Says Who?


Episode Summary

Open wide because this week was a lot. Wider. Wider. Wi--OK, too wide.

Episode Notes

Whatever will we talk about this week? Oh right. 

Literally everything. At once.

Dan and Maureen are ready to break it down--they have been training for this moment, SaysWhovians. 

But first, they have to parse how any child in the '70s or '80s survived. And Maureen needs to know how much a Whopper costs. And Dan has a story about a talking pile of clay.  And also there's a thing about chocolate cake. And the pup is sick.

But after that, everything.  Definitely we get to that.

We chew it so you can gulp it back.

Gobble, gobble, SaysWhovia. It’s time to eat!


Dan's tracking impeachment news and sending out updates every day. Sign up at

Maureen's new book The Vanishing Stair is OUT NOW. NOW!

Support Says Who and become a citizen of SaysWhovia by joining our Patreon today! You really can join for just a dollar. Or more if you want!

Your Intrepid Hosts: Maureen Johnson and Dan Sinker

Our awesome theme is courtesy of Ted Leo

We love Darth


Episode Transcription

Dan: This episode of Says Who is brought to you by you. We really mean that. Your support on is the thing that makes this happen, helps fill in the gaps. It helps make it all work. It gets me and Maureen together every week talking in your ear.


Maureen: It is also probably going to get Dan a computer that he does not have to work by lashing his headphones with like rubber bands and glue. Am I sort of being literal here?


Dan: Basically, it is a 10 minute window from the point where I have to hit restart to the point that I am ready to actually record.


Maureen: Yeah. Every time his headphones come out he has to completely restart his computer and thanks to you, we're going to fix that.


Dan: We sure are. Your generosity is amazing at and I'm going to spoiler alert to the end of the episode. We have a bunch of stuff coming soon, for Patreon. We're going to talk a little bit more about that at the end of this episode.


Maureen: At the [crosstalk 00:01:13], go to the end for that.


Dan: Yeah. who?


Maureen: Well yeah, I was trying to say Patreon, Jesus. This episode is also brought to you by books, books. I say it every week is, it must exhaust you by now, but this Truly Devious series, it's the last book I'm editing. The pages are sitting on my lap right now under the computer and I'm using as a kind of temporary desk to edit them. A cookbook called Gary road, step-by-step vegetarian cooking. So you know that this is serious. I like books, I write them, I've read a whole bunch of them.


Dan: You have.


Maureen: So if you want to read one or give one as a gift or something. Truly Devious is a great place to start. God bless you and keep you. Thank you for books.


Dan: This episode is also brought to you by my new project, If you don't want to, can't, don't want to deal with whatever your reason. Don't want to keep up with the day to day, second by second breaking impeachment news. I now round it up every night and send it to your inbox. You can sign up at


Maureen: Hey Dan, I know you've been busy with because you pick up [crosstalk 00:02:37], so can you just really, honestly in like a sentence or two or less even summarize what's been going on.


Dan: [inaudible 00:02:45].


Maureen: That's great.


Dan: Yeah, that's about it.


Maureen: Welcome to Says Who, the podcast that isn't a podcast.


Dan: It's a coping strategy. I am Dan sinker.


Maureen: And I am Maureen Johnson. Excitingly, some of you may be new here.


Dan: Indeed, indeed. We have had a bunch of people coming in through the process and holy cow, we're happy you're here, but you might be a little bit lost.


Maureen: What this is in just a couple seconds or less is two people that sat down in August of 2016 and thought we'll record an eight episode podcast talking to some journalists about what's going on with this election. And just like the kind of Gilligan's Island or abandoned Island scenario, we got on a boat and we crashed and now we can't get off this Island and we've been here ever since. And we talk every week. It's like this is our therapy but we just try to process what's going on and we also look at the president's food choices a lot.


Dan: A lot of food. There's a lot of food.


Maureen: There's some food this week I believe so we'll get to that.


Dan: We will indeed and I am Dan sinker. I'm a journalist and I make things on the internet.


Maureen: That's right. Am I supposed to say I'm Maureen Johnson and I write books?


Dan: That's right.


Maureen: I said it really fast.


Dan: That's good. I liked it. It was quick to the point. Maureen Johnson.


Maureen: Yes.


Dan: You are heading to LA in the morning.


Maureen: I am.


Dan: You are busy. We are busy people right now.


Maureen: I got stuff this week and it's all very hilarious to me. I got meetings and got to wear sunglasses in LA and walk around. Be like LA [crosstalk 00:05:00].


Dan: [crosstalk] though.


Maureen: I don't think I'll have it. I don't think I'll have any time to eat tacos, Dan. It's like ...


Dan: There's always time.


Maureen: All right.


Dan: When I was in LA a few weeks ago, I was working a 14 hour days and those days would end with going to the taco place at midnight needing tacos.


Maureen: Yeah. My schedule is pretty full but the thing is Dan, if say you're in LA and you don't have time to eat tacos, what you can do is maybe sign up for where you get a [crosstalk 00:05:29].


Dan: I [crosstalk] saw that one coming.


Maureen: And it's got snakes in it.


Dan: Halfway. So its halfway there.


Maureen: And snakes have little chef sets on them and they come out and they have chef hats and they go, "Yay, we're going to cook your tacos for you." Then your kitchen is filled with snakes and they bring a single potato. Blue Apron, we send you snakes.


Dan: We're late in recording today because you had to go to the vet.


Maureen: Yes, I have a little snag.I'm going to LA tomorrow, which means puppy should be going to daycare for the next three days. Husband would drop her off, pick her up, but she can't go because she's got both Giardia and Coccidia, which are things that she most likely picked up playing at our lovely but disgusting local dog park. I mean, it's a great dog park. It's a big one, so they can really run and it's got this kind of gravelly sandy stuff in it. So it's soft on their paws and they can really take off and run around. And Oscar loves to play. That's my husband. He picks up the balls that the people leave, there's the old [crosstalk] tennis.


Dan: I now have an image of Oscar in all fours of running around the dog park.


Maureen: Oh, he loves it. He feels like he's back in England. Just, he's free and wild. His ass hanging out. I say, "Take those pants off and you just let her rip. You just go my friend." I'm married weird, but I don't care. So she picks up these gross balls that are covered in poop sand and then they have a little doggy pool, that it's got constant running water in it, but like it's still, he's like, it's fine to drink. It's running water.


Dan: But it's fed from the Gowanus canal.


Maureen: I just think that it's a big bone shaped plastic pole that they've installed in there and it does have running water, I tried to say it like that's still basically standing water. So he's like, "It's fine. She can drink it." I'm like, "She can't." And now she has Giardia and coccidia and if he's listening to this, this is me telling you that that's not good water to drink. So I don't want to correct my husband via podcast, but like come on. It was like when he didn't believe me about the bully stick. Did I talk about the bully stick?


Dan: It's the dried bull penis.


Maureen: Okay. Bully sticks dogs are these big long sticks called bully sticks. They're called puzzle sticks. A puzzle, sorry, is an animal penis that's been dried up and they give them these sticks and they love them. And they're big long sticks and they chew on them. She had her little remnant that was like four or five inches long. He's like, "I'm just going to get corner her and take it away so she doesn't swallow it." I was like, "Don't corner her" or she doesn't chew it all up. And I was like, "Don't corner her. She could swallow it. And he's like, "There's no way she could swallow that's four or five inches long." I was like, "Don't corner her, bring her over here. I'll give her a treat and get her to drop." He's like, "It's fine, it's fine." And he cornered her and she swallowed it all four to five inches of it. And I was standing right there and I just looked at him like, "Did you see?" And he was just so amazed. By the way she was fine.


Maureen: So the reason I was late, I had to go to the vet to get her three medications. She loves the vet. She hugged the vet, she kissed the vet, she came home, but she doesn't want to eat because she's got this stomach bug. But I had to get her to eat, to take the meds. So part of the delay was me crouching on the floor of the kitchen pretending to eat her food so that she would come over and eat it.


Dan: Good. Pretending you're just like [inaudible 00:09:01]. So basically you and Oscar spend most of your time pretending to be dogs.


Maureen: I wish that was more of a joke than it was.


Dan: It wasn't a joke. The good news was your trip to the vet allowed what is perhaps one of my favorite pieces of video from this shit show that we call everything to come out. Which was Republican representatives, Jim Jordan and Matt Gates, how do you pronounce his name? Do you know? No, going to say [crosstalk 00:09:34].


Maureen: Don't care.


Dan: I don't care either.


Maureen: [crosstalk] to me.


Dan: Yeah. That's just the A and the E thing that throws me every time. Anyway, they were out in somewhere in the Capitol today, decrying the impeachment proceedings as a kangaroo court. Then Gates, declares that Adam Schiff, the head of the house intelligence committee was acting like Maureen and I quote a malicious Captain Kangaroo.


Maureen: All right, Dan. I didn't know this. God damn it Dan. Okay, listen to me. You can't give me news live as we record this like this because the whole point of this exercise is that we need time to process.


Dan: Not this one.


Maureen: But we need to [crosstalk 00:10:25]. It's like we are a baby birds that we chew the news for you and then we spit it back into your mouth and you didn't give me time to chew the news for you.


Dan: Does he think that Captain Kangaroo is the head of a kangaroo court?


Maureen: This does show a fundamental misunderstanding of what Captain Kangaroo is even though-


Dan: Or a kangaroo court for that matter.


Maureen: There's a lot of confusion here and Dan. Okay, Dan, God damn it.


Dan: I quickly looked up, did you know that Captain Kangaroo aired for 29 years? 6,000 episodes? Maureen.


Maureen: I believe that guy and this I'm not looking and this is a fact, I think I have in my head somewhere. That that guy played I think bozo the clown or something like that on Howdy Doody maybe.


Dan: No, you're confusing three different kids' shows, Maureen.


Maureen: I don't think I am.


Dan: How can he possibly have time to do anything other than be Captain Kangaroo if he was filming 6,000 episodes?


Maureen: He did something. He did, let's see. Oh God damn it. He played, Keeshan play the original Clarabell the clown on Howdy Doody.


Dan: Oh wow. Then he went onto better things.


Maureen: Then he went on to own starring vehicle.


Dan: Being a malicious Captain Kangaroo. What is a malicious Captain Kangaroo anyway? Because it was sort of like a variety show for kids, wasn't it?


Maureen: Kind of, he would sing that song. I could sing a rainbow. He had big pockets and he would sing. I told you about my minister playing big pockets clown.


Dan: Pockets the Clown.


Maureen: Pockets the Clown, right?


Dan: Oh God, yes you did.


Maureen: Just a little refresher for anyone. Doesn't remember Pockets the Clown. So our church would have these annual Christmas bazaars. Everybody would go in each of the classrooms, there'd be like a little thing going on and you'd go and you'd buy crafts for like 50 cents and have cookies and hang out with everyone. And the minister would put on this costume, a clown costume that had a big jacket that was full of pockets, big pockets, and each one was worth a different amount of money. Like for a nickel, you could reach into the top pocket, For a dime, you can reach in the middle pocket but for a quarter, you could reach into the big bottom pocket.


Dan: [inaudible] at the bottom.


Maureen: Yeah.


Dan: Oh God. You've told me this story before and I'm already dying.


Maureen: Yeah. So if you paid him a quarter, you could reach into his bottom pocket.


Dan: Oh God damn it.


Maureen: The thing is he's genuinely an awesome guy like he's a real [inaudible] pockets.


Dan: Sure.


Maureen: But I lived in absolute mortal terror of Pockets the Clown. Like he would come around and be like, "Come on, don't you want to ..." because everybody had money, it was for charity and stuff. He's like, "Oh, do you want to reach into my pocket for a quarter?" And I'd be like, "Not really, but here's your quarter. You weird fucking dude, please go away. I'll pay you 50 cents to fuck off."


Dan: Oh, boy.


Maureen: "How much does it cost to run away and cry in the parking lot?" So I think I had a terrifying childhood. I mean, the more I think about it, the more I have questions.


Dan: Being a kid in the 70s definitely feels like everyone was just kind of winging it a lot.


Maureen: Everybody that we encounter in the 70s should have been the centerfold for pedophile monthly. I mean, honestly, it was just creepy from beginning to end.


Dan: So the talk about Captain Kangaroo today had me thinking about one of my favorite kid's shows when I grew up. So I was not allowed to watch much TV during the week, but Saturday mornings I could watch all the cartoons. So I would get up so early that I would often end up watching the religious programming before the cartoons would start. But the first thing that would come on after whatever the religious show was, was called the Giggles Snort Hotel, which was a local kids show. The centerpiece of it was a lump of gray named Blob who wouldn't ... the whole thing took place in a hotel and like the main host, whose name was BJ would interact with blob and basically would kind of scoop in and pull out clay to make eyes and then kind of stick cartoon eyes in and slapped giant clay bits onto the side. And Blob would speak like a nightmare. He'd be like, "Hey Blob, let's get you looking nice." And then Blob would go [inaudible 00:15:29].


Dan: I loved it Maureen. If I was up early enough to catch the Giggles Snort Hotel, that was a good Saturday. [inaudible 00:15:46]. Yeah, blob. You're looking real nice with those teeth. Look like you're going out on a date. [inaudible 00:15:56].


Maureen: Oh my gosh.


Dan: Anyway, a malicious Captain Kangaroo, Maureen. That's how we're starting today.


Maureen: The show I used to watch a lot as a kid and was terrified by was Banana Splits.


Dan: Oh yeah.


Maureen: If you've never, just do yourself a favor and put Banana Splits into YouTube if you've never heard of it and just watch a little bit. Because Banana Splits is for sure, it's this television creation that kind of came out maybe '69, 1970. It is 100% the creation of people that have done a lot of acid, absolutely. They're definitely high, but I think-


Dan: Was Banana Splits a Sid and Marty Krofft thing or it was a response to Sid and Marty Krofft?


Maureen: It was either, it was possibly because Sid and Marty Krofft was [crosstalk 00:16:53].


Dan: It was like a local TV exec that was like kids love fucking drug fueled giant puppets, we need our own.


Maureen: Yet Sid and Marty Krofft made all of these children's television shows that had people sized puppets like crazy monsters that interacted with real people. But the Banana Splits were for kooky puppet creatures that had a rock band and lived in a house together. But they also clearly did a lot of speed because everything in the Banana Splits is this very technical or swirly jump cuts. So it's like a bunch of people on acid and speed or like, you know what kids would like some weird fucking rock monsters that just slide down telephone poles and fall over things, but they do it like 90 miles an hour.


Dan: So basically it was like, kids love the monkeys. Let's give them actual monkeys.


Maureen: Yes.


Dan: That's amazing.


Maureen: And also Sid and Marty Krofft made a show, and this is the last thing I'll say about this called Sigmund and the Sea Monster. That was about a bunch of kids that were surfing and a sea monster came out of the monster, which was this big googly eyed pile of rags [inaudible] and he would run around and they were like, let's take them to school and like see if he fits in. So he and there was like bad sea monsters that were after him. And I loved Sigmund and the Sea Monster and I had a Sigmund and the Sea Monster sponge and one of my many little incidences, a child like the one where I saw stuck paper in my nose then I got to see Santa, was that I was in the bathtub with my Sigmund and the Sea Monster sponge. My mom went to get a washcloth or something and when she came back I had eaten his face.


Dan: Oh no.


Maureen: Yes. For some reason loves Sigmund and the Sea Monster so much that I ate his face.


Dan: Interesting. Sid and Marty Krofft, factoid, Maureen. I believe in the very early 80s or late 70s, they attempted to make a Sid and Marty Krofft theme park.


Maureen: Jesus Christ.


Dan: That was going to be the world's biggest, I believe, if not biggest, tallest indoor theme park in Atlanta. It had multiple Sid and Marty Krofft rides and walkthroughs and all of that. I believe it was only open for six months and then shutdown. And Maureen, do you know what building it was in?


Maureen: No.


Dan: The building that is now the headquarters of CNN.


Maureen: I wanted to say that and I thought it couldn't be. It's the only building I could think of in Atlanta aside from like the Margaret Mitchell house. I was like is it CNN or is it [crosstalk 00:19:47].


Dan: CNN center was a Sid and Marty Krofft theme park.


Maureen: I guess they closed it after six months because that's when the murders started or ...


Dan: Basically.


Maureen: All those [crosstalk 00:20:00].


Dan: They were like, [crosstalk] you know what 24 kids caught inside these rides is too many, let's shut it down.


Maureen: That is a very low total for 70s theme parks because 70s theme parks had a very high, as we know, extremely high death rates. They really did not a joke. They had an extremely high death rate. They tolerated a lot of death in the 70s in terms of theme parks, and it's amazing we're all alive.


Dan: Is every day. Every day is a miracles.


Maureen: No, we didn't have to wear seat belts. We could lay on like the roof of the fucking car if we wanted to. I mean it was just whatever and my mom was a nurse who didn't let me do anything and I was still allowed to do fucking ... I mean they're like, "Yeah, let them play with lighters, give them dynamite."


Dan: For those of you that were not kids in the 70s you need to realize that anyone that you interact with that was the highlight of their childhood was riding around in the trunk of somebody enormous station wagon. And just sliding fucking left and right into each other, banging into each other for the entire duration of the ride.


Maureen: Yeah. Or you would stretch out and lay down and be like, I'm writing, but I'm completely flat. It was like we were always playing kidnapped.


Dan: As we ate a lot of pain.


Maureen: Oh yeah. It was awesome. They were like, the overriding principle of 70s childhood was like rainbows and color and what if we could just do whatever, just like literally whatever? High death rate. We're talking about all of this because this week I am delighted because I feel that the burden of following the news. Because of Says Who, I always feel a need to really be on top of everything that's going on. Just really watching the news, keeping up with it. Especially now that things are going very quickly. But now that you have started, I've just kind of let go of the steering wheel and been, Oh Dan's [crosstalk 00:22:13].


Dan: I got it.


Maureen: Dan will watch the news. Why don't you tell us a little bit about that little project you started?


Dan: Just remembering back to the easy days of last Tuesday when I had-


Maureen: One of Dan's little ideas.


Dan: ... Yeah. When I had done, I believe, one update at the time. I mean, as I talked about last time, it was an idea that I had on a Friday, launched on a Sunday and trapped inside now. This is a recurring theme, Maureen. I enjoyed making my own personal Phantom zones, I guess. But honestly, Maureen, it has been amazing. So I do a lot of little projects, some of them catch, some of them don't. This one, the outpouring of support, the amount of people that have subscribed, the kind of people that have been reaching out to be like, "Oh my God, thank you." Because I can't keep track of all of this or I don't want to. It's been amazing. It is definitely, I now have a lot of jobs, Maureen. I counted this morning and I am currently working five jobs. So there's that.


Maureen: That seems fine.


Dan: Yeah. And I have a family, so everyday now ends with hitting send on the Mail Chimp version of the update and then running upstairs and cooking dinner for everyone. That's how my days go now. But it's been amazing. And now I know a lot about the impeachment. I literally know everything about the impeachment, Maureen.


Maureen: Why don't you tell us a little bit about it, Dan.


Dan: I don't want to because [crosstalk] I do that for my job now.


Maureen: I want to know, Dan, I've been sitting back, kicking back here.


Dan: It has been very much an impeachment proceeding. It has been testimony or failure to show up for testimony, issuing subpoenas, all of that. Like in the last week that has like legal maneuverings. Part of the point of Impeachment FYI is to get away from the second by second shit and instead just sit there at the end of the day and be like, what actually feels ... What I explained to someone the other day was like, there are two kinds of news stories, over-simplifying here. But like ones that move the ball forward and ones that better describe the ball. This is all about what are the things that are moving the ball forward versus how can we add more dimples to this ball or whatever.


Maureen: Because a thing that would say add a dimple to the ball was the fact that yesterday Trump tweeted a tweet that included the phrase in my great and unmatched wisdom.


Dan: Well, so just to be very pedantic, that wouldn't make it in at all because that had nothing to do with impeachment. The ability to have an editorial focus Maureen is an incredible liberating feeling. [crosstalk 00:25:25].


Maureen: It referred to the situation in Turkey.


Dan: Yeah. To the Syrian, basically the US walking away from the Kurds in Northern Syria and now Turkey most likely going in and slaughtering them all.


Maureen: Which is [crosstalk 00:25:41].


Dan: And Trump basically saying that Turkey won't do it because in his great and unmatched wisdom, he'll know if they do something bad.


Maureen: And he will destroy their economy as he has [crosstalk] implied that he has done so before.


Dan: Yeah. Oh, Maureen.


Maureen: All right. Dan, here's the overarching question I want to ask. Imagine the bus. Are the wheel, like how many wheels?


Dan: Oh, I don't know that we've had wheels on this bus for a while.


Maureen: I'm looking for the overall on the head as someone who has been nose to the ground on this for a week. How shit scared is he?


Dan: Oh, he's extremely shit scared. He is calling for basically everyone whose name he can remember at this point is he wants them impeached. He has resorted to basically being, "You can't impeach me because I impeach you."


Maureen: [crosstalk 00:26:55].


Dan: He's holding up real well.


Maureen: Also New York said, "We're going to get your tax returns."


Dan: Yeah. Eight years, a judge yesterday, appeals judge basically said that the president is not a King and that he needs to turn over his tax returns. The Trump folks have already appealed that. But there are a lot of balls in motion on a lot of different playing fields. I thankfully only have to follow one. But there had been a number of bits and pieces, Maureen, that do not bubble up to the point of inclusion in the impeachment newsletter, but are certainly worth discussing here. One of which is the fact that the argument lobbed by the Trump people, the reason that they have engaged Ukraine and all of this they say, is to investigate the corruption of Joe Biden and the way that he used his power to basically enrich his son. And Maureen Johnson, two of the people that have come out the running the hardest against this terrible nepotism that we have seen demonstrated by the Bidens are Eric Trump and [DoJoe 00:28:20]. I can't Maureen.


Maureen: Do it.


Dan: Eric wrote an op ed about terrible nepotism.


Maureen: I'm proud of them.


Dan: Both of them have appeared on Fox news multiple times talking about how awful it is for Hunter Biden to be using his father's power to enrich himself.


Maureen: Feed me, baby, feed me.


Dan: The thing that is truly most maddening, Maureen, about the world that we live in right now is the ability to basically take, Trump's ability to take his biggest weaknesses, project them on other people and use them as offense. And boy, they think that they have a real winning hand talking about using power to enrich your large adult sons.


Maureen: It's getting old to talk about how they always project the thing that they're doing onto somebody else. After a certain number of dozens, possibly hundreds of times now, it's like we've been hit with so many hammers, we can't feel it anymore.


Dan: Yeah. That sounds about right. That sounds about right, Maureen.


Maureen: We can take a walk with me, Dan?


Dan: Sure. Maureen.


Maureen: I want you to be, you and I are invisible. You and I, we've got all, we've walked in, we've drank, we had a potion. It's rendered us invisible and we get to walk through the front door of the white house right now. What do we see in there? What's happening?


Dan: Oh, there's got to be just piles of garbage bags full of shredded paper at this point, right?


Maureen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Dan: Just sort of like snowdrifts.


Maureen: Where's Trump? Is he in his office or is he ...


Dan: No, he's watching TV in his bed, definitely.


Maureen: The tweeting, that's really ramped up.


Dan: Oh yeah. The tweeting and the re tweeting. The dude isn't tweeting, he is re-tweeting like a madman, literally.


Maureen: Yeah, he really is. Seriously Dan, what do you think about his mental state [inaudible 00:30:54]?


Dan: It's not good, Maureen.


Maureen: The pressure is definitely making it all worse.


Dan: Yes. A lot worse. I mean, the amount of lash out. Like, I mean, just not a unique trait or a unique thing for him, but the like screaming that Nancy Pelosi should be impeached for high tech crimes and misdemeanors and treason. Like the number of times he has said that people have committed treason in the last week is remarkable. It's not good.


Maureen: We'll get into the ... There's so much. It's so much right now, it's like I'm looking at a great big giant glowing spaceship out the window and I'm trying to explain what's going on to you. I'm like, "Look, it's got green lights. I think it's coming in. I'm not sure they have ladders. They have probes."


Dan: Maureen, let me lasso you, pull you back over here toward more familiar ground.


Maureen: But Dan. All right.


Dan: Which is over the weekend, the Washington post dropped an article that did a deep dive into conversations that Donald Trump has had with world leaders due to the fact that the center of the impeachment inquiry is a potentially untoward conversation that Donald Trump had with a Ukrainian president's Zelensky. This is sort of anonymously sourced conversations that Trump had with other world leaders, many of which are strange, but one of which Maureen falls right into our wheel house. I'm going to just a little quote from this article. Quote, you had two to three minutes max, said one former senior administration official. That's in terms of, the previous paragraph is talking about how who you be handed index cards with bullet points. And basically you had two or three minutes max for him to get through those bullet points and then he was still usually going to say whatever he wanted to say. As a result, staff fretted that Trump came across ill-informed in some calls and even oafish. Here we go, Maureen. In a conversation with China's G, Trump repeated numerous times how much he liked the kind of chocolate cake one former official said. The president publicly described the dessert the two had in April, 2017 when Trump and G met at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort as, "The most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you have ever seen."


Maureen: All right, fine. Just you know what? All right, sure. Why not? I mean Dan. Sure, why not? Dan.


Dan: Maureen.


Maureen: Dan.


Dan: Maureen. There are moments like that, excerpt from that article that I worry that maybe we really do live in a simulation and it is hard tuned for me and you. And Maureen, there's an even more Dan and Maureen story than that.


Maureen: Oh God. Hit me.


Dan: This comes to us, Maureen, from the breaking news wire of the Hyattsville wire, "The premier source for lifestyle news for Woodridge DC, Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Hyattsville, Riverdale park university, park college park, and the greater route one corridor in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC."


Maureen: It's very specific.


Dan: They probably just could have said suburban DC but ...


Maureen: But no.


Dan: I appreciate them going into that level of detail.


Maureen: But if you [crosstalk 00:34:54].


Dan: Maureen, I am just ...


Maureen: In Colombia go fuck yourself, I guess.


Dan: Exactly. Hey, you mount pleasant fuckos get something else to read. Silver spring this assholes.


Maureen: Oh, where are you from Townsend? Go fuck yourself.


Dan: All right, Maureen, I just have to read this.


Maureen: God damn it. All right.


Dan: This is two days ago by reporter Allison Beckwith. Thank you Alison for [crosstalk 00:35:29].


Maureen: Thank you Allison.


Dan: Of all the places you could think you might spot Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. The Burger King in college park on Baltimore Avenue probably isn't.


Maureen: I got to go. Dan, I have to go now. I have to go.


Dan: Maureen.


Maureen: I got to go, Dan. I have to leave.


Dan: For fucking what like a year, say eight months, 10 months? We have had a running thing on this show about an unnamed member of the administration ordering fast food.


Maureen: I got to go, Dan. I have to leave.


Dan: It was a typical Friday night on October 4th for Matt jr Johnny, an assistant research professor in the biology department of the university of Maryland who had just picked up his nine year old son from ice hockey practice at the nearby Wells ice rink. Again, appreciate the detail because it was around 8:00 PM his son was hungry and wanted to grab a bite to eat at the nearby Burger King, so they made a quick stop for dinner. The restaurant wasn't very busy with just one other customer who didn't seem to take notice of the fact that Jared, Ivanka and their three kids were ordering food at the counter. Matt spotted their youngest Theodore wearing a stormtrooper shirt.


Maureen: I'm just shaking [crosstalk 00:36:47].


Dan: Just the other day she tweeted out a picture of one of her kids dressed in a full stormtrooper outfit. I just feel like these folks missed the iron jeans [inaudible] somewhere along the [crosstalk 00:36:56].


Maureen: Nope. This is that sketch where they pointed the skull on crossbones and say, "Are we the betties?" All right. Keep going. Just keep going.


Dan: Wearing a Stormtrooper shirt and a Burger King paper crown.


Maureen: Do you know what? Dan, stop it. Did you write this?


Dan: I didn't, I swear to God. I swear to God a listener sent it to us yesterday.


Maureen: I am just going to go and walk.


Dan: Jared was dressed casually in a sweatshirt while Ivanka was dressed nicely and wearing makeup likely from taping an interview on Fox news earlier that day. At first, Matt wasn't sure if it was actually Jared and Ivanka thinking maybe they were just university of Maryland students dressed in Halloween costumes to look like Jared and Ivanka. It wasn't until Matt saw their order on the screen amount to over a hundred dollars worth of whoppers surprised and he was convinced. After Jared ordered the family sat down and waited for their food, while four or five secret service agents stood around with three black SUV parked in the back.


Maureen: We pay for this. We pay so that Jared and Ivanka can ... All right. First of all, here's my question. I love how boring this article is. It's very exciting in its dullness. I need to know how much food you can get at Burger King for $100.


Dan: Probably a fair amount. Clearly they were buying for the secret service people too.


Maureen: So like how much is a meal there?


Dan: Let's see. Whopper, I mean that's going to be slightly variable based on place, but let's see, whopper.


Maureen: $8?


Dan: Oh God, no, value. I would guess it's probably in the $6 range. 6 to $7 range. So here we go. I have an image right here. Looks like Whopper meal deals. You can get a $4 Whopper jr meal, $5 Whopper meal, $6 double Whopper meal. So we're talking 20 meals [crosstalk] double.


Maureen: It sounds like also [crosstalk] or they just have literally maybe they already have the drinks and they're just bags of the burgers.


Dan: Could be.


Maureen: How much is a Whopper? $5, $4? How much is Whopper?


Dan: I would guess in the 350 range.


Maureen: So I'm in New York, everything gets priced up by a couple of bucks.


Dan: Cost of a Whopper. 419 according to this fast food menu


Maureen: About four bucks. So you could get like 20...


Dan: 50.


Maureen: No. I think 25.


Dan: No, I'm bad at math. There you go.


Maureen: Just a little and be able to [crosstalk 00:39:47].


Dan: You get 700 for $100.


Maureen: You can get maybe like say easily 20 whoppers. How many of those are for Trump? Who is eating 20 Whoppers?


Dan: Exactly.


Maureen: Does he eat Burger King? Because I know eats McDonald's. Do you think he eats Burger King?


Dan: Oh, definitely. That was Burger King on the table when he did the Vega fast food catered thing. Yeah, absolutely. There were Whoppers right there for sure. After Jared ordered, the family sat down and waited for their food while four or five secret service agents sit around the back. Once Jared's order was ready, a Burger King staff brought it to the table and apologize for it taking so long. Matt said that Jared graciously told them that it wasn't a problem and commented how they were doing a great job. After Matt ordered, he and his son took it to go. Matt walked past Jared and his family and said, "How's it going tonight?" And Jared responded, "It's going really well."


Maureen: Cool. It's great.


Dan: It's going really well.


Maureen: This going really well. Sure it's going really well.


Dan: It's a Whopper night at the old Jared and Ivanka household and everyone else they know.


Maureen: Think they were eating in the car, taking a trip somewhere and going back somewhere up to New York, eating in the car?


Dan: I don't know.


Maureen: [inaudible] they were eating in the car. They got a big car. They're not riding around in this station wagon, Dan. They've got a big SUV with like screens in the back and shit and those kids were eating [crosstalk] whoppers and watching detective Pokemon and shit. Dan.


Dan: Maureen.


Maureen: It's not just our country. I can give you the brief. It's very fortunately brief but also as confusing Brexit update is that no one knows what is happening.


Dan: Time's running out, we're in the month that Brexit is supposed to happen now.


Maureen: I mean the pressure cookers truly on there and [inaudible] the conserve, the 31st of October, that's the deadline. That's it. That's the deadline. It's real close.


Dan: Real close.


Maureen: And they still don't know what's going on. Boris Johnson continues to insist that they will be leaving the EU on the 31st. He continues to insist you will not be asking for an extension and that he will not violate the law, which are two things that don't go together because the law says he has to go and ask for an extension. Everyone's sort of assumes at this point he's planning something. He's got some kind of crazy scheme, but I will tell you this, my husband Oscar, so Boris Johnson has an advisor, this guy named Dominic Cummings who's sort of the puppet master, but in the shadows that everyone's like Dominic Cummings. These are all dominant comings move. He's the guy controlling the scene, Dominic Cummings. Well, Dominic Cummings is a blog and my husband found it and was reading it. Dominic Cummings, this blog and it's called Dominic Cummings blog. So you can find it by just typing in those words because that's the title.


Maureen: He writes and numbers all of these posts, like they're communications and it's one of these guys who, it's like that guy in freshman year, in the second semester who is just realized, read a bunch of stuff and has got it all figured out. He's like, "Look, I'm really smart." And here's how you fix this. We just use these technologies that they've got. We just make these imaginary war rooms where everybody simulates everything. Then I'm the only one that's realized we can use all this technology. He wrote this sort of 10,000 word blog piece that's incredibly poorly written. It starts with four quotes. Now, as a person who ever taught comp, if you start a piece with four quotes, I'm not only going to have you rewrite, I'm going to tase you in the neck for quotes.


Dan: Like, do you mean like quotes? Like as Shakespeare once said ...


Maureen: Oh no, like actual quotations above in italics above.


Dan: Oh, got it.


Maureen: And each one is longer than the last. So he says something in it like, no, I wouldn't. The reason [inaudible] so disjointed and weirdly written, he's like, and part of the reason I don't even care that this is all disjointed and and messed up, is that no one will really ever have the attention span to read all of this. So his excuse for writing in such a weird, disjointed way is that no one is going to be interested enough to read his super smart article. Dan, nothing is going well. You should read this blog, it's just ... So no one knows, they keep saying this riddle that we're going to leave, but we're not going to have to break the law. Nobody knows. Presumably they're scheming but no one knows what the scheming is. So it's like the tick, tick, tick, tick, tick thing in the corner and nobody knows.


Dan: Seems like the scheming is mostly just to wait out the clock.


Maureen: Partially.


Dan: It's not the world's most complex scheme but it's a successful one.


Maureen: If he doesn't go, he'll be in violation of the law and then ... But it's sort of like here where people have been subpoenaed and Trump today just told them not to go when everyone is like "Well, what do we do with this?"


Dan: Yeah, right now we are definitely at a point in history where there's a lot of like, well, what is the law anyway?


Maureen: What's happening? What is happening, Dan?


Dan: I mean, the coupling of Trump's unmatched wisdom is then evangelicals have gotten very upset because he is abandoning the kurds, which are the Christian group, Christian folk in Northern Iraq and Northern Syria. Pat Robertson said that Donald Trump was on the verge of losing his mandate from heaven, Maureen. So that's what these people feel like they have mandates from heaven. It's good time. It's a good time Maureen. What a time to be alive.


Maureen: What is going to happen Dan?


Dan: Everything, Maureen, but you know where I find hope Maureen? I find hope in our Says Whovians who have been doing amazing Says Who You stuff for. Those of you who aren't familiar Says Who You is the idea that Maureen floated what a month or so ago that maybe we needed to shut off a little bit from news and our devices. And to take just 15 minutes a day where you are purposefully putting down the phone and picking something else up. On our Facebook people have been sharing stuff like crazy and kind of cheering each other on and all of that this past week to different people without knowing it, visited the same theme park and posted photos of them riding the very same carousel.


Dan: Someone else just was like, "I'm really proud of myself because I changed my sheets, which in my household is a feat in and of itself." But the thing that's so interesting to me, Maureen and you have had this number all along, all credit to you. It feels like now people are not just saying, "Hey, I'm taking this 15 minutes of purposeful time to look away from a screen." But now they are simply being far more aware of their time in general and how they're spending it. And being much more sort of in the moment when they are doing something that brings them joy or relieves a little anxiety or something like that. It is amazing to watch.


Maureen: Yeah, we've got to break for I've realized that my pattern is as soon as I wake up, I fumble around and reach for my phone to look to see what headlines have popped up because stuff is happening so fast. I finally, I've gotten to the point where I go to reach down and I think why do I need to know this right now? Is there something else I can do first just as a way of inserting another activity in there before not to make this the first activity even as something small. If I just give that a little more space, like maybe I sit and pet the dog and sip some water and then spend at least a minute doing that. And just even a minutes worth of space from it just tells me it signals my brain that that shit, just to give it a little distance. So we don't always need a lot of distance to see that there's an issue. Just a little bit of distance to [inaudible 00:49:00].


Dan: Totally.


Maureen: ... "Oh, I had an impulse there." Let's try to control the impulse for a second and look at it.


Dan: No, it has been remarkable. As I've said before, like watching my own behavior in this way has been great. But just seeing people just getting into the Facebook group and sharing their triumphs has been so amazing.


Maureen: And if you haven't started, just give it a go if you want. Just take the 15 minutes. The whole thing it's just 15 minutes, no screens. That's it. We thought about expanding it and I don't even think it needs to be expanded. Just do it because you, the thing is I think you naturally expand it when you, as you feel it, it's like you feel the stretch and go, "I'm just going to go a little further on my own in my own time." And it's whatever you want to do. It just gives you that space. Just that little bit of space, tells your brain something. Like, "Oh, I've been doing this. I've been compulsively hitting refresh. I've been compulsively looking at my phone. I've been compulsively hitting buttons. I could do something else as I choose."


Dan: Now you don't even have to worry if you're missing impeachment stuff because I got you on that at


Maureen: I will say that's been really handy.


Dan: It is a project that I am enjoying a lot and it seems that other people are and that is amazing. You can share your Says Who You stuff on our Facebook at slash groups slash Says Whovians. Our Facebook group is moderated by Janis Dillard and says who is made possible by you through your support of our Patreon at who. And Maureen Johnson, next week is one year since we launched our Patreon. Our Patreon allowed us to go weekly. And me and you had a meeting.


Maureen: Yeah, just like we did October of last year, we met and said, "Okay, how are we doing? What should we do? How should we proceed?" Because last year is when we started the Patreon, when we went weekly. We suddenly ramped everything up and we're about to kind of ... I'm not going to say even, we are going to ramp things up, but what we're going to do is really water the garden that we've created. Because you guys provide us with so much like because of the community and Says Who.


Maureen: You guys do stuff online together, you make stuff and you give us proceeds so we can again, Dan's computer is held together with rubber bands. So Dan has also put together a little video rig for my phone. So there's going to be a little video content that's coming soon. What we're doing is that all of you that are already Patreons, you're going to be getting some stuff. It's suddenly that the community garden is going to bloom a little bit. We're going to go the landscape center and buy a bunch more plants. So you're going to be ...


Dan: We're going to give the rundown next week, which is our one year anniversary of launching the Patreon. We will get into a lot more detail, but the short of it is ...


Maureen: More.


Dan: More.


Maureen: Yeah. Like [crosstalk 00:52:23].


Dan: So I hope you want more because we're doing more.


Maureen: Yeah. You'll be getting some things and some more interactive stuff, but generally you're getting more.


Dan: And you can sign up at


Maureen: I do find this really exciting Dan that we just made a thing because we wanted to make a thing. We're not trying ... That's it. We just make a thing and if people like it ... I loved it. I know everybody knows about Patreon and stuff but that you can make something and people just support it and the thing can be made. And you made the impeachment ... This has been hilarious watching this week because you just had this little brainstorm. There should be a thing and you made one and to say thank you or to say thank you, I would like this, people gave to help support it. And you were like, "What's happening? Yeah people are helping me do this."


