The Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 54
Transcription courtesy of: Megan Pennock
Dick: Today's show is brought to you by Harry's! Please visit http://harrys.com and use the promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save 5 dollars off your first purchase.
Maddox: Welcome to The Biggest Problem in the Universe, I'm Maddox. With me is Dick Masterson.
Dick: Hey! What's up, buddy?
Maddox: And Sean, our audio engineer.
Maddox: Welcome back, welcome back!
Dick: Hey Sean, we skipped your greeting last week, didn't we?
Sean: You did. That's alright though. You do what the -
Maddox: (interjects) Yeah, 'cause we had the guest. We had...Ron was in studio.
Sean: You gotta get it in before the intro...
Maddox: Which...I don't know if you guys listen past the credits of this show. We've been doing this for a long time now. We've been throwing a little bumper at the end of each episode, and we kind of busted Ron's balls for being OCD, didn't we?
Maddox: Yeah, but after he left -
Dick: (interjects) Well, he outed himself as being OCD too.
Maddox: Yeah, he outed himself.
Dick: I don't know if that's medical or not. A lot of people just say "I'm OCD" when they're...not. Right?
Maddox: I believe it with Ron.
Dick: You believe it?
Maddox: I've been to his apartment, I've seen his... (chuckles) It's like, ev-...it's meticulous! It's clean, it's tidy, it's neat. A little too neat.
Dick: Oh, okay.
Maddox: Like, uh...you know? Like, um...
Dick: Like he's either gay or he's got a disorder.
Maddox: Uh... (laughs) It's probably the dis-
Dick: (interjects) That's the spectrum of OCD. (chuckling)
Maddox: Yeah. Um, it's almost -
Dick: (interjects) That's the flowchart.
Maddox: It's almost like a...like one of those dystopian futures where everything is so bright and sunny, but the wallpaper starts to peel off a little bit and it's all gray behind it, and you look behind and there's, like...just machines terrorizing people.
Dick: This is the man's apartment??
Maddox: But for being such a neat and tidy guy, alotta crumbs left behind where he was sitting last time. (both laugh) Ahh, I love shittin' on our guests when they're not in studio to defend themselves. (Dick cackles)
Dick: We should turn that into a bit.
Dick: Anybody that comes on, we just talk shit...we just gossip after they leave...
Dick: ...the next week.
Maddox: We'll get great access to great guests, I'm sure. (Dick laughs)
Dick: They like it!
Dick: People like it.
Maddox: Sure. People love -
Dick: (interjects) People like getting shit on.
Maddox: People love people talking behind their backs. (laughs)
Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Maddox: Alright Dick, the #1 problem from last week was Psychics! Yeeeeah! (clapping sound effect)
Dick: Ohh. (amused)
Maddox: Woo! ('ding!' sound effect) Yeah, Psychics.
Dick: I actually knew that would happen. I used my psychic abilities to predict that.
Maddox: Oho, yeah?
Maddox: What are you, an economist now? Same thing! Same thing. By the way, on Twitter -
Dick: (interjects) Stop it. (chuckling)
Maddox: On Twitter... (breaks down laughing)
Dick: Stop it, man.
Maddox: On Twitter I got all these economy majors who were hittin' me up and they were saying, "Maddox, you don't know what the fuck you're talkin' about! I'm an economist, I just graduated!" And I would just send them a picture. I'm like, "Yeah, here. Did you use one of these for your graduation ceremony?" and I sent them a picture of a crystal ball. (Dick laughs) Or, uh...I found another one. I'm like, "Here. Here's a picture of you," and it's just a picture of a psychic sitting there with, you know, one of those stupid hats.
Dick: Oh, you don't understand economics.
Maddox: Yeah. (sneering) Oh, I understand economics. I understand weather, too.
Dick: Go ahead! (grinning)
Maddox: Uh-huh! Predictions! More predictions. Anyway, Psychics, big problem. Thank you for voting that up. People finally listened to reason.
Dick: Little bit of a '90s throwback, though, Psychics. Don't you think? I remember them being prevalent in like the '90s on TV, but I don't hear about 'em much anymore.
Maddox: Not as much anymore, but they're still there. They're still, uh...they went underground. (Dick laughs) They've kind of distributed themselves. They've crowdsourced their bullshit.
Dick: Yeah? (smiling)
Sean: Did you guys know the FBI used 'em for like 30 years?
Maddox: That's true.
Sean: They did.
Maddox: There was a covert...yeah.
Sean: I'm almost sure it was the FBI, but they ended it maybe 7 or 8 years ago.
Dick: Oh, to solve cases? To help them solve cases?
Sean: Yeah, because guess what? It didn't increase any results.
Dick: Ohhh. Man, that's a shame.
Maddox: Yeah. PSYOPs! PSYOPs, and they looked into astral projection. There was a really -
Dick: (interjects) Augh.
Maddox: (chuckles) There was a really black-book secret project that they looked into for astral projection, and they tried to use these people to locate...I think missiles in Russia, or somethin' like that.
Dick: Good. (annoyed)
Maddox: Like, some crazy shit. Yeah. Well, didn't find shit, so.
Dick: How were Russia's psychics doing? Did we have a gap there? (Sean laughs in the background)
Maddox: You know what? It may have been a psychic battle, and it was a draw, a stalemate. (Dick laughs)
Dick: They were shielding? As much disdain as I have for it, I would love to be a psychic in the employ of the US government.
Dick: Like, to just make up shit?
Maddox: Yeah. (chuckling)
Dick: Like meet with the Russians and like, "Yeah yeah yeah, we're doing a psychic battle, so we're gonna tell these idiots that we're shrouding you from the Russian psychic waves, and you tell your boss the same thing." And then we just keep cashin' a check.
Maddox: Wouldn't it be great to boss around a 4-star general too? Like, "Dim the lights a little bit, please."
Dick: Yeah! (laughing)
Maddox: "I can't...I need more candles in here! Can you get me some incense?"
Dick: "Take your shoes off!"
Maddox: Yeah. (laughs)
Dick: "Take 'em off, take 'em off. Touch them. Pet them like a dog."
Maddox: "I can't predict the future with these unaligned chakras everywhere!" Anyway, Dick.
Dick: Yeah. (smiling)
Maddox: I got a comment. You know, every now and then we go back to previous episodes, because people are constantly commenting on our older episodes.
Maddox: And I bring in a comment that, uh, from an older episode. This one's from Episode 44, which was one of the most popular episodes of all time, I think, on our show.
Dick: Oh, really?
Maddox: Yeah, the stats are through the roof on that episode!
Maddox: That was the one where I brought in the Well-Intentioned Idiots problem.
Dick: Oh, yeah.
Maddox: You remember that?
Maddox: I got a comment from Julia Astrauckas. She says, "Huffington Post is the liberal Fox News no one needed or wanted." Amen, Julia. Because we also had the live episode in that episode...during that?
Dick: Ohh, yeah.
Maddox: Yeah. The live episode that our fans cherished. (angrily) (Dick laughs)
Dick: I wish we could bring some of those problems back in from the live episode.
Maddox: Oh, do you?
Maddox: Well, is that a little bit of foreshadowing on what we're about to talk about?
Dick: No, no, no. I'm not...no. No, I'm not gonna do that today. I just...I see something like student loans on there and I'm like, "I would love to talk about that for an hour."
Dick: Not like...not 2 minutes.
Maddox: We did need to discuss some of those problems a little bit longer. The format of the show is a longer-form format, so I don't think it lended itself well to the shorter format. I mean, it is what it is. It was entertaining, I thought.
Maddox: Which is to say that it was excellent and you guys are all fucking idiots. (Dick guffaws)
Dick: Caught yourself there.
Maddox: Yup. Um, I got a comment from Will Tower from...this is again from Episode 44. He said, "Dick, my very specific opinion is you should go fuck yourself."
Dick: H'okay. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Long setup for such -
Dick: (interjects) That's it?
Maddox: Yeah, that's it.
Dick: Oh. I got a voicemail. You wanna hear it?
Maddox: Yeah. [Dick plays first voicemail message]
Voicemail (male caller): (raspy Southern accent) Gentlemen. This is former president Bill Clinton. (Maddox laughs) I called you boys up 'cause I'm a fan of the show.
Voicemail: First off, Maddox, I have to say that obesity isn't all that bad. (Maddox chuckles) Some of us like women with a little extra meat on their bones.
Voicemail: Dick probably knows what I'm talkin' about with the bigger girls and the blowjobs. Am I right, Dick?
Dick: Ohh, yeah... (smiling)
Voicemail: Yeah. Bacon?
Dick: ...no. (Maddox laughs)
Voicemail: Bacon is a bipartisan issue that brings the American people together.
Voicemail: And it tastes delicious. Worshiping it is stupid, but it is still really tasty. Finally...
Maddox: Oh! (laughs)
Voicemail: ...my opinion on your views of the income tax: Dick, go fuck yourself. (Dick scoffs) (Sean chuckles in the background)
Dick: How many presidents have told me to go fuck myself on this show?
Maddox: Uh, 3, I believe. Right? We had Obama tell you to go fuck yourself...
Maddox: ...Clinton now.
Dick: Clinton did.
Maddox: Didn't Bush?
Dick: I think Bush did.
Maddox: Bush probably did, yeah.
Dick: So get out your history books, guys, if you're gonna tell me to go fuck myself. It's already been done.
Maddox: 3 presidents telling you to go fuck yourself. That's a...that's a lot! That's alotta pre-...that's more than...most people don't have 3 presidents tellin' them to do anything.
Dick: Yeah. (chuckling) I got another one. [plays next voicemail message]
Voicemail (male caller): Maddox, uh, you look great. I congratulate you on your weight loss.
Maddox: Oh, thanks.
Voicemail: I saw the live show; you look amazing. Dick, you need to cut your hair and your face looks fat. (Maddox giggles) It looks VERY different than the image in the upper right-hand corner of the website. (Dick and Maddox laughing) I feel like an idiot for telling you this...
Dick: Yeah, you are.
Voicemail: ...but you need to lose weight and get raped somehow.
Dick: Ohhh. (dismayed) (Maddox laughs)
Dick: You think MisterBurgers knows that his catchphrase "get raped" has been...has caught on on this show?
Maddox: I don't think so! So that catchphrase...if you guys don't remember, it was from our YouTube episodes, and I brought in a comment that someone kept saying over and over again in response to people who were criticizing our show and people who were in support of it, AND comments that were totally innocuous. His response every single time was "get raped," and so that's kinda caught on.
Dick: Alright, here's a good one. [plays next voicemail message]
Voicemail (male caller): Uh, hey guys. I'm, uh, I'm a sex education teacher, and uh...
Maddox: (chuckles) 'Kay.
Voicemail: ...I just wanted to read what one of my students wrote on his exam about conception. He says he didn't really study, but uh, he listened to this podcast and that he didn't need to, so. (Maddox laughs)
Voicemail: Uh, "A man swims out into the ocean with his beloved and wiggles around with the woman while treading water until the sperm that's floating around in his penis swims up into the woman's ovaries." (Dick and Maddox giggling)
Maddox: Could happen.
