No Such Thing As A Fish - 525: No Such Thing As A Clenched Shin

Episode Date: April 4, 2024

Dan, James, Anna and Alex Bell discuss Porky, Hockey, Hippies and Nookie. Visit for news about live shows, merchandise and more episodes.  Join Club Fish for ad-free episodes... and exclusive bonus content at or

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 Hello and welcome to another episode of No Such Thing As A Fish, a weekly podcast coming to you from the QI offices in Hoburn. My name is Dan Schreiber. I am sitting here with Anna Tyshinsky, James Harkin, and Alex Bell. And once again, we have gathered around the microphones with our four favorite facts from the last seven days. And in no particular order, here we go. Starting with fact number one, and that is my fact. My fact this week is that the original voice of Porky Pig got fired for having a stutter. That is so unfair. It really is, isn't it? Because they carried on with the stutter.
Starting point is 00:00:51 Did they then do auditions for people being like, you have to stutter? Well, they didn't really need to do auditions because they had the great Mel Blanc, who is the finest voice of all time, who eventually took over the role. But the whole vocal styling of Porky Pig was created by a guy called Joe Doherty. He's a guy who died in 1978, so he existed in like the early 1900s because Porky Pig was one of the original Looney Tunes if not the oldest. The oldest continuous one, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so he did it for two years. But the issue was it was really messing up recording times because he couldn't control his stutter. He'd get nervous. Wait, so they decided to give Porky Pig a a starter and then deliberately chosen him or was it like vice versa? First one the first decided to give him a starter and then said okay
Starting point is 00:01:31 We'll pick a guy with a starter so the guy who invented him was Fritz Freelink Freelink And he said that he wanted someone with a stutter because it would distinguish him from other characters Now have you heard the original one? I have, yeah. It's like the new Pocky Pig is like a fake stutter, but the first one is just like a person with a stutter. Yeah, exactly. That's a very different voice.
Starting point is 00:01:54 They decided they didn't like the kind of stutter, so they were like, we're going in a different direction. It was taking too long, he just couldn't get through the words. Yeah, it just took way too long. That's really sad it's a bit like firing someone having a disability and then hiring somebody to pretend to have that disability yeah yeah in a way it wouldn't happen today yeah you'd hope that you would help that yeah so porky first appeared in a movie short animation called i haven't got a hat so that was
Starting point is 00:02:21 1935 so he was there for the two years. Of course, it was easier to write cartoons back then, wasn't it? What a laugh that sounds like. I haven't got a hat. It was kind of he wasn't the main character. He never was meant to be a main character. He was it was like a production, a musical production where they had a stage at school and everyone was getting out of their seats and Porky was really nervous. So he's stuttering his way through the song.
Starting point is 00:02:44 But before Mel Blanc, who I said took over and is the voice that we all know and love, there was one in-between guy who was called Count Coutelli. And Count Coutelli... He sounds like he is a Looney Tunes character. He does, doesn't he? Did he go onto Sesame Street? Yeah. Count Teno Coutelli. This guy was known as the big noise like he had Yeah, two thousand sound effects to his name. He was sought after by everyone like that guy from police academy Exactly Michael Winslow. Yeah, and when he died the Berlin anthropological Institute offered
Starting point is 00:03:23 $2,000 to his family to purchase his head and throat so that they could study it after death How did they remove his head? That's what they requested for 2,000 bucks. Can you lob his head off with his neck? Which is quite a rare request I would say I feel like you probably get half the neck usually Whole neck is quite so would you have to cut it like a v-neck jumper? Did they accede to this request they did not know They did not want to hand over the head or neck. Just fork out for the full body. If you want it that much, just have a three grand and take the whole thing. Somebody ends up with just like the shoulders. It's really weird to have a headless body.
Starting point is 00:03:58 Yeah, who wants the lower half then? I suppose they probably weren't giving away the rest of it. They're probably burying that bit. I mean, people did used to get different parts of their body buried in different places didn't they? Yeah, it used to be a relatively common thing But still I think I think the full head off they seem to often take bits of the inside of the body off or the Heart or something like that. Yeah, yeah Einstein's brain. Yeah, it's bigger than a normal brain was why they wanted it, right? Yeah, yeah the guy who invented head shoulders knees and toes, he's buried in four different places.
Starting point is 00:04:26 It's a good thing. Where his eyes is, mouth and nose. No. As she's thinking of being buried, do you know what's on Mel Blanc's grave? Oh, it's lovely, isn't it? Yeah. That's all, folks. Do the voice. Please do the voice.
Starting point is 00:04:40 That's all, folks. No, I can't do it. I can't do it. It's like, that's all. I can't do it either. But you've got to do the do it either. That was good. But do you know why it's on his grave? Because he played porky pig and he died. That's a good guess. And that's all refers to his lifespan.
Starting point is 00:04:54 Folks refers to the people who are reading the gravestone. So you do understand the meaning of the phrase, great. I feel like we're missing something massive there, right? Well, it was also his last words. So actually the reason that his son decided to put it on the grave, because a lot of people say it was in his will, but I believe it's actually that he was filming a commercial for Buick automobiles. And in that commercial, they got him to say, that's all folks, as you would,
Starting point is 00:05:20 if you had Mel Blanc doing a commercial. And they were his last words that he did to the camera. He dropped dead right then. Well, he didn't drop dead. He a commercial and they were his last words that he did to camera. He dropped dead right then? Well he didn't drop dead, he collapsed. Oh okay. So they were his last words.
Starting point is 00:05:29 Did they do the music? Like da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da ever said. I know but yeah. Which I think that counts. No, no, but it would be great if that was his final words. On his own. I'm at home, you know, I'm dying on my bed. I'm gonna go out with the porky pig. My catchphrase. Well I think that he probably did decide that because he actually lived for another few weeks but he didn't say anything else. Are you kidding? If I was him I would go, excuse me, excuse me, can I have a glass of water,
Starting point is 00:06:02 that's all folks. Yeah, exactly. just to make sure you keep going in. Like, this wastes the last few weeks of life just not talking to anyone. Imagine the amount of quality time you could have had with his family. All the things that were left unsaid because he didn't want to... Alright guys, quite often people don't speak for weeks before they die, do they? Because they're in hospital unable to speak. But I do like to think that he was lying there faking a coma just so he could make sure Anyway, his son was like well, they were his last words. I put them on his gravestone I saw an interview with his son and he said that the porcupig voice that he did was not a stutter
Starting point is 00:06:36 He said that basically Mel Blanc once went to visit a pig farm to get into character To see what porcup Pig would be like. And he saw the pig grunting in kind of a stuttering way and his Porky Pig voice was copying the pig's grunt. It wasn't like a human stutter. It definitely doesn't sound like any sound or stutter I've ever heard. It also doesn't sound like any pig I've ever heard.
Starting point is 00:07:00 No, that- It's closer to the stutter than it is the pig, I would say. It's like quite pretentious things where they're like, yeah, I spent like two weeks like studying pigs in order for my role as a cartoon pig. So you didn't need to do that, mate. Like it's a stupid cartoon. No one takes it that seriously. Wow, they did take it quite seriously, didn't they?
