Podcast | Spill The Tea | Episode 5 | Unconscious Bias

Spill The Tea | Episode 5 – Unconscious Bias:

[Kira Carlin]

People who have been involved in the knitting world and they bought it going, okay, we’re going to turn this into a big money spinner because women of a certain age knit and they have money. [Oh, yeah] And I know this. This is their reasoning because they put all of this in a podcast. [laugh]

[Intro]

What if you could learn from the mistakes of others? The Spill The Tea podcast is a great way to get information on all things related with digital marketing and business. Hosts Ming Johanson and Kira Carlin break down our knowledge in various fields, including business, sales and marketing. So whether you’re new or old at doing any of these things, tune in each week and hear the lessons learnt titbits of knowledge and talk of tea. 

[Ming Johanson]

Hi Kira

[Kira Carlin]

Hi Ming

[Ming Johanson]

We are talking about… What are we talking about today?

[Kira Carlin]

I don’t remember but the Tea is great. [Unconscious bias] Unconscious bias. I love that. What are we drinking today? Because it’s really good!

[Ming Johanson]

We are drinking. What was it? Mango. Peach. Peach. Mango.

[Kira Carlin]

Organic. Peach, Mango.

[Ming Johanson]

Organic. Peach, Mango. Yeah. From Majesty, Majesty’s.

[Kira Carlin]

Majesteas.

[Ming Johanson]

Spelt with ‘Teas’ on the end.

[Kira Carlin]

You got this from a market, didn’t you?

[Ming Johanson]

I did. So I got this from Manning Markets in Perth. For those listening in Perth and everybody else in the rest of the country and world who wants to come travel. You know, just a quick trip on a plane to Perth, the most isolated city in the world.

[Kira Carlin]

It’s funny how every West Australian knows that.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So one of my good friends, Nick Myers, who is in the UK at the moment and Hi Nick, if you’re listening to this, he has flown over to the UK from the US and we were talking about travel times and how he can’t remember how he coped with a 17 hour flight to Australia.

[Kira Carlin]

I think he got away pretty good with 17 hours.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

I mean that’s not even a long flight from history.

[Ming Johanson]

No. And I was talking about how I was flying from Portugal to the UK and that was an hour and that we can’t even fly outside of our own state. It takes longer typically than 4 hours to leave and go somewhere else.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, well, even within WA, my folks are going on a trip to the Cocos Islands, which is technically Western Australia in a couple of months and that’s going to be like 10 hours.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Yes. Most isolated city in the world, but beautiful. It’s a very lovely city to visit. [It is] Highly recommended. So, yeah, we’re having a tea from Majesteas, ‘Majesteas.com.au’ I said I would do a shout out. This is unpaid. [laugh]]

[Kira Carlin]

We are not paid to say this but the tea is lovely

[Ming Johanson]

I paid for my tea. So we’re going to talk about unconscious bias today and target markets and differences, sort of the difference between. And one of the challenges that happens a lot when we’re talking to clients, when we’re talking to business owners, a lot of the time they will go, oh, my target market is Lisa, who’s aged between 30 and 45, and she is, insert litany of very, very basic things like basic demographic info.

[Kira Carlin]

She’s into yoga and chai lattes and all these things that are irrelevant to the customer experience.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

And it’s almost never actually who their target market is.

[Ming Johanson]

No.

[Kira Carlin]

I never understand how people get there.

[Ming Johanson]

So when we have that conversation with our clients, we’re usually asking, who is your best actual client? You know, where are they from? How did they get there? What was the problem that they were having or experiencing before they got to you? Because there is this very distinct difference between marketing in the 1950s, let’s say, to now where we have so many different metrics to measure – sentiment data is huge. Being able to track somebody’s sentiment towards a brand is massive!

[Kira Carlin]

Huge! Absolutely crazy. And the fact that we can track who your actual market is.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

Rather than just guessing.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Like, I think. And as well. Like, when you think about the social media that you share that attracts your audience and this happened to us – was originally our audience was tracking quite young because we were talking about things that were very current. Whereas there was one particular post that I did that I remember that I was asking people if they still had a watch.

