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A look back on some of the most memorable moments in the history of the pod! Featuring: Jurassic Mars, Ryan, OH MY GOD IT'S BURNING, John's atrocious cereal eating habits, pumpkins and penguins, the long con, and more!

NerdCon: Nerdfighteria:
Email your questions:

 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank & John! Or as John wishes he could call it, but won't be able to before 2020, The Earliest Dear John & Hank.

Today it's gonna be a little bit different. Uh, we've been making this podcast for a long time now, and it's hard to expect everyone to have listened to every episode.

But there are a number of things that have happened over the year. Plus, that we've been doing this, that get referred to, and maybe you don't know what the heck we're talking about.

Also, we just wanted to relive some of the best moments of the podcast. So, this is The Best Of episode of Dear Hank & John. The best of what we have done so far. 

Just a bunch of funny stuff that we've put together for your listening enjoyment. I hope that it's a good time. And now, we will begin.

John: Today's podcast is brought to you by Life, the most interesting thing the Universe has ever done. But, make no mistake about it, temporary. 

H: Oh God. Uh,  today's podcast is brought to you by your needy family. There's seven of them! And they all want gifts!

J: Today's podcast is also brought to you by Victor, who recently became a dad. Victor is gonna find out that dad jokes just come out of you naturally.

H: This, today's podcast is also, finally, brought to you by All I Want For Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey.

J: Oh! Must it be?

H:  All I Want For Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey, only available on American radio stations, after Thanksgiving.

H: Ughhh, that's a big spider, what the frick?

J: Am I gonna have to host the podcast alone because there's a spider in your room, [H: Oh, it's real big.] or you gonna be able to [H: It has] get on with it?

H: You know, sometimes I think, you know, there are a lot of legs in the world, then I realize that most of them are on that spider.

J: Hank Green, 1980 to 2146, most of the legs in the world are on spiders.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: So, there's a lot of water on Mars, right now.

H: Yeah! Tuns!

J: And, la, Mars has had a more variable climate than we've previously believed.

H: Yeah. 

J: Were there dinosaurs on Mars?

H: No.

J: But, that would've been High School Hank Green's ultimate book. It's Jurassic Park, plus the Mars trilogy.

H: No. You know what would be that? Is if we were like, you know, it would be, it, we could make dinosaurs, but we've seen the Jurassic Park movies. So, we're not gonna put 'em on Earth.

J: We know it would be a bad idea to put them on Earth, but

H: We're gonna have Jurassic Mars!

J: Jurassic Mars? Oh my God! Hank, we have a bona fide hit on our hands. Somebody call Steven Spielberg. Jurassic Mars! We had Jurassic Park, we had Jurassic World, the not, logical next step, Jurassic Solar System. Jurassic Mars!

H: All right John, you're the writer, so I expect to read a short story called Jurassic Mars, within the next six months.

J: Hum, I'm pretty sure that that is a copyrighted idea, and they seem to protect that copyright pretty aggressively. Um.

H: There's no, there's nothing copyrighted about the word Jurassic.

J: Hum, I think there's something copyrighted about the idea of bringing dinosaurs back from the dead.

H: Nah.

J: You don't think so?

H: Nah! No way!

J: All right. That's, the, then it's settled. We're, uh, forget writing a short story, I'm a movie producer now Hank. I have a, I have a movie producing deal with Fox 2000. I'm going to make the movie Jurassic Mars. Do you think Spielberg will mind?

H: No! No. Especially if it's really, really, uh, surrealist, and, and, and crazy. Just stupid.

J: Did, did you see Jurassic World?

H: Uh, no. Uh, it, maybe it should be animated and it should be for kids. Uh, but there should still be lots of blood and guts.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

J: Jurassic Mars for kids. I mean, it's a great idea for a TV-Show. Uh, dinosaurs on Mars is a fantastic idea for any format. I cannot think of a format where dinosaurs on Mars wouldn't work. See, Hank, when you come up with, with, when you tell me the news from Mars, I try to use that to make your relationship with Mars even deeper and better. And when I tell you the news from AFC Wimbledon, you dismiss it. And that is the fundamental difference between us. [H: I] I, [H: I did everything] am a generous, [H: I could to be supportive this time!] giving, thoughtful, engaged sibling. Who is truly a collaborator, and you are an underminer. You are trying to undermine my passion, and the world's greatest institution of by its supporters.

H: I did it, I did everything I could. I'll try to be better in the future.

J: Oh, Hank, what did we learn today, other than Jurassic Mars?

H: What, do you, do you think that we could get, uh, Kristen Bell to play Veronica Mars, the character, and solve a mystery involving dinosaurs on Mars? 

J: You know, uh, there's always one step too far, and you took it.

H: Okay.

J: We need to keep thinking. Hank, we've only had this, we've only had this dinosaur on Mars idea for, like, five minutes, okay? Let's not expect it to completely cohere yet.

H: Okay, okay.

J: But it's coming together.

H: All right John.

J: I can feel it. I can feel the creative juices working. As soon as we go off the air of the podcast, I think you and I need to set up some meetings with Hollywood producers. And, and it's all just dinosaurs on Mars all the time.

J: Uh, there is much to be hopeful about, that is how I'm doing. How are you?

H: Well, first of all, I just wanna say how thankful I am that we got through your section of the how's it goings without any mention, not a single mention of Taylor Swift.

J: Oh, that reminds me though, that the weather is beautiful, likely because Taylor Swift's 1989 concert tour is coming to its American end very soon. 

H: We have another question, this one's from Ryan. And Ryan says, dear Hank and John, my name is Ryan and I'm fortunate

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: By the way

J: Wait, wait, wait, what's, what's his name?

H: By the way, my name is Ryan. Uh, so I

J: This, this is the seventeenth time you've said that his name is Ryan, in the course of twelve seconds.

H: So, I've recently started to attend a new university, uh, and my new friends, who call me Ryan, are not as fortunate as me. One of my friends told me 

J: Uh, I don't know why Hank, I don't know why that joke got me so much, but it got me so much. Oh my God.

H: One of my friends told me, [J:Oh God] one of my friends said to me, Ryan, I can't afford groceries this week, Ryan.

J: Just keep doing it, it doesn't stop being funny for me. It's like a sine wave. It's like, every time that I think I've heard enough Ryans, another one comes and I just, I'm like, I, li, literally in tears.

H: So, I, Ryan, offered to pay for her groceries, and she got mad at me, uh, who is Ryan, for suggesting that, uh, for suggesting that, and now, won't even talk to Ryan anymore. I've had other similar experiences when trying to help my friends out. Am I wrong? For trying to help my friends out financially? I just want to help them. Love, Ryan. Who is Ryan, Ryan. I like your podcast, my name is Ryan.

J: I'm sorry to laugh at what is not, not a funny question

H: It's not a super funny question, is also not, like, it's not the heaviest one we've dealt with since this episode though. So, if we're gonna make a joke [J: that's true] during one question [J: Here's what I would say] it would be this one.

J: Here's what I would say Ryan. Uh, Ryan I think that you are trying, uh, to be nice, and helpful [H: Would you say John Green] but, when people 

H: Would you say, would you say he's trying? Katherine doesn't like this. She's making a face.

J: I would say, I would say Ryan, that you are trying to be nice, uh, and helpful but when lots and lots of people tell you that you are not being nice or helpful


 (08:00) to (10:00)

J: it is important to listen to them.

J: Hm, Hank, do you remember in our last episode how I mentioned that I dearly want to have some kind of corporate sponsor in my life?

H: Mm-hm, mh-hm.

J: Well, it just so happens that this very week, uh, 478 Snickers bars arrived at my office.

H: How did that magical thing occur?

J: Uh, the nice folks at Mars, [H: Mm-hm] the nice folks at Mars sponsored, uh, VidCon, and while I was talking to them, at a sponsor party, I mentioned that I'm a long time supporter of their company, via my affection for Snickers bars. Uh, apparently, this went up the chain, somehow, and so a, uh, refrigerated box full of delicious, cool Snickers bars, 478 of them, arrived at my office yesterday. And first of, I just wanna say thank you to my personal sponsor, Snickers. Secondly, I just wanna say, other companies looking to sponsor me, please feel free to send me 478 of your product.

H: Uh, so, so, so what your saying is that you were just, you were just, just having a chat at VidCon. First of all, I have to say, like, we sell all, all of the sponsorships out of my office, we have those relationships, [J:Yeah] we have lots of con, con, and never did it ever cross my plate that an option, or a part of the VidCon sponsorship was just a gigantic, like house-size box of Snickers. That, that didn't show up at any of the, any of the deals, and I'm ver, I'm a little frustrated that apparently all I had to do was have a conversation with somebody. This is like the weird life of, of, of the public YouTuber. Where it's just, people are like, hey, yeah, you like our thing, here have a, have two years worth of them. If

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: I wouldn't say that 478 Snickers bars is two years worth of Snickers bars, [H: I think] I'd say it's closer to, it's a solid month though. I mean, I'm gonna have a great, I'm gonna have a great month of August, let's put it that way.

H: I do, I like Snickers very much but 478 Snickers bars is like ten years worth of Snickers.

J: Mm, I'll report back next week and tell you how it's going.

H: Uh, but

J: Uh 

H: I, but I have to thank [J: If I think of what else] to the people of Mars [J: So, Hank] no, to the people of the Mars company, not the people of the planet Mars, I must say, I, I really, really like peanut M&M's, a lot. 

J: I, by the way, I also love peanut M&M's, for the record. If the people at Mars [H: No!] are looking [H: No, shh, no!] for this to be an ongoing [H: Hey, hey!] relationship.

H: This is, stop stepping on my, stepping on my com, communications with the Mars people!

J: Uh, Hank, I'm wondering if there are other products out there that you would like to receive 478 of?