Dick: "Wiggles around." (amused)
Voicemail: Um, so good so far. "Then the woman says 'Oui, oui, oui' as you caress her bags of sand (Dick and Maddox laugh loudly) and she then pees out of her clitoris, which is just a tiny penis..."
Dick: Alllright. This is a joke. (Sean laughs in the background)
Voicemail: "...and one of the ovaries becomes a baby." Um, Maddox, I really enjoyed your role in the 40-year-old virgin. You really sold it.
Maddox: Shut up. (Dick cackles)
Voicemail: Very good. And I also teach Spanish, and one of my students wrote that the Spanish word for "smoking" is "farting."
Dick: This guy got all of his jokes in in one call! (chuckling)
Voicemail: So thank you for that too.
Voicemail: And Dick, go fuck yourself.
Dick: Aohhh! (exasperated) (Maddox and Sean laugh) God dammit. Alright, I have a serious comment.
Dick: I have a serious email to bring in. It's from Matt Barr. "Hey Dick, I am the Street Fighter challenger whose voicemail was played at the end of The Biggest Problem in the Universe Episode 50. Proof..." and then he has his number here. "...on April 21st at 5:39 Central Standard Time." He's very specific. (Maddox chuckles) Uh, "I sent Maddox a similar message, but I have yet to hear back." You won't hear back.
Dick: "There's a few points we need to touch on before this can happen, and I was hoping you could forward the message to him." (Maddox groans loudly) First of all, are you open...this guy is challenging you to a Street Fighter challenge. Are you open to this in any way? Can this...can you be convinced to fight someone at Street Fighter?
Maddox: Mm, I dunno, man. What's the purse? I'm like, um...I'm like Rocky comin' outta retirement. I'm a little rusty. I gotta go back into training, do my thing. What's the purse here?
Dick: So yes? So yes, that's a "yes."
Dick: That's a "yes." Uh, "#1: Regular Alpha 2 or Alpha Gold?" That's the first question. What Street Fi-...? I don't know what that means.
Maddox: Alpha. Regular Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha.
Dick: Well, he says "Regular Alpha 2 or Gold Edition?"
Maddox: What's Gold Edition?
Dick: I don't know!
Maddox: Oh, I think Gold Edition -
Dick: (interjects) Does that mean he knows more about Street Fighter than you?
Maddox: No, nobody...NOBODY knows more about Str-... (cracks up)
Dick: Alright! It says "Gold Edition," I don't know!
Maddox: ...about Street Fighter or sex than I do!
Dick: Alright. (chuckling)
Maddox: No-... (laughs more) Gold Edition, I think, was the one where they had alternate characters, or I think they made Rose playable, but it wasn't, um...yeah, I think that's what it was. I'm okay with...yeah. Street Fighter Alpha Gold? Sure.
Dick: Okay, Street Fighter Alpha Gold. That's the one you wanna play?
Maddox: That's Part 1, Gold. Right?
Dick: Uh, "I would prefer to play the arcade perfect version using a PC running MAME..." (Maddox groans) "...which is compatible with basically any controller." Is that acceptable?
Dick: Oho, 'kay.
Maddox: Because MAME is easy to hack! You can get a hacked ROM in there, you can -
Dick: (interjects) But what if it was your PC?
Maddox: If it was running on my PC, then how are we gonna play it? What, are we gonna network it and I'm gonna run the server?
Dick: Oh, he'd be running his own copy, are you saying?
Maddox: I guess. I don't know how...MAME networking...MAME-networked gameplay is kinda iffy.
Dick: Okay, so what's your counter-proposal?
Maddox: We'd have to do it in person at an arcade machine.
Dick: Okay! Arcade machine only.
Maddox: Yeah. 'Cause that way neither -
Dick: (interjects) I feel like I'm brokering the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight right now. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Except there's more at stake here.
Dick: There really is!
Dick: I would much rather see you fight someone at Street Fighter in an arcade than I would watch two men hug each other for 12 rounds.
Dick: "Local or online?" So you're saying local?
Dick: You're saying it must be local.
Dick: Uh, "I really hope you read this. Let me know what you think. - Matt Barr."
Maddox: Matt Barr.
Maddox: Never heard of this guy.
Dick: Well, he's tryin' to make a name for himself, buddy!
Maddox: Well, uh, good luck, Matt. That was meant completely sarcastically. You're gonna go down. (Dick laughs) You're gonna burn. You're gonna burn in hell! (yelling)
Dick: You wanna do any more comments? We take too much time on comments. You wanna get to the problems? You have any more comments?
Maddox: No, I just wanna...we have, uh, we have this...Dick, two episodes ago for our 1-year anniversary, or Episode 52 as you like to call it... (cracks up) (Dick scoffs) ...I brought in this questionnaire. We were gonna talk about it, but the episode went on for so long that we didn't have time.
Dick: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Maddox: It's a questionnaire that I brought in that we both kinda filled out. I wanted to know...because it was our 1-year anniversary, we didn't get to it. I wanted to mention, which votes...this is a question I asked both of us. Which votes were you most disappointed with of all the problems that we've brought in?
Dick: Um...am I most disappointed with?
Dick: It was either...it was either the Income Tax or Changing Your Sheets.
Maddox: Do you remember what the Income Tax problem got?
Dick: It was in the positives, but it was...it was...
Maddox: Way too low.
Dick: ...just limping along.
Dick: I think it was in the triple digits.
Maddox: You know, you corrected yourself...or actually clarified, rather, in the following episode, but I think a lot of people confused your Income Tax problem with taxes in general.
Dick: Taxes in general? Yeah.
Maddox: Do you have a problem with taxes in general?
Dick: Well, I don't wanna pay them.
Maddox: (snorts) Okay.
Dick: But what do you...yeah. Do you want more than that?
Maddox: Well, no. 'Cause this'll derail into a tax argument, and I'm...
Dick: Yeah, they exist.
Maddox: ...I'm gonna have to call you a libertarian again.
Maddox: Uh... (laughs)
Dick: And everyone's done with your thoughts on economics.
Maddox: Oh, okay!
Dick: Can we say that finally?
Maddox: Ohh! (smiles)
Dick: No more economy talk on this show?
Maddox: As long as we don't mention psychics, I'm fine with not mentioning economists. Um, my problem that I think that I was really disappointed with the vote was Self-Checkout Lanes. It was -613, I think, as of this writing.
Dick: Yeah, they're great!
Maddox: Self-checkout lanes are a huge problem, man. And I definitively proved it in that episode by bringing in studies and evidence and case studies and, uh...personal accounts from customers who said they hated those things and they were garbage, and then grocery store chains pulling them out because they were A) inefficient, B) made a worse experience...worse customer experience, and C) didn't save them money!
Dick: I remember you sayin' all that, but uh, you're just wrong.
Maddox: Yeah. I guess our fans' ears are fulla shit. (Dick laughs) (cracks up) Then the second question I have, Dick, which is: which problem would you like to have a do-over on?
Dick: Oo, boy. Well, all the ones I'm disappointed in...oh, I'll tell you which problem I'd like to have a do-over on: Snapchats of Not Tits.
Maddox: Okay. (chuckling)
Dick: Because after that episode I got a bunch of Snapchats of tits. (cracking up)
Maddox: Ahhh-hah, great.
Dick: So, doing it again.
Maddox: Yeah, I got a few. That was pretty cool. Thank you for bringing that in. (laughs)
Dick: Yeah, you're welcome.
Maddox: You f-...
Dick: That's why I brought it up again too, by the way.
Maddox: Yeah. I'm glad you're takin' this show seriously, asshole! (Dick cackles)
Maddox: We're tryin' to find the biggest problem in the universe! Well, here's my SERIOUS answer: Facebook.
Dick: Okay. (grinning)
Maddox: Facebook was the problem...because I really feel like I got steamrolled in that episode. I didn't have a chance...there was such limited time, and I made such a great case that nobody listened to because you got shit in your ears.
Dick: Well, we need more time!
Maddox: Yeah, we do need more time. And then, what do you think should be #1 on the list? If the -
Dick: (interjects) Hunger.
Dick: Hunger should be the #1 thing.
Maddox: Hunger doesn't even affect as many people as half the shit that's on that list!
Dick: It's horrible though! It's a horrible thing. The scarcity of resources is so bad that people are starving to death? That's awful.
Maddox: It's not the scarcity of resources; it's the inefficient distribution models that we have.
Dick: I... (exhales)
Maddox: We have more than enough food, we just can't get it to people.
Dick: In America.
Maddox: Well yeah, in America, but the companies aren't shipping them to some of these countries. And it's not a simple -
Dick: Yeah, why would they?
Maddox: Well, it's not a simple thing. It's not a simple solution where you just ship them food and then that's that, because we did that in Haiti after their earthquake, and what it did is...Haiti's #1 export, I think, was rice.
Maddox: Or one of...the #1 thing that they produced in their country was rice, so we basically put local farmers out of business when we were just sending them free rice. (Dick chuckles)
Dick: Yeah! Welp, sucks!
Maddox: Yeah, and then when the funds dried up we stopped sending them free rice. Well, the local farmers went out of business already, so we actually impacted their economy even worse than before.
Dick: Yeah, so it's hard to fix!
Maddox: Um, that problem is a big problem and definitely deserves to be on the list, easily in the top 20. I don't think it's the #1 problem, because I think -
Dick: (interjects) It's 11 right now.
Maddox: I think...okay! I'm okay with that.
Dick: Yeah. I track it every day. (Sean and Maddox laugh)
Maddox: I bet you do, you pedantic fuck. (Dick laughs) Uh, #1 on the list -
Dick: (interjects How is that pedantic?!
Maddox: I dunno, it's just...
Dick: Petty maybe, not pedantic.
Maddox: Well, both! Both...it's all the 'p's.
Dick: Yeah. What was your problem?
Maddox: Mine is Anti-Vaxxers. I think Anti-Vaxxers is really...has the potential to undo us as humanity.
Dick: I think their steam's kinda wearin' off on those guys, though. Like, EVERYBODY'S harpin' on them now.
Dick: They're becoming like...what was that religion where they didn't do...they wouldn't go to the doctor? That Jim Henson died of?
Dick: No. (Maddox laughs)
Sean: No, it -
Dick: (interjects) Jews ARE the doctors. They don't need to go anywhere.
Sean: Jehovah's Witnesses don't.
Dick: Yeah. They don't go to the doctor?
Maddox: Ohh, yeah.
Sean: That's what he was. Aren't there...? Eh...
Dick: I think they're, like, relegated to the side. Like, they're not growing. Anti-vaxxers aren't growing anymore.
Dick: If anything, they're declining.
Maddox: I hope, man. But I still know some anti-vaxxers who have families. This friend of mine has a family, 3-4 kids? I don't know how many kids. They're always poppin' out kids. And, uh, she doesn't believe in vaccinations! She thinks that she knows better than doctors with degrees and everyone else in society, apparently.
