Judge John Hodgman Episode 121: So Help You Pod, or Whatever


Judge John Hodgman returns to the courtroom to rule on an important spousal dispute: So Help You Pod, or Whatever! He's assisted this week by guest Bailiff Monte Belmonte of the terrific WRSI The River in Northampton, MA. Thanks again to Monte and WRSI for helping us produce this show!

Aaron wants to move his beloved refurbished egg pod chair into the home he shares with his wife, Kara. Kara objects to the outsized piece of furniture and says it needs to stay in storage until the time and place are right. Who's right? Who's wrong. Only one man can decide.

Thanks to Rick Amick for suggesting this week's case name! To suggest a title for a future episode, like us on Facebook at Judge John Hodgman! We regularly put a call for submissions.


Submitted by Aaron

Photo of the chair, stripped and pre-refurbishment

Photo of the chair, pre-refurbishment

Photo of Aaron's nieces enjoying the chair, post-refurbishment

Submitted by Kara

This is Aaron's preferred location for the egg chair. We painted the wall yellow before we got that rug. Wall color is not permanent.

A second possible location for the chair. This room basically stores furniture. We haven't done much to it but paint the walls. It will be a future nursery (and at that point, the chair would be squeezed out).

This corner is the most likely location for the chair. We would move the furniture/stuff to the other side. Sorry for the bad pictures; the room is too small to get a good wide angle.



About the comment at the end of this episode regarding tattoos in Japan...

I'm sorry, but the comment left by the person with '6 weeks experience' as a foreigner in Japan is patently false. There are numerous situations where you can, and will, be denied access to certain public places in Japan. The first that comes to mind is Nagashima Spaland, the famous theme park and resort in Mie, home of the largest concentration of waterslides by square footage anywhere in the world, along with two record-setting roller coasters. They have a strict no-tattoo policy, and I have had friends denied access to the water section of the park in the past. Furthermore, Osaka-city has laws prohibiting people with tattoos outside of the core body area from employment as municipal employees. Teachers at middle and grade schools fall under this jurisdiction, and could theoretically be denied employment or fired upon discovery (yearly health checks are mandatory, so you can't get away with simply hiding it under a large bandage). Or, the more recent anecdote of the Maori woman who was denied access to a hot spring for having a Ta Moko, a traditional Maori tattoo (in this case, it was on the woman's chin and lips).

And, on a cultural note, there is a difference between 'getting away with' and 'being accepted'. You may 'get away' with something for being foreign, but you don't get a 'free pass'. People may be too polite to say something to your face, but that doesn't mean they won't talk. Don't put the 'ass' in cultural ambassador.

Qualifications: Lived in Western Japan for five years as a governmental employee, currently a Japanese to English translator in the U.S.

The more you know!

I had no idea tattoos were such a big deal in some places. Thanks for clearing that up!

I am Banana Man

I couldn't believe my eyes or ears when a group of kids came up to me at the counter and asked me if they could get a photo with me. I asked them why? They said,"because you are sorta famous" I didn't believe them so I asked them how so. They said I was commented on by a celebrity person on their show. I still didn't believe them so one of them opened up their phone and showed me the sound clip and I seriously couldn't believe it. So I gave them a photo with me selling them a banana and when I went home I found the clip and listened to it and here I am for what it is worth. The Fresh Banana Man.

I believe in you, Banana Man.

I believe in you, Banana Man. Come forth and receive your fame and glory!

new banana sales technique

What this show doesn't record because it came at an inopportune moment is this. When I have, like say, 7-12 people all staring at me at once I actually do a short song routine. Your honor I am sorry you missed it. So for those of you who wish for a moment of pure musical banananess(song is similar to Billy Crystal's quote when he plays Mike in Monsters Inc)
"Cooome to MEEEEEEE and pay a FEEEEEEE, for a fresh BANAAAANNAAAAA". For all Judge John Hodgman fans out there: If more than 7 of you come to the service plaza at a time i will sing the song just for you. This is the equivalent of your rarest of rare song titles. It has not been recorded yet. I do it maybe once a week. But the conditions must needs be met for maximum effect :)
And for those of you who don't already know. My name is Jonathan Niederer
Times when I can be spotted are 9-7 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Sing us a song, you're the

Sing us a song, you're the Banana Man! -MC

You had me at "Aja"

If didn't live in a tiny NYC studio apartment and had the room for a man cave, I would prefer Aaron's chair over almost any other totally impractical, ridiculous, fun piece of furniture I can imagine. Even without USB ports or Bluetooth support, the blue egg chair beats a Star Wars Arcade machine (cockpit version) any day of the week.

Like Aaron, I am not that young (37), and I understand that life is short, so I am glad that Judge Hodgman sided with him. Even though I imagined that Kara looks a lot like Pam Dawber, which is pretty cool. Best of luck to you both; your hypothetical child is a lucky boy or girl!

And at the risk of being held in contempt of court for buzz marketing....

I mean, 5.1 surround sound!

banana man

saw and heard the banana man a couple weeks back...could not believe it. seemed like a scene from the x-files was unbelievable.

He's been doing the exact

He's been doing the exact same act since early June. Either it's a piece of performance art, or he has truly lost his mind trying to sell the healthy snacks nobody seems to want.


Please. Find him. This is why the internet exists. Please.

banana man

Where did you find this "Banana Man?" Is he at the kennebunk rest area plaza? South Side?

Sarah M.

Can I suggest that this egg chair would make an excellent chair to nurse a baby in. Think soothing music, low lighting.

Fresh bananas, fresh bananas

Fresh bananas, fresh bananas here!