Starting point is 00:07:14 I mean, they won Oscars, not necessarily for Porky Pig, but for these cartoons. Did you read about the famous blooper reel of Porky Pig? No. So this was 1938 and this was put together on purpose because you can't have bloopers in cartoons. It's like at the end of Toy Story 2. Exactly, where they do all that. Yeah, so back in 1938, they already were doing this.
Starting point is 00:07:33 And so it's a video of Porky where he smacks his thumb with a hammer, he goes in pain and he says, oh son of a, son of a, son of a, son of a, gun, which was the stuttering trick of Porky Pig. He would always not finish the word and put a new word in. son of a bubububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububububub He says the V because he's trying to save the end and then he says that's all folks instead of the end Did not know that I think that's what it is Yeah, that sounds like it. Yeah And then they made that in 1938, but it didn't get shown until the 90s didn't yeah exactly because you couldn't show it And that's the word bitch. Well, no, you couldn't say bitch on in 1938 because like obviously frankly my dear I don't give a damn was 39 wasn't it? So yeah, but was a corporate thing. So they were doing it as a behind the scenes as a
Starting point is 00:08:27 package of bloopers. They just put that in as a joke. And then when they had the 50th anniversary of Warner Brothers, that's when it came out with a load of other bloopers. So how annoyed do you think they would have been the animators at the time when some dickhead said, look, we're going to make this blooper thing. It's going to take you about two weeks of particular strawing and it's not to be released ever. Just a funny little in-joke for nobody. But I feel like around that time, during that sort of golden age of animation
Starting point is 00:08:51 and during all the Disney Studios things, loads of incredible workmanship went into stuff like that. That was just for internal use or they would put details in designs of stuff that no one would ever notice just because they had, frankly, the money and the time, but also the passion and the craftsmanship and they were really into what they did,
Starting point is 00:09:06 which is quite nice. Do you guys know how Porky Pig got his name? No. It seems like it's because he was a pig and then pigs produce pork, doesn't it? I don't like to do the old back at you. Do they produce pork, like milk, or are they pork? Yeah.
Starting point is 00:09:19 Suck pork from their teeth. He produced pork. That's a new thing there. That is obviously part of the story. Was it the result of six months brainstorming at a pig farm by the writers in an immersive? It's again from Fritz Riehling who created him and when he grew up, there were two brothers who grew up in his neighborhood. One was called Porky and the other one was called Piggy.
Starting point is 00:09:41 No. Yeah, because they were overweight children so they were kind of bullied with these names. And then he took the names and used them for his character. Really? That's so weird that the most Piggy name for a pig actually came from people. Yeah. Because I would just think if you're like Porky and Pig,
Starting point is 00:09:56 it's like Pork and Pig, the two piggiest words. Yeah, like Hannah says, it is a very obvious thing to call a Piggy character. We think it's obvious now, but you know, at the time it was mind-blowingly imaginative. Sorry, who was the name of the Count that you said? Count Cotelli. Yeah, yeah, that guy.
Starting point is 00:10:14 It's C-U-T-E-L-L-I. It's kind of appropriate that he's Italian because the origin of Porky Pig, he was based on or inspired by a staple character from like traditional Italian comedy, the Commedia dell'arte. Was it? Yeah, so from between the 16th to 18th centuries, there was this traditional theatre comedy
Starting point is 00:10:31 and it used all of these staple comedy characters. Like the Harlequin? The Harlequin was one, which is the servant. And yeah, Porky Pig is based on the Tartaglia, which is Italian for stutterer, and it's a far-sighted dainty character with a stutter. Do you know who hated Porky Pig's stutter? Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Road Runner. Porky Pig himself. Yeah, there was an episode where he hears himself on a playback of an old tune of Old McDonald had a farm He hates the stutter so much
Starting point is 00:11:05 that he smashes both the record and the playback machine. And I read this in an academic paper which is called the clinical study of Porky Pig cartoons. And it's by Gerald F. Johnson. And basically this was a paper that was trying to show, did it have a positive or negative influence to have a character that had a stutter like Porky Pig? Because Porky Pig had jobs such as a farmer, a gas station attendant.
Starting point is 00:11:27 A farmer? That's a bit dark. It is. Well, maybe it was horrible. All right. Okay. He was a railroad engineer, a pilot, a private in the French Foreign Legion, a newscaster. So he sort of makes the point that any kids that were watching it could see that they could do multiple jobs.
Starting point is 00:11:44 Well, this suggests to me that he can't hold down a job. Yeah. That's very true. That's a worrying CV. Do you know, I was just looking up treatments for stutters throughout history, and in the 19th century there were obviously shed loads of quacks, suggesting you kind of like cut your tongue in half, or you slit that bit under the bottom of your tongue,
Starting point is 00:12:03 or you shrink your tongue by having it cut to pieces, you know, lots of stuff which never works, so you're amazed how long it lasted. But one of the leading quacks slash doctors who promoted stuttering cures was this guy who went around Europe and actually was really important in developing like welfare systems in Europe because he went to the governments of places
Starting point is 00:12:22 like the Netherlands and Prussia and Belgium and said, I want you to implement my stuttering cure, which he'd actually bought from a woman called Widow Lee. But anyway, his name was Mr. Malabouche, which means bad mouth. Wow. Dun, dun, dun. I thought that was quite cool.
Starting point is 00:12:37 Amazing. Yeah. It's interesting that 80% of adults who stutter are male. Way more men stutter than women. Really? And apparently they've done some like studies and brain scans and the way that your speech patterns work is just different between men and women when you stutter are male. Way more men stutter women. And apparently they've done some studies and brain scans and the way that your speech patterns work is just different
Starting point is 00:12:47 between men and women when you stutter. Really? It's weird. I don't think it's fully understood. There was a theory in the early 20th century that eating too many vegetables caused stuttering vegetarianism. And there was a psychologist called Knight Dunlap
Starting point is 00:13:02 who also founded the Journal of Psychology. So he wasn't a proper quack, but he thought that if someone stuttered, maybe you should give them a diet of meat and that would cure them. Meat, pork, yeah. Pork, yeah. So when was that, sorry?
Starting point is 00:13:15 That was early 20th century. Okay, so like during the war, you had to really get the amount of carrots you ate right for like good eyesight, but not bad speech. Oh yeah, that's true. And also speaking of Mel Blanc, he never ate carrots, did he? Did he not? No.
Starting point is 00:13:29 There's a famous thing like, there's a thing online that he was allergic to carrots, which we think is not true, right? Okay. Yeah, it's not true, but do you know where it comes from? The fact that people think he's allergic. It's because, and it does actually make perfect sense. So as Bugs Bunny, they experimented with lots
Starting point is 00:13:42 of sound effects for how you can generate the sound of eating a carrot. And they realized the only thing that generates the sound of eating a carrot is eating a carrot. Did they not have the big noise? Yeah. The one thing he can't do is one weakness. Every time the big noise at a carrot it was completely silent.
