RL356 - “You Only See the Top”

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problem: You don’t want to moisten your knickers, referring to John having to wade through water when the tide came in and he didn’t think of taking off his shoes and rolling his pants up.

The show title refers to the fact that you can only see the top of a puddle of water when you look at it, but you don’t see the bottom and you don’t know how deep it is.

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

Birds (RL356)

Welcome to their annual Charles Nelson Reilly episode! Remembering the great days! ”How do you feel about birds today?” Merlin doesn’t like birds and he forgot it was a bit. One goes through stages in life with birds. When you are little, you are: ”Oh, it’s a bird!”, and later you say ”It’s a plane!”, at some point you are fascinated by birds, then you learn to do the little drawing, the checkmark thing that looks like a seagull, the Jonathan Livingston Seagull (book by Richard Bach). They told him they couldn’t! Merlin’s grandmother had that book and it seemed always really peculiar. You always wonder how your relatives find Hippie stuff.

John read the book and loved it, it feels like a pan to recklessness, and he has been Jonathan Livingston Seagull every day since, he just wants to go as fast as he can, he wants to fly faster. Merlin says that the headlines tell you that everybody needs more encouragement, but the dirty little secret is that a lot of people could use more discouragement. John likes to think that they provide a necessary corrective!

Keep moving and get out of the way, navigating crowds (RL356)

Merlin went to a big box pet store called PetSmart to get some Lizard supplies. They walked to the Zebra on this Florida-sized parking lot with ample parking, in the part of San Francisco called Daly City, named after George Daly and his associate Robert City. Merlin likes that John is in a good mood. John is at an age where he has to pee 8 times in a night, it is either age or he has cancer, but either way it makes him jolly. One of Merlin’s bullets this week is about segmented sleep!

They crossed the designated crosswalk area, and there is a concrete apron in front of it, like you would find at a Target or a Bed Bath & Beyond, and there are families walking all abreast like a great flank, like they are doing some kind of slow-motion line dance. John doesn’t think you are allowed to walk abreast unless it is a wedding photo! Merlin will allow two teens with their hands in one another’s back pockets, that is as many abreast as you get. You fucking move! You go two across to let two walk by. Merlin turned to his kid and said: ”It is Keep moving and get out of the way (emphasis on the "and")! A lot of people forget that!” It is so fucking real! How are you not thinking about your fucking six? People need to walk!

John says that if you are traveling as six people you need to travel in the form of a DNA helix, moving in and out of one another, weaving a rope together. If each person was leaving some spidey-webbing behind them, by the time you get through a crowd you should have woven a beautiful rope of some kind. It is an elaborate civic dance that we should all be performing! Your children should be taught that if you see a knot of people coming they should be trained to go wide and do flanking maneuvers out to the side and then back in. It is a citizen march!

If you are walking six abreast like a bunch of fucking monsters, like a hexamonster, think about if there were six people in front of you walking like that, how does that feel? Now they are a parade or a drill team! What if six people you cared about were behind you, trying to get on with their life and do the civic dance? Do you realize what a monster you are? Now we are back at United Airlines and everybody is putting their fucking seat back! Take your shoes off, why don’t you?

Training your kids to navigate crowds and be independent (RL356)

In John and his little girl is in a mall or a crowded situation of some kind, within certain confinements, he will say: ”I’ll pick a spot that I can see in the middle distance, some place uncomfortably far away but still visible, and I want you to go there and turn around and make eye contact with me and wait for my signal!” She started doing this when she was 4 or 5, she would toddle off through the crowd with John having his eyes on her all the time and he has superhuman speed, like all parents. He is teaching her that they are in connection, even though it seems scary and there is all this hullabaloo, you are not lost because if they can see each other they are not lost.

For example if a store had two entrances, one around a blind corner, he would tell her to go in the other door and she would be out of sight for a second, even though John knew where she was, the only danger would be if a giant eagle from Middle Earth swept down in that 3 seconds she was out of sight. They worked on it and the experience for her and for him of being a long way away out of voice-contact in a noisy, crowded environment, but they would look at each other at a great distance, and they have worked on hand signals since right when she could talk.

They fact they could see each other across this crowd and then he would give her the signal that they would meet in the middle, just the awareness that you are working toward a point in the distance and the obstacles in between you are immaterial, you are not weaving through a crowd for its own sake, but because you are on an appointed mission that is above the level of the snorks who are filling up the other human space.

