Episode 54 - An Assault on the Senses

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Hey there listener! You know that voice in your head that tell you to shoplift and dropkick toddlers? Well make room for a new one as Tim the Handlebreaker officially joins the podcast! On the Season 3 premiere, we assault your senses with these issues:

-The Living Room-ification of Movie Theaters

-Electronic Arts' Sudden Villainy

-Terrible Final Jeopardy Questions

-Salvation Army Bell Ringers

The comfort of your own home. A nice big recliner, a fat plate of food in front of you, Americop 2: The Revengening on the big screen, and dozens of people you don't know who can't work their phone's brightness setting. ONE OF THESE THINGS DOESN'T BELONG. Over the years big chain movie theaters have figured out that we as a people would rather stay at home where we can control the thermostat and not pay per person to see their new summer blockbusters. So, to get the audience back they've changed their seating, food, and overall experience to be much more like your own living room, but bigger. The only problem is that you still have to deal with morons. Speaking of morons, some people still had hope that EA wouldn't screw up their new Battlefront game, but guess what? They did! And absolutely nobody saw it coming. It blindsided everyone like an 98 year old lady driving a flatbed through a shopping mall. Was this the straw that broke the camel's back? Why does it take until your space elves grow cancer of the lootbox variety until you realize that this massive company doesn't care about you? They just want those sweet, sweet galactic credits. Doesn't Dark Fader deserve your money? No! But you know who does deserve your money? The far-better-when-mustachioed Alex Trebek. Look, the man needs all the support he can get. He sits in that dank, dark dungeon he calls an office every day racking his gamma radiation-soaked brain for categories and questions to stump those trivia know-it-alls. He plays it off like the show has "writers" and "judges" but not anymore... it's been just him for a long time. Unfortunately that means not every question can be a winner, and lately it seems he's given up on the Final Jeopardy questions, which is a shame, considering that they should be the ultimate test of useless trivia knowledge. But alas, he is just one man. Wouldn't it be nice to do your holiday shopping in peace this year? TOO BAD! This time of year, only one thing stands between your ears and those heavily discounted miter saws, and it's the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. Not enough is it for them to ask for a donation, but they must also thrust the cacophony of a hand bell right into your inner ear. Personally, we'd rather hear a nice jazz flute, or a local thrash metal band playing Silent Night as they beg us for money that we would rather spend on stocking stuffers. Guilt us into charity a little more quietly next year, why don't you.

We also listen to a whole trove of voicemails wishing Uncle Buck the best as he walks off into the sunset, and Tab tells tales from the windy city. Which one of us made the top 100 posts on Reddit this week? Honestly, you don't have to listen to this episode to guess, but you should!

Join the HWIDG Discord server here: https://discord.gg/RK6q3jM

Ep 53 - Unbuckled (ft. Joel Chaco) - Season Two Finale

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Welcome to the Season 2 Finale, and welcome to returning champion Joel Chaco! I was gonna put a long list of silly fake-outs here, like some sort of mid-day soap opera, but instead I'll just play it straight. I'm Uncle Buck, and this is my last episode as a special guest on Here's What I Don't Get. Why? It could be one of the following reasons . . .

- Wake-up Calls / Reality Check

- The Internet of Things

- Stick Figure Family Stickers

It happens to everyone at some point; what you thought was real is proven false, or what you never realized is suddenly, painfully revealed to you. But, instead of calling this an issue, this is what I DO get, because changes happen in life, and the choices we make affect our future. It's always good to understand the truth, so that you can steer your life in a positive direction. So, that happened to me. And, while that day was among the most painful I've ever experienced, in a way I'm glad for it. Sometimes the truth is right there in front of us. but we can't step back far enough to see the big picture. I see, at least a little bit, a bigger picture now, and to do the things that I need to do in my life, I have to make cuts. Sadly, that involves retiring from active HWIDG duty.

Have you ever thought to yourself "Y'know what would make my refrigerator even cooler? Facebook." No? Well, neither has Joel Chaco. It's a common sentiment, but it's nonetheless true that all of the internet connectivity that claims to draw us closer together actually, in a way, isolates us. We've mentioned it on the show before, but it's not uncommon at all to see people living their lives through the filter of a smart phone camera. We spend so much time focusing our attention on devices that we fail to notice the things happening directly in front of us. But, also, with every "smart" gadget you turn on, there's bound to be a microphone and a camera built in. Those cameras and microphones are always watching, and someone is able to access that information. It's almost unfathomable that, even when you do stop paying attention to you phone to spend time with your family, your phone hasn't stopped paying attention to you. Neither has your TV. Or your fridge. And speaking of people gathering info on your family . . .

It's a popular trend, these days, for soccer moms to have, on the back glass of the SUV or minivan, the little stick figure decals of the family. You've seen them, right? But they're damned annoying. In reality, nobody (and especially not Tab) cares about your kids and your dog. No one cares that your son plays hockey, and your daughter does ballet. The only person who even pays attention to your family decals . . . are criminals. Don't see a stick figure of a German shepherd or pit bull on the back of that car? Follow it home and scope it out, because they've signaled that there's no dogs guarding the house. See a figure of a woman and seven cats? Boom. No husband. Easy pickins. It really behooves us to pay attention to what information we cast into the public eye. From car decals to posts on social media, you can turn yourself into a target if you aren't careful.

Again, I, Uncle Buck, really want to take a minute to thank all of you who have been faithful to the show. The past year has been a wild ride for me, and doing this show has allowed me to do a lot of introspection. The support and love I've received from this community has astounded me. It's a strange thing to think that there are upwards of ten thousand people who have tuned in to this little podcast that Joel and I started a year ago. To all of you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Stepping away from the show is not easy, and I'm going to miss talking to you all each week. I can't say it enough: thank you!

And also thanks to Joel Chaco, for starting this show with me and putting up with my narcissism and laziness. You've been a better friend to me than a lot of people ever tried to be. And thank you to Tab. You've welcomed me into your home, you've been a good friend, and you've proven your mettle by stepping up to the plate in this show.

Sage calls in, and we grant a listener's request. Who will be the new special guest of SEASON THREE? You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!


Episode 52 - Handle Breaker (ft. Tim the Handle Breaker)

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Episode 52 - Handle Breaker (ft Tim the Handle Breaker)

We're cruising down the road of life, you and us, but when it comes time for us to stop for a break, I hope you don't mind crawling out through the window, because Tim the Handle Breaker is joining us today as we bring in the following issues:

-Hollywood Types Who Think That Their Poop Doesn't Stink


-Not Fixing The Problem

Hollywood. You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Behind every good movie or tv show you see, there are a million terrible ones, and even more terrible, depraved individuals who can't admit to their own flaws. There is no one perfect, not even one, but there seems to be a common consensus that failure is something that simply happens, and when you fail, if you just own up to it and accept it, you'll be allowed to move on in the court of public opinion. But not Hollywood types. No, they're a breed that can't seem to admit when they've plopped out a massive stinker. Instead, they'll misdirect, weasel, and lie their way out of culpability . . . Paul Feig. Yeah, that's right, you smug, self-righteous, virtue signaling bastard! I'm talking to you! Your movie (and you know the one I'm talking about) was a complete and utter NIGHTMARE! And speaking of nightmares . . .

Dreams. They're a touch of the mystical in the midst of the mundane. Or, maybe they're just chemicals in your brain. Either way, we all experience them, and we all find ourselves perplexed at the seeming absurdity that they often bring. Dreams can be the window into the subconscious, or they can be the result of too much Mexican food while binge watching Better Call Saul. Many, including Buck, have dabbled in the world of dream interpretation, but even when you analyze a dream, carefully deciphering all of the little hidden symbols and meanings, sometimes they're still just cathartic subconscious static. A jumble of random nonsense; your brain dumping out the leftovers into the neighbor’s flower bed. When they do have a deeper meaning, however, they can be very helpful in diagnosing and resolving personal issues. And speaking of resolving things . . .

No matter who you are, where you're from, or what you do, you're gonna come across a situation in your life that requires rectification. Resolution. Or maybe just hitting with your fist until the static clears. When we come across these opportunities, we have two options: Fix the problem, or don't. Many, I'm sad to say, choose to don't. And when you leave a problem to wait while you cobble together a cheap workaround, they often fester. Buck has had enough! It's time for all of us to recognize that the damned machine right in front of you is broken, and it needs to be fixed RIGHT THIS SECOND, because the temporary fixes just aren't cutting it anymore! It's time to stand up, march right over to the window and scream "HEY, THIS MACHINE IS BUSTED AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!" Or something like that. Either way, just fix the problem. Stove whispers a call in, but then strangely calls in again. Also, a few thoughts from last week's host, Monon'c Pat. Whose Patreon surpassed whom this week? You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!



