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,


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?
Via the Post.


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

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.


Montezuma II

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?


Ask Montezuma: A King of Kings


Montezuma is a reformed amateur goatherd and current proponent of soy-based space exploration. His spare time is spent donating heating oil to over three Americans.

Dear Montezuma,
My previous landlord told a prospective landlord that I was a great tenant, but left over $30,000 worth of damage to the apartment. However, he never inspected the place, he gave us back our deposit, and he never took us to court for $30,000 in damages; a sane person would. Right? Now it’s hard to find a place. Can you confirm or deny the rumors that the Aztecs had a use for parallel and perpendicular roads?
Geez Tainush
Sebastopol, CA

My darling Tainush, you silly man, don’t you know that there is no use for such things? At least not if you’re any civilization who can tie its own shoes. If you’re just a 12-hutter, don’t bother.

Dearest Montezuma,
I have a rotary saw, a lemon-scented Armor All™, and a law against nude games of Candyland. What good is a sense of taste anyway?
Maron Quinerie
Paris, France

My good friend Boris: Your letter of the 19th gave me great pause (so many letters do). First, your inclusion of a votive milk shake machine in the third part is ridiculous. That you then went on to state TWELVE times that hamster-powered factories are a regional solution suitable in the Southwest, almost, almost made me put down my pen and lunge vainly in your direction with crass, screeching bloodlust. I only knew of authors 17-53 in your 13,000 entry appendix of notes relevant to the fourth paragraph on page 372. No cart was included with the missive for ease of transport. In all the effort generated a poor grade in my book.

Dear Monty,
My father continues to send me semi-weekly shipments of vests. While I do enjoy owning so many woolen, cotton, leather, vinyl, fur, hemp, and cured catgut vests, it seems they are always two sizes too small. Is there a good way to communicate to my father the size disparity in a way which will let my father know the breadth of the situation?
Bards Blosdail
Fanumactory, WI

Bards, I did some preliminary research on you. I noticed in your online profiles that you’re quite fond of and very proud of your begonia-growing hobby. I despise begonias. Firstly because they’re a rather dull flower, more appropriate for a middle-aged and lonely matron unable to find a companion to validate her existence. Secondly, begonias contribute to global poverty. You see, it has been statistically proven that the more begonias are grown, the fewer irises are grown. Irises, as everyone knows, are the source of the world’s caper supply. So, concomitantly, the more begonias there are, the more scarce become capers. You might think that’s okay, but we know that the entire putanesca pasta-sauce industry is based upon the production of capers. Lower the amount of available capers, and you lower the per-capita consumption of spaghetti putanesca worldwide. With that comes an increase in the anchovie population. We all know where that leads…

Hey Montezuma,
I have an interesting question for you. 35 years ago I was a Jane Fonda impersonator. It was only a part-time gig, but I had the body for it and it was good money. Working a party one night I met a man named Barry Wurtzemborg. I believe he was Swedish. We hit it off and he gave me his card hoping for a night on the town at a later date. Do you think I should have called him?
Rikki Lee
Alhambra, CT

Rikki, it does not pay to play footsie with communists. But apart from that I doubt your story is truthful. Swedes do not carry cards. They communicate their intentions through deceit and intrigue. At the very least you may have been deceived, indicating that perhaps Barry Wurtzemborg was Danish. The Danes enjoy pretending to be Swedish at parties.

Dear Montezuma,
I need a theme song. Looking for something about genetics, heuristics, and a love of volleyball. Was thinking something in a flamenco/black metal vein. Any suggestions?
George Scarborough
Moehash Gennessennehaha, WD

Are you the same George Scarborough who once asked me to sign 70 copies of my book A Life More Ordinary: Questions On Cleaning? I can’t believe it only took me six hours to personalize all of those books. Sorry about ripping the back cover off of a few. Sometimes I get angry when I look at myself. I’m sure you understand how painful self-examination can be.

I grew a beard because my ex-girlfriend wanted to see what I looked like with one. Well, it grew on me (ha ha!). But now that we’re through, I’m a bit anxious to shave it down and let it grow back in again. I don’t want her to think I got rid of it because of her. Actually, I like it a lot! Do you think men wearing ankle bracelets is gay?
Tim Poppins
West Roanoka, Dry Michigan

Mr. Poppins, performing fellatio on another male in a back alley is gay. Not wearing an anklet, as they are sometimes termed. The terminology arises from the anklet’s invention in Ankele, Turkey, not from the fact that it is worn about the ankle. Some anthropologists believe it was worn as a sign that the bearer owned cotton. One imagines wearing cotton clothing would be a better signal.

