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Uploaded:2019-05-31
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What is the dress code if there is no dress code? Where can I be anxious at work? What should I do with 72 tall vases? How can I avoid having to do dishes? How can I grow my own vegetables if the Sun is in the wrong place? How do I sort out my priorities? How do I tell my girlfriend's mother we aren't ready for a duck? Is there a polite way to ask someone to eat quietly? How and where should I conceal the dream rock? John and Hank have dubious advice!

If you're in need of dubious advice, email us at hankandjohn@gmail.com.

Join us for monthly livestreams and an exclusive weekly podcast at patreon.com/dearhankandjohn.

Follow us on Twitter! twitter.com/dearhankandjohn

 (00:00) to (02:00)


 Introduction (00:00)



H: Hello, and welcome to Dear Hank and John

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

H: It's a codpast... It's a podcast where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John -

J: yep

H: you know I just, I just went on a trip to California, got back and my, my luggage was so damaged that I took it to a lawyer to show him and say "I wanna sue the airline" and the lawyer said "I'm afraid you don't have much of a case".

J: I'll tell you what I liked about that joke. There was a tiny bit of misdirection in the form of California and so I'm thinking is it gonna be a pun on Big Sur? Is it gonna be about the City of Angels? No, that's just an unnecessary detail. Hank, your jokes need more unnecessary details

H: Alright, I'll work on that.  

J: Here's what I would've tweeted about this week. I would've tweeted that the great Nicholas Jenkins is editing his last episode of Dear Hank and John

H: Ooohhh my god. Nick! The Nick!

J: Y'all haven't heard Nick's name over the last few years as many times as Nick has heard his name when we say "Nick, please cut that" "Nick, whatever happens, don't let that get to the radio" Does this thing go out on the radio? Anyway, Nick is a huge part of Dear Hank and John. Thank you so much for doing this with us - 

H: Yeah 

J: For building it with us. We are so grateful and we are also so excited that you're going to be still working with Complexly and working on Crash Course and doing all the awesome stuff that you do and we're excited to have Tuna editing the podcast now. We're gonna have to mentally stop saying Nick and start saying Tuna. Uh, hopefully you, the listener, won't notice any difference and if you do notice any difference, bear in mind that it's probably because of confirmation bias rather than because of actual differences

H: Yeah. I mean, it also may just be that John and I, we're different. 

 (02:00) to (04:00)


H: We keep growing up, we keep getting older. Every day we're more mature, we're less funny, it's it's great

J: It's so true. Sometimes I watch old Vlogbrothers videos and I'm like ah, that guy was hilarious, where did that go?

H: Well he needs to make videos. I wish he made videos

J: Why did he quit Youtube?

H: Oh but Nick seriously, thank you. From day one Nick has been editing this podcast and he's also been you know even before that working on Crash Course and so uh we're just freeing him up to work on more cool projects at Complexly and excited to work with Tuna who is really fun and I like working with him on SciShow already so glad to be yelling at him to take- take things out of the podcast now

J: Every reference to Putin, please Tuna just as a general rule, if I talk about Vladamir Putin just cut that immediately

H: He's tried to hack us before

 Question 1 (02:57)


J: Not a joke. This first questions comes from Cassy who writes "Dear John and Hank, during the Project for Awesome John did an AMA on Reddit where I asked what my new passion should be and John suggested vegetable gardening. I love this idea but I just moved and my new apartment is facing North without adequate sunlight for gardening. Is there any way I can work around this to grow my own vegetables. Potatoes and petunias, Cassy". Yeah Cassy, what you're gonna wanna do is get some grow lights which are usually used for the production of one particular, uh, agricultural product

H: It's gonna look suspicious, yeah

J: They can be used for lots of things

H: Yeah

J: I'm not gonna name any names here Hank, but I have a cousin, who

H: Me too

J: in college was living at home over summer and managed to have a thriving vegetable garden in their bathtub supported by grow lights. Now it doesn't matter what this cousin was growing, it was a plant, and it was I think, edible? It was happy!

H: Yeah, it was a happy edible plant

J: And their parents never even found out until very near the end of summer when-

H: Wow

J: the plants in question were huge

 (04:00) to (06:00)


H: So, uh, so like I think that a good interior grow light garden situation is an herb garden.

J: Yes

H: Turns out cabbages take up enormous amounts of space.

J: They do

H: You're gonna wanna grow like, basil, which is convenient to have! And you take care of your basil and you love your basil and then you make pesto with your basil.

J: Yeah

H: Or you make those like tomato slices with cheese and pe- and basil things that is like the best food

J: Yeah

H: Uh, what's that called?