Starting point is 00:13:58 It was so weird. Just sounds like a car going past. Famously sucked his carrots like a lolly. So they couldn't use him. And so Mel Blanc realized he just had to eat carrots in order to get the sound effect. But once you're swallowing carrot, then you can't say your line.
Starting point is 00:14:15 So he'd have a spittoon and he just had to chew a carrot and then spit it out in order to then say his line. And from there develop the idea that, oh, he's allergic to carrots because he was always spitting carrots out. I would have just got a runner in to eat the carrots next to the microphone. I know, could they not hire a carrot eater? That would be the most awesome job wouldn't it? I was carrot eater for blank. Stop the podcast! Stop the podcast! Hi everyone we'd like to let you know that this week we are sponsored by Express VPN. That's right Express VPN is a virtual private network
Starting point is 00:14:52 that basically means whenever you connect to an unencrypted network so if you're in a cafe or a hotel or using any kind of public Wi-Fi you've built a wall around your personal information. Absolutely so imagine you are sat in a cafe on an unencrypted network, that 12 year old hacker sat in the corner laughing at you could get all of your information if you did not have a VPN. And really ExpressVPN is probably the best one out there.
Starting point is 00:15:18 It creates a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet. It would take a hacker with a supercomputer over a billion years to get past its encryption and you can get it right now. Yes, you can and you can secure your data today if you go to slash phish and you'll get an extra three months for free.
Starting point is 00:15:39 Absolutely, so fire up the app with just one button, protecting your phones, laptops, tablets and more by going to slash fish. That's E-X-P-R-E-S-E-S-V-P-N dot com slash fish and get your extra three months for free. Okay, on with the podcast. On with the show. Okay, it is time for fact number two. That is Alex. My fact this week is that in the 1950s, you could catch a bus from London to Calcutta. You did have to book you can just like tap tap it. Yeah, I don't think it's outside the
Starting point is 00:16:18 yeah, they didn't have a nice disowning. Where was the longest stretch where if you missed your stop? So this round, this is a bus service that ran from 1957 until 1976. You could get single tickets or return tickets, which I thought was quite weird because you could take a bus to India and then just be stuck there. Which lots of people did. Yeah, yeah, that's true. It was 85 pounds for a single, which I think is about two and £2,500 today. But it's more of a package holiday, including travel and food and accommodation. And it was another £65 if you wanted to come back again. Okay, because often a return ticket these days is like £2 more if you get a train. Yeah, no, no, this is almost double. Could you get like that thing where you split your
Starting point is 00:17:02 tickets between all the different places? Ah, yeah, split fair. No, none of the complicated maps. We've come a long way, haven't we? We really have, yeah. But we can't go to India anymore on a bus. If your bus is 15 minutes late to the next destination, can you reclaim all of the money? That would be great. So this bus was equipped with beds and a kitchen and heaters and a music system for parties apparently
Starting point is 00:17:26 and also something called reading facilities which I don't know what that is like a chair like a library I guess like a bookshelf sounds like a spice world bus it does it sounds like a lot of fun this specific first service was called the india man and it was run by a guy called oswald joseph garrow fisher which is I've never heard of someone who has a double barreled first name and last name Do you know that he was known everyone called him Paddy? I was reading an article from the Buffalo Courier Express from the time and it said obviously again of its time It said Garrow Fisher who is better known as Paddy because he is Irish It is easier to say
Starting point is 00:18:04 His name with all those hyphens actually would look like I mean it is easier to say than Oswald Joseph Garifiga. His name with all those hyphens actually would look like, confusingly, like the destination. It does, yeah. Because on the outside it did say London, Calcutta, London on the bus, which I thought was quite cool because it is a loop trip. And the bus went from London, it was a 10,000 mile journey, on what became known as the Hippie route. So it went via Belgium, what was then Yugoslavia, to northwestern India.
Starting point is 00:18:28 And up through places today that you couldn't go through. I guess if it's gone through Yugoslavia, it must have gone through Turkey, and then like Iran, Pakistan. It started a big phenomenon of bus journeys all around the world, and this route became quite popular, but it ended because of... It was the Iranian Revolution, wasn't it? Exactly yeah the wars. And lots of my parents well not a lot a few of my parents friends have done it it was the gap year of its day wasn't it and they do talk about how different it
Starting point is 00:18:54 was then that you could go through all of these countries and I know it's Cold War so it was you know not a bed of roses but now you would be told it was too dangerous to get a bus through any of those places and then you just went through and we met with friendly receptions in all those countries. But didn't they think they'd got murdered at one point? Yeah, so on the way there, he writes all about the cliffs around Mount Ararat and going through these crazy hairpin bends. In Iran, they had to put wooden planks under the wheels because the bus was sinking into the sand. It had to be dug out of a bog in Persia. There were sandstorms and rains and incredible heat and collapsed bridges and like a crash. Like, I mean, it sounds like a ridiculous journey. And there's some amazing pictures
Starting point is 00:19:32 you can see online as well. And yeah, on the return trip, they were massively delayed by like, I think a month because of an outbreak of Asian influenza. So they had to take a massive detour. And that prompted a rumor that they'd been kidnapped and murdered by bandits. And I think the British Embassy in Tehran thought that and were so relieved that they had a cocktail party for them when they saw that. I read that definitely they had the cocktail party. I read that at the time in the newspapers,
Starting point is 00:19:57 but I couldn't find any evidence in the newspapers that people thought they had been. I think it was a story, because Garry Fisher said it, and I think it was a bit of a, hey, they thought we'd been killed, so they were so happy to see us, probably a throwaway. Did they think you'd been killed lying, or did they just have some cocktails going to bear? It's an embassy, they're always cocktails.
Starting point is 00:20:13 They do it for every bus that comes in. Exactly, we got invited to an embassy once just for being in town, didn't we? Oh, I thought they thought we'd been murdered. But yeah, they were 50 days delayed back, which is, I mean, I feel sorry for the people waiting at the bus stop. And then three came along at once. Exactly, I can't do three minutes on a Jubilee line.
Starting point is 00:20:35 And they were called freaks, weren't they? They called themselves freaks, the hippie trailers. And there's still a street called Freak Street in Kathmandu, which was sort of like famously the center of where all the hippies sort of ended up, hung out, built lots of communities. Yeah, so there's still Freak Street and it inspired Lonely Planet, the hippie trail. So Maureen and Tony Wheeler, they did the hippie trail and then they thought, this is fun, we'll write about it. They messed up the name. They listened to a song
Starting point is 00:21:02 and thought it referred to Lonely Planet. It was a song called Space Captain by Joe Cocker and it actually referred to Lovely Planet. Which makes more sense! Lonely Planet is actually quite a sad title for a travelling book. It doesn't really inspire... It is for people who travel on their own, isn't it, Lonely Planet? Or it was originally, I think. Maybe it was originally. That's what I would have assumed. But don't like... I'm single. I buy a lot of products for single people. Don't put the word lonely So you got to say reason you get a lonely meal for one
Starting point is 00:21:36 Dialogue single bed Some stuff on buses. Yeah. Yeah, here's the thing. Who was the first person to ever be thrown under the bus? Oh, you know, this is like a cut if you watch the traitors and stuff these days everyone saying Oh, I threw them under the bus. Oh, they're gonna throw me under gonna be like a Roman like for another chariot. Wait Oh, so are you know, they're two possible answers here One of someone was thrown under a bus physically, but then someone used the term for the first time later or the two combined Okay, so my question to you is the term to be thrown under a bus physically but then someone used the term for the first time later or the two combined? Okay, so my question to you is the term to be thrown under the bus Yeah, who was the first person that that term was used about?