H: Yeah, if I could receive like, if I could receive, uh, 478, uh, Hartford Whalers hats.

J: Are you a fan of the Hartford Whalers?

H: Well, they're a, I like them because they have a really nice logo. Also, they don't exist anymore as a, as a team.

J: Right. So, that does somewhat, uh, that does makes it, that makes it a slightly less good investment from the company's perspective. Just because they no longer have a brand to promote.

H: I, I completely disagree. They have a tremendous brand to promote. It's Hartford Whalers merch. Uh, merch for a sports team that doesn't exist anymore is exactly what people like me, who like, uh, who like logos, but not sports, is looking for. Are looking for.

J: I myself, uh, I'm a long time fan of my Chevrolet Volt, uh, I've had my Volt since 2012 and I would love 478 Chevrolet Volts.

H: If the, if the Niantic company could send me 478 Pidgeys, that'd be fantastic. Uh, cause that would really help me to level it up. 

 (12:00) to (14:00)

J: I mean if we're requesting 478 Pokemons at a time Hank, I can provide you with 478 Pidgeys they're sitting there in my frickin' list of Pokemon right now. What I need is 478 uh, Jolteons or whatever. Or Poreons where, where are my 478 Vaporeons Niantic? I, I feel like I'm the greatest ambassador for your product ever. In fact Hank, while we've been recording this podcast, I've been studiously uh, catching Ratattas, which grow in Indianapolis like an actual weed. 

H: Nah, [J: oh] that, that doesn't, that doesn't sound great, uh, we uh, you know I, it's, it's every Pokemon is important though. You can't say that one is important just, less important just because they are lots of them. That's not a very nice way to feel. Just because they're successful, successful animals and are, and are weird, weird um, you know, human habitats, Pidgeys and Rattatas uh, and Drowseys, they've been very successful in the places where they live and that's fine. I think, I think we should reward them for their success. 

J: I tell ya what else I'd enjoy Hank: 478 of the pairs of the sweatpants that I wear. I just, I'm sorry I'm stuck on how, how, how many Snickers bars I received, and its given me hope that I'm, I'm really just a request away from the 478 diet Dr. Peppers that I desperately need to go on living.

H: What about, wait a second, what about if we could get a brand deal with the US Mint, and they could send us 478 hundred dollar bills? I mean, I feel like that's a, yeah... Is that a, is that an option? Are they, are they uh, open to brand deals? 

J: Today's podcast is sponsored by: the US Mint. The US Mint, providing you with high quality, hundred dollar bills since 1881. 

H: Um, do, do you know when the hundred dollar bill first went into circulation John? 

J: Yes Hank, it was 1881. Everybody knows that. [H Everybody knows that.]

 (14:00) to (16:00)

J: I also uh, not that I want in any way to problematize my relationship with the Mars Company, maker of the greatest candies in the history of the world. Uh, but there are some, there are some other candy companies that I, I wish would also sponsor me. [H: Okay] Uh, the makers of Fun Dip. If I could 478 uh, Fun Dips that would make me really happy. 

H: I like Fun Dip because uh, because you put sugar on sugar and then you eat it.

J: Big League Chew? I would love 478 pouches of Big League Chew

H: Uh, 478 Abba-Zabbas please? Can I have maybe 478 Whatchamacallits?

J: Oh god I love a good Whatchmacallit. Who makes Whatchamacallits? Why aren't they sponsoring us?

H: Probably Mars. Can I get, can I get uh, 478 uh, Pocky's? Some Pocky's?

J: Hank Whatchamacallits [H: Please?] are made [H: Packets of Pocky?] Whatchamacallits are made by the Hershey Company. Um, [H: OH, oh] we need to reach out to them. If anybody listening happens to be the CEO of the Hershey Company, let me just say that next to Snickers bars, Whatchamacallits are my favourite candy bars. Hank we need to move on, this is not ultimately a podcast about us trying to acquire 478 uh, items. It's ultimately a podcast in which we answer our listeners' questions and provide them with exceptionally dubious advice. 

H: Uh apparently Clary- Clara is having a hard time uh preventing herself from being distracted by our excellent death-based humor and is burning her food. So, let's just uh, let's remember to yell at Clara every once in a while during this podcast.


H: I think- I think probably she's good right now. But maybe not!

J: Well, she's got that- she's got that- probably she can just um, make it so that her timer instead of just making a beeping sound uh, makes that sound, and I think that that would uh, it would persuade almost anyone to take their pizza out of the oven.

H: You know I think I might do that. I might- that, that might be my new timer. Can- how do you do that on an iPhone? Somebody- somebody tell me how to do that. (chuckle)

J: Let's answer another question.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

H: Okay

J: Dear Jenny, nope. Dear John and Hank,

H: Hahahahaha

J: haha. The question is from Jenny. Dear John and Hank...

J: Um, alright Hank let's move on to another question from our listeners. This one, by the way you can email us at We always forget to say that, Hank, and yet somehow people find a way, which I appreciate, but it's

H: Haha

J: Is our email address. Okay Hank this question comes from Sydney, who writes: Dear John and Hank, I need some dubious advice on a very important grammatical issue. It's how to shorten the term "as per usual." People usually say usual out loud as "euge" like "as per euge. By the way when Sydney says people

H: What? What?

J; I think Sydney is referring to--

H: Yeah

J: Her peers, who are I'm guessing twenty four years younger than I am? Anyway, how do you spell the euge in as per euge? Does this make any sense? I just want to be able to write as per euge without saying in parentheses "I shortened that from usual."

Both: (laugh)

H: I think-

J: I mean, Sydney, you are my hero on every level.
H: I--

J: I love every part of this question.

H: I- I think that it's pretty clear. I've- I think it's Y-O-O-J.

J: It's not Y-O-O-J! If you write as per Y-O-O-J [H: as per euge]. People will pronounce- they'll actually have to pause and then be like "as per yooj?

H: as per yooj.

J: Is that- is that Donald Trump saying huge?

H: Oh yeah!

J: What is happening with as per yooj? No you gotta get the shh in there. So, I'm gonna go Y-O-O-S-H. As per yoosh. Nope, that doesn't work either!

H: No. Definetely not. It's euge! It's Y-O-O-J, W-O-G-H. As per euge.

J: ah, uh, th- that's whoosh, that's an existing word. W-O-O-S-H, you can't use an existing word
H: I said G! G-H

J: G-H?

 (18:00) to (20:00)

Both: G-H

H: Uh, but anyway [J: Okay, I'm gonna go with-] as per whoosh also works.

J: I'm gonna go with U-D-G-E-E. The second E is silent. Um, [H: hahaha] it could be pronounced udgee, but I think that it will get across euge. This is an incredibly difficult question, Hank. [H: uh] This might be the hardest question we've ever been asked to answer on Dear Hank and John.

H: Uh, Y-O-U-S-H. As per yoush. Nope, nope! As per euge. As per euge. Eug- with a J. Y-O [J: you gotta get the euge] Y-O-U-Z-S-H, youzsh.

J: Y-O-U-Z-S-H. I mean that- haha, that [H: hahaha] that is definitely wrong. I'm looking at it. I just typed it out. It's, you're close though. I think this-

H: There's also more letters than usual just to be clear.

J: Well, yeah, no there's definitely no way to spell it with fewer letters than are in usual, which-

H: No! Y-O-O-J!

J: Y-O-O-J, yooj, but doesn't that- doesn't yooj sound like Donald Trump saying huge?

H: It does. It does, yes.

J: You've gotta get the shu in euge. Is it Y-O-O-S-H? That's yoosh. Dang it!

H: As per- I, Y-O-O, uh, J-S-H? as per yoojsh. I think that would be like euge
J: Y-O-O-J-S-H I don't dislike Y-O-O-J-S-H although it looks very weird umm

Both: hahahaha

H: Yes I agree it looks very weird

J: I mean I think that, I don't know if this is going to be entertaining to our podcast listeners but you [H: Oh oh oh I got it!] should really see Hank and I's shared Google doc right now its hilarious. [H: hahahaha] It's just Hank and I desperately typing out things that sound vaguely like as per euge.

So, somewhat on this topic Hank, when my books are published in languages with other alphabets, especially in, um, like Russian

 (20:00) to (22:00)

or countries where there is no J sound, they use a mix of the, like, D and X sound to make the J of like D-John basically. It's like Di-jon. Um and so there's the like sh sound of the X, like, letter and the duh sound of D and so they usually translate my name in such a way that--I can sort of read the Cyrillic alphabet--but I always read it as, like, this book was by Di-jon Green.

H: Hahaha

J: Um and I think we're running up against a similar problem, which is that the Latin alphabet has no way of saying as per euge, which, I'm almost gonna suggest, Sydney, that even though it's gonna make you feel like an old fuddy-duddy, that you just spell out the word usual because I don't think there's any way that we can get to euge with our alphabet.

H: What--what about--what about the o with the umlaut?

J: Oh.

H: Like Y-Ö-J-E?

J: Oh, that's brilliant. Wait, what are you--how are you spelling it?

H: Y-Ü-J-E.

J: J-E, with an umlaut, as per yüje. No, that's still juh. But maybe--

H: That's still yüje.

J: Yor countries where there is no J sound, they use a mix of the, like, D and X sound to make the J of like D-John basically. It's like Di-jon. Um and so there's the like sh sound of the X, like, letter and the duh sound of D and so they usually translate my name in such a way that--I can sort of read the Cyrillic alphabet--but I always read it as, like, this book was by Di-jon Green.

H: Hahaha

J: Um and I think we're running up against a similar problem, which is that the Latin alphabet has no way of saying as per euge, which, I'm almost gonna suggest, Sydney, that even though it's gonna make you feel like an old fuddy-duddy, that you just spell out the word usual because I don't think there's any way that we can get to euge with our alphabet.

H: What--what about--what about the o with the umlaut?

J: Oh.

