Posts Tagged ‘Father Christmas’

The Administration System of Christmas

December 22, 2015

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT329

We speculated about the best way for a parent to handle the Administration System of Christmas in AMT328 and 329, but how do you actual child-rearers do it? Brian from Montana writes:

My oldest daughter came to the truth about Christmas’s “Administrative details” on her own.

But when she asked, “So were you lying to me?” I channeled my inner Obi-Wan and said, “That depends on your point of view. Is there a magical man that can break the known laws of time and space to deliver presents each year to kids around the world? Of course not. But, did a man dressed in a red suit stop by our house the past 4 Christmas Eve’s to bring you and your siblings gifts? Yes. (We know a guy.) Are there hundreds of thousands of such men around the world who love kids so much that they put on a big red suit and bring them happiness? Yes. So, in a way, Santa is VERY real, he just isn’t magical, but why is that so important? And now that you’re in on the secret, you can be a part of it.”

She was elated at such a prospect, and I dislocated my arm patting myself on the back for avoiding what was, for me, a traumatic revelation when I found out.

We’ve been treating The Administration System of Christmas quite flippantly in the past couple of episodes, but perhaps we should be more careful if the revelation is traumatic for people. I recall a particularly traumatised Administration System of Christmas victim in chapter 1 of the Lights, Camera, Christmas episode of This American Life. Can any of you outdo the parental deception efforts there?

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Thursday Listening Party

December 17, 2015

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On the Thursdays with no new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.

Friends! This is your annual reminder to pipe the Answer Me This! Christmas into your home, for festive advice and history and fun facts (and to drown out the sounds of Christmas rows). There’s a bit more seasonal content in AMT328 and 329 – and in this episode of The Allusionist, in which I learn that Christmas cards used to have bacon stuck to the front, and that Santa was almost called Captain Christmas.

Recently I’ve been racing through Woman of the Hour and Another Round, but because I’m currently mired in the immense annual task of compiling the AMT Best Of – out on Christmas Eve! – I haven’t had much time to listen to many other things over the past few weeks, hence the recent absence of Thursday Listening Parties. But please go to the comments to share the shows that have been delighting your eardrums lately.

We’ve received a LOT of questions about Monopoly over the years, so I think many of you will want to hear the 99% Invisible episode about it, the least enjoyable board game ever invented.

Here are three delightful episodes about music: Fugitive Waves by the Kitchen Sisters on Nick Drake; Björk talking about ‘Stonemilker’ on Song Exploder; and an Aaron Carter superfan on The Heart. What a party playlist!

Over Christmas and New Year, please sample our other podcasts:
Get your Olly dose on the Modern Mann, the Media Podcast and the Guardian’s Tech Weekly; and he’ll be on LBC over the festive period as well.
Martin’s shows include Song By Song, Brain Train, The Sound of the Ladies, and the Global Lab.
The Allusionist is my other main gig. My favourite episode is perhaps this one, even though I crumble as a human being during it.

Alright, back to scaling Mount Edit! See you on the other side. If there is another side…

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EPISODE 329: Log’s your uncle

December 10, 2015

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In Answer Me This! Episode 329, one questioneer wrestles with the ethics of breeding Christmas-truther children who ruin everything for the other kiddos; another introduces us to the Catalan Christmas tradition we now desperately need to appropriate. Listen to find out about those, and also these:

free coffee
safety curtains
Caffe Nero loyalty
the internet on disc
caganer
dehumanising apps
phosphor burning
Elf: The Musical
festive NORAD
and
the shitting uncle.

Plus: Olly rode the carousel we all dream of riding; at primary school, Helen reined in her Junior Richard Dawkins; and Martin the Sound Man manages to ruin Oral-B for everyone, thanks Martin.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App, the talk of free coffee fraud turns to a far graver offence: Toys R Us fraud. To hear, fire up the app on your 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 if you invoke the code ANSWER.

Thanks also to everyone who has supported the show by buying the Answer Me This! Christmas album. If you haven’t yet, this is really the time of year to do so. April, not so much. It’s available at answermethisstore.com, as well as some of the online retail behemoths – links and further details of the contents are available at answermethispodcast.com/christmas.

