Posts Tagged ‘pains in the arse’

EPISODE 396: acupuncture with malice

April 1, 2021

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Welcome to Answer Me This Episode 396! Nearly 400 episodes in and several thousand questions answered, and you’re still sending us ones we have never covered before. In today’s episode, “Do voodoo dolls work, and specifically, did mine work too well?” Plus:

Calvin Klein’s Obsession for lions
vegan black pudding
snooping houseguests
The Addams Family
crabs eating crab babies
shouting ‘geronimo!’

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for Apple and Android – Olly divulges the other disproportionately-expensive-for-an-everyday-item import purchase he would make, in an ideal world. Until that time, he’ll console himself with a bashful of dijonnaise.

Hear our other work:

• Helen makes The Allusionist, an entertainment show about language, and Veronica Mars Investigations, recapping every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning – now past the movie and heading straight onto the novels.
• Olly hosts many podcasts, and you can find them all at, including his monthly magazine show The Modern Mann and weekly under-the-radar-news show, The Week Unwrapped.
• Martin makes music – including a new EP – which you can hear, on the Pale Bird podcast, and on Spotify etc. You can also join him in contemplating the work of every song by Tom Waits Tom Waits in Song By Song, and he produced and composed the kids’ science podcast Maddie’s Sound Explorers, hosted by Maddie Moate.

Hang out with us online at and

This episode is sponsored by:
The Great Courses Plus, the streaming library of courses on topics from piano-playing to yoga to ancient history to dog training. AMT listeners get a free fortnight at
Squarespace. Visit and get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain with the discount code ‘answer‘.

Buy AMT episodes 1-200, our six special albums including the Valentines-appropriate AMT Love, and our Best Of compilations from 2007-2015 at

Send us your QUESTIONS, in writing or as voice recordings, to for us to answer in future episodes.

We’ll be back with AMT397 on 6 may 2021, and there’ll be a Retro AMT episode in your feeds on 22 April.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT396 Child-Friendly Rating: 94%. Are we losing our touch?? •••


wedding crushers

June 18, 2014


More weddings, more problems. Firstly for Ricki from Hamilton, Canada:

I’m getting married next year to my lovely boyfriend. We got engaged on holiday a few months ago and are both happily looking forward to getting married.

When I let certain people in my social group know that we were engaged, they expressed extreme shock that he hadn’t asked my parents for permission before proposing. When I told them I intended to walk myself down the aisle (I’ve got legs and I’m not chattel!) and it won’t be in a church, they were extremely judgmental. They also seem to think that, in spite of all of my other actual accomplishments (IE university degree, handicraft ability and cat-rearing skills), getting married will be the MOST IMPORTANT THING I EVER DO. Now, whenever they bring it up – which is frequently – they ask if I’ve considered getting married ‘the right way’ since our engagement wasn’t done ‘properly’.

Answer me this – how do I politely ask them to back up the crazy-train and let us enjoy our wedding the way we want it to be?

Politely? Fuck that: you need to dump all these rude friends! And/or elope immediately, because otherwise you’ve got months of this bollo to endure.

If you absolutely have no choice but to invite them to the wedding as planned, amp up the convention-defying to the max. Say your vows at an abandoned theme park, attended by tiger bridesmaids, wearing a welding mask as a veil. It is ‘the right way’.

Eurgh, why do people become such dicks about someone else’s wedding? At least Oli from Egham‘s dad is making a fuss about his own wedding:

My dad was due to get married in February, but has been pushing the date back ever since. I’m a full time travelling street musician and I’ve been putting off a long-awaited trip to south east Asia for months now, waiting for the wedding, which is now set, finally, for the 11th of July.

The nature of my work means its much harder to support myself in England; street performers do far better in the tourist areas of mainland Europe. I’ve saved enough money for my Asia trip, and now I’m just trying to keep my head above water, but my funds are dwindling.

My dad informed me today that he wants me to buy a new suit foir his wedding, even though I have a perfectly good one from when I used to work as an estate agent. My dad knows that the lifestyle I’ve chosen means a cetain amount of frugality, and although I can sometimes do very well, a suit would probably be the same price as my flights (with concessions).

So answer me this: is it unreasonable for my dad to ask me to spend this money on a suit, when I already have one? He’s very accepting of my lifestyle, even though I know it’s probably not what he wanted for me.

Also, he voted UKIP, so I’m mad at him for that.

That is hard to swallow, Oli, but as you’ve said he’s been accepting of your lifestyle, so I suppose you have to extend him the same courtesy.

Go suit-browsing. Tell your dad you’ve found a good one, but you can’t afford it, and perhaps he’ll splash out for you. If not, for the charity shop. I would have said it’s fine to wear your old suit, until you mentioned it’s an estate agent suit. Few people want to be reminded of estate agents on what is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives.