250 — Gay 1st Generation Chinese American Best Friend
[00:00:06] CHRIS: Hello to everybody who’s asking Galactus for their conscience back! It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour, one phone call, no names, no holds barred.
[00:00:18] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:00:28] CHRIS: Hi everybody, it’s Chris Gethard here, and I want to welcome you to Beautiful Anonymous. Sometimes with the show, I just feel so excited and warm and like I just took a hot shower. Some of the episodes are really hard, really dark, I walk around thinking about them and holding onto them in my head for a long time. Every once in a while we have one like this. We just got off the phone with our caller Thursday, January 14th. Now look, it has been a couple hard weeks in the United States. And me and this caller are both cut from the same cloth where depression’s an issue. And here’s what happens: is it is an old school episode where me and the caller chit chat about a whole bunch of random things and we realize that we click and we have a good convo full of random things. Some of it’s a little more serious. What was it like for him to come out of the closet to his immigrant parents? That’s a serious topic. We also talk about how cool bats are and how turtles make you feel good and all kinds of stuff in between. But I’ll tell you another thing. It’s been a long, hard year. It’s been a violent couple weeks, there’s been a lot of fallout, and if you’re like me, you don’t need something intense this week. What you need is a couple of dudes talking about the best type of egg and cheese sandwich. I hope this brings you a little bit of comfort in the middle of some tough times. And I really do thank the caller for having this conversation.
[00:02:03] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous, a beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [Beep]
[00:02:10] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:02:11] CALLER: Hi!
[00:02:12] CHRIS: How’s it going?
[00:02:13] CALLER: Hi, how are you?
[00:02:15] CHRIS: I’m pretty good. I’m pretty good. Yeah, a little tired, but overall good.
[00:02:22] CALLER: Wow, I can’t believe I actually made it through.
[00:02:25] CHRIS: I’m glad you did. I’m glad I got a chance to talk to you. How are you doing? Did I ask you already? I forget.
[00:02:32] CALLER: You did. And if I’m being honest, I’ve been feeling a little bit depressed lately, but I think it’s just, January’s a tough month for me, as is February but I always get through it.
[00:02:44] CHRIS: I tell you, I got a problem with March, April, May, June, July, August as well, depression stuff, so I’m with you. I’m with you.
[00:02:53] CALLER: Same same, I am on the medication, but I probably need to find another therapist and get back on the therapy wagon.
[00:03:04] CHRIS: Yeah, I doubled down on mine. I had been at the point with Barb for a long while where it was just kind of like I would reach out if I needed a session and if not I’d just let her know when I was running out of medications, it was working well. But this year beat the hell out of me. And now every two weeks back in the rhythm, I’m not ashamed. It’s better than winding up in the old Greystone Hospital you know?
[00:03:31] CALLER: Yeah. Oh, was that a thing?
[00:03:33] CHRIS: Yeah. I had the – I moved back to Jersey and then I had this sad moment where I go, “I’m not feeling good” to a point where I should at least know where the nearest mental hospital is and that it was Greystone, which is this big, legendary, scary one. So I was like, “oh, I don’t want to go to Greystone.”
[00:03:50] CALLER: Yeah, I grew up in a town where the nicest, most prominent building was the psychiatric center and you could see it from basically everywhere, it looked like a castle.
[00:04:02] CHRIS: Oh up on a hill. A lot of them are up on hills.
[00:04:04] CALLER: Huh. I don’t know why that is.
[00:04:06] CHRIS: I know that with some of them, because I’m a nerd and I know weird things. A lot of them also had served at some point – either were founded as or used at some point – for tuberculosis victims. And it was thought back in the day that high altitude helped tuberculosis victims breathe easier and recover. So I know that at least in a few cases, that’s that. Also, look, it’s just better to be more like a Stephen King novel to have a looming mental hospital on the hill above your town.
[00:04:37] CALLER: Think of all the horror movies that have been inspired.
[00:04:40] CHRIS: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I know there was one called Danvers, I think in Connecticut or Massachusetts that you could see up on a giant hill from the highway as you drove past. The good old Danvers mental hospital. Why do I know so much about mental hospitals?
[00:04:55] CALLER: [laughing] Well, personal experience and then also interest, right?
[00:04:58] CHRIS: Yeah. And I also worked at a magazine about bizarre stuff, so we used to – like haunted stuff – so we always covered all the different abandoned mental hospitals. That’s the truth. Anyway, this got off on a weird track right at the start.
[00:05:14] CALLER: It did. It did, that’s all right.
[00:05:17] CHRIS: I’m sorry you’re not feeling great. Sorry you’re not feeling great.
[00:05:20] CALLER: That’s all right. I always get through it. And honestly, this will be a huge perk. So for – and it’ll probably keep me going for a little while.
[00:05:27] CHRIS: Nice.
[00:05:28] CALLER: Talking to you, that is.
[00:05:29] CHRIS: Happy to help. Happy to help.
[00:05:31] CALLER: Yeah. I mean, I can get right into my coming out story, so I am a gay man. And there’s a little bit tied in with also being a first generation Chinese gay man. My parents were immigrants from China. They immigrated back in the 70s and being gay was just kind of like not a thing. It was a punch line I think, for my parents. You know, they might point to silly Americans who were gay or whatever, but it kind of wasn’t really something that was in the realm of possibility for our family.
[00:06:20] CHRIS: I’ve always heard, right – I’m sure it’s, you can’t paint anything with an absolutist brush, but you’ve always heard that first generation and homosexuality is not always the best mix in how it unfolds.
[00:06:36] CALLER: Yeah. That being said, I’m certain that we have some closet cases in our family but moved on to have betrothals and children even. So you know, you kind of have to let people make their choices and not make them feel too uncomfortable, I guess.
[00:06:58] CHRIS: Yeah and it is – despite progress that has been made – I love that I have gay friends who can get married now, gay friends adopting kids now, but one thing that’s been proven true, especially in the past year or so, is that it’s very easy to think that progress can’t go backwards or that it has like a fairy tale ending, whereas people are still in danger and people are still scared. And especially for older people, you can’t shake off like an entire youth of feeling morally judged or even in danger for being the way you are, so I am with you. You’ve got to be levelheaded and let people kind of live and just hope that people are happy and not sad.
[00:07:55] CALLER: Yeah, my partner is a – he passes for straight a lot. He’s a white male and I’m obviously not a white male, but I think I also pass as straight. But he hasn’t really experienced the level of discrimination that I have. And I always try to talk to him about this concept of white privilege. And we’ve had this conversation numerous times and he doesn’t really, really quite get it, despite how many times we’ve had the conversation. But the way I always think of it is as someone who is not white, as an Asian-American, I can’t walk into a store and not have people just kind of ignore me? People, especially where I live, where it’s predominantly white, people notice me because I am not white. And I think being able to pass is really a huge part of white privilege. You don’t have to deal with that level of scrutiny that anyone who is not – who’s not considered white or male doesn’t have to experience.
