Episode 43: Hat, Captain Hook

Cat Kickers
Dreams vs. Social Media
Content Creators
Foppish Dandies

Episode 43: Hat, Captain Hook Shel We Read a Poem?

CraftingCat KickersDreams vs. Social Media Content CreatorsFoppish DandiesVillainsLaughterBros., Lecce: We Eat at The Worst Michelin Starred Restaurant, EverWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Food.Episode transcript here: https://laurenhudgins.com/2021/12/21/episode-43-hat-captain-hook/shelwereadapoem@gmail.com@ShelWeRead


Intro music

British Voice: Shel We Read a Poem?

Russ: Hello all and welcome to Shel We Read a Poem. I’m Russ.

Lauren: And I’m Lauren.

Russ: Your living room is a crafting mess. You say?

Lauren: It’s a crafting mess. I’m making things out of old sweaters because I ran out of yarn to crochet.

Russ: That is the most crafting problem I’ve ever heard.

Lauren: Yeah, I find a lot of sweaters with holes in them, generally from wool moths. And so I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them, because that’s good materials. So I’ve started making very simple beanies out of sweaters. And we’ll see how those go right now. They’re very primitive. And I make little cat kickers, but my cat’s not convinced that this is something she wants to play with.

Russ: What is a cat kicker?

Lauren: So it’s sort of this longer tube with stuffing. And they’re best made out of something a stiff material like canvas, so it’ll stay rigid while they bunny kick it. But they also really like to play with wool. So I’ve been giving that a try.

Russ: Oh, that disemboweling thing where they grab with their front feet and kick with their back feet.

Lauren: Exactly.

Russ: Ah. Cat kicker. I understand now.

Lauren: Yeah. Oh, did you think had something to do with kicking cats?

Russ: I pictured a cat standing there. And I couldn’t envision a motion that I could equate to kicking.

Lauren: Punt.

Russ: And so I pictured the cat, you know, like batting the thing off of the table. And I was like: Well, I guess it’s using its feet. So like technically, that would be kicking. Maybe these things are meant to be batted at off of tables. But then you describe the… What phrase did you use for the…

Lauren: Bunny kick?

Russ: Bunny kick. Yeah, the two back legs I’m going to knock your intestines out things.

Yes, it’s adorable.

Russ: Yeah, well, that’s a word. I want to buy one of your beanies.

Lauren: What?

Russ: I said I want to buy one of your beanies. I like this idea. I want to beanie because it’s cold here and I want one.

Lauren: Oh, I was just gonna make you a nice one at some point with whatever color you requested.

Russ: Well, I’m not going to request a color. I want one.

Lauren: I’m much better at crocheting at this point that I am at sewing.

Russ: Well either way it matters not to me.

Lauren: Okay. Okay. I can make this happen pretty quickly.

Russ: Just name your price and I will and I will happily provide.

Lauren: How about you just pay for shipping?

Russ: Well, okay, I will do that.

Lauren: Okay.

Russ: So what are we talking about?

Lauren: This is called “Hat.” Russ laughs.

Teddy said it was a hat,
So I put it on.
Now Dad is saying,
“Where the heck’s
the toilet plunger gone?”

And it is a person looking very wide eyed with a toilet plunger on their head. Obviously, I’m thinking a lot about hats because I’m making a lot of beanies out of random things. Not toilet plungers yet. But for some reason last night, I think I had a dream about this poem or something similar, because I remember there being a toilet plunger stuck to something where somebody was trapped or maybe on a person. And someone says, “No, no, no, you can’t pull. You can’t pull. You have to push down first.”

Russ: As though this is the secret to releasing a toilet plunger.

Lauren: Yeah, as if it is. I mean, that’s not really held toilet plungers work. They don’t really get stuck to things very much. I know in some Mario, like, cartoon or something, when I was young, I think they use toilet plungers to climb walls.

Russ: Wasn’t that… there’s a Mission Impossible whereTom Cruise uses… it’s not toilet plungers, but it’s it’s suction cuppy things.

Lauren: Yeah, but that’s different than a toilet plunger.

Russ: Oh, this must be scientific. Like surely one can do this.