J: Caprese salad

H: That sounds right. Uh, and then you have your like, maybe some thyme, some parsley, sage, rosemary

J: The whole Simon & Garfunkel song

H: Got a whole fresh spice thing going on and like fresh spices are super expensive. Every time I buy basil at the store I'm like "Well, first of all this is way more than I need, also, I need to have a talk with the cilantro people, about how you package cilantro. I need like three milligrams of cilantro and there's no way to buy more than 8 pounds"

J: Less than 8 pounds and also that's one of the weirdest rants of all the like, impassioned, faux outraged rants that you've gone on in the history -

H: If you-

J: of this podcast That was the worst

H If anybody knows a cilantro person I need to talk to them about the situation 

J: I'm a cilantro person actually. I'm currently growing at least 20 cilantro plants and I can tell you from experience that you do need more cilantro. The issue actually is not with the way the cilantro is being packaged, it's the way you're preparing your food, which is with inadequate cilantro

H: Thats.. Katherine agrees with you, yeah.

J: But, to move back to the question. The big herbs I would try to grow in my north-facing apartment would be  - I agree with you Hank - basil, mint - it's impossible to kill, it's delicious in mint juleps and you can make mint tea from it -  and rosemary. Rosemary, you can put it on pretty much anything. Those are the three that I think

H: It's true, it's delicious

J: are big big winners. And then if you wanna grow cilantro plant just to annoy Hank, then that’s worth doing too. Welcome to Gardening with Hank and John. Alright Hank let’s move on

 (06:00) to (08:00)


 Question Two (06:00)


H: Alright John this next question comes from Emily, who asks, “Dear Hank and John, both my girlfriend and I hate doing dishes. Not like sort of find it annoying but hate it so much that we go to lengths to clean the entire rest of the house just so the other person feels obligated to do the dishes. Help. And please do no tell me to wash the dishes as we go. Emily” Apparently that, that’s something you’ve heard before Emily and have not taken that advice kindly. That is what I would’ve said though.

J: Yeah, the way to minimise the number of dishes you have is to minimise the number of dishes you use and maximise the number of dishes you wash as you go. But that’s obviously not the problem here. The problem here is that Emily needs to figure out a way to either do the dishes, or get her girlfriend excited about doing the dishes.

H: So I like, I think that chore compatibility is a huge part of like, relationship success that no one talks about

J: It’s definitely, like, not on Tinder profiles but probably should be

H: Yeah, right, I don’t mind doing the dishes, people swiping whichever way is the good way over and over again

J: Yeah, the last thing I need to do is marry another person who does the dishes

H: Yeah

J: I love that neither of us knows like really which way to swipe with the Tinder, but we try to stay young.

H: I assume that right is the good way? Just because…

J: I don’t even know if people use Tinder, anymore, for sure

H: Yeah

J: Is it still happening? At any rate, it doesn’t matter because Emily already has a partner, so we’re…

H: Yeah yeah yeah, this is the problem

J: This is too far down the road to be helpful to them. Emily what you’ve gotta do is you’ve got to train yourself to love washing the dishes. Now I’ll be the first to admit this is not easy but it is possible

H: I know how to do it.

J: Here’s what I do

H: Okay you go first

J: And then Hank you tell me what you do. I have nice noise cancelling headphones and I treat dishes time as John time. John time to listen to podcasts. John time to listen to the new Mountain Goats album which is about Dungeons and Dragons and is amazing.

 (08:00) to (10:00)


John time to listen to an audio book. Yeah I’m doing the dishes. It’s a little unpleasant. I don’t like touching other peoples, like, masticated food that they spit out in the case of my children because they decided that like that chicken nugget was somehow inferior to other chicken nuggets. But, it’s okay, because it’s John time.

H: So, basically same, except I will say, another strategy. One, save like a podcast that you absolutely love just for dishes and only let yourself listen to it while you’re doing dishes and then like you ha- will associate dishes with the thing that you like. Two, try this out. I’m not gonna guarantee it’s gonna work. Do the dishes together. It’ll go twice as fast. You’re gonna wash, she’s gonna dry, and then at the end of the process you will have like done an unpleasant thing together and it will have brought you closer. There is research that shows that couples who do unpleasant tasks together are happier than those who do unpleasant tasks apart.

J: Wow I didn’t know that. There you go. Get on that dishes team together.

 Question Three (09:09)


J: Okay, this next question comes from Jessie, who writes “Dear John and Hank, how do you stop yourself from doing too much work when your work is something you love. I’m a highschool English teacher and I love what I do – reading books and being able to talk about what makes them awesome with students and planning what books we will read next year and how we’ll talk about them, but I spend too much time on my work as evidenced by the fact that I moved to a new apartment in September and still haven’t alphabetized my bookshelves. It’s May. The hard part though, is that it’s hard to tell when I’ve done enough work, put enough planning into my lessons, or enough thought into what my booklist for next year will be or hung up enough posters in my classroom. So my question is at what point do you decide enough is enough, turn off the switch and let things be? And more importantly what should I assign my ninth graders for summer reading? Analysis and anxiety, Jessie”

H: Well, there’s this really great book, fairly new, it’s called An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and they’ll love it.

J: It’s funny that you should recommend An Absolutely Remarkable Thing for summer reading for ninth graders Hank because I was thinking

 (10:00) to (12:00)


J: that a great choice would be The Fault in Our Stars.

H: Well, that’s just cruel. You’re doing fine.

J: Am I?

