The Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 2

Transcription courtesy of: Megan Pennock

(Theme riff)

Maddox: Welcome to The Biggest Problem in the Universe, I'm Maddox. With me is Dick Masterson.

Dick: Hey, everybody!

Maddox: Also with us today is our audio engineer, Sean. Uh, he may be chiming in, maybe not, but he's also recording which is probably why the audio sounds so much better this time.

Dick: Look, I got a big list of apologies to get through today.

Maddox: Oh! Alright, let's hear your apologies.

Dick: From last week.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Um, number one, I'd like to apologize for the sound. I did a horrible job on the sound.

Maddox: I thought it was pretty good! I thought you did a good job.

Dick: Okay! Well, I apologize that it wasn't great.

Maddox: Thank you! That's a good apology.

Dick: Thanks.

Maddox: I like that, actually.

Dick: Alright. Uh, the SECOND apology is, I gotta apologize for interrupting you so much.

Maddox: Oh!

Dick: I...it's my...it's my fault; I thought I was doing a podcast with a MAN. (Maddox laughs) Who...I grew up with men, I talk with a lot of men. It's impossible to interrupt them. They just roll right through it.

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick: So I apologize, I didn't know...that I was doing a podcast with *you.* (smiling)

Maddox: Oh, okay. That's, uh...so, a backhanded NON-apology is your apology. (Dick laughs) Thank you for that. Which, by the way -- so we launched the website, http://thebiggestproblemintheuniverse.com, where you can go vote on these problems. And the first comment on here, from a Facebook comment, is: "Why is it that every time Maddox tried to talk Dick Masterson interrupted?"

Dick: What's that guy's name?

Maddox: His name is No-...

Dick: (interjects) What's his first name? Don't say his last name. What's his first name?

Maddox: Noah.

Dick: Noah! You're DEAD, Noah! (cracking up) (Maddox laughs) I'm gonna KILL you!

Maddox: You gonna unfriend him?

Dick: Yeah, I'm gonna friend him and then unfriend him.

Maddox: Friend him and unfriend him, yeah.

Dick: I'm gonna friend him and see if he's married and then hit on his wife.

Maddox: Oh! Nice.

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: Nice...good move.

Dick: Thanks.

Maddox: I've had, actually, people reach out to me and ask me to bang their wives. Uh, 'cause they said that it would be an honor, I guess, to have my sloppy seconds.

Dick: (inhales thoughtfully) Can you...can you read those emails?

Maddox: Oh, yeah!

Dick: At a future date?

Maddox: Of course!

Dick: Ah, because I think that's happened to me one time. Like this guy would send me pictures of his wife's...uh, snatch, I think is the proper term for it? (cracking up)

Maddox: Yeah, that's the proper term. (smiling)

Dick: And it would be like, these really graphic emails about...like, women? "Don't you think women are this, and women are whores? And check out my wife, isn't she a whore?" And I was like, "Dude, I don't know what...I don't know what you want me to do here."

Maddox: I guess he wanted you to jerk off! Uh, he sent these to you so you would...I don't know.

Dick: Well, I did jerk off, but it wasn't because of that email.

Maddox: That's pretty gross. I mean, you jerkin' off. Um...

Dick: Okay, so...let's talk about last week's problems. What's the ranking?

Maddox: So last week, we had -

Dick: (interjects) 'Cause I thought I brought in some great problems.

Maddox: Uh, so Dick brought in Guys Asking Other Guys About Their Dogs, and...me, Maddox. And I brought in...my problems were Crying and Families. And the highest-ranked problem according to our listeners is Crying, at uh, at the number one position with 41 upvotes. Uh, followed -

Dick: (interjects) Are you serious?!

Maddox: 41 upvotes.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: Right. And then followed by Families, with 30, and then your Guys Asking Other Guys About Their Dogs, not that big of a problem! Got a number 2...2 votes.

Dick: Hey, 2 guys! 2 guys know what I'm talkin' about! (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: 2 guys...and then Maddox, your uh, supposed problem...

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: ...-10. Not a problem at all. I'm a SOLUTION, buddy!

Dick: Okay. Well, this is a...this is a win for me. (Maddox laughs) Because it...it proves what I've been saying all along, that voting is for stupid idiots who don't know what they're talking about. Alright. Well, congratulations. You won...you won fair and square. Good job.

Maddox: Alright! Alright. Well, I...I think the important takeaway here is that I'm not a problem. I'm a solution. So, speaking of problems, we should...let's get goin' with this week's problems. Dick, you uh, you go first. You have the first problem this week.

Dick: Okay! My first problem is...long emails.

Maddox: Long emails!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah! I'm on board with this. Okay, let's hear it, yeah!

Dick: So I punched it into the Google machine, like, "how much time does email waste at work," and the headline of The Guardian said: 40 percent of your time is spent emailing. (slowly for emphasis)

Maddox: At work?

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: Hm. Well, would you consider -- I'm playin' devil's advocate here -- would you consider email part of your work?

Dick: Okay. This is...this is how I know if an email is too long. So...like, this is what I do now, and this what I want everyone to try to do.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: To fix this problem. You write an email, and it's usually like 2 paragraphs or a whole page or whatever, you're tryin' to express yourself. Then what I do is I go back and I delete everything except for one sentence. (Maddox chuckles) Because what is all that other garbage for? Like, someone either agrees with you or they don't. If they do, they're gonna do what you're saying. If they don't agree with you, fuck 'em. Right?

Maddox: Yeah. I... (stammers)

Dick: You're not gonna convince them.

Maddox: Well, no -- okay. I mean, I get that this is your approach through life. It's...it's very defeatist, and uh, and very kind of sullen and bleak.

Dick: There you go! That's the email.

Maddox: That's... (cracks up)

Dick: "I get that that's your approach to life, it's sullen and bleak." (Maddox laughs more) What else do you need to say??

Maddox: There's no solution!

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: It's just, you're...you just can't convince anybody. Um, I disagree. However, I would say that, uh, long emails are a problem because...well, no, you know what? I thought about it; you're right! Um, I can't imagine a long email that I've ever read and coming away from it thinking, "Wow, I really understood something. I really got something out of this."

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: I would say more than a paragraph or two and it's pushing that bullshit territory.

Dick: It just gets embarrassing!

Maddox: It's crazy. It's like, "What are you wri-...are you writing...is this a sample chapter? Are you pitching me a proposal here? Is this is a book? What am I reading? Why...why does it have to be so long?" In fact, on that point, I don't read my email anymore! Um, until at the end of the night, usually. Which frustrates you and a lot of my friends, because they'll send me important stuff like, "Hey, are we on for today?" and I usually don't get back to them. I don't check my email. Emails annoy me, text messages annoy me, voicemail REALLY annoys me, and phone calls annoy me. Like, basically any kind of communication annoys me.

Dick: Yeah. So what's the best way to get through to you? Like...pay a hooker (Maddox cracks up) to come have sex with you and like, communicate through a headpiece? That would work, right?

Maddox: Uh...

Dick: Theoretically.

Maddox: So we're both wearing headpieces? Like Bluetooth headsets, or what?

Dick: No, the hooker is wearing the headpiece and I'm telling HER what I wrote you in an email.

Maddox: Oh. (about to laugh)

Dick: And she's asking YOU...

Maddox: Oh, I see.

Dick: What do you mean, "we're both wearing headpieces"? You and me? While you're having sex with a hooker that I bought? (grinning) (Maddox laughs) Talking about it?

Maddox: Yeah, I imagined that -

Dick: (interjects) You sicko!

Maddox: That's kind of a bribe! Like, "Hey, please reply to my email."

Dick: Well, I'm surprised that you agree with me on this, 'cause you're the worst offender of writing enormous emails.

Maddox: I do write long emails.

Dick: You sent me...this guy sent me an email after the last show that was about 3 pages long...

Maddox: Oh, Jesus. (under his breath)

Dick: ...and it could've been summarized with just, "You interrupt me too much; stop interrupting."

Maddox: Yeah, you know, I'm an evidence-based guy, and I like to have evidence. I like to have examples. In fact, I brought some. (both laugh) I seriously did. I have so many examples of everything. I'm an evidence-based guy.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: When it comes to...when it comes to everything! You gotta make a case. Why should I...why should anyone take anyone's word for it, right? 'Cause we have confirmation bias.

Dick: Who cares? People are just gonna believe it or they're not. (Maddox laughs) If they don't believe it, what are you gonna do, pull out some stats? "Hey, check out some MATH!"

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: "Do ya believe me now?"

Maddox: Right! Yeah, evidence! That's like, the foundation of every solid, sound argument, is evidence.

Dick: The foundation of every argument is...making fun of someone until they admit that you're right. (Maddox snorts and laughs) Because they don't wanna look stupid anymore. THAT'S how you win an argument.

Maddox: So you think there's, like, a stupid...a stupid critical mass, where someone feels SO stupid...

Dick: No, I know exactly what it is! It's the feeling that you get when you pee in your pants. (Maddox snickers) You have to make them feel that emb-...if you can make them feel that with your WORDS, then they'll just acquiesce the point and you win the argument.

Maddox: Okay. (skeptical) Uh, I...I'm not sure. I'm not sure I follow exactly. So you want someone to get the feeling like they're peeing their pants.

Dick: Yeah! Like that shame.

Maddox: That shame of feeling...of peeing their pants.

Dick: Like just being embarrassed. Like, "Oh, I can't believe I'm getting so embarrassed!"

Maddox: Doesn't it...doesn't it feel great to pee your pants? Like, doesn't it just...aw, man. It's warm...

Dick: Well, I guess, like, when you're a kid -- I'm trying to trace it back to when you're a kid and you pee your pants in front of a -

Maddox: (interjects) Like in class, that's embarrassing.

Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Maddox: Okay. Yeah, I'll give you that. Alright! Alright, well -

Dick: (interjects) Alright, that's my problem.

Maddox: Alright. (chuckling)

Dick: I don't know.

Maddox: Um...long emails, I guess, are a problem.

Dick: Just ev-...just cut it down to one sentence, for a week. Try -- pretend like you're on Twitter when you're emailing. YOU, espe-...you!! I want you to try this!

Maddox: Oh, I don't know, man. I'm a pretty verbose writer. When it comes...I'm efficient, usually, when I write status updates and things, like on my Facebook page, but when it comes to emails...

Dick: Oh, boy. Here we go. (muttering)

Maddox: ...I'm pretty verbose! I like to EXPLAIN things. You know what? I guess it's a...it's a projection. It's telling you what I think about you. It's like, "Oh, this guy needs lots of explanation." (smiles)

Dick: Yeah, it's ins-...it's condescending!

Maddox: Uh, yeah!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah! (laughs)

Dick: Believe me, everyone gets it!

Maddox: No intrigue.

Dick: Everyone gets what you're doing.

Maddox: Oh, you're... (laughs more) Everyone gets it?

Dick: "Hey...Dear Dick: Great job on the podcast. Just a couple notes."

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick: IMMEDIATELY infuriating.

Maddox: Oh, okay. (amused) Well, you know, I just thought I would finesse it.

Dick: One note! One note, not a couple notes. Just one note: "stop interrupting."

Maddox: Nah, there was a cou-...there were a couple notes. There WERE a couple notes.

Dick: Alright, what's your problem?

Maddox: Alright. My first problem this week is horoscopes.

Dick: Oh!

Maddox: Yeah. Uh, huge problem, and...for SO many reasons. First of all, the people who believe in these things, uh...kind of like, base their lives -- they make really big life decisions around them. And I'm not saying I'm above it completely. Like, I... (stammers) Of course I'm above horoscopes, 'cause I'm not an idiot. BUT, I am...I'm not above, uh, making irrational decisions based on nothing. For example, a coin toss. You would not *believe* the number of REALLY important life decisions I've made based on a coin toss. Including -

Dick: (interjects) I...I would believe that. (both laugh) Bucko.

Maddox: Including, and not limited to, my decision to write my first book! That was a coin toss.

Dick: You threw it up to a coin toss?

Maddox: It was a coin toss, yeah.

Dick: Why?

Maddox: Uh, because at the time, I -

Dick: (interjects) You shoulda wrote yourself a couple of 6-page emails about it and seen which side had more evidence. (wryly) (Maddox snorts and laughs) Why? What were you...what were you doin' at the time?

Maddox: Well, at the time I was debating whether or not I should try to publish this thing on my own, or whether I should go with this agent who emailed me out of the BLUE. Uh, this guy emailed me just randomly one day, literally while I was negotiating the contract with agency, and I wasn't sure whether or not I should go with him so I flipped a coin.

Dick: So, wait a minute. Can I...um, just to set the context for this story, this was in what year? That you were considering publishing it yourself?

Maddox: 2004.

Dick: Yeah, that's...there were NO resources to publish a book yourself back then.

Maddox: Well, there were a few. It wasn't as...as robust as we have today. But there was, uh, Lulu.com, and you could...you could still do like, the e-publishing thing, and...

Dick: Oh, yeah.

Maddox: I would basically raise some capital and try to publish the book myself. Which, uh -

Dick: (interjects) That woulda been interesting.

Maddox: Yeah! Well, I knew some author friends who tried and it was REALLY difficult to...uh, specifically because of distribution. So, that's -

Dick: (interjects) So you...you flipped a coin.

Maddox: I flipped a coin, yeah.

Dick: Did you do that thing where you, like...as soon as the coin's in the air, you know which one you want it to be? (smiling)

Maddox: No! I don't -

Dick: (interjects) Have you heard that thing?

Maddox: No, no.

Dick: Oh, chicks post that all the time on Facebook.

Maddox: Oh, really?

Dick: "You know how you make a hard decision? You flip a coin and as soon as it's in the air, you know which one you want it to be." (dreamy voice)

Maddox: (annoyed) No, no, that's bullshit. And speaking of chicks -- so, back to horoscopes. Uh, so... (cracks up) So this is...this is a huge problem because people will base their lives on these very generic horoscopes! There was a guy who did a study, I think in the '50s, where he gave his classroom a bunch of horoscopes to read, and he told them they were all custom horoscopes tailored to themselves. And he asked them at the end of it to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how accurately it represented them, and the average in the class was around 4.6 on the accuracy. But then after he collected everybody's responses, then he told everybody they received the same horoscope. So everybody thought it applied to them. That's what...that's what makes horoscopes bullshit! They're all generic...these general things that apply to *everybody.*

Dick: So, did this...the students walked away from class that day just having learned that they're dumb idiots?

Maddox: Yeah, basically. (laughs)

Dick: Like, that's what the state paid that jerk to do? That sounds like something YOU would do to a class.

Maddox: Yeah! It is!

Dick: "Yeah, you know what I did to my class today? I made 'em all feel like dumb jerks."

Maddox: Yeah! (amused)

Dick: "They'll believe anything. They're so STUPID."

Maddox: Yeah. "Today's lesson: you're an idiot." (laughs)

Dick: "You're an idiot." (guffaws) Great study.

Maddox: So, uh, I have some horoscopes here. I brought -

Dick: (interjects) Okay, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Because I...I disagree with you. I love horoscopes.

Maddox: Oh, great. Great. (sarcastic) Of course!

Dick: Because it's like, the BEST in to talk to girls about themselves.

Maddox: You don't wanna talk to girls who are into horoscopes!

Dick: They're...they're ALL into horoscopes! Every single one of them will talk about themselves using the horoscope as a crutch.

Maddox: I dunno man, that's a deal breaker for me. That's a red flag. That's like, "This is crazy town. I gotta get outta here."

Dick: It's a red flag?! You're nodding like this is true!

Maddox: Yeah, Sean's nodding.

Dick: Find me one chick that's not into horoscopes!

Maddox: Okay, there -

Dick: (interjects) Wait a minute, what's...what's your sign, first of all? (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Maddox: Trap! I don't know. I've never known. I don't even know my birthday. (chuckles)

Dick: Ah, I don't know your birthday either, 'cause I'm a man.

Maddox: Yeah. I'm an Aries.

Dick: I knew it. (smirking)

Maddox: Ahh!! (laughs) You know what?? That's...and that is the response every single time! (Dick laughs hysterically) When you tell somebody your sign they say, "Oh, you're a total Aries. Oh my god, yeah. You're a total Aries!" Well, really?! Why didn't you say that before I fuckin' said it, Nostradumbass?

Dick: Uh...

Maddox: Like, why didn't you say...? Yeah. [indicating for Dick to talk]

Dick: ...'cause I'm a Scorpio, man. I would never do that. (laughs)

Maddox: Oh, you're a Sc-...oh, Scorpios would never do that. Of course. (smiling)

Dick: No, but like, don't you...you don't use this to talk to women?

Maddox: No!!

Dick: So you, you walk up...so a girl's like, "Hey, what's your sign?" and you're like, "Well, frankly, madam, that's a red sign to me! That's...there was a STUDY where a professor..." (Maddox cracks up)

Maddox: No, I say -

Dick: (interjects) "And you would fail it."

Maddox: I say, "I don't know" and I walk away. I find a girl who's not a dumbass.

Dick: Is this...is that true?

Maddox: Yeah, I've -

Dick: (interjects) Is this...I need to know this!

Maddox: What, that I don't talk -

Dick: (interjects) That this is a sign of being crazy!

Maddox: Oh, absolutely! It's a huge red flag, man!

Dick: Hold on, I'm gonna write this down.

Maddox: Yeah! Write this down. (cracking up) So, two things you learned today: that the kids in the '50s were dumbasses, and it's a huge red flag. Um...

Dick: I know, but joke's on...me, 'cause I'm not gonna use it.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: It's just too easy to talk to them about horoscopes.

Maddox: You know what, though? I mean, do you really wanna do...you could talk about nails. You could talk about manis and pedis, whatever those are.

Dick: No, 'cause you, like...if you pretend you're into it and they're talking about themselves, they...that's like an intimacy thing. Like, it's...suddenly the conversation's more intimate. (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Maddox: You... (laughs more) An intimacy -

Dick: (interjects) It's a great shortcut.

Maddox: Yeah, okay. Well, so I -

Dick: (interjects) I mean, I don't have to talk about myself! Which is even better.

Maddox: What do you mean, "you don't have to talk about yourself"?

Dick: If they're talking about their own sign.

Maddox: Oh, yeah yeah yeah.

Dick: Like, "Oh, I'm a Cancer! We're, like..."

Maddox: Well, first of all it's not THEIR sign. Uh, it's some generic...whatever. And it's...and they don't even know what their sign is, because there is an astrological phenomenon...an astronomical, rather, not astrological. It's an astronomical phenomenon -

Dick: (interjects) It's both!

Maddox: Well... (chuckling)

Dick: This is the first time that it could be both!

Maddox: It could be both, actually.

Dick: Alright, go ahead.

Maddox: It's called the precession of the earth's axis. Have you heard of this?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Okay. This is people -

Dick: (interjects) Don't...don't big league me with your astronomy terms. (disdainful)

Maddox: Okay! Alright, well, I know that -

Dick: (interjects) I know what precession is.

Maddox: Really? (skeptical)

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Okay. Great.

Dick: Go ahead. (smug)

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick: What does it mean?

Maddox: Okay, Professor. Well, this is for the *listeners* who aren't familiar -

Dick: (interjects) Let me check your definition. You tell ME what it means. (grinning)

Maddox: Okay... (breaks down laughing) Classic. Uh, so for the listeners, this is...precession of the earth's axis is: once every 26,000 years or so, the earth wobbles because of the pull of the moon. So, as it...as the moon kind of rotates around the earth, it has like, this...this wobbling effect that causes the earth's axis to rotate, uh, off of its tilt. So what we have as the North Star TODAY is not gonna be the North Star in about 13,000 years.

Dick: WHAT?!

Maddox: Right!

Dick: Really??

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: I didn't know that.

Maddox: Yeah! So, this is according to, uh, to LiveScience...Livescience.com: "Unbeknownst to the ancient astrologers, the Earth continually wobbles around its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. This wobble -- called precession -- is caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon on Earth's equatorial bulge." So, basically what this means is -

Dick: (interjects) I didn't interrupt you the whole thing!

Maddox: Great! Thank you.

Dick: Thank YOU!

Maddox: Congratulations.

Dick: Thank you for the "thank you."

Maddox: You want a pat on your back? Yeah -- no, that's...that was a sarcastic "thank you." But I take your sincere -

Dick: (interjects) I'll take it! I'll take it. (grinning)

Maddox: I'll take your sincere "thank you"! (smiles)

Dick: It's just as good to me.

Maddox: Great! So, if you're born -- so here's an example: if you're born between November 29th and December 17th, your sign would actually be one that you've never even seen in newspapers. It's the sign, uh, I think it's called "Ophichius." [mispronouncing it at first]

Dick: Oph-...

Maddox: O-P-H-I-U-...

Dick: O-P-H-I-U-...

Maddox: Ophiuchus. Yeah.

Dick: Oph-...and then what? 'U'?

Maddox: O-P-H-I-U-C-H-U-S. Ophiuchus.

Dick: Okay, so that's your sign!

Maddox: (annoyed) No, it's CHANGED. That's the thing! Astrologers -

Dick: (interjects) What are some qualities of this sign that you've just discovered? (smiling)

Maddox: I don't even have it! It's not...it's not listed! People don't use this sign in Zodiac charts, 'cause they don't know what it...that it exists!

Dick: You've just...dude, you know how exciting this is in the world of, like, talking to chicks?

Maddox: Oh my gosh. (under his breath)

Dick: You've discovered a new sign! (laughs)

Maddox: (annoyed) I didn't discover it, first of all. And it's not a thing! This isn't a thing.

Dick: (chuckling) 'Kay, so, profuse sweating when angered...

Maddox: I'm getting angry! (laughing)

Dick: ...is one of the qualities of this sign.

Maddox: You know, if astrologers can predict so much shit, why couldn't they fuckin' predict that there would be another astrological symbol that they didn't foresee because of the wobble? Okay. So, here's...here's the actual horoscope, right?

Dick: (interjects) It's not about predicting, though. It's about understanding yourself.

Maddox: No, it's...okay, dude. (flustered) (Dick bursts out laughing) I'm not a chick, and this is grossing me out. Like, I'm getting goosebumps.

Dick: Dude, can I...wait a minute, wait a minute. Can I...in defense of astrology, can I give -- oh, I wanna give people this...so, I have a whole...I have a whole routine where, if a chick starts talking about like, astrology and her sign?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I have this like, whole routine to, uh...I'm trying to think of a euphemism where I'm more intimate with her, and I'm only thinking of bad euphemisms. (cracking up) Like "hit the nail in the coffin"...

Maddox: Ugh. (quietly)

Dick: ...or "sink the ship." It goes like this: "I totally...believe in astrology, because it's like when you were born, the way your parents treated you in the first 2 months of your life..."

Maddox: Oh my god. (under his breath)

Dick: "...has like, a major effect on your personality!"

Maddox: Oh my gosh. I can, I can just picture you...

Dick: You can picture me saying this!

Maddox: ...your sleaziness, yeah.

Dick: Ohh, I've said this to...I don't know, probably 30 girls. It works every time.

Maddox: I can...I can picture you saying that, and it's SO slea-...and I can picture the girl nodding like, "Yeah, totally!" (eagerly)

Dick: "Yeah, TOTALLY!"

Maddox: "Because I remember - "

Dick: (interjects) "I never think of the science part!"

Maddox: No. (exasperated)

Dick: Like, they never try to justify their...

Maddox: No.

Dick: ...crazy beliefs with science, so I can do that for them!

Maddox: No, I -- yeah!

Dick: They LOVE it!

Maddox: "I remember...I remember when I was kid, yeah, this...this thing happened, and..." It's all -- yeah, of course...uh, confirmation bias. So, I have with me some astrological signs that I want...some horoscopes I want to read.

Dick: Oh, read mine!

Maddox: Uh, I will! We'll get to it, buddy.

Dick: Cool. They're fun!

Maddox: This is from Seventeen Magazine. (smiles) Uh... (cracks up) Which, by the way, I bought this issue of Seventeen Magazine because it's incredible. You...I highly recommend you go out and buy an issue of Seventeen Magazine. It's the BEST reading I've read in a LONG time. It's almost, like, self-satirical. You know it's all written by 30-year-old guys like me, who are just sitting around -

Dick: (interjects) Like YOU?

Maddox: Yeah...yeah. (laughs)

Dick: Really??

Maddox: (stammers) Like, big hairy dudes are sittin' around writing this stuff, and teenage girls are lappin' it up! Like, this is...this is incredible. I love this.

Dick: I don't know. Is it really? Is that really true?

Maddox: Oh yeah, it's gotta be!

Dick: So you know something that I don't? 'Cause that seems awfully cynical.

Maddox: I've written an article for Cosmopolitan.

Dick: Okay!

Maddox: There you go! So, uh, okay. I'm gonna read Aries. I'm gonna read my -

Dick: What was it called?

Maddox: - my horoscope sign. Uh, I forget. It was, um...

Dick: Was it a ghost-written piece, or did you write it as Maddox?

Maddox: I wrote it as Maddox, but uh, they do have ghost writers.

Dick: Wow! (chuckling)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: Yeah, it was...it's hilarious. Um -

Dick: (interjects) Typical "Oh-fwee-chus" behavior! [mispronouncing "Ophiuchus"] (both laugh)

Maddox: Great.

Dick: How do you say it? Is that how you say it?

Maddox: I think it's "Ophiuchus."

Dick: Ophiuchus. Typical Ophiuchus behavior. (smiling)

Maddox: So, Aries...uh, in June: "Near the 25th, your bestie will spill a shocking secret. Whatever it is, be supportive." And then in July: "You rarely show your softer side, but on the 13th you'll go full-on mushball with your guy. He'll love it!" (slightly ditzy voice) (laughs)

Dick: Yeah...that's prediction stuff, though.

Maddox: Oh! (derisively)

Dick: That's dumb.

Maddox: Oh really? Okay, what's yours, Scorpio?

Dick: It's not about who you ARE, man.

Maddox: Oh, okay. (sarcastic)

Dick: Yeah. Yeah, gimme the Scorpio.

Maddox: Let's read Scorpio.

Dick: This is gonna be totally wrong.

Maddox: "Thanks to the moon on the 27th, your crew will kick off summer with an epic party everyone will be posting about." (mocking)

Dick: (gasps) I DO have a...I do...I am going to a party on the 27th!

Maddox: With your crew?

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: You're a girl.

Dick: How's it gonna go?

Maddox: "On the 26th, you'll get the perfect opening to flirt with your new crush."

Dick: Ooo, yeah! (sexy tone)

Maddox: Yeah. And your symbols for the month -

Dick: (interjects) Probably that guy sending me more pictures of his wife to bang. (both giggle)

Maddox: And your symbols -

Dick: (interjects) Her snatch! I dunno, what do you call it? You call it a "snatch"?

Maddox: I mean, if I wanna be romantic. (laughs)

Dick: Yeah, okay.

Maddox: Your symbols for the month are 'smiley face' + 'heart'. So the smiley face -- they have a legend here for the horoscopes -- the smiley face is "fun with friends" and the heart is "flirty fun."

Dick: Okay, so what's your problem? That made me feel good. All that that you just said, I feel like I'm gonna...I'm gonna nail some broad on the 26th (Maddox snickers) and I'm gonna go have a great time on the 27th. Probably -- maybe the cops will get called on a party, that sounds fun!

Maddox: 'Kay, I don't even -

Dick: (interjects) What's your problem? Why does it bug you that people are into this?

Maddox: 'Cause it's bullshit, and it sets up false expectations. And people make important decisions based on this bullshit!

Dick: This is no better than a coin toss.

Maddox: It's...WAY worse than a coin toss.

Dick: Explain that.

Maddox: Well, with a coin toss, at least it's...you know, you have a 50/50 probability of either way. And I only generally make those decisions when, uh, when I feel like I've weighed all the pros and cons and they're equal on both sides.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: This isn't one of those things where somebody's critically analyzing all the possibilities and then choosing an option based on those...those uh, those pros and cons. This is somebody just reaching into the ether with a ladle and dipping out bullshit and then pouring it down their throats.

Dick: Nah, they're goin' with their gut!

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: That's they're doin'! That's good!

Maddox: See, so -

Dick: (interjects) Go with your gut!

Maddox: That's a more concise way of saying what I just said. (amused)

Dick: Yes! (Maddox laughs) That's what I...so next time you email ANYBODY, remember this conversation. Just shrink it.

Maddox: Great. What's your, uh, what's your second problem?

Dick: (inhales thoughtfully) Oh, man. Uh, my second problem is Tinder.

Maddox: Tinder! Really?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Okay, let's hear it.

Dick: I had to think about this one a lot. Because I hate it, it bugs me...

Maddox: Tinder? Yeah.

Dick: Yeah! It really...it really annoys me. I really don't like it.

Maddox: Why's that?

Dick: Well, I'm just gonna go over the things that I don't -- I did end up, I think, figuring out why I hate it so much, but this isn't why. Uh, it's addicting.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Is it not addicting?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And it's -

Maddox: (interjects) It's fun! It's a fun thing.

Dick: I mean, is it fun? Is it fun? (skeptical)

Maddox: Well, it's like a video game where you could potentially get laid. Unlike every other video game.

Dick: My...okay. Yeah, except a video game, while you're playing it, you're not constantly getting rejected by chicks. (both crack up) Like, when you go to a bar, you're...you would have to go to a bar the size of the Super Bowl to get a rejection ratio that you can get in 20 minutes on Tinder. You can get on a bus ride on Tinder, you can get rejected...400 times.

Maddox: Ehh...

Dick: Do you Tinder? Do you -- Sean?

Maddox: Sean's nodding "no."

Sean: I don't even know what it is.

Dick: (yells angrily) Oh, you're such a man! Eff you! Eff you, Sean, shut up! (Maddox laughs hysterically) He's got no reception in his house, that's why! That's why he doesn't Tinder.

Maddox: Ohhh, Sean!

Dick: Tryin' to look cool, Sean! (taunting)

Maddox: Yeah, lookin' cool, Sean.

Dick: You a-hole!

Sean: It's true. I thought you were talkin' about like, burning small pieces of wood, or like... (Dick groans; Maddox laughs) ...or legal tender? Like, I had no idea what the hell you were talkin' about.

Maddox: Okay, well, that's good, but especially for some of our international listeners, they probably don't know what Tinder is. (Dick cackles) So describe what Tinder is.

Dick: Um...

Maddox: 'Cause I've used it! I used it in Sweden, and it actually surprisingly worked. I went through the entire lot of Swedish women in about, I dunno, 15 minutes.

Dick: Really?

Maddox: Yeah, 'cause -

Dick: (interjects) Okay, Tinder is like, an app that shows you a chick and you say, "Yes, I wanna bang you" or "No, I don't."

Maddox: It's not necessarily -- it's like, potentially to meet up.

Dick: Okay, sorry.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Lemme...Tinder is an app where fat women (Maddox snickers) can post pictures of themselves when they looked skinny. (Maddox keeps laughing) Right? So far?

Maddox: Uh...

Dick: That's accurate.

Maddox: Yeah. (hesitantly)

Dick: And then a buncha losers can rate them and know that they're never gonna go on a date with them. That's essentially what Tinder is.

Maddox: It's like Hot or Not, but a dating app. Yeah. That's essentially what it is, yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: But here's the thing: the rejection that happens is invisible. It's like you...you're accusing Tinder -

Dick: (interjects) That's the worst KIND of rejection!!

Maddox: No, no, because you could...you're accusing Tinder of the type of rejection that you get when a bus full of cheerleaders passes you and not one of 'em goes out on a date with you. They rejected you too, technically.

Dick: Yeah, I don't like that! (Maddox laughs) It's like getting driven by a bus full of cheerleaders all day, every day! It sucks!

Maddox: You know they're out there, but you're not DOING anything. Like, they're not -- it's not an *active* rejection. Sometimes they don't even log in, so they never even see your profile.

Dick: Oh, that's...that's the worst. (exasperated) Um, okay. But that's not why I hate it!

Maddox: Okay, why do you hate it?

Dick: Nononono, I'll get there. Settle down.

Maddox: M'kay.

Dick: Um...okay, I also don't like that it's dehumanizing dating.

Maddox: It's dehumanizing dating...okay, I disagree, but go on. Why do you think that?

Dick: You know what...you know what I like?

Maddox: Yeah?

Dick: About women?

Maddox: Huh?

Dick: I like walking up to 'em and putting it all on the line. Sayin like, "Hey, sweetheart..." (both burst out laughing) "Hey!"

Maddox: "What's your sign?" (laughs more)

Dick: "What are ya...what's your sign? I got a cheesy line for ya..."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "...and if you don't like it, I'm gonna feel like a jerk!"

Maddox: Mhm.

Dick: "But if you LIKE it, this is gonna be AWESOME." Right?

Maddox: Mmm...okay, I do prefer meeting -

Dick: (interjects) Not a BUTTON!

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Like, "Oh..." Sorry, I interrupted you. (Maddox laughs) Go ahead.

Maddox: Thank...well, you caught yourself though! Very, very good. Uh, I do prefer meeting people in real life. Meeting women in real life. It's much easier, I feel like, than online. Which I didn't think anym-...uh, I didn't think that was the case, but it is now!

Dick: You said "easier"!

Maddox: It is, yes!

Dick: Okay, okay. I...I'm building my case here.

Maddox: Okay!

Dick: I'm gonna write down "easier."

Maddox: Good.

Dick: 'Cause I'm...this is where I'm goin' with this.

Maddox: Alright.

Dick: 'Cause it's not, like, I don't really care about the dehumanizing thing. It's like...

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick: That's fine. We're all gonna be Wall-E in 100 years anyway.

Maddox: Sure.

Dick: Doesn't matter. Buncha fatsos, "Yes, yes, I like you, yes yes yes yes." (Maddox snorts and laughs) In fact, texting won't even be a part of Tinder. So if you match on Tinder, Sean? Then you get to text each other. But not with your phones; you get to text on their goofy little...texting thing that doesn't work.

Maddox: Right, their little chat app. Mhm.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And Tinder also shows you the number of mutual friends that you have in common AND the number of mutual interests.

Dick: Yeah, so you can go on Facebook and find them and message them for a dollar, and bypass the whole Tinder system.

Maddox: That's creepy, but...I mean, yeah.

Dick: They love it. (Maddox cracks up) They don't care. Look, if they're attracted to you, they don't care.

Maddox: Yeah. (amused)

Dick: Okay. Um...what was I sayin'? Oh yeah.

Maddox: So you...you had the problem with -- what was...you were building the case for your problem.

Dick: Right, thank you.

Maddox: Yes.

Dick: So, I don't care about the Wall-E thing. Like, they're gonna get rid of texting. It'll just be...it'll just be a bunch of canned responses, like one of those Japanese games where you just pick what you wanna say to the person.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: And then they'll have a bunch of like, choices on the other side. It'll just be...it'll be two people, two fatsos, controlling chat bots on both sides of the app.

