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Who is the foxiest founding father? How do I convince my boyfriend to not go to Mars? Is all my sister's stuff mine now? And more!

 (00:00) to (02:00)

(Intro music)

J: Hello, and welcome to Dear Hank and John.  It's a comedy podcast about death.  We answer your questions, we provide you with dubious advice, and we bring you all the week's news from both Mars, which is a cold dead rock in the vacuum of space and AFC Wimbledon, which is the greatest fan-owned institution in the world.  I am here today with the lovely Karen Hallion.

K: Hello.

J: Karen, tell us a little bit about yourself.

K: Well.  I am an artist, illustrator, and part-time Jedi.  Mostly the part-time is because I have kids, so I'll get back to my studies for Jedi training at a future date.  I'm from Boston and I do a lot of pop culture mash-ups.  Star Wars, Disney, Doctor Who, um, and then I was lucky enough to work on Hank's Wizard School last year and did all of the art for that, which was an incredible experience.  

J: You can find Karen at her etsy store.  She also has stuff at, your friendly neighborhood e-tailer, and also I should add that the game that she did the illustrations for, Wizard School, will be available soon for the Christmas holidays.  So, uh, usually, at the beginning of the podcast, Karen, we talk about just how we're doing.

K: How we're doing.

J: How are ya?

K: I'm pretty good, yeah.

J: Yeah, I mean, I'm a little anxious, just 'cause of the--usually, I'm in my basement when I do this.

K: Are you really?

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: Yeah.  But other than that, I'm well.  

K: Just a few people here.

J: Yeah, it's weird.  It--usually, you're just comments.  

K: Yeah.

J: It's weird to me that you have bodies.  

K: First.

J: Somebody just got the first comment, congratulations.  That reminds me of my all-time favorite Hank joke.  What did the YouTube commentor say when they finished fifth in the marathon?  FIRST!  Alright, we're going to skip the short poem for the day, because I didn't prepare one.  If you come to my thing later today, I'll be reading a little bit of a short poem, so maybe that'll be better, but um, yeah, so we're gonna start with a question, Karen.  This question comes from Fiona and she writes, "Dear John and Hank, This summer, Apple ran a promotion, if you bro--" Okay, so, when we make the podcast, I make a lot of mistakes and then I just say "Nick, back up" and that means, Nick, the editor of the podcast, should back up and we're gonna start over, so Nick, back up.  "This summer, Apple ran a promotion where, if you bought a laptop, you got a free pair of $300 wireless Beats headphones.  I needed a laptop for college, so I got a free pair of Beats.  Since I spend so much time walking around campus in New York City, wireless headphones are super convenient to listen to the pod and other stuff while I walk.  However, every time I wear them, I feel totally obnoxious and like I'm showing off how much money I can spend on headphones since they're so large and flashly--" Nick, back up.  "Since they're so large and flashy.  How do I wear these headphones without looking like a jerk?"  Okay, we got so--If you could bring those up, please, thank you.  We have some of these.  Are you Fiona?  Oh God, are--okay.  Wow.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

There you go.

K: Those aren't that big.  I mean, I was picturing like, three times this size.

J: Yeah, those are--those are quite subtle.

K: Yeah, those are--for New York, that's incredibly subtle.  

J: Yeah.

K: I was just in New York last weekend.  There is no normal in New York.  There is no subtle in New York.

J: Yeah, I totally agree.  I mean, I think--well, first off, the major thing that I would do is I would get a t-shirt designed by Karen and anytime I wore the Beats headphones, I would wear the t-shirt and the t-shirt would just explain the situation, and it would just say, like, I got these headphones free with my computer.  I didn't buy them.  I'm not the kind of person who would buy these headphones.  Shannon, I'm sorry.  Shannon got them for free.  Everyone--maybe we should make that t-shirt since everyone who has Beats headphones apparently has the same story.  

K: Well, it'd be basically a picture of someone wearing them and say, "Ask me about my headphones."

J: Right.  I'd like to tell you the entire story.

K: Let me tell you the story.  Let me explain.  

J: That's gr--I think that's the solution.

K: I'll get on it.

J: Ask me about my headphones.  Yeah, other than that, I think like you said, you don't really look like a jerk in New York, especially when you're showing off your conspicuous consumption.  Uh, Karen, would you like to read the next question?

K: This one right here?

J: Yeah.  

K: Alright.  "Dear Hank and John, It seems to me that eccentric people are the best kind of people." Yeah.  "I really admire those who have found a quirky passion and embrace it without irony or self-consciousness.  I would love to be more eccentric, but the problem is, I am drawn to fairly normal things like crossword puzzles and books.  My question is this: is it possible to become more eccentric on purpose or is true--" I can't say this, "eccentricity?"

J: I think that's right.

K: What was that?  Nick, bring it back?

J: Nick, Nick, back up there.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

K: I'm gonna screw it up again.  "Or is it--or is true eccentricity so innate that the act of trying to be eccentric just makes you a poser?  Wishing I had a freak flag to fly, Cary."  That's a deep question.

J: Yeah, it's deep.  Um.  I don't know, what do you think?

K: I mean, I don't think that crossword puzzles and books are the norm these days?  I mean--

J: Yeah.

K: That seems kind of like a freak flag in itself.

J: Yeah, I mean, like, I watched that documentary about competitive crossword puzzlers.

K: There's a documentary?

J: Oh, it's fantastic, and you do not emerge from that documentary thinking, like, well, those people are putting on their eccentric airs.  Yeah, I mean, I feel like you can be nerdy about almost anything.

K: Yeah.

J: It's just, it's--for me, nerdiness is not so much um, what you're into, but the way you're into it.

K: It's the level of your passion for it, I think.

J: Right, and that ability to not be embarrassed about your passion.

K: Yeah.

J: Like, not try to couch it in irony.

K: Proud of your freak flag.

J: Yeah.  I think you do have a freak flag to fly, Cary!  

K: Yeah.

J: Get really into crosswords.  I believe in you.  I think she can do it, but I do think there is nothing worse than being eccentric on purpose.

K: Yeah, there's nothing subtle about that.  You can pick those people out of a crowd.

J: Oh yeah.  Yeah, totally.  Alright, we've got another question.  This one comes from Xena, it's a question near and dear to my heart since my brother's not here.  "Dear John and Hank, My sister has just moved out to go to university in Berlin.  Obviously, she couldn't take all of her stuff with her, as the room she is going to live in is very small.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

My question is, is all of what she has left behind now mine?  She clearly has no use for it anymore, so I'm thinking, why should I not be allowed to inherit the things?"  'Cause she's not dead, Xena!  She went to college!

K: That is spoken like a true older brother.  Isn't possession 9/10ths of the law?

J: No.  No.  I know in podcasts I'm supposed to yes and... you, but no.  Here's my story about when I went to college.  Beginning in the year 1983, I started collecting baseball cards, and I was a very passionate baseball card collector.  I was a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs.  I watched between 100 and 130 Chicago Cubs games on TV every year when I was like, five and six years old.  I had all the baseball cards.  I had a (?~9:12) rookie card.  I had so many great baseball cards.  I had an Andre Dawson rookie card in mint condition.  I had--what I would do is, every year, whatever team won the world series, I would put all of their starting lineup for the winning game on a page of my baseball card collection and so you could flip through and you could see who, you know, was in the starting line-up for every World Series win, and then after those would come all the Cubs, because they never won, and um, this year, I don't know.  I've learned not to hope.  So, this is what happened.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

I came home one summer from college and I went to look at my 5 or 6,000 baseball cards and they weren't there and I was like, what uh...what happened to my baseball cards, Hank?  And he said, and I swear to God, I am quoting him directly, "I sold them on eBay."  

K: Okay, I didn't see that coming.  Seriously?

J: Yeah.  

K: Hank.  

J: And then I was like, well then, where's my money?  And he was like, it's my money.  I inherited your baseball card collection when you went to college.  

K: Alright.

J: I mean, you have two kids, tell me what--what your approach would be in this situation as a mother?

K: Ohh, I mean, on the one hand, it's pretty pretty smart of the younger one to make a quick buck.

J: NO!

K: I mean, I gotta admire his, you know, go get it, you know.

J: Yeah.

K: But, as an older, as the oldest of three kids, I would kill my brother and sister, so I don't know how Hank is still living.

J: I'm still mad about it.  It's such an annoying--it's such a Hank thing to do, too, to be like, well, these baseball cards aren't the money that they could be.  Why don't I turn them into money?  