Maddox: It's just selfish. It's one of the most selfish things you can do.
Dick: Armchair doctors. Can you imagine how that guy who started it all feels? Like, he...he debunked his own research, the doctor who originally put out this idea that vaccinations cause autism?
Sean: He was completely discredited.
Maddox: Yeah. His -
Dick: (interjects) Yes.
Maddox: The study that he published was recalled, and it's one of the most famous recalled studies. They recanted that study. They said, "This guy is a charlatan. He - "
Dick: (interjects) Hasn't he also recanted on it? Or is he still...?
Maddox: I think so, yeah.
Sean: But all you have to do is put it out there.
Dick: Oh, man.
Sean: And people are gonna hang on to it 'cause it's scary.
Maddox: Yeah, it's out in the ether.
Dick: Like, he is responsible for so many deaths.
Maddox: So we agree that #1 should be Anti-Vaxxers. Thank you. (Sean laughs in the background) Um, let's move on to the problems, Dick.
Dick: Yeah. (smiling)
Maddox: You want me to go first?
Maddox: My first problem this week is people who complain about being cold all the time.
Sean: Mmm. (in background)
Maddox: WAH. (buzzer sound effect) Crybabies! Just a buncha suck-ass sissies.
Dick: Well, it's all women.
Maddox: It's... (chuckles) It's almost every girlfriend I've ever had.
Maddox: You know who doesn't complain about being cold all the time? Fat people. (Dick and Sean laugh)
Maddox: So, none of my girlfriends. (giggles)
Dick: So you brought in women as a problem? (cracking up)
Maddox: No, no, no. I'm just bustin' balls here. I'm just...I'm bustin' boxes here. (smiles)
Maddox: But, uh...but yeah, it's people who complain about being cold all the time. It's guys and girls, and it's really unbecoming of humanity, I think, to complain about being cold all the time. What are you, a fucking lizard? Are you a reptile? Get a jacket, eat a pepper, drink some Tabasco, and fuck off! What's the big deal? Why can't you just stay warm? Why is it so hard to stay warm? And these people -
Dick: (interjects) 'Cause it's cold.
Maddox: It's... (everyone laughs) "Wahh, it's cold!" These people complain incessantly about how cold it is, and then you know what they do? They ruin the fun for others. (Dick guffaws) They say they hate the cold, they'll stay away from the s-...look man, I'm not a fan of the cold. I grew up in Utah, I'm fucking tired of it. It's GROSS.
Maddox: I'm done with the cold.
Maddox: However, when I'm in the cold, I just deal with it! I sit around and it's not a big deal. Okay, I'm a little bit inconvenienced by the temperature in this room. Who gives a shit??
Dick: Yeah, I do think you're just talking about everyone's wife though. (Maddox chuckles) Or girlfriend. Like, I really...this is a real sneaky way to do that, but...eh, they're cold! They're small. They don't have...they don't have big bodies with muscles generating heat all the time.
Maddox: So eat a fuckin' steak! Can't you gain a couple pounds and shut the fuck up? Pleeease?
Dick: I don't think it works like that. (cracking up)
Maddox: Like a bear? I'll tell you, man. (Sean laughs in the background) When I was heavier -
Sean: (interjects) Like a bear! (laughing)
Dick: Ohh, no. No more Fat Maddox stories. (Maddox laughs) People are sick of the Fat Maddox stories.
Maddox: You know who is, though, is Asterios. He had a status update that said somethin' like "The worst things to talk about in this world," and #1 was like "people who used to be fat talkin' about how skinny they are now."
Dick: Oh GOD, yeah.
Maddox: And #2 was, like, ethnic cleansing or somethin'. Like... (cracks up) Somethin' like that, but...
Maddox: Um, no. When I was fatter, I would never, ever get cold. I remember I would walk around without jackets all the time. In fact, I went through a 4-year span of my life without wearing jackets, because when I lived in...when I had my place in Utah I rented two apartments, and I lived in one and I worked out of the other. And a lot times...they were like a block, a block and a half apart.
Dick: Oh, can we go through that for a little bit first?
Dick: You had two apartments, one just to work in?
Dick: What do you mean, "work in"?
Maddox: I set up my -
Dick: (interjects) Like be on the computer?
Maddox: Yeah. To write my book, my manuscript for my first book, and also to do my online store.
Maddox: Where I would ship t-shirts out of, so I needed a place to store all that stuff. 'Cause that stuff used to be in my living room, and it was just, uh, piled to the CEILING.
Maddox: Literally, there wasn't...you couldn't even fit a piece of paper in between the boxes piled in this...in my apartment. It was just a mess. So I finally got a second apartment, because I looked into the price and it was...it cost like 400 dollars for a 1-bedroom apartment, so combined for both apartments it cost me 1,000 dollars, and this is downtown Salt Lake City.
Maddox: I had a combined 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 3 bedrooms. It was great! But the apartments were about a block and a half apart, so a lot of times late at night when I'd be working I would just walk to one apartment wearin' my shorts and flip flops and no jacket, and walk back home because it's just a block and a half. Who gives a shit?
Maddox: And one day there was a blizzard, and I'm walkin' in this blizzard and I thought, "Wow, you know what? It's really cold, and my body's probably working harder to produce heat. I'm probably burning more energy." And that kind of spawned a theory of mine a long time ago -- this was like, back in 2004, 2005 -- about an ice diet, where I would swallow ice to keep my body temperature low at all times.
Maddox: Yeah. That's a thing now!
Dick: That's true, yeah.
Maddox: Yeah, it's a thing now. Like, people are sayin' that.
Maddox: That's an actual thing. Anyway, I came up with that theory. And that happened when I was walkin' back and forth, and I decided...and then I looked into it and I found out...I think it was Socrates, was the philosopher? I found out he never wore jackets and he would walk around in the cold barefoot, so I thought, "Well, fuckin'...if Socrates did it, I'm gonna do it!" (Dick giggles) So that kind of inspired me. That started a 4-year span of my life where I boycotted jackets. I stopped wearing jackets altogether. I refused to wear jackets!
Dick: Are the temperatures similar in Utah and ancient Greece?
Maddox: I think so, because I looked... (Sean laughs in the background) They're about the same -
Dick: (interjects) I don't think so. It's like a...like, it didn't snow in Greece ever, did it?
Maddox: Yeah! They specifically talked about how Socrates would walk around barefoot in the snow.
Dick: In the snow? (incredulous)
Dick: Oh! I dunno.
Maddox: So I went through this phase where I didn't wear jackets, to my personal, financial, and possibly career detriment. I was in New York visiting with the president of the publishing company I was with...
Maddox: ...and he said, "Maddox, your book's doin' well. I'm gonna take you out to the best steak restaurant in New York."
Dick: Big mistake. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: And he said...I showed up and he said, "Um, do you have a jacket?" and I said, "No, I don't wear jackets." Very proud, like, startin' to go off on my stupid theory, right? (Dick cackles) He's like, "Uh, do you - "
Dick: (interjects) You're like a fucking sitcom character! (both laugh)
Maddox: So he said, uh...he said, "You don't have a jacket?" and I said, "No, I don't wear jackets," and I went on and on.
Dick: "Did you not hear me, you fat fuck? I don't WEAR jackets." (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: So I told him my theory, and he seemed really unimpressed. He said, "Okay." (Dick laughs more) "Well, can you find a jacket?" I said, "No, I don't need one. I'm fine." And I didn't...I wasn't picking up the subtext here. He said, "Uh, you should really get a jacket. It's gonna rain tonight." I said, "It's okay, I walk in the rain all the time!" So I refused jackets -
Dick: (interjects) Did you tell him the Socrates part though?
Maddox: I did! Yeah.
Dick: Of course. (laughs)
Maddox: I explained... (cracks up) I explained the Socrates part.
Dick: Can you imagine this poor guy? What is he, like a VP of a publishing company?
Maddox: He's the president! The owner!
Dick: The president of the publi-...the pres-...the owner of the publishing company has to go home that day, and his wife's like, "How was work?" and he's like, "These FUCKIN' authors." (Maddox laughs) "This fuckin' jackass comes into the building today and he's makin'...he's walking around pretending to be Socrates." (Maddox laughs harder) "Who the fuck...where the fuck do these people come from?"
Maddox: So I show up to this steakhouse, one of the best in New York, and...you know, ridiculously expensive steaks, like 100 dollars plus, and so I walk in and I notice everyone in the restaurant is wearing a jacket and, like, a suit.
Dick: Like a nice jacket?
Maddox: And a tie, yeah.
Maddox: Meanwhile, I'm wearing a shirt with tanks on it and jeans.
Maddox: And so I walk in and I thought, "Wow, I'm really underdressed. I feel like an asshole. Now I get it." He was tel-... (both laugh) He was tellin' me...
Dick: (interjects) How old were you?
Maddox: ...to wear a jacket. This was when my book came out in 2006, so what, like 8 years ago? Yeah.
Dick: Ohoho, my...
Sean: I'm surprised they didn't have jackets.
Dick: Yeah, they usually do.
Maddox: They usually do. However, I think this worked a little bit in my favor because they know the owner of the publishing company and they know that he's a regular, so he's a high roller. He comes in, they don't wanna insult him, they don't wanna insult me. And they saw that I was with him -
Dick: (interjects) Mm, definitely him, yeah. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: They saw that I was with him, and they realized...they treated me so differently when they saw that I was standing next to him. 'Cause when I walked in I got all these eye rolls and glares, right?
Maddox: Then I walked up next to the publisher and they said, "Oh, right this way, right this way!" And they thought I was such a big shot because I was able to walk into this restaurant not wearin' a jacket, wearin' my stupid graffiti tank shirt, and they sat me down and they were...everyone's like, "Oh, who's that guy? Who's that guy?" (hushed voice) "He must be real important, 'cause he's not wearin' a jacket!" Yeah.
Dick: They must be used to dealing with the biggest screwballs that come from a publishing company, like other authors who also don't understand what having a nice dinner means.
Maddox: I think authors are meek.
Dick: Why? What do you mean?
Maddox: Most authors are very meek. They come from the Midwest, they're just very unused to...I think that's what I was too, a little bit.
Maddox: When I met this guy. They don't know what to expect. They don't, uh, they're not used to that lifestyle, so. Anyway man, that's my story. Oh, plus I was drenched in rain. (both laugh) 'Cause it was a torrential rain outside.
Dick: You have a habit of showing up soaked for meetings. Important meetings.
Dick: Remember when you rode your bicycle to that meeting at, uh, Fox?
Maddox: Oho, which one? (laughs)
Dick: And you ran around in a panic because they had no bike rack?
Maddox: Oh, yeah.
Dick: So you had to, like, tie it to a parking meter or something? Or like a...a homeless person? (cracking up)
Maddox: Yeah... (Sean laughs in the background)
Dick: To go up to your meeting, and you were drenched in sweat when you got up there?
