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What should I do with all these keys? How do I unrecommend a raunchy novel to my grandma? What's a good psychology team name? What is the most effective way to pull an all-nighter? What should I call my girlfriend's parents? Why are middle schoolers so terrifying? What do I do with all these tomatoes? Hank and John have advice!

If you're in need of dubious advice, email us at

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The survey is on the Patreon linked above and also here:

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Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!

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

Hank: 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. 

Hank: John!

John: Yeah.

Hank: I was recently singing Smash Mouth's "All-Star" and Katherine said that I should stop, and I said "Hey now!"

John: *chuckles*

Hank: And that's...I'm going to tell you why I told that joke in just a little bit but first you're going to tell me what you would've tweeted about this week.

John: Hank, this weekend I would have tweeted a tweet that instead I just texted to you, and I'm going to read it now.

Hank: Okay.

John: "Twitter is like going to the Cheesecake Factory. Sure, I could eat healthy there, but I ain't gonna." 

Hank: *laughs* That's great, that's such a good tweet. Twitter needs you but you don't need it. John, do you want to know what I would've tweeted about this week if I was on Twitter? 

John: Oh God, you're so on Twitter. 

Hank: I am very, and I just tweeted about this a lot as of the recording of this. John, I know that you and I have had this idea for a long time, that we would do a shot by shot dissection of Smash Mouth's "All-Star" music video. And the thing that has been holding us back from that, John, for years--

John: Yeah.

Hank: --is that the music video is in standard definition. So it is just terrible to look at, you can't see very much of what's going on, it's fuzzy, it's in like 480p right? Well John, as of today, the recording of this podcast, Smash Mouth's "All-Star" has been re-released on Youtube in all 1080ps, so we can start our project John. We can begin it right now. And maybe, maybe--this is just a suggestion--we will do it as a segment on this podcast, in which I will, for example, say, "This is the first scene of Smash Mouth's "All-Star" music video, in which the Mystery Men are sitting at a Formica table with some lanterns in the background, drinking out of various cups. One of them is a Miller Lite cup , and Kel of Kenan and Kel is sitting over here, and uh, that is the first shot of Smash Mouth's "All-Star." Which is how we're going to begin the podcast from now on I don't care if you like it.

John: *while laughing* I don't like it. I also would like to at least leave this up to a poll of our viewers. Can I tell you all the things I don't like about this opening bit?

Hank: Okay, sure.

John: It's very similar to if the opening bit were "I'm going to describe a painting to you."

Hank: *laughs*

John: In this, a non-visual medium. But instead of describing a painting, I will be describing a twenty-three year old music video.

Hank: There's a pink house in the background.

John: Yeah. Right. Yeah. I mean--

Hank: A hedge. A really nice hedge. 

John: So I want to be clear about something. Doing a 470 video series that analyzes Smash Mouth's "All-Star" music video shot by shot is a brilliant idea. It is a real million dollar idea. Making it a podcast is a bad idea.

Hank: *laughs* Alright, well let's see what the audience has to say! Do we have a--how would we poll them? We'll put a poll up on the Patreon .

John: Let's have them fill out a survey. You know how podcast people have people fill out surveys so that they can like more effectively market advertising to their podcast audience?

Hank: Yep.

John: We're going to have y'all fill out a survey, if you don't mind, where we maybe ask you a few questions about yourself, but the main thing that we need to know is whether you agree with me that this is the worst idea for a bit imaginable. 

Hank: It's not gonna take a lot of time! The shots are fairly short--

John: Imagine you're a new listener of this podcast, Hank. 

Hank: *laughs* Alright, we don't have to do it at the beginning, we can mix it in at the end, in the middle somewhere. 

John: No. 

Hank: I fixed it, the idea is better now, we'll do it in the middle somewhere!

John: "I understand that the idea is bad so let's bury it." That's basically what you said. 

Hank: *laughs*

John: I just want to say, for the record, when I called Hank to start the podcast, I said, "How are you?" and he said, "I'm so good. I'm amazing. I feel amazing. But I don't want to talk about why until we start recording."

Hank: *laughs*

John: I was like, is he having another baby? Like what am I about to find out? Also, I don't want to belay for this but like, why does it matter the quality of the music video if we're describing it in a podcast? 

Hank: It matters so much! You have to go right now and watch it in HD John! It's a completely different experience!

John: Right, but the point is that the listeners of this podcast aren't watching it, because they're listening to a podcast.

Hank: Alright, well then watch it later! I've been tweeting about this for years. I've been so mad. On January 1st of 2019  I tweeted, "Is 2019 going to be the year in which they release Smash Mouth's "All-Star" in HD?" and  they did, John!

John: *laughing* You made it happen, Hank, congratulations. You used your powers for very marginal good. 

Hank: John, wait, so Universal Music Group got a New York Times article about their endeavour to release a bunch of music videos in HD. The representative from UMG says at the end of the article, "If you didn't educate consumers about what Grand Cru was, everyone would be drinking wine out of a box." It's how he ends the article about Smash Mouth's "All-Star" being in HD! John! We have been drinking Smash Mouth's "All-Star" out of a box! 

