What do you do when your friend has fallen for a pathological liar? Do you a) confront the fibber with evidence of their deceit, or b) write to a comedy podcast? It’s fairly easy for you to find out: just listen to Answer Me This! Episode 342, in which we also discuss:
dining with babies
dining with strangers’ shitty babies
the Oscars Curse Jenny Beavan’s red carpet look
supergroups on superyachts
gregarious egregious Gregs
the advantage of the cupcake
Plus: Olly betrayed his former self by not doing his wedding dance to ‘The Snooker Song‘ from The Hunting of the Snark; Helen is giving away a dead good podcast idea; and Dave Stewart is not welcome to shit up Martin the Sound Man’s supergroup.
Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App is about a bit of crap on a lot of kitchen worktops: spiralisers, the existence of which is irking Gemma from Cannock (yes, yes, Martin; the town in the West Midlands to which 80s popstar Tiffany moved after her heyday). Get the app for your iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices.
Thanks to our friends at Squarespace.com for sponsoring this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-hosting and -designing services for a whole year if you use the discount code ‘answer‘.
There are many refreshments in Answer Me This! Episode 336: tea, milk, and a drink Olly describes as ‘mashed-up urinal cake in a glass’. Mmmm! It’s the new hipster cocktail!
We also consider such topics as:
‘Roses are Red’
getting an upgrade at the airport
honeymoon bowel trouble
Slush Puppies this famous policeman’s helmet
things to do in Peterborough
Plus: Olly would like it to be known that he is not a geek (except for musical theatre and Disney); forget going naked, Helen won’t even take her cardigan off for money; and Martin the Sound Man believes in bowel karma.
Sorry for forgetting the Bonus Bit of Crap on the App for AMT335, but this one contains further contemplation of streaking and public nudity. Get the app on your iThings, Android and Windows devices.
And, BELIEVE IT OR NOT:
Olly felt some emotions – hear more about Olly’s family’s gain and loss on The Modern Mann; there’s some dispute over the shape of Helen’s head; and Martin the Sound Man is busy with his biggest abacus, trying to count up the exact number of episodes in which Kelsey Grammer played Frasier. Frasier + Cheers = ?
Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for iThings, Android and Windows devices) is literal crap: a little trick that baby Harvey Mann likes to play, called ‘The Coda’.
In case you missed it while we were away, we released our latest album Answer Me This! Love, about love and sex and suchlike. And why not feed your ears further with a FREE AUDIOBOOK thanks to our pals at Audible? You can have one even if you’ve suckled at Audible’s teat before. Go to answermethispodcast.com/audible.
Happy news! AMT325‘s Beckie, who was worried who was worrying about having chosen the baby name ‘Aoife’ because her family were being dicks about it? On Tuesday, the baby was born! And she has been named….Aoife! Good for you, Beckie, and welcome to the world, Aoife. All together now: aaaaaawwwwwww.
Let’s change some more lives in Answer Me This! Episode 326 shall we? Or at least deal with a range of minor to moderate problems, concerning such matters as:
crying vs fart machines
sport vs Helen’s love for her family
sport vs Andrew Lloyd Webber
the haka the Crystal Palace dinosaurs
matryoshka spy dolls
the likely successor to The Human Centipede.
Plus: Olly has the equivalent of a shy bladder but for sneezing (which you already know is a problem for him); Helen has to choose between her family and her dislike of sport; and Martin the Sound Man’s cup of Earl Grey is full of tears.
In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iThings, Android and Windows devices – rugby brings the rest of Helen’s family joy, but also forces her brother Andy to tell the biggest lie of his life.
Olly’s so fecund at the moment! Birthing out babies and podcasts all over the place. You can find his new show The Modern Mann at modernmann.co.uk, as well as on iTunes and Pocketcasts and the various other podcast-getting places.
Helen is currently releasing new doses of The Allusionist EVERY WEEK (wilts) because Radiotopia is raising funds. Love any of the shows? Donate at radiotopia.fm! And join in her Reddit AMA at 7pm GMT today.
Finally, Martin the Sound Man’s Song By Song podcast is now embarking upon Tom Waits’s Heart of Saturday Night. Not a difficult second album, a cracking second album! (Except for the bits which sound like dinner jazz, which are sub-cracking.)
We’ll return on 12th November 2015 with AMT327.
Helen & Olly
••• AMT326 Child-Friendly Rating: 30%. No bawdy content, but there are swears all over the place. •••
Today’s questioneers face ruin: browser history ruining a surprise; other people ruining the choice of baby names; and ruining your own chances of shagging a houseguest. Don’t ruin your own life by failing to listen to Answer Me This! Episode 325, in which we also discuss:
Of course! Why not use your child to represent your own gripes? They’re only a HUMAN BEING, after all.
(By the way, were any of you given names because your parents were trying to make a political or sociological or some other kind of point? And how did that work out for you?)
Also, several of you wrote in to tell us what happens when you let children choose their own names: you get surgeons named Loki Skylizard. Apparently he was aged eight or nine when he opted for this, and kudos to him for sticking with it when it is perhaps not a name in which most people undergoing heart surgery will feel particularly confident.
RegardingAMT320‘s discussion about naming babies, Jeremiah writes:
You made a comment referencing the character Six in the beloved 80’s sitcom Blossom, in the context of a discussion of names and their derivation. I happen to remember watching an episode of Blossom in which the origins of the name Six were explained. Blossom and Six are having an intimate conversation in which Blossom asks Six how she got her name. Six replies without missing a beat, “That was how many beers it took my dad to think of it.” Cue laugh-track.
According to Wikipedia, “A later explanation is that she was the sixth child in her family”. But apparently the behind-the-scenes truth is “One of the show’s writers came up with the name ‘Six’ because he knew a girl in school called ‘Seven’.”
Whatever it is, perhaps Susan from Riverside, California will feel some relief about her own situation:
In episode 320, you talk about babies who aren’t named right away. I am one of those babies.
I was born on Easter Sunday in 1962. I made my parents leave Mass early. I always thought I was a special girl, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s when I found out the truth: my parents didn’t know what to call me!
When my mom told me this, she was laughing about it the whole time. She started talking about the hospital I was born in and then she said, “You know they called and asked me, are you ever going to name that child?”
She was still laughing, but she sounded kind of pissed that they would bother her about it. I got the sense that she felt she’d name her kid when she was good and ready to name her kid.
I asked her about it after I heard your podcast. She “thinks” the hospital called when I was about 3 weeks old. But when she said, “We knew your middle name was going to be Alexa” my heart just sank. My middle name is Alexia. She couldn’t get it right, so I don’t trust her on the whole 3 weeks scenario.
I was afraid to ask her if she actually knew my name! I have always wondered what they called me during the alleged 3 weeks that I was __________ Alexa, Alexis (whatever).
The real pisser is that I have an older sister who had a name, no problem, so it isn’t like my parents didn’t know what to do!
But it all turned out alright, didn’t it, Susan?
We also heard from Nick Barker, who gave his son the middle name ‘Chu’. Chu Barker. Say it to yourself. Faster. Chu Barker. Says Nick: “I figure, as it is his middle name, he can choose whether to use it or not. At the moment he likes it.”
Plus: Olly remembers his dad’s Martian business plan*, that is still up for grabs if any of you want to do it; Helen has ‘Baby On Board!’ windscreen signs in the crosshairs; and Martin the Sound Man’s parents named him Martin hoping he’d take after one of the nice Martins, rather than Amis or Scorsese.
*If you do decide to give this a whirl – or you have a less doomed idea for a business – build the website using today’s sponsor Squarespace.com. Tinker around during the free two-week trial, then you can have 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘ANSWER‘. You get a URL and loads of storage thrown in. AND Squarespace manages to make your site look nice on desktop, mobile and tablet, which is far more than most site hosts do (ahem ahem this one).
In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for iThings, Android and Windows devices) is a question from Kate about those metal bars that run around the bottom of bars. Bonus appearance from the town that plays Northern Exposure.
We’ll return on 20th August 2015 with AMT321. Be there. Or our hearts will yearn for you.