Maddox: Oh boy, that was ano-... (Dick giggles) That happened another time at Comedy Central, specifically. Anyway man, the point is I wasn't cold. I just sucked it up.
Dick: Yeah, but so what's your problem with people who are cold? Like, what's your...what's a temperature? What's a temperature that's acceptable for you to be at?
Maddox: I think...I think -
Dick: (interjects) 'Cause I run hot.
Maddox: 50 and above, shut the fuck up.
Dick: You're...that's INSANE.
Maddox: 50 is comfortable!!
Dick: Maddox, you can't think that 50 degrees...you can't think it's okay to keep people in 50 degrees in the house.
Maddox: Ohh, get outta here! If I get into the ocean and it's 50 degrees? "Hey, it's a great day! Get in the ocean! Throw me a beach ball, let's do this!"
Dick: So if your house was at 50 degrees and somebody was complaining, that would be a problem for you?
Maddox: Uh, it would be...it's a little colder than average, but yeah.
Maddox: 50's n-...what are you...? See, this is a traditional California pussy, and here's what I'm disappointed in reporting. (Dick scoffs) Guys, I...after I lost weight and, you know, if you...the longer you live in a warmer climate, the more acclimated you get to it?
Maddox: It's turned me into a little bit, a *little* bit, of a pussy.
Dick: You know what really annoys me...
Dick: ...about you jackasses from the cold? You're so proud of how...
Dick: ...of how you can take the cold weather.
Dick: It's so annoying. It's like, you didn't do anything! You just live where it's cold.
Maddox: You became -
Dick: (interjects) It wears off if you don't live there, so shut the fuck up about it.
Maddox: I don't think you can adjust! I don't think so, Dick. I think the cold would chew you up and spit you out like a toothpick.
Dick: Of course you adjust, 'cause you didn't do anything to get it! You just sat there on your ass walking from one apartment to another!
Maddox: Did you not hear my boycott of jackets for 4 years?!
Sean: Some of 'em talk like they're genetically superior or something like that.
Maddox: That's me, Sean!
Dick: Yeah, they talk like they're the master race 'cause they can take it. They're like, "Oh, huh, look at you guys wearing your jeans! I'm only wearing high water pants. You're a bunch of pussies."
Dick: It's like, "Yeah, you live where it's cold, dude. Shut the fuck up."
Dick: Like, is your...is where you live so shitty that you have to be proud of something as stupid as being able to take it when it's cold?
Maddox: Yes dickhead, because it's tough to live there! You...people die in the harsh climates that we grew up in as children!
Dick: Oh, get over yourself.
Maddox: And then when you come to California, "Oooh, it's a bit nippy! It's 69 degrees, oohoohoo!" (Dick laughs) "Lemme get my scarf out!" All these fuckin' hipster PUSSIES standing around Intelligentsia Coffee...
Dick: Ohh. (smiling)
Maddox: ...with their twirly mustaches. Idiots.
Dick: You're such a man 'cause you can take it when it's cold outside.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah!
Dick: Oh my god, where would we be without you tough guys to take it when it's 50 degrees outside?
Maddox: I'll tell you. I'll tell you where you'd be: in a coffee shop...
Dick: Yeah. (sneering)
Maddox: ...sipping an expensive latte, ya pussies. You wanna hear the story of when I finally broke down and started wearing jackets?
Dick: Yes. (both laugh) It wasn't that??
Maddox: No! No.
Dick: That didn't shame you into doing it?
Maddox: This was a real stupid fuck-up. Um, I went to London in December... (Dick giggles) ...and I...here is the heaviest, thickest thing that I packed: one flannel shirt. (Dick laughs more) That's it! Everything else in my suitcase was short-sleeve, and I only brought one pair of pants and a couple shorts with me.
Maddox: So I walk... (cracks up) ...show up in London and it's fucking bitter cold, and I'm walkin' around thinkin', "Okay, if I shop...if I walk around and I hop in from shop to shop at, you know, 15-minute intervals at a time and I'll just pretend like I'm browsing so I warm up," you know?
Dick: And this...you're still okay with your principle of not wearing a jacket like Socrates, even though you're leapfrogging like a homeless man from shop to shop. (Sean laughs in the background)
Dick: This is still a win?
Dick: Okay. (about to laugh)
Maddox: And every time I would see a pasty shop...for Americans who don't know, pasties are these little pocket...they're almost like hot pockets -
Dick: (interjects) It's like a piece of bread full of jizz, right?
Maddox: Noo. It's...they're delicious. It's like a calzone filled with, like, curry and chicken and beef. They're really good!
Maddox: They're doughy and just chewy. They're really good. So every time I saw a pasty shop I would stop in, buy a pasty to warm up my hands, (Dick giggles) and then I'd walk to the next shop and just browse souvenirs while I warmed up, and I thought, "I could just keep doin' this my entire trip in London." And so then... (chuckles) I was doin' the tourist thing and I was goin' to see the London Eye and all this other bullshit, so I was walkin' across this bridge...'cause right by the London Eye there's this big stretch of water.
Maddox: And the wind was blowing across that water, and it started...it was overcast and it started to snow.
Dick: The Thames, isn't it?
Dick: The Tham-...that's the Thames River? (pronounced "tame")
Maddox: Thames River? I think so, yeah.
Sean: "Thames." (pronounced "tems")
Maddox: Oh, Thames. Okay.
Dick: Yeah. Oh, it's Thames? Is that how you say it?
Sean: Yeah, I think so.
Maddox: Whatever, I'm sure some Brit's gonna correct us in the comments. So I was walkin' across this bridge and the wind blew so hard with snow and ice, I actually felt frost on my face. (Dick laughs) Like, my cheeks were frosty and I kinda scraped it off. And I was so fucking cold, I was shivering, and there was this little Chinese lady...it was right about the time all the shops were closing up, and she was selling scarves and gloves -
Dick: (interjects) And she said, "Ahh, abominable snowman!!" (both laugh) "Run for your life!" (Sean laughs in the background)
Maddox: That's Vietnamese, asshole. You always do Vietnamese instead of Chinese. (both crack up) Anyway, so this lady's sellin' all this stuff, and I walk up to her. I said, "Um, how much?" and before she could even answer I said, "Whatever, I'll buy everything! I'll buy everything!" (both laugh) I bought...I made her fuckin' day, dude. I didn't haggle for anything, I paid her whatever she was asking. I bought a hat, I bought gloves, I bought a scarf...I bought two scarves to, like, wrap around my arms, and then I bought so much shit there. I bought an extra hat just in case I dropped mine.
Dick: You became a homeless person! (giggling) (Maddox and Sean laugh) Like, you literally became a homeless person, just grabbing garments of clothing!
Dick: Anything that you can get to wrap around your body.
Maddox: And I bought this, like, stupid-looking fleece poncho or something she was selling. I thought, "Whatever, I don't give a shit. I'm gonna die out here if I don't wear something."
Dick: Maddox, you make your life so much more complicated than it has to be (Maddox laughs) with your asinine, like...with your principles.
Maddox: Yeah. They're principles, Dick. (Dick laughs more) Anyway.
Dick: I want...I know you're working on a book.
Dick: How far...how's that going, by the way?
Dick: What percentage?
Dick: I'm making a thermometer over here.
Maddox: Eh, percentages. You know, they're just numbers. (laughs)
Dick: Okay, that tells me...that tells me it's less than 10.
Maddox: Oh, uh...uh, whew, I'm sweatin'. (both laugh)
Dick: Okay! That tells me...
Maddox: I'm not cold right now!
Dick: That tells me 10...it's a LOT less than 10.
Maddox: Dick, the publisher might be listening. (both giggle)
Maddox: It's comin' along great, guys,
Dick: Alright, I'm gonna keep this thermometer on the back of... (trails off)
Maddox: Great. And thanks for signing up for the mailing list! I still haven't sent out the final verdict, but I...people called me out on that, when I said you have to give me a reason why you think that you should be signed up for this mailing list. Some people are fuckin' with me in there.
Maddox: One of 'em said, "I used..." This guy said, "I used to beat up computer science majors like you in high school when I was a kid," and that's what his response was. Deleted!
Dick: You deleted that? It's funny.
Maddox: Well, I put it on the, uh, the "maybe" list. We'll see.
Dick: Yeah, that's the best part of having those lists. Like when we had the list for the live show, the answers that everybody put in...
Dick: ...were hilarious.
Maddox: Dick, what's your...what's your problem?
Dick: So...nonono, I was gonna say...so the book that you're writing, I know it's not gonna be what I'm about to pitch you, but what I really wanna read is "Making Your Life More Complicated" by Maddox. (Maddox chuckles) And it's just full of these stories, like, "Here's how I became a homeless man," and it all starts with "I wanted to be more like Socrates." (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Yeah, I was just walkin' between two apartments.
Dick: Yeah! (grinning)
Maddox: In a blizzard, yeah.
Dick: "Where this is, like, I'm gonna...this is the goal: I'm gonna live like...I'm gonna walk a mile in Socrates' jacketless shoes."
Maddox: Yeah, it's smart! I did it for 4 years, fuck you.
Dick: Today's show is brought to you by Harry's. (Maddox laughs) Please visit http://harrys.com and use the promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save 5 dollars off of your first purchase. Do you use...so Maddox and I were sent Harry's shave kits to use.
Dick: I still use mine.
Maddox: I still use mine too!
Dick: Yeah, it...I'm saying this honestly. It did have a significant impact in my life because I shave now all the time, 'cause I don't wanna look like a bearded fuck.
Dick: Like, that's what's in style now, to look sloppy.
Maddox: Beards are pretty cool. They don't always look sloppy.
Dick: But I do use it all the time.
Maddox: Yeah, no, I use mine...I use mine to trim my beard. Those blades, I don't know what they make them with, like titanium or something, but my whiskers are pretty fuckin' tough and normal blades only last like 2 or 3 shaves before I have to throw them out. These Harry's ones have lasted me weeks and weeks.
Dick: By cutting out the middleman, they can offer an amazing shave at a fraction of the price of drugstore brands. Give Harry's a shot. How 'bout that?
Maddox: Is that -
Dick: (interjects) Harry's is...wait. Go to http://harrys.com. They'll give you 5 bucks off your order if you put in "BIGGESTPROBLEM".
Maddox: "BIGGESTPROBLEM" is the promo code for 5 bucks off. Thank you, Dick.
Maddox: What's your problem?
Dick: My problem is, um...this is a very personal problem. It opened up to me, like, a can of worms.
Dick: I thought it was just gonna be a very simple kind of throwaway problem...
Dick: ...but as I dug and dug, it got a lot deeper and it got a lot more interesting.
Maddox: Sounds like a problem with deep roots!
Dick: (chuckles) What?
Maddox: It sounds like it's a problem with some...that has some roots! Some deep roots, yeah.
Dick: Yeah! Oh, yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, so first I have to address something, and I don't know if this is gonna upset anyone. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: I wish you guys could hear eye rolls, 'cause there was one definitely in this studio. (laughs more)
Dick: Sean, I don't bring this up...I'm not trying to bust balls. It's interesting to me to talk about. I like talking about everything that goes on on this show. I like talking about the behind-the-scenes stuff, because I think it gives people an insight into, you know, into the dynamic here.