[00:09:16] CHRIS: I tell you, I struggle because you see people who get so defensive at the phrase white privilege or who roll their eyes at it or say people need to stop being so soft. And I’ve never understood it because since – now, I grew up in a town where if you look up West Orange, New Jersey, a lot of people say it’s one of the more diverse places you can grow up in the country. That was true in the 90s when I was a kid. So I look back and realize how lucky I am and how unusual that was. But from a very young age, I feel like at the very least, you should be able to go, I understand that it’s just kind of shittier for my friends who aren’t white, like, and it sucks. And I don’t think – I don’t get why people are so defensive about just admitting that, because in my experience, when you just own that in that very basic way it feels like people go, yeah, yeah, it is, it’s kind of easier. And that’s the starting point that I don’t think you can argue with. And I don’t get why people react so poorly to it. It’s just how it is.
[00:10:23] CALLER: Yeah. And when I hear you say that and I hear other people like you say that, I find it very refreshing. I think it’s honest. And I think people who deny that white privilege exists, at least in America, I think they’re just just kind of missing something altogether, which I don’t understand.
[00:10:43] CHRIS: Yeah, and it’s funny because I’ve always, I think it was a listener on this show once left a comment that really opened my eyes even at my own ignorance. And I think I am somebody who’s like – I grew up in a school where there were people of every type. And I remember knowing, I remember in high school a kid got expelled for something and I remember going, if I did the same exact thing, I would not be expelled. I just wouldn’t. I know I wouldn’t. I’d be in trouble, I wouldn’t be told to never come back. I just knew it. And it’s because of what he looks like and which neighborhood he grew up in. And it’s like, this sucks. That sucks so bad for that kid. Like, if you can’t see that that’s a thing, then you just got to be a little more honest with yourself. A listener to this show, I remember once, I’ve always been so vocal about how I’ve loved driving across the country and how when you travel not by plane in America you get to see people, you get to eat at local restaurants, you get to have conversations in places that aren’t like, you know, chains and get off the highway. You’re in some small town. You go, oh, people actually do live differently here, let’s explore this and how I’ve always gone. Always been a big proponent. Yeah, that connects you and this and that. A listener very kindly pointed out to me and goes, “yeah, but, you know, you are a person who can show up anywhere and you won’t get looked at. And you’re pretty certain when you roll into a town that you’re not going to get looked at when you get out of the car” and I go, “oh yeah, that starts at a point of comfort for me.” And it’s just little things like that, you know? You might be –
[00:12:15] CALLER: Absolutely.
[00:12:16] CHRIS: You might be Asian, Black, Hispanic and get out of your car in a town and go, “oh shit, where the hell am I?” You know, and I don’t ever have to deal with that. That’s just a simple thing that I feel like people should just go, “yeah, that it’s awful, but it’s real.” And if enough of us just go, “yeah, that’s real”, that’s a better starting point than people going, “ohhhh, don’t ever use the phrase white privilege!” It’s like well stop thinking of it as a buzz word, stop thinking of it as some divisive phrase. And just think of it as the fact that –
[00:12:48] CALLER: Yeah, stop taking it so personally against them.
[00:12:50] CHRIS: Yeah, just own it. Just own it. Sucks, it sucks to be the only type of a person in an environment. That sucks. Can we just agree that that sucks? Anyway.
[00:13:03] CALLER: It does. I also have to acknowledge though, as an Asian, as a Chinese person, I kind of feel like we’re on our way to being white, if that makes any sense. You know, where I’m not Black and I don’t have everything that that entails or Hispanic and everything that that entails, I feel like Asians are pretty well accepted as being white at this point. And I hate that that’s true. But I don’t make those rules. So.
[00:13:37] CHRIS: Yeah, and it’s kind of the history of America right? Is that immigrant groups show up and they have it really hard and then with passing generations, they have it less hard and then – like, it’s weird for me to think about, you know, my grandparents were from Ireland and there were still signs up that would say “Irish need not apply.” And that has nothing to do with me. And I’m certainly not trying to say, oh, I understand being discriminated. But what I do understand is that for my grandparents, like they used to look at political cartoons by I think it was Thomas Nast that would be like Irish animals crawling out of the sea with Pope hats on because they thought Irish Catholics were going to tear down America with believing in the Pope instead of the US government. And you go, that must have been really weird for my grandparents to look at it and I don’t really need to think about it anymore. And I do feel like what you’re saying and again, I’m not in the inside, but hearing you say it I’m like that seems to in general ring true that Asian-Americans are – I certainly don’t think that if World War II happened in the current climate that they’d set up, you know, camps in the desert for Japanese people. I pray. I would pray. I might be wrong and recent history is not proving me the most confident on that. But it feels like that would not be the case. And it’s insane. If you don’t know about that, look it up. It’s insane that that happened.
[00:15:01] CALLER: Well when COVID happened, I kind of didn’t want to leave the house because there was definitely a wave of anti-Asian sentiment.
[00:15:10] CHRIS: I didn’t even think about that. Oh, my God.
[00:15:13] CALLER: Yeah and there kind of still is, actually.
[00:15:15] CHRIS: Well, when you have the leader of the free world shouting the phrase “China virus”, probably not so easy to be Chinese these days. Why is this? Why do people get mad about that? You can’t have somebody of an authority yell “China’s fault, China’s fault, China virus” and not have a whole group of people from a Chinese background go, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wh`oa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You know?
[00:15:38] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. And there’s still conspiracy theories out there about China withholding information or doing illegal experiments about you know, related to the virus. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s true or not. But what I do know is I had nothing to do with it. I’m an American. I was born here.
[00:15:56] CHRIS: Yeah. Here’s what I know, that if you live in Dayton, Ohio, you should just go to the deli and get a egg and cheese sandwich and not worry about this because you’re American. It doesn’t make it easy to present everything just so bluntly.
[00:16:09] CALLER: Except if I went – if I lived in Dayton, Ohio, I’d be really disappointed because I grew up in the New York metro area eating egg and cheese sandwiches from, you know, Jewish deli.
[00:16:23] CHRIS: Listen, a good egg and cheese from a deli in New York. There used to be one when I lived in Astoria, there was one on 21st Street right at the corner of Ditmars. I lived there and oh my God, they made an egg and cheese that was just out of this world.
