Archive for the ‘Answer Us Back! Your time to opine’ Category

Is there food-life on Mars?

August 17, 2015



Join Leigh in Melbourne, Australia for a journey through TIME and SPACE:

Your discussion in AMT320 about Martian-themed restaurants reminded me of a delightfully ghastly theme restaurant in a touristy region of Sydney earlier this decade. Depending on your perspective, the now sadly-closed Xerts Restaurant was either a tribute to all things Martian or a dissection of crimes against interior design.

Once you’d wandered into the restaurant, you were ushered into a “spaceship” (better described as a clunky lift) which beamed you up into the restaurant, where you were met with space pod tables and Martian-themed food. Don’t recall there being too much red food dye in the ingredients but it was definitely all very weird. I recall one particular highlight being a touchscreen ordering system at each table, which was inevitably smeared with greasy handprints from the kids who’d sat there just before you.

The Sydney Xerts venue is no longer with us and was subsequently converted into another alien experience: a Hooters restaurant.

‘Boobs’ does seem to be a theme that has, er, legs.



August 6, 2015


Let there be light upon this question from Lizzie from London:

Regarding the glitter discussion in AMT319, Sarah from Chicago writes:

Helen compared it to a virus at one point, and in the theatre world (my profession) we have to deal with it a lot. So much that when you happen to find glitter all over everything, with no idea where it came from (costume, makeup, set, etc), it’s known as Glerpes. Glitter+herpes.

And now you know the name of the affliction your questioneer has.



Thanks Sarah.


new dough scraper; new old life

July 21, 2015


We love to hear how our questioneers have fared in the wake of our counsel. Here’s a brace of emails from questioneers of episodes long past, some happy, some sad. Let’s start happy, with Eleanor from the Isle of Man from AMT305:

You kindly answered my question in January as to whether I should steal my dad’s dough scraper that he clearly had no intention of using. So imagine my excitement this morning when opening my birthday presents from my husband and children to discover they got me not only a dough scraper, but also an Answer Me This apron! Problem solved!

FullSizeRender (1)

Aaah! Feast your eyes on that birthday joy, then bathe in the sorrow of AMT247‘s Emily:

A few years ago I messaged you about being caught by my boyfriend as I was smoking in the bath and how I tried to play it off as in fact me masturbating.

So, the development is that after 3 years together he has left me, as in ‘stood in the doorway with his bags packed when I got home from work’ left me. I didn’t see it coming and this is really shit.

My question is this: how, when you chose the city you inhabit, the flat you live in, the pets you have and the routine that fills your life for your partner, can you stop being constantly reminded of them once they have left you? Note: I now have a grad scheme job, friends here and am tied into a rental contract (foolishly just in my name) so can’t move away.

Comiserations, Emily. But at least now you can do whatever you want in the bath, without stoking his insecurities.

Readers, have you any ideas for Emily to reboot her life? Rearrange the furniture, take a different route into work, hang out with friends in places you haven’t been before? Not sure what you can do about the pets, but perhaps you could teach them to bark in a different key or swim around the little plastic castle in the opposite direction.


Greggs: the geographical survey

July 9, 2015



If you would like to contribute to the geographical survey of variations in Greggs the Baker‘s offerings, please do so in the comments. Then we can commission an infographic. Following AMT317, Steven in Leeds writes:

Greggs do offer regional variation in their range – as a fat northerner, the lunchtime meal of choice in my native Warrington as a sixth former was the meat and potato pasty*, which I was astounded to discover was unavailable when I moved to Yorkshire in 2006. I got over this when I went back home and realised that their ‘meat and potato’ was in fact a kind of pinkish-greyish lumpy paste with no identifiable constituent parts…but I’ll still have one about once a year when I go back home.

*As a side note: They love a bit of meat and potato in the north-west: so much so that in that region Greggs actually do both a meat and potato pie (smaller diameter but thicker filled) and a potato and meat pie (larger diameter and thinly filled), with the respective first parts designating the primary ingredient.

You say potato (and meat), I say (meat and) potato…


Best Before 1976

July 6, 2015


Remember 33-year-old Dave from AMT313 who wanted to eat something older than him? Heidi emailed to say:

Came across this article today and immediately thought of that episode. Apologies if it’s too gross.


Almost half a billion dollars worth of smuggled frozen meat – some of it rotting and more than 40 years old – has been seized in China, official media have reported.

More than 100,000 tonnes of chicken wings, beef and pork worth up to 3bn yuan ($483m) were seized in the nationwide crackdown, the state-run China Daily newspaper said.

“It was smelly and I nearly threw up when I opened the door,” said an official from Hunan province, where 800 tonnes were seized.