Ep 51 - Outdoor Bureaucracy (ft. Monon'c Pat)

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You'd better hope the weather holds up, because we're kicking off this festival, hosted by none other than Monon'c Pat, who was the winner of our Halloween look-alike contest! So, grab a bevvy, wander the vendor tents, or pick a spot on the lawn and watch us as we take the stage with the following issues: -Outdoor Festivals -Bureaucracy -Toy Video Games

Ever wanted to have a cool party or ceremony or other form of social gathering, but were just dead set on doing it outside on a pleasant, sunny day? The bigger the plans, the more time it takes to prepare, so you spend potentially weeks or months with an idyllic vision in your mind's eye of happy people doing happy things in a picture-perfect setting. And then it rains. And you, and your festival/wedding/party are outside in that rain. Good job. Not. Look, I get it. We all want to enjoy the perfect outdoor conditions, and the fresh air, and even though we know that bad weather is a possibility, we seem to have this ability to just throw that concept into the air and say "Fuck it. Rain doesn't happen to MY parade." and away we go. Now all of your time and effort are wasted. And speaking of wasting time and effort . . .

Governments are a reality. They just happen. There are many debates about the necessity of the state, and the ubiquitous social compact, but those are far loftier concepts. What governments mean, inevitably, is that you're going to have to interact with a government bureau to get permission of some kind for some activity that you JUST WANT TO FUCKING DO, LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING, FROM THE PRIVACY AND COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME, YOU GOVERNMENT SONS OF BITCHES! But I digress. Forgive me. A government employee who sits at a desk all day, dealing with paperwork and rote rules is going to have all of the enthusiasm of a sack of mud. Effort will slowly go out the window, and so will your patience. Bureaucracy is the result of tedious rules enforced by people who have been sucked dry of life, like in Metroid. And speaking of shoehorned segues into video games . . .

Video games are already an expensive pass-time. You've gotta buy a console or PC, which can range from $300 to $3,000 depending of what it is and how powerful, and THEN you've got the price of the games themselves, which, at this point in time, is roughly $60 USD. And that's for one game. So, you finish that one in a couple of weeks TOPS and now you need more content. It's either back to the store for a whole new game, or hop online to see if there's some DLC for a few bucks. But what happens when, instead of clean digital DLC, you have to get back in your car, go to the store and buy an expensive toy that unlocks DLC? And whereas a DLC may have cost between $5 and $20, depending on how much content there is, that toy is going to run you at least $15, and the DLC is going to be something stupid, like a character skin. So not only are you overpaying for a useless trinket in the game, but now you're stuck with a useless trinket in your home. Stove attempts a call in, and someone impersonates a personality from another podcast. WHO GOT HIT WITH A $20 MILLION LAWSUIT? You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Ep 50 - Religion Of Flies

Come unto us, all ye who do not get, and we will give unto you the bread of rage.  On this 50th episode, lay your issues at our feet and submit yourselves to our rantings, and we will lead you on the path of grabby sharks as we enlighten you on the following issues:

-Biting Your Tongue
-Sudden Infestations of Flies

I dare say that nearly all of the humans born, from the beginning of time, have been born with a tongue.  I'm sure there have been some exceptions due to birth defects, and it's true that some folks lose their tongue to accident or disease during their lifetime, but for the vast majority of us, we have a tongue from the day we're born to the day we die.  For the most part, this is good; tongues have many uses, from eating to speaking to cunnilingus.  The Bible even chimes in on the tongue, saying that a man who can control his tongue can control his entire life.  But, even the most skilled of tongue controllers cannot avoid occasionally biting their tongue, and in that moment of shame and failure, we all fall to the same pit of shame and pestilence.  And speaking of pestilence . . .

Everyone gets a pest in their house occasionally.  Good housekeeping and a healthy dose of vigilance can go a long way towards keeping the unwanted visitors to a minimum.  But what are you to do when you're suddenly inundated with uncountable hordes of insects?  That's the question Buck had last week when his house was suddenly inhabited by hundreds of flies, with no explanation of how they got in or why they came.  With a can of spray in one hand and a fly-swatter in the other, and terror threatening to grip his life and home, Buck fought valiantly against the buzzing interlopers, only to discover that the army of irritants was merely the scout party of a full-fledged invasion force waiting on his front porch.  It was only after a miracle from the Almighty that the unclean ones left the Buck house.  And speaking of the Almighty . . .
There are lots of questions that are difficult to answer, but demand that we search.  Where the universe came from.  Was it always there?  What is the meaning of existence?  Each of us, in some way or another, chooses a system of belief that attempts to address these questions.  Some of us find a form of faith by which we derive meaning and guidance to govern our lives.  But when your belief gives way to a rote set of rules, what you have is a religion.  Religion is kinda like faith, but without life, without love, and without power.  Religion is the empty shell of dead faith.  Both Tab and Buck give their thoughts on both the merits and value of legitimate faith, and the destruction caused by wanton religion.

Stove transforms, and Sage flips his lid.  What did Tab set on fire in his appartment?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Visit the TNS Dojo Official Discord! https://discord.gg/hXZWHpw

And the HWIDG Discord! https://discord.gg/RK6q3jM

Ep 49 - Filtered Olympics

Get ready to be under-represented in the Olympics of virtue signaling!  You may experience some filtered pain as we vault into the following issues:

-"I Have No Filter"
-Representation Olympics
-"Men Experience Labor Pain" Videos
-Poor Quality Audio Books

People are lazy.  Every one of us is lazy at some thing duing some point of our lives.  For some folks, it comes in the form of not putting any effort into self-control.  When someone says "I have no filter", what they're really saying is "I don't care enough about myself to maintain any semblance of manners."  Maybe it's self-esteem instead of laziness, but the two are pretty closely linked, anyway.  So, instead of having a modicum of self-respect, the unfiltered among us instead engage in justifying a lack of discretion through mental gymnastics.  And speaking of mental gymnastics . . .

Race is a hot button issue these days, and we're no strangers to the topic on this show.  One of the big buzz words in use today is "representation".  It's the idea that unless every possible corner of human diversity is crammed into something, it's invalid.  Not enough Inuits in your movie about the Bible?  Straight to hell it, then!  But what is really being pushed?  If you look at how laws and economy work, racial equality is on the steady uptick.  The progressive changes that needed to be made have, in fact, been made, so what is the end goal of further flogging the race horse?  Buck predicts a future without racial pain.  And speaking of pain . . .

It's simply a fact of biology that, in most mammals, females give birth to young.  It's how nature has determined that procreation will work, and we may not relish the idea of biological sex roles, but there's currently little we can do to change it.  Simply put, men can't have babies.  It's up to women, and we appreciate that burden of love and labor that mothers must bear to carry on the species.  But, for some women, thanks isn't enough.  Shame must be brought to bear on men for not being physically capable of experiencing labor.  Enter videos of men experiencing simulated labor pain.  I get it; it can give perspective, and it was a neat thought experiment twenty years (or however long it was) ago when it was done for the first time.  But now it's just a trend to somehow show men how durable women are.  Ladies, as a man, let me tell you: we know.  We know you're tough.  We know labor and childbirth are painful.  We get it.  Thank you for giving birth.  Now shut up.  If we wanted to hear it, we'd read about it in a book.  And speaking of reading books . . .

Audio books aren't the newest thing, but they're certainly still somewhat new.  Buck remembers back when they were referred to as "books on tape", and actually came on cassette tapes.  But in an age of rich dramatic interpretation of all forms of media, a lacklustre audio book can leave a bad taste in one's mouth.  This is what happened to Tab, when a recent listen raised the bar for all other audio books, and now there are too many found lacking.

Stove calls in, Sage responds to Sagecucks, and Buck tells a story about impersonating his dad.  Who won the HWIDG look-alike contest?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out! 

Ep 48 - Diversified Flow


Sick of the same old 'round and round'?  Ready for things to go down - straight down?  Well then you'd better join us or get off the pot as we pinch off the following issues:

-Diversified Construction
-Low Flow Toilets
-Fake Fall
-People Nosing Into Your Business

It can be argued that progress is a good thing.  Advances in tech and technique have increased supply, convenience, and longevity, but at what cost?  What is the price of progress?  Leonard H. Courtney (and Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn) has said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but what is the price of progress?  The price of progress is eternal construction.  From roads to buildings to machines, every update and upgrade must be built, and it's always inconvenient when you're already running a little late and you spot a line of traffic originating at a guy in an orange vest holding a stop sign.  But to further complicate matters, deep pockets tend to have a side-compartment specially designed for holding hubris, and instead of focusing on one project at a time, many projects are going simultaneously.  Now, take something large, like a city, county, or state government, which has a difficult time focusing on any one thing at a time and finishing it competently, and divide that attention up among several different projects, the labor of which has been hired out to a multitude of different private contractors.  Now throw in budgets and weather.  The result?  Bedlam.  Chaos.  A type-and-shadow of the post apocalyptic wasteland that threatens us all with every passing day.  The days grow dark, the water runs red with North Carolina red clay which has leached into the rusted pipes, the food trucks are late to the stores, creating a shortage, and traffic flow comes to a halt!  And speaking of flow coming to a halt . . .