H: Like Y-Ö-J-E?

J: Oh, that's brilliant. Wait, what are you--how are you spelling it?

H: Y-Ü-J-E.

J: J-E, with an umlaut, as per yüje. No, that's still juh. But maybe--

H: That's still yüje.

J: Y-Ü-S-H-E

H: BUt like a /luge/, 'cause what I'm hearing is--

J: Yüshe

H: I can't type an umlauted u, apparently. I don't know how to do that on my keyboard.

J: You're gonna--Sydney, we've figured it out but it does involve an umlaut and I don't know if that's on your iPhone keyboard, but, um, I would go with as per yüshe. I don't know why I assume, by the way, Sydney has an iPhone and types with an iPhone. It's like I feel like I know her, although I don't. Um, but as per yüshe with an umlaut is the way.

H: Yeah

J: That's the way.

H: Maybe just Ü-J-E.

J: Oh, that's good. Ü-J-E. That's simple; it's fewer letters than usual. It also-- It's as per üje. No, I don't like the J. I'm gonna stick with Y-Ü-S-H... maybe S-H-E.

H: Haha. Well, it's possible

 (22:00) to (24:00)

that we've spent enough time talking about this John.

J: Well, I almost feel as like we should start a spin off podcast, um..[H: laughing] where

Both: laughing
J: Where we just decide upon new spellings for abbreviations--

H: I'm into it!

J: laughs Or how to pronounce things like, Hank, do you ever wonder how to like.. remember back in the day..when instead of saying "B-R-B" if someone was gonna be gone for a while from the internet they would write "A-F-K?"

H: Mm-hmm, sure

J: Away from keyboard?

H: Yup

J: I always used to pronounce that in my head as "aff-kuh,"

H: Sure!

J: But I've never known how to pronounce "B-R-B," ya know?

H: Burb!

J:Ya know, is it "burb?"

H: Sure!

J: Is it "brub?"

H: Burb

J: Burb?

H: That's, a that's - that makes sense. It's interesting when we look at words that don't have vowels, the noise that we put in--I talked to a linguist about this one tim--it was this sort of-like-what we call a - like - a "neutral" vowel sound? I don't know if we call it that, but, in English, it's sort of a U sound, like "uh," and like "burb," -buh, -buh. - uh - and actually, if you listen to English... very systematically, that's most of the noises we make, are these "uh" noises and we don't even think about it, but like, if I just said "about," that's an A, but, in fact, I just said "uh--bout."

J:  Right

H: Uh, and it's a like more of a U noise than an A noise. Who knows why and how linguists figure this stuff out, but I was fascinated to talk about it. And that, is a REALLY GREAT STORY I TOLD!

J: That was a really great story, but it wasn't as good as the twelve minutes [H: laughs] that we spent analyzing [H: Dude,] how to write "as per euge,"

H: Oh, yeah! ..I feel, I feel like we're--we're at a low questions per episode right now.

J: laughing while speaking Yeah, we haven't - this has not been our best work. Uh, today's podcast is brought to you by Our Best Work, you didn't get it today.

H: Today's podcast is also brought to you by Stacy's mom! Uh, she [J: laughs] has a - a purple tank!

 (24:00) to (26:00)

J: and she also has it goin' on. - It's easy to forget that Stacy's mom has it goin' on because they only remind you about it sixteen times over the course of the song.

H: Well, I mean, but,

J: But she does.

H: It's important to tell you because you're so distracted by her purple tank!

J: It's true! I mean it's weird because like, why do you really wanna hang out with Stacy's mom? Is it because you think that she's beautiful? Or is it because you you wish to acquire this purple tank that she's drivin' around in? Who knows? 

H: Or maybe just to spend a little time in it.

J: This podcast is also brought to you by the western brown line L-stop in the city of Chicago containing all of the world's dead pigeons.

H: And finally, today's podcast is brought to you by the noise, "uh." The noise, "uh!" It sounds like a U noise, but it's really just everywhere and everything we say all the time. "Uh!"


H: I wanna a story about Katherine one time.

Katherine: laughs
H: Can I tell a story about you?

K: Yes,

H: You know what I'm gonna tell?

K: Yes, yes.

H: Aw, man, so Katherine did an internship at - at

K: Doesn't matter

H: At a wildlife rehab place and she was living in a dorm, basically, with a bunch of other people and, uh, there's this guy in the dorm that Katherine really didn't like. He was really annoying and he was difficult and he was mean and--

K: I can't even really remember the specifics--

H: I agree, like I met him and I also really did not--

K: Of why I disliked him.

H: But yes. He was not a-- He was unpleasant person and he was very--

K: I try not to think about him, you know. It's not a thing I really want to maintain a memory of.

H: And I was visiting Katherine at this dorm and she admitted to me that she would--

K: *quiet laughter*

H: when no one was looking squeeze his fruit. 

K: Go into the shared kitchen area and I would just, like, squeeze all his pears so that they would get brown spots. 

H: *enthusiastic laughter* That's awful! So bad, I mean, you never want to get there with a person. 

