations of me, or do people just ask in order to give themselves slightly more peace of mind while they pee?"

J: Alright, I got two responses to this, Hank.  The first thing is that Maria, this speaks very highly of you as a person, because the--I am never asked to watch peoples' stuff when I'm in a coffeeshop, and I always wonder, why?  Why don't they ask me?  And I've decided it's because they don't like the look of me and they think that they'll be advertisting that their stuff is going to be easily acquirable for the next couple minutes.

H: Or maybe you just have that look, John, that like, please do not talk to me look.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

J: I mean, I definitely do try to put that look on in the coffeeshop, I'm not gonna lie about that.  The other thing that I would say though is that, in my opinion, and Hank, I don't know if you're gonna disagree with me, when you agree to watch someone's stuff while they are peeing, you are agreeing for that time to treat that stuff as your own.

H: Yeah.  Yeah.  That's pretty much what you are being asked to do, and if somebody comes and looks at it, you look at them and they're like, well, I'm going to go thief somewhere else, 'cause that's really like, coffeeshop thievery is very based upon like, approaching stuff and then looking to see if anyone looks at you, and if someone looks at you, you veer to the side and you're like, ohh, that danish, I should go get a danish at the coffee bar shop place.  

J: You know a distressingly large amount about coffeeshop thievery.  

H: Well, it's--you know, I've had stuff stolen from me in bars and coffeeshops and it occurs to me how that--like, I have been--it is like, how did that happen?  Oh, here's how it happens, and you know, you just sort of walk up to the stuff as if it's yours and then if somebody looks at you like that's not yours, then you're like, oh, I--uh, that's not my stuff.  In fact, there was recently a case in my neighborhood of people just walking into peoples' backdoors and stealing stuff and several times, they walked into peoples' houses and were like, and the people were home and they said 'Hello?' and then the people who walked in said, "Is this Dean's house?  I thought this was Dean's house," and they're like, no, it's not Dean's house, and then they walked away, but they caught them because all those people saw their faces and they just kept doing it.  Suspiciously bad thieving.  It turns out theft is often done by people who are not particularly good at theft.

J: Right, so long story short, Maria, to get back to your question, if somebody walks up to you and says "Is this Dean's stuff?" you should say no. 

H: Just trying to get my word count in.

J: You should treat that stuff as your own during the pee and that is your obligation to the stuff if you agree to be that person.

H: Dean told me to come in and grab his stuff.

J: Hank, can we move on to another question, I'm shocked you didn't ask the question I'm about to ask as the first question of the day, because it is clearly the most important.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

H: Alright, you go ahead and tell me your question, John.

J: You know which one I'm referring to, don't you?

H: No, I don't.

J: Yes, you do.  This comes from Emmy and she writes, "Dear John and Hank--"

H: Oh, that's that one!

J: "I work in a package distribution center loading the trucks that go out for delivery, and we often get these large containers which are full of bull semen.  I live in Montana, so this is not weird."  I mean, that is--

H: Uhh, I mean, I live in Montana too, Emmy, and I have never seen a large canister of bull semen, but continue.

J: "I live in Montana, so this is not weird."  I mean.  Receiving a large canister of bull semen is never not weird.  I don't care if you work in a bull semen processing factory, it's still weird.  Anyway, "Yesterday, one of these canisters had been incorrectly sealed," Oh God, "and was not placed on the conveyor belt very carefully."

H: Oh jeez.

J: Double oh God.  "As a result, the canister fell off the belt, burst open, and when it hit the floor, I was doused in bull semen."

H: OHhhh.

J: "This was unfortunate."  Uh, I mean, that's a really good use of understatement.  There are things that are unfortunate, and then there's getting doused with bull semen at work, which I believe is the kind of thing that you can like, I believe you can file a lawsuit, anyway.  "I had to use the emergency shower at the facility.  I took another shower when I got home.  Since then, I have taken two more showers and despite knowing that I really have nothing to worry about at this point, I still don't feel clean.  I'm debating just sort of covering myself in Purell, or maybe taking a Purell bath.  Do you think a Purell bath is a good idea, and if not, what would you suggest instead?"  And she signed it, "In haste, Emmy."  By the way, in addition to writing a really wonderful e-mail, Emmy has permanently solved the question of how you end your e-mails.

H: I have so many questions.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

In haste.

J: Just always end them "In haste".  

H: Oh my goodness.  I have so many questions.  I--I--so I know a little bit about semen, and I know that it is not stable, and so it has to be cooled in order to keep it alive, and usually, like, I--in any biological sample, you usually put it into liquid nitrogen and so I am curious whether Emmy was in fact dosed in bull semen, like, 'cause--if it's going out for transport, it's gotta be cooled.  So maybe, I don't know, it seems unlikely to me that there would be a vat of just semen on a haul on its own.  But I don't know the specifics of the situation.  It seems like Emmy knows what she's talking about.  She obviously had to use the emergency shower at the facility.  That--it doesn't seem like it's a made up story, but--

J: Well, I mean, it's--it can't be a made up story.

H: I don't know, I don't have any advice for what to do though.

J: I mean, I think the right thing to do is the--the contamination that you feel, Emmy, is not a biological contamination, right, like, you're fine.

H: Right.  Yes.

J: But you did have what is an objectively horrible thing happen to you, and it's going to take as long as it takes to forget about it and, but I don't think that you will be permanently harmed.  You're not going to have a human/cow child.  Everything is gonna be fine.  It's just--it's just a very--I also however do not wanna minimize how incredibly bad this is.  It is very bad.  It is a ten--it is a ten bad.  You--it is bad.  I don't--it's a very bad situation.

H: You're having a Lady Macbeth moment.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

You're having an "Out, damn spot, out, I say, damn spot" moment and the spot is not blood in this case and it's not cloth, it's yourself and it's bull semen.  (?~12:13)

J: This might be my favorite Shakespeare reference you've ever made, Hank, also the only Shakespeare reference you've ever made.  

H: Very, very likely.  I had to Google it.

J: Oh, God.  That's why you were so suspiciously quiet.  What a--I mean, like, let's just pause--I wonder if there's something, I mean, I just--awh man.  Really, I can't even finish this sentence right now, Hank, it's so upsetting to me to even consider, but I wanted to read that e-mail primarily because of the parenthetical aside "I live in Montana, so this is not weird" because now every time I come to visit you, Hank, I'm gonna be like, "You guys got bull semen in the fridge?  What's going on?"

H: Yeah, where's--yeah.  I feel like--I--yeah--I mean, obviously the DFTBA warehouse handles bull semen.  It's a warehouse in Montana, so we do--

J: Right.

H: We do the shirts, we do the posters, and then we have the bull semen area.  

J: Well no, yeah, obviously, it's gotta be, it's your number one internet source for Rhett and Link mugs, WheezyWaiter t-shirts, and of course, you know, freeze dried bull semen.  

H: Yeah, it's uh, you know, it's branded.  It's DFTBA brand bull semen. 

J: Yeah.

H: And you can get it now at

J: It comes from--my understanding is that it, you know, it comes from a very specific kind of awesome cow.

H: Yes, it comes from a very awesome cow that did not forget to be awesome.  It's called a Hawethesome Steiner.  

J: Booooo.  Booooo.  I no longer wanna pod with you.  

H: I tried so hard.  

J: Let's move on.  

H: Okay, I apologize, I apologize.  This one's from V, it's a more serious question, we talked about this a little bit before we even began the pod, before we started recording.  "Dear Hank and John, I'm a Hilary supporter but my boyfriend really dislikes her to the point of supporting Trump.  Now, normally ideals that line up with Trump's would be a dealbreaker for me, but his recent thing is that Trump doesn't care about the things that he's saying and he won't actually implement any of the policies that he says he will.  I don't wanna break up this five year relationship for something so stupid, especially since he's wonderful and caring and thoughtful.  It's our first election year and I've seen people on Facebook just unfriending people because they disagree with them.  How do I navigate political disagreements while maintaining our relationship?"

 (14:00) to (16:00)

J: I don't know.

H: You're the one that highlighted this question.

J: I take it back.  I don't know how to address this question.  It's just so hard.  I mean, ugh.  I just--I--Hank, I--

H: I feel very lucky that--

J: I just wanna wake up on the morning on November 10th, man.  

H: Yeah.  Yeah.  Hopefully it will all be decided then.  I just--I have flashbacks to 2000 all the time, but yeah, I feel very lucky that I share a house and a life with someone who I agree with on most political things.  Not all, certainly, but I don't know how I would handle that, and especially this year, when it seems to be deeper than policy.  Much deeper than policy in terms of the way that they've been discussed and the--

J: Well, yeah, there aren't even any policy discussions at all at this point.

H: Yeah.  

J: I mean, we're hearing almost nothing about policy or different ideas about how to run the country.  Instead, you know, we're hearing that the other is a demon or has hatred in their heart or whatever, and it's really difficult in that kind of political climate to you know, love someone who disagrees with you about the stuff that feels fundamental to who you are, and I don't have a great solution to that.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

I wish that we could talk about policy in a way that was civil, but I also understand why lots of people find that difficult, you know, asking somebody to have a civil conversation with someone who says, "I don't believe that you should have certain rights" is difficult.  Like, it's a very difficult thing.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's when your ideology is an attack, it is very difficult not to begin the conversation feeling attacked, and I think that a lot of people feel that on both sides, whether that's, you know, whether that's real or not, I think that that is almost preferred by the people who are trying to get you out to vote that you do feel that way, and it's something that is 100% legitimate.

