Each Caller prepares a special mystery box 📦 to be opened by our Star Maxine during their time together on the Long Distance Date. She is wooed with wine, cologne, and flowers. 🍷💐

But in the end, one Caller must get the hang up. ☎️


Previously on Hang Up…

Maxine: I'm excited to see how you all toe the line between charming and creepy through this experience.

We met our Star… Maxine.

Maxine: I hate gum, I hate chewing gum, I think it's disgusting and awful.

And we met Maxine’s six Callers.

Callers: Hi, hey there!

They got a shot at impressing her… in a seven minute Speed Dial date.

All left a strong impression. Some for better…

Maxine: It'll be like we’re doing it together,

Sasha: It’ll be an extension of our first date.

Maxine: This’ll be if like it went well and we went home together and watched a movie.

And some for worse.

Charlie: I chew gum all day. I even chew gum when I'm filling teeth when I'm drilling and filling.

Maxine: Wow

And in the end, one Caller got the hang up.

Maxine: I don't know if we would get to a romantic place, so the caller I decided to hang up on is unfortunately, June.

This is Hang Up, a reality dating show with no rings attached.

I’m your host, Zakiya Gibbons.

Here’s how the show works.

Our Star Maxine has six Callers vying for her affection.

Every week, our Star goes on a themed date with each Caller…all of these dates happen exclusively over the phone.

The Star and her Callers never see each other and at first, can’t describe how they look.

And they all change their names so they can’t find each other outside of the show.

The Callers have only one date per week to stand out from the crowd.

But if they can’t establish a clear connection?… they risk getting the hang up, eliminating them from the show.

The Star hangs up on one Caller each week.

This week, five Callers remain: Sasha, Sabo, Osprey, Charlie, and Kai.

To stay on the line, they must win over Maxine. And in the end, the winning caller has a choice to make: an all expenses paid vacation with Maxine. Or, hang up on her, and take a cash prize of one thousand dollars.

The callers aced the speed dial date, but now it’s time to slow down for some quality time. In this episode, the Long Distance Date.

Each caller must curate a special package for Maxine for their second date. They have to get creative to make it feel like they’re together, even though they’re apart.

Who will go the distance? Whose number will be blocked?

Maxine: What if this is my love story?

And who is excited for all the phone puns to come??

Osprey: Alluring for lack of a better word.

Find out this week on Hang Up.

Maxine: Hello, Zakiya. I missed you.

Zakiya: I missed you too.

Maxine: Aw.

Zakiya: So, okay, a lot has happened. You did a bunch of first dates with a bunch of strangers, over the phone 7 minutes each, I heard the highlights, I swooned, I yelled, I cringed. But now I wanna know the real tea, what did you think? Were the Callers who you expected them to be?

Maxine: I didn't really have any expectations going in. Honestly I anticipated like a bunch of weirdos because who would sign up for this experience you know other than like weirdos like I did. But that was fine with me. I like weird. So I figured that and I got no less than that.

Zakiya: I want details. I want names, I want details, I want specifics.

Maxine: Okay. Do you want to kind of go through the list and like kind of talk about each person?

Zakiya: Honestly yeah.

Maxine: OK so Kai.

Kai: I was like emotionally scarred by the Scooby Doo ride.

Honestly, when I heard his voice, I was like, oh I know this guy, I met him before we know each other, like where do I know him from? And he said he was truly blessed to have the family that he had and in his voice, I instantly knew my 15 year old nephew, and him have the same exact voice like they even have that same like post braces, but you're still not really sure how to hold all the saliva in your mouth kind of like thing going on. It was all just it was, it was like so clear, so for Kai his con I wrote is potentially too upbeat for me.

Zakiya: Really? OK because I'm flashing back now cause I remember you said you kind of like snarky dudes.

Maxine: Yeah, I didn't get the vibe that he was like, I don't know. Yeah, I think he might, I don't know. He seems like fun. I just have a little bit of a darker thing about me in general, so I feel like I might like crush him, you know?

Zakiya: Maybe he likes that.

Maxine: Maybe we're going to find out.

Maxine: So the next caller is gonna be Sabo.

Sabo: What would my most recent ex warn you about? Huh.

Sabo was like interesting. They're also a bartender. And so for their pro, I wrote “Liked the general vibe” and then, I wrote “Concerned Sabo is something super nerdy. And problems will arise.”

Zakiya: Oh my God. How ominous. Why did you get that Vibe?

Maxine: I feel like if I Googled S-a-b-o, Caitlin's giggling which only tells me that I'm correct. There's going to be like a very fantastical cartoon character that comes up.

Zakiya: You're like not into nerdy things?

