Hello and welcome to the Smile Syndicate Music Hour – the home of Funtime music. Check us out on Patreon.com/thesmilesyndicate and join the Smile Squad! 
I’m excited to hear today’s songs. Let’s go, Jason! 
Thanks, Miss Elizabeth. And hello, friend. Thank you very much for downloading and listening to this episode. Every time you do this, it’s like a vote in favor of Funtime Music and Funtime Comedy. So rock the vote, keep listening. Many your voice heard. And direct that voice towards other people you know. You can really look like a bigshot when you put people on to new, cool things. We’re not especially cool, but we are kinda new-ish so tell your friends, acquaintances, family, enemies and frenemies – it’s time to listen to the Smile Syndicate Music Hour. 
It’s an exciting time for the podcast – this episode marks our 50th. The big Hawaii Five-0. The big kahuna. It’s a milestone – we’ve made this far, but the journey’s just begun. The road ahead is long, crooked, treacherous. Not all of us are going to make it the whole way. When we reach the promised land, we’ll look back and remember those who’ve fallen – and by fallen I mean unsubscribed out of anger or disinterest. And we’ll wish those unfortunate ones well. Then we will proceed to enjoy our new Paradise – a paradise of the soul. 
So that’s the long term plan for the Smile Syndicate Music Hour. Shorter-term, there’s lots of stuff cookin’. Summer Commotion 2019 – this July will see a series of special episodes dedicated to a Funtime celebration under the blazing, oppressive, relentless sun. Some surprises, some excitements, maybe an awkward moment or two – this July will see it all. If you’re going away during the summer, make sure your destination has wifi because if you miss Summer Commotion, you won’t forgive yourself. We won’t forgive you. You’ll have disappointed everyone again. 
But that’s in July you might be saying. What can The Smile Syndicate Music Hour do for me today? Well, take it easy – you’ll get entertained, don’t worry. And we’re gonna do that in a couple of ways.  
First, music and lots of it.  Smile Syndicate Music just the way you like it – fun, exciting, in stereo. We’re going to be checking out the Smile Syndicate Chart – that bareknuckle music brawl where only the toughest songs are able to claw their way to the top.  We’ll also spin the Round Wheel of Mystery and hopefully it tells us to play a classic Smile Syndicate tune. And at the end of the show, we’ll be playing a song brand new to the podcast – World War IX. A jazzy piano number from the Lovestorm album.  Some of you longtime fans are all “yeah yeah I’ve heard that.” Not so fast – you get into trouble when you make assumptions. We’ve discussed this – you’ve got to keep your ears open a little longer before you engage that old mouth.  The fact is, you haven’t heard it like this – it’s been REMIXED and has a brand new vocal. It was time to try this one again from a new angle, a new point of view. I think you’ll enjoy the results just fine. 
And we’ve got other things for you, too. We’ll be dipping into the Smile Syndicate Mailbag and answer questions sent in by listeners like you. I know our old friend Pensive in Pearland has written in again. And some of our new friends have reached out as well. Well, we have answers and advice for you. These answers are so solid, we make Ann Landers look like a blatherskite.  
And, yes, the big news, the big update. Jorg and I had our duel. This past Friday at High Noon. In front of the whole town.  
Jorg, of course, is the host of a podcast called Jorg Presents: The Ultimate Death Metal Hour. Miss Elizabeth co-hosts. I’ve known this for months but even saying it aloud it still makes no sense to me. We’ve had disagreements, it escalated to pranking, I got off a zinger on him like you wouldn’t believe and he threatened to sue me. Go back to previous episodes – you can hear all about this. So Miss Elizabeth called for a roundtable, a peace summit. We had that summit back in April, during the Goldfinger episode. Agreement was impossible, tensions flared, and a challenge to a duel was issued. We would settle our differences like men – with a Bulgarian Mountain Duel. Two armoured gladiators, on unicycles, jousting to see whose claim to honour and justness is true and whose is a pathetic, unconvicing sham.  
