Ask Montezuma: February 2005

Advice from Beyond the Grave

Montezuma is creator of the famous “Ballad of the Green Berets.” He enjoys salads.

Dear Montezuma,

I use socks often. Sometimes in the shower, but mostly to store foodstuffs in the kitchen and to strain used lubricating oil for recycling. Over the years, many people have poked fun at me for this, but I can tell you that a better strainer is hard to find (perhaps cheese cloth). At any rate, I was wondering if you could recommend a better strainer.

Sincere In No Nasty Ethos Really


Far too often we place our clothing and accoutrements in mere arbitrary sets, without the necessary thought that each piece of clothing is in itself as unique as any of the varied life forms which dwell on even the most unimpressive of vacant lots. Beetles, which crawl about on tiny legs beneath the towering blades of grass are like the yellow striped tube socks most popular in the 1980s. Those that alight through the air; the avian sparrows, crows and stoat wobblers, who feed upon the beetles, are far more similar to that fancy sort of socks with attached garters. And those beneath the dirt? The horrid eye-less cillanders who consume the very dirt in which they dwell? Everyone knows what sort of socks they resemble, I need not even reiterate it here.

Lovely Montezuma,

The other day I got home from work and put my bike up in its rack by the DVD player. The bike fell over and the chain was dismounted from the gears. I was going to ask how to fix that, but I figured it out right after I wrote the word “home” above. I was also going to ask how to remove grease from the chain which has gotten onto my fingers, but as I wrote, I realized the more important question was how to remove grease from my computer.

Bertha I. Kensington


The removal of grease from a computational engine can be a tricky endeavor. It is good that you consulted a known wise-person. Back in Tenochtitlan, we had a old saying “Respect your elders.” Those guys who hung around the Chichan Itza had a slightly different way of putting it “Don’t respect people who are younger than you.” If you took these aphorisms to heart you would know that you should have consulted the book Itzacoatl: Ruler of Answers! (Out of Print). Before my good friend Itzacoatl retired from writing this humble column, turning it over to me, he answered the question of how to remove safflower oil from an electric typewriter. The principle is the same.

Dear Ann Landers,

I read in the newspaper the other day that you are dead. Is this true? If so, can you tell me what the after life is like? If this is not true, could you tell me how to get my cheating husband in line?

Blanche Owens Jobs


I would invite you to consider the Continent of Australia and how much bigger it is than Nova Scotia. Compare maps of the two regions. Notice that Australia is larger and dwell upon this as you do the laundry, take the dog or ferret for a saunter, gargle or mow your lawn. Nova Scotia is indeed small and unimpressive.

Dear Montezuma,

The other day I received an irate phone call from “the other man.” He was very irate. His demeanor made me think he was quite perturbed, even irate. I’m not sure how to deal with someone so irate. Should I simply shrug off the irate attitude? How about confronting him about his irate lack of vocabulary? There are, indeed, only so many irate profanities one can express. Oh, also, how do I get a $5 donation at the door of a bar party as a tax writeoff?

Edward Rise Burrows

Dear Mr. Burrows,

In order to take any donation off of your taxes you must first get a receipt for said donation. Receipts can be obtained simply through a request to the Charitable Donation Department of the US Rooms and Regulations Commission’s Office of Special Sundry Expense Parameter Guideline Over-site Committee Intramural Field Hockey Team Logo Design. Simply go down to your local Post Office and pick up a copy of Form 1298-009 (EZ) and, after filling it out and placing it in the attached envelope, affix a proper stamp and drop it in the mail box. Within six to eight weeks you should receive a reply giving you further instructions on how to obtain a receipt for your donation. And by the way, I was not being “irate,” merely forceful in my convictions.


Why can’t I hit the bullseye when it really counts?

Phil Taylor

Dear Mr. Phillip,

Perhaps you should stop trying to hit the bullseye when it really counts. Perhaps instead you should try to make it really count when you do happen to hit the bullseye.

Dear Mr. Zuma,

I once heard tell that Archibald Butt never married, but was on a trip to Europe with his friend Mr. Millet before he died on the Titanic. Was Archibald Butt gay?

Mortimer Ignatius Lloyd Lawrence Easley Thompson


Yes, yes, I have heard this accusation leveled several times at the renowned Major. So quick are some to apply intrigue and hidden secrets, soap-opera shenanigans and indecent indiscretions to the Giants of Old. The only reason this is done is because these sad individuals believe history to be a boring subject. This could not be further placed from the purest truth. Just as math is more than plusses and minuses, history is far more than dates and figures. History is a living non-fiction which dwells about us like a friendly ghost. Each time we see an upturned stone, peer into the barrel of a cannonade, or take in the still splendor of our neighborhood castle ruins we walk through the force of history; a barrel-chested, mustachioed force that lives with us and dines with us and waters the petunias if we forget about it.

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