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How do I get in on my neighbor's cranberry bread? How do I live in a very small room? Who's responsible for the divider in a checkout line? And more!

Email us: hankandjohn@gmail.com
patreon.com/dearhankandjohn

 Introdution (00:00)


[Intro music]

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

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

H: It's a comedy podcast about death where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. We haven't talked about death all that much lately, John. How are you? Are you too distracted by things that are not death, that you are not thinking about death as much?

J: Oh, I've been thinking about death a little bit, don't worry about that. But I, uh, as this podcast is airing, um, my new book Turtles All The Way Down comes about tomorrow. It comes out October 10th and, uh, that's a bit of a, uh, y'know it's my first book in 6 years, it has occupied, I would say, the majority of my consciousness over the last couple of weeks and I would say essentially all my consciousness over the last three to five days, so, um, I would love to think about something other than Turtles All The Way Down right now. I will say, Hank, you know this because you were with me, just before we recorded this podcast we did out monthly Patreon live stream http://patreon.com/dearhankandjohn, lest I only shill for one of our products in a thirty second period...

H: [Laughs]

J: Um, we were doing a Patreon live stream and someone came into the live stream and said 'Hey, I'm having a baby today but I didn't want to miss the live stream, just wanted to check in and say hi to everybody!' and upon further investigation, Hank, it turns out this person, Jessica, was actually about to have their first baby.

H: Mhm, in labor. Currently in labor.

J: In labor, at the hospital, laptop open to our live stream. So, uh, that was great because it did, for a moment, make me think about something other than Turtles All The Way Down. Jessica, we wish you well, and we appreciate you bringing new life into this world.

H: If you want to come see us, uh, on the book tour that's beginning tomorrow, uh, bad news is that almost every place is sold out, except for our California dates, which are towards the end of the tour, and Nashville, Tennessee. So, hello Nashville, Tennessee. Are there any other dates that are not sold out John?

J: I think that's it. You can find out more at http://turtlesallthewaydownbook.com. Hank!

H: Yeah?

J: Can I read you a short poem?

H: Okay.

J: This short poem is by Robert Frost. It was sent in by Caroline. I don't know if it's the same Caroline who complained about people singing songs about her name, but, um, regardless, that is a great song by Neil Diamond. Alright, moving on, Dust of Snow by Robert Frost.

"The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued."

Just a nice little short poem about having a crow dust some snow on ya.

H: Thanks, Crows! If you would like to see a crow putting snow on your shoulder on tour... that's not a thing that exists, but we will be in Seattle for PodCon December 9th and 10th! I just feel like we're pushing stuff a lot today, John, so I'm just like: 'Hop on Top!'.

J: Uh, wow! Wow. I mean, I mean, I haven't, I haven't heard something so obviously inserted into a Podcast since you said 'Disco Pants' last episode.

H: [Laughs]


 Question 1 (3:19)


J: Alright Hank, let's move on to some questions from our listeners. This one comes from Catherine who writes:

"Dear John and Hank,
Just bought my ticket for you San Francisco show on Halloween. I'm very excited!"

J: Oh my god, I can't believe that we're still shilling.

H: [Laughs]

J: [Continues reading] "I'm very excited but I have one burning question: should I wear a Halloween costume? I want to be festive, but I don't wanna the only one dressed up. Will you both be dressed up?
Facepaint and Checkered Vans,
Catherine."

H: Checkered Vans?! Oh! The, the, the... shoes! The shoes!

J: The shoes.

H: Checkered Vans. I was like: 'Well that's a weird Halloween costume.' Just gonna paint my face and get in a checkered van! Um, Yes. I will be in costume, but I will be in costume at all the shows for a portion of the show. Ish. Kind of. It's complicated.

J: [Laughing] I mean, Hank, I think there is a 95% chance we are gonna do that bit during rehearsal, and we are both gonna be like...

H: Gonna cut it?

J: This is a horrible mistake.

H: No. I think it's a 5% chance. I think it's a 95% chance that I hit it out of the park. You haven't heard my talk yet.

J: [Laughs] Well, I'm excited to see if this bit works. Um, but yes, Hank will be in costume. I mean, you can hardly get Hank out of costume. Uh, but...