Maxine: I don't know. It's just it's not really my thing. Okay, so here's here's the other whole part of this. So I, I like when I talk to everyone, I'm trying to like look at ways we would get along obviously, but also, like ways in which we wouldn't get along. And I kind of want to look at like what was going to be the most amusing for me and then also what could potentially be like this big like Comeback Kid story you know where I typically I'm like I don't I'm maybe not super interested in like a specific kind of person or I wouldn't have done that but then like through this experience I like see it through a greater lens and like now that stuff doesn't matter anymore. Maybe.

Zakiya: Right, growth, yeah who knows?

Maxine: Who knows?

Zakiya: Yeah, no, I feel like this whole experience forces you to be open-minded and try different new things, but it's hard to balance because you want to be open-minded. And who knows? But you also like know yourself and you know what you vibe with and what you don't so it's like a constant math.

Maxine: Okay. So next on the list is Osprey.

Osprey: I have uh four roommates.

I wrote “too many fucking roommates. different places in life question mark.” And then I wrote, like how down and emotionally mature, they seem because, at one point I did ask them to, like, rank their emotional intelligence and they did, and they went on to give me this, like, whole kind of long thing about how they try to be, like, considerate of their own, and, like each other's feelings. And how sometimes, when there's a reaction negative reaction from someone to something, and how they try to figure out if that's like trauma-based, or if that's just like, and it was, it was just like, very mature. And I was like, oh cool. Like I liked that adult way that you look at things.

Zakiya: Yeah oh that's good. Okay, so what about the next Caller?

Maxine: OK Charlie.

Charlie: Side question, what kind of gum do you like to chew?

So, for his little list, I wrote “the gum” cause he, he told me, he loves to chew gum. He's a dentist who chews gum at work, even. While he's fiddling around in people's mouths. I didn't like it.

Zakiya: I've been trying to be neutral, but I can't not react to that.

Maxine: The only reason I kept him is kinda like, how we had talked about previously. When you're like out on a date with someone and you’re like how bad can that get? So the gum. “Potential problematic white guy vibes,” I wrote. Question mark. And he mentioned a few times that he has a great place with a with a view that overlooks the city. And I don't know, I feel like when people like talk like about their apartments like little too early I'm like ooh is that like the best thing about you? But then also judged Osprey for having so many roommates. So there's no winning with me apparently. So Charlie the thing that like interested me immediately was that he said he hosts game nights like at his place like with his friends like weekly or so and he has a big wall of board games. And I was like very excited by that. It was like thrilling to me.

Zakiya: I'm so confused by you Maxine because one second you don't like nerd shit and then I feel like that's nerd shit. So you do like nerd shit?

Maxine: I have a lot of layers. I guess some nerd shit. I like board games a lot. But he likes to play like Settlers of Catan and he's like more of a serious board game player which like doesn't interest me at all.

Zakiya: I was gonna say that's capital n Nerd shit.

Maxine: Exactly. So like maybe I'm like a lowercase n. I don't know

Zakiya: Yeah lowercase is cute. Yeah.

Maxine: That wasn’t the thing I wanted.

Zakiya: Okay, but I need to circle back to the gum chewing because, you were adamant so, how did you not hang up on him?

Maxine: I kinda wanted to see, like what else would happen. And also, like it's such a, it's something that I like brought up and I'm very passionate about, it's not going to work et cetera, what if this is my love story? You know the dentist who chews gum like everyone would be surprised they'd probably make a movie about us.

Zakiya: Honestly that's like one of those. It's so bad. It's good movies. That could be cute.

Maxine: Could be.

Zakiya: OK so what about the next Caller?

Maxine: The next Caller was Sasha.

Sasha: I have very dry humor, I’m very sarcastic. It’s really hard to tell when I’m kidding and when I’m not.

I wrote “Fuckboy.” And then I wrote…

Zakiya: In a good way or a bad way? I feel like you're a little chaotic. I feel like you probably like a little fuckboy energy. Like just a drop.

Maxine: I like a little bit of fuckboy energy because I feel like it takes at least like a little bit of maneuvering. You know what I mean? And I like appreciate the hustle. So I asked her what her favorite Sean Paul song was and she immediately said “Get Busy” and in this very like, “Get Busy.”

Zakiya: Was that your prompt for everyone? Like why Sean Paul specifically?

Maxine: No, I didn't like it, wasn't my prompt for everyone. I tried to ask everyone like as different questions as possible but now reflecting I probably should have started with like “what's your favorite Sean Paul song?” for everyone.

Zakiya: Honestly, I love that question.

Maxine: Next time but no, I had just been listening to like a Sean Paul like Pitbull playlist. Like while I was writing this list so then I was like I fucking love Sean Paul.

Zakiya: Oh my god who are you? You're like chaotic in the best way. Like you're like hyper organized like God damn it. I didn't organize these questions into categories but while you're like blasting Pitbull and Sean Paul.

Maxine: Not blasting, just listening, just a regular amount of listening

Zakiya: Just like writing music in the background, just chill. Beats to study to.

Maxine: Just chill, Bojangles is playing, it’s great. So I was asked, what her ex would say about her. And she was like, well like aside from the obvious. And I was like, what you mean? aside from the obvious like, aside from what's like obvious through our conversation so far? And she was like, yeah. I just liked that. I like that. She was just like, yeah, you know that I'm great, we've been talking for like four and a half minutes now, you get it.

Zakiya: I love that confidence. I feel like you need someone who can match your confidence.

Maxine: Yeah, for sure, And then yeah, so there was just like some good stuff there maybe potentially, like some friend stuff there but I liked it. There was like a little bit of edge.

Zakiya: Yeah edge that's a good word. Sasha definitely had edge. What about the next Caller?

Maxine: So June. June is our final Caller,

June: The musical artist Pitbull yes I am familiar with a few of his works.

So June seemed like a very nice human objectively. But also, there were just like a few things automatically that I was just like, no, I'm not going to fuck them. I saw this like Dad energy, there were a few things that they said like and I was just like, it's not gonna, it's not there. So, for June, for my little pro-con list I wrote language, “Dad, spicy, free 99.”

Zakiya: What? It just sounds like a free-association.

Maxine: Well it was just a few like ways, they had kind of, like, described things that it would, and they were like, yeah, I'm definitely a dad. And I was like, Dad humor is just not my my favorite. So like we can hang, but like, I'm not, not wriggling the bits, you know, it's just not it's not making it happen.

Zakiya: Interesting because I obviously wasn't there on the dates. So I don't really know all the Callers very well, but when I was talking to June when they got eliminated I was like oh they're such a sweet, sunshiny bubbly person. I feel like Maxine wouldn't be into someone with this disposition.

Maxine: No I would crush them.

Zakiya: Yeah I feel like you would. That was a great run down. After this round are you feeling hopeful that you can have like a real connection with at least one of these Callers?

Maxine: We'll see, I am open to anything happening and I don't know what's going to happen.

Zakiya: Okay. That's a healthy good way to go about it

Maxine: Yeah, I'm very mature.

Zakiya: Do you have any like favorites? Like anyone. Like it's a horse race. Like anyone like slightly in the lead.

Maxine: Maybe Sabo.

Zakiya: Ooh okay. OK so now we're going to shift gears a little bit. We're going to talk about your next dates plural, in the next round of dates, you'll be able to spend some actual quality time with each Caller. The theme of this date is Long Distance. Remember when long-distance calls used to cost something like ten cents a minute you would have to actually think about how much that conversation meant to you.

Maxine: Unless it was after 7.

Zakiya: Yeah, so you really have to think like is this person worth it? And somehow even more now, a long phone call can feel like a huge investment of your time and energy, but you know, when you're in that honeymoon phase, you can talk to that person for hours laying on your bed with the phone in your hand and your legs crossed behind you, twirling the cord around your finger.

Maxine: Exactly.

Zakiya: Each of the five remaining Callers want to woo you. And so they're choosing some particular items that will be sent to you in a special delivery box before your long-distance date. When you get the box they've curated for you, you'll unpack it with them on the phone to create the experience of that date. If you were curating this date for yourself, what are some things that you would put in that box?

Maxine: I'm going to like open it in my home and like, kick it in my apartment?

Zakiya: Yeah.

Maxine: Okay so probably like, something smokable.

Zakiya: Like weed like you'd put weed in there?

Maxine: Yeah, I probably throw like a joint or two for the box and then maybe like a little bit alcohol. And then, maybe I would try to put together, like similar to, I guess, what we did on the last date, like, some questions or like, some sort of like activity. I would do like a little bit of research I think to find like something that was like, good first date-y but also was like kind of intimate.

Zakiya: Yeah. How do you want to feel on this date?

Maxine: I want to feel like connected like that I open this box and I'm like “oh boy these are like things that the person who gave me these things is like someone that I could spend time with more in the future” and like our conversations go well and it's like a whole dream and it's great.

After the break, we’ll listen in on Maxine’s Long Distance dates… and find out who gets the hang up. Stay on the line!

Welcome back to Hang Up. I’m just about to call into Maxine’s date so we can eavesdrop. First up, Sasha.

Sasha: Hey.

Maxine: Hi

Maxine: How are you?

Sasha: I'm good. How you doing?

Maxine: I’m well thanks.

Sasha: So you got the box?

Maxine: Are we just jumping right in? So it's a used brown box, it looks like maybe you were shipped something in it previously. And then you repurposed it which I'm not mad at, that is something I do. There's some flowers in the center, which are very pretty. This is nice. There are four High Noons in this container because Sasha, you already know that I can party. You can just tell. I like that. There's a laminated note in here that's like very nice. It's like typed and everything. It says, “Hey Maxine, I'm excited for our second date. Hopefully you are too; the cards are for a game…Each card is assigned value, we'll pick a card and answer the questions for points. Highest score wins, so who's going first? Love Sasha.” Ok all of my type A shit is like, I love this. This is great. Great job Sasha, objectively good.

Sasha: I really tried.

Maxine: I see that and I respect it. Also I'm gonna open these High Noons. So I’m gonna open this black cherry one.

Sasha: I've never tried one.

Maxine: You've never tried one?? Aw, do you have any at your house?

Sasha: I have a pineapple and I'm about to crack it right now. Did you hear that?

Maxine: Yeah I did I liked it. OK cool. I'm going to let you pick. Do you remember the colors and the correlations?

Sasha: Is five red?

Maxine: Five is red, four is green, three is blue. You want a green one? OK bet. If you could live in a sitcom which one would it be and why?

Sasha: Ooh I really liked this one. It would have to be like a mix between Friends and Living Single cause I feel like that is like, both my life growing up.

Maxine: Okay. So I want to ask a question to kind of get back into this. How did you pick Sasha and was it hard for you?

Sasha: It all comes back to Sasha Fierce, like I'm spicy or like feisty. So that's kind of a thing, I don’t know.

Maxine: Sasha was one of the names that came up when… I was really struggling with it, to the point where I did my first initial interview, Zakiya was like OK what's the name that you went with and I was like um and so OK I was thinking like, I was trying to draw inspiration from somewhere.

Sasha: Ooh I see where you're going with this, I'm sorry to cut you off...

Maxine: Yeah so Maxine Shaw.

Sasha: Hell yes.

Maxine: Yes she's amazing, you know what I mean? Just like beautiful, stylish, smart, a little erratic.

Sasha: Spicy. Everything. Yes, Yes I love all of that, yeah, Maxine Shaw, fuck yeah. Uh So where we at with the points?

Maxine: Okay. So you have and I don't know why I didn't start by putting lines with the tallies but it's too late for that, so I'm counting them out.

Zakiya: Yeah these points don’t make any sense, don’t try to keep up.

So there's 4 5 6, 7 8 9 10 11 You have 11 and a half points. And I have twelve point 5.

Sasha: You beat me by one point.

Maxine: It's me, I won!

Maxine: The crowd goes wild

Sasha: OK, alright you know since I'm obviously your biggest fan here. I'll just go ahead and cheer for you woohoo go Maxine.

Maxine: Very nice. I appreciate that cheerleader energy.

Sasha: Hey, you know what is? It's all good. I'm here for everything. Everything in this conversation has been lit as fuck.

Maxine: I'm going to put "good sport" in my notes.

Sasha: Good sport because I lost? Now you're just rubbing it. Know what OK next time we play a game I'll step my game up. I'm feeling mad vibes by the way.

Maxine: Me too this was tight. This was like an easy way to spend 30 minutes.

Sasha: Heck yeah and it's almost like a real date. You know we got to have a cocktail. Play a game, talk a little shit. you know?

Zakiya: Maxine won the game but who will win Maxine's heart? Maybe we'll get closer in her next date with… Kai.

Kai: Hello.

Maxine: Hi.

Kai: Well, I'm sure you're kind of curious about everything like all the stuff that I sent over so do you have it like all in front of you?

Maxine: Oh shit that’s right, oh my gosh this is so much stuff Kai.

Kai: Well because the theme was long distance so like, I am like actually switching jobs right now, so I'm trying to get into this remote role where I can travel a lot while just working online 100%. So long distance to me is being able to go from long distance to other long distances and travel all around. So, I did a charcuterie board with things from, like, all over Europe, some of the stuff that I like and also some things to talk about like I would like to hear some of your favorite travel stories and things like that.

Maxine: Oh wow. Okay, okay. This is very cute so inside the Costco bag there are a bunch of little baggies of little different things like a variety of nuts in one of them, there are some not regular crackers. Like these look fancy. An assortment of cheeses, some chocolate covered something. Maybe almonds, maybe raisins.

Kai: Cranberries.

Maxine: And then also a Chianti from Italy.

Kai: That's my favorite.

Maxine: This is fun, this is nice. This is your favorite?

Kai: Yeah. I really want to travel, I've actually never been out of the country, so I really want to go, I actually just got my passport. Have you ever been you know, outside of the country?

Maxine: No, I actually just submitted my passport application today successfully. It's my fourth try.

Kai: Woah, like were you getting denied?

Maxine: No I'm not like a war criminal or anything.

Kai: I was about to say are you on some kind of list or something that I need to know about?

Maxine: No it was like one time I just straight up like missed the appointment. So then today was the day. Fourth time's the charm. That's the whole thing. Everyone says that. [long pause] Hello?

Kai: I'm so sorry. I accidentally hit the add call button and I had the mute button on because my dog was barking and so I was trying to calm him down and it was trying to make me add a call at the same time and it was just like violently using my fingers on my phone there for a second. So yeah do you have any dogs or pets at all anything like that?

Maxine: Yeah he's a Chihuahua and his name is Ben.