H: I think that book has reached an audience of a size

J: But has it reached an audience that includes Jessie’s ninth graders? I’m gonna guess probably not.

H: Probably not, yeah. Do you need that next generation John?

J: I need it, I need it badly. Hey so Jessie, I asked this question in the hopes that by asking it someone could email us the answer, because Hank and I don’t know the answer to “how do you stop yourself from doing too much work when your work is something that you love?”

H: Ultimately for me it’s not like, cause what are you stopping in favour of doing? So for me it’s like conscious prioritisation and to say like “Am I prioritising this task right now because it is something that just feels like sort of the natural thing to keep doing or is it actually helping or am I actually enjoying it or are there other tasks that will be like sort of better for future me if I prioritised them right now?” For me tasks includes terribly, everything, including like, spending time with my family, talking to my brother about something that isn’t work, like

J: I’m sorry for laughing, but we haven’t done in like, at least seven years

H: We do! We do. We texted about not work stuff very recently

J: Oh yeah

H: This weekend even

J: Briefly. I mean, one sentence from me and one sentence from you. Both about our anniversaries

H: Yeah. Bathing! For example, would be a great task that I tend to not prioritise but should because I tend to just be doing the thing I am already doing. So it’s really about like remembering that those other things exist and that they also need to be prioritised. And then if like, if all those things are taken care of, like, do the thing that you like doing! Just because it’s “work” in quotation marks doesn’t meant that you need to like stop doing it

J: Yeah I find it very helpful never to say "I’m too busy to do this", or "I’m too busy for that right now" and instead to say 

 (12:00) to (14:00)


J: “I don’t want to make that a priority.” Because if I say “I’m too busy to spend time with my children” what I’m essentially saying is “I don’t want to make spending time with my children a priority”, and when I understand that I prioritise my time much more effectively. And I remember that even if it isn’t what pays the bills or what gives me a lot of like outside affirmation, spending time with my children is the number one priority. And so if you frame it that way instead of “I’m overwhelmed with work and so I can’t do x, y or z,” or “I don’t know when to stop working” and instead frame it as “I need to prioritise what matters to me with my time”. That can be helpful I think, regardless of whether you love your job or hate it. On the summer reading front, I do have a recommendation Jessie, that isn’t uh a book written by either Green brother. I recommend having your kids read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. It’s harrowing, it’s definitely intense, but it is a book that could change their lives and make them love reading. So that’s my recommendation

 Question Four (13:15)



H: Great. This next question comes from Naseem who asks “Dear Hank and John, I just got accepted for a job position in a tech company in a different country, which I know has very hot weather. I asked my boss “what is the company’s dress code?” and he said, “there is no dress code.” Uh, what does that mean? Can I wear a t-shirt and jeans? Do I have to wear a nice shirt? Am I allowed to flip flops or shorts when it’s really hot? I would much rather have him tell me what I should wear but this is apparently not going to happen before I have to pack. In need of dubious advice. Pumpkins and penguins, Naseem.”

J: So I think the right call here is to show up at work on day one wearing just underwear, and then kinda work your way up from there. So be like "hey boss is this uh, is this the dress code? No? alright see you tomorrow." 

 (14:00) to (16:00)


And then tomorrow you got a pair of shorts on and you’re like “is this the dress code? No? Alright,

H: Are we there yet?

J: And you put on a t-shirt and you’re like “what about this?” And then your boss will probably be like “yeah that’s alright” And you’ll be like “Great, only took three days.” 

H: This does annoy me, ‘cause like what this means, what “there is no dress code” means, is like, dress normal, which is not the same for everyone

J: Right. Especially if you’re moving countries and climates

H: Yeah, so it’s basically saying like “just have the normal cultural understanding of everybody who is the same, right? General homogeneity of the world which doesn’t exist

J: right

H: so probably, what this means is wear a button-down shirt and shoes and pants, uh probably. But-

J: Yeah, actually I just had an idea Hank. Instead of starting with underwear, instead of starting with like, definitely too little clothes 

H: well that’s the way to like rub it in the face and say like ‘this is not an acceptable thing to say in a job interview situation, you need to tell me what the frick I should wear to my job”

J: I’ve realised that what you should actually do is start a little bit too well dressed, right?

H: Start a little bit nice

J: And then it’s way easier to work your way down than it is to work your way up, so

H: or, or, Naseem, I hear that you have expertise in some kind of tech thing, by the job that you have just received. What you're gonna wanna do is hack them, and then turn on all their web cams

J: Yes

H: before you move countries

J: Yes 

H: and take pictures of them and see what they’re wearing

J: right 

H: Hack their security systems or their computers. Just get some good malware in there

J: Yup

H: do some social engineering

J: Mhmm

H: and problem solved

J: alternately, you could wear a button down shirt tucked into a pair of khakis and some reasonably nice shoes and you know, if that’s too much by midday maybe untuck the shirt and roll up the sleeves

H: Yeah, you gotta have a bunch of – you gotta have like a complete three piece suit that’s tearaway, so that you can just go completely walk in the door and you’re like WRONG and you’re just in your gym shorts 

 (16:00) to (18:00)


J: And then underneath your button-down shirt you have a t-shirt and then underneath your t-shirt you have a tank top, and then underneath your tank top you just have kinda like a tube top that bares the midriff. Because you don’t know!  