Maddox: M'kay. (smiles)

Dick: That's the future!

Maddox: Okay.

Dick: Of dating.

Maddox: Sure.

Dick: 'Kay? I don't care! That's fine.

Maddox: Very bleak.

Dick: Here's why I hate it: Tinder, in all of online dating, has added an additional step to the da-...to the getting laid process that's, like, BEFORE first base. Like, they've added an extra base to dating. You don't just go, you meet, you're up to bat...you know the bases, right? You have to -

Maddox: (interjects) Yes, I -- yes, you condescending fuck, I know the bases. (irritated) (Dick laughs) Played baseball.

Dick: You have to...you go to first...

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: ...then you're...you're off.

Maddox: What do you think the bases are, by the way? What's first base?

Dick: I know what the bases are.

Maddox: What's the bases??

Dick: First base is kissing.

Maddox: Okay. Second base is what?

Dick: What do YOU think it is?

Maddox: Second base is feeling up.

Dick: Okay! That's accurate.

Maddox: Yep. What's third?

Dick: Third base is any penetration -

Maddox: Any penetration.

Dick: - with any part of your body that's not your penis.

Maddox: Yes, correct.

Dick: And then fourth base is...anal. (Maddox bursts out laughing) Everyone knows that. (grinning)

Maddox: (still laughing) Okay.

Dick: Right??

Maddox: Sure, yeah. Anal -

Dick: (interjects) Is that...what do YOU...you don't think...is that not it?

Maddox: It's any kind of...any kind of penetration, but specifically anal.

Dick: Yeah!!

Maddox: Yes. (about to laugh)

Dick: What are you?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You're gettin' thrown out at home!

Maddox: No, it -- no! I'm not getting... (cracks up) ...gettin' thrown outta home! I'm a home ru-...I'm a grand slam!

Dick: What's that?

Maddox: That's a threesome.

Dick: Three guys on...? (chuckling)

Maddox: Oh...yeah, three guys on base. (laughs more)

Dick: One girl?

Maddox: One girl... (giggling)

Dick: Yeah, one guy...oh. Okay, I don't wanna picture that anymore. Um...yeah! So Tinder -- all this online dating garbage...like look, guys won by getting, uh...um, oral introduced as a regular thing, I think? That was like, in our lifetimes, maybe, that became a thing? I don't think it was a given before...like in our parents' generation, that you get a blowjob. Right?

Maddox: Uh, I don't think so.

Dick: No!! And it is now!

Maddox: Yeah! My dad...I think my dad has never received a blowjob. From my mom.

Dick: WHOA.

Maddox: Yeah! Yeah. Uh, I inadvertently found out one night when my mom called me 'cause she accidentally went to a porn site, and she was CRYING 'cause she saw something so...gruesome and terrifying. She's like...she's like, "Do you know what I saw?" I said, "No Mom, what did you see?" She said, "I saw what Monica Lewinsky did to Mr. Clinton." (both laugh)

Dick: Oh my god!

Maddox: Yeah! And then -

Dick: (interjects) So she doesn't do that?!

Maddox: Yeah!! 'Cause my...and then, she couldn't possibly...she doesn't even have it in her vocabulary to say what she saw, what that act was!

Dick: Whoa!

Maddox: And then it clicked for me, my dad has never gotten a blowjob from my mom!

Dick: I feel like you have to do something about that!

Maddox: I'm not gonna do anything about it.

Dick: I feel like you owe it...

Maddox: I don't owe... (uncomfortably)

Dick: ...to your dad.

Maddox: No! I am not gonna blow my dad. (breaks down laughing) Is that what you're suggesting??

Dick: Uh, Madd-...no!! That is NOT at *ALL* what I'm suggesting.

Maddox: What, a hooker? Get a hooker?

Dick: Something, I don't know! You gotta roofie your mom, I think! (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Maddox: Eh, she'll just pass out.

Dick: That's what family does, they look out for each other. (smiling)

Maddox: You know, my mom'll just cook more. She's a great cook, she'll just go...go to the kitchen.

Dick: Well anyway, I feel like...uh, oral was introduced as a given in our generation. But now we're losing ground, 'cause all this online BS and texting and technology is adding bases before first!

Maddox: Uh...

Dick: You know what I'm saying?? Like, you gotta butter these broads up on Tinder! Like, "Oh, hey! I notice you also like, um...whatever! Uh, Wes Anderson movies!"

Maddox: Mmm... (skeptical)

Dick: "Nice tiger in your picture!" (Maddox chuckles) This is like, "Oh, I don't have to do this in real life!"

Maddox: Uh, you know, I actually...I -

Dick: (interjects) And that's just to GET the date! Sorry.

Maddox: Yeah, I actually...I actually like Tinder for the superficiality of it. And I don't think it's introducing an extra base; it's drafting season. That's what you're doing.

Dick: It's introducing a whole minor league. It's introducing a whole set of bases...just over text!

Maddox: Yeah, I... (unsure)

Dick: Like, now we're talkin' about, now we're kind of...there's some innuendo in this!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Because it's like...it's 2 in the morning. What am I gonna...I'm not goin' out, I'm just lying in bed. "Alright, I'll text you right now. What's...?"

Maddox: Yeah, she's already in bed, dude! The first...how often is it the first time you talk to a girl, she's in bed in her jammies? And usually horny, at 2 in the morning. That's what happens every time! I always get nudes with Tinder. Nothing else. Even Snapchat, which annoys the shit out of me! Snapchat is this app that's a sexting app. You send a picture to somebody, it lasts 10 seconds, and then it gets deleted!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: So it's INVENTED for boobs and dicks. And I never get any nudity on it. Nothing! Everybody always sends me, "Haha, here's what I'm doing today. Here's my Pepsi."

Dick: And it's like, a picture of their car or something.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And you're like, "You dumb broad! What do you think I wanna see this for?" (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Maddox: Yeah, that uh, that pisses me off. So, I like Tinder *because* it's so superficial! It's more akin to how you meet people in real life than any other online dating could possibly be. So if you see somebody in a bar, you think they're attractive, you walk up to them and say "hi"! Or you talk to them, you say, "Hey, sweetie...sweetheart..." What was your line? "Sweetheart"?

Dick: It was much angrier than that. (Maddox snickers) I'm usually very angry and drunk.

Maddox: Yeah. (amused)

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: That's fair. Um, well, I don't think it's a huge problem. How specifically is it a problem? I don't, I still don't...oh, 'cause you're saying it introduces bases.

Dick: 'Cause it's...look, it's like, I'm saying it's like the anti-blowjob! Like, it's...what we got in blowjobs, we're losing ground in the sex war...

Maddox: Nyeah... (skeptical)

Dick: ...on this online crap.

Maddox: I don't know about that. Have you had any Tinder hookups?

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: Yeah. (brief silence) And, what's the... (both crack up) What's the problem?

Dick: Eh, I just didn't like it as much as a regular...if it would've been regular, I would've liked it more.

Maddox: "Wah, I got laid from Tinder, not a bar!" (nasal whiny voice)

Dick: Yeah! (Maddox chuckles) That's what I'm saying. Alright.

Maddox: Okay.

Dick: What's your next...?

Maddox: My next...

Dick: What's your -- oh! By the way, have you noticed that there's a lot more hookers on Tinder now than there...there used to be?

Maddox: There's...there are some hookers, yeah. That does annoy me.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Um, I always swipe left on hookers. I imagine they always swipe right! Pretty handsome dude!

Dick: It's probably a bot.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Okay, what's your...what's your last problem?

Maddox: My last problem is...the plastic bag ban.

Dick: Ugh.

Maddox: Which drives me *insane.* Uh, so for those who don't know, maybe this is a regional thing, but California has started doing a plastic bag ban at grocery stores. So that means when you go to check out, they no longer give you plastic bags! They expect you to bring so-called "reusable bags" with you.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And these are these, like, really tough and sturdy nylon bags that they make, or they're burlap sacks or whatever the...whatever the fuck they're using to produce these. And by the way, they're not...they're not chintzy bags! These are pretty legit bags. They're heavy, they use lots of material. I'm not even sure how it...it saves anything. And the -

Dick: (interjects) Wait wait wait, the ones they expect you to buy and reuse?

Maddox: Yes.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: That are 2 dollars a pop, by the way.

Dick: Whoa.

Maddox: And if you DON'T, they charge you 10 cents per bag!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: 10 cents! So what the grocery stores have done is they've introduced profit into something that used to be a loss for them.

Dick: Well, you know what's interesting about that, is they always say it's because of the new law but they could just pay the 10 cents themselves.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Like...they don't need to make you pay it.

Maddox: Exactly. They're using the premise of environmentalism here, but uh, it's just to make money. 'Cause otherwise they wouldn't charge you so much for it. They would charge you the cost of the bag.

Dick: So, can I tell you a story of how I found out about this law?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Uh, it was New Year's Day, January 1, and I was on my way to meet you!

Maddox: Mhm.

Dick: And I...I stumbled into Ralph's, I was very hungover, and I said, "Man, I need a tall boy. Like, I need some beer." So I walk over to the beer place, I grab a Sapporo, I walk...on uh, somewhere around, I dunno. I forget where I was. Somewhere in LA.

Maddox: Mhm.

Dick: I walk up and I'm like, "Hey, yeah, I need this..." -- I look like crap -- "...and I need one of those little bags."

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Where you can drink it in the street. And the woman starts laughing and she's like, "We don't sell those anymore." I'm like, "What do you mean, 'sell'? I just want the little, like, paper bag." So she goes, "No, we don't do that anymore. There's a new law where the only bag we carry is the normal...like, grocery bag."

Maddox: Mhm.

Dick: "The paper ones, and they're 10 cents," and I said, "Alright, well, gimme one of those, I guess!" So I had to walk around all day on New Year's Day with a regular-size grocery bag and drink beer out of that.

Maddox: Which was pretty cool, I have to say. (Dick laughs) I have to...I have to hand it to you. That was pretty...pretty fuckin' cool. You walked around... ( clapping sound effect) Here, you deserve some applause for that. You walked around with a giant bag on the street and a beer inside, which made it look less conspicuous!

Dick: Exactly!! Exactly.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah! That's what I noticed halfway through. I'm like, "Wow, I'm not even getting dirty looks, 'cause nobody realizes that I'm drinking a BEER out of this 2-foot Ralph's bag!"

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "I could do this all the time!"

Maddox: That's kinda cool, actually. So I went to the website for...like, the government website that talks about this plastic bag ban, and the necessity -- it's all written by environmentalists. And it looks *awful.* It looks like...like it was designed in the Microsoft Word web template. Like, you know how you can design a web page in Microsoft Word or save it as web document?

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: It looks even worse than my website. So, these are the tips they say on how to use reusable bags. They say, "Keep one or two reusable bags in your car, and put a sticker on your keys to remember to bring your bags into the store." [ http://ladpw.org/epd/aboutthebag/tips.cfm] Put a STICKER on your keys?! Are you fucking kidding me? Who has time for that? Who has stickers?? Who has -

Dick: (interjects) Speaking of which, go to maddox.store.com and buy your Maddox stickers today! (both laugh)

Maddox: Uh...and then the second tip: "Place your reusable bags by the door, near your car keys, or with your store coupons. Jot a reminder down on your shopping list." Which, by the way, makes you a moron! If you use a shopping list, you're an idiot. Like, how hard is it to remember like 10 things?

Dick: It's hard!

Maddox: No!!

Dick: I have a shopping list.

Maddox: You go to the store, you see butter, and if you need butter you're like, "Oh yeah, I need butter."

Dick: But then you gotta walk up and down every aisle looking at everything. If you have a list, you can just go get it!

Maddox: Don't you generally buy the same things all the time? Don't you make the...the racecar track around the grocery store? The outside, and then skip the middle bullshit?

Dick: No, dude, but I...I don't think I'm the...a good target for this. I always eat out.

Maddox: Okay. "Have some reusable bags at the office." Oh, just...and look at the number of assumptions this shitty little list is making. 'You work in an office now, and have some reusable bags at the office!' What are you, like, some fucking crazy bag lady??

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Can you imagine someone on Wall Street bringing BAGS into his...to his like, brokerage? To his firm?

Dick: Like Gordon Gekko? With his... (both crack up) ...with his Armani suit pants bursting with reusable plastic bags?

Maddox: Yeah! So, "If you do forget your bag while in the store, simply walk back to the car to get it (although this is not advisable when you are in the checkout line)."

Dick: That needed a tip?

Maddox: That's a tip, yeah!

Dick: 'If you forget it in the car, walk back to your car and get it?'

Maddox: Then walk back to your car and get it, yeah!

Dick: Man. (exasperated)

Maddox: Isn't that insane??

Dick: An actual...a team of people...

Maddox: Mhm!

Dick: ...thought that they did a good job by putting that tip on the website.

Maddox: Right! So -

Dick: (interjects) That is...that's messed up!

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: That's like, how you get Nazis.

Maddox: Yeah. (laughing)

Dick: Like, those are people who woulda said, "Yeah, sure! We'll be Nazis."

Maddox: So, uh, then this next tip is the important one. This actually came about because they found that these reusable bags were KILLING people. Um, "Remember to clean and wash your reusable bags frequently."

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: And nobody does it, because they found -- they did a study and they found that E. coli is going up, E. coli has increased. Two researchers in 2012...this is from, uh, The Washington Post. Actually, these two researchers published this study. They said in 2012, they examined "the number of emergency room visits for E. coli infections in San Francisco in the 10 quarters before and after the plastic bag ban, and they found a jump right after the ban took effect. For comparison's sake, there was no such jump in E. coli-related emergency room visits in nearby Bay Area counties that didn't have a ban." [ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/16/is-san-franciscos-ban-on-plastic-bags-mak... ] Now, uh, this is actually ending up...they've actually found that this is killing about 5.4 people per year. (slowly for emphasis)

Dick: What?!

Maddox: This E. coli -- yeah! This E. coli increase is killing -

Dick: (interjects) The bag ban is killing 5 and a half people?

Maddox: Yeah! "In 2004 San Francisco estimated that plastic bag waste cost it about 8.5 million dollars annually" to clean up. So that's without the ban, it's costing them 8.5 million to clean up. "...which is 10.3 million in current dollars. Especially given that plastic bags are generally estimated - " [ http://blogs.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SSRN-id2196481.pdf ]

Dick: (interjects) This is too much information for me to take in.

Maddox: Yeah. Okay, well...

Dick: 5 people are dead because of the bag ban.

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: That's the stat!

Maddox: Right! Well, so, they asked people, they surveyed people. This is from, uh...it's Komonews.com. They asked people...uh, or no, this is the -- I'm sorry, this is San Jose Mercury News. Yeah.

Dick: (talking over Maddox) By the way, man, you should be putting these...these stories on the site.

Maddox: Oh yeah! Good call.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: I'll put the links up there. Um -

Dick: (interjects) Sorry to interrupt, but I'm sure people would be interested in reading this. 'Cause that's...I didn't know that!

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: That's...Tinder hasn't killed 5 people every year.

Maddox: Right? This is actually killing people. So they asked people...this is, uh, in San Jose Mercury News. They said...they asked somebody; he said, "'It's the wrong thing to do,' said a middle-aged man of the ban. 'But they're killing the innocent turtles,' his wife said, adding that in Europe, reusable bags are just a way of life."

Dick: Dude, I dated this girl who very briefly...because like, her crusade was the bag thing.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: And, um...I tried to pretend like I was on her side about it, but I funda-...like lie, 'cause I wanted to bang her. (Maddox snickers)

Maddox: Sure.

Dick: Um...you know her, actually! It was the Halloween girl.

Maddox: Oh...

Dick: Don't say her name!

Maddox: Yeahhh.

Dick: Yeah. It was her!

Maddox: Okay. Uh-huh. (amused)

Dick: Her whole...like she was doing a whole, um, like an independent film to try to promote these killer bag usages.

Maddox: Of course. (derisively)

Dick: And I was like, "Oh, wow! That's so fascinating," but I could not fake sincerity.

Maddox: Mhm.

Dick: So she could kinda...she kinda picked up on it and she goes, "I feel like I'm the kind of person you'd make fun of on your site." (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Maddox: She read right through you, dude!

Dick: Yeah! Yeah, she said it right away.

Maddox: She got right to the core of your essence, your BEING.

Dick: Ohh. (groaning)

Maddox: So check this out. [continues quoting foodborne illness study] In 2011, they "randomly selected reusable grocery bags from consumers in grocery stores in Arizona and California. They examined the bags, finding coliform bacteria in 51 percent of the bags tested. Coliform bacteria were more prevalent in the California bags, especially those collected in the Los Angeles area. E. coli was found in 8 percent of the bags examined. The study also found that most people did not use separate bags for meats and vegetables. Further, 97 percent of individuals indicated they never washed their reusable grocery bags." 97 percent!

Dick: So let's...sum it up. If you use those bags, you're killing your family. (slowly for emphasis)

Maddox: You're killing your family.

Dick: Right?

Maddox: But that's -

Dick: (interjects) Basically!

Maddox: Right. And, and...but that's not all! Um, they've ALSO found that shoplifting goes up! This is...

Dick: Well, I shoplift the shit outta those bags. (Maddox laughs) I don't pay for a single one.

Maddox: Oh, yeah!

