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Designing Women S2 E11 - Howard the Dud

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Mary Jo, Suzanne, Charlene, and Julia reluctantly find themselves on a date with Howard, a walking nosebleed they met on the singles cruise. At his 15-year high school reunion. Where he’s telling people he slept with all of them. Will they (will we?) make it through his revenge fantasy?

Stick around for this week’s "Extra Sugar", where we discuss TV, books, and food we’re enjoying right now. In case anything struck your fancy:

Come on, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Okay, I waved.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: And hello, everyone, and welcome to Sweet Tea & TV.

Salina: Hey, y'all.

Nikki: We're just so awkward.

Nikki: Hey, guys, let's chat.

Nikki: What are we going to chat about this week, Salina?

Salina: Well, you know, we're on that proust survey.

Nikki: Still on the proust.

Salina: It was him.

Salina: He had a lot of questions.

Salina: These are rich people things, right?

Salina: They're sitting around these dinner parties and they've got 85 questions for each other.

Nikki: Well, you framed it as a parlor game when we first started talking.

Nikki: And I imagine only rich people have parlors.

Nikki: Do it.

Nikki: That what you will.

Salina: Well, I'm not that rich and I have a parlor.

Nikki: I've never seen this parlor.

Salina: Where is this parlor lies?

Salina: So we'll go with the very first question here.

Salina: Go ahead and ease our way in.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: It'll be super easy.

Salina: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Nikki: Why does that question escalate so quickly?

Salina: I'm going with the worst one first.

Nikki: What do you regard as misery?

Nikki: The worst depth of misery.

Nikki: What do you regard as the worst depth of misery?

Nikki: Salina?

Salina: I don't even have to think about it.

Nikki: Oh, it's so fast.

Salina: Mondays.

Nikki: Mondays.

Nikki: That's true.

Salina: Oh, the Sunday scaries are bad for me.

Nikki: They've gotten bad for a long time.

Nikki: They weren't.

Nikki: And for some reason lately, they've definitely gotten bad.

Salina: What time do they hit?

Nikki: I roll out of bed about 06:00 a.m.

Nikki: On Sunday?

Salina: That's when it gets scary.

Nikki: I was going to say actually on Saturday.

Salina: Oh, boy.

Nikki: I'm just kidding.

Nikki: Lowest depths of misery.

Nikki: I feel like it honestly has to either be sitting in traffic, like stopped traffic, or possibly waiting for an overdue appointment.

Nikki: Overdue is not the right word.

Nikki: But like, you show up at nine, your appointments at 915.

Nikki: It is now 10:00 A.m.

Nikki: And you have not seen the doctor in the waiting room.

Nikki: That drives me crazy.

Salina: I think we're doing okay.

Nikki: Yeah, no, definitely.

Nikki: My life's not that bad.

Nikki: I ran into someone today, was doing an interaction with them and had to give them my credit card.

Nikki: There was like a snafu and they had to run my credit card a second time.

Nikki: And he's like, I am so sorry for this inconvenience.

Nikki: And I was like, if this is the most inconvenient thing to happen to me today, I think I'm doing fine.

Nikki: I'm doing just fine.

Nikki: Yeah, I double checked.

Nikki: It wasn't a double charge on my credit card.

Nikki: So I'm really fine.

Salina: Oh, good.

Nikki: I'm really fine.

Salina: Good.

Salina: I will give an honest answer that I think one of the things that really is where I can't stop thinking about it is if I'm in a fight with someone who is in my most inner circle or something is wrong between us, that's one of the most miserable situations for me.

Salina: And the top of that goes to Casey.

Salina: Because when we're not right, we live together.

Salina: So it feels like everything else is like spirally.

Salina: And I just like to address things.

Salina: I want it to just be done.

Salina: But you have to recognize that not everybody's like you, and you got to give whoever is p***** at you, like the time that they need to do the things.

Nikki: But yeah, see, I could go real deep and say, in all seriousness, being in a situation that you can't do anything about.

Nikki: And I'm thinking specifically about some very close family situations I've had over the years where something traumatic happens and there is literally nothing you can do to ease the pain.

Nikki: And if you're a person who is fixer oriented and you honestly just care about someone, that really is misery, that's what that feels like.

Nikki: That just like constant pit in the bottom of your stomach that there's nothing you can do.

Salina: Sure, well, and I think in addition to just that being terrible, absolutely any of us who have faced traumatic situations, and I don't think most of us have gotten out of it, life sometimes feels like a trauma.

Salina: Positive, isn't it?

Salina: But I was going to say I think one of the things that I hear you saying that really both resonates but also is at the core of that is if you are this type of person and it keeps you from being who you are, where you feel like your essential self is somehow not being able to shine through that's deep slam onto something lighter.

Nikki: Is it, though?

Salina: Well, the second question, I don't know.

Salina: What is your favorite occupation?

Salina: Now, I'm going to tell you I'm struggling with this one.

Nikki: I don't know what to do with that.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Because I told you that I really try not to look at these, but when I pulled up my notes before you came over, that one was so weird that it caught me off guard.

Salina: Like mine or like occupations in the world.

Nikki: Yeah, I didn't even interpret it.

Nikki: It's like personal.

Salina: Because if we're going to take it two ways and I've got some answers okay.

Salina: All right.

Salina: So if we're talking about a favorite occupation, it's not like I've had 70,000 occupations.

Salina: I'm like, oh, well, you know, I really enjoyed my time as a doctor.

Salina: That said, if we're talking about occupations in the world, I'm saying trauma surgeon, because if something bad happens, I want to know that that's my favorite occupation because I can make sure that I'm okay.

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: Smart.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So maybe it's not like the most frivolous or fun thing, but it's getting pragmatic.

Nikki: Sure.

Salina: My favorite occupation for me, I don't have one answer.

Nikki: You have multiple answers to multiple questions.

Salina: Well, it's stalling for time, isn't it?

Salina: Lady of leisure.

Nikki: Oh, sure.

Salina: That's my kind of lol.

Nikki: Yeah, that sounds lovely.

Salina: That's what I want to be.

Nikki: That sounds lovely.

Nikki: I don't even know if I have a good answer for this.

Nikki: What's a favorite question occupation?

Nikki: When you asked the question, my mind went to a barista.

Nikki: I appreciate the quickness with which they work, the myriad complicated recipes they're able to do.

Nikki: And baristas are also really snarky, like on social media, when you see those posts about annoying customers or whatever, baristas have simultaneously the worst stories and also the most hilarious reactions to the ridiculous requests people have.

Nikki: So that's what came to mind initially.

Nikki: But there's lots of cool stuff.

Nikki: Like someone who gets to work outside all day.

Nikki: That's a pretty cool job.

Nikki: It's manually challenging, but they get the sunlight all day.

Nikki: That's pretty cool.

Salina: That's nice.

Nikki: Pediatrician takes care of your kids.

Nikki: Veterinarian gets to touch soft things all day.

Nikki: That's pretty cool.

Nikki: I don't know.

Salina: I got lots of answers for somebody.

Nikki: Who'S like, I just don't even know a baker.

Salina: These are good.

Nikki: They get to bake delicious things well.

Salina: And a lot of people like and I would have thought this even before the pandemic, but they don't even necessarily eat it.

Salina: They just bake.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Because that's like stress relieving for them.

Nikki: So being the friend of a baker is an even better occupation.

Salina: That would be my chosen profession.

Nikki: Sounds not so bad.

Salina: I can only be the friend of a baker.

Salina: I'm definitely not baking.

Nikki: Do you have additional interpretations of the question you want to share?

Salina: Those are my two widest ones, but I liked your interpretation because it was just sort of like putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

Nikki: One thing you'll notice about in my answers as we go through this season is I always tend to make it about myself.

Salina: What?

Salina: And that you weren't.

Nikki: Oh, interesting.

Nikki: See?

Nikki: And now I'm making it about me again.

Salina: Get up.

Salina: Where's your beautiful transition?

Nikki: Speaking of making it all about you and this episode, we meet someone who is a master emotional manipulator and makes it all about him.

Salina: Sounds like we may have been seeing things the same way.

Nikki: So this week we have Howard the Date.

Nikki: The women end up as a group date when they feel sorry for a former acquaintance who shows up dateless for his high school reunion.

Nikki: That's the hulu episode description.

Nikki: IMDb, says Howard ERP head, a socially inept, nosebleed prone man the ladies met on a singles cruise, returns to beg Mary Joe to be his date for his 15th high school reunion.

Nikki: And this one aired on December 14, 1987.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: How do you feel about those descriptions?

Salina: Well, the first one is not as good.

Salina: I think the second one's better.

Salina: I think it's mean to call someone socially inept, but we'll talk about it and you be the judge.

Salina: But mostly I'm okay with it.

