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How can I avoid having to dress up for Halloween? What do you do when your friends make fun of your friend? How do I artfully display my rib? And more! Email us:

 Intro (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 where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, talk about death and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, what did the pirate say when he turned 80?

J: What did the pirate say when he turned 80?

H [in pirate voice]: Ayy matey!

J: [laughs] Oh god! Terrible!

[H laughs]

J: It's terrible! I do have some wonderful news for you this week, it's sad but it's still really wonderful.

H: Ok.

J: Hank, it's out of Kentucky. I'm just gonna read you the headline from the associated press: ”Kentucky town mourns its first female mayor, Lucy Lou, a dog”.

[H laughs]

H: That's very sad! But also not!

J: "Dateline Rabbithash, Kentucky," you heard that correctly, "Rabbithash, Kentucky. The town of Rabbithash, Kentucky is known for a string of highly esteemed mayors, one of whom died this week. She was twelve and a dog."

[Both laugh]

H: Yeah, cause if it wasn't a dog, that would be a very different story!

J: [laughs] "She was twelve and a dog"!

H: Umm, "She was twelve and a dog", I mean, good on Rabbithash, though maybe the first female mayor should have been a human being...

J: Uhh... well maybe, but to be fair, Lucy Lou was Rabbithash's third dog mayor, so they've had good luck with dog mayors in the past, I guess--

H: True.

J:--And "By all accounts, Lucy Lou was a wonderful mayor and she will be sorely missed, not just by her family but also by the larger community of Rabbithash." But don't worry, I'm sure that they will elect a new dog mayor soon. 

H: Well, in small communities, people are busy and the people who take the yoke of public servanthood aren't always the ones that you want to actually do that job.

J: I would argue that's also the case for larger communities.

H: [laughs] Just led by dogs! Not only should dogs vote, dogs should also vote for dogs!

[J laughs]

 First Question (02:25

J: Alright Hank, before we get too political, let's answer some questions from our listeners. This first one comes from Liza who writes:

"Dear John and Hank,
I don't smoke but most of my friends at college do. I always turn down cigarettes when they offer them to me, but now I've started an internship where most of my colleagues also smoke. I usually go outside with them while they smoke so I can keep chatting with them, but my boss keeps offering me cigarettes. I've said multiple times that I'm not a smoker and I don't wanna become one but she keeps asking if I want one. How do I not give into peer pressure when it comes to my new boss? Probably breathing in second hand smoke right now,

J: Liza, where do you work, in 1962? 

H: [laughs] I don't-- I don't understand. Uh, this is-- are you sure they're not vaping?

[J laughs]

J: Yeah, I mean, have you checked to see if these are in fact JUULs?

[H laughs]

H: Uhhh... Yeah, I am shocked that you are having this particular problem in this particular year. It's not not a problem. It is a problem and it's frustrating, and... Honestly, if I were you I wouldn't go out to breathe that second hand smoke, I would just get some extra e-mails written. But then you wouldn't get all that good socializing time with your boss and everybody knows that chatting up your boss is important. So I don't know, like, this is literally why people who don't want to smoke end up smoking and addicted to cigarettes. So you are in the situation right now, like, this happens to people, and it's happening to you, and I don't want it to happen to you.

J: Yeah, Liza, I would just say like: ”Of course I don't wanna smoke.”

[H laughs]

J: Like, ”Of course I don't want a cigarette. Have you seen the news?“

[H laughs]

H: “Have you seen the sign behind the cigarettes? And on the side of the cigarettes? And the picture on the back of the cigarettes?"

J: [laughs] Right, right! Yeah, actually, that's maybe what I would do. Next time your boss offers you a cigarette, you should pick up the pack and say “Maybe I'll have a cigarette-- Oh wait, no, the Surgeon General is warning me that this is a bad idea right here on the package!”

J: Hank, we need to move on, because even though I quit smoking seventeen years ago talking about it makes me think about smoking. So let's just go-- let's move on.

[H laughs]

 Second Question (4:39)

H: This next question comes from Meghan who asks:
"Dear Hank and John, we have magnifying mirrors that make things bigger and funhouse mirrors that do all kinds of crazy things. Why don't we have prescription mirrors? Surely they just have to cut the glass like they do for eyeglasses. I just want to be able to fit my make-up brush between my face and the mirror and be able to see.
Sin-SEE-rely, Meghan".
Good try, good try.

J: Hank, why can't we do this? I assume there's a reason.