Dick: And that's interesting.
Maddox: Sometimes, yeah.
Dick: Sometimes it's interesting. I think this time it is interesting.
Sean: Mhm. (sarcastic) (Dick and Maddox laugh)
Maddox: Sean looks like the expression Lurch from the Addams Family has on his face permanently. That's the expression on Sean's face right now. (cracks up)
Dick: Also a little bit of Hannibal Lecter.
Maddox: Yeah, a little bit.
Dick: There was talk before our year anniversary show (Sean exhales irritatedly) of you bringing in a problem. (Maddox giggles) Right? That's...that's a true statement. (laughing)
Sean: I remember somebody saying, "You should bring one in for the 52nd!" and I said, "Alright."
Dick: Everybody!! Everybody.
Maddox: How did...no, who...how did they ask you to do that, Sean?
Sean: Who's "they"? It was you guys!
Maddox: Well, who's this person? Who's... (laughs) Who's this person? How did you get that request?
Dick: Alright, we'll get there.
Sean: I don't remember!
Dick: We'll get there.
Dick: Okay. Everybody wanted you to bring in a problem though, right?
Maddox: Well, people have been asking for a long time 'cause they like Sean. Sean's the star of the show. Everybody...they shit on me and Dick, and for some reason you are the show's darling and you are untouchable. Everybody loves you, Sean.
Dick: Untouchable. Even with the fuckin' deleting thing!
Dick: People were immediately jumping to your defense!
Sean: Yeah, that's weird.
Sean: Not that I don't appreciate it, but that's weird.
Dick: They sense something. They sense something, and they knew that if you brought in a problem, you would probably be the most rational...either you would be the most rational person or you would completely surprise everybody and be just as big of a maniac as us. Right? That was the tease.
Dick: That's what everybody was waiting for.
Maddox: That was the hope, yeah. (Sean exhales again)
Dick: That was the hope. That was the question that needed to be answered. So... (Maddox chuckles) So you brought in a problem. I thought it was a great problem! I don't wanna go over the line either. Tell me if I'm...if this is not funny.
Sean: No, you're fine.
Dick: Okay. You brought in a problem, and then...then you guys broke my heart. (Maddox laughs) Didn't you?
Maddox: Dick, I didn't know you had a heart.
Maddox: That's a surprise to me.
Dick: What happened to that problem?
Maddox: Well, uh...
Dick: It didn't show up, did it?
Maddox: No. The problem...the problem didn't show up.
Dick: What happened?
Maddox: And I don't think that a single person who was listening to that episode could tell.
Maddox: It was masterfully edited.
Dick: Yeah! It was erased from history, like Marty McFly's family.
Maddox: Deleted! Let's say "deleted." (cracks up)
Dick: Deleted. (amused)
Maddox: Sean, do you wanna...do you wanna talk about this or nah?
Sean: Yeah! What the hell.
Maddox: Sean actually DID bring in a problem for our big 1-year anniversary.
Maddox: And why specifically? Do you remember what...at whose behest, Sean? 'Cause I can tell you.
Maddox: You received an email, I think, in all caps right before... (laughs) ...right before the show. Dick, do you know anything about this email?
Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know.
Maddox: What did the email say?
Dick: I said, "Bring in a fuckin' problem."
Sean: It was more like a reminder.
Maddox: Oh, a reminder. Okay.
Maddox: So it wasn't an outright demand that you bring in a problem. So Sean did bring in a problem, and we recorded it and it was a great problem!
Dick: I thought it was great.
Maddox: Yeah! It was -
Dick: (interjects) Honestly, I thought it was great.
Maddox: It added to -
Dick: (interjects) I've listened to it a dozen times.
Maddox: I still haven't heard it, but it added to our...the length of that episode, which was already long.
Maddox: It came in...the final episode came in, I think, around an hour and 45 minutes.
Maddox: Somethin' like that, with Sean's problem in it.
Sean: No, I think it was like 2 hours.
Dick: Yeah, it was like...it was closer to 2 hours.
Maddox: 2 hours, yeah! It was a huge, huge episode. Still a huge episode even without Sean's problem...
Maddox: ...because of my brilliant takedown of the economic fallacy.
Dick: ANYWAY. (Maddox laughs) So, the next day -
Sean: (interjects) Can we talk about dog food?
Dick: No! (giggles)
Maddox: Yeeeah! (smiling)
Dick: So the day before the problem goes up, who gets a text? Maddox gets a text first from Sean.
Maddox: I get a text, and Sean said he wasn't too happy with how he defended the problem. He said he wasn't prepared enough, and he asked if he could cut it from the episode. Right?
Sean: Well, I thought of it just about midnight the night before.
Sean: And it was a lame problem in my opinion. I didn't prepare at all, and I just came in and it was like audio cancer to me. (Maddox chuckles)
Dick: Well, that's what you said to me: "Objectively, it was bad," and I said, "Absolutely not."
Sean: Well, here's the thing.
Dick: (interjects) "Absolutely not objectively."
Sean: Yeah, not at the time. Turned out I was right though.
Dick: What do you mean??
Maddox: (chuckles) What do you mean?
Sean: Because I listened to it the next day! You know, we've talked about this, uh, this statement somebody told me one time. They said, "When you're performing in anything, it's very rarely as good or as bad as you think it is."
Sean: It's usually somewhere in the middle. And I've played guitar live a million times, and there's been shows where I thought I was dying up there.
Sean: And you know, people would tape the shows and stuff like that, and I'd get a copy of it and it was never as bad as I thought.
Sean: You know? I'm my own worst critic. But this was actually as bad or worse than I thought it was when I went back and listened to it.
Maddox: Yeah, but Sean, that's not how you -
Sean: (interjects) And I think...I think that the show deserves better!
Maddox: Oh, that is a very diplomatic way of gettin' out of this, buddy. (smiles)
Dick: He's tryin' to butter you up.
Sean: No! It's -
Dick: (interjects) He's tryin' to sneak that...
Maddox: I agree.
Sean: I honestly do! If I'm gonna bring in a problem, I'm going to bring in a problem. One that I actually give a shit about.
Maddox: Sean, it was a great problem, objectively speaking. I was, uh, I was so glad you brought it in, and also I had a few interesting takedowns of Dick that may never -
Dick: (interjects) That's what...and that's why...that's what broke my heart.
Dick: 'Cause I listened back to it and I'm like, "Oh man, Maddox is really makin'...sayin' a lot of stupid stuff here."
Maddox: Ahh ha ha. (dryly)
Dick: This has gotta... (laughing) This has gotta -
Maddox: (interjects) Ass.
Dick: No!! (stammers) It brought up interesting points that I thought should see the light of day.
Maddox: So yeah, so um...so Sean said, "Hey man, it felt premature. Can we cut it? I'll bring in a problem some other time. I wasn't too happy with the performance," and I said, "You know what, buddy? Yeah, I don't wanna stress you out. Let's, uh, let's get rid of it. We're gonna cut it."
Dick: And I don't. I don't, 'cause I know you're...you don't wanna be, like, a jerkoff performer like us, so it's fine. Cut it.
Maddox: Sean is the only person who actually gives a real shit about... (cracks up) ...about, uh -
Dick: (interjects) Reputation in real life and stuff like that.
Maddox: Yeah, and he cares about how he comes across, whereas I...the more I'm hated, it makes me stronger.
Dick: Yeah! (laughing) Okay. I think you're being too hard on yourself, so I came up with a fun experiment...
Dick: ...to see if you think it's really as bad as you're...if you think your problem is really as bad as you're saying it was. Alright? And I also think this is the funniest thing I might have ever done.
Maddox: Ohoho, wow! (Dick laughs) You're, uh, you're real proud of yourself, Dick!
Dick: I went through so much...because it kills me that it was lost!
Dick: So I have to fix it.
Dick: I have to fix it.
Dick: I have to fix it. So I've brought in...and don't react to it yet. (Maddox chuckles) I've brought in a clip...I've brought in a clip of what I've done with that dialogue, except I replaced your lines with a voice actor. (Maddox laughs) Just so you can be completely objective. I'm only gonna play a little bit of it, alright?
Maddox: Alright. (grinning)
Dick: And you...he sounds a lot like you, but it's not you, 'cause I think that will make it objective.
Maddox: Oh, I don't know, Dick. Sean has a pretty distinctive voice, except for Bald Bryan from the Adam Carolla show. (cracking up)
Dick: Yeah. Alright, here. I'm gonna play it now. 'Kay?
Sean: The voice is not what's going to make it objective.
Maddox: We'll see. (smiling)
Dick: Well, but I...you know, it's a mind thing!
Maddox: We'll see!
Dick: It's a mind thing!
Sean: No, it's...
Maddox: It might help. It might help, yeah.
Dick: 'Cause I don't like listening to myself either! It's like, it takes something.
Sean: Nonononono, I've heard myself recorded a million times!
Dick: Alright. But see, you tell me -
Sean: (interjects) I've no problem with the sound of my own voice.
Dick: You tell me after -
Sean: (interjects) Nobody knows what their own voice sounds like until they hear it recorded.
Maddox: Let's see what this sounds like.
Dick: Okay, let's see.
Dick: Let's see, let's see. [plays altered clip of Sean's problem]
Maddox: So Sean, people have been asking you to bring in a problem all year long, basically since the first time they heard you laughin' in the background. (chuckling)
Maddox: And they said, "Who's that guy?"
Voice Actor as Sean: (really deep voice; sounds like Barry White) I should've never done that. (Maddox and Dick giggle)
Dick: Big mistake.
Maddox: Nah, we love it.
Voice Actor as Sean: I should've kept my mouth shut the entire time.
Dick: Sounds just like you!
Maddox: Well, it's too late, 'cause now you have to open your mouth and tell us what your problem is.
Voice Actor as Sean: I wasn't even gonna do a problem because last week was fuckin' insane. (Maddox and Dick still giggling)
Voice Actor as Sean: I am lucky I even know my own name right now.
Sean: Who is this guy?
Voice Actor as Sean: Except I got an email from Dick in all caps, yelling at me that I better bring in a fuckin' problem. Yeah.
Dick: Yeah, short email.
Voice Actor as Sean: Exactly.
Maddox: Was that entirely in the subject line?
Voice Actor as Sean: No, it was in the body. (everyone laughs loudly) It was like, "When are we recording? You better bring in a fuckin' problem."
(Maddox and Dick still laughing)
Dick: See?! Now you can be objective! Now you can objectively say whether or not that was good.
Sean: I wanna meet that guy. (Maddox and Dick crack up again) Was that one of those 5-dollar things that you do?
Dick: No, no. I had to pay a lot more for that.
Dick: I transcribed your ENTIRE problem...
Maddox: Oh my gosh, Dick.
Dick: ...like that. That was just the first bit! That was the first bit! If you hate it, I'm not gonna play it.