I told you all about my weeks of preparation. And finally, this week, the solemn day arrived. The duel is over. I will tell you all about it later in the show. I’d tell you right now, but I’d probably get all emotional, overcome, and I wouldn’t be able to finish. It would have to be Miss Elizabeth flying solo and you know what that means – Japanese cuisine, classic cars, death metal, South American history, improv comedy in French – all those other shows she’s on would come flooding on here. She wants to cover everything and make this the ONLY podcast you need to listen to. I agree with the goal, but it should be because Funtime Music and Comedy is all you need, not because we actually cover EVERY SINGLE THING which is what she wants to do. 
So, Duel details, coming later in this very episode. But first, let’s head to that abandoned warehouse, let’s walk down to the crudely dug pit where the fighters go at each other with no mercy, no remorse. An open secret, this Smile Syndicate Chart. High-rollers get all fancied up and go out to their monthly visit to the gutter, where society’s misfits, miscreants and cast-offs have no alternative but to fight and destroy each other for the high rollers’ amusement. An appalling scene to be sure, but no better way to figure out which song should be champion. And this week, a scrappy young fighter from 2 cities over, bursts on to the scene and like a laser-guided fist, punches its way to number 3 with a laser-guided bullet, this is  
A little surprising such a happy song could be so devious a fighter. But it earned its number 3 spot this week. But it should watch its back because it just painted a huge target on there and there are plenty of songs that are hungry and crazy enough to take a run at our new champ. We’ll definitely be checking in on the chart next time.  
If, my dear listener friend, you’ve been listening to this show for a while, you know that our primary job is to be responsive to you. You have a question, a concern, a complaint, a suggestion, an off-topic rambling pile of nonsense that doesn’t even make sense to you – we’ll take it all and give you advice, feedback, or support that you need.  
If you need our help with something, just send your request or plea in to mailbag@thesmilesyndicate.com. 
Last week, I told you about a listener asking me to help them move something. I showed up with a minivan and found out he had like 50 safes to move, so I spent a whole weekend breaking my back and wrecking that minivan just to move these safes.  Why did you do it? Because it got sent in to the Mailbag. 
So now lots of stuff is coming in so, Miss Elizabeth, let’s dig ourselves from under this avalanche of stuff and start answering some questions in the regular segment we like to call The Smile Syndicate MAILBAG! 

Subject: Not bad, not good 
Dear Smile Syndicate, 
Thank you for answering all my questions and helping me install my ceiling fan. Since my last email, I’ve been in a calm, stable mood state. With the help of my meds, I made it through April Insanity without incident. No news is good news, right? Anyway, I have a few more questions. 
1. Why do some countries start with “the” like the Netherlands, and the Philippines? 
Because those are nicknames or slang. It’s like calling the United States of America “the States”. Before I got this question, I didn’t really think about this. So I had to look up what the real name for The Netherlands was. But wifi was down at Smile Syndicate HQ and I’m not using my data plan for this, so I’ll have to look it up later. But the Philippines was another matter. Smileton has a number of people who have moved here from the Philippines so I thought it would be pretty simple to get an answer.  
One of my friends, Jake, is from the Philippines, but when I first met him he was all “never ask me about my homeland. Ever. If you do, that’s it.” So I wasn’t gonna chance it because I don’t want to know what “it” is. So, I thought I’d approach another Philippino person and ask them. Lots of people at the park these days, it’s been nice in Smileton lately, so I thought I’d wander down there and have a gab with a friend I haven’t met yet. 
So I have to find someone from the Philippines – I didn’t know how to do this apart from just asking every single person I saw. I asked about 12 people, then I got lucky. Met a woman named Lily. She said she was from the Philippines. So I asked her about the name. I go, “it’s slang, right?” And she goes “yeah, pretty much. Short for Philippine Islands – King Philip of Spain and all that.” And I go “huh.” And she goes “so why do some people Canada ‘the Canadas’?” I’m all “yeah, I’ve heard that for years and still don’t know why. It’s weird.” 