Another type of progress is renovation.  Such as home renovation.  Like, say, a little touch-up in the bathroom.  Happened to Buck recently.  Part of bathroom renovations can be a new toilet.  We're definitely fans of That Larry Show, where the biggest motto is "Take No Shit", but there's a type of toilet on the market that takes that phrase too literally: Low Flow Toilets.  And while taking no proverbial shit is fine, taking no literal shit is a horrible design flaw in a toilet.  The premise of flushing a toilet is that water enters the bowl and creates kindof a swirling motions, and all turd-shaped objects in the bowl begin to swirl, and in the process, one end of the proceedings follows the swirling flow downwards into the exit hole and, as the ancient Middle Eastern saying goes "Once the head of the camel has entered the tent, the rest will follow".  But what happens when there's not enough water to create that whirlpool?  What happens when the water is just sucked downwards directly with no swirl?  Your excrement just falls straight down and lays across the hole, like a disgusting bridge from one side of a porcelain canyon to the other.  It doesn't plunge into the depths of whatever sewage management system you have, it just falls.  And speaking of just fall . . .

It's a common trope in North Carolina, and this week Buck learns that it also happens in Oklahoma: fake Fall.  There's a certain time of year in which we expect the summer heat to gently give way to cooler days, changing leaves, crisp air, and the smell of wood fire smoke drifting across the increasingly early sunset.  But that's not always how it happens.  Sometimes, summer feigns surrender, but comes back with a vengeance.  Sometimes you don't get Fall at all.  Sometimes you just get Summer, double Summer, and then Winter.  So if you're someone like Tab who really relishes the Fall season, that sucks.  In the past few years, there have been people who have blamed this phenomenon on the boogey man buzzword "Climate Change", but is it really?  Do you really need to be preached to by someone who wants to use double Summer as an excuse to increase your taxes, or force you to install an "environmentally friendly" low flow toilet?  These people don't pine for a cleaner environment; they just want to use any excuse to pass legislation to control you.  They want your money, they want your adulation, and they want to use government regulation to cripple your small business.  And speaking of your business . . .

They say opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.  I think that noses are more relevant.  Everyone has a nose, and everyone seems to be intent on sticking that nose into your business.  Noses are like probes.  Probes designed to violate your privacy and sniff out your secrets.  The point of a secret is that nobody knows it, so this creates an immediate conflict.  There are several reasons why people butt into your business.  Sometimes, they actually care about you and have a legitimate concern, but that's RARELY the real reason.  More often than not, it's either some form of virtue signalling, or failing that, it's curiosity stemming from boredom in their own life and the need to seek out new drama in new situations, so boldly nose where no one has nosed before.  They're like a science vessel of gossip, on a five year mission to explore the final frontier of your goings on.  A voyager, if you will, into your endeavors and enterprises.  They're defiantly poking into your deep space to make a discovery.  And that's the trouble with people nosing into your business.

Stove sends in a fantastic voicemail, and we dub the pseudo-sage with his official new name; Sagecucks.  Who got profiled in a retail store?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

And join us in the Discord at https://discord.gg/6fBcQwz  

Ep 47 - Emotional Jerks

Do you feel good about what you've done this week?  Have you even considered how we feel?  If you really loved us, you'd listen to how we feel about the following issues:

- Being the Jerk
- Emotional Blackmail
- Basic Chick Food
- Smoking

One of the trickiest skills to build in life is the ability to be self aware.  Everyone recognizes that it's a good trait to have, and everyone tries to be, but in the end, all of us slip up and let ourselves run wild, and afterwards, when you realize what you've done, you feel like a fool.  In that instance, you were the jerk.  It takes years of analyzing one's own motives to truly be self aware, but even the most introspective person in the world is going to blunder at some point and put themselves before others.  And speaking of putting yourself before others . . .

It happens in relationships and jobs, in all walks of life.  What you're doing isn't meeting up to someone else's expectations, and instead of just coming out and either discussing it like adults, or just accepting the situation, they'll throw you a curveball.  They'll play on your sympathies, tug at your heart strings, or any other shameless tactic to twist the knife until you comply.  Tab talks about being emotionally blackmailed on the job, but Buck brings a much darker story about a chick from his past.  And speaking of chicks . . .

Buck continues his series on Basic Chicks with Basic Chick Food.  Food, like clothing and music, follows trends.  Don't believe me?  Just look at every fad diet out there and then report back to me.  But Buck seems to zero in on Italian food, which, in his experience, is the ultimate basic chick culinary genre.  In his mind, Italy seems to be the place that chicks associate with romance (even more than France).  Throw some form of dry chicken on a plate, slap some pasta noodles on it and drench it with either tomato goop or some sort of dairy slime and basic chicks will flock to it like bees to honey.  To be fair, there is basic bro food, too, and Buck is a sucker for most of it.  Wanna lure in Buck?  Just throw together some form of potatoes and cheese, and some form of meat that's fresh from the grill and smoking.  And speaking of smoking . . .

If U.S. History books are to be believed, the west first encountered the practice of smoking tobacco when they encountered the natives in the new world.  How those natives came up with the idea of drying leaves, putting it into a hollow wooden tube and inhaling the smoke is beyond me, but it caught on and has become a worldwide trend.  However, in the past couple of decades, many first world countries (and particularly the U.S.) have put the squeeze on smokers.  Not only is tobacco smoke harmful to the user, but it's also expensive.  While it seems to have had an effect, there are still new smokers recruited every year, and Tab wants to know why.  Buck suspects that tax revenue from tobacco sales has something to do with it, but reality is never that cut and dry . . .

Monon'c Pat calls in to pepper the show with some Canadian flair, and Stove calls in sober.  What is Tab's hot take on Star Trek Discovery?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Hey, if you're not on the HWIDG Discord, you need to be!  It's an exciting place where listeners like you are participating!  Plus, if you're a Patreon subscriber, you get a special Discord title and access to the Patreon exclusive chats!  https://discord.gg/5B2U6fJ

Ep 46 - Rumor School

DING DING DING!  Everyone take your seats, spit out your chewing gum, and stop talking, because class is in session!  We are Tab and Buck, your professors for this semester, so prepare to take notes as we lecture on the following issues:

-Starting the Rumor MIll
-Basic Chick Clothing
-School Zones
-Unearned beards

The Bible says that a man who can tame his tongue can tame his entire body.  Loose lips sink ships.  Telephone, telegraph, tell a woman.  All of the little quips and saying that reference the speed and ease with which we spread gossip.  Worldwide, gossip is a trillion dollar industry.  Nearly everything we consume (other than food) is in some way related to gossip.  Tv, movies, sports, even video games, everything gets caught up in gossip.  And especially jobs.  One would think that when adults go to work to earn money, they'd be primarily focused on performing the task that secures the money, but you'd be wrong.  People get bored.  Jobs are boring.  Money is boring.  But gossip . . . gossip is salacious.  Juicy.  Addictive.  And, if you know how to sell gossip, you can become quite rich.  Hell, our show has had its own fair share of gossip.  Gossip is like a weed; it springs up on its own, unaided, and is extremely difficult to eliminate.  It's like Sisyphus, pushing the gossip boulder back up the hill; it's never ending.  Why, then, do some folks feel the need to nudge that rock back down the hill again?  I dunno, but they do it.  And then, as if they can somehow absolve themselves of the act, will carelessly toss on the disclaimer "Don't gossip about this".  Sure.  That's how that works.  And don't think about elephants while you're at it.  It's the first thing people are gonna do.  Gossip is a cultural uniformity, and speaking of uniformity . . .

The second installment of my "Basic Chick" series is the uniform by which you can identify a basic chick.  It changes, season to season, year to year, but it never fails that pretty much every basic chick you run across is going to have some slight variation on the same style.  In recent years, it's the trend of fur boots, yoga pants, and a thigh-length tunic with a bulky-yet-loose collar that, as many have pointed out, resembles a vagina.  But this isn't the first basic chick uniform; there have been many across the ages, and there will be many to come.  Social media, I suspect, propagates this, along with the fact that fashion designers have to keep dreaming up weird things to out-do each other, so the trends are just going to keep on coming.  And speaking of things that keep on coming . . .