H: I mean, so I just found out that our rehearsal shows have people at them and I'm actually really like, at first this made me like, kind of upset that I was like 'No one told me we were rehearsing in front of people!' But now, I'm excited about it, because if it was me on the stage doing this bit with nobody in the audience, John would think it was terrible. But, I need the audience reaction, 'cause otherwise, otherwise it's gonna get voted down and I'm not gonna be able to do the weirdest idea that I've had so far.

J: I mean, listen, I think it is a great bit. I just don't know if it is one of those, like, there are so many bits in our lives, Hank, when we talk about them they are so, so funny, and then when we actually execute them, we're like: 'Oh man. That was, uh, like, it turned out to be a brother thing. That turned out to be a thing that we both liked because we were raised in the same family.'

H: Mhm

J: Um, I don't think this is gonna be that bit. I agree with, you know what, I, uh, it's gonna be great. To the question, Catherine, I will 100% be in costume on October 31st at our San Francisco show, our Halloween spectacular. I am 100% going to be wearing a hilarious costume, possibly more than one.

H: Oh, wow, that's exciting John! Are, like, are we going to have to stop at the costume store on the way to the show?

J: Correct.

H: Okay.

J: Or maybe people will just give us costumes along the way. We'll see.

H: Who knows what will happen. Uh, and also, yes, please come to our Halloween show in costume. Um, it's, uh, should everybody be a turtle? Is that... should... everybody be, be all turtles?

J: No. I think there should be some turtles. But if everybody's a turtle, then its... Uh, actually it's a pretty good joke if everybody shows up as a Ninja Turtle.

H: [Laughing] If everybody's a turtle. Yeah.

J: It's pretty weird. You know the people at the theatre are gonna be like: 'Well, this is gonna be a weird night.'

H: [Laughs]

J: 'Guess we've got the Ninja Turtles convention in town!'

H: 'We've done some weird Halloween shows before, but not this one!'

J: [Laughing] Alright, let's ask another question.


 Question 2 (6:32)


H: Alright, this one comes from Brendon, who asks:

"Dear Hank and John,
I am a cashier at a nationwide warehouse club..."

H: I, you could just say Costco! It's ok. Or say...

J: It could be Sam's Club.

H: It could be Sam's Club, you're right.

"...and I need a ruling on register etiquette. When one person has their items on the conveyor belt, and another person comes up with their purchases, is it the job of the first or the second person to put the divider up? I cannot recall how many times no one has done it and I start to ring up the next person's items and then I get yelled at!
Your dubious advice is appreciated.
It's Brendon, not Brandon!
Brendon."

J: I have a strong opinion about this. I don't know if you do.

H: I have a pretty strong opinion as well. You go first.

J: When you begin to place your items on the conveyor belt, if there are items in front of you, and you have not put the divider there, you, yourself, the person putting the items on the conveyor belt - I don't want to say that you're a bad person because lots of people aren't bad people that do bad things - but you're doing a bad thing.

H: [Laughs] Yeah, I mean this is, like, the person who's currently check, like it could be, I'm currently checking out, which means that like, maybe I'm currently helping bag, or I'm having a conversation with the cashier, I'm currently interacting with another human. I cannot be held responsible for what's happening on the conveyor! That's no longer my area!

J: That's not my job!

H: I've done my conveyor work!

J: Yeah! No! You put your stuff up there! Yeah!

H: If you put, if the person who is currently checking-out puts the barrier there, that's ok, that's a politeness. That's saying: 'Oh, hey, I see that there's, I have noticed that another person has come up behind me, and I'll put the thing there.' You're allowed to, but it's not your responsibility, and if you don't do that? Why wouldn't you do that! Are you, like, afraid that the thing's gonna bite you? It's not made of swords! It's just a little piece of plastic!

J: It'd be cool if it were made of swords.

H: [Laughs]

J: That would make it a high-stakes game. Then I would love every trip to Costco. 'Cause it'd be like: 'Who's going to put the divider there?' and I'd be like: 'Not me, it's made of swords.'

H: [Laughs]

J: It'd be a great stare-down game. Um...

H: I have, way, way...

J: Regardless, Brendon, the one person whose job it definitely isn't, in my opinion, is yours.

H: Yeah!

J: So, the next time you get yelled at - now I know that the customer is always right and everything - but, the next time you get yelled at, just remember in your heart, we know that the person who's yelling at you is wrong.