Salina: I think for the first one, it just sort of sounds like he showed up there dateless and then the women just appeared.

Nikki: There's a little more to it than huh?

Salina: Sort of.

Nikki: So this one was written by LBT.

Nikki: And it was directed by Harry Thomason.

Nikki: So I feel like we're like, dancing around some general reactions.

Nikki: Why don't you dance right into the general reaction?

Salina: So let's go ahead and talk about Howard.

Nikki: Let's talk about him.

Nikki: Howard ERP came off a little creepy.

Nikki: Creepy for me, huh?

Salina: Oh, so you didn't get a creepy vibe?

Nikki: I got a desperate vibe, which sometimes can be related.

Salina: So he has one line where he says, I always call for a payphone so that I don't try and leave before I go.

Salina: I know what he means.

Salina: And that's supposed to be funny, but if you just change the music a little bit and you darken the set, it would be a horror movie.

Salina: So that's Michael Myers or Howard Head.

Salina: Double letter.

Salina: Double letter.

Nikki: I'm telling you.

Salina: What the frenetic energy that doesn't make him creepy.

Salina: But these are just the things that I kind of like notated about him.

Salina: I don't care about the chronic nosebleeds.

Salina: I mean, I care because that's sad.

Salina: I hate that that's happening.

Salina: What I care about is the chronic oversharing.

Salina: That really bothers me.

Salina: As someone who hails from chronic overshares, it's not my favorite thing.

Salina: So what do you mean?

Nikki: What did he share that you think is crossing a line?

Salina: I wish I had written down some specific examples, but I think it was just like his stories were about when he was in high school.

Salina: Not like the sadder moments where we cued the emotional music and all of that, but just I mean, it could be like the thing with the payphone.

Salina: You didn't need to say that, dude.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: There was just like a lot of times where I was like, no, stop.

Salina: You're not getting through.

Salina: And just like, little things that he would describe, I felt I was like, you should have stopped 18 words ago.

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: If he had stopped 18 words ago, though, would the well, there wouldn't be a show.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: I was going to say and the impact of them having to go to a reunion.

Nikki: I almost said prom.

Nikki: Not prom to a reunion with him.

Nikki: Would that have been lessened?

Salina: Probably.

Nikki: You got to have some level of creep.

Salina: Well, and this is something that I felt like was creepy.

Salina: He offers to pay Mary Jo to go with him to his high school reunion and then says he'll pay more if she says they had sex.

Nikki: Yeah, that's pretty creepy.

Nikki: That's pretty creepy.

Nikki: And it was, I think, like a flash forward.

Nikki: What's the word?

Nikki: I'm thinking a almost like a premonition of what was going to come later at the reunion with some of the things he said about the women.

Salina: Absolutely.

Salina: So plan B was to kill himself.

Salina: So he's also manipulative, and it was almost hard to take.

Salina: That funny because that's really funny.

Nikki: The way you said it was very funny.

Nikki: Plan B kill himself.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I don't know how serious he was with that.

Nikki: How important is a 15th reunion?

Salina: And that's the other thing, too.

Salina: I mean, this is so egocentric.

Salina: Can I flip all that on its head and give you the opposite side of that, where I felt like they were striking the wrong right excuse me.

Salina: The right tone is this idea of, like, everyone deserves to feel special at some point.

Nikki: Sure.

Salina: So I thought that I got on board with and when they were saying some of those things and having those conversations, I got that because I imagine there are a lot of people who just they spend every day flying under their radar, head down, just getting by, especially in high school.

Salina: In middle school.

Salina: Those are awkward times, really, for everyone, but they're obviously more awkward for some.

Salina: And so I get that aspect, and I can see why someone who had a rough time in high school would want to go back and show them no, see who I can really be.

Nikki: I can pay women to be my dates, pay them more if they say they had sex with me.

Salina: So that very premise to me is, like, pretty ridiculous.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Because the whole thing is, I guess, to someone, the idea of taking four women to your high school reunion could be impressive.

Salina: But I feel more like the idea is one of two things.

Salina: If you were really with four women, unless you were part of a very special community, you are going to be looked at as it being very taboo.

Salina: And I just think people would think it's weird.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: And you've already gone through high school with people thinking you're weird, so you're not accomplishing anything.

Salina: On the other hand, the more likely scenario is they think they're for sex workers.

Salina: Right.

Salina: And yes, you are probably proving that you had enough money to pay for sex workers, and that is a type of achievement.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: But that wasn't his story at all.

Nikki: And wasn't it the lady's idea for all four of them to go.

Salina: He just wanted to marry Joe.

Nikki: He just wanted to marry Joe.

Nikki: He didn't want all four of them.

Nikki: So what were they thinking?

Salina: It seems like a charlene idea.

Nikki: It does, doesn't it?

Salina: But, you know, not because I think my mind goes to the worst places, and I think charlene's good and her mind goes to the best places.

Nikki: Four women must be better than one every time.

Nikki: No one at the well, they only showed him really talking to having a substantive conversation with that one guy.

Nikki: I want to say, Kevin, that might not be right.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: I have it written down later.

Salina: Something latrine.

Salina: Yes, latrell.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: He only has one substantive conversation with that guy, and that guy doesn't seem to judge him weirdly for the four women, but he does assume, like, he's paid for them or something.

Salina: There's just not really any other normal.

Nikki: What else would you assume?

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: This raised an interesting point to me, shifting gears completely, but about reunions in general, yes.

Nikki: And has how much they mattered changed?

Salina: I think tremendously, because this is a.

Nikki: Huge deal to him.

Nikki: This is an enormous deal to him that these people, 15 years later, think he's successful.

Nikki: I did not go to my ten year high school reunion.

Nikki: We did not have a 15 year, and I probably won't be going to my 20 year reunion.

Salina: I thought the 15 year was weird.

Salina: I felt like they were trying to make for his age or something.

Nikki: But I will say my father in law just went to his, like, 40th high school reunion or something, and they do them, I feel like, on off years.

Nikki: I feel like they've gotten more frequent as they've gotten older.

Salina: Well, I can tell you for my so I did go to my 10th.

Salina: I got dragged by my friends, honestly, because they wore me down, and I went because they were, like, on a planning committee, which actually doesn't really fit their personalities at all, but I think they just thought, I'm going to be involved.

Salina: I want to be involved all the way to make sure that I like where we go and I like what we do and all of that.

Salina: So it's fine.

Salina: I think now, even getting closer to ten additional years later, she says that she passes out on her floor.

Salina: One thing that I'll note is that they're already starting to put ours together into multiple years, your classes of graduating years.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: Yeah, I've seen this because so few.

Salina: People are interested in going because we're.

Nikki: Like children of social media.

Nikki: So I feel like my entire adulthood has lived out on Facebook.

Salina: I know more about people from high school than I know about anybody else on the planet.

Nikki: My husband and I had this conversation recently.

Nikki: It's probably just me talking, but one of my sort of, like, watching my daughter start school, one of the realizations I had is that I never actually knew the people I went to high school with.

Nikki: I had really close friends, but for the most part, 90% of them, I didn't know who their grandparents were.

Nikki: I didn't know what they were dealing with at home.

Nikki: I didn't know what their chores were.

Nikki: I didn't know if they had a close family, had a not so close family, if their parents were divorced, if the parents I didn't know any of that for 95% of the people I went to school with.

Nikki: So all of those deep things that I know about, the friends that I treasure and the people that I feel the most comfortable with, I know all that stuff.

Salina: Sure.

Nikki: And so it's weird to me to go back in time 20 years to people I already didn't know very well and then go and put my life on display for them in some kind of way.

Salina: Oh, you're making it sound terrible.

Nikki: Well, that's what I thought with poor Howard.

Nikki: Like, these men had no idea what he did for a living.

Nikki: All they knew about him was a very small sliver of his entire life, it turns out.

Nikki: Maybe Howard is as weird as they thought he was, but they only knew a tiny sliver of his life, and they didn't even know the stuff that made him tick.

Nikki: And so he feels this compulsion to go back and impress them.

Salina: It's weird.

Nikki: I've given you a lot to respond.

Salina: To, because I think one of the things I'm thinking about is, like, okay, but take off your millennial hat and just use your elder hat.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I mean, you do remember, like, watching things about high school reunions or anything about high school reunions where, you know.

Nikki: I don't know what you're talking I've seen Romeo and Michelle's high School Reunion.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: The definitive work.

Salina: It's like this thing that was like this pop culture woven into pop culture moments.

Salina: Like that movie or like any show you watch would have some sort of high school reunion.

Salina: Like, back in the 90s, this was, like, a thing.

Salina: And the reason why, I think, is because we the collective, we love an ugly duckling story.

Nikki: Oh, sure.

Salina: So I think that this idea of the shy girl coming back, and she's a runway model now, or the star quarterback comes back and he's pudgy and balding.

Salina: But you see all that now on social media.

Nikki: It's true.

Salina: So you don't need any of that.

Nikki: You know what's happened to you?

Nikki: You know what's happened to me.

Salina: Well, I think that was the fun, though, is there was a surprise.

Salina: You didn't really know it was going to or, like, what if you came back and someone was famous?

Nikki: What if you come back and no one knows who you are?

Nikki: Which is my greater fear.

Nikki: Like, I've looked at my yearbook picture, my senior yearbook picture.

Nikki: I like to believe I don't look the same.

Nikki: I like to believe that that white eyeliner was really setting me apart.

Nikki: So I do wonder, what have you come back?

Nikki: I have looked through my yearbook and seen signatures and inscriptions that I don't remember.

Nikki: Like, inside jokes I don't remember.

Nikki: And I just fear, like, I show up and either I don't remember Nikki.

Nikki: I think I'm just not going to be invited to my reunion is what I think is going to happen here.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: So I will tell you that for me, it was fun seeing who they really were versus what I was seeing on social media, because I think some of that came through.

Salina: And some people I mean, it genuinely was nice.

Salina: Like, some of the people who I was friends with, but in an acquaintance kind of way.

Salina: I don't know, just to kind of or for me, it was nice to see that some people were succeeding.

Nikki: What did you talk about?

Salina: What we're doing?

Nikki: What have you been up to for ten years?

Nikki: Start at the beginning, and it was sort of dependent.

Salina: I also got to hide behind my friends when I wanted to, so I was very selective.

Salina: And then I feel like because that kind of conversation is difficult for me.

Nikki: That'S what I was thinking.

Nikki: That just seems horrible.

Nikki: Where do you even start?

Salina: Well, but you know that you've had people in your life before that you can talk, and it's like no time ever passed.

Nikki: I like to think I still talk to those people.

Salina: Right.

Salina: But I had a healthy amount of friends that I'm I feel like I'm unusual in, that I still have nine best girlfriends that I went to school with at some point in time, at some point in high school or middle school, and some people even in elementary school.

Nikki: See, there's, like, zero chance then you could get me to a reunion, because I already know the people I want to talk to.

Salina: Yeah, well, I'm not trying to talk you into it.

Nikki: I'm not going.

Nikki: So you're not going to win?

Nikki: Only if I get to go with Howard.

Nikki: Do we want to talk about the fact that this was Howard's 15th?

Nikki: Do I look as old as Howard?

Salina: We're past our 15th.

Nikki: That's what I'm asking my question.

Nikki: Tell me I don't look like Howard to me.

Salina: One thing I've noticed this whole time in watching something from the 80s is that I think people are more youthful now than they've ever been.

Nikki: I agree with that.

Salina: I don't know if it's the clothes, skin cream.

Salina: We're just all moisturizing more now, but just in general, or the fact that maybe I associate some of the ways they dress because my mom was a mom then with dressing like a mom.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: But it feels like, on the whole, we tend to look younger now than our 80s counterparts.

Nikki: Thank God for that.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: We want to talk about things we liked about this episode, because, honestly, I can't tell if you liked it or not.

Nikki: I did have one more stray observation, and it's that Julia and Suzanne only got a cola at the reunion to drink.

Nikki: And I have to tell you two things.

Nikki: Well, one, they should have just called it a Coke thing.

Nikki: Number two is, though, I would have needed something so much stronger than a cola at any reunion, but especially in.

Salina: That situation, that also stood out to me.

Salina: And then also just saying cola, like, the whole, like, cola.

Salina: I just I kind of thought that they would have at least gotten, like, a wine or something.

Nikki: Something champagne.

Nikki: Sorry.

Nikki: And I had one last stray, stray away.

Nikki: The box that cheers to the ladies that Howard creates for them at the end.

Nikki: It was ahead of its time.

Nikki: Maybe Howard really is an amazing inventor, because now we have greeting cards that cheer to you.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: I mean, it wasn't a horrible idea.

Nikki: It was charlene's.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: It wasn't his good point.

Nikki: But speaking of things we love, I do love the idea you touched on this a minute ago.

Nikki: Howard getting his moment in the sun, getting to be the cool guy for just a minute, a very brief moment before the ladies call him out on it.

Nikki: That part where Mary Jo said he has a very exciting job.

Nikki: He's changing the face of tomorrow.

Nikki: What do you do, Doug?

Salina: Doug?

Nikki: Doug.

Salina: That's his name.

Nikki: I thought that was so great.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I thought in the beginning we'll save the other part for what I didn't like.

Salina: But, yes, in that very beginning part where he hadn't lost his ever living.

Nikki: Mind, he just went from zero to 60, didn't he?

Salina: Ego, man.

Salina: Ego is a hard thing for people to control.

Salina: What else did you.

Nikki: Liked?

Nikki: So my likes get a little stray, too.

Nikki: I liked in the scene where they're trying to figure out who Howard is.

Salina: Who is Howard?

Salina: This way.

Nikki: Why is Howard?

Salina: I don't think Julia even knew by the end.

Nikki: Pretty sure I loved that.

Nikki: When he called Sugar Bakers, suzanne immediately believed it was her.

Nikki: He was into with, like, zero proof to that effect.

Nikki: I don't even think they had a conversation on the cruise ship, but she 100% believed that.

Nikki: And that was peak Suzanne, which I appreciate.

Nikki: And then the last thing I liked they're straights.

Nikki: I'm telling you what the sweet tea and TV podcast ism at the very beginning of the episode with the newspaper magazines.

Nikki: Newspaper.

Nikki: Magazines.

Salina: Whatever.

Salina: We weren't sure.

Salina: We were trying to figure it out.

Salina: Yeah, I think can we tell them?

Nikki: I don't think we can tell them.

Salina: We can't tell no, we can't tell them anything.

Nikki: Nope.

Nikki: All right.

Salina: Bye, guys.

Salina: So it's in the cold open, and Charlene talks Julia into calling a magazine's editorial board regarding an article they wrote about the south being much improved.

Salina: Much improved now that since more people who live there are neither born nor educated there.

Salina: I just need everyone to know that Nikki and I did everything short of going down to the library and getting out what's the thing called?

Salina: microfish.

Salina: Yeah, the microfish.

Salina: And trying to find this darn article I had.

Nikki: Not possible.

Salina: I zeroed in on the front of the magazine cover.

Nikki: I did an alarming number of Galileo searches through my library.

Nikki: 1980 719 86 August.

Nikki: Because that's the specific date she mentioned.

Nikki: It was a real research project that came to nothing.

Salina: Nothing.

Salina: But there were all of these really good Southern tidbits.

Salina: So I'm so glad that you brought it up because I hate to lose out on talking about it at all.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So first of all, how did that hit you then saying that it's improved here now that people who live here aren't born or educated here?

Nikki: It feels very much like something someone from the north would say today.

Nikki: Yes, it feels like or the west.

Nikki: Anywhere that's not the south.

Nikki: And I say that because I say that acknowledging that I have my own regional biases.

Nikki: I think it was maybe our last episode or two episodes ago about where else you would want to live.

Nikki: And you talked about the Northeast, and I made these sweeping generalizations about that area.

Nikki: So we all do it.

Nikki: This one was just a bit more pointed, a little mean, a little more personal, but it feels like something people would say about the south.

Salina: So you're just like, that's fine, whatever.

Nikki: That's what our podcast is about.

Salina: I will only add on to this because I was hot.

Salina: Not in the good way.

Nikki: Oh, really?

Salina: Not in the good, awesome way the first time I heard it, but I was just like rude.

Salina: And then I thought about it and what I will say is that while I feel like a lot of times and the whole reason we're sitting here right now is that we get pooped on, I also feel like there is nothing wrong with an area being more diverse sure.

Salina: And having more perspectives.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: So I can see all of that being true, but you could do it and not be an ahole about it.

Salina: And I think a lot of times, whether people realize it or not, it's very condescending.

Nikki: It was a little so in doing all of our research, I ended up down a rabbit hole on the presidential election of 1988, I guess it would have been.

Nikki: And so in 1987, when this episode aired, they would have been talking about primaries and things like that.

Nikki: So most of the coverage, if you just search south, 1987, most of the coverage, this is where I think this news article was coming from was how the south is going to be a big driver of this entire election.

Nikki: So it's a major focal point for the election.

Nikki: And so the education, the enlightenment, the political style, religion all of these issues of the south are now particularly relevant to the rest of the nation because they could sway the presidential I did this article if it's completely invented, which to, as far as we can tell, must have been it had to have been based on something, because there was quite a bit that was written in this tone in the New York Times, in Washington Post, like these very reputable newspapers didn't stray far from this general.

Salina: So maybe she was trying to encapsulate it all in one, because I think I told you all fair that it was Tempo magazine that she was looking in, but from everything I could find, that was an Indonesian news magazine.

