TRANSCRIPT Judge John Hodgman Ep. 450: Live in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse 2019

This week’s episode was recorded LIVE in Atlanta, Georgia at the Variety Playhouse in 2019. First up, “Clothing Arguments.” Brian files suit against his wife Kelly. When Brian is folding laundry, he places the folded clothes in piles around the house. Kelly likes to knock the piles of laundry over onto the floor. Brian would like this to stop, but Kelly insists that it’s all in good fun.Then, the judge and bailiff are joined by special guest Amber Nash, voice of Pam on the hit FX show Archer! Together they’ll dispense justice on cases having to do with chocolates in trail mix, favorite colors, and more during Swift Justice.

Podcast: Judge John Hodgman

Episode number: 450

Guests: Amber Nash

Transcript

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

jesse thorn

Welcome to the Judge John Hodgman podcast. This week, a live episode recorded at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, Georgia.

john hodgman

We have some excellent cases for you! And we were joined on stage by special guest Amber Nash, from Archer!

jesse

Yay!

john

Yeah, I know, it was incredible!

jesse

Love her.

john

This was a really, really fun night in Atlanta. It's always fun in Atlanta. You know what they call Atlanta, Jesse?

jesse

What do they call Atlanta?

john

Hot Town. Hot Town, Georgia.

jesse

I've heard that, too. Hot Town, Georgia.

john

So enjoy this live episode from Hotville, Georgia, USA.

jesse

Let's go to the stage of the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta.

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

jesse

[Audience cheers and applauds.] Atlanta, Georgia, you've come to us desperate for justice, and we here at the Variety Playhouse are ready to deliver! Let's bring out our first set of litigants. Please welcome Brian and Kellyyyy! [Audience cheers and applauds.] Tonight's case: "Clothing Arguments!" (Closing arguments.) Brian files suit against his wife Kelly. When Brian is folding laundry, he places the folded clothing in piles around the house. [Scattered audience laughter.] Kelly likes to knock the piles of laundry over onto the floor. [More substantial laughter.] Brian would like this to stop. Kelly insists it's all in good fun. [More laughter.] Who's right? Who's wrong? Only one can decide. Please rise, metaphorically, as Judge John Hodgman enters the courtroom and delivers an obscure cultural reference. [Audience cheers and applauds.]

john

Loss... cat. Speckles. Does not call when come. [Scattered laughter and cheers. Someone in the audience says "Yes!"] Limps. Dirty. Not tag. Reward! Needs medicines. Foam. Call Ward. 404-538-4889. [More laughter and cheering.] Bailiff Jesse Thorn, please swear the litigants in.

jesse

Brian and Kelly, please rise and raise your right hands. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God or whatever?

brian

I do.

kelly

Yes.

jesse

Do you swear to abide by Judge John Hodgman's ruling, despite the fact that rather than washing his own clothes, he simply grows a new set? [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

kelly

Yes.

jesse

Judge Hodgman, you may proceed.

john

Brian and Kelly, you may be seated. For an immediate summary judgment in one of yours' favors, can either of you name the piece of popular culture that I paraphrased when I entered this courtroom? Brian, you go first. What's your guess?

brian

I'm going to guess that that is a lost advertisement for... your cat when you were a child.

john

You're presuming that I was, as a child, an extremely negligent cat owner. [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

brian

No, sir.

john

I was losing cats all the time. [Brian and the audience laugh.] Is that what you're trying to imply?

crosstalk

Brian: [Stifling laughter] No, sir. Cats tend to— John: No. My cat Pokey stayed at home. [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

john

No way was that cat lost, ever. But we'll say "lost cat poster."

brian

Okay.

john

How about that? We'll put that into the guess book. Hm, hm, hm, hm... [Jesse or Brian laughs quietly.] There, I wrote it down. [Audience and Brian laugh.] Now, Kelly. What is your guess?

kelly

I will say... a lost cat ad on Craigslist.

john

A lost cat ad on Craigslist! He already got "lost cat ad."

kelly

Hmm. [Multiple people laugh quietly.]

john

Oh, we'll put that in, too.

kelly

A reverse—a trick to get someone to find a cat and give it to you.

john

A trick! This I like. [The audience and the litigants laugh.] Kelly, I like the way you think.

kelly

Thank you. Thank you. [She and the audience laugh.]

jesse

Yeah, if only there was a place to get cats... [Brian and the audience laugh.]

john

No! It's impossible!

kelly

[Inaudible.]

crosstalk

Jesse: Well, if I come up with the right trick, I'll find one! John: No! Yeah! [The litigants, the audience, and John laugh.]

john

As we all know, all the cats in Atlanta... are owned. It's impossible! [Audience laughs.] They—[laughs]. It's not like they're just wandering around in a colony out in that alley right now! [Audience and Kelly laugh.] There's a waiting list for cats in Atlanta, I realize—

kelly

Yes. It's very sad.

john

I know! So the way to do it is—[breaks off laughing]. [Kelly and audience laugh.] I'm gonna put a poster saying "lost cat," and I'm gonna make it very very sad. [Brian or Jesse laughs.] And also very, very poorly spelled. [More laughter.]

kelly

Yes!

john

And I'm gonna have the picture of the cat be so blurry, someone will look at their own cat... and go "Oh! Maybe this cat belongs to someone else!" [Audience, Kelly, and Brian and/or Jesse laugh.] "Even though I've had this cat since it was a kitten..." [More laughter.] "Maybe this cat was lost, and maybe I better give it to this stranger." Alright. I find in Kelly's favor. [More laughter, some gavel-banging.] Preliminarily! Preliminarily.

kelly

Thank you. I have a—

john

It's yours—

kelly

I have a looong way to go.

john

Why are you doing that?

kelly

Mrooow. [Kelly and audience laugh.]

john

Let the record show for those listening at home that Kelly made... hand paws. [Litigants and audience laugh.]

jesse

Kelly—

john

When she said "I have a looong way to go," and then she sorta went "Meowww." [More laughter.]

jesse

[Stifling laughter] Kelly, I am obligated to ask you to shut your pawhole. (Piehole.)

john

Ohhh! [Laughter, "ohhh!"-ing and applause from the audience.] The answer is it is not a lost cat poster. Nor is it a fake lost cat poster. [Multiple people laugh.] It is specifically a Loss Cat poster. Specifically, a meme before there were memes, here in Atlanta.

brian

Ohhh. [Audience cheers.]

john

A piece of viral art that was posted all over Atlanta by an artist named R Land.

brian

Huh. [More audience cheering.]

john

And—you see! You see. And how do I know this? Well, obviously I know the history of Atlanta very deeply. [Brian laughs.] It is the ancestral home of my father-in-law and The Rock. [Laughs.] [The litigants and the audience laugh.] No, [stifles laughter] it's because they have a big blow-up of it in the green room.

brian

Oh. [Brian cracks up, Kelly and the audience laugh.]

john

And luckily for me, our friend Chuck Bryant from the Stuff You Should Know podcast—

audience member

Yeah!

john

—brought us some barbecue from Fox Brothers, and he said "Oh, look at that! The Loss Cat poster!" I'm like "What's that all about?" And he told me the story, so I could trick you! [Litigants and audience laugh.]

jesse

That's right!

john

I win.

jesse

Telling you about something! It's his profession! [Litigants and audience laugh.]

john

I win! So—well, so we have to hear your case, so I'm not sure if I win.

jesse

Sounds like that was some stuff you should have known. [Litigants laugh. Audience laughs/groans.]

john

So you come before this court, Brian. You seek justice. I may note that you have some laundry on this stool here that you brought with you from home, I presume.

brian

Yes I do.

john

So tell me the nature of the dispute.

brian

So I am very particular about folding my laundry.

john

Yep.

brian

Our laundry.

john

Yeah.

brian

I am the laundry...

kelly

Czar.

brian

Yeah. [Audience laughs.]

john

[Stifling laughter] Laundry Czar! [Kelly laughs.]

brian

[Stifling laughter] Thank you, sweetie.

john

What neighborhood of Atlanta do you live in, Buk-Buk? [Audience laughs.] Or, uh, Operetta, or where? [Audience and Kelly laugh.] Cabbage Patch? What neighborhood of Atlanta do you live in? [More laughter.]

brian

[Stifling laughter] I—I'm sorry to say we don't live in Atlanta.

john

What?! [Brian laughs, some audience laughter, some booing.] Oh! No wonder you know nothing of Loss Cat.

brian

[Stifling laughter] Yes.

john

Where do you live?

jesse

That's okay, a lot of great Atlantans don't live in Atlanta. [Litigants and audience laugh.] The Atlanta Braves, for example. [More laughter, then "ohhh"-ing, clapping, and cheering.]

john

Sporty trash talk from Jesse Thorn, the bailiff of baseball. But you're the czar of laundry. Where?

brian

We live in Tallahassee, Florida.

john

Tallahassee, Florida!

brian

Yes. [Mixed cheering and booing from the audience.]

john

Alright. [Brian laughs. Someone in the audience shouts something.] I agree with you, it sounds like a terrible place. [Audience laughs.] But there's no reason to boo these visitors from afar! [More laughter.] We're all friends and neighbors here. And I'm sure it's—is Tallahassee the capital of Florida?

brian

Yes, it's the capital.

john

Yeahhh, I still got it! Ha haaa! [Audience and litigants laugh.] Ha haaa! Bismark, North Dakota! [Audience laughs again.]

brian

We sometimes refer it—refer to it as Sadahassee, though.

john

Sadahassee? Doesn't even track! [The litigants laugh.] Sad-a-hassee...

kelly

'Cause we're sad to be there.

john

No, no, I understand— [The litigants, Jesse, and the audience laugh.] I get the concept.

jesse

Ohhhhhhh! [The litigants and the audience laugh harder.]

john

You should call it Failahassee. [The litigants laugh.] Right? A little more up to date. Why are you here? You're not here just for this, are you?

brian

Yes.

john

What the—what?!

brian

Yes. [Audience cheering.]

john

Thank you very much for coming!

brian

Yes.

john

I—I'm sorry that I've been so cruel to you so far. [Kelly and audience laugh.] But it's all part of the job.

brian

We love it.

john

It's how I put—it's how I stress test you into telling the truth. [Brian chuckles.] So this laundry comes from Florida?

brian

Yes.

john

Wow! [Kelly and the audience laugh.] Hang on. Let me feel it.

jesse

John, are you surprised that this laundry made the trip from Florida? Or simply that there is laundry in Florida? [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

john

I love the state of Florida; you can read all about it in my new book Medallion Status. [Audience cheering.] Out now in hardcover and all editions. [Audience laughter.] Uh, yeah, those feel like Florida socks to me. Alright. [Brian laughs.] So this was the closest place that you could come to on the tour!

brian

Correct.

john

Oh, fantastic. Well, thank you for being here! Thank you for having this fight. Um— [Audience laughter.] You—[laughs]. You're the Laundry Czar of Failahassee, Florida.

brian

Yes. [Audience laughter.]

john

And you fold the laundry nicely.

brian

Yes.

john

And according to the affidavit that was presented to me, Kelly, your wife, knocks the laundry over willy-nilly for her own amusement. And not only does she do it, but this ties into Loss Cat—you do it in a particular way.

kelly

Yes. [Beat. Audience laughter. Brian or Jesse laughs quietly.]

john

Yyyeeesss.

kelly

Yes. Yes. I know where this is going.

john

[Imitates a cat purring.] [Audience laughs.] Explain to the audience how you knock over the laundry.

kelly

Well... I start—usually he'll leave the laundry stacked on like, the arm of a couch, or the edge of a coffee table?

brian

Yes.

kelly

So he'll leave the room, and I'm like "Where did he go? He's been gone for such a long time." And I'll... you know, "Meow! Meowww!"

john

No, I don't know.

kelly

"Mrowwww!" [Kelly, Brian, and the audience laugh.]

john

You say "You know," I do not know.

kelly

[Laughing] No. Well, now you do!

jesse

I mean, John... You're a married man! [Stifling laughter] You know that married couples meow to each other when one leaves the room! [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

kelly

And then I'll just kind of pushhh... [getting fainter] push... push...

john

Go ahead! [John and the audience laugh.] Let the record show—

kelly

If it takes long to—

john

—she's made paw hands and she's knocking...

kelly

[Mewling noises.] [Jesse or Brian laughs.] And then I'll just kind of keep going until he shows back up! [Audience laughter.] And it makes a nice little "plunk" when it falls. We have wood floors at home, too. It just goes "kloonk!" and it's hilarious.

john

You— [Kelly and the audience laugh. Audience laughter continues for a few seconds.] I don't know what to say, Madam. [Audience laughter swells.] There's a lot to unpack here. [Brian and the audience laugh.] That you brought in this dysfunctional suitcase from Tallahassee. [Brian laughs.]

kelly

Thank you. It's our gift. [She and John laugh.]

john

Brian folds the laundry.

kelly

Yes.

john

And then when you—when he leaves the room... you transform into a cat.

kelly

[Laughing] Yes!

john

You meow. You make paw—she's—

crosstalk

Kelly: It's so fun! It's so fun! John: Let the record show she's making the paw hands again. Kelly: Yes. [Audience laughs.]

john

And as a cat might, you paw the laundry onto the floor. And not only do you paw it on the floor, you don't just wipe it off the table like a human would. You test it like a cat would, and it's like one piece of laundry at a time, and it goes "clunk, clunk." She's enjoying this a lot. Like, the look on her face right now is— [Kelly and Brian or Jesse laugh.] —one of pure pleasure as I describe this hobby. [Kelly laughs harder, audience also laughs.] And then you say that it is hilarious... but you are the only one in the room! [Audience and Kelly laugh.]

kelly

Exactly! I've been abandoned! So I have to... do something.

john

And then Brian comes back and he goes "Awww, that's funny. My wife once again transformed into a cat..." [Audience and Kelly laugh.] "...and undid all of my hard work. This is not strange or terrifying at all! This is—" [Brian, Kelly, and the audience laugh.] Brian, when did you discover that Kelly was doing... cat cosplay with the laundry at home? [Audience laughs.]

brian

Judge, this has been going on for at least... 20 years of our 20-year relationship. [John and the audience laugh.]

john

Twenty out of twenty!

brian

[Laughs.] Yes, sir. We met in college, and so it's pretty much been happening...

kelly

[Very quietly] That's not true.

brian

No? I don't know. Pretty close.

kelly

I would say ten years. I would say ten years.

john

Ten years.

brian

Ohhh.

kelly

I used to do the laundry.

crosstalk

John: You used to do the laundry. Brian: You never—well... Kelly: And I got it take—he took over. Brian: No, that's—um.

john

Well, go ahead. [Audience and Kelly laugh.] Now I wanna do it. Mrowww. [Brian laughs.] Mrowww.

kelly

Love it. Just "reah!" Get in there!

john

Reowww. [Hisses.] Reowww! [Audience laughs.] Yeah. Reowww. [Audience laughs. There's a smacking sound, Kelly screams with laughter, Brian and the audience also laugh.] [John purrs.] Reah—reahhh! [Litigants and audience laugh.]

jesse

Let the record reflect that Judge John Hodgman, or... Kitty... John Hodgman—Judge John Kitty—

john

John—Judge John Hodgcat.

jesse

Uh—

brian

Ohhh! Nice. [Audience laughter, someone applauds.]

jesse

—batted the laundry into the crowd. Then in the crowd, a chant of "Throw it back! Throw it back—" [The litigants laugh, Jesse stifles laughter.] —emerged, and it reappeared on stage.

john

I don't know why you threw the—the socks back onto the stage! First—it was a child who did it. [Brian and audience laughs.]

jesse

Yeah.

john

It was a—it was a young person who got the socks. And rather than clutching the socks to his young body, "Hooray! Free socks for me! So clean, so fresh! Washed by Brian himself in Tallahassee!" [Kelly cracks up, audience laughs.] You were like "Ew, get these socks away from me." They came right back on stage.

brian

Neatly folded, I would say.

john

[Laughs.] You know, the child did not fold them. [The litigants and the audience laugh.] I'm gonna make you fold all of this garbage right back up, Brian.

brian

I—well, Judge, I would like to demonstrate the time I put into folding the clothes, and how important it is to be nice and neat with your cl—folding clothes!

john

Whoa! You're talking about doing some folding on a purely audio art form. [Audience and Kelly laugh.]

brian

Yes. I will describe it in perfect—perfectness.

john

You will describe it as you are doing it.

jesse

Just as you just described how you would describe it. [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

john

With perfect perfectness.

jesse

Yeah.

kelly

Perfect perfectness.

john

Alright, Brian. I would like to see you pick up these clothes and fold them and describe them with perfect perfectness, but I don't think you can do it with these waters on the—

kelly

Ohhh! [Brian laughs.]

john

Would you like to do one?

kelly

Ohhh, let's do it together. [Kelly and John both make meowing noises. Thud! Someone shouts. The audience and the litigants laugh.]

john

[Stifling laughter] It's really fun!

kelly

[Laughing] It's really fun!

john

We knocked the water off like cats! [Audience laughter dies down.] And now we're married. [More laughter from audience and Kelly.] Alright, Brian. Fold the laundry, dude. [More audience laughter.]

jesse

Brian's grabbing some laundry from the middle of the stage here. [John laughs quietly.] Placing it on a stool. He's moving quite deliberately, I'll be frank. [Jesse, Kelly, and the audience laugh.]

brian

So I will just demonstrate a T-shirt. 'Cause T-shirts are very important. Let me pull out my NPR WJCT T-shirt—

jesse

We know what T-shirts are and why they matter! [Audience laughs, Jesse stifles laughter.] That's not our concern!

john

What is the T-shirt that you're buzz-marketing right now?

brian

Well, this is my very first T-shirt I got on my very first pledge drive for an NPR station in Jacksonville, Florida, where we lived before we came to— [Scattered audience cheers.]

john

[In a "radio host" voice] WJCT! Jacksonville! [Back to regular voice.]

jesse

Does that station carry NPR's number one program Bullseye with Jesse Thorn?

kelly

[Laughing] Yes.

jesse

Wonderful. God bless it. [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

john

I'm sorry that I gave you heck for living in Tallahassee. I hadn't realized you had previously lived in Jacksonville. [Audience laughs, some cheering and clapping.] Jacksonville I have been to.

kelly

Oh! [She and Brian laugh.]

john

I know what that is. [Brian or Jesse laughs.] Although the Ibex Ethiopian Restaurant in Jacksonville is wonderful. [Brian laughs.] Just a little travel tip for you. Alright, so, is this how you would normally fold your laundry? On your lap like that?

kelly

No.

brian

Well, it depends. If I'm sitting on a couch and I'm not close to a table, then I could fold it this way.

john

Okay.

brian

Sometimes I'm at a table, a coffee table.

john

Right. Okay. But this is how you're gonna do it now.

brian

This is how I'm going to do it.

john

Alright.

brian

It's easy.

john

So tell us about the incredible way you fold T-shirts.

brian

So this is how you fold a T-shirt. I've been—I was trained for three and a half months on how to do this. [Audience laughs.] You take one—

john

I'll hold my question. [Audience laughs harder.]

brian

You take one sleeve and you fold the sleeve in.

john

Yeah.

brian

And then you take the other sleeve and you fold the sleeve in.

john

Yeah.

brian

Then you go from the bottom of the shirt—

john

Bottom of the shirt.

brian

—and you take the bottom of the shirt—

john

Yeah.

brian

—and you fold it up to the top of the shirt.

john

Alright.

brian

Right?

john

Mm-hm.

brian

And then you take the bottom of the shirt that's currently folded.

john

Right.

brian

And you fold that back up to the top of the shirt.

john

Okay.

brian

Then you put that on your one leg.

kelly

[Stifling laughter] Mm-hm.

john

Oh, wow, this is—

brian

And you—

john

This is a real lap-only method! [Brian and the audience laugh.]

brian

And then you fold one end over.

john

Yeah?

brian

And then you fold the other end over.

john

Yeah?

brian

And then you have a very nicely, six-by-six folded T-shirt.

john

Holy moly! [Audience applauds and cheers.]

jesse

Beautiful!

john

Yeah, dude! [Stifling laughter] I'll give you a Netflix series! [Audience and Kelly laugh.]

brian

Alright! I'll take it!

john

Totally! But I'm gonna knock that thing off the shelf! [John, the litigants, and the audience laugh. Someone yells "Oh no!"] Look. I could play around with you all day. You're obviously both adorable. [Some more laughter.] But Kelly, you must acknowledge that this is disruptive.

kelly

Absolutely. [She, John, and the audience laugh.]

john

I didn't realize. Of course you acknowledge it; it's disruptive on purpose. Why are you doing this to your husband?

kelly

Because I don't want him wandering off. And he can be very, very serious. And it just brings a little... joke into the house. We—

john

You really are a cat at heart, aren't you?

kelly

We—we— [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

john

"Because I don't want him wandering off." [More laughter.] "He's warm and he feeds me." [John, Kelly, and the audience laugh.] [Stifling laughter] "It's infuriating that he goes away." [Litigants and audience laugh.] "Also, why is that door closed?! Raghhh!" [They laugh harder.] "I'm gonna bat at it for a while!" [More laughter.]

jesse

Kelly, are there other contexts in which you display cat-like or cat-style behavior?

kelly

Nooo? Um...

crosstalk

[Multiple people laugh.] John: [Laughing] The way you pronounced "no"! [Mewling] Noooo. Kelly: Just—I don't want to say! Do I have to say? Um, I might just—you know, as a little hello. "Mrrr!" Just— Brian or John: Okay...

kelly

Throughout the day. Like, it's just like—we don't have children... [Jesse laughs.] We have time together... It's—

jesse

I think at the end of the day that's the moral of this story. [He, the litigants, and the audience laugh.]

john

What I have noticed about people who don't have children...

kelly

[Stifling laughter] Mm-hm?

john

...is that they get pets. They don't become a pet. [Audience and Kelly laugh.]

kelly

Ohhh! I've been doing it wrong.

john

Yeah. [Brian laughs.]

kelly

Oh. Doing it wrong.

john

Yeah. It's actually not the case that you have to trick people into giving you cats. [Kelly cracks up, audience also laughs.] How does it make you feel when you—obviously you take care. What does doing the laundry mean to you, Brian? You say you trained for three and a half months. [Some audience laughter.]

brian

I was in the Marine Corps for four years.

john

Oh, I see!

brian

And that's how I learned to fold laundry.

john

Oh, wow! Okay. Thank you for your service. [Someone applauds.]

brian

Before that, I was a slob.

john

Before that, you were a slob.

brian

Yes.

john

And so when you fold laundry, you are turning chaos into order.

brian

Yes. So I got a perfect example of this, Judge.

john

Alright.

brian

When I was a child...

john

Yes?

brian

I played with Lincoln Logs.

john

Uh-huh.

brian

Some of you may remember what Lincoln Logs are.

john

Sure. The worst toy. [Scattered cheers.]

brian

Yes. [Audience laughs.] And so I had a—

jesse

Ehhh, the best log cabin–themed toy. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

john

That could be. [Laughs.]

brian

[Laughs.] So I had a box of Lincoln Logs. And I would dump them out.

john

Yeah.

brian

And it gave me great pleasure to sort the Lincoln Logs into the piles of like-size logs. So I've—

john

It's amazing that you found each other. This is wonderful. [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

brian

It is quite—yes. [Laughs.]

john

You both have very specific brains. [Litigants and audience laugh.]

brian

So I've always tried to find that type of order. And when I met Kelly—and I would disagree that we have only—she's only been doing this for ten years. 'Cause I think I could say I've pretty much been doing the laundry since we met. [Stifling laughter] It's been my role to fold the laundry— [Audience laughter.] —because often the laundry would be in the laundry basket, and then it would be back in the laundry [inaudible].

john

And you would find Kelly lying in there? [The litigants and the audience laugh.] Let the record show that Kelly's thinking about it now.

kelly

That is—now that might happen.

john

Yeah. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

brian

And so it gives me great pleasure, and really is relaxing for me, to fold the laundry.

john

So—

kelly

So now he gets to do more of it! It's perfect!

john

More folding?

kelly

It's perfect!

john

So—

kelly

It's a win-win.

john

How do you—but—so Kelly is arguing that her knocking the laundry over gives you more work to do. So you should feel happy. Is that how you feel?

brian

Mm... [Voice pitching steadily higher] There are times when I'm very angry when she knocks over all of the laundry that I just folded? [Audience and Brian laugh.] And—

john

Uh-huh. I can tell by your high voice. [Litigants and audience laugh.]

brian

And there—

john

That's the Marine Corps training right there. [Audience and Kelly laugh.]

brian

Yes. Absolutely.

john

Yeah. Were you in the Passive Aggressive Corps? [Kelly laughs harder, audience also laughs, someone claps.]

kelly

Yes!

jesse

Your commanding officer was like, [rising pitch] "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes?" [Litigants and audience laugh.]

john

[High-pitched] "Yeah, no, I'll—we'll go to Tipperary. It's not long at all." [Litigants, Jesse, and audience laugh.] That was a little Marine Corps humor. Brian got it.

brian

Mm-hm. Very nice.

john

Brian got it. Collecting on that death insurance. [Brian laughs.]

kelly

Mm-hm, mm-hm.

john

It makes you feel angry. Have you expressed to her that you don't want her to do this?

brian

I have... asked her, yes. I have asked her in mid–paw-swipe, to say "Stop! Don't do that." [Audience laughter.] And she still does.

john

Yeah.

kelly

Then I get the eye contact, and it's just like—

crosstalk

John: Right! Kelly: "Ohhh. Yes." That's fun. John: Right! You want that eye contact.

john

Because you don't like it when Brian isn't paying attention to you.

kelly

Right!

john

Does Brian not pay attention to—kitty cat?

kelly

Brian is a very busy, hard-working man, and I'm often waiting for him for long periods of time to come home. So when he is home—he travels a lot. [Fondly] He has a very important job.

john

What is your job now?

brian

I am the, um... [stifling laughter] oh, what do I do?

john

Vice President of the United States of America.

brian

[Laughing] No! [He, Kelly, and the audience laugh.] God, no! [Laughs.] I work for the, uh—the—

john

Oh, you know, you—

brian

—State Teachers Union in Florida.

john

Oh, okay.

brian

And I'm the director of the organizers that work out in all the different locations across the state.

john

Your hemming and hawing around this and your background in the military makes me feel this is a cover story. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

brian

Nooo, it's not! It's not.

jesse

"I, ummmmm, I uh, travel to Eastern Europe a lot, and..." [John, the litigants, and the audience laugh.] "I'm a, uh, trench coat model." [More laughter.]

john

So, State Teachers Union.

brian

Yes.

john

You work for the State Teachers Union in Florida. [Audience cheering and clapping.]

brian

Yeah, I direct all the organizers and people that negotiate contracts and things like that out in the field.

john

Right. [More cheering and clapping.] This crowd is a huge fan of Florida State Unions, so... [Kelly laughs. Audience cheers.] Kelly, what do you do all day when Brian is... gone? [Audience and Kelly laugh.] Aside from—

kelly

Under the bed, most—

crosstalk

John: Sitting in the windowsill... Kelly: Under the— [Litigants and audience laugh.] Kelly: Make sure my hair looks nice. John: Sit in a shaft of light on the carpet. Kelly: Yeah. John: Stare into space... [Audience and litigants laugh.]

john

Paw at bugs. [Audience and Brian laugh.]

kelly

I am a second grade teacher. [Laughs.]

john

Oh! Fantastic! [Audience cheers and applauds.]

kelly

So that makes this even worse, because—

john

Do you ever do your cat act in the classroom? [Scattered audience laughter.]

kelly

No. [Laughs.]

john

Or is that just for home?

kelly

That's just for home. [Laughs.]

john

[Seductively] Meowww. [The litigants and the audience laugh.] Says here that sometimes Brian zones out. What does that mean?

kelly

That means he's ruminating about things that are going on, and he's thinking about problems that he has to solve, and he will just—

john

Right.

kelly

—I'll just find him in a—like, in a corner, like, on his phone, looking at it, and...

john

Right. And he's not entitled to a private life.

crosstalk

Kelly: No! He is not! John: No, of course not. Right. [Audience laughter.]

kelly

Well, we do—we set aside a lot of time for him to get work done on the weekends. I'll say "Do you need time to work this weekend?" [Lower voice] "Yes. Of course." [Regular voice] And so I'll say— [Audience and someone on stage laugh.] "An hour? Will that—?" "Mm..." "Two hours?" [Lower voice] "That will probably be alright." [Regular voice] And then it's like "Can I have 15 more minutes?" But then on top of that we're also... disappearing into the ether of the house. And it's not a big house, so...

john

You pretend to be a cat and knock laundry off! That's what we're talking about here.

kelly

Sorry! [The litigants and the audience laugh.]

john

You're trying desperately to make this into Brian—[laughs] uh, being distracted in life, and that you are—

kelly

And I'm trying—

john

—that you have contrived this routine...

kelly

Mm-hm.

john

...in order to bring him back into the happy present, rather than being lost in his own thoughts. Is that correct?

kelly

That's correct!

john

And you've done this—you say for ten years, Brian says for longer. Since you have been cat-knocking the laundry off the table, has this helped at all?

kelly

Well, it's much better than "Brian, where are you? Why don't you come in here? Where did you go?" It's like the non-naggy approach. So it's just like— [Audience laughs.] —some... sounds. And the consequence of laundry on the floor! Instead of "Neh-neh-neh-neh-meh-meh-meh!"

john

[Stifling laughter] Those are the options? [Brian and/or Jesse and the audience laugh.]

kelly

Those are the only two! [Laughs.] In every situation.

jesse

It's the classic binary, yeah.

john

See, I'm trying to determine whether... what you are saying is true, and that you're trying to bring Brian back into your life a little bit. Or whether you're just another lying cat.

kelly

Ohhh. [Brian or Jesse and the audience laugh.] That burns.

john

Because you're doing this for your own amusement. And the effect of Brian's frustration, which is enjoyable to you. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

kelly

Brian is very serious, and when I first met him, he did not know how to make a joke, laugh at a joke... have any type of humor in his life whatsoever... so it—I take—I took it upon myself to allow him to enjoy that part of life. [Quiet audience laughter.]

john

Brian—

kelly

And he's a much funnier person now!

john

[Laughs.] You do have a big smile on your face.

brian

I do.

john

Obviously the two of you are very much in love.

brian

Yes.

john

You must have known, being a person who was conditioned to love—or who loved order from an early age, and then sought out a regimented life in the armed forces. And now take the greatest pleasure in making clothing flat. [Kelly and the audience laugh.] But you must have known that this was who Kelly was when you got to know her. Would it be fair to say it might be why you were attracted to her? That she is an agent of chaos? [Brian and the audience laugh.]

brian

Oh... oh, I don't know. [Sighs.] Um... [Audience laughter.] I did know that she definitely—I—in your words, an agent of chaos, I would agree. But I would also say that, you know, she also—like she testified, that she did teach me how to laugh and be not so serious. So that was, yes, one of the things that made me want to be a part of her life.

john

Great! Mission accomplished, so now you can stop with the cat act, Kelly, right? [The litigants and the audience laugh.] Doesn't that seem like a good outcome, or no? Kelly?

kelly

Yes! That sounds like a... good outcome.

john

So you would be perfectly fine if I ruled in Brian's favor and said you may never do this again?

kelly

[Horrified gasp.] [Audience laughter.] [Beat.] No? [Laughs.]

john

Let the record show that Kelly took some time to groom herself. [Kelly, Brian or Jesse, and the audience laugh.] I—I'm not sure, she may have licked her hand at one point. [More laughter. Someone claps.] Brian, that is what you would want me to rule, right? How would you have me rule?

brian

I've thought a lot about this, Judge. So at the minimum, I would want her to not do it if I told her not to do it. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

crosstalk

Jesse: Like, the bottom line is you want— John: You said that with perfect perfectness. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

jesse

You want like, at minimum, absolute power. [Kelly and the audience laugh.] But if there's something more than that... you'd entertain it.

brian

I hadn't thought about it like that.

john

Let me ask you—

brian

There are times when she does this and it does make me laugh, 'cause it is... funny.

john

Yeah.

brian

So...

john

You—he said grudgingly. [Brian and the audience laugh.] But then there are times when she does it, and you have asked her not to do it, and she does it anyway.

brian

Yes.

john

And how does that make you feel?

brian

That... upsets me. Yes. [Audience laughter.]

kelly

Fair enough.

john

Oh, alright. Then...

kelly

Yeah.

john

Okay. So you would have me rule, then, that sheee respect you as a human being? [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

brian

Yes. But she does that for the majority of the time. [Laughs.]

john

Does this cat routine manifest in any other... ways? Remember there are children here, so... [Audience laughter.]

brian

Oh—well...

kelly

[Barely audible, and laughing] No weird stuff.

brian

I—there's a similar behavior... that I think is relevant to the case.

john

Yeah.

kelly

[Unhappily] Mm...

brian

And that would be when Kelly was a child, she has a younger brother.

john

Mm-hm.

brian

And her younger brother also, I think, craves order. And he would set up his action figures, and her and her sister would purposely move them around and turn them backwards and put them on other sides, and that would make him very angry and she would be very happy about that.

john

You—

kelly

And he would chase us around the hou—he would—just one. 'Cause he—there was—had a massive little...

john

Collection of action figures.

kelly

Collection of action figures.

john

Mm-hm.

kelly

And just to move one, and then—I mean, we were very small.

john

Yeah.

kelly

And then he would chase us around the house.

jesse

Well, you had destroyed his set-up!

kelly

Yes. [She and the audience laugh.]

jesse

I know about setups! I have three children! [John, the litigants, and the audience laugh.]

john

I enjoyed how you rubbed your paws together as you were relishing the memory. [More laughter.] Of torturing your little brother. Is this just re-enacting the same pleasure that you enjoyed—

kelly

No.

john

—as an agent of chaos as a child? Is it not true... kitty cat... [Audience and Brian laugh.] ...that you would do this whether or not Brian zoned out? That you see that pile of laundry and you just wanna knock it over. [Audience laughter.]

kelly

Hmm... Having the laundry on the arm of the chair! He could put it on the—in the middle of the table instead of on the edge of the table!

jesse

Can we—can we, Kelly—

john

Wait—

kelly

I—

jesse

—take a look at this?

kelly

Ohhh no.

jesse

Because I know that you submitted some evidence.

john

Oh, thank you.

jesse

Was this your evidence, Brian?

brian

I think it's kinda joint exhibits.

jesse

Okay. Let's take a look here. So here's—

john

Alright, here's— [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

kelly

[Laughing] He's [inaudible]!

john

Here's Brian—and all these photos are available at the Judge John Hodgman page at MaximumFun.org, Instagram.com/judgejohnhodgman/—here's Brian folding some shirts. And there's Kelly in the background. [Litigants and audience crack up. Someone claps.] No, that's—that's your cat!

brian

That's Ladybug.

john

Ladybug? [Laughter and "awww"s from the audience.] That's a—yeah, everyone likes that cat. [More laughter and "awww"s.] Oh—here's some laundry on the side of the table.

crosstalk

John: This is a tempting situation for you, right? Kelly: The edges! Yes.

john

And even Ladybug is like "I wanna knock that laundry off that table." [Kelly and the audience laugh.] Ladybug's got a—like a cute torty coat, and she's perched on a... a side table that looks a lot like a packing box. [Litigants and audience laugh.]

brian

She really liked that box, so we haven't thrown it away yet. [Kelly laughs. Audience laughs and "aw"s.]

john

Oh, okay. [Stifles laughter.] I can—I can tell who's in charge in this house. [Litigants and audience laugh.] Next slide, please. Here's some more precariously placed, nicely folded laundry! I mean, now I'm beginning to understand a little bit. Like, you're asking for trouble in this situation, aren't you? [More laughter.] And you know it.

jesse

Yeah, is this like laundry edging? [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

john

It's—it's literally laundry edging!

jesse

Yeah!

john

Yeah. [More laughter.] Next slide, please. Ugh! [More laughter.] All over! I mean, these are shots taken I presume on the same day. Of different piles of laundry near the edges of anything. This is a cat paw honey trap that you're laying! [More laughter.] Next slide, please. Now there's just some laundry on the floor. That's after it's been batted over. And I can see how those hardwood floors—particularly those heavy, thick terrycloth towels would make a very satisfying thump as they hit the floor. Like, you have a—Kelly's feeling some ASMR right now over it, yeah.

kelly

Yeah, this is good. This is— [Audience laughs.]

john

Next slide, please. Oh, some more laundry on the floor! Bad kitty, bad! [Kelly and audience laugh.] Next slide, please. Alright. Those are all—that's all the evidence.

jesse

John, I am like 95% certain this episode is gonna spawn at least one new subreddit. [Everyone laughs.]

kelly

[Laughing] Oh no!

john

You know... look. Judge John Hodgman is a family friendly podcast. But it is to say it is not child-averse. We talk about adult stuff that we believe children can handle. And listen, all these children in the front row... [Audience laughter.] ...I think understand. [Stifling laughter] It is hard to ignore the erotic aspect of this game. [Brian and the audience laugh. Kelly makes a hesitant sound.] This is a highly charged personal game of cat and mouse that is going on. [Audience keeps laughing, Kelly also laughs now.] Where Brian is leaving—obviously knows—knows the placement of laundry that is going to trigger this behavior. [Audience and litigants laugh.] And you're leaving it there on purpose! Aren't you, sir?! [Someone claps once.]

brian

I have a—yes. I do leave it there... longer than it should be. [Kelly and the audience laugh.]

john

Why don't you put it—Kelly... sincerely. You're under fake oath.

kelly

Yes, sir. Judge.

john

Would you—if the laundry were in the middle of the table...

crosstalk

Kelly: I mean, that's not as fun! John: Where—would you leave it alone?

kelly

Yes.

john

Alright!

crosstalk

Kelly: It's the edge! John: I think I've heard everything I need to in order to make my decision. Kelly: Okay. [Audience laughs.]

john

I'm going to go into my enclosed kitty litter box in the laundry room. I'll be back in a moment with my verdict. [Litigants and audience laugh.]

jesse

Please rise as Judge John Hodgman exits the courtroom. Brian, how are you feeling about your chances in the case?

brian

Uh, I think I have a pretty good shot. I think that, um... [Audience laughter.] The behavior is, um...

john

Adorable. [More laughter from the audience and Kelly.]

brian

Yeah, okay, it's adorable. But yeah, I—I'm feeling pretty good about my chances, Jesse.

jesse

Kelly, how are you feeling?

kelly

It's been a whirlwind. I— [Jesse laughs.] I'm not sure what's happening. [Laughs.] So I'm just gonna wait and see! [She and Jesse laugh.]

jesse

Well, we'll see what Judge Hodgman has to say about all of this! Please rise as Judge John Hodgman re-enters the courtroom and delivers his verdict. [Audience cheers and applauds.]

john

When this case was presented to me... first of all, I did not know they were Floridians. I'm sorry. [The litigants and the audience laugh. Some cheering and applause in the audience.] When I come to a town like Atlanta, I'm not here to present you with strangers! I wanna see locals. I'll come to Tallahassee one of these days.

brian

That'd be great.

john

I wanna see—I wanna hang out at your house. [Litigants and audience laugh.] I also had a very strong feeling—[stifles laughter] at last! A case in which there is a heterosexual married couple, and the dude is right. [Kelly and the audience laugh.] Finally! Finally! Because how could one justify this behavior?! This—[laughs] open flouting of folding! [Kelly and the audience laugh.] As an only child consumed with a respect for the rules and order, who has never had anyone come into his room and mess up his setup... [Litigants and audience laugh.] ...I feel very powerfully for Brian! And also, you know, I—you need to make a video of yourself folding that shirt and some other stuff so we can put that on the website so people can see your technique. 'Cause I think it's good, and I think it's your new career.

brian

Oh, alright! Thank you! [Audience cheering and applause.]

john

And then at the end of the video... I want you to walk out of the room... [Kelly and the audience laugh.] ...and then have Kelly come in on her little cat feet and knock that off. Because I think that YouTube channel is going to be huge. [Litigants, audience, and John laugh.] I mean, we all appreciate the work you do for the Teachers Union in Florida. We all appreciate the world you do teaching in second grade. Once this YouTube channel becomes a huge phenomenon—and it will—uh, you will be fired from both of your jobs. [Litigants and audience laugh.]

kelly

Yes.

john

But it will be worth it! [More laughter.] It will be worth it! You're going to become streaming millionaires! [Kelly and audience laugh, John stifles laughter.] People—because what I have seen on this stage is... that laundry really needs to be on the floor. [Litigants and audience laugh.] And Brian, you are adorable in your folding! And Kelly, you are adorable in your pawing and your knocking off. And I have to say that unconsciously, Brian, I think that you're encouraging this. Because of all the evidence I saw of you leaving that laundry around in places where a cat wants to knock it off. [Litigants and audience laugh.] You could fold that laundry on the floor! Then what's she gonna do? [More laughter.]

brian

I hadn't thought about that!

john

You hadn't thought about that?! [More laughter.] I've seen your house! You've got a lot of floor!

kelly

[Laughing] A lot of floor!

john

You can fold it on a table and just put it on a floor! [Kelly laughs.] And then look—and then lock eyes with her and go "What are you gonna do now, kitty cat?" [Litigants and audience laugh.] And then what happens after that is up to you guys. [More laughter.] No way on Earth am I going to order this behavior to stop! [Audience laughs, cheers, and applauds. Kelly laughs.] However! Brian is not asking for the behavior to stop! Brian is asking to be recognized! [Kelly, John, and the audience laugh.]

john

Not as a source of food and shelter... [Litigants and audience laugh.] ...and kibble. But as a whole human being! Who, when he speaks English to his human wife... [Kelly and audience laugh.] "Please don't knock this laundry off." That that wish would be respected. And I, first of all, order that you respect Brian's human wishes if he expresses them.

kelly

Yes, Judge.

john

There may be a time when he just turns around and he does not see it coming. [Kelly and audience laugh.] Whaaat a mischievous cat you'd get up to then! And as well, Brian, you should undertake any techniques you wish to make sure that the laundry is un-knock-offable! By putting it on the floor, or putting it away, or leaving it in the middle of a table. 'Cause that's where a cat can't get at it. Cat doesn't have enough imagination to do that! [Litigants and audience laugh.] But if you leave that laundry on the edge of a couch or whatever, and you don't specifically say "Please... Kelly, do not knock this off," then it is fair game. And I wanna see it on video. This is the sound of a gavel. [Three live gavel bangs.] Judge John Hodgman rules; that is all. [Audience cheers and applauds.]

jesse

Brian and Kelly! Thank you! [Applause and cheering continues and then fades out.]

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

promo

[Computer beeping.] Music: Light, inspirational music plays. Jean-Luc Picard: Nearly two decades ago, Commander Data sacrificed his life for me… [The clip continues in the background, inaudible under the dialogue.] Ben Harrison: The Greatest Discovery is also about Star Trek: Picard. Adam Prancia: Jesse Thorn won’t less us stay on the network unless we do all the Star Trek series. [Ben chuckles.] Adam: And so, here we are, doing a show about maybe our favorite Star Trek character of all time. Ben: If you’re excited to watch the new Star Trek: Picard series and you’d like some veteran Star Trek podcasters to watch it along with, we’re your guys! Sorry you’re stuck with us. Speaker 1: The hell are you doing out here, Picard? Saving the galaxy? [The clip continues in the background.] Adam: So, subscribe to The Greatest Discovery. You can find it anywhere you find podcasts. Ben: Or at MaximumFun.org. Speaker 2: [Screaming, distant.] Jean-Luc Picaaard! [The beep of a communicator.]

promo

[Music.] Benjamin Partridge: If you’re looking for a new comedy podcast, why not try The Beef And Dairy Network? It won Best Comedy at the British Podcast Awards in 2017 and 2018. Also, I— [Audio suddenly slows and cuts off.] Speaker 1: There were no horses in this country until the mid to late sixties. Speaker 2: Specialist Bovine Arsefat— Speaker 3: Both of his eyes are squids' eyes. Speaker 4: Yogurt buffet. Speaker 5: She was married to a bacon farmer who saved her life. Speaker 6: Farm-raised snow leopard. [Strange electronic audio.] [Beginning audio returns.] Benjamin: Download it today. That’s the Beef And Dairy Network podcast, from MaximumFun.org. Also, maybe start at episode one. Or weirdly, episode thirty-six, which for some reason requires no knowledge of the rest of the show.

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

jesse

Judge Hodgman, we're taking a break from the case, and because we made it to our MaxFunDrive goal in last year's MaxFunDrive—MaxFun of course almost completely supported by our members—you and our friend Elliott Kalan made a podcast this year. And we were gonna put it behind a members-only wall, but we were so excited about it that we're just like, "Ah! We're just gonna put it out for everybody, it's too good."

john

Yeah, so Elliott and I got to talking at some point during MaxFunDrive last year, and I realized that he—you know, even though he's seen every movie and TV show in the world, he had never seen one of my very favorite TV shows, the 1976 BBC miniseries I, Claudius, based on the novel by Robert Graves. An incredible, scenery-chewing, British character actor-ing festival of amazingness based around the story of the most unlikely of the Roman Emperors, Claudius, who was never expected to survive childhood, never mind become the Emperor of Rome. And it stars Derek Jacobi and Siân Phillips and Patrick Stewart and John-Rhys Davies and Brian Blessed. And even though it looks like it was shot in someone's basement rec room on the worst video camera of all time, it's just transcendent. So I made Elliott watch it, and I made him promise that we would watch every episode and then talk about it. And so we've now finished, and soon will present to you, our 13 very special episode Maximum Fun miniseries I, Podius. A podcast about I, Claudius! We have a lot of fun talking about this show, [stifles laughter] we have a lot of fun going on weird digressions, we have some incredible feedback from our producer Jordan Kauwling and her mom Avis, who was an I, Claudius fan back in the day. We have interviews with various cast members—mm-hm! As well as your favorites like Paul F. Tompkins and other fun folks who know, love, or have just come to care about I, Claudius. So it all drops into your feed in the middle of February. That's coming up just before you know it! And so keep an eye on MaximimFun.org for that. And in the meantime, maybe take a moment to stream I, Claudius into your eyes so you'll know what we're talking about! Or you can like, watch an episode and then listen to us talk about. However—whatever fits into your schedule. I think you'll enjoy it. I hope you will, 'cause we had a great time making it. It truly was one of the funnest things that I've done in the past year. So take a listen! I, Podius! What do you have going on, Jesse?

jesse

Well, as always, I host the shows Jordan, Jesse, Go! and Bullseye. Jordan, Jesse, Go! is like Judge John Hodgman if Judge John Hodgman had my friend Jordan Morris, professional comedy writer, instead of you, John Hodgman, and did not have a premise or really any reason to exist.

john

And also you could swear a lot.

jesse

Yeah, and also had a lot of swears. [Laughs.] So that's my recommendation for Jordan, Jesse, Go! It's like Judge John Hodgman if Judge John Hodgman didn't have a premise, or a famous person involved, or any reason to exist, but did have a lot of swearing and vulgarity. But I have heard from a lot of Judge John Hodgman fans who loved Jordan, Jesse, Go! and vice versa at all of our live shows. So if that's something that you might enjoy listening to, why not subscribe to Jordan, Jesse, Go!? Let's get back to the case!

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

jesse

We have a special guest on tonight's program, a special surprise guest.

john

Don't we ever! Would you please announce this special guest?

jesse

Well, when we decided to come to Atlanta, which the locals I understand call... [exact same pronunciation] "Atlanta..." [John and the audience laugh. Some cheering and applause.] There was only one person I thought of who I wanted to come on this program. She is a native of Atlanta. She is a resident of Atlanta. She stars as my favorite character on my favorite television program. Please welcome to the stage Archer's Amber Nash! [Audience cheers and applauds.]

john

Amber Nash! Welcome! To the Mr. Justice John Skilonski podcast.

amber nash

Thank you! [Audience continues cheering and applauding, someone shouts something.]

john

Hello!

amber

Hi, guys! I'm super excited to be here, thanks for having me!

jesse

We are thrilled to have you here! Pam, of c—uh— [Jesse and the audience laugh.] Amber, of course, stars as Pam.

amber

You can call me Pamber. People do.

jesse

[Stifling laughter] Oh, thank you.

amber

Yeah.

jesse

Pamber Bamblin?

amber

Mm-hm. [Audience laughter.]

jesse

Uh, yeah! And she's been kind enough to come on Jordan, Jesse, Go!, my other comedy podcast.

amber

Mm-hm!

jesse

And was a wonderful delight, and is a wonderful delight on television, and an Atlantan!

amber

It's true!

jesse

Are you originally from Atlanta?

amber

Yeah! I grew up actually in Gwinnett. [Audience cheers, some applause.] Jimmy Carter Boulevard represent. [More cheering.]

crosstalk

Amber: It's just north of the city. Jesse: Sounds like a dope boulevard!

amber

[Laughs.] Yeah! Yeah, it really is.

jesse

Or like a—a kind boulevard. [Laughs.]

amber

Yeah! Yeah. Yeah.

john

It's the kind of boulevard that builds houses and live forever.

amber

[Laughing] That's right, that's right! [Audience laughs.] And I brought a gift.

john

Oh! Very kind!

amber

For Your Honor.

john

Oh, really!

amber

I heard that you were a big fan of sad, defunct hockey teams.

john

Oh, that's true.

amber

Oh which Atlanta has two. [Audience cheers and applauds.] Very proud.

john

I don't mean to correct you. But there is no reason to say sad defunct hockey teams. It's redundant. [Amber, Jesse, and the audience laugh.]

amber

It's true.

john

All hockey teams are a little sad, and the defunct ones extra sad.

amber

[Laughs.] Very true.

john

Oh wow, thank you so much!

amber

So when I learned this, I thought to myself "Oh, man! You've definitely got some Thrashers stuff."

john

No, I don't have a single Thrash!

amber

Well— [Someone in the audience very distinctly shouts "WHAT?!" Audience laughs, then John and Amber.]

john

That was—there was a cry from the audience of sheer disgust. [Audience and Amber laugh.] I'm gonna guess a guy. [John, Amber, and audience laugh.] Went "WHHHAT?!" [More laughter.] Hmm.

jesse

It was possibly—[laughs].

john

And that was the end of my vocal career. [Laughs.] [Amber and the audience laugh.]

jesse

[Stifling laughter] Is it possible that Lil Jon is here? [Audience laughs and cheers.]

amber

He comes to every show at the Variety.

john

Sure!

jesse

[Laughing] Yeah. [Audience laughter.]

amber

So I'd like to—

jesse

"He really supports the local scene!"

amber

I would like to present you with... this.

john

What?! [Imitating earlier shout] WHAT?!

amber

An Atlanta Thrashers gnome. [John and the audience laugh.] Now I have to tell you a funny story. [Stifles laughter.] So he was living in my back yard, as gnomes are wont to do.

john

Sure.

jesse

Sure.

amber

And I was like, "Well—"

jesse

Until you catch and kill them. [Amber laughs.]

john

[Stifling laughter] Yeah.

amber

Yeah.

john

[Stifling laughter] And then petrify them.

jesse

[Laughing] Yeah.

amber

Right. So I took him inside, 'cause he was dirty, to give him a bath.

john

Yeah!

amber

So I put him in the kitchen sink to start bathing him—[stifles laughter].

john

Yeah.

amber

And his eye fell out. [She and the audience laugh.] Which makes him sadder and more defunct.

john

That's—I—let me—may I take a look at this... gnome?

amber

Yeah. But if you shake him, [laughing] you can hear that his eye is inside his body somewhere. [Audience and John laugh.]

john

This is an incredibly... disturbing entry in the Conjuring horror movie universe. [Amber and the audience laugh.] [Pause.] [Some audience "awww"s.]

amber

It's in there. I tried so long to get it out, and I had to—[laughs].

john

He's got a little—his little eye is inside his—

amber

Yeah!

john

—his little terracotta body!

amber

Yeah.

jesse

I feel like trying to get the eye out of that gnome is the world's saddest executive toy. [John, Amber, and the audience laugh.]

john

Maybe we should get Kelly outta here and she'll play with it like it's a cat toy.

amber

[Laughs.] Yeah!

john

I definitely wanna put it on the ground so she doesn't come over and knock it off something. [Amber and audience laugh.] Is the gnome a... a mascot of the Thrashers?

amber

No!

john

No.

amber

I believe that for a while—and correct me if I'm wrong—the NHL was making gnomes for all the teams?

john

Sure. They'll try anything.

amber

[Chuckles.] Right? [Audience laughter.] And so I'm a gnome collector.

john

Oh, you are!

amber

So a friend gave that to me.

john

Well, that's very nice!

jesse

We know you're a—[stifling laughter] you're a known gnone—gnome—gnor—

amber

A known gnome—!

jesse

Dang it!

amber

[Stifling laughter] Collector. [Audience laughs.]

john

A known gnomian. [More laughter.] How many gnomes you got?

amber

Well, my husband hates them, so we've started discarding them. So I think now I'm down to like six.

john

[Stifling laughter] Whoa!

amber

Yeah.

john

Well, at your all-time high, what would you have, would you say?

amber

Well, when I was single, I had a lot. It's lucky that I even found a husband; I had like probably— [Jesse and the audience laugh, Amber, stifles laughter.] —over 50.

john

[Stifling laughter] Over 50!

amber

Yeah. Yeah.

john

Gnomes of a—

jesse

Did they just take up the entire other half of your bed?

amber

[Laughing] Yeah! [Audience laughs.] Yeah, it was all gnomes.

john

And gnomes of this size, or...?

amber

Oh, all different sizes!

john

Wow! So now you have six left.

amber

Yeah.

john

It's sad.

amber

It is sad.

john

And obviously you want to get rid of this scary old one.

amber

[Laughs.] Yeah. [Audience laughter.] Yeah, without an eye.

john

Well, I'm so touched that you would think of me—

amber

Yes!

john

—and bring it to the podcast. So thank you very much, Amber Nash!

jesse

Amber Nash is here! [Audience cheers and applauds.]

amber

Thank you!

jesse

Amber is going to help advise us on our cases as they develop—

john

That's right.

jesse

—for the next segment of the program.

amber

Okay.

john

Yes! This is the segment that we call Swift Justice! [Scattered cheers.] We have settled some law here on this stage. But there is still injustice in Atlanta, 'cause that was Florida law. [Audience laughter.] So, we don't have a lot of time, so we're gonna hear three cases in quick succession in a segment we call Swift Justice. Jesse Thorn, set a timer for 15 minutes? Roughly—

jesse

Aaand mark!

john

—five minutes per case. Let's bring out the first litigants, who I hope are from Atlanta!

jesse

Please welcome to the stage Michael and Tara!

john

Michael and Tara... [Audience cheers and applauds.] Michael is already wearing an Ohio State hat, so maybe this has gone foul again. Are you from Georgia, or do you live in Georgia currently?

michael

We live in Georgia, yes.

speaker

Tilt it—there we go. [Mic movement.]

michael

Yes.

john

Oh, you live in Georgia currently.

michael

Yeah.

john

Where are you from?

michael

Originally Ohio.

john

Right.

michael

Tennessee. Georgia. All over the place.

john

Oh, you're all over the place! And Tara, you are from where originally?

tara

I was born in Kentucky.

john

Mm-hm.

tara

But I've lived most of my life in Tennessee.

john

In Tennessee. And now you live here in Atlanta?

tara

I—right outside. But yes, Georgia.

john

Right outside. Okay, great. So what—who comes to this court to seek justice?

michael

I do.

john

What is your petition? What is your complaint? What is the problem?

michael

Well, the problem is that for a very long time, ever since we've known each other almost...

john

Mm-hm.

michael

Whenever someone has asked me what my favorite color is, I tell them that it's clear. [Beat. Audience laughs.]

john

Clear.

michael

Yes.

john

Clear like your eyeglasses, clear.

michael

Right.

john

Clear like... Crystal Pepsi. Clear.

michael

Sure. Yeah. [Audience laughter.]

jesse

Clear, like the service John Hodgman uses to get through security before I do. [Audience, litigants, and Amber laugh.]

john

That's right. I'm a horrible monster. [Laughs.] I'm a CLEAR member and a horrible monster, it's true. Yep. Clear, like that.

michael

Yeah.

john

Yeah.

michael

And Tara... does not approve of this.

john

To—well—explain in your own words, before I start yelling at you. [Amber, litigants, and audience laugh.]

tara

Obviously clear is not a color. Not by definition, not in science. Um... [John, Amber, and the audience laugh.]

amber

[Laughing] Not in science!

tara

[Laughs.] To be a color you have to reflect or emit light, and clear lets it pass through. So...

crosstalk

John: Yeah! Right, I mean, it's the definition of clear! Tara: Yeah. [Laughs.] [Audience cheers and applauds.]

john

Tara, are you a scientist by training or profession? Or did you just have to find some way to explain to him... and so you did research to ex—into optics to—

tara

I did use the Internet.

john

You used the Internet.

tara

Yeah. Yes. [Laughs.]

jesse

Initially you were just yelling "This is in defiance of God's will!" [Tara and the audience laugh.]

michael

That's—that's very accurate, yes.

john

Before we get to the end for you... [Audience and Tara and/or Amber laugh.] ...can you tell us why your favorite color is clear? Let's just say hypothetically that that were a color. What do you love about clear so much? [Audience laughter.]

michael

I think clear—like, I—in my personality and everything I try to be transparent and...

amber

Ohhh boyyy. [Laughing] Ohhh boy! [Audience is laughing, cheering, and jeering.]

michael

And, uh—

john

Michael. You hear the boos. [Audience and Tara and/or Amber laugh.] They're coming through... perfectly clear. [More laughter.] I know a little something of the mob, having done a number of these shows. [More laughter.] I think I understand the psychology here. Which is you're not telling the truth. [More laughter.] You are coming up with a fancy reason to explain why you like clear.

michael

That—that's true.

john

Yeah. [Audience and Amber and/or Tara laugh.] I knew it. You know? Because you wanna sound as smart as Tara sounded when she talked about optics. [More laughter.] But this is not about a fancy explanation. This is about a gut-level explanation. If you are not a double liar, who is saying clear is your favorite color just to be quote-unquote "interesting..." if this is true, and not an affectation, there's gotta be some gut-level thing.

jesse

Amber, does this bring anything up for you?

john

Yeah, we'll talk to Amber for a while while you think—look deep into yourself.

amber

Wow.

john

And try to come up with a real answer. [Sternly/scoffingly] Michael.

amber

You know, the only thing I can imagine is that he likes to see through things to the underlying colors of them.

john

Right.

amber

[Stifling laughter] He's nodding his head like I really made up something great. [Audience, Jesse, and Tara and/or Amber laugh.] So is it maybe that you like all colors?

john

Mm, that could be! What do you think about Amber's interpretation?

michael

That's a better made-up reason than mine. [Everyone laughs.]

john

Well, we have to make them up! Because it's hard! It's difficult! What things that are clear bring you pleasure? A glass of water in a clear glass? [Audience laughter.] A window overlooking a beautiful scene?

michael

All things are clear are—are great, yeah!

john

A skylight above your bed?

michael

Yeah! I think that "Clear is a color" is a great conversation, that's what I like.

john

Ohhh. You are trying to be interesting. [Audience and litigants laugh.] You're trying to stir the pot!

crosstalk

Tara: That—yes. John: The crystal clear stew! [More laughter.]

john

Little bit.

michael

Just a little.

john

Little bit he's trying. A little bit. Eugh, Michael... Any further questions, Amber?

amber

[Disgusted] No. [Audience laughs.]

jesse

I have one further question.

john

Thank you, Jesse.

jesse

It's clear—[laughs]. Forgive me. [Audience and Amber and/or Tara laugh.] It's obvious that you feel that this generates interesting conversations.

michael

Yes.

jesse

I am going to turn to Tara and ask, "Does this generate interesting conversations?" [Audience and John laugh.]

tara

Well, um, when he was 16 and started this. [Scattered audience laughter. Someone "ohhh!"s.] I guess it was interesting conversation, but... it's been 20 years.

john

Yeah! [Tara and the audience laugh.] Did you know him—

jesse

Are you also still trying to decide who the best member of Hoobastank is? [Tara and/or Amber and the audience laugh.]

john

Tara, did you know—did you know Michael when he was 16?

tara

Yes. We—yeah.

john

Wow! So you've been dealing with this for a long time.

tara

Oh—yeah. [Laughs.]

john

Yeah. Well, here's what I have to say about it. Michael? While you were thinking through your... true thoughts, I was thinking through whether or not this could be a legitimate preference. And what I would say if I were you. And I remembered—I flashed back—uh, I'm a time traveler. [Audience laughter.] To a moment I think at Alex May's house, when I was in probably third grade. And there were a lot of Legos around. And Legos come in many colors. But I remember wanting to make something only out of the clear Legos.

tara

Ohhh!

john

It had a deep atavistic attraction to me. I loved the spaceman Legos. I love the spaceship Legos. But what I loved most were the clear cockpit canopies that you would put on there. Very pleasing to me. [Someone claps.] I'm not saying it's my favorite color. But I think it's a legitimate thing to say "My favorite color is clear." But not for you! [Audience and Tara and/or Amber laugh.] Because while I was doing the hard work, thinking—[laughs] you were acknowledging, maybe for the first time in your life, that this is just a mid-nineties conversation starter for you! [Audience and litigants laugh.] And therefore—[stifles laughter] the next conversation color—the next conversation starter can be "Is clear a color?" But you can no longer say "My favorite color is clear."

michael

[Disappointed "alright" sound.]

john

I apologize. Come up with a better color. [Michael laughs.] [Five live gavel bangs.]

jesse

Michael and Tara! [Audience cheers and applauds, and continues as Jesse announces the next two litigants.] Please welcome Austin and Natalie!

john

Austin and Natalie! [Waits for applause and cheering to die down.] Who comes to seek justice before me? Which of you has the complaint?

austin

I do.

john

You do. And you must be... Austin.

austin

Yes, sir.

john

And what is the nature of your complaint?

austin

So we have a container of trail mix in the kitchen. [Audience laughter.] And about every two months or so, Natalie will go in and just eat the chocolates only out of it. [Audience laughs and jeers.] And I would like her to stop.

john

Let the record show that Natalie is smiling a Cheshire Cat grin of absolute guilt. [John and the audience laugh.] I take it you do not deny this?

natalie

I do not, and I accept that it is not necessarily a great thing to do, but I think I should be able to anyway. [Audience, Jesse, and Natalie and/or Amber laugh.]

jesse

Let the—let the record reflect that celebrity guest Amber Nash is suitably impressed with that justification!

amber

I am.

john

Speak to that, Amber!

amber

Well, I'm assuming—do you pick up the trail mix at the store?

natalie

Actually, he does all the grocery shopping, but I did just have a baby.

crosstalk

Amber: That's great. John: Oh, congratulations! [Audience cheering.]

natalie

[Stifling laughter] Thank you.

john

What style of baby is it? [Audience laughter.]

natalie

The female style.

john

Okay.

amber

Oh!

john

Well, congratulations.

natalie

Thank you.

john

When did you have this baby?

natalie

Three months ago.

john

And what is the baby's name?

natalie

Zora Anne.

crosstalk

Amber: Aw! John: Zora Anne!

natalie

Yes.

john

And so, yeah! You deserve some chocolate, right?

natalie

I agree. And the reason—would you like to hear the terrible reason that this is even in our home? [Someone in the audience loudly says "Yes."]

john

The trail mix, you mean?

amber

Ohhh.

john

Yeah.

natalie

He's trying to gain weight. [Amber laughs.]

john

What?! [Audience laughs. Someone shouts "What?!" in a similarly affronted manner as the hockey merch "What?!"-er, but it's a different voice.] Austin, how dare you.

natalie

And—

john

What a—why are you trying to gain weight? Is everything okay?

austin

Yeah, I mean, I w—I started going to the gym with my friend.

john

Uh-huh.

austin

And I started losing weight, and I don't have much weight to lose, so... I thought to go the other way. [Audience laughs, Amber laughs, audience laughs harder.]

natalie

Don't you feel terrible for him? What a sad predicament for him to be in.

john

Get off my stage. [Audience, Natalie, and Amber laugh.] So you're picking up this trail mix. You need those calories. You're try—it's not just nuts and dried fruits for you. You need that chocolate. You need it all. You brought some evidence, right? Let's take a look at it. Slide number one, please, Dee?

natalie

Oh, boy.

john

Okay, this is a floating orb of trail mix. [Audience, litigants, and Amber laugh.] I didn't know that you could get it this way! That's really amazing. [Laughs.] How—how do you do that?

natalie

He keeps it in very tempting clear containers.

john

Clear! Oh, I love clear. [More laughter.]

natalie

My favorite color.

john

Oh, look at that.

jesse

It truly looks like... [stifling laughter] if you could make a rubber band ball out of trail mix?

john

Yeah! [John, Natalie, and audience laugh.]

amber

Yeah, it does! It does. And may I ask a question? Natalie, I'm assuming that when you sit down and start picking the chocolate out, that because you know that your husband hates it, it makes the chocolate taste all the more hilariously delicious.

natalie

Actually it's kind of the opposite—

amber

Oh, no!

natalie

—because I have a very, uh, disturbing guilt complex! [Scattered laughter.] And so whenever I realized this bothers him, it like, made it less enjoyable for me?

amber

Oh no! [Someone in the audience "aw!"s.]

natalie

And then I felt really guilty about it and I started buying replacement M&Ms. [Jesse, Amber, and the audience burst out laughing.] And whenever he brought this case to you, I have abstained from all M&M eating until you make a ruling so that I'm doing the right thing. [Lots more audience "aw"-ing and similar noises, then some laughter and applause.]

amber

Wow.

john

Wow.

amber

Wow. You have a better marriage than I do. [Natalie, Amber, and the audience crack up.]

crosstalk

John: You like— Jesse: [Stifling laughter] Yeah, I mean, she doesn't have a thousand gnomes in her house! [More laughter.]

john

Because Amber, you would say that the stolen chocolate is the sweetest chocolate.

amber

Absolutely!

john

The chocolate that makes another person angry...

crosstalk

Amber: [Laughs.] Is the best kind. John: Is the one that gives you the—oh, yeah. Amber: That's right. [Audience laughter, someone shouts something.]

john

Yeah. I don't want you to feel guilty, Natalie!

natalie

I agree.

john

Uh, then what's the next—the next slide? Oh, this is... [Audience and Natalie laughs.]

amber

[Laughing] Oh no!

john

This is the trail mix after the chocolate is removed.

jesse

I do see one M&M down in the bottom left.

austin

Mm-hm.

amber

Oh!

john

Oh!

jesse

[Stifling laughter] And it appears to have disguised itself as a raisin.

amber

[Laughing] It does! [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Natalie: They're sneaky like that. John: And let the record show that Natalie is walking over to the screen trying to grab that... [Natalie and/or Amber and the audience laugh.] ...M&M off the photograph.

jesse

[Stifling laughter] A single tear rolling down her cheek.

john

That's not true! [Amber, Natalie, Jesse, and the audience laugh.]

jesse

[Stifling laughter] "God, why did you make me this way?!" [More laughter.]

john

Austin, why don't you just buy some chocolate for your lovely wife?!

austin

...Uh, she told me not to. [Audience laughs.]

amber

Ohhh.

john

Why?!

natalie

Because I just had a baby! [Laughs.] And I'm trying to be healthier, but on occasion after a long day of teaching 10th and 11th-graders...

john

Yeah! Come on! [Audience cheers.]

natalie

I want—thank you! In Atlanta Area!

amber

Ooh!

natalie

Um, I want chocolate! And I like that they're a little bit salty. [Beat.]

john

Yeah! [Audience laughter.] I think that this is... this is not a dispute between the two of you. You need to come to some peace with the fact that chocolate is good.

natalie

Mm-hm. [Amber and the audience laugh.]

john

And that takes—that's a lot for me to say! 'Cause I have no interest in sweets whatsoever. I do not have a sweet tooth. I have an alcohol molar. This is known. [Natalie, Amber, and the audience laugh.] But, you know, all things in moderation!

natalie

Yes.

john

You deserve to have candy.

natalie

I agree. That's why I eat his M&Ms.

john

And you don't need to steal—you don't need to go through this shame spiral of stealing it out of the trail mix. You know? And then feeling... you know, bad about yourself! Especially since trail mix M&Ms are dirty. [Audience laughs.] They're dirty with... nut powder, and— [More laughter.] And the—and—

natalie

I like the salty sweet!

john

You like the salty sweet!

natalie

I like it!

crosstalk

Natalie: It's like it's an added dynamic. John: Look, I'm not doing an ad for M&Ms, but... [Natalie, Amber, and the audience laugh.]

john

They have like a thousand different versions of it; there's gotta be a salted caramel M&M at this point, right? No? Yes? No? Anybody?

jesse

Yeah. [Conflicting yes/nos from the audience.]

john

Oh, you know what's good? The pretzel M&Ms. [Audience applauds, two people with mics go "Mm!"]

natalie

They are—yeah.

john

That's a good combo, right?

natalie

But it has—it's—[sighs]. I don't wanna disparage M&Ms. But I think the peanut—[laughs] I think that the pretzel ones feel dusty in my mouth.

amber

Yeah.

john

Oh, alright! [Audience laughter.] Look, everyone likes what they like. Amber, what do you think is the solution?

amber

I think that you should keep two different containers of trail mix. [Someone in the audience emphatically says "Yes!"] And when one gets completely empty but it's still like, greasy and salty, then you dump a bag of M&Ms in there, shake it around, and then you can go to town on those when you get home from a long day with your kids! [Someone is clapping.]

john

I think that's fantastic. [Audience cheers and applauds.]

natalie

That is a beautiful idea.

john

Pre–trail mix M&Ms that are just for you! [Natalie and Amber laugh.] Like truly mix 'em up. And Austin? Congratulations, have fun with your baby. [Four live gavel bangs.]

natalie

Thank you! [Audience cheers and applauds.]

jesse

Austin and Natalie! Please welcome Garrison and Tyler!

john

Garrison and Tyler! [Audience continues cheering and applauding. Someone shouts "YEAH, TYLER!" Cheering and applause dies down.] I saw the two of you lurking in the wings, and I'm like "I know those two!"

garrison

Yeahhh.

john

I met you at the meetup at the bar!

crosstalk

Garrison: Yeah. Tyler Yes.

john

In Atlanta a few weeks ago!

crosstalk

Garrison: Yeah! Tyler: Yes.

john

And you were about to get married!

garrison

Yeah.

john

And did it happen?

garrison

We did it.

john

Well done!

amber

Yay! [Audience cheers and applauds.]

john

What is the nature of your dispute, and who brings this complaint?

garrison

I bring the complaint.

john

And you are...

garrison

I'm Garrison.

john

Garrison.

garrison

We have—both very androgynous names.

john

That's—that—and I get easily confused.

crosstalk

Garrison: Yeah. Yeah, but we're— John: And have a terrible memory. Sorry.

garrison

We're more married straight people, sorry. Um— [Audience and Garrison laugh.]

john

It happens sometimes.

garrison

So... the problem is that he does this thing that I think brings him joy...

john

Oh, no. Tyler.

garrison

But makes me—

john

Ohhh, I'm just reviewing the case. I had forgotten... [Audience and Garrison laugh.]

crosstalk

John: Oh, Garrison... Garrison: It makes—ooh. John: Please go ahead, I apologize for interrupting. Garrison: Okay. [Laughs.]

jesse

Garrison, earlier the judge congratulated on you—you on your marriage, but—

garrison

Yeah.

jesse

—he wishes to rescind his congratulations.

garrison

Yeah. Mm-hm.

jesse

And instead offer condolences. [Audience laughter.]

garrison

Yeah.

john

Yeah, I believe when we had the Judge John Hodgman meetup at my parents' basement, I, uh... I blessed your marriage. [Scattered cheers.]

garrison

Yeah!

john

In a non-denominational, completely agnostic way. [More scattered cheers.]

garrison

Yeah, kind of a Pagan, Satanic way, maybe.

john

That's right.

garrison

Yeah. [Audience laughter.]

john

And now I may rescind my blessing. We'll see what happens.

garrison

Yeah. So he does this thing, I think he likes it, makes him happy. Makes me feel ill and sick inside. Um, where he... [Audience laughs, someone mic'd laughs quietly.] ...adds like a "S-H" sound on words that don't have that? [More laughter.]

john

So like, "small-ish?" Or...

crosstalk

Garrison: No, no, no. No. John: "I have a big-ish appetite?" Garrison: No. John: No? Oh...

garrison

So I'm gonna have him demonstrate. So we were talking about Jimmy Carter, and how he fell recently and hurt himself, and what happened to him.

tyler

Uh, Jimmy fell on his pelvis and he had to go to the shnoshpital (hospital). [Beat.] [Audience laughs and jeers.]

garrison

Yeah. Yeah.

amber

[Laughing] The shnoshpital!

tyler

I—I told—don't—I told you not to do Jimmy to this crowd.

crosstalk

Garrison: [Laughs.] We love Jimmy. We love him. Jesse: [Stifling laughter] So this is a perfect example of respecting the dignity of the office.

garrison

Yeah. [Tyler and the audience laugh.] We can see Carter Center from where we live. Let me just...

john

You meant the Shnarter Shnenter? [Audience laughs.]

garrison

Yeah. Yes!

tyler

Shnarter Shnenter, yes.

garrison

Ugh. [Audience and Amber laugh.] Ughhh. [Laughs.]

john

Let the record show that Garrison is cringing when I said "Shcarter Shcenter."

garrison

Ugh.

john

It does—it—there is a kind of misophonia trigger to this.

garrison

Yeah.

john

And I don't—I don't know. Amber, what do you think?

amber

Is it only at the beginning of words? And is there an N also thrown in? Like shnozzberies?

garrison

Yeah. Yeah.

amber

Okay. [John and the audience laugh.]

garrison

There is an N. It is sometimes in the middle. And there is another sound that—I think it came from the... you—can you do it?

tyler

Well, it's the classic chicken and the egg argument, so I'm not sure which one came first. But, uh...

john

Yeah, let's hear about the shnicken and the shnegg. [Audience and Amber laugh.]

tyler

I—sometimes at work—I have a really boring job—most jobs are boring, but I have a really boring job. [Scattered laughter.] And I like to—

john

That's not true. That's not true, Tyler. Most jobs are not boring.

tyler

Okay. Oh, gosh.

john

If you have a boring job you don't like, you should get out of it; maybe you'll stop doing this thing with your mouth. [Amber and the audience laugh.]

tyler

I'll never stop. [More laughter.] Unless you rule so. I'll stop then.

john

Well, then, don't blame your job! For what is obviously something that gives you pleasure.

tyler

[Laughs.] I like to walk by rooms full of people working, and I—I walk by... and I go "[Slurp!]" [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

John: Eughhh. Tyler: Just really quickly, and run down the hallway so they can't catch me. Amber: Like you sucked them into an airplane toilet? Tyler: Yeah, just a little— [Audience and Jesse laugh.]

tyler

Yes, exactly!

amber

Okay!

tyler

A little slurp.

amber

That's fun!

crosstalk

Amber: It's— Tyler: That's actually her least favorite, which I'm surprised she didn't bring up. Amber: It's— Tyler: Is that she doesn't like—you don't like when I call kisses... [Amber sighs.]

tyler

I say "Can I get a little... schlurp?" [Audience laughs and jeers. Amber laughs.]

garrison

I married him!

amber

But Gar—

garrison

We are bound! [Laughs.]

john

Have you been doing this for a long time?

tyler

Um... a while! Yes. Like, maybe forever.

jesse

[Stifling laughter] It feels to me like you've been doing it for a shmillennium. [Amber, Garrison, and the audience laugh.]

tyler

I—well—

john

But I mean, have you tried to stop doing this? Is it a compulsion?

tyler

It—I—I think it's—it started as a joke, and it slowly became a compulsion. And it—

john

Ohhh.

tyler

I think it definitely is now. I can't control—when we're in the car and I see something, it just comes out.

garrison

Yeah. Yeah.

john

And it's—well, what's astonishing to me is that you were able to hide this from Garrison until you were married. [Laughs.] [Audience laughter.]

tyler

Oh, she knew before.

garrison

No—

john

Oh, she knew before!

tyler

She—she wed into the schlurp.

garrison

He trapped me! _[_Concerned audience noises.] By watching shark movies with me, and then he started doing it once we were in love.

john

Right, 'cause you didn't know.

garrison

Yeah.

john

'Cause he was just like [carefully enunciating] "Let's just watch a shark movie." And—

garrison

Yeah. [John and the audience laugh.]

tyler

Shnark.

garrison

And then it was a shnark movie.

john

Shnark.

tyler

Shnark movie.

garrison

Yeah. [Laughs.]

john

By the way, please do not say "shark movies" ever again. There is a shark movie. And that's it. [Audience cheering.]

crosstalk

Garrison: [Laughs.] Well, we like that one a lot. Jesse: Yeah. Deep Blue Sea. Tyler: Deep Blue Sea! Garrison: Yeahhh! [Garrison and audience laugh.]

tyler

Thank you, Jesse!

jesse

Deepest, bluest, etc!

john

That's right. [Laughs.] So—[laughs]. It's gross. It's gross what you're doing. [Litigants and audience laugh.] Garrison, is this just a thing where you feel that Tyler is being a real dorkus, and you wish he would stop? Or it actually gives you sort of auditory pain to hear these things?

garrison

Like a little bit of both.

john

Mm-hm.

garrison

Like, I don't think it's like misophonia-level.

john

Right.

garrison

It's not like when my dad is chewing gum in the car. [Audience laughter.] But, um...

jesse

I think we all know what that's like.

garrison

Yeah. [Amber and the audience laugh.] But it's still like... like, I can't help but like, curl into myself and like—

john

Yeah!

garrison

—hide from it.

john

Yeah! [Garrison laughs.] That's when the schlorpin' starts! [Amber laughs.]

garrison

Yeah. Yeah, it's like a—it's like a... like what a wet willy would sound like.

john

Eugh, I don't even like the... [Tyler and the audience laugh.] I don't even like that word, wet willy! And—

tyler

Shwet shwilly.

crosstalk

Garrison: Nooo! John: Stop—oh—augh. [Audience and Amber laugh.]

amber

[Laughing] Shwet shwilly!

jesse

We are about half a step from someone saying "shmoist." [Garrison and some audience members scream in despair. Others laugh.] I did it on purpose, friends.

john

Some things sound terrible. [Audience laughter.]

garrison

Yeah.

john

And I think you're aware of that, Tyler. And I think that if you want to continue to get... schlurps... [Audience laughter.] You should stop saying that word. [More laughter.] You should stop repulsing the most important person in your life.

tyler

Eh...

garrison

Mm-hm. [Someone cheers. Scattered laughter.]

john

Now. I don't... sthink [unclear if intentional] that all of these things are equally terrible. [Garrison or Amber laughs quietly.] I'm going to say that there is a continuum of shnawfulness here. [Garrison or Amber and the audience laugh.] The shnospital... [Someone in the audience groans. John stifles laughter.] Despite the fact that you are making a joke out of an injury of a great person—[laughs]. [Audience laughter.] That to me is the least offensive. To me. To me. "Schlurp" and "[Slurp!]"— [Someone groans. Others laugh.] —are tied for most offensive.

john

[Amber laughs.] One, because... they're both repulsive. One of them is repulsive, uh, to a captive audience of your coworkers who don't deserve this. [Amber laughs.] And did not choose to share their lives with you. [Tyler or Jesse laughs.] And therefore it is basically an act of terrorism. [Amber, the litigants, and the audience laugh.] And two... the other one actively causes revulsion in the person who should mean the most to you and has chosen to spend her life with you.

garrison

Mm-hm. Yeah.

john

So... I think you should keep shnospital to a—a minimum. [Garrison and Amber laugh.]

tyler

Yeah.

john

Right? I'm not gonna completely gag order you.

tyler

Thank you.

john

[Sarcastically] On your hi-larious affectation. [Tyler and Garrison laugh.]

garrison

It's a verbal tic. [Laughs.]

tyler

Thank you.

crosstalk

John: It's a verbal tic at this point? You don't think he can control it? Garrison: [Laughing] He cannot control it. No. John: Alright. Tyler: I don't think I can control it.

john

I mean, he's obviously adorable and he's got a great taste in chunky sweaters. [Audience laughs.]

tyler

Sh—sh—

garrison

I bought him that.

tyler

Yeah.

john

Oh, nice! Well...

garrison

Yeah.

john

Then... you have great taste in people who have great taste. [The litigants and the audience laugh.] But I'm gonna order "schlurp" and "[slurp!]" out of the picture.

garrison

Yes! Yes.

john

Because it's not cool to do that to your coworkers, and it's not cool to do that to your wife. [Audience cheers and applauds.]

tyler

Alright...

john

[Four live gavel bangs.]

jesse

Garrison and Tyler!

john

My blessing is retained! Thank you for being here!

jesse

Amber.

amber

Yes.

jesse

Archer's—is it 11th season was just announced?

amber

Yeah! Yeah. We're making it as we speak! [Audience cheers.]

jesse

Can I tell you something that I—that occurred—it occurred to me as I read that on a piece of paper earlier tonight?

amber

Sure!

jesse

I have never seen a Bergman film. [Stifling laughter] I have seen every episode of Archer! [John and the audience laugh.]

crosstalk

Amber: Yesss! Jesse: And I'm good with that! I'm happy with that! John: Yeah. Amber: Yesss, that's how we like it!

jesse

Amber, it's been a joy to have you on the Judge John Hodgman podcast. Thank you so much for your wisdom.

amber

Thank you so much!

john

Thank you so much, Amber!

jesse

Amber Nash! [Audience cheers and applauds, then fades out.]

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

jesse

Our thanks to all the litigants who shared their disputes with us in Atlanta, Georgia. Our thanks to Jon Combs for naming this week's episode, "Clothing Arguments." This episode was recorded by Jeff Bird, produced by Hannah Smith, edited by Jesus Ambrosio. You can follow us on Twitter at @JesseThorn and @hodgman. Hashtag your Judge John Hodgman Tweets #JJHo, and check out the Maximum Fun subreddit to discuss this episode. We're on Instagram at @judgejohnhodgman, where we post evidence from our cases as well as other fun stuff. And we will see you next time on the Judge John Hodgman podcast!

john

Yes we will.

sound effect

[Three gavel bangs.]

music

A cheerful guitar chord.

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About the show

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