Maddox: Dick, that's...I couldn't tell where that guy began and Sean stopped talking. (Dick and Sean laugh) That's the trouble. He really nailed it.
Dick: Yeah. So here's my...here's my problem. Here's what I'm bringing in: it's perfectionism. And at first I brought it in flippantly 'cause I was like, I do think you're a p-...in some ways, a perfectionist.
Sean: Oh, I think in more than some ways.
Sean: I've gotten better, too.
Dick: Well, good, but I think this is a great example of that. And I don't mean to bust your balls too much, 'cause I...you know, it's not a big deal. I think that the bit's funny, but what I thought at first was perfectionism just keeps talented people from making amazing stuff.
Sean: It does!
Dick: Yeah. You're guilty of this...
Sean: For sure!
Dick: ...in this instance, 'cause I thought it was a great problem, and in music. And you, Maddox, I think are also guilty of this.
Maddox: Oh, totally. I have articles I haven't published that I've fully written, with images. In fact, the lucid dreaming one that I kind of teased at at the end of one of our episodes? That was a fully written article, and I posted it, I thought it wasn't up to snuff and I never posted it on my website.
Dick: I mean, forget articles! Just...how about books??
Dick: It's been...you're working on book #3.
Dick: And it's been 10 years? Man, people who are not perfectionists just crank this shit out! Right?
Maddox: Yeah, of course. They're hacks, right.
Dick: Well, I don't even know if they're hacks or not.
Maddox: Not that...you know, there is virtue to being a hack. Sometimes. But this book...uh, yeah, some of my books...it does become a crippling thing, perfectionism, because sometimes your inner critics are so loud, your inner demons are so loud that they shut you up before you even get to the page. And that's why I'm able to put up with so much bullshit from my fans, because I think, "That's all you got, you idiots? Why don't you get inside my fuckin' head and deal with my demons for 5 fuckin' minutes? Your criticism isn't even as loud as my own criticism inside my head!"
Dick: Yeah, it's not even as clever!
Dick: Like, that maybe would've made...maybe would've hurt my feelings if you just added this little part to it.
Maddox: Right. (chuckling)
Dick: You should've sat down and thought about it for a second.
Maddox: Oh man, I can rip myself apart so much better than my fans.
Sean: Well, you've had a lot more practice.
Maddox: Of ripping myself up?
Maddox: Of course, yeah.
Dick: So you bring in things like Guardians of the Galaxy...
Maddox: Good problem.
Dick: ...which you thought was shit...
Dick: ...which you thought was a shit movie...
Maddox: Shit movie.
Dick: ...and, uh -
Maddox: (interjects) No, it was okay.
Dick: (stammers) It's a big problem.
Dick: Like, you posed your case of why it's a problem.
Dick: However, I think this sense of perfectionism is preventing people who are brilliant from creating better art!
Maddox: Ohhh, Dick, that's a very clever argument.
Dick: Well, so at first -
Maddox: (interjects) Wooow. Hm.
Dick: At first I thought what you might be thinking now, which is like, "Yeah, but it goes both ways." 'Cause it's also maybe people aren't being too hard on themselves, and we're also saving the world from a lot of shit. Right?
Maddox: Which is my philosophy! I think that parents are not hard enough on their kids, for example.
Dick: So I started digging into this perfectionism thing. Like, I typed in "perfectionism stats" like I usually do for this show.
Dick: And what I found was this tremendous amount of, like, psychological studies and psychological research that ties perfectionism in with some of the worst psychological hangups that we have!
Dick: Like narcissism...
Dick: ...uh, depression...
Dick: ...suicide? Lemme read through some of these, 'cause I'm getting ahead of myself. Uh, it's a personality trait characterized by a person's striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards...
Dick: ...accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concern regarding blah blah blah blah blah. So they, um...they split it up into dimensions: concern over making mistakes, high personal standards, perception of high parental expectations...
Dick: ...the perception of high parental criticism, which...I mean, your mom is vicious with your work!
Maddox: Right. Absolutely.
Dick: Never approves!
Maddox: No, never satisfied with anything. Even cash. I could just give her a wad of money... (Dick laughs) ...and she'd say, "What, just this much? Is this what I'm worth to you?"
Dick: Yeah. Uh, lemme see, lemme see, lemme see...
Maddox: True story, by the way. (laughing)
Sean: You have the worst mom stories. (Dick and Maddox laugh) You really do.
Dick: "Perfectionism is a trait many of us cop to coyly, maybe even proudly, 'I'm a perfectionist' being the classic response you see in a job interview when asked to name your biggest flaw -- one that you think isn't a flaw, really." But it is, because "it can be devastatingly destructive, leading to crippling anxiety and depression, and it may even be an overlooked risk factor for suicide." [ http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/09/alarming-new-research-on-perfectionism.html ]
Maddox: Yeah! I read someplace on...I think there was a study that talked about how perfectionism can be so crippling, especially when it comes to work, and at some point there is that, uh, that tradeoff where it no longer becomes about the work necessarily but about...it does have to do with narcissism, and I think it's the way that the parents have placed expectations on the kid growing up, which causes them to, uh...to fall into this crippling cycle where they don't produce anything. They become unproductive.
Dick: Procrastination is one of the biggest symptoms of this.
Maddox: Welp! There you go, that's me!
Maddox: That's me to a T.
Dick: So this is...here's the meat of this. This is the actual study I found, 'cause a lot of it was, like, self-actualization shit, but this is the actual study I found. "Examining levels of perfectionism, conscientiousness, and academic productivity in psychological professors, they found that conscientiousness was associated positively with total publications, but perfectionism..." -- like, people who said they were perfectionists -- "...was associated negatively with the number and impact of publications." [ http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2012/march-12/the-price-of-perfe... ]
Dick: So people who consider themselves perfectionists...
Dick: ...produced less, and, uh...less meaningful work.
Maddox: You know what's fascinating, Dick, is that this applies to me so much, because for the first...I would say 10 to 15 years of my writing of my website, I had this style of writing that my friend Michael Malice...you know we have a mutual friend, Michael Malice?
Dick: Yeah, I know him, yeah!
Maddox: Michael Malice, author. He wrote a book called "Dear Reader." He saw the way I wrote one day, and it...he was at a loss for words, because he said, "I can't believe this is the way you write." The way I write -
Dick: (interjects) What'd he mean?
Maddox: Well, he saw the way I write, and I sit down and I write one sentence or sometimes even just three words, and I'll sit there and stew over those words. And I'll read them back and forth over and over again in my head to see how they sound, and sometimes I'll read it out loud to see how it sounds, and I won't move on until I have perfected that sentence. Once that sentence is perfectly crafted then I'll move on to the next sentence, and so by the time I'm done with the article, little by little I've constructed each sentence so it's the perfect immaculate sentence. Then the article is done and I don't touch it again. I don't even...I don't even look for spelling errors or grammatical errors, because usually I've stewed over it so much that it's...there is none. There are none.
Sean: You know what? I can tell you write that way.
Sean: It's really obvious.
Maddox: How's that?
Sean: I guess I relate to it.
Sean: I can tell that each sentence is crafted. That was exactly the word that I was going to use...
Sean: ...was "crafted." It doesn't even have to be much, you know, or...you know, your writing doesn't even have to be long to notice that.
Sean: There's certain updates you've done and I said, "That's the perfect way to say that."
Maddox: Oh, thank you. That's a really nice compliment.
Dick: Why don't you correct your spelling though?
Maddox: Because -
Dick: (interjects) A bunch of people called you out on Twitter for having typos, and you said, "I don't correct typos."
Maddox: I don't correct typos in archived material because I think it's more honest that way. My spelling on my website, guys? By the way, I have never done a spell check on any of the articles I've ever written, EVER. And my spelling is about 99.9 percent accurate, because I check everything already when I'm writing, you know?
Maddox: And sometimes occasionally if I'm writing until 3 in the morning and I get delirious, I might make a mistake or a typo, and I leave those in after the first week. Generally I correct typos the first week, and the only other exception is if it's something for clarity. If I wrote something that sounds clunky and isn't getting my point across, I will correct that. But generally typos in archived articles, I leave those there for...to be more honest.
Dick: Uh, a study of Canadians over 7 years...6.5 years showed that the trait "perfectionism" predicted earlier mortality. (plinking sound from Maddox's mic) What the hell's goin' on over there? You gotta perfect your beer drinking. (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: I tipped all the way back and my headphones fell off when I was drinkin' beer. (laughs)
Dick: "This finding held even after controlling for other..."
Maddox: (interjects) How's that for perfection? (laughs more)
Dick: (cracks up) "...health risk factors. A subsequent study yielded an anomalous patterns of resu-..." (trails off) Uh, let's see. "A link between perfectionism and serious illness..." Um...
Maddox: What illnesses? Do you know?
Dick: 'Cause of chronic stress.
Sean: Yeah! Stress creates cortisol, right? And that's...
Dick: Yeah! Yes.
Maddox: Makes you go bald, and I'm the baldest person in this fuckin' room!
Dick: That's true, man. Uh...so I guess what I'm saying is, uh, don't be a perfectionist. And I don't mean to...like, this research started because I thought it would be funny to bring in perfectionism 'cause you pulled the problem, and it, like...I found that this is a major cause of, uh, depression and illness and heart disease, cardiac rehabilitation... (trails off)
Sean: Oh, yeah. I'm glad you don't really relate to it. It's not... (chuckles) It's not a whole lot of fun.
Maddox: It's awful.
Sean: But it really isn't, but...you know, I've gotten a lot better about it, but obviously that episode or that problem set something off where I was like, "This is garbage. This is crap, and it's not going to be the problem that I bring in."
Dick: I know exactly how you feel. When something...like when I feel like I really made a jackass of myself on this show, 'cause the next day I'm like, "Oh Christ, this is gonna be a hell of a week."
Maddox: You know, Dick, you have brought in probably one of the best-crafted arguments that you just totally glossed over. It's the best thing I've heard you say, I think, on this show.
Dick: Always...always insults. (Maddox laughs loudly) What?
Maddox: It's a compliment!! I haven't even gotten to the backhanded insult yet!
Dick: Oho, great.
Maddox: Uh, but... (cracks up) It was the part where you said... you mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy and you said that I thought it was a shitty movie and I said "yes," and it's probably due to perfectionism that we don't see better movies, and I totally buy that. That's a totally solid argument.
Maddox: I...that's one of the best things you've said on this show, 'cause I think that that does actually explain real-world phenomena and why we don't see better artists. Perfectionism...this...you have no idea how fundamental -
Dick: (interjects) And it goes way beyond art!
Maddox: Right. Uh, this is a...this is a potential fundamental shift in my thinking, what you said, and I have to think about it more. I'm not ready to talk about it.