John: *laughs*

Hank: And now we have whatever Grand Cru is but for Smash Mouth. I need to be educated on what Grand Cru is because I honestly have no idea.

John: Basically what that quote means is if you don't tell consumers that they need to spend more money per unit of thing, they will spend less money per unit of thing.

Hank: I know, it's--that quote is life, man. It's everything. 

John:  Okay, I forget if this is a Smash Mouth's "All-Star" love podcast or--

Hank: Not yet!

John: --or if this is an advice-giving podcast.

Hank: We will see what happens. 

John: The survey will be at You obviously don't have to be a patron to fill it out, please fill out the survey. Help Hank understand what a bad idea this is.

Hank: Help John understand what a great idea this is.

 First Question

John: Not a great idea. This first question comes from  Wes who writes: 

Dear John and Hank, 
My wife and I recently purchased our first home and were presented with four copies of our key at the closing table. As we were unpacking our kitchen stuff, however, I discovered ten additional copies of our key in a cabinet. What should I do with all these keys? 
Keys and conundrums,

Hank: Are they nice looking? 

John: No, I imagine they're Home Depot keys. Did you know when you get a key now, Hank, you can get like a camo key, or you can get a key that's printed with your kids' faces on them?

Hank: It expresses your identity, yeah. You have to educate consumers about the value add of the key. 

John: *laughs* If people don't understand how much a high end key is worth, then they're just gonna be spending 60 cents on a regular key.

Hank: No margin in that!

John: How are we gonna make new billionaires with that model?

Hank: Oh my God.

John: No, here's what you do Wes. You put these ten extra keys in that cabinet and then slowly, over the course of the next twenty years as you lose keys, you replace them with the ten keys from the cabinet, thereby saving yourself, over the life of your home, a round fourteen dollars. 

Hank: Another suggestion: you put really obvious hide-a-key rocks next to your neighbor's house but with your key in it.

Hank: So that when burglars come by to try and break into their house, they get fooled. 

John: Also, you've always got a spare key at your neighbor's house. 

Hank: *laughs* Okay, alternate actual thing that you're gonna do, is you're gonna put them somewhere and forget about them. John, I wanna do a video on Vlogbrothers, and I've been wanting to do it for several weeks now, where I--you know how people have apartment tours?

John: Yeah?

Hank: So I want to do that, where I like show off my lifestyle through a sort of fancily produced video, except I just want it to be about my nightstand.  And it's just like a 39 year old man's nightstand and how much detritus has accumulated there. 

John: *laughing* yeah.

Hank: And the number of wires that are involved somehow, all the charger cables I have for phones I don't have anymore. And Katherine just puts things in the drawer when she's tired of looking at them, so it's just like whatever was around a year ago is in there. 

John: Yeah, it's like the Regular Car Reviews, that guy on Youtube who like reviews the 1994 Toyota Corolla? I've been wanting to do a somewhat similar video--and I think that's a good idea, by the way. I don't think it's the best idea you've ever had , but I mean, look, we've got to make Vlogbrothers videos once a week, so...

Hank: Who needs great ideas? We need good ideas.  

John: I've been wanting to make a similar video that I don't think I could ever make. You know how I got a Tesla Model S a few years ago? 

Hank: Mmhmm.

John: There are all these reviews on Youtube of Teslas that are super breathless and excited and I've been wanting to make a video called like "A Tesla Model S Review" and it begins like this: "Uh, so this is a car. And like it does all the things that cars do, you know? Like there's a different pedal for going and then one for stopping, um, and it has four doors like other cars, and it's a car?"

Hank: Here's where you hook up the car seat for the baby.

John: Yeah. It does all the regular car stuff. It doesn't really do anything other than the regular car stuff?

John: Like I've heard a lot about the stuff it's supposed to be able to do that isn't car stuff, and it like kinda does that stuff? But mostly it's a car.

Hank: Mostly I don't wanna do that stuff.

John: Yeah! Like uh, does the autopilot work? I mean, sometimes, but I'm not really looking for sometimes when it comes to autopilot.

Hank: Can you go really, really fast? Maybe, I haven't tried. 

John: Yeah, I don't really know how fast a car goes from 0 to 60, but it goes from 0 to 30 very quickly. 

Hank: *laughs* In general, my car goes at the speed I would wish it to. I have never in my life been like, "Boy I wish this car went faster!"

John: Yeah, right, that's the other thing about my Tesla, is that it goes all the speeds I want it to, you know?

Hank: *laughs*

John: But also, so does my 2007 Chevrolet Volt. They both go every speed I'm interested in. All of the major speeds. 30, 35, 50, 65 occasionally.

 Second Question

Hank: John, we have a really important question I made red in the show notes because I think it's so important that we get to it. It is from Kim K who asks:

Dear Hank and John,
I recently started reading a romance novel about two people who meet and eventually fall in love with each other. (That is sort of how they work.) I got a third of the way through it and I was really interested in the storyline and characters so I recommended it to my grandma, who also really loves cheesy romance novels. The problem is, as I continued reading I discovered that this particular romance novel was actually quite raunchy. Like really raunchy. I already told my grandma that she'd like it. Now what do I do? 
Not the Kardashian but still trying to keep up,
Kim K

Hank: Oh boy, so I guess, look, like, probably your grandma isn't probably hugely against raunchy romance novels. And probably it's gonna be okay. Right?