H: Well, I think we can actually, it's just that it would be expensive and you'd have to do it for each individual person so nobody's ever thought of it. I think Meghan may have invented something.

J: Meghan, you have your first Hank-thinks-it's-a-million-dollar-idea-200-dollar-idea.

[H laughs]

H: I don't know. There may be limitations to this technology that I don't know, you would have to be the same distance from the mirror at all times, but like, if Meghan chooses a distance that she prefers to do her make-up at, then we would be able to create that focal length and-- I think-- have it be in focus for her. I don't know if that is necessarily true because I'm not an optics expert but I think that it would work, maybe it would just magnify it. Now I'm second-guessing myself.

J: Yeah, I'm not sure it would work in reflection--

H: John, I just wanted to let you know that there is a US patent on a prescription mirror.

J: Oh!

H: It is a thing that exists, it was patented in 1999 so it's not that recent of a thing and it was by Leon Goldstein and Arthur Dorf, so congratulations to them on their patent, no idea if that is a thing that has gotten used yet. It looks very fancy.

J: You wanna know something interesting about the guy who invented that?

H: Sure, John.

J: I mean, prepare to be really, really surprised.

H: [laughs] Ok.

J: I have met him.

H: Really?! Which one?

J: Dr. Dorf.

H: [laughs] Tell me about Dr. Dorf!

J: I met him when I was having all kinds of weird eye problems that turned out to be orbital cellulitis.

H: Oh, he has a bunch of patents.

J: Well, there you go. He seemed like a nice guy.

H: He knows a lot about eyes. So that's who you should talk to. Right--

J: Call Dr. Dorf.

H: That's the new podcast: "Call Dr. Dorf!"

J: Oh my God, what a great podcast idea. Does Dr. Dorf have a podcast? Or is he just wasting his life saving people's eyesight?
H: I love it though. I mean, if you have a name like Dr. Dorf, you can't not have a podcast. It's the rules.

J: The answer is he does not have a podcast.

H: Did you look it up?

J: Yeah.

H: Did you check? Of course he does not have a podcast. He's a 68 year old optician.

J: He's an ophthalmologist. And also now that I've seen a picture of him, I don't think I saw him. I think I might have seen one of his colleagues. Anyway--

[H laughs]

J: So there you have it. It has been invented. It's just not necessarily commercially available yet.

H: Correct. It turns out that it was a good idea, but not good enough.

J: Hank, I wish you were able to say that to yourself more often.

 Third Question (7:46)

J: This next question comes from Wesley who writes,

"Dear John and Hank, I've struggled with confidence issues for a while now. When I was an undergraduate, I didn't want to switch my major because I felt like I wasn't smart enough, but I did well when I did switch my major and after that, it took a while to convince myself to go to graduate school, but I did and I did well. Now I'm trying to get into medical school, but I still struggle with feeling like I don't actually have what it takes. Maybe I feel less physically anxious when I try new things now, but that nagging insecurity is still there. Do people ever really feel confident? Or does everyone just try to do things anyway and see if they work out?

H: In my experience, and of course, this is different for every person, you end up feeling confident at something after you do it for a pretty long time, so going into medical school is not a time in which I think most people will feel confident. They will feel confused and scared and not sure if they will be able to do this thing that many people end up not being able to do and dropping out of and so, like, that's normal. And I think that people who go in feeling confident are just as likely to drop out as people who go in feeling like they're not sure.

J: Yeah, Wesley, here's what I would say. I do not want a medical student who is brimming with confidence.

H: [laughs] Yeah!

J: I don't even want a new doctor who's brimming with confidence. I want you to be terrified.
H: [laughs] I mean, not if you're cutting me open with a scalpel. Like, I don't want you to be, like, too on the edge of terror. But yeah, I want to live. And so I want you to care about whether I live.

J: Right.
H: Because I don't want to die.

J: I want Wesley to think at least six times: "Is this the correct medication to prescribe to this patient? On the first day I've ever prescribed medicine?"

H: [laughs] Yeah.
Which is almost definitely the case. It seems like you've got a great mentality for being a doctor. Overconfidence is overrated.

J: [laughs] Yes. Yes! It might be the most overrated virtue of the 21st century. Like, it can get you elected president, but it doesn't make you good at being president.

H: [laughs] That's a good example, John.

J: Thanks.

