Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 84

Transcription courtesy of: Laurie Foster

Today's show is brought to you by Harry's. Please visit and use the promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM to save five dollars off your first purchase.

(Biggest Problem theme riff starts)

Maddox: Welcome to the Biggest Problem in the Universe, the show where we discuss every problem in the universe, from Anal Probes to Homophobes! (everyone laughs) With over 5 million downloads, this is the only show where you decide what should or shouldn't be on the big list of problems. (Dick still laughing) I'm Maddox. With me is Dick!

Dick: Hey, what's up, buddy? (grins)

Maddox: Sean, our audio engineer…

Sean: Hello!

Maddox: And the Sneaky Greek is back. Welcome back, gentlemen.

Asterios: Well, thanks for having me.

Dick: Snuck back in. (grins)

Maddox: Yeah. (Asterios giggles) Sneaking ri…sneak right back in. (sighs) Ah, boy. Gentlemen…

Sean: Not on time, but he snuck back in! (Maddox laughs)

Dick: That's…that's the problem! That's my problem this week! Late Assholes!

Asterios: I'm sorry! I'm sorry!

Dick: Who make EVERYONE reschedule the podcast…(Maddox cracks up) so everyone has to wake up early to do the research that they didn't wanna do the night before, 'cause they were too drunk! And then shows up late! Shows up late with their dick in their ass! (yells)

Asterios: I have no excuse, but I have a pretty long dick if it reaches all the way back in my ass.

Dick: Oh, you're disgusting.

Maddox: Ohhhhhhh.

Dick: You're a disgusting, shameless man.

Maddox: That's a good spin, buddy. I didn't see that coming.

Asterios: Right? Thank you.

Maddox: No one ever does when you have a dick in the ass. (giggles) (Asterios laughs) When it's your own.

Dick: I'm gonna tell Randy to chew you out for that. I'm gonna say, "Randy, Asterios was late. Can you call him and yell at him?"

Maddox: Handy Randy. But there was…

Dick: Pretend you're Wayne Brady and chew…lay into him. (they laugh)

Maddox: Oh, speaking of…I got a comment about that. But before we get to that, guys…

(Sound effect: Drumroll)

Maddox: The biggest problem in the universe from last week.

(Drumroll ends)

Maddox: Star Wars Prequel Apologists!!

Dick: Really?! (incredulous)

Maddox: Yeah!

Asterios: It's…it's a big problem.

Dick: 'Cause they're scumbags.

Maddox: Followed by…

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Followed by Geriatric Action Heroes. Those were neck and neck. They're…the votes were…they were only 6 or 7 apart this morning.

Asterios: Yeah. Neck and wattly neck.

Dick: Ohhh. (disgusted)

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: So we both won.

Maddox: (sighs) Yeah, ex…

Asterios: Except I have more votes than you.

Dick: Kind of.

Maddox: People…you guys…lemme explain the show. (Dick cracks up)

Sean: You are the last winner.

Maddox: To new listeners and also…

Dick: Oh yeah!?

Maddox: …my cohosts Dick and Asterios, and Sean, the audio engineer, for…for people who don't understand this show yet, alright? What we're doing…(Asterios giggles) is we're ranking the problems to see which one is bigger over time so that we can determine which one is biggest.

Sean: I don't think WE understand this show. (they all laugh)

Asterios: Well, what came in third? (Dick guffaws)

Maddox: The third biggest problem…the third biggest problem last week was "Too Much Star Wars Merchandise".

Dick: Awww.

Asterios: Interesting.

Maddox: Which…yeah. You know what? I…I had all the momentum when the week started, and then the audience turned on me.

Asterios: Yeah, when they listened to the episode…(Sean laughs) and they realized that I made a good point that an R2-D2 showerhead is actually pretty fucking cool. (Maddox giggles)

Dick: If you think that's cool, Alex Oliviera on Twitter sent a really cool Star Wars brand merchandise. It's an R2-D2 catheter….

Asterios: I did see that, yes.

Dick: Did you see that?

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: I did see that.

Maddox: That's not real. That can't be real.

Dick: You're right, that probably isn't real.

Maddox: No. (they all crack up)

Asterios: Wait, I thought you both…does each of us think that the other two are dumbasses? (laughs)

Maddox: Yes.

Dick: Yeah. Yeah.

Asterios: Feel like a Mexican standoff of assholes?

Maddox: Yep. Yep.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: That's exactly what this is, Asterios. (giggles) Just a bunch of low opinions floating around here. (they laugh) I got a comment from…speaking of, uh, I got a comment from Jon Bromley. He says, "I don't give a fuck about Star Wars, but everyone commenting sounds like a bunch of fun-sucking shitlickers. People like stuff, get over it. Not everyone in the world can be a miserable piece of shit like you."

Dick: That's true.

Asterios: I agree.

Maddox: I assume he's talking to me.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah. (stammers) I'm okay with it - guys, I like Star Wars!! I…I…like…I like food. I like, uh, lots of things.

Asterios: You just don't like people. That's the problem. (Maddox cracks up) Like, yeah…if no one…if you can enjoy Star Wars without people posting about it on Facebook and kind of ruining it for you, you'd love Star Wars, right?

Maddox: Ruining what? Like, you mean with spoilers?

Asterios: The annoying fans. Nah, not spoilers…

Maddox: Oh, the annoying fans?

Asterios: I mean, the fans…the fans annoy you. That's the problem.

Dick: It sickens you that you feel something in common with these people you consider lower than you.

Asterios: These plebes!! The hoi polloi. (Maddox cracks up laughing)

Dick: That is…that is exactly what it is.

Maddox: No, that's not what it is! (Dick laughs)

Asterios: You see a part of yourself in them, and it disgusts you!

Dick: It disgusts you, 'cause it's human.

Maddox: You know…you know what it is?

Asterios: They're your dark reflection, right?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: No. No, I'll tell you…

Dick: (interjects) They're like that scene when Luke goes into the tree.

Asterios: Uh-huh.

Dick: And no one knows what it's…what's happening.

Asterios: It's only what you take with you, is in the tree.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: No. Guys, you…have you ever…

Asterios: (interjects) Whatever it turns out…(cracks out)

Maddox: (interjects) Have you ever….

Asterios: You wanna finish this…(inaudible) (everyone talking over each other)

Dick: No, no. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Asterios: I'm sorry.

Maddox: Have you ever…have you ever eaten so much of something for so long that you just become sick of it, and you can't eat it for years.

Asterios: Yes, pussy.

Dick: Pussy.

Maddox: (they all laugh) Okay. In unison. (Dick cackles) and I don't believe either of you!!!

Dick: Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaah!!!

Asterios: Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!! (gunshots)

Dick: Bro down!!! Asterios, get your nipples over here, let's rub nipples together, man!

Asterios: Yayyyyyyy. They're already hard.

(Sound effect: Boner dying)

Maddox: Gross.

Sean: That was a better high five.

Dick: Thank you!

Sean: Than what happened last week. (Asterios guffaws)

Dick: I know how to high five. Get the fuck out of here!

Asterios: The Force high five? Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah. We were…we were trying to be real quiet with that high five. (laughs) That was like, like, a genuine…whatever. Anyway…

Sean: So quiet, it hit air.

Maddox: That's what…that's what this is…the cantaloupe was that food for me. When I was a kid, my mom only bought cantaloupe.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: And for years, that's all I ate. I became so tired of it as an adult. And that's what Star Wars has become. It's this thing that…everyone's shoving down my throat, and I'm tired of seeing and hearing about it. Except I'm still going to see the movie.

Asterios: Tonight, right?

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah. You have a ticket…

Dick: (interjects) This guy…this guy agrees with you.

(Voice mail: male voice: "Star Wars, as a whole, is garbage." (they giggle) It's infantilism based on a fucking children's movie. And a cultural quicksand that sucks in and ruins everything it touches.

Dick: Ohoho. Cultural quicksand.

Asterios: Wow.

Maddox: Wow.

"Every second you dipshits talk about it, the world becomes a shittier place."

(Sound effect: Ding!)

Dick: But you're talking about it! (Maddox giggles)

"Fuck you.")

Dick: But this guy's talking about it, too. Oh, you're not above anybody, sir.

Maddox: Yeah. (they all laugh) No, I get…I get that. Sometimes, you have to, um, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.

Dick: Uh, some of the characters from Star Wars called in. (Sean laughs) You wanna hear them?

Maddox: Oh, yeah, great.

Asterios: Sure, of course.

Dick: This guy, who I'm sure everyone remembers.

(Voice mail: male voice: (terrible imitation of a Japanese English accent) "Ooooooh. Herro. This is-a that one Asian alien from Star-u Wars Episode 1, the Phantom-a Menace-u. (they laugh)

Dick: You remember him.

"(inaudible) the rated podcast recruited help of the (inaudible) with-a Dick Masteru-son's proberem of Geriatric Action Star-su."

Dick: Yeah. They're a big problem.

Maddox: Uh-huh.

"You see, the best part of the prequels were the fights that Yoda had with Count Dooku and ze emperor-u. Those scenes were totarry awesome… (Dick giggles) and Christopher Ree is, rike, 90, while Yoda, is, rike, 800. (they laugh) Aruso, both of them could probably beat Dick's (inaudible) ass…

Dick: Okay. Thank you.

"From here to Naboo."

Dick: Thank you, Asian alien.

"Uh, go fuck yourserf-u.")

Dick: Thank you very much. (Sean giggles)

Maddox: Huh. That was the…one of the Asian…what are they called? The…the Nimrods?

Asterios: The Neimoidians.

Maddox: Neimoidians.

Asterios: You knew it.

Maddox: Yeah-

Asterios: (interjects) And then you tried to pretend like you didn't. (Maddox laughs) What are they called, the…the Neimoidian…(stammers) Leonard Nimoy? (giggles) I mean, uhhhhh…(dorky voice) (Maddox laughs) C'mon!!!

Maddox: I am not…I am not…

Asterios: (interjects) You can't lie to me! You're seeing it tonight in D box!!

Maddox: Yeah, well….(laughs) Hey, uh…I wanna say this, though.

Asterios: Yeah?

Maddox: About the Neimoidians.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: There's this, uh…there's this incredible video I saw on…on YouTube a while back about this girl who is obsessed with Neimoidians. And I'm talking about…

Asterios: Ohh. Yeah.

Dick: Those are the Chinese guys?

Maddox: Yeah. The Chinese guys, yeah.

Asterios: Trade Federation.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: This girl…and this is not…this is, like, some next-level shit. Like, the most obsessed you can be about something. She…she knows their history…(Dick laughs) She has every piece of art about them. She makes her own custom Neimoidian masks and then just wears them around her apartment. Like, her house.

Dick: Does she bang in them?

Maddox: I don't know.

Dick: Does she do the voice while she's wearing them?

Asterios: No, see, that's the thing. She's just, like, very calm about it. She's like, "So this is my Neimoidian. And sometimes I put him to bed. And, you know…"

Dick: Oh, whoa. (giggles)

Asterios: "I was told I couldn't bring him to Christmas, but I wanna bring him to Christmas." And it's just, like, these 10-minute long videos.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: And she's made so many of them.

Maddox: In earnest, too.

Dick: Oh, my God.

Asterios: Yeah. It's…

Maddox: They're all in earnest.

Asterios: It's…real scary.

Maddox: Yeah. You gotta watch this thing. It's insane.

Asterios: We should just put some up on the page, 'cause they're terrifying.

Maddox: Yeah.

Sean: Have you seen those guys who, like, marry the real dolls?

Asterios: Ohhhhhhh.

Dick: That makes sense, though!

Sean: In Japan, yeah.

Dick: 'Cause you can fuck that.

Asterios: Yeah. In a couple of different holes.

Dick: You can't fuck one of these Neimoidians.

Sean: But, like, he takes it to the park…and, you know, everywhere else.

Dick: You gotta show her a good time.

Sean: Just like a girlfriend.

Asterios: (they all talk over each other) Well, you gotta air her out. (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: You gotta air her out.

Dick: She'll make it…she'll make it worth your while.

Maddox: She's gotta dry off. (giggles)

Asterios: Yeah. (they all laugh)

Sean: I just realized what you said, you gotta AIR her out.

Asterios: You do.

Maddox: Yeah. (Dick giggles) Gross. Smells like farts.

Asterios: I don't know how I know that. (mysterious)

Maddox: (laughs) I got a comment here from Mo Ramsey. He says, "Asterios has that 'Aw, damn, Scooter. Better look grateful on TV' look on his face."

Asterios: I did.

Maddox: I posted…

Asterios: Have that look.

Maddox: Because last episode, Asterios, you talked about being on Let's Make a Deal.

Asterios: Yes.

Maddox: And I posted that clip on the website. Hilarious.

Asterios: Thank you.

Maddox: And you can totally tell…right after the commercial break…

Asterios: Mhmm.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Your…your wind is knocked out of your sail, buddy. You can tell.

Asterios: Yeah. 'Cause I felt…

Dick: (interjects) Is that right?

Asterios: Yeah. I…I…said it on the podcast. He got in my head.

Dick: Wayne Brady.

Asterios: Wayne Brady. I was like, "Maybe I am acting like an asshole. Maybe I am ruining Let's Make a Deal, the cultural institution that is Let's Make…" I don't know why. He got me. I felt…I fell for it. I was suckered into it. But I'll tell you the…

Dick: (interjects) I mean, I…I can see why. 'Cause you do have a tendency to ruin shows. (they all laugh)

Asterios: OKAY! Thanks.

Dick: Like you do…

Maddox: Wow. (laughing)

Dick: You ruin…you go a little over the line on this show very often, and I think you do ruin it a little bit.

Asterios: Alright. Well, listen. Lemme tell…well, for all those people that think I ruin shows. Here's…the ending to this story. To this, uh…Let's Make a Deal thing. (Dick guffaws)

(they talk over each other, it's inaudible)

Dick: 'Cause I wanna see now if you listen to this podcast, if it affects you for, like, the next five minutes.

