The Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 25
Transcription courtesy of: Laurie Foster https://www.facebook.com/LAFModel and Megan Pennock
Today's show is brought to you by Harry's. Please visit www.harrys.com and use the promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save 5$ off your first purchase.
Maddox: Welcome to the Biggest Problem in the Universe. I'm Maddox. With me is Dick Masterson.
Dick: Heyyyy, what's up buddy? How's it goin'?
Maddox: And as always, Sean, our audio engineer.
Dick: Sean is back from farming ass.
Maddox: (laughing) Welcome back, Sean.
(Sound effect: clapping)
Maddox: How was ass farming in China?
Dick: (laughing) How was it?
Sean: It wasn't all it was cracked up to be. (Maddox and Dick crack up)
Dick: Alright, that's enough. Quit while you're ahead.
Maddox: Yeah. (smiling)
Dick: Who won?
Maddox: Whoa, whoa. BEFORE we get this…I gotta get this outta the way, Dick.
Dick: Whaaaaaaaaaat!? (high-pitched voice)
Maddox: I love…I love praising ourselves and here is a great little bit of news. We are at 979,417 downloads as of this episode.
Maddox: As of this recording. By this time next week…our next episode, we will be at 1 million downloads. So that's just kind of a tease. We're gonna do something special.
Maddox: Pretty amazing, 'cause we just launched in May.
Dick: One million.
Maddox: Yeah, one million. We're only, what, five and a half months old?
Maddox: Not even…not even enough time to have a baby. And we've hit a million.
Maddox: (interjects) That's what we do. (excited) When Dick and I make a baby, it comes out premature! (Dick laughing)
Dick: Alright. (Maddox laughs) This is getting weird. Who won?
Maddox: Oookay. (annoyed) "Witch Alarmists", Dick.
Dick: Yeaaaaaaaaaaaahhahahhhhh!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!! (laughing)
Maddox: Look at you gloat. Like a big baby.
Dick: Ohohohhhhhhhhhhh man!! (gloating)
Dick: Oh, man! I want to stress that I don't care about the voting. (grinning)
Dick: But fuck you, man! Yes.
Dick: Uh, I dunno. Did you see the problems…the all-time list?
Maddox: Not lately, why?
Dick: Because…I need to call shenanigans on the overall voting.
Maddox: Oh. Mmkay.
Dick: "Witch Alarmism" did not beat "Ebola Alarmism".
Dick: Ebola Alarmists are at 1546. Witch Alarmists are at 1240. If you go to the website, you can click on all problems at the top and see the entire list in order. So, that's horseshit, because "Witch Alarmists" is still a bigger problem than "Ebola Alarmists". This week, someone died as a result of "Witch Alarmism". Did you see that?
Maddox: Yeah, I saw that. I saw the headline. Yeah.
Dick: Yeah. I got a bunch of emails about it. Some kid killed another kid with, like, a sword, or a machete…
Dick: Because he thought that the other kid was practicing witchcraft.
Dick: So…has anyone been hacked to death because they're wearing an Ebola facemask around airports? (Maddox giggles) No.
Maddox: You know…you know, Dick. An equal number of people in the US have died now from Ebola and witchcraft…uh, witch alarmism. So, there you go.
Dick: No no no nono. What about the witch trials?!?! (yelling) That was all witch alarmists!!
Maddox: Yeah. How many people died, like a handful of people.
Dick: The Salem Witch Trials!!!
Maddox: And people are still "Oh my gosh, the witch trials."
Dick: I don't…I actually have no idea how many witches died in that.
Maddox: Oh. Oh, I gotta mention this. (excited) I just watched…you know, I'm like, on this Halloween kick, watching a whole bunch of Halloween shows.
Maddox: I watched a movie yesterday. It's a Spanish movie called "Witching and Bitching". (Dick laughs) It's so fucking cool. The thumbnail of it is what sold me on this movie. And it has this guy dressed up as Jesus holding a shotgun out the side of a window and it's like this bank heist movie that ends in, like, the coolest witch ritual…like, they're just attacking witches the entire time…
Maddox: …And it's, like, really intense. And the bad guy at the end of the movie. I won't spoil it. Is really, really, fucking cool! It's this awesome-looking monster!
Dick: Can you kinda spoil it? 'Cause there's no fuckin' way I'm gonna watch one of these movies that you love. You love, like, dog shit movies. (Sean laughing) You do.
Maddox: You know…this was actually pretty well done. It's a Spanish movie. And the end monster is, like, this really cool-looking creature, where…you know how you saw Lord Voldemort and you're like "Oh, that's disappointing."
Dick: It looked gross. 'Cause they fucked with his nose, so it was distracting the entire time.
Maddox: Yeah. No, this is a really cool monster. You should check it out. Alright, we gotta get to the comments here. I got one from…speaking of Ebola Alarmism…I got one from Rauno Kyngas. He says, "I'd love to tell you guys a joke about Ebola, but you probably wouldn't get it."
Dick: I saw that one. (Maddox giggles) It was funny.
Maddox: That's a good joke.
Maddox: I like that.
Dick: I got about 30 emails telling me that Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey has been recalled (Maddox sighs, exasperated) in Finland, Sweden, and Norway because it has an "excessive level of propylene glycol".
Maddox: Yeahh. I…
Dick: Which is what they have in antifreeze, Maddox.
Dick: Did you know that?
Maddox: Ohh, I do now! 'Cause everyone wouldn't shut the fuck up about it as soon as this article came out! (Dick cracks up) Seriously! When you go to my Facebook wall…
Dick: (interjects) Yeah…(dying of laughter)
Maddox: And you're gonna post this link…don't you see the other 30 people who have done it?! (Dick laughing) You dicks! I get it! I've seen the article. I've seen it. You don't even have to send it to me, 'cause I'm always aware of everything. (Sean laughs)
Dick: So keep sending that link. (Maddox laughs) Keep going to Maddox's page and posting that fuckin' link. Try to trick him into clicking on it, like say "Hey, here's an article somebody in Finland wrote about you." So Maddox clicks on the link, it's in Swedish or whatever. It loads up and then he's gotta translate it with the little toolbar and see that it's another article about Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.
Maddox: Thanks. Thanks, Dick. (Dick cackles maniacally) You know, it's such horseshit, too, 'cause it's just a temporary recall because it didn't meet the European standards. In the US, it's fine. There's propylene glycol in everything. It's not a big fucking deal. And besides, guess what. (excited) I'm gonna drink Fireball and I'm gonna be invincible because I can't freeze. AND…Dick over here BOUGHT some Fireball on Halloween!!! (Dick laughing) What's up with that, Dick?
Dick: Uhh, look. Here's…there's one main difference between me and you. I think.
Maddox: (laughing) Okay.
Dick: You have principles and I have none. (Maddox laughs) If I say Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is a big problem, I might immediately walk to the store and buy some, because I don't care.
Dick: There was chicks with us. I was trying to get chicks drunk.
Maddox: Uh-huh. (grinning)
Dick: I failed and I ended up getting way too drunk and throwing my costume in the middle of the street.
Dick: Outside of the Red Rock Bar.
Dick: Do you remember that?
Maddox: No. But I did notice at some point you were just in your panties all night. (Dick and Maddox laugh)
Dick: Please. Please. I call them "manties". They're not panties.
Maddox: Uh-huh. (skeptical)
Dick: And I blame the Fireball for it.
Dick: I should have just got some Popov or something.
Maddox: Yeah. Well, speaking of…
Dick: (interjects) Chicks will drink it, though! Strange chicks will drink from a bottle of Fireball, that I noticed. Did you see me handing that out all night?
Maddox: No. 'Cause I…someone poured me some and spilled it all over my fucking hand, so I had sticky hand all night.
Dick: (laughing) Did I do that?!
Maddox: Yeah. You in collusion with someone else. (Dick still laughing)
Dick: Oh, I remember that now.
Maddox: Pissed me off. My hand was sticky…
Dick: I dumped it all over your hand. On purpose though.
Maddox: Uuugh. (disgusted) (Dick cracking up) The worst! Alright.
Dick: I love that gag. (Sean laughing)
Maddox: Great. Good…good gag. I got a comment from Keil Joplin. So, last episode I posted a picture of me from AnimeCon in my…uh…(laughing) really interpretive TekkaMan costume, which everyone called "horseshit". But this guy says, "Oh my God, I'm one of the nerds in that third picture of you dressing up as TekkaMan. I'm the one in white behind the guy shooting daggers at Maddox." And I looked it up, and this kid is actually in the picture!
Dick: Oh, that's funny.
Maddox: One of the listeners that…from this picture I took, like, two or three years ago! It's insane. So that's kinda cool. That's kind of a cool coincidence.
Dick: I got uh…let's see. Lemme play this voicemail for you. This is…this is interesting. Do you remember making this call? 'Cause this…it seems to be from your past self.
Dick: I don't know if…
(Voice mail: "Hey, this is Maddox from the year 2004. I have a question for my future self.")
Dick: It doesn't sound like you. (Maddox laughs)
(Voice mail: "When did I become such a pussy?" (Maddox laughs) "(whiny voice) Oooh, I don't care who wins or who loses, guys, it's not a competition. Waaaaaaaah, don't make fun of me! (normal voice) Goddamnit. When did my grapefruit-sized balls fall off?! If this is my future, I might as well eat a tub of beans and kill myself now. Thanks for nothing, asshole!")
Maddox: (laughing) (Sean laughing) I gotta go back in time!! (excited)
Dick: Is that you?
Maddox: Yeah! It is me! I'm gonna go back in time and kick my own ass!
Sean: Did he say, "Eat a tub of beans"?
Maddox: That's a reference to one of my articles on how to kill yourself like a man.
Sean: Oh, okay. So confused there for a minute.
Maddox: Yeah, yeah. No, it's…
Dick: See, it IS him! It sounded like him and that's something you would say!
Maddox: No, no! That's me! That's definitely me, back in the past. I'm gonna kick my own fuckin' ass. 'Cause here's the thing, you little shit! Um…(Dick laughs) "Witch Alarmists" won, okay? At the end of the last episode, as soon as we stopped recording, I told Dick and Roger, I'm like, "You guys' problems are gonna win!"
Maddox: Because the system works! "Not Enough Razor Blades in Candy" shouldn't be high on the list of problems. That means the system's working. Like "Spider-Woman's Ass" is one of the most downvoted problems on our list, because it's not a problem. The system works!
Dick: So you're taking credit for proving that the system works?
Dick: God, you're such a martyr.
Maddox: (laughing) Okay. I got a…
Dick: (interjects) Speaking of Roger, I got one comment from Aaron Eastler. "Don't bring this smug asshole back on the show." (Maddox laughing) I mean, Aaron, as far as smug assholes go, man, Maddox, you are the king of smug assholes. I think I REDEFINE smug asshole in a lot of ways. Roger is about the least smug asshole I've ever met.