 Fourth Question (10:04)

H: All right. Well, before this becomes a political podcast, which would be a disaster, we're going to move to our next question from Jamie who asks,
"Dear Hank and John,
So in my family--"
Uh oh, it's still gonna be political. John, I forgot about this question. "So in my family, we share two cars among three drivers. Most of the time my mom drives the minivan and I drive the Camry. Can I take my parents' window stickers off the back windshield? It's just that we have different opinions about the organization those windows stickers are supporting. And I don't want to be advertising for an organization I don't like. Do I just put up with it like you would put up with a roommate's MK Dons poster - reprehensible, but still their property - or do I get some say because I'm the one the person behind me in traffic is actually making assumptions about?
Not a Lannister or a Fraser,
Is there a Jamie Fraser? I don't know who that is.

J: Oh, yes, the hot hunk of love in the Outlander series.

[H laughs]

J: Oh God, Jamie Fraser, whoo doggie.
What were we talking about?

H: We're talking about bumper stickers, John. I, yeah. Well, I talked about this one with Katherine and she was like, it's not your car. You can't do anything to it, it's not your property. But then this is a great point at the end, because I do think things about people based on their bumper stickers, and I wouldn't want someone to think something about me that I don't believe. It's like-

J: Well, it's not a bumper sticker. It's a thing in the window that you can take off and then put back on-

H: Yeah, that's my question. If it's removable and replaceable, they don't even have to know. Just do it.

J: Right.

H: And if it's a bumper sticker, maybe you could just put a little sign up that covers it or that says, like, my mom likes this organization.

J: Totally. (laughs) You get a second bumper sticker with an arrow that says, "My mom likes this, but I totally disagree".

H: [laughs] Then you just put it on the moment you leave, like, you pull out of the driveway, stop half a block away, put it on. And then when you come home, you take it off.

J: Or you could just get another bumper sticker that says "There is a diversity of opinions among the people who drive this car."

[H laughs]

H: John, John, we need to make that bumper sticker!

J: [laughs] That's actually a really-- Wait, Hank, I just accidentally had a million dollar idea.
"There is a diversity of opinions among people who drive this car" bumper sticker is now available at Right now I'm making it available for pre-order before the pod goes up.
H: Okay, it's there. Because of course that's true. I mean, I guess maybe most cars aren't driven by multiple people. But in my household that is definitely true. And there's a diversity of opinions in my household. Orin for example thinks that Woody Guthrie's car song is the only song.
J: [laughs] It is a pretty good song. I mean, Orin has better taste than my kids.

H: (laughs) He loves that song.

J: Yeah. Yeah, no, I think that is probably a good solution. I was thinking, what would I do if my roommate had an MK Dons poster? And the answer is that on my side of the room, I would be like, "there is a diversity of opinions in this room about whether or not to support a franchise that stole their league plays from another team."
Anyway, I think this is a good solution. I think we've solved the problem for once.

H: For once! We did it!

 Fifth Question (13:39)

J: Alright, Hank, this next question comes from Martha who writes,

"Dear John and Hank, what do you do when people you're friends with keep making fun of someone else you're friends with?
High school sucks,

H: I don't know, like, that's gonna depend on who you are. And not doing anything about that is definitely an option. Like, if you don't want to cause any ruckus in your friend group, that is an option.
But I think it also, like, you could do the thing where you tell your friends that you like that person and you don't really get why they're being mean to them. And maybe there is a way for them to realize that what they're doing isn't nice and is cruel and you don't think that it's funny or fun and it is making you think less of them, not more of them. Maybe that's feedback that they can incorporate and it won't disrupt that dynamic too much.
Also, maybe it does disrupt the dynamics so much that it doesn't feel like a comfortable friend group for you anymore. And maybe that's because these aren't the people that you're supposed to be friends with.

J: Yeah, the only thing I'd add to that is that sometimes you don't feel safe to say those things and if you don't feel safe to say those things, I understand, but I also think that, you know, the person who's being made fun of and who probably feels and is extremely vulnerable-- If you can represent that person and represent their personhood to your group of friends, it might help them to see that the person that they're making fun of is not an idea or an object, but is instead an individual human who has, you know, feelings and worries and fears and vulnerabilities just like anybody else.

H: Yeah, and I mean, this is such a hard time of life when we're trying to define ourselves and and oftentimes define ourselves in opposition to other people or to, like, in high school times, but also other times we're all suffering from feeling insecure and not valuable and trying to push down someone else to make us feel bigger. To try and shrink down the size of someone else to make us look bigger in comparison is a way that we do that, but it's the wrong way to do that.
And I think that, you know, realizing that, figuring it out and helping other people figure it out is a really good thing to be doing, if you can, but of course, also sometimes you can't.

J: This reminds me of the Vlogbrothers video I wrote about how people should stop making fun of Kim Kardashian because she's a person and her feelings matter. And I sent it to Hank and Rosianna. And they were like, this is not the hill that you want to die on.

H: [laughs] Well, I think that Kim Kardashian's ego is okay at the moment.
J: I don't know, man--

H: It's true, I don't know.

J: The whole idea that people feel completely comfortable punching up because those people have infinite resources to deal with the fact that you're punching up at them. I just don't buy it. Maybe partly because I've been punched up at but I don't buy it.

 Sixth Question (17:01)

H: All right, John. Enough with the the silly, easy questions.
Let's get a real toughie here: it's from Brian who asks,

"Dear Hank and John,
As Halloween is approaching, I find my anxiety growing stronger. I don't like Halloween, but my office dresses up. I don't want to be that guy and show up to work with no costume and be a buzzkill. But I also don't want to go through the effort to celebrate a holiday I don't care about. Should I quit my job, call in sick, write "book" on my face like Jim Halpert?
Not Ryan, but

J: Oh Brian, I feel you here. I do not like dressing up for Halloween. I'm 41 years old. I'm not in the costume business. I'm not like my brother, prancing around as Dr. Lawrence Turtleman.
I bought the clothes that I bought because I'm comfortable in them and I like wearing them. I don't want to wear them 364 days and then the other day dress up like Woody from Toy Story.

H: John has never had the thought, "Finally I get to be more expressive in my clothing."
J: Yeah, no. (laughs) 
Actually, I didn't even understand that idea until just now when you expressed it to me in language that made sense.

H: Yeah, I think calling in sick is not a terrible idea, you get vacation days, right?

J: I totally agree.

H: Go, like, go do a thing. Go indulge in a thing that you like doing. Whether that's staying home and reading a book or going to the go-kart place and owning all the little 12-year-olds celebrating their birthdays.

J: Some of those 12 year olds you can't compete with because they weigh so much less.

H: [laughs] True, it's a function of acceleration.

J: I was go-karting recently and this absolutely snot-faced 12-year-old passed me in a humiliating fashion then slowed down to let me pass them and then passed me again.

H: He was like, "I liked that. Let's do it again."

J: Yeah.

[H laughs]

J: "I can do this whenever I want, nerd!"
Yeah, Brian go go-karting. That's a great solution. That's a great Halloween tradition.
You just have to build your own Halloween traditions. So, you know, like people who don't celebrate Christmas, sometimes they'll go out for lunch and then watch a movie by themselves or something on Christmas Day, you just got to build your own Halloween tradition so that eventually you will love Halloween. You just won't love it in the way that everyone else loves it. You won't be into the trick-or-treating part of Halloween, you'll have your own Halloween rituals. I think that's a great solution.

H: If Brian doesn't want to do this and does want to go to work, is there a costume that Brian can wear that people see and they're like, "Oh, well done!" but also it's just his normal clothes?

J: No, that's the problem, because all those low effort-
The whole problem with Halloween is that high effort costumes are good and low effort costumes are all bad.

H: Yeah...

J: God, I hate Halloween. Brian, you're stressing me out reminding me that Halloween is coming.
My kids are gonna want me to do something and they're gonna...
"Dad, why don't you dress? Why don't you..."
And then you maybe put on a witch hat and everyone's like, "Oh, that's not a costume, that's just a witch hat!" and you're like, "Well, I don't want to change pants for this event!" One thing you might try, Brian, is going so hard on your Halloween costume that you humiliate everyone else in the office and they just quit Halloween forever.

H: Yeah, could you get one year for there to be a rule that the person who wins the Halloween costume contest gets to decide the future of Halloween costume practices?

J: And the way that I would suggest going super hard for Halloween is, I would suggest going to work as The Rock, you know, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
But instead of getting a muscle suit or whatever, I would just hire Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to go to your work on Halloween-

H: And just wear your clothes--

J: Wear your clothes, and he's just absolutely busting out of them. And he knows enough about your life. He's a good actor. He's a really good actor, actually, so he can just follow along, and he can just make your office believe like, wow, Brian became The Rock for a day and then everyone will be like, Eh, Halloween's no good anymore. Brian's too good at it.

H: [laughs] I love the idea of paying someone to go to your Halloween party for you, just anyone.