How old was Merlin the first time when he was left unattended? It must have been after his dad died, at probably about 8 or 9, when he was able to go out and wander around, go to the playground near their house that was in eyeshot, but as far as being fully home along latchkey-style 10 or 11.

They used to take John to the airport, take him on a plane and then the other parent would be at the other end waiting for him. Merlin did that when he was 7 and it was awesome. John had that experience a lot. His mom trained him pretty extensively when he was 9 to take his little sister who at the time was 5 probably on the bus with him and come meet her downtown. That involved riding the city bus from the bus stop up at the corner down to North Gate mall, transfer to the Downtown bus, take it to The Bon Maché, get off the bus and walk down 2nd Avenue to Pioneer Square with her and meet their mom after work when she was working at King County.

They did dry runs, she taught John how to read the bus schedule, how to talk to the bus driver to make sure what was happening was what was intended. He was definitely a latchkey kid by 10 where he came home from school and had a key around his neck. His dad never locked his house, so he didn’t need a key.

John started to talk to his little one like: ”If I went to the store and came back and you were here by yourself, what would you think about that?” - ”Hmm, I think I am almost ready!” - ”Okay, almost ready. Let’s be in that place for a while!” Before John suggested it she was like: ”You should leave me alone some times!”, but as soon as John asked what she would feel if he went to the store, she said she was almost ready.

Merlin is still waking up to how much has changed in the last year and his biggest surprise is that he survived it. When they do stuff that encourages her to be independent and to be in situations where she will have to make decisions and have situational awareness about what if this happened, all three of them will have to practice that. Every time they get flustered about not being able to see her on Find My Friends or wondering what part of the park she is in, they have to remind each other that this is rehearsal for them, too!

Merlin would get her from school and walk her to the house and go to his office, and that became her walking home alone, and now she takes the train home from school by herself! That happened so fast, but at each stage there has been a funny combination of ”Do the independent thing!”, but also for them to stay out of her way. The beauty of Middle School is that it doesn’t seem low stakes and it will be 20 years until you realize how low stakes school was. In High School stuff gets real and you develop a permanent record and stuff sticks, but you have the opportunity to screw up in Middle School because you are so focused on the utter dumpster fire shit show socially and you may not realize that this is a chance for things to go a little pear shaped and you will be okay. Everybody has to fucking chill out about this and not panicking.

There is a great episode of The Wire, probably in Season 1, where McNulty and his sons are walking around in Baltimore and he sees Stringer Bell and goes: ”You guys want to learn a game? It is called Front and Follow!” and he teaches his elementary aged sons how to track like a genius behind the crime family. That is what you have to be training for: Be ready and find Stringer Bell!

Getting trapped in a spit of land when the tide came in (RL356)

The other day John and his daughter was sitting around and she asked: ”What do you want to do? Let’s watch a movie!” - ”Let’s go for a walk!” and she always hates to hear that, so they put on their stuff and walked down to a neighboring town. They got down onto the beach and the tide was out and there was a spit of land that went out into the ocean and there was a big internal pond that the tide had left, like half a mile across. They walked out on this spit of land and she wanted to walk on the pond side and John wanted to walk on the ocean side. John is looking at crabs and she was far away from him, but they were still on the same spit.

There was a little old lady walking along, she met John’s daughter, and they started up a big lively friendship out in the distance. John is walking, he gets over here to the end of the thing, they had been in this long animated conversation and he comes over. The woman was from England, marveling at how big the sea life is in the Northwest, there was a seal over there and there are big clams. They are all talking with each other.

Eventually they split up and the lady starts walking back and John and his daughter walk to the end of the spit and when they finally get out there, John said to her: ”Didn’t this use to connect over here to the other side?” - ”I thought it did!” - ”Well, it is not connected anymore and in fact it is kind of a torrent” and as they stood there they realized that the tide was coming in and has washed out their escape. What had seemed as a little land bridge not that long ago was now under 4 feet (1.2m) of ocean. They looked back along this very long spit and realized that it was a much smaller spit than what it had been only moments ago.

