EPISODE 162 – the grown-up Milkybar Kid among us


Good morning,

It seems this week, every human celebrity with a working womb has declared herself pregnant. Since we blindly follow celebrities in all our actions, allow us to take this opportunity to announce that we, too, have a bun in the oven. Our due date is 13th January 2011 and we’ve already picked a name for the new arrival, Answer Me This! Episode 162. Ooohowowowow – we think the blighter’s on its way….:

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)
Today’s episode is accompanied by a token amount of afterbirth and a sizable amount of the following:

Reebok Runtone Trainers
white-collar boxing
‘Heart and Soul’
Love and Other Drugs
Richard Branson
greedy Jet Li
Peter Pan, master builder
ivy-covered halls
Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’
Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love
Sidney Paget
witches’ hats
bullet time*
the MTV Generation
the greatest album Meat Loaf never made
deep-fried eggs.

Plus: Olly has a horrific DIY suggestion for replacing a lost eye; Helen brings down London, one neighbourhood at a time; and Martin the Sound Man recommends that if you only read one book in your life, it should be this one.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (get it for your shiny iPhone or your shiny Android – those of you with non-shiny phones, forget it) is a question from Mark who’s been thinking the unthinkable: if Wills’n’Kate don’t make it to the altar on April 29th, what will happen to our promised national holiday? Panic! (Don’t panic.)

You’ll also note that, at the end of the episode, we appeal for your suggestions to guide listener Karen gently into the magnificent world of book-reading. Please leave those in the comments below; then please leave your QUESTIONS for future episodes as voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) or emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

Great! Now we’re off to stand on the front steps of the Portland Hospital holding a wadded-up pale blue blanket so that maybe someone takes our picture. We’re over the moon! Etc etc.

Helen & Olly

* In case you couldn’t remember what that is, here’s a refresher:

Subscribe with iTunesBookQuestion ArchiveEpisodesMerch
iPhone AppAndroid AppFacebookTwitterYouTubeFAQ

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

48 Responses to “EPISODE 162 – the grown-up Milkybar Kid among us”

  1. Charlie (the Wanghouse) Says:

    The Count of Monte Cristo is a corker

  2. Harry from Chesterfield, aged 13 Says:

    Despite the fact that you all seem impressed by ‘Heart and Soul’ I, having learned piano with the J.W.Schaum books until grade 4 piano, I was never taught Heart and Soul and can see nothing in it but a fucking annoying tune and irritating arpeggios. Why are people so obsessed with the damn song?

  3. Will Says:

    She mentioned she likes the ’20s, so why not The Great Gatsby? It’s a corker of a plot and even if you don’t probe right imto the full analysis it’s a fantastic portrait of American life of the era!

  4. Peter in Chicago Says:

    About Sherlock Holmes being pictured wearing a deestalker, you were correct that Sidney Paget, who illustrated the stories that appeared in The Strand magazine, only drew Holmes wearing a deerstalker when in the country.

    The popular image of Holmes with a deerstalker and Inverness cape came from the actor and playwright William Gillette. The curved pipe came entirely from Gillette. I don’t have my research on the subject at hand, but I recall reading something about how he couldn’t perform the role of Sherlock Holmes night after night holding a straight pipe in his mouth.


    • Sherrinford Says:

      Conversely, if you ever told Arthur Conan Doyle that Holmes wore a Deerstalker, he’d look at ya funny. Because Holmes didn’t wear a deerstalker in the books. Ever.

  5. Goody Says:

    What about “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman? It’s like Harry Potter with shagging.

    Or you guys mentioned short stories, there is a good collection of short stories that came out recently by Neil Gaiman called “Fragile Things.”

    Also, what about David Sedaris? He’s got some pretty engrossing books that are funny and fast reads, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “Barrell Fever.”

  6. Elise Says:

    I love the PG Wodehouse suggestion – those books are hilarious. Another really fun one to read is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos – it’s a classic and it’s hysterical. Also, I do love a bit of Austen and if you’ve never read Pride and Prejudice it really is great. Oh actually another really hilarious one is How I Paid for College. I laughed out loud reading it on the train to work. Totally embarrassing as all the other passengers looked at me funny. Super funny.

  7. Tom Says:

    Re Books for beginners

    am currently working my way through the ian fleming James Bond Books ( 15 written by the man himself)

    could be a good starting point for your questioner

  8. Willow Says:

    A suggestion for a funny book set in the 20’s: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Possibly perfect for a fan of AMT, it’s a wonderfully satirical story.