Starting point is 00:22:12 Not who was literally thrown in the bus. It's all metaphorical. Was it connected to buses in any way though? Was it totally detached from what they were doing? Totally detached. Is this guessable? In my experience with QI stuff, it's either going to be Stone Age or it's going to be 1800s, but never in history. Okay, it's neither of those things. It's guessable because it's one of the most famous people in British history.
Starting point is 00:22:30 Yeah, yeah, okay. Who was betrayed. Keep going. Who was betrayed. Come on, let's think of someone famously betrayed. Thatcher. Correct! Thatcher.
Starting point is 00:22:38 Alex is just listing famous people. Named conservative MPs. I hate people who play 20 questions like that. Don't use all your guesses on names. You got lucky this time. I hate people who play 20 questions like that. Don't use all your guesses on names. You got lucky this time. So this was basically if you wanted to get rid of a politician you would say what if they fell under a bus.
Starting point is 00:22:55 Right. Which you know what I mean. We can't get rid of them any other way. What if they fell under the bus then maybe we'll get a new leader kind of thing. So that was a saying. But during the early 1980s when the Falkland Island invasion happened, someone in the UK said President Galtieri of Argentina pushed her, meaning Margaret Thatcher, under the bus, which the gossips had said was the only means of her removal. So it was falling under a bus was always a thing, but this was the first time someone was metaphorically pushed under a bus. Oh really? Wow.
Starting point is 00:23:31 A lot of people threw her under the bus, didn't they? I'd never thought of Galtiere as being the main guy. Yeah, well she did last quite a long time after that and actually the Vaughan's law didn't really do her any damage at all. They almost threw her into the driving seat of the bus. I would say so. Yeah, rather the opposite They threw her into that best seat on the top deck where it looks like you're driving Yeah, but you don't have enough legroom so swings and roundabouts, um, okay, just me who complains about that Do you know there's a bus route in London between West Ealing and West Rice Lip, which is about a 20-25 minute journey.
Starting point is 00:24:08 And it goes once a week on Wednesdays at 11.17 in the morning and no one gets it. Is it purely for throwing politicians on them? Those two places are very relatively close to each other. Yes. And I can't think of any reason why I would ever want to go between the two of them. I think, you know... Is it a ghost bus? Is it real? Is it a ghost bus? There you go. It is a ghost bus and people of West Ealing or West Ryslip who have friends in the
Starting point is 00:24:32 other, please write to James complaining about, you know, why you might want to. Oh yeah, I'll wait for the flood of emails to come in. I'm gonna go ride it. I love riding a ghost bus. Yeah, well it's the kind of thing that people like you do ride. I think they only try to get a little less contempt. I can only get singles tickets to get a little less contempt. I can only get singles tickets because no one has the tickets.
Starting point is 00:24:48 Fuck you. It is a ghost bus though, you're right. And it's related to ghost trains, which I actually don't think we've ever mentioned on this podcast, but ghost trains are train routes that are kept open even though no one gets them because it's actually bureaucratically really expensive
Starting point is 00:25:04 to shut down a specific route. So there are various routes in the UK, 30 or so, where no one gets this train route but the train still runs so that, you know, if you wanted to reopen it properly then it's still open. But I think there's more reasons to keep a ghost train because it like maintains the track and keeps everything running and keeps your train in good order. Whereas a ghost bus you just use the bus somewhere else and like what's the reason for it? Well because this used to be a train route and no one was getting it. So they decided-
Starting point is 00:25:27 Well, so it's driving on the train tracks? No, it's not driving on the train tracks. If you will hear me out. Sorry, sorry. It used to be a rail route. The rail route no longer exists. So it is a bus replacement service. So this is called a bus replacement service.
Starting point is 00:25:38 A permanent bus replacement service. For a rail that doesn't exist anymore. And it's because it's bureaucratically too expensive to cancel the rail route. Am I wrong? Can I ask, why did they remove the rail route when so many people want to go from West Ryslip to Ealing or whatever it was? All right, there's only one person,
Starting point is 00:25:55 but they made that trip all the time. Do you reckon they'll continue downgrading it and then eventually they'll just be like a skateboard to you if you want to technically a DFL service. You were talking about a rail replacement bus service. Have you heard of a bus replacement rail service? Bus replacement? I haven't, but I get it, and it feels plausible. So in 2016, there were two villages in Scotland, one at Luckhead and Lead Hills,
Starting point is 00:26:18 and they're in South Lanarkshire. The road connecting them was closed for resurfacing for a week, but this was a bit of an issue for people who live there, a lot of elderly people, there's a doctor's surgery in one and shops in the other and they need to get from one to the other. And there was a 45-mile diversion if you wanted to drive around, so it wasn't really workable for all these people. So there was a small volunteer-run railway line that goes between the two and it's just a tourist attraction. So the authorities decided to turn it into an official service that you could actually travel between. With the two old grannies who do the heritage tickets on their old typewriter, having to print out just hundreds a day. Thousands and thousands of commuters every morning are coming in.
Starting point is 00:26:54 And it's, I think, the only one of its kind that I've ever heard of. That is very cool. In 2015, there was a tweet that went viral for revealing that there was a bus service that went to Woking And do you know what number it was? What number bus you'd get to Woking? 69... sorry, no I don't know 95, Woking 95 9, yeah 925
Starting point is 00:27:18 Because I went through Woking on a train once and I saw the word Woking and I was thinking oh Woking 95 And then I looked at my watch and it was 8.55 in the morning because I was going somewhere in the morning So okay, so I was like working five to nine close enough and it's not Kind of funny Successful tweets no it did not So yeah, there was a bus service called 9 to 5 this guy tweeted it and back in 2015 except after getting However, many retweets and likes turned out that he had photoshopped it that it didn't exist that it was in fact the 701 So this bus didn't exist
Starting point is 00:27:56 However, the people who ran the bus service loved it so much that a few years later They did change it to the 925. So the joke became a real thing. But here's what's interesting. My story was less good, but at least it was true. No, this guy made a joke, which then got turned true. Which is pretty incredible. He lied. Okay, wow.
Starting point is 00:28:18 Can I quickly do one more thing about going to India? Yeah. So there's a book called Husband Hunting in the Raj by Ander Khorsey and she's writing about how lots of women in the late 19th century would go to India to look for a husband and that's because the Indian Civil Service insisted that all its male staff remain bachelors until the age of 30 and in those days if you're a woman and you were not married by the time you were in your mid to late 20s
Starting point is 00:28:47 A lonely woman You were a lonely woman, yeah, exactly And so apparently there was this sort of big influx of British women who every year would just all go to India to find a husband Snap up those single civil servants And there was loads of pamphlets and books that people would write to tell you what to do if you're a woman going to India. There was one, a few words of advice on traveling to ladies
Starting point is 00:29:13 by a guy called HMLS, we don't know who it was, who said, choose a simple dress of soft, warm tweed of that gray color. It is also a good plan to use very old underclothing such as can be thrown away when soiled. Excuse me? is also a good plan to use very old underclothing, such as can be thrown away when soiled. Excuse me? That is a good one.
Starting point is 00:29:29 Is that about the curries? It doesn't, there's no more information. I reckon that's about the curries. No, you're on a long course. And you can't use no laundry, so they're like don't waste your good stuff because you're going to have to chuck it. This isn't a bus to say this would be on a steam liner or something. Oh, okay, right.
Starting point is 00:29:42 But I mean it's all very long journey. These poor men, all these women standing up being like, I'm not wearing anything under this tweed. I was when we set up. It's in this plastic bag. I'm just going to tie it to this tree. Yeah, this poor town halfway to India, they've just got piles of dirty women's laundry.
Starting point is 00:29:59 Things like flight tip to that. things to exploit it to. OK, it is time for fact number three, and that is James. OK, my fact this week is that hockey masks were invented thanks to chronic sinusitis. Well, they originally wanted to pewed tissue just around the nose. Exactly. No, this is this is something that strikes home for me because I am a very keen hockey player. No, I suffer from sinusitis quite a lot, so I'm really glad that some good has come out of it. And this is the hockey mask. And when I say hockey mask, one, I'm talking about ice hockey, two, I'm talking about the mask that a gold tender would wear. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:30:47 So, you know, it's not the helmet. It's the Halloween Halloween film. Yeah, Jason, Jason Voorhis one. Yeah, exactly. You suffer chronic suffer of sinusitis. Yes. Which is why he's so angry. So he never said anything.
Starting point is 00:30:59 He's like. So this was a guy called Jack Plante or Jacques Plant or Jacques Plante Enchanté, je m'appelle Jacques Plante He had a terrible sinusitis and he had an operation and in after he had the operation he had to keep his nose intact But he still wanted to play hockey and so he wore a mask to stop the puck from hitting him in the face. His coach, who is called Toe Blake, his first name was Toe. As in the bit at the end of your foot. He wasn't very happy about it, but he said, okay, well, you know, I need you on the team,
Starting point is 00:31:41 whatever. As long as you take it off when your sinusitis gets better Then it's fine and when this was the 50. Oh, yes I should say this is the late 50s and then later on he was hit in the face with a puck And he went off and came back with the mask again mid game Yeah mid game and then they went on a massive winning streak and so the manager said, okay fine Like this is obviously working and then all the other goaltenders saw this as a good idea and it just became everywhere. And he really defied Toe Blake's wishes
Starting point is 00:32:12 because Toe was like, yeah, he was a dick about it. You get that mask out of here. And he was like, no, either I'm going on with the mask or I'm not going on at all. Yeah. And it was entirely fair, like with a broken nose, like everybody's hitting the face with a puck.
Starting point is 00:32:24 Yeah, it's not, and it's not the first time anyone's ever gone on with a mask. It happened, you know, sporadically throughout the years because people had had their face busted up. But Plant, Planty, he, he, um, he's the one who said, no, I'm wearing it and I'm going to wear it again and again and again. And then slowly changed the culture of ice hockey. Yeah, he gave the finger to toe. Sure did. I don't know why he hadn't said anything for three minutes. Do you know why Toe Blake was called Toe Blake?
Starting point is 00:32:52 Well, because both of his parents were also called Blake. Yes. By tradition, you keep a certain name. He's bang on, guys. Was it a family name? Were there five or four other Toes? Did he have one enormous toe? No, I'll give you, it was a toe.
Starting point is 00:33:06 Like in Spikid. It was. They wanted to donate his toe to science afterwards. It was so prominent. A clue? Buzz Aldrin. Oh, he left his toe on the moon. He gave his toe to Buzz Aldrin.
Starting point is 00:33:21 One small toe for man. Okay, so Buzz Aldrin got his name because his sister said his... He gave his toe to Brock Lesnar. Once more toe for man! Okay, so Buzz Aldrin got his name because his sister said his... He was a cast aldrin. Yes. Called him Buzz. Called him Buzz. So his real name is Hector, but his little sister, Hecto, Hecto-toe, toe is where it's stuck.
Starting point is 00:33:39 But what he was known as within the ice hockey world was... Head, shoulders, knees, abs. Who would have thought you get two head, shoulders, knees, and toes to do one hookup? No, he was known as the old lamp lighter. Oh, really? And he's amazing. So why?
Starting point is 00:33:56 He's been listed as one of the 100 greatest NHL players in history, the old lamp lighter, because he's so good at scoring goals that a light goes on when you score a goal to let you know he's the old lamp lighter. That's good good at scoring goals that a light goes on when you score a goal. So the first actual example of anyone wearing a mask that we know of was a woman called Elizabeth Graham of Queen's University who in 1927 wore a fencing mask and according to her son she had done it because she'd recently had dental work and she wanted to protect her teeth.
Starting point is 00:34:27 There was, there does seem to be a vanity element to the original masks as there's her who didn't want to damage more of her teeth and get more dental bills. It just goes a little bit beyond vanity, so I don't want my teeth smashed up. Yeah, that's fair enough. It's a hard puck being smashed at your face. Pucks travel up 160 kilometres an hour and don't think,, you're absolutely worse. You want a mask in your face. I just think they're so mean back in the day. No, but it was, I think she specifically said that she was trying to save her dad the dental
Starting point is 00:34:47 bills, but that's probably because she was too afraid to just say, I'm really scared of being wiped in the face with a puck. But also there was a guy called Jack Crawford, who was one of the first people to wear a helmet in ice hockey, and that was in the 1930s. And he wore it apparently because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. That's so true. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch.
Starting point is 00:34:55 And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch.
Starting point is 00:35:03 And he was wearing it because he was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. And he was wearing it because he was bald and he first people to wear a helmet in ice hockey and that was the 1930s and he wore it apparently because He was bald and he just wanted to conceal his bald patch. That's so funny. That's a great idea. That's pretending of vanity. Yeah. Yeah, that's more of a vanity thing. You're absolutely right. I wouldn't put the vanity on the only woman that we have in this question. I'm allowed to do whatever I like with the only woman in this question Alex. Do you know that when actually speaking of women in hockey when International women's hockey first became a big thing, and this was in the 1980s, a lot of the leagues required breast protectors.