Dick: CVS always has that dumb grid.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "Would you like 0 bags, 1 bag, 2 bags, or 3 bags?" I wish it had an option that said, "I would like to fuck CVS!" 'Cause I would pick that every time -

Maddox: Absolutely.

Dick: - and just grab a handful of bags.

Maddox: I always walk out of the store with those bags. It's BULLSHIT. So, check this out. This is from a newscast...uh, Komo News in Seattle. [ plays Komo News clip: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Plastic-bag-bans-tied-to-increase-in-shoplifting-194071981.html?t... ]

Female Correspondent: It may still come as a surprise to some that about 20 percent of stores in Seattle say increased shoplifting because of the bag ban is a problem.

[clip ends]

Maddox: So -

Dick: (interjects) Wait, was that about what I do?

Maddox: No. No, they're...no, this is actually a different kind of shoplifting. They're talkin' about people who walk into the store with the reusable bags...

Dick: Uh-huh. Okay.

Maddox: ...fill them up with groceries...

Dick: Ohhh!

Maddox: ...and then walk right back out.

Dick: Oh, that's a BETTER idea! (Maddox chuckles) I'm gonna try THAT!

Maddox: So -

Dick: (interjects) 'Cause they won't stop you! They don't...I mean, they don't stop...I've walked outta stores with bottles of liquor! They don't stop...they don't even ask!

Maddox: Well... (hesitantly)

Dick: They're instructed not to! Because if there's any kind of altercation, uh, their insurance policy skyrockets!

Maddox: Uh, okay. Not true, but uh, you've gotten lucky.

Dick: Wait a minute. It's ABSOLUTELY true!

Maddox: Okay, I'm sure that that *happens,* but they do stop shoplifters.

Dick: No!! (Maddox cracks up) They are not al-...what are you gonna..."Hey, are you shoplifting something?" "Go eff yourself. I'm outta here." What do you think they're gonna do, GRAB you?

Maddox: If they have...if they saw you on camera, then you're fucked.

Dick: NO. (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Maddox: Okay! (giggling)

Dick: I disagree with that.

Maddox: Okay, well... (buzzer sound effect)

Dick: I'm gonna keep... (cracks up)

Maddox: You're wrong. (both laugh) Um...okay, so the newscast continues. Listen to this. Listen to what happens when people shoplift.

Dick: Alright, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Maddox: Yeah?

Dick: I gotta...I like the multimedia presentation and all, but I need a break from all these science stats. (smiling)

Maddox: Yeah. (amused)

Dick: And...what are we gonna do about it? What's to be done about the reusable bag thing?

Maddox: Nothing, you just go back to the plastic bags! End of story.

Dick: So you bring your own plastic bags?

Maddox: No! They give you plastic bags like they used to, end of story! (cracking up) And by -

Dick: (interjects) Well, I don't think that's gonna happen, man!

Maddox: Why, what -

Dick: (interjects) I got these...we got these hot girls makin' independent films about it! We're screwed!!

Maddox: Why can't you...why can't you just recycle those like anything else? So, this is what...this is the repercussions that are happening.

Dick: M'kay.

Maddox: Uh, listen to this. [plays second clip from Komo News video]

Female Correspondent: One storeowner tells us he believes thousands of dollars of food walks right out the door by people who conceal it in reusable bags.

Dick: Oh my god!

Maddox: Yeah.

Female Food Industry Representative: We have to absorb those losses, and so all of the honest customers are paying for that loss.

Female Correspondent: Well, we tried talking to a number of storeowners about this. One corporate spokeswoman -

Maddox: (pauses clip) So, so -

Dick: (interjects) So honest people like ME...

Maddox: Right. (laughs)

Dick: ...are getting screwed...

Maddox: No! (still laughing)

Dick: ...from this bag ban TWICE! I'm tryin' to get...I was happy with just a bag that I could walk around on the street, drinkin' my tall boys...

Maddox: Mhm.

Dick: ...in the middle of the afternoon.

Maddox: So, what do you think is gonna happen? What do you think...so they're...they said they talked to the grocery stores, and they tried to get somebody to comment on camera. What do you think is gonna happen?

Dick: What do you mean? They talked to people at the stores?

Maddox: They tried to talk to somebody who runs a store. Listen to this. (resumes clip)

Female Correspondent: ...spokeswoman for one of the local grocery store chains said she didn't wanna put anyone on camera to talk about this, 'cause she was afraid it would give the store a bad image.

[clip ends]

Dick: Well, yeah.

Maddox: So they're getting BULLIED by environmentalists! That's what's happening!

Dick: Yeah, but that's all...

Maddox: They're afraid to even talk about it.

Dick: That's all those a-holes ever do.

Maddox: And when they...yeah, of course! And when they asked somebody, they asked a customer outside a store...they said, "Hey, did you know that all this shoplifting's going on at 20 percent of the stores and it's costing thousands of dollars, and your grocery bills have gone up?" Guess what he says? (Dick laughs) Guess what he says.

Dick: More clips!

Maddox: Right, right here. (grinning)

Dick: Come on!!

Maddox: No, listen to this. Listen to this.

Dick: Do we have to pay for this news program, for using this much of their episode on our show? (chuckling)

Maddox: Nope, just stolen. Listen to this. [plays another clip from Komo News video]

Male Grocery Store Customer: Oh, really? Wow! Well, that's unfortunate.

[clip ends]

Maddox: (snorts and laughs) "That's...Oh! That's unfortunate."

Dick: Alright. So we got a bunch of bullies on the loose.

Maddox: Environmental bullies, it's increasing the cost of groceries...

Dick: Listen to me.

Maddox: ...it's KILLING people.

Dick: This goes back...this goes back to what I was saying at the very beginning of the show. You know how you fight bullies? You gotta make them feel like they just pissed their pants in the 3rd grade. (Maddox giggles) So if you talk to anybody who's talking about the environment, don't try to argue the points about the killing families; just make fun of them. (Maddox snickers) Until they feel bad and shut their mouths. Does that make sense?

Maddox: Yeah, I...

Dick: You got it??

Maddox: I guess... (cracks up)

Dick: Alright!

Maddox: Thank you! Don't bully me! (sternly) (Dick laughs) I already have to pee.

Dick: See? There you go!

Maddox: Yeah. I'm gonna...wet myself. It's gonna feel great!

Dick: I mean, that's the only way outta this, right?

Maddox: No! (annoyed)

Dick: You can't talk people...you can't give all these statistics and all these quotes to these idiots! The girl...dude, the girl that was...when I was in her car, trying not to laugh that that was what she was dedicating her life to, like, there was NO way of...that was her...that was her version of God. Like, that was the purpose in her life. There was, I could've...

Maddox: Right.

Dick: ...for a million years I couldn't have talked her out...I could've said...I could've introduced her to the 5 people she was gonna kill that year by pushing this stupid bag ban. She still woulda done it, 'cause it made her feel good. So how do you fight that? You make 'em feel bad. (Maddox scoffs and laughs)

Maddox: Well, then they're just gonna create some group, or some other cause and some legislation that makes it..."Oh, well, let's make making people feel bad illegal!" And they'll ban -- they'll outlaw that, and they'll charge you 10 cents per insult, or some bullshit like that.

Dick: Oho man, could you imagine?

Maddox: 10 cents per insult?

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: I'd be broke.

Dick: Well...

Maddox: (clip from video of man saying, "Oh, really? Wow! Well, that's unfortunate.) (laughs more)

Dick: I like the "that's unfortunate" part.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Can you just put...

Maddox: "That's unfortunate." (smiles)

Dick: ...can you just pull the "that's unfortunate" part? Okay. Well, um, I'm gonna point out a major...a logical fallacy in this problem, though.

Maddox: Let's hear it.

Dick: Which is why this doesn't deserve to be the biggest problem in the universe, coming from you: because it kills families, and you think families are the biggest problem in the universe.

Maddox: Oh...oh, no. (under his breath)

Dick: So, you've got...you gotta pick one! You gotta either pick families or plastic bags.

Maddox: Well, okay. That's an assumption you made, that it's killing families. This is just killing *people.* So I'm imagining that they're healthy, young, strapping bucks like myself. Who are dying.

Dick: I...I pictured they were hot chicks! But if you wanna picture strapping young men, that's cool. (cracking up) (Maddox chuckles)

Maddox: Hot chicks don't buy groceries, come on. They're doin' -- they're buyin' smoothies, and they're doin'... (suddenly yells) They're doin' cleanses! (disdainful)

Dick: Oh yeah, juice cleanses.

Maddox: Oh, yeah, yeah. Fuckin' cleanses, man. (muttering)

Dick: Dude, how 'bout that gluten thing? Was that great that it came out it was a big...fraud?

Maddox: Oh! Oh, that's comin' down the pipe. I don't even wanna talk about it.

Dick: Oh okay, alright. Alright, alright, alright, alright.