Kai: Woah, I like that, I love human names for dogs. I have another dog. I have a German Shorthaired Pointer that is actually at my parents house. But my parents like kind of coopted him because I got in a really bad motorcycle accident while I was in college and broke my back, and I was like, paralyzed waist down and everything. So they, they took care of him while I was recovering and everything. And so I may like, once I tried to take it back they were like nah we're just going to keep him, he likes us better than you.

Maxine: So they were like, we're glad that you survived. But your dog is our dog now.

Kai: Yeah exactly.

Maxine: How long did it take you to recover from your accident?

Kai: It was like 9 ish months of rehab, maybe a little bit less, like a month and a half basically in a hospital but then I did outpatient for a few months after that. I can walk again. Now I probably should have like clarified that whole piece. I don't know if I made that very clear but yeah I can walk now, there's just like certain parts of like, my left leg that I can't feel. Most people don't even notice that I had anything happen. They gave me a 4% chance of ever walking again, cause I had a u-turn spinal fracture. So I still can't run, I can't do crazy stuff anymore to where I could mess up my back again, cause I got like two rods and 9 screws. So, I had to give up, you know I used to like surf and skateboard and dirt bike and wakeboard and all the board sports and stuff I had to give up, which sucks, but I mean, could always be worse. At least, I'm walking.

Maxine: Do you still ride motorcycles?

Kai: No, I think my mom would kill me.

Zakiya: Sorry I'm just doing a quick background check on Maxine. Probably won't find out if she's a war criminal until later though… so in the meantime, let's listen in on her date with… Sabo.

Sabo: Hello.

Maxine: Hi. How are you?

Sabo: Good. How are you?

Maxine: I'm well thanks.

Sabo: So like my ideal for like a date is anything that involves being outside so I was like obviously I would bring flowers that's cool, that's what the sunflowers are all about. And I brought some snacks cause I feel like being outside walking and talking in a park or however that would have manifested itself like Twizzlers are a great shareable snack so that’s why I put that in there.

Maxine: Primo park snack.

Sabo: Yes and then I put in a piece of tree to signify the park, to put you in the element, put you in the mood for hanging out outside.

Maxine: I like that

Sabo: And then I think, oh the wine, vinho verde, I know you're a bartender as well, so I was like what's a good middle ground for that? I put in my favorite flavor of the Polar seltzer so I was like whether it's wine or seltzer, something's gotta be imbibed. And then I figured for the main event I love playing this game We're Not Really Strangers, so I put some cards in there, I know what they say but I figured I would leave it up to you to decide like which cards you want to pull and both of us could kind of talk about them. Or answer.

Maxine: OK All right. So I like this. I like, it seems like you put some effort into this. There's sparkling water, orange vanilla. Ooh that's not a flavor I would drink. But I mean you can have this one I guess. But I do like soda water a lot.

Sabo: Good.

Maxine: I also don't like Twizzlers.

Sabo: Fair enough.

Maxine: But I respect that you bought like a king-size candy, you know what I mean? Like this wasn't, like you could have gone with the minis and you really went all out for me, like respect. And then vinho verde's one of my favorite wines.

Sabo: Oh OK good so one of the snacks, it landed.

Maxine: And I really like sunflowers. I'll give you three and a half out of five that's like a 70, that's passing.

Sabo: That's passing. Excellent. Have you played We're Not Really Strangers before?

Maxine: No I have not. So I know you said that I could select them but I think for the first card I'm just going to pick one from them all face down.

Sabo: Alright.

Maxine: OK on a scale of 1-10 write down the importance of having kids to you, compare, and explain?

Sabo: Wanna say it at the same time?

Maxine: Wanna do a 3-2-1?

Sabo: Wait, what's the scale? So 0 is not, 10 is hell yeah.

Maxine: OK 3-2-1. Zero.

Sabo: Four. Yeah. And I only say four because I feel like I would do very well in a third role, like an uncle, just very part-time. But you're saying no absolutely no kids in any regard? Like even if you see them at the park you're like no look the other way.

Maxine: Dude they're just getting into stuff. They lick things they touch things. Oh, my God.

Sabo: Yeah, so we're agreed, cool.

Maxine: What are your dreams?

Sabo: Coincidentally we’re speaking on a a podcast, I work on my own podcast as well I think it’d be cool if that blew up. Um but in general like I feel like the main goal that I’m gonna be working on next year is like the person I cohost the podcast with we’re looking into like building something on a piece of land to kind of invite queer people to come through and just be themselves of like creating a really like cool fun safe place where like we grow our own shit and do our own shit but like when you come through you can lay to rest just like all the things that you feel like you have to do out in the quote unquote real world.

Maxine: Oh wow. Little queer farm, that’s adorable.

Sabo: Little queer farm, yeah you know.

Maxine: Sweet. What about you feels hardest to love?

Sabo: I forgot I put that in there. OK you go first.

Maxine: I couldn’t even help myself, I feel like I just want to reach across the table and like take your hand but we're not, you're just on your own dude.

Sabo: Do you wanna take this one?

Maxine: OK sure.

Sabo: I’m rooting for you.

Maxine: Thanks. Alright, I struggle a lot with like, anxiety and depression and I am like I do my best with self-awareness and stuff but I know. So I I feel like I'm aware of like how difficult it can be sometimes to just deal with my darker times.

Sabo: I feel you, and thanks for sharing.

Maxine: Yeah,

Sabo: Yeah that's totally relatable, Um I would say that the part that feels most unlovable and this is kind of a work in progress the feeling as though like I'm not enough, and when that comes to my mind I think about like owning like my own sexuality in terms of not necessarily in terms of who I'm attracted to but just like my own practice in solo polyamory and how that manifests itself.

Maxine: OK. Thank you for sharing.

Sabo: Mhm.

Maxine: Yeah, I haven't been in a polyamorous relationship before.

Sabo: OK, any thoughts on it, just initial or ideas, impressions?

Maxine: I don't necessarily have a problem with it. I think, like, in theory, I just think in reality, communication is like way more fun in theory than in reality. And that's a lot. But not unworth it by any means, like it's not the worst thing to be like me and my partner talk all the time. We just really regulate our emotions.

Sabo: Endless. But yeah definitely there is a lot of communication but I find it to be fun when you're around the people who share the same values of transparency and like not feeling as though conflict is inherently like a bad thing but it's like an invitation like let me love you better because I'm showing you this vulnerable part, like how can we kind of move through this together?

Maxine: Wow. Yeah, that was good.

Zakiya: Oooh, things are heating up between Maxine and her number one pick! But we still got two dates to go so let's hear how things go with… Osprey

Maxine: Hi

Osprey: Hello

Maxine: How are you?

Osprey: I'm doing well. How about you?

Maxine: I'm well thanks. OK so I just brought the box close to me and it smells good.

Osprey: Yeah I spritzed it a little bit with with my favorite cologne.

Maxine: Wow, that is a nice personal touch. It's a big green telescope box.

Osprey: Yeah I recently picked up a spotting scope for myself. I like to go use it for birding.

Maxine: You call it birding?

Osprey: Yes

Maxine: Oh That's cool.

Osprey: Thank you.

Maxine: Okay, alright, so I'm going to open the box.

Osprey: Alrightly.

Maxine: Inside, aside from the smell, we have a couple of books. Okay. One is called Songbirds: How to attract them and identify their songs and then it looks like you marked passages in it so we're gonna maybe come back and look at the passages after I’ve finished opening the box. And then A Sand Country Almanac.

Osprey: Yeah, it's a book I read recently for the first time that I really connected with and really loved.

Maxine: Well, I'll let you know what I think.

Maxine: So OK continuing, there's this little Eat the Rich patch which I mess with very heavy. Thank you. And then there's a little piece of cake, which I've been very politely waiting to bring up, but now I'm going to eat it immediately. It's orange.

Osprey: Yeah it's a cake my roommate and I made together recently, it's an orange cake, it's just very sweet and tasty. And, you know, I thought it would be another fun way to, you know, get at another one of your senses and sort of give you an idea that, you know, I can do a little bit of a little bit of work in the kitchen.

Maxine: Okay, right on, this is delicious. This is a good box.

Osprey: Thank you.

Maxine: Oh and then also a single… What flavor is this? I want to get all the details.

Osprey: Yeah it’s um you had mentioned you are a bartender last time. So I recently saw that White Claw which I enjoy came out with a new set of flavors and thought, you know, maybe maybe she'd wanna try the new one of the new flavors and, you know, get a little one up on the clientele.

Maxine: Okay? Right on. OK, so now let's get back into the songbirds book and the passages that you selected specifically.

Osprey: So yeah, I marked a couple birds in there. They're all just little profiles about if you know, we were to meet and you were to come with me birding sometime this spring or summer, some of the birds that, you know, you may have missed and never really have noticed before that are total beauties. And that I would be interested in pointing out to you. And I think the first one that I had on there was...

Maxine: Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Osprey: Uh, I think they're like one of the most beautiful birds we have here in Virginia.

Maxine: It's like, definitely, like part of, it is like the smell and then just like, listening to you be knowledgeable about things, like very soothing, I like was closing my eyes while you were talking about the birds.

Osprey: Well yeah, I'm glad I got to, I'm glad I thought of that because I thought, you know, engaging all the different senses would be alluring for lack of a better word.

Maxine: I think it's appropriate.

Zakiya: Birds, books, booze? What more could you ask for? Now let's see if *Charlie* can redeem himself for his gum chewing… in Maxine's last date of the week.

Charlie: Hi

Maxine: How are you?

Charlie: I'm good. How are you?

Maxine: I'm well thanks. All right, so let's get into the.... can you describe to me like as I'm opening it, like the bag?

Charlie: So I planned it out to be a like a game night situation.

Maxine: OK so there are two packages of Orville Redenbacker popcorn in here.

Charlie: Movie theater.

Maxine: Are they buttered?

Charlie: Yeah.

Maxine: Ooh ok yeah so I appreciate that. I respect that you knew I wanted butter. Also big bag of Sour Patch Kids, one of my favorite candies for sure. This is just like a good choice. Could have gone Swedish Fish, I would have been displeased, so Sour Patch Kids good. And two High Noons, I have a feeling that Caitlin mentioned, these are my favorite. But I respect that cause now there are a bunch in my home.

Charlie: Uh she did not.

Maxine: She didn't?

Charlie: No she did not. I don't think she can tell us stuff like that also.

Maxine: So then how did you pick High Noons?

Charlie: All these things are like things that I like to have at my house and that I like to have specifically for game nights or for company or just like late night snacking. Yes, I do have candy. Even though I'm a dentist, it is what it is. I like it. Leave me alone. So yeah I like High Noons, that's my choice kinda seltzer.

Maxine: That's so wild, what are the odds? OK so I'm opening the Sour Patch Kids.

Charlie: I am doing laundry right now. Oh go for it this is snack time 100%.

Maxine: Heard. They're delicious and sour, just like I wanted. I'm realizing candy's like the worst thing to eat while you're being recorded though so, I'm going to stop doing it. It's a lot of saliva.

Charlie: I'm drinking a High Noon, you'll be good, don't even sweat it, I'll make slurping sounds, if you need, if you need some cover-up.

Maxine: I am also drinking a High Noon. What a gentleman.

Charlie: Okay,. Let's do games. So go ahead and open up the envelope. We're gonna play a game of kind of like taboo/passwords type situations. Have you played either of those?

Maxine: No.

Charlie: Okay, cool. So top of the card, it should have a word and then an underline and then a bunch of other words. OK?

Maxine: Yep.

Charlie: So the key here is to get me to say the word on the top, but you are not allowed to say any of the words on the bottom.

Maxine: Alright so I've picked one.

Zakiya: The secret word is flexible.

Charlie: Okay, hit me.

Maxine: Okay, so my first clue is an ideal quality in a sexual partner.

Charlie: Shit. Is it giving?

Maxine: No. It's not giving.

Charlie: Keep going, another clue.

Maxine: This is like much harder than I thought. My friend Andrea is very flexible. Oh shit fuck I just said the word flexible.

Charlie: Wait is the word flexible? Is it flexible?

Maxine: Yes. I fucked that up. That's your point.

Charlie: Flexible… ideal… Ooh yeah. Okay. My turn.

Zakiya: The secret word is brain.

Charlie: It’s in the upper half of the body.

Maxine: Um ear lobes.

Charlie: But like more inside.

Maxine: Heart.

Charlie: It's like the globe of the body.

Maxine: Brain!

Charlie: Yes perfect, we got it. God bless.

Maxine: That's two points for me in case anyone at home is keeping score.

Charlie: And three points for Gryffindor. Alright, your turn.

Maxine: No pause are you a Harry Potter fan?

Charlie: Uh, is this going to be a problem? Cause I like the movies.

Maxine: Like how much though?

Charlie: Not like a super a lot but I would say each of the movies I've seen more than more than twice, they're really good for like chilling to like doing laundry or cooking to. Cause you don't really need to pay attention. And then certain parts you can be like “you're a wizard Harry,” and you can just kind of mouth that real quietly.

Maxine: So right now you're doing laundry.

Charlie: I am yes.

Maxine: Does that mean that you were watching Harry Potter before I called?

Charlie: Uh... No.

Charlie: But yeah it was super great kinda playing this game with you. I’m gonna have to think about things because you are just not good at this game and I don’t know if we can be partners at this game if you’re just not a good clue giver or if you’re willing to practice some more then I’m willing to stick with this but man tough decisions. I’ll let you know tomorrow whether or not I pick you.

Zakiya: The confidence! After the break, we’ll see if Maxine picks Charlie… for the hang up. Stay on the line!

Robot voice: Welcome to the Hang Up Hotline. Maxine and her five callers are on the line now. To enter, please say the password.

Zakiya: Wriggling the bits.

Robot: You may enter.

Zakiya: Hello Callers

Callers: Hello

Zakiya: Welcome back to the Hang Up Hotline. So you've all had a chance to woo our Star with your Long Distance date but unfortunately for one of you your call ends here with a hang up. So, Maxine, have you made your decision?

Maxine: I have.

Zakiya: You experienced a range of dates, a range of items in the boxes and I bet it gave you a lot to think about. So what was going through your head when you were making your decision?

Maxine: Well number one. I would just like to say, thanks for the alcohol everyone. I'm very well stocked. Number two, I just tried to consider how easily conversation flowed with everyone because I think, you know, that's, that's what we're doing here.

Zakiya: So Maxine, which Caller are you choosing to hang up on?

Maxine: The Caller I have decided to hang up on is Osprey.

Osprey: Gotcha. It’s alright, it’s okay.

Zakiya: So what do you think Maxine is missing out on by hanging up on you? Like what do you wish Maxine got to see from you and learn about you?

Osprey: I think I'm a very emotionally present partner. I have a lot of affection to give so maybe I could have maybe asked or shown a little bit more of what I could offer that myself.

Zakiya: Mhm. And do you wish you could have done or said anything differently?

Osprey: Um maybe spent a little less time on birds.

Zakiya: Maxine what were your thoughts on all the bird talk?

Maxine: There was a lot of bird talk.

Zakiya: Are you not into birds?

Maxine: You know, I'm not not into birds but I don't think I'm into birds in the way that Osprey is into birds. And that's OK.

Zakiya: Yeah that's fair, I mean their name is Osprey.

Osprey: But Maxine I had a nice time getting to know you, I hope you find what you're looking for on here and good luck to everybody else.

Maxine: Thank you Osprey it's really truly been a pleasure getting to like hang with you and I wish you the best and you smell phenomenal. So take that with you if nothing else.

Osprey: I'm going to carry that with me always.

Zakiya: Callers, you've made it through the first two dates, but now that you're starting to get comfortable with each other, it's time to take this relationship to the next level. The theme of the next date is, Phone a Friend. I know you've all gotten attached to Maxine but she won't be a part of your next date. Instead, you'll be on the phone with one of her friends or family members and it's up to you to convince them you're the right person for her. That's because afterwards, that person will tell Maxine who they think she should hang up on. So you'll find out next week who's subbing in for Maxine. So stay on the line.

Kai: I’m just glad it's not my friends that are talking to Maxine, that's what I thought it was going to be. I was like “this is a nightmare.”

Maxine: That sounds like a great sign

Kai: I was just gonna put in my resignation now.

Caitlin: Hello, you’ve reached the Hang Up Voicemail. Leave a message at the .

Sasha: Hey, this is Sasha. So we were asked after getting to talk to Maxine and getting to know her a little bit better at this point, would we take the vacation with her or will we take the money? You know, she's smart, she's funny, intuitive, engaging, honest. So yeah, I would 100% love the opportunity to get to know her on a more personal level without the boundaries that exist here. So yeah my answer is definitely sign me up for the vacation. Fuck that money.

Sabo: This is Sabo. And at this point would I take the cash or go on a romantic getaway with Maxine? I think, because it's so early and though I feel like we've had a pretty cool rapport going on, like she seems like a pretty easygoing and friendly fun human. I think I would probably take the cash at this point.

Kai: Wow, well this is Kai. Right now, just going off of everything that I've heard, I'm a really curious person and I don't think I would take the money at this point I would definitely want to pursue things with Maxine.

Charlie: This is Charlie. I've frankly already accepted a contract to work outside of my current city, Richmond, and I'll be moving soon. I mean, I know that long distance relationships are a thing and this kind of feels like that already, I mean if I was living in the city more maybe I'd want to do this trip and then see what happens after. But I think it’d be just be easier on both of us if I took the money.

Hang Up is created and produced by me, Caitlin Pierce.

Our host and story editor is Zakiya Gibbons.

This episode was mixed and sound designed by Ben Montoya. Ben is also our story editor.

Music by Jeff Carter and Stephen Pathe of Sandy. Hear more at sandy-sounds.com.

Art by Alex Teschel.

Studio recording by Eric Elterman of Boomtown Studio, Kieran Kaye of Full English Post, and the ICA Community Media Center.

Our sounding board is Allison Behringer, Karla Corrales, Chioke I’Anson, and Grayum Vickers.

This episode uses many sounds from Freesound, for the full list check out our show notes.

Hang Up is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent, creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at Radiotopia.fm.

Thank you to Freesound for many elements in this episode, including:

"redial_landline_5_rings.wav" by mshahen; https://freesound.org/s/185473/

"Pay Phone.wav" by everythingsounds; https://freesound.org/s/197141/

"GLASImpt_cheers_clink_glass_of_wine_ZOOM_H6_XYH6.wav" by DBS_Sounds; https://freesound.org/s/613763/

"Mechanical Keyboard Typing" by GeorgeHopkins; https://freesound.org/s/537244/

"DunDunDunnnExtreme.wav" by copyc4t; https://freesound.org/s/153405/

"Hawk/Eagle Cry (Distant)" by PRINCEofWORMS; https://freesound.org/s/571273/

"Bird Whistling, Robin, Single, 13.wav" by InspectorJ; https://freesound.org/s/456440/

"Please Leave Your Message After the Tone" by kwahmah02; https://freesound.org/s/274759

S1 Episode 2: Long Distance