Category Archives: Lifestyle

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Ask Montezuma

Ask Montezuma: Hammers

Montezuma II

The Answer Man from Tenochtitlan

Dear Montezuma,
My neighbor is constantly trying to borrow my hammer. Just in the past three days, he has asked me once. I know that if he borrows it he’s going to use it to hammer things such as nails and scuff it up. How can I politely decline his request?
Thank you.
George Osborne
Chancellor of the Exchequer
11 Downing Street, London UK

My Dearest Georgie Pie,

My but it has been ages since you last enclosed a missive within the confines of the electromellifluous aether. Why, the last time one of your communiques reached me my assistant at the time, Gregory, was still using Eudora to check the electronic mails and delaying completion of his work tasks via the Prodigy service!

As for your noisy neighbour, have you considered not lending him the hammer? That way you will not be subject to his weekend projects such as the 1/72 scale stack of wooden oranges or his continually-expanding art piece “Hammer Head Circles in Wood.” You might at once also consider lending him your ball peen rather than claw hammer. Certainly I would not suggest the lending of the sledge.

Yours in quietude,

Monty

Dear Montezuma,
What happens when you microwave Oliver Cromwell’s skull? Also, where is Oliver Cromwell’s skull buried? Also, what is a microwave? Who am I? What?
Unknown.
Via the Post.

Sir,

Frankly I am simply aghast at your suggestion that I might microwave the skull of Oliver Cromwell. If I weren’t publishing your letter myself I might consider it slander. When I microwave skullparts, such as brain pans, occipital lobes, supra-orbital ridges, or mandibles, I choose only the finest in monarchist pates!

Good day!

Montezuma II

Montezuma,
Recently my Supergrip 9000 failed to bend paper. I believe it is defective. Does this mean my wife is two-timing me?
Senator John Edwards
North Carolina, US

Dear Johnny,

Yet another letter arrives from you on the subject of paper bending. First you wanted advice on the proper folding of origami swans using Wolframite-coated papyrus. Next you wrote seeking a hint or two on the proper techniques for bending, if not folding, newspapers using the rear left wheel of a Bester Motors Flechette. Not two months ago you were concerned about drying a stack of wet napkins and their un-folding of all things!

As you well know the Supergrip 9000 was not actually designed to bend paper, it was merely found to be capable of doing so in the right laboratory conditions. The marketing team at Supergripsco of course set upon this as another selling point. Most of the footage one sees on the televisual radio is doctored.

Love,

Montezuma II

Ask Montezuma Jeremy Rosen

Ask Montezuma: Living Situation

Montezuma II

The Answer Man from Tenochtitlan

Montezuma II once enjoyed pre-eminence in the southern portion of North America. In the 21st Century he offers advice to the forlorn, is a noted expert in arthropod joints, and once bit a puma with few side effects.

throwawaysanta asks Montezuma: Roommate is asking me for money I already paid her, because she “lost” the checks. We’re both college age and we live in an apartment and split the utility bills. I pay the electric and she gives me a check for half, she pays the gas and I give her a check for half.

We aren’t really friends nor do we talk. Living together was our only housing option at the time.

Recently, she told me that she ‘lost’ several checks that I gave her for my portion of the gas bill beginning from four months ago to seven months ago. Two months ago I closed my checking account and continued to pay my share of the gas bill in cash, since.

I have no record of whether or not she cashed these checks since the account is now closed. I don’t think I owe her a damn thing since she’s the irresponsible one.

What is the right thing to do and what do I tell her without starting a fight?

Trashiest Santa, have you considered trading your half of the gas for her half of the electricity? Gas, as is well known, is matter, which can easily be converted to energy like electricity. If you sold her your half of the gas, she could easily convert it into electricity using a steam turbine.

Apocalypse1309 asks Montezuma: Should I give my father money for rent? My father, pushing 60, just asked my brother and I for money to pay for 3 months worth of back due rent. Total: $1,350.

A little backstory: he used to work for a large multinational but got canned about 8 years ago. He got severance and he decided to start his own business with it, which failed in about a year. He spent all of his severance on it. He now has another business which is obviously not yielding enough cash. He’s also currently looking for a job.

