How To Escape A Cult with Lauren Gaunt at Pizzeria Delfina.

Tanner and Lauren Gaunt — a San Francisco based photographer and occupational therapist — talks about woofing in Southern California and narrowly avoiding introduction into a farming cult and the unobtainable beauty standards in modern digital photography.

Tanner: Yeah, put that right there.

Lauren: I'm enjoying this Burrata. It was very good.

Tanner: I got to get me some of the Burrata.

Lauren: Maybe one of the first things to reflect on is that Delfina experience.

Tanner: Oh, yes. Yes.

Lauren: Yeah.

Tanner: How do you want to tell the story?

Lauren: That's a great question. Well, it was my first day in San Francisco. When I moved up here, I think. First day.

Tanner: I think so. That was August 2015.

Lauren: Mm-hmm. And I think you were at work. I went to Dolores Park that day and then you met me at the Mission after work.

Tanner: Yes.

Lauren: And then we went to Pizzeria Delfina. Yeah, and then literally our waitress was a girl I knew from high school.

Tanner: Oh! Yeah, I remember.

Lauren: Just so crazy. Chelsea. Chelsea Hayes. We didn't hang out directly all the time, but her brother was sort of in our friend circle, and went with Beth, my best friend in high school, she went to prom with Chelsea's brother. So, it was pretty tight knit, I guess. So wild, but it definitely felt like, "Okay. I'm in the right place at the right time." You know?

Tanner: That feels like such a great way to put it.

Lauren: Yeah, it was like why else would that be? I really don't believe in like... Coincidences like that, I don't think I believe them to be coincidences when it's too specific, anyways. So, yeah. That was crazy and then I think we went back to Delfina a lot, because it was local and then I came here with Chris a lot and I come here with friends, yeah.

Tanner: It's a good little spot.

Lauren: It is.

Tanner: And it feels like one of those really nice things, because I think I was at work that day, like you said. And it was a super busy week with work. You said, "Okay, I'm coming to San Francisco." I was thinking, "Okay, I'm going to set this up. We should go here, go here, go here and I'll meet up with you later." And I also didn't really know a lot of people at that time, because I also just moved to San Francisco, too. And the people I did know were all the dudes in Machine Head who were out at the time.

But Delfina was… I'm trying to remember how I discovered it. Because I came up here, a friend of a friend told me, "Dude, you have to go try pizza in San Francisco. It's so fucking good." So I think I just Googled "good pizza, San Francisco," and it kept coming up. "Oh, I have to go here." And it's right next to Dolores Park, so just get a pizza, sit in the park and eat the pizza. And I was like, "Holy fuck. I have to keep coming back to this place."

Lauren: I don't think I'd had pizza like Delfina in the US before. Thinking back on it now, especially before I moved to LA, which maybe we want to talk about too. Because that was such a brief, but chaotic time in my life.

Tanner: I've heard.

Lauren: Yeah, wild. But yeah, I feel like I've been in a kind of like, food shelter. You know? Like, Europe has amazing food, but in the US? It just wasn't like that. And I don't know if it was a time thing. Maybe 15 years ago, 17 years ago, I don't know, sort of like more casual upscale, I guess you'd call it. Food wasn't apparent, it wasn't an experience. It wasn't around anywhere. I'm not sure if it was like that where you grew up or not.

Tanner: It was in a really... I think sort of lopsided scale. Because I feel like anywhere you go, there's always your super budget, super cheap, doesn't taste really good. To the relative, super expensive upper tier. And I think all those scales are relative to the place. I think growing up our really high end tier would be Cheesecake Factory, which is its own delightfully chaotic experience where you have your menu of 2,000 different things, in a place that has 2,000 different interior design options that don't make any fucking sense at all. It's trying to be like, Arabian Nights, meets French palace, meets art deco, meets mid-century modern, meets Dungeons and Dragons and whatever.

Lauren: Yeah, that's what I grew up with. Those were the restaurants.

Host: We've got a Pepperoni pie and a Margherita here.

Tanner: Ooh, heck yeah.

Host: Pepperoni here and Margherita and napkins over here.

Tanner: Fantastic.

Lauren: Oh, it looks awesome. I want to go into this pizza. Jamie's not here to pull pictures, so. We got a nice crisp on the edge of the crust. Got some small onions scattered throughout.

Tanner: Thank you. This is like a fresh, fucking great, fresh pie.

Lauren: Yeah it is. That looks fucking good. Look at that sauce.

Tanner: I'm going to get lost in this sauce. This looks tasty.

Lauren: But I think that my experience with food in San Francisco has changed a lot since I've been working.

Tanner: How so?

Lauren: Because I can finally afford to get it consistently you know? It was like being in college. It was so frustrating sometimes just because you're like... Not even college, in my Master's program, whatever. You're like, "There's so much good food everywhere, but I guess I'm just going to have ramen. I'll just make something else." But it's really cool now because I don't know, I'm able to experience what it has to offer.

I feel like it's hard to find the food here, like here, anywhere else. I know it sounds very, maybe in a bubble or something, but even like, there's good food in New York. But I don't know, hot take. Maybe you should cut this out. Maybe I'll get so much hate from your audience, but-

Tanner: It's fine. We can do the East Coast, West Coast rivalry thing.

Lauren: ... I felt like the food in New York was fine. It was fine. The bagels? Fucking good, of course. The pizza was fine. I said it. I don't know, what's your take on pizza in New York?

Tanner: So, I've had some actually really life altering type level pizza in New York, but it was a place that used to be in San Francisco. The chef rage quit. It was called like Una Pizza. So when I did that Google search for really good pizza San Francisco, that place kept coming up and it was a few blocks from where I was living in SOMA at the time. And it was this just crusty old warehouse that was converted to a really nice restaurant. It made no sense being there. It was one of those, "We'll open at this time and then we close when we sell out."

The dude was super passionate about pizza, but kind of a curmudgeon at the same time. But the two mixed really well, and he famously rage quit the city, I think a couple months after I moved here. He's like, "Fuck all y'all. I'm going to New York where they really value good pizza." So, I'd been to New York, I ate there, and it's still just as good. And the guy is just crazy dedicated to "I will only make the best pizza possible."

Lauren: I mean, I'm here for it. That's fucking great. I wonder what he didn't like about the SF food scene.

Tanner: I think it was more the people. Something like "I'm not surrounded by people who appreciate my craft."

Lauren: His craft. There are people who appreciate pizza here.

Tanner: I can also be misremembering it, because this was like 2015 or 2017.

Lauren: True. Well, I've only been to New York once, so I don't have a huge perspective on it.