H: This is super cas(ual), right?

J: Yeah so Naseem basically you’re gonna wanna wear like, nine outfits on top of each other and then just kind of declothe as the day goes

H: It occurs to me that they probably have pictures of some of their staff on the website. Look and see what they’re wearing in the pictures 

J: I mean, that’s not nearly as good as hacking all their webcams 



 Question Five (16:32)



J: Alright this next question comes from Jacob and it’s a big one Hank, Jacob writes “Dear John and Hank, My girlfriend and I recently found out that her mother plans to give us a live duck as a present when we get engaged.”

H: Why’d you put in on the registry?

J: HAHAHAHAHA That’s on you Jacob. If you don’t want a duck, don’t register at ducks.com for four hundred ducks. “Both my girlfriend and I agree that we’re not ready for a duck, and likely won’t be by the time we get engaged” I mean, of course!

H: I mean, maybe! Who says?

J: Wait I like that Jacob is open to the idea that they 

H: For future ducks

J: Will be ready for a duck some day, but they’re just not there yet. “How do we tell my girlfriend's mother that we don’t want a duck without hurting her feelings, or revealing the sources of our information

H: Oh yeah, you can’t reveal your sources, that’s like, textbook ethics. 

J: Can you imagine like Jacob’s girlfriend’s dad calling Jacob’s girlfriend and being like “So… listen, you know your mother, she’s so wonderful, um..”

H: “We all love her very much”

J: “You know how she loves her ducks!"

H: I don’t know if I believe it. Why is this happening?

J: I don't believe it, it’s not possible. I-I, just sometimes we get questions that are obvious goofs and this has to be a goof. There’s no way

 (18:00) to (20:00)


H: Where do you live? Do you live in a place where you can have a duck? Where do you keep a duck? You don’t keep it inside, it poops!

J: Do you? I mean maybe you do keep a duck, maybe- maybe people have like dom- fully domestic ducks that like pee in the potty and everything 

H: You just gotta take it for walks I guess

J: Oh God that would be so cute actually, taking your duck for a walk

H: Alright, now I’m on board. Mayb-maybe, Maybe, here’s the solution – you are ready for a duck

J: No

H: You don’t think you’re ready for a duck, You’re ready for a duck! Just believe in your relationship! Believe in yourself! You’re getting engaged! 

J: No. Getting engaged does not mean also acquiring a third member of the family.

H: Hey, what if, instead of engagement rings, we had ducks? Wouldn’t the world be a better place?

J: That’s actually true.

H: Wouldn’t it be amazing? You go to like, a football game and like the Jumbotron and then the guy gets down on one knee and just like thrusts a duck at a woman!

J: “Will you marry me?” And this duck’s like squakin’ and flappin’

H: And then the duck like flies around and the whole stadium is chasing the duck and they’re like “We gotta get the duck!”

J: And you’d go to the mall and there would be these kiosks where you can buy a duck, but you have to spend like two or three months of your salary on a really really good duck so your partner will know that you’re serious

H: Right 

J: Oh, you don’t want to get your partner this duck

H: Like tulip-mania but ducks

J: Yeah I mean your partner is gonna live with this duck for the next like twelve years, this duck is gonna remind your partner of you forever! Do you really wanna get a sub-standard duck or do you want the highest quality duck available? 

H: Yeah you gotta wear this duck on your hand for years! 

J: Jacob, you have to stop this now. This, this is an emergency I don’t wanna overstate it. But uh, if this is not a goof, it is a very serious problem, and the way that you address it is the next time you are with your girlfriend’s mother, you and your girlfriend say to/infront of the mother “I love your ducks. I’m so glad you have ducks. 

 (20:00) to (22:00)


J: I’m glad that these ducks bring you joy, but we are young people, who are not looking to bring a duck into our lives at this juncture. We wanna be able to travel duck-free 

H: Right

J: We wanna be able to eat duck without feeling weird about it. We wanna be able – this is the life we want for ourselves right now and we need you to respect that

H: Yeah you gotta – maybe you could just say like “Ah, we’re really looking forward to after we get engaged to doing a bunch of travelling, it’s one of the only times in our lives when we’re not gonna have a dog, or a cat, or a duck or a kid” and just like, put the duck in there, just like, slip it in.

J: Just sneak it in, put it third in a list of four. 

H: “And we can just travel completely without any responsibility and not have to worry about like house-sitters and like having a… duck sitter “

J: duck sitter et cetera

H: et cetera

J: And you know what the mum is probably going to say?

H: What?

J: She’s probably gonna say “Oh don’t worry, you can travel with a duck”

H: Oh yeah they love travel!