Maddox: I don't know. (skeptical) He's got his…He does it in his own…
Dick: (interjects) Here we go. Here we go! (Maddox giggling)
Maddox: I can make a case! He does it in his own way. Like, did you notice the things…he cannot even comprehend the possibility that anyone wouldn't like Halloween. Like, to quote him, too, it's like, "I just don't get it. I don't understand how anyone couldn't like it. It's a wonderful holiday." Look, Roger, not everyone holds your opinion. (laughing) AND he wouldn't drink the hot sauce! I don't know if that makes him smug or just a big, ol' pussy. (Dick laughs) But I got a comment here from Borgar Dahle. He says, "Dick, there are no polar bears in Oslo, you fucking idiot."
Dick: (laughing) Yeah, you got me. (Maddox laughs) I don't know. Did you know what I was trying to say? Somewhere where it's cold. Where there might be fucking polar bears. Where are there polar bears? Antarctica?
Maddox: I guess. I don't know.
Dick: Is there a city?
Sean: No no no no no.
Dick: Oh, thank God! This is where we missed you in the last episode. If there's anybody that'll know where polar bears are, it's Sean.
Sean: Polar bears are in the North. They're in Alaska and in the Arctic Circle, but they are not in Antarctica at all, only penguins. The two never meet.
Dick: Reykjavik? Are there any polar bears there?
Sean: Uhh, I don't know.
Dick: Moscow? Polar bears?
Sean: Not sure.
(Voice clip: Dick: "Maybe I think I'm a lot smarter than I am.")
Maddox: (laughing) Okay, so speaking of. Speaking of Dick, talking to your past self. I have a new segment I want to bring in here…
Dick: Oh, great.
Maddox: Yeah. Let's play this little segment. Here we go.
(Upbeat theme song: Deep voice says, "Dick Versus Dick!!") (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: So, I got a listener to point out an interesting comment. In one of the past episodes, this is what you said…I believe this was your problem. The Facebook Satire Tag. Here's what you said about that.
(Voice clip: Dick: "Basically in the world, dumbness wins. Everything is dumbed down. And people who don't like things being dumb get screwed over.")
Dick: That's true.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah, that's true. That is true. I agreed with you when you said that.
Dick: Is that how I sound, really?
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah, pretty much.
Dick: That's how I sound to chicks when I'm plowing them and saying nasty things in their ear?
Dick: That's disturbing, man.
Maddox: Yeah. You're probably saying that exact same line. (Sean cracks up)
Dick: How do they get off on that?!
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah. (laughing)
Sean: That's what I was gonna say. I thought you were setting it up like that.
Dick: I was. I was, you guys. I was setting it up. (grinning)
Maddox: Yeah. That's…yeah, okay. (Dick cracks up) That's Dick Masterson from, like Episode 15?
Dick: Alright. I agree with that.
Maddox: Now here's Dick Masterson again, arguing against himself.
(Voice clip: Dick: "There's a generation of smug assholes on the Internet that love beating up the stupid.")
Maddox: Oh, so which is it, Dick?! (grinning) Are stupid people a problem? Are dumb people a problem? Or is it…that's what you were talking about when I was playing that clip of that…
Dick: You're taking it out of context. I know exactly what you're talking about.
Maddox: Yeah. The Ebola Alarmist.
Dick: Yeah. The Ebola…the news guy, Johnny-On-The-Spot, Channel 9 News, was interviewing some stupid woman about whether or not she's worried about Ebola.
Dick: And of course she sounds like a fuckin' idiot.
Maddox: Do you think that satire would go over her head, or do you think she'd get it?
Dick: Look, I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt.
Dick: I don't think she's rockin' any boats. I like to think she goes home and tries to feed her kids and get them ready for school the next day and that she's not even bothered with getting outrage on the Internet.
Maddox: Wow, what a good mom.
Dick: Yeah. (scoffs)
Maddox: And I'm talkin' about you. (Maddox and Dick crack up)
Dick: I just don't think you guys should congratulate yourselves SO MUCH for nailing stupid people on being alarmists. That's what they do. They get upset about things.
Maddox: Dick, I have…I run a website called "The Best Page in the Universe"! I started out this very episode congratulating ourselves. What are you talking about!? (laughing) (Dick laughs) Alright. Let's get to the problems.
Dick: I got a…no no no. I got a pretty important voice mail.
Dick: Lemme see.
(Voice mail: "Maddox. I just wanted to say "You're a giant pussy for not finishing that hot sauce. Man up. And don't even tell me to drink your hot sauce. 'Cause I'm looking on the store where to buy some and it's not on the store anymore, so how am I supposed to challenge you to a hot sauce drinking competition?")
Dick: Is that true?
Maddox: Yeah. It's out of stock.
(Voice mail: "Either way, Dick's still a bigger pussy.") (Maddox laughs)
Dick: Oh, DAMMIT! I gotta…I gotta start listening to these voice mails all the way through before I bring them in GODDAMN it!! (Maddox laughing)
Maddox: Yeah. You know, here's the thing. So, Roger was SO gloating, like "Oh, I'm manipulating you as a puppet" last episode, but here's the thing, I like drinking hot sauce. I actually do.
Maddox: I wanted to finish the episode so I didn't have a bunch of saliva in my mouth from drinking pure vinegar and pepper. But I can finish the bottle. You know what? I'll finish it at the end of this episode, just so I can have…
Dick: At the end of this episode.
Maddox: At the end of this episode.
Dick: There were just a lot of comments about you being…and I'm not saying this, I'm just quoting people, that you're a gigantic, blubbering pussy for not drinking the hot sauce. (Sean laughing)
Maddox: Yeah, except I've already eaten the world's spiciest pepper. There's a YouTube video of me eating the world's…TWO MILLION on the Scoville unit. Between one and two million.
Dick: Ehhhh, I don't know. You're throwing a bunch of numbers at me. (grinning) All I know is there's a half-drank bottle of hot sauce and your tongue was sweating so bad you couldn't read one of your articles.
Maddox: Hey Dick, let's see if you can see through your eyes when I splash it in them.
Dick: Splash what, hot sauce?
Maddox: Yeah. I got a half a bottle for you.
Dick: That's not necessary.
Maddox: I know. Alright. Any other comments, problems, voice mails?
Dick: I don't think so. I got a bunch of voice mails. I love the voice mails, but I always run out of them by…oh, I think there's one more. Oh yeah! From Kujo Jotaro. "I just wanted to point out that Maddox is a pussy for not being able to admit that the hot sauce was too hot for him." Oh, sorry, I forgot this was another hot sauce one.
Maddox: Uggggggggh!! (exasperated)
Dick: "A real man knows his limits and aims to conquer them, not hide from them." Very eloquently put. (grinning)
Maddox: Piece of shit. You know what!? You fucking assholes!! (yelling) I'll drink fuckin' hot sauce all day long! I don't give a shit. I drink it to stay awake when I'm driving! It's not a big deal! It tastes delicious! I like it!
Dick: Alright. I'm just reading you what the people said.
Maddox: Yeah. The idiots. We don't need to hear from them.
Dick: You wanna get to the problems?
Maddox: Yeah. What's your problem?
Dick: My first problem is "Cop Motorcycle Fairings".
Maddox: Okay. Explain what fairings are to people who don't know.
Dick: Fairings are the front bit of the motorcycle. The part that goes around the handlebars.
Maddox: This part kind of looks like, uh...
Dick: A shield.
Maddox: ...a shield, yeah.
Dick: The windscreen, the plastic, all of that shit.
Dick: So, uh, motorcycle cops have a VERY specific look on their motorcycles; it's always white.
Dick: You know what I mean?
Dick: It's that gigantic, like, Harley-sized, white...cop fairing.
Dick: Okay? So you're drivin' down the freeway. Right?
Dick: Maybe you have a beautiful lady in the car with you!
Dick: Maybe you're taking her to the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. Right? (Maddox and Sean burst out laughing) You're cruisin' at about 85, 'cause you're showin' off a little bit. What do you know -- next thing you know, ya see that fuckin' white diamond pop into your lane in your rearview mirror.
Maddox: Yeah. Mhm.
Dick: Right? And what do you think? "I'm having a FUCKIN' heart attack. Great!" (Maddox chuckles) "How much is this gonna cost? How much is showing off gonna cost AGAIN?? When am I gonna fuckin' learn?!" And you have that moment of humility. Then all of a sudden, this asshole whizzes by you 'cause you hit the brakes immediately...and what is it? It's not a cop, it's just some *shithead* that likes looking like a cop! (annoyed) He's got big ol' white cop motorcycle fairings, he's got a big fuckin' white helmet just like a cop... (getting angrier) ...he's got big aviators, and he's got big leather boots! WHY?!? FUCK you, man! FUCK you. (Maddox laughs mischievously) You're fuckin' up traffic!! Everybody around you -- you are a SPHERE of SLOWNESS on the freeway! You are projecting like a WIZARD, like an ASSHOLE wizard; everybody around you hits 55 miles an hour, and there's nothin' you can do about it!!
Maddox: Hmm. You know -
Dick: (interjects) MOTORCYCLE COP FAIRINGS! (fully agitated)
Maddox: Yeah. (cracks up) I was gonna...I was gonna, uh, come down on you pretty hard on this - another one of the classic Dick Masterson bullshit-ass problems! But then you mentioned the sphere of slowness, which is a problem! (Dick huffs explosively)
Dick: AUGH!! The sphere of slowness!
Dick: It's the worst!
Maddox: Oh, it's the worst! It's -- so for those who don't know, who haven't...like, maybe you don't have a driver's license yet, or you don't drive, you live in New York, whatever. When a cop is on the freeway, he is basically the speed limiter of everyone in front of him. No one wants to pass the cop, and if you do, you have to *inch* by him painfully slow.
Maddox: Maybe a mile an hour extra above the speed limit. Otherwise he will...fuck you over.
Dick: You're done.
Maddox: He will pull you over. Yeah! So if the cop is speeding, it's great, 'cause then you just tail them and stay behind them as fast as they're going. So at least you have that. But when they're NOT...
Dick: When they're not even cops!!
Dick: What the fuck is WRONG with these people?
Maddox: I dunno, it's kinda -
Dick: (interjects) Why are they dressed up like cops? Why are they allowed to dress up like cops, fuck with you like a cop, and you can't do anything about it?? (yelling)
Maddox: It's pretty hilarious, if you think about it. (grinning) You know, you know what that is? (Dick laughs spitefully) Yeah!
Dick: You motherfucker!! (Maddox laughs loudly) I wanna throw this shit at you! (playfully angry) (both laugh more)
Maddox: Yeah! (amused)
Dick: You would -- would YOU do this?
Dick: Are you gonna get old and be a pretend cop?
Maddox: Oh, yeah.
Dick: On the freeway?? You FUCK! You fuck. (shouting)
Maddox: "Get old"...you mean, I'd do this right now! Yeah! You know what you just dealt with, is a road troll.
Dick: (gasps quietly) You're right!
Maddox: Yeah, that's a road troll!
Dick: You're RIGHT!
Maddox: I actually wrote about this in my book, The Alphabet of Manliness! I wrote in one of the chapters, "Road Rage," how to induce road rage with someone. So if somebody is trying to exit the freeway, you can either, uh, speed up or slow down to let them pass, right?