Traffic should keep on coming.  Moving, that is.  Anything that slows down traffic is an impediment to western civilization.  It's a common topic on this show, and this week Tab narrows his focus on School Zones.  School zones were invented by hand-wringers who want the world to notice how much they're concerned about "the children".  Which children?  They rarely name specifics; it's just this amorphous concept of "the children" that people rally around.  We get it.  Kids are fragile and inexperienced.  You don't have to shove it down our throats.  School zones are silly because kids tend to be delivered to school by a bus or a parent.  They don't meander aimlessly on public roads like a pack of feral ghouls just waiting to be mowed down.  Schools tend to have driveways that separate the school building from the main road by a good hundred yards or so, and kids tend to actually be inside buildings or fenced in playgrounds while at school.  Why, then, should traffic be slowed down to a crippling crawl because children exist, safe warm and protected, a few hundred yards away?  It's silly and uncalled for, and speaking of things that are uncalled for . . .

Every man has his insecurities.  Every man tries to measure up, to compete for his place in the gene pool, by hook or by crook.  Well, one of the ways that some men try to cheat the system is by growing a beard.  Beards are a biological sign of virility and strength, but as modern life converts men into soft, doughy fractions of what their great grandfathers were, instead of actually being masculine or becoming masculine, many men are simply putting on a costume.  A faux masculinity, if you will.  It's not just beards, though.  It's anything that would look manly in a cartoon.  And when you see a scrawny weakling or a blorpy dough-boy wearing flannel and oiling his beard as it nears his belly, you know that these people are, in fact, cartoon characters.  Silly caricatures of the brawny powerhouses that they emulate.

We remember to listen to some very long voicemails from Angry Stove, and Sage fires back at his doppelgangar, plus Tab announces a new contest!  Is Uncle Buck a white supremacist?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Hey, if you're not on the HWIDG Discord, you need to be!  It's an exciting place where listeners like you are participating!  Plus, if you're a Patreon subscriber, you get a special Discord title and access to the Patreon exclusive chats!  https://discord.gg/5B2U6fJ

Ep 45 - Automatically Annoying

It's Tab's twenty-third episode, which means he has officially been a special guest longer than his canadian predecessor!  So, everyone be sure to congratulate him this week as we bring in the following issues:

- Basic Chick Advertising
- Automatic Password Changes
- Annoying Biological Tendencies
- No Refills After You Paid

A first for the show: I'm starting a series.  A series of related issues, to more thoroughly explore a cultural concept.  I'm calling this my "Basic Chick" series.  That's not what I called it in the show, but we're not allowed to use profanity in our episode titles or descriptions, lest iTunes kick us off again.  So, with that in mind, let me tell you about Basic Chick Advertising.  It's advertising that tells you how to feel about yourself.  It doesn't tell you what the product does.  It doesn't tell you how to use the product, or how it stacks up against competing products.  It's just flowery nonsense to sell smelly goops, smelly mists, or smelly chucks.  End of story.  And, what's worse, it works.  Basic chicks eat it up.  You can sell a basic chick anything as long as you put the right name on it.  "Directed Passion Steering Column", "Morning Mist Table Saw", "Implied Romance Toilet Paper".  Any of it works.  It doesn't matter than the product is probably inferior and infuriating.  And thinking of things that are infuriating . . .

Anyone who uses a computer at work, especially on a network, is familiar with this.   Automatic Password Changes.  Mandatory.  Arbitrary.  Time consuming.  Free-will cancelling.  As we discuss in the episode, what's the point of having a password on your computer at work?  If what you're doing is important enough to require protection from other employees, chances are you have your own computer that no one else should be using, and you probably have an office with a door that can be locked.  Problem solved.  No need to pelt me with notifications three weeks in advance to change my password by what is realistically going to be one character.  Who has time to make up new passwords all the time?  Nobody, that's who.  If you have that kind of time, you probably aren't actually doing any sort of work that requires a password to begin with.  And speaking of not having time . . .

Ladies, perhaps you'll excuse me if I speak directly about a male-centric issue.  You see, all of that oggling and "eye raping" that we men are so fond of and feminists gnash their teeth over is, succinctly put, not our fault.  It's biology.  I think most folks would be surprised at just how much of human behavior is driven by pure instinct.  Sure, you may express it in thoughts, and put human language on it, but nine out of ten of your motivations are bred into you, and one of those is scoping babes.  But, what happens when you try to go against your programing?  I'll tell you what: frustration.  As it turns out, the siren of your evolution sings an irresistable song, and so when us fellas are scanning the horizon, like our caveman ancestors did, and our eyes take note of a female human, the fleshy computer in our heads does an instant calculation, often without us noticing, and if enough criteria are met, we are coerced against our wills to investigate further.  The gears are set in motion!  It's not us, it's our biology!  Even when we try to fight it, as I do, sometimes it's a moot point.  Our biology is immutable, irrepressible, insatiable; it can never get enough.  And speaking of not being able to get enough . . .

Society as a whole has a rocky relationship with the food service industry, and for good reason!  Human incompetence is a daily frustration when trying to trade fiat currency with a multi-national corporation for overly processed food product and a 32oz foam cup of liquid sugar.  But we do it, because it's easier than cooking for ourselves, and we're slaves to convenience.  That's why is extra frustrating when you're trying to flag down a server to get your glass refilled and they pretend you don't exist.  Especially after you've given them their fiat compensation.  I suspect the core of the issue is that their incentive to continue serving you is out of the picture.  Tack on the fact that sometimes they want that table you're at freed up for another customer, and you've got an impatient server giving you the stink eye as you glare back at them, slurping your straw at them as loudly as you can and tinkling the ice in the glass like a bell.

Sage calls in?  Or, at least, they claim to be Sage.  Buck dives a little bit deeper into his thoughts on the Bible's relationship to the end of the world.  What kitchen appliance gets a shout-out?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

ALSO!  Follow this link to join our Discord, so you can get in on the action!  https://discord.gg/5B2U6fJ

Ep 44 - Doomsday Theater

I hope you're stocked up on ammo and supplies, because we're bugging in and bugging out as we bring in the following issues:

-Fancy People Coming To The Theater
- Unwanted Well-Wishers
- Mic Check
- Doomsday Salesmen

You don't have to be Joe Chill to know that all the world's a stage. Except when it isn't. In those cases, the stage is a very specific place, and usually the best place to find one is in a theater. So what happens, then, when some big shot needs a place to pontificate? Room to boom? Space to show their face? That's right, they find the nearest available theater and welcome themselves in. You see, they'd like to thank all of the little people for making sure they had a place to look important for whatever dumb thing it is they needed so badly to show the world. What's that? You're right in the middle of preparing that stage for something else? Something that's been scheduled for months? Gonna be real inconvenient when they just bust on in and step on your plans? That's okay. They're an important person, and you aren't. After all, if they weren't important, they wouldn't need your stage, now would they? Some people love basking in public adulation. Some others, however, do not . . .

If you're a social butterfly, then you have no problem with people pawing all over you and showering you with affection. But what if you're more private. What if you're one of those people who has a very limited amount of social energy to spend, and people just wandering up to you randomly feels like it sucks the life right out of you? You've got unwanted well-wishers; you know they mean well, and you don't really have anything against them, except that you want them to go away and never come back. People seem to have a hard time grasping the concept of personal space, and respect for someone's time. I don't know about you, but I'm a busy person, and I have very little patience for whatever it is you want to say to me, because it's inevitably not really anything for my benefit. It's for your benefit. You're telling me how you hope I'm feeling better not because you actually hope I'm feeling better, but because you want to feel better about my situation. Well, my situation is I'm right in the middle of doing something that I deem important. Please respect whatever it is I'm doing and don't waste my time. And speaking of people wasting your time . . .

"Testing, one, two. Testing, one, two, three". Over and over. Ad nauseum. Never mind that you're going to be saying something other than that during your performance. In fact, you're not going to utter that phrase AT ANY POINT during your performance. And you're not going to be saying anything in that dull, deadpan tone, either. You're going to be projecting, enunciating, gesturing. If you're Tab Birt, you need to use this time to prepare the mixer for THOSE words, not your bland "testing, one, two, three". Oh, you're singing? Okay, Tab can prepare for that. Sing your song . . . no, that's not your song. That's "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. Catchy? Eh, sure, but it's not the song you're singing tonight, so whatever that song is, sing that one now . . . No, that's not it either, that's "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Classic song, but, again, not the one you're singing tonight. In fact, you know what, let's just go back to counting. 3, 2, 1 . . .