Salina: So it's possible that they also have an opinion on Southerners.

Salina: Wasn't great, but I couldn't find anything there.

Salina: I mean, I checked the New Yorker.

Salina: We both checked Newsweek and Time.

Salina: Anyways.

Nikki: We'Ve got nothing.

Salina: I often can't find things and it's never a problem.

Salina: I like that while we're still on this.

Salina: In particular.

Salina: I do think that what Mary Jo said is right.

Salina: Just again, this idea and hearing it come out in this show, people thinking you're stupid because you have an accent, I mean, I really think that's an important part of this.

Salina: I think that is a definite point of confusion, even though I myself have tried to cover my own accent before.

Salina: And I know that, but I also know it's because I have been judged before, and I know what happens in that scenario.

Salina: So it's better to try and store my y'alls away and just tighten it up as much as someone like, I can yeah, shut up and just try and move on.

Salina: But I think the point is really important and it's not true what hicks are they talk about that.

Salina: Mary Jo has a line that made me laugh.

Salina: She described it as somebody who lives on a rural highway that has a sign out in their front yard that says, VCR Rentals and Live bait.

Salina: What a time capsule.

Salina: And then I did write down Julia's message and I thought we could just share that.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So.

Salina: Yes, this is Julia Sugarbaker from Atlanta.

Salina: You know, the one that burned.

Salina: We've rebuilt since the war.

Salina: And it's actually quite pleasant down here.

Salina: Some of us are even managing to hold down jobs and find our way home at night.

Salina: In spite of being born and educated here.

Nikki: She did not take that one lightly.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: But don't put me out in the dark.

Salina: I may not be able to find.

Nikki: My way home, but it has nothing to do with you being Southern.

Salina: No, it just has something to do with me not being able to read maps.

Nikki: Did you have other things that you liked?

Salina: Let's see.

Salina: Oh, when Mary Jo is talking about going through that awkward stage, you know, 7th grade when you're all teeth and ears and Suzanne says no, mary Jo goes, how about teeth and knockers?

Salina: Which I believe is a reference.

Nikki: Oh, you know what?

Nikki: I actually had that on my list.

Salina: For your bingo cards.

Nikki: Yes, I think that counts.

Salina: So get your bingo cards out.

Nikki: That absolutely counts as a.

Salina: See, just that I like Charlene's story.

Salina: I mean, I didn't like it.

Salina: It was sad, but it moved me because everybody else's was about someone else, and that kind of stood out to me.

Salina: But Charlene's was about her.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And something that she went through.

Nikki: And it's so OD.

Nikki: Because you think Charlene would be like everybody would love her because she's just so nice.

Salina: But they do love her.

Nikki: No, not in high school they didn't.

Salina: No, it was just that somebody was calling her poor.

Nikki: I know.

Nikki: Do you tell people that you love they're poor?

Salina: No, I would never say anything like that to anybody.

Salina: But I'm saying but she went to another school, too.

Salina: It was somebody's cousin that came to the dance and she called her out for that dress being from a consignment shop.

Nikki: Right?

Salina: B word.

Salina: She's just a savvy shopper.

Nikki: She's eco friendly.

Salina: Oh, and you mentioned this one earlier.

Salina: You mentioned what Mary Jo said afterwards to Doug.

Salina: But I just wanted to say that I also really like that she called him Doug Latrine instead of Doug Latrill Latrill.

Salina: It was quick thinking.

Nikki: It's Latrill.

Nikki: So things we didn't like.

Salina: He wasn't really sure where to put this, but just the way that Howard took advantage of the situation at the reunion insinuating to people that he was sleeping with all of them.

Salina: But that's not necessarily something I didn't like about the episode.

Salina: It's just like, to me, that was like this thing that I just couldn't get past.

Nikki: I wrote, I do hate when the guy you're cheering for turns a little bad.

Nikki: I don't like that.

Salina: Just doesn't do it for me.

Salina: So then there's this.

Salina: As they're dragging him out and it is past 01:00 in the morning, they.

Nikki: Said that and I was like, my God.

Salina: And Julia is in her forty s.

Salina: I am thirty six right now, and I can tell you right now at someone else's high school reunion, and all I've had is cola.

Salina: I am going to be like, I will murder you if you don't get.

Nikki: Me out of here.

Salina: But so this is the thing.

Salina: As they're dragging him, he goes, oh, I love it, I love it.

Salina: See you in ten years.

Salina: Oh, here we go.

Salina: Head him up.

Salina: Move him out.

Salina: Rawhide.

Salina: Yippee.

Salina: Nerds for president.

Salina: What the h***?

Nikki: It left an impression for his classmates.

Nikki: I'm sure they'll be looking forward to that next reunion.

Nikki: See how many women he brings with him next time.

Salina: Just nerds for president.

Salina: What's happening?

Nikki: What is happening?

Nikki: Salina, what is happening?

Salina: For a long time, I like to think that it was only nerds for President because I want a nerd as my president, for starters.

Salina: But anyways, I just thought that was such a weird thing to say after all of that.

Salina: I was like, what?

Nikki: He's having his moment.

Nikki: It went straight to his head.

Salina: What else did you not like?

Nikki: That Howard was 15 years that Howard's younger than I am.

Nikki: I was going to say 15 years younger than me.

Nikki: That's not right.

Nikki: I hate that Howard's younger than I am.

Salina: I hate it that everybody's younger than me.

Nikki: I just everybody?

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I mean, in general, the whole setup, the emotional manipulation points didn't do much for me.

Nikki: But other than every union episode was fine.

Nikki: I liked bringing back Howard from the cruise ship episode.

Nikki: That's funny.

Nikki: But we'll get to ratings.

Nikki: We'll go into my rating.

Salina: With that in mind, we're going to have to figure out a way to work that in the podcast anyways.

Salina: Are you ready to rate this sucker?

Nikki: Then?

Nikki: I am.

Salina: What you got?

Nikki: My rating scale is editor croissants.

Nikki: I didn't work that fully out.

Nikki: But early on, julia says, why not have an editor for breakfast?

Nikki: Yeah, it wasn't my best work, but I was aiming for something.

Nikki: I went with three.

Nikki: It's my middle of the road.

Nikki: It was fine.

Salina: You were worried that you were going to spoil that.

Nikki: I need clips of every time this season.

Nikki: I've been like, it was fine.

Nikki: It was fine.

Nikki: No, I mean, I like the idea of a reunion to your like, I've seen all the movies about reunions.

Nikki: They show up on TV shows all the time.

Nikki: So I like a good reunion episode.

Nikki: I thought this one was a weird, like, why couldn't we get charlene's reunion episode or suzanne going to a reunion?

Nikki: I feel like there's more.

Nikki: You look like you have something to say.

Salina: I think we will get another reunion.

Nikki: Oh, okay.

Nikki: Well, maybe I'll have more than a three editor croissant rating for that one.

Salina: Yeah, I'm really excited for that one, actually.

Salina: But I gave it 2.87.

Nikki: You're getting so much more specific with.

Salina: Your ratings out of five teary eyed manipulations.

Salina: So now I want to be out of rawhides.

Nikki: That would have been good.

Nikki: That would have been good.

Nikki: Missed opportunity.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Maybe it's realistic that he just had a total ego trip at the end, but I think it would have been if we just reined his character in a little more where I wasn't feeling halfway creeped out from the very beginning because he did track her down in the first place.

Salina: Then there's the whole thing about trying to pay her.

Nikki: He met her once for like, two days on a cruise.

Salina: It's just hard for me to get past all that so much right.

Salina: And really enjoy it.

Salina: And then there's like, not even three minutes of this reunion where you're like, yeah.

Salina: And then suddenly you're like, no.

Salina: And so for that reason, it's just hard for me to be excited about it.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Combination of either 80s southern or references we need to talk about.

Nikki: I don't have any combos.

Salina: Me neither.

Salina: 80s things.

Nikki: Paying for long distance phone calls.

Nikki: Charlene offered to pay julia to call the new york city editors.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: I'll pay for the calls.

Nikki: A reference to top gun.

Salina: Look at you.

Nikki: And pay phone calls.

Salina: Nice.

Salina: I didn't have any of those.

Nikki: Oh, perfect.

Nikki: What do you have?

Salina: I just have one thing.

Salina: Trans am.

Nikki: Oh, did they mention trans am?

Salina: I think maybe he got a trans am to go in or something.

Salina: Obviously they were made before the they were made a little bit after the 80s, but it just feels like it.

Nikki: Would have been an uncomfortable ride for all of them.

Salina: Maybe they rode on the hood.

Nikki: Maybe that's much more comfortable.

Salina: Well, it's about at the same level of absurdity.

Salina: You got to get that good 80s hair poof.

