Monthly Archives: December 2006

Scott Birdseye

An Editorialismo

By Lefgurt Jenkins

rhino

Mr. Jenkins affixes tax stamps to cigarette boxes for New York State. In his spare time he enjoys affixing tax stamps to cigarette boxes for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


I cannot stand it when I hear comparisons of car horns to rhinoceros horns. The differences are so obvious, it boggles my mind how I constantly have to hear how similar they are. It’s just such a stupid assertion. Really, it doesn’t even merit refutation, but I’d like to set the record straight once and for all.

Take a look at each horn. One is attached to a large, lumbering, cranky creature living in Africa and certain zoos. The other you cannot even see. It is stuck inside a car somewhere. You only know it is there because some ornery dandy lays on it. If you are still not convinced by their appearances, how about their construction? Heck, the rhinoceros horn is not even constructed. According to scientists, the rhinoceros horn is made of a substance related to hair.

The car horn is manufactured and installed in factories from Detroit to Japan. It is made of metal and electrical components. They are different because they serve different purposes; a car horn is supposed to make noise whereas the rhinoceros horn is used for fending off enemies or something. I am not really sure what it is for but it definitely does not make noise.

One of the most idiotic comparisons I have heard is that since people drive cars on Cape Horn, and Cape Horn looks something like a rhinoceros horn, they are similar. Hardly. Cape Horn is much thinner in appearance than the horn belonging to a rhinoceros. Furthermore, there is no logical way someone driving a car equipped with a horn on Cape Horn makes the car horn similar to a rhinoceros horn. It is just illogical, you know.

Do not even get me going on the fact that both Africa (where the rhinoceros lives) and South America (where the car horn lives) have capes. The only current connection either cape has is that they are bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, which certainly has a car horn relevance quotient of nil.

Sometimes you hear about footage from nature shows where a Range Rover honks its horn at a rhinoceros in the road as proof of some equivalence. This is not proof of rhinoceros horn-car horn similarity, in fact it proves the opposite because if you pay attention you will notice that when the car horn honks the rhinoceros horn never responds. Never.

Next time you hear a fool going on about how much alike the car’s horn and the rhinoceros’ horn are, remember the points I brought up above. You should not need them, though. Simply roll up a newspaper and smack the stupid dog across the nose and inform him that he is a “bad dog.” If your dog is like my dog, always going on about car horns and rhinoceros horns, I think that will help you keep your dog in check. Now, every time that dog starts up about horns, I grab a newspaper. He has learned his lesson; he slinks away with his tail between his legs and the debate is over. Over.

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Ask Montezuma Justinuary 2006

Montezuma II

Besides being Aztec Emperor, Montezuma also appeared as the star of the classic radio program Lucky Strike’s Amazing Adventure Quarter Hour Program. In his spare time he inspects Nok sculptures and rides the world’s only two-wheeled unicycle.

Dear Montezuma,
Since Axes & Alleys has now opened one of those nifty Café Press stores to sell t-shirts, mugs, thongs and F-22 Raptors, perhaps this should go on a tshirt:

“Ask Montezuma what this shirt means.”

Tim Wright
Elizabethville, PA

Tim, I believe that to be an excellent idea, but it’s missing something. Perhaps the wonderful picture of me should be included between “Ask Montezuma” and “what this shirt means.” One of those handy ellipsis punctuation marks would serve well after the “Ask Montezuma” portion. I will recommend this to my editors at the next meeting.

Montezuma,
During my tour in Southeast Asia last year, I met a Hmong sniper in Laos. His rep said he was a crack shot with a lot of kills under his belt, but he said something curious to me when I met him. He said “I shoot. They run.” Now, if he’s so good, why wouldn’t his targets just be dead?

Moses Abercrombie
Katharinetowne, WD

Hmong snipers are a special breed, Moses. You see, their religious leaders place certain blessings upon ammunition below 50 calibre. When the target is acquired and shot, the blessings cause them to run to the nearest body of water and drown themselves, even when they are dead. It makes no sense to me either why they don’t use magical fairy ping pong paddles to destroy their enemies like the rest of the Good Guy special forces do.

Dear Montezuma,
A friend of mine just asked me to prove to him that I’m not a robot. I’m a bit puzzled as to how to do this. Do you know how?

Eva Green
London, UK

One of the easiest ways to prove one is not a robot is by doing simple arithmetic. Try adding seven and four and see what your friend does.

Hi Montezuma,
I just bought a new computer, but I am having some trouble listening to my music. My grandson purchased the thing for me and it is cute as a button. Specifically, I wanted a disc drive so that I could play my LPs, but they don’t seem to fit.

Mildred Burch
Aiken, SC

Mrs. Burch, did you specify to your grandson that you wanted to play 33s or 45s? You most likely have a disc drive compatible with 45s and not 33s. Your grandson should have purchased a computer for you with a drive of the right size. As he has no doubt seen your record collection, I assume he was simply being lazy. Withholding the next batch of cookies should punish him enough in the meantime. If you take a picture of your computer with your digital Polaroid camera, one of my office assistants should be able to help you decide what type of external disc drives are compatible.

Dear Montezuma,
How many times can I ride the Mindbender at Six Flags Over Georgia before my circadian rhythms are disrupted and I find it difficult to sleep more than four hours at a time?

Lucy Scoggins
Marietta, GA

Seven, Lucy. Seven.

Dear Montezuma,
I’m a train pilot in the mid-West and I had a question about ground-traffic control. Well, you see, they’re supposed to be there to make sure two trains don’t enter the same groundspace and set up beacons at the train stations to make sure we don’t lose our way. But, these guys are really snotty about everything. What’s the best way to get rid of my protruding nose hairs?

Wayne Garmish
Mid-West, USA

WG, I believe you’ll find it as interesting as I do to note that you were the pilot on my train thirteen years ago when I took a scenic tour of Accadia. You are an excellent pilot. There was very little turbulence and you arrived at the station with nary a bump. I also appreciated your humorous tour leader persona as you pointed out various trees and bushes by name as we sped by. As if we were travelling slow enough to see them! Keep up the good work.

Montezuma,
Can I use no-stick spray on stickers?

Jeremy London
Cantilever, VT

Jeremy, this is an interesting question I get from time to time, but never quite have the time to answer. It’s a difficult explanation due to the mechanics involved. You see, no-stick spray generally works by phasing the gluon (a subatomic particle) into and out of existence through a forced conversion from matter to energy and back again. Stickers, on the other hand, rely upon hydrogen bonds in order to adhere to surfaces. As you can see, one will clearly not affect the other and thus you cannot negate the tacky nature of your stickers with no-stick spray. Some form of plasma might work, though.

Dear Montezuma,
I don’t get the point of iambic pentameter. People like Shakespeare, Keats and Donne seemed to use it a lot, and I’ve heard their work spoken aloud. This pentameter thing just sounds silly. Is there some other type of meter and syllabic structure used in poetry?

Marty Gill
Plainview, OT

Unfortunately Marty, poetry can only be written in iambic pentameter.

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Scott Birdseye

An Axes & Alleys Religion Special

crucifixion

There is a tendency in the Christian world to view Yeshua Nazarite as the first New Age hippie; a long-haired, sandal-wearing likeable guy who strolled about Palestine spreading love and good feelings. While there is a grain of truth to this sentiment, Yeshua Nazarite was more than a friendly guy. Indeed he did spread love amongst the unlovable, peace amongst those foreign to it. However, he was also a scholar, a man learned in the Law and a religious Jew. Yeshua’s teachings did not appear via some process of parthenogenesis, but rather his ideas find their foundation in the Torah interpreted for use by ordinary people in a dangerous world.

The Rabbi as the spiritual leader in the Jewish community slowly evolved in response to the destruction of the Temple and the Diaspora. In the Middle Ages, Jews found themselves without a homeland, caught between Muslims and Christians, spread throughout the known world without a Temple or homeland to link them together. The Levite priesthood disintegrated, and Jewish thinkers such as Maimonides helped to popularize the Rabbinical method as a way to help unify and strengthen the Jewish community in a time of darkness.

Rabbinical thought has antecedents much earlier, but in a time when the priesthood dominated religious practice, the Rabbis were scribes and teachers, though rarely community leaders. While respected members of the community, their role was not truly divine. Unlike the Levites, their place was not set out in the Torah. In the time of the birth of the Roman Empire, Yeshua Nazarite was born into a Jewish community where scholars and priests co-existed, where the Rabbi’s role in the community was still evolving.

It is difficult to pin down the exact date of Yeshua’s birth, though reasonable to assume he lived from around 11 B.C. to 25 A.D. This was a time of great change in the Mediterranean world. A century of civil war had just ended and in the transition the Greek Kingdom in Egypt lost its independence, the Roman Republic was swept away and the world became ruled by the Roman Empire. Its Emperor, Caesar Augustus, became the God of the Known World. To the Romans, Alexander’s once mighty empire was nothing more than a pot of gold to be taxed and pillaged into oblivion. Not even the restored Temple in Jerusalem escaped the greedy Roman vultures.

crucifixion
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