Helen & Olly
••• AMT320 Child-Friendly Rating: 34%. It opens with feedback regarding AMT319‘s dominatrix question, which, though heartwarming, may be riper than you feel your children should cope with. Some swears thereafter, but we suspect you’ll already have saved this for post-watershed listening. •••
PS Feast your eyes on LEAVENWORTH! The happiest place on earth (or at the very least, Washington State).
Plus: for Olly, giving is better than receiving (when it comes to picture messages); Helen does not belong on wheels; and Martin the Sound Man searches for logic in cartoon characters off adverts, which is really the wrong place to look.
Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘answer’. That’s got to be better than anything you win in a cracker. (Except for the set of tiny screwdrivers or a bottle-opener shaped like an animal; both of these come in surprisingly useful. But, you know, the miniature pack of cards or tiny plastic comb or annoying puzzle made out of metal rings.)
The Best of AMT 2014 will be out next Thursday, 18th December. Return then!
Helen & Olly
••• AMT304 Child-Friendly Rating: 74%. Opens with further discussion of AMT303‘s cheese handjobs, but once the first couple of minutes are over, the rest of the episode’s topics are clean aside from two or three strong swears. •••
My sister is about to have a baby, which means I am about to become an aunt! In fact, I recently realised I will be the baby’s only aunt, which means I feel like I should get it right. I know Helen is an aunt, and I suspect a fun one, or at least I know she likes to lie to her ‘niecephews’.
So answer me this: what do I need to do to be an excellent aunt?
1. Deploy exciting-looking gift-wrapping (the gift within is of secondary importance).
2. Try not to look bored when the kid is telling you an anecdote that doesn’t go anywhere.
3. Teach them to make paper aeroplanes.
4. Don’t bury their grandmother without telling anyone.
That last point is information someone should have given my only aunt. Hindsight is a powerful thing…
Readers, any tips for excellent aunt or uncle performance? Add in the comments.
Discover all these answers, and many more surprises, by listening to the episode right now via one or all of the following methods:
Don’t read below this point if you don’t want spoilers! Listen to the episode first, then come back here and revise its contents.
On the slate for AMT300 are such topics as:
our alternate realities if AMT had never existed evidence of our life of crime
mashed potato vs nutmeg
Peter Jackson vs Raymond Carver
hiding your rubber fetish gear
And the wonderful special guest answerers bending their wisdom to your questions are:
✮Adam Buxton, the man who made us want to do this podcast. He doles out excellent advice on giving your children The Talk, ridding your kitchen of mouse turds, and changing your whole life to avoid minor annoyances. Enjoy more of Adam’s work on YouTube, on Twitter, and at live shows including BUG.
✮Jesse and Theresa Thorn, the first couple of podcasting, the power behind the Maximum Fun throne (at MaxFun, they record everything sitting on thrones). Tackling questions upon Americana and parental embarrassment, it’s a rare treat to hear them on a podcast together – but it’s a regular treat to hear them on their own podcasts, which include One Bad Mother, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Judge John Hodgman… Yeah, it took us nearly eight years to churn out 300 podcasts; they probably do more than that a month. And just in case you needed even more podcast-related excitement on top of this, it’s MaxFunWeek right now, so you can have maximum fun with other podcast aficionados around the world.
✮Tony Blackburn. TONY. BLACKBURN! Answering YOUR questions and sounding off about wandering eyes, Hobbits and nutmeg! He was the first voice on Radio 1 in 1967, and he currently has shows on Radio 2, BBC Berkshire, BBC London, BBC Three Counties, KMFM, Magic…phew! Switch on a radio, and Blackburn will probably be talking on it. You can also read him at twitter.com/tonyblackburn.
✮ Today’s new email jingle is by the Hackney Colliery Band – because there are few things more stirring than a brass band. To see them live and listen to their records, including their new EP Common Decency, visit hackneycollieryband.co.uk.
Our special guest answerers supplied such a lot of marvellous material, there’s a bumper tricentennial Bit of Crap on the App today – extra questions about tattoos, pineapples, balloon animals, taramasalata, adventures, wedgies, and there’s even a cameo from AMT190 superstar Jon Ronson. The app is available for your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings, but since it’s an ‘appy day, you appless can also stream or download it via SoundCloud. Or just play it here: