Does Flashing Your Lights at a Stop Light Change It?

Probably not, but this podcast transcript might change your life.

On this week’s episode of Friends Reunion (a Podcast for Discerning Listeners™), John is off enjoying a luxurious Alaskan cruise vacation aboard a ship that may or may not have room for dozens of dead bodies in its belly. This leaves LB Hunktears and Niki Grayson to celebrate the birthday of Barley, Niki’s precious dog, who now enters the plush comfort of her mid-40s (in dog years).

(You can also listen on Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts!)

Would you agree that there is something erotic about consuming bread products in the intimate, dewy hours of the morning? Niki thinks so — or at least, the ghost that briefly inhabited their body and made them say that thinks so. This tends to happen a lot around here actually; not erotic bread eating, but losing control of our minds and mouths in such a way that a podcast happens whether we want it to or not. For instance, LB once said that a baby will die if you set it down on a bed that’s too big, because the overwhelming emptiness of the space is too much for the baby to handle. This is not true.

Niki also posits that different “guys” serve different functions. There is a guy that gets in Niki’s body and drives whenever Niki has to go anywhere, they say. LB does not experience this phenomenon, but they do have a fun story to share about scoring an amazing deal while visiting an unfamiliar CVS with haunted vibes. The two also discuss how/why Rhode Island drivers are so damn rude, and the various lies that our parents told us about driving.

Friends Reunion Ep. 126: Real Housewives of Mount Olympus Transcript

Friends Reunion 126

LB: Hello, and welcome to Friends Reunyion, a podcast for discyerning listeners.

Niki: Discyerning.

LB: I’m your host, LB Hunktears, and I’ve forgotten how to pronyounce words. And I’m joined by my dear friend, Niki Grayson. Hi, Niki.

Niki: Hello. This week’s episode is brought to you by Barley whose birthday it is today. [LB gasps] Barley’s eight. Happy birthday, Barley.

LB: Happy birthday, Barley! Eight years old! That’s huge!

Niki: Yeah, she’s eight, which is 46 or some shit. [laughs] I did the math.

LB: I don’t know. Is that it?

Niki: That’s what the internet says.

LB: When you googled…

Niki: When I googled, yeah.

LB: [typing] “How old is Barley.” [both laugh] 10,000 years old!

Niki: Wow, 10,000 years old?

LB: [laughs] Barley is 10,000 years old. Congratulations.

Niki: Congrats to Barley on her 10,000th birthday. She’s sleeping, which I get.

LB: Or there’s also Barley Lightfoot?

Niki: How old are they or that?

LB: From Onward, who is 19 years old.

Niki: The movie? The Disney movie?

LB: The Disney movie Onward.

Niki: Barley Lightfoot?

LB: Yep, is a character. Voiced by Chris Pratt! How?

Niki: Oh! That’s the character– oh, that’s the older brother.

LB: Well, he’s 19.

Niki: Oh. That’s boring. That movie’s boring.

LB: I haven’t seen it. Oh, wow. There’s a something from the Smith College monthly from 1902.

Niki: Whoa! Happy 1902.

LB: [laughs] Happy 1902 to the college I dropped– the first college I dropped out of!

Niki: [laughs quietly] How are you celebrating Barley’s birthday?

LB: Um, just kind of being a smaller version of myself.

Niki: Mm, that’s good.

LB: I mean, I didn’t know it was Barley’s birthday until just now, so I’ll have to think about it. How are you celebrating?

Niki: I woke up, Barley, got a lot of tummies this morning, and then we went on a walk, and then she got tired. So we came home, and then she got extra chompers and a treat for breakfast, and then she got to eat some watermelon ’cause she loves watermelon. And then later, she’s gonna open her gifts, and then that’s probably it.

LB: That’s huge.

Niki: I’ll probably give her another treat or something, but she’s gonna open her gifts.

LB: That’s more than I did for my birthday.

Niki: Yeah, I mean you gotta let– someone’s gotta have fun in here, you know?

LB: Yeah, for sure. Even though I did– I also had a treat for breakfast, so that’s exciting.

Niki: What did you have for breakfast?

LB: So this morning I woke up like 10 minutes before we had a meeting.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: And I ran to look at my phone, and [laughs] the first thing I did was I had to look up and try and see if the Kpop label owning company HYBE was buying Tiger JK’s company.

Niki: Are they?

LB: It’s unclear.

Niki: Oh.

LB: I don’t think so, but there was– I feel like they might. But anyways, I was doing this. Not three feet away from me was a coffee and a cheddar herb scone that Robbie had gotten for me before he left for work.

Niki: Aw.

LB: That I then noticed after sitting next to it for like quite a long time, [Niki laughs] with a big note under it that said, “Look!”

Niki: Look! Hey, look at this.

LB: “I had time, so I went and got this for you.” When I went to go take my meds, there was another note saying, “There’s coffee and a treat for you by the microwave!” When I went to the bathroom, there was an additional note, [both laugh] next to the sink, saying, “I got you coffee! It’s next to the microwave!”

Niki: Damn.

LB: When I went to my desk, [both laugh] there was a note on my chair saying, “There’s coffee for you and a treat!” Because he knew!

Niki: Damn, Robbie really do be knowing you, huh? [LB laughs] That’s so fun. I love that. That’s so cute. Yeah, Robbie the GOAT. That’s incredible.

LB: Robbie the GOAT, and none of the notes worked. [laughs]

Niki: None of them worked, but listen.

LB: None of them worked! [both laugh] I was literally sitting next to it. Like, no, I gotta know, like, okay, Tiger JK is like collaborating with Hoshi Seventeen. I saw him– he was the only celebrity who isn’t in BTS who I saw in this clip that BTS posted the other day. Like, that’s gotta mean something.

Niki: It’s gotta mean something.

LB: And I’m like on my phone, boop boop boop boop boop boop boop boop. There’s like nice things waiting for me.

Niki: That’s incredible.

LB: I’m a fool.

Niki: I love that.

LB: It was beautiful, though.

Niki: How was the scone?

LB: Oh! I just love that cheddar herb like scone taste?

Niki: Mm, mm, mm.

LB: You know, like cheese baked into like a buttery bread product is just…it’s just a really–

Niki: You can’t go wrong.

LB: The sharpness of that flavor, the butteriness of the scone.

Niki: Yeah, you can’t go wrong.

LB: It’s just so, so tasty.

Niki: The other thing, right, is that there’s…there’s kind of something, [sighs] I’ll say it, erotic about eating bread in the morning.

LB: What? [Niki laughs] Are you okay? Niki?

Niki: I don’t know what that meant. [both laugh]

LB: I mean, you did– full disclosure, listeners. Niki did just wake up from a nap. Hello, this is–

Niki: Yeah, you ever like– you’re in your body, and then like another guy shows up and like drives for a little bit?

LB: I mean…

Niki: No?

LB: You mean when like I lose complete– like I lose my impulse control?

Niki: Yeah. It’s like, there’s not like a– it’s not a fully formed guy, you know?

LB: Ah, yeah.

Niki: But like, there’s like a shadow ghost guy in there.

LB: And I think that’s a Friends Reunion issue, like…folks, if this is your first time listening to this podcast: Hello. Sometimes we lose control over our minds and mouths, and we just say shit on here.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: Like, I mean, if you want a good example, you can go back to our apologies episode, [Niki: “Yeah”] where we kind of highlight many of the things we’ve said that weren’t true and we weren’t sure where they came from. But like the one I always think of is when I said that you can’t put a baby on a bed that’s too large.

Niki: They’ll get sick, yeah.

LB: Because the largeness of the bed will just somehow…

Niki: It’ll suffocate them.

LB: Being exposed to that much open space will destroy the baby. [Niki laughs quietly] Sometimes, yeah, I think there’s something about this podcast where it like taps into… [sighs] You know, like people talk about like the muse takes hold. It’s kind of like that?

Niki: Muse?

LB: The muse?

Niki: The band?

LB: No, like…

Niki: Oh, oh, oh, oh, like, yeah, okay.

LB: Like from ancient times.

Niki: Like from Hercules.

LB: Like from mythology?

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Were they like a…they were like cute singers, right?

Niki: Yes.

LB: They were like a little like…

Niki: A band.

LB: Yeah, they were a band? I only saw that movie once, in theaters.

Niki: [hums Hercules song] Oh, Hercules is good.

