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.
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:
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. •••
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?
Today’s questioneers have family troubles: troubles with their parents’ TMI; troubles with being an egg-peeling mother; troubles with having spawned a kid who’s a bit of an arsehole. Oh, the truth hurts.
You know what else hurts? Being a chicken at an 18th century fairground. Find out why in Answer Me This! Episode 324, in which we also discuss:
Plus: Olly delivers TMI about both breakfast buffets and boners (separately, not together, although we wouldn’t put it past him); even after 30 years, Helen is still in the grip of the Brownies’ indoctrination; and Martin the Sound Man has a new podcast, and the whole first series is OUT NOW at songbysongpodcast.com, so go and listen to it (after you’ve finished AMT324 first, of course).
In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iThings, Android and Windows devices – we wonder where all the diabolical pop covers of Yankee Doodle are. And before you say, “Careful what you wish for,” NB we are NOT wishing for this. Stand down, Pitbull. Zip it, Rednex.
However, there is no need to exercise such restraint when it comes to trying out today’s sponsor Squarespace.com. 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. Go on, stop talking about it and start making the website of your dreams.
We’ll return on 15th October 2015 with AMT325. BONGGGGGGGG!!!!!!
Helen & Olly
••• AMT324 Child-Friendly Rating: 70%. We weren’t being especially vigilant about swears, but nor were we being particularly sweary. There is talk of boners, but in an educational more than XXX manner. •••
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:
Got any great tips for gaming a hotel breakfast buffet? Do share in the comments; but first, listen to Answer Me This! Episode 297 to learn from the master (ie Olly Mann):
In today’s buffet of audio delights, we’re serving:
Sea Monkey refills
second hand wedding dresses
green peppers vs red peppers
Bob Dylan vs grapefruit juice Steve Wright in the Afternoon vs heroin Harold Von Braunhut
the Pizza Hut salad bar
spying on your children
gobbing in the pot.
Plus: if you see Olly roving towards you armed with a Tupperware tub, he’s either going to take advantage of your buffet or imprison you with fatal consequence; Helen will be survived by a sackful of raw gingerbread; and Martin the Sound Man is a masochist for grapefruit juice.
In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, we tackle another Great British Bake Off question from Katherine from Sheffield. To find out how we go from that to the Sword of Gondor in just four short minutes, fire up the app on your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings. As a happy by-product of buying the app, you’re funding the show – likewise if you splash out on any of our albums or vintage episodes at answermethisstore.com. So you know that along with your purchase you’ll receive a free dose of our eternal gratitude.
And because we’re simply brimful of gratitude today, let’s throw a bucketful over 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.
By the way, if you’re keen to start your own podcast, book a ticket for this Guardian Masterclass and on 20th September, Helen and a host of other podcasting mavens will teach you all you need to know, and then some.
We will return with AMT298 on 18th September, and we hope you do too. Cheerio!
Helen & Olly
••• AMT297 Child-Friendly Rating: 88%. Light on profane language. Unfortunate TMI about Olly and Martin’s bodily fluids. Question from a parent running surveillance ops on their teenager, which may instill trust issues in your own offspring. •••
Not to blow our own trumpets, readers, but we really solve a SHITLOAD of mysteries this week. What’s with carriage clocks? What’s Cher Lloyd on about? Why do people bother toiling away to earn money through honest means when they could just throw themselves in front of a moving car and rake in the compensation? Find out all in Answer Me This! Episode 184:
Facebook for babies
the great lost Arctic Monkeys single
the Golden Arches theory of conflict prevention
Parky’s Parker pens ‘Swagger Jagger’ vs. This is England The Simpsons Movie – X-rated
David Cronenberg’s Crash, reimagined
bears’ pre-hibernation precautions
the Hairy Moment award.
Plus: Olly is already preparing for the minutiae of his life to be immortalised in a museum; heretical Helen sees the World Cup as a prosaic, nay ugly, object; and Martin the Sound Man at last clears up the common History exam question about what was the primary trigger for the Second World War.
This week’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available on iPhone and iPad, or Android) is a question from Naomi about bathtime luxury, which unfortunately leads Helen to recall a magazine’s truly misbegotten sex tip involving pasta. Try it, then let us know whether we’re all missing out thanks to our reluctance to add spaghetti to our sexytime.
Hold up, we’re still not done! We recently guest-hosted an episode of the RadioTalk podcast; click here to hear it and find out more. And in high contrast to that serious podcast about podcasting, we also have the following: video evidence of the anonymous caller in AMT181 who thought his testicles, a stapler and the Keith and the Girl book would be a happy combination. If your curiosity really can’t resist, click here to watch. But we absolve ourselves from any responsibility for the consequences upon your psyche if you choose do so.
Something which has few negative consequences is sending us your QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or find answermethis on Skype) or email to email@example.com. Come back next week to see what we’ve done with them in AMT185. We promise we won’t staple them to our testicles.
Today’s podcast comes to you in association with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Or rather, through a mulch of Krispy Kreme doughnuts; if only we had heeded our grandmothers’ insistence upon not talking with our mouths full. So we suppose Answer Me This! Episode 103 is a bit like dancing on granny’s grave, only without the danger of stubbing our toes on a headstone:
This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p, through iTunes or a secure PayPal server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)
Plus: Olly tries to get by in Spanish; Helen’s childhood hobbies are some Benjamin Buttons shit; and Martin the Sound Man was, by the sound of it, abducted by aliens and forced to participate in some giant scat pool party. We also warn off the other Oliver Mann and the other Answer Me This.
Moreover! If you stick around till the end of the episode you will hear how Luke from Cambridge set us the challenge to find an apt collective noun for Answer Me This! listeners; if you have any good ideas for such (keep it clean, now!), please comment below; and as ever, do send us your QUESTIONS by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a voice message via Skype IDanswermethis or the question line 0208 123 5877.