Ask Montezuma: January 2005

Advice from Old Mexico

Montezuma is a glorious king whose glory shines
down upon all through the ageless bounds of eternity.
Fried chicken is his favorite food.

Dear Montezuma,
I recently borrowed someone else’s rhubarb. I used it in a wonderful pie, which I am consuming at this moment, but I feel a bit disaffected now. You see, I already have my own rhubarb and I’m afraid it will feel neglected should it discover that I used another rhubarb whose provenance was not from my own rhubarb. Rhubarb is a temperamental root vegetable and I don’t quite know how I might deal with its outbursts should it discover my scurrilous usage of rhubarb not my own. I was thinking, perhaps, of covering up the obvious foreign rhubarb with a small coconut I have waiting on the window sill. How do you think I might appease my forlorn ground-inhabiting edible plant?
Denny Palmer, Age 27

Denny, Denny, Denny, Denny, Denny,
Reviewing your letter brought back so many memories of my studies at one of the United Kingdom’s lesser-known colleges (I’m sorry to say that I am not an Eton man). My second year Garden Psychology course was one of my favourite little expositions of knowledge. I greeted each day with an overarching eagerness to get to Garden Psychology and learn all about the feelings and complexities of the carrot, the sexual dysfunctions of herbs such as basil, the obsessive disorders of legumes and the deep and dark psychological pathologies of root vegetables, so akin to their growing places in the black, moist soil. Indubitably whatever Garden Psychology course was offered at your secondary educational facility was ineffective. This writer has a slithering guess that your secondary education may not even have included a Garden Psychology course (I would ask for my money back). Possibly you were absent or not paying attention on the day that the emotional makeup of the rhubarb was covered by your instructor. In some cases, rhubarb can be poisonous if not treated properly because it is a quite delicate and serene member of the plant kingdom and it is frequently noted by other vegetables for its steadfastness and unfickletude. To make sure I am not recalling this improperly, I checked my Vegemotional Psychometry Manual III. You should take a gander at your no-doubt dusty copy of this fine tome. It clearly states on page 433, under the general characteristics of rhubarb, that this vegetable is quite calm and collected, even under pressure. Your classification of rhubarb as a root vegetable will be discussed in a future column. Perhaps you have it confused with rutabaga, likely another manifestation of the poor education you received early on.

To our fine friend Montezuma,
We here at the Cal-Dap thumbtack and light emitting diode plant and merchandising center are huge fans of your column. We read it every month and keep clippings up on the break-room refrigerator. We discuss it over coffee and on the assembly line for thumbtacks (doing this on the LED assembly line would be too dangerous and we don’t speak there). Larry “Hambone Runner” Logan on machine #5 almost has every letter from your fifth book memorized and likes to repeat them during union meetings and at management meetings during dull moments (of which there are many!). Joe “Gristle” Sanderson, the vice-president of sales, likes to record himself reading the columns and play them in his office when he thinks no one is listening. We’ve had a few problems recently because our town is small and the plant is really the only source of employment for most citizens. We’re citizen-workers, important to the defense of this great land. That’s why I was going to write to you. You see, we don’t have enough copies of Axes & Alleys to go around here in Lothariana. We’ve spoken to the distributors many times, but they refuse to send more copies. There are about 13 copies for every 58 residents. We sometimes find it hard to share copies with one another. Do you have any advice to give us?
Yours Truly,
Ernie “Lambchop” Jones
Cal-Dap Tackfitters Local 133
Lothariana, FA

Dear Lambchop,
I am very concerned after the receipt of the above letter. You may be unaware, but you are infringing upon several intellectual properties which belong to me. To avoid any further action, please send me accountings for the following royalties I may be owed:

1. number of times a clipped article has been viewed
2. number of times Hambone Runner has repeated my articles
3. number of times Joe Sanderson’s recordings have been played
4. number of times a copy of Axes & Alleys has been shared
5. number of times Joe Sanderson has been referred to as “Gristle”

The above are all rights reserved by my person and I am owed monies for each. As such, an independent auditor will arrive in Lothariana after receipt of your numbers. By my rough calculations, the township owes me close to $1.2 million dollars. Copies of this response have been sent to the Cal-Dap management as well as Lothariana’s City Council. Please see that further infractions do not occur. I am most disturbed by the unauthorized use of my trademarked phrase “Gristle.” This use must cease immediately!

Dearest Montezuma,
Is there really nowhere to go from here but up?
Confused On Relevant News

Dear CORN,
Looking at the postmark from your letter and the penmanship in your letter, I am positively convinced that you are likely to continue in a downward spiral of irrelevancy and doubt. Were that I could remember how to tie a noose for you.

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Our Special Guide to Surviving Adversity

Camping, hiking and exploration are fun and exciting diversions. But it’s best to be safe when you’re out in the great untamed wilderness. So, we now present a guide for survival. Keep this on your person if you venture from the enveloping warmth of your home and you’ll always be safe, secure and alive, even in the worst situations. Have fun out there in the wild with all those trees and squirrels and junk.

If you have a magnet, a piece of cork and a needle, all you need to do is make thread from a nearby plant, so you can sew the magnet to the piece of cork.

It’s easy to get despaired when you’re lost. A good way to pick yourself up is to use the skulls from animals you kill to perform cheery puppet shows.

If you’re ever lost in the Alps during a bitterly cold winter, make sure you have a number of different items that will interest future archaeologists. Make sure to include items of a cultural nature.

Getting lost in Antarctica can be hard sometimes. Don’t waste time trying to find a polar bear you can disembowel to shelter in its body cavity. Polar bears only live in the North Pole.

Make sure you learn how to say “Can you help me?” in Chinese. As there are 1.2 billion Chinese, odds are that one out four people you come across will be Chinese.

If you lose your way when traveling through the Mystic Caves of Aar’ushbak, try and find the Talisman of Gindor. If you utter the sacred chants it will cast forth a guiding light and show you the way to safety.

Long hours of tedius boredom can result from being lost in an unfamiliar enviornment while waiting for rescue. For entertainment, try looking at things.

Snowstorms can result in a phenomenon called “White Out” which makes it very difficult to see your surroundings. So don’t forget to bring your glasses or bi-focals.

If you’re lost, there’s an easy way to tell where you are. Look in the sink as the water drains out. Does it go clockwise? You’re in the Northern Hemisphere!

Dehydration is a major problem in the desert. Make sure you drink lots of water. If you can’t find water, remember clouds are made of water!

For thousands of years, sailors have used the stars to navigate. You can too. Look up into the sky. Do you see a comet? Remember, the comet’s tail always points away from the Sun. Also, comets may herald the coming of a new king.

If you ever need to make a fire, try to find a thunderstorm and use the lightning.

If you lose your way in the forest, a tree will tell you which way to go; remember that bark only grows on the outside of trees.

Do you see waves crashing on the shore? You’re probably near an ocean.

An easy way to ensure that you never get lost is to always carry a map with you. The easiest way to do this is to carry around a miniature globe pencil sharpener that you can use as a keychain.

If you find yourself naked in the forest, remember that swans make wonderful dresses.

You can always use the Sun to find out where you are. Do you see the Sun? Good, you’re 93 million miles away from it.

If you’re hungry, there are many edible plants in the forest. The way you can tell if it’s edible is to see whether it fits in your mouth.

If you’re ever lost at sea, remember that salt water is non-potable. Next time try to get lost on a lake.

A Poetistical Oratation

By the Great H. G. Peterson

H.G. Peterson is founder of the International
League of Lawn Mowing Visionaries, a group
devoted to creating a new age of lawn care for
all peoples of the world.

“The Future Never Happened”

Where’re the cities on the Moon?
Or the colonies in space.
Our wrist radios, Our paper clothes,
Or a peaceful human race?
Man, I’ve waited for so long
But damn, the Futurists were wrong.

Where are the cities under domes?
And those deep under the sea,
Flying cars and my jet pack,
Deadly ray guns that go “zap!”
Robot servants serving me?
And you know what really kills?
I never got proton energy pills!

All we got was CGI films,
And pointless camera phones,
Blogs across the internet,
Stuff I didn’t wanna get,
And reality TV shows.
Mad cow disease and terror attacks
Hey, I want my World’s Fair money back!

The world’s still full of doom and gloom
I just want to live on the Moon…really soon.