LB: And I didn’t– I didn’t like it, ’cause it didn’t…

Niki: It’s not Hercules?

LB: It wasn’t– well, it wasn’t accurate to what I liked about the Greek myths.

Niki: Yeah, I see.

LB: Which was all the drama.

Niki: Mm.

LB: That’s not the reason why like, I–

Niki: Yeah, no, there’s really not that much drama in Hercules. It’s kind of more of a comedic romp.

LB: Everyone’s getting along? I mean, you can do a comedic–

Niki: I mean, he doesn’t like Satan.

LB: Well, I mean, that was the other thing. And I’m like, why is this, why are you putting this like Christian kind of like framework over the Greek myths?

Niki: It’s easy.

LB: When like Hades and Zeus are brothers, and they’re both assholes.

Niki: Well, what can you say, you know?

LB: I was a really unfun eight year old, as we’ve been over, I think, several times.

Niki: Yeah, but here’s the thing, you’re not eight anymore.

LB: Yeah, that’s true. Maybe I could– I’d probably enjoy it now. I feel like…I don’t know. There are still things I like about Greek mythology that I feel like I don’t get. Like, I played Hades the game or started playing it.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And there was just like, oh, I have to do this fight again. I have to do this fight again! Oh, I did these fights, and now I lost, and I have to do all of them all fucking over again! And it’s like, I just want to see people fight.

Niki: Yeah, just like–

LB: Like, argue.

Niki: Yeah, just watch.

LB: Not in like a fight fight.

Niki: Just watch it.

LB: I just want to see– no, but I don’t want to see like the combat. I want to see the like cruelty.

Niki: Oh. Oh, you want to see the violence.

LB: I want– not even the violence. I want to see like the backstabbing and the…

Niki: Oh.

LB: Like the Real Housewives of Mount Olympus. That’s what I want.

Niki: Yeah. Now, why don’t you just make that? Why– who’s stopping you from just doing that and making that?

LB: Honestly, when I was in ninth grade and we did the Odyssey in English class, my best friend Lila and I did like a final project together where we had to like reinterpret the text, and we reinterpreted it as a series of AIM conversations.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And we got a B, because we used a lot of like abbreviations that were profane, and we got marked down for that, but I thought it was a really good project. So, I mean, I basically already did it. You know, been there, done that?

Niki: Yeah, Been there, done that, so why would–

LB: I’ve already adapted the Greek mythology.

Niki: Yeah, why would you do it again?

LB: Yeah. Why would I…I mean, I can’t– do you think I could really top what Lila and I did in ninth grade?

Niki: No. I mean, because–

LB: We made–

Niki: That’s prodigious.

LB: We made like screen names. We registered new screen names as all the characters in the Odyssey. [laughs]

Niki: Yeah. Yeah.

LB: And then had these conversations, and screenshotted, and like copy pasted them into a word doc.

Niki: Yeah, that’s prodigious.

LB: It was so good. Yeah.

Niki: Like, you’re just– like, you can’t– you don’t need to go back.

LB: I don’t need to go back, exactly. But I could go back to like someone else doing the work and I just play it. I don’t like– I have all these really– I just don’t want to– I have all these really good– have you ever heard of anyone say this? I have all these good ideas, but I don’t want to do it? [laughs] I don’t want to do any work?

Niki: Yes, I’ve heard– yeah, I’ve heard that a lot from people like me and you.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: And also me and you.

LB: And most people.

Niki: Yeah, and most people.

LB: But also most people.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: You know why? It’s ’cause…have you ever thought about what it would be like if you just had so much money that you didn’t have to have job? Like, you could choose…

LB: I think about that all the time!

Niki: You could choose to work, like if you got bored from all your leisure.

LB: I think about it at least once a week, I imagine this life for myself.

Niki: Yeah. Someone–

LB: What would you do?

Niki: Oh my God. I don’t even know. That’s the thing. Like, I can’t– the idea is so foreign to me at this point, that I’m like, I can’t even imagine what I would do. You’re saying that I could wake up whenever and then it like would not– no one would get mad at me? And then sometimes I can still make stuff?

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: A guy came into my house today that I knew– well, I didn’t know he was coming into my house.

LB: Surprise!

Niki: Surprise.

LB: Is that what he said?

Niki: No.

LB: Happy birthday, Barley!

Niki: Happy birthday, Barley. He did say happy birthday to the dog, ’cause I said it was her birthday.

LB: Aw, that’s good.

Niki: But he came in here to test for lead.

LB: Mm-hmm. Did you have it?

Niki: So, that’s– so I asked him… [laughs] I asked him if I had lead in the house, and he was like, “Oh, here’s the thing. I’m not gonna know until we get back to the lab.”

LB: Mm, that makes sense.

Niki: I was like, yeah, that makes sense. But like…

LB: Wanna know now.

Niki: I guess the logic is like, you’ve already been in there this long, right? Like, another four days isn’t gonna be the four days that gets you.

LB: Yeah, probably not, no.

Niki: But yeah, he smeared my walls and the floor.

LB: He smeared them? With what?

Niki: Yeah, he got like– you know when you get– you know when you go to the airport and they look at you, and they’re like, “You’re a weirdo,” and they grab that piece of paper out of the machine and they wipe your hands down for bomb juice?

LB: Oh yeah, every time I fly.

Niki: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Every single time I fly.

Niki: It was that. I think it was basically that.

LB: That sucks, by the way. I hate that.

Niki: I hate that. I would– well.

LB: I would fly more if– I wouldn’t mind flying probably, if I didn’t get like patted down every single time I flew since I was 15.

Niki: Yeah. Yeah. I would– that would be cool.

LB: Due to my weird body.

Niki: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t like it when they touch me. That shouldn’t be a thing that they can do.

LB: I mean, sometimes they’re like cool and normal about it, but like, it just takes so much mental fortitude for me to have to deal with being like, “Hey, you. Your body’s all fucked up.”

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: “We have to touch it a bunch to make sure it’s not some kind of crime.”

Niki: Yeah, a weapon or something.

LB: “’Cause it’s already vexed us so much.” It’s like, man. Can’t we just…

Niki: No, you don’t need to, though. Just be cool for two fucking seconds.

LB: This is why trains. This is why we should just like beef up our train system.

Niki: Yeah, make the trains good.

LB: Make the trains good. Oh my God, Niki. My favorite Japanese train YouTuber.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: Solo Solo Travel. The best.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: He went to Canada and did the cross Canada train.

Niki: Yes.

LB: I maybe– did I tell you about this already? Well, I’m telling you again.

Niki: I’m trying to remember if you– you have told me this. I’m trying to remember the context in which you told me. You should continue telling this story, though.

LB: I’m telling you.

Niki: Yes.

LB: First of all, so like, that was a beautiful old train. Like, it seemed to be delayed a lot. You do get to see the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains. There’s really nice like observation cars, where you go up and just the whole roof is glass.

Niki: Is glass? Yeah.

LB: So you can see around.

Niki: We have those. We do have those.

LB: Yeah. The food looked, eh, not so good, which…

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Like usually the food looks very good.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: ‘Cause he stops at all the train stations and gets these like amazing looking bentos and like says how much they cost, and sometimes they’ll stop– like he does a lot of sleeper train reviews, [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] and they’ll stop in the middle of the night, and he’ll go out into the station, and there’ll be like some famous ramen place, and he’ll go and be like, “Ahh, it’s so good!” And I’m like, I want to eat that ramen so bad.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And then I make instant noodles in my kitchen, and it’s not the same.

Niki: And it’s not the same, yeah. It never is, yeah.

LB: [laughs] Because it’s not handmade noodles in the countryside, you know? And yeah, the food was like not so good looking, and the other guest passengers were all just like kinda old whites. And whatever, it was interesting. And then I was so excited, because he entered the west coast of the United States.

Niki: Yes.

LB: And he took the train from Seattle to Los Angeles.

Niki: Yes.

LB: And it was the most depressing looking thing I’ve ever seen. [both laugh]

Niki: Yeah.

LB: He stayed in like, it’s like a sleeper car thing. He stayed in the accessible room that is where the, like, it’s next to the bathroom that everyone uses, and the bathroom vents into the accessible room so that it just smells like doodoo when everyone uses it.

Niki: The bathroom vents into the accessible room.

LB: Yes.

