Judge John Hodgman Episode 226: A Nothingburger Sort of Thing To Do

Jean Grae

Judge Hodgman and Guest Bailiff Jean Grae take on the proper way to do the YMCA dance, marriage proposals, and more.

You can find Jean Grae online and in real life! Follow her @JeanGreasy on Twitter. Go see her perform live in NYC. Or check out her Bandcamp page.

And be sure to get your tickets to Judge Hodgman's upcoming Vacationland tour, launching this weekend!



'Arry Pottah

Might I suggest the third book - the Prisoner of Azkaban - as a good starting point in the Harry Potter series? Now this might be a dumb suggestion because of was of age with Harry and the gang when I started reading and then when the books came out (i.e. I was 10 when I read the first book and 18 when the last book came out), but I thought the third book was crucially important for the development of who Harry would become. There were light elements of horror, a big dose of character development, and the first glimpse into Harry's family's past that makes you kind of achey for the what-if's.

I remember this book being like a revelation to me at that age whereas the first two were straightforward: "We have a mystery"> Scooby Doo gang it > Dumbledore is the least responsible adult ever > "We won the day again, guys!" Again, I don't know how the third book would hold up for an adult but I think it is worth it to start there if you are skipping books.

I live with Laundry Man

First off, I would like to explain that when Walker said, "live-in girlfriend," what he meant to say was, "girlfriend whose house I lived in and told how to wash her clothes." I think that makes a difference.

He actually submitted this complaint a while ago, and since then we have moved. Now I do all the laundry, and I still don't unfold the clothes first. Not because of any conscious decision to preserve their lifespan (although it definitely helps), but because I just don't care--I unfold it now or I unfold it later.

And yes, Judge, the real issue that he wanted to bring up was his sock neurosis. If I knew how to attach a picture here I would show you all a picture of his closet so that you could understand the situation that got us to this point :)

mime warfare suggestion

to eliminate all possible laundry-related lifewaste, it is essential for every person who wears Western clothes to learn donning technique for socks and T-shirts. NOT doffing: DONNING. There should be absolutely no inverting or reverting of these items at any point in the laundering process. Unless you're worried about fading (but if you're worried about your T-shirts fading you need to spend less on T-shirts in my opinion), deliberate inversion/reversion should occur at the dressing stage and only at the dressing stage. No thought should be expended on it at any other time. T-shirts and socks should be washed in whatever condition they're thrown in the hamper and FOLDED IN THE SAME CONDITION. Inside out? Right-side out? DOES! NOT! MATTER! This is because! They can be as quickly and efficiently donned! IN EITHER CONDITION! Practice rolling the inside-out sock up the foot and onto the shin and putting the inside-out T-shirt on by reverting it onto your body (put your head through the neck hole and then push your arms through the inside-out sleeves, rightsiding them in the process, and then continue to revert the T-shirt down your torso--sort of the same way you put an inside-out pillowcase onto a pillow. It'll take you about fifteen seconds to learn the technique so that you can mime it effectively at the dinner table for your child and your intellectually truncated manfriend.

Passive Agressive Lanudry

I do most of the laundry in my household and items get washed EXACTLY the way the are deposited in the hamper. Right side out, inside out, buttoned, unbuttoned, socks in a ball, one leg in one leg out, I don't care. I certainly don't care how they get washed, so if you can't be bothered to put your clothes in the hamper the way you want them washed, they get washed the way they are. That said, I do not fold the laundry, so I don't have to deal with that aspect of it, but things that get hung up to dry, get hung up the way you presented them. Hanging a pair of pants to dry with one leg out and one leg in breaks people of that habit really quickly. If I did the folding, I would fold the items and give them back to you the way they were presented. You give me an inside out shirt, I give you back an inside out shirt. I'm not doing extra work because you're lazy. Yes, I read all the comments below that some items should be washed inside out, and I agree with that logic in most cases, but I still won't do the extra work. It's your shirt, if you want to stop it from fading then you flip it both times, because I really don't care if it fades or not.

I think John and Jean failed

I think John and Jean failed to see that there are more sides to sexism. A woman can want to wear makeup and it's not sexism. But here the man is required to propose. If she is the one who wants a proposal, she's free to give one.

Of course you might expect him to want to do it because it's something she wants, but if it's required of him because of him being the one with a certain sex, it's sexism.

