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.

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.

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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