Niki: The thing that I said the other day [LB: “Yeah”] was that they could have just not done that, because–

LB: Yeah, they could have vented it to outside, which is right there.

Niki: To outside, which is right there, ’cause that’s where the train is.

LB: It’s not like they have to pressurize the train.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: It’s a train from like the 1950s.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: You’re not…yeah. And it’s on the ground.

Niki: Just point it out of the train instead of into the train.

LB: Exactly, yeah. And so I watched this with Robbie, and Robbie asked a friend at work, like, “Hey, you went on that train, right? Like, uh, I watched this video, and they said like it smelled like dookie.” And the guy was like, “Oh yeah. [laughs] Yeah, it does smell like dookie in the rooms.” So apparently it’s not just the accessible rooms.

Niki: Oh my God.

LB: It just like vents into all the rooms you sleep in. It’s miserable! We need to have better train!

Niki: That sucks. That sucks. We live in hell.

LB: We need better train.

Niki: Just make it better.

LB: Can you imagine? Can you imagine how much you would go on train if you could go on like a train?

Niki: I would go so many more places.

LB: They would– like, train would get so much more money from me every year than airplane gets from me. So much more.

Niki: Yeah, if train was good.

LB: Just ’cause, cumulatively, if train was good. If train was good, I would go everywhere.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And I would give them so much money.

Niki: You could work on train.

LB: I could work on train. Oh my God. I would go– I’d be constantly going down to San Diego, going up to San Francisco. I’d take a sleeper train up to Seattle.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: I’m not taking that sleeper train up to Seattle now!

Niki: No.

LB: Now that I know it smells like doodoo.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: I don’t want to smell that. [Niki sighs] That’s terrible.

Niki: It sucks.

LB: We gotta do something about train. Even train– like, you know what’s really fucked up to me [laughs] is when I downloaded that train simulator game, [Niki: “Yeah”] and it was exorbitantly expensive and not fun.

Niki: Uh huh.

LB: Because it’s the only train simulator in the game! And I’m just like, this is the most realistic simulation I’ve ever seen, because you’ve simulated the monopoly that Amtrak has on American trains!

Niki: Uh huh.

LB: In game dev.

Niki: In game dev. And you made a bad game.

LB: By making a game that sucks and costs a thousand dollars. [laughs]

Niki: Yeah.

LB: I mean, really, like if you get everything in Train Simulator, [Niki: “Yeah”] it costs about as much as like…

Niki: A real train.

LB: A real train trip, yeah.

Niki: How much do you think a train is?

LB: It would depend on train.

Niki: Oh, this is an eBay listing. I got really high yesterday and started looking at cameras again, which is bad for me, because the camera I want, they’re so expensive. [typing] How much to buy a train?

LB: I’m also looking.

Niki: 5 million dollars. Do we have that?

LB: No.

Niki: Mm.

LB: says, “Forget the private yacht and buy your own train car instead.” This is from 2011.

Niki: Yeah. [typing] Buy a used train. Well, those are gonna be cheaper, right? A used train?

LB: Yeah. Okay, to get your own train car, that runs upwards of $250,000.

Niki: That’s less.

LB: Not including storage and Amtrak fees.

Niki: Okay, I’m on Sterling rail–

LB: Or pulling charges.

Niki: Oh, pulling charges.

LB: Oh my God. If you could get like your– yeah, because you have to pay Amtrak to pull your train car. [laughs]

Niki: Oh, yeah.

LB: Can you imagine just being like, “Hi, I’ve got my own train car. Can you just pop this on there? Thank you!”

Niki: Wait, but do you like…do you tow it to Union Station?

LB: I think–

Niki: Like, how does it get on the rail?

LB: I don’t know.

Niki: How does it get there in the first place? Also, there’s a train right here for–

LB: I’m trying to look, but it only wants to tell me about the Kardashians.

Niki: No, I found a train right here for 60 grand.

LB: Where?

Niki: Oh, it doesn’t have an engine. Do we need that?

LB: You do need engine. Well, I mean, you could just have a regular– you could have it attached to regular train.

Niki: But could we put, like…

LB: [typing] Buy my own train car.

Niki: Like a Hemi in there?

LB: Okay, there’s a whole section on Amtrak for privately owned rail cars.

Niki: Hi-Rail equipment. No, I just want to know how much one fucking train costs, please. $89,000. It’s in excellent condition. Does it turn on? Wait, this isn’t even a real train. This is a train that you sit in for fucking babies.

LB: Yeah, I don’t want that.

Niki: Oh my God. You know what? I’m not buying a train.

LB: Yeah, I don’t–

Niki: I’ll say it.

LB: The thing is like, the thing about trains is that like, you don’t want to own them. You just want the infrastructure to be very good so that you can enjoy them like everybody else does.

Niki: Well, now, yeah. In the past, I had aspirations of owning train.

LB: [laughs] Five minutes ago?

Niki: As recently as 30 or 40 minutes ago, yeah. And now…and now?

LB: [laughs] Now you don’t want to?

Niki: No, I don’t. I have no interest.

LB: I think we should just fix the train system.

Niki: Just fix the trains, Joe!

LB: Because it’s like, we have the most robust like cargo shipping trains in the world.

Niki: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

LB: It’s not like we don’t have the rails.

Niki: ‘Cause this country’s too fucking big.

LB: Well, I mean, like, but we do a great job with it. Like, we get this stuff from place to place.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: We have the railroad tracks, and they’re operational, and they work, and they’re, you know, they’re kept up. We just need more trains on them.

Niki: Remember Goseph Biden’s whole thing was that he used to take the train to work?

LB: No, ’cause I didn’t follow the– any elections ever.

Niki: Mm.

LB: For my mental health? Because–

Niki: Yeah, but this one wasn’t recent. This was like a long time ago.

LB: Yeah. How long ago?

Niki: Like 20 years ago.

LB: Well, I– 20 years ago, I was 13? I had just turned 13 years old.

Niki: Yeah, anyway, he used to take the train to work, and I just thought that like–

LB: I don’t think that was 20 years ago.

Niki: I just feel like–

LB: How do you know about something from 20 years ago? You were five.

Niki: I don’t know.

LB: Or eight. I don’t know.

Niki: Well, ’cause he used to take the Acela to work, and there were like– I don’t know why I know this.

LB: I only remember him making up guys and telling us about them and then when his face fell out of his face. Yeah, Corn Pop. Thank you, Jordo.

Niki: I do remember that. Corn Pop, yeah.

LB: Do you remember Corn Pop?

Niki: I do remember Corn Pop.

LB: That’s all I remember.

Niki: Yeah, he used to take–

LB: [laughs] First case of Corn Pop.

Niki: He used to be called Amtrak Joe.

LB: Oh. Well…okay, well, why doesn’t he make Amtrak better? Why doesn’t he do anything good?

Niki: Why doesn’t he do anything?

LB: I just– ugh.

Niki: The nickname hit the mainstream media in 2008, starting with CNN.

LB: 2008. Yeah, I was busy plunging into depression in 2008.

Niki: Mm. I was taking my–

LB: And experimenting with heterosexuality.

Niki: Ooh! Was it successful?

LB: Eh, I don’t know.

Niki: Mm.

LB: It was interesting. I learned a lot.

Niki: We all learned a lot. And you know who else taught us a lot? Corn Pop, who brings us this commercial break.

[background restaurant noise]

LB: Hey there, welcome to Pinkberry. What can I get for you?

Niki: Do you know the Pinkberry song? Can you sing me the Pinkberry song? [singing] P I N, [LB: “Pink…”] K B E, R R Y, Pinkberry! P I N, K B E, R R Y–

LB: I mean, you just did it, so I don’t have to now, legally.

Niki: Oh.

LB: Hello.

Niki: When you did training, did you have to learn the Pinkberry song?

LB: Mm, no. They just taught me about all the different toppings and all the health benefits of Pinkberry yogurt.

Niki: What cancers will I not have if I eat this yogurt?

LB: Only colon cancer. You’ll get all the other ones, but your colon is safe.

Niki: I’ll get– sorry, eating this will give me all of the other ones?

LB: [laughs] No, no, no. [both laugh] No one’s quite sure.

Niki: Damn, that sucks.

LB: But you know what? If you’ve got any, like…if you need your HP, your MP, like refilled.

Niki: Oh yeah, those are low for me.

LB: Yeah, we don’t do that here.

