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Last sync:2020-08-22 10:00
Should I call this strange number back? What have I missed on the pod? Why are your faves your faves? Don't you need more than lemons for lemonade? How do I get the money out of this coin bank? Should I get bangs? Should I change my email address? Why do I get the urge to get my life together in the middle of the night? How do I make time pass in my stories? What is with that baseball song? John Green and Hank Green yell at clouds and give advice!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)


[Intro Music]

Hank: Hello, and welcome to Dear Hank and John!

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

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

J: Yeah?

H: We talked a little bit about ghost roommates on the pod in the past

J: Sure

H: And, we actually got an email from somebody who had a ghost roommate.

J: I recall

H: Hundred percent had a ghost roommate. She said it took her a while to figure it out for sure, but she was suspicious from the moment her roommate walked through the door. 

[John laughing]

J: You're on fire! That's your second consecutive laugh out loud dad joke.

H: Alright, I'm working harder now.

J: Oh, Hank, I'm so sick.

H: I know you're very sick. I'm sorry.

J: Uh, I've been very unwell, but I'm here making the podcast because it's usually my only chance to spend an hour with you. And, I do really, really like you.

H: Thanks.

J: And so, here I am. I would've tweeted this week. I would've tweeted "I am very grateful to Andrew Luck for all he's done for our community, and I can't wait to see what he does next." 

H: Yeah.

J: Andrew Luck, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, retired a couple of days ago. He's 29, and he's put his body through a lot. And, he felt like it was the right time to retire. And, I got to say, I have so much adoration for that decision, and I'm, I'm just really grateful for everything that he's done for Indianapolis in the many years that he's been here.

H: I am sorry that I cannot participate so much in the, in the feelings around this thing, but what I will say is that you can't actually retire when you're 29. I imagine he will do some other things.

J: Oh, he's going to do lots of other things, because he's such a fascinating, intellectually curious person. They shouldn't call it retirement. They should call it, like, I'm transitioning to another career. 

H: Yeah. Yeah, also they should also be like, I'm going to stop doing the most physically punishing job anyone could possibly imagine. I saw people celebrating Andrew Luck on Twitter this week. One of the tweets I saw was a compilation of him getting sacked, and then congratulating the people who sacked him.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: Yeah, where he would always be like, "good hit, bud."

H: It was really great. He was like, "that was a good hit, big boy!"


J: Yeah.

H: Well, hopefully, this episode will be coming out in linear order, because we've had to do a little bit of podcast pre-recording, because you're going on to sabbatical, which sounds amazing.

J: Yes, I'm taking six weeks away from most work, so that during those six weeks, I can focus on writing. Hopefully, writing some fiction, but definitely writing some Anthropecene Reviewed. And, that means that we've had to pre-record a little bit of Dear Hank and John. We've also got some live shows coming out. Hank's going to have a guest host or two. Sarah made the point to me last night that basically I just did six weeks of work in the last six weeks on top of the regular work. 

H: Yeah.

J: Uh, because, yeah, I've pre-recorded most everything. So, you won't really miss me or notice that I'm gone, hopefully. But, I will be gone.

H: Ok.

 Question 1

J: Hank, let's answer some questions from our listeners, beginning with this one from Erin, who writes, "Yesterday, while driving, I received a call from an 800 number. I decided to answer—" What?

H: That's wild!

J: That's like the—

H: Living on the edge.

J: —boldest power move of 2019. 

H: Yeah.

J: "I was a little curious, because I thought it was a law that spam had to come from a number that looked suspiciously like mine."


H: Yup.

J: It is close to a law.

H: Yeah.

J: "I said hello, and a recorded mail voice greeted me with only one word: why."

H: Why?

J: "The voice seemed to then get cut-off, and then the call terminated."

H: Oh.

J: "I've been thinking about it ever since."

H: I bet!

J: "Should I call this number back? What are the potential risks and rewards here? Erin, the side of caution?"