K: I love that you're still mad about it, too, 'cause my sister still brings things up, I mean, 30 years ago, I can't believe you did this to me, it's like, I was 10.  

J: Yeah.  Yeah, I mean, but he wasn't 10.  

K: Well, Hank has a child-like air about him, so.

J: It's true.  It's a gre--that's a terrible point.

K: Sorry. 

J: Oh man, yeah, Xena, that is not your stuff.  Karen thinks it might be your stuff.

K: It's debatable.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

J: Alright, this question comes from Camilla, possibly Cameela, not very good at pronouncing, you wanna ask this one?

K: Oh, no, no, no.  


"Dear Hank and John, Some close relatives of mine recently got a puppy.  The problem is that they gave this puppy a name that is also a nickname my family uses for me.  It is--"


K: "It is a very obvious short version of my full name and I was very annoyed and hurt by this."

J: Camo?  Cam?  

K: Yeah, what is--Cam?  Cammy?

J: Cammy.  Definitely Cammy.  Why did I go to Camo first?  

K: "I don't know whether my relatives simply haven't noticed the obvious similarities between the two names or if they just don't care.  Either way, I find it difficult to accept that a nickname that I'm very fond of and have had my entire life will now be forever associated with a dog.  I might have to stop using the nickname all together because asking them to change it is out of the question and I feel like this is unfair.  Some dubious advice on how to deal with this situation would be greatly appreciated.  Best wishes, Camilla."  

J: Probably Cammy.  

K: Cammy.  So, we were talking about this, as my son's name is James and when he was a baby we started calling him the Peach, because he had peach fuzz and James and the Giant Peach and it stuck, so maybe it's not Cammy, maybe it's something that's completely--

J: Maybe it's completely--yeah.

K: Maybe it's Peach.

J: Yeah, that uh, little known sequel that Roald Dahl wrote, Cammy and the Giant Peach.

K: Cammy and the Giant Peach.  

J: It's a good one.  But would you name your dog Peach?  

K: No.  That would be a really cute name for a kitten, I mean, it would.

J: It's a great cat name.

K: A little like, orange fluffy Peach, but no.  

J: Yeah, you can't.

K: You can't.

J: You can't.  

K: You can't do it.  

J: I mean, my parents had a dog named Maggie, which is also a human name, but we don't know anyone named Maggie, obviously, because that's horrible.  

 (14:00) to (16:00)

I think like, that's very--I don't have any dubious advice except that to say that you are definitely in the right in my opinion.

K: Yeah, I sympathize.

J: And this person who did this to you, it's just not cool.  I will say, when you say in the email, let me find the line, that this name that you've had for your entire life will forever be associated with a dog, you might be slightly exaggerating the extent to which this dog is going to impact your life.  Like, if you don't live with this dog--if you think about a dog you don't, like, close your eyes and think about the dog that's closest to you that you don't live with.  It's probably not a super important dog, you know?  For me, anyway.  I literally cannot think of a dog I don't live with.

K: Yeah, I'm trying to think if I can, but I can't.

J: That one--my brother's dog--nope.  Has died.  Well, it's a comedy podcast about death!  It is very sad, though.

K: That's too soon.

J: It's very sad.  It is too soon.  It's always going to be too soon.  

K: I drew a picture of Lemon in the Wizard School, and it was very sad when I did that. 

J: Oh, God, that's so sad and sweet.

K: I'm sorry.  

J: And will be available soon at, and that's just, it's the kind of drawing that you don't wanna live without, and for $30, you won't have to.  

K: Nice segue.  Very subtle.  

J: Oh man, so we've made it like, a year, Karen, for a little bit of context, without having any proper sponsors, but we're starting to get sponsors reaching out to us and just--y'all probably don't know this but my brother will not let me sell out.  It's so annoying.  I've been trying to sell out since 2007.  Carl's Jr. offered us $5,000 to eat a Carl's Jr. hamburger in a vlogbrothers video and I was like, yes, and Hank was like, those are disgusting, and I was like, I don't care.  

 (16:00) to (18:00)

Probably shouldn't have told that story.  Nick.  Nick, you might wanna roll that back.  It's up to you, though, and he won't let me do it, but I'm trying to insert as many DFTBA product placements as I can into the show, alright, since he's not here.  Okay, Karen, I have another question for you, this one comes Name Pending who asks, "Dear John and Hank, If I wanted to start writing under a pseudonym, how does that work?  Do I need to create a whole backstory for the life of that person, including a ficticious family?"

K: Yes.

J: "I think of author bios on a book.  Do I just make it all up?"

K: Yes.

J: "Also, do you just pretend this is a real person or do you have to tell strangers that it's a pseudonym?  What if you pick a different gender but then become super famous and people wanna interview you?  Won't they feel deceived, or can you still never tell them and just decline all in-person interviews."

K: Yes.

J: So you know pseudonymynous people.

K: I do, that was one of the, I belong to an artist's group, and a lot of us have debated this back and forth about whether or not to have a pseudonym as an artist's name or your own name and they're both--they both comes with pros and cons, definitely social media and the loss of privacy is makin' a whole thing, a whole person up.  I mean, are you really John Green?

J: Yeah, yeah. 

K: Now I'm questioning everything.

J: No, if I could go back, I might not be though.  

K: Yeah, I'm not sure if I would.

J: Like, if I had to go back, I might, yeah, I mean, I think there--the nice thing, well, artist's pseudonyms are often like, obviously pseudonyms and there's no like, backstory to their lives, like, you know, they're usually not names.

K: Yeah, my friend Crystal's is Bambooda, which you should Google Bambooda, 'cause she's really talented.

J: Right, so like, but nobody thinks like, Bambooda's the person's real name, so I think that kind of pseudonym is good and then other than--I don't--the one thing I'll say is I don't like it, may be a personal thing, but I don't like it when male writers especially take on female pseudonyms, because I feel like it's a way of trying to skirt around questions that they need to be addressing directly.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

I don't know if that's right, but it's always made me a little bit uncomfortable.  Whereas, like, when Nora Roberts has that J.D. Robb, I don't know if you guys like Nora Roberts, but I'm a huge fan.  She's a romance writer, but she also writes legal thrillers under this name J.D. Robb.  That's not weird to me because, you know, because that's the way that institutional sexism works. 

K: Well, when I was--I mean, when I first started subbing work to sites and things, I took a page out of J.K. Rowling's book and subbed everything as K. Hallion, and a lot of people thought that I was a guy.

J: Mm, right.  Sure.  

K: Everything on now is Karen Hallion, but--

J: Kevin.  

K: Kevin.  Kenneth.

J: Kenneth.  

K: Kenneth.

J: Kenneth Hallion.

K: Yeah.

J: Yeah, well, and now I know when Kenneth Hallion blows up online, I'm gonna know exactly who that is.

K: Now you know who it is, yeah.  

J: But yeah, I think, I mean, that's something that a lot of women writers do, especially when they're first getting published, because there is, I mean, there is--it's not really--this--it's talked about as if it's a politicized thing and of course it is political, but like, sexism exists in publishing and in most other fields.

K: And art.

J: And art, yeah, I mean, and it does effect, it effects peoples' lives.  That's the way that it works.  It's not like, a vague problem or just a political problem, it's also a personal problem in everybody's real life.

K: No, I was told by a few artists who were unhappy I kept getting printed at a certain site that it was 'cause I was a girl and they were choosing, on Twitter, the only reason--

 (20:00) to (22:00)

J: So many advantages to being a female artist.

K: They used different words--yeah.  Yeah.  Different words than 'girl', but yeah.  

J: Oh yeah, blagh, I'm sorry.

K: It's there.  

J: But it is, it's there.

K: It's there.  

J: Um, so anyway, Name Pending, do definitely invent an extremely complicated backstory.

K: If you're gonna do it, do it right.

J: Yeah, and not like a human backstory either, but like, a radioactive spider level thing where like, something happened to you and you were one person and then you became somebody else and maybe it's even a thing where like, David Levithan's book Every Day where you inhabit a different body each day, so every day you have a new pseudonym.  I don't know, but it's gotta be extreme.  

K: Well then, you do that, and then you write that story and then it's your autobiography.

J: YEEESS.  That's brilliant.  That's so meta I don't even know what it means.  

K: Love it.  Inception.  

J: Alright.  We had to get you this question, guys, this is a difficult one.  I don't wanna sugarcoat it and make it seem like it's not gonna be hard to talk about, this is from Alyssa, and she writes, "Dear John and Hank, In college, I volunteered to be a model for an ad campaign for the University, and I was told to wear the clown costume I wore for a theater production I was in since everyone in the shoot would be wearing crazy costumes."  Now, I wanna pause here, Karen, and quickly discuss, in that situation, would you have agreed to go to the shoot?  

K: Wear a clown costume?  Clowns are scary.

J: Very scary.

K: No.

J: Deeply scary.

K: No, I'm terrified of clowns.

J: Yeah.

K: Uh-uh.

J: No, no.  I would never have--I can not imagine a set of circumstances that would result in me being in a clown costume.  

K: A dare that you lost to Hank.  

J: I mean, no, I think that I would just, like--I think I would just be like, I lose.  

 (22:00) to (24:00)

K: No.  

J: Yeah, I mean--

K: Not to give Hank any ideas.  

J: Oh, God, that would be the worst.  

K: Sorry.  

J: I just don't--

K: I feel like I need to represent Hank here.

J: Yeah.

K: So--

J: No, you're doing a great job.  Alright, unfortunately, it gets worse.  "On the day of the shoot, I realized that I was the only one wearing a costume."

K: That's the worst.

J: "They even gave me a laptop to hold so I could look more casual."

K: A clown with a laptop is just so creepy.

J: "The ad became a group shot of normal students and then me, as a clown."  It gets so much worse.  "A life-size version of this ad has been up in the San Antonio airport for over three years.  Brothers, how do I convince the good people of San Antonio that I am not a crazy clown lady? Alyssa."

K: I think possibly writing in and telling us this just so that now everybody knows was not the right way to go about it?  'Cause now it's out there.

J: Oh yeah, yeah.  I mean, I'll tell you what, every listener to Dear Hank and John is booking a flight to San Antonio right now.  

K: Taking a selfie with it.  You're right.

J: We have a picture here.

K: We're gonna have more soon.

J: And I would like to tell you that it is not terrible, but I can't.

K: You can't lie.  Don't lie.  

J: This is a very bad situation that Alyssa is in, guys.

K: Really.  

J: This is very dark.  

K: To be fair, clown makeup covers--I mean, she's not--

 (24:00) to (26:00)

J: Unfortunately, Karen, she's not in clown makeup, she's just wearing the clown costume.

K: It's a black and white, so.  Oh.  It's awkward.  

J: Yeah, I mean, the obvious solution is--

K: Change names?

J: Change names, plastic surgery, some kind of face altering plastic surgery.

K: Yeah.

J: But then I think the obvious thing is--

K: Or embrace it!  Oh, sorry, I was gonna say, just embrace it.  

J: Own it!

K: Create a Facebook fan page for this clown.

J: Own it!  I'm referring to this as the Ken Bone strategy.  

K: Oh God.

J: Where everybody's like, well, you're a nerd, and he's like, YUP.  I think embracing it, that's a strong strategy.

K: Yeah, Twitter feed.  

J: Oh my God.

K: Instagram.  Everybody posts their selfies with it on Instagram, tags it.  

J: Right.

K: Do it.

J: Yeah, just own it.  

K: And then, what were you saying, Hank wants you to get sponsors?  

J: Right!  Yeah, we can have this college, Trinity University in San Antonio, that's where--actually, one of my cousins went there.  Oh boy, that is a bad picture.  We'll post it on the Patreon.

K: Oh God.  

J: Um.

K: That's so mean.

J: Well, she sent in the picture!  I mean.  

K: I know.

J: It's just a very bad situation, and when she says life-sized, she means life size.  

K: No, it's--yeah, it's creepy.  I can't imagine walking--it's in the airport?  Did she say airport?

J: Yeah.  I mean, also, how is that a good advertisement for your university?  

K: How does that happen?

J: Like, oh, you'll love going to college here, there's seven students and a clown.  

K: That's not good.

J: One other option that occurred to me just now is what if Alyssa just leaves her whole life behind, gets a pseudonym, moves to Finland, starts over, just like, straight from scratch.

 (26:00) to (28:00)

K: Writes a book.  

J: Writes a book under the new pseudonym.  

K: Name to be--Name Pending.

J: Has a whole life.  Yeah.

K: What is that, Name Pending?

J: Yeah, Name Pending.  Name Pending is not a terrible pseudonym.

K: No, I like that actually.

J: Yeah.

K: It's pretty good.  

J: Oh God.  I'm so upset.  

K: Yeah.  It's a good thing you're gonna post that on Patreon.  

J: Yeah.  Where you can subscribe to Dear Hank and John for as little as a dollar a month.  Okay, we have an actually serious question.  This one comes from Jasmine who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I, like many people, am very interested in and saddened by the global wealth disparity and poverty in the developing world.  What I hear most is that poverty, or perhaps extreme poverty, is living on less than $1 a day.  American currency is often very strong globally, which makes me wonder if this $1 a day is a fair line in countries where their currency is very weak in comparison to the US dollar.  For example, my sister went to China recently and reported spending less than 10 cents on a bottle of water, something that would cost $7-$10 here at home."  Where do you live??  

K: New York.  Yeah.

J: But still, $7 for a bottle of water?

K: Yeah, that's close to--yeah.

J: For a se--If I'm getting a $7 bottle of water, I wish to be able to swim in it.  

K: Boston, too, is pretty--

J: Really?  I mean, in Indianapolis, a bottle of water is about 10 cents.  We've got Shanghai prices.  I feel like when talking about poverty, there is no reference point other than the--another country's currency, so this is a really interesting and important thing to understand when we talk about absolute poverty.  It's usually defined as $1.25 per day, but it is measured as purchasing power, what's--a measurement called purchasing power which means that it is the equivalent to $1.25 per day in the United States, so that is the amount of purchasing power that someone living in absolute poverty has, the equivalent of what you or I could buy here in the United States for $1.25 per day, and that's why absolute poverty is so extreme.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

Now, there is absolute poverty in the United States.  There--here, it's often defined as less than $2 per day and there are more than a million people in the US living on less than $2 a day, but it's important to understand that because it's often portrayed as a way to get out of the poverty trap, oh, you know, $1.25 a day goes a long way in Somalia, well, no, it doesn't, because that's not the way that it's measured, so I just wanted to be clear about that, because I hear about that all the time and I think it's really important to understand, and also it's a great question.  So, yeah, absolute poverty is really, really, really poor and yeah.  No jokes there.  I do have a joke about this, though.  Wait, I wanted to read one other question.  What--does anyone know what time it is?  Oh my God.  Oh, Karen, there's all these things we're supposed to do.

K: How much time do we have?

J: I'm so bad at hosting a podcast.  Alright, so we do this thing where we say that the podcast was sponsored by...and then...I'll start, and then you'll do one.  It's gonna be easy.

K: Oh God.  What?

J: Alright.  Karen, this is the part of the podcast where we thank our sponsors.

K: Okay.  I thought we didn't have sponsors.  

J: It's a great point.

K: I--I mean.  

J: It's a great point.  We don't.  We don't.

K: Okay.

J: I'd like to thank our actual sponsors, but they don't exist so instead we fake a bunch of fictional sponsors.  So for instance, I'm going to start by saying that I would like to thank--

K: Don't pick the clown one, 'cause I'm gonna pick that one.  

J: Yeah.  Yup.

K: Damn it, don't, if I find it first...

J: Okay, um, alright, yeah.  

 (30:00) to (32:00)

Today's podcast is brought to you by these amazing Beats headphones.  These brilliant Beats headphones, $300 or free.  Now you say today's podcast is brought to you by--

K: I was gonna go with Trinity--

J: Oh, that's great, that's great!

K: Is that good?  Is that okay?

J: Yeah, that's awesome.

K: What was it, Bob's Burgers?  What does Hank wanna...?

J: Bob's Burgers?  Oh!  Carl's Jr?

K: Carl's Jr.  We don't--we don't have that in New England, Carl's Jr, so.

J: Oh, yeah, it's, in half the country it's Hardee's, and in half the country it's Carl's Jr.  It's the same disgusting burger regardless.  

K: Alright, so today's podcast is brought to you by the clowns of Trinity of University.  Take that as you will.

J: Oh man, yeah, we're so grateful to Trinity University for their continuing sponsorship of our podcast.  I mean, they're spending money on that San Antonio airport ad.  

K: How is that still there?