Niki: Oh. What the fuck?

LB: But I know a really good potion seller who can sell you healing potions, just like, you know, items to use like if you get poisoned in battle.

Niki: I’m always getting poisoned.

LB: If you need a buff or something, like they’ve got items for that. I honestly, like, Pinkberry does not pay amazing, so I work at this other place as well. It’s a potion shop called 99 Potions. Technically it’s a podcast that does not sell potions, [laughs] but it will tell you all about RPGs, with the– and I don’t actually, I’m not actually on it, but with a fantastic cast of Imran Khan, Nerium, Natalie Flores, and Friends Reunion’s own John Warren. They talk about RPGs every week, and it’s excellent, so you should go listen to it on your podcast app of choice.

Niki: When I…

LB: What’s up?

Niki: Can I have– what does the yogurt come in?

LB: Um…here or at 99 potions? [laughs]

Niki: Yes.

LB: Here it comes in a paper cup that says Pinkberry, and at 99 Potions, it comes in a beautiful glass bottle [laughs] that’s very hard to get the yogurt inside.

Niki: Oh, I’m going there, then.

LB: Yeah, you can just get there via your podcast application on your phone, anywhere you get your podcasts.

Niki: I just type in 99 pink? What’s it called?

LB: 99 Potions. 99 Potions.

Niki: 99 Potions.

LB: 99 like the number.

Niki: Oh, like Brooklyn 99.

LB: Like 99 problems, yeah. Now, I do have to say that 99 Potions the podcast does not cause, prevent, or cure any diseases. [both laugh]

Niki: What’s your favorite– before– oh, there’s a really long line. Before I go…do you talk to everyone for this amount of time? This is a lot. I mean, I appreciate it.

LB: No, ’cause we’re friends.

Niki: Oh, I know you!

LB: It’s me, LB. [laughs] It’s LB Hunktears.

Niki: Oh!

LB: Yeah, we have a podcast together called Friends Reunion.

Niki: Oh my God, LB!

LB: [laughs] Hi. Yeah, I do, uh…oh, so obviously I got this great potion from 99 Potions that does change my appearance so that I do look like Gritty from NHL.

Niki: [laughs] Yeah, it was– I thought it was kind of nuts that Gritty NHL was working here at the Pinkberry inside of the farmer’s market at the Grove, but like, I was not gonna say anything.

LB: No, it’s LB. [laughs]

Niki: Like, you never know.

LB: Yeah, you never know. It’s just a disguise.

Niki: What’s your favorite Pinkberry?

[fades out]

Niki: Thank you so much, Corn Pop.

LB: Oh my God, I’m so thirsty now. That like description of that delicious soft drink beverage [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] made me really want a refreshing beverage.

Niki: I love refreshing beverage.

LB: Oh my God, Niki.

Niki: Oh?

LB: Niki.

Niki: Yes?

LB: Holy shit. Okay. So I went to CVS last minute over the weekend.

Niki: Yes?

LB: ‘Cause I was going to see a friend, and they said, “Oh, can you grab some seltzer on the way?” and I said sure. And it was like, not my usual CVS. It had a very like haunted energy. Whatever. I grabbed like a few different options, went to self checkout, ’cause fuck regular checkout. [laughs]

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: I don’t want to talk to anyone in this sinister CVS. And I punch in my phone number, and they said, “Do you want to use a coupon?” and I said yes, and they said, “Okay, your total comes to $1.” I got the whole case of Polar seltzers.

Niki: Whoa!

LB: And I got two big bottles of seltzer, and it was a dollar ’cause of my coupon.

Niki: Holy shit. That’s deals, baby! We love deals!

LB: I was over the moon. So now every time I have one of my Polar seltzers, I’m like, this was free.

Niki: This was free!

LB: I’m enjoying a free seltzer.

Niki: This was a free seltzer. Damn. I love that. That’s incredible.

LB: Yeah. Cranberry lime, by the way, my favorite flavor.

Niki: Cranberry lime.

LB: Mm-hmm. Polar.

Niki: I haven’t had a seltzer in a minute, like a canned seltzer, you know?

LB: Yeah?

Niki: I’ve had like, ’cause I’ve been having the– I’ve been using my SodaStream.

LB: Mm.

Niki: But it’s like not the same.

LB: No, it’s not. I mean, is it not?

Niki: No, it’s not, because it’s like, the flavor is not correct, because like, I don’t know the ratios. It says like put three drops in, but it’s not a dropper system.

LB: Mm.

Niki: The liquid in which the thing comes out is not a dropper system. Jordan asks if it still works. Yeah, it still works.

LB: Oh yeah, you put milk in there, huh?

Niki: Yeah.

LB: When was that?

Niki: Like three or four weeks ago, but it’s fine.

LB: Did the carbonated milk taste good? Or did you not try it?

Niki: No. No, it was not good at all. It was really gross.

LB: [laughs] Okay.

Niki: It was awful, LB. It tasted so bad. It had– there was so– so much of it turned into bubbles, and then the part that didn’t turn into bubbles tasted bad. So.

LB: ‘Cause I do enjoy like a carbonated milk drink.

Niki: Um, I don’t.

LB: What’s that stuff called? Doogh? Doogh?

Niki: Doug?

LB: Doogh. It’s a like carbonated yogurt fermented thing that you get at the store.

Niki: I don’t like those.

LB: You don’t like those?

Niki: No. Milkis also is a…

LB: It like sometimes has a little bit of like a mint flavor. It’s Iranian. It’s very good.

Niki: That’s not what I want. I don’t want those.

LB: It’s kind of like, yeah, like a tart minty yogurt soda.

Niki: I don’t…yeah.

LB: You really don’t want that?

Niki: I really, like, not even a little bit.

LB: Do you like kombucha?

Niki: No.

LB: Okay. See, I really enjoy kombucha.

Niki: I hate booch.

LB: I really quite– I really like it. I think it’s very tasty. It’s like vinegar soda. I love vinegar.

Niki: Yeah, that’s why I don’t like it.

LB: I love vinegar.

Niki: I don’t like vinegar.

LB: What kind of salad dressing do you like?

Niki: You catch more flies with honey, not vinegar. You know?

LB: That’s a famous saying.

Niki: Famous saying people say all the time.

LB: No, but they actually do say that all the time. That is a real thing.

Niki: Yeah, I know. They do say it all the time.

LB: The way you said it made it seem like it wasn’t and it was something you made up.

Niki: Oh, no, it is real. That’s a thing that people say I didn’t make it up. What if I did, though?

LB: Are you allergic to bees?

Niki: What if it turned out that I– yes, of course I am.

LB: I figured.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Sorry, go ahead? What if it turned out you were the one who came up with that ancient proverb? [laughs]

Niki: What if it turned out, yeah, that I invented the phrase, yeah. You attract more flies with honey than with…not honey.

LB: I would ask: How old are you? Are you as old as Barley, 10,000 years?

Niki: Yes. Me and Barley are 10,000 years old.

LB: Congratulations.

Niki: Thank you! What was the–

LB: When I went on vacation last weekend– oh, what’s your question?

Niki: Yeah, how was it?

LB: It was amazing.

Niki: No, no, no, how was it?

LB: No, I want to know what your– it was really nice.

Niki: What was your favorite part of not work?

LB: Um, when my brain became perfectly smooth.

Niki: Mm. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: And I was just kind of like laying there, and I was so relaxed, and I bought myself a really nice flower arrangement. So like, full disclosure to the listeners, I had a really– I had a trip I was planning. I was really excited about it. I was gonna fly and see my parents on the scenic island that is incredibly remote and hard to get to that they retired to for some fucking reason—it’s because it’s very beautiful, is why—and then I was gonna see my friends who live in that region, and I was so, so, so, so, so, so excited. These are friends I haven’t seen since pre-pandemic and I didn’t see very often anyways, ’cause they live far away. And then because of like COVID ramping up really bad here in LA and like the new variant and the no masking on planes thing and my own health being what it is, [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] I just made the decision to not go on my trip.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: ‘Cause like being on a plane full of and in the airport full of fucking freaks was not something I wanted to do, and I was very, very sad about it. So I decided [sighs] I was still gonna take the time off, [Niki, singing: “Staycation, all I ever wanted”] but I was just gonna staycate, yeah. So I got myself a flower arrangement.

Niki: Yeah. From Edib– was it edible? What’d it taste like?

LB: [laughs] It wasn’t edible. It was flowers. Just flowers, not an edible arrangement.

Niki: Some flowers are edible.

LB: These weren’t.

Niki: Did you– okay.

LB: It was very pretty, though.

Niki: Did you try?

LB: No, but I know that not all– I just, you know when you smell something, and you’re like, this isn’t for eating?

Niki: [laughs] You’re like, I can’t eat this.

LB: Yeah, exactly. [both laugh]

Niki: Yeah, I know that.

LB: And it was so pretty. I didn’t want to eat it. And then it was like not smelling so good anymore.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And I was like, no, I can make– I can milk some more life out of these.

Niki: Did you?

LB: But I definitely wasn’t gonna eat them.

Niki: Oh.

LB: I made them last a week. [laughs]

Niki: Whoa!

LB: I was pulling stuff out of that arrangement that like was ugly. It got much smaller than it originally was. [laughs]

Niki: Do you think they sell– well, I know the answer is yes. But do you think they just sell like leafy plants now? Do you think like the…like big plant, big flower is like, “These idiots like plants again, like house plants.”

LB: Yes. Yeah, you can do that. Like the…‘cause when I was looking at all the sites [Niki: “Yeah”] to figure out where I wanted to get flowers from, yeah, they all have like, “Get a potted plant.”

Niki: Yeah, you can buy a snake plant for $100!

LB: Yeah.

Niki: Don’t do that!

LB: Don’t do that. Just go to your local nursery.

Niki: Just go to the– yeah.

LB: Or Target or something.

Niki: Or Target. Like, anywhere.

LB: Anywhere.

Niki: Go outside. There’s probably a snake plant. Just like take it out of the ground.

LB: Honestly, knock on all your neighbors’ doors. Be like, “I know you got a snake plant you don’t want anymore.”

Niki: Yeah, let me– either let me–

LB: You got it thinking it was cool. I can nurse it back to health.

Niki: I’ll nurse it back to hell. Let me propagate it, please.

LB: Yeah. Honestly, yeah. Hey, I have a question.

Niki: Mm.

LB: Did you ever have a neighbor who was a kid practicing an instrument for band?

Niki: No.

LB: Never in your life?

Niki: Because that was me.

LB: Oh! But not in like your adult life, you’ve never had one?

Niki: Mm-mm.

LB: But you were that kid in the complex?

Niki: Mm-hmm. Well, so–

LB: Well, I don’t know if you grew up in a house or an apartment.

Niki: I didn’t. So, I lived in a duplex, and…

LB: Okay. Still, that’s close.

Niki: Yeah, the neighbors next door could hear my flute.

LB: Okay.

Niki: And they didn’t like it, ’cause I was not good at it. [LB laughs] Which like, I respect, like I respect that so much.

LB: Honestly like, I lived– I could hear my neighbors when I was a kid. I could hear some of my neighbors practicing like saxophone.

Niki: Mm.

LB: I think there was somebody playing saxophone for a little bit on my block. But in my last place–

Niki: Were they good?

LB: No.

Niki: Mm.

LB: In my last place though, there were kids…I lived in like a big complex.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And there were always kids practicing like loud like brass or woodwind instruments.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And they were not good. But you know what?

Niki: They should just make quiet versions of those.

LB: I miss it now.

Niki: Right, because that was the sound of the city.

LB: Yeah, and also it was the sound of like kids who would band?

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Like, do they have band still?

Niki: They still have band.

LB: I feel like that would– they still have band even in COVID?

Niki: Yeah.

LB: They’re just putting their mouths all over stuff and blowing into the air together?

Niki: [laughs] Yeah.

LB: That seems dangerous. Okay.

Niki: [laughs] Yeah, of course. Yeah, they still have that. You think they would’ve stopped?

LB: Well, then why don’t I hear them?

Niki: Well, ’cause you don’t live near any high schoolers. That’s the other thing.

LB: Ah, that’s true. There’s babies in my building but no high schoolers.

Niki: Yeah, like it’s gonna take a while for high schoolers. Usually people who are in high school aren’t…their parents aren’t moving, ’cause that’s a weird age to move your child.

LB: That’s true.

Niki: You know?

LB: Yeah.

Niki: So like, the kids have to be there already. There are currently no babies in my building, which sucks for me.

LB: I have babies. It sucks for you, really?

Niki: Well, I love baby.

LB: Do you want a–

Niki: Especially if baby not mine.

LB: Oh, the babies that live above me are really cute.

Niki: Yeah?

LB: They’re really cute.

Niki: Especially if baby not mine, like absolutely, I love baby. But no baby in building currently.

LB: Damn. I’ve got babies in my building. I’ve got two– there’s two kids who live above me that are really into climbing and like trying to– I think there’s like a two, one or two year age difference, and–

Niki: Like climbing in the house and then jumping off of stuff?

LB: They’re trying to get stuff that’s being hidden from them that is high.

Niki: [enthusiastic] Oh, yeah!

LB: [laughs] So like, we were hearing all these sounds. ‘Cause for a while, they were really into running around.

Niki: Yes.

LB: They were really into running around and jumping up and down. And then we started hearing sounds that we could not understand, [Niki laughs] and then our upstairs neighbors are super nice, and we were talking to them, and it turned out like, oh, what they’re really into right now is they like are putting furniture together and like stacking things so that they can climb it and try to get onto high shelves together.

Niki: Wow. They’re climbing now.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: They climb now? They climb now.

LB: They climb now. [both laugh] I’ve like, I think these kids are very cool. Sometimes I see them around and like, you know, I’m talking to my neighbor. And once we were doing that, and the little one, she like had found a little like faucet attached to the wall that I guess they used for like rinsing the deck or gardening.

Niki: The washing machine or something? Ohh.

LB: No, no, no, like rinsing deck.

Niki: Oh, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Or gardening or, you know, stuff like that. And I guess she figured out how to like open the thing and turn it on, but didn’t figure out how to turn it off. [laughs]

Niki: Yes. Yes! Yes!

LB: So it was just slowly covering the patio in water. [laughs]

Niki: Yes! Yes!

LB: This puddle just getting larger, and she just kind of crouched and stared at it. [laughs]

Niki: God, that’s incredible.

LB: And her dad was like, “Can you turn it– like, do you not know how to turn it off?” And she just kinda looked up and shook her head. [both laughing] She just stood in it. She just was so small in this rapidly expanding puddle of water. I was like, kids rule.

Niki: I want kids so bad. Kids rule! Kids own! Damn. Today, I was walking the dog Barley, and there was a fire alarm that was like built into a telephone pole. It was like very old. And I was looking at it ,and I was like, “I wonder what this is connected to.” So I spent like two minutes, like looking up and down–

LB: Thinking about pulling it? Oh, okay.

Niki: Yeah, looking up and down the pole to try to figure out if it was connected to anything. And then there were some exposed wires coming out of the bottom, but then I was like, but then there’s a protected metal tube all the way up. And I was like, what’s the worst that could happen, right? So then I pulled it.

LB: Uh huh.

Niki: And then it, um…you know when– you know Perfection, the game Perfection?

LB: No. [laughs] Is it a game where Niki pulls an ancient fire alarm?

Niki: No.

LB: And causes a citywide emergency?

Niki: [laughs] Perfection is a game. It’s a puzzle game where it’s like, it’s put shape in hole, except you’re timed, and if you take too long, it pops out and like all the pieces.

LB: [singing] Pop goes Perfection.

Niki: Yes, yes.

LB: No, I do remember the commercial for it.

Niki: Yeah. Yes, there it is.

LB: Oh, yeah! Thank you, Jordo, for showing me a picture.

Niki: But you know how that sounded?

LB: No, ’cause I never–

Niki: Which is to say it was like a timer. So, it was a timer. It sounded like a really loud kitchen timer.

LB: Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, I know that that type of timer.

Niki: And that started immediately.

LB: Okay. [laughs]

Niki: And I picked up the dog and walked– I have not walked that fast in a minute. [LB laughs] We walked down the street and did not turn around to check and see what was happening. Also, the fire alarm was in front of a business, so I’m 85% sure that there was a guy at the front desk of the battery store looking at me while I was trying to figure out whether or not I was gonna pull this fucking fire alarm, pull the fire alarm, and then walk away like nobody saw me, even though a guy definitely saw me.

LB: So, when you– I have a question. I have a question.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Remember earlier when you asked, “Do you ever lose control of your body [both laugh] as if someone else is driving?”

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Were you driving or was someone else driving?

Niki: That was me.

LB: [laughs] Okay!

Niki: That time it was me. But sometimes like, sometimes you drive to like the grocery store. That’s not me. Like, I’m not driving to the grocery store. There’s like a guy whose job it is to transport me places in the motor vehicle inside of my body, and they take over and drive me to the grocery store.

LB: Is this how you get around? I don’t understand this at all.

Niki: It’s just like, you know how sometimes you’re like, I’m commuting to– not anymore, obviously, but you’re like, I’m commuting to work. And then like, you don’t…you’re not actively driving. Like you are, but like–

LB: Uh, yes, of course I am.

Niki: Yeah, but your brain’s not like…you’re not exerting energy or effort. It’s passive. No?

LB: That’s not how I drive.

Niki: Well.

LB: I drive like every– like I’m in a fight with everyone else on the road.

Niki: Oh, I don’t do that.

LB: Okay.

Niki: I don’t have time for that. Also, if I drove like that here, I would die.

LB: [laughs] Yeah.

Niki: I have to be so deferential when I drive here, because it’s like, if I’m not, the car will get hit. Yesterday–

LB: Oh, wait, I–

Niki: Oh, what?

LB: Go ahead. No, no.

Niki: No, yesterday someone tried to…there’s a one lane– because this city was designed by a fucking moron, there’s a one lane entrance to the main highway that splits the city in half, [LB: “Mm-hmm”] and it’s one lane.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: And it is across the street from a stoplight.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: So sometimes too many cars go across the street and then they block the box, so people can’t go across the street because there’s too many cars waiting to go onto the on ramp. Anyway, it’s one lane. A guy tried to drive his truck in the space between my car and the barrier, which was, mm, shorter than his truck by about two and a half feet.

LB: So everyone out there is driving like you drive in American Truck Simulator is what you’re telling me.

Niki: Yes. Yes. Yes.

LB: That’s terrifying.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: That’s terrifying.

Niki: Imagine– yeah, it’s awful. They just are completely unaware of any other car on the road. Where were you going to say?

LB: I don’t remember.

Niki: Have you forgotten? Yeah. Sorry.

LB: It wasn’t important. It doesn’t matter.

Niki: Oh. Well, I’m still sorry.

LB: I just feel like if you’re from LA and you learn how to drive in LA, like…

Niki: You can drive anywhere.

LB: You’re a better driver than most people.

Niki: Yeah. It’s true. Also, you’re just like kinder.

LB: [doubtful] Mm…

Niki: The number of times– okay. Okay. Okay. Here’s something. Here’s something

LB: Mm-hmm?

Niki: You’re driving, right?

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: You realize slightly too late that you need to be– you’re in the middle lane.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: And you actually need to be not in the left lane, but in the exit lane, which is, I guess, technically two lanes over.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: There’s a car slightly in your blind spot on the right side, but you’re like, I need to get over to make this exit. The car behind you sees this, ’cause you have your blinker on.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: They see this, and they slow down.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: You then are like, “Ah, perfect. I merge.” You merge. What is the immediate next thing that you do?

LB: I lift my right arm and I wave, and I say, “Thank you.”

Niki: Okay, perfect! [LB laughs] The number of times that I have done nice things to people on these fucking streets and I don’t even get so much as a fucking glance in the rear view mirror, nothing. And I’m like, why? Just fucking put your arm up and pretend to say thank you in your car. It’s so easy. I do it every time.

LB: Yeah, every time.

Niki: No one ever does it. It’s insulting.

LB: I feel like I never see anyone else do it, but I’m also never looking for it. [both laugh]

Niki: I’m always looking for it. [laughs]

LB: I’m never looking for it. ‘Cause I’m always like, ugh, I can’t believe I slowed down for this asshole. [both laugh] I can’t believe I fucking did this. You better be worth it! You better not make me regret this, you piece of shit!

Niki: Yeah, don’t re– yeah. Yeah, I look for it every time, and I never fucking get it. People also don’t thank me when I flash them ’cause their lights are off. That one’s actually more offensive to me.

LB: That’s really rude.

Niki: Like, I’m trying to– I’m stopping you from getting a ticket.

LB: I’m saving your life.

Niki: Or dying, yeah.

LB: Or killing an innocent creature.

Niki: Yeah. And you’re not gonna– you’re not even gonna, as I drive past, you’re not even gonna be like, “thanks.”

LB: That’s so rude.

Niki: So rude. They don’t– there’s no culture out here.

LB: I also never do that to people. I never help people that way. [both laugh] The thing is though, like now that– I don’t know, I just feel like every time I see a car with no lights on, they’re some asshole.

Niki: Mm.

LB: So I don’t tell–

Niki: I do it anyway, because it’s like, I think it’s fun, [LB: “It is fun”] because what other situation do you need to flash your lights?

LB: That’s true. That’s a good point.

Niki: It’s like the only acceptable time to use that feature of the car.

LB: Do you remember the urban legend that you shouldn’t do it because it’s a gang initiation?

Niki: Yes. Uh huh.

LB: If somebody flashes their lights at you, they murder you. [laughs] They murder that person.

Niki: Yeah, and you flash back, yeah, you’re going to jail. Yeah. [LB laughs] My mom told me that. My mom also would like, she would go back and forth on whether or not flashing your lights at a stop light changed the light from red to green.

LB: [laughs] No.

Niki: Because she was like, there’s a sensor in there for the police. So if the police are coming, the sensor sees the lights and then it changes. And I was like, that doesn’t make literally any sense.

LB: That’s not how it works!

Niki: And then I was like, I would be like, “Can you flash your lights?” when we would sit at like long lights, and she was like, “That doesn’t work.” And I was like, well, why did you fucking– like, what do you mean it doesn’t work?

LB: My dad’s thing was like maneuvering his car to be right on the sensor. He’s like, “No, I have to be right on the sensor, so that it will know.” [both laugh] And I’m like, “I don’t know, Dad.”

Niki: I think it’s just a timer.

LB: Or like, if somebody else stopped at the front, he’d be like, “Ah, he’s not on the sensor. They weren’t on the sensor. The lights gonna take forever.”

Niki: [laughs] Yeah, no. Did your parents tell you that it was illegal to drive, to be in the car driving with the light on? Like the door light?

LB: With the cab– the inside light?

Niki: The cabin light? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Ah, I don’t know if they told me it was illegal or if they told me it was dangerous. They told me it was dangerous.

Niki: My mom told me it was illegal, ‘cause I was like, “I want to read,” and she was like, “No, it’s illegal to have the light on,” and I was like, “Oh.”

LB: I think they told me the reflection, the glare of it, will make it so I can’t see, and then we’ll die, and you’ll have killed us.

Niki: It’s on you.

LB: [laughs] It’s on you.

Niki: You’ll always remember that.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: [laughs] Even while we’re all dead, you will remember that it was your fault, ’cause you turned the light on while we were going down Olympic.

LB: [both laughing] You have to have– you have to face Hashem yourself and take responsibility for killing your parents, just because you wanted to read Babysitters Club in the car. Yeah.

Niki: We were three minutes away from the house. You couldn’t just wait?

LB: We have Babysitters Club at home. [laughs] We have light at–

Niki: [laughs] We have light at home!

LB: Sitting in traffic though, on Olympic?

Niki: Yeah, it’s hell.

LB: Ah, Olympic near like just west of Sawtelle.

Niki: Oh my God.

LB: There was a gym. There was a Krav Maga studio. There was a church that always had like really frightening messages on the sign board. And I would just sit there.

Niki: And just stew.

LB: And I would say, “Can we get Poquito Mas on the way home?” [laughs]

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And they’d say, “No, we can’t.”

Niki: Every time, they said no.

LB: I said “Pleeease,” and they’d say no, and I just…

Niki: That’s so fucked up.

LB: So I’d just sit, wanting Poquito Mas.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And the car would just inch forwards.

Niki: I was thinking about–

LB: And time feels so long when you’re a kid!

Niki: It feels so long when you’re a kid, but I think there’s a reality distortion field around Olympic.

LB: Yeah?

Niki: I think that like time moves differently on Olympic Boulevard than it does in the rest of the world.