[00:16:39] CALLER: Yeah, the proper response when you go to a bagel shop and you say you want an egg and cheese on an everything bagel, they should just say “salt, pepper, ketchup.”
[00:16:48] CHRIS: That’s it. Salt, pepper, ketchup. And most people are saying bacon, egg, and cheese. In Jersey you’re saying Taylor Ham, egg and cheese or pork roll, egg, and cheese. Salt, pepper, ketchup. That’s it. That’s the response. And you say your options and if it’s all three, you just say “yup.” And if it’s none of them you go “nah I’m good.” And if you just want salt, you say “salt, ketchup”. You leave out the prepositions between salt, pepper, ketchup.
[00:17:11] CALLER: And it comes wrapped in foil, and when you unwrap your foil, it’s almost so hot that you can’t eat it.
[00:17:16] CHRIS: Ooohh. And then the foil still has just a little bit of the cheese that’s melted out over the edge and it’s stuck on the foil. And if you want to just be a real monster when you’re done, you pick that cheese up with your finger and you eat the melted cheese off the foil. Let’s all be honest, we all do it. What do you go? So do you go salt, pepper, ketchup?
[00:17:35] CALLER: I do ketchup at least. I don’t always go for the salt and pepper.
[00:17:40] CHRIS: I sometimes go plain. I sometimes go salt, ketchup.
[00:17:43] CALLER: Yeah. No pepper though, huh?
[00:17:46] CHRIS: Pepper makes me sneeze like a cartoon character.
[00:17:49] CALLER: Fair enough.
[00:17:51] CHRIS: I’m gonna tell you something. This is one of the most pleasant and casual conversations I’ve had in the history of the show, four and a half years doing it, I’m like I could just talk to you about salt, pepper, ketchup orders all day long. Feels very cool.
[00:18:03] CALLER: I’m glad. We haven’t even talked about comic books yet. I’m a Marvel Comics fan.
[00:18:07] CHRIS: You are. I’ve been diving back in deep during this pandemic.
[00:18:11] CALLER: OK, I have to confess that I am not a great comic fan because I tend to read them illegally on websites.
[00:18:19] CHRIS: And at this point look, I mean, Marvel ain’t starving for money and I’m an artist and pirating work actually like – I’ve had stuff – this show, I’ve seen people distributing this show on YouTube. And there’s a part of me that especially when the episodes were behind a paywall going, “well, get them out there.” And I shouldn’t say that, I mean Stitcher will kill me, and deservedly so. But I fought to get it back out from behind the paywall and yeah that’s my money. That is money. But who cares about that? It’s about the mission, right? But listen, comics bring me joy. Marvel Unlimited is fantastic and worth the money. I just caught up on Immortal Hulk. I read that start from the start up until the current issues. That was just a joy to read. And I’ve never been a huge Hulk fan, but it was a joy that series.
[00:19:09] CALLER: I was more of a Spider Man, X-Men, Silver Surfer reader. Those were my three top titles.
[00:19:16] CHRIS: Whoa! Now I got to tell you something, Spider Man and X-Men, I’m like yeah, and I don’t know how close you are to 40, but I’m like, yes, everyone of my age, it was X-Men, it was Spider Man –
[00:19:27] CALLER: So I am exactly 40.
[00:19:28] CHRIS: You are. So yeah. X-Men was – it was such a cool time to grow up because the X-Men when we were young were kind of not notable, like in a significant cultural way. But by the time we were you know, in our 20s and 30s, this thing that we grew up with that was still kind of cool, but a little underground all of a sudden was like major motion pictures and it was a cool victory to see it. Everybody knows that first X-Men movie was really the one that cracked open superhero movies as being cool again. But to hear Silver Surfer is rare.
[00:20:06] CALLER: I love Silver Surfer.
[00:20:06] CHRIS: I was a big fan of that whole Ron Lim era of the Silver Surfer.
[00:20:11] CALLER: Yes, he was the best!
[00:20:12] CHRIS: Great art and it led into the Infinity Gauntlet. And if you want to get real nerdy, I have often told people that if you want to just read like one comic book, X Factor number 87 is my vote for like a single issue that just you read that start to finish, you’re satisfied. But Silver Surfer number 48 is fantastic and has some scenes and some philosophy – because if people don’t know, Silver Surfer is kind of goofy. He’s a guy who rides around on a surfboard, kind of like a relic of the Stanley 60s, like, let’s just put goofy ideas out. But it’s very like philosophical. It’s like this guy who just kind of travels through space and isolated loneliness, which probably leads to you and I on the phone when we’re 40, talking about how we’re both depressed to kick off the call. But it’s fantastic.
[00:21:05] CHRIS: [music transition] That is a description of a conversation that is a joy to me, and I hope it’s a joy to you as well. We’ll be right back.
[00:21:23] CHRIS: Those are some ads. We’ll have more ads later, but for now we will have more phone call.
[00:21:30] CHRIS: Probably leads to you and I on the phone when we’re 40, talking about how we’re both depressed to kick off the call. But it’s fantastic.
[00:21:38] CALLER: I don’t have the encyclopedic memory of comic book issue numbers as you do. So what happened in number 48?
[00:21:44] CHRIS: So you might remember Silver Surfer 50 was kind of infamous because it had the foil cover and was kind of the OK now –
[00:21:52] CALLER: Was it the black?
[00:21:53] CHRIS: It was black with a foil cover and it was the one that was sort of like we’re leading up to this thing called Infinity Gauntlet and it’s going to spread through Marvel, but it starts here. Read this. And 48 is this amazing episode. So for anybody listening, Silver Surfer used to be a herald of Galactus. Galactus eats planets. He famously – one of the most famous early Marvel storylines, he fought the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer showed up for the first time and he ultimately turned good and betrayed Galactus, blah, blah, blah. So number 48 he realizes, OK, this guy Thanos has this gauntlet and this is going to be bad, like bad, bad. And he goes to Galactus and he goes, “I need my full wit and my full capability about me. And I have this feeling that when you created me and gave me my powers, that you kind of turned off some things about me that I might need.” And Galactus goes, “well, I think you’re speaking about your conscience.” Silver Surfer goes, “yeah.” Silver Surfer’s job was to go scout the galaxies to find planets that were thriving so Galactus could eat them for sustenance, but it would kill the whole planet and everybody on it. Silver Surfer goes, “I’ve never felt guilt about that. And that doesn’t make sense.” And Galactus goes, “well, do you understand the enormity of the guilt that I’ve spared you? You’ve killed billions and billions and billions of beings.” Silver Surfer goes, “look, I need to be full and I need to be whole if I’m going to be able to beat Thanos. I need you to give me back my conscience.” And Galactus goes, “well, here’s the thing. I can’t just give it to you moving forward. I have to give it to you in its entirety. You will experience at one moment the guilt of having killed dozens, if not hundreds of entire civilizations.” And Silver Surfer goes, “it might break me, but Thanos is going to break me if we don’t.” And Galactus turns back on his conscience and he feels it all. And the cover is this amazing image that I never forgot of Galactus’s big purple hand and the Silver Surfer is just cowering in the fetal position in his hand and there’s this blood rolling off of the Silver Surfer. And then you read the issue and realize he’s feeling the blood of all these societies he snuffed out. It’s awesome. And also, Jesus Christ, have many people turned off this episode, even though it’s one of my favorites of all time by far.
