Dear Uncle Eusebio: We'd love one of those vacations like Swimming with the Dolphins or Stampeding with the Wildebeests, but they're too expensive for us. Do you have any suggestions? Hank and Lobelia Funston, Hudson, New York

Dear Hank and Lobelia: Here are some low-cost alternatives:

  • Pecking with the Pigeons
  • Burying Acorns with the Squirrels
  • Snoozing on the Couch with the Cat
  • Drinking out of the Toilet with the Dog
  • Crawling in the Dirt with the Worms
  • Creeping Around Meekly with the Opossums
  • Rifling Through the Trash with the Raccoons
  • Standing in a Swamp with the Moose
  • Eating Pets with the Alligators
  • Getting Run Over with the Armadillos
  • Trotting Off a Cliff with the Lemmings
  • Sitting in a Tree Looking Like Johnny Cash with the Raven

Dear Uncle Eusebio: I climbed up my new stepladder to change a light bulb on the outside of my garage, and there was a sign on the ladder that said "Danger: Do Not Stand or Sit." So I knew that if I couldn't stand or sit, then all I could do was lie down, and I tried to lie down on top of the ladder but that was too hard, so I climbed down and lay down in the driveway. After a few hours my neighbor came and I told him I couldn't stand up, and I asked him to please go online and put this question here on your website for me. My question is, When can I stand up? John Roberts, Silver Springs, Maryland

Dear John: Without standing up, knock down your ladder so you can see the "Danger" sign, and keep an eye on the sign. When the sign says it's OK to stand up, you can stand up.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I collect Kibbles 'n Bits dog kibbles. They're just like people! They all have little faces and no two are the same! You can give them names. And they smell good too! I'm starting a Club. Will you be Vice-President? Beale Phelan, Chicago

Dear Beale: Thanks for this honor, but I'm already president of the Rhombus Club, which raises collapsed rhombuses to precisely their previous angles. That keeps me busy enough.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How do I rid my yard of Armadillos?? Help!! Hope Wade, Teagarden, Texas

Dear Hope: Most armadillos don't like high altitude, so try moving your yard to about 25,000 feet for a few days. If that doesn't work, try tilting your yard up 90 degrees so all the armadillos fall off. If they still come back, tell them you'd like them to leave—that makes them sad, and they'll go away.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I just got back from a walk. I saw a red car go by. Where were they going? Angus MacZipper, Rutland, Massachusetts

Dear Angus: They were looking for you, to find out where you were going.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I am feeling very confused these days. Why do people park in a driveway and drive in a parkway? Any clarification would be very helpful. Thank you. Sherman and Jessica, New York, New York

Dear Sherman and Jessica: Parkways were invented by Will Park of Walsall, and were named for him. The driveway was named after its inventor Bill Drive, who lived on the town line between Pudsey and Bingley and is claimed by both towns. Despite the great 1961 Uprising to Reverse the Names of Parkway and Driveway, the original names have stuck.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I can't afford an electric garage door opener. I'm very busy too, and I pride myself on my efficiency. So it offends me to open my garage door, get into my car, back out, and then waste time getting out of the car to close the garage door and then get back into my car and drive to work. I have solved this problem. Now I open my garage door, walk into the garage, close the garage door, get into my car, and drive out. I have calculated that this method saves 43 seconds per day.

But now I have a new problem. It's costing me $9477 per week to keep replacing my garage door. This doesn't seem fair. What can I do? Lodwick Scrope

Dear Lodwick: Spending an extra 43 seconds per day out in the open would put you at great risk of being killed by terrorists. I'm happy to tell you that you are eligible for a Homeland Security grant which will pay for your daily garage door repairs.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How do I scare plubber birds away from my garden? I have small children and I have heard they can be dangerous. Jenny, Australia

Dear Jenny: Put dinosaur food in your garden every day. When the dinosaurs make your garden their home, the plubbers will be afraid to come.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How did Goon Dip Mountain, in Alaska, get its name? Dee Robilard, Quebec

Dear Dee: Attila the Hun once swam in the lake near the base of the mountain.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Do fish fart? Harald, Porsgrunn, Norway

Dear Harald: Yes. Fish were the first farters, the founding farters. This was their normal form of propulsion, before they grew fins. After the famous Bean Shortage of 401,793,462 B.C. they had no choice but to grow fins for propulsion.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What is the origin of the phrase 'stand on my head and spit wooden nickels'? Hawthorne Wooldridge, Sangamon, Illinois

Dear Hawthorne: In Ireland a while back was a guy named Big Willie McGinty who liked to invent new things to do, and get people to do them. Standing on one's head and spitting wooden nickels is one of his most famous concepts, along with taking a flying leap at a rolling doughnut. Despite the fact that no one ever actually tried even one of Willie's ideas, he is well loved. Here are some of his lesser known suggestions:


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'm looking for the name of a company that is the backward spelling of a five lettered animal. HELP HELP HELP !!! Scribner Houghton, London

Dear Scribner: In the Russian translation of The Wizard of Oz, the leader of the Winged Monkeys is named Worra. Worra spelled backwards is Arrow, as in the Arrow Corporation which makes staplers. There is also the tramk, which is the result of centuries of painstaking cross-breeding of turtles, rams, and elks.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My neighbour has threatened legal action if I trespass on land he owns. It made me wonder how far up land ownership goes. Ten feet? Fifty feet? 100 yards? If so I was thinking of dangling from a crane over his land safe in the knowledge that I couldn't be prosecuted. Richard Cook, Brighton, England

Dear Richard: The crane idea will work nicely, as low as you like, as long as you touch nothing. For better effect, strike heroic poses and whistle Wagner whilst wafting about.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How deep should I plant a pinto bean seed? Thanks for your help. S. Hilgers, Ptolemy Bay, Greenland

Dear S: Two and a half inches. You're welcome.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I adopted a little curly-tail dog, and I had no clue what breed he was, but he turned out to be a Molotov Corktail and now I'm in prison for Weapons of Gas Destruction. Can you please send me a lawyer or something? And a box of Chuckles, a big box like at the movies, or Jujyfruits if they're out of Chuckles. And some Kibbles 'n Bits. My dog is in here too. Thanks, Lampson Laird

Dear Lampson: I can't send a lawyer or Chuckles or anything because I can't find out where you areÑyour location is top secret. Try throwing your dog at the fence. Maybe when he hits the fence he'll explode and blow a hole through it so you can escape.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Wot ? Tony, NSW, Australia

Dear Tony: That's it.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What's the best way of getting rid of a body? C.C. Capucin, Gap Canyon, Nevada

Dear C.C: The best way to get rid of a body is to wait a couple billion years, and the atoms of the body will have disassembled and relocated themselves here and there around the universe. Or you may place the body as a decoration on the Mayor's front steps. Then someone will come and take it away.

The waiting method is also the best way to kill people, if you have the patience. It works every time and is unlikely to get you into trouble.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My boyfriend told me he looked really good in blue, so I put a bag over his head until his skin turned blue, but now he won't speak to me, or even move. What can I do to make him start talking to me again?? Duckie, Cornwall

Dear Duckie: Very few people can talk when they're dead, though you'll find some exceptions in Washington. Your best option is ventriloquism.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Hi my name is Lauren and I come from Queensland Brisbane and I was wondering if a plubber could kill you??

Dear Lauren: Plubbers can kill you, though they rarely do it intentionally. My cousin Joe was parked on a beach bluff, snoozing in his car, when a plubber flew in through the window and hit the brake release. Joe's car plummeted off the bluff, and he died. Also, my neighbor called a plubber instead of a plumber to fix his upstairs pipes. The plubber's repair work didn't hold up—in the middle of the night the pipes burst and my neighbor drowned.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: When the wind thrashes my hair all around, this keeps the mosquitos off my face, but I don't like the wind. How can I get the thrashing without the wind? Sophie Blauvogel, British Columbia

Dear Sophie: Transplant some horse tail muscles into your scalp. Or go to nanopals.com and order a hundred thousand Flag Wavers, then program each Flag Waver to wave a hair every time you scrunch your eyebrows, then implant the Wavers.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I found out that my neighbor got a gun permit. Of course I won't put up with that, so I'm going to kill him and his wife and kids. Should I use my shotgun or my AK-47? Packer Jones, Calphrampton, Indiana

Dear Bob: To be really safe, borrow a spaceship and go into space with plenty of supplies, then blow up the whole earth.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I blew my nose but it felt like a lot more stuff wanted to come out, so I blew it harder and my eyeballs got sucked back into my head and popped out of my nostrils. So I put my eyeballs back in but I must have put the left one on the right side and the right one on the left side because now I do everything wrongwise. Can I fix this? Lorrillard Rimbauer, Jackanapes, B.V.I.

Dear Lorrillard: Label the eyeballs, blow your nose again, and this time make sure they go back in their proper sockets.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I hired the lawn workers to dethatch my lawn, but they dethatched my roof instead. I don't mind the rain coming in, but the sun is bleaching my dog and I have to wear sunglasses when I gargle. What can I do? Elisabeth, Rydal Water, England

Dear Elisabeth: Trade your dog for a white one, and gargle only on cloudy days.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have two more days of school left. Should I take a machete to school tomorrow and kill the Admin staff?? Then go to their houses and kill their dogs with bow and arrows and tie up their families with ZipTies and lock them in the cupboard, then drink heaps of Goon?? Joe Glom, Queensland, Australia

Dear Joe: No, wait. First present this plan to the head of the school. You might get extra credit for your enterprising spirit. Also, your take-charge approach might land you a good job in Washington after you graduate.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have a friend who always walks into spider webs and can't see, so we put zip ties around his eyes so no spider webs can get into them, but now we can't get the zip ties off. Now what can we do? Covington Proust, San Sebastian, Spain

Dear Covington: Give him an atomic pogo stick. He can't see, so you can tell him it's just a normal pogo stick and he won't know the difference. But the first time he jumps on it, he will bounce into space and go into orbit. Then he won't have any more spider web problems, and you can have fun watching him through a telescope as he goes by every night.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I heard on the news that the Secretary of State is in Europe mending fences with his counter parts. Why is he fixing fences? And if he has to fix fences, why doesn't he use fence parts instead of counter parts? Is he fixing counters too? And why can't those Europeans get their own parts? Jim Chum, Montreal, Canada

Dear Jim: I don't know, I wondered about that too. Also, I hear all the time about firefighters getting miner injuries. Maybe they should stick to fighting fires, and leave the mines to the miners.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Do you actually look like the cartoon picture on the top of this page? Lachlan Jennings, Queensland, Australia

Dear Lachlan: No. That's an actor I hired to stand in for me. I look like this:


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Has anyone told you that you are a scary looking guy? Do you believe in plastic surgery? Travers Kendall, Queensland, Australia

Dear Travers: I wouldn't waste money on plastic surgery when I can get a bag for nothing.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Hey uncle, you know how spiderman gets bitten by a spider and gets special spider powers, well do you reckon if I got bitten by a cow I get special cow powers like being able to drink four liters of goon without getting drunk? What other special powers would I get? Cobey Lark, Twizel, New Zealand

Dear Cobey: Yes, you could drink buckets of goon. Some other special cow benefits are:


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What's a good start for a cult of my own? I'm thinking around the lines of Aliens! Rip Smith, Apollo Bay, Australia

Dear Rip: Aliens rarely have any money, so I'd try Earthlings instead, although you might attract more interest by claiming to be an Alien yourself. To start your cult, find a couple dozen people who will give you all their money and do anything you tell them to do. Then when other people see what a successful cult you have, everyone will want to join.

If your plan is to recruit Aliens, and if they have no money, ask them to give you their spaceships, which fetch good prices on eBay. Alien weapons and toys are a bonus.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How many questions do you get asked a day? Clarke Bowe, Queensland, Australia.

Dear Clarke: Fewer than I would be asked if I were asked more, and more than I would be asked if I were asked fewer.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How are you? J. Chien, Paris, France

Dear J. Chien: Not too good but happy to be alive.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What goes up a chimney down but not down a chimney up? Teewinot Zefa, Nairobi, Kenya

Dear Teewinot: Either an umbrella or Santa Claus on LSD.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I heard from a relative that worked with the CIA that there has never been a man on the Moon, and it was all fake. Would you believe that? Chopper Van Goon, Mustard Bay, New Zealand

Dear Chopper: Your relative is correct; it was faked. The whole thing was done on Mars. After the ship landed on Mars, NASA remembered that they had told everyone they were going to the Moon. It would have been too embarrassing to admit the mistake, so they just told everyone it was the Moon.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is water porous? Flaco Chapin, El Paso, Connecticut

Dear Flaco: Swiss water is porous. Elsewhere, water is not porous, except in Saginaw, Michigan, home of the GDW (glabrous drinking worm). The GDW swims slowly through water, drinking as it goes and leaving a highly viscous deposit which increases the water's surface tension so much that the worm's path stays open after the worm has passed through.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I was wondering uncle, do you believe in the boogy man or the ghost that live deep in the forest? Nnejings Nallach, Thule, Greenland

Dear Nnejings: I believe in the boogy man and the ghost that live deep in each of us.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I was watching Superman the other day, and I started wondering: why does he wear his underpants over his pants? Are the underpants he wears over his pants the same as the ones he wears under his pants? How does he keep from getting them confused? Murgatroyd Fleeble, Omaha, Nebraska