John said: ”Sweetheart, we are in a little bit of a situation here! Do you see the situation we are in?” - ”Is the tide coming in?” - ”It is coming in fast!” - ”Let’s run” and they started to run and as they ran they were seeing that the tide was coming in all around them and the other side of the spit, the other connection to the land was now under water and they were on an island, a very low island that will be 100% submerged in not very long. They were still a long way away from the other side. John noticed that the little old English lady was just meandering around, not paying attention, also still on this island now, peering out, ladidadidaa!

John and his daughter were running now and John was calling out to the English lady that the tide was coming in and they all headed back to where they would have crossed back to land if it were still connected. They had all made the same mistake. As they got there they were surveying a pretty wide stretch of sea between them and the opposite beach and the water was moving fast. At this end it was calf height. Merlin says that the thing about water is that you only see the top, you learn that when you are driving and you see a puddle! Sometimes the bottom is all the way to hell! In this situation you can’t see the bottom because it is covered with clams.

John said: ”I guess we are getting wet” and he is about to pick up his kid and the English lady, but the English lady goes: ”Yepp, time to take our shoes off and roll up our pants!” - ”Right, of course! What was I thinking? You don’t want to moisten your knickers!” They all took off their shoes and rolled their pants up above their knees and the three of them waded in and the water was moving and people on shore have all stopped to see if the three of them survive, which must be a sport for the locals, because this can’t be the first time this ever happens.

Where they were also a river entered the ocean and when the tide goes out the river every time makes a new path across the beach and when the tide comes in it washes out what had been the river bed, meaning that the beach is always changing from time to time and there are sand bars and spits. They crossed over to the other side and John was impressed by the little old lady, but she had that English intrepidness where she was like: ”Onward!” and he was really impressed by how little panic there was in his daughter when she understood the situation. When she was younger she would have panicked because she didn’t trust that everything was going to be okay.

Now in her little heart she has confidence that everything is going to be okay and this is just a problem to solve. John has been waiting for that for a long time. They have done so many dry runs, like: ”This looks bad! Not only do we run out of gas, but daddy’s TV is on fire and we don’t have cell service because we are at Mount Shasta! What do we do first?” - ”Scream and run around?” - ”No, scream and run around is not on our list of options!”, just walking her through: ”What daddy is going to do first is to get you out of the RV, that is the first thing!”

Merlin wonders how different would her reaction likely have been if either a) the English lady hadn’t been there, or b) had it be her and her mother instead of John. John doesn’t know how it would be if she was with her mother because there is a lot of performance in a mother-daughter relationship that doesn’t reflect reality. Merlin explains that his daughter behaves totally differently when she is with her aunt or uncle vs when she is with him, for example when it comes to food or going on the trampoline thing at the mall.

John has no idea which is the performance: The performance for him of being unflappable or the performance for her mother where she would panic and become unconsolable. Maybe he has been training her or asking her to be unflappable around him and that is the expectation that we don’t panic in a situation like that, but we become acutely competent when things go wrong. Competence is super-useful when you are just competent when things are fine, but the only reason you are trained to do it when things are fine is because you need it when things are crazy. To what degree both things are a performance? John is super-fine with the fact that she at least has learned to perform that way around him because hopefully she was access to that when she needs it.

Part of it is that her mother is more worried about her and would be anxious in that situation. The English lady didn’t factor in because they didn’t notice she was on the spit when they first started to try and solve the problem. When she said: ”Let’s run!” it was a ”Let’s run!” with a lot of confidence. When they saw the English lady they both felt that she was a competent lady and it wasn’t a rescue mission, but now they had a partner and they worked together as a team.

That isn’t how it would have gone 1.5 years ago. There would have been more panic and more blame. When they got to the other side she would have been mad at John that he had put her in that situation. Now she just brushed it off her shoulder because it wasn’t anybody’s fault. Maybe the fault is that they ever left the house, so it is daddy’s fault, and maybe 1.5 years ago that would have been her default. This time it was a big adventure, and the next adventure, maybe the bigger adventure, was: How to get their feet clean enough to put their socks back on while standing on a wet beach?

John’s number one reaction to all things when she looks over at him to see what the reaction is, is that he looks at her and raises both eyebrows, like ”Mmm?” and it means to her: ”What is going to happen now?” and it throws the question back to her. A lot of the times looking over is: ”Am I in trouble?” or meaning to ask him: ”What is next?” and John is throwing the question back to her. ”Now what are you going to do?” Sometimes John does it when she is in trouble, but he wants her to put herself in trouble in the sense of: If she looks over like: ”Am I in trouble” he looks back and: ”Are you in trouble?”