J: Oh yeah, no, because that motivates voters.  

H: And sometimes it's manufactured, and it's hard to know the difference between those things, and sometimes it's only partially manufactured, but um, but it's--I don't know--I--I read a recent study that, you know, of all the differences people have between each other, parents of children say that they, of all of like, religion, race, other ideological stuff, like the thing that they don't want is for their child to marry someone of a different political party, and that's like, wow.  Okay.  And like, when I think about it, I'm like, yeah, okay, I can see how that's the case, and that's really tough.  That's tough tough tough.  
J: Yeah, I think it's really hard.  I think you just have to try to find ways to have open conversations.  Lots of people are in marriages where this is a disagreement, and so just because Hank and I don't do it doesn't mean it's not possible.  

 (18:00) to (20:00)

It just seems difficult to us.  

H: I also did recently see a study that 45% of Trump support--of men who would support Trump think that their wives are voting for Trump, and 33% of them actually are, so there is a certain number of people who just don't know and don't discuss it, and I think that that is troubling and I think that the main thing--

J: I don't know, I think that's fine.  People--I'm not gonna judge the inside of somebody else's marriage.

H: Yeah, right, right, I agree, I agree, but I think that the main thing is that you guys understand your values and that those values are compatible with each other, and if you--and if this is like, a caring loving person, then like, you know, we all want the best thing, you know, if you guys want like, similar things, and you want the best thing for each other, then you know, I don't know.  It's so hard to even say the words that were gonna come after that sentence, but they're there implied.  John, do you wanna ask a next question?

J: That was a great--that was just a great bit of oratory, Hank.  I wonder if I could have the 200 most recent words you said tattooed onto my body for the rest of my life.  If you just--if you, you know, um, I don't know.  Thank you.  I just, I wanna have that tattooed on my body.

H: That's uh--yep, that, well, I've heard presidential candidates say things that made less sense.  

J: Not since--

H: Very recently.

J: Not since Cicero have I been so moved by a speech.  Okay, I will answer Kaitlyn's question.  This question comes from Kaitlyn, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I'm hoping you can solve a pervasive etiquette issue.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

I'm a young, able-bodied person and also a germophobe and have always flushed public toilets with my feet, no matter how high or difficult to reach the flush button or handle.  I do not put my bare hand on it.  I was taught to do this as a kid and never thought about it until I broke my ankle and couldn't lift my foot to flush.  It dawned on me then that millions of people aren't able to balance or lift a foot and have to put their hands not only on a toilet flusher, but one that other people like me are constantly rubbing bathroom floor germs on from their feet.  So what is the proper etiquette here?"

H: Uh, Kaitlyn, I had a friend when I was in college who was in a wheelchair her whole life, she's still in a wheelchair, and I one day was at a crosswalk and they have those little crosswalky buttons that you push to make the light turn, and I, in my gymnastic self, jumped up, kicked that button, and did a little spinny, just to have some fun, and she looked at me and was like, don't do that, and I was like, why, and she was like, I have to touch that with my hand and now you footed it.  You did the foot thing to it, and ever since then, and like, of course, I was like, ohh my God, I am the worst, but of course, it's not something that we're always thinking about and that's fine, but I will say bundle up a piece of toilet paper and push down on the thingy and then throw the toilet paper in the toilet and you don't have to touch it with your foot or your hands.

J: Uh, another thing that I do is I just don't use my fingertips because it's really the fingertips that are the problem.  Just try not to ever--

H: Yeah, they're touching everything.

J: --put your fingertips on any surfaces because you're not gonna be able to stop your fingertips from touching your face, so just make sure your fingertips only touch your palms, that's what I try to do when I'm in public spaces.  That seems normal.  

H: Okay, John.  We've got another question here, and I think that that's the appropriate thing.  It's from Riley, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, How old is too old to go trick-or-treating?

 (22:00) to (24:00)

I'm a junior in high school and I am too old to go trick-or-treating and I feel like--"

J: Yes, that's too old.

H: "--that might be too old, but I don't feel too old to be trick-or-treating.  Also, last year I went and some of the houses gave out full sized candy bars to older kids out there, so I feel like this has been encouraged a little.  Any dubious advice is greatly appreciated."  Where do you live that they're giving out full-sized candy bars to encourage people to trick-or-treat older?  Oh my goodness.  

J: Seriously, Riley's life in the Big Rock Candy Mountain sounds awesome, however, Riley, I mean, I've got good news and bad news.  The good news is that you have not gone trick or treating for the last time in your life.  The bad news is that you have gone trick or treating for the last time in your life until you have children.  

H: And it will be a different kind of joy that you will experience then, I imagine.  I can imagine.