J: Oh yeah, that's true! It doesn't have to be The Rock.

H: You can just hire a local actor and to pretend that they're you.

J: Yeah.

H: Yeah! Could you do that every day at work?

J: I don't think so. I think it's an interesting idea--

H: "Look, local actor, I need to pay you to act like you're a database consultant."

J: Wait, Hank, I think we might be onto something. What if you paid a local actor 28,000 dollars a year to do your $32,000 a year job. And then you got 14 jobs,

H: I think, if you got 14 jobs, your main job is just managing.

J: Yeah, right!

H: You're now just a manager.

J: Yeah, that's actually essentially what businesses are, now that I think about it.

H: [laughs] Yeah! Congratulations, John, you've created capitalism.

J: I've created a limited liability corporation.
Brian, I think we've solved your problem now. You're going to have to hire 400 actors to do 400 different jobs for a slightly lower rate of pay than you are being paid to do them. Congratulations on your new business.

 Seventh Question (22:42)

J: Alright, Hank, this next question comes from Allison who writes,

"Dear John and Hank,
 In my high school we watch a lot of Crash Course videos in one of my classes."

Thank your teacher for us, Allison.

"The problem is that my entire school thinks that Hank is actually John."

I don't see the problem.

H: Me neither.

J: [laughs] "I realized this when we watched one one day and a kid in my class asked if Hank was that guy who wrote 'The Fault in Our Stars', and everyone just agreed that he was. I knew that the person in the video was actually Hank, but it was too awkward for me to say anything about it, and I figured it would never come up again. But now when we watch Crash Course videos, my teacher will introduce the Hank ones as being made by John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars. Is it my responsibility as someone who knows who Hank is to tell my class that Hank is not John, or should I just let my school continue to think that Hank and John are the same person? Thanks for the help,

H: Man, I get this a lot.

J: Yeah, me too.

H: People will be like, when is your new book coming out? And I'll be like, well, it's my first book. And they're like, No, it's not. And I'm like, Okay--

J: Yeah, I get it a lot too--

H: That's a weird conversation we're about to have, I'd rather just let you keep believing it.

J: When I met Neil deGrasse Tyson, he very helpfully said to me, "Now, are you the science one or the other one?"

H: [laughs] That's wonderful. I didn't know that! I love that so much and it makes me feel very good.

J: If you happen to come across us in public and you want to say hi, feel free to do so. But if you're trying to guess which one you've got, the best way to ask is, "Are you the science one or are you the other one?"

H: Honestly, nobody gets to be the author of The Fault in Our Stars except John Green. And that's not fair. So why not have two people get to be that?

J: Yeah, no, I agree with you, but not in a way that makes me want to share the royalties.

[H: laughs]

J: Yeah, it doesn't bother either of us, I think. I was at the movies the other day, and somebody walked up to me and pointed at me and said, "Hank Green, right?"
And I was like, ahh, I mean, I'm trying to pee and get back to the movie. But on the other hand, I don't know if I can let this misinformation stand.
And I was like, Ah, no, I'm his brother. And they were like, oh, so sorry. And I was like, it's really not a big deal. And they're like, no, I'm so sorry, like, of course, I know that, it's just--
And I was like, it's really not a big deal.

H:It's not a big deal.

J: It's really not a big deal. I like my brother. It's fine.

H: I walked into a bar one time. Like, you know, it's a bar, it's dark. And a guy at the bar looks over at me and points at me with both fingers and he says,

[J laughs]

H: And I was like, good enough for me.

J: [laughs] Yeah, maybe we--

H: In no way do I look like Vsauce, but ok.

J: Maybe that's what we should do, Hank, maybe we should just accept it no matter what.

 Sponsors and P4A message (25:42)

H: Which reminds me, John, that this podcast is brought to you by Vsauce.
Vsauce: it's real good internet video.

J: Today's podcast is also brought to you by the Surgeon General.
The Surgeon General: I mean, you should not smoke.

H: And this podcast is brought to you by "Ask Dr. Dorf."
Ask Dr. Dorf: a brand new comedy podcast about ophthalmology.

J: And finally today's podcast is brought to you by This Car Contains a Diversity of Opinions, a real bumper sticker that we just invented that is available for pre-order at right now.
Hank, you're not busy. Do you mind designing This Car Contains a Diversity of Opinion bumper stickers?

H: [laughs] I just designed a bunch of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing merch and I was just like, this is what I'm doing. This is, like, my-- like, watching the Great British Bake Off and designing merch. It's fine.