Dear Murgatroyd: Superman's mother got tired of cleaning his underpants all the time, and Superman had noticed that when he flies at full speed the air turbulence does a great job of cleaning his outer garments. So he wears one pair of underpants under his pants and wears another identical pair over his pants, and when the underpants under his pants get dirty he switches them with the underpants over his pants, and both pairs stay clean.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is it true that your grandfather has a white-handled penknife? Hannah, London, England

Dear Hannah: Yes, it is true. He uses it to split herrings lengthwise for breakfast, and to puncture pink balloons. Everyone gets mad at him about the balloons, but he refuses to stop. Nobody's perfect.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Hey uncle, we were just wondering, if an asteroid was coming at you, and you were in the line for ice cream, and had been waiting there for ages, would you run for cover, or wait and enjoy that ice cream before you die? Nick Creagh & Friends, Boondoomaville, Australia

Dear Nick & Friends: I'd wait and watch the asteroid—that's not something you get to see every day. Then when everyone else runs for cover I'd be in the front of the line so I could right away get my ice cream and enjoy eating it while watching the asteroid approach.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Do you know what is wrong with my boat? It won't start. Jensen Lochness, Inverkinchie, Scotland

Dear Jensen: It's probably flooded. Take it out of the water and try again.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have a boat problem too. I bought a boat, and the advertisement said it was in perfect condition. But when I put the boat in the water it sank. When I complained to the seller, he said he would not give me my money back because it was my fault for putting the boat in the water—he said he never claimed it was a water boat. He said if I had told him I planned to put the boat in the water, he would have sold me a water boat instead. What can I do? Kareem Cheese, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dear Kareem: Kareem, I don't think there's much you can do, except maybe saw off his legs and then explain to him that he never told you not to saw off his legs, so you thought it was OK.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If I bash my head against the fax machine, does my sister have the rights to kiss my brother?? Jumby Hallelujah, Perth, Australia

Dear Jumby: Yes. Also, if you flail your shins with a log-chain, then your brother has the rights to massage your aunt's gluteal protuberances. Best of all, if you swallow a nuclear bomb and then ignite it, everybody in your town has the right to practice the Kama Sutra in the mayor's garden.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If a meteorite hit me in the face, would I need major surgery?? Mats Andersen, Hirtshals, Denmark

Dear Mats: Getting hit in the face by a meteorite is itself major surgery, with the advantages of being free and being finished very quickly. If you survive this free surgery you will still have the option of getting further surgery of the slow expensive sort.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My mice died after a big evil man used them to test a salad spinner. In mouse heaven do they have unlimited bongs and swimming pools of goon?? My mice would like that. Billy Brampton, Australia

Dear Billy Bill: Yes, mouse heaven includes unlimited bongs and swimming pools of goon. The mice float around in goon pools on inflatable cheese chairs, with bongs. Your mice will be very happy there.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Hey uncle sorry to bother you but I was just sitting down and I had two dollars in my pocket. Do you know what happened to it? Lachlan Jennings, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Dear Lachlan: My cousin Bushrod read this, so he knew about the two dollars, and you're in Australia and he lives in San Francisco. So Bushrod knew that with the time difference it was tomorrow in Australia, which gave him time to get over there and take the two dollars out of your pocket before they were missing. If you hadn't mentioned it here he wouldn't have known, and you'd still have the two dollars.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Excuse me uncle, why do people write silly questions to you all the time and why do you reply, may I ask? Kaylan Tross, Rope, Montana

Dear Kaylan: Because they're silly and I'm silly.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why when I look at the sun do I sneeze? Travis Croft, Meddybemps, Maine

Dear Travis: It's a residual instinct. Many years ago we had millions of little suns instead of one big sun, so every person had their own little sun about the size of a cocoa puff. This little sun would follow you around and always hover a few inches away from one side of your face or the other, about a forty five degree angle from your nose. You had to be careful not to look directly toward the little sun because then when you inhaled, the sun would get pulled into your nose and burn your nostril. So people developed a reflex—any time they looked directly toward the sun, they would sneeze so the sun couldn't go up their nose. Now with just one big sun we don't need the reflex, but about 25% of us still have it.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Every morning an evil man turns the lights on at seven o' clock and tells us to get out of bed and have breakfast. None of us listen to him and he comes into the room every ten minutes again trying to wake us up. What should we do? Troilus Ledbetter, Queensland, Australia

Dear Troilus: Wake him up at six and tell him it's time for him to get ready to wake you up. Please don't tell him it was my idea.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Where do the Olympic gold medals come from? And do you think they'd run out of gold one day? What would they use instead of gold? Mac Wry, Faroe Islands.

Dear Mac: In Liechtenstein in 1927, Petra Schellenburg's morning batch of biscuits went awry and came out as gold cookies. The cookies were then crafted into medals for the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, and all gold medal designers since then have used Petra's cookies as raw material. If Petra dies and if no one can make her recipe work there's still plenty of other gold to last for a long time, and after that we can get it from asteroids, or make medals from chocolate instead.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Hello uncle, I am a little short on friends at the moment, so I was wondering if you would be mine, or if you have too many friends already, could you tell me a way to get them? Clinton Grassick, Beijing

Dear Clinton: You've already become my friend by asking a good question. I believe the best way to get more friends is to first be a good friend to yourself. Do things that you like to do. If you're not sure what you like to do, try a lot of things—read, write, blog, listen to music, do photography, play a musical instrument, hike, rock climb, rollerblade, collect old pencils, whatever. When you're doing something you like, you'll meet other people who like those things and some of those people will become your friends. Watch out though—do things that you really like. Don't do things just because you think they'll make you look cool. When you're doing things you really like, you're happier, and when you're happier it's easier to make friends.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My parents made me talk to a lot of doctors to see what's wrong with me, and first they said I have Disorderly Disorder Syndrome because all my disorders won't do what they're supposed to do, even after all the pills and shots and the Parcheesi-in-the-Underwater-Gazebo Treatment, but now they say the problem is I'm stultified. Does that mean I'll have to walk up high on a pair of stults like Uncle Sam at the parade? Damron Guirk, Cheese Hollow, Vermont

Dear Bloatus: Don't worry about Uncle Sam. Try to get your disorders working well; I'll bet you can do it if you try hard. Then your parents and doctors will be happy and you can get on with your life.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My name is Lee and I'm not very tall. Yesterday I called to order some grapnels and they said they would check to see if they had the grapnels I wanted. They said "We will contact you, Short Lee." That's not nice. I know I'm short, but why do they have to rub it in? Lee Boysenberry, Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Lee: Don't worry. I'm betting that they actually said "We will contact Hugh Shotley." Hugh Shotley is Master Grapnel Distributor for the Western Hemisphere.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What do you do when you have no money to buy food? Pugger Davies, Pocatello, Idaho