John: Yeah, it's hard to think about grandmas this way sometimes, but they are people. And so I think you can say like--

Hank: Who have definitionally done the sex.

John: Uh, yes. It reminds me of what Sarah's grandmother, Lulu, said about Looking for Alaska when she first read it. She said, "I thought it was a sweet novel. I was surprised by some of the things that young people are apparently doing."

Hank: *laughs*

John: And I was like, you know that's suitably vague.

Hank: Could be a number of things--smoking cigarettes...

John: Yeah, who knows for sure--

Hank: ...going to boarding school...

John:  I've got a guess, but I don't need to confirm it. Yeah, I think she'll be fine with it, but I think you could also say, "Oh Grandma, this is super awkward because I recommended that book to you a third of the way through, and I did not know that it was going to take that particular turn. 

Hank: Yeah, or you don't have to say that even, just like send a quick note--I don't know you--like a text message--I don't know how you communicate with your grandma. You could say, "I want you to know that I  recommended this book when I had read a third of it. That is all the information I will give you about the situation."

John: That is great. That is actually perfect, Hank, that is perfect.

Hank: You don't need to bring up the reason, she'll understand.

 Third Question

John: This next question comes from Geetoshri, who writes:

I'm a psychology student and my school is organizing a psychology quiz. We have to name our teams with psychology related terms. Do you have any creative or out-of-the-box team name recommendations? Freudians and Pavlovians are already taken.

John: I mean those are so basic. 

Hank: They're bad. They're bad anyway. John, do you have any off the top of your head?

John: Well, Hank, I've spent most of my life as psychology patient, so of course I do. 

Hank: Okay.

John: The Skinner Boxes. That's your number one psychology quiz name.

Hank: That's good, I like the Skinner Boxes.

John: The Jung and the Restless.

Hank: Oh no you did not.

John: Maslow's Hierarchies of Destruction.

Hank: Edie Brickell and the New Compensatory Strategies. 

John: I like that because it's a real deep cut. There's about four of our listeners who are familiar with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. What about Jung, Scrappy, and Hungry? A Lin-Manuel Miranda reference.

Hank:  Ah yes. Or I mean, you could go so many different directions with Jung. You could have like Jung and Dumb, you could have Neil Jung, something like that.

John: Neil Jung and Crazy Horse. 

Hank: Jung, Dumb, and Broke. That what it is, that's the song lyric I was trying to think of. 

John: Jung Jeezy.  

Hank: *Laughs*

John: Hank, you know that I am a secret passionate lover of rap music, and I love so much the "lil." Like Lil Nas X, Lil  Peep, Lil Wayne being the first "lil." But I also love a "young." A Young Jeezy--

Hank: Do you think that Maslow would Lil Maslow or would Maslow be Young Maslow?

John: That's a great question.

Hank: I feel like he'd be Lil Maslow.

John: These are probably jokes that you don't get so we should just move on. 

Hank: I don't, you're right, you have correctly identified the situation. 

John: Another one could be, for instance, the Taking Your Medication Doesn't Make You Somehow Less Creative or Whatevers. 

Hank: *laughs* Like you could go, like, the Quiz-o-philes, Quiz-o-philics. 

John: Ooh, the Quiz-o-philics, that's right. That's a way to intimidate--I mean all of these are so much better than the Freudians and the Pavlovians.

Hank: Right! We have given you many gold here.

John: You're welcome.

Hank: I don't know why you're not just gonna go with the Skinner Boxes because that was the best one, but we did keep talking for a while after that, so...that happened. 

John: Oh boy. 

Hank: John, I think that we did that one good.

 Fourth Question

Hank: This next one is from Leo who asks:

Dear Hank and John,
As a university student going through finals, I'm wondering what is the most effective way to pull an all-nighter? Thanks for any dubious advice!
From Paris in Love,

Hank: There isn't like--there are no strategies, you are forced, you have no choice, you do it because you must. 

John: I have pulled several all-nighters for the purposes of work and I can tell you that not once has it been effective. 

Hank: No.

John: It is so much more effective to sleep for two or three hours. The two or three hours that you spend sleeping that you would otherwise spend "working"--you're not working, I'm sorry. You're not thinking straight. You're not productive.   

Hank: No, and that's the thing about all-nighters. I never actually did a full all-nighter, but I did lots of three-to-fours-hours-of-sleepers. And that also is not something that should happen, you should not allow this to happen to you, but you probably will. That's life. But my strategy--I've never heard of anybody else doing this--but I would eat one chocolate ship every five minutes. 

John: Wow that is really weird. I think coffee is a more effective way to get your caffeine but if you want to get it from one chocolate chip every five minutes, that works.