J: Yeah 

H: They love it

J: They choose it 

H: Put it in a campervan 

J: You haven’t seen Yosemite until you’ve seen Yosemite with a duck. You think you’ve been to Paris, but wait til you go to Paris with a duck

 Question Six (21:10)


H: John, here’s our next question. It’s from Maggie, who asks “Dear Hank and John, I’m getting married next year and I wanted to be proactive in planning, so I bought 36 tall vases from dollartree.com to use as table decorations. This was after my friend, who runs a wedding business, told me that she had given away her 36 tall vases. Turns out, her 36 tall vases were not actually given away and they offered them to me for my wedding. Dollar tree doesn’t have returns for online orders so I have 72 tall vases at my disposal. What should I do with them? Vases and virtues, Maggie.”

J: Obviously you should turn them into little duck homes

H: For very small ducks. How big are these vases? There’s a link here - is that gonna take me to see what the vase looks like?

J: Or is that gonna take us to their wedding registry 

H: Oh no! It’s a wedding registry!

J: Because we’ve shown a weakness for registries before. 

 (22:00) to (24:00)


J: And people are starting to exploit it. Hold on let me look at this registry and see if I wanna buy anything. 

H: No

J: I don’t – I don’t like that we’ve been tricked by our viewers into buying stuff off their wedding registry. On the other hand, there is some excellent stuff here that you do need when you’re staring out a life together 

H: But you don’t need.. my god.. This is like the difference between this wedding registry and 

J: The college registry

H: the like school registry is so dramatically different 

J: so dramatic 

H: The lifestyle inflation that has occurred 

J: Yeah

H: in the last few years of this person’s life

J: Yeah the college registry I would say if you combined all of the items together, they all together cost less than the one KitchenAid mixer on this person’s registry 

H: College kids know how to live, man.

J: I will say I have that KitchenAid mixer and it’s excellent and we’ve had it since we got it for our wedding so... I mean I’m not gonna buy it for you because I don’t have that kinda money, but I will buy you little mixing spoon things

H: This bathmat looks real nice. It’s like scooshy 

J: Oh, Hank! 

H: I kind of wanna get that for myself

J: We can’t keep doing this because then more people will send us more registries and pretty soon we’ll be bankrupt

H: John I have actual advice for Maggie

J: Great

H: I have a friend who runs a florist shop, and they buy lots of vases all the time and they will actually take vases from people back, and they’re happy to take those and reuse those vases I think they even get a discount on future orders if they do that, or they pay them like a dollar per vase or something. So, you could come back with your vases, I don’t know if your florist will do this, but like, generally florists need vases, and they’re happy to have some. And it’s wild because like you get these flowers and they come in a vase and then just like, oh, like every time I get new flowers they come in a new vase, it’s too many vases so I always bring them back to my florist friend. 

J: That, that’s smart. There you go! Proper advice. Hank I can ask a question that I have proper advice for

H: Oh okay. Go. 


 Question Seven (23:55)



J: This question comes from Maia who writes “Dear John and Hank, I tend to be really good at managing my anxiety 

 (24:00) to (26:00)


and dealing with it when it crops up in a situation like a class or a concert or something, but there’s one place I don’t know what to do when I get anxious – work. Like, I could go to the bathroom or something but that feels kind of weird and I definitely don’t want to stay in my little cubicle where everyone can see me being anxious. Dubious advice is appreciated, Maia.” So, first off Maia, if you’re concerned about your mental health you should not talk to podcasters, you should talk to a mental health professional. I really encourage you to seek help. We are not psychologists, I am just going to share with you something that works for me, and that has been shown to work for other people, uh which is to go into the bathroom at work, turn on the water spout, and run cold water over your wrists. It can also work for some people to kinda splash their face with really cold water, but for me running cold water like over the inside of my wrists really does help and there’s some, you know, quasi-science behind this that I don’t understand but it works for me and nobody thinks you’re weird, if you wash your hands. They think you’re good. They’re happy, they’re proud of you.

H: Yeah

J: So, it doesn’t look weird. Also, I would say that 99% of the time nobody at work will notice that you’re anxious because everybody’s too self-involved. 

H: That was gonna be my advice, that if you’re like in your cubicle being anxious probably no one will notice.

J: I mean, the extent to which nobody notices what’s going on with you is hard to overestimate. Like, honestly I think there’s a pretty good chance that Naseem’s going to walk into work on the first day, wearing a tuxedo, and everyone’s gonna be like, “Hi Naseem, nice to meet you. Here’s your seat” 

H: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Sometimes you also don’t get a first chance.

J: That’s so true. Which reminds me that today’s podcast is brought to you by Tuxedos at Work! Tuxedos at Work – people probably won’t even know!

H: This podcast is also brought to you by Engagement Ducks! Engagement Ducks – 

 (26:00) to (28:00)


H: It’s the new fad, it’s going everywhere. Those are very expensive ducks but they’re worth it to show your love apparently. 

J: Hank I’m just going to throw this out there as a concept before we move on with the sponsorships. 

H: Uh huh

J: Engagementducks.com is available, and I know that we own too many websites, um, for instance, I know that we own

H: What are we gonna do with EngagementDucks, John?

J: We’re gonna sell ****ing Engagement Ducks and make a mint

H: No, we’ve – the whole point is that no one wants a duck! The mum in the situation isn’t giving them a duck because like she thinks it’s a lovely gift. She has too many ducks! She doesn’t want all the ducks she has.

J: They’re not physical ducks Hank, that would be crazy

H: Ohh

J: They’re virtual ducks

H: I like it. I’m onboard. Virtual engagement ducks 

J: They’re virtual ducks and all the money goes to Partners in Health Sierra Leone and you go and you buy your engagement duck and that’s how you know you’re really engaged. Today’s podcast is also brought to you uh by, chore compatibility. Chore Compatibility – why isn’t that on Tinder? 

H: Tell me which dishes you like to do so I know whether or not we’re a long-term match. ‘Cause that’s what I’m looking for on Tinder I assume. And this podcast is brought to you by Tuna! Tuna – editing the podcast and also a fish! Two separate things. Brought to you - it’s two different sponsors. 

J: Oh okay. You slipped in an extra sponsor

H: I did, I sneaky I well you know, we gotta make a living.

J: Gotta get that money. We also have a Project for Awesome message to read from Amir to Ea. (?~28:00) "As-salamu alaykum. I just wanted to use this opportunity to have Hank or John tell you something very important. I only have seventy words to say it though, while that seems like a bunch of words, sitting here, trying to think of the perfect way to tell you what I want, it seems far too few words. How can one even begin to describe what I want to say? I want to say I lo-“ Oh Amir! You only needed three words!

H: It was all gonna be okay 

J: You only needed three words 

H: It was all gonna be okay

J: Anyway we wish you both well


 Question Eight (27:57)



H: This next question comes from Madeline who asks “Dear Hank and John,

 (28:00) to (30:00)


is there a polite way to ask someone to eat quietly? I’m tired of leaving the room every time my roommate’s boyfriend decides to have a snack. In two straight lines, Madeline.” Uh, I wanted to ask this question because maybe it’s the politest way I can talk to my brother about the way he eats. 

J: I think I eat very quietly

H: Mmmmmmmmmmm Maybe not super loud but like occasionally fairly visibly. 

J: Oh yeah, I don’t uh, yeah, no that is a problem. I agree that that’s a good way to bring it up, like have it come up naturally in conversation, and then be like “I wish that you wouldn’t eat with your mouth open” or whatever. I also think that sometimes it’s helpful to frame this stuff as kindness. That really chewing with your mouth shut is about taking an opportunity to slightly inconvenience yourself so that you can show the people who might be watching you eat, some kindness.

H: How do you like, ask for that kindness? 

J: I think like 

H: From a person who is a loud eater?

J: You try to get it to come up in conversation and then you begin to discuss it but I actually don’t think  that’s the issue. I think the reason that you find my eating annoying is that almost 100% of the time we’re eating together, we are in high-stress situations, and you’re already have a base-level of frustration.  

H: Yeah, that’s possible

J: And I think what’s really going on here is that this person doesn’t love their roommate’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s like, constant presence on the couch is a little bit “not what I signed up for on the lease and is a little bit frustrating and therefore slightly loud eating becomes much louder in my ears because I’m so annoyed.” That’s my guess. 

H: So what you’ve gotta do, you know those like, sweatbands that you put around your head so that your sweat doesn’t get into your eyes? 

J: Yeah

H: When the boyfriend starts eating just go up to him and put that on except over his mouth

 (30:00) to (32:00)


J: Oh no what I would do is even more passive aggressive which is that I would take out my noise-cancelling headphones and turn them on.

H: Yeah

J: But look, the long-term solution here is very simple. You’ve either got to break up this couple or you’ve got to get your roommate to move out and on that front I have one word of recommendation – ducks. 

H: Just start having a lot of ducks in the apartment?

J: Yeah

H: And people will be like, “I can’t live here anymore” and you’re like “oh no”

J: “sorry”

H” “You’re going to leave me alone with my ducks?”

J: “Yeah, no, sorry. My girlfriend’s mum got me a bunch of ducks. I love them”

H: “Yeah, What am I gonna do? Give them back? That’d be impolite”

J: “These are the apartment ducks now. I mean, they reside here as much as your boyfriend does.”

H: “Do they eat too loud for you? I wouldn’t know what that’s like.”

J: Hank and John giving aggressively passive-aggressive advice since 2014.


 Question Nine (31:01)



J: Alright we have a question from Peery (?~31:03) who writes “Dear John and Hank, I just had a dream where I was holding a little piece of rock and if that rock got exposed to any light an ancient demon would grow stronger in power. How and where should I seal this piece of rock when I return to the dream so that humanity can sleep safely in my dream for as long as possible?”

H: I mean, I love, I love like, interesting plot devices in dreams so much.

J: Yeah

H: Usually dreams are like the one I had last night where I was sharing a hotel room with my wife, son, and the McElroy brothers and there was a volcano outside that was slowly like pouring lava into the hotel room and I called the hotel staff and they were like “No, that’s normal” and all the McElroys were like “Why are you so worried about this?” Like, that’s not a good like short story to write, but like a rock that when it gets exposed to light a demon somewhere gets stronger, that’s a great story! Like, you are charged with preventing this demon from gaining in strength and have to like, prevent photons from touching something which is not easy – they’re everywhere!