Dick: Woooo! (laughs)
Maddox: Dick, you don't...don't gloat!! (Dick cackles tauntingly) Don't celebrate! 'Cause you're just a simple fucking... (stammers) You're just like a simple factory worker who stumbles upon a gold nugget and doesn't even know what the fuck to do with it. Don't know its worth, don't know its value... (yelling)
Dick: I play air guitar with it! (mimics guitar sounds) (Maddox laughs) That's what I do with it. (grinning)
Maddox: Jackass! You're just sittin' there on a gold mine, don't even know what it's worth. (Dick laughs) I'm just gonna come over and just fuckin' steal it from you.
Dick: I brought in a quiz, but we're probably running out of time. Well, I found a real quiz, like a real "are you a perfectionist?" quiz, but it said it took like 40 minutes, so then I just found one on The Huffington Post. (Maddox and Sean laugh)
Maddox: Well, you're clearly NOT a perfectionist. (Dick laughs) And we're not linking to The Huffington Post, so you might as well read the title of the website 'cause I'm not gonna link to it.
Dick: What do you mean, "the title of the website"?
Maddox: So people can look for it as your source, 'cause I'm not gonna link to Huffington Post.
Dick: Oh, I don't know. Search "are you a perfectionist quiz" on Google.
Maddox: Well, there you go.
Dick: There you go! (laughing) But it's all...I think it's all stuff we've already covered.
Maddox: Yeah man, the perfectionism thing is really crippling. I've gotten a lot better, actually in part...due in part to my friend Michael Malice's criticism. He said that "the way you write is insane."
Dick: Oh, you're a nightmare to work with on writing.
Maddox: Get outta here!!
Dick: Because you focus so intensely on every sentence that goes into a pitch when it's totally unnecessary.
Maddox: I'll tell you when it is necessary: when you're communicating with someone and your writing efficiency counts. You have to communicate a really powerful and very precise message in just a few sentences or paragraphs. That's really important to do.
Dick: Here's what I think. You spend...you spend 90 percent of your effort covering the last 10 percent of quality.
Maddox: I, uh...mm... (skeptical)
Dick: This is...like, if you wanna obsess, if you wanna get a job done, you do...10 percent of the work will get you 90 percent of the way there. That's an 'A'.
Maddox: Alright, Dick.
Dick: You wanna obsess over it and spend another 9 times what you spent for that last little 10 percent? Waste of time.
Maddox: I -
Dick: (interjects) That's my philosophy!
Sean: Some people think it's worth it.
Maddox: I am sorry I gave you that compliment earlier. (cracks up)
Dick: You don't think there's any wisdom in that?!
Maddox: Uh, no. I don't think it's applicable to me, no.
Sean: I think it's true.
Maddox: It is true for some people.
Sean: You do spend a ton of, uh...you spend the most effort to get that last 10 percent.
Dick: So instead of making one song perfect to you...which doesn't mean it's perfect!
Dick: Which doesn't...according to the study, it doesn't mean it's gonna be any better.
Maddox: No, Dick. That's -
Sean: (interjects) Well, here's the thing: I think perfectionists, at least in my own experience...you'll try a lot of different things, and as soon as you show aptitude to it, you gain expectations immediately.
Maddox: Ah, that's true.
Sean: And then it becomes...in my world, it was always there were two possibilities that could exist. If it was done really well, that was acceptable; if it wasn't, it was complete and utter failure.
Sean: That's a tough way to think, because there's... (laughs) It's not A or B. I was always an "A or B"...you know, thinker. Pass/fail.
Dick: It's alphabet soup, man!
Sean: No, you're right!
Dick: You gotta...it's a lifetime of letters.
Sean: No, it's a -
Dick: (interjects) 'Cause they all add up.
Sean: That's true!
Maddox: Dick, the problem is that this doesn't apply to a lot of people and industries. For example, the video game industry? They spend the majority of their time, the 90 percent of their effort, in the first 10 percent of the game because they know that the majority of game players aren't going to play all the way through it. That's why a lot of times you'll play a game like Fallout 3 and you'll play this huge, epic game and...by the way, "epic" used correctly. You'll play this giant game and you'll get to the end of it and the story...the ending is wrapped up in like 30 seconds and it's garbage, because they know that they're not gonna spend a lot of time on this ending that 90 percent of their fans aren't gonna see. So they...that actually does not apply to a lot of industries and people. And same with me, for example. When I write articles I spend a lot of time thinking about the thesis, and the thesis is usually the title to my article, and I want that to be very strong, very powerful and very clear, because that's the hook! People need to know exactly what you're saying up front, as quickly as possible. So I think that doesn't always apply, but there is some...there is some truth to it.
Dick: I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Maddox: You said that 90 percent of the effort is put into the last 10 percent of the work, right?
Maddox: I disagree, and I think the video game industry and myself are counter to that.
Dick: Well, I'm saying that perfecting it, like sitting there obsessing over things that ultimately don't matter, that's where you're...that's where you're turning your wheels and wasting time.
Maddox: I obsess over almost everything in my writing, and...however, the criticism I received from my friend Michael Malice did change the way I write. I have experimented...it's tough, but I experiment with writing things that are stream-of-consciousness, and I get it out on the paper, I get it out on the page and then I go back and I edit and I add to it. The problem is sometimes I do that approach towards email, and since I'm so used to writing perfect emails -
Dick: (interjects) Oh, interesting!
Maddox: What happens is -
Dick: (interjects) That's why your email queue is so fucked?
Dick: Ohh, wow.
Maddox: Sometimes what happens is I will send off emails prematurely because I have trusted myself in the past...
Maddox: ...to have crafted the perfect email, so I'll just send it off knowing that I can trust myself. Now, because I've kind of changed the way I write, occasionally I'll send off an email prematurely. And I can't recommend this enough: there's a Google Labs setting that you can add to your email that will allow you to undo the email that you sent up to 60 seconds, so I have used that SO many...I use that "undo" almost every single time I send an email, and it has saved my ass because I will send incorrect information or incomplete information, because I've kind of changed the way I write now.
Dick: Oh, bro. (Maddox laughs) Fascinating to me. I have never...I knew of that Labs feature you're talking about; never needed it, never wanted it.
Maddox: Oho, well...you need it, buddy.
Dick: I wake up and read emails in my "sent" box that I don't remember sending.
Maddox: Great! (sighs)
Sean: Wait wait, what's the name of it again?
Sean: I think I need that.
Dick: This is BAD! (Sean laughs) You don't need it! (laughs)
Sean: No, no.
Maddox: No, it's really good.
Sean: I don't obsess over email like that. (Dick laughs more)
Maddox: It's "email undo." You need some help with your email, Mr. Carbon...
Maddox: Captain Carbon Copy Dickhead.
Dick: Why do I need help with my email?
Maddox: 'Cause you fucking suck at carbon copying people! Alright.
Dick: Ohh, yeah.
Dick: I...I try to-
Maddox: (interjects) Oh, we'll bring that in sometime.
Dick: No, I try to cut people off the chain, 'cause it's just, "Oh, why do I wanna give this guy another email?"
Maddox: You put it in their inbox so it's there in case you do a search for it and you need to find it. Anyway, we done with perfectionism?
Dick: Uh, yeah! Sean, I got...that dude, that guy read your entire thing.
Sean: Poor bastard. (Dick laughs)
Dick: Your...like, it's...the whole thing sounds like that. I will bring in more if you're okay with that, 'cause it's very funny.
Maddox: For the bonus episode! We should bring that in for the entire bonus episode, right?
Dick: We could bring it in for the bonus episode.
Maddox: That'd be hilarious!
Dick: But it's up to you.
Sean: We'll see. I may cut it. (Dick and Maddox laugh loudly)
Maddox: You know what's funny, Sean, is I was with a friend that night -
Sean: (interjects) It's the only time I have ever edited for content. (Dick guffaws)
Dick: Oh yeah?
Sean: That's the only time.
Maddox: No, well...
Dick: Edited pretty heavily! (laughing)
Maddox: That's a pretty big edit.
Sean: I cut it right out! (Dick laughs more)
Maddox: You know, Sean...Sean -
Sean: (interjects) I cut it out like the audio cancer that it was. It was...
Dick: Oh, it's so not!
Maddox: Oh Sean, you fuckin'...
Dick: It's SO not.
Sean: Had to be eradicated.
Maddox: Sean, you're so hard on yourself.
Dick: It's so not. (grinning)
Maddox: I was with a friend that night and I said, "Well, Sean's deleting the segment," and then she said...she said, "Sean has deleted himself!" (Dick giggling) "The ultimate deletion!" He deleted him-... (cracks up)
Dick: The ultimate deletion. You're like the looper.
Sean: Mhm. (everyone laughs)
Maddox: You're like a self-looper, that's funny. Alright.
Dick: You at least have to hear more!
Sean: I will see.
Dick: Okay. Okay, okay. (smiles)
Maddox: Alright, we're runnin' out of time.
Dick: I got a "maybe"!
Maddox: We're runnin' out of time.
Dick: Maybe it's tonight.
Maddox: Yeah, we got alotta "maybes." Uh, we're runnin' out of time, Dick. I got the real biggest problem this week. Not really, I actually agree with your problem of perfectionism. (Dick laughs) I may actually even give it an upvote. We'll see.
Dick: I don't need your votes. Fuck you.
Maddox: Good! (Dick giggles) Go vote up monkeys!! (monkeys whooping sound effect) Assholes. Okay, listen man. The real biggest problem this week -- fuck perfectionism -- is forest fires! Huh??
Dick: Oh, forest fires? Alright, Smokey Bear. (chuckling)
Maddox: Yeeeah! (clapping sound effect) ('ding!' sound effect) That's a real... (cracks up) I was waitin' for the Smokey the Bear comment and it came right up top! Awesome. By the way, people who complain about being cold all the time? Forest fires might be a solution, I dunno.
Dick: Oh, I get it. (Maddox laughs) I get what you did today. (smiles)
Maddox: Whatever. Dick, forest fires are a huge problem. Did you know that since 2002, they've cost us 133.4 billion dollars??
Dick: Billion? (incredulous)
Dick: In the US?
Maddox: Just in the US alone! 133.4 billion. 175,000 people injured due to forest fires since -
Dick: (interjects) Like hangnails and stuff? (Sean laughs in the background)
Maddox: No...no! (Dick giggles) It's not funny, stop laughing! (yelling) These are people dying, dickhead!
Dick: Injured, not dying.
Maddox: (sound clip of Dick saying, "Three little words...") Insensitive. (Sean cackles in the background) Alright? 34,000 people dead. DEAD. That's...that's an entire city!
Maddox: A city the size of 34,000. That's... (cracks up)
Dick: Yeah, it's a football stadium. (laughs)
Maddox: Yeah, a football stadium full of bodies because of a forest fire.
Maddox: I hope you're happy. Keep laughin' it up, dickhead! Deaths per year? That's 3,778 deaths on average per year since 2002.
Dick: That's as many as in...9/11!
Maddox: Yeah! We're havin' a 9/11 every year in forest fires!
Sean: But aren't they always really stubborn people who won't...you know, they've got a garden hose and they won't leave their house? (Dick cackles)
Dick: Yeah, that's what I heard.