H: Absolutely.

J: Also, did you know that Turtles All The Way Down is gonna be available at both Costco and Sam's Club?

H: That is very exciting news. http://PodCon.com, December 9th, and 10th.

J: [Laughing] God, we're unbearable. We don't have a real sponsor this episode, so we're crushing it with, with self-promo!

H: [Laughing] Yep!


 Question 3 (9:11)


J: Oh, god, speaking of which, this next question comes from Grace, who writes:

"Dear John and Hank,

My sister and I both paid for John's book when we ordered it. As the date when it arrives grows nearer, we have started to debate who should get to read it first. She says that she should get..."

J: Wait, I started this question thinking that they'd both ordered a copy, that they'd paid for a copy...

H: [Over the top of John] Us... two... books... they paid together, they shared the cost.

J: ...but it turns out that they must have gone halvsies on one copy. Okay.

H: Yes.

J: [Continues] "She says that she should get to read it first since she is older, and I say that I should get to read it first because she got to read The Fault in Our Stars first. Who should get to read this book first? We are both really excited.

Amazing,
Grace."

H: Ah, good one. Can you just like, ah, read over each other's shoulders and be like: 'Okay, I'm done with the page, you turn, I'll turn, you turn, I'll turn.' That'd be cute.

J: It's cute, but it's not like, the ideal...

H: No.

J: ...situation for reading a book. I feel like this is up to me. I feel like I get to make the call here.

H: Oh, well that's terrible news for the younger sibling.

J: Grace, I've got good news and bad news.

H: [Intakes breath, clears throat.]

J: The bad news is that you're always going to be in the shadow of your older sibling for the rest of your life and nothing you ever do will be as cool as your older sibling.

H: [Laughs] That's good. Good, good brother podcasting times. Continue.

J: The good news is that you get to read Turtles All The Way Down first.

H: Ohhhhhhh!

J: [Laughs]

H: Take it! Alright! John's made the call, made the call on the pod before the book comes out! It's arriving and, uh... Grace, read quickly. Be a kind and thoughtful younger sibling. But, uh... yeah, that is a... I'm the older, I'm the oldest is not a good reason. And if she read TFIOS first? Absolutely. You gotta do it. You gotta, you gotta trade back and forth. Good sibling-ing.

J: That's right. But then, uh, the older sibling gets to read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing first. I'm sorry, we just hadn't mentioned that you also have a new book coming out. I, I realize that there was... it's, it's not even a product that we can promo yet since it's not available for pre-order.

H: Right, right.

J: But there's nothing wrong with a little pre-promo promo.

H: Yeah, you gotta, gotta get excitement going. Also, Pizzamas is coming up, John!

J: [Laughs]

H: http://youtube.com/vlogbrothers We'll be making a video every single day for two weeks. Uh, every weekday. While we're on tour for some of it, and selling some pretty truly remarkable Pizza John products! I will not lie, I just saw one of them that we got and it made me giggle like a little tiny boy. I giggled like a baby getting tickle on his neck! Uh, it was great. I can't wait for everyone to find out about it.


 Question 4 (11:51)


J: Alright Hank, let's answer another question from our listeners. Uh, this one comes from E, who writes:

"Dear John and Hank,

I'm about to start university and move out for the first time. I'm really excited, but I recently found out that my room is gonna be very small. Thank god that I'm only 5'1"! I don't want to let this spoil my first year, so I was wondering if either of you guys have any tips, advice or experience for living in a very small room.

Thanks,
E."

H: Uh, you gotta watch that Househunters: Tiny Houses. Tiny House Hunters International, or whatever it's called. You know, the like, 'Oh look, it's so great, people are paying extra to live in tiny places now. It's the hip cool thing!'

J: I, I, I think a tiny house is a great idea. So, Hank, I actually have some life experience on this subject, because, as you may know, I lived for two years in a walk-in closet in Chicago. It was a three bed-roomed apartment, and I had three roommates and my buddies and I drew straws in a competition that I still believe was not, completely speaking, fair, and...

H: [Laughs]

J: ...I got the short straw, and I lived in a walk-in closet with no window uh, for, for two years. Here is my advice: First off, you've gotta, you gotta use the height of your room. So if you got like an 8-foot ceiling, you've gotta remember it's not just the, like, 8-feet by 4-feet that you have to sleep on, you essentially have, like, 5 levels of 8-feet by 4-feet. So in a way - I'm not a mathematician - but it's...