Yes, Erin, you should err on the side of caution for sure here.

H: Which you already did not do, simply by answering the phone. I don't know what's going to happen when I answer a telemarketer phone call, but, like, it can't be good. It's like going to a website, right, where you might get a virus. Is that how it works?

 (04:00) to (06:00)

J: It's definitely going to be a not a great use of your time or the telemarketer's time.

H: Yeah.

J: And... And so I'm— What I'm trying to do is just maximize efficiency on behalf of everyone. The telemarketer is trying to reach a potential customer, which I am not and so, I'd rather not take the call at all. But, what fascinates me about this is the possibility, which I'll admit is a faint possibility, that someone has created a telemarketing campaign that is not designed to sell things, but is instead designed to ask one simple question: why?

H: Well, I think, maybe it's a public service, because we're all asking ourselves why all the time.

J: Exactly.

H: Maybe some computer, somewhere, can take over that responsibility, and I can stop asking why all the time. And instead, concentrate on watching Charlotte's Web

J: Yeah, and I was thinking it's probably inexpensive to set up one of these call centers—

H: Apparently, yeah.

J: —that just forces people to listen to your phone calls. Like, it can't be that expensive, because, you know, how much money are they making? And, it gave me an idea, Hank, which is maybe we should set up a call center where, instead of trying to sell people things, it's just a recorded voice that reads you a poem or tells you that you're doing great or offers you an unwanted fortune cookie fortune.

H: I like it. I like it. Or, it could tell them about Journey to the Microcosmos, our new YouTube channel, or Vlogbrothers, or Dear Hank and John, or any of our other for-profit enterprises.

J: No, that's telemarketing.

H: This is telemarketing.

J: What you've invented already exists.

[Hank laughing]

Way to find a way to monetize my great, non-monetary idea.

H: Uh, gosh, got to turn it off sometimes.

J: I know, I was thinking wouldn't it be great, because it is so stressful to get those 1-800 calls or the possible fraud calls. And, wouldn't it be great if just one time, on the other end of the line was a caring person who just wanted to read you a little bit of Dr. Suess.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: Just wanted to be an advocate for something that doesn't have advocates, and say, like, "hey, you know, tap water's fine." Like—

J: Oh, god. That's a great idea. I love that.

H: John will pay. John will pay for this random thing to exist.

J: Just— Just call random people and say, "You know what's—" Yeah, somebody needs— I desperately need someone to call me and be like "your tap water's great. It's good."

H: It's great. It's delicious. You need to— You really need to stop drinking stuff out of plastic bottles, because that's— somebody's got to make those bottles. They ain't coming for free.

J: I actually, Hank, in the last two weeks, I have done proper exposure-response therapy, which is like this OCD-kind of therapy to get myself to drink tap water, and it has worked and I'm never going back. Because, I'm worried that if I stop drinking tap water again I'm going to get stuck in the cycle again. And, I'll tell you what, the tap water is great! 

H: That's great! I'm glad to hear it. 

J: It's really good.

H: Yeah. Alright.

J: Yeah, tap water is great. And, I got a soda-making machine so that I can add the bubbles to my own water, and I can finally part ways with my most expensive monthly expense, which is La Croix. 

[Hank laughing]

 Question 2

H: Well, somebody's got to put another nail in the La Croix coffin.

[John laughing]

This next question comes from Maddie who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I recently got back to listening to the podcast after a very long time away. Can I get a quick update on what I missed? Thanks so much, Maddie"

Well, first, we're doing name-specific sign offs, now.

J: Right. You got to work incredibly hard these days to get a good name-specific sign off. Like, the quality of name-specific sign offs has gone way up, Maddie. Like, for you I would suggest, for instance—

H: My dad likes to golf, so I'm going to caddie with my daddy, Maddie.

J: Yeah, that would put you in the bottom 50% of the name-specific sign offs we get, but it's better than thanks so much, Maddie.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

H: Oh, I think I worked really hard on that, and it was great.