Merlin says that if his daughter spills a glass of water, it is not the liquid that is the problem, but the decision to put that glass there, and because of his ADD he has the dopamine to be calmer than he usually is, isn’t that odd? He is a good Johnny Emergency boy and his entire life is waiting for things to go wrong because then the chemical gets shot into his body that lets him handle that well.

Being prepared for situations, like preparing John’s daughter for when he would be gone RL356)

John is not somebody who dreams of having his leg cut off, but he has thought about it for many years what would happen if his leg was cut off. It probably started when he was hopping trains: The number one thing you would talk about when you met somebody else who was hopping trains or anybody who was hopping-trains-curious, was that everybody had a story about somebody who got their legs chopped off within a train-hopping environment. John got into the habit of imagining himself in situations and then asking himself how this situation would be different if he had only one leg, if he had lost his left leg.

It is not something John wants, he is not going to get his leg chopped off to satisfy something in his heart, but he does run that scenario. Over time he felt: ”Is this some sort of prophecy? Am I dooming myself to having my leg cut off at some point because I have thought about it so much?” - ”Well, if that is true, I will have spent many years as the leader of the rebel alliance before that happens!”, but lately John has been thinking, talk about morbid, about how to prepare his kid for when he will die prematurely so that she knows what he would say if he was there. If John’s dad was here right now, John knew what he would say. ”Where is the bathroom?” In any situation John is in when he needs his dad’s advice he just conjures him, but he is there all the time, going ”Ah, you fucked that up!”

John says to his little girl all the time that although she never met his granddad he does love her, not that he would love her or he would love her if he had met her, but he does love her. The other day she asked: ”What is a psychic?” - ”Here we go!” They talked about religion quite a bit and her grandparents are religious and she is developing a sense of what her own take on religious stuff is. If John would say: ”Your granddad is watching” - ”From where?” - ”Yeah, you are right, okay!” It is a metaphor, but when John says that granddad does love her in the present tense, because he exists still, even if it is only in John and his sister.

She doesn’t think of this grandfather that she never met as someone that she doesn’t know what he would have thought or how she would have measured up to him. John can tell her all about him and he can tell her exactly what he would say and do in regards to her and he can tell her right now that he is over the moon about her. She is only 8, and Merlin has memories from when he was 8, but they are not super-clear and he lost his dad at a young age. To know what your dad would say and do must be something Merlin always wondered. For a long time he has absolutely known what he thought his dad would say or think or do in a given situation, and as he got older he realized that was his 7-year old brain’s idea, but he didn’t really know.

Unless there is some massive cover-up underway, people’s personal estimations of Merlin’s dad are pretty uniform: He was a guy who would do anything for anybody, he really loved outdoorsy stuff and he was the funniest person that most of them had ever met, a true friend a lot of people, a very gentle, very funny guy. Knowing that he loved the Marx Brother and Ernie Kovacs tells Merlin a lot about his personality because Merlin loves those as well.

Merlin’s kid has met two of her grandparents, one of them she knew a lot more than the other. She had a dream about Merlin’s wife’s mother the other night, about grandma in a hot tub in the garage and drinking wine. She died a couple/three years ago and she is one of Merlin’s all-time favorite human beings, and she loved Merlin’s daughter to death. There is still just be the tiniest bit of sentimentality in him that he doesn’t over-question that, he is not like Billy Batson, talking to the elders about how he should be dealing with life, it is not prayer and not spiritual.

Merlin exchanged some emails this week with a musician friend from Tallahassee that he hasn’t see in 20 years. He wrote Merlin an email today that made Merlin feel so good, it was as if he was in the room with him. He is alive, but they hadn’t seen each other in 20 years, but it instantly felt like they were at the cow house or in his basement, recording the audio for the Ubu play they did. Merlin felt he was right there with Dave Morris and it was the nicest feeling. There is no reason you can’t experience that and get something from it.

John knows that Merlin never likes to talk about the show because what is in the show is in the show, but the show is the show is the show is the show. There is an 8-year long record (Time is a flat circle) of whatever is on their minds on Monday and that is available to anyone, even if they are died. It doesn’t go away! Merlin could try and turn it off, but it is too late! He can’t put this Not Me (invisible gremlin from The Family Circus) in a bin. RotL is the Not Me of the Family Circus of podcasting! ”Who did this? Who said #supertrain?” - ”Not me!” - ”Who said All the great shows?” - ”Not me!”

Anybody who ever wants to know about John and Merlin, they are not going to know them completely from this, but they would have more of a starting point than John or Merlin had. You can feed his into an AI eventually and you are going to come up with something, John once had a thought technology about that: Podcasters are the first AIs because you have hundreds of hours of them just talking in their natural cadence, not playing other roles, not pretending to be… like this robot shows an extraordinary amount of interest in SquareSpace and this AI spends a lot of time in the bathroom, strangely enough!

If John were to die, there will some day be someone listening to this very show after they all died and they are all going to wonder why John is saying it that way, and they are going to go online and they are going to find that other people are wondering that, too! But that is not John’s and Merlin’s business.

The fact is: If John’s child wanted to know him, like when she was 24, she would have this. If Merlin would have 300 hours of his dad talking about Ernie Kovacs, would he listen to it? Merlin can’t talk about this too much because he will cry, but he does have a cassette tape of him interviewing his dad when he was 5 or 6 because he used to do radio shows and Merlin asked about what kind of movies he liked and he said he liked the Marx Brothers and the Ritz Brothers and a lot of stuff. That is an extraordinary document and it is very sweet, but very difficult for Merlin to listen to.

Merlin has relationships in his head with the people on podcasts, he really feels he knows people in a way that if he went back and listened to 400 episodes of the McElroy Brothers after they had passed, he would feel like they were very much alive, which is part of the beauty of this medium. You can have an extraordinary level of access! Travis McElroy 7 years ago was such a little boy and now look at him! A living monster!

Have we ever lost a podcaster? Merlin has met several people of Metafilter at meetups and stuff, and there are some titans of Metafilter who have died and that seems really weird. Leslie Harpole died and that was really weird and Merlin thinks about her a lot still. She was such a big personality and like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book she was The Full Catastrophe, she was difficult to deal with and a real pain in the ass, but she was sad, too and she was just extremely human. Merlin still feels her presence greatly.

The only reason Merlin contacted his old friend from Tallahassee because he used to do these hilarious radio bits and Merlin was wondering if he had copies of that, but like everything from Tallahassee in the 1990s it had disappeared. Merlin still thinks about these sentences that he said once in 1991. What is the lesson we learned from Jobe? Your friends suck and God is a betting man. It is not just him, but it could be anybody and it is the same reason Merlin quotes the McElroys: He has a very impressionable brain and feeling emotionally strong about something is the basis of what Merlin does in life. For a long time that was writing, nowadays he can super-deeply enjoy a lot of media because he has such a strong emotional response to it.

If somebody has an emotional response, whether that is a car accident or a bit about whether there is an Olive Garden in Austin, Texas, Merlin imprints on that: ”Would you meet Joe Pantoliano at an Olive Garden even though he keeps coming to Boster Garden (?)” - ”You plan ahead, Griffin! You play a crusty bread buddy!” Merlin remembers so many lines from that because it had an impact on him.

John’s daughter hearing him on podcasts (RL356)

One terrible thing that podcasts have done for John’s daughter is that… her mother can not listen to this program for various reasons of self-preservation and sanity. She might have listened to Road Work one time and force quit 10 minutes in. Road Work is John Roderick in difficult mode, if John were a video game. But she loves Friendly Fire because Adam is a sweat-heart and because she studied film at Santa Cruz, she is a film person. Merlin’s wife also literally studied film at Santa Cruz, but they never knew this before. She listens to it in the car with the baby and there are a lot of mature themes. John doesn’t swear that much, but there are some adult themes.

John’s daughter seems to understand what an adult theme is. If a movie has lots of kissing, she doesn’t like it, but if it has a lot of blood and guts she doesn’t care about that anymore because people get hit in movies all the time. The thing about listening to her father on a podcast about war movies where one of the guys (Ben) is a communist who likes to cancel things and the other guy (Adam) just agrees with the last person who talked and then there is John who is extremely grumpy about everything and has a lot of arcane knowledge about airplane propellers in the 1950s, and John’s daughter is listening and like when she is listening to his music she is absorbing a lot more than anybody is aware.