LB: Interesting. What makes you say– just slower?

Niki: It’s slower. I think it’s just slower.

LB: Oh.

Niki: I was thinking about that intersection recently where the Poquito Mas is near Olympic, because Big Chill is across the street from the Poquito Mas. Have you been to Big Chill?

LB: Yes!

Niki: Yeah, of course you’ve been to Big Chill. I don’t know why I asked that.

LB: Remember that day that Fanbyte got into a fight with no steppy?

Niki: I do remember that. Did you get Big Chill at the end of the day? [LB laughs] Oh my God.

LB: So I was– that day I was driving Robby to get some tests done at the UCLA hospital, and I was so excited. I’m like, I’m gonna drive– I’m gonna drop him off. I’m gonna go down to the Big Chill.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: I’m gonna get myself a large frozen yogurt.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And that’s gonna be my lunch.

Niki: Large, quote, “frozen yogurt.” [laughs]

LB: Yeah.

Niki: Yeah, I know. It just is not yogurt.

LB: It’s frozen– it’s frozen yogurt.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Frozen yogurt is not yogurt.

Niki: I thought it was yogurt for a really long time. The first time I had–

LB: I mean, but they don’t taste the same.

Niki: Yeah, I know. I’m dumb, LB. [both laugh]

LB: Okay, on 99 Potions this week, Imran said that he wanted to test people to see if they thought that Gatorade and wine were the same thing.

Niki: Gatorade and wine?

LB: If they’d never had wine before. Okay, this was on a Fire Emblem: Three Hopes spoilercast. So if you’ve already played that game or you don’t care about being spoiled on it, you should immediately just go and listen to that after this episode. 99 Potions, it’s a great podcast show on the Fanbyte podcast network. It’s about RPGs.

Niki: For non-discerning listeners. It’s for like 99 listeners. It’s a scattershot situation.

LB: [laughs] 99 listeners.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And Nerium then followed it up by saying, “Yeah, Gatorade and wine are basically the same thing.” So this feels…

Niki: What the fuck?

LB: Yeah, so you saying you couldn’t tell the difference between frozen yogurt and yogurt does make me think of that.

Niki: Well, no, no, no, no, no.

LB: No, that’s the same thing.

Niki: Crucially, I knew the difference, but I thought that–

LB: What, that one was cold?

Niki: No. Yes, literally I thought the process by which they made the yogurt colder changed the flavor entirely.

LB: You know, that’s fair, ‘cause that’s like cooking food does change the flavor.

Niki: Yes! That’s literally what I was like.

LB: Like, cooking a vegetable makes it less bitter.

Niki: I was like, they probably just like take yogurt base, not knowing– I was like, that’s probably extant yogurt base. That’s a liquid.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: And they put it in the ice cream machine, and it comes out, and that’s how Pinkberry works. But no, that’s not how that works.

LB: Wild to me that Pinkberry was your– like Pinkberry didn’t exist until I had already had sex for the first time.

Niki: I was–

LB: So the idea of being a child and understanding frozen yogurt through the lens of Pinkberry, as opposed to like a Big Chill-esque– like that’s a completely different ballpark of what frozen yogurt is.

Niki: Yeah. Yeah, ’cause the Pinkberry, the first Pinkberry opened down the street from my school, so when–

LB: Oh yeah, it did!

Niki: We just walked to the Pinkberry. One day the Pinkberry was there.

LB: Pinkberry changed the game.

Niki: We were like, what the fuck is this? Yeah.

LB: Pinkberry changed the game.

Niki: 17 years ago. Yeah, that sounds right.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: January 2005?

LB: Yep, that sounds right.

Niki: That’s about when I was roaming Santa Monica Boulevard as a child, trying to figure out what– remember the Koo Koo Roo that was over there? Remember Koo Koo Roo?

LB: I remember the Koo Koo Roo on Beverly Drive. But yes, of course I remember Koo Koo Roo. Oh my God, I remember Koo Koo Roo.

Niki: I don’t think I ever ate there. I think I went into that–

LB: [laughs] I did, but I was vegetarian at the time, so I just ate a cup of beans! [laughs]

Niki: Wha– no! No!

LB: Koo Koo Roo was like a weird chicken chain, like kind of a fast casual in the pre-Chipotle era of fast casual, chicken chain. Did it exist outside of LA?

Niki: [typing] Uh, I’m trying to find out. Houston. They were in–

LB: What do you mean Koo Koo Roo still exists?

Niki: No, they’ve been closed. They’re dead.

LB: They have a website!

Niki: Oh.

LB: This says copyright 2022, Koo Koo Roo. [Niki gasps] They have an Instagram!

Niki: Really?

LB: Zero posts.

Niki: Oh.

LB: [laughs] Zero post. It says “Clucking soon.”

Niki: Clucking soon.

LB: Is it coming back?

Niki: Bring back Koo Koo Roo.

LB: “Koo Koo Roo was, was an American fast casual restaurant chain specializing in charbroiled chicken founded in 1988 by Los Angeles-based restaurateurs Mike and Ray Badalian. The name was an onomatopoeic reference for the crow of a rooster.” Bah bah bah. Blah, blah, blah. Okay. They closed, but Luby’s Restaurants Incorporated owned it, I guess? They owned Fuddruckers, Koo Koo Roo, and Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Niki: What the fuck? What did you just say?

LB: Fuddruckers?

Niki: Wow.

LB: I can say that.

Niki: That’s a– can you say that? Is that allowed?

LB: I can say Fuddruckers, yeah. Yeah, I can say it.

Niki: Oh, okay. Do you want to pay 79 cents for the secret recipe for the Koo Koo Roo original skinless flame broiled chicken from the top secret recipes dot com?

LB: No. No, I don’t care about that.

Niki: He’s charging 79 cents.

LB: I do remember the Koo Koo Roo in Santa Monica now! I do remember it.

Niki: Yeah. Rest in peace. It’s the, um…what’s it called, now. The Shake Shack now.

LB: God. Taken over by a New York establishment.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: That’s horrendous.

Niki: I was so– you know what kind of person I used to be?

LB: What kind of person?

Niki: People are like, oh, you don’t grow anymore. You stop growing or becoming better like when you turn eight, like after eight you’re set for life.

LB: That’s not true.

Niki: People have always said that.

LB: [laughs] Okay.

Niki: I was– the Shake Shack was opening on Santa Monica, and I was like, “I gotta go on the day it opens.” So then I was–

LB: [laughs] How old were you, though?

Niki: Uhh…hold on. Let me look at this Eater article.

LB: You were like 22 or something?

Niki: 2016. Yeah, I was 22.

LB: Yeah. That’s the age that you are when you’re like, I want to go to, for some– for some reason being, I don’t know about you, I’m feeling 22.

Niki: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: I’m gonna go for some reason [Niki laughs] to the opening of this chain restaurant for the first time in my city.

Niki: Of this chain restaurant. Yeah. [LB hums Taylor Swift’s “22”] And I was there, and then there were a lot of Instagram people, and then like the Buzzfeed video team was also standing in line ’cause they were filming a video.

LB: Uh huh.

Niki: And I was like, this is weird. I don’t know– I’ve been to Shake Shack many times. I was like, I don’t know why I’m doing this.

LB: Yeah, that’s the experience of being 22.

Niki: And then I had Shake Shack, and I was like, “Oh, okay. That was, I guess, worth it.” [sighs]

LB: I had their beet burger. I didn’t think it was very good.

Niki: They have a beet burger? I haven’t been to Shake Shack in a long time. Wait, does that mean that they don’t have the–

LB: I mean, it’s been– this was like four years ago.

Niki: Oh. ‘Cause they’ve got a mushroom one.

LB: I really like beets, so I chose the beet one.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: It wasn’t good.

Niki: Damn.

LB: It was downtown LA.

Niki: I’m looking at the Shake Shack menu now. Have you ever had a hot dog from Shake Shack?

LB: Never.

Niki: The idea of getting a hot dog at Shake Shack is perverted to me.

LB: Honestly, I don’t like getting a hot dog most places.

Niki: Mm, I love a hot dog.

LB: I love a hot dog, but I’m like, I don’t think a hot dog should come from a restaurant.