[00:24:16] CALLER: I was actually going to introduce myself by telling you that in my work I feel like a herald of Galactus and I wanted to do –
[00:24:25] CHRIS: What do you do?
[00:24:27] CALLER: So I am a wildlife biologist.
[00:24:29] CHRIS: You’re a wildlife biologist, but you feel like you go and kill civilizations?
[00:24:33] CALLER: Well, OK, here’s the thing. So I’m a wildlife biologist, but I work for a consulting company. And essentially what we do is you know, a developer will want to build something. And so they’ll come to my company or the company that I work for. I don’t own it. And they will say, “hey, in order for us to get our permits to build this project, we need to do surveys, you know, X, Y and Z.” And so my company will send me out to do those surveys. And so a lot of wildlife biologists will work for agencies or non-profits. And so they’re constantly working on a conservation mission. Whereas for me, I’m going out and I’m doing the surveys and I’m basically assessing the planet like Silver Surfer. And then ultimately it leads to developments coming in and getting constructed in most cases, the projects do go through. Yeah.
[00:25:28] CHRIS: And when you go to school to become a wildlife biologist, you tell me, I have to imagine this is not – it’s born by a love of nature and a fascination of nature, is this – is it a depressing job to get into? Although let’s be clear. Part of your job is to go in and say, “OK, there’s no endangered animals here, there’s no endangered plants here,” and you’re protecting them if they’re there and saying, “OK, it is ultimately not going to damage the ecosystem to build here.” So talk to me about this.
[00:26:01] CALLER: Exactly. So developers will have a project area that’s usually much bigger than they need. And let’s say it’s in a forest. Then I will go in and do things like map wetlands and look for habitat that might support, like you said, rare and endangered species and make sure those are not in the revised project area. And so when the project ultimately gets built, it’ll either avoid these sensitive areas or they’ll mitigate, they’ll build them on those areas because it’s unavoidable. And then they will compensate for taking away that habitat by doing something that has conservation value. And I will say pretty much all the work I do is for renewable energy companies. So I feel a little bit better about that. So wind power and solar power.
[00:26:58] CHRIS: Right, like-minded people with good intentions who have to make some compromises in life.
[00:27:03] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. And going to school, this being a consultant was not even on my radar. I didn’t even know it existed. It was all about, you know, trying to get the good government or the good federal or state jobs, which I had for a little while. But now I’m a consultant.
[00:27:21] CHRIS: And that’s – I feel like that’s a lot of journalists and a lot of lawyers, like friends I’ve had in those fields, too. It’s like you go into it with these intentions of like I’m going to become a journalist who protects the First Amendment and protects people and exposes things, and you do and you fight for that, but then you wind up working for like a local paper. And after a few years you go, “actually, I think I can go to a company that writes press releases for corporations and make bank, and it will be less depressing in a certain way”. Or a lawyer, I have so many friends who you go to law school and it’s like, “well, I’m going to sign up for some pro bono this and that.” And some people do. And then other people go, “I have to live a real life and support myself and I’m going to make some compromises.” And it happens. It happens.
[00:28:10] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:28:11] CHRIS: You just hope that everybody involved has their heart in the right place.
[00:28:15] CALLER: Right, yeah. The irony is that, you know, as a consulting wildlife biologist, I probably do more stuff outside looking for plants and animals than the people that work for agencies. A lot of times they are on the paperwork end of things. I could also end up on that end of things ultimately, if I decide to manage projects versus stick around as a field biologist, but I still have to make that choice probably in the next five years.
[00:28:47] CHRIS: It’s got to be fun, though, if you’re someone who was fascinated enough with nature to get a degree in it, it must be fun to go, “I get to be the one to go out in this area and say, OK. There’s going to be a building here, that’s the zoning laws, let me spend some time.” And say, “OK, actually, you know what, this type of frog is pretty rare”. Or a skink, is that an animal? That’s a type of lizard, right? A skink?
[00:29:16] CALLER: It is, yeah.
[00:29:18] CHRIS: You’re just sitting here going, “well, guess what, guys? I’m so sorry to tell you that there’s a skink that lives around here. And if we mess with this ecosystem, unfortunately the skink is not going to have a water resource so we’ve got to protect the skink over your business. I’m so sorry.” Must be fun.
[00:29:37] CALLER: That’s exactly it, yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly it, it goes in my reports.
[00:29:41] CHRIS: I mean, could I ask you, like, a dumb super basic question?
[00:29:45] CALLER: Yes. And now that you put it that way, I hope I know the answer. [laughing]
[00:29:49] CHRIS: You will. You will. It’s that juvenile. Do you have a favorite animal?
[00:29:53] CALLER: Oh! No, but I have this phrase that I like to say, which is: any day that I see a turtle is a good day because you don’t see turtles every day and when I see one, I’m kind of like, aww turtle.
[00:30:09] CHRIS: [laughing] So turtles are more rare? Because I mean, we both grew up in the Northeast. I feel like when you get to a lake, it’s not – I wouldn’t be shocked to see a turtle personally. You’re saying turtles are more rare than I’m realizing? Maybe I’ve just been lucky in life?
[00:30:25] CALLER: No, I’m saying that you’ve had a lot of good days.
[00:30:27] CHRIS: I have. Because they are calming, out there on a branch, floating above a lake out in the sun, just doing their thing.
[00:30:34] CALLER: It’s true. Yeah. But I always – it doesn’t even matter. I still like seeing them. [laughing] Turtles, frogs, snakes. But I’m not – so people who study those three things are herpetologists. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that word.
[00:30:53] CHRIS: I’ve heard the phrase.
[00:30:55] CALLER: Yeah. But I do other things as well. I do plants and mammals to some extent. Bats. Bats are really a conservation concern at the moment.
[00:31:04] CHRIS: When I moved to my new house, I’m like – I’ve mentioned on the show, like I’m still in a suburb. But I’m telling you, if you walk to the end of my block, you’re in woods in the country. Like I’m on that border. And we had a…what am I blanking on? The exterminator! We had an exterminator come because we were getting a lot of, you know, the house has some old windows and some bugs were getting in. And he looked around the outside too. He said, “you know, I think you might have bats roosting at the top of your, like the peak of your roof.” I said, “oh, my God, what do we got to do to get rid of them?” He goes, “no, no, no, don’t get rid of them. Just make sure your roof doesn’t have any holes in it so they don’t go inside.” He goes, “you want bats by your house.” He’s like, “if you don’t want mosquitoes, if you don’t want to deal with too many bugs, these bats are your friends.” He goes, “just make sure they can’t get in the house”.
[00:31:55] CALLER: Yeah. You found a good exterminator then, because not all of them realize that. Some of them will say that what you can do is you can put an excluding device up in your attic so that if it’s the right season, then the bats can exit, but they can’t get back in. That can be problematic at certain times of year if they have babies in there, because then the adults won’t be able to take care of the babies. But if they’re exiting…what’s that?
[00:32:24] CHRIS: Little bat babies.
[00:32:25] CALLER: Yeah, little bat babies. Bats are actually super cute once you figure out how to look at their faces because they, you know, there’s a lot of nose and a lot of ears in their face, but then, you know, you can identify the eyes and yeah, they’re kind of cute little snuggly animals.
[00:32:43] CHRIS: I literally have conversations professionally. And there have been many conversations I’ve been able to have that have been meaningful and hilarious and that have blown my mind. I’m going to say I don’t – here’s the exact word. I don’t know that I’ve been this tickled in the course of being a professional conversationalist than you explaining to me how to get used to a bat face ’cause they are kind of jarring upon first glance.
[00:33:10] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. When you first look at one, if you’ve never seen a picture of a real life bat before, you’re kind of like, what am I looking at here? It kind of looks like a mouse, but there is bones on the side of it, which are its wings folded up and then its face is you know, it might be hanging upside down. So sometimes it can be hard to tell, are you looking at the top of the head or the bottom of the head or? But then once you figure out, oh those are ears, that weird looking shape thing is a nose and then those two beady little dots are eyes. So, yeah, they can be cute.
[00:33:49] CHRIS: At that point it’s cute? You’ll love this. I wonder if you’ll even know what type of bat this is. Well, that’s not fair to ask you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all of the animals in the world. But when my wife and I went to Sri Lanka, we stayed a few nights in the city of Kandy with a K and we were staying in a small place and it was up on a hill and you could see a river and the guy goes, “you should come out here in the backyard at night and just watch this river because these bats start flying by and it’s pretty cool.” And we’re like, all right. I mean, we got bats back in – I’ve seen bats growing up in New Jersey. These bats came over this river and they were huge. And there were so many of them. It looked like Normandy. Like when you see Band of Brothers and all the planes, just like linking up in the sky, like the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. I was like, these are massive bats! And just like squadrons of them, it was so cool.
[00:34:45] CALLER: Yeah, I don’t know what species they are, but I have friends that went to Sri Lanka and I would love to go and see those same bats.
[00:34:53] CHRIS: Amazing place, amazing place and amazing people.
[00:34:56] CALLER: And in the Northeast we probably only have eight to 10 species of bats, depending on what state you’re in. And a lot of them are dying, so it’s kind of depressing, but.
[00:35:10] CHRIS: That’s sad. And then the bats are going to die and then the bugs are going to get out of control. And then that’s going to affect us. And then we’re going to spray more chemicals around and the chemicals are going to get in the water and then we’re going to have more algae blooms and then the fish are going to die. And then the food chain of fish is going to get all messed up. And then we’re not going to have fish and everybody’s going to complain about that.
[00:35:31] CALLER: Wow, this took a turn.
[00:35:33] CHRIS: I know that off the top of my head! We want bats.
[00:35:38] CALLER: Yes.
[00:35:38] CHRIS: Because we will overreact and just spray noxious clouds everywhere.
[00:35:42] CALLER: It’s really easy to put up bat boxes. You can get designs on the Internet from Bat Conservation International. You can even order a bat box – stick it on a nice –
[00:35:51] CHRIS: Should I get a bat box?
[00:35:54] CALLER: If you think your wife will be OK with it.
[00:35:56] CHRIS: Where do you put it up? She would love it. My wife is – I mean, she is an activist on behalf of the environment. She gets to work. Yeah. Sierra Club and NRDA. Is that right, NRDA?
[00:36:10] CALLER: Yeah, if you have a nice south-facing…NR…Natural Resources –
[00:36:15] CHRIS: Defense Council?
[00:36:16] CALLER: NRDC.
[00:36:17] CHRIS: NRDC, yeah. She generally asks – instead of asking for gifts, she asks for people to donate to the NRDC like she’s got a huge heart, my wife.
[00:36:28] CALLER: That’s amazing.
[00:36:31] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:36:32] CALLER: Yeah. Get a bat box. You can either stick it on its own post, which is typically the better option, or if you have a nice south-facing wall. They need to be warm and so they need the south, the southern exposure in order to to keep warm.
[00:36:46] CHRIS: God damn it. Salt, pepper, ketchup, Silver Surfer and bat boxes. I needed this. I’m feeling better. I hope this is making – you said you were a little down. I hope this is making you feel better because I’m on cloud nine talking to you about all this, all these random topics.
[00:37:04] CALLER: I feel great. And I wanted to tell you that when you first plugged Walt Simonson’s Thor really hard, many, many episodes back, I did read that and I loved it, it was excellent. Beta Ray Bill is kind of a weird character, but yeah.
[00:37:20] CHRIS: Yeah like a weird looking, not very thoroughly explained character that somehow is instantly lovable.
[00:37:30] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:37:32] CHRIS: I love it. I love it.
[00:37:34] CALLER: Yeah. And there were definitely issues of the X-Men growing up about acceptance that just brought me to tears when I was reading them growing up.
[00:37:45] CHRIS: Well I have to wonder. Because here’s – I mean, this will allow us to kind of pivot back to what we were talking about before. I wonder, because so as a fellow comic book nerd of our age, we’re 40. I mean, you said that, you know, you grew up in a family where being gay was a punch line in your culture, and I know that that’s extreme in immigrant cultures at times is what I’ve heard. But even when we were kids, like you could say homophobic language on the schoolyard, and that was like, “oh, I’m just making fun of the person. I don’t mean it about that.” And it’s changed now. But also the X-Men in our lifetime shifted from being sort of a civil rights analogy where Professor X was more like Martin Luther King and Magneto is more like Malcolm X. This is a thing that is, you know, people have written about. And over time, I think it became – especially around the time of the legacy virus storylines, which was a virus that only mutants were catching – it was very clearly a concerted effort to make some commentary on the AIDS crisis was how it read from the start. And I think the X-Men has more and more become viewed as a commentary on the gay/queer/lesbian/trans experience these days. That must have meant a lot to you as a kid because the X-Men, as a kid who felt different in my own right, the X-Men made me feel like less of a freak. And I have to imagine that shift, did it comfort you growing up?
