Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

EPISODE 326: macho line dancing

October 29, 2015

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Happy news! AMT325‘s Beckie, who was worried who was worrying about having chosen the baby name ‘Aoife’ because her family were being dicks about it? On Tuesday, the baby was born! And she has been named….Aoife! Good for you, Beckie, and welcome to the world, Aoife. All together now: aaaaaawwwwwww.

Let’s change some more lives in Answer Me This! Episode 326 shall we? Or at least deal with a range of minor to moderate problems, concerning such matters as:

crying vs fart machines
sport vs Helen’s love for her family
sport vs Andrew Lloyd Webber
the haka
the Crystal Palace dinosaurs
matryoshka spy dolls
Queen Victoria
the likely successor to The Human Centipede.

Plus: Olly has the equivalent of a shy bladder but for sneezing (which you already know is a problem for him); Helen has to choose between her family and her dislike of sport; and Martin the Sound Man’s cup of Earl Grey is full of tears.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iThings, Android and Windows devices – rugby brings the rest of Helen’s family joy, but also forces her brother Andy to tell the biggest lie of his life.

It’s no lie that we welcome your questions. Leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and deliver your emails to Say hi at and

Additional ventures:

Olly’s so fecund at the moment! Birthing out babies and podcasts all over the place. You can find his new show The Modern Mann at, as well as on iTunes and Pocketcasts and the various other podcast-getting places.

Helen is currently releasing new doses of The Allusionist EVERY WEEK (wilts) because Radiotopia is raising funds. Love any of the shows? Donate at! And join in her Reddit AMA at 7pm GMT today.

Finally, Martin the Sound Man’s Song By Song podcast is now embarking upon Tom Waits’s Heart of Saturday Night. Not a difficult second album, a cracking second album! (Except for the bits which sound like dinner jazz, which are sub-cracking.)

We’ll return on 12th November 2015 with AMT327.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT326 Child-Friendly Rating: 30%. No bawdy content, but there are swears all over the place. •••



January 13, 2010

After Bunty confessed to her devious means of protecting herself from shark attacks, Isla in Aberdeenshire was emboldened to share her own irrational fear:

I have a very bad phobia of balloons. I cannot go near them, I cannot touch them, if I know they are in the same room as I am I have to place myself as far away from them as I physically can. I really hate my phobia as people forget how genuinely terrified I am of them and still insist on having them at parties. Helen and Olly, answer me this, what is the phobia of balloons and is there any way I can get over this?

Apparently, Isla, you are far from alone in this: it’s called globophobia, and lots of people suffer from it. Indeed, I was once conversing with a man who was afraid of all inflatable objects, which was particularly unfortunate as he was in the Navy.

As for getting over it: some people on the internet suggest going into a room filled with balloons until you’re no longer sick with fear; but as a room full of balloons would surely freak out even the average non-globophobe, we reckon you should try a couple of sessions of hypnosis instead. But even when you’re cured, you should not watch The Prisoner – it’s one of the few dramas in which the villain is actually a balloon!

Now, readers, help make Isla feel better by sharing your own daft phobias in the comments.

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