H: Mmm!

J: ...like a 32-foot by 20-foot room, it's just broken up into 5 different levels.

H: Vertical slices.

J: And so use those levels wisely.

H: Yeah.

J: Um, I, I, actually, I still sometimes like to sleep underneath my clothes. And just look up at them. There's something kinda comforting about it. Uh...

H: What, do you mean like, just like, you just like pile your laundry on your body? What's happening?

J: No... I just mean like, I'll just like, go lie down in the... I mean, this is a little weird, but, sometimes when I feel really overwhelmed by the amount of stimulus that's coming into my life, which, heh, I have a little bit, just a tiny bit the last, the last, last few weeks, sometimes I just go into my closet, and I just put my pillow down there, and I just look up at my clothes, and I just take some deep breaths and I think, y'know, this is probably the safest room in your house right now.

H: [Laughs] I mean, I would say that you're the weirdest man on Earth, but I also feel very very good inside of a closet, and will... Ever since I was a kid, will, will close myself inside of a closet sometimes. I do not know... I did not know that you do that and I would not have admitted, admitted out loud that I did that unless you had done it first, but I do occasionally like to just lie down inside of a closet.

J: Alright, there you go!

H: And have, and have since, I built, I built like a place, like a separate closet inside my closet that I would go in when I was a child, and it was not a big closet!

J: No, I remember your childhood closet, it was actually quite small.

H: Yeah, I built it out of Omagle, I built a closet in my closet and I would go and lie in there...

J: Oh my God, Omagle!

H: [Laughs]

J: Holy snood! You just took me all the way back.

H: [Laughs]

J: Oh my God, Omagle! Nobody, nobody - I mean this, talk about a podcast that, uh, is not going to interest anyone other than us. Everybody thinks that Omagle is an app where you talk to weird strangers. But no!

H: Right.

J: Omagle was a thing. It was a physical thing that you used to create goods.

H: Mhm, yeah. Yeah, and I cannot, I can not find it on the internet. It is, just, like...

J: I can't - Hank! We have to find a picture of it to show people on the Patreon because Omagle - was it called Omagle?

H: I think so! There it is!

J: Omagle construction...

H: Omagles! Omagles: The "Build Anything" Toy. Omagles.

J: Oh my God.

H: So if I type in Omagles it will be better than Omagle? Nope. Uh, there's one. There's that, there's that... Yep, that's the stuff. That's the stuff.

J: That's it! That's it! That's it! Oh, it's Omagle with an A. Oh!

H: Oh- Mag - Ulls.

J: Hank, remember, we used to build, we used to build, uh, we use build like cars together, that you could...

H: Yeah!

J: ...actually ride on.

H: Do they not make Omagles anymore?

J: I mean, I'll tell you one thing: they're about to because I'm about to apply all of my available resources to the resuscitation of Omagles.

H: I'll tell you what, they do not! You can buy old, gross, dirty looking Omagle pieces on, on, uh, eBay. But not, not available, uh, in, in its original form.

J: For a little bit of context of how awesome Omagles are; there is a lot of 162 Omagle pieces available on eBay right now, and I would like to describe the, um, the... it, it's for sale for $230 and I would like to share with you the description: "160 pieces, used and incomplete. Most pieces have evidence of usage." And it's still $230! And also, I am about to buy it.

H: Uh, I don't know John, why don't we just buy the Omagles brand?

J: [Gasp] Hank! Hank!

H: What?

J: Hank!

H: What!?

J: We have to get out of all of these stupid businesses that we've been in!

H: [Laughs]

J: That have been taking' up so much of our time!

H: Yeah, just, just, tryin' to, tryin' to sell weird tickets to weird shows, selling books -

J: Why...

H: - and t-shirts, we could be Omagle-ing!

J: Why are you doing a Podcast conference!? Why do we sell items every November with my face on them with a mustache that says 'Pizza' below them when we could be in Omagles business!. Oh, my God, I cannot believe I forgot about Omagles until just now! I haven't felt this way, Hank, since I was seven years old.

H: [Laughs]

J: We have to buy, we have to buy Omagles, we have to build them, we have to bring them back.

H: Uhhh, well, I don't know who owns Omagles, John. Honestly, it can't be that con-, it can't be that patented. It's just tubes! Couple of tubes.

J: "It can't be that patented." One thing that might hurt our ability to, uh, defend ourselves in a trademark litigation of the future...

H: [Laughs] Yes.

J: Is when we say, like, 'Oh no! I just thought we were building our own, uh, "Build Anything" toy!

H: Yeah! It's just a, just a fresh idea! Yeah!

J: People can be, the Omagles people can be like 'I'd like to point you to the podcast where you screamed, loudly, 'Hank, we have to drop everything and start building Omagles!'

H: I think it's owned by Hasbro, John, which is not great. Not a great outcome.

J: Oh, no, I got a buddy there.

H: Oh yeah?

J: No but I do have, uh, I do have a Twitter, and I've got a verified account, and I'm adding Hasbro right now. @Hasbro "Hey guys..."

H: 'I wanna your new Omagles ambassador, all I need is 50, 50%.'

J: "What's... the... current Omagles situation? I would like to bring back Omagles. Will do whatever necessary." Within reason, weirdos.

H: [Laughs] How many-

J: Kay...

H: Do you, are you at 280 characters yet? Because that was a long one.

J: I don't, I don't have 280 characters yet, but I did just Tweet, uh, Hasbro; "Hey Guys. What's the current Omagles situation? I would like to bring back Omagles. Will do whatever necessary." I decided to cut the 'within reason' part, because, actually, I will do whatever is necessary.

H: [Laughs] Alright.

J: I know my enemies are going to say that this is a fool's errand, but you have never played with Omagles! Omagles are amazing!

H: Oh yeah. Oh man. I don't know...

J: [Sighs]

H: Kids today. Kids these days got Minecraft. They're just building stuff in the, uh, in the, in ether space. Now...

J: But Hank, you could build a chair, and then you could build a desk on which you could do your actual homework.

H: It's true. I mean why would you, why'd you have any furniture at all?

J: It was Minecraft, but IRL. You don't think, you don't think kids these days want real life Minecraft? Of course, they do!

H: Oh my God, are there advertisements for Omagles on Youtube? Because I wanna watch them.

J: Oh, uh, you know what, we're canceling the podcast and Hank and I are just gonna watch... Y'know, like, my kids are always watching unbox- toy unboxing videos which I totally don't get, except now suddenly I do get it because I realize I could maybe watch an Omagles... oh boy, actually, when you Google Omagles all you get is really upset... Oh! There's one, there's one, there's one. I found an Omagles video, Hank. Um...

H: Yeah, I got... Yep. I'm watching. Watching one right now.

J: Oh, we're watching it together. Oh, this is... it's funny, this is not good.

H: [Laughs]

J: This is not a good Youtube Video. This is a very bad video.

H: Well, most of them are pretty bad.

J: Um, but what I like about this video is that it is obviously as excited about Omagles as we are. What I dislike about this video is literally everything else.

H: [Chuckles] Alright, John, do you wanna answer another question or do you just want to go Omagles all day?

J: Well, the answer to your question, Hank, is that I want to keep talking about Omagles but, I recognize since we are the only two people listening to this podcast who know what Omagles are that we should perhaps move on.

H: Maybe maybe.

J: What was the question? [Laughs]

H: Oh! Was there a question? It was about...

J: No, there wasn't.

H: Closets!? [Laughs]


 Question 5 (20:36)


J: Ah, this question comes from Julia who writes:

"Dear John and Hank,
About three months ago I started to think about studying abroad in England. I'd really really love to do it...."

J: And no wonder, Julia because it is your best opportunity to see AFC Wimbledon live in person.

"...but my question is; how do I ask my parents without it sounding like, 'I hate you and don't want to see you for the next few months. Oh, and please pay a lot of money for that.'?

Only death is free,
Julia."

H: Oooh! My goodness, gracious. Erm...

J: It's not even true. Death is actually very expensive.

H: Yeah. Well, also, there... there are some free things.

J: Are there, Hank?

H: I mean, air. We don't technically pay for it.

J: Mmm, in a capitalist economy anything can be valued.

H: Oh, certainly it can be valued, but it is currently free. (?~21:20)