[Kira Carlin]

God, that takes me back.

[Ming Johanson]

Do you still have and wear a watch? And what I learnt from the post about asking this, which was unintentional, was that we actually had quite an engaged audience of men, and men specifically have watches as gifts from their wives.

[Kira Carlin]

Fathers. It’s a common 18 to 21st gift.

[Ming Johanson]

It’s often a gift, a hand-me-down, like it’s a family heirloom for men. And  it’s the one piece of jewellery that men often find an acceptable piece that they can wear. Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, that’s a good milestone thing. I know men who, I know a lot of men, actually, who have bought them on the anniversary of starting a business or some big life event, you know?

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. So there was a very, very interesting lesson around what it is and assumptions, what assumptions we make around people and around who wants to buy our thing.

[Kira Carlin]

I’ve actually got a great example of this from The Knitting World. Believe it or not, 

[Ming Johanson]

This is awesome. 

[Kira Carlin]

There’s a knitting controversy happening at the moment. It’s been going on for about a year now. So there’s a couple of, I’m going to call them investment bros because that’s basically what they are, who bought knitting.com, the domain [Oh Yeah?], for about 80 grand.

[Ming Johanson]

That’s a lot.

[Kira Carlin]

It is a lot

[Ming Johanson]

That’s a lot for a domain name. This is without a website. Just the domain name.

[Kira Carlin]

This is just so they bought it from whoever had it before and wasn’t doing very much with it because there wasn’t much there

[Ming Johanson]

Well, yeah, they were domain banking. Yep.

[Kira Carlin]

So they bought knitting.com. Now, these are not guys who have an interest in craft. These are not people who have been involved in the knitting world. And they bought it going, okay, we’re going to turn this into a big money spinner because women of a certain age knit and they have money [Oh, yeah]. 

[Kira Carlin]

And I know this is their reasoning because they put all of this in a podcast.

[Ming Johanson]

[laugh] Oh, good.

[Kira Carlin]

They put this reasoning into their investment bro podcast. [Such a flex] How much money they were going to make off. It was quite demeaning, actually [Yeah]. And of course, some people heard it, and the knitting world was suddenly furious. Because this is the thing. Knitting is not all old white women.

[Ming Johanson]

It really isn’t. If TikTok was to tell me anything, is there is a lot of men out there who are very talented knitters, hi Knotty Professor, by the way, on Tik Tok, who I follow.

[Kira Carlin]

Okay, so some of the biggest knitting designers in the world are men. [Yeah] But also knitting is incredibly diverse and the biggest platform for knitting related things, so patterns and forums and all sorts of different things is called ‘Ravelry’, and they are very proactive in spotlighting designers of colour, designers from different backgrounds, designers who are, you know, gender diverse. They’re very good at that.

[Ming Johanson]

There was an interesting thing you were telling me about where they made a very clear delineation and statement politically.

[Kira Carlin]

Oh, yeah. So they run out of America. It’s still owned by the people who developed it first, which means that they can do whatever the hell they like. And they said, particularly at the beginning of the Trump years, when things were getting very divided in the States, they were like, “we’re not tolerating any of this. If you make ugly statements, if you do, you know, pieces…

[Ming Johanson]

Pattern designs.

[Kira Carlin]

If you do pattern designs with horrible…

[Ming Johanson]

The Confederate flag.

[Kira Carlin]

The Confederate flag or Trump’s face or anything that was divisive like that, anything that was pro…

[Ming Johanson]

[laugh] Who would want that anyway.

[Kira Carlin]

You would be so surprised.

[Ming Johanson]

I’m always horrified when I find out there’s people that willingly knitting Trump’s face.

[Kira Carlin]

If you can imagine it exists as a pattern on Ravelry.

[Ming Johanson]

If I can imagine it, it exists on the internet right?

[Kira Carlin]

So they banned everything from an ugly right wing hate point of view and they did it unilaterally and there was no argument.