J: How--

K: Can you imagine flying into that and seeing that?  I mean, I would turn right back around.

J: Yeah, I mean, I guess one of the problems with this is you wanna minimize somebody's feelings of public embarrassment in this situation, but you can't really, because if you're walking in the airport and you glance over, you don't ever think about the ads in the airport.

K: No.

J: But you're gonna think about that one, you know?  Like, you're gonna look over there and you're gonna say, oh whoa, no.  Anyway--

K: Well, I feel like we're--oh, no.

J: The point here, I think actually there is a little bit of dubious advice.  

 (32:00) to (34:00)

I was just gonna say, I feel like we're validating her suffering.

J: Oh, yeah, hopefully, yeah.  We wanna, like, Alyssa obviously, this is not her fault.

K: No.

J: Except.  

K: Well, she did put the costume on.

J: Maybe just to be safe, you should never put on a clown costume.  

K: I really hope you lose a bet to Hank.  

J: No, no.  I mean, that's--

K: Hank.  

J: That's not on the docket, guys.  I'm never getting in a clown costume.

K: I really--it really, I mean, I am an artist.  

J: Ohhhh.

K: I have drawn you before, in fact.  

J: I'll have no control over whether I get in the clown costume.

K: As a centaur.

J: You've drawn me as a centaur?

K: Yeah.  

J: Oh God.

K: You had the cutie mark, remember?  I think I--I don't know if you've seen it yet or not.  It's a character in Wizard School.

J: Yeah.

K: Has Hank cleared this with you?

J: No

K: Okay, good.  Good job, Hank.  The cut--you know, the My Little Pony have those cutie marks.

J: Sure, yeah, of course.  

K: Yeah, it was the little--

J: I got one of those?

K: Oh yeah.

J: On my hind?  

K: Yep!

J: Huh.  That's great.  You know what, on second thought, maybe don't buy Wizard School.  

K: I'll post that.  

J: Alright.  Um.  We've--I wanna get to one more question before we get to the all-important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, but I don't--

K: Wimbledon is tennis, right?

J: No.  

K: No.  Is it racing?  What is it?  

J: You know what's great?  You know what's great about this?  Like, you guys are like, oh no, John's feelings are hurt, but in fact.

 (34:00) to (36:00)

K: You're happy to educate me, aren't you?

J: Yes.  

K: I know that.

J: Anytime anybody's like, Wimbledon, what's that?  I'll be like, do you have 20 minutes?  I would like to talk to you about the greatest sports story you've ever heard.

K: I don't know, I'm from Boston.  

J: Oh.

K: Oh, come on, the Sox, are you kidding me?

J: It's a great--

K: When they won the World Series?

J: It's a great--

K: Are you kidding me?

J: It's a great story.

K: The greatest sports story ever told, are you kidding me?  

J: It's a great story.

K: You can't even look at me right now and say that.

J: I can't.  It's a great story.  The Red Sox are a great story.  It hurt my feelings that their curse was broken and the Cubs' wasn't, but I was very happy for them.  One of my cousins is a huge Red Sox fan, but the AFC Wimbledon story, it's just in a different league.  Okay.  I'll t--if you've got 45 minutes after the podcast, I'll tell you all about it.  Alright.  Or just watch the movie in a couple years.  

K: There's a movie?

J: Well, I'm--yeah, Rosianna and I are making it.  

K: Oh nice. 

J: Yeah.

K: Oh, cool.

J: Yeah.

K: Alright.

J: We talked a real movie studio into letting us make the AFC Wimbledon movie.  

K: Nice!  That's awesome.

J: Alright.  This is our last question before we get to some questions from our listeners here today and the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  It comes from Freya, who writes, "Dear Hank and John," nope, "Dear John and Hank, I'm dating this guy and he's recently told me that he wants to be one of the people who goes on Elon Musk's Mars mission.  How do I convince him that this is a terrible idea?  I really like him and I would like to carry on dating, but Mars is probably too far away for a long distance relationship and I'm not going to Mars with him because it is a cold dead rock and I have no idea why anyone would want to go there."

 (36:00) to (38:00)

Freya, you are a person after my own heart.  Karen, how do you convince your boyfriend not to go to Mars?

K: Well, I mean, I was dating long distance from California to Boston and I convinced him to move to Boston recently, so I think that he's gonna stay, so how do you convince him not to go to Mars?  I mean.  Mars is kinda cool.

J: No!  

K: I mean.  

J: Alright, let me back up and ask you another question.  Do you have any advice for that sort of cross-continent long distance relationship?  

K: Oh, God, it's really hard.  We Skyped every night for like, for me at 11:00 and him at 8:00 for the whole, like, an hour at night, that was how we made it work and lots of traveling, but it's rough.  It was rough.

J: It's hard.

K: Yeah, it was really rough.  It was worth it, but it was really really rough.  My--I guess the best thing we had was communication, like, constant communication and you have to trust them completely, but yeah, Mars, I don't know what the time difference would be for that.  

J: That's a great question! 

K: I mean, would they be years ahead of you?  Or behind?  Or, I mean, are you traveling in the future?  I mean, what is--

J: If only we had a science person to answer that question.  

K: Do they have Skype?

J: Well, according to The Martian, kinda.  But as I recall, Mars is like, several light-minutes, maybe, is it?  Oh, yeah, one of you probably knows science, Mars is several light-minutes away, right?  Like bet--but doesn't it dep--yeah, it depends on how--it depends on where we are, that's why we can only go to Mars in odd numbered years, which by the way, if you can only make a space adventure in odd-numbered years, this is not a risk worth taking.  This is the best scenario, you have to wait two years to get picked up, and in the worst scenario, you know, you're a corpse on Mars and then like, people in the distant future will be like, how did this one corpse get to Mars and they'll like, they'll imagine a civilization that never existed when it was really, it was just you.  

 (38:00) to (40:00)

Use anthropologists?  Oh, confused anthropologists, yes.  

K: Confused anthropologists.

J: Yeah, I think th--first off, I don't think this is gonna be a huge problem for Freya, because I suspect that by the time this Mars mission actually goes in 2028 or later, the relationship will have gone one way or the other.  

K: Yeah, I'm pretty sure.  

J: And if it's a marriage or it's a real long term committed thing, hard to imagine...

K: Well, I mean, if they've just started dating and he's already thinking about moving lightyears away, that possibly--

J: Light-minutes.

K: Light-minutes, sorry.  Possibly the relationship isn't going anywhere, but oh, I'm sorry, though, now I feel bad, but--

J: I mean, that's not a bad point, though.  I feel like if Sarah came to me and she said, "I want to go to Mars" that would be a big red flag.

K: Yeah, I'm thinking that's, you know, code for something.

J: Right.  Yeah, no, I would definitely be super alarmed.

K: I mean, I'm thinking that the dating scene on Mars is not something to be worried about though.

J: Maybe, on the other hand, you know, when you're in a real intense situation with just four or five people.

K: Yeah, that's true, that's true.  Well, yeah, sure.

J: You know?  Did you ever see the movie Speed?

K: God, I love that movie.  I love that movie so much.  

J: I know.  I know.

K: I've watched that so many times.  

J: The only movie that's better is Speed 2.  

K: Oh, God, that's so bad.  It's so good.  I love bad movies like that.

J: I do too.  

K: Disaster movies.

J: I do too.  I love a disaster movie.

K: I've watched, what is it, God, the one where the snowstorm hits New York--

 (40:00) to (42:00)

J: Day After Tomorrow.

K: Oh God, it's the best.

J: Great movie.

K: Have you seen San Andreas?

J: San Andreas, fantastic.

K: The Rock?  

J: The Rock.

K: Oh, it's so good.  It's so good.  

J: Is there a more reliable performance on Earth right now than the one consistently put in by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson?

K: I love him so much.  I love him.  I can't wait for Moana.

J: The Rock never makes a bad movie.  I used--Sarah and I used to talk about this thing--

K: Well, Scorpion King...

J: I didn't see that.  Was it bad?

K: As someone who loved The Mummy, it was rough.  

J: Oh.  But I bet The Rock was good in it.

K: Oh, The Rock was great.

J: Yeah, I mean, you know, like, an actor's only as good as his material.  Um, when Sarah and I first started dating, we talked about this thing called the standard Tom Cruise 6.8, which was that pretty much every Tom Cruise movie was a reliable 6.8, like, you'd go to the movie theater and you'd be like, listen, I had a good time, I don't regret it, it was probably worth $8.  Was it a good movie?  No.  Do I remember the plot?  Not really.  But it was incredibly enjoyable and The Rock's like that, except instead of turning in 6.8, he consistently turns in like, 8.9s.  