J: That's good.

H: I also think it's weird to design merch for a book that nobody's read yet. But here I am.

J: Well, I like it. I think it's good that you are focusing on something other than the big huge ball of stress in front of you most of which you can do nothing about.

H: Correct. Correct.

J: We also have a Project for Awesome message. D from Texas donated to the Project for Awesome to get us to say this, only part of which I still agree with,

"Donating was a special moment for me. For the last few years I've been fighting to make it. When the journey started to feel Sisyphean, I remembered John's proclamation that over time, the overall size of the pizza gets bigger. So even if your slice is small, you will ultimately get more. Whenever I became disheartened, I clung to "the truth resists simplicity.""

D, thank you for donating to the Project for Awesome, and I'm so happy that you're finally in a position to donate to the Project for Awesome. I will say when I made that video, I was pretty sure that I was right. And I'm not sure that I was right now, because despite the fact that the overall economy has grown quite a lot in the last 20 years, wages have not grown at all. So it seems like there are times at leas,t where wages stay very stagnant even as the economy grows. So, hopefully that is something that will get better in the future, but it's not going to get better unless we do something about it.

 Eigth Question (27:53)

H: All right, John, we got another question. This one comes from Connor who asks,
"Dear Hank and John,
I have been something of a regular at a Starbucks near my home but I'm not sure I can ever go back.
Yesterday when one of the baristas asked me if my cups needed sleeves, I answered that it was already hot out and I didn't think that they would need sleeves. After a pause, she laughed, but it could very easily have been out of pity. How do you return to a place where you've embarrassed yourself by making a terrible dad joke?
Nobody puts baby in the

J: [laughs] You just made another one.

H: Even way worse. What, like-- how do you return to this podcast after that name specific sign-off?

J: Well, this is a great question for Hank because he faces this problem on a weekly basis.

H: [laughs] It's all about being confident in your dad-joke-hood, my friend. You got to be proud of whatever giggle you extract from anyone, even if it's a pity giggle.

J: [laughs] That's it. That is the answer.

 Ninth Question (28:54)

J: This next question comes from Cheyenne who writes,

"Dear John and Hank,
My roommate has a friend who likes to stop by unannounced and things are starting to get out of hand. The last few times she's shown up, my roommate hasn't even been home, but she has to take a bus to get here. So it's weird to turn her away at the door. It's midnight now and I really want to go to bed, but she's still here. She just spent the last hour pouring her heart out to me about how she has trouble making friends because she's incredibly sensitive and is going through some serious health problems, so I feel bad kicking her out.
How should I let her know that it's time to leave without hurting her feelings?"

Whoa, boy, Cheyenne.
Cheyenne, this is a proper problem.
But I have to first tell you a story about a friend of mine who shall remain nameless.
So Cheyenne, my first apartment in Chicago, which I shared with three roommates had a door that was locked and none of us had the key. So we came and went usually through a back window, which sounds weird now, but at the time, you know, we were 22, it didn't seem that weird. I don't know--

H: It must have seemed weird... That's very weird.

J: It didn't feel weird to me.
Anyway, one day I come home, and sitting on my couch is a friend of mine from high school whom I have not seen in six years. And my friend is watching the Cubs game. And I walk in through the back window as usual. And I see my friend watching the Cubs game eating Honey Nut Cheerios out of the box, my Honey Nut Cheerios, and he just looks up at me and he says, "Hey, John", and we hang out for about three hours.
He was in town for something, wanted to see a concert, hung out for about three hours, he went to his concert. I have not seen him since.

H: How did he find your window?

J: But I am waiting. I am waiting for the day when I come to my house after work. And he's sitting there watching a Cubs game eating what is now probably Cinnamon Life because that's what my kids like.

H: [laughs] Oh, I haven't eaten cereal out of the box in way too long.

J: Oh, it's-- God, it's a pleasure.

H: It sounds great. That sounds great.

J: It's a Saturday morning joy ride. Cartoons and cereal straight out of the box.

H: [laughs] A Saturday morning joy ride.
But Cheyenne, you actually had a question, which is a toughie. And I think that they're, like, this person is probably reading your signals but not wanting to read them. So it's not really a problem of you sending the wrong signals. Probably you've said, like, "I'm getting really sleepy!" and you've yawned a bunch, and it's still happening because this person is looking for someone to lean on and is desperate for that. And you are the person who is there.

J: Right, but you can't hold it. You can't hold this person's problems. You can't be this person's solution. And so I would think you need to talk first to your roommate because your roommate is the ostensible friend here. Your roommate is the person who has the pre-existing relationship. I think you need to talk to your roommate and say, "Look, this person is coming by a lot. They're staying late. They're coming by unannounced. And, that's not- great."

H: Yeah, yeah. And there have been a couple of times in my life where someone has kind of intentionally stayed until the chance for them to leave has ended. And then they're like, well, I can't go home now, all of the people who have cars left, and it's like, well, I feel like you made that decision. And so they made the decision to come to this place not knowing-- like, to sort of put them in a situation where it's hard for them to leave, despite the fact that they didn't tell anybody that they were coming is kind of a manipulative behavior.
That's not to say that they don't have legitimate problems and they don't need help. They probably do and the ways in which you are providing that support is good work, and you're doing that, but you are not required to do it any more than you already have.

J: Yeah, it's tough, though. I mean--

H: It is tough. And I think that you absolutely should do what you can for this person, but like, you should also go to sleep. Sometimes.

J: Yeah, you got to take care of yourself, too. In fact, you got to take care of yourself first.

 Tenth Question (33:20)

J: All right, Hank, one more question before we get to the all-important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. This question comes from Rachel.

"Dear John and Hank, I recently had to have a rib removed. My surgeon let me keep my rib."

H: [laughs] Was that a conversation, like, what does that look like? "Do you want your rib?" or do you say-- who brought it up? I want to know who brought it up.

J: I have a totally different take on this, which is, of course the surgeon let you keep your rib, it's your rib, just because the surgeon cut it out of you doesn't make it theirs.

H: I think that, like, yeah, I'm not expecting the surgeon to take it home. I don't want this surgeon to have a collection of ribs. But I--

J: Oh, yeah. Great point. Hank, if there is a surgeon out there with a collection of ribs, they should be immediately removed from surgery forever.

H: [laughs] Yeah, I mean, that's one reason to keep your rib, is to just prevent the hoarding instinct that some people might have to be like, well, I've got two, I might as well have more.

[J laughs]

H: I guess this is my collection now. It's like when your grandma gives you like two like little antique glass candy jars, and then suddenly that's your thing.

J: I mean, I would argue it's not exactly like that, but I see the analogy.

H: [laughs] Yeah.

J: The thing is, you choose to bring home that first rib if you're a surgeon, and that choice is very weird.

H: [laughs] Yeah, so don't make that choice!

J: Rachel, back to your question,

"How do I appropriately artfully display my rib?"

H: Oh Gosh.

J: "People have suggested scrimshaw or that I carve a picture onto my rib. I think I should just frame it and call it "spare rib". What are your suggestions?
P.S. attached is a picture of my rib in a jar",

and I have to say, it's bigger than I expected.

H: [laughs] Yeah, it is a hunk of bone. Let's see, I don't think that you are gonna develop the techniques necessary to scrimshaw your own rib. I just don't think that, like, for this one task, unless you want this to be something that you do more of, you scrimshaw other people's ribs, I think probably, you're gonna want to give your rib to a professional scrimshaw artist.

J: I totally agree with you. You go to the person who already has developed a talent for scrimshawing human ribs.

H: [laughs] No, not just human ribs, just any scrimshaw at all.

J: Don't invent the wheel on this, Rachel.

H: [laughs] Oh god!

J: Have you talked to your surgeon about the possibility that they might be an expert in scrimshawing ribs?

[H: laughs]

J: They have good fine motor skills, presumably.

H: Let's hope. Boy, oh, boy, I'm glad that you have your rib. It might just be for the closet.

J: No, no, no, no, no, it's definitely for display.
The more you can make it look like an art piece the better it gets, the less it looks like it was your rib. And I have to say looking at this picture with your rib in a jar, it looks a lot like it was your rib.
The more you can do to kind of make it feel like art, the better it's gonna work when people are like, oh, tell me about that piece. And you're like, oh, that's called "spare rib". It's my rib.

[H laughs]

J: Maybe you need to get a lot of sculptures, you know, so there's a big wall of sculpture in your house and people will be -- and you can be like, this is a pot from the Indus Valley civilisation. This of course is a bowl from Han China and this is "spare rib", my rib.

H: Scrimshawed by a legendary scrimshaw artist, my surgeon Dr. Dorf.

J: [laughs]What a great Dr. Dorf call-back! oh my god!