 (32:00) to (34:00)


J: That's right. No, this is the beginning of a wonderful epic fantasy novel

H: Yeah 

J: Whereas all of my dreams are like, me eating a banana worrying about Crash Course

H: Yeah like most of my dreams are – getting up, getting the baby up, shaving, taking a shower, 

J: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I know there’s nothing less interesting than other people’s dreams except for Peery’s(?~32:30) dreams but I did recently have a somewhat interesting dream with Keanu Reeves in it which is always welcome. Like I always take that as a good omen when Keanu shows up in my dreams. But anyway in my dream Keanu and I were at the same party and he came up to me and he was like “It seems like you’ve been having a hard time” and I was like “Ugh, I have, yeah” And then I woke up and I wondered if you walk up to anyone in the world at any time, and you look deeply into their eyes and say “It seems like you’ve been having a hard time” I wonder if like 99% of people would be like “oh yeah, I have”

H: “Oh, actually thank you so much”

J: Yeah! 

H: And then there’s like the 1% of people who are like “no, it’s been going good”

J: “Nah I’m good and I was doing good til you walked up and asked me that weird question. Now I’ve got a worry” 

H: “Yeah, wait"

J: "It's you"

H: "It seems like that? That’s how it seems?”

J: Right. It’s like when somebody says “You look sick” and I – I’m like “Well I feel fine. Am I sick? Oh God I’m sick oh God, something’s happening” But back to your dream which was incredible, Hank what do you do in this situation? It’s not enough to bury it.

H: Well, I think maybe this is what's in the Patrick Rothfuss box in The Name of the Wind maybe, but like, I don’t know! The thing about the One Ring is like you throw it into the river but it always comes back, you can’t get rid of it. It has a mind of it’s own, so like, you have to kind of maybe give this (if it’s a narrative)

 (34:00) to (36:00)


H: give this rock some agency 

J: Yeah

H: So that like, no matter what you do, it will always come back, and that’s kind of true on Earth. In the scale of billions of years, like, the stuff that goes underground comes back to the top, like you got old old rocks with ancient 500 million year old fossils in ‘em suddenly getting exposed on uh like the side of a river in China. So things never really go away, so you have to find some way to store something forever, which as we’ve found with nuclear waste, is very hard. And like, we’re bad at it. And are just doing a terrible terrible job. So no I don’t know what to do. There are things that are opaque. You can wrap it in a bunch of tinfoil, probably a good place to start. Like a bunch a bunch a bunch and then you’ve at least got like a manageable thing that you can put into some other object, to like bury it or throw it into the deep deep ocean which is a pretty good place, for clarity.

J: Yeah I think the deep deep ocean is the obvious place here. 

H: Yeah and you have to have it be very heavy because you don’t want it to get like ocean currented away, you want it to go straight down

J: Super heavy, super dense, so it’s tin foil, wrapped in like gold, wrapped in platinum, wrapped in lead

H: Right, the expensive stuff. Probably lead is the one you want to go with just because it's like, you want a lot of it and lead’s cheap

J: Well, I mean, I’m assuming that if Peery (?~35:15) has access to this rock, there’s also a level of access to tremendous amounts of resources right? 

H: Okay. But also who’s to say that this demon’s a bad demon? 

J: Ugh great point. What if you drop it to the bottom of the ocean and then you notice that things start to get worse on Earth and you’re like “Oh I forgot about good demons” or “I forgot about how sometimes demons are complicated” And then you’ve gotta go on a new journey, the journey to get it back

H: Oh to the bottom of the ocean! Yeah 

J: And it turns out that you don’t need it to get no light, you need it to get like, the right amount of light 

H: Right 

J: That’s good

H: Yeah 

J: That’s why you write the plotty books. 

H: Like some kind of flashlight that turns on only a little bit every day in a dark room,

 (36:00) to (38:00)


H:  like the hallway where you go when there’s a hurricane


 Corrections/Replies (36:07)


J: oh that’s good, that’s good Hank. That’s all good. Alright I think we’ve given you plenty to work with here. Hank before we get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon we need to discuss some issues that came up in previous podcasts, uh, beginning with the waterbed issue. We made fun of waterbeds, we said who sleeps on waterbeds. Joshua writes “Dear John and Hank, I suppose you never would’ve guessed that the owner of New England’s largest water bed store is an avid listener to your podcast. After your episode this week, I’m ready for an all waterbed all the time podcast. You can call it Drifting Apart with Hank and John. Here’s a fun fact – cows that sleep on waterbeds have increased milk production. Love the pod, Joshua.” I mean, that’s pretty great. Joshua works at the All Sleep store if you are in the market for a waterbed. Also, Cassidy wrote – 

H: Who the heck put a cow on a waterbed and did science? 

J: Cassidy wrote to say “Dear John and Hank, I just wanted to let you know that my mother and I both have waterbeds in 2019. My mother has had a waterbed for as long as I can remember and I’ve had mine since I was 11. My mum has a king size which is huge and I have a full size. They’re super nice if you have back problems and very warm on winter nights.” So there you go!  