Dear Montezuma,
I’m often compelled to punch people when I’m in an elevator. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s their boldly-exposed craniums, or maybe it’s the confined space. At any rate I have a lot of pent-up rage which manifests in quite violent thoughts. I’ve rarely physically assaulted anyone, but would like to increase my numbers as I think I could kick some ass. Any advice?
Jeremy Rosen
Astoria, NY

Dear Jeremy, have you considered engaging in what the kids call “rough sex.” It can be a good outlet for violent thoughts and the libidinous urge.

montys hints
It is imperative that you keep your keys as disorganized as possible. I suggest keeping your front door key three keys away from the next key you use (say the key to your apartment). All of your car keys should come before your mail key except for one, which will go on the other side of the mail key. Make sure you keep the key to the second lock on your apartment door in a back pocket. This will increase the likelihood that you forget it, get locked out of your apartment, and meet the cute girl from upstairs. This is, of course, if you desire to lead an interesting life. If you’re a creature of habit and efficiency you probably should not have read this.

Ask Montezuma

It’s the Anwer Man from Tenochtitlan


Montezuma is an F-22 Raptor currently stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Dear Montezuma,
My cat knocked over our “Nuts to You Hitler” commemorative Rebo and Zootie plates.
The plates fell from the wall in the living room and onto my husband, who let out a surprisingly cattish yowl. This yowl scared the neighbours who called the police. When they arrived, they attempted to enter the wrong house and were fired upon by the tax protesters down the street, wounding one officer in the leg. This officer was to be the fifth generation of his family running in the Sligo Creek marathon at age 27, the very next week. In his anger, he beat his wife and shot himself using a Luger his grandfather collected in World War II. Incidentally, that grandfather ran the marathon with a gunshot wound to the chest and sold us our cat. Who came up with the idea of the proof of purchase you can send in to get “free” stuff idea?
Mary Herschel
Larry, Armpit, UK

Ms. Herschel, I think that the “Moon Madness” and “The Third Man Never Rings at the Cuckoo’s Nest” Rebo & Zootie commemorative coffee decanter and barbecue lighting apparatus are certainly my favourite collectible Rebo & Zootie memorabilia. I also enjoy
the rare and fun Rebo & Zootie india ink orange fruit stamp. It is positively lovely to have Zootie’s whiskered visage look upon me from the safety of my lunch time orange rind.

Hey Monty,
Why are silhouettes so dark?
Daimly Pattesron
Wayne Shorter, MI

I must admit, Daimly, that I’m terribly vexed. Which Wayne Shorter, Michigan do you come from? There’s the Wayne Shorter, Michigan founded in 1888 by Bantu herders. It’s located in the meta-carpal area of Michigan, is centrally planned, and contains a lovely horticultural park and history of the goat museum. The Wayne Shorter, Michigan founded by Steve Boilerplate in 1997 and located in the thumb area of Michigan has a run-down miniature sawmill statuette in the city center and a reflective paint factory. I do hope you come from the former.

Dear Montezuma,
There are always leftovers. No matter how much food I buy, nor how much I prepare, the damn stuff always has a bit left over. What gives! I just want the right amount of food!
Sami Westwood
London, UK

I find it mildly distressing that your name differs little comparatively from that of Clint Eastwood, a super-star of American cinema in both an acting and directorial capacity. Your surname, Westwood, is merely the opposite of Mr. Eastwood’s, implying that your family comes from dark and depressing roots. People who only look to the sunset. Mr. Eastwood faces a bright future and is ready for the coming days. Your given name, Sami, is only one letter shorter than Clint. Whereas Clint starts with a voiceless velar plosive, a strong sound, Sami begins with a voiceless coronal sibilant. Yuck!