  9. Willow Says:

    I have to ask for the American listeners: what, exactly, ARE Wendy Houses? I’ve heard the term before in other British sources, but still not sure what it is. A dollhouse? An outdoor play house?

  10. Tom Says:

    its a bit basic but maybe she should get an autobiography of someone she likes. or failing that the sherlock holmes stories are quite easy going

  11. emily Says:

    i worked in a bookshop until recently and on my last working day TWO people came in and asked what book they should buy as they want to ‘read more’.

    even though that is a ridiculous thing to ask, i suggested looking in the teenage section. books like ‘the boy in the striped pyjamas’ are written for teenagers to be able to read and are simpler than a lengthy piece of fiction, but are often much deeper than shite such as ‘twilight’. also ‘never let me go’ and ‘before i die’ are pretty good teen books

  12. Matt Davies Says:

    If she’s only read Harry Potter, why not start with stuff from a similar demographic with a teen or adult fantasy like Artemis Fowl or some Terry Pratchett so she can work her way up?

    Also, I’ve always been quite a big reader, but the thing that really pushed me from teen and pre-teen fiction to adult stuff is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – the most fun, exciting and hilarious book I’ve ever read (besides Answer Me This! of course). It’s obviously not exacty hard-hitting stuff, but I found it a nice in between for teen and adult fiction.

  13. matt Says:

    Great Gatsby

    classic 20’s lit

    and A Farewell to Arms

    • Lotte Says:

      great gatsby is a top book if you don’t read much
      a) it’s short (but yet, still makes you look intelligent)
      b) Set in the 1920s – lots of cars and cocktail parties
      Also, anything by Steinbeck. Cannery Row is really good. Funny with interesting developed characters.

  14. Chris from Cardiff (Australia) Says:

    RE: Good Books

    I would suggest any novel by Michael Ondaatje. To start off, probably some of his more popular books like Divisadero, In the Skin of a Lion, or The English Patient; then I would suggest moving to the more intense novels like Anil’s Ghost (my personal favourite)

  15. Alex Catto Says:

    I would suggest maybe reading an autobiography of someone you’re really interested in. It should get you into the swing of reading, while keeping up your interest enough to stop the short attention span from wondering off, ow ow ow i have something in my eye.

  16. Finlay Says:

    This podcast isn’t showing up on the iTunes feed… argh! Unless it’s just my computer being daft…

    • helenzaltzman Says:

      it’s not just you – observe the note in bright orange at the top of the post

    • Jack Lawrence Says:

      The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a brilliant short narrative novel that is easy to read, and set in the 1920’s. Aside from that, obviously the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a fabulous read, but i thought that Enduring Love by Ian Mcewan was crap.

  17. Dan Says:

    Neil Gaiman books are excellent as they are amusing, interesting, and easy to read (i’d suggest American Gods or Neverwhere myself). But for an ideal ‘first book’ i’d buy To Kill a Mockingbird.
    Poignant, amusing at times, easy to read but also engrossing, something that will make you think and move you, that you will read hundreds of times (so getting more bang for your buck) and a generally important book to read,

  18. Richard Alston Says:

    I am in year 10 at school and I really never bother reading books because there are ways of getting away with it like looking on wiki about the book or watching the film version. I suggest buy a film they are cheaper and more enjoyable.

  19. Molly Says:

    Maybe Karen, you could join an online bookclub, just to give you some ideas about what to read. I would definitely recommend Jeeves and Wooster books, which are great fun, but old so people won’t look down on you.

    But don’t start with Enduring Love. It’s awful.

  20. Dom Says:

    For a new reader I’d say some Neil Gaiman might be good: Anansi Boys is really fun, but so is pretty much everything he’s done. Douglas Adams would be a good bet as well.

    I remember really loving The Beach by Alex Garland at around Karen’s age too.

  21. Lew Says:

    Helen, you know how you were talking about the expression “Hell for Leather”? In Aleister Crowley’s 1917 book Moonchild, he used the expression “L for leather”.

  22. Robin Says:

    Dear Helen and Olly (and Martin the soundman)

    I’m too lazy to jump on the 202 just on the offchance that Bookseller Crow still has some signed copies of your book hanging around.

    Does he? If not, I’ll still buy the book, but it’ll be less exciting.



  23. sophie Says:

    about the books… for the 1920s/1930s i would choose some evelyn waugh for some satirical brillance, and for the 1950s/1960s maybe some capote (breakfast at tiffanys, or in cold blood), or to kill a mockingbird by harper lee ^_^

  24. Kirsty Says:

    Am I being daft? It’s not appearing on itunes?

Answer us back:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: