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In which John discusses his debilitating toothache, dentistry, root canals, the importance of following the rules, the rules for vlogbrothers videos in 2010, long division, and other matters of the human heart.


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A Bunny
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((') (')
Good morning Hank, it's Monday, January 4th, 2010. I have a bit of a toothache today. Actually, that's an understatement, I have a tooth-*cries*-why-does-it-have-to-hurt-so-bad?

So I'm gonna go to the dentist.

So Hank, today I wanna talk about rules. I've been thinking about rules a lot lately because the reason I have a tooth-*cries*-it-hurts-so-bad is because I failed to follow the rules of basic dental hygiene when I was in high school and college. You see Hank, at the time, I believed that the rule that you have to brush your teeth at least twice a day was a conspiracy by the toothpaste companies created to sell more toothpaste. Combined that with the fact that for 10 years I didn't go to a dentist (because of course I'm afraid of dentists, because I have most of the major phobias), and you get that terrible moment when in 2002 I finally went to a dentist only to learn that I had more cavities than I have teeth.

That never gets old, but that does, it's like torture.

So that was fun. I have to get a root canal tomorrow, possibly two root canals if I'm lucky!

So my failure to follow the rules of dentistry is coming back to haunt me. I had the same problem with math and many other things, like when I was in high school I believed that math was created arbitrarily for the purpose of making me suffer. It never crossed my mind that the government was investing in my education because it's helpful to have citizens who know how to do long division.

I thought that math was just a conspiracy by The Man to keep people like me down. By the way I'm going to get lunch at Whole Foods. I'm getting lunch-y, sushi for lunch.

Of course it turns out that math is hugely helpful to adults, even if you write books for a living. But even so Hank for much of my life I've had a terrible time following the rules because I have deep down believed that the rules are arbitrary and meaningless. Like on some level it's always felt like I'm doing the 110m hurdles and I'm running and I'm hurdling and I'm running and hurdling and then I begin to think, “This race would go so much faster if we just eliminated the hurdles." I wonder if professional hurdlers ever think that, if they ever think, “You know, this is fun but I could do it faster if we took out the hurdles." No, of course they don't think that, because professional hurdlers have respect for the utility of rules!

Hank, rules are all that stand between us and chaos and endless root canals! That's why I now brush my teeth regularly and that's why our video blog needs rules!

Rule number 1: Hank, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the entirety of 2010 you and I will make videos back and forth to each... [turns around] Well, that's a little bit weird.

So you'll make a video on Wednesday, I'll make one on Friday, you'll make on on Monday, et cetera until the year is over. With exceptions a) for major holidays and b) for my paternity leave, which will commence whenever the kid is born, which should be quite soon and will last about three weeks.

Rule 2: These videos shall not exceed 4 minutes in length. Except for the usual exceptions.

Rule 3: Whoever has the Monday video can announce a theme for that week. If there is a theme week announced (by the way this week no theme) the videos for that week must be on that theme.

And lastly rule 4: if any of the three previous rules are broken, there will be a punishment. Because Hank, in this world there are consequences, like root canals and not knowing how to do long division. I know how to carry items, but I don't know how to carry numbers. Punishments will be chosen by nerdfighters and the other brother and they must be completed within one week of being assigned. Which by the way Hank, means that you have one week from today to spend 15 hours in a Target. And I still owe a punishment as well, which you still haven't given me, but once you do I'll have a week to complete it.

So Hank, them's the rules! They exist to help us remember to be awesome. Here's to a great year, Hank! [eats sushi] Aaaaowww, it hurts in my toof!