Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

EPISODE 311: mermaid with a crotch

April 2, 2015

Good news! Well, good news for Olly and everyone worried that his nocturnal job was causing him to collapse in on himself like a dying star: he’s got a new job on LBC, presenting a show 8-10pm Fridays and 6.30-10pm Saturdays. The first one is tomorrow, so tune in! Meantime, listen to Answer Me This! Episode 311:

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Therein:

the Queen of Starbucks (scroll down to the bottom of the post for the NSFW original Starbucks logo)
the Hollywood Walk of Fame (apply here for a star)
a bowling alley in your home
the dangers of being a stock photo
the other Michael Jackson
the other Harrison Ford
the real struggle in Moby-Dick
Buddha vs Budai
Night Nurse vs Night Nurse
lazy Barbra Streisand
critiquing your dick pics (link extremely NSFW)
and
the first known waterbed.

Plus: Olly would rather that rats do not accompany his sexytimes; Helen is still laughing about the typo on her grandmother’s gravestone; and and Martin the Sound Man enjoys his own parallel version of AMT.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for iThings, Android and Windows gadgets) we realise why it’s probably for the best that we don’t have a spare £200,000 to install a home bowling alley. Just imagine the bloodshed…

Shed no blood, but shed your QUESTIONS, by leaving voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. You can befriend us online facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly to deliver us your verdict on today’s episode.

We’ll return on 16nd April 2015 with AMT312, joiiiiiiin ussssssssss,

Helen & Olly

••• AMT311 Child-Friendly Rating: 40%. Strong swear word very near the beginning. 10 minutes in, there’s a question about nudie photos that you may wish your younglings to avoid. But after that, it’s pretty safe. If you start listening around 15 minutes in, it’d be at least 80% child friendly. •••

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EPISODE 306: sitting down is the new smoking

January 22, 2015

Fire up your podblasters; Answer Me This! Episode 306 has arrived:

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Today we consider:

Ainsley Harriott
Extreme Wink Murder
standing desks
Britney Spears’s haircare range
Barry Norman’s pickled onions
Paul Simon’s chicken and eggs
yellow dusters
skateboarding and similar activities
having ‘a bit of fun’ on Tinder
and
Chicken Kiev.

Plus: Olly’s madeleine is the Bernard Matthews Mini Kiev; Helen is sitting all the way to skating glory; and Martin the Sound Man preaches discretion when encountering colleagues on Tinder. Got something to confess, Martin?

Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App is another Stanley Mann Special, this time how he’s way ahead of his time with fashion trends. Full of surprises, that Mann. Hear on your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets.

We welcome your questions with open arms and legs. Ask them by leaving voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or sending emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Do not bother to ask them via facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly, because we might forget about them when it comes to the fortnightly question-harvest; but we do love to hear from you there nonetheless.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘answer’. WHERE’S THE ALL THE SHIT HIDING??? WHERE IS IT, I ASK YOU? Nowhere! No shit there at all! If only all of life were more like shitless Squarespace…

We’ll be back with AMT307 on 5th February, return then.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT306 Child-Friendly Rating: 47%. Quite a few swears. Some crudity towards the end, involving One Direction’s bodily fluids, polishing wood, and Tinder. •••

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dump a friend

January 21, 2015

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Tom from Derby is trying to friend zone an actual friend. He writes:

How do I break up with someone that I’m not in a relationship with? I have an acquaintance that I have nothing in common with and find conversation with him to be very difficult but he wants to go everywhere with me and invites me everywhere and basically comes on too strong. I think I might be his best friend but I don’t consider him more than an acquaintance and that makes me quite sad.

I tried getting to know him a bit better but I definitely don’t enjoy his company. I’ve tried ignoring his daily texts, Facebook messages and emails but they don’t dry up. I’ve tried avoiding him but he knows my haunts and is often there too.

My “friendship” with him is putting a strain on my real friendships and relationship as he keeps turning up the places that we go. He’s not a horrible person (and neither am I) but we just have nothing in common. I don’t want him to be lonely but I don’t want to see him several times a week for the rest of my life and wish he would pursue other friendships with more like-minded people.

We are both straight men – in case you jump to conclusions.

That’s a tricky one, Tom. I think you’re right to avoid engaging in his frequent comms, but it’s possible your aloofness is making this person even more eager to win your affection – like when you ignore a golden retriever, so they bounce all over you at every opportunity rather than playing it cool.

Readers, what would you do? Advise Tom in the comments. But remember to keep your emotional distance.

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Best of AMT 2014

December 18, 2014

AMT three
Listeners, thank you so much for contributing your attention, questions and eartime to us this year. What a year it has been! Relisten to the highlights – and lowlights, including such annual delights as the Parade of Melancholy Calls and the blooper reel – in The Best of Answer Me This! 2014:

 

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just £1.99 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)

So many precious moments… Create more of them in 2015 by sending us your QUESTIONS: leave a message on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or send an email to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

By the way, if you have the AMT app on your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets, you have access to all the previous AMT Best Ofs. For those of you who are app-less, you can obtain these joyous compilations from answermethisstore.com/best. Also at the AMT store, iTunes and Amazon, you can buy our albums and old episodes – the perfect festive gift for the AMT fan, ie you, and the perfect gift for us, ie money to continue making the show next year.

Another Christmas gift we would love is for you to tell a friend about the show! There are still a few billion people in the world who are yet to hear it, so do your bit to remedy this sad situation.

We’ll be back on Thursday 8th January 2015 with AMT305; in the meantime, behave yourselves, and keep in touch at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Byeeeeee!!!

Helen & Olly

••• Best of AMT2014 Child-Friendly Rating: 50%. Patchily suitable for all ears. The risk is yours. •••

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EPISODE 304: millions of Geoffrey, all under one roof

December 11, 2014


“Take two podcasts into the shower? Not me! I just use Answer Me This! Episode 304!”

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Today’s roster includes such topics as:

Wash & Go
roller derby rivalry
texting your ex
baby models
Geoffrey of Toys R Us
Facebook etiquette
advent calendar etiquette
Rod Stewart vs Barry Manilow
Rod Stewart’s train set
the Boston Bean
The Frog Chorus
Whip It IRL
and
the Swiss Cheese Pervert.

Plus: for Olly, giving is better than receiving (when it comes to picture messages); Helen does not belong on wheels; and Martin the Sound Man searches for logic in cartoon characters off adverts, which is really the wrong place to look.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets) as we learn about reindeers and their antlers. For a whole further hour of festive fun, do listen to the Answer Me This! Christmas, available at answermethisstore.com as well as iTunes and Amazon.

All we want for Christmas are your QUESTIONS, so shove them into our stockings, by which we mean leave a message on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or send an email to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Also, forge the bounds of internet friendship at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly. Not LinkedIn, NEVER LinkedIn.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘answer’. That’s got to be better than anything you win in a cracker. (Except for the set of tiny screwdrivers or a bottle-opener shaped like an animal; both of these come in surprisingly useful. But, you know, the miniature pack of cards or tiny plastic comb or annoying puzzle made out of metal rings.)

The Best of AMT 2014 will be out next Thursday, 18th December. Return then!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT304 Child-Friendly Rating: 74%. Opens with further discussion of AMT303‘s cheese handjobs, but once the first couple of minutes are over, the rest of the episode’s topics are clean aside from two or three strong swears. •••

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AMT300!!!!!!!!!1!!

October 16, 2014

AMT300

THE DAY HAS ARRIVED! Answer Me This! Episode 300 is here, in all its tricentennial glory!

You’ve deluged us with questions about AMT300, for example:
“Will it be your last episode?”
“Is it going to feature Gerard Butler and be directed by Zack Snyder?”
“Did you guys ever…you know…?”
“Is it possible to polish a turd?”
“Yeah but seriously guys, is it going to be your last episode?”

Discover all these answers, and many more surprises, by listening to the episode right now via one or all of the following methods:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

Don’t read below this point if you don’t want spoilers! Listen to the episode first, then come back here and revise its contents.

Alright??

On the slate for AMT300 are such topics as:

our alternate realities if AMT had never existed
evidence of our life of crime
long-term relationships
bumhole problems
mashed potato vs nutmeg
Peter Jackson vs Raymond Carver
bases
nasal honking
hiding your rubber fetish gear
and
garnish.

And the wonderful special guest answerers bending their wisdom to your questions are:

Adam Buxton, the man who made us want to do this podcast. He doles out excellent advice on giving your children The Talk, ridding your kitchen of mouse turds, and changing your whole life to avoid minor annoyances. Enjoy more of Adam’s work on YouTube, on Twitter, and at live shows including BUG.

