Posts Tagged ‘literature’

EPISODE 218 – shipshape and Bristol fashion

June 7, 2012

Hi listeners,

There are a lot of really weird stories in the news at the moment – cannibals, dismembered bodies, Octomom doing a porno – but fortunately this week, AMT218 is a largely horror-free zone:

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Today we talk of:

marriage licences
the Pitcher and Piano
expensive clothes
actors’ motivation
Fifty Shades of Grey vs. The White Hotel vs. Wuthering Heights
Mario vs. Lazarus
moist Jo Whiley
Tinky Winky, live in Luxembourg
outlet stores
death by giant snail
and
#.

Plus: Olly doesn’t want to get married in Vegas; Helen doesn’t want to have to watch embarrassing bodies on Embarrassing Bodies; but Martin the Sound Man DOES want you to enter his science songwriting competition, so click here to find out how to enter before you dash off to your zither-room to compose.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices or Android) involves Claudia from Melbourne asking whether you can text the police rather than calling them. With all the cuts to public services, unfortunately the police have had to lay off their full-time team of interpreters waiting to figure out what you mean by HLP pls sum1 tryn2 mrdr me non-LOL srsly >:-O

If you still have proper command over vowels, send us a QUESTION for next week: deliver emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com and/or leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype answermethis).

Also, if you’re especially interested in what goes on around here, you can hear us being interviewed on the latest episode of Podcast Squared. We hope that the demystification of our Process doesn’t spoil AMT for you. If not, we’ll see you back here next Thursday.

Helen & Olly

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“Love is patient. Love is kind. You know the rest.”

February 8, 2012

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Another wedding question! It’s from Jo in Herne Hill:

My friend has asked me to do a reading at her wedding in April. It’s a church wedding, but as I am a massive atheist she has said I can do the non-religious one; however she would like me to choose something myself. In the past, I have been required to say the words ‘fondle’, ‘fart’ and ‘arse’ in wedding readings, but am not sure this sort of thing is appropriate in a house of God.

I have a degree in English Literature, but managed to get through two poetry courses without going to a single lecture and passed by writing 9000 words on nonsense verse, so I am not very well qualified and everything I have found online is twee and nauseating, or has been done to death. Help!

I CAN’T! The poems that are good for the purpose have indeed been done to death; you know why? Because most poets are
a) miserable
b) lovelorn
c) death-obsessed
d) fanatically religious
e) all of the above.

Any of these traits are incompatible with the majority of wedding ceremonies. At least with the nauseating twee poems, there’s little danger of you realising only as you clear your throat at the lectern that you’re about to read a graphic metaphor for erections and death in iambic pentameter.

I wonder why your friend is insisting you choose the reading yourself. Is it a test for you, to see how much you understand her? Is it so that she has some reason to freak out at you? Is it because she just can’t be arsed to search for one herself? (Fair enough.) At one recent wedding, the groom asked me to read a page of a biography of Bobby Fischer. Being a passage about children’s chess clubs in New York, it was in no way relevant to weddings or romance; the congregation was baffled; but my friend was happy, which of course was the primary objective.

But, if your friend indeed insists upon putting you through the literary wringer, consider recourse to prose – preferably of a more romantic, less esoteric nature than biographies of chess prodigies, but a touch of non-bawdy humour might be welcome. Alternatively, perhaps you could read the lyrics of a song that they both like? Hey, if Kylie can do it, so can you.

Readers, help Jo out: in the comments, either suggest failsafe poems that HAVEN’T been done at all the weddings, or ideas for a different sort of reading entirely. NB: the phone book, Roger’s Profanisaurus, or Penthouse Readers’ Wives are not acceptable sources.

Whatever you choose, though, choose something SHORT. There have been weddings where I’ve actually been hoping for the Oscars band to strike up just so that I could stop orating.

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EPISODE 201 – House is called ‘Maison’ in France

January 19, 2012

Hello listeners!

Welcome to Answer Me This! Episode 201: the first episode of the year, and the first since the podcast turned five years old. Helen’s niece Matilda turned five the other day too; she celebrated by eating a plate of spaghetti with her hands, and we’re only moderately more civilised:

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Wherein we consider:

cake pops
Al Capone
moon plots
The Gun Seller (or should we say Le Gun Seller?)
pease pudding
Catch-22
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie
supermarket trolleys
Ready Steady Cook
pushy parents
the North Wales Police
and
Anthony Worrall Thompson.

Plus: Olly harks back to when he won an election – he claims democratically, but then so did Putin; one day, Helen dreamed a dream of becoming Brian Turner, but never did it come to pass; and after twelve and a half years in the dark, Martin the Sound Man finally hears the sad news that the Two Fat Ladies will not be returning to his television screen.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices or Android) concerns the only thing we don’t like about Mexican restaurants: the unwelcome phenomenon we like to call ‘Guac Tax’.

Well, that’s the new series begun, but please help us make it an absolute corker by sending us your exquisitely finely-honed QUESTIONS, as emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com and voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877, Skype answermethis).

And although our birthday has passed, we’re stuck with the PO Box for another four months, so do please send us a token of esteem if you are so moved:

Answer Me This!
PO Box 53587
London
SE19 9BQ

Also, if you want to be moved to tears of derision like John, the final caller in the episode, scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the pictures of our parents (oh alright, Olly’s lovely mum).

See you next Thursday,

Helen & Olly

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The Best of AMT2011 part 1

December 16, 2011

What an eventful year 2011 has been. Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear terror! Sit-ins, protests, riots! So many revolutions, we can’t even choose a favourite! Charlie Sheen being a messed-up addict – but funny, so it’s fine! Osama Bin Laden’s dramatic exit! Pippa Middleton’s bottom!

Plenty has happened here at Answer Me This! too, so take a jaunt with us into the vale of the recent past: here is The Best of AMT2011, part 1.

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)

What a lot we learnt this year! About such things as:

space tourism
coloured bathroom suites
William’n’Dorothy Wordsworth
celebrity cock-shots
ornamental jellyfish
The Apprentice
Dodgy
‘Like a G6’
Dane Bowers’n’Jordan’s sex tape
John Travolta’s face vs. Nicolas Cage’s face
glass slippers
impulse bags
fake tan
undone flies
Saturday Toilet
Olly’s lost night of Chico
doll hospital
phallic salad
phallic statues
phallic celebrity waxworks
phallic phalluses
and
Adult Milkybar.

There’s plenty more to come next week; but if you want plenty more AMT next year, then send us your QUESTIONS: deliver emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com and leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877, Skype answermethis).

We have to say a huge thanks to everybody who has sent us something to celebrate our impending 5th birthday – we’ve already received many glorious cards, some rather exciting little presents, and enough sugary treats to push us over to the wrong side the Type 2 Diabetes fence! If you want to propel us into hyperglycaemic hyperdrive, or you want to show off your best penmanship, please dispatch a missive to:

Answer Me This!
PO Box 53587
London
SE19 9BQ

Thankyou for delighting us by post, listeners. You really are a tiptop bunch.

See you next Thursday, for the Best of AMT2011 part 2!

Helen & Olly

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Tempestuous

September 27, 2011
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We’ve got a schoolboy moral dilemma to tackle, from somebody who, for his own good, had better remain nameless:

I have a confession to make.

This child – shall we call him “Fred” – he had his book of The Tempest which our teacher says we are required to bring every lesson on pain of detention, sadly I had forgotten mine.

So this boy “Fred” left his bag unattended with his copy of The Tempest in it; so I ripped it out of his bag and rubbed out his name, then I put mine in.

He returned and whilst looking through his bag he panicked and said he couldn’t find it. He received a detention and the teacher told him he needed to bring it or he would get another detention.

I felt as if I could not just laugh it off and say sorry then take the hit and get into major trouble, so I went home with the copy.

The next day our teacher told us that they were dealing with a theft and if anyone got caught with the book they would have detention for the rest of the week and the following week, so on the way home I threw his copy of The Tempest into someone’s garden.