Officials from Guangxi, a southern region bordering Vietnam, found some of the meat was “more than 40 years old”, the newspaper said.

That would mean it was packed and stored when the country still under the rule of Communist China’s founding father, Mao Zedong, who died in 1976.

That’s gross, but I suspect there are things in my mother’s freezer that have been there since BEFORE Mao came to power.


wedding plus one problems

June 24, 2015
A solution of sorts

A solution of sorts


Jake in London concurs with Olly’s advice in the last episode about the lineup in wedding photos:

Following the discussions in AMT316 about having couples in the official wedding photos who broke up shortly after, I thought I’d share the now comical story of the latter happening at my dad’s wedding a few years ago.

At the wedding me and my brother were asked to be joint best men, which we were pretty pleased with. Our girlfriends were also invited along: I will point out here that whilst me and my partner had been together for several years (and still are), my brother and his girlfriend had only been together a couple of months.

As they have loads of photos taken on the day, me and my brother were naturally in the majority of them. Some of the nicest ones were taken right outside the wedding venue, with my dad and his wife, me and my girlfriend and my brother and his girlfriend. As my brother’s girlfriend was the smallest person in this group of six she was naturally placed front and centre, she was also placed front and centre in all photographs she was in on the day – fucking loads!!!

Within a couple days of the wedding, my dad and his wife had decided on the photos that they liked the best and that they were going to get enlarged portraits of, the biggest of which being one of the photos of the six of us. In the time in between them ordering this blowup and getting it back, my brother and his girlfriend split up. As she was front and centre there was no way of cropping her out and there were no photos of just the 4 or 5 of us. As a result, the massive canvas print hangs proudly on my dads sitting room wall, with all six of us smiling out.

The final irony of this is that my brother has subsequently been in a long-term relationship for the past few years, and his new girlfriend has regularly frequented my dad’s house, meaning she’s always greeted with the smiling face of his ex-girlfriend eyeballing her in the sitting room.

The lesson is, if you are going to have people’s new partners come to your wedding, make sure they’re on the fringes of the photographs and not front and centre.

Also on the wedding tip, an anonymous lady from London writes:

I was just listening to AMT316 and I feel compelled to provide an alternative view on behalf of myself and other ‘expensive randoms’ who plague the existence of listeners like Elizabeth.

I am facing a summer of successive weddings with my boyfriend and I have barely met ANY of the couples whose nuptials I have been invited to celebrate. I do appreciate being thought of, but I haven’t really been given the option to turn the invites down (one of them my mother-out-law RSPVed to on my behalf before I was given the invitation, which doesn’t even have my last name on it because neither of the marriers knows who I am).

So answer me this: what can I do to entertain myself in a hotel in the middle of nowhere all day before I am required to turn up at these numerous receptions at 8pm (after my boyfriend and everyone else involved has spent all day drinking)?

Readers, can you go to the comments and give her some suggestions? Try to come up with something more ingenious than ‘masturbation’, ‘minibar’ and ‘reruns of Columbo‘, even though those are all decent ways to while away her time.


whole lotto fun

June 23, 2015
That's entertainment

That’s entertainment


Chris from Liverpool has solved an abiding mystery of entertainment:

In AMT315, Olly asked why a need was felt to build an entertainment show around the National Lottery draw.

The main reason is that TV ratings are not recorded for programmes under 15 minutes in length.

Therefore televising the draw on its own (which would take about two minutes) would not have any ratings attached.

Putting a terrible programme around it probably shows quite accurately how many people are tuning in for the draw itself, as who in their right mind would sit through half an hour of Dale Winton hosting a mind-numbingly boring quiz show…except maybe Olly?

And people who love balls, Chris; let’s not forget them.


soul patch synonyms

June 22, 2015



Mouche, Van Dyke, jazz dab, goat tuft: in AMT315 we learned many synonyms for the reviled facial hair style commonly known as the soul patch. And there are even more! Martyn writes:

Is it only ‘oop North’ where the little bit of face fur that sits below the lower lip is referred to as a ‘taste keeper’, due to the probability of food getting caught up in there?

If you seek similarities, Martyn, look to the far south, towards Gemma in Tempe, Sydney, Australia:

In Australia the Soul Patch or Jazz Dab is often called a ‘flavour saver’. I assume because if you dribble your curry in it you can save it for Ron (later on).

Adele adds:

I’m surprised you didn’t cover the term ‘lady pleaser’. This is also used to describe a soul patch. That bit of friction just under the bottom lip.

That explains why so many people persist with them, because it can’t be for the look.