Maddox: I got a big thing comin' down the pipe on that. (smiles) Yeah. Um, alright. Well, uh, so we got our problems. Again, let's hear your...what were your two problems?

Dick: Okay. Uh, emails are way too long. And I just wanna say if you're writing an email this week, after you write it, cut it down to one sentence.

Maddox: That's, uh...

Dick: Maybe one comma! I'll give you one comma, no semicolons... (Maddox cracks up) ...no double dashes, no em dash; just ONE sentence. You especially!

Maddox: Yeah. (amused)

Dick: I only wanna see one sentence emails from EVERYBODY this week.

Maddox: When you were sayin' that, I *immediately* went to semicolons. I'm like, "Well, I'll use a semicolon."

Dick: I know your tricks. (grinning)

Maddox: Yeah. (laughs)

Dick: Um, and my other problem was Tinder. Look, would you rather...would you rather bang a chick off Tinder, or get to third base with a girl you just met at a bar? I'm...I'm going with bar!!

Maddox: I'm goin' with both. Like, why...why are they mutually exclusive?

Dick: This guy. Ridiculous. (muttering) Alright.

Maddox: 'Cause here's the thing: you set up a date, the chick's late to the bar, so you hop on Tinder, set up another date.

Dick: Is that even a real thing?

Maddox: It's happened to me.

Dick: Well, that's pretty cool. (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: Yeah, it IS pretty cool!

Dick: Alright. Alright, what are your problems?

Maddox: I got some stories. (smiling) So my problems...number one was Horoscopes. Uh, they don't even know about the precession of the earth's axis; there's a new symbol that nobody uses, a new Zodiac sign -

Dick: (interjects) Oh wait, wait, wait! We got Oph-...Ophiu-...

Maddox: Ophiuchus.

Dick: ...Ophiuchus.

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick: Ophiuchus. I gotta write it down phonetically. Oh-fee-uh-kus.

Maddox: O-P-H-I-U-C-H-U-S.

Dick: That's not phonetically! That's how you really spell it. Phonetically, like how it sounds.

Maddox: I think that, uh, the accurate spelling...oh, yeah. No, you're right.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah. So, yeah, Ophiuchus. And the second problem is The Plastic Bag Ban, which is killing people, costing people more money, and it's not really cutting down that much on pollution. If they really wanted to -- you know what? Here's the thing: I'm not entitled...I'm not entitled to free grocery bags. Right? They don't have to give me shit. But don't fucking lie about it! This is about *money.* They wanna make more money on somethin' that used to cost them something -

Dick: (interjects) I don't...I don't think so. I think it's about penalizing you. Because there's no way they cost 10 cents.

Maddox: No, that's what I'm saying!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: They're making MONEY on this thing.

Dick: But I think it's a penalty. Because I would...they wouldn't do it unless the government made them do it. There's no way -

Maddox: (interjects) Absolutely not! Grocery stores are on board with this! Corporations...like, they're run by people who are business savvy. They want to make money, and that's all this is. That's ALL it is, and if they came out and honestly said "this is about money," I would have no problem with it. 'Cause I'm not entitled to free grocery bags. But the number -

Dick: (interjects) You are retarded if you think corporations are doing this.

Maddox: It's -- absolutely!

Dick: They would charge for the lights on then!

Maddox: I have emailed the corporations, and I have told them that -

Dick: (interjects) How long was this email? (grinning)

Maddox: Short emails! You would love...these were ginger...

Dick: Oh. What? (laughing)

Maddox: ...ginger emails. They were perfect.

Dick: What did you say?

Maddox: I sent them an email, and I sent them a picture of my bike that used to be...I ride my bike everywhere. It's my primary form of transportation. (Dick laughs hysterically) Not because I care... (cracks up) Not because...not because I care about the environment, but because it's efficient, it's fast, and also it gets your fat ass off the couch a bit, right?

Dick: Hold on! (squeaking) You sent a company a picture of your bicycle? (incredulous)

Maddox: Yes!

Dick: Go on. (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: Okay. Yeah, it's called "evidence," DICK. Look into it. So I sent them a picture of my bike fully loaded with grocery bags on both handles, and the grocery bags were plastic! (Dick laughs to himself) I used to have...I used to be able to carry my bags on my bike to and from grocery stores. Now I have to carry around this BULLSHIT. I use my bike as my primary form of transportation. So even this list, this government list, assumes that everybody's driving. Now when I go to the grocery store, I have to take two tons of metal with me! How do you think THAT'S impacting the environment? I used to be able to like, go to the grocery store on my bike and load up my bags; now I have to make a special trip to the grocery store. I can't go to a meeting, I can't go to lunch, I can't go to a theater 'cause I gotta carry all these bulky bags -

Dick: (interjects) (taunting) Listen to this fancy pants! Meetings and lunches and THEATERS. (Maddox laughs) Who the hell is this, goin' to these places?

Maddox: I dunno man, when you leave the house... (Dick laughs) If you use your bike as a primary form of transportation, those are the things you do with your bike.

Dick: No, okay! So, negative environmental impact...

Maddox: Right.

Dick: ...uh, also, what do I put in my bathroom trash can now?

Maddox: Exactly!! (yells) Guess what? Plastic bags are already reusable, 'cause I was already -

Dick: (interjects) Plastic bags are our friends!

Maddox: Yeah! I was already reusing them. I was lining my garbage bags with them. I was using them for all sorts of things. (Dick sighs thoughtfully) Condoms.

Dick: I gotta... (both laugh)

Maddox: Yeah? (suggestively)

Dick: Condoms, snuck it in there.

Maddox: Yep.

Dick: I gotta...I gotta concede this one. This is clearly worse than any of my problems.

Maddox: It's worse than any...so far, as far as I'm concerned, this is the biggest problem...

Dick: This is the biggest problem in the universe.

Maddox: ...in the universe.

Dick: 'Cause it's indicative about...it's indicative of so much more than just, uh, than just what it is. Than your stupid sending pictures of bicycles to customer service. What are you thinkin'?? Why are you sending pictures of your bicycles to companies? Like, what do you think...in your mind, what happens to that email?

Maddox: So this lady who they interviewed, they said: "'Oh, but they're killing innocent turtles,' his wife said." Innocent turtles, as opposed to guilty.

Dick: Nonononono!

Maddox: No, I'm gettin' to it!

Dick: When you are sending a picture of your bicycle to, like, [email protected]

Maddox: Right.

Dick: ...what do you think happens?

Maddox: I'm getting to it, Interrupto! So this lady who said, "Oh, they're killing innocent turtles"; that emotional reaction, that gut -- that knee jerk response comes entirely from a PICTURE they saw of a turtle with a plastic bag around its head. So they keep that in mind and it's engrained, it's burned in their heads.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: Like, "Oh my god, that's so terrible! We can't do this!" So I sent them a picture to create an emotional attachment.

Dick: Of a Maddox sad face? (both laugh) On your bicycle like a clown?

Maddox: Uh, no, it's to create that emotional response. Like, "This is an actual thing that's happening."

Dick: That's not what I'm asking. I'm not asking WHY did you do this insane thing, I'm asking what do you think happens to the e-...like, it *arrives* at someone's computer.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Who do you think that person is, and what do they do with the email they've just gotten of some lunatic's bicycle? (both crack up)

Maddox: I...you know what? The person at one of the grocery stores replied to me, and one of 'em didn't. (Dick laughs hysterically) One did and one didn't.

Dick: What did this...what did their reply say? (through giggles)

Maddox: The person that replied said, "We're sorry this inconveniences you, we're taking all things into consideration, blah blah blah..." (Dick cackles) And then it ended, "But we care more about profit than anything else. Uh, fuck you and enjoy your E. coli."

Dick: "P.S. - Only little girls ride bicycles." (laughs more)

Maddox: Okay. (playfully annoyed)

Dick: "Ralph's."

Maddox: Tell that to Lance Armstrong. (chuckles)

Dick: I didn't say it!! They probably said it. (Maddox keeps laughing)

Maddox: Alright. Well, let's uh, let's wrap up here. Go to http://thebiggestproblemintheuniverse.com, vote on these problems. We'll discuss which ones you voted next week, and also, uh, leave a comment if there's a problem that you think we should discuss, or anything you...any thoughts about the shows. Um...yeah! http://thebiggestproblemintheuniverse.com.

Dick: And Noah, bring it on! Why don't you say that to my face?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You think I'm interrupting. (disdainful)

Maddox: Yeah...

Dick: I'll interrupt your LIFE, bro!

Maddox: Yeah. (amused) You know what's great about Facebook, is you can't interrupt his sentences.

Dick: Oh, wouldn't that be cool?

Maddox: Yeah, it would be kinda cool.

Dick: If you could? (smiling)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Alright. (closing riff starts)

Maddox: Well, that's it!

Dick: Great show! Thanks for listening, everyone. This is Dick Masterson and Maddox.

Maddox: 'Til next time.

(closing riff)