In Answer Me This! Episode 341, Olly has some big news. Is it about his cat? Is it about an amazing bargain he bought at Costco?? Is it about a fake tan spray that never fades??? Is it even better than any of those things????
We also deal with questions concerning:
Jamie Oliver’s jollies
Dirty Diana Ross vs Dirty Diana, Princess of Wales
Whoppers vs Big Macs
ham-places delicious Polish food in Birmingham
Plus: there is a third in Olly’s relationship, and it is an app for tracking ships; Helen refuses to be bore-shamed; and Martin the Sound Man done a joke, so adopt the brace position.
Today’s bumper Bonus Bit of Crap on the App is more of Olly’s Big News, so join the festivities on your iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices.
Answer Me This! Episode 321‘s questioneers are concerned about networking, Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood‘, and what they’ve found on their parents’ hard drives, as well as:
hiding XXX photos
the perils of Windows 10
the Mann school of networking vs the Zaltzman school of networking the ‘Bad Blood’ galaxy of stars
adult colouring books.
Plus: Olly needs to spend more private time with the Victoria’s Secret catalogue; rather than giving Helen your business card, just put it straight into the recycling bin; and Martin the Sound Man wants you to preserve your parents’ sexual memories, and does NOT want any froyo.
There’s additional Bad Blood Chat in today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App. When Olly went for an MRI recently, did he wear a white rubber bikini like Taylor Swift does in the video? To find out, fire up the app on your iThings, Android and Windows devices.
If, like Martin, you’re about to build a new website, do it using Squarespace.com, who sponsor today’s episode. Use the code ANSWER to get 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year, which include a URL, loads of storage and 24/7 support.
We’ll return on 3rd September 2015 with AMT322. Until then, colour within the lines.
Helen & Olly
••• AMT321 Child-Friendly Rating: 47%. A couple of strong swears, and we don’t know which will be more appalling to your children: the conversation about parents’ saucy photos, or the conversation about networking. •••
In Answer Me This! Episode 317, one questioneer is risking the beauty of his bottom for a bet; one appears to be too close to his sister; and another has an inferiority complex over his local multiplex (an inferiority multicomplex?). We also deal with:
Cornwall vs Greggs
Milton Keynes vs Merseyside
the Mercedes logo vs the peace symbol
Victoria, British Columbia
John Lahr’s remote working practices
dinner party gifts for the booze-free
unwanted text messages D-BOX seats, not to be confused with these d-box seats (link NSFW)
movie premiere attendees
Matthew McConaughey’s norge.
On an etymological tip, I listened to this episode of Slate Working interviewing a lexicographer about her job, and it really made me quite relieved that in 2003 the OED rejected me for my dream job as a lexicographer so I had to become a podcaster instead. Seems like a lot of admin.
Also, if you are fans of The Conspiracy Theories of Olly Mann, you may well enjoy this episode of Reply Allabout One Direction conspiracy theorists. That’s a next level hobby…
Remember to update your Media Podcast feeds tomorrow, for Olly will be back hosting a fresh new episode.
My new show will be all about those precious moments of AMT that we know as “Why is [a thing] called [a thing]?” ie odd phrases and etymology and all sorts of linguistic fun. I’ve been wanting to make it for years, and now is my chance, if…
For my show – along with The Heart and the brilliant Criminal – is what is known as a ‘stretch goal’. They’ve already reached their target to keep the current Radiotopians afloat for another year, but need to raise more in order to greenlight further projects: because making podcasts costs, and to read me wanging on about that particular matter, click here.
So, if you like podcasts and you want to support independent audio creators so they can keep making them, please do chip in. Even $1 (£0.62) is good! $5 (£3.10) is even more good. I could go on.
(And if you spaffed money donating to that that bloody potato salad Kickstarter, you have no excuse not to give a little to something that will result in a year’s worth of top-notch audio entertainment, rather than a forkful of a prosaic foodstuff that goes rancid after two days.)
NOTE 1: This show is not instead of AMT; I’ll be making both! But I’ll be able to be a FULL-TIME PODCASTER, after eight years of trying to fit it around enough paid work to survive. Joe Richman of Radiotopia’s Radio Diaries puts it: “Most people work to get paid, we get paid to work.”
