Fire the Canon

Voltaire’s renowned 1759 satire of the idea that everything is for the best! Candide, a young German fellow, goes on a series of increasingly worse (and more bizarre) adventures, and does his best to maintain his sunny disposition. Theo reveals the last thing he wanted to do. Rachel is so powerful, despite having clothes on. Jackie plays an ultrasound prank. Topics include: honchxheads, Dune 1984-style, the idea of human suffering, a bunch of little Stalins running around, nonbinary Leibniz, Will Smith vs. Christopher R. Ock, the Lollipop Guild, Theo’s neighbor Vernon, Flight of the Bumblebee, Hello by Adele, Game of Thrones, color guard, vegan stories, the teeth of the back, Fiona the hippo, girls’ trips, monkeys vs. apes, Lord of the Rings, skinny dipping stories, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
WARNING: thanks to the contents of the book, this episode contains lots of discussion of sexual assault, violence, racism, antisemitism, and brief discussion of miscarriage.
Translations by John Butt and Theo Cuffe

Show Notes

Voltaire’s renowned 1759 satire of the idea that everything is for the best!  Candide, a young German fellow, goes on a series of increasingly worse (and more bizarre) adventures, and does his best to maintain his sunny disposition.  Theo reveals the last thing he wanted to do.  Rachel is so powerful, despite having clothes on.  Jackie plays an ultrasound prank.  Topics include: honchxheads, Dune 1984-style, the idea of human suffering, a bunch of little Stalins running around, nonbinary Leibniz, Will Smith vs. Christopher R. Ock, the Lollipop Guild, Theo’s neighbor Vernon, Flight of the Bumblebee, Hello by Adele, Game of Thrones, color guard, vegan stories, the teeth of the back, Fiona the hippo, girls’ trips, monkeys vs. apes, Lord of the Rings, skinny dipping stories, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
WARNING: thanks to the contents of the book, this episode contains lots of discussion of sexual assault, violence, racism, antisemitism, and brief discussion of miscarriage.
Translations by John Butt and Theo Cuffe

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What is Fire the Canon?

Prefer your books in comedy form, but still want to sound smart at parties? We got you. Discover the hilarity hidden in the classics with new episodes every Thursday.

THEO: All right, it's quote time!

RACHEL: Here it is.

T: Oh God, no. I’m not gonna read that.

R: Do it!

T: I do not know how.

R: Do you wanna read the English of it?

T: Yeah.

R: Okay, everyone. It's in Italian, so we're going to have him read the English version instead.

T: Oh, what a misfortune to be without… testicles! I can’t believe you made me read that.

R: Yeah, because you would think it was wonderful. A true delight.

T: Hi Everyone, welcome to Fire the Canon, the podcast where we read the books in the Western canon and decide if they belong or not. Here are your hosts. The first is Jackie.

JACKIE: Hey, I'm Jackie. I'm the first host.

T: Here's your other host, Rachel.

R: I'm Rachel, I'm just the other host, I guess. You're supposed to call me the primary host! One is the first, one is the primary.

J: Eh, I prefer other. I think that's fine.

T: And I'm Theo. I'm the executive producer of the podcast. I'm kind of the head honcho over here. All right.

R: We're the head honchas.

T: Lot of honcha heads and honch - a lot of honchx heads.

R: Yeah.

J: Not sure what that means.

R: It's like the gender neutral ending.

J: Hon-chuck?

T: X! With an X.

R: Like the X, instead of honcho or honcha. Honchx.

J: Hmm. I'm not a fan of that. Anyway -

T: Woah. Try to be more open minded, Jackie.

J: Theo and I can see each other on video, and Rachel is just like a black square with nothing in it, because she wants to show us something. So are we supposed to guess what you're doing?

T: So Rachel has yet to turn on her video camera, her web camera.

R: Okay, each of you guess what I'm about to reveal and then I'll reveal it.

T: Does it relate to the book at all? Or can you give us some hint?

J: Well, my guess was going to be that you have a curly little mustache and a beret and a striped shirt.

T: So I'm supposed to guess.. I'm supposed to guess what you're doing? You could be doing anything.

R: I know.

T: Your camera's off.

R: That's what's so crazy about it.

T: I bet… Oh! You taped a rat to your cat. Dune 1984-style. And you're about to reveal it. I mean, my brain keeps going to naked. Rachel naked, but like, I don't think that's…

J: Okay. That's an interesting thing to admit.

R: All right.

J: Would you like to try that again?

T: When else do people hide themselves and then suddenly reveal themselves? When they're naked. That's the only time. Happens to me all the time.

R: You’re about to find out when else they do it, because that's not what's going on.

T: Okay, well, I'm relieved, I gotta say.

R: Well, that's rude. Okay, here we go.

T: Well, no, not that I don't want to see it, I just feel like that would put a strange power dynamic between the three of us.

R: Right, I would immediately become so powerful.

T: Yeah, I would be like, what? Why does Rachel get to have so much confidence (that) she can be naked and I don't?

R: You'd immediately become jealous. Okay, ready, Jack?

J: Should we tell the skinny dipping story?

R: Before I make my reveal?

T: Let's let racial make her reveal.

J: No, I think let's keep Rachel in the dark the whole time.

R: It's not really a story, like barely anything happened, just your mom freaked out or whatever.

J: Barely anything happened?! I ran around on the beach for an hour!

R: In the nude!

J: By myself, lost.

R: Okay.

J: Your little sister had to save me!

R: Yeah, okay, okay, ready for me to reveal myself?

T: Yeah.

R: Really?

J: Yeah.

R: Okay. [turns webcam on]

T: Oh my gosh, she's naked!

J: She has really short hair!

R: Really short hair. I gave away a lot of hair to cancer children.

T: It looks great.

R: To kids with cancer.

J: Good job!

T: I've been meaning to tell you to do that for a couple months now.

J: Wow.

R: You're like, why are you hoarding all those inches of hair when they could be going to make wigs for little girls with cancer?


J: That's so altruistic of you to be meaning to do that, Theo.

T: So I should get some credit.

R: It’s pretty short, right?

T: Yeah, it looks good.

J: Yeah, no, it looks good.

R: Stephen was shocked because he didn't realize how much I was cutting off, but I was like, well, the more hair you can give them, the better, because little girls like to have long wigs.

J: Yeah, they do. And it has lots of volume.

R: Well, yeah, now it does, because it isn't being weighed down by an extra fourteen inches of itself.

J: Oh my gosh.

T: Nice! You look like a 30-year old.

J: All I have to do is cut off fourteen inches of my height and that I too could have volume.

R: Yeah, did you just say I look like I'm a 30-year old, Theo?

T: Yeah. Did you say of your height, Jackie?

J: Yeah, I did say of my height.

T: Fourteen inches of your height.

R: Wait, explain why I look thirty now.

T: A lot of people said some weird stuff. I don't know what's going on.

J: You were one of the ones who said the weird stuff! Did she not look thirty before? Does she look older or younger now?

T: I don't know. She looks very professional.

J: I think she looks mature, but in a good way.

R: Theo thinks I look mature in a bad way.

T: No, very professional.

R: Professional!

J: We're just all disappointed nobody's naked.

R: Wait, is having long hair more youthful or more aged?

J: Depends. If you have like long, witchy hair… That's kind of where I'm headed. Wow, I don't - I can't remember the last time me and Rachel have been switched on our hair lengths.

R: Never.

J: I have longer hair than Rachel. Yeah, that's never happened.

R: I think we never ever have. Yeah. The hair that you have now is basically the shortest mine’s been in like ten years. You want to tell your story about running around in the nude for an hour, Jackie, and then we'll get into Candide?

T: Why don’t we put that in the middle? Why don't we put that in the middle?

R: Okay. All right, audience, keep listening for another I don’t know, twenty minutes and then you'll find out this story.

T: I had another experience. If you recall.

J: Yeah, see, that was a funny story all around, Rachel. I don't know why you think it wasn't interesting.

R: I mean it's - I just worry if you - I don't want people to get their hopes up. I don't want you to be like listen to this skinny dipping story and everyone be like, oooooh!

JJ: Well, I wouldn't tell you a skinny dipping story that's gonna end with ooooooh!

T: Yeah.

R: Well, sometimes people think that. I'm in the perspective of the audience.

T: I'll edit out all the tantalizing details.

J: We just both made hilarious mistakes and it ended up poorly.

R: Okay, yeah, that's true. Oh my gosh, it's just like Candide himself!

J: Yeah, except he didn't really make mistakes. Bad things just kind of happened to him. Should we talk about Candide?

R: I think you could call those mistakes. Yeah, let's just real quick say, in case you haven't noticed, this episode is part one of two about Candide by Voltaire.

J; That freaky little nut we talked about in the last episode.

R: “Candide, ou, l’Optimisme” or whatever.

J: Yes, the other title for this is “Optimism.” Theo read this book last year, so Theo’s going to actually be in charge.

R: Right, he’s guiding us through.

J: You want to pull up the outline, Theo?

T: All right, let's start.

J: Okay, go ahead.

R: Pull it up, baby boy.

J: All right, no, I got it. So I'm just going to jump in, okay? If you listened to the Voltaire episode, you remember something about his life, hopefully. And it was that he had a girlfriend named Pimpette. That's the most important thing you need to remember.

R: Lil’ Pimp.

J: This was written towards the end of Voltaire’s life. And in the last like twenty or so years before he died, this was when he was the most famous and really thriving and just living. And he was preoccupied with the subject of human suffering. Aren't we all?

R: What the fuck? He was really thriving and living and preoccupied with the idea of human suffering?

J I mean, yeah, are you really living if you're not also thinking about death all the time? You know, there's an app you can download that just reminds you once a day that you're mortal and you're going to die.

R: Why?

T: What? I don't need an app for that!

J: Exactly. I don't need that app. I remember. I know, I know that all the time. But sometimes -

R: People LIKE that app??

J: Yeah, it helps people feel like they're in the present and -

R: What the FUCK?

J: You know, if they have something that they want to do… Yeah, sometimes people need a reminder that, like, hey, this isn't lasting forever, get your shit together.

R: Pay me a dollar a day and I'll do it.

J: I don't need that reminder.

T: Is there another app that reminds you that there are lots of people who don't like you?

J: Nope. You don't need that app. For sure.

R: Because everyone likes you!

J: I don't think any of us need that app.

T: Okay, cool.

J: Honestly, I don't think that's true of most people. I think -

R: What, that everyone likes them?

J: I don't think it's true of most people that lots of people DISlike them.

T: I don’t know.

R: Yeah, most people don't think about you at all.

J: Like what are we all? Just a bunch of little Stalins running around over here? Incredibly hot but disliked by all?

T: … I don't -

J: They all just like said, (sucking in air through teeth) I’m just not going to touch that one.

T: Yeah!

J: Okay, so he was preoccupied with that and you know, people to this day ask this question of like, if God is all good, then why does he let bad things happen? And if he's all powerful, then why does he let bad things happen? And he especially was affected by two events, which was in 1746 an earthquake struck Lima, Peru and killed many thousands of people and destroyed most of the city. And then in 1755, less than ten years later, 50,000 people in Lisbon, Portugal were killed by another earthquake. So he had a thing about earthquakes, which is, I guess, understandable, because he didn't live in either of those places or close to either of those places, but they really affected him for some reason.

R: Yeah.

J: And so he was a contemporary of another philosopher named Leibnitz, and Leibnitz was one of these guys who espoused the idea that they were about optimism. And so the doctor -

R: They? Was Leibnitz non-binary?

J: Leibnitz and his school.

R: Okay.

J: (They) kind of had the dominant school of thought at the time, which was that the answer to the question of why does evil exist is because, well, we have free will. So this is ultimately a good thing, because men can choose what they're going to do and they can choose good or evil, and without evil there's really no such thing as good. So you kind of have to have it all in the mix. And Voltaire kind of perverted this, bastardized it a little bit and made it into this satire, and he turned that argument into ‘everything is for the best’, which is a very kind of flat version of what Leibnitz was trying to say. But people still say this all the time, right, like you have a miscarriage or you lose your job or something, and it's like that's for the best, everything's going to be fine, this had to happen.

T: Part of God's plan.

J: Yeah!

R: People don't normally, when you have miscarriages, they don't normally say it's for the best, right? They're normally like, oh, you know, God has a plan for your life or whatever.

J: I've never been pregnant, so I can't say, but I know that people say horrible things.

R: Yeah, I'm just… I know they do say insensitive stuff, but I feel like I've never heard it as bad as ‘hey, it's for the best.’

J: It's for the best. Yeah, right. Or yeah, “you can always have more!” People say stuff like that. It's crazy. But anyway. So he lampooned this idea in Candide, and Candide is -

R: His masterpiece.

J: - making fun of this idea that we - yes, his masterpiece. We have to suffer some bad things in the service of the general good. And so basically it's kind of what Ada Palmer said in one of our last episodes, which is that optimism and hope are not the same thing. Voltaire is making fun of optimism because he feels like optimism is not a hopeful thing for the future. It's just, like, empty… bleh. Optimism.

