Judge John Hodgman Episode 169: Hunter-Gaveler

Jonathan Miles

Claire brings the case against her husband Brian. They've just bought a new house in the country, and look forward to rest and relaxation there. Brian wants to do a little hunting on the property, Claire wants to keep it a place of peace. Who's right and who's wrong?

Special thanks this week to novelist and journalist Jonathan Miles for serving as our expert witness! He's the author of Want Not, out now in paperback, and Dear American Airlines.

If you want to join our conversation about this episode, please click on the Forum link below!

Thanks to Samuel Ross for naming this week's case! To suggest a title for a future episode, like us on Facebook at Judge John Hodgman. We regularly put a call for submissions.



Disruptive protagonists

Love the episode, great as always. Want to nitpick that it's nice now and then to have a protagonist who isn't the played-to-death questioner of the status quo. Every single structure in a fiction can't be an incompetent empire. Now and then, some main characters should be able to define themselves by what they do in and of itself, not just because it's rebellious.

Not that I don't love Han Solos.

Before Dawn = Fantastically Unsafe and Illegal

The guy seems really pressed on his inability to hunt before dawn. Yet, it should be noted that you cannot hunt at all before dawn. Besides it being dark, it's against the law...because it's dark. Shooting when it is dark is typically called "blindly shooting at shapes", which is the plot of more than one mystery/horror story.

Instead, the guy should be pressing on his inability to be praised by his wife for killing animals. That is the only real thing that she is preventing him from doing. And, considering his motivation (i.e. I am man. I kill stuff.), that is a fairly major consideration.

Dawn's Early Light

Deer hunting often starts before dawn. We trudge out in the dark to our positions, then wait until sunrise. We don't shoot until light.

My state allows firing 30 minutes before first light; there's a time table in the regs manual. In 19 seasons of hunting public land I've only once heard a shot that seemed too early.

Perhaps he's only ever seen one Godzilla movie?

With the exception of the 1954 original, and Matthew Broderick’s Godzilla, Godzilla movies have not been about the humans.

Godzilla movies are James Bond movies—we’re not meant to care about the incidental humans in Godzilla movies any more than we’re meant to care about Joe Don Baker or The Hillbilly Sheriff in James Bond films. We want to see Godzilla plow through other monsters and infrastructure, plain and simple. The same way we want to see Bond plow through one night stands and action set pieces.

Would this mean that Grace Jones in A View To A Kill is Mechagodzilla? That Richard Kiel’s Jaws in Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me is King Ghidorah? That Bambi and Thumper from Diamonds are Forever are the two tiny ladies who sing to Mothra? Sure.

Everyone else in a Godzilla movie? From Bryan Cranston to Ken Watanabe, Raymond Burr to Matthew Broderick, Military dude to Japanese kid in a baseball cap, they are all fruit stand vendors in third world countries. They are there to have their shit driven through during a high-speed chase involving a supercar and six men on motorcycles with grappling hooks, and to run out after their bananas are strewn all over the road and shake their fists at the passing parade of trained assassins.

Otherwise, the movie would be called Bryan Cranston. Which I would totally watch.


What this person said...

Seasons of the Wire

I'm not sure if this is corrected later in the podcast but there are 5 seasons of the wire.

season1 - B&B vs. the police
season2 - the docks
season3 - legalization
season4 - the school kids
season5 - the newspaper

Love the show! Keep dispensing internet justice!


I love how my town (Oxford MS) keeps getting shouts-out on this podcast! It surprises me every time. I love it. Please do come back!


The hunter is sad and clueless, and Claire's giggling at him while admitting he has access to grocery stores, I just had to turn off the podcast. I think his honor will be fair but the litigants are unworthy of a whole episode.

Deer Season-GA

Here is the link to all the rules & regs of Georgia's Deer Season.


Based on the schedule, I don't think any meat will be available for delivery in early Sept to Judge Hodgman's show in Atlanta.

I hope that the litigants and subject matter experts come back after a successful hunt and give us an update!

Murder of Owls?

Enjoying the podcast while working at a library in Baton Rouge, LA, and I just had to check to see if we have any copies of Louisiana Cookery by Mary Land... Turns out we have several! While the recipe for squirrel head pot pie is indeed morbidly entertaining--it calls for two separate layers of squirrel heads--I have to point out that the "cook it as you would blackbirds" part doesn't refer to owl, but rather to the entry immediately above it: crows (in the chapter "Gastronomic Gambles").

But seriously, this is a great source for anyone who only wants the vaguest idea of how to cook any number of varmints. Or cure dropsy apparently...

Most Dangerous Game

I'm 27, and I did have to read it in Middle School. But more than that, Jesse Thorn mentions it all the time on his podcasts. I am very surprised no one got the summary judgement.

"Morrissey loves bacon" How

"Morrissey loves bacon"

How dare you sir.