Starting point is 00:35:32 So you had to wear like something solid over your breasts so that they don't get hit by the puck. But one of the problems that they had in, I think it was in Sweden, is that one of the referees refused to check if the players were wearing them. So they couldn't enforce the law because it was a male referee and he wouldn't go in and just prod and go. Are they just very hard-breast so you're wearing a protector? That's a weird job, isn't it? Like what do you do? Like, rope woman before games. I started as the carrot eater from Elvira Blenberg.
Starting point is 00:36:02 While we're on referees, has anyone heard of Frederick Charles Albert Waghorn, aka the Old Wag? You had a tail? No, he's quite an innovative hockey referee. He set a lot of rules. One of the biggest things that he did was, referees didn't used to have a whistle. Instead of a whistle, do you know what they had? They had a cowbell. That makes sense because it's like an alpine, I don't know, like mountainous cold. Because you have cowbells in snow sometimes.
Starting point is 00:36:35 Yeah, I know. I'm not really going anywhere with that. The problem was that people kept toning up with their own cowbells. So you had people making it so that plays couldn't happen. So what they did is they used something that no one else could possibly get hold of, a whistle. Exactly. Now this is what's so amazing. Is it possible that the audience was just cows?
Starting point is 00:36:55 But this is what's amazing about the old WAGs decision, is that there wasn't at the time a thing of you having a whistle. Whistles weren't. Oh, they weren't commercially available. We're living in a time where whistles weren't that commercial. You're right, because at the start of thing of you having a whistle whistles weren't Right because at the start the 20th century everyone used to carry a cowbell Going on maybe that was more accessible. Yeah, no one really had them So you were more likely to have a cowbell come to a hockey match Whistle this is true. And so he introduced the whistle. He introduced professional referees in amateur hockey games.
Starting point is 00:37:29 The practice of dropping the puck from a few feet high when you're going for the start. He did that. And he also said, you can't count it as a goal if the puck breaks in half and half the puck goes inside the net. You need the full puck going inside the net. I guess maybe back in the day, the materials were different and it did happen but here's the thing about the whistle he took it
Starting point is 00:37:50 from being not only introduced it but took it from being a steel whistle to a um a plastic whistle because referees kept getting their lips stuck around it in the ice cold. Yeah they can't stop whistling what's wrong? and it comes to a whistling, what's wrong? Ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff out of their sockets. Yeah, so deliberately as opposed to an accidental part. Well, yes, I guess so. So this is the world record for the furthest eyeball pot by a woman, and it's 12 millimetres, which is quite a lot, obviously. It's by a woman called Kim Goodman. She discovered the talent when she was hit on the head by a hockey mask, and her eyeballs popped out.
Starting point is 00:38:39 What was the context for a hockey mask hitting you on the head? I actually don't have it, because what happened was that her eyes went out of her head, and she was like, oh my god And then she discovered she could do this and then now she holds the world record for the furthest pop How bizarre So this is just for women though because obviously all men have that whenever Jessica Rabbit wants It is funny how much pushback there always is to protective equipment in sports because it kind of degrades the sport. I mean people had the piss taken out of them a lot, didn't they? The first people to wear hockey masks, the first people who were wearing helmets and
Starting point is 00:39:16 people used to have extraordinary injuries, they still do actually, really awful injuries sometimes, but like eyeballs being slashed and stuff like that. really awful injuries sometimes, but like eyeballs being slashed and stuff like that. Brian Berard, I think, had, he lost an eye and then continued to play with 20 over 400 vision. The old winker. He had 20 over what? 400 vision. He had numerous operations on his eye to help try and restore his sight until it was eventually at the legal limit Which is 20 over 400 and we have 2020 Yeah, but that means that what I can see at 400 feet you as 20 over 400 can't see into the other 20 feet away
Starting point is 00:40:01 And then he was still quite good at hockey actually But not as good as he would have been. Are you guys familiar with the most popular genre of sports romance in the world? Okay. Well, it must be hockey related. Yeah, there is a clue in the fact that I've inserted into this fact,
Starting point is 00:40:17 but hockey romance is extremely popular. As in the literature you mean? Yeah. Hockey romance novels. So Amazon has a list of the top sports novels, sports romance novels. Oh she gave me a Zambona. One of Puck? That one I get. What was the first one? Zamboni is that little machine that drives around to make the ice smooth. Oh I didn't know that. James is actually much better because the
Starting point is 00:40:42 Puck one is used in almost every title. Oh, so I'm the commercial one. I'm the one keeping this industry afloat, mate. Apologies. I'm the one who's doing some esoteric poetry. James, your calf grass can be discovered after your time in the hockey romance genre. Exactly. There's old Dan Brown over here. It's amazing though they sell so many all the top ten books in Amazon's list of sports romance all hockey romance. I wonder what their demographic is? Do you? Canadians?
Starting point is 00:41:14 I think I can tell you. Look alright I'm sorry I'm just wondering what is it? I think it's Canadian women. So they sell up to two million estimated two million for the most popular which I can tell you as people who sell books is more than we've sold in many of our books by a bunch of about a hundred. And yeah, they all have titles like Puck Me and Pucking Around and Hot as Puck. It doesn't sound like romance. It sounds more like erotic pornography literature. I think they are traversing that line quite a lot. Yes.
Starting point is 00:41:42 Yeah. And do you think that I wonder if it's less about Canadian women just like it and more about you're gonna write a sporting erotica book and it's the easiest pun to make it? Yeah. You could be right. We were talking about ghost bus stops earlier. Last fact. I don't even realize how much ghostbusters they are. There's a company in London that does bus tours of like Ghost Tours of London and they're called Ghost Bus Tours and I think that's such a good sign. Oh yes, that's lovely.
Starting point is 00:42:12 That's really good. See there goes Dan again with a commercial pun. So do you know what a ghost keeper is? Ghost keeper, so it's presumably about hockey. Is it a goalkeeper that lets all the goals in? He's actually a real person. He's called Jim Bob Ghostkeeper. Yo Ghostkeeper!
Starting point is 00:42:32 He's a Canadian hockey goalkeeper. The reason he's notable is that in 2018 he won Name of the Year. You know those competitions? So that's his real name is it? It must be. I think that's part of the... Certainly it must be I think that's part of the or certainly must be his deep old name Yeah Just because I do love a hockey nickname
Starting point is 00:42:51 So goalies have great nicknames. There's John William Bauer who was known as the China wall couldn't get past him The China wall, do you mean the Great Wall of China? Yeah, exactly a you can get you and be a wall made of China would be very smashful by park traffic Yeah, maybe he's visible from space. Something I thought was really interesting that I didn't know about hockey, and I'm sure people who watch it a lot will, is that 10% of ordinary people left-handed. In hockey, the majority play left-handed. 60 to 70% of NHL players shoot left-handed. And it seems to be that basically, in hockey it's really important to be quite ambidextrous
Starting point is 00:43:31 because you're having to use both hands a lot and flip it around. And so I think a lot of coaches think the way to get super high level, and the more high level you get, the more left-handed players you get, the way to get super high level is to breed ambidexterity. So they're just taught from a young age,
Starting point is 00:43:45 shoot with your off hand. So isn't that weird? You want to come up with a whole new thing, like learn to play it holding it with your mouth or something so you can both hands like come up with something that's really crazy. What are you going to do with your hands? Well, the only thing you could do with your hands in a game of hockey is to hold the stick. You can write hockey romance novels with your hands. I can imagine people are wearing their breath protectors on them. I can imagine what the romance is if you've got a hockey stick in your mouth. Where's the puck though?