Maddox: Nah.

Asterios: So anyway…so I win the scooter.

Maddox: That's what he does. (giggling, noise)

Asterios: I win the scooter, but at the time, I was, like, technically homeless. Like, I didn't have a place to live. I was crashing on couches. I was looking for an apartment for me and my wife. So I didn't have a place to store the scooter. So I had to sell the scooter back to the dealership for cost, and I ended up getting a 1099 for like $4000.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: And I got, like, $1200 for the scooter when I sold it back at cost.

Dick: Ohohoho, what?!

Asterios: So being on Let's Make a Deal COST me money.

Maddox: Ohhhhhh, man.

Dick: Ohhhhhhhh. You…

Asterios: (interjects) And that's the end of that chapter.

Maddox: Awwwww. That sucks. And you know what? The grand prize for that…episode, too, was that, uh…sneaky….

Asterios: (interjects) $25,000 Greek trip.

Maddox: Yeah. Which, I…how do they rack up 25 grand for that? I couldn't…

Asterios: Well, see, that…that's the thing about game shows. You have to pay the taxes on the prizes. And because they wanna make these prizes seem awesome, they find a distributor or a manufacturer that'll give them an MSRP that's wildly inflated. That scooter I won, you could buy it for $1300. The MSRP, $4000.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: That's what they were…so it's like…if I'd won that Greek trip, I would have had to pay $8000 in taxes on it.

Maddox: That's insane. And there's no fucking way! There's nothing you could…you would have been way worse off with that grand prize.

Asterios: Oh, absolutely!

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Because, guess what I could do for eight thousand dollars. Go to Greece!

Maddox: Yeah. (giggles)

Asterios: Like, I can go to my family's house in Greece for a MONTH!

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Instead of, like, some bullshit creepy cruise where you turn around and all of a sudden, Wayne Brady's serving you bad shrimp. (Sean laughs) It's just, like, no way, man.

Maddox: That's what he does.

Dick: And doing a dance. And a song. That you can't shut off.

Asterios: Yeah. Yeah, oh, God.

Dick: Wayne Brady owes you that money. That's my position.

Asterios: I think so!

Dick: Wayne Brady personally owes you 400 bucks or 500 bucks. Whatever the taxes are on that.

Asterios: Yeah! And I like to think everybody that's been tweeting Wayne Brady a lot of…a lot of really insulting things, uh, thank you guys for doing that. That has actually made me feel better.

Dick: What is…what is an entertainer, anyway? Wayne Brady is not a comedian.

Asterios: No.

Maddox: No.

Dick: He's just an…"entertainer". (mocks)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Right?

Asterios: He's a host. What is a host?

Maddox: He's a soul patch.

Dick: He's like the Kardashians of comedy.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: What does he do, sing shitty songs and do a little stupid dance?

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: What's an entertainer?

Maddox: A little Irish jig.

Dick: An entertainer, it's like the elevator music of comedy.

Asterios: Yeah!

Dick: An entertainer.

Asterios: Absolutely.

Dick: It's just filler!

Maddox: It's the greatest common den…

Dick: (interjects) He's the cantaloupe.

Maddox: Yea…(giggles)

Asterios: Ohh!!

Dick: Wayne Brady is the cantaloupe of people.

Maddox: Can't have another bite. Uh, you know what, Asterios? He got in your head. So I'm saying, as the Biggest Problem in the Universe listeners and hosts of the show, let's get in his.

Dick: Let's get in his head. (they talk over each other)

Maddox: Let's think about…let's hatch a diabolical plan to get into Wayne Brady's head. And it has to be, like, one or two degrees separated, too, so he never sees it coming.

Asterios: Yeah. Yeah. Let's do this.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You know what? We need…I've…I've learned this from watching Trump. All these months. We need to…(Sean laughs) we need to coin a phrase for him. That's what Trump does. Like, he says Bush is low energy.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Clinton has no stamina. We gotta find a phrase to describe Wayne Brady that hurts him in his heart.

Asterios: Like an un-entertainer.

Maddox: Oh, the Un-Entertainer! Yeah, Wayne Brady, the Un-Entertainer, kinda like Pepsi, the Un-Soda, or whatever?

Asterios: Mhmm. The Un-Cola.

Maddox: The Un-Cola. That's the one. Wayne Brady.

Dick: The On-Entertainer. Okay. The Un-Entertainer.

Maddox: Oh, that'll get him. (laughs) (they all talk over each other and it's inaudible)

Dick: I dunno if that passes the Trump test, but…

Asterios: Hashtag…

Maddox: Ugh. (groans)

Dick: …we're gonna have to go with it.

Asterios: It was my first pitch! I figured we would kind of, like, feel it out! (they crack up), like, I would pitch something, you would pitch something…

Dick: (inaudible, talking over Asterios) correct me, you dipshit! See what I mean?! Ruining podcasts!!

Asterios: Oh!!! (growls) Rrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

Maddox: No, it's great.

Dick: Leave it…leave it in. I don't give a shit.

Asterios: Alright.

Dick: Um, okay. Do you want any more voice mails, or do you wanna get to a problem?

Maddox: Um, yeah. Uhh…let's hear one more voice mail. You…we got more Star Wars characters, right?

Dick: Yeah, we do.

Maddox: Let's hear one of these bozos.

(Voice mail: female voice: "Hi, this is Princess Leia from Alderaan. I thought this podcast was gonna be about the biggest problem in the universe, but so far it's just been a bunch of gripes from a pair of stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking California nerf herders. (they laugh) __________ universal probably mentioned were earthquakes, which we call Alderaan quakes, by the way. But Maddox ruined it with his stupid broken windows fallacy…

Dick: Ohoooo.

Maddox: Ohhhh.

"You think Star Wars merchandise is a problem? How about Death Stars, asteroids, or illegal aliens? Think bigger, guys."

Maddox: This fucking nerd. (Dick cracks up)

"And Dick, go fuck yourself.")

Dick: That is…that is nerdy.

Maddox: Yeah. (goofy voice) What about Death Stars? What's the other one? Asteroids?

Dick: Asteroids.

Maddox: Asteroids are a big problem.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Mmm.

Maddox: I think asteroids are the biggest problem in the universe.

Sean: What about reading your voice mails? (Dick laughs)

Maddox: Reading…oh, yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: You know, she did…

Dick: (interjects) Oh, Sean, I appreciate reading your voice mails.

Maddox: Yeah. Alright, guys. Uh, you got one more?

Dick: No, no. Go…oh! I do have some fanart. Uh, Phil XG sent these in. And I brought 'em in now, because they're of Asterios, too.

Asterios: Oh.

Dick: So…this guy made, I guess, emojis for all of us?

Maddox: Oh, yeah!! I saw this.

Asterios: I love this guy.

Dick: There's Maddox's.

Maddox: Yeah, it's…

Dick: (interjects) Looks pretty cool.

Maddox: There's Ma...there's me. Um, it…I have a goatee and I'm wearing a cape, and it says #InternetFamous.

Asterios: And you got a crown on.

Maddox: I got a crown, yeah.

Dick: Here's Sean's. (Asterios laughs)

Maddox: Sean…got, like, a…

Dick: I dunno why you're drooling.

Sean: (laughs) Why am I drooling?

Asterios: 'Cause you're stoned, buddy.

Dick: Yeah.

Sean: Oh, God. No, you…if you're stoned, you don't drool.

Asterios: Oh, we g…

Dick: (interjects) Well, you would know!

Maddox: Sean knows. Sean knows! (laughs) Sativa Sean would know. (laughing)

Dick: Here's, like, a handsome Asterios. I don't know what the hell…

Maddox: That's a really handsome Asterios.

Dick: Yeah. There's a handsome Asterios. And then…here's me, which kind of pissed me off. This does not look anything like me.

Maddox: Yes, it….(cracks up)

Dick: No, I mean, the face should be smaller, if anything.

Maddox: Yeah, I can still see your eyes. That's way too big. (laughs)

Asterios: (they all talk over each other) That's a pretty big face.

Dick: I look like Prince Valium here. (they laugh) Fuck this!

Maddox: It's a picture…it's a little emoji of Dick with, like, a…looks like Marcia Brady hair from uh…the Brady Bunch.

Dick: Oh, fuck you.

Asterios: Mmm.

Maddox: Like an old sixties…(cracks up)

Dick: Alright.

Asterios: Yeah, you do. You look like one of the characters on That 70's Show.

Dick: I'll put those on the website.

Asterios: Well, three out of…three out of four ain't bad, but smaller face next time. Well, let's get to some problems!

Maddox: Let's get to the problems, guys. I got the real biggest problem in the universe this week. Home Schooling! Eh? Yeah!! (Dick laughs)

Asterios: Yeah.

(Sound effect: Ding!)

Maddox: Yeah. Home schooling! There we go. Ah, thank you, Maddox. Very good problem. Very good, very good.

Dick: You are home school. (they all crack up) You are the human home school.

Maddox: What does that even mean?!

Dick: I thought you would…I figured you would love home school.

Maddox: Why?

Dick: 'Cause then…'cause you can train kids, like, in your own little personal clones of you.

Asterios: Well, shouldn't…

Dick: (interjects) Like, you control everything that goes into their brains and everything that comes out of their mouth.

Maddox: I…

Asterios: (interjects) Well, shouldn't you love home schooling 'cause it's the ultimate Libertarian experiment, where it's just, like, "I get to do WHATEVER I want with my kids. I'm not gonna let the school board tell me what to do what I want with my kids. I'm gonna keep 'em in my…teach 'em how to do this and that." I mean, libertarians should love home schooling.

Dick: Yeah, I don't have a problem with it.

Maddox: Ah, there it is. (giggles)

Asterios: Okay.

Maddox: And there it is. Well, I do. I have lots of problems with it. (Dick and Asterios crack up) Home schooling is like home surgery. Parents aren't qualified to do it. (they laugh again) Do I need to go on? That's pretty much it, right?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: That's…that's the whole argument in a nutshell.

Asterios: Ehhh. (laughing)

Maddox: It's like home surgery. There's only one exception that I'd be for home schooling, and that's if your parents are teachers and one of the rooms in your house is a classroom, and you have 20 or so other classmates from the neighborhood who come over every day, and you call it a school. (Dick guffaws) Having your parents assess your cognitive ability is like having your parents assess your athletic ability. I played baseball on a team when I was a kid. A long time ago. Where the…coach of the team was also the dad of one of the teammates.

Dick: That's…that's all teams.

Maddox: Yeah. And guess who was MVP?

Dick: You?

Asterios: Really?

Maddox: No! The shithead whose…yeah! The kid! The kid's…(stammers)

Asterios: Can you be any more obvi…that's terrible.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah, the coach's kid!

Dick: Well, what if he was good?! You don't know!

Maddox: Yeah. I do know.

Asterios: Mhmmm.

Maddox: He was ranked 6th.

Dick: Of what?

Maddox: On our team. He was ranked 6th overall.

Dick: What do you mean, ranked?

Maddox: Well, they ranked…they ranked him based on…

Asterios: (interjects) What, hitting, and catching, and…

Dick: (laughing) How do you RANK catching?!

Maddox: Yeah. Just performance.

Asterios: By…by…

Dick: Errors?

Asterios: Getting the most outs!

Maddox: Yeah. How many outs you have.

Dick: Okay.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Here we go.

Sean: Well, how many times does the ball hit…(they all talk over each other)

Asterios: Look, I'm a sports expert!

Dick: What's your fucking position? If you're a catcher, you're probably gonna have a lot of catches!

Asterios: Well, was he the catcher, because that would…that would make sense if he was the MVP.

Maddox: No. He was not the catcher.

Asterios: That guy's catching, like, constantly. (giggles)

Maddox: No…(stammers) he was in the most coveted field, too. They put him in…what was it?

Dick: Shortstop?

Maddox: Shortstop? Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: He would put him in shortstop every time.

Dick: You make a lot of outs in shortstop.

Maddox: Yeah, well, he didn't. And, uh…this kid was ranked 6th. And he never hit any home runs. There was one guy on our team who was ABSOLUTELY, hands down, the MVP, other than me. Which was, uh…this kid who hit, like, three home runs throughout our season. No one else on our team did.

Dick: But home runs are not a gauge of how good of a player you are.

Maddox: He was also great in outfield. He was also great as a pitcher. He did a bunch of different positions when we were practicing for the preseason.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: Uh…and this guy was, like, hands down the best. The best. He was the fastest runner. He was the only one who hit home runs. Uh, he saved…he saved several of our games. Like, he's clearly the MVP.

Asterios: Yeah. I'm gonna…look, I'm gonna say I believe you on this one.

Maddox: Thank you, Asterios!

Dick: (laughs) Oh, the argument of, uh…he was the fastest and the other guy was ranked 6th?

Asterios: (yells) I don't know, don't you think that some asshole dad who wants to live vicariously through his son would make his kid MVP?! Come on!!

Dick: Alright. I don't wanna get lost in this MVP shit.

Asterios: Yeah, exactly. Let's talk about home schooling!

Maddox: What are your criteria, Dick? What's a good….what's a good baseball player? (Asterios cackles)

Asterios: Is this gonna be the new…

Dick: (interjects) Guy's playing shortstop…that's…you're right in line for the MVP. I'm more curious about how he got ranked 6th. That's what I wanna know.

Maddox: We all had our ranking, and it was similar to…it was pretty much in line with our batting order.

Dick: What do you mean?

Asterios: Wait…now I'm…

Dick: Yeah, now, yeah, see?

Asterios: …leaning over to Dick's side.

Sean: Are you equating, like, batting average, to where you hit in the order?

Maddox: I just remember seeing the ranking when they determined, like, who our MVP was, and they…and they had a ranking. And he was ranked 6th based on overall criteria.

Dick: I don't know what that overall criteria is.

Maddox: Look, I don't either, man. This was when I was a kid. I don't remember.

Dick: Okay. (laughing)

Maddox: Anyway. He was not…he was easily not the best player on our team.