K: Yeah, I was just gonna say, 8.8.  That's good.  That's not gonna translate to the podcast.  

J: Yes, what's your question?

Asker: How do you deal with nerd competition, 'cause there's this kid in my English class who, okay, we took this vocab test, and I got 19/19 and I was really excited about it, and then I get to class and I'm like, Neil, what'd you get on the vocab test?  20/19.  And I'm like, I tried my best, but how do you get better than Neil in English?

 (42:00) to (44:00)

J: Well, I mean, I was a terrible student, so I'm probably not the most qualified person to answer this question, but I think you have to think of the long game.  It's not how did you do versus Neil on the vocab test this week, it's who's gonna have the better, happier, more fulfilling life in 20 years, and then, then you can like, send a Facebook message to Neil and be like, 'sup, Neil?  That's my advice.

Asker: Thank you.

J: Karen?

K: I don't know how to compete with that.  See what I did there?  I mean, like, I don't even know what to say after that.  I mean, there's definitely some artists that I follow and I see what they--what jobs they're getting and I'm--it makes me crazy 'cause I wanted those jobs, but I think I keep trying to remind myself that I'm competing against myself.  I look at what I did a year ago or two years ago or three years ago and see that I'm going further and then I draw really bad cartoons for myself of those artists with--in clown suits to make myself feel better.

J: That's predictably much better advice.  

Asker: So, first off, could you sign my headphones?  But realistically, so I'm a freshman at the University of Minnesota, and so I'm planning to get a degree, an undergrad degree in history with a focus on the Middle East, and I always--people always ask me why?  You're a middle class white girl from Minnesota.  What are you doing, why are you learning Arabic?  

 (44:00) to (46:00)

So how do I explain myself to, or like, justify--I mean, I know why I'm doing it, but like, what do you think's a good explanation to placate people?

K: You don't need one.  You're doing what you wanna do.  You don't need to explain yourself to anybody.  

J: Yeah.  

K: Ask them why they're not.  

J: Right.  Yeah, why aren't you learning Arabic?

K: Why aren't you learning Arabic?

J: You should be.

K: Yeah.  

J: I will give you your headphones back.  

Asker: Oh, thanks.  Oh, hahah.  

J: Oh, you want me to sign them?  I'll sign them, I'll sign them, I'll sign them.  

K: I have a Sharpie in my bag.

J: Oh, this is going to be perfect.  I mean, could that have gone any better?  Yes.  

K: Yeah.

J: Oh wow.  Nicely done.  

Asker: Sorry, I had to move the mic, 'cause I'm too short.

J: That's okay.

Asker: So as a writer and an artist, what would your advice be to someone who like, is more of a science/math focused and then struggles with like, writing papers or doing artistic things in school?  

K: You wanna take that one?

J: Um.  I don't know.  

K: You want me to take that one.

J: I do, yeah.  

K: Um, I can't write to save my life.  I--it's horrible.  To answer an e-mail, it takes me like an hour and a half, so um, my sister's my business manager.  She's a writer and I think I have learned what my strengths and my weaknesses are, and as I draw more and more every day, because I used to be a teacher for a long time, an art teacher for a long time, and I used to love math when I was in school, but I'm finding as I become more and more right-brained, other skills are falling to the wayside.  My spelling has become horrendous and like I said, it takes me a long time to put words together and to write something legible, so I think that I have found people  to help me in the weaknesses that I have and I'll send, you know, if I have to answer something and Amy will send me some interview questions, I'll do like stream of consciousness and then she'll clean it up for me and make me look good, but yeah, I think I've pretty much embraced my strengths and recognized what my weaknesses are and then get help where I need it.  

 (46:00) to (48:00)

J: Karen should have an actual advice podcast.  That's very good.  

K: Your face is on that shirt.  Is that surreal, I mean, that must be very--

J: I know, yeah.

K: I mean, I see my art on shirts but thank god not my face.  

J: Yeah.  It is cool, though.

K: It is very cool.

Asker: So Hank has talked about how he likes to ask people what their favorite bridges are--

K: Bridges?

J: Yeah.

Asker: --so the question that I am very curious about is what your favorite inanimate object is, and if it helps, mine is a coathanger because they are the actual worst.  

J: My favorite inanimate object?

Asker: Least favorite.  

J: Least favorite.

K: Oh, least favorite.

Asker: Like, is there an inanimate object that you just abhor?

K: 'cause I was going for the pillow.  Least favorite inanimate object...

J: Uh, well, um, yeah, this is not a very funny answer, but I have OCD and I cannot abide velvet microfiber textures on couches or this tablecloth is okay, I checked.  But, it's just so horrible and I don't understand, like, why it's a commercially available product.  Surely no one can handle being touched by that stuff.  It's like being touched by a million fibers per inch.  

 (48:00) to (50:00)

You're so conscious of the fact that it has a texture and it's so horr--it's so horrible, so that.   Sorry.

K: Need a minute?

J: No.  I'm fine.  I do--I hate it though, like, Sarah--at this point, like, Sarah has to be like, is this an acceptable texture for this item of furniture, and I'll be like, no.  

K: Chalk.  I can't...I can't.  I mean, I was a teacher, and um, if there was a whiteboard, I would use it and if there was a chalkboard, I wouldn't touch it, and then when I was in art school and we had to use charcoal which is not much better or chalk, like, my fingernails are starting to just, bleaughh, I can't, I can't even.  

Asker: Thank you!

J: Yeah, terrible.  

K: Terrible, terrible.

J: Terrible.

K: Terrible thing.  

J: Sometimes when I was in school as a kid, I didn't really know why I did this, but I would hum very very quietly and I would try to find a way to cover my ears when the chalking was happening of the--so I would just be like, doo doo doo doo doo doo--

K: Ugh, the sound, the feel of it, everything.

J: Yeah.  

K: God, it's so bad.

Asker: So my sister couldn't be here, but I'm asking on her behalf.  She would like to know if you have any advice for introverts who are starting college?

K: Oh, God.

J: Oh.  

K: For introverts, what was the last part?

J: Starting college.

K: Ohh.  

J: Oh God.  

K: That's rough.

J: It's terrible.

K: Are you an introvert?

J: Yeah.

K: Yeah, me too.  This is kind of rough.  

J: I mean, aghh, just try to find time for yourself.  Try to find the quiet time that you need and um, and try not to feel too much social pressure to socialize when you don't feel like socializing.  It's hard, but--I had a hard time in college.  I was very bad at it, so it's difficult for me to give advice about something that I was so exceptionally poor at doing, but yeah, I guess just like, try to take care of yourself.

 (50:00) to (52:00)

In general, like, in those stressful situations where like, something's radically new, I think you just have to try to practice really good self-care.

K: Yeah, don't be--don't be ashamed of being introverted, you know?  Don't be hard on yourself and set little goals like I'm gonna go to this party for half an hour and then I'm gonna reward myself with chocolate after I do it kind of thing.  

J: Yeah, that's good.

K: Yeah, I'm gonna have a big chocolate bar after this.  

J: Good for you.

K: That's my reward.  

Asker: Would you rather have to wear a clown costume for the rest of your life or have to visit Mars?

J: Or have to what?

Asker: Visit Mars.  

J: I mean.  One of those things would result in my certain death. 

Audience: Which one?

J: Right.  Right.  Yeah, I mean, I guess I'd go to Mars.  

K: Yeah, good choice.

J: Yeah, you know, as long as I can bring my--I don't know, I'd miss my wife, but she would leave me if I had to wear a clown costume every day, so.

K: Well, she didn't say you couldn't bring her.

J: Yeah, but realistically, I know that when I go and when I say, Sarah, listen, um, I've--

K: I lost a bet to Hank and.  

J: I've had to make a weird choice, no real idea why this is necessary, but I either have to wear a clown costume for the rest of my life, or I have to go to Mars?

K: What if there are clowns on Mars?  


K: We don't know.

J: How did they get to Mars?!  

K: Could you imagine?

J: You get to Mars and you're like, oh, finally, some alone time.  

 (52:00) to (54:00)

Ah, just been cravin' this, and then you get out of your spaceship, CLOWNS EVERYWHERE.  

K: Yeah, what are you gonna do?  Assimilate.  I mean, you're screwed.  