I Propose the answer is in the question

Both plaintiffs agree there is an inherent patriarchal element to the expectation that he propose to her with pomp and circumstance. Unless she's feeling a need for a pointed show of affection from him because of a current doubt or lack of affection, why should He have to propose to Her? She has a vision of how she wants the proposal to play out, I would guess...empower yourself, propose to him with every poetic nuance you can muster - make that proposal of your dreams happen, perhaps in a different role than originally planned...but that might be fun right?

I had a dream last night that

I had a dream last night that Judge Hodgman hosted me at a summer home in Florida. He was the perfect host. It was kind of euphoric. 5 stars

John, You brought tears to my

You brought tears to my eyes with your "letter from Paul." We so seldom take time to appreciate the love that we are surrounded by. Thank you for that moment.

Clothes and proposals

I also wash all my clothes inside-out, for two reasons. One is the aforementioned fact that my logos, etc. will last longer. The second is unproven by science but makes sense. It's easier for the soap to get at any deodorant or sweat on the inside of my shirts and get my clothes cleaner. I commute by bike, and work at a job where I'm walking around all day, and I get sweaty.

Next, socks. I work in a store that sells socks, so I am going to call myself a footwear professional. Stretching the one socks over and around the inner sock will definitely strain the elastic and ruin socks faster. I love socks, and I am an advocate for their proper use and care.

I also hang all my clothes to dry, and then fluff them for 5 minutes in the dryer the next day. It really keeps clothes looking better.

Next topic: Paul, the non-proposer, may well be planning a big surprise proposal for their 10th and is acting like it's no big deal so that Mrs. Paul (I am sorry; forgot her name. Chloe?) will be extra-surprised. She's kind of possibly spoiling that. I hope I'm right and that he's not just being a party pooper.

Finally, after this podcast I listened to the new Ronna and Beverly and the first thing they discussed at the top of their show was that "tidying up" book. Crazy! I thought I read this ages ago and it's not new, so this is quite a coincidence. Then Bryan and Erin on Throwing Shade, the one I listened to after that, referred to something R&B said but at this point I forget what. Phew.


Shirts right-side vs in-side for laundry

I would like to point out that washing clothing, especially any clothing bearing a printed logo or whatnot, inside out helps to extend the newness of that article. Back when I worked at shirt-folding store, we made sure to remind every printed t-shirt purchaser to wash it inside out to preserve it's longevity. I feel that having a weird underoo-origami dictator insisting on doing the laundry and then issuing decrees about how others should take off their clothes is no way to live. The picky individual should do his own laundry and leave everybody else's alone, or just suck it up and turn things right side out while folding.


Washing inside out also prevents jeans and some other darks (including T-shirts) from fading.

I also feel that this guy may just have to loosen up now that he's living with a woman. Panties are going to come out of the dryer inside out, no matter how you take them off.

I agree

Clothing should be washed inside out, it prevents fading. Gap jeans even specify to wash inside out on the garment label. If he is so set on having laundry folded a certain way then he should start by washing it right first.


I concur with everything Someone has said! I've even gone so far as to not turn my freshly washed undergarments right side out while folding preferring to fold them inside out, put them away inside out and only turn them right side out the next time I put them on because why make folding laundry take any longer than it has to? And all my work socks match so I don't even pair them. Ha!


I concur with everything Someone has said! I've even gone so far as to not turn my freshly washed undergarments right side out while folding preferring to fold them inside out, put them away inside out and only turn them right side out the next time I put them on because why make folding laundry take any longer than it has to? And all my work socks match so I don't even pair them. Ha!

Be free forever from sock matching tyranny!

Wow, there is Someone else who wears all matching socks, at least for work! I take this to a further extreme, which you will see is completely logical:

1. I have chosen a distinctive color so that my socks will never be confused with my wife's -- They are red. This not only allows for easy sorting, it also seems to provide entertainment for others. I wore red socks at my wedding, so you can see that I take this quite seriously.

2. I buy one dozen identical pairs of socks at a time. (Actually, last time I bought three dozen, but I deploy them a dozen at a time.) This results in the socks all fading and wearing out at the same rate. Any two red socks will automatically match, so they all can simply be stacked flat in my sock drawer.

3. Near the end, when holes start to appear, I can toss out individual socks instead of tossing out a holey sock with its intact mate. It will be obvious when it's time to retire the remaining socks with a new dozen pairs.

You would think that this could be extended to other articles of clothing, but for some reason the daily wearing of identical clothes is discouraged.