Dan: People kept being like, two days in people were like, "I'd love to help support this. Can I send you a tip or something?" And I was like, "Well it, I don't [inaudible 00:53:30]." So I just threw a couple of buttons up on the website and included links in the newsletter and now people have sent tips and I can totally cover the mailing list costs, which gets sizeable as it gets bigger. It is remarkable. This is the thing Maureen, like all I've ever done in my whole goddamn life is just make stuff that I want to see in the world. And it is so amazing when it turns out other people do too. Whether it's people supporting us, whether it's people supporting, whether it's you who's supporting other artists and creators and writers and everyone else that is putting amazing things out into the life that you love.


Maureen: Yeah. I mean, when people read my books, I'm like, "Thank you that you're literally helping me make more stuff. So I really appreciate it."


Dan: I have been saying for a very long time in this hellscape that we live in, the only ones that are going to save us are us. This is one of the ways we do it. We support each other at these [inaudible] support the creations that people are making. It is a way that we are all helping each other.


Maureen: I think that what's also amazing that people are helping us make a thing that is basically you and I giving each other unlicensed therapy each week.


Dan: No kidding.


Maureen: This is all that it is. It's like we're having therapy to each other who are both not qualified therapists and we record it and people listen to. It's just two maniacs who sits out every week to try to figure out if they've lost their minds yet.


Dan: Yeah. The best part of the meeting last week was we, about every year the there's just that check-in of like, are you good for another year? And both of us were like, "Yeah, definitely." Then I was like, "I think the question we really need to ask ourselves is, are we in for another five?"


Maureen: Yeah. He did ask that.


Dan: And you were like, "Yeah, hell yeah." I was like, "Oh boy."


Maureen: Okay. We do this as long as it lasts.


Dan: Good God, it's going to be like [crosstalk] 2302 we're just going to be heads in a jar still doing this.


Maureen: Dan. We also have to make a commitment to take a little bit of that Patreon money and put it in our little piggy bank. There should be just a dedicated amount that goes in our little jar like my aunt used to give me empty peanut butter just to save you money kids so you can watch it grow. And that is our Disney money.


Dan: Oh, without a doubt. There already is a Disney fund.


Maureen: Okay, so you already have some for our passes [crosstalk 00:56:05].


Dan: Oh yes, without a doubt.


Maureen: Because again, if you're new, the entire scope of this project is when we said we were going to continue doing this thing. We have to continue until he's gone and when he's gone, Dan and I are going to Disney world and that's how this ends. This is a project with an ending that's Dan and I going to Disney world.


Dan: God damn it.


Maureen: And also on the Facebook group people are already sort of planning how they can go and meet us there. Yeah, like we all ...


Dan: You're certainly welcome. I think basically, we will go and anyone that wants to meet us in front of the haunted mansion at a designated time, it's on.


Maureen: And we'll all go in together.


Dan: Yeah. Without a doubt.


Maureen: Dan, how amazing would it all be if we all got haunted mansion ears and we all went in together. All of us Says Whovians that are down there together. We have [inaudible] after. This is how we do it. We go in, we meet everybody, we go through, we get back in line, we keep going. We go like, we spend like a solid hour and we cheer the whole way and then we come out and we have [inaudible] together.


Dan: Yeah. There's a quick little cut through even to get over to the Aloha aisle.


Maureen: I'm a little teary eyed, Dan.


Dan: It's a good, it's the one thing getting me through, Maureen.


Maureen: It's going to be so amazing when we go.


Dan: It really is. And all of you are amazing and also amazing. Ted Leo who performed our theme music and Darth who designed our original logo. Thank you.


Maureen: Darth and Ted Leo should come with us.


Dan: [crosstalk 00:57:48]. Without a doubt.


Maureen: We could get a special little like red pen to size seat that we could put in the dune buggy.


Dan: The best thing is Darth could be there and we would have no idea and I love that.


Maureen: Because there are a lot of little animals that live in the shrubberies and stuff we found out from [inaudible 00:58:03].


Dan: [crosstalk 00:58:03]. Just be peeking out.


Maureen: Eating fries. [crosstalk] french fries.


Dan: Exactly.


Maureen: Darth is a red Panda.


Dan: You can contact us @sayswhopodcast on Twitter. You can email at hey, that is H-E-Y, Spread the word subscribe and please leave stars and reviews for real on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen and join us October 16th for our next episode. After that you can join Maureen on October 26th and 27th in Austin, Texas at the Texas book festival and on November 22nd at the Miami book fair. You're really booking some warm trips down when it starts getting cold.


Maureen: I'm going to LA tomorrow. I think I'm going to go into LA a couple of times, so I ...


Dan: Got it all figured out Maureen Johnson.


Maureen: Not really. I don't know who's going to watch my dog.


Dan: Well, you've got like 12 hours to figure that out.


Maureen: Again, I was just down on the floor pretending to eat her food to get her to eat the dewormer medicine.


Dan: Oh boy.


Maureen: Like she got it down her though.


Dan: Glamor.


Maureen: I'm good at convincing dogs I'm eating their food.


Dan: The glamorous life of a successful author.


Maureen: I love it. I love my puppy.


Dan: From my basement in Chicago., I am Dan sinker.


Maureen: And from a place of love, of gratitude, of not so much a physical location, but an emotional one where I feel very much connected to you and there's no separation. And that space actually brings us closer to ... the more space between us physically, the stronger the link, it's like a concrete that bind like a rebar that binds us together. It's like a flexible kind of moving nebulous like a [inaudible] Maureen Johnson.


Dan: This has been Says Who?


Maureen: A malicious Captain Kangaroo production.


Dan: Oh my God. That should be it.