J: Damned if you don't end up a guy on Mars wearing a clown suit.  Alright, we have time for a few more questions.

Asker: Okay.  I was gonna ask you if you had any other great terrible disaster movie options if, assuming bad disaster movie date night?

K: There's so many.  Oh so many.

J: Oh yeah, I mean, if it has to be like, bad disaster movie weekend.  

Asker: Well that just gets better.

K: I mean, the two volcano ones, which one do you like better, Volcano or what is the other one?  Yes.  I mean, This is Everything, which one do you like better?

J: Volcano is a great movie.  I'd go Volcano, I think.

K: Yeah.  Tommy Lee Jones.

J: Yeah,  he's great in that.

K: Oh, and the guy who goes into the lava.

J: Tom Cruise movie, War of the Worlds.

K: War of the Worlds, yeah.

J: Excellent.

K: Love that one.

J: Um, standard Tom Cruise 6.8.  There's that great--there are those two great movies, the meteor impact movies.

K: Armageddon and Deep Impact.

J: Armageddon and Deep Impact.  

K: Deep Impact was depressing.  Armageddon is just popcorn movie, Deep Impact was pretty depressing.

J: Yeah, I don't like it when they get too real.

K: It got a little deep.

J: Yeah, don't tell me what it's actually gonna be like.  

K: Yeah, yeah, in the title.  

J: That's true.  

K: I need more coffee.  2012.

J: I think that--2012 is a terrible movie but it is a disaster movie.

K: It's so bad.  Oh, I love that movie.

J: Yeah.  No, it's delicious, it's delicious.  What?  The Corn?

K: The Core, when they drill down because they have to restart the core of the Earth.  You haven't seen that??  

J: No!

K: Oh, it's--it's Hilary Swank.  Oh.  You've gotta.  It's so good.  

 (54:00) to (56:00)

J: How did--

K: How have you missed that one?

J: How did Hilary Swank go from Million Dollar Baby to The Core?

K: It's so good.  They have to jumpstart the core of the Earth.

J: Sure, of course they do.  Otherwise, how's it gonna keep spinning?  

K: Oh my God, so good.  Well, yeah.  Sharknado.  Sharknado is fun to watch live and watch the Twitter feed.  That was what made that fun.

J: Yeah, Sharknado was only good on Twitter, and then--

K: Yeah, it was good on Twitter.

J: And then like so many things, when they went back to the well, it got worse and worse and worse.

K: Yeah.  

J: Um, I will give a shoutout for what I believe to be the best action movie of all time, which is Die Hard 4.  Just think it's like, a--

K: Which one was that one, he had a kid?

J: No, it's got Justin Long, the guy who plays the Mac in the Mac commercials.

K: Doesn't he have a daughter though, in that one?

J: Oh yeah, he's got a kid.  Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

K: Oh, okay.  I like the one before it was Samuel Jackson.  

J: That is also a great movie.

K: That was fun.

J: The weird thing about Die Hard movies is that they--it was, the first one, which was great, there was the second one, which was okay, there was the third one which was great, the fourth one which I think is the greatest movie of all time, and then the fifth one which is the worst.

K: There's a fifth one?  I don't think I even saw that one.

J: It's so bad.  It's unenjoyable.

K: Alright, well, you need to watch The Core.  

J: And you'll watch Die Hard.

K: And I'll watch that one and then we'll trade notes.

J: Alright.  Alright, that was our advice.  

Asker: Beautiful, thank you.

Asker: Okay, what is your favorite Pokemon, both what would you pick as a starter in original Pokemon and what is your favorite of the 151 originals?

K: Are you on Pokemon Go?

J: Oh yeah.

K: What level are you?

J: 25.

K: I am too!

J: Really?

K: I am!   But how far into 25?  Team Mystic.

J: I'm Team Red.  

Asker: YES!  You just made my day.  Oh my God.

J: What is your favorite--what would you pick as your starter?

K: Oh, God, well, my son picked my starter for me, and I think he picked Pikachu but I could be--was he a starter?

J: Yeah.  

K: I'm just, I'm new to Pokemon in the last like, six months.  

Asker: You can hack it to make Pikachu your starter.

J: Yeah, Pikachu's possible.  We started with Squirtle.  My favorite Pokemon to have, I was in England for six days, I spent I don't wanna tell you how much money on data to catch a stupid Mr. Mime, which you can only catch in Europe.

 (56:00) to (58:00)

It's the only one you can catch only in Europe, and on my 6th day, I took a five mile long walk along the river and at no point did I look up to see the sights.  I was just trackin' Mr. Mime, and then he showed up right outside the Tate Modern and it took 20 Ultraballs and 20--

K: And he didn't run?

J: And 20 Razzberries.  He didn't run.  It was an epic battle.  He was starin' me down the most horrifying ugly Pokemon--it's essentially the clown Pokemon, and I was sweating.  It was the most intense fight I've had since middle school, and when I caught him, when it said 'Gotcha', I thought I was gonna start crying, and then I sent Sarah a bunch of screenshots and she was like, I don't care.  

K: I don't have an epic story like that.  I wish I did.  I have a little sentimental one.  My son Ryan's favorite animal is a tiger, so he likes the Growlithe, yes, so I have two of them, and one of them I named ArcaRyan and the other one is named for my youngest son who wants to be just like his older brother, so he likes tigers, too, JamesLithe.  So those are my two that--I know.

J: Awwww.  

K: They're very cute.

J: That's a very cute story.

 (58:00) to (1:00:00)

Alright, I apologize to everybody whose questions we're not gonna get to, but this is gonna have to be the last one, I think.  Sorry.

Asker: So my friends and I have had a question that we've been debating for ten years.  This was pre-Hamilton, so don't let that impact your answer too much, but we wondered what you consider to be the foxiest founding father.  

K: Alright, so what are the--what--what is considered the founding fathers?

Asker: We have gotten Abraham Lincoln as an answer, so he's not a founding father.

K: No, he's not a founding--right.  He's a good guy, but.

J: Yeah, also not foxy really.  

K: Well, I mean, he's tall.  Some girls like that.  

J: Yeah, he was tall.

K: He was tall.

J: He did also say, "If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?"  I guess for me, you've got the--it's a tough one.

K: I can't get Hamilton out of my head.

J: Yeah, I mean, 'cause Hamilton is so hot.

K: I mean, it's really--he really...

J: I just...

K: All I can see is Daveed Diggs dancing as Jefferson, and I just...

J: Jefferson is also very hot, yeah.  Um.  

K: Is Daveed Diggs a founding father?  Can I pick him?  

J: God.  Yeah.  This is tough.  This is tough.  This is real tough.  And then I'm trying to like, I'm trying to reach and come up with some more obscure founding fathers, but like, looking at them, I'm not thrilled with any of them in my mind.  

Asker: Franklin had very good calves.

J: No.  Franklin's like 87 years old.  

 (1:00:00) to (1:02:00)

I'm gonna go with Hamilton.  I think I would have picked Hamilton pre-Hamilton.

Asker: Okay.  What about you, Karen?

K: I mean, I don't wanna copy him, but I'm gonna go with Hamilton, too.  Yeah, I mean, if--in the musical Hamilton, it would be all Daveed Diggs, but I'm thinking the real ones, Hamilton.  I mean, yeah.

J: Alright.  One more question.  

Asker: Hi.  I'm really nervous now.  Um, I'm asexual and aromantic and it can kinda be awkward if I'm hanging out with like, my friends who have significant others.  I feel like I'm third wheeling, like, all the time.  Do you have any aro/ace friends and do you have any advice for couples to kinda interact with people who choose to be single?

J: Yeah, we do have an ace friend who we hang out with sometimes.  We don't, well, you know, we don't socialize much 'cause we have young children, so.  

K: I was just gonna say, I don't really ever go out anymore so.

J: Yeah, of all my friends, whenever I talk about any of my friends, I'm like, we hang out sometimes.  You know.  Like, four times a year?

K: Conventions.  When I go to conventions, that's the only time I would socialize, really.  That's it.  At home, I don't.

J: Um, and I guess, I mean, the main thing, I guess in--I have very limited experience in this, but the only thing I'd say is that uh, it's not--as a person who's in a couple, it's not uncomfortable for me to be in those situations.  Like, I don't feel like you're third wheeling, if that makes sense?  Like, if when we're hanging out with a single friend, I don't ever feel like they're incomplete, you know, or that they're not, they're not like, pulling their weight or whatever, 'cause in many cases, when people, you know, have a partner, you don't like the partner nearly as much as you like your friend.  

