How Jet Lag Works

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It was only since 1958 that the Jet Age began, and jet lag became a real condition. Also known as desynchronosis, jet lag can lead to all manner of ailments, from sleeplessness to irritability to diabetes and cancer. Learn about how the body's natural clock runs normally and what happens when it gets out of whack when we cross time zones quickly.

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Female Speaker: Welcome to Stuff You Should Know from

Josh Clark: Welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark and with me is always Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant who just flew in to be here.

Chuck Bryant: I was on the Concorde. I was just in Paris, dude.

Josh Clark: Dude, I've seen the Concorde at the air and space museum. It's not the one downtown D.C., but the one out by Dulles Airport at the new museum. Oh, my God it's awesome. I wanted on board so bad because you're standing right next to and underneath a Concorde; it's cool. They also have space shuttle Discovery and you are standing right next to that. It's a really neat museum.

Chuck Bryant: Why did they end up grounding the Concorde? Was it not cost efficient?

Josh Clark: It wasn't and anytime there was any kind of problem everyone died.

Chuck Bryant: Really?

Josh Clark: Oh, my God yeah. Also, the US outlawed supersonic air travel. You couldn't fly across the interior of the continent, which cut out a lot of revenue source. I don't think Air France or British Airways ever even broke even in all those years.

Chuck Bryant: On Concorde flights?

Josh Clark: Yeah. In 2003, there was that most recent crash and after that, that was it for the Concorde.

Chuck Bryant: I think if I'm not mistaken my friend Justin, who you know, his mom when they had some final flights of the Concorde - Flight of the Conchords - she went on one of those as just to do it I think. I might be with that, but I seem to remember that from my past.

Josh Clark: You could go from London to New York in five hours.

Chuck Bryant: What is it usually like eight?

Josh Clark: Yeah, eight or nine or something. Do you remember when Phil Collins played Band Aid? He played a show in London, got on a Concorde, flew to New York, and then played a show there in the same night. That was pretty cool.

Chuck Bryant: That was Live Aid.

Josh Clark: Was it Live Aid?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, what's the difference?

Josh Clark: The one thing I knew is that it wasn't Farm Aid.

Chuck Bryant: Did Phil Collins play Farm Aid?

Josh Clark: I don't think so. That was more Willie -

Chuck Bryant: Willie, Mellencamp and Neil Young all those cats.

Josh Clark: Phil Collins flying back and forth between London and New York to deliver his concert -

Chuck Bryant: Thank God, that happened.

Josh Clark: I love Phil Collins.

Chuck Bryant: Do you really?

Josh Clark: Oh yeah I do. That wouldn't have been possible had it not been for something called the Jet Age starting around the late 50s the jet became the preferred mode of travel, which interestingly a ticket on a jet was actually less than a ticket on like a propeller piston engine plane.

Chuck Bryant: Oh really at first?

Josh Clark: Yeah, isn't that interesting? In the late 50s, we had McDonnell, Douglas and Boeing really kind of duking it out to create the jet to get people very quickly from one part of the country to another. It opened up commercial air travel. All of a sudden, you didn't have to be the richest person in the world to get from New York to LA without having to drive or taking forever to get there - train, plane, whatever.

Chuck Bryant: It emitted jet lab essentially.

Josh Clark: Well, there you go. Thanks for finishing my intro for me.

Chuck Bryant: Well, we've been leaving time zones for less than 100 years so there are some beliefs that eventually we may evolve out of jet lag, but for now we haven't been doing it long enough for our bodies to even know what the heck is going on.

Josh Clark: It's been like 50 or 60 years. That's pretty much what jet lag is. Our body does not know what's going on. There's another term for jet lag; it's called desynchronosis.

Chuck Bryant: That's a great word for it.

Josh Clark: Your body has the biological clock and when you travel from one time zone to another in fairly short order your body gets out of sync with its environment. Then all of a sudden all the cues it uses to regulate itself and all sorts of things that your body does, it gets out of sync.

Chuck Bryant: What happens when you get out of sync?

Josh Clark: There's a lot of stuff that happens. Chuck, I'm glad you asked that. You can have cognitive problems, problems thinking and problem solving and just general mental problems. Of course, they are temporary, but still you're not thinking quite right. You have health problems. There's a study in 2006 from the University of Virginia that found out that lab rats who were exposed to simulated jet lag, which is basically I think a D.C. to Paris flight once a week for I guess most of their lives probably, older ones died much more quickly than younger ones.

Chuck Bryant: If you're old, which I have noticed that my jet lag has gotten worse as I've aged, for sure. I didn't use to get to jet lagged at all.

Josh Clark: Yeah, I didn't know what the big problem was and now it's one of the worst things that can ever happen to you.

Chuck Bryant: Well, yeah - fatigue, alertness, irritability, disorientation, depression and gastrointestinal illnesses - it can really mess you up.

Josh Clark: That comes from flying also. You can get air gas which is the change in pressure creates gas. It's not like methane or anything. It just like gas bubble in your gut.

Chuck Bryant: Do you fart a lot on planes or after you get off the plane?

Josh Clark: You can as a result.

Chuck Bryant: You know what you should do people by the way? I'm going to insert some flying etiquette here in there. Get up and go to the bathroom and fart. Don't fart in your seat.

Josh Clark: Why are you looking at me?

Chuck Bryant: Well because you're across from me.

Josh Clark: Oh, okay.

Chuck Bryant: You know me and flying now. It's just so annoying to me because it's like an 18th Century bus station these days when you're flying.

Josh Clark: Yeah, everybody's wearing pajamas.

Chuck Bryant: Teenage girls are wearing their boots - dress appropriately.

Josh Clark: You don't even have to dress up, but it's like I don't want to see what you look like in your living room.

Chuck Bryant: Well, you take your shoes off which is something I'm hugely against.

Josh Clark: There's nothing wrong with that. My feet do not smell. If my feet smell and my shoes smelled, I wouldn't take them off. I'm very, very aware of that kind of thing. It's funny that you bring that up because the other night I watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which that movie really holds up. John Candy takes his shoes off and he takes his socks off. I thought I don't take my socks off, but I thought of you because I know you that's a terrible thing to do.

Chuck Bryant: I just think you should remain fully clothed when you're out in public like that.

Josh Clark: I'm cool with taking the shoes off as long as the socks stay on and your feet don't stink. So, you're on a plane and you've got all these symptoms awaiting you. If you are part of the 94 percent of Americans, you're going to get jet lag.

Chuck Bryant: I wonder what's going on with the 6 percent.

Josh Clark: They're probably like younger people who don't know what they're talking about.

Chuck Bryant: You think?

Josh Clark: Yes.

Chuck Bryant: Interesting because it's biological. I bet you there's something to that 6 percent besides you're five years old.

Josh Clark: You think?

Chuck Bryant: I doubt if they interviewed a lot of five year-olds about jet lag for this study.

Josh Clark: Well, not five, but I mean when I was a late teenager I was like what's everyone's problem with jet lag? I don't understand what they're talking about. I specifically remember being interviewed in 1998 to ask if I got jet lab and I remember going like no of course not.

Chuck Bryant: It is a problem; it's unpleasant for some people. If you're in the military or if you're some huge big shot CEO, they worry that it could impair you as a pilot, as a soldier or as a big thinker and the head of a company -

Josh Clark: - or deal closer?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, you don't want some jet lag CEO lady going in there and not making good decisions and making a bad deal.

Josh Clark: How can you be a game changer, if you don't have you're A game on?

Chuck Bryant: That's gotta be the motto of some company.

Josh Clark: I thought I just made it up.

Chuck Bryant: It's like you plugged somebody like Price Pfister or something. What was the other study? In 2010 the University of California they did a study of hamsters. It said that on the health tip that the lab rats created new neurons at about half the rate of rats who didn't fly.

Josh Clark: That's not good.

Chuck Bryant: Your brain is literally not functioning as well as it should.

Josh Clark: It's not growing.

Chuck Bryant: Nope.

Josh Clark: I talked about that study about rats dying from being exposed to jet lag. They've also found that in humans you can have a hard menstruation if you're a lady. You can develop heart disease and diabetes more readily. Basically, your entire body is just totally thrown out of whack. You're hungrier at weird times, you're just out of it, you just don't feel good and stressed out. You have a lot of stress hormones going. What's going on Chuck? What's jet lag?

Chuck Bryant: We need to talk about the biological clock that we all have. Basically, the article here describes it as grouping of interacting molecules and cells throughout the body. That's a good way to say it. Everything's working together. They tell our glands to release these hormones at this time of day to make you sleepy, melatonin, which we'll get to in more detail, maybe adjust your body temperature a couple of hours before you're going to wake up so lets make you really hot for some reason. The body is all in tuned with each other with all these things firing like a master timepiece. Who wrote this anyway? That's a pretty good analogy.

Josh Clark: This was Patrick Kiger. He's done some good stuff.

Chuck Bryant: It's a master timepiece. There are 20,000 nerve cells called the suprachiasmatic nucleus called the SCN to the front of the brain right near the optic nerve. That's what keeps your circadian rhythm and your sleep and waking cycles going like clockwork.

Josh Clark: That's the biological clock the SCN. It's pretty neat. The fact that it's located by the optic nerve is kind of telling. One of the ways that it's sets itself it's on a set cycle of 24.65-hour cycle. Since it's off a little bit, it uses cues to reset itself. One of the big cues it uses is natural light.

Chuck Bryant: Some people think the brain is super photosensitive and that light really is the key to everything there.

Josh Clark: The pineal gland apparently, even though it's buried inside the brain, is very light responsive. The pineal gland makes melatonin, which has to do with sleep cycles.

Chuck Bryant: Melatonin is the good sleepy time stuff.

Josh Clark: This whole rhythm, the 24.65-hour cycle, is called the circadian rhythm. When it's time to sleep when it's about the time that you went to sleep the night before and it's dark out your brain's melatonin production increases. Also, you've been building up in your head all day the stuff called the dena sign. They've recently found it's been linked to being sleepy or what's called sleep pressure.

You know when you try to stay up, you're just getting sleepier and sleepier and it's harder and harder to resist? That experience is called sleep pressure and they think that's a dena sign responsible for that. It accumulates in the brain until finally about the time that you should be falling asleep, the sleep pressure is just too much to overcome and you fall asleep.

Chuck Bryant: Emily's family, my Ohio family, has a lot of sleep pressure. We call it the yearly gas leak over the holidays. We all look up at 7:45, we'll be watching TV and everybody's asleep.

Josh Clark: - after a big turkey dinner or something like that?

Chuck Bryant: Well after drinking all day and eating and stuff like that. It's all warm and toasty. I get it, but it's still kind of funny when it's called the gas leak.

Josh Clark: You just made me feel so cozy in that description.

Chuck Bryant: It is in a very cozy household.

Josh Clark: You got the melatonin production increase, you got a dena sign built up and you reach that sleep pressure threshold. All of this stuff is kind of going on this general pattern that's attuned to you and your rhythms. Are you a night owl? Do you like to get up early? Do you like to sleep in late? This is your own circadian rhythm.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, if you mess any of that up without flying, you're going to be thrown out of sorts. If you're a night owl and all of a sudden, you get a job where you gotta get up super early, it's going to suck for a little while until your body adjusts.

Josh Clark: It's going to suck for a while. It takes a while for the body to adjust. Also, we've never really, except for the last 60 years, never really had the capability of exposing the body to a sudden shock of just falling out of rhythm like that.

Chuck Bryant: - like I'm flying to Australia?

Josh Clark: Right exactly - where's there a 12 or 13-hour difference.

Chuck Bryant: I've done the Europe thing, but I've never experienced jet lag to that degree. I imagine it would take me quite a while to adjust. It sucks because it takes away a percentage of your vacations almost.

Josh Clark: It definitely does. When Umi and I went to Japan and got there we flew east to west because we flew up and over Canada and down Russia, which is easier. Even when we got there, it was like 3:00 in the morning and we're just wide awake. That took a very little while to adjust. When we flew west to east on the way back it took two solid weeks of being almost like clinically out of our minds before we got back on our sleep patterns.

Chuck Bryant: Actually, you were pretty whacky then.

Josh Clark: Do you remember?

Chuck Bryant: Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark: There was a period where the first four days when we got up we'd both wake up in the middle of the night. We wouldn't even talk we'd just get up, go out to the car, drive to Krystal, eat some Krystal's, go back home and go to bed. We've never done that before and haven't done it since, but we did it for four nights in a row because of jet lag. We were doing stuff like that all the time. Going from east to west is the worst. That was a 13-hour time difference.

Chuck Bryant: What do they call that? It's a phase delay going east to west and a phase advance going west to east.

Josh Clark: It's like you can look at it like if you're looking at a clock and bedtime is a set time, in phase delay you're just taking that hour hand and moving it back so you're just putting off your bedtime a little longer. With phase advance you're moving that hour hand closer suddenly to your bedtime, even though your body isn't ready to sleep it's bedtime now.

Chuck Bryant: It's just interesting that the body - it makes sense I guess.

Josh Clark: What I find interesting is that we figured out a way to technologically and artificially subject the body to this kind of shock in that it responds the way that it does. It starts like over producing this hormone or under producing that hormone and you go crazy.

Chuck Bryant: Since you mentioned it, that's one of the things that happen. It literally disrupts biological functions. It releases stress hormones, drives up your blood pressure, sends inflammation stimulating chemical markers through your arteries. It's going to mess up your appetite like you said because you're use to eating at regular times and that's why you were eating Krystal because that was probably dinner time in Japan I guess.

Josh Clark: Haven't you ever noticed when you get up early like you have an early flight or something - Like you can get up at a normal time. If you normally get up at 8:00 and maybe you're a little hungry or whatever, but you could skip breakfast; it's not a big deal. If you're up and moving around at 6:00 or something like that, for some reason you're just starving. Hasn't that ever happened to you?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, I'm usually not super hungry in the morning regardless of what time I wake up.

Josh Clark: If I'm up really early, I'm ravenous for some reason.

Chuck Bryant: I also find and I've always wondered what this was, that I'm not as hungry if I don't eat anything, but if I have a banana, then it just makes me super hungry.

Josh Clark: Have you noticed if you have red meat the night before whenever you get up the next day you're just ravenous too? That happens to me.

Chuck Bryant: I don't eat a lot of red meat anymore.

Josh Clark: You don't?

Chuck Bryant: It's just because Emily doesn't, but I'll still have my steak every now and then.

Josh Clark: What are you eating these days?

Chuck Bryant: The same thing I've always been eating since I've been with Emily, which is a lot of chicken, turkey and fish.

Josh Clark: What kind of fish?

Chuck Bryant: It depends. I will make tilapia tacos, grilled salmon or what's the more flaky, not mahi, but I'll mahi too, the flounder. I'll just go to the farmer's market and get what looks good and fresh.

Josh Clark: They just took mackerel off the safe to eat or fine to eat environmentally list.

Chuck Bryant: Oh, really. I didn't know it was on that. I love tuna of course. You shouldn't eat a lot of tuna either.

Josh Clark: How come?

Chuck Bryant: - I think the mercury.

Josh Clark: I eat a lot of raw tuna.

Chuck Bryant: They say that Jeremy Piven supposedly had some sort of mercury poisoning from eating too much sushi. He had to back out of some movie or show because of it, but then later on they said no, I think he was using that as an excuse and it wasn't verified that he had mercury poisoning.

Josh Clark: That's a lot like the Twinkie defense.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, Jeremy Piven had the tuna defense. That's why did say if you're pregnant you shouldn't eat a lot of sushi. That was a sidetrack. I think I'm hungry is what the deal is.

Josh Clark: Yeah, I am too.

Chuck Bryant: Why is it so difficult to overcome Josh?

Josh Clark: Your body's circadian rhythm is not exactly 24 hours; it's 24.65 hours. Every day you're ready for sleep a little later, a little later and a little later. That's why, at least Patrick Kiger thinks, it's easier to adjust going from east to west because that means you're going to have to stay up later to hit your normal bedtime. Since we're already kind of doing that it's not that big of a deal.

Chuck Bryant: It's not just him; I think that's proven like NASA says the same thing.

Josh Clark: - well, NASA and Patrick Kiger.

Chuck Bryant: Another reason is, it's not just light, body temperature we said fluctuates. It's minimum temperature - oh, I'm sorry I thought it was maximum three hours before you get up.

Josh Clark: No, Tmin.

Chuck Bryant: It's minimum temperature. I thought you got really hot right before you woke up.

Josh Clark: You might, but Tmin is typically three hours before you're normally awake. They found that if you have to wake up during Tmin when you're body is normally use to being at Tmin that's when your jet lag is the absolutely worst. I think it's because that's a cue that your whole body has, okay, we're still in deep sleep and we're going to be in a while and then all of a sudden it's like I have to wake up and go to this meeting. Your body is whacked out of its normal process of waking.

Chuck Bryant: I wonder sometimes if I get up super early I have a harder time warming up through the day. I wonder if that makes a difference.

Josh Clark: I would bet it does.

Chuck Bryant: It's like if you're use to waking up at a certain body temperature.

Josh Clark: Yeah. You know what takes care of that no matter whatever single time, no matter why you're cold or how cold you are, go spend 15 minutes in a sauna and you'll be right as rain. It's just a miracle wood box.

Chuck Bryant: I do that with the hot shower, with the steam.

Josh Clark: Sometimes it doesn't take with me. I'll still get out of the shower and I'm chilled to the core still. Chuck Bryant: How long are you in there?

Josh Clark: I'll stay in there for a while and really try to heat up. Most of the time it will get my temperature up some, but with the sauna it's like resetting it back to your normal setting every time.

Chuck Bryant: You're kind of cold though for a man. You're often chilly when I'm not and I know I'm super hot.

Josh Clark: You're very hot.

Chuck Bryant: I think you're also a little cold. Put us together and we make a very well adjusted human body temperature-wise. Ask anyone what their remedy is for jet lag and you'll get ten different answers. Ask ten different people and you get ten different answers. That's what you say. Ask Bruce Willis - what's he going to say? "Make fists with your toes." It's always been one of my favorite things. I've tried it and it's silly. Of course, it doesn't work, but I just do it now because it was in Die Hard.

Josh Clark: Argyle told him to do that.

Chuck Bryant: No, it was the guy on the plane.

Josh Clark: I thought it was Argyle, the driver.

Chuck Bryant: It was on the plane as they were flying in. Of course in Die Hard, it was just a set up to get him without shoes and socks on because that played a part in the movie.

Josh Clark: That was a good movie - the first one.

Chuck Bryant: I said some people use herbal remedies and some people take melatonin, which is not FDA approved, but you can take synthetic melatonin.

Josh Clark: We should say this article tells you how much to take and when and we'll tell you too, but we should also add a disclaimer. Melatonin has interactions with drugs like diabetes drugs, blood thinners, and birth control pills. You may want to check out what melatonin might do with our medication before you take it.

Chuck Bryant: You definitely should. Some people just say I'm going to take a red eye and I'm going to take some Valium, drink some scotch, just knock myself out for the whole flight and that'll do the trick.

Josh Clark: That works if you want to die. There's a 36 year-old woman who recently died of a stroke and she was otherwise healthy apparently, but she passed out on a seven-hour flight or went to sleep or whatever. She slept for seven hours on a flight and developed thrombosis, which is a blood clot. Apparently, it went from probably her leg to her brain.

Again, when we went to Japan on I think Japan Airlines they make you get up. They're like it's plane stretching time and they show you how to do it like sitting down at your seat, but they're also why don't you get up too and walk around. You kind of have to because you can develop a fatal blood clot just from sitting on a plane because of the change of pressure and just sitting for that long.

Chuck Bryant: You're not suppose to sleep in a sitting position. The body is meant to be horizontal and prone.

Josh Clark: That's just for rich people on a flight.

Chuck Bryant: Like up in first class now where they have the sleepers. They're so obnoxious. They should put first class in the back so you don't have to walk through that scene.

Josh Clark: The funniest is when they have the gauzy curtains separating first class and coach. It's like I see that you're having a salad. Give me some of that salad.

Chuck Bryant: That hot towel looks nice. There are all kinds of home remedies and little wives tales of what you can do. If you're an expert, if you're in NASA or if you're Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, you'd have some real advice like gradually adjusting your circadian rhythm actually using a light box which is a lot of effort, but I bet it works.

Josh Clark: It does - It also works for seasonal affective disorder. I came across a paper and I'll Tweet it out, post it on Facebook or something or blog about it - we'll do something with it - because I couldn't get it in time to really speak about it. There's this guy who came up with a paper that's basically like a computational method for offsetting jet lag and figuring out how to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Chuck Bryant: It is like this in the article?

Josh Clark: Yeah, that's the impression that I have, but it's really detailed. Basically, Chicago's Rush University Medical Center researchers say what you want to do is you're going from west to east which is the devil one you want to start going to bed an hour earlier every day. Maybe five days before your trip you want to start going to bed an hour earlier.

Not just an hour earlier across the board, but earlier, earlier and earlier to where right before your trip you're going to bed about five hours earlier. If you're going to take melatonin and you've done all your research, you want take a half a milligram of melatonin four and a half hours before bedtime. You want to progressively push that time earlier and earlier in the day as you're going to bed earlier and earlier at night and when you wake up blast yourself with the light box.

Chuck Bryant: Well, east to west you want to not blast yourself with light. You want to wear sunglasses in the morning and avoid light in the morning.

Josh Clark: They say use the light box at your normal bedtime and stay up later.

Chuck Bryant: Right, which makes sense.

Josh Clark: It sounds pretty tortuous.

Chuck Bryant: It does. There's a New York Times article called A Battle Plan for Jet Lag. They've done a study with major league baseball actually because they travel a lot. They said that over a two-year span teams that went eastward gave up an average of one extra run per game - Isn't that interesting? They say, which is not really a wives tale with NASA confirming it, it takes about one day per light per time zone to get back into that rhythm in general. They say the same thing. You've gotta regulate your exposure to light. When you get in that hotel room if you're traveling east, you gotta exposure yourself to light early and advance that clock.

If you're traveling west, expose yourself to light at dusk in the early part evening and delay that clock. They say close the curtains, put a towel over your clock radio and get it as dark as possible. Don't look at any computer screens and laptops. They say you shouldn't eat a big meal or spicy food the first day you get there. Don't dive right into that vacation because that can mess you up as well, gastrointestinally speaking.

Josh Clark: The CDC says they don't have any suggestions other than eat a balanced diet and make sure you get some exercise. It's like of course you're going to say that CDC. You have any other suggestions and they say yes, wear loose clothing on the flight.

Chuck Bryant: They say avoid alcohol and caffeine on the flight and afterward. They say that first day on vacation you shouldn't be hitting the alcohol hard either because that will just mess up your sleep period. Have you heard of this thing called the Valkee?

Josh Clark: No.

Chuck Bryant: A team of scientists in Finland invented this thing because their belief is that the brain is about photosensitivity. It's sort of like an iPod, but instead of the earplugs, it emits light through your ear canal directly to the brain. They said it works. They tested 350 subjects over four years and found that there's definitely brain activity when the little Valkee is on and nine out of ten subjects felt reduction in stress, seasonal depression, and anxiety.

They're using it for winter blues, PMS, jet lag, migraines and all sorts of stuff. I don't know how much it is though. I'm curious if it's the price of an iPod or just the size of an iPod. I would try it though. I get pretty bad jet lag. That's like when we go to do events now I try to fly out a day early just to sort of adjust.

Josh Clark: Oh, my gosh that's neat. I can do east coast to west coast, as it doesn't hit me that bad. It's more like international that gets me. I haven't had it very bad. When we went to the TCA, I didn't seem out of sorts there or back.

Chuck Bryant: I get a little out of sorts, but not super bad.

Josh Clark: I'm glad Chuck. You got anything else?

Chuck Bryant: I got nothing else.

Josh Clark: That was jet lag everybody. That kind of goes in with our sleeping sweep. We've done a bunch of those, like how much sleep do you really need. What was the one about the sleep aid? Remember the sleep aid, like you could stay up for 48 hours without any sleep? I don't remember the title of that one.

Chuck Bryant: Who wants to do that? I love my sleep.

Josh Clark: That was a good episode though. A lot of people wish that you didn't have to sleep I would imagine.

Chuck Bryant: Not me.

Josh Clark: I'm with you. I like to sleep too. If you want to hear any of those, you can go to our website,, and click on the podcast page and just start searching - go to town. You're going to find some cool stuff. If you want to read this article how jet lag works, go to and in the search bar type jet lag and it will bring up this fine article. I said search bar so it's time for listener mail.

Chuck Bryant: Josh, I call this a very sweet email from Wendy and I'll be reading some of it and summarizing some of it as it's super long. She starts out, "Congratulations on the launch of your TV show. I've been reading [inaudible] and I hope it's going comfortably for you behind the scenes because you hear these reactions.

It's a bummer when those weird people on the block who mow the law naked or pride themselves of not being tricked into attending college think that they're are qualified critics. Hopefully, you're all through experience by now to do more than laugh at the losers and just keep doing what you enjoy." I told her that was very nice and it came at a good time. People can be mean.

Josh Clark: People have been kind of mean, but we have pretty thick skin. We've been doing this for years.

Chuck Bryant: We have the armor on. That was very nice Wendy. She has been meaning to write in for several years to thank us. She started listening after she moved from Seattle to Burbank in 2008, and it was a pretty depressing time for her she said. She's a stay at home mom and we really got her through that time. A year later, she moved to Utah. She kept downloading because Chuck was on board, which is nice, and "It was like having my brothers around for an hour or so every day."

That was really nice. She said, "It was clear by that point even if we didn't know each other, that you guys would probably be friends of mine if we knew each other. You would not only appreciate the wild cultural from Hollywood to Salt Lake City, but also be more fascinated than turned off by my strange family connections." She didn't explain what that meant.

Josh Clark: - very mysterious.

Chuck Bryant: Then she moved from Utah to Massachusetts. She was eight months pregnant and we really helped her through that so she's super appreciative of that. Then she says this, "A long time ago you had a many-sided conversation about what romance meant.

It seemed to conclude that it was guys who had a manly friend crush on another guy that they knew and they really enjoyed hanging out with." I don't think we invented that. That's commonly what romance is known as. "I may be a woman, but I do have a major friend crush on you guys. You filled in for the awesome friends and family that I've missed intelligently shooting the breeze almost five years now."

Josh Clark: That was really nice.

Chuck Bryant: She's moving around and we've helped her out substituting for her smart friends. Keep podcasting and take care of yourselves. You know that in the Zombie Apocalypse I definitely have your backs. By the way, my weapon of choice would be an iron-aged Scandinavian sax in one hand, a long handled ax in the other and a shotgun I could carry across my back. Wendy, you are well armed; my lady, and you would be right by our sides.

Josh Clark: Thanks for that Wendy. We're glad we could help you through the last five years. Can you believe it been five years?

Chuck Bryant: Pretty soon.

Josh Clark: I saw a Tweet from a listener that said that they were off to college and they started listening in eighth grade.

Chuck Bryant: Also, Sarah our amazing 11 year-old [inaudible] is now15.

Josh Clark: She's going to be driving soon.

Chuck Bryant: I'm going fix her up with my nephew. To bad they don't live in the same state.

Josh Clark: We're living in the jet age Chuck.

Chuck Bryant: That's true.

Josh Clark: If you want to tell us how we helped you out or helped you through some rough times or just there for you, like the pals we are, we always want to hear that kind of thing. You can Tweet to us at SYSK Podcast. How about this? You can also tell us any of your jet lag remedies.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, I'd like to hear them.

Josh Clark: You can join us on, send us an email to, and check us out on the web. We have a new home - our very own website. It's appropriately called

Female Speaker: For more on this and thousands of other topics visit

Male Speaker: Brought to you by Toyota. Lets go places.

[End of Audio]

Duration: 35 minutes