Judge John Hodgman Episode 223: Waiting For the Drop


Listen in as Judge John rules on metal meat utensils, the right way to put toilet paper on the roll, how to confront a 40 year old listening to EDM, Vlad the Impaler-based religions, and the proper order to listen to podcast episodes. This week with Bailiff Jesse Thorn! If you've ever wanted to know WWVD, this is the episode for you.



Toilet paper

The ultimate answer to the debate is the vertical TP holder.

40-year olds listening to EDM

As a fella who just hit the big 4.0 & is still wicked into EDM I must protest that it's a sign of a midlife crisis. It's a sign of not succumbing to society's demand to change your personality & tastes based on the fact that you've hit some age at which you're supposed to turn into a neutered shell of a man & abandon all your previous tastes & interests that are now deemed to be immature for a man of your age. To that I say F that!

I've gotten into EDM in my 20s before it was called EDM or was anywhere near mainstream in US. I suffered through having to dance to hip hop when I'd much rather dance to EDM because that's what most club goers preferred. Is it my fault that I was aead of my time / born too early?

Lastly, the genre of music this inconsiderate nincompoop plays between 2-5AM is irrelevant to him being an inconsiderate nincompoop. It could be Mozart for all I care. He'd still be an inconsiderate nincompoop.

Weak wrists and bathroom configurations

Excellent podcast! I would like to contribute two comments. (1) I request that The Good Judge consider that those of us with weak wrists and/or carpal tunnel syndrome may have a very difficult time hoisting cast iron pans for cooking and cleaning without injuring ourselves. Although I acknowledge the superiority of cast iron as a cooking surface, not all of us can use such heavy pans safely. (2) I have lived in many homes, and it seems to me that the best way to hang toilet paper may depend on the physical logistics of the space. If the toilet paper holder is too low, or too close, it is very difficult to get the paper to unroll if the paper is mounted in the underhanded configuration. Conversely, if the toilet paper roller is far away, it is difficult to rip off a reasonable amount of paper in the overhanded mounting. I suspect that most people have a preference that conforms to the configuration of their bathroom, or they have moved their toilet paper roller to allow them to hang toilet paper in their preferred manner. Consequently, people are arguing past each other on this important issue, without recognizing all of the variables at hand.

Denver to Omaha

I've made this drive many time. This is my favorite place to eat along the way

Classic episode

Very much enjoyed listening to the podcast this week. I appreciate the Judge's humor, timing, sincerity, and common sense. And for what it's worth: drive; over the top; and stove top grill pan (no oil or fat needed).

Fear de jure

I can believe that the good Judge is approaching a mid-life crisis, but not because he listens to EDM. Rather, because he is starting to allow fear to dominate his decisions, and to override his younger tendencies towards upholding good and polite behavior in society. Having watched too many episodes of law and order, to the Judge the interaction (and perhaps dispute) between a single woman and a single older man is fraught with danger, something to be avoided. No longer does he counsel for a reasonable and mannered approach; rather, the woman must rely on the police to pass on the simple message “hey, please don’t play your music so loud when others are trying to sleep.”

The Judge has always displayed a paternalistic and protective attitude towards his woman plaintiffs; one does wonder if his ruling would have been different if the writer had been a man. However, here he goes too far. Even in New York, millions of interactions happen each day, some that might be uncomfortable and difficult. Yet, as adults our society requires us to interact and to deal with each other, rather than avoid difficult issues or to cede the responsibility to the government. Yes, the internet has allowed us to retreat behind a wall of anonymity in dealing with others, but the reality is that we are mostly not monsters. The Judge should be careful of the media’s message to always be afraid, to always be scared of others. If not, his future Maine-based podcasts may eventually come from his survival bunker; there he would be crouched with his guns and MREs, fearing any actual contact with a human being.

Also, Guest Judge Jesse had ruled on an earlier episode that the correct way to listen to past podcasts was in the order they were posted. Just saying.

New convert

Please tell me you are now providing WWVTID bumper stickers.

Fruit from the pedant tree

I would like to file an amicus brief on behalf of the Christchurch bureau of motorways and autoroads.