Lauren: I don’t know about that. Any case, I’m not really sure whether this was a dream, or whether this is something I saw on social media before I went to sleep. And this isn’t the first time I’ve had that confusion. And I think it’s because there are so many non sequiturs that I see on social media that my brain just registers “non sequitur at nighttime.” And then I can’t really distinguish between it and a dream.

Russ: That is the weirdest problem I’ve ever heard of.

Lauren: Yeah, yeah, I think so, too.

Russ: My dreams are always so bizarre that it’s like: Wait, was I ever a 1930s Detective that was also driving a flying boat? No, I’m pretty sure that was a dream.

Lauren: That sounds fabulous. And not at all like trying to help someone remove a plunger from their head or wherever it was.

Russ: Oh, you have to push down first.

Lauren: Yeah.

Russ: The secret to removing plungers from heads.

Lauren: Yeah. It does bother me a little bit that I can’t always tell what was something I saw on social media and what was a dream. All I’m like is: Yep, that made no sense. So it was one of those two places that those thoughts came from. And a lot of the times, the way I know I’m falling asleep, is that my brain tries to follow up on something that I was thinking about. And I realized it makes no sense. And then I’m like: Ah, I’m about to fall asleep.

Russ: I do know that sensation where you’re thinking about something that you weren’t thinking about, but you aren’t aware that you weren’t thinking of it, where it’s like, I should get the apples out of the oven. Oh, that didn’t make any sense. Time for sleep now.

Lauren: I mean, it can make sense for there to be apples in the oven. If you’re making baked apples.

Russ: Never put apples in an oven. That’s insanity.

Lauren: What? What if you want to bake some apples.

Russ: No one bakes apples. You’re… that… no.

Lauren: Poached apples.

Russ: Did you see that viral review that that lady did about that Bros’ restaurant in Italy?

Lauren: Yes, I did.

Russ: Oh, my god, that was freaking poetry. “The reconstituted orange came with an actual orange. But we weren’t supposed to eat that one.”

Lauren: Did you see the response?

Russ: The response belongs in a museum!

Lauren: It certainly thinks it does.

Russ: That was amazing.

Lauren: Russ, would you like to explain the response?

Russ: Well, so apparently, the chef at Bros’ is… his last name, I just remember being the most Italian name I’ve ever seen in my entire life. His last name is Pellegrino. And I remember that because that’s my favorite water. So she wrote this article. It went viral. I’ll link it in the comments. But it’s a very funny review of a really hoity toity Michelin starred restaurant and she just takes the piss out of it. Because all the courses were tiny and ridiculous and stupid. And you had things like frozen air and you know, shit like that. And so when reached for comment, Chef Pellegrino, replies with three pages of abject hipster nonsense. It is amazing. He compares cooking to drawing a man on a horse, and how anyone can do that. But it takes a special kind of person to do it well, but you can’t do it too well, because that becomes trite. And it is amazing.

Lauren: It is essentially, “my art is too advanced for you.”

Russ: Yeah, yeah. And then when he refers to the columnist who did this right up, he refers to her as Mrs. XXX, because he couldn’t be bothered to remember her.

Lauren: Right, right.

Russ: Amazing.

Lauren: Yes, the “Mrs.” is an extra insult.

Russ: Very much. It’s not Miss it’s not Ms. It’s not… “Mrs.” Madam. The only way it could have been funnier to me is if he done that, like 19th century novel thing where it’s like, Mrs. X and then like the line underneath it. Where they’re, you know, essentially redacting the person’s actual name? Oh, my god.

Lauren: Well, that would imply some intention.

Russ: I mean, there was intention. I don’t know what the intention was, but there was a lot of it.

Lauren: What does this have to do with toilet plungers?

Russ: What, what is anything we discuss on this podcast have to do with anything else? We’re a stream of consciousness.

Lauren: I try not to be. I think what I’m doing in this is I’m somewhat complaining about my stream of consciousness and how I’m like: I don’t know where these thoughts about toilet plungers are coming from.

Russ: We’re definitely not going to figure it out on this podcast.

Lauren: No, but I think there is something to say about confusing social media and dreams.

Russ: And you’re not even on TikTok.

Lauren: No, it’s like Chinese spyware.