 (26:00) to (28:00)

K: I wasn't in a good place.

H: To fruit-squeezing!

K: It was a very stressful time in my life.

H: *with hand over mouth* I know, I know, I know. You're not proud.

K: Anyway-- but it was, yeah-- it wasn't a--I'm so--I'm so very passive--

H: *laughs*

K: Agressive

H: Yeah.

K: Ah, a lot of door-slamming in my life.

H: Mhmm. Yep. Yeah, and it's just important to keep those lines of communication open so that we don't get to fruit-squeezy place.

K: Yeah well-- Yeah, but I didn't care about maintaining a relationship with this person so--

H: Yeah.

K: It's not like I was gonna have a conversation with him about his dirty things everywhere and just stop being a terrible person.

H: Yeah.

K: Um, anyway.

H: One of the--

K: Communal living is a challenge.

H: Yes, communal living is a huge challenge.

K: Boy, is it. I'm glad I only have to do that with one other person.


J: Even then is like, okay well then, then we'll just keep talking.

H: Excellent. Um-- OH MY GOD, IT'S BURNING!

J: Hahahaha.


J: So you do have a-- You do have an email style, but you don't have a sign-off like "Shazam!"

H: Right, right.

J: I'm not saying it should be shazam. I'm just saying that is an email sign-off. The other one that-- So, I have a friend who always writes yours--yrs,--return return and then their name, which I've always kinda liked, like it's sort of old-fashioned and weird and very specific and then I have another friend who I shall not name, but is an extremely famous and successful author who always signs off their emails "Until anon."

H: Oh wow. Every time?

J: Until anon... and I don't really know what that means. 

H: What if it was like a-- What if it was like a cutesy, fun thing, like "Pumpkins and penguins, Hank?"

J: Oh man, pumpkins and penguins. Uh, I mean, it's kinda cutesy but like

 (28:00) to (30:00)

J: When you're emailing the CEO of YouTube, do you really want to end it with pumpkins and penguins?

H: Yes.

J: Hey, Susan Wojcicki, Hank Green here. Hope all's well. Just a couple quick notes on the YouTube demonetization crisis. Pumpkins and penguins, Hank. 

H: *laughter* I like it. I'm going with it.

J: I think it's a terrible idea and it could literally kill our business.

H: I, uh, which leads me to--I almost forgot about our sponsor this week, which is, of course, Pumpkins and Penguins Association of America.

J: Yeah.

H: Pumpkins and penguins--they don't have a ton to do with each other, but we formed this organization for efficiency's sake to advocate upon oth of their behalves

J: I mean, what are, like--what are the shared issues of pumpkins and penguins? I guess they're both concerned about climate change, like all species.

H: Yeah, sure, uh-huh. Yeah, they don't--Mmm, not really much. It's like a raven and a writing desk kinda situation here.

J: All right, Hank, I've got something that pumpkins and penguins have in common. They both waddle, like pumpkins don't actually waddle, but you can tell that they would if they had feet. 

H: If you give them a little shove, they'll wobble at least, which is like waddling.

J: Right, so, like the Penguins and Pumpkins Association of America is standing up for, you know, organisms' rights to waddle.

H: Mhmm mhmm and they both are composed of flesh. They have flesh inside of them, so the Pumpkins and Penguins Association of America is pro-flesh and the preservation of flesh. Yes.

J: Strongly pro-flesh, and, like, not having your flesh scooped out from the inside so that you become a hollow corpse with a light inside of it. Like, that's another big issue for both penguins and pumpkins.

H: You know, honestly, I have to say, though, that's probably the only thing keeping the pumpkin's industry alive so they're probably really pro-scooping out flesh and having a light placed inside where there used to be life.

J: It's pretty vital

 (30:00) to (32:00)

J: to the continuation of the pumpkin as a species since it's such a terrible food.

H: Yeah. Did you know, John, that, like the pumpkin mix that you get at the store to make pumpkin pies with, it isn't even made out of pumpkin because pumpkin isn't that good.

J: Of course not. Pumpkins are disgusting, which, by the way, is another thing that pumpkins and penguins have in common.

H: What?

J: Their flesh is basically inedible.

H: Oh, yeah yeah yeah. Penguin flesh is not good. Did you know, John, that penguin flesh is so rich in fat that you can throw it, like, you can literally have a fire composed of only penguin flesh?

J: Hmm that is--that is disturbing. Let's move on to what else brought us this podcast today.


J: Okay, Hank, let's get to som questions from our listeners. I want to start with what I think kis the most important question we got this week. It's from Pia who wrote, "Dear John and Hank, how do I tell my family that I have secretly learned to play the fiddle?

H: *weird laughter*

J: "I recently saw an amazing folk band and, after their performance, I was inspired to learn to play the fiddle." I'm sorry I can barely read this.

H: What-- I don't know what's funny about that part. I had thought that Pia had already learned to secretly play the fiddle, but it turns out that Pia is planning for a future in which Pia has learned to secretly play the fiddle which is not a current outcome, but a future outcome.