The other day John and his daughter were out for a walk and she said: ”Your motto is Keep Moving and get out of the way!” - ”Well, it is not my motto, but it is one of our mottos!” - ”My motto is Always go further!” with the chin up as they were walking. They walked along for a while and came to some intersection and John said: ”Always go further!” - ”That is my motto!” - ”Oh, sorry, I can’t use your motto!” - ”No, always go further is my motto!”

A couple of weeks ago John’s daughter wanted to know about Adam and Eve, the creation story, and John told her the whole story and they got to the conclusion of it and she said: ”You should do an Omnibus episode on this and you should call it…” (John blanked on what she said, it was a wonderful little thing and he wrote it down because everything is a tweet) She had some observation about the apple and the trick inherent in it (see this tweet: ”My kid asked me to tell her about Adam and Eve, so I got into it and broke it all down. After a while she looked up from her plate and said, “You should do a podcast on this. Call it “The Apple of Embarrassment”).

Later in their conversation about the psychic when she asked about that, she said: ”… yeah, sort of like the way granddad believes in heaven or like the apple of embarrassment!” She just dropped it in there and John was like: ”Are you meming me? You got memes already?” She understands catch phrase, she understands that ”interrogate” (pronounced the way Adam Pranica does on Friendly Fire) is funny because it becomes bigger than itself. Merlin has talked about it with Siracusa. John and Merlin saw that with ”All the Great Shows”: It started to pop up in places and some podcast distributor wanted to use it as their brand.

John’s daughter wasn’t trying to meme it and she doesn’t understand that it could become viral, but it is something in the way she is wiring her brain to understand how humans communicate, when they say something interesting, when they collect a bunch of ideas down to a single nubbing, a little aphorism. Basically she is developing aphorisms and it is 100% from listening to the aphoristic nature of the podcasts they do. John doesn’t know what else to do. He listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin when he was young and that changed how he feels about Mordor. Is this her Lord of the Rings? Is she going to be more influenced by the culture that her…?

Merlin is crazy into a TV show right now called Letterkenny, a stupid and hilarious and wonderfully written Coen Brothers to the 10th power show in rural South Westerns Ontario. The Flop House is another show on MaxFun that Merlin loves dearly, and in the latest episode he loved when they leaned into stupid, but you have to be really smart to make something that stupid good. That is the funny thing about some of the memes: When that stuff is done well, it satisfies a lot of our brain centers, but like all good humor it requires you to make a connection.

Merlin would not prefer his daughter to walk around and say ”I can’t haz cheezburger” because there is not that much meat on that bone, but she and her mom went to breakfast a bit ago and she sent him a photo at Walgreens of a plastic bag on a display that says on the front of it what is in it (probably this one): ”Adult Poncho” and under it she wrote ”Adult Poncho” and Merlin replied saying ”Adult Poncho” It is not a meme, but that was an extremely satisfying exchange because there is something funny about Adult Poncho and a picture of it.

When was the last time somebody who was not a Boomer said: ”Ey, I’m the Fons!” Stuff has changed and there has always been stupid pop culture that they felt clever repeating. Merlin did a somewhat obscure Monty Python bit early in this show in passing because that is the age he is, he is a Gen-Xer and that is his idea of funny. John’s daughter’s mother has now started to say to John: ”Wassup?” - ”Stop doing this!” It is extremely cute when she is doing it. Then she showed John the Super Friends Mashup of the Budweiser ”What’s up?” commercial with Superfriends and she said: ”Isn’t this amazing?” - ”Yeah, it is a Budweiser commercial!” and she had no idea and had never seen the Budweiser commercial at all.

Merlin gets that when he watches Vine compilations, like a six second video that is extremely funny and Merlin finds himself wanting to explain why it is funny, but she just gets it: ”Chris, is that a weed? I’m calling the police!”, she types 911 into the microwave and then the X-Files theme plays (Merlin says 420). There are 5 different difficult to understand things in that 6-second video, but it is Merlin’s favorite Vine because it is so rich with packed comedy.

When you watch Monty Python as a kid, you may not know why it is funny and what part of it is funny, like: ”Is that actually a word? They say this thing different!”, but you know it is funny. John woke up this morning, thinking in Monty Python bits, he was inside of Eric Idle, walking through some stuff, ”The Larch!” He was sitting there, staring out the window and just saying: ”The Larch! The Larch!” Merlin doesn’t want to be like that, but sometimes he is. They continue doing some Monty Python bits until the end of the show.

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