Should I keep this as a dark secret, never to be revealed to anyone but AMT? Or do you think I will get caught as it is just a matter of time before they piece it together, as they have CCTV in our classrooms?

The Tempest is categorised amongst Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’, so it is little wonder that his epic problem has raised some questions of my own, namely:

1. What did Fred do to deserve this?
2. Depending upon the smallness of your hometown and the astuteness of the mystery garden owner, won’t the retrieval of a copy of The Tempest with your name written inside be fairly incriminating?
3. Why didn’t you just sneak it back into his bag at the end of the first day?
4. I know that schoolbook loss/theft isn’t to be encouraged, but isn’t your teacher rather overreacting? Or is your school actually run like a police state? I can’t believe your teachers would in reality be planning to frisk everybody for contraband copies of The Tempest. I also can’t quite believe your classrooms have CCTV, and that it would really be worth the school’s while, for the price of an out-of-copyright book, to plough through the footage.
5. Is it just me, or is The Tempest (whisper it) a bit rubbish?

Readers, I can’t raise a great deal of sympathy for this young fool, so please do my job for me and head for the comments to offer your advice for him. I worry that if we leave him to deal with it on his own, the situation will escalate to the point where he has to kill every member of his school and burn all books to cover his tracks.

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EPISODE 171 – Playdate with Bob Dylan

March 17, 2011

Dear Team AMT,

We hope you are all safe and sound wherever you are in the world, and that this year’s trend for End of Days-style disasters has left you unscathed. We can’t stave off the apocalypse, but we can offer you 29 minutes of distraction while you wait, in the form of Answer Me This! Episode 171:

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)

On today’s conversational dance-card are topics including:

Brian Wilson
broken teapots
Kafka
5ive vs. Jesus Lizard
Dorothy Wordsworth vs. Macaulay Culkin
William Wordsworth vs. Jade Goody
stupid shoe-shaped planters
fairy codmothers
Kate Middleton’s genetically modified footmen
Harold Wilson’s lying wife
Pandaemonium
Fifteen to One

Christ’s comeback tour
and
flesh-trampolining.

Plus: Olly suggests that Cinderella be a bit more nonconformist in her eveningwear style if she wants to make a splash in society; Helen’s green brogues make her an outcast in the Apple Store; and Martin the Sound Man’s dainty guts could bring in the win if any of us decided to go on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Major Charles Ingram, eat your heartfart out!

Today’s Bit of Crap on the App is a discussion upon whether sentimental idiots like Olly should cook peas for their cats, or whether said beasts should learn to tough it out. You can get that app for iPhone or Android for mere pence; but remember, it costs nothing to send us your QUESTIONS, so squander a load of no-money by leaving voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or findanswermethis on Skype) or emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. We may not be rich, but a wealth of questions is all the wealth we need. (Well, it isn’t, but that’s hardly your problem, is it? And as soon as we get our Playdate with the Stars agency off the ground, we’ll be rolling in the good stuff.)

See you next week!

Helen & Olly

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EPISODE 163 – 80 years of failure

January 20, 2011

Dear friends,

Have you ever had selective amnesia? I, for instance, have blocked out every memory of looking into a mirror before my childhood fringe grew out. And in Answer Me This! Episode 163, we discover the event that must have been so traumatic, Olly Mann’s mind banished it…until now:


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)

Things we have not banished from our minds this episode are:

ordnance survey
mouse mats
Lesley Garrett
The Ring and the Book
Jesus Christ: gap year student
Karl Pilkington vs. Aeschylus
Thunderbirds vs. Sex and the City
gastroenteritis – the pleasant kind
Saint Princess Diana
Marie Carmargo
MI1-19
Alexei Sayle’s Stuff
pick-up sticks
the Pope’s posthumous Parkinson’s panacea
and
natural selection through cock-size.

Plus: Olly retracts what he said about Love Actually in Episode 161; Helen invents the portable carpal tunnel preventative gel wristlet; and Martin the Sound Man reveals his ghost pelvis, although luckily just to Helen rather than the entire world.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iPhone or Android; not available for landlines) is a question from Lois, who wants to know the truth about the mythical place whose name everybody knows but whose nature few understand: the Watford Gap.