Dear Pugger: I sell something I don't need and buy a lot of brown rice, carrots, onions, and olive oil. I cut the carrots and onions into small pieces and fry them in a frying pan with olive oil, and put them on boiled rice. For breakfast I buy day-old bread.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If you smoked cones through a bong with goon juice in it instead of water, do you reckon you would get drunk off the goon as well as stoned by the bongs?? Joe Caesar, Tasmania

Dear Joe: No, you would not get drunk that way. It's a lot easier to just quaff the goon. Or if you like tinkering, you could load the bong with goon and set up an intravenous rig, in one arm and out the other and through the bong, to circulate the bong goon through your brain. For a bonus effect, rhythmically clap a pair of anvils against your ears.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If water runs down the drain anti-clockwise north of the equator, and it runs clockwise south of the equator, which way would it run if you live on the equator? Hendershot Voisjean, Andorra

Dear Hendershot: On the equator it goes down like an ostrich chasing a lawyer through the Alhambra.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I found a moonrock in my nose. Is that normal? Odd Varmepolser, Trondheim, Norway

Dear Odd: It's likely that someone sneaked in while you were asleep and put the moonrock in your nose—anyone can do that. But if you find a nose in a moonrock, then you've really got something.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I suffer from arrhythmic flatus cavitation, and my doctor recommended some pills. But the pills cause intracochlear thrum, gluteal hyperprotrusion, and face odor. What should I do? F. Lars Blumen, Log i Herad, Norway

Dear F. Lars: Grapefruit cures the hyperprotrusion and the thrum but raises the perihelion of the hop, which can result in sunburn on the tops of the ears, unless you refrain from hopping, which is no fun. I think you're better off with no pills.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I like you mate you are a good bloke, do you like me mate. Jason Porter, East of The North Pole

Dear Jason: Yes, I like you, brother.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: G'day mate, I've had the worst day today, my pet kangaroo ran away from my farm and I think a big crocodile ate it. Crikey, what do I do mate?? Rolly MacQuarie, Tucker Creek, Australia

Dear Rolly: I've read the police reports and discovered that a croc in your area checked into a hospital last night with a black eye and a broken nose. I believe your roo kicked the Vegemite out of that croc and then went out for a few beers to celebrate, so when he recovers from the hangover he should hop back to the farm with a big smile on his face.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Heaps of them bloody locusts robbed me of all my crops. My missus is real upset, what can I do to fix the blue. I have already tried cooking her a feed on the BBQ but she wasn't happy with the snags, and she doesn't like XXXX bitter either. What can I do mate. Randy McKellar, Bagtown, Australia

Dear Randy: Scoop up a few million locusts and sell them in Paris, where they're popular as pets. Then use the money to buy opals for your lady, new seed for your farm, and a big cigar to show the world you're prosperous.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I've asked you a question every day for the last four years, except all except one, and today is that one. Do I get a lollipop or a balloon or something? Llewellyn Eucalypse, Key East, Florida

Dear Llewellyn: You get a balloon for asking a question every day for the last four years, except all except one, except that one.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Do you know where my 80 cents went? I think I lost it when I was sitting on a couch. Matthew Anderson, Apollo Bay, Australia

Dear Matthew: The couch makers all include a secret feature in their couches—a wormhole goes from each couch into a big jar in the Cayman Islands, so when money falls out of your pockets it ends up in the big jar. Then the jar money, minus fees, is shared by the couch makers of the world.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'm from England. Farmers make scarecrows here to scare the crows and stop them eating the farmers' strawberries. Why is it that there has never been one brave crow who has investigated and realised the scarecrow can't do diddly about him getting close, and then gone on to tell his bird friends? You'd think at least one of them would have an inquiring mind, like Columbo sort of. Country Bumpkin, Havenstreet, Isle of Wight, England

Dear Country Bumpkin: The crows do know. But they don't want the farmers to know they know, or the farmers would use more effective methods to protect their strawberries. So the crows have all agreed to eat only twelve percent of the strawberries in fields with scarecrows, and eat as many strawberries as they like in fields with no scarecrows. That way the farmers think the scarecrows work, and even if all the farmers start using scarecrows, the crows still get twelve percent of the strawberries.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How can I be a better friend to my friend Sally? Matthew Anderson, Apollo Bay, Australia

Dear Matthew: Accept her as she is, buy her ice cream three times a month, and let her tell you her favorite stories over and over again without complaining that you've heard them before. And always help her when she needs help.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I bought a can of spray paint to paint my wishing well, and the can says 'Shake well before use.' I was impressed that they knew I was going to paint a well, but they don't say how to shake the well. Am I supposed to shake only the top part of the well with the little roof and bucket, or do I have to shake the whole well shaft and everything all the way down in the ground? Piesporter Stroop, Capetown, South Africa

Dear Piesporter: Shake the whole well. The best way would be to incite an earthquake. Another way is to divert the seasonal Tanzanian gnu stampede through your yard. Otherwise, you'll have to excavate around the shaft, building a support frame all the way down as you go. Then pour a reinforced concrete shell around the shaft and lift the whole thing with a crane. Once the whole well is up in the air, explode several hundred thousand concussion grenades in random sequence approximately three meters from all sides of the well. That should shake it OK.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: In England we have 24 hour garages which are open 7 days a week. Why do these garages have doors or locks as they will never be used? Emma Brown, London

Dear Emma: In 1607 Halley's Comet wavered from its proper course and passed through a doorless garage in Flowerdew Mews, Euston, knocking down a garage attendant and breaking his glasses. Since then the Association of Garage Attendants has demanded doors on all garages, so they can close them when the comet comes around again. I don't know about the locks—if I find out I'll let you know.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I am from England and I have heard the phrase 'Yankee Grab.' Please explain this to me. I am coming to America shortly and am unaware of your customs and people-gathering etiquette. Confused, Emma

Dear Emma: One type of 'Yankee Grab' occurs when a charming young lady like you visits the USA. The other sort is described as follows in Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure :

"Each of the adults brought a gift-wrapped present, nothing too expensive, around $15 each, say. These were then arranged on the coffee table. Names were drawn out of a hat and people took it in turns to select a present. But it wasn't just a lucky dip. Oh no, there was a catch. Because you didn't just get whatever you chose, you also had the right to steal other people's presents too. Say it was round seven of the game and it was your turn to pick. You unwrapped an ornamental candle and thought you'd much prefer the bottle of wine that was picked a couple of turns back. So you stole the wine and passed on the candle. Now the person who'd just lost the wine might not want the candle either so they could also steal somebody else's present and so on. You couldn't steal anything that had already been stolen in that round, so round seven would end when someone got the candle and preferred it to the remaining, stealable, presents. Then it would be time for the next round so person number eight would unwrap a present and it would start all over again."


Dear Uncle Eusebio: On the road that I live on all the cars park on the pavement making it very hard to get down the side. Should I walk on the road and risk getting hit by a car or walk on the pavement and risk scratching the cars?
Sam Twinkleton, Corkrip, Queensland, Australia

Dear Sam: Float through the air like a milkweed fluff, above the cars. If you don't have the knack for that, then walk on the pavement and wear clothing with no zippers, rivets, buckles, metal buttons, or other such scratchsome accoutrements.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have things on my feet. I think they're Bunsens. Is that what Bunsen burners are for, to burn off the Bunsens? Petroleum V. Nasby, Baltimore, Maryland

Dear Petroleum: Those things on your feet are probably toes, which should not be removed. But if you feel that you must remove them, put them in a plastic bag inside a larger plastic bag filled with ice, in case you decide to re-install them. It's best to re-install them within 24 hours.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Where does the word Bazooka come from? Moughton Hifflin, Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Moughton: The Bazooka was invented by Akbar Koozab, who was too modest to label it directly with his name.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: For months I had no job, but now I have several job offers and I can't decide which one to accept. Should I be Chancellor of the Exchequer, Coddler of the Lance Chucker, Pants Checker of the Czech Boxer, Lancelot the Ox Chalker, or the Lexus Wrecker of Cockfosters? Wrentham Kew, London, U.K.

Dear Wrentham: Those are all good opportunities, but please consider an opening for Canceller of the Upchucker at the Bonnie Grouse in Glasgow. It pays well, and all you have to do is throw out anyone who pukes.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I went to get a copy of my birth certificate and the office was closed, but I was really lucky because the guy who managed the office happened to be on the sidewalk. He explained the new law that says you can't get a birth certificate unless you can prove you were born. You need a proof-of-birth card. The proof-of-birth card costs three hundred dollars but he was really nice and gave me a discount for paying cash. I only had to give him two hundred fifty dollars, and he's going to mail me the proof-of-birth card and the birth certificate too! Joe Krebs, Cazenovia, New York

Dear Joe: Another new law will require that you have to sign your own Death Certificate to be legally dead. And some Congressmen are fighting to add a clause to that law, requiring free grief counseling for dead folks, because it's embarrassing to admit that you're dead.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: At the school meeting I said they could save food money if they stopped the spelling bees and had hunting bees instead. They must have liked the idea, because they invited me to a special room and said they were going to give me a Roar Shark Test, but all they did was show me a picture of Keith Richards taking a nap in a fern garden. I never got to see the roaring shark. Is that fair? Crandolph Wolverbrompton, Putney, Vermont

Dear Crandolph: No, it's not fair, but as we mature we learn to accept setbacks of this sort. If you visit my town I can show you a barking catfish. Come on over any time.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I heard about alternative energy sauces. I like the environment and I like all different kinds of food. Where can I find some of these new sauces? Emma Leela Teller, New York, New York

Dear Emma: Alternative energy sauces are almost impossible to find in stores. You can make your own sauces with windmill driveshaft grease, solar panel scrapings, heat pump lubricant, extruded geothermal matter, and compressed swamp methane. Other possible ingredients are all around you. Use your imagination!


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I got some medicine and it says take one pill twice a day. They sold me a whole bunch of pills, which isn't fair if I only need one pill, what a waste of money, so I'm going to call a lawyer, but right now I just need help with the pill. I took the pill in the morning but when it was time to take it again at night I couldn't figure out how to get the pill out to take it again. I tried to barf up the pill but couldn't find the pill in the barf. What should I do? Gropius van Boxmeer, Torrington, Connecticut

Dear Gropius: Start with a fresh pill. Apply nineteen coats of spar varnish to the pill, then tie a sixteen-inch piece of dental floss around the pill. Tie the free end of the dental floss around one of your teeth and lower the pill down your throat into your stomach. Later when it's time to take the pill again you can haul it up with the floss. Re-varnish the pill now and then as needed.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I think my dog is trying to tell me something. I think either he doesn't like his name, or he wants some money. Which do you think it is? Susy Orion, Flank, Louisiana

Dear Susy: It's probably both. Try writing a lot of checks with different names on them, and show him the checks one at a time. When he wags his tail, you're all set.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I like to walk around in a circle, but I get tired of just walking in a horizontal circle. I want to walk in a vertical circle. The fitness shop doesn't have any machines for that. What can I do? Will Billiamson, Grape Gulch, California

Dear Will: Buy one of those big centrifuges they spin the astronauts in, and replace the little car at the end with a motorized circular walking track on its own axis. Mount the centrifuge on top of a tower so it spins in a vertical plane, and arranged so your circular walking track also spins in the same vertical plane as the centrifuge arms. Calibrate the centrifuge spin rate and the walking track spin rate so that when you're upside down you're at the highest point, and when you're right side up you're at the lowest point. Please note you'll need strong quads at that low point.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: When I was five I spit over the rail of the Staten Island Ferry into the water. Where is that saliva now? Chubby Jones, Secaucus, New Jersey

Dear Chubby: A gust of wind blew your spit against the side of the ferry before it hit the water. The spit blob is still there now, with nice swirly psychedelic patterns from the green and red Chuckles you were eating, though the colors are a little faded from forty years of sun and salt.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I like the Pied Piper but I don't like pie. I like cake better than pie. Will you please ask them to change the name of the story to The Caked Piper? Lawrence Andover, Methuen, Massachusetts

Dear Lawrence: There was a movement in San Francisco in 1989 to change the name of the story 'The Runaway Johnnycake' to 'The Free-Range Sourdough Flapjack' but even with the support of Jerry Brown, the movement failed. I wish I could help you, but the odds of success for your Caked Piper plan are not good.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I paid an employment agency $6000 and they guaranteed me a position of my choice in a growing field. Then they put me in the back of a truck with a lot of other people and drove us out of town and left us in a big field with strawberries growing, and they told us to start picking strawberries at any position we liked. Is that fair? Lincoln Wainwright, Howe, Indiana

Dear Lincoln: Sorry, that's not fair, but it's perfectly legal. I know how you feel. A friend of mine saw an ad that said 'Root Canals $99' and made an appointment, and a four-year-old boy came to his house with a trowel and dug a little canal between the roots of a tree in the yard, and poured a little water in the canal. The boy put a sign next to the canal that said 'Canal' to prove that it was a canal, and he said for ten dollars more he would name the canal after my friend's dog, or favorite politician, or anyone he liked. My friend sued the boy, claiming that the roots were in fact rhizomes, not roots, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which decided that the roots were neither rhizomes nor roots but were dead garter snakes left there by the cat.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Since my recent departure from the circus I have been a little short of cash. However, I still love to go to concerts and travel. I used to swallow swords and I got shot out of the cannon a few times so you'd think that fitting into my sister's backpack would be easy....it's not. Do you know of any way I could fit into a backpack? Sarah Grapejuice, Garkwraithe, Scotland

Dear Sarah: You could remove all your bones, which would make it easy to fit into a backpack and would also prevent arthritis, but would limit your activities, especially dancing and sports. The other solution is to get shot into the backpack from a cannon powerful enough to accelerate you to 99% of the speed of light, which would make you short enough to fit into the backpack. Then your sister would have to very quickly close the pack the instant you're inside. Good luck!