Starting point is 00:44:15 That's really interesting because ice hockey came from another sport called shinny. Oh, that sounds painful. Yeah, I think that is probably where it got its name that people would be wrapped on the shins because there's lots of different rules to this. Basically, it's hitting a ball into a goal quite often on the ice in the winter. But one rule that seems to be common no matter how the game was played
Starting point is 00:44:38 is that you had to play it right-handed all the time. But if you hit a shot with your left hand, the nearest opponent to you had to shout, shinny on your own side, and then was allowed to hit you in the shins with their stick. Oh. That was, yeah.
Starting point is 00:44:53 I guess you're getting the warning though. Yeah, I mean, you can sort of like, plunge yourself. You can't plunge your shins. That's right, you can't. There's nothing you can do. I feel like you can. Plunge your shin muscles. You can be psychologically prepared for it, but you can't can do. I feel like you can. Plinch your shin muscles everyone.
Starting point is 00:45:05 Like psychologically prepare for it, but you can't physically. Oh, I tell you what. You could run away. I'm clenching my shin right now. No, you're not. You're clenching your calf, I reckon. Yeah, but it's pulling back the muscle.
Starting point is 00:45:15 It's pulling back the skin. That's the point. There's nothing in between your shin, but there's a few layers of skin and the tiny bit. You're right. If anything, you want to unclench. You want to have a paunch to your shin so it doesn't hit the bone.
Starting point is 00:45:27 He walked into the room, he had incredibly muscly thighs, but a paunch on his shin. He was clearly a hockey player. Okay, it is time for our final fact of the show and that is Anna. My fact this week is that the Alessu people of Papua New Guinea all avoid having sex during the pig-farrowing season. That's my excuse.
Starting point is 00:45:59 The lonely Alessu people. Every season is pig-farrowowing season in the Alex Bell world. What's pig-farrowing? Yes, it's when pigs are giving birth. And I find it quite interesting that it's specifically for pigs, only pigs farrow, which is nice that they've got that special word when they're all getting piglets. And I actually read about this when I was researching last week's fact. We were talking about pregnancy stuff
Starting point is 00:46:25 and I was reading about cuvarde, which is the practice which happens in various cultures around the world where men sort of take on pregnancy symptoms or enact pregnancy symptoms or sometimes experience them. They'll take to their beds, they'll perform certain rituals. Anyway, I was reading about this in Britannica
Starting point is 00:46:41 and it was talking about the Lesu men of Papua New Guinea, and it said they avoid certain things before the birth of children in that mimicking pregnancy way, but this also applies to non-human propagation, as they put it. So the whole community avoids intercourse while pig-farrowing is happening. The important question is how long is the pig-farrowing season? Yeah, good question. Season's a big word. Yeah. It's not the pig-farrowing season? Yeah, good question. Season's a big word. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:47:06 It's not the pig-farrowing afternoon, is it? I don't know, but I mean, I think it's a few weeks, but I like to think that the pigs really drag it out, watching these sex-starved Melanesian men. Yeah, it was interesting. And Lesu is just a little village in Papua New Guinea, so it's a small portion of people. But yeah, what I mean by it being related to Kuvvad is it's about like things giving birth to other things and the taboos that you have around that to make sure that it's good luck.
Starting point is 00:47:33 So they avoid sex in the hope that the pigs will farrow nicely. I think they had some Kuvvad practices in ancient Egypt where when a child was born, the man would sort of play out the ritual of labor. So they'd go into their bed and like, basically, exactly. It kind of sounds kind of mocking to be honest. The dress and the mother's clothing. Very helpful, I imagine. It'd be a little bit more useful, I was thinking.
Starting point is 00:47:59 It's funny, when my wife gave birth, I was in the room when it happened. And she had a caesarian. And what they said to me was, OK, your job is here is a Bluetooth speaker. Put on some nice music that your wife would like. OK. And what I think is obviously attaching your Bluetooth speaker to your phone is one of the most annoying sort of time consuming things exactly but it's just a thing that they're like at least making the man useful giving him something which is difficult enough that he feels like he's done something but easy enough that it's not going to affect anything 5 hours in you're sweating and screaming I can't do it it's too difficult
Starting point is 00:48:41 I fucking hate you Which epith fish did you play? It was one you weren't into. So I was reading a very old book called The Golden Bough by Sir James George Fraser, and this is like the Bible of anthropology, which was written well over a hundred years ago. Nowadays, if you look at it through today's lens a lot of the things that he came up with are probably not true and a bit dodgy um but you know he did look at lots of different cultures and see what they did and he found that there was quite a lot of cultures where when there was something happening in the farm like
Starting point is 00:49:21 you know the pigs are giving birth or were laying the seeds for some plants or stuff, there were quite a lot of people not having sex. Right. Because they were just so busy. No, well, it could have been that that was the reason. His theory, again, we don't really adhere to his theories much, is that basically, you're taking up too much of the world's energy,
Starting point is 00:49:42 and you don't want to use up all the energy because you want to let the crops grow. And if you have too much sex then the the chi or whatever isn't going into the plants and they won't grow as well. This is what I told myself when I shared a flat and my flatmates all off having loads of sex and I was sitting in front of the TV and the pole was so real in my pajamas listening to them thinking this is fine, this is fine, I shouldn't be asking. Listening to them? You should put the pole on the TV, Alex. You know what I mean?
Starting point is 00:50:07 There's a lot of thin walls, you can hear stuff from the left and the right, and you can't hear your YouTube video about buses. But yeah, according to him, in other parts of Melanesia, men wouldn't sleep with their wives when they were training their vines. These are all excruciatingly slow things. Yeah. Nicaraguans wouldn't have sex between planting the maize and reaping the maize. Wow. And the Cateish people of Australia wouldn't have sex after laying the grass seed until the first bits of grass popped up.
Starting point is 00:50:38 So it's almost like Lent. It's just a season of... Yeah. Abstinence. But then he also said that, let's say this theory of the energy is true some people thought well by having sex will increase the energy in the area and it will be better for the plants. Yeah, sow some seeds while you're sowing some seeds. Exactly and so he said that in Ukraine all the young married people would go into a field and roll around in it after you've planted some seeds. What? Having sex with each other? It just said rolling around.
Starting point is 00:51:08 Right. Like when you roll down a hill. Yeah I think they might have been naked so that's bringing some energy in there. Okay. He said in Russia it would be similar but it would be a priest who would be rolled around by all the women in the village. That sounds really fun. That's like when you got the bumps on your birthday.