J: No, it's the same joy.  You can steal half their candy, they don't even notice.  Especially when they're like, two.  I mean, they start to notice when they're like, like, Henry would probably notice now, but I could steal half of Alice's candy and she'd be none the wiser.

H: Oh, this is a great question.  When is too young to go trick or treating, 'cause I'm gonna have a child on October 23rd.  Can I like, walk around, like, dressed up my little nugget as like, a chicken nugget and go to, and be like, trick or treat and then take a bunch of candy for myself?

J: No.  No.  

H: Am I ready to trick or treat again?

J: No.  I suspect, actually, one of the things they're gonna tell you at the hospital, Hank, is that you should not be parading your eight day old child around outside in the freezing Montana cold, introducing that child to strangers.

H: Ohhh, fine, but candy, John!  I'll give the kid a little bit of the candy, but I'll take most of it.

J: Well, you--first off, that's too--you cannot give an eight day old child candy.  

 (24:00) to (26:00)

I feel like maybe you didn't read the baby books that I sent you.

H: I'll just smash up the Snickers bars.  I'll mash 'em up real good.  Mix 'em with some mother's milk in a blender.

J: Nope.

H: That'll be great.

J: No.  No.  No.  

H: Nope, nope!

J: It's like you don't even have an awareness of how they eat, but anyway, it's all gonna be fine, but let's get back to Riley.  Riley, I think that, I think it's time to say goodbye to trick or treating and I know it's hard.  I actually remember feeling really sad, but I think if you quit now, it will feel better.  You know what you could do instead is you can give out the candy at your house and the other thing--

H: Yeah, it's so cute.

J: Yeah, it's so cute.  

H: So many cute kids.

J: Oh, you get to see all these little kids and they come to your house and one of them's dressed as Napoleon and you're like, aww, that's so cute, you're Napoleon, and then he's like, I'm Louis XIV and then you're like, don't be pedantic.  It's fun.  Like, why are you being a jerk about the fact that you're Louis XIV instead of Napoleon, like, I'm not a French historian, eight year old child, and also, like, what's--you're being terribly parented that you would even think to make that correction to somebody who's giving you candy.  I'm sorry.  I've lost the thread of the conversation.

H: I mean, Louis XIV doesn't look anything like Napoleon.  

J: Well, I--okay, so look.

H: You could not--I am so disappointed in you for making that mistake to that poor child who obviously had a great Louis XIV costume.

J: Hank, no, no.  That's exactly where you're wrong.  The kid's Louis XIV costume was terrible.  Obviously, if you've got a high quality Louis XIV costume, I'm gonna know it's Louis XIV.  This kid, he was wearing what was essentially like a French military uniform from what I was guessing was the 19th or 18th centuries, so like, I don't remember seeing King Louis XIV dressed--I remember seeing him dressed up in like, royal garb, not looking like he's in the military.

H: Yeah.

J: Who's the obvious French military person from that era?  Obviously it's Napoleon Bonaparte.  

 (26:00) to (28:00)

So anyway, I'm still a little mad about it, as you can tell.  

H: Yeah, the problem was that I thought that you had made up a story and you had--

J: No, no, no, this was a true story.  I do not like being corrected by strangers.  I don't know if you can tell.  It's an ongoing theme of Dear John and Hank.  

H: Oh, God.

J: Yeah, Riley, you need to be handing out the candy rather than walking  around and getting it, but I will tell you an amazing secret, which is that when you become the person who buys the trick or treat candy rather than the person who goes around scrounging from house to house trying to score the occasional full-size Snickers bar, when you become the person who buys the candy, you can intentionally overbuy candy.  

H: Oh, I mean, you can also accidentally overbuy candy, which is the only thing I've ever done as a person who gives away candy.

J: I mean--

H: I always have so much left over.

J: I would argue that you get way more candy by being the candy purchaser than by being a trick or treater.  

H: You also get the exact candy you want!  

J: Exactly.  That's--right, you don't have to be, you don't have to like, rummage through all of the Skittles and the Smarties to try to find that one Recess Peanut Butter Cup or I guess I should stay on-brand, that one mini Snickers.  You can just choose to get 100% mini Snickers.

H: Yeah, yeah, oh man, I get the Mars pack that's the Snickers, the Three Musketeers, and the Milky Ways, because I love the variety, but I, like, I love, you know, if it's just me on a regular day, I want a Snickers.  But if I'm gonna have a bunch, then I wanna mix it up.

J: Yep.  Well, I will say that I agree with you, Hank, that Mars is the best candy company.  

 (28:00) to (30:00)

H: It's also the second best planet.  

J: Oh, I mean, I guess.  I don't know.  Doesn't like, Alpha Centauri have a planet in a habitable zone?  I might be for that one first.  One last thing I wanna say about Halloween, Hank.

