Ask Montezuma: August 2004

Advice from Beyond the Grave!

This month’s “Ask Montezuma” will be written by guest-columnist Montezuma I, as Montezuma II, wife Trudy and their children are taking a much-deserved vacation in Asia.

Montezuma dispenses advice every week
on his National Public Radio program Mentor-
Montey, which can also be heard on Radio
Free Bulgaria.

Dear Montezuma,
My Mom and Dad have been planning on buying me a pony for the last three years. I’m only six years old and I don’t want a pony, I want a Steven Wolfram cellular automata set with the French Riviera play set. I even wrote to Dr. Wolfram, but he never answered my email or my letter. Once I saw him on TV and he picked his nose. It’s funny to think of this famous brain guy sitting in the bathroom, thinking up a new kind of science. I do that sometimes. Am I going to have a little brother or a little sister?
Mondays Are Really Yesterday

What in the blazes are you going on about? First it’s the stupid pony, then you go on selfishly about some washed up MacArthur genius. Since when did “Dr.” Wolfram get involved with Mattel anyway? So you wrote the guy? Big deal. I write people all the time. Look at me now, I’m writing to you. You’re pretty stupid for a six year old. You’re probably not done picking your own nose yet. I can’t even make sense of your letter.

Oh Montezuma,
Please don’t shoot the messenger here but I have a dumb question about Legionnaire’s Disease. I currently work for a company I shall not specify and we have recently issued a corporate policy on Legionella, the bacterium which causes Legionnaire’s Disease. My question regards tropical fish tanks. The water temperature 22C – 45C. Some rather gross sediment has built up on the bottom of the tank. That tank is an optimal place for nutrients feeding bacterial growth. As you know, probably, water condenses and evaporates, but the tank recirculates the water. I don’t know the volume of water in the tanks because they’re all different, so if you need to know that, just let me know. A lot of these tanks are at nursing homes, so a lot of old people are put at risk. Obviously this tank is the perfect place for Legionella to thrive! Give me some peace of mind here.
Robert U. Belknapp, New York

I’ll give you some piece of mind and a bullet, to boot. Why the hell are you asking me? You’re the expert, apparently. I don’t even know what a legionella is. You build up all this talk of some awful disease and then throw the fish tank thing at me. Now I’ve got a wonderful description of some god-awful fish tank in the middle of wrinkly old farts who can’t wipe themselves. And if I were going to answer your mongoloid question, it would be nice if you took the time to find out the volume of water in the tanks. You’ve read the magazine, you know the format for the column and you leave out what might be a critical piece of information. I ought to slap you.

Dearest Montezuma,
Why is the sky blue?
Ornithal Jones,
Aged 44

Orny, Well, looking up at it, I’d say it’s a nice shade of black right now. You’re probably thinking during that day time part of the day. Well, I don’t usually see the bright side of sunrise, so I couldn’t tell you. However, I can take a whack at figuring out why the sky is black. As I see it now, it’s black because it’s got a black color to it. So, I would assume that during the day it’s blue (if it is blue) because the sky is colored blue. Now that I think about it, the colors could just be painted on the back of your eyeball to make the sky look like that. I’m really the wrong person to ask, but hey, you have a good one.

Dear Montezuma,
Why did Kiley never call me and ignore me that one night after she was all flirty two days earlier.
Albert Redmon Nadler Isaac Edmonds

That was so not an anonymous letter. I just told you yesterday I was going to be covering this gig. And that fake name really sucks. I figured it out right away. Anyway, I don’t know why she didn’t call you. Probably because you only really saw her the once when you guys were drunk. There was obvious chemistry before you got drunk, but then you only saw each other the once. Like you said, the second time you saw her she was performing and all and it was a birthday party for her friend. You just met, so she was probably running around taking care of that. And you didn’t make any effort after that. I would’ve. She was hot, guy. Of course, it could’ve been your smelly feet. I think that was the week you lost your pumice.