Dick: Alright.

Maddox: Yeah, um. Very suspect. Anyway, uh…so, back to education. And home schooling.

Asterios: Sure.

Maddox: And why it's a big fucking problem. Alright? Education….I think, is one of the pillars of society. I think it's really, really important.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: Without education, people can't be aware of threats of our government. They can't function well in society. They'll be ignorant and fearful, incompetent to do work. Unable to think critically. Fearful of things and phenomena they don't understand. Vaccinations. Science, nature. They will fall victims to zealotry. I think that, uh…I brought in, a long time ago, anti-intellectualism. And I said that one of the big threats of anti-intellectualism is the rise of zealotry. And…it all has to do with a lack of fundamental education. A really good core education. I think. Um, there's no quality checks for the education they receive at home. If you have kids home schooled, there's no quality checks.

Asterios: Well, well…

Dick: Uh, it's…

Asterios: Lemme…like, I don't know. At least in New York State, where I grew up, the home schooled kids would have to be able to pass the state exams. And I remember that because, like, you know, we would all get bussed to some school, like, all the districts would get bussed to some school, and it'll always be, like, these two weird kids that no one had ever heard of, that were, like, the home schooled kids.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Like, and they had to pass exams. They always did really great on the exams, but we were always like, "Oh, those poor bastards."

Dick: Oh, so they did great on the exams.

Asterios: Well, here's the thing I…

Dick: (interjects) Okay.

Asterios: My problem with home schooling is that you don't properly socialize these kids.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: These kids are kin…are, like, socially inept. They don't know how to talk to people, how to talk to girls. If you've ever gone to college with a kid who was home schooled, you know…there's something they…they don't know how to interact. They don't know where the boundaries are. It kind of sets them on a bad foot for the rest of their life, and like, that's the problem with it. Like, school kinda sucks. Like, you can learn math in a room with 30 people or math from your mom. They're both shitty, but, you know, those home schooled kids are gonna miss out on all those great experiences like making out with girls, and like, all that stuff that I didn't do either, but, like…

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: You know, like, uh…go to the prom with girls…

Dick: I love that…

Asterios: …which, again, I didn't do, but, like, you know. If I was cool, I could've.

Dick: So they're weird.

Asterios: That's what I'm saying.

Dick: They're just weird. They're awkward as kids and in college, the ones you know couldn't, what? Socialize?

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: As…as well as everyone does in college. Like, it's ba…it's Lord of the Flies, and these kids…I…I get what you're saying.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: And I…I like…I think it's fun to stereotype as well, like, I like making fun of them, 'cause they seem weird.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: But I dunno that it's true. Are they really fucked for their entire lives 'cause they…

Maddox: Yes. They are.

Dick: …didn't socialize in class?

Maddox: Yeah. I'll tell you…

Dick: (interjects) Isn't home school partially socialized…like, don't a bunch of kids go to a home school, typically?

Asterios: Well, sometimes, but…

Maddox: No.

Dick: It's not just your own family.

Asterios: Well, sometimes, but you can also…if your family's particularly fearful of the government, or of…or wants to raise you in a religious way, they can just home school their…you can be in a school with just your little sister.

Maddox: Right. Here's the long term repercussions of that lack of socialization. Students at home never have to worry about time management, because they're never tardy to class. They miss out on group assignments where they discuss and debate ideas with other students, which makes them less capable of dealing with conflicts that will arise in the workforce when they work with other people professionally. They don't have those tools necessary that you develop when you're debating ideas with your classmates and working with others on projects to be able to resolve conflicts, and find compromise, and be able to get to that next step. That's what home schooling leads to. These people suffer professionally because they don't have those tools developed. Because their parents were…

Dick: (interjects) Isn't this entirely conjecture, though?

Maddox: No, it's not.

Dick: Like, you're saying they don't have these skills, but you're not measuring it in any way.

Maddox: No…

Sean: (Interjects) Oh, don't tempt him with stats. (Maddox laughs)

Dick: Well, I would love to hear one!! I mean, these are pretty big claims. Like, kids are not prepared. But then you go Asterios, "They always ace the tests". Okay, they're just weird. Fuck 'em, then. Fuck every…fuck everything you believe in! Fuck the way you were raised, 'cause you're "weird". 'Cause you don't fit in with the rest of us…

Asterios: (interjects) Do you know a lot of home schooled kids?

Dick: …binge-drinking assholes! I…pro…no. I, uh…

Asterios: (interjects) Well, yeah, exactly. I know a couple.

Dick: I know a couple.

Asterios: Do you know any…do you know any home schooled kids?

Maddox: Yeah, in Utah. There was a couple of kids who were home schooled.

Asterios: Yeah. Look. I'm not…I'm not…I don't wanna hop on this podcast to throw home schooled kids under the bus. It's not their fault that their parents are so fearful of the outside world that they're like, "We gotta lock up our kids!" "We gotta make a classroom in our garage around our kids, because the outside world is scary." And then they grow up…look. I know this is all opinion and conjecture. But it's my opinion.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Asterios: And I just…I feel bad for home schooled kids!

Maddox: Well, here's the thing. You can find out what exactly the effect is. And a lot of times, you can just go to YouTube and just type in, "Home School Confessional".

Asterios: Oh, God.

Maddox: And it'll be a kid…yeah. It'll be a kid talking about how they were totally taught ass-backwards beliefs about science and creationism and all these, like, crazy things. And saying that…that…there was a story on This American…I think it was This American Life a long time ago.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: That I heard. Where this…this girl kind of grew up, um…uh…where was it? She…she grew up in a very sheltered environment where she was just sexually sheltered. And she just was always taught that she should be…(stammers) stay away from boys. Boys are bad. She shouldn't kiss them. And then it wasn't until her, like…she was way late into her adult life, like, 27 or something. Where she got in her first relationship. And her parents had indoctrinated her into marrying this guy. And then it became…it was, like, this weird sexless relationship. And it fell apart completely. And then she…she realized, like, half the shit her mom told her was just lies and bullshit. Another example. There was a girl who…

Dick: So that's home school?

Maddox: She was home schooled. Another example. There was a girl who was, um…had a very feminist mother. And…this mother of hers was really radicalized, like, a radicalized feminist. I'm not talking about even, like, Internet…like Facebook feminist? She was a part of, like, some weird, underground movement. Where she…uh, was anti-government. Anti-men. Uh, like, refused to spell "women" with an "e". Always spelled it with a "y". And taught her daughter this. And her daughter grew up and finally, like, got an education in college outside of her mother's reach, and realized, like, half the shit her mom had told her all her life was just wrong. And she said lots of guys she talked to were really nice to her and not…you know. She shouldn't be fearful.

Asterios: I mean, not Dick, but lots of guys.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah. (background laughter)

Maddox: Anyway…

Dick: They're not wrong.

Asterios: Well. (scoffs) L…(stammers) I mean, I mean, to kind of…

Dick: (interjects) Is this home school, though?

Asterios: (they talk over each other, completely inaudible)

Dick: Like, is that what we're saying? But no. Is this home school? Not "was she home schooled?" "Is this home school?" Do people who put their kids through home school, is it because they're crazy? I'm asking that genuinely. Like, is everybody…

Asterios: (interjects) That's honestly what I think…

Dick: …who home schools their kids terrified of men and the government? Or something?

Asterios: Or…or women. Or religion. Or a lack of religion.

Dick: It's crazy religious?

Asterios: I mean, why else would you….

Maddox: Mostly, yeah.

Asterios: Why else would you do it? I think the thing that we can all agree on. And look, again, I don't have stats. Like, um…

Maddox: I do. It's 85%.

Dick: Of what?

Maddox: 85% of the…the people who home school do it for…because they want to do religious teachings. Rather than…

Dick: Huh.

Maddox: Science or anything like that.

Dick: Wow.

Asterios: Yeah, and…(stammers) I mean, think about it. Like, if all of the information you get is filtered through one person…and how long are you in school? 12 years? 13 years? For like 13 years, and those people are also your parents, they're telling you, like, when to go to bed, they're telling you when to eat? Like, that really fucks you up. That's, like, some cult leader shit.

Maddox: Right.

Sean: It has to do with the type of person that wants to home school their kid. I get…

Asterios: (interjects) A controlling person!

Maddox: It's very controlling.

Sean: No boundaries.

Dick: Well…

Maddox: And here's the other thing that you kind of don't…don't…that you kind of take for granted in school. Is your ability to challenge your teacher and know that their ability to punish you is capped. With a parent, that's not the case.

Asterios: Oh, God. You're right.

Maddox: Right? Children who learn at home may not be willing to challenge their parents, because they know that the parents have far more authority than teachers do to punish them punitively. Interrupting or challenging a parent may result in the kid being grounded or abused, whereas in school, the type of punishment is limited in scope. You have to go to sit in the office. Okay. That's a different kind of punishment. Whereas at home, you might get smacked or abused.

Asterios: Oh, God. Imagine living with the principal?

Dick: Abused. (giggles)

Asterios: That's not funny! (background laughter)

Dick: Well, I mean…(laughs)

Asterios: Dick, why is that funny?! (yells) Oh, my God!!!

Dick: You better not…you better not interrupt during this Math lesson, or I'm gonna molest you! Like…(laughing) that's the punish…(Asterios laughs)

Maddox: Geeeeeez.

Dick: One more…one more check minus, and you're getting molested!!

Asterios: Oh, okay. That is funny. (Sean laughs)

Dick: That is funny! Come on!!

Asterios: You know what? I didn't let you say your joke. (Dick cracks up) That actually is funny.

Maddox: You didn't let him get to the molesting. (they all crack up) The molestation punchline.

Asterios: I didn't let him take it further. (laughing)

Dick: It's just that that was so casually thrown in there, like, you had a good point. About the scope of authority. But then, you threw in the abuse part at the end, and that kinda made it a little extreme.

Maddox: Well, that's because in the Guardian, the UK paper. (Dick giggles) They've written a lot about home schooling, and they…that's one of the big pieces of legislation they're passing, is to have more regulation over home schooling, because they found that some parents were…were really abusive and didn't want…like, wanted complete control of their kids' lives.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Would keep them at home so they could continue to abuse them.

Dick: So, what? They're making it illegal to not send your kids to school?

Maddox: No, they're just adding more regulations so that they would have to have weekly checks.

Asterios: More checks.

Maddox: Yeah, weekly or monthly checks. So…so someone came by and make sure your kid doesn't have a black eye. Like, that sort of thing.

Dick: Oh,I don't like that.

Maddox: Well, I…(scoffs) what do you like, better, Dick?

Dick: Sending a cop to your house just in case you might be beating your kid?!

Maddox: Yeah, but what's the…

Dick: Are you kidding me?

Maddox: What's the alternative?

Dick: Not doing that!!

Maddox: Not what?!

Asterios: Well aren't you the guy that wants to keep Muslims out of the country just in CASE they do something wrong?!

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: No.

Asterios: I mean, I mean…if we're…well, don't you like Trump?

Dick: No. I wanna…shut down. Again…

Asterios: You wanna shut down ALL immigration?

Dick: You wanna talk about politics. I don't see a problem with shutting down, uh…Muslim immigration in order to vet them properly. I don't think they're getting vetted properly right now.

Maddox: They are!!

Asterios: Well…

Maddox: They…

Asterios: (interjects) Well, then, why don't we vet these home school teachers properly?

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Why don't we send a cop over to the house to make sure they're not molesting their kids!!!!

Dick: You're talking about assuming Americans are doing something wrong!!

Asterios: You're talking about assuming Muslims are all doing something wrong!!!!

Dick: Those aren't citizens.

Asterios: Oh…

Maddox: (interjects) What difference does it make?!

Asterios: Because they're citizens then they're not…we're talking about danger. We're talking about danger to…citizens. You wanna protect American citizens? The British government wants to protect British citizens.

Dick: By assuming they're doing something…Asterios, I have a big problem with the government sending a cop to your house just in case they think you're doing something wrong!!

Asterios: What if there's a preponderance of evidence that says that in these home schooled situations, a lot of wrongdoing is happening? What if you could prove it? Then wouldn't you want cops to be sent there?

Dick: Holy shit. I don't even know where to start with…

Asterios: (interjects) Well, why don't we start with the facts?

Dick: …what an egregious assault on liberty that is! Sending a cop to your house because…because maybe your profile…like, your social profile, or your activities say you're doing something illegal? I got a big fucking problem with that!

Asterios: I…

Dick: What's next?!

Maddox: Lemme…here's a consistency check. Uh, the NRA recently came out with, um…some…some, uh…video saying that we…there are all these guys who are being arrested on streets who have illegal guns, but they're just being let back into the system.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Which I don't believe…I don't believe that, at all.

Dick: No, felons have…they walk around with guns.

Maddox: Well, sure they do. But if cops…and he was suggesting that we should just round them up and arrest them, but we have this thing called "probable cause" and the 4th Amendment, where we can't just unduly search and seize property from citizens, unless we have probable cause. So I think what Asterios is saying…

Dick: (interjects) You…you misunderstand that video. Just real fast. That's not what they're saying. They're saying that when felons are arrested and they're found with guns, they should be locked up for that crime.

Maddox: They are.

Dick: They're not. They let them go.

Maddox: Wh…(stammers) what do you mean? Cops…cops…(stammers) don't give you a break when you're rolling through a stop sign. Now they're letting felons go around with illegal guns?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: No. W…(stammers) what evidence is there for that?

Dick: First of all, they're felons. They've waived…

Sean: You're talking about the courts, right?

Dick: Yeah. They've waived…a lot of rights. As felons. Including the right to vote!

Maddox: Yeah. Okay. But if they…so these felons are just walking around with illegal weapons, and cops pull 'em over, find the illegal weapons, and say, "All right, on your way."

Dick: Yeah. Already, we're at a point where we're comparing felons to parents who wanna home school their kids.

Sean: No, I think it…

Dick: (interjects) That's where we're at.