This January, we’re on a detox diet: nothing but cottage cheese and your QUESTIONS. So feed us! Leave your voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) or send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Because we HATE cottage cheese, and we’re hungry.

oxes,

Helen and Olly

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EPISODE 130 – pig of death

April 8, 2010

Good morning listeners!

We may have had some jolly good news yesterday, but by gum, even though we should be taking a celebratory bath in fizzy booze or something, we are not slacking off on our podcasting duties. Heavens no. It’s business as usual, so here is Answer Me This! Episode 130:


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)

This week’s award-nominated trash talk includes:

bodysnatchers
the lamb of God
Galen
Norsical languages
Arawak
Little Shop of Horrors
The Game
The Game

giant Bearded Fig Trees
sex homeopathy
retort cooking
Justin Bieber
zombies
antifreeze
and
the 1832 Anatomy Act.

Plus: Olly can only dream of being as innovative/stupid as the inventor of the Revolution Grill’N’Chill; Helen’s late granny ensures she’ll never be able to enjoy a nice blue china pig; and as well as featuring a questioneer’s tip to make you a proper hit with the Ladies, we come up with an ingenious scheme to entertain the pedestrians of central London AND rid the streets of the litter of freesheets. Get on it, Westminster Council!

Also, if you haven’t already, go to Martin the Sound Man’s website to download his latest Sound of the Ladies podcast to hear his smashing new song ‘What We Did With Our Lives’, as well as hear what he had to say in interviews with a few other podcasts. Yes, he cheated on AMT! Eh, who can blame him.

As always, please do ask us QUESTIONS for future episodes, by emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com or leaving a voicemail on Skype ID answermethis or our question line 0208 123 5877. That would be luvverly.

See you next week,

Helen and Olly

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EPISODE 128 – breakfast masochist

March 25, 2010

Good morning, fellows,

The general election hasn’t even been called yet, and we’re already a bit bored of our tellies and radios yakking on about it! If you are too, rest assured that any mention of politics in Answer Me This! Episode 128 is purely incidental:


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)

On the agenda this week:

more dysfunctional chair-throwing
Her Majesty’s hidden talents
targeting aids
dildonics
Kirsty’s Home Videos
melon ballers
Ryan Parry
Countdown
Pheidippides
olive forks
draught-exclusion
caves
and
our self-esteems being variously bolstered and broken by the results of last week’s poll.

Plus: Olly sheds light on the Chilcot Inquiry; Helen studies at the Kristen Stewart School of Performing Arts; and Martin the Sound Man perhaps says too much about marginal-interest gentlemen’s mags. Also, if you, like most of us, doubt that anything good can come out of a high school production of Grease, we must direct you to AMT jingle stalwart Gavin Osborn’s song ‘Charlie’s 18th Birthday‘. Heck, listen to it even if you have no beef with Grease.

It merely remains for us to remind you to send us YOUR QUESTIONS, so please do so by emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com or leaving a voicemail on Skype ID answermethis or our question line 0208 123 5877. Go on, make us (even more) happy!

See you next Thursday,

Helen and Olly

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Get your summer beach reads sorted early!

March 24, 2010

Following on from Episode 127, let’s enjoy some horrible scenes from books! Many of you have left a marvellous selection yon, and here are a few more:

Shannon: Allow me to add to your collection of scenes in literature that make one doubt man’s humanity:
1. Trimalchio’s feast in
The Satyricon by Petronius: Who doesn’t love an excrement fight with their gang rape? And the dis-memberable poetry reading in the last chapters is inspired.
2.
Blindness by José Saramago: More gang rape and excrement, topped off with a scene in which a man is brutally stabbed through the neck while engaged in an act that leaves an unusual mixed aftermath on his partner’s face.