We are now collecting your questions for AMT in 2016! Leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Befriend us online at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

We’ll return with the Best of AMT 2015 on 24th December 2015.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT329 Child-Friendly Rating: 5%. Some swears; some bawdy references; and the greatest peril of all: THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS OF CHRISTMAS GIFTS IF YOU KNOW WHAT WE MEAN AND WE THINK YOU DO. So, beware! Also, Olly encourages your children to break the airport rules, which will probably get them tasered. •••

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Tis the season for the Answer Me This! Christmas album, falalalalaaa la la la la

November 21, 2013

AMTxmas logo

Christmas has come early, AMTpals, because the Answer Me This! Christmas Album is out NOW, available to buy from iTunes, Amazon and our very own Answer Me This! Store:

AMTStorebuy it now buttonbuy it now button

If you take the plunge and purchase it, you’re not only funding the podcast, you also get one hour of all-new Christmas chat about such festive topics as:

FOOD!  

Audio is entirely calorie-free, so feast your ears on mince pies, trifle, Brussels sprouts, poisoned turkey, lutefisk, Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa Cake and what Christmas pudding can teach you about atomic physics (which is better than eating it).

ENTERTAINMENT!

Christmas titans Eric’n’Ernie face off against Mike Yarwood; Olly fails to be swept away by ‘Fairytale of New York’ (and don’t even get him started on ‘Christmas Wrapping’); and the Grinch stole Dr Seuss’s doctorate.

CUSTOMS!

How the Norse deities Frigga and Baldur got you to snog people under a bunch of a poisonous parasitic plant; why Rudolph’s got a red nose; how the first ever Christmas card managed to be offensive; why Kwanzaa was invented; and Santa on waterskiis.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

How to salvage the situation if your partner’s bought you a brilliant present and you got them something shit; what to do if you dread staying at your in-laws’ house; how to uninvite people from your party; and why you’re more likely to end up getting a divorce at Christmas. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

DECORATIONS!

Let us deck the halls of your ears with Christmas jumpers, Christmas crackers, double beards, and paper hats, even though everyone looks like a dick in the paper hats. Especially because everyone looks like a dick in the paper hats.

The Answer Me This! Christmas Album is fun for all the family – no, it really is, because we don’t even swear. So Great-Grandma Gladys and Tiny Tim can listen happily together while you sneak off and neck the cooking brandy.

Buy it now from the Answer Me This! Store, iTUNES and AMAZON.

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more Australian Christmas

December 11, 2012

CLICK HERE FOR AMT240

Thanks to you people, I now feel more prepared for an Antipodean Christmas than a Northern Hemispherical one! Rohan writes:

Growing up in the outback, Christmas was a mixtures of both the old and the new. We have the traditional Christmas stuff but also Australian Christmas stuff such as kangaroos with Santa hats etc. Also there are Australian carols such as Rolf Harris’s ‘Six White Boomers’ (boomers is slang for large kangaroos).

Rob adds:

I laughed when you were discussing the celebration of Christmas in Oz and whether snow scenes etc were suitable ways of marking the “occasion”. I have lived in Noosa, Queensland for 5 years, previously Sydney and London for 20 years.

The snow scene here is very much the norm despite there being no resemblance to a northern hemisphere weather pattern in Dec/Jan or ever.

Below is a snap taken from Friday’s Noosa Lights switch on depicting Santa riding on a beach buggy surf life saving vehicle accompanied by four saucily dressed female helpers. Noosa is sub-tropical unlike Sydney, Melbourne or Tasmania where it does get chilly. It was 6pm and about 30c and Santa would have been sweating the proverbial weight off dressed in his garb.

About 50 metres away there is golden beach with waves rolling in, as you can see most of the public are dressed in beach gear, the entire Christmas narrative of snow, sleighs and reindeer is ridiculous in this climate but routinely appears in shop window displays.

-3

At least in his line of work, Santa can pinch some toiletries to conceal his sweaty stench.

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Dear Santa

December 5, 2012

CLICK HERE FOR AMT239

Here’s a festive question from Liz in Haskayne, Lancashire:

Today I have been writing letters to Santa with my toddlers (Toby, age 3 and Eden, age 2).

It got me thinking about what actually happens to all the letters sent to Santa. Surely they don’t send them on to the North Pole where there is some kind of giant paper recycling plant?

So, answer me this – what do Royal Mail and the like do with all that post for Santa?

They do send it on to Santa, of course, and Santa answers it himself – or at least rubber-stamps his signature onto a template letter he dictated to a secretary.

Then he puts the letter into a shredder and uses the shreddings to line the bottom of his hamster cage.

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EPISODE 239 – Reich Krispies

November 29, 2012

Hi listeners,

So that unfeasibly rich child from Two and a Half Men says you should not watch Two and a Half Men because it is pisspoor FILTH and THE ENEMY’S PLAN.

