November 12, 2015
Would you rather feel The Weeknd’s face or see Andy McNab’s face? Actually, you don’t have to choose; you’re probably equally capable of doing both/neither. But it’s something to think about while you listen to Answer Me This! Episode 327, in which we also deal with questions about:
piercings vs mum’s disapproval
Sixpence None The Richer vs drug references
Olly vs his own feelings about Tom Cruise
being struck by lightning
the moment Dr Martens ceased to be the footwear of rebels
Plus: we learn who is Olly’s 47th favourite film star; Helen’s imaginary boyfriend didn’t even spring from her own imagination; and Martin the Teenage Physics Weirdo thinks people should express themselves through their appearance and through their weddings.
In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App, Olly reveals: 1. what he thinks of ‘Golden Brown’ by The Stranglers; 2. which songs make him want to piss. We know you’ve been desperate to learn these two things, so rush to the app, which is available for iThings, Android and Windows devices.
Thanks very much to today’s sponsor Squarespace.com, who’ll give you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year (and with which you get a URL, loads of storage and 24/7 support) if you
stand in front of the bathroom mirror and say five times use the code ANSWER.
Send us your questions, please! Leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Befriend us online at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.
We’ll return on 27th November 2015 with AMT328.
Helen & Olly
••• AMT327 Child-Friendly Rating: 55%. Some swears, sex and drug references, and discussions that may encourage your offspring to modify their bodies with piercings or party poppers. •••
November 10, 2015
George in Brixton writes:
My aunt and uncle tried for years to have a baby, using all sorts of expensive treatment. When facing defeat, and after my uncle bought an Alfa Romeo as an ersatz object of affection, my aunt became pregnant. During the pregnancy the doctors discovered my aunt had a tumour which was preventing their earlier attempts at pregnancy. They removed the tumour, the baby was born, everyone was doubly ecstatic.
But now, 13 years later and probably because of the troubled pregnancy, my aunt is completely attached to her son. He literally hasn’t had a day away from her his entire life and they still sleep in the same bed together. My mum is very concerned about this but has no idea how to broach the subject. When they stay at mum’s house for Christmas she makes up the spare bed for their son and gives his parents her bed – in an attempt to make a point – but the dad just takes the spare bed and my cousin and aunt sleep in mum’s bed together.
This isn’t normal, is it? His voice has broken and I can’t help thinking about how I was when I was 13 – riddled with hormones and unpredictable boners. Surely he will suffer from arrested development?
Anyway answer me this: how on earth do you say to someone “Stop sleeping with your son”? Even drawing attention to it is incredibly awkward. How would you guys handle this?
These two thoughts are vying for supremecy in my brain:
1. “I’m not a parent, so I’m somewhat reluctant to weigh in on other people’s family situations – what do I know? And who decides what is ‘normal’ anyway?”
2. “I’m an extremely judgemental person! This is – this is – this is…problematic.”
So, readers, I delegate to you the task of going to the comments and dropping some advice.
And I’ll just throw in this secondary question: the aunt and uncle’s relationship still seems to be going. Is this good or bad?
November 10, 2015
Get yer dolls out for the lads! Following AMT326‘s conclusion that seeing Russian dolls is more satisfying than owning Russian dolls, we want to see yours.
Nick has supplied:
Whilst on honeymoon in Sydney in May 2012 I came across this fitting tribute to the ‘King Of Pop’.
Is it wrong that I’m a little saddened they’re not in chronological order?
And the dolls have been coming out on Twitter. We’ve got: Read the rest of this entry »
November 10, 2015
Duh duh diddleiddle duh duh dur durr, duh duh diddleiddle duh duh dur durr, DUH duddle ur dur DUH duddle ur dur duddluddluddle uddle uddle ududerder, here’s some feedback from Sebastian:
I just finished listening to AMT325 and wanted to chime in. I am an actual circus performer and I can say that the March of the Gladiators (which is the name that circus folk actually refer to the song as) is deeply loved among circus people. That song will make us all stand up a little taller and get ready to put on a show!
It is so tied to circus that it pulls people in from off the street to go see if there is a circus show going on. The only other song that I can think of that gets circus people feeling excited and nostalgic like that is The Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
As far as most of us are concerned, it hardly matters how the song came to be, it is just a part of circus life. You might hate it when you first join the circus, it might seem cliche for the first few years, but after years, when you’ve been from circus to circus to circus, that song stays the same and it becomes deeply comforting.
It may be deeply comforting – until IT gets involved.
November 5, 2015
Thanks to the delightful Pitch podcast alerting me to it, I’ve been bingeing on Switched On Pop. It’s very fun and educational, especially the episode examining Justin Bieber’s recent work via existential philosophers. Once I’ve polished off all the episodes, I will be moving on to Between the Liner Notes.
Because everyone is podcasting now, Alanis Morissette has a podcast. One of you, listen to it and report back.
I teamed up with Song Exploder to make this Allusionist episode about vocables – the words like la, dum, baba etc in songs. Warning: ‘Agadoo’.
NB, fans of Tom Waits/Martin the Sound Man: Song By Song is now song by songing through The Heart of Saturday Night.
Olly’s new podcast is here! You can get The Modern Mann at modernmann.co.uk, as well as iTunes and Pocketcasts and whichever other places you get your podcasts.
After a hiatus, Martin’s Brain Train podcast is BACK! In the new episode, machines take over the world. Just to warn you.