Kate from Corfe Mullen: The most gruesome scene from a book that I have ever read was from David Mitchell’s Number9dream. Part of the book was set in the criminal underworld in Japan and a torture method was to place people in a cavity at the end of a ten pin bowling alley so that their heads were sticking out. The gang members would then bowl ten pin bowling balls at them.

Peter from Chicago: The most terrifying thing I ever read was a work of non-fiction by William Bradford Huie, Three Lives for Mississippi. The book tells the story of the murder of three civil-rights workers in Mississippi during “Freedom Summer” of 1964. Huie begins the book by re-telling the story of what happened in Birmingham, Alabama in 1957. Six men from a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan gathered to decide who deserved a promotion to a higher rank within the group. One of them wanted the promotion, and to prove he deserved it, he was willing to get “blood on his hands.” They kidnapped a local Negro man, castrate him, and dumped him by the side of road.

The first time I read that section my knees slammed together and I kept my legs pressed together for almost ten minutes.

Thank god for a little palate cleanser from Colin from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham:

The song that was number one on the day I was born was Elvis Presley’s ‘Are you lonesome tonight’, which I think is quite ironic for a twice-divorced Singleton.

Just be glad your birthsong was not ‘Psycho Killer’ then, Colin.

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EPISODE 127 – an exotic beast in an unlikely place

March 18, 2010

Hello there, chums!

We know you’re probably still watching the new Lady Gaga video that you clicked on last Friday, but when you need a break from [SPOILERS!] all the killing, the Kill Bill Pussy Wagon, and Beyonce’s impassive acting [/spoilers], then Answer Me This! Episode 127 is right here waiting for youuuuuu:


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)

On this week’s agenda:

Charles Fey
San Francisco special bread
McDonald’s apple pies
steak on a stake
Apt Pupil
malaria
killer whales
Steve Coogan vs. Rednex
Snoop Dogg vs. the UK
gambling machines vs. Canadian homosexuality cures
and
American Psycho.

Furthermore, Olly angers Jesus by using his Gideon’s Bible for nefarious purposes; Helen ponders the fugitive crayfish of Tunbridge Wells; and Martin the Sound Man can get you a nice Geiger counter if you slip him £50, no questions asked. Oh, you’ve already got one? Say no more. Plus, we solve the total non-mystery of what happened to former AMT flatmate Matthew Crosby, for the 0.001% of you who are curious.

As always, we enjoy it ever so much when you ask us QUESTIONS, so please do so by emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com or leaving a voicemail on Skype ID answermethis or our question line 0208 123 5877. In addition, if you have an opinion on what is the world’s grimmest book scene, express it in the comments – but please, keep any descriptions euphemistic, for we and many of our readers are of delicate constitutions. Also we already get more than enough Weird Googlers as it is.

See you next Thursday,

Helen and Olly

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EPISODE 125 – Spam bam thankyou ma’am

March 4, 2010

Well, hello there!

After a refreshing month in the Podcasters’ Rehabilitation Facility, we’re back with springs in our step, twinkles in our eyes, and most importantly (as far as you’re concerned), Answer Me This! Episode 125:


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)

Into which vessel we pour such conversational juices as:

Jason Orange
henbane
Carl Perkins
the Sugababes
John Steinbeck
psoriasis vs. cirrhosis
Voodoo Doughnut fail
Boney M x4
Columbia Law School
Duffy by proxy
the truth and Alan Titchmarsh
Rickrolling
deuce (not the band!)
and
the sex life of E.M. Forster.

Plus: Olly opens up a can of whup-ass on a listener who is an even more massive pedant than Helen; Helen yearns one day to be given the sack; and Martin the Sound Man has a practical solution for all you flatulent yoga-practicing types out there.

For more solutions, practical or impractical, to YOUR QUESTIONS, send us an email to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com, or leave a voicemail on Skype ID answermethis or our question line 0208 123 5877. If you do that, we can come back next week to answer yet more of your questions, see? How splendid! See you then!

Helen and Olly

PS. Help yourself to a bit of Olly’s birth-song ‘Stand and Deliver’, why don’t you? And head to the comments to tell us what was the Number 1 song on the day you were born, too!

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