Do you have any vernacular terms for the jazz soul flavour pleaser? Let us know in the comments. If we get enough, we’ll compile a study of geographical differences and submit it as a masters.


iPad infidelity

June 22, 2015


in AMT315, Olly and I disagreed over procedure for questioneer C who, after some incriminating messages popped up on the iPad she’d borrowed, discovered that her boyfriend’s dad had been pursuing some extramarital interests. You lot seem to disagree too; DP writes:

I side with Olly re the inadvertent viewing of a private email on an iPad. If the dad-in-law is having a bit on the side that’s his affair (geddit?).

If the inadvertent email viewer is so shocked and feels she must blow the whistle she could torpedo what may be an otherwise happy marriage. Does she want that responsibility? If she shuts up nobody gets hurt. If she talks, she’s doing it out of a sense of moral outrage, pushing her values on other people.

And what if the in laws have an open marriage? She will look pretty silly. Adultery is a lot more common than people think. Isn’t there a saying: “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over”?

Whereas, from my corner, Andy from Littlehampton writes:

Surely the only option she has is to speak to her partner about it. I can’t understand why you would suggest brushing it under the carpet and lying about it to her other half. It is only going to eat away at her, and if or when it does come out, which it probably will, and she hasn’t told anyone, she’d feel dreadful.

It is her partner’s decision to speak to his father, and find out if there is an innocent explanation.

My dad had an affair with another woman and if I found out that my wife had known earlier and hadn’t said anything, it would have caused serious problems in our relationship.

You don’t solve one lie, by telling another.

What do you think? Seems to me there’s no right answer – but perhaps you can come up with one in the comments.



May 27, 2015


Here’s some relief for questioneers from the past couple of episodes.

E-J writes:

In AMT313 you had a letter from a vet student who is allergic to animals and is concerned about whether or not she should continue training.

I’ve been a registered veterinary Nurse for over 10 years and have worked with many vets who are allergic to animals – it is a very common problem and they just take antihistamines daily and are ok. One vet I worked with was so allergic he had to wear gloves all the time as well, but he was an extreme case.

I have also worked with vets who are phobic about certain animals, and we have had to lock them in their consulting rooms until the animal of their phobia has left the building so it can’t get to them!

Seems like an imprudent choice of profession for an animal-phobe, but maybe they were trying immersion therapy.

Jon writes:

For the lady in AMT314 who encouraged her colleague to join her in training for a cycling event what she should do use a tip used by runners with a similar challenge.

Both (or more) cyclists start from the same point on an agreed route. After a set amount of time, they all turn around wherever they are on the route and head back to the start point. Assuming an even pace, all participants should finish at the start point at the same time. The challenge for participants is to cycle further on the outward leg and still win the return leg.

If done correctly, the final stages of the training session will always be exciting for all participants.

Exciting? To zoom back from the halfway point only to be stuck behind all the slowpokes for the triumphal final straight? Blood will be spilt.


cool cat

May 27, 2015



Frostbitten feedback from Rachel:

I just finished listening to AMT302 where you discuss a hamster sitter who froze the hamster that died on his watch. This reminded me of the time my mom’s cat died and she froze it in a shoebox rather than burying it straight away.

This cat ended up staying in her freezer for at least a year. So gross!

I wasn’t living at home during this but each time I went home to visit I refused to eat anything from the freezer for fear of cross contamination.

Answer me this: was I right to be concerned or am I just squeamish? Is a dead cat in your freezer, even though it’s wrapped in bags and in a shoebox, still a health concern?

Readers, what’s your opinion? Is a wrapped, boxed dead cat any more of a contamination threat than a shrinkwrapped joint of meat?

In my opinion, the greatest health concern in this scenario is the mental wellbeing of the woman who put her cat into the freezer for a year.


Black or White: the rapper revealed

May 27, 2015


Today’s dose of retro feedback is administered by Paul from Germany:

About 100 episodes ago (I think lol) you had a question about who was
rapping on the Michael Jackson song ‘Black Or White‘.

Today I read an article about who that mysterious “LTB” guy is. The source is producer Bill Bottrell.

I’m sure I’m the only one who cares about this, but it reminded me of AMT and I thought I’d share, in case anyone else cares. 😀

For those of you who can’t be arsed to read the article, here’s the big reveal:

The mysterious L.T.B. credited as the rapper is none other than…

…..Bill Bottrell himself!

And apparently he gave away the secret years ago, but in a publication too techy for anyone* to read. So there’s a tip for any of you burtsting with a secret: tell it to Sound on Sound, nobody will ever know.

*Except Martin the Sound Man; there are copies of Sound on Sound in the AMT loobrary.