Maddox: Or you can go the exact same speed and call your friend who's also on the freeway and kinda, like, box them in so they can't exit.
Dick: Do you do this shit?
Maddox: Uh -
Dick: Have you ever really done that?
Maddox: No, but I have -- if someone's a huge asshole, I'll... (clears throat) Excuse me. I have, if someone's a -
Dick: (interjects) You have some more hot sauce in ya from last week? (teasing) Is that what... (laughs hysterically)
Maddox: Yeah. Real funny, Dick. (surly) I have, if someone's a huge asshole. However, my new move now is if somebody gets on the freeway and they're in the middle lane, or if they're in the right lane and they need to get into the left lane...
Maddox: ...I don't necessarily let them. I'm not gonna slow down OR speed up to get, to -- they need to figure their shit out! Because they don't need to be in that lane, they're just doing it out of their own convenience.
Dick: Wait a minute, what do you mean? They don't need to be in which lane, the very far left one? The fast one?
Maddox: Well, the middle lane.
Dick: The middle lane for the entire freeway or the middle lane for your direction?
Maddox: Okay - for the entire freeway. If somebody gets on the freeway ramp...
Maddox: Right? They just habitually wanna get outta that right fuckin' lane and get into the left lane for some reason!
Dick: Yeah! 'Cause that's the fast lane!
Maddox: No, it's -- not always!
Dick: It SHOULD be!!
Maddox: It SHOULD be, but it's not, because everyone's trying to merge into it like a moron! (yelling) If you just stay in your lane and just speed up, everyone will be fine! Just keep going! Don't even tap your brakes. You know what? Get rid of your brakes. We don't need brakes in society. (Dick scoffs)
Dick: Ha, alright.
Maddox: That's my problem.
Dick: Uh, well, "Motorcycle Cop Fairings," I think, is a bigger problem than *brakes.* (mocking) (Maddox scoffs and laughs with Sean)
Maddox: Prove it!
Dick: Yeah! (jeering)
Maddox: Yeah, you know what? If people didn't have brakes, then they couldn't slow down if they saw the motorcycle in their rear window!
Dick: No, I fuckin' hate these guys. And now that I have one in front of me, I really wanna know what goes on through your fuckin' mind. Do you think that all of them -- all of these old assholes, these wannabe cops -- are just fuckin' with people? 'Cause I doubt they're that sophisticated.
Maddox: Dick, maybe they just bought a motorcycle, and that's what they had and it was cheap.
Dick: Dude, it's...you...it's a very specific purchase to get a motorcycle that looks EXACTLY like a cop motorcycle. I don't think they're big sellers. (Maddox inhales thoughtfully) I don't think big burly dudes walk into a motorcycle store and go, "You know what? Gimme one that looks exactly like a fuckin' cop's motorcycle." (Maddox laughs) "Not a chopper, not something black and badass. Give me one, uh, that looks like a...gimme one that looks like 'I, Robot,' please." (cynical)
Dick: "Do you have any bikes like that?"
Maddox: I dunno, I kinda want people to fear me like a police officer. (Dick guffaws) I want them -
Dick: (interjects) God DAMN you!! (laughing scornfully)
Maddox: Yeah! I kinda like that! 'Cause it's also...those people who buy those cars that have been repurposed, those old police cruisers?
Maddox: And they still have the light on the side, so it looks like a police cruiser? Every time I see one of those I slow down. I'm like, "Well, I don't wanna fuck with this guy! I don't wanna cut them off." OH - which, by the way, I did, BIG time. I was on my way down to San Diego for Comic-Con, and, um...there was just a torrent of shitty fuckin' slow-ass cars. And there was this car kinda tailing behind me so that -- uh, there was a car in front of me and a car behind me in the right lane. So I wanted to switch lanes so I could pass this dipshit in the left lane, right? This car behind me was just kinda lollygagging, and if I cut him off it woulda been too close. I decided to pull the trigger and cut him off anyway. (breaking into a grin)
Dick: Now, hold on a minute.
Dick: Because anyone listening to this story has in their mind a very specific criteria of what is "too close" to be cutting someone off, and I guarantee yours is WAY more liberal than everybody else's. What is "too close" to cutting someone off for you? (teasing)
Maddox: Less than 10 feet. That's...that's standard!
Maddox: Reasonable, right?
Dick: That's reasonable! Surprisingly.
Maddox: This was -- yeah. This was close to about 6 to 8 feet. It was REALLY close, like too close to be cuttin' someone off.
Maddox: But I did it anyway, also because my windows were dirty and I didn't quite see him. Um, so anyway. So, uh... (laughs) I cut this guy off, and then I noticed -- I looked through the back, 'cause I'm like, "Oh, this guy's gotta be pissed." Uh, 'cause I, you know...I made him slam his brakes on, and that's a dick move! I admit it.
Maddox: But then I saw in his back he had, like, the shotgun in his rack, and he had police lights on the front, on his roof. I'm like, "Ohh, SHIT. I seriously cut off a cop, like big time," so I'm expecting him to pull me over at any second. Then as soon as I passed I get in the left lane, and he rides by and calls me an asshole, and then doesn't pull me over! And I thought, "Wow, that's pretty amazing!" And it was border security, uh, border security police!
Maddox: And they probably would have, except down the line, down a couple miles on the freeway I saw them pulling someone else over. They were responding to a call, so they couldn't pull me over. I got lucky.
Dick: Yeah, you can get away with anything down there, around the border. They always got other stuff to do.
Dick: Uh, well, now you're talkin' about a real cop. I'm talking about pretend cops.
Maddox: I like pretend cops.
Dick: I think you're a fuckin' asshole. (Maddox laughs) And I can see you doing this.
(Sound effect: 'ding!')
Maddox: Correct. (smiling)
Dick: I think these desperate pricks just want to...just want to incite fear in people, just CONSTANTLY, as they're driving around.
Maddox: Yeah! Why not? Alright. Is that all you got? Should we get to my problem?
Dick: Yeah, that's all I got. (sassy)
Maddox: That's all you got. (amused)
Maddox: Good. Alright, my first problem this week is...uh, this is actually, a listener sent this in; his name is David Diley, and he suggested doing Herbalife!
Maddox: Do you know what Herbalife is? Have you guys heard of this? It's essentially...so, the problem is "Pyramid Schemes."
Dick: It's got two things I hate in it already!
Maddox: What, herbs and...?
Dick: Herbs and life! (Maddox and Sean laugh loudly)
Maddox: Yeah, Herbalife is essentially a pyramid scheme. And the first -- here's the first clue you know something's a pyramid scheme: when someone mentions it to you, the first thing they say is, "It's not a pyramid scheme."
Dick: Yeah. (grinning) (Sean agrees from the background)
Maddox: Yeah! Right? Except it has all the trademarks of a pyramid scheme! I have a few -- I have a little questionnaire here, that if you, uh...yeah. [indicating for Dick to talk]
Dick: That's like...well, that's like when guys...you know, my favorite thing to do is, uh, when a girl will show me messages that guys have sent her?
Dick: Like a friend or whatever? Like, "Hey, check this out, this guy sent me..." And SO many of them will lead with, "Hey, I'm not a creep." (Maddox laughs) Like, dude, you can't...you can't put the words out there!
Maddox: Yeah. (Sean agrees)
Dick: It's...if NOT. You can say "not" a billion times -- you could have a CERTIFICATE of 'not-creepiness' -- and just because the word's there, you're a creep.
Maddox: Yeah! Yeah, creeps don't -- people who aren't creeps don't have to remind people that they're not creeps.
Dick: No! And now I'm thinkin', "Well, what do you mean, 'no'? Should I have been thinking that?"
Dick: "Now I am." So I agree with you, with the pyramid scheme.
Maddox: So, "This isn't a pyramid scheme. "
Dick: Let's do the test.
Maddox: Yeah, here's the questionnaire I have. So, first of all, "Did you pay to join?" If you did, then, "Are you asked to recruit other members?"
Maddox: If you answer yes to that, then, "Do you get a cut of money from every new member you recruit?" If you answered yes to all three of those questions, it's a pyramid scheme!
Dick: Who's defining that?
Maddox: ME. That's my own definition.
Dick: Ohh -- oh, that's your own definition. Okay.
Maddox: Yeah! My own definition. It's...essentially, that's it! That's all a pyramid scheme is, is you pay to join a network, and then you recruit other people to join that network...
Maddox: ...and you get a cut of everyone underneath you.
Maddox: That is literally a pyramid scheme.
Maddox: And so I was lookin' at, uh, at this Herbalife...this Herbalife company is essentially a company that sells health supplements, powders, protein shakes, candy bars -- er, like, protein bars, and things like that.
Dick: Shit that hasn't been proven to do anything, stuff like that?
Maddox: Well, I mean, it's essentially just generic protein formula that you can get off the shelf of any store.
Dick: Or that you can buy from China in bulk!
Dick: For like, cents per pill -- like 2 cents a pill -- and then turn around and sell for like, 60 dollars a bottle.
Maddox: Right! That's essentially what this is. It's just a bunch of protein powder, which is whey...whey is just a product that comes out of milk, and that's all it is. And they're selling it for a huge premium to these people in these, uh, in this pyramid scheme. So here's -- uh, ABC News did an investigation about Herbalife, and here's part of that investigation. [plays clip taken from ABC News segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqOMHOgt3JQ#t=157]
(Male ABC News Correspondent: Herbalife is also a company now under investigation by the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission in the wake of widely publicized allegations with flashy headlines that the company is an illegal pyramid scheme.)
Maddox: Right! So the FBI has been investigating Herbalife for years and years. Actually since like the 1980s, they got in trouble for this. Their president, I think, back then was Mark Hughes, and he was accused of being dishonest. Um, then they have...they did this undercover investigation, and they found that people, like, Herbalife supervisors, were telling people that their stuff cures... (cracks up) ...brain tumors?
Maddox: Yeah, and like, helps with fertility and all this other shit. 60 percent of their distributors are Latino, so they're VERY targeted. They're targeting the Latin American population.
Dick: Yeah, why is it that that population seems to be more susceptible to marketing? Or is because they're -- it's new to them? Because they're also, like, huge on religion. Like, they're the biggest growing Mormon population, I heard? Is that -- Sean, is that true? You're nodding.
Maddox: It is true, yeah.
Dick: That's true!
Maddox: Yeah, it is true. They...I don't know if it's that necessarily they're more susceptible; it's just that it's possibly a new segment that hasn't been marketed to with this stuff before. Because now Americans are kind of getting -- are wising up to new markets...
Maddox: ...and Spanish and Chinese -- Chinese is gonna be next! Uh, Chinese is gonna be a next huge market for this kind of stuff. Anyway, it costs 3900 dollars for this...for this package. If you're -
Dick: (interjects) To become a distributor?
Maddox: Yeah, to be one of these, like, Herbalife...I don't know the exact package you get for this, but it has all the diet shakes and all that other shit. Um, so I have this other clip. This is -
Dick: (interjects) 3900 bucks, that's a lot.
Maddox: 3900 dollars. This is from a supervisor; they recorded this undercover at one of the Herbalife meetings. Listen to exactly how she defines the business model here. [plays a different part of the same ABC News segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqOMHOgt3JQ#t=383]
(Male ABC News Correspondent: The final speaker at this session told us how to make the big money. Not by selling the actual products part-time, but by signing up other distributors -- what's called a "downline" -- and then taking a cut of their profits.
Female Herbalife Presenter: The secret is to get five other people to do the same thing every month!)
Dick: (over clip) Yeah!
(Female Herbalife Presenter: And teach THEM to get five other people to do the same thing every month.)
Dick: That's the secret!
(Female Herbalife Presenter: Before you know it, not only will YOU be a supervisor, but you'll have five supervisors under you, who will have five supervisors under THEM - )
(Female Herbalife Presenter: - who will have five supervisors under THEM - that's 155 supervisors! )
Dick: My profits are EXPLODING!
Maddox: Wow!! (mocking) Overnight, you're a millionaire!
Sean: But if you think about the math, isn't in, you know, 5 or 10 steps, all 7 billion people in the world are selling fuckin' Herbalife?
Dick: Yeah! To each other.
Maddox: Oh! I'm... (laughs)
Sean: Yeah! It doesn't work!
Maddox: I'm glad you asked that, Sean! (Dick laughs loudly) Because I actually have that -- yeah! That's exactly what it is!
Dick: Thank god you're back from farming ass, Sean. (Sean bursts out laughing)
Maddox: Yeah! Yeah, so let's say, like, a typical pyramid scheme...if you're at the top, right? If you're the first person who starts this, you have 6 people underneath you. Let's say you get 6 people underneath you. Right? Then, uh, the second level of those - each of those 6 people have to get 6 other people, so that's 36 people each. 'Kay?
Maddox: The THIRD level - each of those 36 people has to get 6 people underneath THEM; that's 216. By the time you get to the 13th level in this pyramid scheme -- just 13 people deep, right?
Maddox: You have to find 13 BILLION people in order to make as much money as the person at the top.
Dick: That's a lot!
Maddox: That's greater... (cracks up)
Dick: That's alotta people.
Maddox: That's greater than the population of EARTH. You would have to get twice the population of Earth. And then there's a modified pyramid scheme too!
Dick: What are we selling in this pyramid scheme of yours? This company?
Maddox: What do you...?
Dick: In this fantasy company that you're...that we're all in right now.
Maddox: Well, Professor Maddox's Hot Sauce & Chest Hair Tonic, of course! (Dick laughs)
Dick: Oh, okay!
Maddox: Yeah! (smiling)
Maddox: No, there -
Dick: (interjects) I don't know if we can find 13 billion people who could take that. (amused)
Maddox: Yeah. I don't think so. Definitely not Roger. Um... (Sean laughs in the background) So, there's... (cracks up) There's also the '8 Ball' model...this is just, find 2 people underneath you, rather than 6. And they -- this is a modified pyramid scheme, the 8 Ball model. Essentially, it's all powers of 'n'!
Maddox: Like, they're not going to be able to find enough people to make as much money as the person at the top.
Dick: These things seem to me like a way that companies use desperate women to bilk their friends out of cash. THAT'S what it seems like to me.
Maddox: Well, it's not just women, because, uh, Dick, a long time ago when I was a programmer at the telemarketing company, one of my coworkers...uh, REALLY sharp guy.
Maddox: Just a smart dude, great programmer...was able to whip out projects SO fast. But he was susceptible to this; he fell into one of these pyramid schemes. And he came over to me -- and they always start with this: they come up to you and they say, "Hey, Maddox, you seem like a pretty smart guy."
Dick: Oh, MAN. "Great!" (playing along)
Maddox: Uh-huh. Uh-huh! (grinning)
Maddox: Feed the ego first.
Dick: "You're right! I am! What else?"
Maddox: Yeah, we agree! And then, they say, "Well, how would you like to be financially independent?" And of course, this is always a colleague at work, who's, you know, working for the same boss as me, who's NOT financially independent. But he's tryin' to sell me this pipe dream that he's on this little thing and he's gonna get me in, and we're gonna become financially independent together. (stealthy tone)
Dick: Right. (amused)
Maddox: Now, so this guy got REALLY deep in this pyramid scheme. Um, this one, at the time...I think this one was called Quickstar. There's Amway...
Maddox: ...there is, uh...oh man, there was another one that my other buddy got into. But it's always the same horseshit, and they never make any money! And they keep stringing you along, and it turns out to be a big shell corporation out in the Cayman Islands where they just take a bunch of your money, and the CEO hops on a boat and then you never hear from them again.
Dick: No, uh, my friend was in...a LITERAL pyramid scheme, where they weren't even selling anything. It was -- well, it was a Ponzi scheme. You just bring in money...
Dick: ...and -- you bring in money, you get referrals from everyone under you, and then they just keep the machine growing so that as long as you're bringing in new people, the people above you get paid. Right? So you're just, literally, just handing cash over.
Dick: To these people. Right?
Dick: And I think it was called Zeekler or something like that? ZeekRewards? It was a HUGE...it was like, a HUGE bust. Like, uh, the amount of money that was trading place every month to keep it going was in the hundreds of millions, I think. It was insane.
Maddox: Oh, yeah! It's insane, they make SO much money. So, here's why it's a problem: the victims here are usually the poorest people. They're like, lower middle class people who just have that *taste* of financial freedom. They can see it...it's almost, it's like a shell of a business; it's the VENEER of a business.
Maddox: They're selling you this pipe dream that you're buying these products that other people want, and they convince you that other people want these products. The problem is, the products they're selling aren't unique. They're not special; there's nothing...there's nothing special about them. They're just buying, like, toilet paper and protein shakes and all this other shit that you can buy from grocery stores.
Maddox: Except they're adding on a percentage, and that percentage is what the fat cats at the top are making. They're just pocketing that money.
Dick: Yeah, I would...I would agree with you, that it's preying on people who are low-income and desperate?
Dick: However, I ALSO think that all of these people have that little spark in them that lets them totally fuck their friends over by onboarding them.
Dick: Like that woman was saying: you get 5 under you, those 5 get 5 under them...they're all gonna be your friends!
Maddox: Yeah, it's always your friends.
Dick: And they want the fuckin' money. They wanna be financially independent *enough* so that they'll sell their friends out.
Maddox: Well, Dick -
Dick: (interjects) THAT'S why I don't feel bad for 'em.
Maddox: Yeah, okay, Dick. I like to think that my friends aren't super cynical and aren't tryin' to fuck me over.
Dick: They are. (roguishly) (Maddox and Sean burst out laughing)
Maddox: Oh, I know! (Dick laughs) I know, I'm sittin' across from one. So... (laughs more) Yeah, you gonna sell me some, uh, some timeshare? Um, so this ABC News piece was actually really well researched, and they found that -- so, Herbalife may be kinda shady, and they're doing this pyramid scheme, right? BUT -
Dick: (interjects) Allegedly.
Maddox: - well, yeah.
Dick: According to you.
Maddox: Allege-- oh, according to me, and...
Dick: That's your opinion. (smiling)
Maddox: ...and the FBI investigation, AND they've also been caught in the '80s. (Dick scoffs)
Dick: Ha, yeah, the FBI is allowed to say that kinda shit. Uh, WE'RE not.
Maddox: Yeah. Okay, it's an allegation!
Maddox: Of course, yeah. There's no, there's no....um, but it *sounds* a lot like a pyramid scheme, I'll say that.
Dick: Sure sounds! (under his breath)
Maddox: So, they're -- but they've also found that the guy leading the charge to kind of uncover Herbalife as a pyramid scheme is this guy named Bill Ackman, who is the CEO for this, uh, hedge fund group called Pershing Square Capital Management.
Dick: Oo! (quietly)
Maddox: And they have mounted a 20 million dollar media campaign to prove that Herbalife is a fraud. Now, why would that be? Why do you think this guy...this, uh, this manager of this capital firm, is interested in proving that they're a fraud?
Dick: Is it, like, a back door thing? Is he secretly...tanking, torpedoing the study to show that it *isn't* fraud?
Maddox: No...no, he's -
Dick: (interjects) Is it like a rope-a-dope?
Maddox: Nope, good theory, but he's actually trying to short the stock and he stands to gain about 10 BILLION dollars.
Dick: Ohoho! Okay.
Maddox: Yeah. Uh-huh!
Dick: That's a pretty good plan too!
Maddox: Yeah, so, talk about cynical! There are no white knights in this scenario; they're all these fuckin' DICKHEADS. Everyone out to cut throats, everyone's out to throw everyone under the bus, and the CEO [the president] of Herbalife? He's convincing people...he's denying that it's a pyramid scheme, and he's saying that there is no promise or guarantee that you can make a huge fortune through Herbalife. But they -- that's just like, a tiny little disclaimer that they kinda throw away. Here's what the CEO [president] said on this ABC News segment. [plays third clip taken from segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqOMHOgt3JQ#t=195]
(Herbalife President Des Walsh: The reality is that most people know that this is a wonderful way in which to pay for a 50 or 60 dollar startup fee to earn a few hundred extra supplemental dollars a month. That is what we are selling.)
Maddox: Yeah. Doesn't he sound like Snape? From Lord of the Rings? (chuckling)
Maddox: You KNOW that guy -- he just sounds like a -
Dick: (interjects) He sounds like a creepy weirdo.
Maddox: Yeah, he sounds like a creepy weirdo. That's the guy who's trying to sell you this pipe dream.
Dick: He sounds like a gremlin.
Dick: Like, a guy that would appear on your shoulder, and.....try to screw you over.
Maddox: Yeah, he sounds like the...
Maddox: ...the devil version instead of the heaven version.
Maddox: Yeah. Anyway.
Dick: Well, you know what they should do?
Dick: So, the lottery? Like, this is...this appeals to the same part of people as the lottery, I think.
Dick: Yeah. And when -- back in the day, like when America first started, there were SHITLOADS of lotteries. Everywhere. You could just throw in for a lottery, and the government finally said, "Look, people are too dumb. No one is allowed to do lotteries anymore except us."
Maddox: M'kay. (puzzled)
Dick: "So, only governments are allowed -- only the U.S. government is allowed to do lotteries." Alright?
Dick: 'Cause then they take the money and do whatever they do with it.
Dick: Uh, it seems like the same kinda thing, the same kind of mentality that goes into buying a lottery ticket goes into lumping in with one of these...one of these pyramid schemes. (cracking a smile)
Dick: So that the government should just say, "Hey, you guys aren't allowed to do this shit anymore! No matter what you say, you're not allowed to pull these scams. WE'RE the only ones who can do it, and we're gonna call it Social Security." (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: Dick, I KNEW it!! (Dick cackles loudly) I was waiting for it! Yep, let's hear this fuckin' libertarian slant! (Dick laughs more hysterically) Here it comes!! Yeah, and of course, I thought that the misdirect here was like, "Oh, we should have the government take care of pyramid schemes!"
Dick: Yep! (grinning)
Maddox: And then -- yeah! Ohh, of course, yeah! (growling playfully)
Dick: Yeah, I GOTCHA! I gotcha!! Classic libertarian trick. (Maddox laughs heartily)
Maddox: Yeah...yeah. (giggling)
Dick: Are you done?