[00:39:17] CALLER: You know, the shift to it being more about the acceptance of LGBTQ + IA whatever? [laughing] Sorry, you can go on and on with that. I think I actually started to shift away from comics at that point in my life because I think once they started getting into the legacy virus, that was kind of late 90’s. Is that correct?
[00:39:44] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:39:45] CALLER: Yeah. So I stopped reading for a little bit only to then circle back around in the last five years or so.
[00:39:54] CHRIS: But I think they have, they’ve gone big right? It was like front page news when North Star from Alpha Flight came out as gay. People were like, “oh my God, this is so bold.” And then but if you know comics, if you’re reading Marvel Comics, you’re going, “oh, yeah, I mean, it’s cool. And you took a big swing. But the character you’re experimenting with is North Star from Alpha Flight, The Canadian Avengers?” Like if this doesn’t work out well, that’s a character that you can just never mention again and it won’t affect the ecos – this is not like if bats disappeared from our ecosystem. But now, I mean Iceman, one of the original five X-Men, they had Iceman come out. That’s huge for kids. That’s huge. I love comic books.
[00:40:36] CALLER: Yeah, we’ll take Iceman. So I didn’t get to tell you the part about the convergence of growing up gay in a immigrant family, and so I didn’t come out of the closet until – to my parents, I should say, until I was well outside of their influence, until I was 33. So back in 2013.
[00:41:13] CHRIS: [music transition] It’s cool, we’re going to hear how that went. We’re going to hear a lot more when we get back.
[00:41:27] CHRIS: Thanks to all of our advertisers. Now let’s finish off the phone call.
[00:41:34] CALLER: I didn’t come out of the closet until – to my parents, I should say, until I was well outside of their influence, until I was 33. So back in 2013. We 1980 birthdays have a really easy time calculating our age. I don’t know if you find that to be true.
[00:41:48] CHRIS: Yeah, people don’t realize this. In the 90s you just – your first and last digit of the year. That’s how old you are.
[00:41:55] CALLER: Yes. So – and I did it by phone, I already had – I was already in a relationship for a number of years. They had met my partner, although they didn’t know that we were a relationship at the time or didn’t want to see that we were a relationship at the time. But the challenge that I faced was I didn’t quite know how to phrase it to my mom over the phone in a way that I felt like she would understand. And although hindsight, she 100% would have understood if I just said, “mom, I’m gay” because she knows what the word meant, but in my mind at the time, she wouldn’t understand that. And so the way I phrased it in my terrible Fujianese which is a Chinese dialect that nobody really knows about. But the way I phrased it was, “how would you feel if I were attracted to men and not women?” And she didn’t take it very well. We’re fine now. But her first response was, “if that’s true, then your father and I will be so embarrassed that we would move back to China.” And then her second response, kind of in the same breath was “I’m so embarrassed that I’m going to kill myself” and it sounds horrible, but I know my parents and I knew my mom wasn’t going to kill herself. And so I actually found it quite hilarious. And I have three siblings and so I immediately –
[00:43:36] CHRIS: That’s dark.
[00:43:37] CALLER: I know. [laughing] I immediately wrote them a long email explaining to them what happened and that there might be some fallout in their direction because I live away from home but two of my siblings at the time lived pretty close.
[00:43:51] CHRIS: Did your siblings know –
[00:43:52] CALLER: And they all thought it was pretty hilarious.
[00:43:53] CHRIS: Were you out to them before your parents?
[00:43:56] CALLER: I was out to all three of my siblings, yes, before my parents.
[00:44:00] CHRIS: So they get this email and it’s almost like…to them, it’s almost like, oh, don’t tell – like if you’re a teenager, “like I got in a fender bender, don’t tell mom and dad I’m going to try to get the bumper fixed.” It’s almost that type of thing. And they’re like, “oh, jeez, what are we gonna have to deal with?” Is it closer to that?
[00:44:20] CALLER: Yeah. And you know what’s interesting is a lot of people who I talked to back before I came out, they were like, “your parents love you. They’ll understand when you come out.” And of course, they did ultimately, or they do ultimately. But when I talked to my siblings about the prospect of coming out to my parents, they were kind of like, “they can never know” [laughing] because they knew what my parents were like and that it would have this sort of weird impact on the family. But ultimately, it was the best decision where we’re totally close. We’re closer now than ever. We still see each other, they embrace my partner, we’ve gone to visit them and slept in the same bedroom. It’s no longer an issue, which is amazing, so.
[00:45:16] CHRIS: And you mentioned you had –
[00:45:18] CALLER: Should I put a –
[00:45:19] CHRIS: Oh, should you put what?
[00:45:20] CALLER: Oh should I, I’m just going to broadcast this out to other, let’s see, first generation closeted Chinese boys that, just go for it. Yeah. Come out and and just see what happens. It worked for me.
[00:45:40] CHRIS: If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that this show is huge amongst closeted first generation Chinese Americans. Huge.
[00:45:51] CALLER: Really? So you’ve done your demographic work.
[00:45:54] CHRIS: I don’t know that that’s true. I just thought it might make you giggle. The market research survey – can you imagine if they got that specific when we ask people to do these advertising surveys? [laughing]
[00:46:07] CALLER: I don’t know that – I’m sure like a cereal company probably knows that level of detail, but I don’t know about Earwolf.
[00:46:14] CHRIS: No. And can I say something too? I’m joking and I hope that doesn’t come off as insensitive, and I also do feel happy to be in a conversation in a world where I feel like, oh, that’s a joke we can make. That’s a joke we can make. A demographic research covering something that specific. And I hope it doesn’t come off as brutally insensitive because –
[00:46:37] CALLER: I am not in the least offended.
[00:46:38] CHRIS: That’s good. Some people will be. Some people won’t be. And I hope people know that it’s said with love. And I’m not trying to say this to cover my ass either. It’s just what a world. What a world. Five years ago, 10 years ago. Can we even talk about this and record it and put it out to the world? Who knows? Do your parents speak English? You mentioned you had the conversation in Fujianese.
[00:47:01] CALLER: Yeah. So we always grew up with the language barrier. So they spoke Fujianese predominantly. And then I, as someone who grew up and going to American schools, spoke Fujianese to begin with. But then also quickly, once I started school, replaced everything with English. And so all conversations were kind of what we call Chinglish. We kind of try to speak in one or the other and then fill in the gaps with what we think the other will know. But it’s still not – it’s still not great. For example, I can talk to you about anything under the sun, but when I talk to my parents, I have trouble finding the words. They called me the other day to tell me I have this extra bed in my house. And I was going to give it to my brother who just got a new house and needs a bed. And they called in typical parent fashion to try to insert themselves into this transaction that had nothing to do with them. And they were like, “oh, don’t do that. You’ll never be able to move the bed. And you don’t need to bother with doing this.” And I’m like, OK. And I could not tell them like I can tell you right now that my plan is to get a rental truck and just drive it over there because it’s not a big deal. But I didn’t know how to say that.
[00:48:42] CHRIS: Does your partner speak any Fujianese?
[00:48:45] CALLER: No, no, he absolutely does not.
[00:48:47] CHRIS: Because my understanding is that it is I mean, my understanding is that all the Chinese languages are tough for Westerners and I think – correct me if I’m wrong – that Fujianese is the most rare one in America that’s spoken.
[00:49:04] CALLER: I actually don’t know. I do know it is one of the rarer ones, except if you go into a Chinese restaurant especially in the New York/New Jersey area, there’s a high percentage that people working there or the people that own that restaurant are Fujianese.
[00:49:20] CHRIS: Oh, that’s interesting. I may be totally wrong. Here’s why I say it – you wanna know how nerdy I am? I once read a document that was like a public document that the government of New Jersey put out years back about organized crime in New Jersey. And one of the things they talked about that I found really interesting is that you know, immigrant groups do tend to in the first few generations, bring organized crime with them because you know, people are I think, outcasted unfairly. And I think communities do stay tight knit and maybe keep things internal. And they were talking about all different groups from all over the world that were operating in New Jersey. And they said there was a few gangs that spoke Fujianese that they were having a real trouble finding much out about because there were so few law enforcement officers that they could find that understood the language, let alone spoke it.
[00:50:18] CALLER: That’s fascinating. I haven’t heard that, but I do know that it is, yeah, with law enforcement agencies, they do seek out Fujianese speakers for that reason.
[00:50:30] CHRIS: Yeah. This document said they had found like a postal worker – that’s how much digging they had to do to find somebody who could like listen to the audio tapes of places they had bugged who could tell them what was actually going on. I found it interesting. Could you go further to our chit chat? So I love that your parents have come to accept your partner when they don’t speak the same language, he’s white. Sounds like actively maybe has some you’ve said, like, frustrating blindspots towards your experience. That’s nice that everybody can still bond and get along because those do sound like some real barriers.
[00:51:16] CALLER: Yeah, it helps that my partner will eat pretty much anything. And so in a Chinese family, if – I mean, he’s constantly getting food thrust at him and he’ll just eat it and love it. And I think my mom, yeah. My mom loves that. I wish I lived closer to home for that reason. She just cranks out dumplings and spring rolls and they all come neatly frozen in gallon-sized Ziploc bags –
[00:51:45] CHRIS: Oh, I love it.
[00:51:45] CALLER: That you can lay flat in the freezer and have food for months.
[00:51:50] CHRIS: Living where we do in New York, both New York and New Jersey have this common…one of the things I’ll miss forever about living in Queens. Because everybody knows Manhattan’s Chinatown, its iconic, famous imagery in movies. The Queens Chinatown. Oh my God can you get some good cheap food there. Oh, good God! Queens Chinatown. They have food malls where you go into like a mall and there’s all these stalls set up and you can just spend – you spend an hour there and you’ll eat like nine fascinating things and it’ll cost you $23 total to hit up the nine stands, oooff. Food goes a long way, right? Food heals, food builds bonds. Food builds bonds.
[00:52:34] CALLER: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah so he’s a good eater, and I think that’s helped with acceptance.
[00:52:45] CHRIS: I’m really glad that your parents came around because I bet not everybody in your situation – I bet that’s not the case for everybody.
[00:52:51] CALLER: I bet. I bet not. Yeah. The other interesting thing is my partner is 16 years older than I am.
[00:53:00] CHRIS: 56?
[00:53:02] CALLER: Yeah. So when I first came out to my siblings, and actually friends as well, their first response was not that they were surprised that I was gay, but that I was in a relationship with a much older man.
[00:53:18] CHRIS: And you said your parents had met your partner before and didn’t realize you were partners. What did they think the nature of your relationship was?
[00:53:26] CALLER: I think they were in just sort of, you know, denial that this person might be their son’s chosen partner.
[00:53:36] CHRIS: So they just thought you were hanging out with this older white guy, just like, oh these guys are pals.
[00:53:41] CALLER: Exactly, yeah.
[00:53:43] CHRIS: That’s pretty funny looking back on it, huh?
[00:53:45] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:53:47] CHRIS: You know, our son’s friend who was a sophomore in high school when he was born. [laughing] How did you guys get together?
[00:53:55] CALLER: So there’s a thing called gay volleyball. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that.
[00:54:04] CHRIS: No, I try to be a very worldly person, but this one’s beyond my sphere.
[00:54:09] CALLER: It’s a thing, there’s actually an organization called the North American Gay Volleyball Association, but I’m actually not a member of that. At the local level and in the state I live in, there is a small gay volleyball group. And when I first moved to this area, I was actually coming out of a relationship and feeling depressed, this was actually pre-medication and pre-therapy even. And what I found to work in the past was if I just tried something different, I would tend to get out of my malaise. And I had never really played volleyball before. And I saw that, oh, there’s a gay volleyball group. Why don’t I go and do that? And he was there that first day and we slowly got closer and eventually dated and started a relationship.
[00:55:13] CHRIS: I love that story. Now we only have like six and a half minutes left. And this is a whole topic that I’m sure you thought about and sounds like it’s not true in your case or you wouldn’t be together long term. But then I’m sure people have wondered. I do feel like – and correct me if I’m wrong – but is there a fetishization of younger Asian men at times?
[00:55:43] CALLER: I think so, yeah.
[00:55:46] CHRIS: I feel like that is a thing that I’m generally aware of. Have you thought about this?
[00:55:49] CALLER: As in the sense that does my partner fetishize me?
[00:55:54] CHRIS: Or do you feel like that judgment is there or do you feel like people wonder about this?