H: Yeah I guess that makes sense. We also got a science response from Adam who says “Dear Hank and John, on episode 188 Hank said that there was “absoluelty no chance of Earth being ejected from the solar system”” That seems like a great thing to go on with my life believing and not continue saying what Adam said. But, he says, “I actually just handed in my master's thesis on this exact topic and I found that if a planet, around a host star, undergoes a disturbance by way of a passing flyby," (like if a star passes by), "there’s a non-zero chance of it being ejected from the system. 6.2% of the computer simulations I ran ended with a planet being ejected from the system. Though the likelihood of escape is dependant on the distance between the host star and the orbiting planet.

 (38:00) to (40:00)


The survivability of an Earth-like orbit was 98%. I don’t subtract them, I Adam.”

J: Mmm okay. 

H: That's a very good name specific-signoff but uh I think that the good news is that we would see a star flyby coming a long way away. I assume this is a star flyby, he doesn’t actually say that, and not a plant flyby, like a rogue planet flyby which would be more likely, but less likely to be gravitationally significant. 


 News from Mars and AFC Wimbledon (38:29)



J: Alright, there you go. Well Hank it’s time for the news from AFC Wimbledon. The season, mercifully over, uh which means it’s the beginning of the silly season! The beginning of trying to sign some new players, trying to deal with the players who have left, trying to resign the players who say they might resign but haven’t signed yet. It’s also however a huge shift in AFC Wimbledon’s history because Simon Bassey has left uh his role as the first team coach after 17 years with AFC Wimbledon. Played for the old Wimbledon as a boy, it didn’t work out, he became a cab driver, and then when Wimbledon reformed he showed up to those tryouts at the public park on Wimbledon Common, he got a place in the team, he was in the team for a few seasons, never scored a goal, uh took a penalty in his last game and skied it, but he became a club legend for his commitment to the club. He would drive the cab all day, um and still find time to help coach the team up through the ranks when we were a non-league side, and then into League Two and then into League One. He is just an extraordinary person and a real hero of mine and uh he’ll be desperately desperately missed at AFC Wimbledon and you know, people talk about club legends all the time but Simon Bassey is  a proper legend uh for Wimbledon 

 (40:00) to (42:00)


J: and they often sing his name at games and I know that they will continue to do so. We’ll certainly miss him and I wish him the best in whatever comes next for him.

H: Well John in news from Mars, the 2020 rover is getting really ready to start doin’ it’s thing, uh, to get,  to get on the way to Mars. And that means a few things, they’re doing a lot of final tests, uh they’re testing the, actual like entry system that like has all the heat shields and the rockets and all that stuff. Uh but also, it means that they’re getting ready to get all the instruments done to put on the rover and that means that they’re inviting the public to submit names to fly aboard the Rover. So they have some little chips that they like do electron stencilling onto and they’re very very small names and you can put your name inside the Mars 2020 rover and it will go to Mars and be on Mars and you also get a little boarding pass that says “Here's your boarding pass for Mars 2020 and the launch site Cape Canaveral Arrival Site Jezero Crater Mars ATLAS V-541 Rocket (?~41:04) You’re going to get 313 million miles that you can use to trade in for theoretically something. I've just got one for Orin, so his name's gonna be on Mars, when the Mars 2020 rover lands 

J: Ah wow

H: In 2021

J: How much are they?

H: They’re free!

J: What? How do I sign up? 

H: You gotta go.NASA.gov/Mars2020pass and uh you can be one of the, I think like already 750, 000 people who have signed up to put their name on Mars

J: Ah that is so cool! I’m doing that for Henry and Alice

H: Nice!

J: Amazing! 

H: The countries most represented are uh The United States, uh India and Turkey. I gotta tell you India has almost as many names submitted to go to Mars as the US which I love

J: That’s great. One of the things I love about space travel is that it's one of the goals that brings us together as a species. We need more of those goals, we need more goals that are about us 

 (42:00) to (43:16)


J: that don’t require or create a them and the good news is that thanks to climate change, we’ve got one. 

H: That’s yeah, uh yay woo climate change thanks for giving us that I just uh looked up my previous boarding passes and in 2015 I submitted my own name and it is currently on Mars! But now I have a baby, so he gets to go

J: Aw, that’s great, that’s great. I hope that he never actually goes to Mars because I don’t want to stress out about my nephew being on another plant but 

H: That would be so stressful oh my god no

J: Yeah, I mean I can barely handle it when they go to North Carolina.

J: Well Hank thank you for podding with me it's a pleasure as always thanks to everybody for your questions. Sorry for all the wonderful questions we don’t get to but you can email us at hankandjohn@gmail.com we really love reading your questions. 

H: This podcast is produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson. It's edited by Josef "Tuna" Metesh. Our head of community and communications is Victoria Bongiorno. The music that you're hearing now and at the beginning of the podcast is by the great Gunnarolla and as they say in our home town

Both: Don’t forget to be awesome