R: Yeah, empty bleh. This is why we need Ada Palmer.

J: Yeah, empty bleh! So… that's the title. So a very brief summary. Candide is a young man. He's growing up in a village called Westphalia in Germany, or modern-day Germany, and he falls in love with a beautiful son, or sorry - he falls in love with the beautiful DAUGHTER of a baroness and a baron whose name is Lady Cunégonde.

R: CuNÉgonde.

J: CUnégonde? CuNÉgonde?

R: CuNÉgonde. Like the accent on the E. Cunégonde.

J: Ah. I was calling her “CUnégond-ay.”

R: Nope.

J: Okay, in my outline I just called her LC, like Lauren Conrad.

R: Look, I live in fear of the French. The barbed words of the French.

J: Well, I just don't believe we're ever going to pronounce it right, so why try.

R: I feel like they might respect the effort.

J: Is Cunégonde a French name? I thought it sounded…

R: No. I know, but it's a French-ified version of some other name. So that's just how it’s -

J: Sounds like South American or something.

T: (slightly slurred) CuNÉgonde.

J: (very slurred) CuNÉgonde. Should I just say it like -

R: (very slurred) CuNÉgonde.

J: If I just slur it and go (phlegm sound in throat). Yeah, so he falls in love with Lady Cunégonde and he's exiled from Westphalia and tries to get back to her and experiences a series of misadventures in which horrible things happen to him and everyone he knows. And that's it.

R: Everyone dies and comes back to life.

J: Yeah, it's like a soap opera, honestly.

T: Oh, that's a really good way to put it.

R: Yeah.

T: And the whole time it's like, doesn't he have some good luck? And then it's all taken away, and it has some good luck and it's all taken away.

R: Yes.

J: So that's basically it. There's a lot of wars. My version of Candide was translated by a man named John Butt. I don't know if it's pronounced “butte”, but I'm going to call him John Butt. And he basically in the forward said, it's not really possible for you to understand everything that [Voltaire is] talking about, because a lot of it is very specific to his time and place and he didn't try to make it very… he didn't try to make it very timeless. So you're just not going to understand a lot of it. But it's okay, you get the point anyway.

R: Mine is translated by Theo Cuffe.

T: Huh!

R: What do you think?

T: Yeah, it's interesting because it goes on this big grand adventure, but then it's all like contemporary references and stuff like that.

J: Contemporary for his time, yeah.

T: Yeah, yeah.

R: It's all references to 2022, weirdly enough, like people are finally understanding it. It's all about like, Will Smith slapping whatcha-ma-call-him.

J: Yeah. “Whatcha-ma-call-him?!” You're going to erase him? He got slapped and now it's erasure.

R: I care more about the subject than the object.

J: Christopher R. Ock.

T: In this case? Or all cases?

R: In this case.

J: So, all of the chapters are very short and they have their own little individual titles which kind of just tell you exactly what happens. So chapter one is called “How Candide was -” Can we just decide how to say Candide, by the way? Because I keep switching it.

R: CON-deed.

J: Ah, but I hate that.

R: I'm gonna say it that way. You can say it “can-deed” if you want.

J: Okay. “How CON-deed Was Brought up in a Beautiful Country House and How He Was Driven Away.”

R: Hahaha! I'm so powerful, despite having clothes on!

J: All right, so we're going to cover the first sixteen chapters of this book, which they're all really short, and then we'll cover the rest later in the next episode. We start with a chapter called “How CON-deed Was Brought up in a Beautiful Country House and How He Was Driven Away.” So a lot happens immediately. Candide is - he's a young man. He's probably about, you know, a young teenage boy, man-ish.

R: He's just like a little baby child man, older teen kind of guy.

J: He's just like a decrepit old baby man. And he lives in this beautiful country house and he has a tutor named Pangloss, Dr. Pangloss, and Pangloss is the guy who has the philosophy that everything is for a purpose, everything is for the best. And his example is like, look, we have legs, and we have pants. And it's clear that our legs were made to be put into pants, and it's clear that our noses were formed so that we could put glasses on them.

R: This guy's a nut.

T: He's just trying to tell Candide he needs to wear pants.

R: You only have legs for one reason and it's so that you put some freaking pants on.

T: We're tired of your nudity.

J: God, this is leading so well into our skinny dipping story. Because if we had just freaking listened to Pangloss then we wouldn't have gotten into any of that trouble! So stay tuned for that. So Lady Cunégonde, she's the 17-year old daughter of the Baron and Baroness and he's kind of in love with her, but he's never really talked to her.

R: And something Jackie loves… She's his cousin!

J I didn't know that!

R: Yeah!

J: Wait, I did know that because it says it in the first paragraph, but I didn't really put it together.

R: Now you're into the book, right?

J: Ughhh. Why does this always…

R: Finally some freaking incest! It's been one whole episode.

J: Listen. Cousin marriage is not incest. It's just not. It doesn't mean that I like it, but that's not the definition.

R: That's how people use the word now, Jacko.

J: Oh, whatever, I can't do it. Okay. So, yeah, things get porny, like, immediately. So Lady Cunégonde is walking around and she sees Pangloss, the tutor, quote unquote, “giving a lesson in experimental physics” to the lady in waiting who serves her mother. And she's looking at her and she's like, that woman is eminently teachable! And wow, there's a lot of lessons I can learn here. And she starts to think, I’d really like to do some learning. You know who might be able to learn with me? Candide!

R: My cousin! My hot cousin.

J: Yeah, my cousin Candide! So she goes and finds Candide and she's like, I've been thinking about all this stuff that I saw in the education realm. And she drops her handkerchief. He picks it up. You know, they're very cute and young, and he kisses her hand and they're like blushing and stuff, and then they kiss on the lips and then her dad comes in and finds them and he kicks him on the butt! And he gets him out of the house and he says get out of here.

R: Continuously kicks him on the butt, like all the way out the door, kick kick kick.

J: Kicks him on the ass repeatedly, like bump, bump, bump, bump, kick. And then Cunégonde's mother comes in and, like, boxes her about the ears and says you're in trouble now. So he's banished, and that happened really quickly.

R: Yeah, I thought there's going to be a little more. I was honestly shocked when I saw the chapter title and I’m like oh, this is going to be a nice, long, juicy chapter. And then it's like, no. Two and a half pages.

J: They're all like this. It's like bad things start happening to him immediately. All right. Next is “What Happened to Candide Amongst the Bulgars.” The Bulgars are people from Bulgaria, right?

R: That would be my guess.

T: Should we look it up?

J: No, we don't need to look it up. That's correct.

T: Mmm…

J: So he's kicked out of Westphalia and he goes to… there's all kinds of weird names, and he goes to a village that I wish I were making Theo read instead of me reading it.

R: Yeah, send it to Theo. Oh, no, they're not, they're not from Bulgaria. They’re “a Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribe that flourished in the Pontic-Caspian steppe and the Volga region.”

J: Well, why did they name Bulgaria that?

R: Well, they probably named Bulgaria after these people.

J: Are they not like, settled by those people?

R: But I guess if they were just from Bulgaria, they would be Bulgarians.

J: So they're not modern day Bulgarians. They're… okay.

R: Yeah.

J: So there is a lot of racism in this book. Let's go ahead and say that.

R: Oh my gosh.

J: And some of it is… yeah, some of it’s sarcastic, some of it I think is not. But so the Bulgars are, you know, these guys from like, somewhere in the Middle East, and he's pretty afraid-sounding of them, I would say.

R: I don't know if I'd call it the Middle East, but it's like from Eurasia-ish, right?

J: Turkey… yeah.

R: It's like above Turkey. I don't know, it's complicated. Okay, whatever.

J: So, but anyway, he goes to this… Candide goes to a village called Waldberghoff-Trarbh-Dickdorff, where he is tricked into joining the Bulgar army. I don't really know how they trick him. They just say like, Hey, do you want to eat with us? And he's like, I don't have any money. And they're like, Nah nah nah, we’ll pay for you.

R: Yeah.

J: And then somehow they trick him into joining the army.

R: It was funny when they asked him. They're like, you look like you're almost six feet tall! And he's like, oh my gosh, you're right.

J: No. He’s 5’5”. He’s 5’5”, he’s not that tall at all.

R: But in the book - in my translation it says, you look like you're almost six feet. And he says he is.

J: Oh, mine says “you’re five feet five inches tall, right?” And he says yes, I am.

R: What?!

J: And they say, we’ve got a uniform here for you.

R: Oh, that's so funny, because mine definitely says you look like you're almost six feet tall.

J: I guess… I mean when you consider it ‘almost’ compared to, like, zero inches, yeah, that's almost six feet tall.

R: But they were basically like, you're a hot tall guy. We're hot tall guys. You should never have to pay for your own food and drinks. We’ll do it for you.

J: So 5’5” was, like, tall back then maybe?

R: I mean, I guess.

T: Maybe Rachel's editor was self-conscious about his height and was like, “5’5” is almost 6 feet.”

R: Yeah, maybe my editor was 5’5”.

J: So anyway, they say, Oh, we've got a uniform here, it'll fit you. Here, put it on. So they put him into boot camp and on the first day they whip him 30 times. The second day they whip him a mere 20 times. And by the third day he's only getting whipped 10 times, and they call him a prodigy for that. He learned really fast. But he's pretty naive. He's like… the reason he's called Candide is because he's just so open and honest and he doesn't have any wiles. Like he's just kind of out here in the world doing his best and he's a really nice person. So he's… he doesn't really think too much about it. He's just like, I don't like this. So he walks away. He just walks off. And they of course immediately catch him, and they say, Well, you can have a choice between either getting shot in the head twelve times, or you can get flogged 36 times by the whole regiment. So 36 times by each man in the entire regiment. That is 2,000 men. That would be 72,000 whippings! And he says, Well, I guess I'd probably survive that easier than twelve bullets in the head. So he opts for the 72,000 fucking whippings!

R: They ask him to choose, and he's like, I don't like either one. And they're like, too bad.

J: Yeah! In the best of all possible worlds, I would have neither one. And they're like, well, that's not a thing. So you have to pick. And so -

T: Your body is made to be whipped! We have whips, and you have a body.

J: Your luscious little bottom is made to be whipped! So… that's gross. I regret saying that.

T: All right, Jackie gets the nasty award!

R: The Ms. Jackson award, yeah!

J: Ugh. But he survives 4000 of these things. And then he says, Can you please do me the kindness of just beheading me? I'm done with this.

R: Yeah.

J: Like, I can't do this anymore. But just then the king of the Bulgars rides by and pardons him. And so he's pardoned and he gets to heal up for a little while. But not for long, because after this the battle between the Bulgars and the Abars begins. I don't know who the Abars are, but I'm assuming some other clan.

R: I googled it, nothing came up.

J: The Bulgars and their imaginary enemies.

R: Oh, it says they “represent the French”.

T: What?

J: What?

T: No, because French is another thing in this story, right?

R: No - they REPRESENT the French.

J: (singing) We represent the lollipop guild! Like this? That's the Abars?

R: The fre-e-ench? Yeah, exactly. Okay. Chapter three is called “How Candide Escaped from the Bulgars and What Happened to him Afterwards.” So it's like a really bad, terrible battle and the narrator describes it in an extremely droll way.

J: Everything in this book happens so fast and with no description. Yeah.

R: A lot of it I thought was funny. Some of it I was disturbed by.

J: It’s kind of both.

R: But this he basically is like, Oh, well, you know, as has always happened in accordance with international law, one side always rapes the women and kills the children and the men of the other side and burns their village to the ground. But that's how people do it, so it's fine.

J: Yeah, that's what I find funny about this. It's the matter of factness and of course it's satire. So he's trying to give you the idea that it’s absurd. In accordance with how things should be going, this is what happened. So, yeah, in accordance with international law, they burned down the village and pillaged everything.

R: Yeah, he goes to one village and he sees that the Abars have burned it to the ground, and then he goes to the other village and the narrator says like, Oh, the Bulgars, thankfully, they got their revenge and they burned the other village to the ground. And so Candide was surrounded by people begging him to kill them and put them out of their misery, which is the way the world is supposed to be.

J: Thank God.

R: Yeah, so then it says that Candide was like, (weird accent) “I don't like this,” and he walked to Holland.

J: I want to imagine that he actually was like “Ah down’t laahk this!”

R: Yeah! But so, okay, so he walks to Holland.

T: Is that from something? What are you referencing?

R: No, that’s just how I said it.

J: Not, it’s not. It’s just from Rachel's little brain.

T: It sounds like my neighbor.

R: Neighbor Jane?

T: No, I think his name was Vernon… When we found out that he is feeding our cat, Florence, my mom said, “Could you please stop feeding our cat?” And he said “Aah lahck a whait cait.” (I like a white cat)

R: Yeah, I was reverencing your neighbor Vernon.

J: When she said, “I don’t like that.”