Maddox: Uhh, yeah...I mean, I just wanna respond to that. Just one other thing.
Dick: Oh, okay.
Maddox: The lottery analogy is...is okay; however, with a lottery it's at least up front. You know you're gambling. Uh, but with a pyramid scheme, it's more insidious because it's selling you the promise and the hope that you CAN amass a fortune through this pyramid scheme. And you can, of course, if you're at the TOP. But no one is, virtually.
Maddox: Uh, a very small percentage; less than 1 to 3 percent, I think, are at the top, who are making ANY amount of appreciable income from these pyramid schemes.
Dick: Well, you can't even get a couple hundred bucks a month. Like, this reminds me of -- it seems like everyone out of college goes through this phase where somebody will...they just get shitty stuff, or maybe it's good stuff, but they just go sell it to all their friends and family.
Dick: Like Sean, your brother sold -- they were good knives! His brother sold knives outta college.
Sean: Cutco knives.
Maddox: Oh! Was that...yeah!
Dick: And their whole thing is, they recruit kids outta college. They pretend like it's a real job, like, you have to come in and interview?
Dick: But then all they do is give you a catalog and they say, "Okay, go knock on doors like a vacuum cleaner salesman in the 1930s and sell these fuckin' knives!"
Dick: And what ends up happening is they just go to their friends and family, and sell 'em these fuckin' knives.
Maddox: Yeah! I got called in for a job interview one time with Citigroup, and I thought, "Oh, wow! This is kinda cool! It's a big bank, you know, they wanna hire me as a..." They said some kind of, like, IT management type job. So I go in there all prepared, resume all spiffy, everything, and this guy starts selling me this FUCKIN' PYRAMID SCHEME! (Dick laughs) I'm like, "You FUCKIN' asshole! I make more money than you, you fuckin' tool! What are you, gonna hire me and give me a pay cut, ya dipshit?? And what are you gonna exactly hire me for, to sell your -- peddle your bullshit? I'm a fuckin' professional, here."
Dick: And why don't you just cut out the middleman? Why don't people just buy this shit, whey, off the Internet and sell it themselves??
Maddox: Yeah. Well -
Dick: Like, why does it have to be branded Herbalife?
Dick: It's just magic powder!
Maddox: No, it's the same stuff. If you can -- that's it! If you have, basically, if you can buy this stuff for wholesale, you can be selling stuff and making money...the normal way, which is, that's essentially just a business. You're buying things at a low cost and selling it for a slightly higher cost to make a profit.
Maddox: That's essentially a business!
Dick: We should start a Kickstarter where we just do our own pyramid scheme. (wryly)
Dick: We'll call it, like...just CALL it a pyramid scheme.
Maddox: Uh, you know what, Dick? That's a really good idea. Let's, uh.....not air this episode. (Dick laughs loudly)
Dick: Okay! (giggling)
Maddox: I, uh, forget everything I said, everyone. Forget everything I said. What's your next problem, Dick?
Dick: Hey, you know what's NOT a pyramid scheme?
Maddox: What's that? (smiling)
Dick: Harry's. (Maddox laughs quietly) They make a hell of a shave kit. This episode is BROUGHT to you by Harry's. (Maddox and Sean laugh) Use -- go to http://harrys.com and use the promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save 5 dollars off your first purchase. Maddox, Harry's was created by two guys who, uh, who give a shit about...shaving.
Maddox: Yeah! They really care! (chuckles)
Sean: Is that in the copy?? (cracking up)
Dick: No! (everyone bursts out laughing) It's something like that! You know how fucked up my mind is?! Like, that is -- when I look at something, I'm pretty good at remembering the *gist* of things?
Maddox: Yeah. (Sean laughs more)
Dick: Not the *exactness* of things? And that's how I remembered it. I READ it... (stammers) "Harry's..." -- here's what I actually read -- "Harrys.com was started by two guys PASSIONATE about creating a better shaving experience for all men."
Maddox: Aw, no no no! Words, words, words! Yours was better. (amused) Yeah!
Dick: Yeah! Mine was, "...who give a shit about shaving"! (grinning) (Sean laughs loudly in the background)
Maddox: Hey, let's -
Dick: (interjects) I got alotta shit to remember here, okay? (laughs)
Maddox: Yeah, let's contact Mr....Mr. Harry, and let's tell him we got a new copy for him. (Dick and Sean laugh uncontrollably)
Dick: [continues reading actual copy] "Harry's bought a blade factory in Germany that has been crafting some of the world's highest quality blades for almost a century. Their starter shave sets start at just 15 dollars." I've actually been -- you know that starter set they sent us?
Dick: Uh, I've actually been usin' it!
Maddox: Me too!
Maddox: It works great.
Maddox: It's awesome! I like it a lot. And finally I got the, uh, the shave gel too. (chuckles) It still shoots out like a rocket, but I've kinda managed it. (Dick laughs softly) If you squirt it RIGHT into your fingers, it's fine.
Dick: I use the cream! I know you don't like the cream.
Maddox: Oh man, that stuff...
Dick: But I use it.
Maddox: I'm not a fan of any kind of shaving cream. It feels like you're putting butter on your face.
Dick: Yeah, I like...have you ever shaved with real butter? (intrigued)
Maddox: (laughs) No!
Dick: Isn't that a thing people do??
Maddox: Uh, I mean, it's a thing peasants probably do.
Dick: Oh. Well... (quietly)
Maddox: Yeah, I'm not a farmer, Dick.
Dick: Yeah, I like gettin' drunk and screwin', too. Peasants do that. (breaking into a grin) (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: Great. Screw like a peasant. (amused)
Dick: Harry's, H-A-R-R-Y-S, .com... (Maddox and Sean laugh at change of pace) Enter promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save 5 bucks off your first purchase. Hey, we should also say that that promo code changed last time.
Dick: It wasn't our fault; we DIDN'T get it wrong.
Dick: 'Cause we've never -- well, I, maybe I have -- but I don't either of us has ever gotten ANYTHING wrong on this podcast.
Maddox: In my life, I've never gotten anything wrong. (Sean laughs more in the background)
Dick: They changed it because it did too well.
Dick: That's how I understand it.
Maddox: That's -- so, what they...we got this email saying that the code was leaked or something. Like, it popped up on some kind of discount coupon website.
Dick: Some shitbox website...coupon site.
Maddox: Yeah, because there's some...they have a scraper that goes through different websites and it looks for code words - for "Harry's" and "discount." So when we posted it on our website, I think it scraped it and posted it on this OTHER website. However, our fans are really loyal listeners, and they're helping -- they're supporting our podcast by clicking on these sponsor links! And so probably what happened is, they got this huge blip from our podcast, which was our first time airing, and they probably looked at the stats and thought, "Wow! This is unbelievable."
Dick: "No fuckin' way THESE two assholes could send THIS much traffic!" (mocking)
Maddox: "These two clowns..." Well, guess what, Harry's? We just did, buddy!
Dick: Yeah, so if you went there and put in the old coupon code that got, um...that got discontinued, we're sorry about that.
Dick: Sorry for wasting your time.
Maddox: But it's still a great product, we stand behind it; I'm still using my blade. I haven't even switched out my blade, it's that good. It's that...
Dick: Me neither!
Maddox: Yeah! It's sharp. So what's your next problem, Dick?
Dick: My next problem -- I don't know how to phrase this. Uh...I'll just call it "Catcalling."
Maddox: Sure! It's a problem.
Dick: Well...it is a problem because of how it's being portrayed online. Or because what we're seeing as catcalling -- what it's BECOME.
Dick: I wanna defend catcalling to a *degree*... (Maddox laughs)
Dick: ...to a degree, 'cause I think it's fun.
Maddox: Alllright. (everyone bursts out laughing) Here we go! Here we go.
Dick: Look! So this video came out, right?
Maddox: Yeah. Let's talk about this video.
Dick: From the 'Hollaback!' group. It's a group dedicated to ending street harassment, using mobile technology. (sardonic)
Maddox: Yeah. (skeptical)
Dick: They encourage women to "hollaback" by sharing stories and photos using social media. I don't know if that's gonna do anything. But they put this video together of a woman walking around in New York City, uh, for 10 hours.
Dick: And getting, just getting constantly harassed. But there's something -- I brought in the audio for the, for the...do you wanna play a little bit of it?
Maddox: Yeah! We'll play a little bit.
Dick: It's 2 minutes long, and I figure maybe people have seen it? But maybe people are like me - when they see shit trending on Facebook, they're like, "Oh, fuck it, I don't care. I'm..."
Maddox: Skip through -- yeah. Skip through about, like, 30 seconds into it if you can.
Dick: Alright. [plays street harassment compilation video]
(Man on NYC sidewalk: Hey baby!)
Dick: (over video) "Hey baby!"
(Another man on sidewalk: Hey, beautiful! )
Dick: That guy sounded nice!
Maddox: No, that's catcalling.
Dick: "Hey, beautiful"?!
Dick: That's nice, though!
(Other men on NYC sidewalks: "God bless you, mami." ... "Damn! DAMN!")
Dick: Little over the top, that guy.
Maddox: Yeah, that's a little disrespectful.
(Another man on sidewalk: Sexy...American Eagle!)
Maddox: That guy was looking at her butt.
Dick: Or he was looking at her jeans.
Maddox: Yeah, she had an American Eagle logo on her butt. [clip stops] So there was a segment, too, where some guy followed her for about 4 minutes.
Dick: Well, that's what I wanna talk about.
Dick: Because there's a BIG difference between saying, "Hey mama," "What's up, beautiful?" "Hey beautiful, how's it goin'?" and following this woman like you're hanging off her like Michael Jackson's chimpanzee...
Dick: ...trying to...trying to get ANY kind of attention from her.
Maddox: Dick -
Dick: Okay? There's a BIG difference!
Dick: And I don't think that's...I don't think that's part of this conversation. Like, you can't just say -- no one's saying that!
Maddox: No! So, the problem with this video...um, I actually have the top comment on this video right now on YouTube.
Dick: I hope you're gonna say what I think you're gonna say, 'cause I also have this same problem with this video. Go ahead.
Maddox: Okay, I'd like to hear what you say. But, um, one of the big problems with this video is that by lumping in stalking -- that guy was stalking her.
Maddox: Right. Which is totally over the line.
Dick: Already illegal!
Maddox: It's illegal!
Dick: Already illegal.
Maddox: Stalking is a crime. Catcalling is NOT, but, uh, stalking definitely is. And by lumping that in with the same video and giving it the same weight as catcalling or saying "good evening" to someone, you're lessening the impact of that crime!
Maddox: You're making it cheaper. You're saying that, "Okay, these are equal weighted crimes." No, they're not! And first of all, one's a crime and one isn't, and you're making it seem like it's okay...you know, it's equal under the law, or equal in terms of harassment to stalk someone as to call them out.
Maddox: As to catcall them.
Dick: Totally agree! That's not what I was gonna say, but I totally agree.