Salina: So southern things.

Nikki: I put the combination store that you mentioned on here, the VCR rental and live bait.

Nikki: And this is based on a real life story, so probably not exclusively Southern.

Nikki: However, I once visited a lovely town in South Georgia with a friend, her hometown, and the movie rental place had a tanning bed in the back.

Nikki: Oh, so you'd go get your movie and get your tan.

Nikki: Yeah, it's a real thing.

Salina: I would much rather see the tanning bed than the 18 and older yes.

Salina: And then, like, a guy walking in.

Nikki: There with a okay, we don't need the mental picture of Howard.

Salina: But doesn't it make but what I'm saying is, aren't you excited about the tanning bed?

Nikki: I wasn't bothered by the tanning bed.

Nikki: It's just the combo store situation.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: And we got a 404 phone number, which is the Atlanta area code.

Salina: That's very exciting.

Salina: People are really proud of 404 now because that was the original.

Nikki: The original?

Salina: Yeah, for people who don't know.

Nikki: That's it that's all.

Salina: Remember when you didn't have to put area codes?

Nikki: The reason I think that one made it on my list is because you didn't used to have to do area codes, as I understand it from my elder brethren.

Salina: Oh, right.

Nikki: I don't know anything about that, but so she really would have had to have done some kind of deep dive work to make sure she had the appropriate area code.

Salina: Sure.

Salina: She wasn't googling.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I appreciated that research, that commitment to detail.

Salina: I liked it.

Salina: That's a good dividing line.

Salina: I lived in the pre area code.

Nikki: It really wasn't that long ago.

Salina: I think it switched over in, like, 98 or 99.

Nikki: That's really not that long ago.

Salina: Not in the history of the world.

Nikki: It's really not.

Salina: We're only closer to the eyes of someone who's 25.

Nikki: That's true.

Salina: So, yeah, I think the only other thing that in that whole conversation that they had in the cold, open Dukes of Hazard gets brought up again, and then just the idea that we're talking about Hicks again right.

Salina: Which is something that we've talked about before, references that you needed to look up or you want to talk about.

Nikki: Julia said toward the end of the reunion that they had given Howard the ego that ate Atlanta, and I just feel like that's based on let me okay.

Nikki: Short version is I have no answer to this.

Nikki: I'm positing something.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: I felt like it was based on something, so I spent some time googling.

Nikki: Like, the Ego that ate it just feels like maybe it's a science fiction movie or like a but it's probably.

Salina: Not an ego, though, that ate it.

Nikki: If it were science fiction.

Nikki: That's true.

Nikki: But it was just so specific.

Nikki: It was just such a specific play on play.

Nikki: Yeah, it was weird.

Nikki: I didn't find anything except, like, a punk rock band from the 2010s, so I'm guessing that wasn't what was the.

Salina: Name of the band?

Salina: Because that the ego that ate the.

Nikki: World.

Salina: Which is like a saying.

Salina: Yeah, I don't know, popular saying.

Nikki: I Googled it and I didn't find anything.

Nikki: I've never heard that saying.

Salina: It definitely rang a certain way for me when I heard it, too.

Salina: So if you all know, tell us.

Nikki: Yes, please let me know because it's going to keep me awake at night.

Salina: You can't have two things that you couldn't find.

Nikki: What do you mean?

Salina: Not be able to find the article or this.

Nikki: Oh, that's true.

Nikki: I was going to say this is the only reference I had to look up other than the article time in my life I'll never get back.

Salina: Mine was the name of the episode also a play on words because oh, have you seen this movie?

Nikki: A million times.

Nikki: Shut I've seen it recently, yes.

Salina: You're one of the cult followers.

Nikki: You've never seen Howard the duck with Leah Thompson?

Salina: Really?

Salina: I had a friend growing up that loved it and I didn't even know what it was until I think it probably was like in 8th grade or something when she told me about it.

Salina: And I remember her describing it to me and I went, Nam.

Salina: Good.

Nikki: It's not a great movie.

Nikki: It's like an 80s, but it's great and it's badness.

Nikki: So my sister loved it.

Nikki: My sister loved it.

Nikki: It's actually based on a Marvel character, a comic book character, and he shows up in the Avengers movies.

Nikki: But yeah, he is this he does?

Nikki: Yeah, in the extra scenes at the end of the first one, I think, with the collector.

Nikki: So he is an alien.

Nikki: He's a duck duck planet.

Nikki: From a duck planet.

Nikki: Where else would he come from?

Salina: Well, for people who may not get.

Nikki: That people know if he's a duck, he's coming from a duck planet.

Salina: Oh, my bad.

Nikki: A duck alien comes from a duck alien planet.

Nikki: But anyway, he comes to Earth and he meets Leah Thompson, who is an aspiring rock star, and they go on misadventures.

Salina: Yeah, that's really it.

Salina: Right?

Salina: So it was produced by George Lucas.

Salina: That kind of surprised me, actually.

Salina: It's not like him to have a dud.

Salina: In fact, I read somewhere no one.

Nikki: Said it was a dud.

Salina: No, it absolutely was a dud.

Nikki: No one said it was a dud.

Salina: Everyone said it was a dud.

Nikki: I've seen it.

Salina: Well, like money wise, it was my.

Nikki: Sister'S favorite movie for a period of time.

Salina: I read that it's considered one of the worst movies of all time.

Nikki: It is.

Salina: But it does have a cult following.

Nikki: Well, the Howard the Duck theme song is amazing.

Nikki: It just gets stuck in your head.

Nikki: It's going to be stuck in my head for three days now.

Salina: I guess I'll have to look it up, but I'm kind of scared to now.

Salina: Well, but I mean, look, there's lots of movies I like that weren't exactly killing it at the box office.

Salina: And also, that doesn't always mean that they're good.

Salina: So I definitely think that's true.

Salina: But what I was going to say is related to George Lucas is he was going to use that to pay, like, back pay, I think, for something.

Salina: Hmm.

Salina: Maybe it was like the next set of Star Wars movies that he was trying to do anyways.

Salina: He was like, this was going to be the thing that paid off these other debts or something.

Nikki: Oh, that sucks.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So that didn't work out so much, and I think it put some of that work behind.

Salina: So I thought that was kind of a sad but an interesting story.

Salina: Cut lines.

Nikki: I just had one substantial one.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: And only substantial in length.

Nikki: No, substantial in length.

Nikki: And also, I think, because it sort of set the stage a little bit for what was happening.

Nikki: So anyway, Howard calls Sugar Bakers between Charlene putting him on hold because, quote, personnel has expanded, which I just thought was such a funny excuse, and Julia asking, like, who is he anyway?

Nikki: I think Charlene says, oh, no, I'm getting tired of y'all referring all your phone calls to me.

Nikki: Or maybe it's the other way.

Nikki: Julia says it.

Nikki: Somebody says, oh, all right, I'll talk to him.

Nikki: He wasn't that bad.

Nikki: Howard, I'm sorry to keep you waiting so long.

Nikki: Mary Jo went home sick.

Nikki: Sick?

Nikki: Well, I don't know when she'll be back in again.

Nikki: Somebody whispers, never, she says maybe never.

Nikki: She looked real bad.

Nikki: Our address.

Nikki: Well, why Howard?

Nikki: And then she says, like, call me a psychic, but I get the distinct impression he's coming over.

Nikki: And then Mary Jo invents this whole excuse for why she's not there.

Nikki: She's going to go do the original telework.

Nikki: She's going to go work from home and work on her sketches.

Nikki: That's where they can find her once Howard has left.

Nikki: And I bring that up and spend this much time replaying that scene that many of us will never see, only because I feel like it's again.

Nikki: That thing that sort of illustrates the story a little more clearly.

Nikki: It explains a little bit more where Howard was coming from, how that all came together.

Nikki: Mary Jo trying to get out of there because she was trying to put her jacket on, and it just explained a couple of things to me.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: You know, that makes sense.

Salina: Well, he also says, I think if we want to take out some of that creepy factor, it explains the fact his parents still live.

Salina: So there's some there's some ties still to home.

Salina: It's not like he's coming from well, he is coming from a different state, but he doesn't not have a home base there.

Nikki: It's not totally random.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Still creepy, but less creepy.

Nikki: And that was it.

Nikki: I think there was another smaller, more irrelevant cut, but I won't belabor the point.

Salina: Yeah, I had that one and another one.

Salina: Same deal.

Nikki: Is that it?

Salina: That's it.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Next episode.

Nikki: Episode twelve, I'll be home for Christmas.

Salina: A Christmas episode, because we didn't get one in season one.

Nikki: We did not.

Nikki: And we'll get to record that one during the Christmas season.

Nikki: But it won't air until after the Christmas season.

Salina: But it'll be Christmas for us.

Nikki: It'll be exciting.

Nikki: So we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage.