Tanner: I'd say I agree with you on the food scale. San Francisco's really elevated what is good and what is bad; it's really kind of worked that scale.

Lauren: Yeah, for sure. It might be true that like, San Francisco is so much smaller that it's easier to find good food. Where New York is so fucking big, so it's kind of overwhelming in that sense. And there might be better, more high end, also more low end in New York.

Tanner: Yeah. I also feel like they have every part of that scale from really cheap, really bad, to really expensive, really good. Top to bottom, everything in between filled in. It felt really easy to find food there, but if you were thinking, "I'm looking for this specifically," it's oh, I have to kind of sift through things. No matter what sort of part of that scale I'm going to.

Lauren: Exactly.

Tanner: Whereas I feel like here, we do the mid-upper part really fucking well. The low end, not well, and then the high end really well, and the super high end, super well. So we're missing a good chunk of that scale.

Lauren: We're missing the low end, right?

Tanner: Yeah.

Lauren: In which case, we get really good food for like, cheap. Probably some of the best. So good…. Do you have a lot of breaks in your recording when it's just munching?

Tanner: Surprisingly so, yeah. When this gets transcribed, a lot of the food sounds don't make it into the final transcript.

Lauren: Okay, that's good.

Tanner: Part of me thinks there's going to be a super-collab, just all the food sounds, ASMR style, but I feel like that'd be... It sounds different in my head, and then put it-

Lauren: But in reality you're like, "Oh. That's atrocious."

Tanner: Just "Oh, this is so good. Nom, nom, nom." This is super fucking good.

Lauren: Yeah, it is. Do you want to trade a slice?

Tanner: Sure!

Lauren: Try this? I did a photo thing this weekend-

Tanner: Tell me about it.

Lauren: …that was pretty fun. I went to this lavender farm in Santa Rosa with my friend Laura, who's a florist, who's been a really great connection. She's very outgoing. And is really like, dedicated to get her flower business up and running. So she has these workshops and these styled shoots. She's not afraid to ask people for things so she'll ask, "Hey, do you want to do this thing for me? Do you want to give a cake in my workshop?" Which is super cool.

So yeah, we went up to this farm and there was maybe six photographers, and a couple models, and she set up almost like a picnic with different flowers and then we'd do the arranging. That was the workshop. And then everyone's kind of dressed up in Bridgerton type clothes, right. We did the photos afterwards. Which was a cool experience. It was cool talking shop with other photographers, but I will say it is challenging in a group setting to do that. I don't know if you've done that before. Like, where it's multiple photographers and you're just kind of like-

Tanner: I have once before, and this was when I was in art school. I did a photography 101 class. And what made that kind of hard was, I was in the graphic design major, and you had photography majors, and all the different majors in there taking the class. So you had people in there who want to be a fucking photographer. And you had people like "I'm going to do interior design. Why am I here?"

It was a really great class, learned a lot, but it was super fucking intimidating because the teacher's like, "You got to be hardcore photographer. I'm going to critique the fuck out of you." I'm thinking, "I don't know what I'm doing," and then you have the other hardcore photographers. And it wasn't really inclusive at all. I feel like that's why I went to film a few years ago, trying film cameras. I felt like all the people at that time, that I was around doing digital photography, they're super hardcore about it. Everything has to be perfect. Very sterile, very crystal clear, very perfect from the get-go. And then discovering someone in the film community say, "Yeah, just experiment. Just do whatever the fuck you want. Who cares?" it was "Oh, cool. I feel like I can kind of learn something here."

Lauren: Yeah, I feel that. I've been feeling that more recently, actually. Because of how good cameras are now, I don't even want to say "good" because they've been good for a long time, but it's like... Maybe you can think of a better word to describe it, but so fucking crisp. And everybody has a fucking good camera. So, and it's getting boring. I think that's what it is. It's just getting really boring to me. Where like, you look on Instagram, which is where I see most photography and it's "Okay, yeah. I guess that's what people want," but everything looks the same.

So I feel like I've almost been pushing away a little bit from digital in a sense, because I'm wanting to make something that's a little bit more unique with film.

Tanner: Yeah, I saw that film shoot you did with Marin. That looked really cool!

Lauren: Thank you. I was super happy how that turned out because maybe, surprisingly, I don't think I've ever shot a roll of color on that camera. I've only shot black and white, and I was so impressed how the color turned out. I was like, "God, this is how I would've edited it in post, exactly this, but it's already this." I was so happy with it.

Marin was amazing of course. She was a great model, so that helps. And the setting and everything, but it just like, I almost feel a little bit resistant with photography right now and I'm not sure why. I think part of it is just like, feels like everybody's a photographer. That's depressing.

[Loud music interrupts]

Tanner: I'm Shazaming this song real quick.

Lauren: Okay. I don't know she sang this whole thing.

Tanner: It's super loud, but it sounds really nice. I would probably throw this on my at home playlist.

Lauren: This is great, yeah. This is cool.

Tanner: This actually sounds like something you hear by the pool at the Ace.

Lauren: By the what?

Tanner: This sounds like something you'd hear by the pool at the Ace.

Lauren: Oh, yeah. For sure. Feels Cuban.

Tanner: Yeah, it's interesting you mention that because I took that class in college and that was early 2010, or early 2011 and I never picked up a camera again.

Lauren: Really?

Tanner: And it was just purely out of intimidation. Oh, I am also a perfectionist and I feel like if I do this, I have to be perfect. And getting over that learning curve and kind of doing it in public feels really intimidating.

And then when I met you, when we became roommates, you're like, "Oh, I'm this awesome photographer." And I was thinking, "Oh, cool. Maybe I should pick up photography again." Then I saw your work that you showed me was fucking awesome.

Lauren: Oh, thanks.

Tanner: And I was thinking, "Oh, I can't do this. Okay, let me postpone this." Then it took, I think it took me going on a trip I wanted to document, using a phone camera, and realizing this is not... The image I'm getting doesn't represent what I'm feeling or thinking. I feel like this is, like I kind of hit a hard limit that's forcing me to do something else. I came back from that trip, talked to Tymn and he said "Dude, I just got this film camera. Try it out."

Lauren: Oh, that's how you started into photography. Very cool.

Tanner: Yeah, so I spent a few weeks just kind of geeking out where. I don't know what I’m doing, but I kind of understand what maybe good composition could look like, or maybe I’m really bad at taking photos of people. Let's try this. I’m still bad at taking photos of people…

Lauren: Ha!

Tanner: But it was that really fun, "Hey, let's just experiment. See what happens. There's no one to judge." And then you go down the rabbit hole of film photos on Instagram and YouTube and you find all these people who are like, "Hey, I've got a YouTube channel teaching you how to use a film camera." And it was really warm, welcoming and inclusive. And there's no judgment there. It's just "Hey, let's try this thing. Oh, it turned out pretty bad, but that's okay."

Lauren: That's cool. That's really different community from digital photography, where I feel like a lot of it's about perfectionism and editing. A big part of it. And not everybody, of course, because there's definitely varied styles where you're trying to imitate film photography so it's a little more carefree, and loose, and imperfect, I think. But I think it's the perfection, right? I think that's what's getting me.

Tanner: Right.

Lauren: And I'm not sure if that's something we want or not. When people look at their photos, is that what they want?

Tanner: That's a tough one. I feel like this veers into a really fun, dark topic of... I would say it feels like we're on the precipice of content in general sort of lacking that human touch. And I feel like we're kind of going headlong into what is the most perfect, generated thing that caters to me look like? And glossing over the human nuances and subtleties that make that piece of art or content really kind of worth engaging with.

It could be visually stunning, and it feels just like brain candy but it feels like we've said, "Hey, we can kind of pause on the human element a bit. Let's just do the hyper perfect, realistic, generated, caters to our thing and what we want brain candy."

Lauren: Like with AI.

Tanner: Yeah, but I feel like with film you eventually pull back to, "Okay. We're burnt out from this perfect thing. How do we kind of go back to... What was the thing that came first? What was the thing that had that human touch?"

Lauren: Yeah, I think it does go back to that, and I think eventually everything probably goes back to that. Even if it's only brief, but it could stay around just for a little bit. Because when people edit photos, they do edit them to look like film a lot of times. Especially with wedding and family photos; those are good ones right now, where like very film-like. Like, adding grain to your photos. Lightening the blacks, so it's a little more flat, right?

So people do want that, but then I don't know. Because so much of it's so hyper realistic, but then also sort of that maybe speaks on beauty standards right now as well. I read something online and it was "My guy friend was like, 'Why do I see all these beautiful women on Instagram, but never in real life?' It's like, 'Yeah bro, because they don't actually look like that. That's why.'" So it's really warping our ideas there.

Tanner: Yeah, I think that's kind of ruined one aspect of dating for me for the past couple years.

Lauren: How so?

Tanner: It's not so much getting cat-fished. It's more of… it's still the same person. You meet in person, you're thinking, "Okay, it's still you, but I got to see the not real, but kind of real version of you." Because you put your thing through a bunch of... it's not even posing and angling to get a flattering angle or shot. It's more "Oh, I Facetuned my face or I did this filter," and you can like... The workaround for that used to be "Oh, let's do video chat," and you get to see them right then and there.

Lauren: But you can still do that on the video chat now.

Tanner: Yeah, so you almost take that risk like, "Okay. I'm going to go meet you in person." And the weird thing, if it has ever been too hard to reconcile, like, you look just too different in person from your photo. And it's less "Hey, you have to be an eight out of 10," or whatever that beauty standard is. More of it's "Hey, I'd rather kind of just see you for who you are, or who you care to present yourself really as."

And if that ever feels too big to kind of reconcile, I'm out. I'm good. Because I don't know, maybe it could be insecurity. Maybe it could be wanting to lie about it, but to me it feels like you're kind of violating something about yourself. And you can present yourself however you want; I think that's fine, but the version you're presenting is no longer available now. And the version you're presenting now, feels like you don't care to present that other version. And I feel like if you can't be honest about that, how can I be enticed or honest with you?

Lauren: Yeah, it's really sad because that's what's expected and what looks typical, what looks normal. To the point of like, some women do kind of look like that person. They'll go to plastic surgeons and ask for the lip fillers. They look like filters. They're like, "Can I look like this filter?" And it's like, "Ugh! That's so warped, though," right? That's so warped. So yeah, I wonder how that's influencing photography is my point.

Tanner: Mm-hmm.

Lauren: Because it's notably a big difference in how we view beauty right now, or how we think we view beauty. I don't even know if we kind of do that, really. Because again, whenever we see these people in person, it's going to really exist. So like-

Tanner: I feel like at least on the men's side of things, not to be the spokesperson for all men, but I think kind of digging down to the fucked up parts of the internet and wondering "Okay. What is the thing here?" I feel like the weird pandemic summer, the first summer 2020, maybe May. We're all stuck at home, we're super bored, everyone has disposable income. I'm going to call it; I feel like we went through the OnlyFans-ification of beauty, where you had... I want to say maybe the playing field just completely turned upside down where you're like, "Oh, I can post a photo of anything and someone will give me money for it."

And there someone on the opposite side of that saying "I will literally give you money for anything, and it doesn't matter if it's super raw, or just super over-processed, or whatever. I'm going to smash that pay now button." And it feels like that equation of intimacy used to be, it required a lot more effort to crack because you'd have to actually get to know the person. Say "Hey, I'm interested in you romantically or I like you as a person. Let's figure out how we're compatible and then maybe get more intimate there."

Now it feels like it's in the complete reverse of "Hey, I'm just uploading pixels. I hit a button, a number appears. Oh, I make a number change and then pixels appear and I like it." And in my mind, none of that feels wrong because it comes down to, if that's how you want to express yourself, totally cool and good. If you're willing to part your money that way, cool. You do you. It's a business transaction, but I feel like a lot of people don't get the punchline to the joke on either side of it… Not debasing yourself, but thinking this is a one dimensional thing with no repercussions, and then dealing with probably a torrent of people who are saying, "Hey, just give me more, more, more. Because I can keep hitting the button that has the number change that gives me more, and more, and more."

Lauren: Yeah, so on both sides, really.

Tanner: Yeah.

Lauren: And of course people are able to express themselves how they want, but I will ask the question; if all those people that are having profiles... Again, maybe a small amount are like, "Fuck yes, this is what I would do no matter what," but given other options. Like, when you hear stories of teachers getting fired because they have OnlyFans. It's like, okay, but if you just paid teachers enough." I don't think that was her plan: "I'm going to have an OnlyFans. This is what I want to do with my life." No, "I want to be a teacher. Oh, fuck. I can't pay my bills."

So it's like, in that way it feels very predatory, you know? And then the people that spend the money, it's like, is this your ideal way to meet somebody and spend the money? Is this your ideal way to feel loved and seen, is through OnlyFans? Probably not. People can do what they wish, but it feels a little bit like, people just think it's engagement and not really talk about if there are any repercussions that might come out of it, like mental health wise. Especially for super young people.

Tanner: Oh, yeah. No, totally. I feel like my viewpoint is, if it happens truly in a silo, like you have two consenting adults. "Hey, you would give me a number and I give you some pixels. We're cool with that."

Lauren: Yeah, some people like it. Whatever.

Tanner: That's totally cool and good for them. I think the predatory thing goes to, hey, maybe you're kind of forced to do this in the way of, "I need to supplement my income."

Lauren: Yeah, exactly.

Tanner: And then the repercussions could be "Oh, we made this really hard thing to unlock, even online really fucking hard, is now really fucking easy. All you have to do is button mash and in seconds you can solve this equation." Whereas previously, you had to take days, weeks or months.

Lauren: Oh, to meet somebody?

Tanner: Yeah. So you have that and you basically set the standard of like, "Hey. If we do this thing the easy way, we both get what we want, but you might have more resources than I do. Maybe more than what I'm willing to offer you, and you're just going to keep button mashing and then when I can't deliver, you're going to harass me about it. Because for you, it's just button mashing. For me, now I realize oh, there's a human toll now. I don't know if I'm comfortable with this anymore."

Lauren: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, I don't know if it's waning at all after the pandemic, or if it's still just as popular. I'm not sure.

Tanner: I don't have an Onlyfans account, so my exposure has been dating women during the pandemic who told me early or later on they had an Onlyfans account

Lauren: Oh, them saying it. How often did you hear that before the pandemic?

Tanner: Not at all. Because even before then, it would be... I feel like dating before then would be like, "Hey, we're both looking for something casual." Which may happen tonight, may happen at some point, but there's still l I kind of need to know you're not a sociopath before I give you anything. And I feel like everyone I ever kind of talked to, if they ever sent anything would be like, "Hey, you have to trust your fucking life with this. You cannot show anyone. Stuff is going to be cropped out," which totally makes sense and it's a fucked up situation. Had that level of paranoia because someone kind of put you in that position. But it's still like, you have to kind of prove yourself to get that privilege.

And then the OnlyFans-ification of that was "Oh. Yes, you can still do that equation or you can just get the Disneyland Fast Pass, and I'd prefer if you'd buy the Disneyland Fast Pass." So I would get a good number of opening lines saying, "Hey, subscribe to my OnlyFans. Do you want to get drinks?" And I'm like, "No, not really." Like, good for you, but-

Lauren: But that's the first thing that they say?

Tanner: Yeah. The most awkward version of this was, I followed... Okay, so there's this restaurant in North Beach. I think they're closed now, because they were doing pop ups during that weird era a couple years ago, and there's this super cute girl at the register, super into heavy metal. I went back one day with my Judas Priest tee, combat boots, black leather jacket, you know?

Lauren: Which restaurant was this?

Tanner: What was that?

Lauren: Where was that? North Beach?

Tanner: It was North Beach. It was a pop up, it was a wine and cheese pop up place. I can't remember the name because I'm fucking terrible with names. So I go and I'm trying to impress her. I get her number, we start texting and she's like, "Hey, can you subscribe to my OnlyFans? I'm doing a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter." And I'm thinking “I don't know how to unpack this at all”. Cool and good for you. Not my thing, but I would be down to donate to your thing. But I don't want to do it this way, but also like-

Lauren: Well, I would be down to donate to your thing without OnlyFans, you know?

Tanner: Yeah, and I asked "Is there a GoFundMe? I'm down with that, that's cool." And she's asking "But you don't want this?" "Not really... I kind of want to work for it. But also this feels very awkward now because I feel like you're expecting me to do this thing. And I don't care that you're doing this thing, but I don't want to do the thing."

And it was just a very awkward experience of her saying "You're the first guy who's turned me down." I was like, "Okay, cool."

Lauren: How old was she?

Tanner: I think she was my age.

Lauren: Seems a little... I don't know, whatever. No judgment, I guess…

I got so full I forgot what I was going to say.

Oh my God.

Tanner: You demolished that pepperoni pizza.

Lauren: Yeah, I did. You still have three slices left, dude.

Tanner: I'm a slow eater.

Lauren: I know, it's true. I don't think I can do it. Have you had the dessert here?

Tanner: It's also good. I feel like Delfina falls in the place of, I could order anything from the menu and eat it.

Lauren: Yeah, it's great. Except maybe the clam pie.

Tanner: Yeah, fuck the clam pie. Fuck clams.

Lauren: Have you tried it before?

Tanner: I can't stand clams. I take that back. Anything but clams on the menu, give me anything but the clams.

Lauren: Anchovies?

Tanner: I'll fuck with anchovies.

Lauren: Yeah, me too.

Tanner: Anchovies get a pass.

Lauren: Yeah, they do and I didn't know about anchovies until recently. Went to Italy and they give us a plate of anchovies. I'm like, "Oh, it's so gross," and I tried it and I was like, "Fuck, this is delicious!" It's olive oil and lemon, so good. These little tiny fish, bite size. Just pop them in your mouth.

Tanner: It's perfect picnic food, too.

Lauren: Yeah, it is. Eat a little canned fish, like an 1800s sailor.

Tanner: Oh, yeah. Having a picnic on the boat with the boys.

Lauren: Yeah, exactly.

Tanner: Ward off the scurvy.

Lauren: Did you ever watch the show Dharma?

Tanner: Nope.

Lauren: Okay, nevermind. Okay, what else is going on? Hmm. What other topics would you like to talk about?

Tanner: Ooh, there's quite a bit actually. Let's see. All right, choose your own adventure. I bet the story of how we accidentally met is pretty funny. You have your cross-country road trip where you move to LA, encountered a cult and then moved up here. That one's a good one.

Lauren: You know what? I'll go into that and then talk about how we met.

Tanner: Cool.

Lauren: It all intertwines. So, feel free to ask questions along the way if I miss anything.

Tanner: Road trip time, let's do it.

Lauren: Road trip time. So, my best friend Beth and I, we left North Carolina. I believe it was April, 2014. Yeah, it was the year after I graduated college and we decided we're going to go to California to do Woofing. So like, organic farming. And I really, being young and ambitious, didn't really have a whole lot of plans. I had an internship in LA, which was something. So I was slightly organized and I feel like I was partially doing that so that once I got out here, I didn't feel like I needed to go back immediately. Like, "Oh, I have no money. I guess I'm just going to go back to North Carolina."

And anyways, so we left. It took us probably four days. We drove my minivan, my Chrysler silver minivan.

Tanner: I remember that!

Lauren: Yeah, I didn't have it long when I got out here, but she was here. Bless her heart, such a good car. I loved that car. I took the backseats out, so it was just the front seat and then the very, very back row. So there was all room in the center; it was perfect for road trip. Roomy, fucking great.

So yeah, we stopped in Knoxville, Tennessee? No, we stopped in Memphis Tennessee.

Tanner: I have a fun fact about Memphis, real quick.

Lauren: Oh, tell me.

Tanner: I was talking to a coworker about this today. We were talking about shipping logistics and hubs around the US. Outside of Anchorage, Memphis, Tennessee is the biggest shipping hub in the United States.

Lauren: Really?

Tanner: So, there's a really strong chance your package has gone through Memphis-

Lauren: I did not know that.

Tanner: ... even if you shipped it on the west coast.

Lauren: Here. So, I was out there. I didn't know about this woofing business. We stopped at Graceland and we stayed at Graceland in a small cabin. Oh! I don't know if I ever told you this part. So, you know, I think it's fun. Before we left, Beth and I had this fucking great idea that we were going to sell Moonshine.

Tanner: Nice. Hell yeah!

Lauren: Because we were like, branding ourselves. We're like, "All right. We're going to brand ourselves. We're two girls from the south, we're young, we're cute. We can sell some Moonshine out of my minivan," and I think it was just a weird fucking idea we had to make some money. Somehow, met this woman through a friend; I have her in my phone as Donna. It might even have been Moonshine Donna, and I kid you not, in my phone.

So, she sold me a big thing of Moonshine in a, I don't know, a jug essentially. So our idea, again, we're going to go sell it. We get to Memphis and then we were like, "Well, let's have some Moonshine, because you know what? We're having an adventure."Apple pie Moonshine, so pretty tasty. Shit was not strong at all. Weak as fuck! It was like a liquor.

Tanner: Oh, you got jipped.

Lauren: We got jipped, dude! Like, it was no moonshine in there. Just straight up apple juice and I remember we took a drink of it and we're like, "Girl, is this apple juice?" And I swear, we're like, "We don't even really feel drunk."

So we're 22, so we're like, "We know what drunk feels like. We're familiar at this point." So we kind of gave up on that idea very quickly because we're like, "No one's going to buy this product." Just drank the entire trip once we were stopped safely, of course. We didn't drink and drive.

Tanner: Getting high on your own supply.

Lauren: Yeah, we decided it was not a supply anymore, that was going to get people high. Then we stopped in Amarillo, Texas. And we stayed in a, I had a credit card with some hotel points on it so we're like, "Fuck yeah, luxury. We're going to stay at a hotel instead of camping." And Amarillo was just, I don't know. It was a freeway, but it felt empty. I remember a field of cows, thousands of cows, and tumbleweeds. Legit, real ass tumbleweeds.

So, left Texas, not a whole lot to say. We're on I-40, going through the panhandle and the next stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was actually really cool. Yeah, my friend Danny was living in Albuquerque, so we stopped to see him and stayed the night at a hotel over there. Got some tacos, did some hiking, and it was pretty great. Oh, went to Walter White’s house. That was the highlight, very cool.

Lauren: Yeah, right? And then from there, we were like, okay, get into California. So we drove into Joshua Tree; that was our first stop in California. And we arrived in the night, it was probably 1:00 in the morning, it was pitch black and we just found a random camp site. I know you're supposed to pay for them, but we're like, "Ah, whatever. Fuck it, we're from the south. We don't know shit. We'll just stop here and put up a tent. What do you want our money for?"

Tanner: The little Libertarian tendency I have says, "Fuck the National Parks system." The parks themselves are great, but fuck the admin side of it.

Lauren: Admin, having to reserve a spot eight months in advance. So we just found a spot in a campground, put up our tent and then woke up, opened the tent and mind you, neither of us had either seen Joshua Tree before. We'd never been there. So we wake up and we're just like, "Oh my God. This is like an alien planet." It was so cool! It was so cool.

So, we spent a day there and I think we did some hiking. Then we had to get to work at our woofing spot. So we had three lined up total, so we went from Joshua Tree to Escondido, northern San Diego, and that was our first stop. Looked like the nicest one by far, called the Morning Star Farm, which I always thought was weird. It was either the name of a vegetarian burger, Morning Star patties-

Tanner: Or Lucifer. Your patties are going to burn in hell.

Lauren: I don't know why the fuck they named it Morning Star. Anyways, we didn't really ask any questions, but we knew they were religious before we got there. We picked it up based on their profile. But then we get there and the first weird thing was they were like, "Oh, we thought you were men." We were like, "Nope, I don't know what to tell you. Full stop, I don't know what to tell you. We're not."

They're like, "Oh, we had you set up in the men's cabin, so we're going to have to rearrange everything." I'm like, "Okay, sorry that you thought Lauren and Beth were men's names."

Tanner: Beth is short for Bethel, Lauren is short for Laurence.

Lauren: Yeah, Laurence of Arabia. So, we noticed very quickly everyone was wearing the same outfits. Everyone was wearing like, the women were wearing big Billy pants and the men are wearing... They all look like Jesus. Everyone looks like Jesus, the men do.

Super nice, they came off very sweetly. They were very welcoming once they realized that we were women. And they had a spot for us. And the whole trip there felt like, very short. Oh, no. It was very long, but it wasn't. We were there for like, three days, I think. Maybe not even. Might've been two nights. I don't know, but they legit invited us to a gathering, which happens every morning at like, 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM.

Tanner: That's too early.

Lauren: It's too early, but it's like, I was in a bunk bed. These little kids woke me up, "It's time for the gathering, visitors, visitors." Or volunteers, "Volunteers! It's time for the gathering!"

Lauren: Oh my God, exactly. Like that. Yeah. So anyways, they all meet in this big group, everyone's dressed the same, they offer you a small tea cup, a tiny tea cup with a green drink. A milky green drink, which I later found out was Yerba Mate — shout out to Marin. It looked very strange, not like anything healthy

Tanner: They're like, "This is very suspicious, but we're trying to be health inclusive."

Lauren: Yeah, exactly! It was like, Yerba Mate with almond milk and honey. I remember that. It was very tasty. I was like, "This is good shit. All right, I'll stick around for this." But their gatherings were very weird. It was very like, violent energy. That's what it felt like. No one was hurting anyone, but it just felt like it was very, like you could think of Pentecostal kind of shit.

I noticed only the men could make decisions or talk. That was the big kind of given. So Beth and I quickly realized it's a cult. It only took us a matter of, I don't know, a few hours or overnight, I guess….

[Loud music plays]

Sorry, just like, the beat is attracting me. So, all right. Let me try to get this accurate. That was the first day and then we were supposed to woof, which is why we were there; we were learning how to farm.