Maddox: And by the way, Dick, I have to take issue with the way you characterized the top of this video, 'cause you said she was "constantly harassed." She wasn't! In that entire 10-hour day, she edited down -- she and her, uh, this guy -- she edited down from 10 hours down to about 3 minutes. And if you count the guy stalking her, let's say 5 minutes.
Maddox: Out of a 10-hour day! That's less than 1 percent of the day, that's not constant! (Dick inhales, about to speak) In fact, she encountered...I did the math on this. If you encounter, say, 20 pedestrians per minute -- which is very conservative in New York -- and of those she found about 100 of them had catcalled her or harassed her. Right?
Maddox: That's less than 1 percent! So over 99.7 percent of people she encountered were decent human beings, and there was not a story here!
Dick: And let's keep in mind...and this is one of my big problems with this video...this video is racist as shit to me.
Dick: Because it is ALL black dudes and Mexican guys who are hanging out on street corners in wife beaters, not doing a GOD DAMN thing during the DAY.
Dick: During the day!
Maddox: That was actually -- I made a Facebook status to that effect saying, "Man, I hope all those guys who are sittin' around in lawn chairs during the day learn their lesson when they go home and hop on their broadband connections and then see what videos are trending on Huffington Post and Salon.com!" (Sean laughs in the background) "Man!"
Dick: I hope they're ashamed of themselves. (sarcastic)
Maddox: Oh, yeah! They're going to be -- they're gonna have their lesson taught by checkin' social media. These fuckin' idiots! And this Hollaback campaign, she's asking people to donate to this campaign. So I went to the website to see what it is; like, how are they gonna potentially solve this problem of street harassment, right?
Dick: They're gonna make it ILLEGAL.
Maddox: Oh, really? (cynical)
Dick: They're trying to make catcalling illegal! (slowly for emphasis) They said it's illegal to honk your horn in some parts of New York City; why isn't it illegal to catcall?
Maddox: Well -
Dick: That's part of their platform!
Maddox: Yeah. Well, it's called the First Amendment. Uh, you're allowed to say shitty things to people in public. You can say RACIST things -
Dick: (interjects) Like "Hi, beautiful." (Maddox laughs loudly) You're allowed to say shitty things like "Good morning, beautiful." (sarcastic)
Maddox: Yeah, so I read about this! I read the comments about this, and a lot...like, it's kinda polarizing. Most women -
Dick: (interjects) It is, isn't it shocking? It really is!
Maddox: Yeah, but most women actually are like, "Yeah, this is something that all women have experienced." First of all, I don't think it's something that all women experience to the same degree. This girl, this lady -- this woman who was doin' this video is busty, young, and relatively attractive. Right?
Dick: Well, *I* think she's overweight...
Maddox: Okay, Dick. (cracking up) GREAT.
Dick: ...so my point is, they hooked up an overweight white woman and trolled her through Harlem, and that's a viral video? Are you fuckin' kidding me? That's racist as shit!
Maddox: Dick, that's...that's not the point. Well, of course this video has some racial, uh, subtext here.
Dick: But you're saying something different.
Maddox: Yes. Okay, so I think that catcalling and street harassment happen way more often to attractive and young people. If they had hooked this up with, say, a 65-year-old woman who was out of shape -
Maddox: - and not necessarily attractive by conventional standards, she probably wouldn't have gotten catcalled hardly as much, if at all. Right??
Dick: Oh man, you know what, I got an interesting...I got a couple interesting stories to that. Because this whole, like, reading women's stories about catcalling made me think about the women I've dated.
Dick: And some of them would get catcalled all the time. (emphatically)
Dick: Whether we were on dates or not, and some of them just would NEVER, and I could never figure out -- like, I thought one was just as hot as the other!
Dick: I think, objectively!
Dick: They were, but you know, you-know-WHO, would -- like, guys would do a U-turn in TRAFFIC...
Dick: ...to pull up on the side of the road and ask her if she wanted to go smoke weed with them.
Dick: And I wanna know how often that works. (cracking up) (Sean laughs loudly in the background)
Maddox: So, so -- okay! (Dick laughs) So, Dick, you're makin' a joke, but this actually an interesting point! Because there was a study I read a while back, too, where...or maybe it wasn't even a study, it was just a comment. But someone said essentially, the difference between street harassment like catcalling and, say, uh...you know, someone who's picking you up is how cute the GUY is. Right?
Dick: And I don't think that's true.
Maddox: Well, I got empirical evidence that says it is! Because I have a friend who is a male model -
Maddox: - and he is just an attractive dude by all objective standards.
Dick: (interjects) You can just say my name, you don't have to talk about me in the third person. (Maddox laughs robustly)
Maddox: Dick... (playfully stern) (Dick laughs) So this guy, this guy is actually guilty of catcalling. He told me the last, like, 3 or 4 dates, he'd just been driving by and he turns around 'cause he sees an attractive girl on the street, and they *always* give him their number, and they go out on dates! Because they like this guy; this guy looks attractive or whatever.
Maddox: But if it was an unattractive guy, then it's harassment!
Dick: Well, I think the nature -- I think women have real good bullshit detectors.
Dick: Like, when they know what a guy's deal is right away? Like, if you come on like some of these guys, like, "Hey hey hey, baby, what's your number? What's your number?" Dude.
Maddox: Chill out.
Dick: That's...you gotta calm the fuck down.
Dick: Like, you can't come on that strong.
Maddox: It's disrespectful!
Dick: And I think, probably, your male model friend knows how to not come on too strong, because *I* talk to women on the street all the time.
Dick: Like, you know my theory.....when it comes to dealing with women, is just talk to ALL of them.
Dick: It's a numbers game. Like, if you are not having good luck with women, don't try to up your game; just talk to all women all the time!
Maddox: H'okay, Dick. (amused)
Dick: And you will get laid. (grinning)
Maddox: Terrible strategy. (cracking up) Terrible... (Dick laughs hysterically)
Dick: What's terrible about that?!?
Maddox: 'Cause you're essentially saying, "I'm an idiot. I can't figure out what I'M doing wrong, so it's just a numbers game." (Dick laughs more) "I'm gonna keep doing what I do until I find the square peg to my square hole."
Dick: Evolution is a numbers game. You evolve constantly in all different manners, and the one...the one that's supposed to live will live. (Maddox chuckles)
Maddox: Yeah, Dick...
Dick: That's God's plan, Maddox. (cracks up)
Maddox: Right! (bursts out laughing with Sean) But Dick, what you're essentially saying is you're COUNTER to evolution, because you're not changing anything about yourself! You're staying the same, and you're hoping to find someone who's exactly...who doesn't have a sophisticated enough bullshit detector. (teasing)
Dick: Ohh, get outta here, "sophisticated enough." (smiling)
Maddox: Hey, I got a -
Dick: (interjects) I'm sophisticated as shit.
Maddox: I got a comment from Twitter about this, because I kind of posted a comment about how...you know, speaking of numbers here, that the vast majority of people treated her respectfully, didn't catcall...
Maddox: ...and she's trying to paint this picture that, uh -- it's misleading to suggest that this is such an epidemic. Uh, it's happened to the majority of women I know, of course.
Dick: Of course.
Maddox: And it's disrespectful, and I don't like it!
Dick: Well... (skeptical)
Maddox: It shouldn't happen, of course! But, um -
Dick: (interjects) Well, that's...I have a problem with the "should" word, too.
Dick: "It shouldn't happen" -- like, yeah! It's...this is the way guys are, especially broke dudes that hang out on street corners. This is how they behave. And there's probably chicks out there just like them who respond to it!
Maddox: There, that's also part of the...I'm not even sure it's a PROBLEM, that chicks...
Dick: It's a culture clash!!
Maddox: Some chicks DO respond to this!
Dick: Absolutely, they do.
Maddox: AND, it's not just a problem unique to men! I've been with beautiful women before; I dated this model for a little while who -
Dick: (interjects) Braaagging, here we go! (Maddox and Sean laugh) Fuckin' bragging! Just one? (teasing)
Maddox: Oh! (shouts) You just said a couple seconds ago that you were with two objectively hot women and guys we're doin' U-turns! Get outta here, Dick!!
Dick: Oh, I didn't even notice that I did that! (grinning)
Maddox: Oh, YEAH. (Dick giggles) Here, yeah, lemme pull up this "Dick Versus Dick" segment again! (Dick laughs more) (Sean groans in the background) So, I was with this woman one time. Um, objectively beautiful. And -
Maddox: - a model, right? We walked by...guys would just constantly, you know, say somethin' as we were passin' by. And THEN one day we were walkin' by, and a *woman* passed by and said the EXACT same thing a guy had said just minutes earlier. She just passed by and said, "You're beautiful," and I interject and I said, "Thank you." (Dick and Sean laugh) I took that compliment. I -- yeah. I intercepted that one. (smiling)
Dick: I've done that. I was walkin' with this, uh, I was walkin' with this girl who was getting catcalled and I did the same thing. I was like, "I think he was talkin' to me!"
Dick: And she loved it, of course. (grinning)
Maddox: Yeah, of course! It's hilarious, yeah. (amused)
Dick: She was just like...you know. No no, there was like, talking and bonding, and the things that make up a relationship between people! (flustered)
Maddox: Yeah. You know, catcalling - I hate to say this, but actually, um, it's not entirely...it's not something that all women objectively just hate across the board! If it's disrespectful, sure, but if it's a respectful type of approach -- and they say it depends on the *intent* of the men. They don't have good intentions. Well, what -
Dick: (interjects) Yeah, we don't EVER have good intentions. (Maddox scoffs and laughs)
Maddox: Get outta here, Dick! (growling playfully)
Dick: Ya fuckin' idiot. (laughs)
Maddox: So here's the thing: so, let's say...let's take the most egregious example of the catcalling in that video. Like, someone who has just said, "DAMN, mama!" or whatever. Like something kinda disrespectful that kind of...
Dick: "Damn, mama!"?
Maddox: Well, whatever! It's just something that makes her feel like, uh...I dunno, kinda sleazy.
Dick: Sex object.
Maddox: Yeah, kinda.
Maddox: So, let's say these guys are objectifying her sexually. And if you...if you take that at the crux, right? Um, what is their intention? Well, their intention is to get laid, right?
Dick: I don't know! See, that's why I wrote...well, keep goin'.
Dick: Keep going.
Maddox: So, I believe -
Dick: (interjects) Maybe it is, but I think they're just kind of expressing something!
Maddox: Well...some PART of them probably wants that woman to respond, don't they?
Dick: I don't know!!
Maddox: I don't know either. I'm not -
Dick: I don't know that *I* do!
Maddox: I've never catcalled.
Dick: By the way, I've BEEN catcalled!
Maddox: Yeah. Me too!
Dick: By women! By women.
Maddox: Yeah, me too!
Dick: How...how many?
Maddox: I dunno if that -
Dick: (interjects) Well, let's write our numbers down (Maddox laughs) and then we'll see who has more. (teasing)
Maddox: Alright! I wrote mine down; it's 979,417. (smiling)
Dick: 2. (everyone bursts out laughing.)