He’s re-married, to someone about 5 years my senior… She doesn’t really work, but does some free-lance stuff, so “she’s been paying the bills”, according to my Dad. She recently took $30,000 from an older family member of hers to buy a car. She also frequently travels by invitation from this family member. (e.g. this family member pays for it…)

I know that I will not loan my father any money, but just give it to him if my wife and I decide to do so. However, I don’t see an end to this unless he makes some drastic changes. It seems he believes he will get different results by doing the same thing over and over, and frankly I don’t see that he’s killing himself to improve his situation.

However, if I don’t help him out, he will probably not pay rent and get kicked out. He also won’t have money for a new place…

What’s also interesting to note is that my father, when he was doing well, gave his father (my grandfather) money every month to help him out. I don’t want to do the same: I have my own family and life to take care of.

So, Montezuma, what to do? Your thoughts, please?

Dearest Pocy, have you considered borrowing the money your father lent to your grandfather to give to your father so he can support his trophy wife? Jumping back a generation or two can often be helpful. I once lent my father Axayacatl the hearts of seventeen Pochutec captives.

triscuitgummies asks Montezuma: Am I an asshole?

Yes.

How to Do It Jeremy Rosen Letters Special Feature

Dear Blackbirds Bar

Dear Blackbirds Bar,
I wanted to like you, I really did. Even though you had yet to acquire that patina of age and that feeling of really being a cool neighbourhood bar, you had promise. So many kinds of beer, so much good food. A dart board. Hell, the sports fans even seemed to appreciate me yelling out “Go local sports team” whenever they got excited about a football basket.

I spent the better part of four months of Sundays in your establishment. It was the only regularly-scheduled item on my agenda every week. Whatever kind of craziness my week brought me, I was in Blackbirds on Sunday eating hot wings between 1:30 and 2:00 PM. Did I mention your hot wings are the best in Astoria?

But about a month ago things went bad. So let’s imagine this, shall we? I enter your establishment at around 1:30 PM. I’m dressed in black pants, a camouflage jacket, and a hoodie. The hoodie has flames on it, by the way. Strangely this time around the bar seems full, but the tables are empty, which is the reverse of how it normally goes. Okay, so I take off my coat and sit down at a table. I forgot to mention, I’ve got a big, fat copy of the New York Post on me.

So I sit down with this copy of the New York Post, crack it open and begin reading. One of your friendly waiters comes over to me and asks what I want. I tell him “I’ll have a Peroni, and an order of very hot wings well done.”

This is really where my day turned to absolute shit. Look, I know there are starving people in Zimbabwe and I understand that the overrun of certain areas of Pakistan by elements of the Taliban is a problem; however, on Sunday at a sports bar I expect wings.
I hope you’ll understand that that’s why what your waiter (who was very nice) said to me next was so baffling.

“We don’t have the regular menu today because we’re serving brunch.”

I gave him a blank look and he, to his credit, looked a tad sheepish.

“You see, all the stuff for brunch takes over the kitchen, so we can’t cook the regular menu.”

My look now was a little less blank, but I’ll give your waiter (who I mentioned was really nice, didn’t I) a little less credit for his next statement.

“Would you like to take a look at our brunch menu?”

No. No I don’t want to take a look at your brunch menu. I’m a guy in a camo jacket with a copy of the New York Post. Do you see me with anyone else? Brunch is for couples. It’s something guys do when they’re with girls because the girls like it and maybe the food’s okay.
Or it’s something you do when one of your “bros” is in from out of town and you want to go check out the cute waitresses and feel okay getting trashed at 11AM. It’s not something a lone guy who looks like an escapee from the Montana Militia is going to do.

No, Jeremy is here for wings. Which, as I was putting my coat on and leaving, your waiter (who’s still friendly, regardless) said he would communicate to you. On my way out (without spending a dime), I noticed an omelet station.

An omelet station. In a sports bar. There were a couple of hot plates and a dude in a silly hat. Really. Here are a couple of better ideas for a station in your bar:

1. a gimlet station
It sounds about the same and makes more sense for a bar to have. “I’ll have a gin gimlet, hold the emasculating bullshit.”