 (1:02:00) to (1:04:00)

K: Yep.

J: So it's sort of worse.

K: Yeah.

J: Sometimes, at least, you know, and then you have to be like, oh God.  That guy's gonna be there.  Wish there was a way to hang out with that guy without hanging out with that other guy.  Hope the friend that I'm thinking about doesn't--

K: I know.  It was like, don't say anything else, don't say anything else, don't say anything else.

J: Doesn't listen to the pod too much.  Oh, apparently, we have 15 minutes left.  Shoot.  

K: Did you--is that more than you thought or less?

J: That's more than I thought.  

K: Oh!

J: That's good, though, we'll get to a couple more questions.  So yeah, I guess that's what I would say, like, is that um, and maybe, and maybe also just acknowledge it.  Sometimes things are uncomfortable because we don't talk about them, and then when you acknowledge them, they become easier, but yeah.  I don't know.  It's pretty dubious advice.  

Asker: Thank you.

Asker: Hi, my name is Ryan.

J: Hi--oh, no, wait!  Is it really??

Asker: No.

J: Awww.  Alright, let's--quickly, Karen, there's this person named Ryan who wrote in, and when--sorry, I'll tell you all.  When this person Ryan wrote in, they said their name, Ryan, like six different times in the e-mail, but then I also added it six more times and so people call themselves Ryan.

K: It's a good name.  

J: What's going on, Ryan?  

Asker: Yesterday you talked about the trolley problem when you were talking about the end of The Fault in Our Stars, so what are your thoughts on the trolley problem?  What would your solution be?

J: Do you know what this is?

K: On the what?

J: The trolley problem?

K: The trolley problem?

J: Yeah.  

K: Oh, God, I thought you said Trump problem and I was like, let's not do that. 

J: Oh thank God we haven't had a question about that.

K: Yeah, I was about to say--don't, let's not--trolley problem?

J: Sorry, you made me think about Trump.

K: Sorry.  I'm really, really sorry, it was a nice hour where there was no--

J: Alright, the trolley problem, I always like, I always get it wrong, so I'm just gonna tell you guys the wrong trolley problem, 'cause I always get it wrong.  Basically, there's three people tied to the tracks and then there's yep, right, let's say there's three people tied to the tracks.

 (1:04:00) to (1:06:00)

K: This is a hypothetical, correct?

J: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

K: Okay, thank you.

J: And there's a trolley coming, and it's definitely gonna run them over.  You can pull a switch that will send the trolley to a different path, but then it will run over two people, and you can see those two people and also you have to pull the switch to have it go and then so you--what do you do?  Most people make the passive choice, believing that it's not a choice, that they don't become a participant in this hypothetical murder.  I mean, the good thing about the trolley problem, right, is that most of us probably are never gonna find ourselves in a situation where we can do that, but then on some level, like, we're always constantly making decisions, passive decisions that um, you know, are probably not like, in the broad interest of the human species but are in the interests of like, people close to us, which is what the trolley problem is, or one of the things that it's about, I guess.  I do not have a solution for it.  

K: Is The Rock available in this scenario, 'cause that's my solution.  He would get them all, right, and then stop the trolley?

J: Oh my God, he would.  He would get them all and then he would just be like, krshhhh.

K: Yeah.

J: Do you know The Rock eats six pounds of cod every day?

K: Oh, I follow him on Instagram, yeah, I know.

J: Okay.  He's just an amazing person.

K: He is.  

J: Do you know that, you know when--so when you do press junkets, it's a weird, horrible--I don't wanna like, complain about movie stuff, but press junkets are pretty--it's as bad as movie stuff gets, and basically, you sit in a room, in a very small hot room, and every six minutes, a different reporter comes in and interviews you and it's totally dehumanizing for everyone involved and you cannot think about the reporter and they ask you the same questions over and over again and it's almost impossible to think of these reporters as like, people, because you're so nervous about saying something wrong and getting in trouble or whatever and it's just like a--and it goes on for hours, so you meet hundreds of these people.

 (1:06:00) to (1:08:00)

When I did the Paper Towns tour, I think I did like, 500 press junket interviews, and it--and I'm not The Rock.  When The Rock does it for, like, The Fast and Furious 7, it goes on for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and but The Rock is amazing.

K: He really is.

J: And everyone I've ever talked to in the press, they're all, like, you know who's great?  The Rock.  He's so nice, he's so caring, and I saw this YouTube video, you can look it up, it's pretty amazing.  This guy interviews The Rock everytime The Rock has a movie out, and The Rock remembers him everytime, and they always do something, like, fun and cool together, and to surprise him, The Rock officiated his wedding.  

K: Stop it.  Of course he did.  

J: You know, people say we live in a like, you know, in a post-God world, but maybe not.  

K: I love him.

J: I know, God.

K: Have you met him?

J: Oh no.  No, I couldn't bear to.

K: I was hoping I was two steps, like, the Kevin Bacon game, like if you had met him, then maybe I'd be two steps away.

J: Wait a second!  I think I did meet him.  I think he gave me an MTV Movie Award.

K: You have an MTV Movie Award, really?

J: I do.

K: Do you really?  That's cool.

J: Funny story about it, actually, we won--The Fault in Our Stars won the MTV Movie Award for movie of the year, which was really cool, and but I didn't get an award, like, the director did, I mean, you know, to be fair, I also didn't have anything to do with making the movie, so I probably didn't deserve an award, but um, you know, the director got one and the actors got one and the producers got one and I didn't get one, and then I called the producer of the movie, and I was like, hey, um, can I get one of those MTV Movie Awards? 

 (1:08:00) to (1:10:00)

K: Can I get one of those things?

J: And he was like, they're $300 a piece, and I was like, mmm, can I get one anyway, and he did, he got me one, but yeah, so, it's in my basement, it's pretty great.  

K: That must have been pretty cool.

J: That is the best, the coolest award I have.  I also have a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award.  

K: Aw, did you get slimed?

J: No, I didn't get to go to the show, but it was still cool, yeah.

K: It is very cool.

J: Those are the two weird things that happened to me.  

K: That's awesome.

J: I hope we answered your question?  

K: The trolley question?

J: Oh, yeah, we did.  

K: The Rock.

J: Yeah, The Rock.

K: The Rock.  From now on, that's the answer, The Rock.  

Asker: Okay, um, I just wanted to remind you that you actually did plug Hardee's in An Abundance of Katherines and I wanted to know if you were gonna retroactively ask for your $5,000 or maybe, maybe for 478 Monster Thickburgers.

J: Oh God.  Uh.  Oh.  You say you've never been to Hardee's?

K: We don't have 'em in Boston.

J: Mm.  Well.

K: I don't think.  No, not really.

J: Well, your life won't get any better.  Um, I mean, I wouldn't say that I plugged it in Abundance of Katherines so much as I acknowledged its existence.  

K: Is that not what product placement is?

J: But there is--yeah, there is a weird history of this in American fiction, of writers getting paid to do product placement basically.  I do not do that.  

K: Oh, like in their books?

J: Mhmm.

K: Ohh.

J: In fact, there was a really interesting--

K: Do they have that for art?

J: Huh?  

K: Sorry, go ahead, never mind.

J: Yeah, just put, like, in the background of the Wizard School art, just a bunch of Hardee's signs.  Man, they're always coming from Hardee's or going to Hardee's.  

K: See, if we had been working on Wizard School together, that would have happened.

J: Yes.

K: But Hank, it was not--

J: Yeah, Hank wouldn't let it happen.

K: Sorry.

J: No, I would not--I would never do paid product placement in a book.  

 (1:10:00) to (1:12:00)

It would, I mean, that would be bad.  I'm not that bad.  

Asker: Hello!

J: Hi.

Asker: So I had an embarrassing experience yesterday where I was volunteering for the writer's panel and I met you and Ben Blackard, John, and I got a little starstruck and forgot to tell you that although my name was not Maureen Johnson, it actually was Amy, so--my question is, what is your advice for people like me who tend to freeze and make fools of themselves when encountering people who are significantly cooler than them, like you and Karen?  

K: The first time I met him was at VidCon.  Hank flew me out to VidCon to promote Wizard School, and we had just set up, and he turns the corner and I literally was like, John Green!  I don't know if you even remember that.

J: I do remember.