Russ: Who gives a crap? It’s funny. Also everything is Chinese. Do you own a phone? It’s Chinese spyware.

Lauren: Yeah, but TikTok’s particularly egregious.

Russ: I love it. God, I get to see so many bunnies.

Lauren: I know. TikTok has a lot of great stuff on it. I almost said “content,” but I can’t stand to say that word.

Russ: Why has content become a four letter word?

Lauren: So when you make something, it can be content. But when you are making something in order to be content, then—which we have been doing for quite a while or it’s just like, you know….

Russ: And literally every artist does.

Lauren: Right? But but it’s very much a job now…

Russ: It’s always been a job.

Lauren: …the Content Creator, like you make stuff…

Russ: How do you think Mozart made a living?

Lauren: …for the sake of making stuff.

Russ: How do you think Mozart made a living? He made stuff because he had to make stuff. Say that about shoemakers or…?

Lauren: I do think there’s a little bit of something more to it if you enjoy doing it, or if you are doing it to specifications with the idea of someone enjoyment involved. I think a lot of content these days are not about human enjoyment, but about algorithm appeasement.

Russ: And you know, back in the day it was appeasing the church. So, you know, six of one, half a dozen together.

Lauren: Yeah, I mean, I’m with you to an extent that everything is everything is as it always was. On the other hand, it’s just so much more of it.

Russ: I want everyone who ever interacts with me to add that clause to anything they say to me. “I’m with you to an extent.”

Lauren: Both laugh. I think I just have that feeling about everybody.

Russ: The other day someone said, “I’m with Russ on this one,” and I went, “Oh, let me stop you right there. You definitely should not be with Russ on this one. Russ, his ideas are questionable at best.”

Lauren: What are you going to read, Russ?

Russ: I’m gonna read “Captain Hook.”

Lauren: Oh, good.


Captain Hook must remember
Not to scratch his toes.
Captain Hook must watch out
And never pick his nose.
Captain Hook must be gentle
When he shakes your hand.
Captain Hook must be careful
Openin’ sardine cans
And playing tag and pouring tea
And turnin’ pages of his book.
Lots of folks I’m glad I ain’t—
But mostly Captain Hook!

And there is an image of a frustrated Captain Hook with his hook just shoved through the center of a sardine can. And he’s clearly frustrated that he has not successfully opened it.

Lauren: Alright, Russ, what do you have to say today about this poem?

Russ: I love villains. And the more foppish they are, the better. What put this idea in my head was I was going over things that haven’t aged well. And I don’t even remember why I was doing this. I just think I went on, like, a YouTube deep dive or something. But even stuff that I really enjoyed like… I was one of those nerds that in, you know, the mid 2000s, I was a big fan of Firefly, the short lived sci fi TV series. And I went back and rewatched it and it does not age well.

Lauren: Oh dear. I’ll have to take a look, I guess. I loved Firefly when I watched it.

Russ: Yeah, I did too. But you go back now and it’s like, oh, this is this is problematic in many ways. And like apparently Joss Whedon is actually an asshole. And just no one knew it until… all things with time. But they speak Chinese, but there’s no Chinese characters. And there’s a whole lot of slut shaming. And it’s just stuff that doesn’t quite work. And so then I started going back and looking at properties that I had really enjoyed. And it’s like, you can go back to like all the old Disney stuff like Song of the South and the really, really horrendously racist cartoons. But I went back and started looking at like cut content from Peter Pan. And there was a song in there called…

Lauren: Yes.

Russ: You know the one I’m talking about.

Lauren: It’s somewhat… it’s offensive even to say the name.

Russ: Yes. But anyway, it is a song about First Nations people and you can look it up if you want to. But I was watching I was like, oh my god, this is amazing: standard family fare. And what took me to Peter Pan was because I always love the villain. Even when I was a kid, I remember looking at Captain Hook and maybe it’s the way I am today. Just because it’s like the more dandy-ish and foppish a villain is, the more I like them.

Lauren: You can’t see his hand but he’s gesturing with his fingers very dramatically and delicately in the air.

Russ: Foppishly, and I’m also wearing a tie. But even as a kid I remember being like… Captain Hook in the Disney movie is a very comical villain. And then that shaped portrayals thereafter. And then you had 1991’s Hook where you had Dustin Hoffman playing Captain Hook…

Lauren: Fabulous.

Russ: …brilliantly. He is just over the top and a complete dandy and just wonderful. And it wasn’t until you came back around to maybe Jason Isaacs in Pan, where the villain starts to take on a little bit more of the scary roots. And then Jason Isaacs has another very foppish villain in Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. But the end of this poem is “lots of folks I’m glad I ain’t but mostly Captain Hook” and I wanted to be Captain Hook. You have the people that wanted to be… I didn’t want to be Peter Pan. I wanted to be Captain Hook because of what… I mean look at Peter’s wardrobe: green tights and a hat? You can fuck right off. What does Captain Hook wear? A golden embroidered red coat, a big hat and a giant black wig and he gets a sword. Oh, thank you very much. I’ll walk to Denny’s wearing that.

Lauren: I love this. Laughs. I’d love to see you in Denny’s in Captain Hook garb, but without it being Captain Hook specifically. Like maybe like that whole Disneybounding thing where it’s like you sort of wear the costume but not a real costume.

Russ: Oh my god, please discuss Disneybounding

Lauren: I don’t really love it that much. So I don’t really want to, it just made me think of a trip to Denny’s dressed Captain Hook, but maybe not in such a way that they think you’re like trying to be Captain Hook.

Russ: I also live in Davie Village in Vancouver and so were I to turn up at the local Denny’s wearing a full Captain Hook outfit, no one would bat an eye.

Lauren: I mean, we don’t have Denny’s really much in Portland, but you can get away with that sort of thing in Portland whenever you want.

Lauren: You can. I guess we have to—since we mentioned Disneybounding—we have to say what it is. It’s when… so you’re not allowed to wear costumes to Disney. So people wear things that kind of look like the costumes but also like normal clothes. The end.

Russ: This has not taken over at Universal Studios, says Russ who is a big Harry Potter fan and went to Harry Potter World and bought the entire outfit. And then tourists posed with me for pictures thinking I was one of the performers. I am on so many tourists’ walls.

So at Universal Studios, adults are allowed to wear costumes?

Russ: Yes.

Lauren: Ah, I see.

Russ: And if I ever go back, I am bringing my entire regalia. Why? Because I want to be Captain Hook.

Lauren: I don’t suppose there’s a Universal Studios version of Captain Hook.

Russ: Well, Lucius Malfoy.

Lauren: Okay.

Russ: Whose costume you can buy at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Since when did this become… Universal Studios is not a sponsor of this podcast.

Lauren: Never would be. We have no sponsors. Thank you to all those maybe 12 people who listen to us.

Russ: Solid 12.

Lauren: We’ve grown so much in this year. Russ laughs. I’ve started doing transcripts of some of our first episodes, and I’ve noticed that you laugh a lot more than I do.

Russ: A lot of it is intentional. Because I like hearing laughter in podcasts.

Lauren: Yeah, it is uplifting. You’re a laugh track.

Russ: I like hearing obnoxious laughter. Like if someone on a podcast has a very strident irritating laugh, I really enjoy it.

Lauren: It becomes a gag.

Russ: Yes. And so that’s why I have my laughs. Oh, it sounded fake. There. It is a laugh. Like, I am actually laughing myself. But yeah…

Lauren: I don’t know if I laugh very much as a person.

Russ: You don’t.

Lauren: Like, even when I’m enjoying a joke. I don’t tend to laugh.

Russ: And when you laugh, it’s really subdued and you smile really big. But your face stays closed. And it’s like soft chuckle kinda like that.

Lauren: Laughs. That seems sinister.

Russ: Oh, there was a big one.

Lauren: Well, that seemed sinister. Do I seem sinister?

Russ: I mean, I’ve known you like 15 years, so not really.

Lauren: Oh, well.

Russ: But, yeah.

Lauren: Yep. Oh, look, it stopped raining.

Russ: It has been gorgeous here all day long.

Lauren: It has been absolutely terrible. My cat has gone to the door, looked outside and then ran away in horror so quickly that I tripped over her, because I had no way to predict where she would be. And then three minutes later, she came back to the door and wanted to be let out again. And I opened the door. And once again, she ran away in horror.

Russ: Where does she go when she’s let out?

Lauren: Well, so she sits on the porch. She’s not a super active cat. She will occasionally go over to the yard next door and bother the cat over there. But for the most part, she just hangs out on the porch.

Russ: Does she like the cat over there?

Lauren: Oh, no, she doesn’t like any cats. She doesn’t like any adult cats. She will tolerate kittens.

Russ: You mentioned she doesn’t like cats, but I keep hoping there’s like one exception. So she just goes over there and hisses and bats at them and then comes home.

Lauren: Well, she’s trying to intimidate them.

Russ: Wow. Is she trying to do like take over the drug trade on their territory?

Lauren: I think so. But there’s a cat that comes in does that to her so…

Russ: I’m just picturing like fraternity bros sticking their chest out and walking back and forth as menacingly as they can.

Lauren: Somewhat like that. They just floof up their backs and like rrrrrrrrrrrr.

Russ: Sup cuz. But no, I’m glad the weather was nice around here because I got to go and support my better half because I went to the industry premiere of Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania.

Lauren: That’s why you have a tie on.

Russ: That’s why I have a tie on. It will probably show up on your streaming service of choice. I went with the understanding that it was a children’s movie. And I expected to be very bored and hate every minute of it. And I was not and I actually liked the movie, despite going in expecting to dislike it. And so yeah, if you are a fan of the Hotel Transylvania series, this apparently carries on the legacy very proudly.

Lauren: Have you seen any of the others?

Russ: Not a single one.

Lauren: Okay.

Russ: And I was not lost for a minute. And now I kind of want to because they seem really charming. And that now I have not looked up anything. I knew kind of the basic plot that monsters are sort of nice. And Dracula runs a hotel. That’s what I knew about it. And then I would come to find out that Dracula has a daughter named Mavis and in the first movie, Mavis gets married to this backpacker, which is very funny to me.

Lauren: It is very funny.

Russ: So he’s like, his name is Johnny. And he’s apparently like, you know, doing the trekking/hosteling thing through Transylvania and ends up at Dracula’s hotel and then Dracula’s daughter marries him. And then like in the second movie, they have a kid. And then in the third movie, they go on a vacation and Dracula gets married. And now in the fourth movie, the conflict is Dracula’s debating whether or not he leaves the hotel to them. And so Johnny wants to turn himself into a monster.

Lauren: That’s really charming.

Russ: And in so doing all of the monsters get turned into humans.

Lauren: Oh? Dun dun dun.

Russ: And the movie is a fetch quest where they have to try and fix everything. Very, very adorable. I would learn that Adam Sandler was the voice of Dracula. He does not return in this movie, but I couldn’t have told you because the guy who replaced him does a great job.

Lauren: Great.

Russ: But yeah, super cute.

Lauren: All right. Good recommendation. Russ laughs. I’m actually intrigued and might want to watch them. But I won’t. I never watch movies.

Russ: You hate movies. But you will watch five hours of a television show.

Lauren: I will.

Russ: But you have been playing some video games.

Lauren: have. Yes. I started trying to play Horizon Zero Dawn,

Russ: Aloy voiced by the fabulous Ashly Burch who I love all of her content. She is a writer, actress, YouTube personality, former host of Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?, very good work all around.

Lauren: I’m really creeped out by the attempted realism on a child. It’s really creepy

Russ: And I did not remember there were children in that game. They are .01% of the game. Most of it is you fighting robot dinosaurs

Lauren: Because the tutorial is like: you’re kid and you have to learn how to fight robot dinosaurs.

Russ: Oh, that segment. No, that goes away really quick.

Lauren: Yeah, it’s really off putting.

Russ: Yeah, don’t worry. Aloy grows up and she becomes all kick ass.

Lauren: Okay.

Russ: Sequel coming out as well.

Lauren: Okay

Russ: Well, do you have any uplifting thoughts to leave the listeners with?

Lauren: It’s not like I don’t feel uplifted. Well, it’s kind of rainy and I have been feeling kind of depressed so maybe not. It’s… uh… There are… There are good things.

Both laugh.

Outro music.