Maddox: Sean, some people would say...some people would say they're brave. Some people would say they're principled.
Dick: Oh. (amused)
Maddox: Who knows, right?
Maddox: Anyway man, here's the problem. Here's one of the big problems: federal wildland firefighters have dropped. In 2011 there were 16,000. In 2015? 13,200. They're losing funding, they're getting their budget slashed. There's a website called Wildfiretoday.com. "The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee distributed this very interesting graphic on May 5th showing that the exponential increase in the number of fires larger than 100,000 acres -- what we call megafires."
Dick: Hm. Cool!
Maddox: "At first glance..." (chuckles) Yeah.
Dick: Cool name!
Maddox: Yeah, they're megafires. It is a cool name. It sounds like a Mega Man villain.
Sean: It's like "supervolcanoes."
Dick: Yeah. (amused)
Sean: Like Yellowstone.
Maddox: "At first glance it appears to indicate that between 1983 and 1996 there were one or fewer megafires per year, but in the last 10 years there have been more than 30 each year."
Maddox: "While the number of megafires has increased by a factor of almost 10, the number of wildland firefighters working for the five federal land management agencies has decreased by 17.5 percent in the last four years." Big problem!
Dick: So what, less...less firemen, more fires? That's what we got?
Maddox: Less firemen, more fires. There's actually a big graph on this website. (Dick snorts) I think...I don't think this is, like, some official government website because it has some...some little jabs at, uh, at the political policies...
Dick: Oh, god. Yeah.
Maddox: ...of, I think, the Bush administration?
Maddox: Because it hasn't been updated in a while. (chuckling) And they talk...although they have stats here from 2015, I don't know. But they said, "Well, we keep slashin' our budgets for firefighters, yet we're takin' our funding and fighting wars all the way across the, uh...other countries!"
Maddox: "Other..." Yeah.
Dick: That was one 9/11.
Maddox: Yeah, man! We're havin' a 9/11 every year in the forest, and nobody gives a FUCK!
Dick: Who's dying? What kind of people die in a forest fire?
Maddox: Good people. The best people.
Maddox: Salt of the earth people.
Dick: For real though, who dies? (laughing)
Dick: Do you know?
Maddox: Yeah, well, there's residents who die. Uh, people who are trapped in their houses.
Dick: In the forest?
Maddox: In the forest, yeah.
Maddox: There's...there are people, um...bears die! I'm sure bears die. Trout?
Dick: I stopped a forest fire one time!
Maddox: Okay. (scoffing)
Dick: I was driving...so there's LA, there's like the city of LA that's like a...a hideous urban sprawl.
Dick: Right? And then there's the -
Maddox: (interjects) Accurate.
Dick: Yeah. Everywhere outside of LA is just the desert.
Dick: 'Cause there's no water here.
Dick: I was driving back into LA with this girl, and there was a...there was a fire in a, in a...on the side of the freeway.
Dick: In an area that was covered with dry brush. Right?
Dick: Like, every...every year, every other year, all of outside of LA burns down.
Dick: And this was around that time, and there was a fire there. I was like, "Holy shit! This is a...that's...this is how it starts! Like, this little fire becomes the megafire."
Dick: So I call...what?
Maddox: It may have been an intentional fire! You know they do intentional fires?
Dick: Next to the freeway?! Next to the freeway with no firemen or cops or anything?
Dick: What, just a guy pulls up...an undercover fireman pulls up and lights a fire? I was like, "Eh, well, I got it. I'll stamp it out."
Maddox: Well, armchair firefighter over here. (Dick laughs) Let's... (cracks up)
Dick: Maddox!! It was a f-...somebody probably threw a cigarette out at the side of the road.
Maddox: Okay. Yeah, probably.
Dick: Started a fire. So I call it in. I'm like, "Hey, I'm gonna stop...I'm gonna stop LA from burning!"
Maddox: Great. (chuckling)
Dick: So I call it in and I'm like, "Hey hey hey, there's a fire, like mile marker this." Probably the best call they'd ever gotten.
Dick: Like, very specific. "Mile marker...uh, south on the 14. There you go." And they're like, "Alright sir, thank you," and I was like, "Hey hey hey, did anyone else call this in yet? Am I the first one?" They're like, "Uh, sir, we've...we've really gotta go." (Maddox laughs) Like, that's... "If you have any more information then please tell it, but otherwise I gotta go," and I was like, "I know, but just can you...can you ask around if anybody else called it in?" (cracking up) (Maddox laughs more)
Maddox: What an asshole! Great altruism, Dick.
Dick: So I'm pretty sure I did call it in.
Dick: Otherwise they would've known.
Maddox: You stopped a big problem! You agree they're big problems, right?
Dick: Fire...uh, firefighters?
Maddox: Forest fires!
Dick: Forest fires?
Dick: Yeah, sure. Yeah.
Maddox: Yeah, big problem.
Dick: Yeah, it's a big problem.
Maddox: Cause lots of damage! Biggest problem in the universe!
Dick: Yeah, it fucks up LA.
Maddox: Fucks up LA, fucks up...
Dick: Every other year.
Maddox: ...fucks up lives. Again, you have another 9/11 every year. Fucks up the forest...
Maddox: Ruins the forest.
Dick: You do need 'em, though. No, it doesn't ruin the forest. It lets it grow again. It turns everything into, like...into nutrients.
Maddox: What are you talkin' about?
Dick: Yeah, the green...new forest grows out of forest fires. It's like a cycle, I think. I think that's true.
Sean: No, it is true.
Dick: Yeah, nature needs forest fires.
Sean: Yeah, there's certain trees that can only reproduce...I think the fire, like, either opens up the fruit, the nut, the whatever. The cone?
Maddox: What? You're sayin' forest fires are good for nature?
Dick: For nature, yeah.
Sean: Yeah! I mean, not entirely.
Dick: They're not good for humans, but they're good for nature.
Maddox: (yells) So you're saying that sometimes destruction... (Sean laughs) ...of the forest is good because in the future generations, it's better for the forest, isn't it dickhead??
Dick: No, it's a cycle. (chuckling)
Maddox: FUCKIN' BROKEN WINDOW FALLACY SHAT ON AGAIN! BOOM!! (laughs maniacally)
Sean: You really baited us right into that.
Dick: Well done. So stupid, ugh.
Maddox: ('ding!' sound effect) What a winner!! (clapping sound effect)
Maddox: What a fuckin' champion! ('ding!' sound effect) Ohh man, I'm the...I'm the smartest person ever! Ahhh! (still yelling) This was planned for WEEKS, dickhead! Another fuckin' shit all over the broken window fallacy! Fuck you!!
Dick: You know what? I was gonna bring that up, but I thought... (Maddox laughs gloatingly) I thought it would be, like, too boring and snippy...
Dick: ...to bring up the similarities. (cracking up) (Maddox laughs more)
Maddox: Ohh, such a genius! I'm the most brilliant...
Dick: Alright. Can we be done? (Sean guffaws in the background)
Maddox: Uh... (breaks down laughing) My problems this week were People Who Complain About Being Cold All The Time and Forest Fires.
Dick: My problem is Perfectionism.
Maddox: Great! Um, don't forget to vote on these problems, and we may be bringing in, I guess, the Sean transcripts in the next bonus episode. ( closing riff starts)
Dick: Maybe! I don't know, maybe!
Maddox: Yeah, and thanks for listening to the bonus episodes for the show! Thanks, guys.
Voicemail (male caller): Hey idiots, how come you guys shit on your fans all the time but still rely on them for the most critical aspect of your show: deciding what the biggest problem in the universe is? If you assholes are so smart, how about you just argue every episode and Sean allocates the upvotes as he sees fit? And Dick...
[message cuts off]
Dick: That was it.
Maddox: That was it??
Dick: Oh. Just a big cocktease, I guess.
Maddox: Ohh, I got the biggest blue balls to hear "go fuck yourself."
Dick: I don't shit on the fans. I think our fans are hilarious.
Maddox: I shit on the fans 'cause I think they're IDIOTS. (Dick laughs) I think they're big dumb idiots, and here's the thing: it's like a father who loves his child and wants him to do better, and you do that by hitting him over the head and saying "You're a fucking idiot. Try harder."
Dick: Yeah. (smiling)
Maddox: That's like me, guys. It's love. It's...it is my way of expressing love.
Dick: I forgot to bring that in as part of perfectionism. It's on the rise, 'cause kids are being parented in the way you just described.
Maddox: What is? Kids gettin' hit up?
Dick: Perfectionism is being, uh...is on the rise in kids 'cause they're being...they're feeling so much tremendous pressure.
Sean: Are they? I thought parents were being really, like, kind and soft and gentle.
Dick: No, no, no, no. Nooo.
Maddox: Buncha PUSSIES.
Dick: It's...it's parents now who got, like, C's and B's in high school and college. Now they expect A's of their kids. Like, kids are throwing up during standardized testing. It's, uh, it's out of control.
Dick: Yeah, so it's gettin' worse! So get ready for more shitty movies. (Maddox chuckles)
Maddox: Dick... (annoyed) Your fuckin' argument, that was pretty good though. [Dick plays next voicemail message]
Voicemail (male caller): Hey guys, it's Rayne from Austin calling here. Uh, Maddox, so at the end of the last show...
Voicemail: ...uh, you were talkin' about... (coughs) ...how sex in high school is lame...
Voicemail: ...and that you like experienced chicks...
Maddox: Yeah. (Dick laughs)
Voicemail: ...and all this stuff.
Dick: It's the way he says it.
Voicemail: And uh, the only reason you're saying that is 'cause you never did have sex in high school!
Maddox: "Uh huh huh huh!" (dumb voice) (Dick cackles)
Voicemail: You fuck! You don't know what's up because you never partook in it. I'm pretty sure Dick can get behind me when I say that there's nothing hotter than, like, a 17-year-old virgin. (coughs)
Maddox: Gross! No!! (Dick laughs) Ya moron!
Voicemail: So fuck you, and have fun having sex with your experienced, uh...
[message cuts off]
Dick: Oh, that's it. (amused)
Maddox: Talk about a "bags of sand" comment, this dipshit. You think it's real hot to have sex with a virgin, boo. Pass. I have turned down more virgins in my life than fuckin' virgins exist. I have... (cracks up) (Dick scoffs) I make... (laughs)
Sean: But now he's staying away from elementary schools, so. (Dick giggles)
Maddox: Sean! (annoyed) Why do you have to take my creepy comment and make it creepier? Here's...here's the thing.
Maddox: Here's the thing. Um...uh, Dick, a couple episodes ago you were shitting on...you were saying that bad blowjobs were a big problem!
Maddox: Guess who gives bad blowjobs the most? High schoolers! And guess who gives -
Dick: (interjects) Oho, you're...no, you're wrong about that.
Maddox: Or YOU'RE fuckin' wrong about that! High schoolers, they're all fuckin' teeth, man! It's like puttin' your dick in a shredder. (Dick laughs) Anyway. That's it.