Sean: I think the cops take 'em in. I think the courts let 'em go almost right away.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Well, look. This is…this is in the UK, what they're considering with their legislation, and it's controversial.

Dick: Ugh. Wow.

Maddox: But when I was doing…when I was doing…no, I'll…I'll give you that. It's a controversial statement, because I wouldn't want…I wouldn't want to live in a world where any cop can come over to your house and knock on your door, uh…presuming that you may be doing a crime, and do an investigation. That's why we have the 4th Amendment. I'm totally opposed to that on…on that kind of fundamental…you know, unless they have a reason. Unless they have evidence, like Asterios was saying. But, uh…when I was doing research for this problem, what was really fascinating is the amount of home school lobbyists who have completely whitewashed Google.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: It is REALLY difficult to find ANY factual information about home schooling or the effects of it, or anything like that. You REALLY have to be precise in your search queries, otherwise you're just gonna get a whole bunch of shit to home school lobbies. And every single one I…I read…

Dick: Whoaaaa.

Maddox: Here's what I…here's when I know something is bullshit.

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox: When…like, 9 of the 10 top links for home schooling are completely positive about home schooling.

Asterios: Yeah. Google bombing.

Maddox: Like, they…yeah. They're Google bombing. And…and I read these, like, supposed studies, and the studies are really using relaxed language, not academic language. They're not using statistics. They're not citing sources. They're not, uh…cited anywhere. They're not published in any journals. They're just saying things like, "Yeah, homeschooled students do overwhelmingly well in the work force. Like, using unscientific words like "overwhelmingly".

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: You know? Uh…it's really difficult to find. So I had to really dig and find some articles that were written by journalists and not this home school lobby. To find out what was really going on. And I found one on the New York Times. It says, "Home schooling: More pupils, less regulation." Earlier I said that parents aren't qualified to teach their kids most of the time. Uh, "14 states do not specify any subjects that families much teach."

Asterios: Oh, wow.

Maddox: Let that sink in for a second. 14 states right now, where you home school your kids? You have NO regulation at all. You can teach them whatever the fuck you want.

Asterios: Or nothing.

Maddox: Or nothing.

Asterios: Yeah.

Sean: I was just gonna ask what are the criteria that parents have to meet to home school their kids? And you're saying it's different in every state.

Maddox: It's…it's different…it's, first of all, it's really lax regulation. There's almost no regulation for home schooling. And only nine states require that parents have at least high school diplomas or equivalent in order to teach their kids.

Asterios: Wow. Out of 50 states!! (giggles)

Maddox: Yeah. Out of 50 states…

Asterios: Oh, my God.

Maddox: …only nine state that you have to have a GED to be able to teach your kids. And then…

Asterios: (interjects) It's like, if your kid went to a high school, and you found out that their teacher did not graduate from high school. You would be super pissed off.

Maddox: Oh, yeah.

Asterios: Yeah. Of course. Like, I…I don't see why…I don't see why we shouldn't apply at least SIMILAR standards between home schooling and public schooling.

Dick: Well, prove that you should.

Asterios: Well, don't you…

Dick: (interjects) Like, prove that all…like, okay. So they don't have GEDs. They don't have degrees. Like, what exactly are they not teaching these kids? How is it a form…how is it so agg…such an egregious form of child abuse that the government needs to get involved?

Asterios: I'm not s…

Dick: (interjects) So what if they're teaching them religious shit? Everybody gets indoctrinated with some kind of crap! So what if they're not…like, they're teaching them the…creationism versus evolution! I wouldn't teach my kids that! But what's the effect? Like, I get the little arguments, like, the appeals to emotion, like, "Well, they can't fit in." "They can't do this." But can they go be a farmer? What's the abuse?

Asterios: Well, list…listen. I mean, I think when Maddox was talking about abuse, he was actually talking about physical abuse, like…

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Because these are…

Dick: (interjects) Oh, no, no, no. But, skipping that, what is the…

Asterios: Okay. Well…

Dick: What is the harm?

Asterios: Okay. Well…

Maddox: (interjects) I'll tell…(stammers) I got…

Dick: Go ahead.

Asterios: No, sure.

Maddox: I got some actual stuff here. (stammers) But…

Asterios: Sure. Well, listen. And again, this is just my opinion. 'Cause Maddox did a lot of research.

Dick: Well, let's hear the research, then.

Asterios: Like, a…well, look!!

Dick: (interjects) Not the opinion.

Asterios: Look, I'm sitting here! I was…(stammers) lemme give my opinion.

Dick: Go ahead.

Asterios: My..uh, my opinion on it is that these kids don't have a choice. It's kind of the same issue with kids who don't get vaccinated. It's not their decision to grow up sheltered. It's not their decision to not be taught the basics. Like…it puts them on the wrong foot, because it's…it's a decision that their parents made for them based on their parents' own biases. It affects them for the rest of their life. Now that's my opinion. Let's hear the facts.

Maddox: Alright.

Dick: I would love to hear that opinion without equating it to vaccines. Which are 100% harmful.

Asterios: You don't think a lack of education…

Maddox: Wait, you mean not…you mean lack of vaccinations.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah. Well, I'm just saying a lack of education is harmful, too.

Maddox: Yeah, because…

Asterios: (interjects) I'm not saying it's the same as catching the mumps, but I'm just…I'm saying…they're both bad.

Dick: Yeah?

Maddox: And there's a really high overlap between people who are duped into, uh…New Age healing, uh…you know, remote healing, and things like that. And anti-vaccination movement.

Asterios: Cold lasers.

Maddox: Cold lasers! Yeah.

Dick: Yeah, but those are…educated people get duped into that shit!

Maddox: No, they're not. They're absolutely not.

Dick: Cold lasers. Maddox, it's covered by healthcare!

Maddox: Well…

Dick: It's used by all…rehab facilities! (yelling) And it's TOTAL bullshit!

Maddox: Yeah, well…I'm talking more about remote healings and psychic healings, and things where, first of all, you can't even…you can't even point to an object or device that was invented to facilitate that. Like, at least "lasers" is a thing. (Maddox and Asterios laugh)

Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. (grins)

Maddox: It may be ineffective…

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: You know? (Asterios laughs)

Dick: It may not work, but at least it sounds sciency. So that's…

Maddox: (interjects) It's manufactured…(laughs)

Dick: (interjects) So we all educated ourselves to at least get to that level.

Asterios: Also, there's a cool laser in the room. (they laugh)

Maddox: Well, but also, you…when you brought in that problem, Dick, and I thought it was a great problem…

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: But when you brought in that problem, one thing we didn't really discuss is the placebo effect. Which is…is very real. So, doctors may know that this is bullshit.

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox: And they still use it because they know that a certain percentage of their patients do get better due to the placebo effect.

Dick: Ugh, God.

Maddox: I mean, I know, but…

Asterios: The crazy patients! Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Exactly.

Dick: So…so let's pay for it. Why not? (Asterios laughs)

Maddox: Guys, there is…the bottom line is this. There is no quality checks for home schooled education. None. If I'm in an accident and the paramedics arrive, I don't want some bozo who was homeschooled to operate on me in a life or death situation. I don't give a flying fuck if their parents think they know what's best for their child, because there is no reason to believe their parents know what's best for ANYTHING, let alone themselves! Most people I meet in life are broken, drunk, depressed idiots who have financial troubles, broken relationships, psychological disorders, and are addicted to substances, or smoking. Frankly, I don't trust parents…

Asterios: (interjects) Ma…Maddox. Can you please st…I'm right here. (Maddox cracks up)

Maddox: Asterios…

Asterios: Were you not expecting me to be here today? When you gave that description? (giggles) (Maddox laughs) When you wrote that?

Maddox: I…look, guys. I don't trust parents to know what's best for their kids. I just don't. They're not doing what's necessarily best for their kid; rather, they're just acting out of narcissism and ego and self interest.

Asterios: Or fear.

Maddox: Or fear!

Dick: Oh, you guys! (giggles) Shitting on parents. This is so crazy.

Maddox: They might…no! But…(stammers) but Dick, like, you like your parents. You would say you have good parents, right?

Dick: I would!

Asterios: You're very lucky.

Maddox: Yeah. You're very lucky. That's not always the case.

Dick: Yeah, no shit.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: That's not always the case.

Dick: But you're talking about so…someone who's….(stammers) you're…the implication here…is that someone cares less about their spawn than some random 20-year-old just out of grad school.

Maddox: No, no, no, no, no. That's…hold on. First of all, I'm not saying that parents…

Dick: (interjects) Plenty of abuse has happened in public school, by the way.

Maddox: Well, lemme…

Dick: (interjects) Plenty!

Maddox: Yeah. That's…(sighs)

Asterios: (interjects) Yeah, but don't you think…but, I mean, there's more eyes to catch it.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: There's more checks and balances. There's more adults…

Dick: (interjects) I'd love to see a number to go with any of this shit, other than "I hate home school". (Sean laughs)

Maddox: Well, I'll get to that.

Dick: "Because they're weird."

Maddox: No, I'll get to that. Um…(stammers) here's the problem, though. These…these parents, who are well-intentioned, and they care a lot about their kids, might still be ruining their kids lives and not even realize it, because they themselves might not have the education to realize it. They may be too proud and stubborn to admit that they might not know what's best for their kids, let alone themselves. And I don't want someone who has an eating disorder to teach kids about nutrition. Their beliefs don't trump facts. I don't want someone who believes humans and dinosaurs existed together to teach kids about paleontology or biology! I don't want someone who's afraid of vaccinations to teach kids biology! They're not fucking qualified! And this is from, uh…I… There's a debate about all these topics on this website. Ant there's arguments for and against.

Dick: Can I say this?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I don't want someone making $40,000 a year to teach my kids about money.

Maddox: Okay, well…

Asterios: Well, then, why don't you help teachers get paid more?

Dick: Why don't I teach 'em…because I don't…I DEFINITELY don't fucking want that! (yells)

Asterios: I know you don't!

Dick: Why don't I teach 'em about money at home, then!? I'm such a crazy parents! (Asterios laughs) Who doesn't know what I'm doing!

Maddox: Hey, but…getting a public education or getting an education through a standardized system where there's national standards on what you should know doesn't preclude you from teaching your kid whatever goofy bullshit you want in your own time.

Dick: Hah. Okay.

Maddox: You can still do that!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Like, there's nothing saying…anyway. This is from the It says. "It is presumptuous for parents to think that they know how to teach children better than that accumulated wisdom that they teach teachers in school. Just because a child is a product of that individual, does not mean that the education and knowledge of the parent surpasses that of professionals in the field who have spent years training." That's…that's what it comes down to. I…if I want a doctor. If I go to a doctor. I want to make sure he has his entire wall covered in plaques and degrees and papers and things from accredited universities. And there's no guarantee that doctor's gonna be good, and there's no guarantee that that doctor's not gonna make mistakes when it comes to my healthcare. But you know what? The longer he studied and the longer he spent in school, I trust that he knows something I don't. And he might be able to do a better job than some bozo who thinks they know what's best for me.

Dick: Do you think that…home schooled kids are infiltrating the medical profession?

Sean: I was just gonna ask that. I don't think you can home school…

Dick: 'Cause this medicine and EMTs keep coming up.

Asterios: (interjects) Yeah, but you can see….I'm sorry.

Dick: But there's a huge…there's an ocean of regulations and schooling that needs to happen before someone becomes a DOCTOR.

Asterios: Yeah, but why…then why wouldn't you want at least a..a similar set of regulations for what you could teach your kids, like…like you understand that, like, by saying a completely unregulated school environment should exist, you know, is the same as…I don't see why it's like…(stammers) you know, we…I'm sorry.

Dick: (interjects) I would just love to hear a number. To go with any…I would love to hear…

Asterios: (interjects) This is…(stammers)

Dick: …how home schooled kids do! To see if it's really a problem! Look. They're weird. I'm gonna…if you wanna have…you wanna have a witch hunt? I'll be the first in line to grab a torch.

Asterios: I don't…it's not their fault!!!

Dick: That's all. Okay.

Asterios: Their parents are weird! These kids are victims!!

Dick: So far…so far. The only…the only negative consequence of home schooling that we've gone over…is they're weird, and maybe they can't be adjusted to the real world. But, for God sakes, if that's true, there better be a fucking number attached to it. Like, there should be MILLIONS of…how much money do home schooled kids make? How often do they go to college? What…how often do they go to jail? All of these things should be documented!! 'Cause we know that they didn't go to school!! (yells)

Asterios: Well, don't you think Maddox looked for his information?

Maddox: I…I did.

Asterios: He's already stated that, like, this stuff is really whitewashed on Google. There's a reason a lot of this research isn't done.

Dick: So this is a cover up!!!??

Asterios: No…I'll…it's the same reason that…listen. I don't wanna get off on a rant here, but you know how our government isn't allowed to judge the health effects of guns?

Dick: What?

Asterios: Uh, the CDC is precluded by Congress from measuring the health effects of firearms, because the firearms lobby has forbidden them from doing that research.

Dick: What do you mean, the health effects?

Asterios: Um, you know. The deaths, and…listen. I'm sorry. I'm not an expert. I'm just trying to give you some anecdotal…

Dick: They definitely measure that.

Asterios: Well, uh…lemme give you another bit of anecdotal evidence, then. Let's ignore that gun thing, 'cause I don't wanna get down a gun hole. But, um…(Sean laughs) Let's, uh…let's…during the Bush administration. The second Bush administration. He…heavily restricted research into global warming. You know, he said, like, there's some areas that the government is now allowed to study anymore. Medical marijuana, like, the government was not allowed to study the positive effects of medical marijuana until last Saturday.

Maddox: Well, that was for…

Asterios: (interjects) You know, when Congress finally lifted that restriction.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: Well, but Asterios, for…to…to…to…(Asterios stammers)

Asterios: (interjects) I'm sorry. Lemme just wrap this up.

Maddox: Okay, yeah. Finish the point. Yeah.