Sarah Millican, who even manages to make questions about anal fissures sound charming and wholesome. It’s a gift! Her new DVD Home Bird is available for pre-order; she’s writing for the new online magazine Standard Issue, and she dispenses Sarahmillicandour at twitter.com/SarahMillican75.

Jesse and Theresa Thorn, the first couple of podcasting, the power behind the Maximum Fun throne (at MaxFun, they record everything sitting on thrones). Tackling questions upon Americana and parental embarrassment, it’s a rare treat to hear them on a podcast together – but it’s a regular treat to hear them on their own podcasts, which include One Bad Mother, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Judge John Hodgman… Yeah, it took us nearly eight years to churn out 300 podcasts; they probably do more than that a month. And just in case you needed even more podcast-related excitement on top of this, it’s MaxFunWeek right now, so you can have maximum fun with other podcast aficionados around the world.

Josie Long, who delighted you in AMT84 and returns to do the same, on such matters as losing your virginity, beating procrastination and Lord of the Rings – the latter with the help of her boyfriend Simon of the Picturehouse Podcast. We hope this important matter doesn’t come between them… As well as seeing Josie on stage, you can hear her on her Lost Treasures of the Black Heart podcast, and the new series of Radio 4’s Short Cuts.

Tony Blackburn. TONY. BLACKBURN! Answering YOUR questions and sounding off about wandering eyes, Hobbits and nutmeg! He was the first voice on Radio 1 in 1967, and he currently has shows on Radio 2, BBC Berkshire, BBC London, BBC Three Counties, KMFM, Magic…phew! Switch on a radio, and Blackburn will probably be talking on it. You can also read him at twitter.com/tonyblackburn.

AMT sibling Andy Zaltzman and his Bugle cohort John Oliver, offering advice on christenings, garlic and hanging onto a long term relationship. You can see Andy on tour with his show Satirist for Hire, and you can see John presenting Last Week Tonight on HBO and/or approximately fifteen times a day in your Facebook feed.

Today’s new email jingle is by the Hackney Colliery Band – because there are few things more stirring than a brass band. To see them live and listen to their records, including their new EP Common Decency, visit hackneycollieryband.co.uk.

Our special guest answerers supplied such a lot of marvellous material, there’s a bumper tricentennial Bit of Crap on the App today – extra questions about tattoos, pineapples, balloon animals, taramasalata, adventures, wedgies, and there’s even a cameo from AMT190 superstar Jon Ronson. The app is available for your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings, but since it’s an ‘appy day, you appless can also stream or download it via SoundCloud. Or just play it here:

We could not have done these 300 episodes without you, listeners: without your attention; without your support, financial and emotional; and particularly without your questions. Please keep sending those in: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And do celebrate with us at facebook.com/answermethis or twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Thanks so much for joining us today! We’ll be back with business-as-usual non-landmark AMT301 on 30th October 2014.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT300 Child-Friendly Rating: 1%. No way. •••

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Thursday Listening Party

September 11, 2014

On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

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Noises from home:

Exciting news: Martin’s got a new album coming out on Saturday! Go here to preview three of the tracks and to buy; it’s £5 to preorder but pay what you want when it is released. Or, if you are a retronaut who prefers your music on a physical format, wait a couple more weeks and then buy one of the forthcoming limited-edition CDs with a handmade papercut sleeve (if you follow Martin on Instagram, you may have seen some sneak peeks).

There’s a new news-themed episode of the Sound Women podcast, in which Olly’s LBC colleague Petrie Hosken tells me how she felt safer nearly getting kidnapped as a war correspondent in Bosnia than as a woman working in British radio. Good times!

Apparently there’s been some Royal News this week? [Shrug] It’s an ongoing mystery at AMT that none of us give a shit about the royal family, and yet questions about them are always fruitful on the podcast. So whether you give shits or not, have a go on the Answer Me This! Jubilee album for an hour of regal hijinks.

Noises from elsewhere:

The show Strangers is always worth your time, but particularly the recent Love Hurts episodes (part 1 and part 2), in which Lea Thau transforms the question ‘Why are you single?’ from an awful thing Smug Marrieds say to a very personal and reflective investigation into why she has been reluctantly single for the past four years. At least, judging by the exes who appear on the show, she’s dated some Good Sports during that time…

From Strangers to friends: I really enjoyed this Woman’s Hour/Men’s Hour collaboration all about friendship. Of course, they cover the When Harry Met Sally adage that men and women can’t be friends, which Olly and I have been disproving throughout our fourteen-year friendship. If you need additional on-air partnerships as evidence, I direct you to the programme’s guest Geoff Lloyd, whose brilliant Hometime Show on Absolute Radio with Annabel Port crackles with sexless tension.

Various AMT friends have been busy piping up this week. Ruth Barnes from Amazing Radio made a terrific Radio 4 documentary about folk singer Judee Sill, who had a beautiful voice and a tragic mess of a short life.

And finally: I was thrilled to hear two AMTpals and primo podcasters team up, when Little AtomsNeil Denny went on Dave Pickering‘s Getting Better Acquainted. They talk about reading books, prayer, and masturbation – all the solitary entertainments, really.

I’m always listening out for shows to try; please recommend some in the comments.

PS In case you missed it: my Bugling brother Andy and I were interviewed by the Guardian about why the Zaltzman family communicates in jokes rather than human emotions. Click here to read it.

Tune in to our various other gigs:

Catch up on AMT297 and the episodes preceding it.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a piddling little price at answermethisstore.com, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Set your alarm.
I host the monthly Sound Women podcast and am on Let’s Talk About Tech from BBC 5 Live.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train, The Global Lab and The Sound of the Ladies.

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rich man, poor man

August 7, 2014

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It’s sad to see money coming between friends. Max in London writes:

In ATM294 you discussed the issue between two friends, one of whom made money on the advice of the other. I have a similar problem with my friend (let’s call him Tom) which I worry is going to to ruin our lifelong friendship.

My friend and I went to school together and have been lifelong companions with the same interests, sense of humour etc, and even now that we are grown up and married with children, we don’t live far apart. Until recently we spoke and got together several times a week. Our families always got along well, meeting up regularly, going for meals and we have even gone away for short breaks and on holiday together. Perfect, you might think.

After school Tom and I both went to university and I became a teacher soon after; Tom on the other hand opened his own business. He is a great entrepreneur and soon his business thrived and he now has several very successful operations around the country.

Here lies the crux of the problem. Tom with his success is now very wealthy, while my wife and I live on a very modest income. We struggle to make ends meet he has the best of everything. He has purchased a huge house, thankfully not too far from where we live, drives several expensive cars and so on. Please don’t get me wrong: I don’t begrudge him his success and he truly is the same guy as before, just with more money.

The problem occurs when we share activities together. Tom always wants to do things in style. The ordinary sorts of places we used to go no longer seem good enough so it is always fancy restaurants, expensive hotels etc. Frankly we cannot keep up with the expense. Whenever I we suggested going somewhere more modest he said he would rather not. I tried hinting that we couldn’t afford things he could but this went right over his head, so one day I confronted the issue explaining our position. Being the generous guy he is, Tom said he understood, but said that because he could now afford the best he would pay for me and my family at these places. Suggestions that we eat more modestly were always rejected. I told him that I would feel uncomfortable with him paying, so he told me to pay what we could and he would make up the rest.

My wife and I tried this arrangement for a while, though unhappy with it, even going away on holiday with them to the Bahamas (for which we felt we had to pay a lot more than we could afford and this has left us with many thousands on a credit card). Eventually I talked to Tom again and explained that I really felt uncomfortable with everything and really couldn’t carry on with it. Tom really couldn’t see my point and so there was no real resolution. He thinks I am being ‘proud’ about the money and that he doesn’t mind. Maybe this is the case, but the whole thing doesn’t sit well with me. One remark that really did cut deep was when he referred to me being ‘only a teacher’ and so he didn’t mind ‘subsidising’ things. Another thing that makes me uncomfortable is that my eldest child has remarked how their uncle Tom pays for everything and how we aren’t as rich as them. Am I being proud?

The result is that we see less and less of Tom and his family and our conversations on the phone are awkward. It feels like that we are at an impasse and that eventually we will drift apart.

What should I do?

This is a real pisser, Max. Let’s turn to popular entertainment for assistance:

1. Watch Friends series 2 episode 5, where the group is similarly divided in two by their income disparity. Unfortunately for you, the episode does not offer a proper solution to the problem; it merely resolves it by having Monica losing her job, meaning the poors outnumber the riches. However you may at least take comfort from the fact that your own friendship is not being tested by Hootie and the Blowfish.