NOTE 2: If you donate, you’ll be funding me making a new show; you’re not funding Answer Me This!. If you feel particularly stirred to contribute to the AMT coffers, then buy some of our albums and classic episodes from answermethisstore.com, or pay a pal through PayPal.
As a stereotypical Brit, I find directly addressing money matters to be excruciating; therefore I will now wrap up the cashchat so I can curl up into a ball and rock back and forth in a dark room.
PS Here’s an interview I did with Roman earlier this year, shortly after he launched Radiotopia, in which he talks about the ethos of the enterprise and why podcasting is so super:
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:
Happy Scottish Referendum Day, everyone! To commemorate, in Answer Me This! Episode 298 we decipher what Scotland’s finest non-whisky exports the Proclaimers were going on about. Vote YES to listening:
We also contemplate:
actors’ posthumous endorsements
James Brown’s bridge vs Robbie Williams’s bridge Henry Hoover
tubby Ryan Gosling vs Peter Jackson
tubby Jared Leto vs gout
tubby Christian Bale vs emaciated Christian Bale vs tubby Christian Bale vs emaciated Christian Bale
being shot in the shoulder vs being shot in the ball
Plus: Olly’s pet Roomba hates not hiding under the sofa; Helen hates disco; and Martin the Sound Man hates the ethics of the contracts for Baywatch, which is bad news for anybody hoping of a revival of that show starring Martin. Him running in slowmo down a beach, haversack full of microphones swaying seductively, will have to remain only in your imagination.
In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, which is available for iDevices old and new, Android or Windows playthings, we continue Cathy’s question about godparenting, and whether you’re obliged to buy a silver spoon for a baby. Because what says ‘Welcome to the world!’ as much as a spoon that tastes weird? Maybe we should start putting around the rumour that the traditional christening gift for godchildren is one of our albums or vintage episodes from answermethisstore.com. They’ll probably grow into it.
Thanks very much to Squarespace.com, for sponsoring this episode, for allowing people to build and host websites easily and beautifully, and for offering you 10% off their services for a whole year if you use the code Answer.
And joy of all joys, Martin the Sound Man has a delightful new album out, available now HERE. Make an old Sound Man happy by downloading those sounds.
We will return with AMT299 (TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY FRICKING NINE!!!!) on 2nd October, and we hope you do too.
Helen & Olly
••• AMT298 Child-Friendly Rating: 52%. A few medium-ranking swears and an F-level swear. Discussion of dick-shaped vacuum cleaners and Barry Manilow’s penis, which latter may prove traumatic for all ages. •••
We are having a debate in the office – how do French people say they’re having a small lunch, if that expression is already bagsied?
As in petit dejeuner, literally small lunch but meaning breakfast? Usually the adjective follows the noun in French, so would that make small lunch ‘un dejeuner petit’? Readers with working knowledge of French, am I right? Help me out in the comments, because I haven’t spoken French since 1994 and my memory is mauvais.
Plus: Olly details the specifications for choosing his new alarm clock, so set your own alarm clock to jolt you back into consciousness afterwards; Helen comes up with a Doctor Who reboot for Matt Smith and an amazing sit- for a sitcom, so TV commissioners, prepare a bucket of cash and call her in for a meeting; and Martin the Sound Man won’t let you through a gate until you give him a little somethin-somethin. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.
Today’s Bit of Crap on the App, Helen gets doorbell envy. To hear all about that grievous condition, push the button on your iDevices, Android or Windows gadgets.
No need to envy other people’s nice websites – now you can build your own through Squarespace.com, who not only kindly funded today’s show, but are also offering you a 10% discount off their services for a whole year if you use the code answer. We used Squarespace to build answermethisstore.com and it was even easier to set up shop than it is to set up this shop.
AMT287 Child-Friendly Rating: 95%.
No unsuitable content, aside from the demystification of Hello Kitty. An F-bomb is detonated during the discussion of keyboard shortcuts, but thanks to the subject matter, there’s no way your kids will be paying attention.
I’m from Sweden but I’ve lived in the UK for 10 years – which is is about a third of my life.
I have adjusted well and feel like I understand the British sense of humour, culture and got to grips with you poor dental care and MRSA-ridden hospitals, your crazy ass parliament (a bunch of posh old men shouting at each other?!), binge drinking, TOWIE etc.