Hank: I don't think it was about caffeine, I think it was about like, every five minutes I'm gonna remind myself that five minutes passed, and that like ideally I did something useful in that five minutes. Eating a chocolate chip is extremely easy. And it's not like the stimulant, it's the sugar, it's the sensation, it's a little bit of a reward, and I'm not like gobbling chocolate chips. It's like an imposed discipline on my study, and I would go through a lot of chocolate chips, but I probably would've eaten more if I had just been eating them. 

John: That's true, that's definitely true. Like I could eat a couple hours worth of chocolate chips in a single bite. 

Hank: Yeah, oh, I have.

John: I have stayed up all night a few times as an adult to finish a writing project, most notably when I was finishing Turtles All the Way Down and Looking for Alaska, but the reason I stayed up all night was that I became convinced I had to stay inside of a flow or stay inside of mindset in order to finish and that I would lose that mindset if I slept and had a bunch of dreams that weren't about the book and woke up. 

Hank: Mhmm.

John: And I do think that was kind of effective--it's not healthy, I don't feel like I can recommend it, it's not good for your body or for your soul, but it did sort of work. Like I remember finishing Looking for Alaska at like nine o'clock in the morning, finishing the last major revision when I wrote the last four pages of the book, and I mean, it felt pretty good.

Hank: So our dubious advice? Chocolate chips. Do you have any other ways to stay up late?

John: No that's a great way.

Hank: Okay chocolate chips, maybe do some squats--

John: What?

Hank: Maybe do some squats? I've heard people say that.

John: No, if you're gonna do exercise to try and get energy into your body, you wanna try and do full body exercise, I would say. So I would say more like push-ups.

Hank: Okay, John says push-ups.

John: Or just try and hold a plank for four minutes, then eat a chocolate chip. 

Hank: And if you're so tired that you can't keep studying, that means that you're too tired to keep studying. Go to sleep.

John: Yeah. 

Hank: You're definitely too tired to take a test, which is what you'll be required to do in the morning. 

 Fifth Question

John: Alright Hank, we have another question. This one comes from Ari who writes:

Dear John and Hank,
I'm writing because my dad keeps calling the pod "Fun with Bob and John." How do I get him to stop? It's really annoying. 
Not made of air,

John: Or maybe Ari (air-ee)?

Hank: Hello and welcome to Fun with Bob and John! This new podcast where we answer your questions and tell you all the week's news from Smash Mouth's "All-Star!"

John: Oh that's a much better idea, a spin-off podcast where Hank reviews the "All-Star" music video shot by shot. That is a great idea. As yourself that Hank, is that a good idea for a podcast? Is it?

Hank: It's called "Hey Now!" 

John: *laughs* That is a great name, but is it a great idea for a podcast?  

Hank: Look, look John, no, that's why we have to do it inside of this podcast, cause no one would listen to that one!  

John: Right, but that is my point. 

Hank: We'll see what happens, John.

John: Dad jokes are a good idea for a podcast. What I would have tweeted this week is such a good idea for a podcast that you started a podcast on that topic. The news from Mars is a good podcast idea, other people have that podcast. The news from AFC Wimbledon? Obviously a great podcast idea, hence the Nine Years podcast, the unofficial AFC Wimbledon audio-zine. My point is that a good bit should be a distilled version of a good podcast idea. 

Hank: John, I think that we have to let the audience decide. 

John: I have never been so stressed out. If I have to listen to two and a half years--years--of Hank reviewing the "All-Star" music video, I might quit. I might  quit. I'm just gonna throw it out there.

Hank: You can't hold that over the people!

John: Okay, I won't quit, but I will really--you know how I've been able to get really into the news from Mars and I've become kind of interested in Mars? I'm gonna really struggle with the audio reviewing of a visual medium. 

Hank: Mhmm.

John: Alright, Ari, I think that it's great that your dad even knows about our podcast.

Hank: Absolutely. 

John: I'm strongly in favor of him calling it Fun with Bob and John, perhaps because I'm the one whose name is being remembered correctly, but I don't know, Hank, what do you think?

Hank: I'm fine with it. I love it. I think that's a better name for a podcast--

John: It is.

Hank: --and I wish that I was born Bob so that we could have a podcast called Fun with Bob and John. And I think we'd have more listeners, John, I think the people would flock to us.

John: Yeah.

Hank: Especially if we talked about "All-Star" a lot.

John: That's what's really keeping our podcast from being a break-out hit, is that your name isn't Bob and we don't talk enough about a single pop song that came out 25 years ago. It is a good song.

 Sixth Question

Hank: We'll see what happens. This next question comes from Austin who asks:

Dear Hank and John,
I've been dating my girlfriend for over six years now, and every time I see her parents, I never address them with their names, only with "ma'am" or "sir." It's not that I don't know their names, but I don't know if I should use them, or Mister and Missus First and Last Name.
Perpetually using non-specfic pronouns, 

John: I struggled with that--

Hank: Me too.

John: --with my in-laws for a while.

Hank: What do you do now? Now that we're, like, old?

John: Now I call them by their first names.

Hank: Yeah I largely call them by their first names.