Asterios: So, what I'm trying to say is…if there's not a lot of research on the positive and negative effects of home schooling…Maddox, you don't think this guy's trying to do all the research he can? He brings in sheets and sheets of paper. If this information isn't out there, maybe there's a reason for it. Maybe home schooled teachers kinda don't want this stuff studied. Maybe they don't want Big Brother looking over them. Maybe it's sort of like a…maybe because a lot of these home schooled teachers have, like, a very religious bent, there's not a lot of incentive for the government to go out and study the effects of home schooled kids versus public schooled kids. Maybe it's kind of a thing where we all just kind of want to ignore it, because looking into it is trouble. Because even in this conversation, we're talking about stepping on a parent's rights. We're talking about libertarian ideals. We're talking about interfering with the way a parent raises their kid. This is already a tricky area. Maybe politically, there's not a lot of incentive to looking into the positives and negatives of home schooling. It's easier just to talk about potholes, or stopping the Muslims from coming in. Or any other…kind of bullshit that you can get elected on. Like, what are the benefits of talking about home schooling if you're an elected official?

Dick: If you're an elected official?

Asterios: That's what I'm…yeah.

Dick: Holy shit, I would think teachers at the MINIMUM should be bringing this up. Hey, we're doing a good job because of this! Look at the scores of our kids! Look at the lives of our kids versus the kids that are s…uh, schooled at home.

Asterios: (interjects) You think te…

Dick: Colleges! Every goddamn day, a college comes out with another study about how much more money you make by going to college.

Maddox: Well, (stammers) they…teachers do speak out against this, but to your point, Asterios, as to why we don't have this much information about it. Is because it is so unregulated, and how do you…how do you measure something that…is unmeasurable? Like you…people who home school aren't reporting statistics! It's kind of like trying to take a census of the number of people who aren't reporting to the census. You don't know, because they're not in a system. Like, they're COMPLETELY out of the loop! So if you have kids who were home schooled, you just take them out of the system, and then that's it! They never hear from them again. They never have these assessments. And some…some states, as you heard, have r…requirements that you have to have a basic GED. They have to pass the GED, essentially.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: But if you do that, you're not getting into Stanford. Your parents can assess whether or not you've dec…you've determined…here. I got this right here. This is from the New York Times. It says, "Pennsylvania educators fought the recent changes, which eliminated the requirements that families submit their children's portfolios, as well as the results of standardized testing in third, fifth, and eighth grade, to school district superintendents." They fought that. "The new law also allows parents to certify that their children have completed high school graduation requirements and to issue home-grown diplomas without any outside endorsement." So your parents can arbitrarily decide when you have earned a diploma, and then what stan…what are…what are higher educations…(stammers) institutions supposed to do?

Asterios: So you could give a diploma to a baby.

Dick: Who cares?! You can still be a mechanic without going to college! There's a shitload of jobs that are very necessary and well-paying that you can do without going to college!

Asterios: This isn't blue collar versus white collar! Like, I don't think any of us are trying to engage in a class debate. Like, you know, my dad was a house painter. Maddox's dad works with his hands, too. I…(stammers) it's like, I don't think anybody's making fun of…of working class people in this conversation. But, like, to have absolutely no standards. To essentially be able to write down on a napkin "You've Graduated" and hand it to your kid and say, like, "That's your diploma". Like, the fact that these parents are fighting for the ability to do that…

Maddox: To limit…

Asterios: (interjects) W….

Maddox: To limit their child's future opportunity to go to schools. If I'm…If I'm gonna grow up. I want…my parents to have made the right decisions.

Asterios: (interjects) (talking over Maddox) And to limit their own accountability, by the way!

Maddox: What's that?

Asterios: As teachers. You know, it's like…what are they trying to hide here? Why do they want this law passed?

Maddox: Well, this is a…this is…

Asterios: (interjects) They're trying to hide their own shitty teaching? What is…

Maddox: (interjects) I'll just...end on this note. This problem's going really long.

Asterios: I'm sorry. I know we're going too long.

Maddox: I…I…I just want to end on this note. Uh, "…one home schooled child"…this is from the New York Times. "…was given a workbook bought at Sam's Club by his mother. Then she asked her child a few questions about birds, and after 10 minutes, Ms. Wiles declared that he was losing focus. So she decided to give him a break and sent him upstairs to play Minecraft for…for a while, and then she said, 'His brain is so unique.' Ms. Wiles said." (Dick giggles) "That's one of the great things about home schooling. We work all year round, but I can tell him to go burn off some energy and play MInecraft."

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Well now, I'm like, "Home schooling…" (they laugh)

Dick: Yeah! See?!!

Asterios: You get to play video games at school!?

Dick: You wanna go to sit at school for eight hours, instead of playing Minecraft and doing a workbook from Sam's Club?

Asterios: Noooooo. (Maddox laughs) From Sam's Club. (giggles)

Sean: He gets a diploma written in crayon with, like, a banana sticker on it, or something.

Dick: Why not!? Then he can go get hired at McDonald's and have a perfectly fulfilling life working his way up into management!

Maddox: Sure.

Dick: Sounds great! What's the big deal?! (Asterios laughs) Someone's gotta do it!!! It's better than being $100,000 in debt, going to Stanford, and studying, uh….basketweaving, or feminist studies!!! Then what?! (they crack up) That's fucking…(yelling)

Asterios: Now who's….

Dick: Hold on! Hold on! Hold the fuck on!! (they all yell over each other) (Maddox laughs)

Asterios: Now who's appealing to emotion!?!?

Dick: That's child abuse! You wanna….(they crack up) send your kids to school!? Send your kid to school?! Eight hours a fucking day, doing nothing but letting some 23-year-old lecturing them about how they're the bad guy, then they get their tuition paid to go to Sanford!? And they study feminist studies, and then what!? That's child abuse!!

Asterios: Where's your statistics on this basket weaving and feminist studies!? I wanna hear numbers!

Dick: It exists!

Asterios: I get that it's your opinion…

Dick: It exists!!

Asterios: Oh well, where is it? 'Cause if you don't have the statistic right now, your entire opinion isn't valid.

Dick: That's…that's child abuse, motherfucker! That's child abuse. (Asterios laughs)

(They all talk over each other)

Asterios: You can just keeping saying it!

Dick: Letting your kid get a Liberal Arts degree…(Maddox laughs) And encouraging them…is child abuse. And there's…by the way. There's a…there's not a small chance of that happening, if they go to school. Political science. Communications. These are all real degrees.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: That thousands, hundreds of thousands of young people get…(Asterios cracks up) every year, that limit their opportunities because they're a FUCKING JOKE! (yells)

Maddox: You know…you know…

Asterios: (interjects) Thank God for home schooling to save us from the dirge of political…

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Of Political Studies majors! Ohhhhhh.

Maddox: From the scourge..(laughing)

Asterios: God bless you, home schoolers!! You stop more lesbian basket weaving classes! (Maddox cracks up) Those lesbian baskets, by the way, are fantastic. They carry over everything you need to move in with your lesbian girlfriend after the first date! (background laughter)

Dick: What are you gonna do then, Maddox? When an EMT drives up and instead of being home schooled, they've got a Feminist Studies degree!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: They're gonna…they're gonna knock you out in the ambulance and cut your dick right off!

Maddox: Yeah. You know…

Dick: (interjects) That's a way bigger problem than home schooling.

Maddox: They're not gonna drive up in an EMT because they're gonna look at their resume and their credentials, and their GPA, and be, like, "Oh, this guy's a bozo. Out!" Whereas someone with a home school…

Asterios: (interjects) Also if they're a woman driver, they're probably gonna crash that EMT into, like, the side of a building. (Maddox laughs) Or into, like, you know, a pretty-looking man. Like, they're like, "Ooh, pretty." Boom.

Dick: Well…look. Home schooling, public schooling, whatever kind of schooling you got, you need to shave.

Maddox: That's true. Everyone needs to shave. Yep. (laughs)

Dick: You need to look your best. 'Cause you need to look your best, especially if you have a high school diploma that's written in crayon. (Asterios cracks up) That's why today's episode is brought to you by Harry's. Please visit and use the promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM to save $5 off your first purchase. Guys…guys. Harry's is a superior shave than any other razor. In the universe.

Asterios: Well, the blade is so good, they bought the factory.

Dick: They bought the factory. High-quality, high-performing German blades crafted by shaving experts. It's about half the price of other big branded blades. And they ship for free to your front door. The starter set is an amazing deal. For $15, you get a razor, moisturizing shave cream, and three razor blades. Use our promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM you get $5 off your first order.

Asterios: I wanna say…thank you guys so much for the shaving kit I got last week on the show.

Maddox: Thank Harry's!

Asterios: Well, (stammers) and thank you guys, at Harry's. But thank you guys for not hoarding it for yourselves.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Because..I used it. And I was, like, "Oh, my God. I'm, like, an adult." Like, I hadn't, like, shaved shaved…

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: …in years! I'm absolutely not kidding. Like, done the lather. Put on the aftershave after. You, the thing. The this. The that. And I was just, like, "I feel like such a grown-up."

Dick: You feel like a man.

Asterios: I was like, "I don't feel like a scrub anymore."

Maddox: Mhmm.

Dick: You feel like a man. Look, that's what you could teach at home school. You have a whole… a whole period. How to be a man. You gotta shave. Here's how to tie a tie.

Maddox: Yeah. (laughing)

Dick: I got outta college, I still didn't know how to tie a tie!!

Maddox: Yeah, that's…

Dick: I had to go on YouTube!

Asterios: What, you just…you clip it on. What are you talking about? (Sean laughs)

Maddox: Yeah. There you go.

Dick: Harry's is less than two years old and it's already disrupting the shave industry, offering a better shave experience and a better value than the giants, who I will not name.

Asterios: But they are running scared. I see Twitter ads all the time from…the…the brands that you expect to see in the shaving space, the people that you see down at CVS.

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios: And all they're doing is attacking Harry's, because they're scared.

Dick: Satisfaction guaranteed. Oooh. I didn't know about that.

Maddox: Satisfaction guaranteed. If you don't like the product, they'll…make it right.

Dick: Yeah, I don't know what that means.

Maddox: I don't know…

Dick: Could be hard to satisfy. (they talk over each other, then laugh)

Maddox: Don't worry, they'll take care of you. (laughing)

Dick: Yeah. Go to, use promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM to save $5 off your first purchase.

Maddox: No, I will say this, though, about Harry's. They are very responsive to their customers and tweets on Twitter. So, uh, if you guys like the product, and, you know, tweet it at them, they'll…they'll tweet back and they'll like your, uh…they'll favorite your tweet. There you go. That's something. That's…

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: That's validation from a big company!

Asterios: Unlikely Wayne Brady, who's not responding to any of the tweets the fans are sending him.

Dick: Mmmmmm.

Asterios: Calling him bitchmaid, or…(Maddox laughs) a wet bitch. I didn't…

Maddox: Wet bitch?

Asterios: There was a term…some…someone called Wayne Brady a moist bitch. (Maddox laughs)

Dick: He is! He is.

Asterios: And I was like, "I've never…"

Dick: He is a moist bitch.

Asterios: Now…now it makes sense!!

Dick: He is a moist bitch.

Asterios: But I'd never heard that insult before and I was like, "This is delightful. What a great day."

Maddox: What is that?

Asterios: I don't know! But I love it.

Maddox: Dick, what's a moist bitch?

Dick: He is. Oh, man. I d…we don't…I don't wanna do it during this ad.

Maddox: Okay.

Dick: I'll tell you…(they laugh)

Maddox: !!

Asterios: So you're not a moist bitch if you go to and use promo code BIGGEST.

Dick: You wanna go…BIGGESTPROBLEM.

Asterios: BIGGESTPROBLEM, ah, I'm such an asshole! I'll go next, yeah.

Dick: Do your problem.

Asterios: Alright. Um, so…with home schooling, we're talking about potentially…we may agree to disagree, but our argument is…we don't want a pervasive environment where there's constantly an authority figure looking over these kids. Sorta like Santa Clause.

Maddox: Aaaaaah…

Dick: Is that your problem?

Asterios: You know, like Santa…yeah. Well, my problem today is the Elf on the Shelf.

Maddox: Elf on a Shelf?! Asterios, that's a delightful toy! That keeps children in line.

Dick: Oh, no, no, no, no.

Asterios: It keeps children in line! That's the problem!! (Maddox laughs) For the longest time, I didn't know what the elf on the shelf was. It came out in 2005.

Sean: I still don't know what it is!

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: I'm gonna explain it to you!

Dick: I just found out recently.

Asterios: Yeah. I'm gonna explain to you what it is. Uh, oh, by the way. When the elf on the shelf came out…(giggles) the book was called "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition". (they crack up) So it was like, "Okay, I'm just dumb for not knowing what this tradition is." And then I look it up, and it's, like, no it's not! Some asshole just invented it and called it….

Dick: (interjects) No, no, no!! I know that's not true, because I know somebody who had it when they were a kid.

Asterios: Oh, really!?

Dick: Yeah, yeah.

Asterios: Okay.

Maddox: But was the book that came out when they were a kid also called that? The Christmas tradition? Because, like, Santa Claus was just manufactured by Coca Cola. I mean, there's that…

Dick: (interjects) Wait, what?

Maddox: Yeah. So the modern, red, jolly Santa Claus was manufactured by Coca Cola to sell Coke.

Dick: It wasn't a real guy?

Maddox: It was a real guy, but…

Asterios: Well, Saint Nicholas…

Dick: Are you saying that Santa is not real on this podcast? (Maddox laughs) You should put a spoiler alert.

Asterios: We're just saying he's not…into Coke.

Maddox: The modern Santa Claus.

Asterios: As much as the real Santa.

Dick: What was the original Santa Claus? (they all talk over each other)

Maddox: The original…the original Santa Claus was, I believe…he was a monk? Or no, he was a priest in, um…what was it, Austria, or Germany. And he would leave candy in the shoes of children who left their shoes outside. And he kinda did it secretly.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: And his name was, uh…Kristoff. Uh, uh…Christopher.