J: Yeah, Pia is putting together a long con, Hank. "However, I predict it will take a while before I'd be comfortable enough to play in front of anyone." That's probably a good point, Pia. I'm also not totally convinced that you're gonna be able to teach yourself the fiddle in silence in secret somewhere, but I wish you luck. "In a few years, should I gather my family in the living room and appear to them, in their shock, playing a jig or should I just approach each member of my family individually and surprise the with their favorite tune. Best wishes, Pia." This is the best idea I've ever heard. This is


 (32:00) to (34:00)

J: an even better idea than flying a spacecraft into the center of Jupiter. 

H: I hope that Pia has a very large home or a garage in the back where it's like, "Pia's spending a lot of time in the garage. What is she doing in there?"

J: "Why does Pia hang out in our sound-proof basement so much?"

H: Uh, yeah, I mean, I think as long as you're going to approach each--I think it's better if you approach each member of the family individually and play them their favorite tune, ideally, arranged specifically for the fiddle. But, in order to do that, you have to make sure that they're not going to communicate to each other that this is already happening and the only way to really make sure that's gonna happen is if you do this individually with each of them at the exact same time.

J: That's a great point.

H: So what I think you have to do is have multiples of yourself also learn to play the fiddle.

J: Yeah, I think when you learn to play the fiddle, all your clones also learn to play the fiddle although I'm not sure on the science of that but, my thought was, I totally agree with you that the first person could potentially spoil it for the last person. So i'm imagining that Pia has like four siblings, two parents, and one grandparent who's living in a nursing home, so what you're going to want to do I think is, first, you're going to want to shock your grandmother. You're going to show up. You're going to have a duffle bag - obviously you can't have a violin case, that would give you away- you've got a duffle bag, you show up, your grandmother's sleeping, uh, and she wakes up and she's like "Oh my god, Pia learned the fiddle." And then, uh, you cut your grandmother's phone line (she doesn't have a cell phone, thank god), so you just cut the phone line in the nursing home so she has no way to get to the outside world. You race-

H: No, no, no, you have to cut the phone line to the whole nursing home so, like, the exterior line that runs through the nursing home.

J: Great Point, because she could use a different phone, I'm sorry Hank, I didn't think of that, great point. So you cut the phone line to the whole nursing home, then you race to your dad's workplace.

 (34:00) to (36:00)

J: He is an... accountant?

H: Yes

J: Nope, nope, nope, he is in the local symphony orchestra, where he plays the violin.

H (laughing): But Pia had to see a band playing fiddle before she was inspired to learn, not from her father but from some randos.

J: Exactly. So she shows up and her father, of course, begins to weep because he's always wanted Pia to learn the violin and, uh, now she's like a fiddle-playing maestro. Presumably. I assume that not only do you learn how to play the fiddle, but you're really, really good. And then you go to your mom's work, she's the accountant,

H: But before she goes to her mom's work she has to burn the orchestra hall home with her dad in it so he doens't tell anyone. 

J: That seems like a terrible plan, he might die! 

H: Well, I mean, he's not gonna tell anybody. 

J: You're– This is a real human being we're talking about, Hank, this isn't fun and games, we're not having a goof, this is for real.

H: Oh, I apologize.

J: All right, Jesus, I mean Pia has a real dad. Who is a real violinist. So then you go to her mom's work, she's the accountant, you play her, like, uh, what is a great accountant song? Like, has there ever been a great fiddle song about an accountant? Is "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" about an accountant? I can't remember.

H: I don't... I don't think so. Y'know, I'm a little bit worried that you've set this goof up and you've built in also four siblings and there's- this is going to be about twenty five minutes long.

J: Oh, just to be clear, this is going to be the rest of the episode of the pod. 

H: I had a bunch of questions I wanted to answer, but I guess we'll get to them next week. 

J: Yeah, I mean, seriously, if we get to them ever. I almost think that we should start a spin-off podcast entirely devoted to Pia's long con. We could call it Pia's long con, which is a pretty good name for a podcast. 

H: That's pretty good. I think you should just write a short story.

J: No, I think, so, with the four siblings you're gonna want to catch them all at the same time, uh,

 (36:00) to (38:00)

J: because you're gonna want to see all their faces as they react to both your fiddle playing and to each other's shock about your fiddle playing. I mean, this is the best idea for a YouTube video I've ever heard of. Pia, you must do this. You must spend years mastering the fiddle, and you must let no one know that you are mastering the fiddle, you must become the greatest fiddle player since that Charlie Daniels Band's song about the devil going down to Georgia, and then you must do this and film it for us.

H: Yeah, I think that the hard part isn't going to be cloning, it's going to be finding something boring enough to tell your family you're doing that they won't express interest in it.

J: Right. Great point.

H: They'll be like "Ugh, Pia has gotten so obsessed with bingo and she's always down at the bingo hall." No one is going to join you at bingo, because, because it's bingo. But maybe they will accept that you've just gotten obsessed with bingo. And it will also explain all the money you're spending on lessons.