Doomsday. Ragnarok. Armageddon. Apocalypse. All ways to say one thing: The end of the world. Except it isn't. Not today, anyway. And not tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next week, next month, next year. Let me clue you in, jerk: YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN THE WORLD WILL END, or even IF it will end. But, hey, what are little things like facts or certainty when you can use fear to sell pallets of bottled water, buckets of rice, and underground bunkers? After all, the power grid that sustains an entire nation is just the flick of a switch from being turned off, right? Nevermind the massive motivation it would require to make that happen. The unrealistic set of circumstances. These guns and ammo aren't going to buy themselves, so you'd better slap together some shady Biblical math, commandere a stage, and burn through the mic check because, according to you, some crackpot idiot who's just as clueless and dumb as anyone else, THE WORLD IS GOING TO END! . . . at some point.

Sage calls in three voicemails, and Buck gets clumsy with the voicemail app. Why was everyone buying Tab drinks last Friday? You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Hey, follow this link and join us on our Discord! https://discord.gg/wG8gUSa

Ep 43 - Umbrella Ambush

It's raining, it's pouring, and nobody here is snoring!  In the wake of Uncle Buck's hernia surgery, you'd best double up on pain meds and put on your poncho in preparation for the deluge of issues as we bring in the following:

-Ambush Journalism
-Suicide by Cop
-Tech Week

Everyone loves to be the hero.  Everyone loves to get in on the action, to participate, to make their contribution.  That's fine.  I get that.  But, not everyone can pull it off in a timely manner, so that it doesn't come off as hackneyed tagging along.  That's precisely what happened when Laura Loomer decided to ambush Hilary Clinton during her book signing tour.  Now, far be it from me to take pity on Hilary Clinton, but if someone is going to go to the effort of taking her down a peg or two, I'd prefer you at least ACTUALLY take her down a peg or two instead of just rapid-fire shouting the equivalent of two year old political memes in the middle of a mall as you're dragged away by security in a straight jacket.  Everyone knows that the emails, Seth Rich, and Benghazi are issues that need to be addressed, but showeing Hilary with spittle isn't going to do it.  It's just going to make everyone wish they'd brought their umbrellas. . .

What exactly is an umbrella for?  You unfurl it, hold it over your head, and it does what?  You may be tempted to say "it shields you from rain", but according to Tab, you'd be wrong.  Umbrellas are the 'too little, too late' of the preparedness world.  They only protect a small portion of your person, and only if you hold it at exactly the right angle, if you even happen to have the thing physically with you when you need it.  But, unless you last name is "of the west", is a little rain really going to hurt you that much?  I mean, your body is already some very high percentage of water; why would a little more touching the outside of you be a problem?  Health advocates are always preaching about hydration, so maybe we're looking at this rain issue the wrong way.  Maybe what we need are inverted umbrellas that capture water, filter it, and pump it directly into your veins via an IV.  And then, once you're good and hydrated, you can just go inside, which is where you are for 90% of your life anyway, and not worry so much about how much liquid you're coming in contact with.    Maybe society would benefit from people just having a little more common sense about the scope and scale of the things that we allow to bug us.  Maybe a little common sense would go a long way.  And speaking of common sense . . .

Time for a thought experiment.  You're a college student.  You're standing or walking in a parking lot, carrying a tool that, in your mind, isn't really suited as a weapon.  Suddenly, police officers converge on you, and instruct you to put down the tool.  They have handguns drawn and aimed at you.  What do you do?  Well, if you're smart, you put down the tool and attempt to find out what's going on.  Now, why would you do the opposite and NOT put down the tool?  That's what I'd like to know.  Because this, or something resembling this, took place and the kid decided not only to not put down the "knife", but started advancing towards the police, instructing them to "shoot me".  In waht world does that set of actions make any sense?  But, on the flip side of that coin, in what world does a kid with a multi-tool warrant a bullet to the chest?  As we discuss in the episode, I get that an officer has no way of knowing a person's intentions, and little means of knowing whether or not that person has another, more deadly weapon concealed, but it seems like a stretch to think that a confused student slowly shambling towards you necessitates the use of lethal force.  I'm sure we'll hear from every armchair law enforcement specialist out there on this one.

Tab's been a busy guy this week.  Why?  It's Tech week.  What's Tech week?  It's the week when the tech guys at the theater essentially forego sleep in favor of nailing down all of the last minute bugs.  And, this week in particular, is when Tab has precisely zero free time, yet still made the time to record an episode with us, so instead of a long write-up about tech week, how about you listen to what he has to say about it, and throw him a 'thanks', or at least some sympathy.

We get some great call-ins about a handful of topics, spanning a number of prior episodes.  Who paid an absolutely absurd amount of money to drive on a shoddy road?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Ep 42 - False Alarm, Broken Alarm

Lock up your bikes and put on your scrubs, because we're nothing this week if not alarmists as we bring in the following issues!

-Getting Medically Jerked Around
-Cultural spoilers

It's been mentioned more than once; "the wierd part of YouTube", but did you know that within the vast reaches of the internet there are even seedier places?  Ancient places, where false promises are traded like folk tales on the wind, which smells of unbathed men in trench coats and cat urine.  One such place, where e-roughians, iScoundrels and other ne-er-do-wells congregate is Craigslist.  Craigslist is where you go to investigate the possibility of hooking up with a stranger, only to end up with all of the diseases and none of the pleasure.  Craigslist is where you attempt to buy or sell an item and somehow wind up in possession of a dead body.  Craigslist is, simply put, a place where no one can be trusted, everything is a trap, and the only thing you're going to get reliably is jerked around.  And speaking of getting jerked around . . .

I've talked about medical stuff quite a bit, here of late, but I suppose it's fair to draw from the wellspring of my personal life, even if it is a bit monotone sometimes.  But, the medical profession has a way of keeping your life spicy.  And by "spicy", I mean infuriating and chaotic, because it's impossible to go to a doctor with a simple request.  Getting what you need from any medical professional is kind of like finding the plot to an episode of The Simpsons; you start out in one spot, and by the second commercial break, you've spun out of control into a cyclone of nonsequitirs and nonsense that, to some, may seem whimsical, but when you're the one bouncing from appointment to appointment, it looses its lustre really quickly.  I'd almost be willing to pay more (that is, let my insurance pay more) if it would allow me to circumvent the ping pong of referrals.  Kindof like an interstate bypass around a congested city, but with a toll.  Yeah, that'd make sense, but roads with tolls, on the other hand . . .

If there's one thing that outsiders can't stand, but insiders love, it's a good ol' fashioned Old Boys Club.  You know, the kind where you scratch my back, and I scratch yours.  The kind where I'm a government official, and if you'll give me kickbacks, I'll let you run your little project with ethics as questionable as your evil little heart desires.  Welcome to Tab's favorite Oklahoma turnpike.  But, really, I can't say I'm surprised.  We can't just have something like a road get built on time and on budget.  That's not how the world works.  Instead, you start a company to build a road and you milk the voters who gave it the greenlight.  Then you milk their kids.  Then their grandkids.  Then their great grandkids.  You milk everyone until the end of time, or until your scheme is put to an end.  But that kind of thing takes time.  It takes generations, sometimes, for the opinion of the populace to turn against you.  Culture is a thing that can sometimes change swiftly and sometimes slowly.  Ideas, called "memes", can permeate culture virally now, so that any idea or fact can be promulgated unavoidably.  And speaking of unavoidable facts . . .

It's not often that you get to experience something old through fresh eyes.  Take me, for example.  I've been watching Star Wars since I was a kid.  My brother and cousin were fanatics, and I was bombarded with every available Star Wars fact all day, every day.  And that was in the 80's.  Now imagine trying to experience that First Time feeling of A New Hope forty years after it was released.  Enter my gorgeous wife, Aunt Buck, who had never actually gotten around to watching the original trilogy.  Suddenly, through her, I had the opportunity to share in her first time experience.  But, sadly, some facts are SO memetic and ubiquitous that even she had not avoided them.  "No . . . I am your father."  And so, before we were out of the first act, what is arguably THE biggest spoiler in Star Wars was already tainting the experience of a movie that it didn't even touch.   Many YouTubers and podcasters will give a half-hearted spoiler warning for an old movie; "Hey, if you haven't seen this movie . . it's been out for forty years, so you have no excuse".  Except when you do.  For instance, I have never watched the movie Soylent Green, but I already know about Moses staggering out of the Ark screaming "SOYLENT GREEN IS A GMO!"