[Ming Johanson]

You think it would be a lot easier to do this on all the other platforms Facebook.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah like this is the thing, Facebook and Twitter and all these platforms were arguing over, well, are Nazis really that bad?

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Yeah. Freedom of speech.

[Kira Carlin]

Ravelry was just… So there was a huge boycott Ravelry movement from the right wing, and they obviously didn’t get anywhere because [how interesting] it’s the biggest platform in the world for knitting and everybody uses it. There’s millions of people who use it every day.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. So this is really good because I’ve recognised they have a global market [Yes]. as well and that they’re not limited to just the myopic views and opinions of their own country.

[Kira Carlin]

And they’ve also realised that their… their most productive, engaged members are not from the groups that are hating, they’re the hated on groups, not hating on groups.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

So they have banked down on those people now and they’ve done amazingly well out of it.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

So there’s this side of things where Ravelry is very inclusive and the knitting community is very inclusive, very helpful, very non flame war-y. And then these two guys who when called out then were like, “Oh, but it’s fine because we’re both married to Asian women.”

[Ming Johanson]

Wow. Okay, cool. [sarcasm]

[Kira Carlin]

It was a very weird comeback.

[Ming Johanson]

Whoa, that’s complex. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t think we have enough time in this episode to unpack that.

[Kira Carlin]

I don’t either. I don’t think there’s enough time in the world to unpack that.

[Ming Johanson]

So there is something and it’s just spoken about a lot in the tech industry around the importance of having diversity on your board of directors, and importance of having diversity in your team. Because everybody has a different perspective and different engagement to content online. And I’m quite proud of the fact that not really through any purpose or reasoning, we have a very diverse team.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, absolutely. And the more different viewpoints there are in the room, the more people there are who are likely to say, Yeah, maybe don’t do that [Yeah]. Or if you’re going to do it, don’t talk about it publicly.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Like there’s always someone in the room to question [Exactly]. And it’s also worth pointing out, I’m not just talking about gender diversity. I’m also talking about neurodiversity.

[Kira Carlin]

Neurodiversity, racial diversity, gender diversity. The more different people you get in a room, the more viewpoints you have. That’s fantastic.

[Ming Johanson]

And the more that you can actually express your content to lots of different people instead of one particular myopic market

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly. So when you’re thinking about your target market, it’s worth having lots of different people having input on that because it saves you from really embarrassing mistakes [Yeah]. They could have actually made a real business out of it. And if they’d kept their mouths shut, no one would know that [Yeah] their whole deal was slightly less than Ideal.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, I think this sort of comes back to like the pink tax, as well, where we’re talking about, you know, there’s sort of this underlying all women spend more money on things and so we can charge them a little bit more. So we’re still in it. We still have inequality in payment. [Yeah] across the board. You know, there’s obviously women that earn more than others, but that’s across the board, we do not have equity or equality [Mhm]. And you’re expecting women to pay more for stuff.

[Kira Carlin]

That’s rude. Just by making it pink. It’s a weird choice. But also the thing is, if they’d done literally any market research in this situation, they would have found out that their assumptions were not correct.

[Ming Johanson]

So it’s interesting that you bring up market research because I think market research in itself can be very biassed.

[Kira Carlin]

Oh, absolutely.

[Ming Johanson]

It’s very easy. Like we have had clients in the past who have targeted women. And I have suggested perhaps you have an untapped market in men.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, but this is the thing is within certain industries, you come to see what kind of customers you have pretty quickly and you come to see what kind of triggers a memory of… So I was a club photographer in another life and you would get these briefs from various nightclubs and some of them, not very many, but some would say things like focus on the women.

[Ming Johanson]

Yep.

[Kira Carlin]

So you’re going around taking pictures that will eventually end up on that night club’s social media. And there’s only two reasons that I have seen that club say things like that. They’re either advertising the women to the male clientele saying, look at this, we’ve got lots of hot girls that come here or they’re advertising the women to other women as…

[Ming Johanson]

 Just safe, It’s a safe space.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. So I’ve seen it mostly in clubs trying to rehabilitate their reputation for being dangerous.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

So they will advertise women to other women to say, ‘Look, we’re so much better than we used to be!’ They won’t actually say, but they’ll put all these pictures of women having a good time with their girlfriends so it doesn’t look quite so sexual assault-y as a venue.

[Ming Johanson]

So a few of us in the tech space have a tactic that we use where we have women in the foreground of the picture. Usually a group of three, two or three women foreground the picture. So the larger perspective and in the background, the men [Yeah], because then the perspective is. Oh, there’s a lot of women there.

[Kira Carlin]

Hmm. You foregrounding the handful of women in the tech space. And I don’t actually think that that is necessarily a bad thing because you’re trying to encourage more women in tech and STEM [Yeah] but it’s still problematic.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Look at the whole conversation. And we’ve had conversations about this off air about the whole language of if you can see her, you can be her. And it’s like, well, what if you can’t, what if you can’t see her?

[Kira Carlin]

Pretty much.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Like there’s, there’s a weird responsibility that kind of falls on, certainly I have felt that as a woman of colour in tech, I feel a lot of responsibility for being on the television or in media or all of that so that some kid out there who is, you know, small, small and growing and, you know, wide eyed and hopeful can see something a bit different.

[Kira Carlin]

I feel, you know, like it’s a lot to put on somebody just walking about living in their life so they then have to be a role model.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

Not a mantle that I would happily take on.

[Ming Johanson]

I don’t know if I have happily taken it on. I think I just sort of see it as a responsibility because there has been so much discomfort in my life as a result of just being myself that I want to make it more comfortable for the next generation.

[Kira Carlin]

Mhm. That’s fair.

[Ming Johanson]

And I want to make it safe and I want to be part of that conversation to make it safe. And yeah, I know, I know, it shouldn’t be just my responsibility, but I don’t see a lot of other people stepping up.

[Kira Carlin]

That’s pretty fair.

[Ming Johanson]

Or if they are stepping up, they’re talking about how horrible it must be for me. But they don’t actually understand or comprehend what it is that I’ve gone through [Mm]. Yeah. That, then that sort of becomes the, the saviour complex where they’re trying to rescue and it’s like I’m not trying to, I’m not trying to rescue anyone, I’m just trying to represent.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. Just being there.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. So we’re also saying things like, so we’re seeing more and more artificial intelligence being used in content creation, in art creation, in expression, online and digital work. So I do think that lack, like making sure that we’re actually reaching lots of different people and including lots of people in that conversation will mean that we’ll reach more people.

[Kira Carlin]

Absolutely. As far as the AI’s go. And we shouldn’t really talk about this at some future podcast, but we use AI within the business and I use particularly AI as a content creator because I was just talking about this earlier with Derek, who is with the team and is having a morning of, ‘Oh, I’ve got to write this thing, but I’m just not feeling writing the thing and it’s not coming easy today.’ What I do in that situation is I plug it into the AI, I let the AI spit out something reasonably bad and I rage-fix it.

[Ming Johanson]

[Laugh] But it’s easier to edit, right? Like it’s easier to edit somebody else’s words and write it from scratch.

[Kira Carlin]

It’s easier to edit somebody else’s work, particularly when it’s bad.

[Ming Johanson]

And we don’t have to feel guilty about it because it was a robot.

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly. But this is the thing is the robot’s trying its best and it did a very good job, but it wasn’t the job I had in mind.

[Ming Johanson]

It helps that you’re a copywriter.

[Kira Carlin]

Helps that I’m a copywriter. I’m still hedging my bets against, you know, the singularity. I still make sure I say thank you to Alexa.

[Ming Johanson]

Oh, yeah. Yes, I say thank you to all of my AI.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, absolutely.

[Ming Johanson]

I think it’s important.

[Kira Carlin]

I’m very polite and considerate to my AI.

[Ming Johanson]

Just in case there’s an uprising, it’s important. So what do you think is something that businesses really need to consider when it comes to their target market?

[Kira Carlin]

I actually think they need to consider their customer base. It’s terrifying how few people think about their actual customers when they’re working out their target market. These are the people it’s already working for. Use them.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

And, you know, it’s worth asking them why it’s working for them.

[Ming Johanson]

It’s also worth actually talking to your customer and going, why are you with us?

[Kira Carlin]

Exactly, why are you doing this?

[Ming Johanson]

Why did you buy?

[Kira Carlin]

Where did you find us? What are you like? Why do you keep coming back?

[Ming Johanson]

What was it about messaging which again comes back to branding, right? And what’s the brand saying, what’s the brand reflecting.

[Kira Carlin]

Mhm. And once you know that, then you go on to find more people like that customer who will come back time and time and time again rather than trying to court this mysterious ethereal thing that doesn’t necessarily exist.

[Ming Johanson]

I think there’s a lot of that. I think there’s a lot of the target markets, certainly the ones that I’ve been given in the past, I’m like, that’s not a real person that person doesn’t… like people are far more complex. They’re definitely far more pattern driven than I would have thought before I started doing marketing. Now that I’ve been entrenched in marketing for a while, I realise that they are complex but pattern driven.

[Kira Carlin]

Absolutely. And when you think about your own life, you think about how pattern driven you are and the fact that especially as you get older and more time poor.

[Ming Johanson]

Crankier. You get a lot, I get a lot crankier

[Kira Carlin]

So cranky these days, but because I’m not as time rich as I used to be, I do tend to revisit things that I already know work.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

So I don’t go shopping around for things that I can get at the place I got it before. [No] Because I have a life to live.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. It’s like I was talking to one of our new customers yesterday about this, it’s convenience. I am shopping right now in my current state for convenience. I want to be able to go into a shop and get everything that I need for a project. And it deeply frustrates me when I can’t.

[Kira Carlin]

That’s why I shop online because I can do it in front of a TV. I can do it in the evening.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah.

[Kira Carlin]

It’s the same thing, you know, that whole thing about, like, clothes shopping online was supposed to be so difficult because you can’t try anything on [Yeah]. I hate clothes shopping in person now because I just have my measurements saved [Yeah]. I can compare it to a sizing chart. I know it’s going to fit when it shows up. I don’t have to try on six versions of the same thing to find the one that’s just right.

[Ming Johanson]

Ah man, I’m very much luck of the draw with that. I don’t know my measurements because I have a whole bunch of mental health stuff around that and I just kind of go, ‘Oh, I think I’m this size.’ And, you know, it’s also different clothes, different brands have different sizing.

[Kira Carlin]

Absolutely. But that’s why I love a sizing chart, because I’m not looking at a number. I’m not looking at a, well am I a 10 or am I a 14 or, you know, what women’s clothing sizes are like? They have no reference to anything.

[Ming Johanson]

So I was looking at this lately. I was looking at a particular jacket that I was looking at, which was a men’s jacket, but I was like, I could pull it off. [Yeah]. I could pull off that jacket. And it was like size 34 to 42. And I’m like, what?

[Kira Carlin]

It’s an actual measurement.

[Ming Johanson]

Is it?

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, that is a measurement.

[Ming Johanson]

That’s so confusing.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah. So, you know, our sizing has absolutely no reference to reality. It’s just a company has made a decision that this is their medium or this is their 10 or this is their 14 or whatever it is.

[Ming Johanson]

That’s so weird.

[Kira Carlin]

And they just do it. Whereas men have actual measurements for things. That’s weird.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, I wonder where that started.

[Kira Carlin]

So we have to sort of roll the dice every time, which is what I love about a sizing chart.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. Okay.

[Kira Carlin]

I can just look at my measurements and look at the segment and pick the one that’s closest to me and buy it and it fits me. That’s amazing.

[Ming Johanson]

I’d say 90% of the stuff that I buy conservatively fits, but I’m in an awkward middle size at the moment where I’m like, because for whatever reason there is no sizes between 12 and 14. There is no 13 size. [Of course]. There is no size between 14 and 16. There is no middle size. So again I find that weird as well.

[Kira Carlin]

Women’s clothing sizes are a total mess, but this is the other. Okay, so bringing that back to target audiences, I reckon every woman has had a problem with this at some point, [probably] but nobody fixes it.

[Ming Johanson]

No.

[Kira Carlin]

Because they’re relying on the fact that we’re used to it, even though their target market has a little problem. [Yeah, yeah]. Makes me crazy. [Yeah]. Fix the damn problem.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah, well, just use sizing charts that you use for men. [Yeah]. Why do you just do that?

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, you know what the other fun thing is? So you know how women’s when you button up your shirt, the buttons are on the other side.

[Ming Johanson]

Yeah. So I found this out about zips as well. That’s apparently a thing for zips. Men’s pants, zip in a different direction to women’s pants. And I thought that was wild.

[Kira Carlin]

No! But do you know why women’s clothes button up the other direction?

[Ming Johanson]

No.

[Kira Carlin]

It’s because when that started, it was assumed that a woman would be dressed by a maid.

[Ming Johanson]

Oh.

[Kira Carlin]

So it goes the side that makes sense for your hand too, and they never changed it.

[Ming Johanson]

I wish somebody would dress me.

[Kira Carlin]

I know, right?

[Ming Johanson]

That would be great.

[Kira Carlin]

I could have someone just look after my clothes and, like, make me in the morning.

[Ming Johanson]

If they could make decisions for me, I feel like that would stop me from feeling so fatigued.

[Kira Carlin]

It’s just unreal to me that we’re still doing that because of maids.

[Ming Johanson]

That is wild. I didn’t know that. How Interesting.

[Kira Carlin]

We haven’t routinely had ladies maids in like over a hundred years.

[Ming Johanson]

Could we change that? Can we bring that back? I feel like I want to bring that back because if somebody could just give me a snicketty snack every half an hour, delivery of snacks, [snack delivery]. My cats refused to be trained.

[Kira Carlin]

My dog’s looking at me right now. She’s sitting on the floor here looking at me like, did somebody say snack?

[Ming Johanson]

So I think what and this is probably what I like about the brand personalities is I don’t feel like they’re particularly gendered. [No] It doesn’t really matter if you know, male, female, male targeted, female targeted, neurodiverse targeted, whatever. That looks like racial targeting, although that can be problematic sometimes and biased as well. Um, yeah. I think more and more now it’s becoming interesting how we do those marketing campaigns for the future and being less male female pink tax, rainbow Tax.

[Kira Carlin]

Yeah, particularly as gender is becoming more fluid. I reckon that’s going to be a very interesting one to watch in the coming years.

[Ming Johanson]

Do you feel like that’s why people are so mad about it? [Probably] because they think it’s harder. Like it’s making their marketing campaigns harder, [Who knows] simpler days.

[Kira Carlin]

But they weren’t simpler.

[Ming Johanson]

No they weren’t

[Kira Carlin]

They want to get their heads around, you know, changing women’s surnames when they get married. Why can’t they get their heads around changing someone’s first name? Yes, it’s just very odd.

[Kira Carlin]

The hills people choose to die on, [wow] it bemuses me.

[Ming Johanson]

[Laugh] So I think that’s enough for this episode.

[Kira Carlin]

We got a bit side tracked in the middle there.

[Ming Johanson]

We got a bit side tracked but it’s okay. Thank you for listening. If you want to find out more, you can connect with Kira or myself, Ming Johanson

[Kira Carlin]

Kira Carlin, on all the things.

[Ming Johanson]

The LinkedIn or check out our website marketing jumpstart.com.au.

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About Michael
Transitioning from industries like hospitality, hotels, retail, and media into the realm of digital marketing was initially daunting. Yet, I quickly discovered that my diverse background held immense value in this dynamic field. Working in digital marketing has not only provided me with opportunities for growth and innovation but has also become a canvas for expressing my creativity. Beyond work, I’m known for my outgoing personality and passions for the Korean culture, music, movies, and games. And, just a heads up, I’m not one to enjoy pineapples on pizza—sorry, pineapple lovers!