2. a wing station
See, you have a guy out there cooking the wings you can’t make in your kitchen now, apparently. Everyone wins. “I’ll have a dozen very hot wings. Then I’m going to read about the destabilization of the Zimbabwean dollar because of Robert Mugabe’s regime.”

You know, even though I’m some fancy music industry dude, I don’t make a lot of money. But, I was willing to part with $20 – $30 every Sunday for you guys. Because seriously, those wings are killer.

You know what I do now instead of going to your bar? I spend an extra $15 to take a train up to the Peekskill Brewery in Westchester. There, I can get a lovely view of the Hudson River, I can choose from four times as many beers as you have, and I can get some really good hot wings.

No, they’re not as good as yours, but at least Peekskill has figured out how to serve brunch and bar food at the same time. What, your grill can’t handle a burger and truffle oil grilled cheese sandwiches with added estrogen at the same time?

Look, I know it’s not football season and you’re not going to do the wings special cheap anymore. I don’t even care about football. I don’t even know what downs are. I just want hot wings on Sunday and I want them six blocks from my house.

So fire up that deep fryer and get your act together. ‘cause brunch is really bumming me out. And I’m starting to tell my friends.

Yours truly,

Jeremy Rosen

How to Do It Scott Birdseye

How to survive a disaster

How to survive a disaster

Disasters can be dangerous, even deadly, but by following these handy tips you can be sure that you’re safe every time. Feel free to print this out, laminate it, poke holes in the top and run string through those holes so that you can wear this article around your neck at all times. Thus you will survive.

Should you need to resort to cannibalism, never eat the thin active people. They’re always stringy and tough. Go for the overweight and docile; their meat is finely marbled and always tender.

To survive, you will need plenty of water. 90 proof whiskey is 20% water, so be sure to have plenty on hand to aid your thirst. Whiskey is also a handy disinfectant.

White it would seem useful to have a rifle or handgun, remember that the wide scatter of a shotgun requires less aiming and can be used effectively against crowds of looters or zombies.

A portable radio can provide life-saving information and updates; there are even solar powered models that never run out of batteries. Or better yet, get an MP3 player which lets you choose your own playlist so you don’t have to listen to what those fat cat corporate radio stations want you to hear.

It is important that you find shelter in a safe structure. In Des Moines, you will find that bowling alleys are exceptionally well built.

If you are in a group of strangers, stay together. Try and make sure you are either A: the cocky young hero who needs to reconcile with his dying father, B: the pretty girl who, at first hates the hero’s brash attitude but later gives in to the obvious attraction, or C: the comic relief guy. Everyone else will be dead within two hours.

In this day and age you need not get two of every animal on your boat. Just take digital copies of their genome maps.

When looting, always go for the sporting goods store (guns, ammunition and camping supplies), the hardware store (generators, rope, and shock weapons) and the grocery store (food, bottles water and salad dressing). You’ll find that you’re prepared while those idiots with plasma screen TVs will die of starvation in a few short weeks.

While it is highly unlikely that you would need such information to survive a disaster, the metric prefixes are, from smallest to largest: milli, centi, deci, deca, hector and kilo. You can remember that with the handy mnemonic My Cousin Delores Died Horribly Kilo.

They’re popular articles, but don’t take those “desert island albums” things to heart. That classic Coltrane record isn’t going to help you catch fish, though you might be able to make a passable snare from a reel-to-reel copy.

Don’t view the next insect attack in a negative light. Think of it as dinner.

If all else fails, panic; run around and scream your head off.

How to Do It Jeremy Rosen Special Feature

How to Tell if You’re In Love

  1. Sasquatch tells you so.
  2. You stitch your loved-one’s name into your socks.
  3. Suddenly you start liking death metal.
  4. One afternoon you decide to make dioramas of the best scenes from Say Anything, but you replace the main characters with you and the person you love.
  5. You give up your religion, your family, and your community.
  6. Their goitre doesn’t bother you one bit.
  7. In conversation with your friends, you say “Their feet don’t smell that bad.”
  8. So their apartment’s infested. So what?
  9. You tell them you hate their sexual orientation.
  10. When you think about them you get nauseous. This could also be indicative of salmonella poisoning or existential angst.