Starting point is 00:51:26 So it's just one priest and all the women. And then he said, the papillies of Central America have an older and ruder custom designed to impart fertility into the fields. And because it was an old book, whenever it was something really rude, he wouldn't say what it was. Oh, okay. So we, you know, it's some kind it wouldn't say what it was. Oh, OK.
Starting point is 00:51:45 So it's some kind of excuse. But you would put in a teaser, like a little taster. For me, it's either having literal sex in the field or masturbating into the field. Yeah. I don't know which one. Oh, yeah. It's got to be that one.
Starting point is 00:51:57 Yeah, yeah. In Tudor Times in England, according to historian Lauren Johnson, you weren't supposed to have sex any time in Lent, anytime in Advent, anytime in Pentecost, when a woman was menstruating, when a woman was pregnant, for a month after giving birth, when a woman was breastfeeding, during any of the holy days, during any of the days when you were taking communion, all the days leading up to taking communion. You're not supposed to have sex on any of those days. But on the 7th of March...
Starting point is 00:52:27 What do you mean you've got a headache? On the 7th of March, assuming that isn't a holiday, but not in the daytime. Right, okay. And also, especially in the middle ages, you could only really have sex to produce a child. But presumably people did, right? Yeah, they were. Yeah, they were, though. How, how-
Starting point is 00:52:47 It's just taboo. It's just taboo. She's not talking about it. That's undoubtedly true. But if you wanted to get away with it, you didn't have to go to a church to get married. Basically, it was just an exchange of vows in front of a witness. That meant you were married. That witness was usually me. The witness couldn't be downstairs watching a bus video. So for instance there was one 15th century couple who got married in Yorkshire while milking a cow. Okay that's nice. That's one of those hipster quirky weddings isn't it?
Starting point is 00:53:18 Oh we did ours on the top of the Empire State Building. Oh we did ours while milking a cow. Where did you get married? Yeah on the Arthur's seat next to a tiny ruined chapel. What's your point? Pig sex? Okay. As in, should we talk about it? Yeah, go on. You weren't suggesting it.
Starting point is 00:53:36 Let's talk about it. When pigs are pregnant, they're pregnant for three months, three weeks, and three days. That's the gestation period, is that right? Yeah, yeah. Isn't that weird? Three weeks and three days. Yeah, I mean, not exactly is that right? Yeah, yeah. Isn't that weird? Three weeks and three days. Yeah, I mean not exactly presumably, but their due date, you're saying,
Starting point is 00:53:48 when they go to the doctor. Yeah, exactly, obviously it varies, but that's the official period, yeah. Nice. That is something. Also pig sex smells like truffles, and that's why we use paste for truffles, because female pigs, they think they're looking
Starting point is 00:54:00 for sexy male pigs, that's what they're smelling and looking for. Really? And they think sexy male pigs live underground? No, they're obviously like, they're just horny as fuck and looking for anything that smells like a sexy pig. There. There is a building in China that contains 300,000 pigs. Real pigs or China pigs?
Starting point is 00:54:18 Real pigs, the great pigs of China. What floor? They're on all the floors. The entire building is a pig farm. Yeah, so it's like probably 20 stories high, about as long as it is high, and it's just full of pigs everywhere. Wow. And they have the- I'm imagining like a pig office, sorry now, like where they're wearing ties. You know what, it is like, the building looks like a really sort of dystopian office building. It's very nondescript. It just looks like a big old building.
Starting point is 00:54:47 They have temperature control, ventilation control, the animals are fed automatically. Just one person in a central control clicks a button and then each pig gets a little bit of food. And the idea is that if you farm pigs in this way, then you can get lots of meat, which they need in China, but also they don't mix with the domestic pigs, so there might be less transfer of diseases and stuff like that. Where of course everyone else says, well, on the other hand,
Starting point is 00:55:16 you've got 300,000 pigs next to each other, so if one of them gets sick, probably they all get sick. Yeah. And it's also just, sounds a bit sad. I mean, I know we do it with people and everyone goes into the office every day. It's not quite the same. Imagine if you're late for a meeting and you've got the address wrong by one bill. I'm just looking up some other sex related taboos like things that you do for luck or things that you can't do. And came across the Banyankoli people in, they're in Uganda and Southwest Uganda.
Starting point is 00:55:49 And the aunt in those communities has a really interesting position. So it's her responsibility to make sure when her niece gets married, that the groom is potent and able to, you know, perform. And that they're sexually- Can you stop looking so, you're tearing into my eyes when you talk about this. You know that plant over there that Matt Parker really liked you know perform and that they're sexually looking so
Starting point is 00:56:22 So they and this is actually another example of how a lot of people still have the anthropological approach that is very old-fashioned offensive There's so much online about how the aunts have sex with their nieces grooms. Not helped by I think people from that community who say, yeah, yeah, we do that, but I'm pretty sure they're joking. But what the aunt does do is she watches the first time the couple has sex, so she comes into the room to make sure that everything's functioning. How interesting, yeah.
Starting point is 00:56:42 Is that still practice, are you saying? Yeah, it is sometimes, I believe. If that's what you do, it's not weird. I mean, that's the whole How interesting, yeah. Is that still practice, are you saying? Yeah, it is sometimes, I believe. If that's what you do, it's not weird. I mean, that's the whole thing about sexual practice. That's just- It's just humans. We just try new things, don't we? Yeah, and there's always the whole thing
Starting point is 00:56:53 about all the taboos around the stuff that's the most basic thing we could do as creatures, like sex and going to the toilet and stuff like that. We don't talk about it, and it's all private, but it is the only things that nearly all of us have in common, so why- I mean, pretty much all we talk about is sex and going to the loo, but it is the only things that nearly all of us have in common. So like, why? I mean, pretty much all we talk about is sex and going to the loo, to be honest.
Starting point is 00:57:08 No, that's true. Certainly on this podcast. Yeah, obviously. We've really, we're advanced as a society. We've broken down those taboos. Okay, that's it. That is all of our facts. Thank you so much for listening. If you'd
Starting point is 00:57:25 like to get in contact with any of us about the things that we have said over the course of this podcast, we can all be found on various places on social media. I'm on Instagram. I'm on at Shriverland. James. My Instagram is no such thing as James Harkin. Alex. My Instagram is Alex H Bell. And Anna, how can they get to us as a group? You can email podcast at or you can go to at no such thing on Twitter or no such thing as a fish on Instagram. That's right. Or you can go to our website, no such thing as a fish dot com. All of the previous episodes are up there.
Starting point is 00:57:55 There's also a link, the gateway to Club Fish, our secret members club, where we put a lot of bonus material up on. There's also a Discord that you get access to so you can chat to all the other fish listeners. Otherwise just come back here next week. We'll be back with another episode and we'll see you then. Goodbye!.

There aren't comments yet for this episode. Click on any sentence in the transcript to leave a comment.