My friend is a lot of fun to be around most of the time. He’s interesting, engaging, good to talk to. That is, of course, until he starts drinking. It only takes a few, but once they’re in him he gets weird. He’ll insist none of us is having a good time, it’s making him unhappy, we should go other places, even when that’s clearly untrue. I love hanging out with him, but only for the couple of hours before it gets like this. None of us seems to be able to say anything about it. Why does Pabst Blue Ribbon have a light aftertaste of peaches?
Marina Ferrer
West Hollywood, CA

MF, alcohol contains a taste molecule called a peachome. With a greater concentration of peachomes comes a greater taste of peaches. For instance, peach schnapps has a peachome concentration rating on the Kurasawa-McClatchy Scale of 4000. Stolichnaya Vodka, the mother of vodkas from the motherland of vodkas, has a KM rating of only 3. Pabst Blue Ribbon rates a 50 on the KM scale. Now, obviously that rating is low, so you would wonder why there’s such a strong taste. I am glad you asked! You see, Pabst’s in-house chemists have worked hard to contain the beverage’s peachome content within a carbon bucky-ball reorganizing of the beer’s carbon content. It’s fairly ingenious. You should see the syringe they use!

Dear Montezuma,
Do you have any tips for me to start my penny collection? I don’t have any pennies yet.
Billy, Age 47
Montauk, NY

I would begin by collecting pennies. Perhaps in a jar. Definitely not in cattle.

Dear Montezuma,
Recently, I was reading a collection of C.S. Lewis’s essays concerning the concept of a Moral Law; the idea that humans everywhere, even if they disagree about specifics, still agree that there are such things as right and wrong. Does this argument of the Moral Law constitute proof for the existance of God?
Florence Henderson
Hollywood, CA

Flo, while written about by C.S. Lewis and others, it should be noted that the Moral Law was never passed by Congress nor signed by the President. Thus it is still only, at this point, just the Moral Bill and not yet an actual Moral Law.

Dear Monteuzuma,
When was the cup holder born?
Al Consequence
Peoria, IL

Al, I am not helping you win the video trivia game at the bar. That’s not my mandate.

Dear Montezuma,
How long does it take for people to get infected with the French disease?
Blemish Plucky
Sordid, Canada

Ish, ennui can take effect in as little as five minutes. A heightened metabolism combined with an increase in cigarette and wine consumption will follow close behind with an oxymoronic arrogant malaise. Productivity will decrease, with the average ability to work barely topping 30 hours a week. Less during the summer months. The desire to work for something will vanish within two hours followed by an increased sense of entitlement. Also, if you happen to own any nuclear powered aircraft carriers, they will become leaky from poor maintenance and the funding will not be available to operate them.

montys hints

Pickle ranching in the home can sometimes be difficult. There are the space considerations, of course, but also feeding and care. I like to use an old closet to house my herd. First, construct a hexagonal lattice arrangement of cubbyholes in your closet. Fill with synthetic sushi garnish to make the pickles feel at home. Once you’ve brought them home from the grocery store, transfer the pickles from the jar to the cubby holes using a spoon. Never use a fork or tongs. These damage the pickles. Once ensconced in their cubbies, make sure to spray the pickles from a mister filled with a 70%/30% saline solution every three hours. Keep the door closed. Pickles hate light. Make sure to exercise your pickles at least two times a week using a standard pickle maze. They love to solve these puzzles.

Ask Montezuma: Maine 2008

It’s the Anwer Man from Tenochtitlan


Montezuma II is a taurus and enjoys the companionship of scorpios. His bowling team came in third in the league last year and he hopes to make it to the intramural city championship this year. He currently works part-time for Milton Bradley’s customer service department.

Dear Montezuma,
My friend Howard tells me that through adversity there is redemption. I’m not so sure, see, because once I missed the bus and all I got was being late to work. What do you think?
Adam Dutkiewicz
Boston, MA

Your friend Howard is incorrect. If you take Route 15 through Adversity, AL, you’ll only get to Pandaemonium, KY. Since Route 15 is the only thoroughfare in Adversity, it’s quite clear to any observer that Redemption cannot be reached through Adversity. You can, however, find Redemption by taking the Cardinal Sin Roundabout to the Deathbed Conversion Throughway.

You know how it rains sometimes? Well, I always get wet when that happens. It’s really frustrating because I have to put everything under the radiator to dry off in the winter or hang it in front of the fan in the summer. Got any tips for me?
Lionel Luthor
Smallville, KS

Mr. Luthor, I have a great tip. What you need to do is keep the rain off of your body. To do this, I suggest mounting a car battery to a harness which itself is attached to two large fans mounted on your shoulders. When it starts raining, flip the switch on the battery and the large fans will spin quickly, blowing the rain out of your way. Simple and cost-effective. Just make sure you water proof the battery. A friend of mine didn’t do that and now we keep him in a tin on the mantle.

Dear Mr. Zuma,
My girlfriend and I recently went to Molokai, part of the Hawaiian Islands. It’s beautiful there, with very few inhabitants, only some small hotels, and some wonderful fish ponds. One day, while out on a hike through those same ponds, we decided to engage in the physical act of love. While I was performing oral sex on her as foreplay to coitus, I noticed that the fish kept looking at us. More specifically, me. I felt as if they were watching my every move. How can I keep fish from looking at me while I’m giving the gift of oral?
Dinesh D’souza
Stanford, CA

I don’t know how many times I have to repeat myself, but this is not an advice column for icthyo-opthamologists. We are neither concerned with the ability of fish to see, nor what they might be looking at. You may wish to contact any of the multitude of advice columns written by fish on fishy subjects.

Dear Montezuma,
I don’t understand the user interface choices that software designers make sometimes. For instance, in both Mac OS and Windows, newly-opened programs or windows will automatically try to come to the front. What if I’m doing that “multi-tasking” I’m always encouraged to do? Then that window is getting in the way when I don’t need it. Or, what about the other way, when in Mac OS the icon for my browser will bounce after I’ve downloaded something to open in another program. Why? It never requires me to do anything other than click the bouncing icon to make it stop bouncing. It’s nerve wracking, to say the least.
X. Alexander Roustabout
Blemish, WY

I would rather enjoy an interface which required the use of three dimensional spectacles. To have a new window look like the inside of a box would be interesting, especially if I could reach right in and grab things with a virtual hand. Also, it would be quite nifty if the inside of my computer looked as if it were constructed of towers of light and lattices of shadow. Oh! And if information was going along, it looked like a little laser blast. This would be enjoyable. I might even place a picture of a jolly clown as my desk top wall paper (or desktop wallpaper as some call it).

Dear Montezuma,
What’s a fog hat?
Jeremy Rosen
Astoria, NY

A fog hat, dear Jeremy, has a three-foot bill, ear flaps, and a large torch mounted on the back. The bill is wide and shunts the obnoxious condensate out of the way while the torch lights the way forward. The flaps are usually for decoration, though some companies do manufacture them to act as secondary scoops similar to the bill. They’re traditionally only available in blue with white paisleys, but some companies will soon offer them in teal.

I like Jazz, but without all the swinging, interesting moods, and enjoyability. What should I do?
Louis Secunda
New York, New South Wales, Australia

Dr. Secunda, you should probably listen to jazz music as played by an entirely French or Norwegian ensemble. It tends to be shoe-gazingly introspective and without most or all of the emotive qualities an American ensemble can produce. Many have described jazz as played by Europeans as “bland.”

Dear Monty,
Why is Battleship such a stupid game? I mean, all you have to do is look over the edge of your opponent’s case and you can see exactly where all the ships are. It’s called a satellite. Join the modern era Milton Bradley.
Gustav Klimt
Roanoke, VA

Dear Mr. Klimt, MILTON BRADLEY produces, sells and markets a broad line of popular games, puzzles, and activities. Some of the classics include: THE GAME OF LIFE (1960), CHUTES AND LADDERS (1943), CANDY LAND (1949), TWISTER (1966), YAHTZEE (1956), BIG BEN Puzzles (1941), and SCRABBLE Brand Crossword Game (1938). As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., we thank you for your kind interest.

montys hints

Now that winter is in full swing and the short, cold days are here, you might discover a problem with mold. Yes, with radiators pumping out so much humidity and so little ventilation in homes, quite often a mold problem erupts during the winter months. The first thing you should try to do is reason with the mold. Turn on an overhead light, sit a chair next to the mold and have a frank discussion with it. Let it know how you feel about it invading your space, disfiguring your walls, closet, or other area, and tell it that you’re worried about contracting a fungal infection in your lungs should it not move out soon. Most of the time mold will respond to reason. If it does not, your next option is to try fire.