H: Mhmm.

J: There's this golden age that I think Riley is just entering where you don't have to wear a Halloween costume and then like, you get to college and you start having to wear Halloween costumes to go to Halloween parties, and then when you're in your 20s, you have to go to Halloween parties, and then all of a sudden you have to start wearing Halloween costumes because you have kids and they expect you to dress up.  Like, Henry once dressed up as a Pikachu and he wanted me to dress up as a Pokemon trainer, and like, I don't wanna do that, but I also don't wanna be a terrible father, so I would say, Riley, enjoy these few years of not having to dress up, because you're gonna have like, basically, you're gonna go straight from the Halloween party scene probably to the Halloween parenting scene, and then you're gonna have to wear a costume essentially every Halloween until you're like, 60, so live it up.

H: Yeah, it had not occured to me that you have to wear a costume as an adult parent person, and I assume that that stops at like, 10 or 12, when it stops being like a couples thing, a father-son thing because, you know, they go out on their own dressed however they want.

J: I don't know, maybe, maybe, maybe.  Maybe by the time I'm 45 years old, I won't have to wear a Halloween costume every Halloween.  But I'm just saying, if I were Riley right now, I would be grateful for the break.

H: Well, that brings us to our sponsorship, John, which comes from the Pokemon Trainer Costume of choice, available now at that terrible pop up store in your town where they sell things that are the worst quality of anything you've ever experienced for slightly more than they're worth.  

 (30:00) to (32:00)

J: And of course, today's podcast is also brought to you by DFTBA bull semen.  DFTBA bull semen: your number one source online for ice cold bull semen, is available now at

H: This podcast is of course also brought to you by Purell, which will come in handy when the canister of bull semen arrives at your house structurally not intact.  We apologize, please contact DFTBA helpdesk if you ever have problems with your bull semen.

J: We do apologize in advance for the fact that 100% of the bull semen canisters we send out have been improperly sealed.  And lastly, today's podcast is brought to you by Louis XIV.  Louis XIV: Just to be clear, he was not a general.  

H: Yeah, he was, you gotta have all of the animal furs and the velvets, that's what you're looking for from the Louis XIV child, pedanting child, and never come to John's house again.  Do you wanna do another question, John?

J: Seriously, I do not wanna see you this year.  

H: I will recognize you forever, and I'll be like, hey, what's up, Napoleon?  From now on.  

J: Okay, Hank, let's answer a few more questions from our listeners.  

H: Do you wanna do a more serious one or a more sciencey one, John?

J: Uh, I wanna--well, it's my turn to ask a question, for the record.  

H: Oh, fine, fine, you go then.  

J: This question comes from Claire, who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I'm in the process of getting over a breakup, and I'm having trouble.  Whenever I hear songs that we bonded over, I think of him and it saddens me.  I still enjoy these songs and don't wanna remove them from my life.  One cannot simply remove Hamilton from life, but how do I reclaim them to make them my own instead of ours?" 

H: Oh man, I don't know, because I still can't listen to Rush.

J: I mean, how do you go on?  

 (32:00) to (34:00)

H: Actually, I can listen to Rush.  I did not go out with that girl for very long, but she loved Rush and I listened to a lot of Rush for those couple months, and purely because of her interest in Rush, and now I realize that I don't like Rush, so that worked out really well for me actually.

J: Yeah, but Rush is not Hamilton, Hank.  Like this is Hamilton that we're talking about.  Hamilton has been taken away from Claire.  The greatest musical of our time and possibly any time is suddenly not available to her, and that is a real bummer.

H: Yeah.  This actually happened to me with a Clash album that I listened to a lot not while with a person, but during a breakup, and I don't know why, but I just listened to this Clash album like, over and over again.  I loved the Clash, and whenever one of those songs comes on the radio, I think about those bad times and yeah, even with all of the exposure I have had, 'cause it's not like these songs don't enter into my life, it still happens.  So I don't have a good answer for you.  

J: Yeah, I mean, I've got bad news from Claire, which is that I don't think there's any ever--ever any way to totally extricate those songs from their original context in which you listened to them, like, when I listen--there's this band I love, they changed names over the years, The Palace Brothers, (?~33:17) Prince Billy, Will Oldham, you've listened to some of their music, haven't you, Hank?

H: Yeah.  In fact, I know that you've been listening to their music because it's been coming up in my YouTube recommended area.

J: Oh, yeah, I've been listening to this YouTube playlist like crazy when I'm--for working on my new story called 'Adolescence'.  It's not really songs from my adolescence, but it's songs that make me feel the way the songs from my adolescence made me feel, because unfortunately, the actual songs from my adolescence do not make me feel that way.  