John: You know what you should do? You should skip over First Name, Last Name, all of that, and just start calling them Mom and Dad right now, and see how they respond to that.

Hank: Yeah. Boom. Even though they're not married, not even engaged...I mean when I was in high school I would call my friends' parents Mom and Dad just cause that was like the convenient thing to do instead of having to try and remember all their names or like say Mrs. DeLater.

John: That's very weird.

Hank: Yeah I guess, now that I'm thinking about it.

John: I feel like I just never referred to adults, except for my parents, by name--

Hank: Or at all?

John: --or by rank, you know? I would go to extraordinary lengths, like our listener, to just not refer to them directly. So I'd be like, "Hello! Hi." 

Hank: Right, yeah. 

John: "Good to see YOU."

Hank: Well I do that all the time now, because I can't remember people's names very well. "Good to see YOU." I think that, I think that you eventually will have to make this transition and it's always going to be awkward. And especially when you' know six years ago, I'm imagining you're maybe like a teenager or like early twenties, so yeah sir and ma'am, that's what you do. But if you're like 28 now, you have to start like not saying sir all the time. It's like almost too respectful. I don't know. It depends on different dynamics and cultures are different in different places, but like, eventually you do have to make this transition and it's never not going to be awkward.

John: I might say, "How would you prefer to be addressed?" 

Hank: Yeah. I mean it's kind of like, I would expect them to bring it up and be like "you can call me Jeff." That what he sounds like. 

John: Yeah, that's true. It's kinda on them. In fact, this isn't your problem, this is their problem. Forget it.

Hank: Boom, John solved your problem for you, it's not yours. 

John: Did I ever tell you about the time I saw one of the senators from Indiana and he recognized me and he came up to me and shook my hand, looked me really deep in the eyes, and patted me on the back and said, "I hope you sell a lot of...things."

Hank: *laughing* Really?

John: Yeah, I think he got halfway through the sentence and he lost confidence in me being a writer, you know? Like he thought I was a writer--

Hank: He's like, "I'm pretty sure I know who you are..."

John: --he thought he wanted me to sell a lot of books, but then--

Hank: But boy do I not want to say the wrong thing at this point!

John: --yeah yeah, I think he got halfway through the sentence and he was like, "I think this guy is writer? But what if he is actually a recreational vehicle sales person? I think I should just try and make it less specific and go with things." 

Hank: *laughs* "Both RVs and books are nouns, I hope you sell a lot of mouns, my friend." 

John: "Hope you crush it in the nouns business, buddy!"  "I hope you're able to convince lots of people that those common nouns are actually very fancy proper nouns."

Hank: *laughs* Gotta convince those consumers!

John: Gotta get that Grand Cru recreational vehicle going.

Hank: Oh God, the Grand Cru of "All-Star" music videos is here to stay. You gotta watch it, John.

 Sponsers & Project for Awesome Message (26:21-30:14) 

John: Which reminds me that today's podcast is brought to you by Grand Cru! Grand Cru, you should pay more for it even if it's not better. 

Hank: This podcast is also brought to you by Fun with Bob and John! Fun with Bob and John, with Bob and John Green, coming to you every Monday morning! 

John: How do we have so much energy at five o'clock in the morning? Well today's podcast is also brought to you by "eating a chocolate chip every five minutes!" 

Hank: And also this podcast is brought to you by "grandma's raunchy romance novels." "Grandma's raunchy romance novels," come on down, it's on I-375 in downtown Roanoake!

John: *sings wordless radio jingle*

Hank: We also have a Project for Awesome message from James to Kayla, rhymes with Venezuela:

"I want to give a shout-out to my wife, Kayla! She's a brand new veterinarian dedicated to the care of furry friends. I'm so proud of her commitment and passion. She has a question--if you could have any animal as a pet without consequences or responsibilities, what would you choose? Kayla would pick a lion. Remember, vaccinate your pets! James plus Jacob, Beau, Sabrina, Casper, and Tormund."

John: How many of "Jacob, Beau, Sabrina, Casper, and Tormund" are humans and how many are pets?

Hank: I'm gonna say that one of those people is a person-person.

John: I think Jacob and Sabrina are people and I think Beau and Casper and Tormund are...cats?

Hank: I think that we can safely say that Tormund is a cat or a dog. And I'm gonna feel really bad if I'm wrong about that. 

John: There's two possibilities, Hank. One is that Tormund is a pet, and the other is that Tormund is an amazing human. Right? 

Hank: I mean there have to be people who were named Tormund before Game of Thrones came out and are just like, "Oh, grand. Now this is happening."

John: As if I didn't have enough challenges going through the world as Tormund! It's like being a Hermione.

Hank: Yeah, they're out there. There just aren't a ton of them. I mean it's also a little bit like being a Hank in the '90s when South Park had a Hank Poo.

John: But to get to the question here, "if you could have any animal as a pet without consequences or responsibilities what would it be?" For me, it would definitely be a fox. 

Hank: Without consequences or responsibilities. I don't understand how this is possible, but if I could have any pet without consequences or responsibilities it would be blue whale. Because like, there's no consequences! And there's no responsibilities! So just go all out!