Dick: Christoph Waltz.

Maddox: Yeah, something like that. Christoph Klaus or something like that. And then Coca Cola took that…that old story and then spun it into this mythology of Santa Claus and made the big, red, jolly man to sell Coca Cola.

Dick: And the sleigh and the reindeer, and shit?!

Maddox: That all kind of…yeah. That all kind of emerged.

Dick: COKE made that up!?

Maddox: Coke…Coke created the modern Santa Claus, yeah.

Dick: Okay.

Asterios: Well, isn't Santa delicious, just like the delicious taste of Coke?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Don't you love both? Don't you love a…(giggles) piping hot cup of Coke at Christmas? (Sean laughs) Sitting in front of the fireplace? Well, look. According to Wikipedia, which again, is wrong a lot. (Maddox chuckles) The Elf on the Shelf was, uh…was written in 2004 and, uh…was first released in 2005. Um, you know…I don't know if it's based on something, I'm just kind of reading this off Wikipedia. But here's what the Elf on the Shelf is, regardless of when it came out. What you do is you tell your kids, "Hey, I got this little toy elf here. It's like a little stuffed elf."

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios: And you're like, "This is one of Santa's scout elves." (Dick groans) This elf reports back everything you do.

Dick: He's a sleeper cell for Santa. (Maddox laughs)

Asterios: He's a…he's like the NSA for Santa!

Dick: Yeah. (giggles)

Asterios: And you're, like, "I'm gonna put this elf up on a shelf in your room. And anytime you do….something naughty, this scout elf is gonna tell Santa Claus. And by the way, if you touch or move this elf, you break the seal of Christmas magic…(Dick guffaws) around this elf."

Maddox: Woooooooooooowwwwwwww…

Asterios: And so if you're not good…the elf's gonna tell Santa and you're gonna get terrible presents. Isn't that fucking awful!?

Sean: Do you know how shitty the parents have to be to let an inanimate object control their kids?

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah!

Asterios: Incredibly shitty!!

Maddox: A bunch of home schoolers. (they all laugh)

Asterios: That's what I'm saying!!

Maddox: That's what can happen! Teach 'em whatever you want!!! Hey, I'm…I'm supposed to…(laughs) stay in line, otherwise this magical elf is gonna…is gonna terrorize my life!

Dick: Talk to Santa.

Maddox: And this poor kid, imagine a kid's intellect, like, being, like, ancient Aztecs or Incans who are afraid of eclipses and didn't know why weather patterns occurred and they were just afraid, like, superstitious. You're essentially raising a child to be superstitious of everything, and if the child dares touch that thing…the child might die, so…the child might not experiment with that!!

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Your…hold on.

Asterios: Or the elf might die!!

Dick: Your leaps…(Maddox laughs) that you make. About parenting. Are…uh, gigantic.

Maddox: What…that could happen!!! (Dick guffaws)

Dick: Yeah, I know, but the idea that…

Asterios: (interjects) Are you saying it couldn't happen, Dick?

Dick: Yeah. Go…what's…what else is wrong with Elf on the Shelf? (grins)

Asterios: Oh, well…well…I don't like…

Dick: 'Cause my sister's doing Elf on the Shelf this year, I think.

Maddox: Ohhhhhhh.

Dick: Yeah. She sent me a…she sent me a text asking if I would buy the…this Elf on the Shelf thing on Etsy.

Asterios: Okay.

Dick: 'Cause she was too busy to do her own online shopping, I guess.

Asterios: Too busy to go to Google Elf on a Shelf.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Put in your address.

Dick: Oh no, she sent me the link. I'm like, "What the fuck are you talking about?"

Asterios: That's half of the…that's half of the thing! (giggles)

Dick: No, hey…she's on another level of…of delegating.

Asterios: Mmm. (Sean laughs)

Dick: Always testing. She's always testing everyone to see what they will do for her. By sending them, like, links, like…"Hey will you buy this for me?" "Buy this for me. I don't have time to do it right now. Can you just buy it for me? I'm driving."

Asterios: I only have time to find the link, text it to you, tell you…and tell you what to buy and where to send it.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: That's all I have the time for. Well, look. My…look, my problem with the Elf on the Shelf is simply this. If I were a little kid who was jerking off a lot and I got this elf watching over my shoulder. Every time I tried to jerk off, I'd be, like, I'm not gonna get presents. But of course I wanna jerk off. I'm a little kid. (Dick laughs) So I'm jerking, I'm jerking, I'm jerking…

Dick: (interjects) Wait a minute! Wait a minute!!! (Maddox laughs) Wait a minute!

Maddox: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Dick: Wait a minute!! (laughing) How old are you in this scenario?

Asterios: Well, I'm 4 or 5. Why do you ask? (Dick guffaws)

Maddox: Ohhhhhhh, maaaaaaaaaaaan.

Dick: Okay.

Sean: He's jacking off at 12, still scared to death of Elf on the Shelf.

Asterios: Yeah! Now every time I'm about to…you know. Finish into a woman…

Dick: Polish your candy cane.

Asterios: Yeah, exactly. Every time, like, I'm about to, like, finish, like, the sexual act of coitus…

Dick: (interjects) Every time you're about to chest your nuts. (someone snorts)

Asterios: I feel super duper guilty about it, and I just think, well, Christmas isn't gonna come this year. Even though I did. (Maddox cracks up) And I just feel super…I don't know. Am I the only one?!

(Sound effect: Ding!)

(Sound effect: Applause)

(Maddox dies of laughter)

Asterios: If I'm the only one, I'll shut up. (Maddox still cracking up) I just assume this is the problem with Elf on a Shelf!

Maddox: Talk about a stuffed stocking. (they crack up)

Asterios: Um, look. I don't…here…I don't like that parents are trying to, like, trick their kids into behaving by threatening them. It's just, like, just give the kids a toy. Being a kid is fucking hard.

Dick: Have you ever raised a kid?

Asterios: All the time. (they laugh) Um, another one of these…I call them, like, behavior modification dolls?

Dick: Okay.

Asterios: Another behavior modification doll is this thing called "The Switch Witch". Have you guys ever heard of the Switch Witch?

Dick: I've heard of a switch.

Maddox: No. I don't…

Asterios: Okay. Yes, going out to pick a switch.

Dick: Well…

Asterios: I really great behavior modification technique. But the Switch Witch…alright, so your kids go out for Halloween. They get alllllllll this fucking candy. They come home with this big bag of candy. And then you tell the kids, "Alright. Take one or two pieces of your favorite candy, and then we're gonna…and then the Switch Witch…we're gonna put the Switch Witch out with your candy bag overnight." And the kids are, like, "Okay, I'll take a single Snickers Bar."

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios: "Yay, I'm gonna go to bed." And then the next morning…

Dick: (interjects) The most well-behaved kid EVER.

Asterios: This is the fantasy you're selling when you sell the Switch Witch.

Dick: Yeah. Okay.

Asterios: The next morning, all your candy is gone. Because the Switch Witch has taken it and has replaced it with healthy foods, like apples.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Ohhhhhhhh. (groans)

Asterios: That's terrible. (Dick laughs)

Maddox: Stupid! That's awful.

Asterios: That's awful!!

Maddox: Yeah, that's a bait and switch.

Dick: Oh, man. (grins)

Asterios: So parents are hiring dolls, saying these dolls are magic…

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: And using them to ruin fun things like Christmas and Halloween! How is that not a problem?!

Dick: You…kids…

Sean: (interjects) Because they can't parent their kids themselves!

Dick: No, no, no. No, no.

Asterios: Yeah, so they gotta buy a doll to do it! (yells)

Sean: They need to blame…yeah. They need to blame something else.

Dick: I…disagree.

Sean: 'Cause they don't wanna take away the kids' candy. And tell 'em it's bad for 'em.

Asterios: I would have given you an Xbox 360, but the Elf on the Shelf said you were jerking off, Asterios! So therefore, you're not gonna get your Xbox 360!!!

Dick: Kids…

Maddox: (interjects) Why…why do you disagree, Dick?

Dick: Kids are terrorists. You have to do…you have to use everything in our arsenal to deal with them. (Asterios giggles) 'Cause they don't wanna do anything. They're like people, except they can't hit you when you tell them to do things.

Asterios: Thank God.

Dick: Switch Witch, Elf on a Shelf, man, there should be…there should be little…there should be robotic, like, moving elves to help sell the illusion that these kids need to behave.

Asterios: Yeah, why not put a drone in your kids' room? (Sean laughs)

Dick: I…I'm all for it! Do it! (Asterios laughs)

Asterios: As long as you're okay with the kid shooting it?

Dick: Yeah! Hey…they'll do it anyway! They'll do it anyway.

Asterios: Okay. (cracks up)

Dick: You have no…(stammers) (Asterios cracks up)

Maddox: What about, like…

Dick: (interjects) My nephew lost my….

Asterios: Wait, what…what happened?

Dick: Oh, my nephew destroyed my drone.

Asterios: What?!

Dick: I had a little…I had a little drone. I was playing around with it. Flying it around?

Asterios: Yeah, looking in girls' windows.

Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Little one. Little one. Didn't have a camera on it. So I'm flying it around and he goes…he was, like, two and a half at the time. And he was like, "I wanna fly it!" I wanna fly it! I'm like, alright. Here.

Maddox: That's…that's on you!! There you go! (laughs)

Dick: Oh yeah, no. It's completely on me. I'm like, "Oh, here you go."

Maddox: Yeah. (laughing)

Dick: So he takes it and just jams on the "up".

Maddox: Yeah. (Asterios laughs)

Dick: Jams on the "up", and the drone shoots up like a rocket. And I'm like "AAAAAAAH, NO, NO, NO, NO!!" (they laugh)

Asterios: Ohohoho, no!!!

Dick: And he's running around, and, like, freaking out, because I'm yelling, and now he's freaking out and frozen with his thumb on the "Up". Drone's gone. By the time I get it back and shut it down, the drone was in the jetstream. Who knows where it landed. (Sean laughs)

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Ohohohooooo.

Dick: It was like, well, I hope that was fun. (Asterios guffaws) 'Cause there it went.

Asterios: And then later that day, the kid forgot that even happened, 'cause they're a kid. (giggling)

Dick: Oh, yeah. Five seconds later.

Asterios: Chicken fingers, hooray!!!

Dick: Like, no…

Maddox: Always shoot drones. So Dick, you're in favor of Elf on the Shelf and the Switch Witch, right?

Dick: Oh, man, yes.

Maddox: Okay.

Dick: Yes.

Maddox: What…what…

Dick: (interjects) When you have not had…when you have not slept in months.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And you're…you've realized…you realize that you've sunk the entire rest of your life into these little motehrfuckers, and all they do is drive you crazy, do anything! Do anything. Any kind of trick you wanna pull on these…on these assholes. (Asterios cackles) You know what? Maybe the Tooth Fairy now, is an out-of-control 800-pound gorilla, and if you don't eat healthy and if you fuck up with your tooth somehow, she's gonna come in and beat you up when you sleep! For it!

Maddox: What about…(Asterios guffaws) what about…what if there was, like, a Boogeyman? Like a societ…like a Boogeyman that went around in society, and…uh, like, dressed in blue. And that came knocking at your door, and said, "Hey, are you abusing your kids?" You know. Just the specter of the…this Boogeyman. Oh, and we'll call them "cops". (laughs) We'll have these cops come over!

Asterios: Spooky.

Maddox: Yeah. That's real spooky, isn't it?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah, that's…

Maddox: (interjects) I mean, isn't it….isn't is essentially, like, isn't this the same thing as, like, having this, like, um…it's like parental….you're okay with, like, overbearing…

Dick: (interjects) Parents parenting their kids? Yeah, I'm okay with that.

Maddox: Yeah. Overbearing authoritarianism. (Dick laughs)

Asterios: Maddox, I think you're ruining our case a little bit with this. (laughing)

Dick: Yeah. This is…(trails off, laughing)

Asterios: But lemme try to…lemme try to coast us back here. (Dick cracks up)

Dick: Oh, you thought that was weird?

Asterios: Dick, I can't believe that you're in favor of giving kids less candy and less toys. That's what…

Dick: Asterios…(laughing)

Asterios: That's…that is the ultimate effect of your argument. And if you're the kind of guy that doesn't want kids to have candy and toys…I guess I can respect…I guess we have to agree to disagree. (Maddox laughs)

Dick: Tchyeah. (scoffs, giggles) Well…

Asterios: Merry Christmas.

Dick: Nobody needs 8 pounds of candy.

Asterios: I do!!!

Maddox: Don't tell me what I need or don't need! (silly voice) (Dick laughs) (Maddox giggles)

Asterios: Yeah, doctor who's telling me I have high cholesterol! Shut up.

Dick: Is that it?

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah, that's it. Elf on the Shelf.

Dick: Is that your problem?

Maddox: Elf on a Shelf.

Asterios: That's my problem.

Dick: Pretty big problem. Uh, my problem is Christmas Trees.

Maddox: Christmas Trees!? Wait a second!

Asterios: Mmmmm.

Maddox: Two…(laughing) two Christmas-related problems?!

Dick: Yeah, who showed up…(Asterios and Maddox laugh) Who showed up to this party without their tie on?

Maddox: Oh yeah, I guess it is…you know, it is Chr…what is it? It's Christmas?

Asterios: It wouldn't be…it wouldn't be a Christmas episode without a half an hour argument about politics. (Maddox laughs)

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: I mean, that's how Christmas is at my house!!

Maddox: Merry Christmas, fuckfaces! (laughs)

Asterios: Oh, God. Oh, my God. Two years ago, the Obamacare…ah, forget it. It's, yeah. (Maddox laughs) But I wanna hear about Christmas trees, 'cause I like Christmas trees.

Maddox: Christmas trees.

Asterios: So I wanna hear the problem with them.

Dick: I like Christmas trees, too. But…liking them distracts me from the prob…the huge problem of them. I like them. They're a testament to man's superiority over nature.