[00:56:00] CALLER: So the judgment that I feel isn’t the fetishization, it’s the daddy son relationship. And I’m a little bit resentful of that assumption because we basically make the same amount of money. So even though he’s older than me, he doesn’t support me in any way. We split everything. So it’s not like you know, he’s heading into retirement and he’s got a huge nest egg and –
[00:56:32] CHRIS: Right, like a sugar daddy. People think it’s a sugar daddy situation almost.
[00:56:36] CALLER: Right. I think that’s a pretty common assumption about our relationship. And it’s definitely not the case. I don’t know if anyone sees us as having that kind of fetish relationship. I will say in my research, there is a whole – and I haven’t looked at this in many, many years – but there was a cult in China at one point where it was all about young men and older men being in relationships. I want to say it was like the cult of Hu Jintao. That’s just what’s coming to my mind. I don’t know. It could be totally wrong. I have to Google it. But when I read about that many years ago, I was kind of like, you know, maybe I have something in me that makes me attracted to older men. I don’t really know.
[00:57:34] CHRIS: Yeah, because it’s funny, like – I mean, it’s not funny. First of all, I’m fascinated that there’s this cult and I’m going to try to, because you’ve picked up on the fact that when I am interested in something, I just go try to vacuum up info on it. That’s fascinating. I want to come across info. But it’s like if you’re into older guys, it’s great. If straight guys are into older women, if older women are into younger men, I think that’s great and it must be annoying for people to go, “oh, is this some sort of money situation” or things like that. I’m going to imagine that makes you feel like you must roll your eyes at it. Like it’s very reductive.
[00:58:09] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. It’s a very reductive and…I lost my train of thought. But yes, you’re absolutely correct. I’m not a fan of that assumption.
[00:58:23] CHRIS: I wanna say something. And this is a bomb I’m going to drop. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard an episode of this show called “Aussie Best Friend” where I realized –
[00:58:34] CALLER: OK, so that was my first episode of your show that I ever listened to.
[00:58:40] CHRIS: And oh, my God, because it’s a full circle moment where if Aussie Best Friend, if you’re listening, I feel like you, the caller on the phone right now would be like the third member of our best friend crew and then we’d be three best friends and the Motor City Mayhem guys, they’re three best friends. And we’d all hang out and be like – they’d have their thing and we’d have our thing, but we’d all still get along. And they’re sort of more rowdy and rambunctious. And me and you and Aussie Best Friend would be in a bar like, “I think it’s kind of time to split and do something more chill and let these guys kind of get this out of their system.”
[00:59:14] CALLER: [laughing] That sounds amazing!
[00:59:15] CHRIS: I feel like me, you and Aussie Best Friend would be a best friend crew. We’d have a text chain, we’d have a group text chain.
[00:59:21] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. That conversation sucked me right in. I had no idea what Beautiful Anonymous was at the time. I sort of picked up the name of the podcast from someone else’s request for podcasts on Facebook. And I was like, OK, I’ll check this one out.
[00:59:36] CHRIS: And then you click on this one and you hear these two dudes talking about their weird lives and comic book stuff. And you go, I think this is the one for me. And then all these years later, I’m sitting here going – man, I’m telling you. Hey Anita, let’s make a note that we should do a follow-up episode with our current caller and Aussie Best Friend on a three way call. And it’ll be like a platonic…I don’t want to say dating thing because that’s weird, but almost like a get to know you platonic situation.
[01:00:13] CALLER: I think at the time you were still throwing hints down for J. Crew to come on as an advertiser.
[01:00:20] CHRIS: Yeah, they’ve gone out of business, they’ve gone out of business –
[01:00:23] CALLER: Are they out of business?
[01:00:24] CHRIS: I believe so. And frankly, their most recent lines, I felt like were really dropping the ball. So my J. Crew love had been waning a bit anyway. And I’m not trying to be divisive with that. I know everybody has strong opinions on the final few lines that J.Crew put out. But because there is – I’ll tell you this. Here’s something that will make you laugh, because we talked about Aussie Best Friend. There’s a part of me that is tempted to title this episode, “My Gay Chinese Best Friend.” But I feel like that would be a bad idea to tell people because we’re 58 minutes in when that’s referenced. And I feel like that’s – people are just gonna be like what? This is a little on the nose, can’t be really –
[01:01:07] CALLER: I won’t be offended, but you’re, you know, you’re welcome to –
[01:01:12] CHRIS: Maybe we do it. I think it’s the best possible title because all I want to do is hang out with you and talk about bats and the Silver Surfer. That’s like how I want to spend the rest of my day!
[01:01:23] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. We could talk a lot about bats and the Silver Surfer.
[01:01:27] CHRIS: So we have 30 seconds left. Is there a comic book – I recommended to you Silver Surfer number 48 – is there comic book you want to recommend to me?
[01:01:34] CALLER: So much pressure. Have you heard of Joe the Barbarian?
[01:01:40] CHRIS: Joe the Barbarian.
[01:01:42] CALLER: It’s just what comes off the top of my head. It’s a mini series.
[01:01:45] CHRIS: It’s not a Marvel comic is it?
[01:01:48] CALLER: No, I don’t think so. It might be Vertigo.
[01:01:51] CHRIS: They do cool stuff.
[01:01:53] CALLER: I think it’s written by J.M. DeMatteis, I think? It’s about a boy who goes on this amazing journey. And yeah, Joe the Barbarian.
[01:02:06] CHRIS: I love amazing journeys. OK. Well, you’re one of my new best friends in the world of this show. We’re going to do a follow up where you, me and the Aussie hangout. It’s going to be a great time.
[01:02:17] CALLER: That sounds amazing.
[01:02:18] CHRIS: I hope people are as delighted to hear this conversation as I was to have it, and I hope you’re feeling a little bit better today because I know I am.
[01:02:25] CALLER: I’m feeling amazing.
[01:02:27] CHRIS: Good, good.
[01:02:35] CHRIS: [music transition] Caller, thank you again so much. I can’t reiterate enough how good it feels to just connect with someone, just with some chit chat right now, like you gave me a gift with that one for real. I thank you for it. I thank Anita Flores. I thank Jared O’Connell. I think Jordan Allyn. I thank Shellshag. If you want to know more about me, chrisgeth.com. I also have a big new project out called New Jersey is the World, I have a lot of info about that. If you just go check out my social and stuff like that, I think you might like it. Hey, follow, subscribe, favorite, whatever platform you’re listening on, whether that’s Apple Podcast, Pandora, Sirius, whatever it is – if you follow that show, you find out that it’s going to help a lot. If you want the entire Beautiful Anonymous back catalog without ads, stitcherpremium.com/stories for info on that. Thanks so much.