John: Right, but I just think a blue whale wouldn't be that fun to play with.

Hank: No, no, screw this, I want a stegosaurus!

John: Oh yeah, definitely, great point. Why are we sticking to extant species? 

Hank: Yeah, Yoda!

John: Yoda is not a pet! Yoda is a person!

Hank: No consequences or responsibilities, John!

John: Right, but do not get me started on whether humanoids like Yoda and Chewbacca are people. 

Hank: Okay, Yoshi then. 

John: Yoshi is--

Hank: John, I've changed my mind. I don't want a dinosaur, I don't want a blue whale, I don't want Yoda, I want Shai-hulud. I want the sandworm from Dune. 

John: I want Yoshi. 

Hank: That's way better, I don't know why I want these terrifying animals.

John: Yeah!

Hank: But there's no consequences so what does it matter?

John: Right, but like if I'm gonna have an animal with no consequences, I want it to be an animal that can, like, put almost anything inside of its mouth and store it for me for an infinite amount of time. And also that's like happy to have me ride on top of it while it takes me to various locales.

Hank: I mean this is also true of the sandworm from Dune, though.

John: Okay. Alright.

Hank: All of those things are the same.

 Seventh Question

John: Alright, we got another question, this one comes from Juliana, who writes:

Dear John and Hank,
I walk about two miles to college every morning. There are three other schools--an elementary, a middle, and a high school--on the way. (This seems like the set-up for a joke, but it's not.) This means that I often find myself walking in the middle of a gaggle of children I don't know. Now, I don't mind being caught in the elementary school kid crowd, because then I can blend in with the parents; however, because of when my class starts, I'm usual stuck with the middle schoolers. I'm a fairly confident 23 year old adult, but middle schoolers are terrifying. 

Hank: John, why are middle schoolers so terrifying? I'm right there with Juliana.

John: They are. Every time I've ever done an event in a middle school, walking through the halls and seeing the lockers and seeing the middle schoolers, I break out in a sweat. And I know that I'm an adult, but the way that they are able to like casually and coolly just destroy me? 

Hank: Yeah!

John: It's never gone away. They still have that power.

Hank: I was in high school, and there was a middle schooler that lived down the street and I was like...I assume that I will be sort of like in a social position where I will be instantly respected because I'm like five years older than this kid. And I went down the street to play basketball and he was just so mean! And I was like, I hate this so much, and I got destroyed. I was like a foot taller than this kid, and everything that came out of his mouth just sunk into my soul!

John: Ice cold.

Hank: What is it about them?

John: I don't know, but it's a quasi-magical power, but the bad kind of magic.

Hank: They have the bad magic, the middle schoolers.

John: That said, I don't want all the middle schoolers out there to feel like they're terrible or evil or anything. 

Hank: Yeah, I guess.

John: It's more that you're powerful. Far more powerful than you understand yourselves to be. 

Hank: Right.

John: Because the way that you wield words causes on-going terror in adults, and so if you are a middle schooler and you feel deeply hurt by things that people say about you, please know that that is normal, and it's okay, and it will get better, because you won't always be surrounded by middle schoolers. 

Hank: Yeah, there's maybe a nugget here that I maybe had never thought of until now, but there are points in your life where you don't know your own strength--

John: Yeah.

Hank: --like physically, and you will do things and be like, "Oh, I didn't realize I was strong enough to do that." I remember I was at mini-golf and I accidentally whacked somebody in the face. Do you remember this, John?

John: Casey.

Hank: Yeah, I whacked Casey in the face with a gold club and he bled, and I was like, "I did not know I was physically capable of doing that much damage." Because previously I hadn't been.

John: Right.

Hank: Middle school is the time when you become capable of doing, like, social damage, and you don't know yet. You don't understand that, or it's sort of marvelous and magical and so you're like, trying it out like "is this working? what am I doing?" So you don't know your own strength and so you cause damage when you don't know that you can. Or you become kind of like, really enamoured of the fact that you can have this power and you use it without thinking.

John: I also think it's easy to forget that middle schoolers are kids, and that they're super vulnerable, because they don't look as vulnerable to adults, a lot of times, as for instance elementary school kids do. And that can make them feel a little intimidating, but they're still kids. I remember being in sixth and seventh grade and being acutely aware that I was a child developmentally, but inside of a body that less and less resembled what I felt like.

Hank: Right. Yeah it's almost like part of the uncanny valley of the middle schooler is not knowing what category to put them in.

John: So you just have to remember, Juliana, that however uncomfortable you feel, just try to remember how much harder it is to be in seventh grade.  

Hank: And then get some roller-blades--

John: Yes.

Hank: --and just skate on to school. You're gonna be so cool, the middle schoolers are gonna be like, "Wow, there's that super confident 23 year old Juliana."

John: "Oh wow, look at Juliana."

Hank: Going to school on her, like, I don't know, what do they have? I don't know if they have roller-blades anymore. Heelies? Or possibly boosted boards? 

John: Use a Razor scooter. 

Hank: Absolutely.

John: That'll get 'em.