Maddox: I win! (laughs more)
Dick: And they didn't -- I don't think they wanted a response at all!!
Maddox: Yeah. No, I've been, yeah, I've been whistled at by guys AND girls.
Sean: Yep. (from background; amused)
Maddox: They -- two guys have tried to pick me up in the last, uh, 6 months!
Dick: In the last 2 hours. (cracks up) (Maddox laughs loudly) It's me and Sean. (cackles)
Maddox: Sean's ass farming gig didn't pan out. (Dick and Sean laugh more) He's tryin' in this room! Okay, so I just wanna read this comment real quick. This guy sent me a shitty message on Twitter; his name's Christian...uh, @ArcadeHero64. He says, "@maddoxrules is always so quick to NOT rush to the defense of women that you gotta wonder if he's some kind of gigantic sexist asshole." Wow. Thank you, Christian, what a hero. (sarcastic) To which I responded...first of all, I've never said catcalling isn't wrong! Of course it is. Like, I don't think it's a GOOD thing!
Dick: Ahh, see, that -
Maddox: (interjects) And I -- well, hold on! Hold on.
Maddox: I said, "I think you have me mistaken for a straw man." And I sent him this picture of a straw man. (smiling)
Dick: Oh, that's...that's funny.
Maddox: Yeah. But then I also pointed something out, because in...listen to the way he says this, right? "You gotta wonder, if @maddoxrules is so quick to NOT rush to the defense of women..." I said, "Hey, Christian! It's also pretty condescending to suggest that women need men like you to 'rush to their defense.' And I'm the sexist one?" Women don't need men to defend them.
Dick: No! (chuckling) They don't need any help ever.
Dick: No, I agree. I'm laughing because it's true. But they...they don't. (smiling)
Maddox: Yeah! These -- like, this fuckin' white knight, he's tryin' to be...he's such a fuckin' condescending smug PRICK. Like, comin' out here and saying, "Oh, you gotta rush to the defense of women!" They don't need you to defend them, dipshit!! THAT'S sexist, to say that women can't defend themselves, that they need YOU to argue their battles for them? Fuck off, and let them talk and say whatever they want!
Dick: I've only ever heard bad advice given to women when it comes to catcalling, especially now that it comes up, because all these stupid -- I don't know if they just like showing off on Facebook or whatever, but all these dudes are like, "Yeah, I would say THIS! I would get in their face!" Like, you...nonononononono. You don't wanna do that. That's the last thing you wanna do to a guy, is engage him for any reason.
Maddox: Yeah -- well, no. (laughs) That's not necessarily true. You COULD -- by the way, you know what's kinda funny about this video? So, she pointed out this guy who, like, kinda stalked her for 4 minutes, like kinda followed her around?
Maddox: But, um, the woman who's complaining about the guy following her around for 4 minutes followed a GUY around for 10 hours. (laughs with Dick) So, let's put this in perspective! (jokingly)
Dick: So here's what I think catcalling actually is.
Dick: Because I don't want it to get lumped in with, um, this harassment type of shit. Like -
Maddox: (interjects) Stalking.
Dick: Stalking and assault, we'll call it. Right?
Maddox: Well, that's...yeah.
Dick: 'Cause assault isn't physical, it's just the intention that there might be something physical that happens.
Maddox: That's right.
Maddox: Like, yeah, and I talked to a woman -
Dick: (interjects) Nothin' physical about it.
Maddox: Yeah. There's a -
Dick: (interjects) So here's -- rhetorical questions only. When it comes to catcalling. You don't say, "Hey, what's your name?" That's not a rhetorical question.
Dick: Not "What's your number?" "Where are you going?" It's -- you gotta say, if you wanna catcall properly, you gotta go, like, "Hey, do those legs go all the way up?" (suggestively) (Maddox scoffs and bursts out laughing) That's a RHETORICAL question.
Maddox: Dick... (dying of laughter)
Maddox: I feel like that was too natural for you to say.
Dick: Yeah -- oh, I DO it!
Maddox: Oh, okay. Great.
Dick: "Where you been, baby?" That's a...that's a rhetorical question.
Maddox: Hey, you're breakin' the law, potentially! (Dick chuckles)
Dick: What, doing this on the Internet, or...?
Maddox: Yeah! (teasing)
Dick: Uh, okay. No commands.
Dick: Don't...no commands.
Maddox: Don't command people.
Dick: "Smile!" Nononononono.
Dick: You can't tell people to smile. Um..."Suck my cock." (Maddox and Sean explode laughing) That's also something you wanna stay away from. (cracks up)
Maddox: You know, Dick... (laughs more) You know, when...
Dick: This HAPPENS! That happens! That happens.
Dick: Like, guys don't know! I'm trying to help, here!
Maddox: No no no, but when I first -
Dick: (interjects) Or else it's gonna be illegal!! (Sean guffaws)
Maddox: When I first clicked on this video, that's what I was expecting! Like, a bunch of dickheads who are saying some really nasty shit to this woman. And these are some of the most polite catcallers I've ever heard, like "Good evening, ma'am," uh, "Have a nice day"...
Dick: Yeah, I dunno why they edited that in!
Maddox: "You're beautiful" -- yeah! It doesn't make a strong case. However, to be completely objective, you have to say, "Okay, well SHE felt harassed by those, so I guess you..."
Dick: Eh, fuck it.
Maddox: Yeah. (amused)
Dick: Fuck that. Uh, "Hubba hubba"? That you can say, that's not a command.
Maddox: "Hubba hubba"? (smiling)
Dick: "Hubba hubba!"
Maddox: I mean, it's ANNOYING. (Sean smirks in the background)
Dick: Yeah, it's cute though! (grinning)
Maddox: Oh, great.
Dick: Girls like that.
Maddox: Yeah, girls LOVE that! (through laughter)
Dick: And pretend your mom is listening.
Maddox: Yeah! That's a good -
Dick: (interjects) You know? You can get away with some sexy, erotic stuff even with your mom there!
Dick: 'Cause you gotta code it a little bit. You know?
Maddox: Yeah, that's...you know, Dick, um, the "smile" thing though, I wanna go back to that just for a second.
Dick: Go ahead.
Maddox: Because, and I gotta do this again, but uh, Larry David...this is something that's not just unique to women. Larry David in one of the episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm was kind of pointing this out too, 'cause it happens to guys too! I've passed by people sometimes, and they just tell you to smile! Here's -
Dick: (interjects) YOU?!?
Maddox: Yeah yeah yeah! Here's the clip, listen to this. [plays Curb Your Enthusiasm clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_1FbjuJp4E]
(quirky, upbeat music in background)
(Woman passing Larry David on sidewalk: Smile!
[Larry pauses, bewildered]
Larry David: Hey, mind your own business, how 'bout that? 'Smile.') (Maddox laughs over clip)
Dick: "Smile." (imitating Larry's grumbling)
Maddox: Yeah! So it happens -- like, this is something that's so common, that they even put it in this episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Dick: Yeah! Uh, pretend your mom is listening. I was walking with...actually it was the same girl, the girl that I said, "I think he was talkin' to me"?
Dick: She was this, like, statuesque black girl. Just beautiful.
Maddox: She was catcalling you?
Dick: Nonono, uh, I was -- somebody catcalled her, and I said, "I think he was talkin' to me."
Maddox: Oh, okay.
Dick: And she started laughing, and then I started talkin' to her.
Dick: Uh, we get a couple blocks down Hollywood and there's this guy...there's this guy on Hollywood Boulevard who, *every* single time I've passed him, multiple times a day sometimes, sits on this bus bench and says, "Handmade jewelry, I'm sellin' handmade jewelry." That's all he's EVER said, that's all I've ever heard him say. Right?
Dick: This went for 4 years. This one fuckin' day, I walk by with this beautiful woman and he goes, "Hoo! You beautiful! Like a sexy stallion!" (cracking up) (everyone roars with laughter) I was like, "That's a perfect catcall!" PERFECT!
Maddox: Uhh, great. (Dick laughs more) You know, so -
Dick: (interjects) Your mom coulda heard that!!
Maddox: Yeah, sure! (dying) Sure. Call her a horse. (Dick giggles hysterically) "You're sexy like a HORSE."
Dick: There ya go! That's my thoughts on catcalling. (grinning)
Maddox: Yeah, so, if this didn't work to some percentage of women, then why would guys keep doing it?
Dick: Uhh, yeah.
Maddox: 'Cause I mean, I don't know; I can't answer this empirically 'cause I've never done it. I don't...I don't catcall. I don't think it's respectful.
Dick: You never honked your horn?
Maddox: No! (chuckling in disbelief)
Maddox: No! At what point do you think you're gonna be driving by and a chick's gonna hear a horn honk, she's gonna be like, "Oh, damn! I gotta drop my panties for THAT guy! He has a HORN!"
Dick: They're -- it's not a cause-and-effect thing; you don't do it to get something. You're just like, "Hey baby, I see you!"
Maddox: DICK -
Dick: "I see you!" That's another good line! "Hey, I see you!" (smiling)
Maddox: Oh, yeah, great. (sarcastic) Oh, awesome, that sounds CREEPY.
Dick: You gotta have fun when you're doing it! That's all. That's all I'm gonna say.
Maddox: Or...OR don't do it! (smirks)
Dick: OR, just have fun!!
Maddox: Dick, the amount I honk all the time in traffic, I should be getting dates left and right. I'm honkin' all the fuckin' time! (Dick guffaws) No one's passin' -- no girl's, like, ever gonna hear my HORN and be like, "Here's my number!" (breaks down laughing) Never!
Dick: It's not about getting a number! It's about just having a good time. It's like you're cheering for a sports team!
Maddox: You know...
Dick: Except the sports team is a hot lady!
Maddox: No, I gotta, I gotta side with the women on this one a little bit, because when they -- I talked to a girlfriend of mine, and she was telling me about this; I was talkin' about this catcalling issue. 'Cause I've been asking various women friends of mine whether or not they've been catcalled, how they feel about it, 'cause I'm just getting a survey. I'm gettin' a feel for the number of women who get harassed. Pretty much -
Dick: (interjects) Getting a feel. (mischievously)
Maddox: (cracks up) Yeah. Great.
Dick: You're copping a feel of their -- yeah, okay. Go ahead. (grinning)
Maddox: Yeah, they're -- it's pretty much all of 'em at some point, but a lot of guys have too. I mean, it's not like, uh...but it happens more often to attractive women! Especially the most attractive women. And I asked them, I said, "Well, what...so what is at issue if, like, a guy in that video said 'Good evening'?" Because I, just as a guy, don't understand how that's, uh, harassment! She explained to me that it's not about what they *say,* necessarily, but the threat they feel. She said that as a woman who's walking alone on the streets, she feels constantly vulnerable. She feels like, um, she might be attacked by somebody at any given time, and it's that fear that they instill in you and that they are kind of, like...it's like a beacon that doesn't leave them alone so they can't be lost in their own thoughts.
Dick: Yeah! And yet we've never been safer. Right?
Dick: The streets have never been safer!
Maddox: Yeah. (unsure)
Dick: We can't even make good '80s action movies, 'cause our streets are so fuckin' safe!