Lots of great voicemails this week, from such fan favorites as Andy and Sage, but some other familiar voices, too.  Whose car is going on a journey to the center of the earth?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Ep 41 - The Gospel of Hate

Greetings, worshipers!  It's church time here on HWIDG, unless you happen to exist outside of our pre-determined standards of acceptability.  So, grab your hymnals and turn to page 666 because today we going to read from the following passages:

-False Surprise Surgery
-Pimple popping videos
-The Gospel of Hate

Here's something that really bugs me about surgery - the wait.  All of the prep work and the scheduling and the anxiety.  It's just horrible.  But, having one sprung on you with no warning can be horrifying.  Now take the worst of both worlds and mash them together: your find out you're going to have to have emergency surgery, but as soon as you get yourself in the proper mindset, you're told you have to wait.  Now imagine that, during that period of scrambling to prepare your life for an unexpected six weeks of recovery time, you cancel some important appointments.  Then, when you find out that you didn't have to, you can't undo the cancellation.  Now imagine that the thing you've cancelled is something that you've been needing to do for, oh, say, twenty-eight years, and this is the first window of opportunity you've had.  And, you may not get another window.  Yeah.  Welcome to my weekend.  Welcome to my life.   If I had known that I was going to be jerked around, I'd have never cancelled that appointment.  But, that's how life is.  Everything is a risk.  And speaking of risk . . .

I, very sarcastically, can think of no better way to spend my hard-earned money than to withdraw cash from the bank, walk straight across the parking lot to an open sewer, and just chucking those crisp greenbacks right into the muck.  That's essentially what gambling boils down to, except you have a very slim chance that instead of washing your Benjamins away, the sewer will throw them, plus a few more, right back at you.  So, every time you feel like being "bold" (see also: stupid) you march your happy tail over to that sewer and just start chunking it down.  Nevermind that there are safer ways to invest your money, with lower risk and a pretty good chance of a payout (if you know where to invest).  Nevermind that you could have just saved up that money instead of wasting it.  Nevermind that your landlord isn't going to take too kindly to your excuses when you can't pay your rent.  I've heard that taking risk is simply an urge for some people.  Like a pressure beneath the skin that just builds and builds until, one day, you have to pop that bubble.  And what you get for your trouble is a bunch of mess.  Speaking of popping bubbles full of mess . . .

A few years ago, there was a meme floating around about finding your way onto "the wierd part of YouTube".  And that was an accurate description.  If you press the 'flush' handle on YouTube and just allow the stream of suggestions to wash you away, you'll eventually go down the drain into the YouTube sewer where you'll find, scattered amongst the floating currency, videos of people popping pimples.  Why?  Why is this a thing?  Why is it popular?  And why can Uncle Buck not look away?  It's vile, disgusting, and putrid.  And speaking of things that are vile, disgusting, and putrid . . .

Long time listeners of the show are aware of Uncle Buck's Christian faith, and are also aware of Tab's benign atheism.  It's a soft difference of opinion that, between us, is handled with grace and respect.  But Tab was on a research junket to his favorite house of worship when he learned of something that is the opposite of Grace.  It's called The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and, as Tab retells it, it basically boils down to "If you're sinful, you aren't welcome in church".  We go into this at length in the episode, but we both have similar (yet slightly different) takes on the fallacy.  Tab (rightly) believes that such an edict is the epitome of religious elitism, and fundamentally contradicts the core values of Christian faith, one of which is "love thy neighbor as thyself".  Buck (also rightly) believes that the edict contradicts the Great Commission, which is to spread the Gospel, because it tells sinners (the very people who would NEED Jesus) that they aren't welcome in the Cool Kids Jesus Club.  We can't use any swear words in our titles or descriptions (because iTunes will remove us if we do.  Been there, done that) but there are no non-rude words to describe the people who profess such a wantonly destructive message.  Tab and Buck agree in calling it "The Gospel of Hate".

We get caught up on some voicemails and Tab gets disappointed by a new toy.  What was it?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Don't forget to join the Call-In Episode on Monday September 11th at 9pm eastern and tell us your issue, it's all happening on the HWIDG Discord at https://discord.gg/wG8gUSa 

Ep 40 - Vertical Birthday

Lordy, Lordy, Look who's forty! Welcome to episode 40, everyone! Y'know, they say life begins at forty, and I'm hoping that, for once, it's not just a dumb platitude that doesn't ring true in the slightest in real life. So, let's all celebrate the beginning of the life of HWIDG by bringing in the following issues:

-Vertical Filming
-Not Doing Your Research
-Found Footage
-Waiters Singing Happy Birthday

It's not the newest sentiment, but it's still utterly relevant: complaining about people who film vertically. The problem with vertical videos is that you have to watch them on a vertical screen, and while that may work out on your smartphone, and there are a few monitor setups out there that are rotatable, it's still just a huge hassle to deal with, and it's super frustrating when, in an age of readily available 4k resolution and 8K being emergent, we're still reduced to squinting at a tiny vertical rectangle on a phone screen because someone uploaded a vertical video to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, whatever. I mean, seriously, we know that the standard formats are 1280x720, 1920x1080, 3840x2160, and 4096x2160. I defy you to show me one theatrical or home video release that was taken seriously that was in a format of 720x1280. It just. doesn't. happen. Seriously, anyone who knows the slightest bit about screen resolution knows this. But, not everyone does their research . . .

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in the middle of a conversation, possibly even on a roll, so to speak, and we recall just a hint of the possibility of something that may be partially factual, and we'll grab at that like the last turkey leg at the Ren Fair and declare it as absolute fact in the heat of the moment. Last week, Buck did that. So, this week, his issue is more of a retraction, but even though the conversation turns to how to weaponize less than factual facts, the core of shame and regret remains. Buck doesn't want, someday down the road, for someone to stumble across an out-of-context clip of him spouting nonsense, and then that find its way into a found footage documentary . . .

What would that documentary look like? I'm sure it would be clips from this show, spliced in between shots of a bunch of teenage paleontologists digging up his long-since buried homestead, rummaging through his studio and finding his weathered and worn MAGA hat and shades. And, once found, they would be donned by one of the hapless protagonists, only to imbue them with Buck's super power. The super power of yelling at people. And the rest of the movie would be about the wielder of that power having to come to terms with the terrible responsibility of being able to shame others publicly. Speaking of being shamed publicly . . .

All of us experience birthdays. Many of us like to celebrate. Some of us like to celebrate by going out to eat. Nobody wants to be harassed by a gang of tone deaf waiters and cooks singing some variant of the happy birthday song at the top of their lungs. And yet, that's what happens. It's like the Julian Assange of birthdays leaks the cables about your special day, and the behind-the-scenes investigation begins, culminating in you being surrounded by a gaggle of clapping morons, and everyone else in the restaurant is glaring at you thinking "You just HAD to tell them it was your birthday, didn't you? You sad, attention-starved little jerk." And then you're left with that smoldering coal of shame, knowing that, at this point, there's nothing you can do to redeem yourself in the eyes of everyone around you. You just blow out your candle, crawl under the table, and make a mental note not to go out to eat next year. Of course, by the following year, you'll either have forgotten, or you'll trick yourself into believing "maybe it won't happen this year." You know better.

Sage calls in to give his opinion on last week's dress code debate, and we have a comment from Angry Stove. Who did they side with? You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Join the Discord at https://discord.gg/DSkN8Vv and get ready for our Call-In Episode just remember to Never Forget at 9pm eastern on Monday September 11th

Ep 39 - March For Novelty


Good morning, listeners!  Rise and shine!  Because we did; apparently for no good reason.  So coffee up (with regular, non-aged coffee) because we're about to embark on one of our most rage-filled episodes to date as we bring in the following issues:

-Novelty Items
-Video Game Ratings
-Dress Code Complainers
-Marches and/or Protests

If there's one thing that I've grown sick of in my life, it's clutter.  It doesn't help that I'm a naturally lazy person, so I leave things like soda cans laying around, which pile up and start to bug me until I eventually wait until everyone is out of the house and have a furious meltdown of shame and anxiety as I storm around the house like the Tasmanian Devil, frantically picking up detritus and chastising myself with chains.  But that's not the only source of clutter.  You can also simply collect too much useless crap in the form of trinkets, souvenirs, and "collectibles".  From tourist gift shops to video game swag, these things just seem to pile up, and eventually over run your home, until you just live in a shrine to pointless things that you've wasted time on in your life.  I mean, everyone except me seems to think that a decorative sword on the wall is cool, or that a dragon statuette is to die for, but after the novelty wears off, what is it good for?  How does it enrich your life?  Or does it just get in the way, take up space, and distract you from life at hand?  Oh, and the one-time-use things like eclipse sunglasses.  But, while Buck has a problem with video game swag, Tab has another issue with something related to video games . . .

When I was a kid, we didn't have many ads for video games.  Maybe the occasional Saturday morning or weekday afternoon commercial in the war between Nintendo and Sega, but by and large, if you wanted to know what video games were out there, you had to beg your mom to take you to the store and just browse.  You'd check out box art, maybe ask the clerk, or some other kid at the store, but eventually you wanted the real scoop on whether or not a game was any good.  Enter the internet.  Now, you have a sea of websites, blogs, podcasts, and youtubers vying for your attention, trying to make a living telling you what games you should play.  The problem?  They lie.  As it turns out, there's a problem in the industry with getting your hands on an advanced copy of a game for the purposes of reviewing it.  Why?  Well, as it turns out, lots of video games just plain suck, but if you come out and say that, the company that published it might not send you a copy of the next one to take a dump on.  And that's a problem.  One would think that there'd be a system of honor (a code, if you will) by which companies would conduct themselves, allowing honest, potentially negative reviews to fairly assess their products.  You'd be wrong in thinking that.  But while that code doesn't seem to exist, there's another that does . . .

Fair warning, this is probably the most contentious issue that's been brought in.  I'd wager the rage levels ping even higher than the air compressor debacle (and I, unfortunately, suspect that the fallout will take just as long).  I'm talking about dress codes.  There's been a low-key campaign for several years of saying that dress codes are the system's way of telling girls to be ashamed of their bodies.  That's not the topic that was debated today, oddly enough.  The topic was, should there be a dress code at all?  Buck argues that, while they may indeed be superfluous, they've been around since dirt was invented, and they're probably not going anywhere, so we may as well get over them and focus on more important things.  Tab . . . is of a different opinion.  And even though the debate got heated, in the end, I think we both made our opinions understood.  Because that's what discourse is: two people hash things out until a reasonable consensus is reached, and both parties are enriched.  Of course, not everyone takes that approach . . . Politics today has become a very frustrating game of "Who can shout the loudest".  While the scale of transgression may not be balanced, both sides of the aisle have been guilty of useless, inflamatory grandstanding.  Often in the form of a march, or a protest.  And while such things were useful once, decades ago, the advent of the internet and social media have essentially rendered them a moot point.  Awareness of any and every given topic can be achieved via facebook or twitter campaigns, leaving the realm of marches to devolve into mass virtue signaling and violence.  When will people, regular old people, just sit down, like rational adults, in front of a couple of microphones, and scream at each other until they can find common ground?  Who knows.

We spend some time catching up on two weeks worth of voicemails.  I want to take this time to say that we really appreciate everyone who has taken the time out of their day not only to listen to our show, but to engage by commenting, calling in, or hopping onto our Discord and saying hello.  And if you follow the link below, you too can join in on the fun on Discord, and talk to not only us (we're almost always around in some capacity or another), but also each other!  One question remains: which of us has the better Donald Trump impersonation?  You'll have to tune in to this week's episode to find out!


Ep 38 - Empress In A Locket

It's been quite a while since we last heard from The Empress of Melanin, so she (and her pal Stephanie) are back in s - Empress in a locket It's been quite a while since we last heard from The Empress of Melanin, so she (and her pal Stephanie) are back in studio this week as we bring in the following issues:

- DJs who Can't Read The Room
- "I Ain't Your Nocket"
- "We Need to Talk"

Unless you have no soul, everyone enjoys a little music from time to time. Music sets the mood in your home, livens up a party, creates an atmosphere in the club. But what happens when the person in charge of the music is incapable of gauging what's appropriate in the moment? I'll tell you what: chaos. Just as easily as the music sets the perfect tone, it can become a major distraction and kill the mood. Nothing kills a pleasant conversation more than when you can't hear, and it's almost universally the fault of a playlist jockey who's absorbed in their own little world, blasting you and everyone else into oblivion by writ of the venue owner. Sometimes you can complain to the owner, or even the DJ, and they'll listen, but often it requires the word of more than one. That means you've got to go grab a bunch of your friends to form a mob of complaints, like building a class action lawsuit, just to reduce the cacophony by a few decibels. But while you're doing everyone a favor by enlisting your friends to help you do your arguing, there's a situation where it's less appropriate. . .

The world is a mire of arguing, these days. Everyone has a point to make, an agenda to uphold, and some virtue to signal. But what if you're at a stalemate? How do you get the leg up on your debate opponent? Well, if you're not a minority, you may be tempted to grab your minority friend and get them to agree with you. Besides, in today's political climate, the agreement of a minority member is worth more than the facts that your argument is based upon. But, the Empress is tired of being paraded out, like a genie from a lamp, every time someone needs their argument wish granted. She's tired of being your ethnic minority on demand or, as she puts it, a "negro in a locket". I think lots of people have been guilty of this, so maybe it's time we all had a conversation about it. You know, a talk. I'm saying we need to talk. And that, in and of itself, is an issue . . .

"We need to talk". These words have caused more anxiety in the hearts of the world than just about any others. They can be the leadup to some of life's worst heartaches, and usually indicate that the worst case scenario has been triggered. But, what if, when someone tells you they need to talk, they then just leave you hanging with an unfinished sentence hanging over your head? Like a conversational cliffhanger, except with almost universally negative connotations? The long range "we need to talk" is a manipulation tool, designed to put you on the defensive before the conversation even begins. Now, instead of hearing whatever it is that needs to be said, you're going to be hearing incoming fire that has to be defended against at all costs. Why? Because you've had time to imagine all of the worst case scenarios, and now you're playing goalie. It's an instinct, and it's very difficult to avoid.

Tab coins a new term, "Controversy Signalling": the stirring up of a nontroversy to get attention.  Even though there were voicemails to be listened to, we did no such thing.  Why not?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!


Ep 37 - We Failed The Bechdel Test

Be sure to fill out all of the appropriate forms, because today we're not stepping on Snek as our heroes bring in the following issues:

- Audits
- Littering
- The Anti-Rape Device
- The Bechdel Test

Alright, everybody drop whatever it is you're doing and start cleaning up! We're having an audit, and you're going to be the recipient of a few curve ball questions that you had no way to prepare for! Audits are the corporate world's way of reminding you that you work for them and not the other way around. They send around some pencil pusher with a god complex to give everything and everyone the white glove test, and if you're found wanting, the tongue clucks of disapproval can be deafening to the ears and devastating to the yearly bonus. It's bad enough that you're being checked up on for the regular stuff, but what's even worse is when your corporate-appointed tormentor can't find anything to nail you on, so they start making up stuff on the spot. We've never mentioned this regulation before? "Well, you should have been omniscient enough to see the future, because I'm holding you fully accountable for this arbitrary technicality." I remember the days when auditors just wanted to make sure you were sweeping and picking up your area, but Tab feels like there's something even worse than litter on the floor . . .

As products vie to become more convenient, there's always one aspect that's left out of the design: disposal. Wrappers, bottles, cans, boxes, some form of packaging is involved in every product you consume, and that package has to go somewhere. Where will you put it? If you're a half-way decent human being, you'll put it in some form of garbage collection receptacle. If you're an inconsiderate nincompoop, you'll just drop it on the ground, like a horse taking a dump, and leave it for someone else to sweep up. One would think that, what with all of the decades of campaigns against littering, that we'd finally have something resembling a handle on this. Guess not. So, I guess that guy in the commercial (you know, the one dressed up as a Native American) still sheds those tears of sorrow as your plastic bottle blows around in the wind, like a twenty-ounce rapist. But, as bad as that is, there's another type of rape that's even worse . . .

Rape is terrible. Point blank. Full stop. End of discussion. But, in addition to teaching men not to rape (and, really, who thinks that anyone disagrees with this point?) we should also help potential victims learn to avoid dangerous situations, or if needs be, defend themselves. But, whereas common sense tells us that it's best to stop the rape before it can begin, some folks prefer to allow the rape to happen, and then spring a "gotcha" on the rapist. Never mind that, in this moment, the victim is still going to be horribly traumatized by the attack. Never mind that an attacker who has control over his victim will still have control after the "gotcha" has struck home, and may choose to escalate the attack from rape to murder. Never mind that the victim could have been provided with the means to prevent the attacker from ever getting close enough to make physical contact. We've got a wierd, nonsensical idea to push out to the world to show how compassionate we are. That's what the Rapex anti-rape device is. It's a contraption that requires the rapist to SUCCEED IN PENETRATING HIS VICTIM before it accomplishes anything. And since penetrating an unwilling victim already requires a certain level of dominance and control, you've just made the attacker even more angry at his victim. Good job. You'd think that feminists would want to prevent the attack from happening in the first place (thus actually preventing a woman from becoming a rape victim), but no. It's more important to them that a man get's pricked in his penis. That's how you know that feminism is only interested in harming men rather than actually helping women. It makes no sense. And speaking of feminist ideas that make no sense . . .

You know what every movie needs? A scene shoehorned in that fits some arbitrary standard of inclusion. Everything these days is about inclusion. So, when they say that your script isn't inclusive unless it contains two women, who are given names in the script, who are having a conversation that isn't about a man, you know you're being told to dance for the puppet masters. The Bechdel Test is just that; an excuse for those who want to control you to give you instructions and then dare you to disobey them. It's a chance for one group of people to look down their nose at anyone who doesn't bow down and worship the golden idol. What's that? This arbitrary conversation doesn't occur in your movie because of some legit reason (such as THE SCENE MAKES NO SENSE OR DOESN'T ADVANCE THE PLOT!? INTO THE FIERY FURNACE WITH YOU!) But even when a movie passes the Bechdel test, does that make it inclusive? Does that necessarily indicate that the film is the paradigm of female empowerment? Take a look at the list of movies that pass the test and decide for yourself if any of them might be frowned upon by feminists.

Buck warns us to mind our feet in multiple tones, and folks chime in with voicemails about last week's issues. Who's been e-mailing Tab? You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!

Ep 36 - Leap Frog Believers

Be sure not to grind your teeth (unlike Buck) as you vent your  frustrations with us this week as we bring in the following issues:

- New Phones
- Leaving your kids in a hot car
- Passing Leap Frog
- Job True Believers

They've become a part of our everyday lives.  Smartphones were first  predicted (supposedly) by Tesla when he dreamed of a device that would  allow you to communicate with anyone in the world and access the  entirety of human knowledge, all while fitting in the pocket of your  shirt.  But did Tesla foresee planned obsolescence?  Something tells me  he didn't.  It seems like every few months there's a new  latest-and-greatest in smartphone technology, but does anything actually  change from one iteration to the next?  Furthermore, are all brands of  smartphone slowly merging into one in terms of design and functionality?   Are you simply paying for the same phone over and over again?   Potentially.  Probably.  It seems like about a year after you get your  phone, the same problems keep creeping up: they get slower, they start  to glitch, hardware begins to fail, and the battery life goes down the  drain.  And nobody wants to have to stop during their work day to charge  their phone.  Especially if you don't have an outlet charger at work,  so you have to take your phone to charge in your car.  It's either  freezing or smoldering hot, and being left in a hot car is really bad  for your phone.  It's also bad for some other things . . .

It seems  like every week I see two more reports of kids or pets being left in a  hot car.  This is assinine.  Stop it.  Just stop it.  I hate to be  preachy, but maybe if you can't be bothered to think about the fact that  your car gets really really hot in the summer, and your kid or pet will  die if left in a really really hot car, maybe you shouldn't be having  kids or pets.  Especially since a modicum of common sense is all that's  required to A) recognize that there is a danger and B) figure out any of  the several methods of avoiding that danger.  Like, don't leave your  kid in the car; take them with you.  Or, if you absolutely must leave  the kid in the car, leave it running with the air conditioning on, and  don't be gone long.  Or just hire a babysitter.  Or don't go out.  It  really boggles my mind that anyone could pass a test to operate a  vehicle and not grasp this simple concept.  But there are vehicular  concepts that lots of people, it seems, have a hard time with . . .

Cruise control.  It's your friend.  It's that little angel that sits on  your shoulder and says "Hey, buddy, you have a problem with maintaining  the correct speed.  Let me take that over for you."  It's the thing that  keeps you from driving like a jerk.  But, some people can't seem to  grasp the concept, so they speed up and slow down as the winds of fate  blow them around, like detritus in an alley.  What ends up happening is  that you will pass someone, and then slow down and they will pass you,  and then you'll speed up again.  It becomes a vicious cycle known as  Passing Leap Frog.  But, unlike the version of leap frog you played when  you were a kid, this one involves a four thousand pound car, travelling  upwards of fifty five miles an hour, and instead of having fun,  everyone else wants to strangle you.  Is it really that hard to just set  your cruise control and stay out of the way?  Why are you even out on  the road?  Is it because you just love driving?  Well, I might believe  you, but there are some things that you don't just do for the love it . .  .

Everyone, at some point in their adult life, comes across this  stereotype: the company butt-kisser.  The one who shows up early, makes  the coffee, and talks about how much they love the company.  ALL GLORY  TO THE COMPANY!  But, if that paycheck stopped showing up, would they  still suckle from the dry teat?  Would they still talk about how much  they believe in the mission?  Are they a Job True Believer?  There's a  harsh reality, and that is that you only have a job because you need  money.  If you didn't need money, you'd sit around at home, not doing  anything, because existence is hard, and we tend to avoid effort at all  costs.  So, don't ever believe the lie that you're at work for anything  other than a paycheck.  Nobody has time for lies, especially on the  clock.

Someone calls in a solution to the Rewards Card issue from  last week, Tab gets taken to task over taxes, and Uncle Buck calls in  with an issue.  Wait, what?  If you want to know what's going on, you're  going to have to listen to this week's episode! 

Ep 35 - Obfuscated Amusement

Everybody buckle in and keep your arms and legs inside the shuttle at all times, because we're all going for a ride as we bring in the following issues:

-Price Obfuscation
- Membership Cards
- Amusement Park Ticket Prices

I know that many of our wonderful listeners hail from other parts of the globe, where some aspects of life may make slightly more sense than the things we do in the U.S. of A., so if it's normal for you to go to a store, see a price on an item, and pay EXACTLY that price, then you should know about a nonsensical thing we Americans do called "price obfuscation".  It's where the price on the item isn't the actual price you pay at the register.  We, for whatever reason, don't include the sales tax on the sticker price.  Only the money that you're giving the store.  Once you get to the register, then ol' Uncle Sam gets to take his bite.  And it can be a pretty big bite, especially when you're making a larger purchase.  But sales tax isn't exclusive to the U.S.  Many other countries also have sales tax, but simply include that sales tax on the sticker, so that if you're paying the store six currencies and the sales tax is an additional currency, then the price on the sticker will be seven currencies.  But not in America.  Nope.  That'd make sense, and when you let all of your rules be decided by a committee of people who live in a bubble outside of the real world, anything that makes sense goes right out the window.  Every single time.  And speaking of things that don't make sense . . .

Do you love animals?  Everyone has their favorite furry (or feathered or scaly) creature that they just adore.  I bet you'd love to see your favorite non-human treated well, because you're probably at least a half way decent person.  But not if you work with PETA.  People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a group of wierd, obsessed psychos who live by the moto "the end justifies the means".  Except that, when PETA does it, they don't accomplish the ends; only the means.  And the means are assinine, and more often than not are punishable as one form or another of assault.  Don't like someone's fur coat?  Spash 'em with paint.  Not only are you going to jail for splashing someone with a potentially toxic liquid (hey, they didn't know if your bucket was full of paint or acid!) and they'll be pressing charges for destruction of property.  PETA members live in a world of fanaticism, but because people get all up in their feelings about images of dogs and cats, they somehow get a pass when their actions cross the line.  But that's how people are.  We'll support anything that makes us feel or LOOK good, and if we're enabling pain and destruction along the way . . . well, I guess you can't win 'em all, right?

Back to the topic of shopping.  Everyone's been to a store where the person at the register tries to push some sort of rewards card or memership card on them.  Especially grocery stores and Game Stop.  But why?  What do you actually benefit from that card?  A few cents off your total?  Big deal.  You're still paying more than what's on the sticker!  And, furthermore, the person at the register doesn't really want to push that card on you, but they have to, because if they don't, they'll be fired.  Companies love knowing who is shopping, and what they're buying.  If they can figure out who you are and what kind of things you like to buy, they can shove more products in your face and down your throat.  It's all about demographics and marketing.  And, hey, I'm all about effective marketing, but the idea of tricking everyone into using a card that collects their metric data is one of those "looks good on paper" ideas.  In reality, nobody with a brain wants to fatten their wallet with useless pieces of plastic.  And the employee doesn't want to get screamed at by Uncle Buck for asking him for his phone number.   And speaking of screaming . . .

The thrill, the joy, the excitement of riding a roller coaster . . . How much more American can you get?  I know, I know, there are roller coasters all over the world.  So, I'll tell you what's more American: capitalism.  And while I love capitalism, I don't always get why some things get valued the way they do.  For instance, why does it cost me $50 to come into your park and stand in line all day?  Why should I find value in paying to get into a place that's extra hot, extra crowded, noisy, and full of products that are astronomically overpriced?  Is the thrill of a two minute train ride that returns me to the exact spot I left supposed to justify this?  I dunno, man.  Seems like a pretty thin deal to me.  But people still flock to amusement parks in the summer months as though they'll never see one again.  But, hey, if they find value in that, then that's the beauty of capitalism and the free market.

Sage calls in, a weather man predicts some precipitation, and Buck gets called out for a screw-up.  What did he do wrong?  You'll have to listen to this week's episode to find out!