2. Watch Trading Places. Go into a little reverie about how you would treat Tom if your situations were reversed, then in real life nudge Tom towards behaving like that. If/when that doesn’t work, consider an evil clandestine scheme for ruining his fortune. Also, look into obtaining a gorilla to help you out of tricky situations.

3. Read Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. The travails of Lily Bart may help you realise the folly of trying to keep up with people of significantly different means. Also, ‘Aunt Peniston’. Fnarrrr!

4. Give Tom a copy of Jane Austen’s Emma to show how twatty people are who let their wealth warp their relationships. Also that bloody novel is so horrifically nihilistic, enduring it will be a little punishment for him for making you unhappy.

Readers, can you go to the comments to offer Max some help that is more useful than mine/film and literature’s?

Also, do you think Tom is being a bit of a shitty friend by forcing Max to compromise all the time while never doing so himself? (Not to mention his ‘only a teacher’ twattery?)

Alternatively, is there a socialist paradise to which Max and Tom could relocate, thus erasing this inequality in an instant?

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hen problems

August 6, 2014

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CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT294

As usual, weddings are festering piles of problems for our listeners. Mary from Doncaster writes:

I am chief bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding in September. It is the second wedding for them both so we’re all in our 40s (ish).

I have two young children and live a little way away so my friend has arranged for local friends to help organise the Hen Party. This was going really well and I was just left with the task of organising a few silly ideas for the night do, but now one of the party has started buying embarrassing dare games etc which really don’t suit our hen and will be quite embarrassing on the night.

Answer me this, how do I approach this friend and tell her to stop and leave the rest to me?!!

Er…don’t? With these things, it’s easier either to do the whole thing yourself, or stay out of it, and since logistics have steered you largely towards the latter, you can see how the local friends think the party is their domain.

Also, it is thoroughly occasion-appropriate for there to be at least one game to embarrass the hen. I mean, usually I wouldn’t voluntarily play the Mr and Mrs Game, but at my own hen party I understood that the gentle humiliation was all part of the ordealprocess. I’m not suggesting that the hen do ought to be some sort of emotional boot camp for the bride, but it is a ripe opportunity for normal form to be temporarily suspended. Penis-shaped straws, for instance: do you willingly drink through them at any other time? (“Yes Helen! Here at the urology department we refuse to imbibe through anything else.”)

Not convinced, Mary? Then collaboration rather than rivalry is the way to go. If you can’t meet up with the other organiser(s) face to face, have a fun phone chat where you can insinuate your concerns about the dare games, but suggest a suitable alternative with at least a dash of sauce. Even if you don’t want to, other members of the group may desire to make the most of this chance to kick back and forget their Proper Grown-Up Responsible Lives for one night.

But I admit I have never been a bridesmaid (whyyyyy, do all my friends hate me?) and I’m not much of a team player, so haven’t ever contended with this situation myself. Therefore I entreat you readers to deliver advice. Comments. Go. Now!

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EPISODE 294 – eggy Michael Jackson

July 24, 2014

Shout out to you if you’re listening to Answer Me This! Episode 294 whilst ultra running! Shout out to you if you’re listening whilst participating in some other unusual activity! Shout out to you if you’re listening whilst sitting on your lazy arse! (We don’t want to alienate our core audience.)

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On today’s slate:

10 Downing Streetview
Macunian capers
bowling shoes
streaming Number 1 singles
band t-shirts
band coffins
Marlon Brando
Bastille
The Grateful Dead
port
pole vault
penile sunburn
and
loom bands.

Plus: Olly’s recipe for romance involves half a bottle of ketchup; Helen wasted the opportunity to do a funny joke for the Google Streetview car; and Martin the Sound Man does a spot on impression of Jameela Jamil. No wonder the passport inspectors barely recognise him.

In today’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices, Android or Windows gadgetry), we consider such novelties as revolving restaurants and hotels that make your late-night toilet trip into a terrifying mission.

It’s not a terrifying mission to build a website thanks to this week’s episode sponsors Squarespace.com, because you can use their easy drag-and-drop templates to spruce up your online empire. And when you do, enter the code Answer for 10% off their services for a whole year.

It’s very very easy to send us QUESTIONS, so do it: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And be our imaginary friend at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

As mentioned on today’s show, here we are at the Regent Street Apple Store, talking about our podcasting lives with Bugle producer Chris Skinner and Football Rambler Pete Donaldson. And here are our side project podcasts The Media Podcast, Sound Women and Brain Train.

If you feel like soundtracking your holiday with the AMT Holiday album, or the Commonwealth Games with the AMT Sports Day album, both are available now at answermethisstore.com, along with AMT1-170 if you’re really planning to go for it. After that AMTglut, you’ll surely still have an insatiable appetite for more, so please rejoin us on Thursday 7th August for AMT295.

Toodles!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT294 Child-Friendly Rating: 86%. No bawdy content; even a question about nude sunbathing remains innocent. There are two F-bombs, but face it, it’s hardly the first time your child has heard that profane word. •••

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EPISODE 293 – horny warlords

July 3, 2014

Hello listeners,

When you’re trying to make new friends, what’s the best icebreaker? One of today’s questioneers thinks talking about death is the way to go. See if you agree in Answer Me This! Episode 293:

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We also consider less morbid topics, such as:

Viagra calorie content
I Love Lucy
Wayne Rooney’s new hair vs Kyle Beckerman’s old hair
Vancouver vs Pinner
chocolate vs chocolate flavoured chocolate-esque solids
fire hazard fiances
Jason Biggs
jetlagged hamsters
Crystal Creams
Russian Roulette
giving references
borrowing a cup of sugar
and
fucking a pork pie.

Plus: Olly explains the difference between Jewish front gardens and gentile front gardens; Helen will be hibernating all summer (correct term: ‘aestivating‘); and Martin the Sound Man has a restaurant ratings system that will render Michelin stars obsolete.

Since this episode kicks off (yes I went there) with football, one of our least favourite topics, we address another in today’s Bit of Crap on the App: zombies. We could scarcely feel more ambivalent, but since so many of you love them, do your special zombie walk over to the app store in order to listen on your iDevice, Android or Windows toy.

If your brain hasn’t been eaten, please send us QUESTIONS: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And be our imaginary friend at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

TTFN!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT293 Child-Friendly Rating: Squeaky-clean first third, then a question about Viagra. This is alright, until around 19 minutes into the episode the conversation turns to American Pie, whence it degenerates horribly. The rest of the episode is fine aside from a few swears, but realistically you’ll already have had to switch over to Fun Kids, so overall we have to rate this episode as 27%. •••

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foghorn friend

September 10, 2013

mr_noisy

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Our last questioneer was rescued from herself by a friend; but our latest correspondent Anon cannot face doing the same for his/her friend:

I’m a pretty big nerd and pretty much all of my friends are the same. We’re not totally without social graces, but there are a few quirks among our group and as someone who hangs out with the general “nerdy” type I’ve come to accept or ignore most of them. But one of my closest friends has a foible that I have a harder time with.

This person speaks LOUDLY. In general conversation they have a voice that carries, and while this isn’t so bad, when they get even remotely excited about something (which is often) they are practically screaming.

Now, this person isn’t doing it to be rude or strong arm the conversation. They are generally one of the nicest and most considerate people I know. But when we are in a small area like a car or small room this often hurts my ears, and I’ve seen other people react subtly but similarly to it. Out at restaurants this quirk gets us annoyed stares, and depending on our subject matter, worse.

I have once or twice tried to nicely say “Ooh we’re (or you’re) getting loud and excited we should quiet down”, but this doesn’t seem to stick and I feel like an asshole for saying it because I know this person is a little bit sensitive. I’ve also tried speaking lowly to try and model or encourage this person to lower their voice, but it hasn’t worked.

I have no idea how else to handle this, or even if it can be handled. I really love my friend, but I’d really like to be able to communicate this to them without hurting their feelings. I know I’d like to know if I did this. Answer me this: is there a way to deal with this problem and not offend my friend?

You have already tried the gentle approach and, while it didn’t offend your friend, it didn’t shut them up either. If you’re still not willing to broach the subject directly with them, entreat one of your bolder mutual friends to do it instead. Alternatively, here are some options:

1. When your friend gets loud, ostentatiously put in earplugs. If that doesn’t register, upgrade to large noise-cancelling headphones. Eg the kind that people wear whilst chainsawing.

2. From a theatrical prop supplier, buy some of those wineglasses that are safe to smash. With your nerd-friends, rig up a gadget so you can smash the glasses remotely. When Captain Shouty gets shouty, detonate.

3. Contract laryngitis, then give it to your friend.

4. Pay somebody to dress as a librarian and follow your friend around. Whenever your friend exceeds a certain volume, the librarian disapprovingly shushes them. After a couple of weeks, the message should have sunk in.

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