J: For 12 seconds... The other thing you've missed, Maddie, is that Hank and I's podcast empire has expanded pretty dramatically.

H: Oh, sure. And then, the rest of what you missed, I'm not going to tell you about because we need you to listen to those episodes. We need you to go ahead and download them and listen to them. I'm not going to tell you about the 17 turkeys that talked to the person at FSU. No, you're going to have to find out about that by yourself. 

J: The secret snake, the crow that became someone's friend. All of these are waiting for you in the 160 hours of content you must consume in order to say that you like us.

H: Is that how it works?

 Question 3

J: Alright, Hank. We got another question. This one comes from Alisha, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, my three-year-old daughter, Parker, and I listen to the pod while I do housework, and she has a question. Hank, why is Mars your favorite planet? John, what is your favorite planet? Parker's favorite is Saturn, because of its rings. Attached is a video of her saying what her favorite thing about the pod is. Planets and preschoolers, Alisha."

Hank, I don't know if you got to see the attached video—

H: I haven't.

J: —but, it is literally the cutest thing I've ever seen in my entire life. And, I would just like to play a portion of it for you.

H: Ok.

J: This is Parker.

Alisha: Do you like Dear Hank and John?
Parker: Yes!
A: What's your favorite part of Dear Hank and John?
P: [Gibberish]

J: She said, "uh, the Mars, and" ...

P: [Gibberish] potty water

J: And then, "drinking potty water" Well, Parker, have I got good news for you, because this episode is the potty water spectacular!

H: Ok, it's the potty water spectacular. Also, I'm sorry about my joke about monkeys and cherries on the last podcast.

J: Ah...

H: For the kids in the audience.

J: Ancient history.

H: It probably will be ok. 

J: So, here's— here's— here's a crazy thing about drinking potty water, Parker: Don't do it.

H: [singing] Don't drink potty water, doot, doot, doot. It's not a million dollar idea.

J: Oh, it's such a good way to get sick, Parker. And then, you get all barf-y. That's not fun.

H: Nope.

J: Potty water is for dogs to drink and for humans to try not to touch, period.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

H: Yeah, yeah, it's to put— it's to put potty things into.

J: That's right.

H: Yeah, pee-pee and poop go in there. That's it.

J: Just the pee-pee and poop. Parker, thank you so much. Anyway, this is our new podcast: Dear Hank and John, for three-year-olds only. Hank, why is Mars your favorite planet?

H: It's the easiest one to do a lot of research on. It is the most Earth-like of the planets that isn't Earth. It's got basically the same length of day. It's got not too dramatically similar gravity. It's got water. It's got rocks. You can not— You won't boil alive. It's got a ground. Ground is very important, where you can stand. A lot of the planets don't have that. And, it just feel like— it feel like the sort of door, I mean, you know, in terms of planets, the door to the future of space exploration. You know, it's like our first step. I agree that Saturn is probably the most beautiful of the planets, though.

J: So, I'm going to disagree with Parker and with you.

H: Oh.

J: Saturn is not the most beautiful of the planets, nor is Mars.

H: Ok.

J: The most beautiful planet—

H: Oh.

J: —is Earth.

H: Uh, I mean... I agree that Earth is the most beautiful planet.

J: Earth is the best planet, Parker. Saturn is cool—

H: Yeah.

J: —literally. Very, very cold out there. Earth, uh. Look at the weather, Parker. Look outside at the weather! Look at all the stuff that's happening. You want to— you want to get your mind blown, Parker? You see all those trees out there when you look outside? Those are made out of air!

H: Yeah.

J: Those trees took air and turned them into themselves. 

H: It's true.

J: Earth, man. What a planet! 

H: Yeah, Earth makes me hungry just thinking about it. It's got all the food. 

J: That is the, uh... That is the ultimate problem with humans.


We look at Earth, and we think [together]: mmm, that tree looks delicious. Think I'll cut it down.

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