T: Like still, like, even if you like the cat, like, you don't have to feed it. You know?

R: If you like something, you feed it.

J: So for some reason, when you first started talking, I imagined Vernon was a small child like you, but Vernon is clearly an old man. Right? …Right?!

T: He’s just a very slow-talking child.

J: That would be so scary!

R: Is he a child?

T: “Ah lahk a whaaat cayat.” No.

J: At one point he was.

T: He's a village elder.

R: All right. So it says that Candide saw some people and he asked them if they would feed him and they were like, you're about to get your ass in trouble if you keep asking people to help you! And then he listens to a preacher who’s like preaching about helping people. Afterwards, he's like, can you give me some bread please? And the minister’s like, Well, hey, do you think the Pope is the antichrist? And he's like, I don't know, I've never met him.

J: Did they want him to say the Pope was the antichrist? I feel like they did want him to say that.

R: I think so, because I guess Holland was Protestant.

J: Yeah, he says, I don't really know either way, I'm just starving. And apparently that was the wrong answer.

R: Yeah, so he got really mad and then the preacher's wife dumped a bucket of, I guess, poop on his head.

T: Whaaaat.

J: What does your version say? Because mine just says like, “a bucket of…” and then there's no word. There's just like a blank.

R: A bucket of blank on his head?

T: What??

J: So I just assumed it was…

T: It’s been redacted?

R: Bucket of redacted?

J: It just… it was nothing. It was just a bunch of spaces.

T: Does that happen other times in the story?

J: No.

R: It says “she discharged over his head a chamber pot full of…Heavens!”

J: Ooh, a chamber pot of heaven!

R: A chamber pot of heaven. Yeah. So, anyway, so he's covered in…. heavens, and he's starving.

T: That’s terrible.

R: And an Anabaptist - you wrote that his name is James, but I thought his name was Jacques.

J: In my version it’s James.

R: Really?!

J: Yeah.

R: That’s funny.

J: Blame John Butt, but I didn't do this.

R: (faux anger, as though shaking a fist at the sky) John Butt! Yeah, (in) mine it calls him Jacques the Anabaptist. I wonder if your guy is like, “They can't deal with these French names. I've got to change it.” Okay, well, I'm going to say Jacques.

J: What's an Anabaptist?

R: It's someone who doesn't want to get baptized. I guess. I don't know, I forget. I did have to learn it in Bible class, but…

J: I always, when I see the word Anabaptist, I just think, like, an Anaconda. So I picture like, a snaky kind of guy.

T: Woah! That's awesome.

R: Okay, wait, no, it says that -

J: So is an Anaconda a snake that doesn't want to conda?

T: Oh, they wanted adult baptisms.

R: Yeah, they believe that you couldn't get baptized as a child and have it count. Like you had to affirm your belief as an adult and then you could get baptized, and they were like a fringe group.

T: Honestly, that makes a lot of sense.

J: So that's just like… what a Baptist is. Now we just call that a Baptist.

R:Well, when you're a Baptist, you can get baptized as a child, just not as a baby.

J: Yeah, you have to do it willingly.

R: Yeah, they thought you had to be an adult, I'm pretty sure. Yeah, you had to be an adult.

J: You have to be like a hundred years old.

R: Yeah, that's the thing. Yeah, so it also says that they believed children… like if you're under the age of majority, you cannot commit sin, basically because you're not even aware of good and evil and you don't really have free will at the time, which honestly, kind of true.

J: Yeah, but sometimes God will still like to try you as an adult. You know, he… there's loopholes.

R: Well, anyway. So they were also pacifists and they sort of lived apart from the rest of society.

T: And they dumped chamber pots on people's heads? Is that… is that?

R: No, they didn't like it when people dumped chamber pots on people's heads.

T: Oh, maybe I'm an Anabaptist!

J: Candide was begging for bread and the pastor, or the guy who was preaching, his wife was so moved by anger that he would ask this, that she dumped something on him. And then the Anabaptist takes him home and cleans him up.

T: Wow.

R: Candide is like, “Pangloss, he was right the whole time, because if I hadn't been kicked in the butt and then forced to join the army, I never would have met this awesome guy!”

J: The butt-kicking is still standing out to him, even though he got whipped 4000 times?

R: I hope he blacked out for that. So Jacques had given him two coins of like, a pretty high denomination, and he goes out walking and he sees -

J: Like your mom did at Christmas? Like, “Hey, Candide! These are yours!”

R: Yeah.

J: And then he takes them back.

R: Yeah. So he sees this old beggar's face is like rotting off and he's fairly decrepit, and Candide is like so moved by pity that he's like here, take all of my money. And then the beggar says, Oh my gosh, Candide, it's you! It's me, Pangloss! And there you go.

J: Bum-bum-bummmmm!

R: Chapter four starts: “How Candide Met his Old Tutor, Dr Pangloss, and What Came of It? Candide says, well, what happened to you? What happened to my family? And Pangloss says, basically, the Baron and baroness and their son, they all got chopped into bits, and Cunégonde got, like… I mean, we're going to have to do a lot ahead of time. We will already have some like content warnings.

J: Yeah.

R: He's like yeah, she just got like, raped a lot and then disemboweled and now she's dead. And (Candide is) like, nooooo!

J: So he… what's funny is he asked Pangloss like, “Oh my gosh, tell me where Cunégonde is!” And he goes, “Oh, she's dead.” (Candide) faints, he brings him back to consciousness and Candide is like, “Well, I'm assuming that she died because she was so heartbroken that I left, right?” And Pangloss is like, “Oh, no, she was raped and disemboweled by Bulgars.” And he faints again.

T: Wow.

J: And so then he wakes up and he's like Well, Pangloss, what happened to you?

R: Yeah, so, he faints like four times in the conversation. I bet Pangloss was kind of like, okay, let's get this moving along. I'm starving to death.

J: Do you think he started to like… make it less and less bad? So he's like, This guy's looking faint again. I'm going to have to maybe temper it.

R: No, because he's ramping it up.

J: Okay.

R: So he says like yeah, he's like, what happened to you? And in my version, Pangloss is like It's a disease of loooove. And Candide says, Well, how's that possible? There's no such thing! And (Pangloss is) like, “Yeah, and I can trace exactly where I got it from. I got it from this woman, who got it from this man, who got it from this woman…” and he goes back like eight generations.

J: He's like, “It's really cool because it was a guy who used to hang out with Christopher Columbus. That's where I got my syphilis from!”

R: Yeah, he has syphilis.

J: “Neat, right?”

R: And he's like, “Yeah, I'm about to die now.”

J: Yeah, Candide is like, “Well, that's really unfortunate that that happened to you.” And Pangloss is like, “Well, no, because you know, they had to go around the world and like, spread this and discover things, and if we didn't have syphilis, then we also wouldn't have discovered chocolate!

R: Fair enough.

J: Okaaayyyy… good… good trade.

R: He contorts himself a lot to say why it's good that he's dying of syphilis right now. He's really devoted to his philosophy, which I admire.

J: Oh yeah.

R: So, all right, so Candide is like, “Don't die, let me take you back to my friend Jacques.” And he goes back and he says, “Please help him, he's my tutor. He's dying of a love disease!” And Jacques is like, “Yeah, this is awesome, I'll pay for his treatment and cure him myself and I'll feed him.” And then (Pangloss) recovers and he finds out, “Oh my gosh, you guys are both philosophers? Well, I'm going to bring you on my trading expedition to Lisbon.” So they go on board this ship with him and Jacques and Pangloss are kind of talking -

T: Sorry - whose trading expedition is it?

R: Jacques’.

J: Jacques’. The Anabaptist. He's a nice guy. He's the one who saved Candide and he's the one who saved Pangloss.

R: Yeah, so Pangloss is talking to Jacques the Anabaptist about his philosophy and how it's the best of all possible worlds, and Jacques is kind of like, “That's… nice, but… I don't really believe that…. But okay.” While they're talking, a giant storm comes.

J: The next section is, “Describing Tempest, Shipwreck, and Earthquake, and What Happened to Dr. Pangloss, Candide, and Jacques the Anabaptist,” who in my version is James. I'm going to try not to say James. So unfortunately, this big storm comes and a sailor gets thrown overboard accidentally. Jacques tries to save him, but the sailor drowns him instead. So Jacques disappears into the sea and drowns, even though he was super nice and never did anything wrong. And Candide feels really bad and wants to throw himself into the sea after him, but Dr. Pangloss comes in and is like, “No, listen. You know why the Lisbon harbor is even here? It was FOR Jacques to drown in it. That's why it's here. So if fulfilled its purpose, this is fine, this is good.” So they make it to shore, and just like in real life, an actual earthquake strikes, destroying most of the city of Lisbon. It's just hard, like it's horrible… you don't want to laugh at these things, but they're supposed to be funny. But he's caught - Candide is caught under some rubble of a collapsed house and he's like, “Pangloss, please save me!”

R: Oh also, the people who survive the shipwreck are Pangloss, Candide, and the sailor who condemned Jacques to death after Jacques had saved his life. Yeah.

J: Yeah, and he doesn't feel bad about it at all, basically.

R: Yeah.

J: So they come to shore and Candide gets trapped in the earthquake and he's like, “Oh my God, I'm in so much pain, please save me,” and Pangloss is like, “You know this isn't surprising, right? Like, earthquakes are perfectly natural. They happen all the time.” And Candide is just like, “I'm sure they are, but I'm literally about to die. Please help me.” And he's like, “Let me explain again. I don't think you understand.” And he like, has to prove his point and then e Candide passes out from pain. And then (Pangloss) saves him. So that night they have dinner with some other people who have managed to survive this earthquake and everyone's really sad, but Pangloss of course, teaches them, like, “Look, this could not have happened otherwise. This is how things had to go. I'm sure there's a purpose to it.” So he has dinner with these people and Pangloss is explaining why the earthquake had to happen, and someone there who is like an official from the local university kind of challenges his ideas and tells him, “You know, you must not really believe in the Bible, because the Bible says that the fall of man was bad, and men can commit sins, and (some) things are sinful and bad, and NOT for the best.” And Pangloss goes on this long ramble about how, no, that's not correct, and he has to prove the guy wrong. So in the next chapter, “How a Magnificent Auto-da-Fé was Staged to Prevent Further Earthquakes, and How Candide was Flogged.” University officials, the same one, they decide that a human sacrifice is the best way to prevent future earthquakes from happening. So they stage an auto-da-fé, which is…?

R: It was a… basically like a form of public penance, and the most extreme version was burning someone alive. Yeah, and the Catholic Church, I guess, would do it.

J: Sounds like a pretty foolproof way to stop earthquakes to me.

R: Well, we haven't had one since, so I guess they were right and you were wrong.

J: So anyway, they decide to arrest Pangloss and Candide. And it says they arrested “one for speaking and one for listening with approval,” and then they also arrested a Basque and two Jews for different things.

R: Suspected Jews.

J: Suspected Jews, because they -

R: It says they threw away a bacon garnish that came with their chicken. They decided not to eat bacon.

J: So they're like, “Aha! They must be Jews!” So they get them, and the Basque and the two Jews are burned. Pangloss is hanged, and Candide is flogged in time with the beautiful music of the national anthem. So that was really gorgeous. It was nice that they did that.

R: Right because, like... He could have been flogged with no soundtrack at all and that would have been way worse.

J: Yeah, or like to a stupid song.

R: Right.

J: You know, like, what's a stupid song that you would hate to be flogged to?

T: There are probably lots of songs that you wouldn't want to be flogged to the beat of.

R: Cotton-eyed-Joe would be bad.

J:Or like, the Benny Hill theme or something. (singing the melody of Yakety Sax) That's way too much flogging. Or yeah, Flight of the Bumblebee.

R: That's what I was thinking.

J: (crazily singing the tune of Flight of the Bumblebee)

R: Oh, that would be a nightmare!

T: Wait, but you get flogged per

R: That's what Jackie's indicating.

J: Yeah, to the beat.

R: (quick tongue-rolling notes sound)

J: Yeah, I think the best song to get flogged to would be, like… What's that Adele song that's like, ‘Hello. It’s me.”

R: “Hello”. It’s called Hello.

J: Yeah, that would be fine, right?

T: Because it's slow?

R: Because there's not a lot of words?

J: So he's flogged again and he's like “God, this is awful, like… I believe Pangloss. Like Pangloss said, this is the best of all possible worlds. But if this is true, God, I'd really hate to see what the other worlds are like cause this is pretty bad.”

R: They’d have to be even worse somehow.

J: Yeah. So at this point, a mysterious old woman comes up to him and says, Hey, come with me.

R: All right.

J: So he does.

R: So the next chapter is called “How an Old Woman Took Care of Candide and How he Found the Woman he Loved.” And when I saw this, I was like, oh my gosh, maybe it's the old woman! That would be so awesome. All right, so the old woman takes them away to like a really grand house and I think it says it was way better than the Baron's house back in Germany.