2. What’s better? Uber, Lyft or traditional taxis? 
None of the above. Through all my duel prep, I got really good zipping around on a unicycle. Get one of those. You’ll zip around everywhere. The last time I took Uber, it was a nightmare. Lots of traffic, I opened the door, got in this guy’s car. He start’s yelling “what the hell are you doing? Get out of my car!” Starts slapping me. I’m covering up and yelling “I’m telling Uber about this!” Forget it – not worth the headache. A unicycle is the answer. 
3. Is acting an acceptable form of lying?  
I would agree that there absolutely are acceptable forms of lying. I’m not sure if acting is one of them. My 6 years of acting school were a complete waste of time so this may be coloring my answer. The teachers always said you shouldn’t look like you’re acting. I could never do that because I’m an honest person. They were basically training a generation of conmen and thieves. Act like you’re happy, act like you’re sad, and bilk those marks for every dime they’ve got.  
4. Does the Smile Syndicate have a mascot? If not, why not? 
Not yet, but maybe we should get one, get a suit made and make Jorg dress up in it after I win our duel. I think it should be a giant, disembodied smiling mouth – Smiley. We have a few shops in town that make mascot outfits so this would be pretty easy to do. 
5. Is shame a uniquely human experience? 
Pretty much, but I saw this hippo in a zoo one tine and it’s eyes were full of self-loathing. I tried to lean in to give him a pet and tell him things would be alright. He nearly took my arm off. I was okay, but I yelled “you should be ashamed of yourself!”  
Thanks, guys! Can’t wait to hear your answers. 
Pensive in Pearland 
THE SMILE SYNDICATE JUKEBOX – Theme From The Smile Syndicate 

This episode of The Smile Syndicate Music Hour is brought to you by Lacey’s Ski-Doo Hot Tub Pick-A-Part, proudly serving Smileton’s hot tub and ski-doo owners since 1907. [That’s got to be a typo] 
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Miss Elizabeth was off taping an episode of the Classic Cars podcast she’s on so she didn’t see what happened. 
Preparation –  
Jorg’s outfit. Feathers and a sash – Smileton’s Bulgarian Mountain Duel Champion of 2019 
Getting interviewed. Jorg full of himself.  
Weigh-ins.  We stare at each other. 
Crowd waving signs – pretty evenly split. Which is an outrage 
We each had to cut a promo, like wrestling. I’m getting pretty hot in my armour by this point 
Finally it’s time.  
High noon. 
* Couldn’t find doves so we released ravens. They attacked the crowd. 
* We’re doing this in the middle of downtown, Harvester Square. On the grass. Hard to pedal. 
* So I charge, he charges. And the rest is kind of a blur.  
* Hang on, Jorg’s on the line. He’s pretty worked up. 
JORG: You are a snake. I knew you were a swine, but for you to sink to these depths… 
MISS ELIZABETH: Wait, wait, wait. What happened? 
JASON: Thanks, Jorg. Way to interrupt my story and give the ending away. Don’t be a sore loser.  
MISS ELIZABETH: Okay, slow down. Jorg, tell me what happened. 
JORG: I’m the innocent victim of a conspiracy is what happened! 
JASON: I out-jousted you. Admit it. 
JORG: Miss Elizabeth, this is just too much. I can’t begin to – 
MISS ELIZABETH: Just take a breath.  Relax. 
JORG: The day was perfect. The stars were in alignment. I awoke that day knowing I was going to win. I went to Harvester Square as a proud warrior. The people loved me and my story became theirs – it was time to stand up to the foul and the foolish.  
I mounted my unicycle. I glared at my opponent and he averted his gaze. I could already picture drinking from Victory’s goblet. 
It was time to pedal my wheel of destiny. I charged, Jacob charged. I had my lance aimed squarely at my foe when all of a sudden – dogs. There were dogs. All over me. Barking and biting. Pulling me limb from limb. I was knocked off my unicycle and thrown to the ground by these beasts. There must have been a dozen, at least. Snarling and pulling. I fought them off as best I could. But then, I heard a whistle. The dogs all stopped and then they ran off. 
I know whose dogs those were, Jacob.  You had your psychotic yoga teacher sic his yoga dogs on me. There is no way this is permitted in the Bulgarian Mountain Duel. You cheated. I won. Now you’re going to have to be on my show and cluck like a chicken for the next year. I think that’s about your speed. I didn’t want to win this way but there it is. I am the victor – you are the vanquished. So say we all. 
JASON: The rules do not say anything about dog attacks. The loser of a Bulgarian Mountain Duel is the fellow whose feet touch the ground first. Your whole body touched the ground first, dude. I won. I didn’t know about the dogs. They sure looked like Angel’s dogs, but if that was him he was operating on his own. You probably made him angry when you insulted him during the Roundtable and you’ve been insulting him on your show.  This dog thing was a great idea, the crowd loved it, but I can’t take credit for it. You are the vanquished. I am the victor. The whole town saw it. You want a rematch? I’ll knock you down again, no sweat. But this time, let’s really make it interesting. 
MISS ELIZABETH: No, no, no. You ninnies aren’t going to do this all over again. The duel was supposed to settle the issue and now it’s settled. I don’t care which one of you won. It’s over. The issue is settled. No more pranks, no more lawsuits. Here’s what’s going to happen: you are both going to appear on each other’s podcasts. You both won. And maybe now we can get on with being focused on doing good podcasts instead of dueling.  
JORG: I’m furious right now and  I’m especially angry that the good people of Smileton were denied the opportunity to see me triumphantly knock your co-host right off his fancy unicycle and straight into the pit of his own depravity. I can take it – I have the heart of the champion. It’s the people I feel sorry for. 
JASON: It feels good to be the champ. 
MISS ELIZABETH: You’re both the champ. The duel proved that you guys are both very honorable and brave. Now prove it once again by being on each other’s show and not whining about it. 
JORG: You know what? I’m okay with this. I can be the bigger man. You can knock me down but here I am on my feet once again. It’s pretty clear I’m the moral victor here. I can appear on your nice little show here once in a while and when your co-host is on my show, seeing me work might just teach him a little bit about what it takes to create a great podcast. Smileton knows I won, Miss Elizabeth knows I won. I won’t be a sore winner. I declare the duel to be over. 
JASON: I won. I was still on my unicycle. You were underneath a pile of dogs on the ground. But fine. We can both be the winner – me in real life and Jorg in his fevered imagination. 
JORG: You are going to look great in a dunce cap when you’re on my show. And you’re going to sit there and like it when Christoph does his hilarious impression of you! 
JASON: Good. Great. Looking forward to it. Bye bye. I’ve still got my unicycle so watch your six. 
JORG: Whatever. Spoken like a true loser. I’ll let you know the time and date you should report to my show. 
JASON: I’m not reporting to anything. 
MISS ELIZABETH: Yes, you are. And he’ll be on this show.  Jorg, thanks very much for calling in and giving your perspective. I’m glad this duel is over and the issue is settled. We can now move on to happier, more productive things. 
JASON: I’ll move on to going on his crummy show and blowing the doors off the place. Your fans are going to hear what real entertainment sounds like. 
JORG: False.  I’m going to steal all your fans away. By the third time I’m on your show, you won’t have any listeners left! 
JASON: Yeah, no kidding! People can’t take more than 3 minutes of you. You’ll drive them all away. 
JORG: We’ll see who wins. 
JASON: You got that right. 
MISS ELIZABETH: Okay, Jorg. Thank you. I think you’d better go before you two knuckleheads make a bet or set up another dumb challenge. Thank you, Jorg. 
JORG: And to you, Miss Elizabeth. 
JASON: Hit the bricks. 

Twitter – @smilesyndicate 
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Let’s take off our homemade cloth hats, put on our striped pants, settle into our lawn chairs and…. Listen. 
That’s it! We hope you enjoyed the show. If you did, please consider joining the Smile Squad and support this podcast on Patreon. Join our just cause as we pursue the values of Funtime music, Funtime comedy, and general delightedment.   
Go to Patreon.com/thesmilesyndicate and select the level of membership that feels most comfortable to you. Patrons of The Smile Syndicate get early access, exclusive extra stuff, and membership in the most awesome club on the Internet.  
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So it’s bye bye from Jason. 
And bye bye from me. See you next week. 
And as always, remember friend, the sun is a jukebox.