As usual there’s some mild FILTH in Answer Me This! Episode 239. Can’t disclose the enemy’s plans; you’ll have to interpret them yourself when you listen:

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Today we consider:

The Queen 4 Harry Styles
Australian Xmas
chocolate crispy cakes
immoral i-spying mums
helmets vs. head injuries
AMT1-120 vs. THX 1138
Simon Cowell’s corruption
beleaguered Morrisons mums
sweeties from Firebox
Oxford Street Marmite lights
the Royal Variety Performance
Heston’s Food Panto
wedding politics
pants photosynthesis
and
being microwaved to death.

Plus: Olly blows bubbles out of his bum; Helen calls for tougher gum laws; and Martin the Sound Man is pleased you all seem to like his package.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) is more hot air from Olly, as he recounts how he burped into a stranger’s face. Luckily, because Olly couldn’t hear it at the time, it DID NOT COUNT.

Your QUESTIONS definitely do count, so please email them to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com or leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis.

See you next Thursday,

Helen & Olly

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EPISODE 229 – the Pubes Fairy

September 20, 2012

Hello listeners! Refreshed by a month off, we return with an episode bursting with fresh new questions. Well, fresh except for the one about the Spice Girls, which we maintain IS fresh as long as you fell into a coma in the summer of 1996 and only just woke up. If that is your situation, we’ll help you catch up on what you missed. We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but Kate Moss and Johnny Depp split up. And things have been awfully quiet on the Meg Mathews front lately.

Everyone else, put Answer Me This! Episode 229 into your ears:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

Today we discuss:

self-pleasure on the Eurostar
the madness of Mel B
rave Adele
reclining vs. lounging
Tom vs. Jerry
My Little Eye (mild spoilers! (but the film is ten years old (so that’s OK)))
Richard III’s corpse
stomach tombola
revisionism of Mammy Two Shoes
Too Good to be True
keeping the spontaneity in the Soggy Biscuit Game
dying for a Wii
the equally hateable successors to the BT couple we won’t stop hating till BT installs fibre-optic broadband in their joint grave
and
digestive biscuits.

Plus: Olly is terrified of his own pubes (until they start paying rent for their residence upon his body); Helen’s attempt to trick the Tooth Fairy backfired right into her bank balance; and Martin the Sound Man dreams about how, in an alternate universe, Simon and Garfunkel would have replaced ‘The Sound of Silence’ with the sound of cartoon hammers.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) is a question from Ginger Paul about toilet attendants, bog butlers, lavatory landlords, ablution assistants – whatever you want to call them, the principle is the same, but what’s with all the lollipops? Loo-lipops? Lolli-poops?

Our new series will be running all the way to Christmas, but only if you send us QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (Skype answermethis or dial 0208 123 5877) or send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

See you next Thursday!

Helen & Olly

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EPISODE 160 – everything in the 70s was brown

December 9, 2010

Creeeeeak! What’s behind today’s advent calendar door? Is it a lovely picture of a robin? A verse of the nativity story? A little chocolate that tastes of solidified moisturiser? Let’s see……ooh, what a surprise! It is, instead, Answer Me This! Episode 160:


This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

And what surprises are therein? Well:

Ali Baba
JJB Sports
Princess Mary of Denmark
dead dogs
Halle Berry’s bum
Tina Turner’s legs
Sega Master System
the Thompson Twins
terrifying pores
Facebashing
British Home Stores
naval recruitment
‘The Night Before Christmas’
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Heidi Range-deer
scary cartoon Weetabix
an abundance of allen keys
The Silver Spoon
and
Plopp.

Plus: Olly is cockblocked by a statue of his newborn self; Helen tells you how not to throw like a girl; and Martin the Sound Man tells you how to make your Christmas protracted and boring. Whoopee! Also, don’t forget this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (which is now available on Android, huzzah!), which shows how a bunch of adults can dissolve into childish mirth during an upright discussion about advent calendars as soon as the word ‘flaps’ shows up. Flaps! Snigger.

You can send us QUESTIONS in the form of voicemails on the Question Line 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com, and we’ll stack them under the tree to open at Christmas. BUT! Next Thursday sees the first installment of the annual treat (debatably) that is our Best Of episodes, so if you have a favourite bit of AMT2010, please tell us about it on our Facebook wall or, if you forswear social networking, in the comments right here.

See you next week for the visit of the Ghosts of Podcasts Past,

Helen & Olly

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