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'd like to make a hole in my stomach and pull out my small intestines and jump rope with them and then put them back in again. Do you think that's a good idea? Bumpy Raskolnikov, Pitcairn Island

Dear Bumpy: Sure! You can also remove the top of your skull, take your brain out, and practice slam-dunking your brain back into your skull.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My dad and I play a game in the car where we take turns naming animals in alphabetical order. But neither of us can think of an animal that begins with the letter 'N'. Can you? Jennifer Fowler, O'Fallon, Missouri

Dear Jennifer: Aside from the newt, the narwhal, the nighthawk, and the nematode, I can't think of any either, except the nimrod, the nuther, the nozzlebird, the Nebuchadnezzar Beetle, the nauga (source of naugahyde), and the noodlenose tree-goat, who stays up in the tree so no one will try to eat his noodle nose.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why are inanimate objects, such as ships, given the pronoun 'she' and referred to in the feminine gender? Mike Fowler, O'Fallon, Missouri

Dear Mike: The word 'ship' is a mistake. The people who first invented the ship called it a 'shop,' not a ship. They decided to call it a she because ladies like to shop. Later, people had to start calling it a ship so phrases like 'shipshape' and 'shape up or ship out' would make sense.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I heard about a secret government project. The genetic engineers are making a new kind of rice plant that grows one big grain of rice as big as a football instead of a lot of little grains. And they're making football players an inch high who play on a field four feet long. That way they can have a lot more football teams and they take up a lot less space. And one giant rice grain will feed all the teams for the whole season. Can you get me some tickets? Joe Latherdale, Seabiscuit, Alaska

Dear Joe: Sorry, I just gave away my last tickets to the Make a Wish Foundation. Try eBay. Avoid the skyboxes—the view's not too good.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If I plant a frozen pea, will it grow? Beville Cedarmill, Hollywoodland, California

Dear Beville: Yes, it will grow very well. The magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk were frozen peas. They grew so fast and so high because they were so cold they wanted to get close to the sun to warm up.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why is the light switch for my bathroom on the OUTSIDE of the room? Is there some historical purpose? Planky Bard, Nogales, Mexico

Dear Planky: That's for safety. People used to put the bathroom light and the switch both outside the bathroom because they were afraid the water in the bathroom would make a short circuit and start a fire. Then they figured they'd better put the light in the bathroom so if there was a fire they could see the fire. Then they thought it would be safer to leave the switch on the outside so if the light did start a fire, they could see the fire before they went into the bathroom.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have finally identified the voices inside my head as those of squirrels and pigeons. What should I do next? Yudy Plourde, Portland, Maine

Dear Yudy: Ask the squirrels and pigeons to communicate with sign language or semaphore so you can have some peace.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last night for dinner I ordered Twin Lobsters. I had them cook one and let his brother go free. How do I know they were really twins? Elmo McChesney, Meddybemps, Maine

Dear Elmo: You can be sure they were twins if they were wearing identical clothes and had the same haircuts, or if you've seen them in a Doublemint Gum ad. Otherwise, ask their mother.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What is Dick Cheney doing these days? Amy Shore, Teaneck, New Jersey

Dear Amy: Dick runs a taillight smoking shop in Fresno, California and raises bonsai camels in his spare time.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What was it like to play at the World Cup in England in 1966 for Portugal? I bet you were surprised to see, as was I, that Yugoslavia actually qualified. Do you still polish your Golden Boot? Gerry McManus, U.K.

Dear Gerry: You've got the wrong Eusebio, though he once told me that when he won his second Golden Boot, he asked for a left one to go with the right one he got in '68, so he could wear the pair with his tuxedo. But they sent him another right one. He solved the problem by turning one inside out.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Where did the saying "I'll be a monkey's uncle" come from? Sandy Mulvenna, Tioga, California

Some historians believe that the great-great grandson of the prophet Ezekiel, after a long inner struggle with conflicting religious beliefs, finally decided to join a Buddhist monastery. He told his brother Ezunkel about his decision, saying, "I finally decided. I'll be a monk, Ezunkel."


Dear Uncle Eusebio: There has been quite a subterranean hum below the streets of Brockport. I am quite certain that some kind of Alien mothership has burrowed into the layers about 100-150 feet below the surface and that the Aliens are up to no darn good. Is there a way to get them to leave without hurting any feelings? Rick, Brockport, New York

Dear Rick: These aliens were hired by Brockport State University to replace the entire Art Department faculty. The school believes they will bring some fresh ideas to the department. Aside from the aliens' habit of eating fire hydrants (which can be stymied by coating the fire hydrants with Marshmallow Fluff—they're afraid of Marshmallow Fluff) the aliens should be harmless. But if you really want them to leave, tell them the Massachusetts State University system provides better benefits.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why is the sun called 'The Sun' and not a star? How did it get its name? Mike Fowler, O'Fallon, MO

Dear Mike: The Sun was called the Sun because its parents couldn't think of a name. So they just called it Son but spelled it wrong, with a 'u' instead of an 'o'. It was not called a star because the people of those times did not know that the sun was a star.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Some guys rang my doorbell and asked if I wanted a driveway ceiling. I asked them if that's the same thing as a garage, but some garages don't have ceilings, and anyway how can you have a garage ceiling without a garage, so I asked if they meant a driveway roof because there are carports like a roof without a garage, and some of the carports have ceilings and some don't, and I asked the guys which one they meant. They went away without answering my question. Is that rude? John Birdwoody, Deuce, Nevada.