H: Oh man, that's a good Project for Awesome perk right there.  The link to that playlist.

J: Oh, it's a pretty personal playlist, but yeah, I guess we could do it as a Project for Awesome perk.  Anyway, um, I have been listening to this one song over and over and over again called "We All, Us Three, Will Rise" by Will Oldham when he was recording as Palace Brothers, and I have probably heard that song 300 times in the last month, and all 300 times, I have thought about the same frickin' girl, so I do not have any good news for Claire at all.  

 (34:00) to (36:00)

I just wanted to, um, read the question so that I could tell you that story. 

H: Oh my God.  Oh, well.

J: It sucks, getting your heart broken sucks, breaking up sucks, there's nothing else that you can say about it, like, it gets--it does get better over time but it sucks.  It's very sad.  

H: Yeah, oh man.  I'd hate to have that happen to Hamilton.  I'm so happy to, but you know, a lot of people are like, you know, you've been with a person for a certain amount of time, it gets a little bit boring.  Boy, do I love that.  I love security and comfort and the knowledge that I love this person and she loves me.

J: Oh yeah.

H: And it's so good.  It's so good.

J: Oh, marriage is the best.  I mean, marriage is just the best.  It's the  most underrated of the major institutions.  

H: Yeah.  Yeah, and I think that it's good to recognize that and feel good in it.  

J: You know what's the most overrated institution?  

H: Dating?  'Cause that sounds awful.

J: That brings us to our next question.  This question comes from Michel, who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I went on a Tinder date recently."  I just wanna pause and look up into the heavens and literally thank God that I got married before the Tinder era began.  Although, I will say, I have a friend who shall remain nameless who occasionally lets me take control of her--lets Sarah and I take control of her Tinder and it is super fun to swipe left and right.  

H: It is super fun.

J: Anyway, "I went on a Tinder date recently and when I met him, I went in for a hug.  Hugs don't normally give me problems, but while I went in for a hug, he stuck out his hand for a handshake which resulted in my arm being wrapped around him and his arm poking and probably permanently damaging my liver.  Two questions.  One: which is more appropriate for a first date, a handshake or a hug?  Two: How do you extract yourself from this situation?  Pumkins and penguins."  Gahhh, so many pumpkins and penguins!  "Michel."  Um, Hank, I have to say that I am not--I don't really understand how Tinder dates work, so I don't know if the hug or the handshake is the right call on a Tinder, but on a, in my era of internet dating, back in the literal turn of the millennium, my era of internet dating, I almost always went in for the handshake, because I didn't really know this person yet.

 (36:00) to (38:00)

H: Yeah, yeah, I feel like if you don't, like, I don't usually hug a person the first time I see them unless there's some good reason to.  I--I usually start out--

J: Well, it depends, I don't know you get with somebody on Tinder before you go on your first date though.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's true, like, if you have like, a really good sort of like, a texting that's happening, then yeah, maybe go in for the hug, but in general, I think the first time you meet somebody, a handshake is a good low barrier non intense way of connecting, and I think it'd be weird if you just waved and sat down.  I think a handshake is good. 

J: Oh, I tota--sometimes, I totally do the wave and sit down thing.  If I'm not looking to have my fingertips touching other human beings, I am not afraid to wave and sit down.

H: Yeah, and it's all fine, and I think that the important thing is that, so there's sort of like a sliding scale and you just respect the person who is on the side of least contact, you know, like, just like, try and read them, and that's really what this question for me is about, like, how, like, how do you handle it when you do the arms wide thing and they do the hand out thing, and--

J: You handshake, you absolutely handshake in that situation.

H: Yeah, you gotta like, let it--it's always gonna be--but also, like, recognizing like, ahh, I did the thing, 'cause everybody does it.  

 (38:00) to (40:00)

It's not like a thing that has never happened before.  It's a constantly occuring thing, and ohh, I did the thing, and hahahahaa, that was awkward, good way to start this out. 

J: Right, that's a great way to deal with it.  Hank, did you ever do any internet dating?

H: No.  

J: I did a bunch.  I feel like I should have a secondary podcast where I discuss my internet dating stories from the 90s and early 2000s.  Or really, just the earliest 2000.  

H: I definitely had like, internet like, people I liked on the internet and we would--

J: Right.

H: Like, we had like a connection of a sort that I think both people felt, but they never went into the real world.

J: Right, right.  I--no, I mean, my first real relationship, the first time I fell in love, was somebody I met on compuserve in the early 90s, so I was internet dating before most of you were born.  

H: John was the first internet dater.  I don't know if anyone knows this about him.  It's on his Wikipedia page.

J: Sometimes I think that she and I, our relationship might have been, like, the first teenage relationship to emerge from compuserve, but I might be wrong.  

H: I mean, the fact that it's possible, yeah.