K: Like with bodyguards and everything, I was like, huh!  Hi!  I mean, this is only the second time we've met and I'm still kind of freaking out right now.  

Asker: You don't seem to be.

K: No, I--I freak out about other artists that I meet at Comic-Con.  My friend, I say friend now and I feel like I'm faking that, but Katie Cook, who's an incredible artist, the first time I met her, I think I was just starting to pursue art and I had gone to a Con just to kind of check out what it was like, and I went up to her and I was like, oh my God, I love you so much and you're so great and everything and she's like, oh, I think I've seen some of your work, I have one of your shirts.  I was like, huhhhh!  And I still, I mean, I've seen her at conventions and I'm friends with her on Facebook for the last couple years and I still freak out when I see her and I'm still like, completely--and with Hank, I mean, I don't know--I mean, I think--but I've also been on the other side in the last couple years.  I've been lucky enough that people come up to me and they kinda get starstruck and nervous and seeing what it feels like on the other side and knowing that there's absolutely no reason to be nervous at all, I know it doesn't help logically, like, 'cause I'm still, but um, I think I know I get completely nervous.  

 (1:12:00) to (1:14:00)

It goes both ways.  I think it's just normal.  And I think it's good.  It means you're excited to be talking to somebody.

J: Yeah, I mean, I think the main thing is like, sometimes after one of those encounters, I will like, break it down in my head obsessively and feel like, oh God, I was such an idiot, I was such an embarrassment, I can't believe that I said that and they don't care.  They don't remember.  Jeffery Eugenides has no idea that he met me.  He has no memory of meeting me.  He does not care what I said.  It went in one ear and out the other.  That's what I tell myself, anyway.  Or like, when I met Sherman Alexie, I was just like, hhhhhhhhhhhiiiii.  And, yeah, I mean, it was a disaster, but like, you just gotta let it go.  Gotta let it go.  So I'm trying to let it go.  Still.  My strategy is to get in, say thank you, and get out.  

K: Yeah.

J: Just get out fast.  Like, treat it like a burning car, you know, where you're just--

Asker: It's also possible that I forgot to say thank you.

J: Indeed.  That's my strategy.

Asker: So thank you.

J: I'm very sorry that we have to wrap it up now, but I'm getting the wrap it up sign from our friend in the back.  I'm sorry that we didn't get to answer your question, nice person who was next in line, I apologize.  

K: Should we give them this, the next person?

J: You get this.

K: You get this.  

J: That didn't go well.

K: You tried.

J: What's that?  Oh!  This is the guy who timed who timed to find out who talked more in the podcast with his sister.  Can someone please Google the AFC Wimbledon/Swindontown score?  How far in the game is it?  I love you guys for caring.  I love it so much.  

 (1:14:00) to (1:16:00)

Gentle reminder that you too can become an owner of AFC Wimbledon by joining the Dons trust for just 25 pounds, which, these days is like $8.  

K: Yeah, it's true.  

J: Um, so--so the news from AFC Wimbledon is that they are currently playing Swindontown.  Just for a little bit of context--

K: Yeah, I need a little context.

J: AFC Wimbledon--Alright, so, in English soccer, there is the teams at the top.  That's the premier league, you know, like, Manchester United, you ever heard of them?  

K: Yes.

J: Chelsea, Liverpool.

K: Okay.

J: Those teams.  Liverpool, owned by the Boston Red Sox owner, John Henry.  And then, uh, and then if  you're a really bad team in the premier league, the bottom three teams each year get relegated down to the league below that, which is called, helpfully, the championship, right?  And then the best teams in the championship get promoted up to the premier league each season, because the worst teams from the premier league have been relegated.   The worst teams from the championship get relegated down to the third tier of English soccer, which, and this is a totally reasonable decision, is called League One.  And beneath that, you have League Two, the fourth tier of English soccer and then beneath that, it's semi-pro/amateur.

K: Okay.

J: So these are the professional, full-time professional leagues.  AFC Wimbledon is currently located happily, comfortably right in the middle about there, this is a very visual gag for a podcast, and they're playing Swindontown, who's about there, just below them, and it's 0-0 at halftime, that's the update.

K: Okay.  So from--because I need more context.

J: Great.

K: That's a team.

J: Yeah.  

 (1:16:00) to (1:18:00)

K: I thought it was a league or something.  It's a team and they play soccer?  

J: Correct.

K: Alright, so, if you could sign this, I'm gonna sell this on eBay.  

J: Yeah, of course.

K: Thank you.  Excellent, thank you.  

J: Maybe, alternately, we could give it to the best question, but if you wanna sell it on eBay, that's fine.

K: Oh, we could do that.  No, we could do that.  Oh man, guilt me into that.

J: And the news from Mars is that Elon Musk has said that if you want to go to Mars, you should be prepared to die there.  

K: And leave your girlfriend behind.

J: So he really did say that, so--

K: Did he really?

J: Oh yeah.  

K: I mean, yeah, but--you say it, it's like...

J: Yeah, right, right.  That's one of those things that you know.

K: Yeah.

J: But you don't necessarily say it out loud.

K: Do you have to really articulate it?

J: Right, yeah.  Yeah.  Would you ever--is there ever a world in which you would go to space?

K: If I didn't have kids, yes.  The kids keep me here, like, I--but.

J: What if you're like, 80, your kids are grown up, they've got good lives?

K: I'm hoping they're gonna be grown up when I'm 60.  How about 60?  

J: That's a good point.  Good point.  

K: Yeah.  Well, I mean, then there might be grandchildren.  

J: That's true.

K: And those, you get to spoil and not have to discipline them and I'm really looking forward to that.

J: That's true.  That's true.  

K: It's tough.  If I didn't have kids, I would definitely be interested in doing much more something like that, but--

J: Yeah.

K: Those kids keep you on Earth.  

J: I wouldn't go to space for all the money in the world. 

K: Why?

J: It just sounds terrible.

K: I'm a little claustrophobic, so now that I think about it, possibly that would be a problem.  

J: I mean, I get nauseated just from being up on stage.  

K: Well, that's a whole different thing, 'cause, you know, everybody's looking at you.

J: Thanks Karen.  

 (1:18:00) to (1:20:00)

K: You're welcome.  

J: Alright, so, what did we learn today, Karen?

K: Well, I learned that AFC Wimbleton is a team and they don't play tennis.

J: That's true.

K: So I think I'm ahead of the game this morning.

J: Yeah, that's true.

K: I will never put on a clown suit.

J: Never.

K: Ever.  

J: Dangerous.

K: Those are what headphones look like, the Beat ones.

J: Yeah.  I was picturing something much more elaborate.

K: Yeah, those are not that big.  

J: Yeah.

K: But I grew up in the 80s when everything was--hair was--

J: Right, you like, held in your huge hair with your gigantic headphones.

K: Oh, the aquanet, the--yeah.  

J: And uh, lastly, we learned um, what else did we learn?  Hank and I do this every week, we're like, what did we learn?  What did we learn?  What did we talk about today?  Lastly--and lastly, we learned, don't name your dog Cammy.

K: Yeah.  

J: Karen, thank you so much for podding with me.

K: Thank you for having me.

J: Again, you can find Karen's stuff at etsy or all over the internet.  What's your website?


J: Oh.

K: Works out really well.

J: To have a name that isn't John Green., owned by a realtor in Southern Mississippi.

K: Oh, no, really?

J: And has been since like, 1992.  Thank you for, yeah, thank you for podding with me.  Thanks to everybody for your questions.  You can e-mail us at or you can also send us Tweets with #dearhankandjohn.  I'm @johngreen, Hank is @hankgreen, Karen is--

K: @hankgreen, too.

J: Um.  And of course, Alyssa is @ClownAlyssa.  This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins.  Victoria Bongiorno helps out with social media. 

 (1:20:00) to (1:21:00)

Rosianna Halse Rojas helps with many, many things, including questions.  Our theme music is by gunnarolla.  I love gunnarolla.  Yeah, he's great.  One of the--one of my favorite YouTubers, and as we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.  Oh, we should all do that together, great idea!  You guys are smart.

K: Yeah, they're wicked smart.

J: Alright.  Here we go.  

J&K: Roll it back, Nick.

J: And as we say in our hometown...

All: Don't forget to be awesome.

J: Great.  Thank you guys so much.

K: Thank you.

J: This has been such a pleasure.  You can listen to it in a few weeks when Hank is on paternity leave and have a wonderful day.  Thanks, Karen!