Dear Montezuma,
Recently I was dining at a well known establishment, when my wife hit me with the difficult news that she wanted to get a divorce. I’m not really sure how this started. Back when we first met at Canasta Camp, we hit it off perfectly, bonding over our love of Dutch Cuisine, Canadian horror movies, the color mauve, and of course canasta. Our early time together was just magical and, dare I say it, perfect. We were wed after dating for a few years, and while we had a couple of fights during these times, they were of short duration and quickly resolved. Barely did we ever have trouble. After marriage, we got along even better, or so it seemed. Sure, there were difficulties; the time she wrecked my car after running a stop sign, it was so clearly her fault and she refused to admit it, even after the police report, the civil suit and all of that. I just wanted an apology for wrecking my car, but she said that I should apologize for not supporting her. I’m all for supporting her, but it was a difficult time for us both. Then, the next month, she accused me of wanting to cheat on her because I checked out this girl at the WalMart. Then, she threw all this stuff at me, claiming that I flirted too much with my co-workers and with the check out girl down at the supermarket. I think she was just trying to justify her own thoughts of cheating, and I told her that and she got really mad and stormed out. Later that night she came back drunk and I told her that it was irresponsible for her to drive drunk, but she claimed that she had only had a couple of drinks and was fine. I claimed that it wasn’t the amount of alcohol that mattered, it was the whole situation. You shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking, period. Sure, I could have spent more time doing things that she enjoyed, but I do really think that she’s got a crush on this guy at her new work. See, she changed jobs a couple of months ago and keeps telling me stories about this guy Charlie there. She shrugs it off and even jokes about wanting to have sex with him, and that hurt me. So, last week after I dropped by her office to bring her lunch to her, I caught her seriously flirting with the guy. Yeah, I did a rash thing. I yelled at her in front of her co-workers and caused a bit of a scene. That was a little harsh and probably embarrassing for her, but for Christ’s sake, she was sitting in the guy’s lap. At work. They were all up on each other, their faces like four inches apart and they were both giggling. It was too much. And to top it all off, now my damn lawn mower won’t start anymore and my car’s still got a big dent in the right fender. What should I do about this whole mess I’ve made of my life?
Entropy Only Now

Dear Eon,
Hey, man, that’s pretty rough. Especially, you know, the fact you probably had your dinner ruined. I’m kind of curious if she dropped “da bom” after the appetizers. If you dig Dutch cuisine, you know that bad news isn’t cool right before the main course. Look on the bright side, dude. She might have just had a bad seafood mixer plate or something. And don’t forget that Dutch beer. Maybe she hadn’t eaten all day. I’d try dressing real provocative-like and crawling into bed with her. That usually works.

Montezuma II will return next month, with all new advice for the world’s confused masses of rabble.

The March of Progress: August 2004

Thomas Alva Edison and the New Electro-Ethereal Power


Great advances come to the Paris of the Pine Trees which promise to invigorate our bustling municipality. A few years ago the process of refitting and upwardly mobilating the gradient of lighting and power systems was begun by fellow members of the Pluto-Theosophy party. These have come to a fortuitous and American conclusionwith the ignition of our very own direct current power station, provided with the good graces of famed constructomaton Thomas Alva Edison.

It has been bandied about, with no lack of help from the craven Oligo-Unitarian Party, that alternating current, not direct current, is the proper and patriotic current. Such specious remarks are patently false, unabrigedly non-sacrosanctand perhaps incorrect. While alternating current, like the party which supports it, changes direction many hundreds of times a second, direct current efficiently and continuously (except during recharging) flows in one direction, directly into your own home!

One wouldn’t be desirous of a type of current which scores of times plied the ether in a direction not that of one’s fine Bethany’s lamps, would one? Whereas alternating current, like the Oligo-Unitarian party, requires miles and miles of wiring and urban sprawl to function, direct current satisfies one’s power needs with a fraction of the wiring and no such ungainly sprawl. Alternating current is the power of filthy immigrants. One can only imagine such generating stations powering and protecting growing Katharinetowne for true-born West Dakotans in the years to come!

A complicated system comprised of scary items; dynamos, mutable amalgams endowed by their decidedly European creator Tesla with the moniker “transformer,” the enigmatic a.c. motor; is clearly not the system for greater Katharinetowne! Clearly a system involving a simple battery is better. Batteries recall patriotic visions of our forefathers battling the scourging British and lobbing liberty shells from their batteries. Such is the American-accepted, American-invented system supported by the Pluto-Theosophy party; a system made by an American. Direct current is the American current.