One thing I still haven’t got to grips with is this:
When someone greets me by saying “alright?”
Do they mean “Hi!” or do they mean “How are you?”
I never know how to respond; do I say, “I’m good thanks, how are you?” do I say “hi” back, or do I say “alright”?
Also, my boss always says “you ok?” to me, rather than saying “hi” or even “alright?”. Does this mean the same thing i.e. a greeting, or is he genuinely concerned about my wellbeing?
So, in conclusion, how do I respond to “alright?” or “you ok?”
You’re right to suspect, Alex, that these people aren’t really too interested in your health. Think of these as greetings which are slightly more elaborate than “Hi”, in that they’re inviting you to respond, even if you’re responding in kind with meaningless small talk. “Fine thanks, how are you?” is always an appropriate response, regardless of whether you’re actually fine and interested in how the other person is.
The next step in the dance is more difficult to predict. Ideally, you’ll either move on to actual conversation rather than filler, or part company, but sometimes you can be trapped in a small talk volley for several minutes or even hours. So always have an exit strategy, because you don’t want to die from a ruptured bladder after being too polite to end a week-long exchange of casual greetings.
In writing this post, we’ve learnt that the paintings of Helen Daniels are SO dreadful, even Google Images refuses to index many of them. There’s not even an ironic Tumblr collection! The image above was the only shot we could find of the Kennedy klan’s portrait, but it remains as powerfully repellant as ever.
Why have we waved this horrifying visual in front of your eyes? Listen to Answer Me This! Episode 275 to discover:
On today’s slate:
the British Museum
loans for kids
Colosseum 4 Kids
Sir Hans Sloane
Plus: Olly is waiting for the long overdue system update for wooden furniture; Helen’s swerving from pumpkin-spiced lattes; and Martin the Sound Man has identified the point at which he left childhood for adulthood: when he started fancy-talking about his excrement.
In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices, Android and Windows) Helen readies herself for the inevitable call asking her to join Gladiators if they ever rereboot it. She may not be match fit, but she’s got her name all picked out.
This episode was brought to you by the largesse of squarespace.com, who are also offering you a 10% discount off their service if you use the code Answer10 after you’ve used up your two weeks’ free website-building experimental phase.
See you next Thursday,
Helen & Olly
AMT275 Child-Friendly Rating: 98%. Educational content; clean language apart from the word ‘shat’. Not bad going, eh?
Rub-a-dub-dub, two nuns in a tub – but what the blazes are they getting up to in there? Find out in Answer Me This! Episode 236:
Today we consider:
Roger vs. Wilco
wet bars vs. dry bars vs. swim-up bars
the Moorish influence on Span vs. Frank Muir’s influence on Spain
Sarah Palin’s password
laundry fragranczzzzzzz Pfalz Historical Museum drink options
the oldest continuously producing Cabernet Sauvignon vine
double disk drives.
Plus: Olly is a bit disappointed by his holiday hotel’s drink facilities, in that they did provide kettles but didn’t serve drinks through boobs; Helen doesn’t think you should trust Password Wallet any more than post-it notes; and Martin the Sound Man is never going to make it as a wedding singer if his set is just ‘Heartbeat‘ four times followed by ‘Magic Dance‘ as encore.
In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) Olly reminisces about the time he had a wet bar in his student bedroom. People always think wet bars are so ritzy, but the Olly Mann twist on MTV Cribs fanciness can be yours for only £20 from Millets.
By the way, if you’re curious about spiders after today’s episode, our pal Jim Bell of Geekpop podcast is your spider man. NB Jim is not Spider-man, he is a normal man who doesn’t wear spandex and seems fairly unwracked by angst. He is just very keen on spiders, as his website demonstrates – in an entirely safe-for-work way, we assure you.
Less safe for work is our photo of Olly demonstrating that, like today’s questioneer Brad’s wife’s student, he is the bollocks. Click here to see. Don’t be scared – it’s much gentler than all that nasty Staplenuts business last year.
Anyway, rest assured, dear listeners, that we think you are all the bollocks. So please bring your beautiful bollocky selves back here next Thursday for AMT237.