Nikki: We're on Instagram and Facebook at Sweet tea and TV.

Nikki: Our email address is and our website is WW

Nikki: And we've got extra sugar coming up.

Nikki: What are we talking about this week, Salina?

Salina: Just crap.

Nikki: Just the stuff.

Salina: Well, we've had a couple of extra sugars in a row that were a little heavy, so we're going to lighten it up.

Nikki: Would you call it breeze shooting?

Salina: Yeah, we'll breeze shoot.

Nikki: Let's breeze shoot.

Nikki: I like it.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Salina: What does it mean?

Salina: We'll see you around the bend.

Salina: Bye.

Salina: Okay, I'm over here laughing.

Salina: I'm sorry.

Salina: Hi, Mr.

Salina: Q.

Nikki: Was I supposed to start?

Salina: No.

Nikki: Oh, okay.

Salina: Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.

Salina: Guys, don't get the benefit of my terrible face that goes along with say.

Nikki: I wish that I got a video of that so we could share it with them.

Nikki: Just your eyes rolling back in your head.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: I don't even know what to say now.

Salina: So I had this grand plan that we were going to break down this article and we were going to just storm the gates of everything terrible that's ever happened to Southern Earth.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So a laughable.

Salina: B, we couldn't, we couldn't find the darn article.

Nikki: We tried.

Salina: So we had two heavy episode extra Sugars behind us.

Salina: And you know what?

Salina: Let's light talk.

Nikki: Let's light talk.

Nikki: I like that.

Salina: Is that a word?

Nikki: You say light talk, I say shoot.

Nikki: Breeze.

Nikki: Breeze.

Nikki: Shoot.

Salina: But we did prepare.

Salina: We have our excel sheets, our PowerPoints.

Salina: We came up with a list to Free Talk today.

Salina: So, Nikki, would you just tell us something that you're enjoying?

Salina: I know we both came in with different lists, but start wherever you want and tell us what's something in life that you're enjoying right now.

Nikki: I have actually not been watching very much TV lately.

Nikki: I only get like two opportunities a day to watch TV.

Nikki: One for like an hour in the morning, first thing, like five when I'm sipping coffee and trying to wake up, and then right before I go to bed, like 30 minutes before I fall asleep.

Nikki: And usually I just rewatch king of Queens.

Nikki: Or lately it's been Everybody Loves Raymond just to kind of like help me fall asleep or whatever, or Gilmore Girls, but I've not been doing that lately.

Nikki: Lately I've been reading more because one of our after school activities, while Kyle's finishing his meetings, I'll take the kids somewhere and go do something.

Nikki: So we've been going to the library a lot more frequently recently, so I'll just get a book every time I go.

Nikki: So I started reading earlier this year, kate Morton.

Nikki: She is an Australian author and she writes the most immersive historical fiction.

Nikki: Like these wild they're very big books.

Nikki: Very thick, very intricate, detailed stories about period.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: It's like World War II.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: And completely immersive.

Nikki: And they're all about that same time period.

Nikki: Like thirty s.

Nikki: Forty s era.

Salina: Was any of this coinciding with the World War II episode that we had?

Salina: No.

Nikki: I started reading these books.

Nikki: I think I started with The Clock Watcher's Daughter, and it's sort of like.

Salina: I've heard of that.

Nikki: It's so hard to explain.

Nikki: But I started with that one.

Nikki: It's just very intricate.

Nikki: All these stories sort of interweave and come together.

Nikki: There was another one that I read that was about a house, I think it was oh, no, it was A Clockwatcher's Daughter where there's a house involved.

Nikki: And it's sort of like a haunting thing, like a ghost is involved.

Nikki: I started with that one and I just fell in love with the way she writes.

Nikki: Her way with words is amazing, the way she sets the scene.

Nikki: I think I've explained before, when I read Harry Potter in my head, I could draw the entire movie in my head reading the book because it's so demonstrative.

Nikki: Like the words just set the whole scene.

Nikki: That's the way Kate is.

Nikki: So this year I've read like, a handful of her books and then I think I've pretty much read all of her books that are available.

Nikki: So I got on my library's website just to reserve something so next time the kids and I went, I would get something.

Nikki: And Anne of Green Gables, of all books, popped up.

Nikki: I'm telling you, after our whole conversation.

Salina: Didn't you read a little bit of it already?

Nikki: I have.

Nikki: I'm currently reading it.

Nikki: I'm almost finished.

Nikki: It's a very light read, but it's kind of long, actually, for what it is.

Nikki: And just this little girl that gets into all this little she comes to live with this family, and she's sort of adopted by this family, but she has the worst luck in the world, and she has all these little scrapes here and there.

Nikki: And so it's every single chapter is another of, like, Anne's misadventures.

Nikki: It is very wholesome.

Nikki: It was written was it written in the early 19 hundreds?

Salina: I think so.

Nikki: It's super wholesome.

Nikki: It's adorable.

Salina: Author, I think.

Nikki: Yes, it's adorable.

Nikki: It's a very cute book.

Nikki: So I'm almost done with that one.

Nikki: So I've been doing a lot of reading.

Salina: You hadn't met Gilbert last time?

Nikki: No.

Nikki: So she has mentioned him.

Nikki: She calls him like she starts every sentence about school.

Nikki: She's like, Well, I can't do that because, I mean, my classmates will.

Nikki: Whatever.

Nikki: Whatever.

Nikki: So I think she's trying to hide that she has a crush on him.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: So we still haven't gotten into the.

Salina: Crush part of okay.

Salina: Oh, well, that's so exciting.

Nikki: It's very cute.

Nikki: So I've been reading a lot more like that, and the Kate Morton books take a really long time.

Nikki: But interestingly, this Anne of Green Gables book has taken a very long time.

Nikki: And not because it's hard to get through, it's just long.

Salina: Well, and sometimes it's hard to explain with books, but different books require different paces.

Salina: Or like sometimes if I am in a reading mode, sometimes I'll get in bed.

Salina: I can only get through like five pages.

Salina: So my book choice this time was, honestly, I haven't read books in a long time.

Salina: My house is covered in them.

Salina: I love them.

Salina: I love libraries.

Salina: There is nothing better than the smell of books and an old library former.

Nikki: Library worker can attest.

Nikki: Yes, it's the best.

Nikki: It's grand.

Salina: My thing is that normally I just don't have the patience for anything more than like a long form article because our work requires, I feel like, a lot of reading, more reading than most places.

Salina: I just feel exhausted.

Salina: And the last thing I want to do is have to train my eyes on something.

Salina: But lately I decided that I was really going to double down in my efforts to watch a little less TV and just get back into the passion that I used to have for reading and the passion that I used to have specifically for reading books.

Salina: And so I started with the most god awful hard book that anybody could ever start with, which is War on Peace the End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence by Ronan Farrow.

Salina: I wanted to get educated on Afghanistan.

Salina: I decided that it just felt like something that I needed to have a little bit more knowledge about.

Salina: And I don't know if a part of it was it definitely is.

Salina: A couple things happened all at once.

Salina: I heard Ronan Farrow in a couple of different places.

Salina: This is also the guy who did the Catch and Kill podcast, and also he did the podcast that turned into a show.

Salina: That's all these different things that has been so instrumental, like, in recent history with me too and everything.

Salina: But he's a Vunder kid.

Salina: I feel stupid when I say that word, but he really is.

Salina: He's like a few years younger than us, and he was working at the State Department when he was like 20.

Salina: So seeing him in these different places and seeing the kinds of things that he was doing, I was so impressed with him on the different interviews I've heard him take part in, and I was like, this is somebody I feel like I would trust on this topic.

Salina: And I had watched a 911 documentary that had come out right around 911 this year because it was the 20th anniversary and it focused a lot about Afghanistan in the beginning and how that connects into what happens with 911.

Salina: And I just wanted to know more.

Salina: So I read it.

Salina: It took me, like, three months to read it.

Nikki: I bet.

Salina: I basically was like, I need a dictionary next to this book.

Nikki: So I was going to say, I feel like Ronan Farrow's work is something that I need someone else to pull the quotes out for me.

Nikki: I need you to give a long form article is actually hard for me to follow.

Nikki: I don't really have the attention span for that.

Nikki: Books are easier.

Nikki: Books are easier because they have sort of the flow that it's leading to something.

Nikki: Articles are long.

Nikki: I feel like I don't know when it's going to end.

Nikki: I'm not really sure what it's about.

Nikki: So I need people to pull it.

Salina: Out for me this long.

Salina: Is this really still an article?

Salina: I think we're at Novella Link.

Salina: Yeah, I definitely understand that, too.

Salina: I started to say I really like a blurb.

Salina: I do write my way.

Nikki: I could have read, like, the inside book cover and been just fine on that one.

Salina: Well, I can give you a one word summary.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: There you go.

Salina: That could go a million different directions, but I think, you know, it's not great.

Salina: So that's mine.

Nikki: War and uh oh.

Nikki: Do not go hand in hand.

Salina: Well, have I ever told you about Felipe Gregory before?

Salina: The author?

Salina: She's the one who did, like a lot of her stuff has gone on.

Salina: It's way more commercial because The Other Bolin Girl was made into a movie.

Salina: The Spanish Princess got picked up to be a television show.

Salina: The White Princess and the White Queen also got picked up to be television shows.

Salina: But it's like historic fiction.

Salina: But it is very steeped in the real things that happen.

Salina: But it's more of like a feminist turn.

Salina: And you get the perspectives that you don't normally get.

Salina: And she's very methodical and thorough.

Salina: Like, I had read about her process, and I don't even know how you get a hold of this stuff, but she took weather patterns.

Salina: And so if it talks about the weather on a certain day, she's tracked it back to know, like, yeah, it was blustery, whatever.

Salina: And so I always thought that was really impressive.

Salina: So anyways, it excited me to hear about the books that you're reading.

Salina: And I want to check those out.

Nikki: Yeah, you should.

Nikki: They're really good.

Salina: So do we want to talk about something else that you're enjoying?

Nikki: Something else I'm enjoying?

Nikki: I've been watching several random Netflix.

Nikki: I'm not watching TV very often, but I have watched several Netflix christmas specials, movies, Situations, Love Hard.

Nikki: Did you watch this one?

Salina: We watched it this weekend.

Nikki: It's cute, right?

Salina: It was cute.

Nikki: I mean, don't think it's more than.

Salina: It is, but it's was yeah, no.

Nikki: I really liked I told Kyle there is a situation where she has a food allergy reaction.

Nikki: And when they showed her face, I gasped out loud.

Salina: I didn't know.

Salina: What had happened because I forgot.

Nikki: I grabbed my chest and I was like because it was terrifying.

Salina: What was your favorite part?

Nikki: Sorry, I don't mean to I loved that part.

Nikki: That part was really funny.

Nikki: I kind of liked the end.

Nikki: They did a play on Love Actually and I liked it.

Salina: I knew that was coming.

Salina: Yeah, only because they mentioned Love Actually so many times.

Nikki: I'm going to be dead honest with you.

Nikki: It never occurred to me.

Nikki: So one of the running gags in the movie spoiler alert.

Nikki: I don't think we're spoiling.

Nikki: Oh, that's true.

Nikki: I haven't said anything spoily.

Nikki: One of the running gags in the movie is one person likes Love Actually and one person likes Diehard.

Nikki: It took me about two days to realize the name was emerging of Love Actually and Diehard.

Nikki: Oh, love hard.

Nikki: It took me a really long time to put that together, so I didn't think that's where it was coming.

Nikki: But, yeah, there you go.

Nikki: So it was a really cute movie.

Nikki: And then I just finished Father Christmas Is Back, which is like a Kelsey Grammar movie.

Nikki: And it also has Elizabeth Hurley.

Nikki: And it took me two or three watches to get through it because it's long.

Nikki: It's a movie.

Salina: The way that you said that is it two or three times?

Salina: Like, I had to watch it two or three times.

Nikki: No, I watched like 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there.

Nikki: And the ending was really cute.

Nikki: It was really sweet.

Salina: And that's on Netflix.

Nikki: It is Netflix.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So I did want to say that my favorite part of Love Hard was the rendition of Baby, It's Cold Outside that they did, and they made it less of problematic.

Salina: And I thought that was really nice.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I wonder if that'll wind up getting some real airplay this year.

Salina: Okay, so TV for me, Women Who Kill on Paramount Plus, we're going to put our personalities on what is your.

Nikki: Life, what happens in your world.

Salina: Okay, so first of all, I'm like.

Nikki: I've been reading Anna Green Gables and watching Christmas movies.

Nikki: I'm reading about the Afghanistan war and death and murder is what it sounds like.

Salina: Well, I said our full personalities were on display.

Salina: So the whole reason I even heard about this show is that show Yellowstone came back, and Casey and I got into that and we thought that's the app that it was on Paramount.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Paramount plus.

Salina: But it's not.

Salina: But when we got on there, I saw this is a really interesting story.

Salina: But anyways, when I got on there, I saw an advertisement for Women Who Kill, and I was like and I wound up, like, very quickly binging, both of the seasons.

Salina: So season one follows women in the same house but in three different time periods, 63, 8019.

Salina: And in every case, you know, someone dies but you don't know who, and that sort of unfolds in the house over the course of the season.

Nikki: It's not no, no.

Nikki: Okay, so it's not like a crime think.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: I think it's to turn some female stereotypes on their heads and other things, but like, Lucy Lou was in it, jennifer Goodwin was in it.

Salina: So a couple of other really familiar faces, but I can't think of their name, so I'm not going to put you through that, but just to say I was super engrossed in it.

Salina: And then season two, it's a completely different plot, all new characters it's set in, which I really like it when shows are doing that.

Salina: Now that more anthology approach.

Salina: But it's like two different women in 1949.

Salina: One who appears to have it all and the other who would do anything to belong and coward.

Salina: It was amazing and I just really enjoyed it.

Salina: So if you're looking for something and you happen to have Paramount Plus, knock yourself out.

Salina: It's good.

Nikki: She can tell you what's not on Paramount Plus too, if you're curious.

Salina: That's true.

Salina: We also canceled it, by the way.

Salina: That's why I binged it so fast is because I started watching that and then I had told Casey as soon as Yellowstone went on, I was like, what are we paying for this for?

Salina: And he came home, he's like, I cancel that.

Salina: It's going to be gone in three days.

Salina: And I was like, uh oh.

Salina: Oh no, gotta hurry.

Salina: So the second thing that I just watched, I actually mentioned in the Designing Women play recap that we did, but I wanted to give it another shout out for a couple of reasons.

Salina: One, because it's so flipping good.

Salina: American crime story impeachment.

Salina: This is the one that follows everything that happened with President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Salina: But in this case, I didn't really talk about this.

Salina: It really focuses on telling the story through the women's eyes.

Salina: A lot of the women that were caught up in this or got themselves caught up in this, and I'm not referring to Monica Lewinsky when I say that they had their story told for them.

Salina: And if I had to say, what's the argument of this show?

Salina: It's letting the women's story speak for like in all of these cases, you don't necessarily walk away and go, that Linda Tripp, I sure would like to hang out with her, but you might go and be like, Dang, in some of these ways, she got a raw deal.

Salina: So it focuses in on Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, Paula Jones and even Hillary Clinton to some extent.

Salina: There's some Designing Women connections.

Salina: And that was the other reason that in addition to just saying you guys need to watch the show, it's really awesome, it's on FX to share that.

Salina: I just thought this was really interesting.

Salina: So we already know that LBT and Harry Thomason are close friends with the Clintons.

Salina: That's known and funnily.

Salina: There's a few Easter eggs throughout the show.

Salina: So in real life.

Salina: And in the show, Paula Jones, in case anybody doesn't know, sues President Clinton for sexual harassment years before he was president in the show, when Paula and her husband Steve, who's an aspiring actor or who was at the time, meet with a lawyer.

Salina: In addition to an apology from Clinton, they want a role on Designing Women for Steve.

Nikki: Oh, that's funny.

Salina: And that's called out specifically.

Salina: So I start doing some digging and people really deeply analyze this show because it's pulling on real life.

Salina: And you've seen these articles.

Salina: What's real?

Salina: What's fake?

Salina: And I don't know if there's anything in modern history that's been pulled apart as much as Clinton Lewinsky.

Salina: And so the opinions are mixed over whether this is true or not.

Salina: But some people think it's possible that something in this light was true.

Salina: But two things that I thought were really interesting that were related.

Salina: In 2001, Paula Jones gets married again.

Salina: And she gets married in that historic Little Rock home that is what's supposed to be Sugar Bakers.

Nikki: Oh, that's weird, right?

Salina: So one of the articles I found mentioned that, and I was like, okay, someone is a Designing Women fan.

Nikki: That's so weird.

Salina: Okay, so it's not just me.

Salina: I was wondering what your reaction was going to be.

Salina: It was either going to be that or okay, that's weird.

Salina: The second thing is that Harry Thomason testified before a grand jury as part of Kenneth Starr's investigation.

Salina: And obviously I would not have been tuned into that as a 13 year old.

Nikki: Wasn't Kenneth Starr's report like 1000 pages long or something?

Nikki: Harry Thomason's buried somewhere deep in there?

Salina: I have to tell you that I am so like, I think because you remember all of this happening, right?

Salina: I remember it being on the news every day, but I wasn't really paying attention.

Salina: I mean, like I said, we were like 13.