J: We were really early to that whole vibe, though, and we--I have to say, like, I--I mean, I have super complicated mixed feelings about most of my exes, but I have nothing but positive things to say about her, and she's gone on to have a wonderful life and is a lovely person.  Hank, you knew her.

H: Yes.  Yeah, she was lovely.

J: Yeah.  So that's great.  Yeah, really lovely.  Like, yeah.  Just this great, great person, and we never even saw a picture of each other before we met in real life.  It's crazy!  The world was so different then.  Hank, let's answer another question.

 (40:00) to (42:00)

H: I've got one right here.  It's from Janet, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I know there's a freshwater shortage, because too much of it is busy being 75% of seven billion human bodies, so it can't go in the rivers and stuff.  I also know that much of the Earth's water was delivered to us by comets.  My question is, why can't we pull some comets into decaying orbit with Earth to get more water?  I'm guessing we can't, or someone would have tried it already, I just wanna know why we can't."  Well, Janet, I have to say that you have just proposed crashing a comet into Earth.

J: That's a terrible idea, Janet, that's like, of all the ideas that I've ever heard on Dear Hank and John, that might be my least favorite one. Comets are huge!

H: You said decaying orbit with Earth.  Yes, yes, you proposed crashing a comet into Earth.  Don't do that.  It would be very, very difficult to do and also don't do it.  People have suggested doing this to Mars, to help increase the amount of water on Mars and also the amount of gas in the atmosphere, which would kick off the greenhouse effect, but yeah.  It's--comets are big and it requires a lot of energy to move them, but definitely a thing that I could see a future, you know, a future intelligent human endeavor attempting on a planet that did not have really robust ecosystems and billions of people on it.

J: Well, there is no way that humans will live long enough to start pulling comets into planets.  There's just no way.  I'm not even totally confident about our ability to make it to 2017.  

H: Yeah.  Well.  You know, it's all odds, John.  It's all the odds.  Like, I think that it's way below, way below 1% that we're gonna crash and burn in the next few years, but uh, it's--I feel like it's higher than it once was.  

 (42:00) to (44:00)

We're a very powerful species.  We have a lot of control over our planet and our--in the early days of understanding the level of control that we have and are not good at respecting that yet.  But I think we're gonna get there.

J: Uh, well, I appreciate your optimism.  Hank, it's time to move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

H: Oh, it sure is.  Wow.  Oh man, I didn't realize how late it was.

J: You wanna go first or do you want me to go first?  I don't mind going first.

H: I'll go first 'cause I think that your news is pretty big and pretty good.  Mine was hard.  There's so much news from Mars this week, John.  I think that I'm going to go with the--

J: It has, it's been a Mars-y week.  

H: Yeah, I'm gonna go with--even though this is probably the one that people have most heard about, I'm gonna go with Barack Obama's editorial that he published on CNN saying that the US will send Mars to the red planet--welp, no, that's not right.  That didn't make any sense.

J: That would be weird.

H: People to the red planet by the 2030s and return them safely to Earth with a longer term goal of making it possible to "one day remain there for an extended time," and that's a terrible--that's terrible news as everyone knows, but he committed to some funding for NASA for this and also said that it would be a joint effort between public and private company things.  A lot of people, projects, programs, I don't know, what do I mean, John?  It'll be--

J: I don't know, I want that tattooed on my body too.

H: It's gonna be a joint effort between public companies and the government, is what I mean, and yeah.  But the problem with that is that SpaceX has a plan to get there before 2028 and Obama wants to be there in the 2030s so I'm ready for that guy to leave office and get somebody else in there that's a little bit more ambitious.

 (44:00) to (46:00)

J: Yeah.  I, for one, am with Leon Muss on this news, which Leon Muss immediately upon hearing about this news went to Twitter, @LeonMuss4Earth, and he announced how incredibly excited he was and wanted to underscore how much he's always liked Barack Obama, who's the kind of leader who can make sure that humans stay here on Earth where they belong until at least 2028 when this podcast will be renamed Dear John and Hank.  Hank, the news from AFC Wimbledon is amazing.  So as you will recall, when we last recorded a podcast, AFC Wimbledon was playing Coventry City, like, during the recording of the podcast, and I believe AFC Wimbledon was down 1-nil.  They came back, they tied that game 2-2 and since then, they have gone on a tear.  So the first thing that happened is that I went to London.  We weren't there to just see AFC Wimbledon, but it was a nice added bonus.  So we got to go to King's Meadow.  I was there with Sarah and Rosianna and our friends Stuart and Annemarie and their beautiful children and it was just--it was a lovely day out, made even more lovely by the fact that AFC Wimbledon won that game 2-nil.  It was incredibly exciting, fun to watch, great play.  It was really--it made me feel like AFC Wimbledon are gonna be fine potentially in League One, 'cause they really played well.  Then, they played in the Football League Trophy.  They played Plymouth Argyle, who you'll recall is the team we played at Wembley to get to League One in the first place.  Won that game 2-1.  Also, you know who started in that game, Hank?