But they were very insistent that we stay inside and arrange flowers with the women. And we declined, we're like, "No, we came here to..." I think I did do some flower arranging, but I also went outside because I'm like, "Legitimately, that sounds nice, but..." So, picking kale and we started asking the guys we're working with, "So, what's your story? How did you get here?" And they were very open with it, and they basically were like, "Yeah, I gave up my possessions. Everything in the modern life wasn't working for me, so I gave everything up and I moved here. Now I'm a disciple."

Tanner: Honestly, I feel like that's my game plan post-tech job retirement.

Lauren: Cult?

Tanner: No, not cult, but just kind of like, turn off my brain, fuck off somewhere. Actually, yeah. Join a cult, do some farming, but maybe work to make that cult a little more friendly and inclusive. It sounds like it was hella sexist.

Lauren: It was very sexist. I've heard they're very racist also.

Tanner: Oh, fuck that.

Lauren: And they also have a bunch of child abuse allegations, which seem to be true.

Tanner: Oh, I would start a friendly cult.

Lauren: Yeah, don't abuse the kids. Yeah, I don't know. I heard later on that they'll even preemptively abuse their babies, just because they're supposed to make them submissive or whatnot. Horrible shit, so a bunch of them were arrested in Germany at some point, their kids were taken away.

Anyways, we didn't know any of that shit. Now, I would've done my due diligence, but we didn't know any of that at the time, so it's kind of like catch on with them. At one point, I remember picking up a literature they had somewhere on the table and reading in there that if your family is not okay with you being here, you need to disavow your family.

Tanner: Oh, mega red flag.

Lauren: And I was like, "Red flag! Red flag! It's a fucking cult!" And I told Beth, I was like, "Beth, it's a cult. Like 100%. Breaking connections with people you know, the love bombing, giving away all of your possessions. Wearing the same clothes." Oh, they asked us to change our clothes when we started so we could blend in with them. Because we were distracting the men, or tempting them.

Tanner: That's fucked up.

Lauren: We wore jeans. Wearing jeans and tee shirts to farm, but they were too tempting. The whores of Babylon had arrived.

Tanner: They're like, "I've never seen denim before."

Lauren: What is this? Amish people wear fucking denim. Like, what?

Tanner: That's all they wear. Their underwear is denim. Yeah, their socks are denim, underwear's denim.

Lauren: Oh my God, I would've rather been in an Amish farm. Please, people were so fucked up. What really did it... I mean there's other things that happened. I got really sick at a dinner there one night. One night they had a dinner where they invited the community, which of course is just fucking recruitment, which is all it is. They invite everyone around to this beautiful dinner, and I remember eating and feeling super fucking feverish. And like, I felt like the guy I was talking to was Jesus himself and I was like, "Dude looks like Jesus." It might've just been I had a fever; I ended up having strep throat so it might've been from that.

But I think it might've been from having a fever and being in the environment in the first place was like, "Oh, I got to fucking go." And I was just like, "Bye." I just went to my room. They were all knocking like, "Are you okay? Are you okay? We brought you peach cobbler. I hope you're all right." I said, "I don't want any of your fucking food! You're poisoning me."

Tanner: Yeah, oh fuck.

Lauren: Who knows. I don't know if they did, but anyways. So last straw; that was Friday. So Saturday was Sabbath and they made the lamest suggestion ever. "Would you like to play volleyball with us?"

Tanner: What the fuck? Volleyball?

Lauren: Would you like to play volleyball with the cult? And they're like, "No, Saturday's our day off so we like to get together and play volleyball. Would you like to join?" And we're like, "Thanks. We're going to go to San Diego for the day." Because part of it was like, first of all, we wanted pizza, we wanted beer, Beth wanted a cigarette and we wanted coffee because they didn't serve fucking coffee. Dying, I needed a cup of coffee.

Tanner: Oh, fuck that.

Lauren: Yeah, just the Yerba matte, which I had no shame, but it's not coffee. So, they still made lentils and I swear they do it to do a protein deficit for you. And she was like, this bitch really said, "Did you ask permission to go?" And we were like, Beth and I were like, "What do you mean, ask permission?" She was like, "Well, typically we like to have people here for the Sabbath so we can all connect." And we were like, "Cool, cool, cool. Okay, we're going to go then, actually." And we were subtle about it.

We were like, "Oh, okay." And we were like, I was like, "Beth, we got to go." We had three strikes, let's go. And we knew, I was like, "We got three strikes. This is a fucking cult. We got to get the fuck out, even if it's a good story." And when they said that we were like, "Nope. Bye, we're out." But we didn't bring our shit, like idiots. So we left and we went to San Diego, bought our pizza, and beer, and coffee.

Tanner: Nice, the essentials.

Lauren: We got the essentials. We had met these guys the day before at the dinner party that they had, and they were actually down the street and they were woofing also at this very small, kale garden or something. And we hit them up, we're like, "Hey, is there space for us?" And they're like, "Yeah, for sure. I talked to the owners. Come out down, there's extra trailers."

So we're like, "All right, we have a plan. We'll go there." We have all of our stuff in our bag. In all reality we could've left it there. It was probably just a bag of clothes. Like, now I wouldn't have gone back for it. I would've just been like, "You have it. I guess, burn it." But we went back at night and they were fucking awake. It was like, midnight. It was three men standing outside one of the cabins.

Tanner: Oh my God, like they're waiting out there. Like sentinels?

Lauren: They were fucking waiting, because as soon as we got our shit and we left, they turned their lights off, out of sight. They were waiting for us. So we got out. Yeah, we went to the other farm, much better, it was very chill. We just helped this guy harvest his grapefruit. It was very wholesome. It was an old hippie and he just needed help with his grapefruits and avocados. I mean, it was quite small.

Tanner: Nice.

Lauren: Yeah, so that was that.

Tanner: Fuck. Well, I'm glad you didn't get stuck in the cult.

Lauren: I'm not a very culty person. Like, I don't think I'm very culty, get stuck in a cult. With how much I resented... Not resented, but felt uncomfortable going to church. Especially my friends, they'd go to Baptist churches and everyone's really into it. I was like, I do not feel comfortable with this shit. I'm just going to slide in the background. So, I think I have a defense mechanism against cults. I think there are certain people who could have a tendency to join a cult.

Tanner: Yeah, that's me.

Lauren: That's you?

Tanner: Okay, but I would have requirements for the cult and I feel like all my requirements effectively are not a cult. It has to be a big group of people that are all there for the same reason. They want to be there, that's a red flag against cults. They can't be religious. They can't be authoritarian. They can't be racist, or sexist, or anything. They have to be... Oh, and they can't be a sex cult because I feel like all cults on a long enough timeline degrade into that.

Lauren: Yeah, and if they're not sexist, racist cults, then they're sex cults. But all sex cults are sexist, because it's never the women who rule it. So, yeah.

Tanner: Yeah. So there's that and then I just feel like what I'm describing is just "Oh, I just want a bunch of friends and then maybe go to a farm."

Lauren: I think it's mostly just friends, yeah. I don't think you could join a cult. Because the authoritarian aspect is kind of a given. I just watched this documentary about the Duggar family. Do you remember them?

Tanner: Oh, fuck.

Lauren: The 19 Kids and Counting? Yeah, it's on Amazon, it's pretty good. It's called “Shiny Happy People” and essentially it's, I mean they interview a lot of good. Not a lot, three or four of their kids. Do you remember the son got charged with child pornography?

Tanner: Yeah.

Lauren: My God!

Tanner: That shit was crazy, because if I remember correctly it they were very public about it. And then they got famous and oh, there's all these abuse allegations that came out.

Lauren: Yeah, but they were so public about it. When the allegations came out and when he was finally charged, they were basically like, "Yeah, well I still love my brother. He just did that thing, we all make mistakes." But then the sisters on this show now are like, "We just say it because I just didn't know who it was. I was scared." It's like, they really just did it for themselves, but that shit is a cult.

And they even said, the people in this group, I can't remember what their name is, but they're like, "Yeah, there's this thing called the Joshua Generation", which is basically our age generation that was being raised to get into positions of power. Governmental positions or power, influencers, things like that. And they're like, "No, it's true. The ultimate goal is to get them in the Supreme Court because that's where they're going to have the most power and they can get us back to how America 'needs to be run'."

And I was, at first you hear that you're like, "Ah, that sounds a little bit like extreme, like conspiracy almost," but it was the motherfuckers in the group that were saying this. They were like, "No, no. They do this. This is what they do and there are a lot of people in government that are from this group."

Tanner: That doesn't surprise me at all, but it's terrifying.

Lauren: It is terrifying, yeah.

Tanner: I think the only cult I respect, because I think in my benchmark of cults, It hit everything off except the last part; Heaven's Gate.

Lauren: Why do you respect Heaven's Gate?

Tanner: Okay, so I kind of respect them in the way they’re very up front and transparent — "Hey, we're going to go do this thing. It's extremely fucked up. Do you want to join?" And people thought "That is fucked up. I want to join, let's do it."

Lauren: That's true because did they say it was going to be fucked up, though? Do you think people knew?

Tanner: They did. So their whole thing was "Hey, there's this meteor that comes..." I might be butchering a few details, but there's a meteor that comes every so often and it's going to be here in our generation. When the meteor appears, there's going to be aliens on the meteor and we have to give up our human bodies to go join the aliens on the meteor and just leave the earth. But there's a chance it might not work, and the only way to get the meteor is to kill ourselves at the same time when the meteor's in view. So are you cool killing yourselves all at the same time, and there's a chance we could get on this meteor?

That was the sales pitch, and enough people thought "You know what? It sounds crazy. Let's fucking do it." "Oh okay, you're kind of responsible, you yourself, for killing yourself. Same with me."

Lauren: How did they kill themselves?

Tanner: So, I think this turned into an internet meme at the time, late '90s, early 2000s, was they wore like, just pink capes or robes of some sort with Nike gear. So, they had Nike shoes on and they all went into this giant room with bunk beds, and they all just slept on the bed, took cyanide pills or something. Something so they'd die in their sleep. "All right, guys. It's nighttime forever. When we wake up, we're going to be on the meteor. Let's hope that happens," and everyone went through with it.

That part's fucked up, actually. I take it back, I don't respect them. Fuck that part, but at least they said, "Hey, here's the sales pitch. Do you all want to commit mass suicide to get on a meteor"

Lauren: At least they did the sales pitch. If they did the sales pitch, you know, if they weren't like, "Here's some other weird, fucked up thing." At least they were open about how fucked up it was, if they were, because so many cults are like, "No, it's a beautiful thing. It's just love and kindness, community." Then it's like, "Actually, you have to kill yourself." Or like, Jim Jones. Jim Jones was like that. He was very much like, "This is the community of the people."

Tanner: Yeah, and then the other part, they didn't go the sex cult thing. "We're here for one thing. We're getting on this fucking meteor, we're killing ourselves, there's no time for fucking. We need to get on the meteor. We can fuck on the meteor if we make it there."

Lauren: Was it all men?

Tanner: It was all men.

Lauren: Yeah, because only men are fucking dumb enough to do that shit.

Tanner: Oh, they were wearing track suits. Yeah, that's-

Lauren: Yeah, the Adidas track suits?

Tanner: Yeah.

Lauren: Oh my God.

Tanner: And then they had these purple robes they put over them. I guess they were found a few days later by the FBI, following a few tips, and they're all in the same position, all in bed, just like they all passed away in their sleep, and they're all wearing the same thing and they've all got purple robes over them.

Lauren: Whoa. That's crazy. I just wonder how you get wrapped up in that.

Tanner: Knowing dudes, I'm not surprised considering, "Oh, that sounds kind of fun, up until the killing yourself part."

Lauren: That's what I'm saying, it's like of course it was only dudes. Your people do some weird shit, man.

Tanner: Yeah. Honestly, if someone came up to me and said, "Hey. I'm trying to get on this meteor and hang with these aliens. Do you want to join?" I'd say "Honestly, sounds fucking weird, but let's do it."

Lauren: Let's do it. Yeah, let's chill.

Tanner: And they say "You might have to drink some Kool Aid and just give up your human form." I'm thinking "Ah, 50/50, let's do it."

Lauren: You're like, "It's probably not going to happen. I'll be fine, I'll get away. You know, whatever." Yeah, but that's a lot of... That is kind of a unique cult. I feel like most function quite differently. Not function, they all have these things in common. Their base is much different, I would say. Their base is very much like, religious more or less.

Except there were a few sex cults that were not religious. But I would say most religious, right?

Tanner: Oh yeah, definitely. Because I feel like that's a pretty easy sort of thing. Because people buy into religion of all flavors really easily. You kind of have a really easy, sort of cinematic universe to build on top of. "Hey, we're going to take this flavor of this old religion or maybe rebrand Christianity and kind of change our cast of characters. It's the same hero story. You get to be the hero. How convenient for you that these timelines line up with where we meet. We both get to be the heroes of our hero story."

Lauren: Yeah, yeah. Exactly, well how convenient?

Tanner: Lucky you, that you happen to be around in this same time of the cosmic continuum.

Lauren: Oh my God.

Tanner: What a coincidence!

Lauren: Have you listened to Last Podcast From The Left?

Tanner: I have not.

Lauren: They do cult horror stories, and they did a huge Jim Jones series. It was like, five episodes and just some crazy shit. He fucking knew a lot of people in power in San Francisco because he was living there for a while. He had a church in the area.

Tanner: Yeah, he was a community leader first, got good grace there, and really started pushing it, and pushing it, and pushing it.

Lauren: He did, yeah. Yeah, he was like whatever. I think some people, he always had the sunglasses on like a tweaker. What the fuck was going on there? But I think he was on meth, if that makes sense. I think that's the problem, but one of the followers was like, "Yeah, he was on fucking drugs, dude." Which makes sense.

At one point, he... I can't remember the details. He like, either divorced his... I think he divorced his first wife, I want to say. And remarried, but they were different races. So one of them was white, one of them was black. I don't know which one. And he told everybody that they had swapped bodies, so this was actually his same wife, despite the fact that she looks very different.

Tanner: This is like a video game. You just change your character skins halfway through.

Lauren: Yeah, yeah. Change the skins.

Tanner: She's got all the same stats.

Lauren: And everyone was like, "Okay. I guess this is Cheryl," or whatever. "And the other lady, I guess that's her now." And I don't know, I feel like people at that point it was later. I feel like people probably didn't believe him, or maybe they did, but they're like, "This guy is a loose cannon. Sure, honey. Whatever you say."

Because that's very unbelievable. That's really a fucking stretch, dude. They swapped bodies? And they're like, "But your wife, she's right here."

Tanner: I wonder if it was sold as like, "We know it's not true, but like you said, the guy's crazy. We'll just humor him until like... How worse can it get?" It gets worse.

Lauren: It does get worse. Yeah, it gets going to South America, drinking Kool Aid worse. Wasn't even Kool Aid.

Tanner: It was toxic Kool Aid.

Lauren: Even less than Kool Aid. It was generic Kool Aid. It was the off brand, Juice Refresh. Something like that, so it's like a generic Kool Aid and then poor Kool Aid gets all the flack for it. I don't know if it got flack for it. I don't know, but I'm sure at the time Kool Aid sales probably did decline for a while.

Tanner: Maybe, but also they become the punchline of a joke. If you're drinking the Kool Aid, that's the metaphor for you're in the cult, you're brainwashed.

Lauren: Maybe, so maybe it's okay. I don't know. Did Kool Aid sales decline after Jim Jones? Let's see.

Tanner: Knowing us as Americans, sales probably spiked right after. "What's this cool thing everyone's drinking? Kool Aid, let's try it."

Lauren: Yeah, seriously. I know, now it would spike up. Here we go, "Did Jim Jones help or hurt the Kool Aid brand?"

Host: Can I get things out of the way for you over here, friends?

Lauren: Yeah, that'd be great. Thank you.

Tanner: Ooh, yes. Please.

Host: Do we need boxes or just getting rid of it all?

Lauren: I think we're good.

Tanner: I'm good on the box.

Lauren: I tried the last piece of pizza and I'm, no, I can't do it.

Host: Fair. No, I feel like you did a very admirable job. Everybody should be very proud of themself.

Tanner: It's like the right amount of filling.

Host: Yeah, perfect. And that's the goal, right?

Tanner: Yeah.

Lauren: Yes, exactly.

Host: Perfect. Let me get this. Get that from you. There we go.

Tanner: Thank you.

Lauren: Oh, it's called Flavor Aid.

Tanner: So not even Kool Aid.

Lauren: But some journalists reported seeing empty packets from both products. They both took a hit after that incident.

Tanner: I wonder if that's where the Kool Aid guy came from? Of like, we need to rebrand from the crazy cult preacher guy who killed a fuck ton of people. How do we rebrand? Oh, giant jug of juice smashing through a wall."

Lauren: Yeah, just jolly and like, "I'm the Kool Aid man."

Tanner: What did he say? "Oh, yeah"?

Lauren: Oh, yeah! Okay.

Tanner: That's what it was. He would just smash through a wall, present himself, scream, "Oh, yeah," like some horny old dude. People would be shocked "What the fuck did you do?" And he's screaming "Drink me."

Lauren: This is a silly question.

[Holds up phone]

“Why did everyone say, "Drink the Kool Aid," when the Jonestown Massacre used Flavor Aid?”And someone replies, "It's a more recognizable brand."

Tanner: I'm going to change that now. I'm going to work that into my conversations like, "Oh, you're really drinking the Flavor Aid."

Lauren: Yeah, "You're drinking the Flavor Aid." Related, why did so many people drink purple Kool Aid? That's always pertinent. Oh, what? Okay, sorry. Why would you ask this question? Why would this be a question that you ask? What was Kool Aid's most controversial moment? It just implies that it has frequent controversial moments, right?

Tanner: You know what? I'm going to go on a leap of faith and say there's multiple, without knowing. Because some of these brands do some crazy shit. I think it was either Coca Cola or Pepsi, that brand, they temporarily had... I don't remember the exact number. They temporarily had the 7th largest Naval fleet in the world because they took ownership of some US military equipment for a promotion. And while they owned it, they were comparable and surpassed most country's Naval powers. It was Coca Cola or Pepsi.

Lauren: What? That's crazy. Okay, so yeah. They probably have had their fair share, Coke and Pepsi. No, I just looked up Kool Aid controversy. The only thing that comes out is Jim Jones. Two reasons to stop saying, "Drinking the Kool Aid." Because words can harm a good reputation that's taken years to build.

Tanner: I feel like Kool Aid's doing fine now. It's Flavor Aid I'm worried about. I haven't heard them until now.

Lauren: Is Flavor Aid still around? Flavor Aid.

Tanner: I feel like they really took a hit there.

Lauren: Flavor Aid stock.

Tanner: Oh, God.

Lauren: They have it on Amazon. It's probably so gross.

Tanner: Now I kind of want to throw a dinner party with just a fuck ton of Flavor Aid as the centerpiece.

Lauren: You should. Ooh, you should do a cult dinner party.

Tanner: That'd be fun.

Lauren: Here’s the packaging

Tanner: Oh! That's Flavor Aid.

Lauren: You've seen that?

Tanner: Oh, that's what it is.

Lauren: Yeah, thanks.

Tanner: I have seen it before.

Lauren: You have seen it, okay. Yeah.

Tanner: Yeah, because they had that weird little cartoon character on it.

Lauren: Yeah, I think it has it on there, too.

Tanner: Okay.

Lauren: It's a Kool Aid competitor, basically.

Tanner: Well, I definitely remember Kool Aid because it had the crazy motherfucker just pounding through walls.

Lauren: "Oh, yeah." Stop destroying my house, Kool Aid man. Stop. I got to get all new drywall.