I’ve been doing weekly Allusionists for the past month, because it’s Radiotopia‘s fundraising season. I’m TIRED! But excited! As well as the Vocables episode mentioned above, Criminal dropped by to talk about polygraphs and lying, and Roman Mars from 99% Invisible joined me to find out about eponyms – in this case Bic and Biro, which some of you have asked about before, so listen for the story. And if you fancy supporting the thirteen shows of Radiotopia, you can chip in a little at radiotopia.fm.
I was also on the charming BBC Radio 3 show The Verb, which is also available as a podcast. The day’s theme was ‘backwards’, and I found out there used to be a synonym ‘arsewards’. Due a revival.
Tune into BBC Radio 4 this Saturday morning at 10.30am for their new series In Pod We Trust: I’ll be talking to Miranda Sawyer about AMT and Allusionist and what I like about podcasts.
You like podcasts too, right? Tell us which ones have been delighting you this week.
PS Catch up on AMT326, in which we consider Gogglebox, Russian dolls and the haka, and try to find a cure for crying at inopportune times.
PPS Fun fact: In Pod We Trust was one of the rejected names for AMT off the 2006 List Of Shame.
October 28, 2015
These are probably going to be too small, TBH.
This time every year, we get questions about costumes. My preferred Halloween costume is ‘staying home’, but if you’re into this stuff, please do leap into the comments to advise these questioneers. We open with B in Seattle:
I work in a small office with six other people. Not by choice, I’ve apparently taken on the role of Human Resources (in addition to several other titles). I have zero HR experience. One of my colleagues has come to office in the past dressed as Aunt Jemima for Halloween. The problem is, she is white and completed the ensemble with black face. Read the rest of this entry »
October 28, 2015
Jules writes with some sweet advice for AMT325‘s Steve, who had inadvertently rumbled his wife’s birthday surprise for him of a trip to Krakow. We suggested that the least bad move would be for Steve to pretend he didn’t know. Jules advises:
So she doesn’t feel bad about him knowing, he should not tell her now – but he should learn basic phrases in Polish so when they arrive he can surprise her back!
“The cookies gave the location away when I saw the ad for Polish Rosetta Stone – I thought that was my birthday gift.” ;)
Then something positive can come out of him knowing in advance.
That’s nice-double-crossing on a level with a Richard Curtis film.* Have any of the rest of you transformed a rumbled surprise into a BONUS SURPRISE?
*Specifically Serena in Four Weddings and a Funeral learning sign language then getting invited to another wedding, just to woo Hugh Grant’s brother. So
October 26, 2015
In AMT312, the mysterious S asked about getting jobs in Antarctica, despite not being much use to Antarctica. However, Claudia supplies hope:
You mentioned tourism in Antarctica, but you forgot the corollary – someone must take the tourists!
There are several cruise ships that operate in the area of Antarctic Peninsula, most of them leave from Ushuaia. There are all sort of jobs on board the ships, ranging from cabin stewards, restaurant stewards, chefs, deck hands, boat handlers to ship officers. On the cruise department there are naturalists and guides that give lectures and guide passengers ashore.
Because most ships work other itineraries, this probably does not appear on a search for work in Antarctica.
The advantages of working on ships on relation to work on stations: we travel around and visit many sites. Bonus: we only work during summer!!!
Here are a list of crewing agencies that crew ships that work in Antarctica:
FleetPro, V-Ships and SeaChefs.
Good luck, S. If you hurry, you might be able to spend the imminent Southern Hemispherical summer living your Antarctic dream!
October 13, 2015
Woman receiving roses online
Having been in the same relationships since the heyday of dial-up, none of us is qualified to answer the following questions; so if you’re a seasoned internet dater, we’d be very grateful to you if you’d shimmy over to the comments to advise the following questioneers.
Liam, 27, from London writes:
I’ve recently jumped back into the dating pool after having been in a relationship for the past 8 years, and like many people of my age group I’ve been using online dating to help me meet new people. Yesterday a girl that I’ve gone out with a few times (and gotten to know in the biblical sense) posted a picture on Facebook with one of her friends who I recognised as someone that only a day earlier I had matched with on Tinder.
So answer me this: What is the etiquette here? Should I tell the girl I’ve been seeing that her friend and I have both looked at pictures of each other and said “Yes I would?” Should I block the friend on Tinder in case things with this girl go well and hope that she doesn’t recognise me should we ever meet? Or should I gamble on the higher likelihood of them not making the connection together and just do nothing at all?
This doesn’t seem particularly controversial – or are we showing our Tinder innocence?
Daniel in West Sussex also requires your assistance:
Over the past few months after thinking about my current single status and lack of girls in my life I’ve reluctantly begun using the popular dating app Tinder.
Although I’ve made sure the pictures are the best they can be and had them approved by a friend and despite getting several matches over the past few months, I’ve not managed to have a two way conversation with any of them. I’ve tried saying the standard “Hi, how are you?” And even moved to the more imaginative, “Hi, great to meet you. How’s your day going?” I’ve had literally no response from any of these women. I think the trouble is I can’t really think of anything that I think might be appropriate to send that may get a response.
So answer me this: what could I say to someone on Tinder that might get a response and a conversation going? And is there anything I could possibly do to get more matches? Only had six in the past few months.
Go on. These people need you to be the Virgil guiding them through the nine circles of Tinder.