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: Right?

Maddox: That's cool.

Dick: You go out, you dominate Mother Nature. You just chop it down at will. Then you take it home and you dress it up.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: To add insult to injury.

Maddox: Sure!

Dick: Right?

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: I like the way they smell. Okay? But they're a huge fucking pain in the ass. Your dog pisses on 'em. You gotta water them all the time.

Maddox: Mmm.

Dick: They dry out…what do…I got a Christmas Tree in my apartment right now, right?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Many..many stories up. Old building.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: When that thing…after Christmas, I have no idea how I'm gonna get rid of it. I'm just gonna have to throw it out the window. (Asterios laughs)

Maddox: Yeah. That's what you do.

Asterios: You simply have no choice.

Dick: I have no choice! (Maddox laughs) I had to do that with a mattress before!

Asterios: Mmhmm.

Maddox: You threw a mattress out the window?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: You didn't get a couple of your friends to come over? "Hey, let's get this…"

Dick: No, I don't do that.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I don't like roping friends into manual labor.

Maddox: Yeah. Okay.

Dick: So I dunno what I'm gonna do with this tree. I'm not gonna ca…how do you carry out a dead, dried-up Christmas tree?

Maddox: You put…you put a big bag over it. And then you just…

Dick: A BAG! Where am I gonna get this gigantic bag!!

Asterios: Well, what if you lit it on fire?

Maddox: Stores. (giggles)

Asterios: I mean, wouldn't that get rid of it? What if you burnt it up?

Dick: That's true. That's true.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: I'll call the Fire Department preemptively.

Maddox: You guys, it's not…I got a Christmas tree last year. The first real Christmas tree I ever got. And I wasn't planning on buying one, because they're very expensive.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Dick: That's another problem!

Maddox: Yeah. They're very expensive. And I was walking down the street, and I saw this Christmas tree…this, like, PERFECTLY good Christmas tree thrown out next to a dumpster! So I walked over and picked it up…

Asterios: You ARE like Charlie Brown!! (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: Yeah, I took it…

Asterios: (interjects) You're bald….

Maddox: It was…shut up, Asterios!!

Asterios: People make fun of you…(Maddox laughs)

Dick: You probably couldn't kick a football…

Maddox: I can kick! I can kick, buddy! That's the one…(Dick giggles) I'm good for a kick!

Dick: Do you wanna make a bet number two? (they crack up) The apple bet didn't work out so well for you!!! (grins)

Maddox: Yeah. Anyway. I brought home this Christmas tree and it was…swell. This was a…

Asterios: (interjects) You're always wearing the same T-shirts. I'm sorry.

Maddox: Yeah?

Asterios: Please continue. (giggles) Please continue.

Maddox: Well, you got me on that one.

Sean: So you picked up a discarded tree?

Maddox: Yeah. It was great!!

Dick: Garbage.

Maddox: Here's the thing, Sean. No, it wasn't garbage!

Sean: Was it after Christmas?

Maddox: No, it was just before Christmas, and the reason it was thrown out, it was, like, a fresh tree, perfectly good tree. And the reason it was thrown out is because it was just before the holiday break and this company was taking off…obviously, until the next…until the new year. So they didn't want this tree sitting there, drying out for two weeks in their offices.

Asterios: Ohhhhhh.

Maddox: So they put this tree next to the dumpster, and I picked it up, I'm like, "Wow, this is a really great tree." It was a big size. It was beautiful. Uh, brought it home. That was my Christmas tree. And then…and then when it was drying up and ready to toss out, I just put a big bag over it. Right out.

Dick: Where'd you get that bag?

Maddox: Just go to, umm…(Sean cackles) the…the grocery stores. They have these things called grocery stores…

Dick: Where do you get a 7-foot bag?

Maddox: No, you just get…they get, ummm…you can get, like, even Saran Wrap'll work. You just wrap it around a few times.

Dick: Ugh, Saran Wrap. I'm wrapping up a tree. Just throw it out the window. (annoyed)

Maddox: (giggles) Well, or that.

Dick: It's Hollywood. They'll figure it out. Some bum will live in it. Maybe a family of bums. (Maddox giggles)

Asterios: What if you chop it up into pieces in your apartment and then throw the pieces at strangers on the street, from your window?

Dick: Like a corpse?

Asterios: Kind like, yeah, exactly. Like you're…kinda like a Christmas tree sniper. Like, you know, people who look bad. You know, people that you don't like. You know, just, like, the look of them.

Dick: Look, they are very expensive.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah. They're expensive.

Maddox: How much did you pay for yours, Dick?

Dick: $120.

Maddox: Whoa, man! That's an expensive tree.

Dick: Yeah. I tried to negotiate with the guy, too.

Maddox: Yeah, you should.

Dick: Yeah. I was with this girl, and I was like, "Oh, check this out. Check this out. I'm gonna negotiate like Trump with this guy."

Maddox: Ahhhhhh.

Dick: Right? Well, "Hey buddy, how much is this tree?" And he's like "(inhales) eh, 12 bucks a foot". And I'm like, "Well, how about, uh, eight bucks a foot?" And he goes, "No, we can't do anything like that." "Well, then I'm outta here." How do you like that.

Maddox: Aha.

Dick: And he goes, "Okay." (Maddox laughs) I'm just kidding. Let's go…I'm back in. 12 bucks is fine. Um, what about the stand? I need a stand. He's like, "That's 2 bucks." And I'm like, "How about you throw it in?" And he goes, "No." (they laugh) Okay.

Maddox: Great negotiation. So you bought a 10-foot tree, paid exactly what he was asking for it.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: 120 bucks.

Dick: No, it wasn't even 10 feet! I dunno how it got up to 120 bucks!!

Maddox: Yeaah.

Dick: There was a bunch of other…fees and shit!!!

Maddox: Taxes and shit? Oh, they probably have, like, a conv…a cleanup fee, and a restoration fee, and all this other…

Dick: So this is what the…so, by the way, the reason that they're so expensive this year…guess what? The drought.

Maddox: Oh.

Asterios: Ohhhh.

Dick: So they planted 90%, I read, of their…90% of their seedlings they planted died this year. "We simply couldn't water them on time." This is what the farmer says. "I'm afraid, when it's all said and done, that we didn't raise our prices enough. Because of the higher costs for labor, fuel, and fertilizer, we'll be significantly lower. In fact, we may be in the red." The poor Christmas tree farmers. They LOST money on this deal, you guys!

Maddox: Hmm.

Dick: We should be grateful that they provided these outrageously expensive trees!

Maddox: They're in the…

Asterios: (interjects) That sounds…that sounds like a lot like a car salesman being, like, "We're selling this to you at cost."

Dick: Yeah! (laughs)

Asterios: Like…

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like, we already bought the goddamn tree! Don't rub it in!!

Asterios: "We're not making any money and we're taking a bath on this deal." (whines)

Maddox: Yeah. (giggles) Fucking assholes.

Dick: 8 million dollars. 8…800 million dollars. What we spend on real trees. And another 2.6 billion on artificial trees.

Maddox: That's the…

Dick: During the holiday season.

Maddox: Yeah, that makes sense.

Dick: How about that?

Maddox: Why not artificial trees? 'Cause I grew up with an artificial tree that we brought out every year, and man, I loved the smell of that thing. It smelled like mothballs. And…(laughs)

Dick: And plastic? And…

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Mothballs? (giggles)

Maddox: Plastic and mothballs. But that smell was really comforting to me. 'Cause every time we pulled it out of the box, I'm like, "Oh, it's Christmas. That's the Christmas smell." And it was all…we had those old, seventies…

Asterios: Ornaments?

Maddox: Lights. Yeah, the ornaments with the bubbling lights? Like, the little, um…

Dick: Oh, those were cool.

Maddox: Those were really cool!

Dick: You can't get them anymore.

Maddox: No. They're fire hazards.

Dick: Now it's just chintzy LED lights.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah, we had an artificial tree, too, for most of my childhood, and I liked it a lot. Like, people always make fun of artificial trees. I dunno why. It's, look at me, I would bring it up from the basement, like, half of it's already decorated, 'cause I was the one that put it away next year, just, like, shoving it down the stairs…(laughs)

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Like, I like artificial trees.

Dick: You know how many fires Christmas Trees cause?

Asterios: Oh, no.

Dick: Every year?

Maddox: How…I bet it's as…

Dick: (interjects) 250,000.

Maddox: 250,000 fires!?!

Asterios: A quarter of a million fires? (laughs)

Dick: No. It's actually 230.

Maddox: 230 period?

Dick: Yeah. (giggles) Yeah. (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: I was gonna say, 250,000!!! (laughing)

Asterios: I was…I was absolutely willing to believe, like, a 100,000% markup on the amount of fires. (giggles)

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: 'Cause I'm, like, of course they do! They're big matchsticks!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Sean: They say almost all of those fires are from overloaded sockets.

Asterios: Ohhhhh.

Sean: Because especially with the lights that we use now, they're not hot enough to light a tree, no matter how dry it is.

Dick: No.

Sean: You can grab those lightbulbs at any point, no matter how long they've been on.

Asterios: Ugh, stupid LED lights!

Maddox: Oh. I'd be curious to see…what the decline, if any, there was in fires. House fires. Since we've switched mostly to LEDs. Do you have anything like that, Dick?

Dick: No, I don't have anything like that. I do have the, uh…the invention of the Christmas tree, though.

Maddox: Yeah! Where did…'cause I've heard conflicting things. Where…

Dick: (interjects) Yeah! And I don't believe a lot of them!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Right? Like, one story I read said, "Well, Martin Luther, you know, was walking home…(Maddox giggles) probably drunk. (Asterios laughs) And he saw…he saw a bunch of trees and the stars were shining through them. And he was so impressed with their beauty that he brought one in and wired a bunch of candles to it, to recreate the effect." Can you imagine, like, how much of an asshole you would have to be to do that?

Maddox: The Lutheran? Martin Luther? That guy?

Dick: Yeah. Martin Luther. The guy nailing his…his…

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: His complaints on churches.

Maddox: His decree, yeah.

Asterios: Was one of the complaints that trees are too expensive?

Dick: Uh, I don't think so.

Asterios: Okay.

Dick: So he comes in…th…(stammers) and wires candles to it. I gotta assume the guy has…lives with some people, right? Obviously drunk. This is obviously a drunk move. "Oh, (slurs) there's all these stars. I thought, why don't I bring this tree in, and just wire a bunch of candles to it." Well, you got a pine tree. That's gonna be a problem if you light a bunch of candles and tie it onto the..

Maddox: (interjects) Yeah, what are you doing? You're bringing the forest into the house.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: We have spent centuries trying to get out of the forest and build houses that have no forest in them. You're bringing the forest back into the house.

Dick: So I don't believe that one.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Uh, then…THEN. I read another story that said German pagans worshipped, you know…worshipped the Norse gods, and that Thor…Thor's symbol was the mighty oak, so this guy, Saint…Saint Bonerface, I think? (Sean laughs)

Maddox: Saint Bonerface, that sounds…

Asterios: Saint Bonaface? Saint Bonaface?

Dick: Well, I dunno how you pronounce it.

Asterios: Okay. (Maddox giggles)

Dick: Uh…he cut down the oak tree to spite them, and replaced it with a pine tree and said that the triangle shape represents the Holy Trinity. So, out of spite.

Maddox: Huh.

Dick: We have the Christmas tree. I…that makes sense.

Asterios: I like that!

Maddox: I like that a lot, yeah.

Dick: Yeah, that makes sense.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I don't think some drunken asshole was walking home from nailing his list of gripes to a church, and then said, "Oh, look at all these stars and these trees. I'm gonna bring that in, and uh…create this effect in my house."

Maddox: Huh. Yeah, um…I like…I like that explanation a lot.

Asterios: Yeah, me too. 'Cause it means every time we put up a Christmas tree, we're giving the middle finger to Thor.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeeeeah.

Asterios: I like that.

Maddox: Fuck Thor! Long live Odin. (Asterios and Maddox laugh) I…

Asterios: Well, even Thor and Odin fight! I mean, come on.

Maddox: I'm a big fan of Odin.

Asterios: You can be in favor of one and not the other.

Maddox: Yeah. I'm in favor of Odin. Um…you know that year that I brought home that Christmas tree…that, uh…that real…that's the only time I've ever had a real Christmas tree.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: Uhh…when I was bringing it home, my…you know my crazy next-door neighbor, the, the hippy bitch?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: She…she yelled at me. She goes, "Oh, why don't you cut down more trees?!" and I just…I was so tire…I was, like, tired and exhausted just…I blurted out. The first thing out of my mouth, I just said, "Shut up, bitch!" and just kept dragging my tree home! (laughing)

Sean: She goes out of her way to fuck with you!

Asterios: Yes, she does.

Maddox: Oh, she's awful. Not just…everyone. Everyone! She's just a terrible, terrible witch. I can't wait 'til she dies. And…and, and…this is the first time I'm announcing it on the podcast, but when she does…and hopefully soon, I'm going to have…maybe a fan get-together. A fan meet-up.

Asterios: Oh. That's a great idea!

Dick: Oh, cool.

Maddox: We'll have a big…yeah. A big party, uh…to celebrate her passing! I think it'd be fantastic. We'll make cookies. We'll make pine tree cookies! How about that?

Dick: That would be fun.

Asterios: When she dies of natural CAUSES, everybody.

Maddox: Yeah, yeah. (giggles)

Asterios: I know there's some HUGE fans of the show…

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You should go to her estate sale and buy her car, just to burn it.

Maddox: Oh, my God.

Dick: Or buy…buy a bunch of stuff of hers just to burn it.

Asterios: Because some of that stuff, they'll sell for a penny just to get rid of it.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: And then you can pee on it, and poo on it.

Maddox: Yeah. O…I mean, that's, like, bringing garbage to the dump. You know what I mean?

Asterios: That's true.