Salina: So to me, it was just this thing that I was like, are they ever going to shut up about this?

Salina: Which I think was actually a lot of people, but also a lot of people were just eating it.

Salina: And it's so weird because this happened is like, the modern world was breaking free.

Salina: So in addition to Kenneth Starr's report being like a thousand pages long, they decided to automatically congress pushed it out on the Internet without ever looking at it.

Salina: So hearing these stories about people being on dial up and trying to access it and then just college students at campus, like, scouring all the time, and the news is like, oral sex was reported in here 17,000 times and just like, all this stuff and you're just like, oh my gosh, this world is so weird.

Salina: And this was the beginning of it.

Nikki: Yeah, we're so focused on weird details.

Nikki: So there's a podcast called Slow Burn, and One Season was all about the Clinton situation.

Nikki: And it was the first time and I listened to it.

Nikki: Maybe two years ago, maybe a year.

Nikki: It had to have been two years ago.

Nikki: It was the first time that I have ever really thought about Monica Lewinsky, aside from the narrative that was sold to us as kids of that, the little bit we picked up.

Nikki: You took away one very specific narrative about the type of person that she was and to hear a little bit more about her side of the story.

Nikki: And then to your point, to pick apart what actually happened through the lens of now realizing, like, oh, power dynamics are a real thing we can actually talk about and it's not something we're just supposed to accept as part of our life.

Nikki: It's not that thing you teach your daughter about as something to look out for.

Nikki: It's a real thing we're allowed to call out and say as a problem.

Nikki: That podcast was probably the first time I've really thought about that.

Nikki: And this was before she started sort of her circuit in recent years to kind of reclaim her narrative.

Nikki: It's a sad story.

Salina: It's very sad and also fascinating.

Salina: And there's something about when we talk about this part of Designing Women, we were so little that I can't really be like, 87, man, what a year.

Salina: Yeah, I can't do that.

Salina: But 98?

Salina: Yeah, I mean, I was a fully formed human being, except for the fact that the old brain wasn't developed all the way.

Salina: It's just weird because your perspective as a child is so very different.

Salina: And I mean, I can remember exactly where I was in some of these really famous moments where Bill Clinton is like, no, I did not have sex with that woman, or the next time, I did not apologize.

Salina: Do you know who wrote those remarks?

Nikki: Linda Thomason Harry.

Nikki: Really?

Salina: I think that's what was claimed in this article.

Salina: So I will link to this article so that people can see.

Salina: So all of this testimony, I believe, is given because that Star Report went on, or like that investigation went on for about four years or something like.

Nikki: That, very long time.

Salina: And so I think that all of that happened before anything came out that actually they did have a sexual relationship.

Salina: So I'll leave it there.

Salina: We'll let y'all read the articles and you can so anything else you're enjoying?

Nikki: Just life.

Nikki: Life in general.

Nikki: Taylor Swift has a new album out.

Nikki: This will date this episode recording very badly, but Red just came out.

Nikki: It is one of her greatest achievements as an album, just in general, like in the Taylor Swift Dumb.

Nikki: But her again, talking about reclaiming power and reclaiming her record and re recording it under her criteria and situation, it's just impressive.

Nikki: So it's been really fun.

Nikki: That was one of my favorite albums when it came out, so it's been fun to get to relive it nine years later or whatever, and we've had all kinds of fun stuff come out.

Nikki: So been listening to that one on repeat.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I think the amount of publicity I can't imagine looking at those metrics.

Nikki: Yeah, it's been yeah, she was on SNL this last weekend.

Nikki: She was on both of the late night or two of the late night shows.

Nikki: I don't even know how many there are anymore.

Nikki: And people are talking about this album like it's brand new, which is great for her.

Salina: Sure.

Salina: Let's get her some money.

Nikki: I know she needs it.

Nikki: She does.

Nikki: It's not about the money, people.

Salina: It is good.

Salina: It's not about the money.

Salina: But if she wants to give us.

Nikki: Some, that would be delightful.

Salina: Or just, like, tweet about us just once.

Nikki: I know I need someone just to make sure Taylor knows I'm a big fan, because one of the things that's going around, like her family is very big into hand picking people.

Nikki: So she did a screening of she just released All Too Well, the ten minute version.

Nikki: She did a screening of a short video.

Nikki: A short film she put together, like a music video, almost.

Nikki: They handpicked the fans that were invited to it.

Nikki: And I have this sneaking suspicion that they're those people that just go wild on social media, and that's just not my vibe.

Nikki: But I am absolutely a true fan.

Nikki: My daughter listens to Taylor Swift when she's in her room in quiet time and sings along to the songs.

Nikki: So it's like I'm raising the next generation of Taylor Swift fans, which I think maybe elevates me.

Salina: I hope so.

Nikki: So I need someone to share this with her.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: I have no shame, except I won't go on social media and make videos about myself.

Salina: But you will put it on a podcast?

Nikki: I absolutely will.

Nikki: 100%.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So the last thing that I wanted to share real quickly that I'm enjoying was actually at your recommendation.

Salina: Oh, so you suggested that I go to Rushing Trade Co.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So this is a local eatery in Sugar Hill and I just wanted to give them a shout out because it was awesome.

Nikki: That was good, right?

Salina: It was so good.

Salina: So they were really busy when we walked in, so I'm going to tell you plainly that we walked in, saw how busy it was and we were like, you want to just get, like, a coffee and go?

Salina: As we're standing at the counter to do that, a board goes by, like a charcuterie board with the two fluffiest, most beautiful biscuits that I have ever seen.

Salina: And Casey and I looked at each other and we went, we'll take a.

Nikki: Table, we'll just stay.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So we actually sat at the bar, which was nice because we were tucked in behind the espresso machines.

Salina: I don't like to sit there and be looking people dead in the eye because I don't know what to do.

Salina: So it's perfect because we didn't have to wait, we didn't have to stare at people and then stare back or them feel like they're in a fish bowl, like we're staring at them.

Salina: And it's just that we have nowhere else to put our eyes.

Salina: But he got like just a white chocolate mocha latte.

Salina: That thing was so good.

Salina: Is it good?

Salina: That's not so basic.

Salina: Anyways, you know me, I straight.

Salina: My coffee black.

Salina: But that was delicious.

Salina: We did wind up it was a breakfast charcuterie board and it was awesome.

Salina: And I wound up getting like a caprese salad and a roasted tomato soup.

Salina: And when they brought it out they were like, we'll be back with your mini biscuit that comes with the soup.

Salina: And I was like, mini biscuit?

Salina: And it came out and it was a perfectly formed biscuit the size of the palm of my hand.

Nikki: It was so cute.

Salina: I did immediately send Nikki a picture and I have never been so happy.

Salina: I was still talking about that biscuit like the whole day.

Salina: I was like, did you see that biscuit?

Salina: I loved it.

Salina: But the thing I wanted to share the most before we, I don't know, go act like we have to go somewhere tomorrow, is that I was very impressed by their backstory and I wanted to ask you before I say more, did you look into that when you were reading their menu or anything?

Nikki: A little bit.

Salina: Okay, quiz time.

Nikki: I know, please don't ask me.

Salina: I'm not.

Salina: So it was opened by a mom and daughter duo.

Salina: First of all, kudos for that.

Salina: But the reason I think it's so interesting is because the daughter winds up training as a barista in New York and Italy.

Salina: So to the top of this episode and you talking about having a lot of an occupation that you really is your favorite.

Nikki: There you go.

Salina: And then she does a school project and based on that school project that was to start like a coffee cart business, they start a coffee cart.

Salina: That's really successful.

Salina: And then now they have two restaurants and I just think that's so neat.

Nikki: That's very cool.

Salina: Yeah, cool story.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So anyways, if you are someone who lives north of Atlanta or anywhere around the Atlanta area and you want to go to Sugar Hill's rushing trade company, I can't say enough good things about it and well, Nikki recommended it to good.

Nikki: Yeah, it's delicious.

Nikki: It's right in downtown Sugar Hill.

Nikki: Incidentally.

Nikki: It's going to be right near the ice rink, the skating rink.

Nikki: When they get that ready to go again this winter.

Nikki: What season are we in?

Nikki: Whatever.

Nikki: When the skating rink is there, it'll be right next door to it.

Salina: It's a cute little town.

Nikki: It is.

Salina: When I think of Sugar Hill, I think because of Sugar Hill Diner, that's the area I thought it was going to wind up being.

Salina: None of this means anything to anybody.

Nikki: Except you don't live in Sugar Hill.

Salina: But anyways, it's very cute, very lovely.

Salina: And so I thought I'd just give them a plug.

Salina: And so, yeah, guys, we're enjoying some stuff.

Nikki: Life is good.

Salina: We hope you're enjoying some stuff, too.

Salina: And that's this week's edition of Extra Sugar.


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