Hank: Get that Razor scooter. 

John: Then they'll be like, "Ah, dang! Look at Juliana." Razor scooter. I had one of those but my mom took it away from me for two weeks because I used the "f word" in front of her.

 Eighth Question

Hank: *laughs* This next question, and probably our last because we've been rambling on, John, is from Melanie, who asks:

Dear Hank and John,
A couple weeks ago, we had midterms and it was very stressful, so I decided to start gardening since John had claimed that this helps with the stress. Well, long story short, now I have 57 tomato plants growing strong and I don't know what the heck I'm supposed to do with them. What do you do? Do you, like, cull? Do you stop watering the ones that don't look as good? Do you start giving away tomatoes? Do you start canning? What do you do, John? Help. 

John: All of the above. You're gonna have too many tomatoes, so you're gonna give them away to anybody who will take them. You're gonna learn about canning, which by the way, don't do it wrong because then you could die. So no pressure. 

Hank: *laughs* Yeah, I've heard about that. 

John: Just can correctly, or you will die. I don't wanna overstate it, but that is my understanding. Don't get your gardening advice from a bunch of yahoos who host Fun with Bob and John, but yeah, be careful with the canning. And you're gonna eat a lot of tomatoes. You're gonna make yourself a tomato and crouton salad all of the time that has a fancy name but you just call it "tomato and crouton salad" because you're a regular person, you're a person of the people.  

Hank: Grand Cru. 

John: *laughs* 

Hank: Just call it that.

John: And you're just gonna enjoy having to many tomatoes, and then next year you're gonna be like me, and you're gonna think, "You know, this year I think I'm gonna be good with like four or five tomato plants and I'll focus on other items that I could make."

Hank: This is like the only gardening tip I can give: one of everything except garlic. Because garlic lasts, and also, garlic that you grow in your yard is better than garlic from the store. It's easier to peel, because store garlic is terrible and it shouldn't exist, and then if you have too much garlic--first, that's not gonna happen because it lasts forever, and second, if you do? Everybody wants garlic. It's never hard to give away garlic, especially because people will take because they're like, "Oh well I don't need garlic right now, but I will eventually."

John: Right.

Hank: If you give someone a tomato, it's like, "Well I have to use this today or tomorrow or never."

John: Great point.

Hank: Garlic.

 Listener Responses

John: Listen, before we get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, there's a few things that we need to discuss. Several people wrote in about  Liverpool, including Krista who wrote:

Dear John and Hank but mostly John,
Since when are you a Liverpool fan? I thought you were a die hard AFC Wimbledon fan? I'm confused about this whole Liverpool thing.
Merry Krista-mas,

Which is a great name-specific sign-off for July. Krista, I have been a Liverpool fan for my entire adult life, and I've been a supporter and sponsor of AFC Wimbledon since 2013. So. That's the deal. They don't play each other very often, they played each other once. I made a video about it--a couple videos actually--back in the day. But yeah, I don't talk about Liverpool that often on the podcast because the podcast is an AFC Wimbledon-oriented podcast. There's plenty of Liverpool podcasts out there, God knows. But I have been a Liverpool fan for a long time and even though, you know, my heart definitely swells with every AFC Wimbledon victory, on a Saturday morning I am always, always, always watching Liverpool. 

Hank: It's not new, it's always been a thing, it's just not as much of a podcast thing.  

John: Right, it's more of a personal thing. I recently had an opportunity to turn my love of Liverpool Football Club into a job and I realized that if I did that, it wouldn't be fun anymore. And so I chose not to. Also, David wrote in to say that:

Indeed there are more non-computable numbers than computable numbers. I was excited to hear about computability theory on the pod as that is what I am writing my PhD thesis about. 
Not yet a doctor,

Hank: Of course.

John: Well good luck, David. It sounds like a gripping PhD thesis, I can't wait to read it. I bet I won't be able to read it, I bet it will be written in the language of math.

Hank: Somewhat similarly, Kristen wrote in to say:

After listening to the pod this week, I wanted to write in because I am the campaign lead for Curiosity's exploration of the Clay-Bearing Unit.

John: Wow. Wow. What a cool job, I mean--

Hank: What? What? Why aren't you on the podcast? Kristen, email me! Come on the pod!

John: Yeah, Fun with Bob and Kristen!

Hank: (continuing letter)

Part of my job is to decide what observations we need to address, the most important science questions in this region. When we learned that we identified clay in the drill samples of the Clay-Bearing Unit, it was so exciting and I was so incredibly relieved to find that we had successfully predicted that with orbital data. Thanks for featuring that milestone on the pod, it made my day. I'm a long-time listener of the pod and I love that you decided to talk about Mars news of the week. My favorite so far was how Georgia is developing wine that can grow on Mars. I suppose I am also now invested in AFC Wimbledon. (You're getting them, John.) Keep up the excellent podcast. 
Clays and Curiosity,

 News from Mars and AFC Wimbledon

John: So Hank, speaking of Mars, what's the news from Mars?