Maddox: Yeah. Anyway, Dick, uh, sorry. Go ahead.

Dick: Ornaments. All these fucking plinky dinky ornaments that you gotta put on the tree every year. And then put them away. All of Mom's precious ornaments that you can't give away.

Asterios: They're so fragile, too!

Dick: They're so fragile.

Asterios: It's like if you…it's like if you drop this thing, it's, like, "No, you made that in second grade for me."

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: And it's, like, "Now it's gone forever, much like my baby is."

Maddox: And they're so…

Asterios: (interjects) And then your mom looks out the window and goes, "It's gonna be a cold Christmas this year." (Maddox laughs) 'Cause you dropped an ornament. You're absolu…you are making such a good case about this.

Dick: They're a big…like, I like them. But there are a lot of underlying…

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Problems.

Asterios: They're problematic.

Dick: With a Christmas tree. They're ONLY problems!

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Uh, you know, Dick…uh, two things I realized. First of all, you don't know the true cost of ornaments until the day after Christmas.

Asterios: Oh, right.

Maddox: Because they mark those fuckers up, like, 20 dollars for, like, 10. I'm like, "I dunno. Is this a good price? Does it cost 2 dollars per bulb? I mean, I can buy an actual lightbulb with filament in it that's, like, a dollar.

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox: This is costing me 2 dollars and does nothing. It just sits there!

Dick: It's true.

Maddox: Uh, then…the day after Christmas, it's, like, 99 cents for, like 10.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: I'm like, "Oh, that's the real cost. That's actually what it costs."

Dick: It's true.

Maddox: Um, the other thing, Dick. I just remembered that the reason I brought in that superhero worship problem a couple of episodes back, and I completely forgot to talk about it, was because there were so many superhero ornaments this year.

Asterios: Ohhh, yeah.

Maddox: And they…these ornaments! These motherfuckers…(Dick sighs)

Dick: Ugh, that bums me out.

Maddox: The superhero ornaments?

Dick: That there's superhero ornaments.

Maddox: Yeah, and get this. They cost, like, 7 dollars for a little inanimate one without joints.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: One that you just hang there! That costs more than the ACTUAL superhero that you could tie a string around its neck.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah, you're right. For a couple…for a couple more dollars, you could hang Captain America from your tree!

Maddox: The actual Captain America action figure.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Rather than the shitty ornament that does nothing and it's just molded plastic.

Asterios: Yeah!

Dick: You know how much we spend on these shitty ornaments? Six billion dollars.

Maddox: Holy cow.

Dick: On Christmas decorations.

Asterios: Oh, my lord.

Dick: LED lights. 16-foot-tall inflatable Santas. Predecorated Christmas trees, like…I think they're professional versions of the one you have, Asterios.

Asterios: Yeah. They don't look as good, probably.

Dick: Yeah. And, uh…and they're crooked. They're all crooked. (Maddox laughs)

Asterios: Ooh.

Dick: You get that tree in there, you think it's gonna be a testament to your strength, but really, it's just a reminder of your incompetence.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And the general failure that is life.

Sean: You talking about real trees?

Dick: Yeah.

Sean: Yeah.

Dick: I imagine the fake ones are crooked as well. Nothing's perfect.

Sean: Maybe. But there's always a bad side, too.

Dick: Ugh.

Sean: You gotta figure out which side to put to the wall…

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah, that's true.

Sean: Or into the corner.

Dick: It's embarrassing.

Maddox: 'Cause there's always a patch, like, trees…natural trees always have, like, some weird bra…like, area that didn't grow in fully.

Asterios: Can I tell you guys about the worst Christmas ornament I've seen before we wrap up?

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: This…this was sold last year, uh…in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, you know, the big scene at the end is where Spock sacrifices himself to shut down the warp core? And him and Captain Kirk touch hands through safety glass.

Dick: Gaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Asterios: As Spock dies. (Maddox giggles)

Dick: Yeah. (they giggle)

Asterios: Like, yeah.

Dick: Can you imagine doing that with, like, your friend?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like, I see that…this is…this is part of my problem last week with geriatric action heroes. That all new action heroes are these…pussywhipped…

Maddox: Pussies.

Dick: Underwear models.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: They're all these…they're just…they're, there's not an ounce of masculinity in them!! It's…and every single interview about their role is, "How did you get those abs?"

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Fuck your abs! I want a go…

Asterios: (yelling) )(interjects) I was paid millions of dollars to…to get into shape!!

Dick: I want a guy who is an asshole! Like, every single…(stammers) male action star who's new starts the movie pussywhipped. He starts the movie pursuing some girl who does not wanna talk to him. Have you noticed that?! Jurassic World? Chris Pratt is after that…uh, redheaded chick in the beginning? He's like, "How about we go into my, uh…little trailer here and fuck?" And she's like "Not if you were the last man on earth." He starts Guardians of the Galaxy wanting to bang that green broad, which we ALL do!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: But he's like…Indiana Jones II. Willy. Fuck you, bitch. I don't…I don't wanna hook up with you. (Maddox laughs) I don't run with you. I'm Indiana Jones, motherfucker! I don't have time for you! Then they both HATE EACH OTHER!! Okay?! That's…that's what being a man and an action hero is about!! UGH!!! (Sean laughs) But that's…that's the world! That's the guys we look up to! (screaming) These slavishly drooling men! Who are pining over these chicks who don't want to talk to them! WHICH ALREADY IS WEIRD! That starts weird!! Saying that that's normal that you wanna pursue this woman who has nothing…who wants NOTHING to do with you!? And THAT'S OKAY?! That's weird in and of itself!!

Asterios: But she's the prize you win at the end for saving the world.

Dick: That's even more disgusting!!!

Maddox: Ohohoho. (laughing)

Asterios: You get to win her pussy! Isn't that great?!

Dick: Oh, it…

Asterios: (interjects) Isn't it great when women are prizes for men who've done a good job?

Maddox: No, but it goes the other way too, Asterios. And this is something that I'm…I'm making a video about.

Asterios: Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I'm getting….

Maddox: No. No, no, no!!

Asterios: I'm gonna get killed for that one comment!

Maddox: Nonononono!!! Here's what!! (stammers) You cuck!!! (laughing)

Asterios: I know, exactly!!! (yelling)

Maddox: (laughs) That's what they call…

Asterios: I'm gonna get killed for that one comment!

Maddox: A couple episodes ago, I mentioned, like, Dick, when you were going up to the shooting range, I'm like, "Oh, why don't you just go up there with one of your guns and a couple of magazines." And some guy was just like…just jumped down my throat.

Dick: You said "clips".

Maddox: Yeah. I said clips?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: (stammers) So, yeah. That was what the guy was like…"Hey Maddox…it's clips. Or, it's magazines, not clips!!"

Dick: It's magazines.

Maddox: "You fucking liberal SJW cuck!!" (Dick laughs) Like, just, like, JUMPED down my throat! It's like, you socialist!

Asterios: Oh.

Maddox: I'm like, "Get the fuck out, dude, calm the fuck down!!"

Asterios: I wanna…

Dick: (interjects) Maddox, I mean, you obviously don't even know which way to point a gun. (they laugh) You don't know the difference between a magazine and a clip.

Asterios: Uh, to wrap up that Christmas ornament. Long story short, there's a Christmas ornament of Kirk and Spock holding hands as Spock dies. You can hang that on the tree. But to go to the magazines versus clips thing…I saw this thing on Reddit. Okay, so during the…

Maddox: I saw this. (grins)

Asterios: During the France terror attack, there was a guy who was on Reddit and he's like, "People are shooting at us. I don't know if I'm gonna make it. I might die." The guy updates. He…he goes, "There's clips…this guy just keeps loading clip after clip into his gun." And seven people go, like, "Please stay safe, but also, it's a magazine." (Maddox and Sean laugh)

Maddox: Fucking pedantic nutjobs!!!

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: Fucking assholes! There's…there's another thing I saw just recently on Reddit. Um, it said…it was a link that said, "Here's the most popular magazine in the Middle East." (Asterios laughs) and you click on it, it's, like, an AK-47 magazine. (they laugh)

Asterios: Very, very popular magazine! (laughing)

Maddox: And for people who don't know, still, I'm not talking about the one you flip through. The one you load into the gun.

Dick: Oh. Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah. You thought…(stammers) it was like, yeah.

Dick: I thought you were talking about a gun magazine.

Maddox: No, no. It's not a gun magazine. It's just a magazine.

Dick: It's just a gun magazine.

Maddox: That goes into a gun. Yeah. (giggles)

Dick: I think…(stammers) I think the next step in that Spock and Kirk…

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Like, holding hands….it's gonna be straight up Midnight Express, where Spock takes his shirt off and rubs his nipples on the glass so Kirk can do it from the other side. (Maddox laughs) That's what it's gonna…like, why…who…(stammers) holding hands?!?! (Asterios cracks up) They're holding hands!? They can't give an affirmative nod to each other, like a man?!!? WHY ARE WE CELEBRATING THIS SHIT?!?!

Asterios: Yeah. If my friend's ever dying through glass, I'm just gonna give him the gun finger, and go, "Bro up, buddy."

Dick: Are you..are you gonna reach out and hold his hand?!

Asterios: If he reaches his hand out, I'm not gonna be, like, "Pfff. No homo, buddy."

Dick: I'm gonna rub my balls on it. (Asterios laughs) Oh, yeah, you like that? Take this, huh? Go, get outta here. Go save everybody, God.

Maddox: Okay. What if your friend was dying, and he was like, "I just want too…like, a full-on tongue makeout." Like, would you…would you do…Asterios?

Asterios: Would you be a bro?

Maddox: I know, Dick, you would say no.

Dick: Of course not! I would knock his ass out!

Maddox: Okay. That's…

Dick: (interjects) I would say, "Fuck the ship! Boom!!" (laughs)

Maddox: (laughing) Asterios, would you make out with your…your dying best friend?

Asterios: I would tell him I'd be right back. And then I wouldn't come back. (Maddox cracks up)

Dick: Lie…oh, you would lie to him.

Asterios: Yeah.

(Sound effect: Ding!)

(Sound effect: Applause)

Maddox: The Sneaky Greek! (laughing)

Dick: What would you do? You would probably be the friend.

Maddox: H…uh, no, I would say, "Okay, just shut your eyes." And then, zip. (giggles) (Asterios laughs)

Dick: No, I could see you doing that if you were dying. Like, trying to trick somebody into kissing you. (Asterios and Maddox crack up)

Maddox: Oh, yeah, I would.

Dick: Yeah. (they all laugh) I'm gonna die, but I…I need you to kiss me. I want you to kiss me. Just to screw with…

Asterios: Alright.

Maddox: Alright, guys.

(Closing riff starts)

Maddox: My problem this week was Home Schooling!

Asterios: The Elf on the Shelf!!

Dick: Christmas Trees. See you next Tuesday. Go buy Asterios' Mega Man comics, for God's sake.

(Voice mail: male voice: "I can just imagine Maddox sitting in the movie theater when Jar Jar Binks comes on…and he's looking around at all the other fucking geeks… (Dick giggles) and they all have tears coming down their face…(Maddox and Dick giggle)and Maddox has tears coming down his face. Sorry. (giggles) And they're just fucking crying into their popcorn…(Maddox guffaws)wondering what happened to their precious, shitty franchise. (they laugh) That…I don't even fucking get. Die Hard…except for the last one…was a better franchise than Star Wars will ever be."

Dick: I agree with that.

"They should do some fucking prequels on that shit."

Dick: No, they should not do prequels on Die Hard.

Maddox: No, dude.

"Fucking John McClain and his little fucking Johnny McClain."

Dick: That is the wrong takeaway from that.

Maddox: Over the line.

"Kicking bitches in the face and walking on…other broken glass and shit.") (Dick and Maddox giggle)

Dick: I think he fell asleep. Alright, one more. Some guy…this is more Star Wars stuff. Some guy was criticizing our, um…where we said that Darth Vader was the father and when did they decide that.

Maddox: Yeah. Oh, God…it's more fucking fan theory. Okay, let's hear this nerd.

Dick: Well, (stammers) I think he's right.

(Voice mail: male voice: "Oh God, you fuckers. Alright. (sigh) So… (Maddox giggles) recently, there was an article released."

Maddox: Exasperated.

"Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill. Stated that he had to hold in a secret for at least two years. And that secret was that he knew that Darth Vader was his father, mostly due to the fact that during the scene between him and Obi-Wan Kenobi, they c…they actually mention it, but they cut it out from both the script and the movie. So yeah. They knew. So…"

Maddox: Hmm. (Dick giggles)

"You, Mike (inaudible)"

Maddox: So why would he mention it if it was cut out of the script?!

"And all you fuckheads were wrong. Go fuck yourselves. (sigh) All of you.")

Maddox: No, no, no, no. Uh-uh. That's bullshit!

Dick: Oh, you have an opinion?

Maddox: Ye…(cracks up) (Dick laughs too) Uh, tune in next week to hear it!

Dick: I mean, you…he really upset you, this guy talking about Star Wars.

Maddox: He's so full of shit!! These fucking apologists, man!! (Dick laughs) They (stammers) they put way too much…look, George Lucas didn't know shit when he was recording that shit. Otherwise, he wouldn't have had Luke and Leia kiss!

Dick: Kissing. Yeah.

Maddox: Kissing, yeah!

Dick: Yeah, that's true.

Maddox: He didn't know SHIT about that franchise! He didn't expect it to be that successful! He didn't expect jack shit! And he's retroactively adding all this shit. It's just like Tommy Wiseay from The Room. He's like, "Oh, I was making a dark comedy, eeeeeeehhh." (goofy voice) No, you weren't. You just made a shitty movie.

Dick: I wonder if you stacked Tommy Wiseau up against George Lucas, who would make a product that you wanted to watch more.

Maddox: It's a toss-up.

Dick: Like, without…studio intervention.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like, because I would rather watch Tommy Wiseau's new sitcom than the prequels.

Maddox: True.

(file cuts off)