J: Beautiful house. And she cuts her hair and he realizes, it's Cunégonde!

R: Well almost, that's what happens. Okay, so she dresses his wounds and feeds him, gives him clothes and doesn't explain what's going on. And finally, after he's kind of recovered, she takes him to a gorgeous boudoir, and then he sees inside is Cunégonde. She's survived, I guess. But so they're like hugging and crying together and he says, Pangloss told me that you were raped and disemboweled? And she's like, I was, but I didn't die.

J: Yeah, my version says, “Didn't that happen to you? Did that not happen?” And she said, “Oh, it did happen, but people don't always die of those mishaps.” …People don't always die of disemboweling?! Is that true?

T: I assume you just put the bowels back in.

R: Yeah, I guess you can put the bowels back in. Re-emboweled.

T: Yeah.

J: Ohhh.

R: In mine it says, “Pangloss told me you were raped and disemboweled,” and she says, “I most certainly was in both cases, but these things are not always fatal.”

J: Oh God.

R: Okay, so she's like, “But he's right that my parents and brother were killed. So I'll tell you my tale.” The next chapter is called “Cunégonde's Story,” so I guess we know what to expect here. So the narrator says, “By the grace of God, the Bulgars came upon the palace,” and slaughtered her parents. And then she fainted and while she was passed out, one of them started raping her and that woke her up and she tried to fight him off. And then while she's trying to fight him off, he stabbed her in the side, which… you wrote thigh, but mine said he stabbed her in the side.

J: Mine said thigh.

R: I feel like side makes more sense, because you can't get disemboweled through your thigh.

J: Oh, I just assumed she was disemboweled AND stabbed in the thigh.

R: Oh. Well, maybe, okay.

J: Maybe. We don't know where her organs were! This is a whole other time.

R: So true. While telling the story, she says, “You know, at the time I didn't realize that what was happening to me wasn't really that unusual.” Like, it was all in accordance with international law.” It says that Candide is super innocent. About the stabbing in the side, he's like, “Oh, I hope I can see it someday!” And she's like, “You will!”

J: That's why - like, mine says thigh. So when she says like, “Oh, I have a big scar on my thigh,” and he's like, “Oh my God, I would give anything to see it!” Like that I thought made more sense than if it was just like her bowels.

R: Stomach? That's even more intimate. You almost never see a woman's stomach.

J: In my version they keep using, instead of the word ‘rape’, they say ‘ravish’. Eeeeughhh… It just feels gross, like rape isn't funny. None of this is funny. It's just all like, kept up in a weird ball that he keeps using for humor.

R: The reason it's funny is because of the narrator's tone.

J: It's so matter of fact. Right.

R: It's the combination of like, you know, “I was disemboweled and now I'm fine,” -

J: Yeah!

R: - and the narrator being like “It was all in accordance with international laws of warfare, so it's totally fine.”

J: Yeah, “people don't always die of that.”

R: Yeah.

J: He has to use those really violent and graphic images so that you understand the… what's the word? The discrepancy.

R: Also, like, this is pretty real. Some of it is realistic. Like obviously…

J: Yeah.

R: We'll get to some parts later that is not. But you know, this stuff was happening all the time and unfortunately still happens all the time.

J: So, I mean almost…what? Like one out of every three women is going to be disemboweled in their lifetime.

R: So true.

J: It’s just a sad reality we all have to deal with.

R: And of course, I mean, we all survive because no one knows where we keep our organs.

T: Attempted disembowelment.

R: But it's all good.

J: Yeah. You know how, like, there's all kinds of jokes about like… there's a subreddit called ‘Bad Women's Anatomy’ where it's just like, posts about people who clearly don't understand… female anatomy. And I would love it if it was just like, “Yeah, guys, we have to keep this a secret because everyone thinks that we keep our organs in our legs. It'd be really great if they continue to think that.”

R: The thing is like, you know how you get split off from the other students for sex ed in high school?

J: Yeah, like they put me in a room by myself. That happened to you right?

T: “Jackie… your whole thing down there? That's unique. So we're going to put you over here…”

J: (hysterical laughter)

R: Well, I was just gonna say that, the boys don't know this, but girls are actually taught how to re-embowel themselves.

J: Yeah.

T: Oh, really?

R: Yeah.

T: …We were only taught how to disembowel women.

R: Oh no! That's why it's so common.

J: “Oh no!”

R: You hope you never need to know how, but you know, better safe than sorry.

J: Yeah, well, it's just… I mean, that's the ritual we all go through, right? Like you move from being a little girl to being a woman once you're disemboweled the first time.

T: Oh my god.

J: This is gross. Okay.

T: Practice safe disembowelment.

R: All right, okay, here we go. So while she's being sexually assaulted by the first guy, a Bulgar captain comes in and he's like really attracted to her, so he takes her away and he's like, “You're going to work for me.” And she kind of maintains her distance from him, I guess, but he ends up getting bored of her anyway and he sells her to a Jew named Don Issachar. Something like that. What's he called in your book?

J: Yeah, she says something really messed up, which is, “The reason I was able to withstand the Bulgar captain is because, you know, you can rape a woman of honor once, but after that, it's a tonic for her virtue.”

R: Yeah. And it only makes her more honorable.

J: It toughens her up. Yeah. …Ooookay. So it couldn't happen a second time, basically, because she was smarter after that. Ick!

R: So the Bulgar captain, he sells her to a Jew named Don Issachar, who was passionately fond of women, and this Jewish guy was like, really into her, but so far she's kind of been able to resist him. So some other things happen with other men wanting to also assault her, and there's this disagreement between the Jewish guy and the Grand Inquisitor of the Catholic Church.

J: He’s a priest.

R: Yeah, and the Grand Inquisitor also wants her, and they're fighting, and the Inquisitor’s like, “If you don't give her to me, I'm gonna kill you for being Jewish.” But for some reason the Jewish guy is able to withstand this pressure.

J: Well, because they decide to split the days.

R: Yeah.

J: They’re like, “All right, you get her on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I get her on like, the Sabbath and Monday and whatever.” And that leads to something later on.

R: Right. So, anyway, she's still been able to withstand both of their attentions and she thinks that's why they're both still interested in her, because she hasn't slept with any of them yet. And she says that the Grand Inquisitor had actually organized the auto-da-fé to put more pressure on the Jewish guy to be like, “This could happen to you!” So he invites her to go watch it, and that's where she sees Pangloss being hanged and Candide being flogged, and so she tells the old woman who's her servant, “Go save him and bring him back.” And while they're talking they are hugging or something, and then Don Issachar arrives.

J: Yeah, the next thing that happens is called “Relating Further Adventures of Cunégonde, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Jew.” So… god I just hate saying all these things. Don Issachar, the Jew, comes in. The Jew comes in.

R: Ugh!

J: He's enraged to find lady Cunégonde with Candide. So Candide just reflexively kills him. He's just like “whoop! Boop.” And then he's like, “Oh no, I killed this guy! I didn't mean to do that!” And then because he had… so that was his day to have Cunégonde.

R: The Sabbath.

J: Yeah, now the clock strikes midnight and rolls over and now it's the Grand Inquisitor’s day. So immediately after he kills this Jewish guy, the Grand Inquisitor comes in and he's like, (sound of palms slapping and then rubbing together) “My turn!” And then Candide is like “Oop!” and just like, stabs him. Kills him too. Immediately. You know, the lady servant, the old lady servant, is like “You just killed two people, like you killed this extremely gentle Jew and you killed a priest! What is going on?! Like, you've got to get out of here, we have to ride.!” And she says “There's three horses in the stable. Cunégonde, you take your diamonds and your jewels and stuff. Load ‘em up.”

R: Did you… No, I was just going to say something I thought was so funny is that, like, he kills a lot of people in the whole book, and every time he kills them, he's like “What? I can't believe I did this!” So this time Cunégonde is like, “Oh my gosh, you just killed two people. And one was a priest!” And he's like, ”Listen, you don't understand. When you are in love AND jealous AND have been flogged by the Inquisition, there is no telling what you might do!”

J: Look, I know you haven't had this particular set of circumstances happen to you, but step into my shoes for a minute!

R: Yeah, you’lll see why this happened. Like it's pretty understandable, if you had those three things happen to you,

T: You're gonna be a little on edge!

J: So the old lady is like “Quick, get those three horses. I'll take one. Cunégonde, you take one. And then Candide, you take one.” And she says, “But it's going to be really hard for me to ride because I only have one buttock.” And then the chapter ends. It's not explained.

R: Nobody says anything about it!

J: Nobody says a damn thing. It's just like, yeah, I guess it would be hard to ride a horse if you only had one but cheek.

R: In mine she always says “even though I have only one buttock for a seat.”

J: Do you remember this, Theo? I feel like this would be a memorable part.

T: I… that is vaguely memorable, yes.

R: Vaguely memorable?!

T: Yeah, I mean it's ringing a bell. What does it mean to only have one buttock?

R: For a seat.

J: Well, it's literal. We’ll find out.

R: But like, the way she phrases it.

J: Yes, [in] mine she keeps saying, “I can hardly keep my seat with only one buttock.” And no one responds!

R: They just ignore her.

T: Wait, it says there was no response? Or it says… or that's just where the chapter ends?

J: Well, no.

R: Just… there just is no response.

J: After she says that, Candide saddles the horses and they go out. Like that's it.

T: I think I would have written “there was no response.”

J: Crickets.

R: It also says like -

J: Like - this is just the joke she always thinks this is going to be funny and it never lands. She’s just like “Okay, let me try it again.”

R: She keeps trying, yeah.

T: “I’m bombin’ here!”

R: Oh, so we do find out that, like, church officials eventually show up and they find the dead bodies and it says “His eminence the Inquisitor was buried in a beautiful church, and Don Issachar was thrown onto the town refuse heap.”

J: Yeah, thrown onto the dung pile is what mine said, so.

R: Wow.

T: A lot of poop in this story.

J: I saw on Goodreads… So, you know, I like to look at those one star reviews, and so many of them were so unoriginal. It was just like, “Oh, this book is sexist and it like, makes jokes about rape and murder, and it's like, antisemitic and bad things happened to the Jew.” It's like… clearly Candide is not a fan of what happens to the Jew, right? Like he's setting up something to say he's treated badly.

R: Yeah, the whole point is these two guys were doing the same thing. Like they're both equally bad. They both bought a woman to hopefully rape her.

J: Right, but one got a great burial place.

R: Right, even though he's a priest and like… should not have been up to that situation.

J: Yeah, he shouldn't have even been up after midnight. Like, what are you doing? Go to bed!

R: It’s Sunday! But yeah, so, I mean there's got to be some actual authorial antisemitism…

J: No, it's confusing.

R: Yeah, but I do feel like at least 80% of the antisemitism is like, mocking antisemitism. That's why, for me, like, I hate books that have… in fantasy, a lot of times there’s just gratuitous sexual assault, which I hate.

J: Hashtag Game of Thrones.

R: But I mean, people talk about the problem… If, like, if a comedian makes a rape joke, you can do it well or poorly. If you do it well, you're not mocking a victim of sexual assault. You're, like, making fun of the society.

J: And you're not comparing rape to something that's trivial. Right.

R: Right. And Voltaire… okay, I think most of his rape jokes land, personally.

J: (explosive laughter) I'm sorry, it's just the way that you said that.

R: I mean, what do you think?

T: You should leave that in your review on Goodreads.

R: “Most of the rape jokes land.”

T: “Four stars.”

J: Because they're not… That's the thing. Like, people say rape jokes are never funny. That's true, because it shouldn't be a joke about rape. The joke shouldn't… the punch line shouldn't be rape. A joke that involves… I don't know, it's really hard to like…

R: The joke -

J: Right. The punch line shouldn't be “and then she was raped.” Like, that’s not…

R: Right, the punch line for this, for example… like with Cunégonde, she's like, “Yeah, I got raped by this guy, but you know, had I known that that was all in accordance with international law, I wouldn't have been so upset at the time.”

J: “I would have been fine with it.”

R: Right, and that, to me, was funny.

J: It's not the fact that assault occurs that… yeah, like that's not a problem. Like that is setting up the whole thing.

R: Right. The joke is like, rape is terrible, but society lets it happen in war and turns a blind eye.

J: Right, that's exactly [it].

R: And we're supposed to think it's like it's a bad thing, but for some reason, if it's war, we're supposed to be like, oh, that's fine.

J: Yeah, like you're supposed to distrust the evidence of your own feelings. Like “Oh, this feels awful, but you know what, the law says it's okay, so…”

R: “Yeah, it's fine. I shouldn't be so upset about it.” But anyway, that's why.

J: Yeah, this was an obvious example of him not being antisemitic, but there are parts of it where I'm like, you seem actually racist and I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not! So anyway, chapter ten: “Describing the Distressing Circumstances in which Candide, Cunégonde and the Old Woman Reached Cádiz, and How They Set Sail for the New World.”

T: Could I just say really quickly…?

J: Yes.