Niki: A restaurant? I agree.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: You know what? I agree. It has to come from a baseball stadium or a man on the corner.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: Oh my God, but what if that– what if the guy on the corner has a cart, like an ice cream cart, but for some reason and somehow, he’s put a propane tank inside of it, and he’s got an entire flat top grill, and you’ve just walked out of Staples Center watching a WNBA game that you paid $8 for.

LB: Uh huh.

Niki: And you’re like, “You know what? I’m gonna have a hot dog.” And then you go up to the hot dog guy, and he’s like, “What do you want?” And you’re like, “I want a hot dog.” And then he’s like, “Do you want onions?” And then he like gets some onions out and he’s frying the onions on the flat top. And you’re like, wow, this is a real city. I live here. And then you get your good hot dog.

LB: I mean, that smell of onion, that smell of onion and like peppers, like green peppers and onions together.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: I think there’s some red ones in there too.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And like bacon frying in the street, [Niki: “Mm-hmm, mm-hmm”] after anything at the Staples Center or like just a few places downtown on the weekends.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: That’s just a good smell.

Niki: That’s what the Los Angeles candle should be.

LB: It is. Once I was really high leaving a PWG show, ’cause I can only go to wrestling events extremely high, [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] ‘cause I don’t enjoy being in crowds of people. And I was gonna meet up with like a couple friends from Twitter, and I got a hot dog. And I got this thing like, you know, they were like, “Do you want everything?” And I said, “Yes, I want everything!”

Niki: Yeah, of course I do.

LB: Of course I do. So just like grease and mustard and ketchup and like little bit of mayonnaise. And I’m like, this is everything that I’ve ever wanted in my life.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: And I am taking– I take the biggest bite, and just a huge, like a snowball sized amount of just like grease and condiments falls from my hot dog, right onto like the front– like cartoon spot of stain on your shirt. [Niki laughs] And I looked down at it, and I looked at my hot dog, [laughing] and I just walked to my car and drove away. I ate my hot dog in my car and drove away.

Niki: Wow. You just went home?

LB: [laughing] I didn’t see anybody.

Niki: You just went home?

LB: Well, I mean, the event was over, but I was gonna meet up with friends. I just went home.

Niki: Yeah, but–

LB: I was like, I can’t.

Niki: Oh my God. I would’ve been like, “Look at this fucking stain. You wouldn’t believe this.”

LB: I was too embarrassed.

Niki: Damn. Next time that happens, just lean into the stain.

LB: What’s incredible is that I was embarrassed even though I was gonna meet up with people who would not have been phased by that. [laughs]

Niki: Yeah, who would not have– yeah.

LB: [laughing] Or judged me in any way!

Niki: They would’ve been like, “Ah, damn, that sucks.” They would’ve been like, “Ah, damn, that sucks. I hate it when that happen. Anyway.”

LB: Social anxiety is…

Niki: It’s bad.

LB: It’s funny that I’m the Social Editor+ but I have like debilitating social anxiety.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: That’s a fun irony.

Niki: They should fix that.

LB: They should. I have– it’s so bad. It’s the worst thing.

Niki: They have so many pills, and they’re like, “This pill makes you not depressed,” and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, sure,” and then it doesn’t.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: I still have to like do work.

LB: Well, the thing is like, I am–

Niki: To like be not depressed.

LB: But I am not just lying down?

Niki: Yeah, I know, but that’s–

LB: Like, I can shower.

Niki: But like, why can’t I take–

LB: I can brush my teeth. I can eat meal.

Niki: What if I took two times the amount of pill?

LB: That’s–

Niki: Does that mean I’ll be able to fly or something?

LB: No. [laughs] I’m just so glad to be able to do basic things. [Niki laughs] Like, having spent a year of my life not able to like shower.

Niki: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Or like sleep in my bed or eat more than like spoonful of peanut butter.

Niki: Yeah, or a Oreo for a week.

LB: [laughs] Yeah, exactly.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: I’m like, yeah. Like when I answer their questionnaires, you know, like, “How would you say you’re functioning on a scale of one to five?”

Niki: Yeah. [laughs]

LB: And it’s like, okay, on what?

Niki: On what? Yeah, what?

LB: What’s the benchmark? Because, for me, it’s a five! [Niki laughs] For a normal person, it’s a one! [both laugh] Like, I don’t know.

Niki: Yeah, like it has to be– they need to– it needs to be way bigger than one to five, and it also needs to be relative to like last week. [laughs]

LB: They need to like do– what they need to do is have– they need to ask the question twice. Like, how would you say you are functioning [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] on a scale of one to five, like compared to your, you know, the previous few years of your adult life? Okay. How would you say you’re functioning on a scale of one to five compared to what is expected of you as an adult in the United States of America?

Niki: Yeah. As an– yeah. You say one every time.

LB: [laughs] One every time. Yeah.

Niki: Yeah. Did I tell you– I feel like I’ve said this. When I moved, when I found my depression, when I was at Hofstra, for like months, I was like, “Oh, I’m just jetlagged, and that’s why I sleep all the time.” Even though it had been like three months since I got to New York, and I was like, “I’m just– it’s just jet lag. I’m sleepy ’cause of jet lag, in November.”

LB: Yeah. I mean, sometimes you can do that.

Niki: That’s how they get you.

LB: You can just lie to yourself. I mean, I think life, if you look at life and world and all people in it?

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: You’ll see that people are really good at lying to themselves.

Niki: Yeah. And you too can lie to yourself, when you give this show one star on iTunes, because deep in your heart–

LB: Or you can be honest with yourself.

Niki: Yeah. Deep in your heart, you know.

LB: And give it five stars.

Niki: It’s five stars, ’cause it’s a good show. You’re right. Thank you so much, wow. You’re already writing the review?

LB: Oh my gosh.

Niki: Wow, you’re just– you’re writing the review right now.

LB: Thank you.

Niki: Are you gonna use that word? I don’t really know if that’s the…

LB: Oh, no, no, no. It’s I before E. You got it. Perfect.

Niki: There it is. That’s exactly it, and then hit send?

LB: Yep.

Niki: Thank you so much.

LB: Oh my God, thank you so much!

Niki: That’s five stars, let’s go!

LB: You know this really, really helps us a lot if you review our show.

Niki: It does.

LB: Oh my God, and you’re texting your mom to recommend the show?

Niki: Oh my God.

LB: Even with a link directly to the podcast listening app of your choice?

Niki: Directly to the episode? Wow.

LB: That’s so cool. Hi, mom!

Niki: And then you’re setting– are you setting a reminder for tomorrow at this time today to see if your mom listened to it?

LB: Oh my gosh.

Niki: Oh, that’s incredible. Thank you so much. Wow, you’re making me–

LB: Thank you for this surveillance technology, also. [laughs]

Niki: Yeah. You’re going– you’re making a group chat with every single person in your telephone, and you’re sending them all the link? Wow.

LB: To Friends Reunion, a podcast for discerning listeners.

Niki: To Friends Reunion?

LB: Oh my God, and you’re right, ’cause they’re all your friends! That’s such a good point.

Niki: That’s a friends reunion.

LB: That is like a great segue.

Niki: Wait, what would happen–? What would you do–? How long would it take you to leave a group chat where a person had invited every single person in their phone?

LB: [laughs] I don’t know how to leave a group chat.

Niki: Wow. You’d be stuck for a really long time.

LB: [laughs] I didn’t know you could leave a group text.

Niki: Jordan says negative five seconds. I think I would stay. I would mute it immediately, but I would probably stay in there for a while. I’m like–

LB: Do you just delete it?

Niki: No, you have to hit– you click the profile picture at the top of the chat, and then you can, uh, there’s a thing that says– you scroll down, and there’s a thing that says Leave Conversation.

LB: Oh, I see. I’m not gonna leave this one, though. It’s with my parents.

Niki: Yeah. Now, that would be funny if you left.

LB: That would be really rude.

Niki: You’re like, hey, I think I’m done. I think I’m out. There are not enough memes or jokes in this group chat. I think there’s a lot of drama, and the crosstalk is not really my thing. I’m gonna– I’m gonna head out. Thank you so much.

LB: I came here to see pictures of people’s lunch, and I’m not seeing pictures of anyone’s lunch, Mom and Dad. [Niki laughs] Get it together.

Niki: We’ll be back next week. John still won’t be here.

LB: Oh yeah, we should talk about his boat next week.

Niki: Oh yeah. He’s on the boat.

LB: Doot doot! That’s the boat sound.