Hank: This week on the surface of Mars, John: Star Trek. So the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as the name would suggest, is orbiting Mars and it is reconnaiss-ing--taking high-resolution pictures of the surface of Mars with a high-res camera and they take a bunch of pictures all the time for a bunch of different reasons. But they found, on the surface of Mars, what appears to be the logo of Star Fleet, which resulted in a little bit of Twitter beef between William Shatner and Mark Hamill talking about whether or not any Star Wars logos had ever been on Mars. But if you're curious--you might have heard about this--but the reason that there is a Star Trek logo on Mars is actually kind of interesting. So these images are from Hellas Planitia, a large plane in the Hellas Impact Basin which formed almost four billion years ago when a meteor hit Mars. And over time it's had like volcanoes and dust storms and maybe even glaciers, and in the case of the Star Fleet logo, at some point a long time ago there were big crescent-shaped dunes moving through the region that were pushed by wind, like sand dunes are. And then a volcanic eruption happened, and as lava began to flow, it cooled and solidified around the dunes. The lava didn't cover the dunes, it just surrounded them. So there are still these, like, crescent-shaped islands of sand that are there, but the dunes have since blown away. So these are called dune imprints or dune casts. They're like the hand print celebrities make except it's like the hand print of a dune that's long-since blown away from the surface and gone somewhere else.

John: Wow. That's pretty cool. It also just seems weird that the Star Trek logo would presage that, you know?

Hank: Yeah, I mean the thing about--

John: There's something a little Jung-ian about it.

Hank: Yeah.

John: I've always looked at the Star Trek logo and felt like there was something deep and weird about it. I don't know. 

Hank: Yeah, graphic design oftentimes is about shapes that are unique but still feel natural, still feel normal, and fit into our brain in really good ways.

John: Right.

Hank: And it's interesting that like, this futuristic symbol, like, you see it and this is a very recognizable logo, but it is also not something that you would necessarily see a company now using, because it has this weird, futuristic feel to it.

John: Yeah.

Hank: And why? Culture.

John: But in the same way that the Star Trek logo is not quite symmetrical, this dune print is not quite symmetrical. Which is just--it is pretty wild.  

Hank: Yep, it's real good.

John: Well Hank, the news from AFC Wimbledon is curious. Our manager, Wally Downes, has told the South London Press, quote,

"I think we're just about done when it comes to transfer business." Then he said, "I've got a little bit of wild card money," which is not how I like my sponsorship money to be referred to, but whatever, "but not a great deal." I would argue that it's actually pretty significant. "It's the club's decision how and when they do incomings and outgoings, we're all aware of what is going on and it is how and when they release it."

Which is an amazing number of "its" per sentence, without a single antecedent.   

Hank: *laughs* Right, so, I have no idea what any of that means, but like, more so than you, just for clarity. 

John: Yeah. So what I interpret it as meaning is 1. Wally Downes does not wanna answer questions about incoming transfers. 2. It would seem that the club has signed players or made agreements with players who will be coming in, but we haven't announced those, so they are not yet publicly known. That is my hope. The other possibility, which is worrisome, is that we just aren't going to sign any new players. Also this week, we found out that James Hanson, who was an important striker last season, has left the club by so called "mutual agreement," which usually means that James Hanson had a contract but the club was like, "You're probably not gonna play much next year." And James Hanson was like, "Alright, well then I'll leave if you make it easy for me to leave." And now he's being signed by a team in the fourth tier of English football, Grimsby Town. So good luck to James in his future endeavours. It does mean that Wimbledon is gonna need, I think, my opinion is that Wimbledon needs a striking partner to go alongside Joe Pigott. And I don't yet know who that person is gonna be. I hope that Wally Downes knows who that person is gonna be, but time will tell.

Hank: When does sports start again?

John: Sports starts again in mid-August, So we have almost two more months of so-called Silly Season. 

Hank: *laughs* Is that what they call it?

John: Yeah they call it Silly Season. Because it's just constant--I mean, for Wimbledon less so, but like for the top level teams like Manchester United and Liverpool, it's just constant speculation about who's gonna be signed and who's gonna be released. It's all a reality television program, essentially. But ah, it's just magnificently written and casted. 

Hank: Well, I'm excited for your future and I had a really good time making this podcast with you, John. If you want to go and answer our survey, it's at You don't have to be a patron to fill it out, but if you want to be a  patron, you can listen to our patron-only podcast "This Week in Ryans," which John and I are gonna go record right now. We really appreciate everyone who goes and does that. It's gonna be helpful both for me finding out that you're really excited about our new segment, "Hey Now"--

John: *sighs heavily*

Hank: --here on Dear Hank and John. I also have to write that survey, so I'm also gonna do that after This Week in Ryans, I'm just reminding myself. John!

John: Yes.

Hank: Thanks for pod-ing with me!

John: Thank you!



Hank: This podcast is produced by Rosianna Halse-Rojas and Sheridan Gibson. It's edited by Joseph "Tuna" Metis, our Head of Community and Communications is Victoria Buongiorno. The music that you're hearing now and at the beginning of this podcast is by the great Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown--

Hank and John: Don't forget to be awesome.