T: I really liked it when Cunégonde is suddenly alive.

J: Like, you like their reunion?

T: Yeah, I was like, this is great, this means that I can't trust anything that happens in this narrative. Like, anything can be reversed, and it was like, wow, I'm just in for a ride.

J: So you weren't just excited, like, oh, he loves her, I'm happy she's back. You were like, Oh, this is wild, this is absurd.

R: He's like, it's ALL on the table now. Anything could happen.

T: Anything can happen and then get reversed. It's perfect. I wasn't like really into their love story. I don't think of them as like…

J: No, I don’t think you're supposed to be.

R: Yeah.

T: I'm not shipping them, let's say.

J: You don't have to ship them. They're already together.

R: Kind of. Sometimes.

J: Yeah, for example, every time he thinks she's dead, they tend to not be together, but…

T: We'll see who Jackie ships.

R: Who do you ship, Jackie? Jacques and Candide? Jacques the Anabaptist?

J: Ah, no… Cacombo and Candide, who we haven't gotten to yet.

R: Woah! Okay.

J: So anyway, at this point -

R: I knew it would be gay though, by the way, audience.

J: I didn't have a thought about this. I just made it up because you asked me. I wasn't shipping anyone.

R: And it was gay.

J: Honestly, I kind of wanted Candide and Cunégonde to work out.

T: Really?

J: I don't know.

T: They might work out in the end.

J: Whatever, whatever, don’t say that! Don’t say that!

R: “Don't say that”?

J: Yeah. Spoilers.

R: You talking to yourself?

J: Yeah, I… we should bleep that out, because that's spoilers. At this point, so they all ride off. The old woman has a hard time keeping her seat because she only has one buttock, as she insists on telling everyone.

R: She only has one freaking buttock!

J: Yeah, but somehow she stays on the horse, no problem, even though she claims it's going to be such a problem. And they get to this inn, and pretty soon Cunégonde realizes that someone has stolen all of her jewels. And Candide is like, “Well, that's probably for the best. But it would have been nice if they had left us a little bit.” So he's just trying his best to be optimistic. So they're like “All right, well, we have to sell a horse then.” So they decide the old lady is going to ride behind Cunégonde and she again says, “But it'll be hard for me because I only have one butt cheek.” And again nobody responds and it's still not explained at all. So they get to Cádiz, which is, I think, in Spain, right?

R: Mhmm.

J: Candide immediately is like “Hey, look, I used to be in the Bulgar army. I'm going to impress them and show them that I can do army stuff here.” So he immediately becomes a captain.

R: It’s like a little army dance, basically.

J: Yeah, he does some stuff with a sword.

R: Like that's what a drill is. It's like a little army dance.

J: That's cute.

R: That's what he does. He does like a little dance with a gun, or a sword or whatever.

J: “He does like a little dance”!

R: That's what he does!

J: I'm imagining color guard, you know? They have the fake rifle and he's just like twirling it.

R: That's what it is, yeah. He basically does color guard!

J: So all the girls in color guard in high school should have been made captains of the Spanish army?

R: I mean, yeah, in the 1700s.

J: Yeah, so he flips… he flips the flag around and he does some stuff, and…

R: Shows him that he has two butt cheeks.

J: So he makes a lot of money then. And so now they have some money and they ride off again and Cunégonde talks about how (Theo makes sound) - what?

T: I want to write a book now where I mention that every character has two butt cheeks except one.

J: And then one time you just don't say anything.

R: Like every time you introduce a character you say “they have two butt cheeks,” and then one character you introduced and you don't say anything about their butt cheek number.

J: You just don't say anything either way.

T: And then… and then I provide other evidence. I “show, don't tell” about their one butt cheek. Where I’m like, “Oh, they had trouble riding a horse” and like, “Oh, the stool was a little uncomfortable for them.”

J: And like, the twerking just kind of threw them off balance every time. It caused a lot of problems.

R: They accidentally twerked around in a circle because of the imbalance.

T: The spinning.

J: Can I tell a story real quick?

R: Yeah.

J: I don't think I've told this on the podcast before, but one of my favorite things that my dad has ever said was… I just called him one day. This was back in college. We hadn't talked in a little while and I said “Hey, dad, what's up with you?” And he said, “Oh, you know, not a whole lot’s going on.” He like told me about the cats that live in the yard and stuff, and he said, You know, the other day I woke up, and on the front porch there was just a single huge wing. Like an enormous wing of some kind of like huge bird of prey.” And I was like, “Oh my God, how do you think that got there, like what's going on with that?” And he said, “I don't know, but somewhere there's a very large bird flying endlessly in circles.”

T: Wow.

J: It was like both poetic and funny and tragic. It was like a lot of feelings all that once.

T: You KNOW if he's a dad he used that line like four other times to other people.

J: No, he was serious. There really was a big wing on his porch. Like that part is real.

T: No, no, no, but that… the joke that he made.

R: Like he made that joke to other people too.

T: Yeah.

J: Oh okay, like he had to keep slaughtering a bird just so he could say, like, “Yeah, here's the wing!”

R: He can tell the same story about the same wing to multiple people!

T: No, as soon as he tells the story, the wing just like disintegrates into pixie dust and he has to go...

J: Yeah.

T: It's not vegan. It's not a vegan story.

J: Yeah, I forgot to tell you. He doesn't have object permanent so he does have to have the object with him every time, or he just can't do the joke.

R: Like the calzone?

J: The calzone also doesn't have object permanence, no.

T: Calzone?

J: Ughhh, my poor dad told me he broke a tooth on a calzone this week. A calzone!

T: Owww!

R: The most Italian thing a man can do.

J: Breaking a tooth on a calzone?

R: Yeah.

T: Was it frozen?

R: Hot and fresh out the kitchen?

J: No, it wasn't frozen. I think the most Italian thing a man can do, Rachel, is to eat a calzone successfully. Without breaking any teeth.

R: I don't know, girl.

T: Are his teeths bad?

J: No, so I don't want to make my dad sound like he has terrible teeth. He had chipped it, apparently, on something else earlier, but he didn't notice and then what… The straw that broke the tooth of the back, or the back of the tooth, was the calzone.

R: The tooth of the back?! Where's your dad keep his mouth?

J: Ah, organs in the legs, teeth on the back…

T: Is that what the spine is? The spine is the teeth of the back? Does that makes sense?

R: Mmhmm.

J: Today I saw -

T: I think it makes sense.

J: Sorry, this is getting really unhinged, but I saw an ultrasound picture on my Instagram, because some of you may know, the famous hippo in the Cincinnati zoo, Fiona?

R: Oh, I know Fiona.

J: Yeah, Baby Fiona. Yeah, so she's getting a baby sibling, and her mom is pregnant with another hippo.

R: (squeal of delight) Oh my gosh.

J: So they posted this ultrasound picture and you know, I work in a prenatal center and I see ultrasounds all the time. So I was like, I'm gonna crop this.

R: You were like, my God, what's wrong with that fetus?!

J: So I took - I took the ultrasound picture of the baby hippo, and I cropped it and I sent it to all my coworkers and I was like, “Does ANYONE know what's going on here?” And, to their credit, no one tried to guess. Like no one bullshitted and was like, “Oh yeah, looks like maybe the brain has something…”

T: “Oh, yeah, the chromosomes…”

R: “I’ve seen that before. That baby's been hippofied.”

J: Everybody was like what the fuck is that? Someone said, “Well, I sent it to a guy I went to school with and he thinks it's a dinosaur,” and then some other girl was like “I think it's a messed up fish,” and then someone else was like “The spine didn't zipper up all the way?” Because apparently hippos like… they kind of have two spines that like, converge? I don't know. So I sent this to all of them because I was imagining someone was going to be like, “Oh, yeah, I know what this is, this is a Dandy-Walker malformation,” or something, but no one did. And then I was like sorry, guys, this… this was a hippo. I’m sorry for wasting tons of healthcare dollars on this.

R: That’s why it costs so much to get our fricking health cared for.

T: Because the hippos are taking all the healthcare?

R: Yeah.

T: Oh no, because our healthcare workers are sending little prank things to each other?

R: Yeah!

J: Yeah, like add up like how much we all get paid per hour, and there was probably a lot of money spent wasted on this joke.

R: She wasted five dollars.

T: Oh my gosh. I better get another reduction to my premium.

J: Anyway. So at the end of chapter ten, Candide has become a captain of the Spanish army and Cunégonde is talking about how she feels like, you know, she knows this is supposed to be the best of all possible worlds or whatever, but she's feeling really hopeless because she's just been through so much and she doesn't see how it can get better. And the old lady is like, “I've been through way more than you, so why don't we just talk about that for a little bit.” And Cunégonde is like, “Okay, look. Unless you have been raped by TWO Bulgars and had TWO sets of parents slaughtered, had TWO of your loves be flogged at the same time, then there's no way you could be more unfortunate than me. And if you've lost like TWO times the amount of treasure I just lost, that's the only way you could be more unfortunate than me.” And the old lady is like, “Hold my beer.”

T: Ohh no.

J: And here we go.

R: Yeah, here we go. What happened is the old woman is like, “Oh, you're the daughter of a baron from middle of nowhere Germany? I am the daughter of an Italian princess and a pope! And the house that I lived in? Your castle, we literally wouldn't even use it to keep horses in. That's how rich I used to be.”

J: Ooohhhhhh!

R: “And also, I was like, so freaking gorgeous.”

J: “SO beautiful.”

R: “Like I was so gorgeous. Everyone was so obsessed with me and I had a great life and everyone loved me.”

J: She said, “The women who would dress and undress me, they would fall back in ecstasy and all the men would have loved to have switched places with them.” Like… men, women, everybody loved it.

T: Wow.

R: Like, “Any time a woman saw my naked body, she would pass out by how hot I was.”

J: She was like fourteen. Fourteen or fifteen, when she's telling this.

R: Times were different. These days people don’t pass out no matter how hot anyone is.

T: No matter how many butt cheeks they have.

J: Yeah, it's because of all those unrealistic expectations.

R: Right. What’d you say, Thee?

T: I said no matter how many butt cheeks they had.

R: Well, she had two at the time.

J: I don't know. I feel like you could have a number of butt cheeks that would easily make someone pass out. Like more than two? Done.

R: Like a hundred.

J: Yeah.

R: If someone had 100 butt cheeks... I don't know, I might pass out.

T: What??

J: I don’t think you would even recognize them as butt cheeks at that point, unless they're tiny.

R: Their body is just covered in butt cheeks.

T: They're just druplets at that point.

R: Druplets! All right. Okay, so she says “I had this so-hot fiancé, and we were in love and it was awesome. But the problem is he had a former mistress and she invited him over for dinner or tea or something, and she poisoned him and then he died.”

J: Mine says chocolate. Just to drink chocolate.

R: Okay. Well, she invited him over and she poisoned his drink and he died two days later. And she was really upset about it, and her mom was like, “Let's get out of here, girlfriend.”

J: “Girls’ trip!!”

R: Yeah, they sail away on their girls’ trip and they're immediately captured by pirates. Basically, okay… the pirates strip everyone naked and like, probe everyone's buttholes to look for jewels.

T: Auughh.

J: I couldn't figure out what orifice they were talking about, because she said like -

R: It's gotta be buttholes, because she says they do it to the men too!

J: God, it was just gross. It was like “they put their fingers in where women normally admit nothing but a - a glass vial”, or something.

R: No, it - mine says an enema. It says they put their fingers in a place where normally only enemas go.

T: Okay, that sounds like the butthole.

J: Okay, that is not what mine said. Mine says “we women normally admit nothing but a syringe tube.” And so I'm thinking of like…

R: “I don't put syringe tubes anywhere!”

J: What body part do you put a syringe in?! I don’t know! So I’m like, I'm lost, I don't know where I am! I am not oriented.

R: You’re not constantly sticking syringes up your butt, Jackie? Can you really call yourself a woman?

T: Yeah, really.

R: So, anyway, she gets sexually assaulted by some sailors and then they get sent to Morocco as slaves, and she talks about like, “We were all hot. Like my mom was hot, all the maids were so hot. We were all hotter than everyone in Africa.”

J: Yeah.

R: Like “Even the most ugly maid we had was hotter than everyone in Africa.”

J: Yeah, that's gross.

R: So she's like, “All right, I had to get with this like, horrible black guy, and I didn't like it, but he thought he was being awesome, like he thought he was treating me with honor because he was the captain. But of course I wasn't into it. Anyway. So she's like “whatever, but sexual assault, it happens all the time, so I won't even get into it.” So they go to Morocco and she's talking about like, there were tons of civil wars. There was like a fight on the ship and everyone started fighting against each other, trying to steal each other's treasure. She's like “Yeah, my mom and all the ladies in waiting, they got pulled apart into quarters, like people grabbed them by each limb and (were) tugging and they all got pulled apart.” And she's like, “Well, the captain blocked me from getting pulled apart like that, but eventually he got killed, so I was the only one left.”

J: She passes out like in a big pile of body parts of all of her kinsmen, and then she wakes up later.

R: Yeah, so she wakes up because some guy is like feeling her up? While she's passed out under a tree. And she opens her eyes and she's like, “oh my gosh, it's a white man, this is awesome!” And he's like currently molesting her! Yeah, he's speaking Italian and what he says in Italian is like “Oh, what a shame that I don't have testicles.”

J: Well, what he actually says is, “Oh, what a shame to be without testicles.” So it's possible that he was referring to her!

R: He was feeling her body all over looking for testicles, she didn't have any and he was like, “Ugh, poor thing.” So that chapter is called “The Old Woman’s Story.” This chapter is called “The Old Woman's Misfortunes Continued.” So things don't get better.

J: I think that could’ve just been one chapter, Voltaire.

R: Anyway. Okay, so she's rescued by this guy and he's like “Hey, yeah, you know, it sucks to not have testicles, but let me tell you about myself. I'm from Naples, and they castrate thousands of boys every year, and some of us die and some of us get beautiful voices and some of us become high ranking government officials. And you know, mine succeeded and I was a soloist in the chapel of the Princess of Palestrina.” And the old woman is like, “Oh my gosh -” or, at the time, young woman - she's like, “That's my mom!” And he's like, “Oh my gosh, are you that little girl that I raised until she was like six?”

J: “That I used to teach piano?”

R: “Are you, the woman that I just sexually assaulted, the little girl I used to babysit?”

J: She goes, “Yeah, that was me!” and he goes, “Oh my God, how's your mom?” And she said, “Oh my gosh, she's right over there, she's been torn into a million pieces, go see her if you want.”

R: Yeah, she's in a pile with some other body parts. So yeah, so she tells him about it and he's like, “Wow, what a terrible… what a story, whatever your name is!” I don't think we know her name.

J: “What a story!” (in Tommy Wiseau voice)

R: “What a story, old lady!” But he's like “Wow, that really sucks. My mission here is over. I'm going back to Italy. You can come with me. Man, what a shame to not have testicles.” So he just keeps saying that.

T: He says it again?

R: Yeah, he says it again.

J: In mine he also keeps saying, like, “Wow, it really sucks that you're not a virgin anymore.”

R: Mine doesn't say that.

J: Yeah.

R: He never says that in mine. He just laments his lack of testicles. Mine's a little more woke than yours.

J: Yeah, I guess. Either way it's gross because he used to be her teacher when she was just a little girl!

R: But luckily, he's out of the story soon because he immediately sells her as a slave to like, a political leader in Algiers. Phew! Thank God.

J: It’s for the best.

R: Yeah, she asked them… So she's like, “Then a plague arrived, and have YOU ever been involved with a plague, Mademoiselle?” And the girl’s like “No,” and she says, “Yeah, it's way worse than an earthquake. So like, you know, shut up.” And she's like, “Listen, I was infected with the plague. I was fifteen years old, a pope's daughter. In three months, I had been exposed to poverty and slavery, had been raped almost daily, had seen my mother torn to pieces, had endured war and famine and was now dying of the plague in Algiers. As it happens, I did not die.” And she says “The guy who bought me died, though, and so most of his slaves were sold off and I was bought by a merchant who took me to Tunis, who sold me to another guy who went to Tripoli, then I went to Alexandria, was re-sold in Alexandria, then in Smyrna, then in Constantinople, and finally I was the property of an Agha of Turkish janissaries, and they were sent to defend Azov against the Russians.” She's like, “This guy brought his whole, like -”

J: Harem of women.

R: Harem, yeah, his whole seraglio, and “we were kept in a fort guarded by two eunuchs and twenty soldiers, and the Russians were arriving. The soldiers had sworn they wouldn't surrender, so first they ate the eunuchs, and then they told us after a while, like hey, sorry, but we swore we'd never surrender, so we have to kill and eat all of you.” Yeah, so she says, “Luckily, there was a really pious and compassionate imam who gave them a sermon and said, ‘Don't kill these women, just cut off one butt cheek from each of them and eat those, and then later, if you're still being besieged, you can cut off another butt cheek and eat the other one.’” And it says -

T: And there's your payoff, audience.

R: Yeah, and it says like, “Because you're so charitable, you'll be rescued.” Because you're so charitable as to maim all these women. So anyway, she says, “Scarcely had the janniseries finished the meal with which we had supplied them than the Russians arrived and killed everyone except the women.” And she's like, “Luckily there was a French physician who cured us. And as long as I live, I shall never forget how, once my wounds had properly healed, he propositioned me.”

J: He must have done a good job.

R: So it says he cheered them all up by being like “Hey, this is just what happens in wartime. You're fine, it just happens.”

J: Sometimes you just lose a butt.

R: Sometimes you only have one buttock for a seat. So anyway, she's like, “Yeah, this sucks. I got sold to a boyar and I was made his gardener, and they beat me twenty times a day. And then after this I ran away and I crossed the whole of Russia by serving in taverns in different cities.” She's like, “Finally I made it to Rotterdam.” And she says, “I've grown old in poverty and shame, having only one buttock, but always mindful that I was the daughter of a pope. A hundred times I have wanted to kill myself, but I was still in love with life.” And this is one of the only sections, funnily enough, where I feel like, oh, Voltaire’s a pretty good writer! It says, “This absurd weakness is perhaps one of our deadliest detachments. Can anything be more foolish than to keep carrying a fardel and yet keep wanting to throw it to the ground? To hold one's existence in horror and yet cling to it? In a word, to caress the serpent that devours us until it has eaten away our heart.” And so then she's like, “I finally found my way to you. So I recommend you go up to every single person on the ship and ask them if they have repeatedly cursed their existence and told themselves they’re the unhappiest man alive. And if you find a single person who doesn't agree with that, throw me into the ocean!” And that's the end of the chapter.

J: So basically, “Everybody thinks they have it rough, Cunégonde. Chill.”

R & T: Yeah.

J: All right. So the next thing that happens is they finally reach Buenos Aires, and they meet the governor there, and the governor immediately falls in love with Cunégonde. And he's like “Hey, Candide, go away. You go away somewhere. Do some errand.” He's like, “Hey, Cunégonde, we're going to get married.” And she's like, “I don't want to,” and he's like, “I don't care. We're getting married. So we're going to do that.” And the old lady is giving her advice and Cunégonde is just like, “Well, I wanted to marry Candide. I didn't want to marry this governor.” And the old lady is like, “Look, you have no money, you have been ravished by Bulgars, you've been disemboweled once and you have a big scar. Candide has no money. This governor has money, and you'd be silly not to just go ahead and marry him. And also, like, Candide murdered a bunch of people and he's in trouble and he's a fugitive, so I think you should marry the governor.” So she doesn't want to do it, but the old lady tells Candide, “You need to skip town because you killed those two dudes and you're in trouble now.” But that was way back in Spain, right? Like this is a whole other continent! How good are the police back then? Chapter 14, and we're two away from the end. Okay, so at this point, he skips down and he takes with him a servant named Cacambo. He's like, “Oh my God, what am I going to do? How can I leave Cunégonde behind?” And Cacambo is like, “Look, women will always be fine, they'll find someone to take care of them. Let's just get out of here. We're going to go join the fight against the Jesuits, and since you were a captain previously, you're going to make a ton of money and it's going to be great.” He says, “We're going to go to Paraguay and join the war.” This is Cacambo, the servant, and this is what he says about Paraguay. Quote: “It's a wonderful system they have. The reverend fathers own the whole lot, and the people own nothing. That's what I call a masterpiece of reason and justice.” So they get to Paraguay, and then he asked for an audience with the colonel, since they're planning to join the military, and the colonel comes and, lo and behold, it turns out that he is Lady Cunégonde's brother! And we had thought he was dead and torn to pieces. But, you know, soap opera life! He's not dead at all, and he and Candide have this emotional reunion and they're like weeping and falling on each other. And Candide is like, “Let me tell you some great news. Your sister is also alive.” And so the next chapter is “How Candide Killed the Brother of his Beloved Cunégonde.” I feel like this is the funniest title because, you know…

T: It tells you what happens.

J: The previous chapter was like, “Oh my gosh, I'm so happy to see you, my brother!” Yeah, so he, the colonel, who is Cunégonde 's brother, describes seeing his family slaughtered and he calls Candide his “brother and Savior.” And Candide tells him, like, “Well, then you'll be glad to hear that your sister and I are getting married!” And the colonel is like, “Hold up, you think you're good enough to marry my sister? No, that's never going to happen. I would kill you first!” And he draws his sword. The same thing that happens every time is Candide like, reflexively just kills this man with no effort put in and then is like, “Oh no!! I loved him! Why did this happen?” as though he had no agency.

T: Okay, I felt like Candide didn't have that much of a personality, but that is definitely one of his character traits.

J: Yeah, he's very flat, but that is definitely something he repeatedly does. Also, like, why is he so amazing at fighting?

T: Well, I mean he's been through a lot.

J: Yeah, starting with those kicks on the butt. Like, that really toughened him up. So Cacambo comes in and he's like, “Again?! Like, you just killed this other guy! We're gonna have to leave, we just got here!” So he puts on the dead colonel's clothes, Candide, and he escapes by pretending to be him. And the final chapter that we're going to cover at this time, chapter 16, “The Adventures of Our Two Travelers with Two girls and Two monkeys, and What Happened to them Amongst the Savage Oreillons.” So this is right after he's killed Cunégonde’s brother and he's on the lam again. And Cacambo, his servant, had brought along a whole bunch of food and they said, “Here, let's sit down and eat,” and Candide is like, “How can you ask me to eat when I just killed the Baron's son and I'm never going to see Cunégonde again and everything's awful?” But he eats anyway. And they're eating and they hear some cries, which they're like, not sure if they're scared cries or joyful cries, but they look up and they see along the edge of the meadow that they're sitting in, two naked girls are running along the edge of the meadow while two monkeys followed them NIBBLING THEIR BUTTOCKS. “Candide's heart was touched by the sight.”

T: His what was touched?

J: His heart. His heart was touched by the sight. Is that the most heartwarming thing you've heard all day? So he sees this, this heartwarming sight of the monkeys nibbling on the girls, and it says, well, he knows how to shoot really well. So he fired and he killed the monkeys -

R: Apes, in fact, not monkeys. Does yours say monkeys?

J: It does. It says monkeys.

R: What the fuck? Mine says apes. They're two different things.

T: Yeah, I remember when I read it I was picturing apes, so it probably said apes.

J: Mine says monkeys. So I was picturing like little tiny things. Who knows? Anyway. So it says, “Oh, I saved the girls, this is awesome, like it makes up for all those people I just killed.” And so he was like, going on and on about how good this was of him, and then he stops because he sees the two girls fondly embracing the two monkeys or apes or whatever. They are shedding tears over their bodies, and Cocombo says, “Nice job, idiot. You just killed their lovers!” And Candide is like, “Their lovers? That's not a thing, that's not possible.”

R: Yeah, “are you making fun of me?”

J: And Cacambo says, “Why do you find it so-” He basically says, like, why are you kink shaming them? “Is it really that weird that in some parts of the world, ladies can obtain the favors of monkeys and vice versa?” And Candide is just like “Yeah, I guess you're right. I am pretty prejudiced, like I used… I just thought this was fake.” And it's like, well, yeah, be educated, because you just killed their lovers.

R: He says, like he's like, “You know, apes are one quarter human and I myself am one quarter Spanish.” Okay, the math… doesn't work.

J: Same thing.

R: But he's like “Yeah, you know, I guess I did use to hear all these stories of like, fawns and satyrs. I suppose that it used to happen all the time, with humans hooking up with animals and then creating mythical creatures. I shouldn't have been so surprised.”

J: I'm like 1/16th Irish, so don't be surprised that leprechauns are real.

R: Basically, he's like, “Look, these girls, they didn't have a proper education, so I don't know what you're so surprised by. Of course their boyfriends would be apes. They haven't been taught any better.”

J: Oh boy. I, look. We've all been there. I have a coworker who's in Gen Z and she refers to the time that she dated a stupid boy as her, quote, “clown summer.”

R: Wow, that's pretty funny. So this was their ape summer.

J: Yeah, their ape summer.

R: Every girl has one. He's basically like, “We've got to run away!” And they find the tribe that the girls belong to and I guess the girls had told everyone, “They killed our ape boyfriends!” So they're surrounded by people and there's like a cauldron that's being boiled and some spits that are being prepared, which like… it's only two dudes.

J: Can we pause for a second, because let's just give Candide the benefit of the doubt here. Let's just say he saw them being pursued by two dudes, but they're running away and screaming and the dudes are nipping at their butts.

R: Snapping, mine says.

J: That doesn't seem like they shouldn't be shot.

R: Yeah.

J: That seems like they might still be in danger, whether they’re apes or men.

R: Right, I agree.

J: So he didn't make that big of a mistake, I think.

R: I think if it was men, he would be 100% in the right.

T: Really?

R: Yeah!

T: Just for butt snapping?

R: Just for a mere butt snap.

J: We do that every day!

R: So anyway. So the men are all… the warriors are - they’re naked, which maybe now's the time to tell a story. But anyway, they're naked and they’re chanting, “It's a Jesuit, it's a Jesuit! We will be avenged and we’ll eat our fill. Let's eat Jesuit! Let's eat Jesuit!”

J: (gravelly Orc voice) Jesuit’s back on the menu! Get to use that meme again.

T: (Orc voice) “Jesuit’s back on the menu, boys!”

J: That implies that there was a menu!

R: And that they used to have Jesuit on it! So anyway. So Cacombo’s like, “Look, I knew this was going to happen. I guess they're going to roast us or boil us. Well, I wonder what master Pangloss would say about this.”

J: Candide cleverly gets them out of it, though, because he says, “Hey, you guys think you're going to eat a Jesuit? That's fine. It's perfectly fine to eat Jesuits. But you know what your problem is? I'm not a Jesuit.”

R: Well, no, Cacambo gets them out of it.

J: You're right, Cacambo says that.

R: Yeah, he cleverly says, “Guys, guys, guys! I get it. You want to eat a Jesuit. That makes sense.”

J: “We ALL want to eat a Jesuit.”

R: “It makes perfect sense. Like, it's great that you're not being wasteful. If you're going to kill a guy anyway, you might as well eat him! But here's the problem. We're not Jesuits. We actually just killed one ourselves. We're on your side. Like, take this uniform to the fort, ask them. They'll confirm that we killed a Jesuit.” So they do. They come back and they're like, “Oh, sorry, guys, they said that you did kill a Jesuit. Nice work.” So they untie them and they're chanting, “He's no Jesuit, he's no Jesuit!” and they happily lead him to the edge of their kingdom and you know, they've been treated so well. And Candide is like “Wow, what a people!

J: Yeah.

R: “Thank goodness that I ran into and killed Cunégonde's brother, because, gosh, otherwise I would have been eaten alive!” Yeah.

J: “That's what saved me!”

T: Everything happens for a reason.

J: Yeah! So it turns out this IS good. Yeah!

R: And that's the end of the book.

J: Nooo.

R: Just kidding.

J: It's the end of the portion of the book that we're covering. So are you confused? You probably should be. I mean a lot of stuff happens. There's a lot of people who come in and immediately die, or die and then come back.

R: Yeah, they might be back. Who knows? Maybe we'll see Pangloss again. We'll see.

T: Sometimes a random person tells a story for two chapters.

J: Somehow they're tracking Candide for these murders in Spain, over in Buenos Aires. But then also, like, medicine in this world is amazing. They can cure syphilis, they can bring people back from being disemboweled…

T: Yeah.

R: If you're going to run into Candide later, medicine is truly amazing. If you're not, then you probably just are one of the random people who died in a plague or an earthquake.

J: Well, anyway, so that happened. I guess we've been promising that we would tell our story about the skinny dippin.

R: Should we save it for next Candide?

J: I don’t know, I feel like we've been telling people that we were going to do it.

R: All right, let's just tell it, let's tell it. So basically, I'll just start and then you guys take over.

J: Yeah, because we diverge. Like our stories, it's like different narrator POVs that happen.

R: Yeah, they really do. So Jackie said, basically, “On my bucket list is skinny dipping.” And I was like, “Oh well, we should just do that.” We were all at the beach for the summer and I said, “We should just do that tonight. It'll be awesome and you know, nobody has to see anyone. It'll be dark and we'll space ourselves along the beach.”

J: Yes, nobody can see anything.

R: And I was like, I'll ask my siblings if they want to come too. And a few of them did.

J: In accordance with the letter of the law, but not the spirit [of the law].

R: In accordance with international law.

J: We technically did the skinny dipping, but it was far apart and in the dark. Right.

R: Well, it was basically solo, because I think it's very fun. You feel like you're really a part of the ocean. You can just do it by yourself. You don't need people to be there with you. It's very peaceful.

J: Yeah, exactly.

R: So Jackie was like, “Oh, okay,” and I said, “If it's on your bucket list, girl, let's do it!” So we did. So we spaced ourselves along the beach and it was kind of dark and foggy. No one could see anyone. It was perfect.

J: There was a very bright moon, though.

R: But you couldn’t see anyone, unless you were like right there.

J: No, no, you couldn't see anyone. Yeah, but we could, I could see the beach.

R: So this was not titillating at all, if that's what you're hoping for, audience.

J: No, that's not this kind of story.

R: I think there were like seven or eight of us too, by the way.

J: Yeah.

R: So anyway, I just had a normal time, went into the ocean, floated around, came out, found my clothes. It was all great. Okay, Jackie’s turn.

J: Yeah, so I walk a long ways down the beach because I'm like - for some reason, I see that the moon is out, and I'm like, “This is basically a spotlight. Anyone in a mile’s radius could see this.” So I take off my clothes and I'm like, “This is great. There's no one there around.” And I'm terrified of the ocean and I had also said, like, I will not EVER swim at night. Like the idea of being in the ocean at night was terrifying to me. Because I'm kind of afraid of it in the daytime. But for some reason I got in the ocean and being alone in the middle of the night, it was just great. It was really great. It was exactly like everything Rachel said it would be. So the first part of this went great for me. We did… We met up when we were in the ocean, like we did -

T: Yeah, we congregated.

J: Yeah, we congregated in the water.

R: Yeah, once we were in the water, we got close enough that we could chat.

J: But it was yeah, it was dark and we were in the waves and everything, and it's fine. I was like… I think I was the first one to leave, so I was - I'm getting out of the water because… and I had put my clothes in a place where I was like, “I know exactly where these are going to be.”

R: Mmhmm.

J: It's next to this, like, distinctive-looking pile of seaweed.

(explosive laughter from all)

T: “I’d know that pile anywhere!”

R: Once you can see the seaweed, you can see your own clothes! Like, what? How is that helpful?

J: I don't know! But I had walked so far away because I was like, I don't want anyone to see me, I'm gonna go over here, I don’t want it to be weird. Rachel's little sister is here.

R: You floated, right? Like you floated pretty far.

J: Well, I just took my clothes off and then I went back to where you guys were! So I walked, took my clothes off, went into the ocean and then swam over to you guys. So I was like, “I'm not gonna have any trouble finding my clothes. They're right there! I put them in a place anybody could find them.” COULDN’T find these clothes. I’m walking around, butt naked, both butt cheeks right there, didn't lose any of ‘em in the ocean.

R: Gleaming in the moonlight.

J: Yeah, gleaming in the moonlight, and I'm walking around, totally sober, and I'm just like -

R: That was a Prince of Egypt reference for all my Egypt heads out there.

J: That's true. I did like the Prince of Egypt. And so I'm just walking around. I'm like, “Any minute now I'm going to find these clothes! …Any minute now!” It's just the beach. It’s the ocean. There's the ocean on one side, there's sand on the other side. You can't possibly lose them!

R: “I’ll find them! I just haven't gone far enough.”

J: Yeah, and I'm like, “I haven't gone far enough.” And then at some point I'm thinking, “I've gone TOO far.” And I'm like, “No, but I haven't seen them, so I must have to go further.” And so I walk and walk and walk. I swear I walked a mile.

R: You were gone for a long time, like we started to freak out. We were like, where is Jackie? What happened?

J: I'm just walking and I'm like, “I sure hope I don't run into anyone,” because all I could… and at some point I started to think, I have to live on the beach now. Like I'm gonna have to dig a hole. I'm gonna have to just swim out into the ocean and like, maybe forage. We’ll see what happens.

R: Weren't you scared people were going to find you, too?

J: Well, because that's how I was like… it's nighttime, but like, and you're in a residential area. But at some point I was like, “Yeah, I'm probably gonna run into somebody else walking around here.” But at least I could see for like a long way around. I didn't see anybody. Yeah, but like, the funny thing is that I just kept thinking, like, “I just have to go further. And further. And further.” And so eventually I was like, this isn't working. So I was… I just turned around and I was like, “All right, I'm going to try again,” and like I re… I paced and paced, and like eventually… and I had no phone, of course, or anything. So I was like, I'm fucked. Like I'm just gonna have to live out there and be naked beach woman. Maybe… maybe if I just like, dig a hole in the sand and lay here, someone will find me in the morning, and, you know, call the police or something. I don't know. At some point I hear Rachel's little sister. And so her and her boyfriend are walking up. They’re like, “Jackie! I have your clothes!” And I was just like, “Thank you, Lydia…” like, this is the worst.

R: Welll, I think I found your clothes because I was like, “Jackie's taking so long.” And I said, “Oh, I think she probably overshot her clothes.” And we waited a little bit -

J: Because you couldn't even see me anymore, I was that far gone.

R: Yeah, so I walked over. I'm like, “I bet I'll find her clothes.” Your clothes were like, not far from us. So I found the clothes and I was doing something. Oh, I think I was helping Theo at the time. So I asked Lydia, like, “Can you please take… Jackie's up there. Can you just take these to her, because I know she's like walking around in the nude somewhere.”

J: Well, then I was like, they wouldn't have played a joke on me and like stolen my clothes.

R: Right.

J: So, like, clearly, I'm just… I just missed it.

R: Yeah, you did something wrong.

J: It's fine, it's nighttime. Like Lydia hands them to me and I was just like, “Thank youuuu.” And then like I kind of just like, slink… there's nowhere to go. Yeah, just like gremlin back over into the darkness. So then I got my clothes back on and my part of the story ends, and we switched to Theo’s POV.

R: The-OV.

T: Yeah.

J: The most important part with Theo is that you also took off your glasses and had no contacts.

T: Yeah, so, yeah. So I went into the water and I was naked, as the rest were. Yeah, I couldn't see anything. I was just sort of trusting you guys, that like when you said, “Oh, we can't see each other,” I was sort of just trusting you.

R: Yeah.

T: Like, I can't see anything anyway.

R: So you were hoping that we weren't tricking you, and everyone was like looking at your butt and laughing.

J: Why would we lie about that?

T: To me, you guys could have all been clothed and I was the only one naked, and I probably wouldn't have known. Yeah, because we were like, swimming in the ocean at night and I didn’t have my glasses! And so then I remember Jackie was like, “Okay, I'm going in.” Okay, bye Jackie. And Jackie left, and then I pictured what Jackie was about to do, like go onto the beach and find her clothes. And I realized, wait, I will not be able to find my clothes if I go back on the beach. Like, it will be absolutely hopeless… it's like I would have to be crawling on all fours to be close enough to see that. I was like…

J: And you didn't even put them next to a distinctive pile of seaweed?!

T: Right!

R: So that actually might have helped Theo, just not you.

J: No, I don't think it would have helped, because he needed to put them far away from anything at all, or he would think everything is his clothes and he would just have to touch everything.

T: That's true. Well, no, it was. You were the first one to leave, and then I was like -

R: Because we're trying to stagger the timing so no one could else could see anyone.

J: So we didn't all leave it at once. Yeah, our desire not to get freaky really just ruined this for everyone, like it just...

R: You were the ones who cared, because I've told you guys, like, I've I've been in saunas many times before. Like when I was hanging out in Finland, I was constantly going into these saunas with randos. And like in Korea, all the bathhouses were in the nude.

J: If it was just me and Rachel, I don’t care.

R: So to me I don't care, right. But I knew Theo couldn't handle it, and I felt like Jackie was going to be a little weird.

J: Even me and Rachel and Stephen I felt like would be fine. Cause like, because nobody cares. I just feel like when we add Theo into the mix, it gets weird.

R: You're like, nobody cares about me, but I do NOT want to see Theo.

J: No that’s not it!

R: That's the vibe you're giving off.

J: No.

T: Well, I was like “Hey, Stephen, I'm not going to be able to see my clothes at all, so when you go in, can you like find my clothes and like, wave your phone around so I can - so I know where they're going to be?” And he was like “Okay, I got you.” And then he was like “I'm gonna catch this wave in.” I was like “Okay, cool, see ya,” and then he like, caught the wave and then I looked around and I was totally alone. Like, Rachel, you could have still been in the water. I would have had no idea. It was like complete black on one side and then there was like vague, like blurry light on the other side.

J: So you at least knew which way was the open ocean and which way wasn't.

T: Well, yeah, I mean the waves also helped.

R: He has the power of touch.

T: And I was like, is anybody there? And I was like calling out and I didn't hear any response and I was like wow, I suddenly feel more vulnerable than I've ever felt in my entire life.

R: Totally nude, blind, in the middle of the water -

T: Totally nude, blind, can't hear any other human, in the ocean, at night.

J: But I was the one who was the most scared of this, and yet I found it incredibly freeing. And you weren't afraid at all.

T: I was totally free up until the point when I realized I was alone and helpless. (R&J laugh) I mean, I basically thought like, “The LAST thing I want to do is be crawling around naked on the beach, so I'm going to save that for last. I'm just gonna sort hang out in the ocean for a while, yelling for people.”