Your New Zealand hyperpedant plaintiff had clearly misconstrued an Adjective + Noun construction ("[Please take an] Alternate route") as an imperative Predicate + Object ("[Please] Alternate [your] Route"). This willful misreading is so plainly absurd that it never occurred to your honor or your bailiffhood, else you would have pronounced it differently (awl-ter-neyt, verb, rather than awl-ter-nit, adjective). At issue is not the precise meaning of the adjective "alternate" but the uncharitable resolution of a possible ambiguity with an interpretation that no reasonable person would arrive at. Even the Militant Grammarians of Massachusetts would be ashamed at such hypercorrection.

A cautionary tale...

Based on my own experience, I would call the police the next time the neighbor is kissing the sky. Just get it over with. While living in a loft in downtown Chicago, I had a new neighbor that played bongo drums in the middle of the night. If that isn't bad enough, he was a terrible bongo player......Not only did polite notes and a call from the doorman fail, it inspired him to add angry screaming lyrics to his bongo sessions about what jerks his neighbors and the doormen were and oh yeah life sucking in general. I called the police and they stopped by his place for a chat. They never revealed who made the call but assured him that if they were ever called to his place again for any reason they would not be so friendly. Compelled to fulfill the prophecy in spectacular fashion, he had one last 2am bongo session which this time included drunk underage girls and narcotics. The police were not impressed and we never saw him again. So yeah, just call the cops.

Flying bad. Driving better.

Flying is essentially teleportation. You are sealed in an airtight capsule in city A and then released at city B. Without truly passing through the space between, you do not become acclimated to your destination. Your visit takes on an unreal quality. You view city B as a distorted reflection of city A. Memories of the trip will not feel reliable.

A window seat on a sunny day will not help. You watch the intervening landscape unfold but it makes no sense to your primate brain. You have evolved to look out from trees, not from 39,000 feet.

But in a car, you pass through zones of transition -- cultural, culinary, climatal, linguistic, floral & faunal. It’s slow enough that you adapt. You know where you are because you haven’t appeared there; you have gone there. Also, you can take your pocket knife along.

Ug like flap bird in sky. Ug fly.

A) I'm pretty sure my brain can handle the concept of flying in a plane as a form of mechanical transportation and not magical teleporting. If dogs can get accustomed to elevators without being startled, we can get used to airplanes.

B) Check a bag or mail the pocket knife ahead of time to your destination. I'm 100% serious; I had a family member do that with fancy wine once for a trip he took to Utah.



Toilet Paper Regionalism

There is at least one toilet paper regionalism, and that is the nation of Japan. There is a very important aspect of bathroom etiquette there know as "toilegami" is which the top sheet of the roll is folded in order to demonstrate that the bathroom has been properly cared for. Although this practice originated in hotels, it has become widely adopted throughout all of Japanese society, from businesses to homes.
As a result it would be extremely rare to see a roll of toilet paper coming from the bottom anywhere in Japan.

tp, etc.

Many random thoughts while listening to this episode. If I waited a few hours I'd just forget them or keep them to myself, but what better place to go ahead and share them and be involved in the world?

There are reasons to put the toilet paper one way or the other. I find over the top easier to grab, slap, and get the roll going to get my toilet paper quickly. I've heard that some people who have cats have to hang it the other way to prevent the cats from playing with it and unrolling it all onto the floor.

I heard the honorable Judge use the word irregardless. I found that somewhat surprising. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless

I have several cast iron pans that I almost never use, because I have never been able to get them to season. I am too lazy and an infrequent cook to take the time to do it properly. Also I cook only vegetables and try not to use oil, so my high quality non-stick pan has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen.

Whether to drive or fly - Flying is safer and faster. But you still have to drive to the airport. If you are only saving two hours by flying, it would seem to me that the hassle wouldn't be worth it, and I do think it would be less expensive, depending on how much the ticket cost. Are the arguments taking into account wear and tear on the car to and from the airport too? Paying for parking or annoying your friends for rides there?


Toilette paper patent

TP configurations

My position on the issue and my practice are different. While I prefer the top-forward configuration when I encounter TP outside of the home, in practice in the home I just set the TP roll vertically on top of the horizontal bar and never even bother to affix it. -ablestmage