H: No.  

J: My very favorite new AFC Wimbledon player, the teenage ginger Messi, his name is Alfie Egan, and he is gonna be a fantastic player.  

 (46:00) to (48:00)

Then, they played Oxford.  That game was actually televised in the UK, so I was able to watch it by a totally legal stream, and they won that game 3-1.

H: Whoa!

J: So AFC Wimbledon have gone from being near the bottom of the table in a situation where, like, they were pretty much, you know, staring the possibility of relegation in the face, being tenth place in League One on 16 points after 12 games, and they are one point above, guess who?  The franchise currently playing in Milton Keynes, Hank.  AFC Wimbledon, which formed in 2002, which had public tryouts on Wimbledon Common, which started out in the 9th Tier of English Football.  For a little bit of context, Hank, let's go back to 2004, twelve years ago.

H: Oh gosh.  I do--should we do that?  Should we definitely do that?  You've talked for a long time, and people know the story.

J: Alright.  Alright.  For a little bit of context, Hank, let's just go back to 2004.  AFC Wimbledon are playing in the 8th tier of English Football at a stadium that seats 2200 people.  The franchise currently playing in Milton Keynes are a middling to crap team in the 3rd Tier of English Football, League One, playing in a mostly empty stadium that seats 15,000 people.  Flash forward twelve years, AFC Wimbledon have been promoted five times.  They are still playing in a stadium that seats 2200 people, but they are above Milton Keynes in the table.  Milton Keynes still being a middling to crap team in the Third Tier of English football.  It is an amazing story.  This is the first time since reforming that AFC Wimbledon have been above Milton Keynes in the table.  The team is playing great.  I'm sorry I talked so long, but I'm very, very excited.  You can get your DFTBA Nerdfighteria AFC Wimbledon scares now at

 (48:00) to (50:00)

And while you're there, you can get yourself some bull semen as well.  You're only four points out of the top of the table, John.  Out of like, promotion.  Four points from being a promotion spot.  

J: Four points from being in the playoffs, yes.  

H: Oh.

J: I mean, look, I've learned at this point not to say that something isn't going to happen, but AFC Wimbledon, I will remind you, used to have the smallest stadium in League Two.  Now they have the smallest stadium in League One.  It is very hard to imagine them having the smallest stadium in the championship, but whatever.  At this point, I'm just lovin' the ride.

H: Alright, well, I'm excited for you, John.  Do you want to tell us a little bit about what we learned today?

J: Oh, we learned that you can catch a Mr. Mime if you are focused, willing to use a lot of money for international data, and have a lot of Ultra Balls.

H: We learned that John may have had the very first teenage dating relationship that came out of the internet platform compuserve.  

J: That's right.  I have the first and arguably best compuserve love story.  We learned that after you break up with somebody, you can never listen to those songs again in quite the same way, but eventually you will be able to listen to them, but you will always still think of that person.  I'm sorry, that's terrible news, but that has been my experience.

H: And we learned that crashing comets into the planet Earth is not a good way to increase the amount of freshwater that we have.

J: We--could we crash a very small comet onto planet Earth?  

H: Uhhh, no.  I mean, maybe.  You could--no.  No!  No.  Y--it would, I mean, it wouldn't be helpful, for one thing.  We have lots of water, and we have lots of frozen water.  It's not like we don't have big hunks of frozen water that's, you know, wonderful freshwater that is already on the planet, and if we burned a comet up in the atmosphere, like, the goal would be that it would not strike the surface of the Earth, you'd still be just getting that into the atmosphere, which would then rain down all over the planet and mostly land in the oceans anyway.

 (50:00) to (51:25)

J: Alright.  I trust you.  You seem to know what you're talking about.  Hank, thanks for podding with me.  It's always a pleasure.  Thanks to all of our listeners, especially those who support us on Patreon at  You can subscribe now for $1 or more per month and you get access to a free liveshow, not free, I don't know why I said free.  It's definitely not free.  It's a $1.

H: It's $1.  

J: A monthly liveshow, which is like this only with our faces, so kind of by some measures, worse, and I also wanna thank Rosianna Halse Rojas who helps out with questions, Nicholas Jenkins who edits this podcast. 

H: Our theme music is from Gunnarolla.  Victoria Bongiorno, she does all of the social media and uploads these things, so thank you to her for that.  You can e-mail us all your questions at  You can also reach us on Twitter using #dearhankandjohn.  I'm @hankgreen, John is @johngreen, and as they say in our hometown...

H&J: Don't forget to be awesome.