Jeremy Rosen

Jeremy-Joseph Rosen is the greater Katharinetowne City Council member for Ward 14 and Chairman of the Council Sub-Committee on Modern Powering Systems. In 1997, he won several prizes in the Grand Nationals of Underwater Floral Arrangement.

How to Do It: August 2004

With Regular Commentator LeMuel LeBratt

By Permanent Guest-Commentator Marcia Spatzelberg

Greetings, boys and girls. This month’s fun project is going to be totally fun. I’m going to teach you how to make a bird feeder out of an important French Enlightenment figure.


  • One Rene Descartes’ skull
  • Two feet of aluminum wire
  • Two 3?4 inch washers
  • Two 3?4 inch wood screws
  • Two 3?4 inch wing nuts
  • One remains spatula

Step the First:
Use the handy remains spatula to clear away any three-hundred-year-old bits of rotted, decrepit flesh. Although it isn’t necessary, you may want to snazz up Mr. Descartes’ with some water-proof varnish or skull wax.

Step the Second:
Turn the skull upside down and use a handsaw (sorry, the handsaw should have been mentioned in the Materials section above) to remove the skull cap; the first two centimeters of the domed top of Mr. Descartes’ earthly remains.

Step the Third:
Use the other items to make a handle.

Step the Fourth:
Fill with birdseed and hang from a tree.

Step the Fifth:
Enjoy watching birds eat from one of the world’s greatest philosopher’s heads.

Condensations of Literature

Lesser Known Quotes from the Well Known

From the Tome by DAVE GHANA

“A can of WD-40 is your best defense against squeaky hinges”
-Maralyn Monroe

“Today I feel like a sleep machine.”
-Sir James Brown

“Tasmania is ours, too?”
-John Howard (Australian Prime Minister)

“Move it 20 spans that way.”

“Seek the lower road lest ye be sought upon the left one.”
-St. Paul

“Pound the metal. Pound the metal. Pound the metal!”
-Admiral Zheng He (Last Words)

“On your life, underestimating the proclivities of finches is likely to lead to great internal hemorrhaging.”
-Charles Darwin

“Hmm…that’s a good one.”
-Will Rogers

“I said the green sash, moron.”
-Emilio Zapata

“Yes, you do need to see my identification.”
-Sir Alec Guiness (1991 traffic stop)

“Stabbing them with a spear might work.”
-Shaka Zulu

“What does Bindusara want this time, clean sheets?”
-Ashoka the Great (Upon being called back from exile.)

“Oxford shirts. Definitely more oxford shirts.”
-Mao Zedong

“Hey buddy, can I get a leg up?”
-Napoleon Bonaparte

“Avalanches of potatoes, rivers of vodka, fusillades of borscht. Your destruction comes!”
-Nikita Kruschev

“I still think Ned Beatty should’ve played Don Corleone.”
-Francis Ford Coppola

“And don’t forget to load the couscous.”
-Richard I (On his retreat from Palestine.)

“Eventually they run out of bullets.”
-General Hideki Tojo

“I keep the pornographic stuff in a bus station locker.”
-Norman Rockwell

“If you pick a pineapple in the morning, you’re sure to have a Yankee sniffing your pants in the afternoon.”
-King Kamehameha

“By any means necessary.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I don’t know how to say it either.”
-Ernesto Guevara

“15 concubines ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at.”
-Gary Coleman

“It’s just a dirty rock.”
-Cecil John Rhodes

“Numberless times have I told you that ostrich feathers applied to a
small boy’s behind will not create the desired effect.”

“Splendid is the court of Kublai Khan, with anal cleaning papers for all.”
-Marco Polo

“Can I please have 50 cents?”
-John F. Kennedy

“If the replanting plan of the north Essex grasslands goes forth, all will
pay dearly the price of that emerald weed.”
-Winston Churchill

“I think a robot could knock out Cassius Clay”
-Isaac Asimov

“Tight pants are just uncomfortable.”
-Samuel Longhorn Clemens

“If I could have three wishes, one would be to take an ’88 and shove that barrel up Hitler’s ass so that cocksucker can cry like the little god-damned girl he is. And hell, after that, I wouldn’t need two more wishes.”
-General George Patton

Dave Ghana is head of the Custodial Department’s Mopping Division at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Huntsville Space Center.