J: So he ordered the things he wants to do. And he said, “The first thing I want to do is this. The last thing I want to do is that.”

R: Yeah, get eaten by a shark, crawl around on all fours on the beach naked.

J: Drown, come out of the ocean naked.

T: It's crazy, though. It's like the womb must not be that different than what I experienced, I think. Just like feeling like…

J: Uh huh. Except for all the danger and the sharks.

R: There wasn’t danger! But wasn't I the one who heard you or something? Because I feel like you - I couldn't do the Jackie thing because I was trying to help you. Like I think Stephen surfed off into the distance or whatever.

T: Eventually, what happened is you heard me and then Stephen like came out into the ocean and held my towel up and I just sort of ran into the towel.

J: I do remember, because we compared that to giving birth, like “Oh, it's like being born.”

R: “Here he comes!”

J: Like you come out, you're like totally - yeah! Stephen catches him in a towel, but then like the only part that's different is that, instead of like the surgeon or whoever, like catching the baby and being excited, it was him looking away and being like “No! No! I don’t wanna see it!”

T: Yeah.

J: “Just get in the towel!”

T: Yeah, he was looking away, which I appreciated.

J: Oh man, it was just a...

T: I feel like I was in there for like twenty minutes by myself because I couldn't figure out what to do.

R: Well, I mean, I had a totally normal time. I'm gonna do it again. What about you? Would you do it again?

J: I will do it again, but I will do things differently.

R: Look, this is what I think we would need to do. If you guys are like you know, you want to keep things separate, what we need to do is line up with our backs to the ocean, take your clothes off, go in the ocean one at a time, all of our clothes in a pile. I go out first and then I holler, “Okay, Jackie, it's right here, come and get your clothes!” Then I like, walk to the ocean with Theo's glasses, put them on his face, then he can come out and get his stuff.

J: No, I feel like this sounds like a duel, like we're all… we all have our backs to each other. We turn, we walk several paces… like we don't -

R: That’s what it felt like THIS time! That we were like okay, ten paces away and we won't be able to see anything.

J: But the other thing that happened after this is that - so Theo, I guess, had the same idea as me, which was like, walk really far away so no one sees you getting undressed and then go in the ocean. So Rachel was like, “Oh well, your clothes were just right there with Theo's,” and I was like, “Wait a second -”

T: “I'm wearing Theo’s clothes!”

J: I thought I was by myself! So then I thought like, my whole idea of like, going far away was pointless because Theo was like right there the whole time and I just didn't notice.

R: Yeah!

T: No!

J: ANd it was like, no, he came after I was there.

T: I was much further away, right?

R: No, your clothes were like… your clothes ended up really close together.

J: Yeah, like you walked to the same spot. I felt… it was very witchy. It was a very witchy experience, like walking around in the full moon, and I was just like, yeah, I have so much power.

R: Didn't we talk about how it was like a cauldron and we were the ingredients, something like that?

J: Maybe. It was also really nice because I feel like as a woman, like, you're constantly in danger of getting something knocked off. I guess that's just true of anyone, but -

R: Getting something knocked off?

J: When you’re a woman…

T: Whoa whoa whoa whoa…

R: A boob…

J: Like your bathing suit or something!

T: Like one of your butt cheeks!

R: Yeah, butt cheeks.

J: Yeah! You're always in danger of having part of your body eaten. No, like you get hit by a wave and you're like, “Oh, I have to like adjust this or whatever.”

R: An ape snaps at your buttocks…

J: But if you're not wearing anything, there's nothing to adjust! And there's nothing to worry about. You're just -

T: Oh, you're talking about your bathing suit falling off.

R: Ohhh.

J: Yes, I'm not talking about my body parts falling off!

R: Also, it's just as a woman, it's nice to not be perceived.

J: Yeah.

R: If it's dark and you're just floating. Also, gravity is not affecting you, so you're not really thinking about your body as a, you know, a physical object.

J: As an object, right.

R: It's more like a vessel that you're in and it's - it just kind of does what you want and you're just floating. You feel weightless, no one can see you. You're just talking. Yeah, you feel very free.

J: Yeah, and you don't feel any friction. Not friction. That sounds weird, but like you don't feel any… like there's nothing going against the water. It's just you going with the water, like nothing is like… yeah, you don't have to worry about anything else.

R: Yeah, you're just talking to people and you don't have to worry, like, what do I look like right now? It's just nice. I wonder if that's - Theo, is that how it feels as a man too? Or no?

J: I think Theo also hates being perceived.

T: I mean, I felt far more self-conscious because I was thinking, what if they actually can see me in there?

R: But I swear we couldn't see you.

J: But like, wouldn’t you notice if your whole body was out of the water?

R: No, he just thinks maybe we were able to see into the water somehow?

J: Yeah, like x-ray.

R: We’re like, “Aha!”

J: Right.

R: Like, “he does have two testicles after all!”

T: Isn’t it sweet to have testicles? That’s the reverse.

J: He kept saying this thing in Italian and no one knew what it was? And later we translated it.

T: I went into a trance and just like… “Theo doesn't know Italian!”

J: I really wish someone was here who could tell us what he's saying!

T: It's the ghost of that Italian guy entering my body. And then he's like, “Ah, got testicles again, this is great!”

J: “Thank God, thank God I have testicles again!” Yeah. Well, you know what, we didn't have any firsthand evidence of how many testicles there are or not. It was a good experience. I jus, yeah. I wouldn't lose my clothes next time.

R: I would do it again, but differently. I would force you guys to do it differently.

J: I wouldn't have Rachel's younger sister's boyfriend there. I think that's the part I would have, I would leave out.

R: You wouldn't have - you wouldn't let him go?

J: He was right there when she was handing me my clothes!

R: No one could see anyone!

J: Yeah, sure!

R: No, I'm serious!

J: We could all see deep into the ocean, though.

R: All right, okay. Well, anyway, guys, thank you for joining us to listen to Candide part one. If you're excited for Candide part two, you should be, but you're gonna have to maintain that excitement for like a month. And I'm not kidding.

J: A month?!

R: Because! Let me talk about our upcoming schedule. Next week we have a free preview of our Patreon bonus episode for you, and I think it's “my dad's new life as a plant,” or whatever that Goosebumps book is called?

J: Mmm.

R: Is that right, Theo? Or no?

T: Hashtag #plantlife!

J: Oh, come on, it's Stay Out of the Basement!

R: Stay Out of the Basement, by R.L. Stein.

J: …DAD!

R: And so we're doing that next week. The week after, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, which, much like St Patrick's Day, is not that big of a deal in the country -

J: In Ireland.

R: Yeah, it’s not a big deal in Ireland. But we will... I'm just basically using it as an excuse to introduce Jackie to the poetry of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, who I really like. I've liked her since high school, so I'm excited. Week after that we have a special Mother's Day episode coming, which you'll hear more about later. Week after that we've got an awesome interview with a writer, Premee Mohamed, so excited for you to hear that.

J: Oh, that one was really fun.

R: The week after that we've got another Patreon bonus episode! I think it might be the one for Theo's birthday. We're still hammering out the details on that. Finally, the week after that -

J: What about the quiz game?

R: Wait, when's Theo's birthday?

J: What about quiz me on a chriz-bowl? May… twenty…

T: May 16th.

J: 16th.

R: Yeah, so it's got to be the one in May. It's gotta be the one in May.

J: Yeah, but he loves the quiz game.

R: I mean that can be his birthday one, but I thought we're doing My Dog Talks.

J: All right. Well, audience, stay tuned. Theo's going to tell us what he wants for his birthday.

R: Well, what I'm saying is Candide episode two will be arriving in June. So maintain that level of excitement.

J: If you have trouble remembering what happened, just… nothing happens.

R: Listen to it again.

J: A bunch of people die, that’s fine.

T: Just listen again.

R: Yeah, listen again. Okay, we're going to thank one of our newest patrons, Ellie! A queen.

J: A queen patron.

R: It's a kind of Chronicles of Narnia situation. We've got two kings and two queens. Okay, if this was the chronicles of Narnia and they were the kings and queens, if they were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, who would we be? Theo, you're Mr. Tumnus?

T: I'm the Turkish Delight.

R: The Turkish Delight. Jackie?

J: I only ever read The Magician's Nephew…

T: What?

R: Are you fucking kidding me? You didn’t read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe?

J: No. I read [The Magician’s Nephew] like six times. I really liked it, but I never read any of the other books.

T: What?!

R: Okay, you can be Aslan, you can be Mr. Tumnus, you can be the White Witch, you can be..

J: Obviously I’m the White Witch, duh.

R: Okay, you're the White Witch.

J: Didn’t you see my glowing buttocks in the moonlight?

R: Uh, no, I didn't. And Theo's the Turkish delight. I'll be Aslan. I'll be the Jesus analog.

J: Wait, we're not the kings and queens, though, the patrons are.

R: Yeah, they are, and I'm Aslan, and you're the White Witch, and Theo's the Turkish Delight.

T: The kings and queens are the children.

J: Oh, okay.

R: Yeah, the children.

J: Damn, I really should have read past The Magician's Nephew.

R: Didn't you realize I was going to make this reference? You should have read, yeah, the entire seven book series in preparation for this bit. Okay, moving along. Our second queen is Ellie.

J: Woo!

T: Ellie!

R: We are excited because she also has to - has to? No, she GETS to tell us what book to cover. Which, weirdly enough, only one of our four king/queen patrons…

J: One of the four royal patrons.

R: Only one of the four royal patrons has utilized their ability. So I'm kind of wondering when other people will.

J: I know.

R: But I think Ellie actually will.

J: I mean soon it's going to be Tristan’s turn again, right?

R: No, I don't think we do it once a year!

J: No, not once a year, but I mean…

R: Eventually.

J: It's going to be more than a year pretty soon!

R: I guess. Sure. Okay, someday Tristan will get another turn.

J: So you guys better…

R: Or Tristan's going to take your turn.

J: Yeah, you guys better get your requests in.

R: But she did say, “I'm doing this because I'm going to - I'm excited to force you to read something, and I have a book in mind and I'm excited to make you read it.”

J: And she didn’t tell you what it was?

R: She did not. And I will say -

J: Oh, I hope it's the book after The Magician's Nephew.

R: That would be funny! Maybe. This happened when I was at Ellie's bachelorette weekend and somebody was asking me about the podcast. And I was talking about it and I mentioned the Patreon and Ellie was like, “Wait a second, how am I not a patron already?” And I was like, “Thank God she finally said something, because I was, like, really holding back.” But now you can see that I do not pressure my friends!

J: I had her number and I was ready to rip her a new one. But you know what -

R: You had that text in drafts, so ready to go. But so she's like, “Oh, how am I not a patron already? And she became a patron. So Ellie became a patron and it's great for us. We love it.

T: And our lives are different now.

R: We love Ellie. One time I was really tired at a beach weekend... This was years ago, and everybody thinks this is so funny. I don't know why, but Ellie came upstairs, I think she maybe had pajamas on and had just taken a shower. And I was very tired, almost falling asleep, and I said, “Ellie! Small Ellie. Clean.” And everyone just loved it and thought it was hilarious. But that's a good description of her. She's small, she's Ellie, she's clean.

T: You were asleep?

R: I was falling asleep.

J: See, I've been around Rachel many times because we lived together for a long time, and Rachel's never said anything cute to me in her sleep.

T: Were you small? Were you clean? Were you Ellie?

J: I've never been any of those things.

R: Exactly.

J: I don't know Ellie, but I think of her as the one with the good hair. Ellie has really nice hair.

R: She does have good hair. It's huge and red.

J: It’s huge and red and curly.

R: If she sold that bad boy, she would make so much money on the open market.

T: Oh my gosh, she’d be rich!

R: She’d be rich. No, like she would honestly, she'd probably make like two thousand dollars if she sold her hair. Anyway, I'm excited to go to her wedding. I'm not going to give the groom a shoutout because he's not a patron. So… F you, bleeeeep! Thanks very much, Ellie.

J: That's a negative shoutout.

R: If you'd like a shoutout like this, or maybe even better…

J: If you want Rachel's to say “F you” to your spouse, become a patron.

R: Yeah, check out For only how many dollars a month? Three?

T: Three!

R: For only three dollars a month, you get access to all of our bonus content and in the tiers above that you start to get more tangible awards. So check it out. And we love and appreciate all our patrons. So if you'd like to get in touch with us another way besides giving us money and then contacting us through Patreon, you should check out our Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, email. They’re all @firethecanonpod. The email is We have a website: Podcast?

J: Yeah, so you may have heard us say different things: pod, podcast, whatever. We made them all interchangeable now. Yeah, you can make them all firethecanonpod.

R: Yeah, everything is firethecanonpod. You could add an or a .com, depending on where you want to go. And, uh, see you there! Right?

T: Love it!

J: See ya.

T: Catch ya on the flip side.

R: Catch ya on the flip side!

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