J: Well my understanding was that Pia would be a self-taught fiddle player so that even a teacher wouldn't know about this long con. I think you've gotta keep this circle as tight as possible. It should just be, like, Pia, you, me, and everybody who's listening to the podcast. 

H: All right, well, it is a difficult thing to pull off, but I'm looking forward in a few years to hearing how it goes, I'll see you in the YouTube video. If Pia executes, please let us know so that we can send a crew down to film. 

J: Yeah, for real. 

H: I've got another question John, is that okay with you? 

J: Yeah, I guess we can move on. 

*time jump noise*

J: This question's from Allison, who writes "Dear John and Hank, on drinking cereal milk. I think it's very important not to be wasteful, I don't like cereal without milk, but I also hate the taste of the milk after my cereal has been in it. I was just wondering, how do I reconcile these two things?"

H: Well, I, one, 

 (38:00) to (40:00)

H: LOVE the taste of my milk after it's had cereal in it, it's far better than the taste of just milk, so I have never had this problem. I am just like, I want, I want as much of that at the bottom of the bowl as possible. But, for you, uh, I have no suggestions.

J: My suggestion would actually be to go ahead and send your cereal milk to Hank because he's extremely enthusiastic about it, Allison. He lives in Missoula, and in my experience, if you just write a letter, or I guess it wouldn't be a letter it would be a sealed package, if you just put it in a ziplock bag there, put it in a box, and write "Hank", uh,

H: Missoula.

J: And then maybe in parentheses "(favorite bridge is the one in Missoula, the pedestrian one)", and then beneath that "Missoula, Montana" and a zip code in Missoula, it'll get to Hank.

H: Yeah. No, no, I think you just write "Hank, Missoula" and it'll find its way to me. But I would suggest actually that you just put it in the ziplock and then write on the ziplock "Hank, Missoula" and then just put it in your mailbox and it'll get to me.

J: No, you're going to have to put some stamps on there. Listen, the United States Postal Service doesn't work for free. 

H: No, no, it's all about saving milk, John. They understand that when it's about efficiency they can go the extra mile. 

J: No, I feel like the carbon footprint of that milk would be much higher than just throwing away the milk, actually. Allison, the right thing to do in this situation is to throw away the milk. 

H: I think probably John is correct. I, uh, or, or you find a friend who really enjoys cereal milk. 

J (laughing): Have that friend come over to your house and drink your cereal milk. Which is so much more intimate than anything that you can do, like, it's the most horrifyingly intimate thing, I wouldn't even drink the cereal milk of my children. Hank, can I make a terrible confession to you that you already know about?

H: Sure, yes.

J: So I do not like milk in my cereal, and one day, I would say maybe three or four years in to our marriage, I had a bowl of raisin bran and I did what I always do which is I went over to the refrigerator and I stuck the bowl of raisin bran up against the water thing 

 (40:00) to (42:00)

J: Um, so that water would come out of it and then it would water my Raisin Bran, which is how I like to eat my Raisin Bran.

H: WHAT? I do not know this about you, that is disgusting!!

J: And my wife, I mean, you know, we were married- we didn't have children yet so she still could have gotten out of it- my wife, I mean, she's never looked at me before like that, with just pure disgust. And I have to say, I think that eating your cereal with water is the best way to eat it. You don't add calories, 

H: Oh my god...

J: You don't unnecessarily use an animal product, and you get all the sogginess and crunchiness of a good wet cereal!

H: Oh my... Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my, oh my god John! 

J: It's delicious, you should try it. 

H: Oh my god! 

J: You don't know! You've never tried it, it's great!

H I haven't! I just, it just seems inhuman, it seems not of this world. If you told me that a space alien put water on their cereal I'd be like "Okay, I guess." But a human being on the planet earth... 

J: Oh my god

H: I'll try it. I'll try it tonight when I have my 11:00 bowl of frosted mini wheats, I'll put some water on there and waste some frosted mini wheats for you. Just make them awful and destroy them.

J: Let me know how it tastes on the next episode of Dear Hank and John- in the mean time, I think we have adequately plumbed the depths of Allison's question and it's time to answer a new one.

*time change noise*

H: Except there won't be another question because now we are back in the present, back in 2017. We've been doing this podcast for quite a while now and I've loved it, it's been so much fun, I've had a lot of good times and I'm glad that so many other people enjoy it too, so thank you for listening. I hope that you like this thing and I hope that you enjoy being a part of the Dear Hank and John community. If you want to give us a rating on iTunes or a review or whatever that's called that would be super cool. This podcast  

 (42:00) to (42:30)

is produced and edited by Sam Antonioli. Thank you for doing this cool, fun episode Sam. And thanks to everybody who sent in their suggestions for which bits we should include in this, uh, the special pod. Our theme music, as you know, is from Gunnarolla. If you wanna help support the pod you can do that at You can email us your questions at And as they say in our home town, don't forget to be awesome.