Ask Montezuma: Vespril 2006

Montezuma II

Montezuma II is the Answer Man to the Stars. He has answered questions for Tim Conway, Loni Anderson, Sam Waterston and others. His newest book in nice.

Dearest Montezuma,

I have too much change in my pockets a lot of the time. It falls out whenever I sit down and makes a big clanking sound when I walk down the street. All the bums know when I’m coming and run down the street after me calling me a liar when I tell them I don’t have any change. I really hate running. Is there some change storage solution for someone like me: a five foot tall Mbuti pygmy living a modern industrial lifestyle in the West?

Boston, MA

Ruminating on your question took place over the course of an extremely busy and tiring week. A cup of tea was in order and my new assistant, Mary Margaret Nelson, quickly procured one for me. The tea gave me a wonderful idea. I have mailed you complete instructions for building a pneumatic coin storage harness made of polyvinylchloride piping, a vacuum pump, a mesh screen and black lacquered syringe box modified to store the coins. I have also included some decorative suggestions for the harness to deter the homeless including: lion, winter and a little monster I like to call the Scarebum. Clever name, isn’t it?

Dear Montezuma,

I am male, but my mother contributed fifty percent of my genetic material. However, I don’t look like her and don’t exhibit quite the same internal physiological characteristics. So I find it a bit unfair that she gets such a large share of my genetic makeup. People get mad at me when I ask what exactly it was she did that was so great. What is a moon roof?

Highly Expectant Radio Man
Edgewise, PD

You will have to challenge a clever fellow like myself quite a bit more, HERM, else you risk no answer at all. The credit for this answer must, I fear, also go to my new assistant Mary Margaret Nelson, who has again proven her worth. It seems the moon roof was a device Galileo Galilei erected in Pisa to block out the light of the city while he observed the skies, most especially the moons of Jupiter. An interesting bit of trivia: a small, whimsical painting of buttocks was created on the forward left corner underneath the roof. The great scientist would occasionally point this out to bored visitors.

Hey Montezuma,

So walking down the street the other day, I thought it would be really cool if golfers wore samurai armor. The armor would protect them from the Sun, they could keep their favorite golf club in a belt loop and they could identify themselves to spectators with a handy flag like the samurai wore. What do you think of my idea?

Bob Kerrey
President The New School University
New York, NY

P.S. Please don’t steal my idea.

I am amazed at how positively useless this idea is. It would take more energy to steal this idea than it is worth. My suggestion is not to send an application to the Patent Office, burn any record of it and continue on with your life, never mentioning it again to friends, family or strangers.

Dear Montezuma,

There’s this nice girl I met and while she’s totally the bee’s knees, she keeps insisting that various things have killed her father. First it was pigeons, then bricks, a cheese grater, eggs, the mafia, Vorlons, a spigot, seven ninjas, a donkey, a Charles Darwin impersonator named Kevin…oh lord, the list goes on and on. She’s claimed that up to 700 different things have killed her father at various times. How could her father die 700 times, I don’t get it. Is she lying to me? What’s up with her?

Hando Peppermill
Yasper Falls, ME

Hando, the spigot is probably the clue you should investigate further. Was he killed by the spigot first? You see, spigots have a medicinal property whereby someone whose life was ended by one can come back to life almost immediately. Should her father have made it through two deaths before, for instance, being mauled by a spigot, he would also revive, though memories from puberty will disappear due to some as yet undefined interaction between the spigot’s voracious DNA and the memory centers of the brain. You might ask her if her father can remember exactly when hair began growing around his pubic and underarm areas.

Dear Montezuma,

Why are there both flashlights and candles? If flashlights are so useful, why are there still candles? Shouldn’t candles have died out long ago along with butter churns, mule carts and the dumb waiter?

Lucy Tarquin
East Bestoria, MV

One might as well ask why there are both wishing wells and oil wells, Lucy. Yet, annoyingly, upon my exclamation of this fact, my new assistant Mary Margaret Nelson went out and found the reason for the existence of both wishing wells and oil wells. I am starting to find her constant presence and overeagerness to please grating and, might I say, cloying.

Dear Montezuma,

Recently a strange thing started to happened to me. Once a month or so, I get these terrible cramps, then I feel irritated and bloated. At the same time, blood flows from a bodily area I’d rather not mention. Plus, I’ve started growing hair in strange places and my nipples are tender. What’s going on? Is it cancer? Or possibly FOP? I need to know before school starts in the Fall. Everyone in 8th grade will think I’m a freak.

Sarah Bonnet
Woodside, NY

Dearest Sarah. There is nothing to worry about whatsoever. The changes you are experiencing are all completely natural. As the hive intelligence replicates itself in your body, the tiny individual cells which make up the whole spread throughout the body. They communicate through an intense release of protein polymer change in the bloodstream while they settle into strategic locations throughout your innards. During the hive’s takeover, it is routine to experience such physiological manifestations, but there is simply not a thing to worry about. Except the irritation you are experiencing. According to my diagnostic reference manuals, irritation is not a symptom of the hive. I would suggest asking the hive what’s going on in there, then maybe seek the advice of your guidance counselor.

Dear Montezuma,

Why is it that English is the only language that makes any sense? Every time I hear a language other than English all I hear is jabbering and nonsensical funny talk. How come of all the languages in the world, only English is useful for communication?

Charles Schumer
Albany, NY

Charlie, did you know that the word jabber comes from the Middle English javeren? I did not know this either. My new assistant Mary Margaret Nelson just brought it up whilst poring over your letter with me. That was the final straw I had to let her go.

Dear Montezuma,

Why aren’t limericks ever funny? What is up with them?

Pugsley Islington
New Kennewhack, EL

Unfortunately I was unable to find any information on what a Limerick is as I no longer have an assistant. Should I find a new assistant, I may be able to answer this next month. Please check back then.

Interview with a Lemming

by Dave McNally


Mr. McNally orders books three at a time from the local book store in order to get the special discount. He enjoys a steady blend of British trip hop music and bluegrass. Once he enjoyed a peanut.

For years the lemming has been an underappreciated creature. Unfairly maligned as suicidal, small and furry, the lemming’s reputation has suffered through the years. These animals are actually some of the sturdiest in nature, able to survive throughout the arctic winter unscathed and to outwit foxes and predatory birds quite easily. Axes & Alleys took the opportunity to speak with a lemming this month to find out exactly what it is that makes them tick.

Axes & Alleys: So, lemming, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Lemming: Well, it’s a full life. Foraging, running, smelling, nesting. I especially like the tunneling.

A&A: Do people ever confuse you, a lemming, with a lemur?

Lemming: A what?

A&A: A lemur. You know, furry little critters similar to yourselves?

Lemming: Critter? Similar? To us? Lemmings are a quite singular animal, sir!

A&A: Okay, then, what other kinds of animals do lemmings talk to?

Lemming: It’s actually impossible for us to communicate with most other animals. Very few animals speak English. Donkeys speak Flemish and armadillos know Urdu fluently. Lemmings speak English and the only other animal that I know of beside humans that speaks English is the katydid.

A&A: I must admit I’ve never heard a katydid speaking English.

Lemming: Well, of course not. Not with that imperfect hearing you people have. You just hear some clicking and buzzing. Katydids do speak English. It’s just too high-pitched for you to hear. They’ve got some very interesting things to say about physics.

A&A: They have a concept of physics?
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Public Service Announcement

An Axes & Alleys Public Service Announcement

The home is obviously a dangerous place. So, as part of our court-ordered public awareness series, we will now explore way that you can protect your family from fire. Be wise lest you burn yourself alive, die in agony and leave this world with the stench of your own burning flesh fresh on the ol’ nostrils.

Fire loves oxygen, so it’s best not to pump your home full of a 100% oxygen mixture. Try as hard as you can to set the atmosphere in your home to 74% nitrogen, 32% oxygen and 2% argon and other trace gasses. Some methane or sulfur may be included from time to time.

You may wish to impress friends with your ability to drink a flaming shot of liquor. After several of these, you may think it a good idea to pour liquor on the table and set it on fire because it looks neat. This is not wise.

Although fire can harm vampires, it’s best to use holy water and stakes when in the home. If you absolutely must burn the undead, make sure to keep a fire-retardant blanket handy.

While your late aunt’s box of collected magnifying glasses sure is neat, installing them as a picture window and burning alive from the concentrated power of the Sun is not.

Smoking in bed is one of the leading causes of death in people who die in bed while smoking. If you absolutely must smoke in bed, try using a water-filtered hookah with an enclosed brazier. Make sure your sheets aren’t too frilly.

Convert your home to electric lighting. It is expensive, but safer than lining your walls with lit torches.

Should you happen to catch on fire, via spontaneous human combustion, that’d be weird, wouldn’t it?
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H.G. Peterson: Extraordinary Poet

H.G. Peterson

The Sensuality of Pleasure and Pain

From kindergarten to the day I got my B.A.
Seventeen years I wasted away

Pay attention now, for the following is truthful
No thing I learned in school was useful

Algebra won’t come up in any situation
Forget that quadratic equation

Geometry is pointless and rather old-fangled
Too much time spent fondling triangles

In English class they forced us to read boorish old tales
Symbolic, boring, filled with white whales

History, for some reason, they felt we need to know
Drought, plague, the battle of so and so

Civics attempted to teach me voting makes the man
Now I get paid to clean up the can

Music was fine if you sat in good order
If you ever needed to play the recorder

I will be honest here and say that reading is nice
I’m homeless, hungry, covered in lice

Chem. taught some atrociously useful things for a class
Seeing some ions and finding their mass

Ever use the color wheel? I thought you would say not
Art class was also completely rot

In P.E. the only knowledge that I acquired
Be appropriately attired

Biology is hacking up bodies long deceased
Great for psychos from prison released

All those times I sat bored, dreaming of panties in school
I did not learn, I was a great fool
I should have cut the class and gone marauding instead
You just can’t keep knowledge when you’re dead