H: Yeah, sure, because he works on ribs too.

 News from Mars and AFC Wimbledon (37:26)

J: All right, Hank, it's time for the all important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.
The news this week from the world's favorite third tier English football team-- two pieces of news.
First off, Hank, as you recently found out, AFC Wimbledon has a new training kit sponsor. The sponsor of Wimbledon's training kits is An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, a hit new novel coming out September 25, and available for pre-order now.

H: Thank you, John. That's very cool and weird.

J: I tried to focus most of the sponsorships on things that you like and you would be proud of and not make it too much of a homer gift. But yeah, just couldn't pass up the opportunity to sponsor those training kits, not least because Wimbledon just needs extra money before we get into the new stadium. So anyway, happy to do it.

H: I do prefer the sponsorship of the Dutch national Quidditch team personally, and also all of the robotics teams which is just genius. But also thank you for my AFC Wimbledon sponsorship.

J: Well, you're welcome.
AFC Wimbledon in Football League One played Gillingham last week, and we won! We won one to nil, which is great. It means we kept a clean sheet and we won the game. So, all around a good result playing against Barry Fuller, which was difficult. He played a great game actually. But we did win the game. We won on a goal from Joe Piggott. You know what the Wimbledon fans sing when Joe Piggott scores, Hank?

H: Tell me, John.

J: They sing, "Feed the pig, feed the pig, feed the pig and he will score."

H: Is it true?

J: It's true, if you feed the pig he scores.

H: All right. Excellent news.

J: Hank, that win means that AFC Wimbledon have risen up from 20th all the way to the dizzying heights of 13th in the League One table. Eight points after seven games.
Hank, what is the news from Mars this week?

H: We're just gonna go with some fancy, like, Mars fan news, John. An artist and PhD candidate in the Netherlands studying the formation of Jupiter's moons, Nick Oberg, created what might a mission to Mars on the the SpaceX big Falcon ship look like on the inside.
So we have seen that there's a lot of space inside of the potential ship capsule for the big Falcon rocket.
What's going to actually be inside of there is totally unknown and a mystery and we don't have any way of planning that, but this artist took it on himself to just plan it out and and see how those cubic inches would all be used and it's got everything from vines growing on it to produce a little bit of oxygen but also for aesthetic value. It's got a guy sitting on his space toilet, it's got bunk rooms for people, it's got transmission systems, it's got everything you need for a trip to Mars.
It's even got a little greenhouse for growing some leafy vegetables, which everybody's gonna want, you know it.
So, when I was growing up there were like these big books of spaceship cutaways that would always be so detailed and beautiful and weird and you could spend so much time looking at them and finding new things, that when I saw this, I loved it. And if you want to see it, you can you can look up Nick Oberg's name. He's done a lot of Mars art and has a really bare bones website that has all of that Mars art on it. So I suggest you do that. Probably if you just Google Nick Oberg, it's O-B-E-R-G, you can find it.
So thanks to Nick for doing some cool art. And if you want to delve into it, you can also see an article about it at Insider, which is at

J: It is pretty cool, but the main thing it makes me think, Hank, is that it seems like it's gonna be very crowded in there.

H: I mean, so much less crowded than previous missions. But yeah, you are going to be in there for a year with your friends, so--

J: I mean, IN.
It's like being in a 400 sqft apartment for a year with your friends.

H: Which is why they've done experiments putting people in small containers and having them sort of stuck for years at a time together and figured out how people can and can't get along in those situations.

J: Astronauts are different from me.

H: [laughs] Yeah, they are, John.
I just learned that many Apollo astronauts ate moon dust. They had done no chemical analysis on it, they didn't know what it was, they just tasted it. They just licked the moon.
And I was like, There's no one less like John Green in the world.

J: [laughs] What a terrible idea! Like– Like, uhh– Like, What the f–?

[H: laughs]

J: Like, did they get their hands dirty with moon dust and then go back into the space ship, take off their spacesuits and lick their hands?

H: It was the 60s.

J: Ok, Hank, I sure am glad I'm not going to Mars.

 Credits (42:43)

J: Thank you for podding with me, it has been a pleasure as always.
Thanks to all of you for listening.
If you want to email us, you can do so at We need your questions. It's how we make the pod.
[credit music starts]

H: This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, it's produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson.
Our head of community and communications is Victoria Bongiorno.
The music that you're hearing is by the great Gunnarolla.
And as they say in our hometown,

Both: Don't forget to be awesome.

[credit music ends]