Maddox: That's true. (jokingly)
Dick: Like RoboCop -- the original -- was believable, 'cause it was a hellhole!
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah, Detroit's awesome now. (sardonic) (laughs heartily)
Dick: Nah! You -- well, it's not AS bad!
Maddox: Yeah. No -
Dick: (interjects) LA is not as bad, and yet everybody's fuckin' terrified!
Maddox: Crime is near historic lows. And it's not just like, uh, with harassment and assault and stuff like that; everything's down across the board. But it's also pedophilia! (Dick laughs hysterically) Parents are so... (cracks up) ...are SO afraid -
Maddox: - of child molesters! They're afraid anyone's a child molester. They don't want their kids to talk to any kind of strangers.
Maddox: Which is true, it's POSSIBLE, but it's so, *so* rare.
Dick: We're gettin' off the topic. I'm gonna, I don't wanna eat -- no, I don't mean to interrupt, but I want you to have plenty of time for your problem.
Maddox: Yeah! Let's get to this, we're runnin' out of time here. So, my last problem this week is...."Pennies"! (Dick and Sean roar with laughter) "Pennies." Big problem, guys.
Dick: Fuck pennies. (gleeful)
Maddox: Yeah, fuck pennies! I agree!
Dick: They stink!
Maddox: They...they do stink! (chuckling)
Dick: They fuckin' stink, I HATE them.
Maddox: Yeah! They smell like...they smell like what a robot's toes would smell like.
Dick: They smell like ass.
Maddox: Yeah! Yeah, Sean, that's like, a perfect analogy, right? Sean's nodding.
Sean: Yeah, that was oddly...accurate.
Sean: Not that any of us know what that would BE like, but...
Maddox: But if we did, that's probably what it'd smell like!
Maddox: Pennies would smell like robots' toes.
Sean: Yeah, we'll go with that.
Maddox: Or the other way around, yeah. So, here's the problem with them: first of all, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, Britain, Switzerland, AND Finland have all stopped producing pennies.
Maddox: These are modern nations. This is what modern nations do when they realize that they're just hemorrhaging money...on money. (Dick giggles)
Dick: Ha! Okay.
Maddox: Pennies are so fucking stupid and worthless! Uh, NPR did this segment -
Dick: (interjects) What do you mean, "hemorrhaging money on money"?
Maddox: Well, so here's what I'm getting at!
Maddox: So, a penny is worth only about...according to http://coinflation.com, it's worth only about 60 percent of the face value, and by some estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- um, this is from NPR -- they said it's only worth 4 percent of the face value. So it's 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper; there's hardly any copper in it. It's worth...so it costs 2.4 cents to make a penny! (incredulous)
Maddox: We're spending almost...we're spending almost 1.5 times the amount that it's WORTH to MAKE it!
Dick: And copper is worth a lot, isn't it? Now?
Maddox: It is, yeah!
Dick: 'Cause the inflation of copper -- it's been like, uh, it's worth a lot more than it was before.
Maddox: It is! Yeah. The -
Sean: (interjects) That's why everybody steals it outta job sites.
Maddox: Right. Pennies, like, I think 1982 was the cutoff; they changed the formula for pennies so that they reduced the copper in them. They used to be predominantly copper, now they're copper-plated zinc.
Maddox: And they're basically worthless. Um, if you go to http://coinflation.com, it's kind of interesting. They show all the different breakdowns of the melt value of a coin.
Dick: Oh, that's cool!
Maddox: Yeah! And, uh, quarters, same thing. Before 1964, I think, for a while they were using silver in the quarters, and those were worth about 3 dollars apiece. I find them all the time! I find silver quarters, and they just -- I keep them. They LOOK different than regular quarters.
Dick: Now, wait a minute, 'cause I saw...I read, uh, some libertarian shit where, if the quarter was kept as a silver coin?
Dick: It would have kept up with inflation. From 1965. I don't know if that's true. Did you uncover any of that in your research?
Dick: Where if it would've kept -- because, you know, the value of the...of the metal increases over time.
Dick: So instead of just being a token...
Dick: ...it is actually valuable as a *metal.*
Maddox: Yeah! Well, sure, but...I guess, yeah, because the value of the silver has increased with time.
Dick: Right, so it's no longer worth a quarter; it's worth the value of a quarter-sized hunk of silver.
Maddox: Well, potentially, but uh, you're running out. I mean, there's a very finite supply of these precious metals, that's why they're called "precious metals."
Dick: There ya go. (under his breath)
Maddox: Uh, so, I don't know if that's a sustainable economy. But the bottom line is, we don't need pennies. It's costing taxpayers, every year, 60 million dollars! We're just pissing away on making pennies that nobody uses. This guy called in to this NPR segment that I was reading - it's called "The Problems With Pennies," I think. [ http://www.npr.org/2012/04/11/150436259/the-problems-with-pennies] And he was talkin' about how he's a mechanic and, uh, he's worked on some job sites where he's made VERY little money, if anything at all. And he says when people bring in junked cars -- he's not a mechanic, actually, he just works in a junkyard.
Maddox: He says people bring in junked and wrecked cars, and he... (stumbles over words) Excuse me; he scavenges them for pennies. And he says he collects them all and then takes them to the store -- to one of those coin exchange machines -- just BUCKETS full of 'em.
Maddox: And sometimes that's the only money he makes! And the host was like, "Well, how much...how much money is in a bucket of pennies?" He's like, "You know, 13, 14 bucks." (Dick smirks) So... (cracks up) And he's like, "Yeah, it just doesn't sound like a very good use of your time."
Dick: It's probably about as much as you make in Herbalife. (wryly) (Maddox and Sean laugh) For about the same amount of work, so you don't have to dick your friends over.
Maddox: Yeah, and they don't have to drink a bunch of bullshit protein.
Dick: Yeah. (amused)
Maddox: That you're trying to shove down their throats, literally.
Dick: I hate pennies too, man. Whenever I clean my car, I have to, like, scoop them out of the middle console.
Maddox: Yeah. Every time I travel to another country, too, I like their coin system a lot better. Except for Mexico. Other than Mexico -
Dick: (interjects) What's wrong with Mexico?
Maddox: Their coins? Their pesos?
Dick: Don't they have, uh, cutouts in the middle?
Maddox: Yeah -
Dick: Like, the square cutout?
Maddox: No, their BILLS are fine. But the pesos, like, their equivalent of a penny is... (cracks up) ...*worthless.* Absolutely -- it feels like Monopoly money.
Maddox: It's almost plastic. I don't even know the kind of metal they're using, or...you know what? You know those candies you get on cakes sometimes? Like wedding cakes where there are silver-coated candies?
Dick: Uh, yeah!
Maddox: I think that's what they're using to make their pesos. (laughs with Dick)
Maddox: Yeah. They're -- you just eat them. (smiling) (Sean laughs in the background) They're garbage. Um, so next to the Mexican pesos...uh, the coin pesos...the penny is the worst currency I've ever had.
Dick: What are we gonna DO about it? All these pennies! Who's gonna stop them?
Maddox: Just stop using pennies. (slowly; exasperated) Uh, so I looked into it; it's not really a big problem if they just stopped using them across the board! They said one way they could solve this problem, to get rid of all the pennies in circulation and kickstart the economy, is to make every penny currently worth 5 cents that's in circulation. So people would start using those pennies... (Dick laughs loudly) Right?
Dick: That sounds insane! (grinning)
Maddox: Yeah! Well, it would give a boost to the economy, 'cause everyone who has all these pennies and stuff laying around, suddenly it's worth money!
Maddox: Then they're gonna go out and spend it, because the people who have pennies aren't rich people! They're housewives and people in Middle America. They're gonna have a bunch of expendable income that they didn't have before that they're gonna go out and spend. It's gonna be like a stimulus to the economy!
Dick: Oh, that would be WEIRD. If they did that.
Maddox: Yeah! So this guy who's -- this junkyard dude who's collecting buckets of pennies? For 13, 14 dollars a pop? Suddenly he's gettin', like, 50 bucks! You think he's gonna *invest* that? No! He's gonna go out and spend it, and probably on burgers or somethin'!
Dick: Buy some Natty Ice! (Maddox chuckles)
Maddox: There you go!
Dick: Couple cases of Natural Ice. Yeeeeah.
Maddox: There you go. And then it'll...it'll go right into, uh, the coffers of 7-Eleven. Make some fat cat rich again. (cynical) (laughs) That's how our economy works. But no, it would be a good stimulus if they made pennies worth 5 cents and then just eradicated them. Right across the board.
Dick: Does anybody just not...deal with them?
Maddox: Yeah, rich people! (chuckles)
Dick: Well, like, when you're getting change. From uh, you get coffee or something, and they're just like, "Here, I'm rounding up to 5." (Maddox sighs)
Dick: Who fuckin' cares? Can we just stop pretending like this is worth anything? Ya round up to the penny, so just round up to the nickel!
Maddox: Yeah, that's...that's what people are sayin', they would round up. So, some economists argue that it would hurt the poor and the lower class, uh, by rounding up. Because a lot of companies, instead of...instead of cutting the costs of items -- like, say, 99 cents, they would just say 95 cents?
Maddox: Um, they would round it up to the next dollar, so everything would across the board would cost a dollar more. But they said that with inflation, especially if we enable this 5-cent penny thing, that it would cancel out in about 5 to 10 years.
Dick: That'd be interesting! I like when...I like when, uh, silly games are proposed at the government level. (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: Silly games... (under his breath)
Dick: Let's just change the value of pennies to a nickel, and see the chaos that erupts from that. (mocking) And you know what people can use their pennies for?
Maddox: What's that?
Dick: Is buying a BONUS episode of this show, premiering tomorrow!
Maddox: Yes, sir! Bonus episode coming tomorrow! This is something that we've been working on for a long time and we're excited about. Uh, this is gonna be -- and a lot of people, frankly, have been asking for. The bonus episode is gonna be awesome. Um...
Dick: Yeah, my dad actually says, uh...last time I saw him he's like, "You know, you guys talk about a lot of problems, but you never have any solutions."
Maddox: Yeah! A lot of people say that. And sometimes they try to...uh, they try to hijack our show with solutions! We're like, "Dadadadadada!" (mimicking cutting someone off) (Dick laughs) This show's not about solutions!!
Maddox: It's about PROBLEMS.
Dick: Yeah. (amused)
Maddox: Yeah, so that's a little, uh...that's a little sneak peek of tomorrow. A little teaser of the episode. We're gonna announce this on the website; you'll see it on the website, it'll be available for everyone to download, and, uh, yeah! We hope you like it.
Dick: So scrounge up your pennies!
Maddox: Yeah! (amused) Yeah, scrounge up your pennies, and if you like the episode, recruit someone underneath you. (everyone explodes with laughter)
Dick: Alright. So, "Motorcycle Cop Fairings," and...
Dick: ..."Catcalling." And my problems were "Herbalife/Pyramid Schemes" and "Pennies." (closing riff starts) Which are worthless except for our episodes. So, bonus episode comin' tomorrow! Vote for these problems on the website!
Maddox: Thanks for listening.