Dear John: Good job.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I heard about a hurricane making land fall. How can land fall when the land is already on the ground? Does the hurricane pick up the land and then make it fall? And isn't the land the same thing as the ground anyway? If you pick up the land, what is there for it to fall onto? Krishna Kringle, Dogwood Valley, West Virginia

Dear Krishna: I think they meant that the hurricane wind was so strong it made Edwin Land (the guy who invented Polaroid film) fall down.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Did the San Francisco Giants come from an eastern city like the L.A. Dodgers came from Brooklyn? If so, which city? Mike Fowler, O' Fallon, Missouri

Dear Mike: The San Francisco Giants started in the National League in 1883 as the New York Gothams and later changed their name to the New York Giants. As New York got more and more crowded, there wasn't enough room anymore for any Giants, so they had to make a choice: either change their name to the Midgets, or move. They moved to San Francisco in 1958. The last time the Giants won the World Series was in 1954.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I've heard about bayou terrorism, and I'm worried. Why don't those police down there in Louisiana do something? I saw some guys playing music with an accordion and a washboard. Are those guys bayou terrorists? And B.O. terrorists too. There was a guy with B.O. on the subway. Is he a B.O. terrorist? Why isn't he in prison? Emma Leela Teller, New York, New York

Dear Emma: That's bioterrorists, who use biological weapons. Not bayou, not B.O.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Some viruses are spread by mosquitos. To stop it, some towns are fining people caught with Stan Dingwater on their property. Who is this guy Stan and what does he have to do with mosquitos? Rufus Goatmonger, Lyme, NH

Dear Rufus: Mosquitos need water to breed in, but some of them have a hard time finding water. Stan (a misguided descendant of Johnny Appleseed) stands in the water and rings a bell - ding, ding - so the mosquitos can follow the sound of the bell and find the water.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I was going to school to learn how to repair automobile starters, and I was almost finished, but I stopped because I wanted to go to finishing school. Now I'm confused. Should I finish Starter School before I start finishing school? Some days I feel ready to start finishing Starter School, but I'm not good at finishing things, which is why I want to go to finishing school. What should I do? Laaaaarkii Haakinnnennn, Lahti, Finland

Dear Laaaaarkii: Go into politics.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: While cleaning out my grandmother's attic I found some antique bubble wrap. Since the air inside is authentic antique air, how much do you think I should charge? Shelly Firth, Dagnabit, Texas

Dear Shelly: Value depends on the age of the bubble wrap and how it was used. Last year Sotheby's got $6.2 million for a sheet of bubble wrap certified to have been used to wrap the nose of the Sphinx after Napoleon's cannoneers shot it off. And some people have done well selling antique bubble wrap one bubble at a time on eBay. Good luck!


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I wanted to make a tribute to my friend Terence "Terry" Terry, and I thought it would be nice to name a river tributary after Terry. I found out that the Tributary River in Tennessee had a nice tributary that didn't have a name yet, and I arranged to have it called the Tributary Terry Terry Tribute Tributary. Is that a good tribute to Terry? Dugald Boone, Bean Blossom, Indiana

Dear Dugald: Very nice. I did a similar thing for my friend Sal Ute.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I am starting a new company called Allthings. We will sell everything on the planet. Our logo is a circle with an "a" in the middle. We want to lease the surface of the moon and paint or gouge our logo onto it so that everyone will see it. Who do we talk to about this or is the moon free? Arthur Wurld, Perth, Australia

Dear Arthur: Your company idea is a good one, though some people might feel you're not offering enough. About the moon: rather than painting or gouging, maybe you'd be better off installing a digital display. Then you could remotely change the display to other designs without having to go all the way up there again. Don't worry about leasing; just go ahead and quietly install the digital display without telling anyone. Most people will think it's cool. Anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to look.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'm on my feet much of the day. As a result, my feet hurt and my ability to concentrate on other non-foot-related matters is greatly diminished. I was thinking about having my feet surgically removed and replaced with lawn mower wheels. I'm convinced this is the best solution. What do you suggest? Thank you. Pete, Orlando, Florida

Dear Pete: Good idea. You might also consider having a pair of brackets installed on your hind end, so a lawn mower handle can be attached and someone can push you around when you get old. Good luck!


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I am writing a report on how and why yodeling was invented. I need to know the country and the purpose of this strange sound. I know it has been discovered and used by different countries for music and entertainment but I understand that at first it was used for a different purpose. If you know please let me know. Thanks, Dana MacDonald, Coco Bay, Newfoundland

Dear Dana: Most people believe that yodeling was invented somewhere in the European Alps hundreds of years ago for the purpose of communicating over long distances among the peaks and valleys. In fact the first yodel was delivered by Del Winkler, a Bavarian goatherder whose lederhosen were too tight. His friends imitated the sound to make fun of him, and soon everyone started doing it all over Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The sound was called a "yodel" because when Del's friends made fun of him they said, "Yo, Del --- odeladyodeladyooo!!!"


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last night at the restaurant I ordered a hangar steak. When the steak came, there was no airplane in it. What should I do? Trowbridge Castleberry, Whup, Texas

Dear Trowbridge: Ordinarily I'd say call your lawyer, but in this case I'll bet your plane was out flying around looking for terrorists. Let's give the restaurant a break.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Where did the term "uncle" come from, meaning to give up? Mike Smith, Santa Rosa, California

Dear Mike: It started as "unkill," not "uncle." A long time ago when folks weren't too sharp, guys who lost fights always thought they had been killed. They didn't want to be killed, so they said "Unkill me." After a while that got shortened to "unkill" and then somehow changed to "uncle."


Dear Uncle Eusebio: The last time I saw my doctor he used a tongue depressor on me, and now my tongue is depressed. You should warn your readers about this danger. Marshall "Marsh" Melloe, Keekacan, Illinois

Dear Marshall: Thanks for bringing this up. You're not alone—a class action suit is in the works. I'll let you know what's happening.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Yesterday I got a really nice hair cut. I also did all my laundry, washed all my dishes, and paid all my bills. This is depressing because I know that my hair will never look as good as it did yesterday, that the clothes I'm wearing will soon be in the wash, there are already dirty dishes in the sink, and more bills will arrive. How can I live in the moment when the moment won't stay put? Is the meaning of life hidden here somewhere? Sincerely, Edgar Cheese, Replay, Pennsylvania

Dear Edgar: There is no moment. There is only change, and in change is energy. Use the energy.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: They called me and said tomorrow is the day for my mambogram. I'm all excited! Does that mean someone will come to my door and dance and sing, like a singing telegram? I never got one of those before! Emma Leela Teller, New York, New York

Dear Emma: Sorry—they mean mammogram, not mambogram. It's time for your breast cancer checkup.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: For a long time I've really wanted to do kick boxing or Tae Kwon Do or something like that, but they're always too expensive. Then this morning in the paper I saw an ad that says "Pretzel Boxing, $5/hour." Is that a good one? Should I do it? The price sure is good. Griffith Seahonker, Canarsie, New Jersey

Dear Griffith: That ad means they'd pay you $5 an hour to put pretzels in boxes—not what you had in mind. But I know a bar in Australia where they'll give you free beer to box with kangaroos. Email me if you're interested.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What is the U.S. history behind the wooden nickel and its use as currency? Freddie Frugé, Jackman, Maine

Dear Freddie: The first North American wooden nickels were made 130 million years ago by Tyrannosaurus Rex (that's what those delicate little fore-feet were used for) because the Tyrannosaurus was sad about its reputation as a fierce killer, and wanted to try buying food instead of killing it. After the dinosaurs died, all the nickels became petrified and just lay around all over the place until native North Americans began using them to make jewelry. Then during the 17th and 18th centuries trappers used the nickels to buy whiskey, tobacco, skunk hats, rashers of bacon, and other trapper things. Soon after that, nickels were first made from metal because it took too long to make the petrified wooden ones. You know the rest.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'm shy and have trouble meeting women. Last night at a bar I finally got up the courage to talk to one. She asked, "What took you so long to come over?" I said, "I needed a few drinks while I mustered the guts." She said, "Hey, watch out who you're calling mustard guts," and socked me. I guess I need some tried-and-true pickup lines. Do you have any? Glark Cable, Newton Junction, NH

Dear Glark: Try these:


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last weekend near the stage entrance at the Grand Old Opry, I saw Johnny Paydirt. I figured this might be my once-in-a-lifetime sure-fire chance to hit Paydirt, so I hit him. But now I'm in jail. Is that fair? Lem "Loafy" Lomax, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dear Lem: I don't know if it's fair, but that's life. I had a friend named Rich whose father always told him "If you ever get a chance to strike it rich, don't miss the chance." But Rich had a hard time figuring out what "it" was. One time Rich saw a hurdy-gurdy, and some kind of gut feeling told him this was "it," so he struck the hurdy-gurdy. But all he got was a broken hand, and the monkey bit him too.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why don't people skulk anymore? When I was a kid we skulked all the time. Nowadays everyone seems to lurk, sneak, prowl, creep or slink. Nobody skulks. They don't know what they're missing. Crandall Juicemaster, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Dear Crandall: The word "skulk" originated in Norway. But the Norwegians didn't like the word, and tried everything they could think of to get rid of it, but it just wouldn't go away. Then one day the Pied Piper wandered into Oslo, and he was hungry. So the King of Norway offered the Piper a sled-load of codfish to get rid of the word "skulk," and that was the end of it. No more skulking.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: They told me I can be in a medical study for my scabies and I'll get some medicine or a gazebo. I always wanted a gazebo so I could sit in it and eat potato chips. My dog likes potato chips too. But I live in the city and I don't have a garden to put the gazebo in. Will they give me a new TV instead? Emma Leela Teller, New York, New York

Dear Emma: Placebo, not gazebo. A placebo is a pill that doesn't do anything. But you and your dog are welcome in my gazebo any time.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Who is Mean Mr. Mustard? Charlie Burlingham, New York, New York

Dear Charlie: Mean Mr. Mustard lives in the mustard bottle and pushes out a lot more mustard than you want. Now and then he comes out of the bottle and spray-paints yellow graffiti on circus elephants. Mean Mr. Mustard's mother was the person who scratched "PRAY" onto all the New York subway station pillars a few decades ago.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: When I was a kid my pants were called trousers and dungarees. Now they're slacks and jeans. What was wrong with trousers and dungarees? Tommy Gofigger, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Dear Tommy: Pants are no longer called trousers because Joe Gluck of Dayton, Ohio filed a lawsuit claiming that his trousers wouldn't trouse. He demanded that either the manufacturer repair his trousers so they would trouse, or that they stop calling them trousers. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, which agreed with Joe.

You never hear the word "dungarees" these days because Liz Jones of San Diego didn't like the way the word sounded, so she started asking people not to say it anymore. She asked a lot of people, and she was very charming and persuasive.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I need some dehydrated dinners for camping. Should I get Soy Medley, Beefalo Stroganoff, or Refried Oat Mortar? Monhegan Whidby, Champaign, Illinois

Dear Monhegan: Try the Chugach Spud Gruel, Rainforest Tri-Scat, or Tyrolean Graupel Groats.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I invited my friend Sally to my party, and she said she'd be there with Belzon. I was all excited because she's been single for a long time and really wants to date, but when she came to the party she was alone. I wanted to ask her why Belzon didn't come too, but I didn't want to embarrass her so I didn't say anything. What can I do? Roderick Amontillado, Baltimore, Maryland

Dear Roderick: Don't worry. Sally meant she'd be there "with bells on," in a party mood and ready for fun.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: You were right, I don't have to worry about Sally! A couple days after my party, she invited me for brunch and Belzon was there and he seems like a great guy. He missed the party because he had to wait for UPS to deliver his new pet seahorse. Roderick Amontillado, Baltimore, Maryland

Dear Roderick: Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. All's well that ends well!


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I like caviar but it's too expensive, so I tried to make some in my workshop, but it didn't come out right. What am I doing wrong? Roscoe Toulouse, Duck Springs, North Dakota

Dear Roscoe: Hire a sturgeon as a consultant, but first make sure the sturgeon has her green card or you might get in trouble with the feds.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Some of the dust bunnies under my bed are nice and soft like cashmere. Can I make a shawl with those? Flossie Twinkledew, Havenstreet, Isle of Wight

Dear Flossie: Yes, but when you spin the yarn make sure to add about 20% spider webs for strength. Otherwise the shawl will be too soft and won't hold together for long.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last night I was walking home alone on a deserted street and suddenly felt a hard metallic object pressing into the small of my back. I raised my hands and looked all around but there was nobody there. What could it have been? Archibald "Arch" Bishop, Canterbury, Tennessee

Dear Arch: Maybe you had your pants on backwards, and the hard metallic object was your belt buckle.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I like to eat but then I gain weight and I have to buy new clothes. Is there a pill I can take so all the gained weight grows on the top of my head instead of around my waist and other places? Then I can be taller and I'll only have to buy new hats. Or I can knit a hat and keep knitting it higher. Garson Monbouquette, Twizel, New Zealand

Dear Garson: Sorry, no such pill. But there is a pill that makes all the gained weight grow out your ears like spaghetti, about two inches a day per ear (depending on how much you eat). Then all you have to do is trim the spaghetti once or twice a day.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I recently purchased a bootleg copy of the film "The Mummy Returns." In it, the Mummy is seen returning various shoddy or otherwise unsatisfactory merchandise, often encountering unscrupulous Customer Service Representatives who try to convince him otherwise. While this would seem like enough excitement for three movies, a friend of mine is trying to convince me that this isn't even the plot of the actual film. He says I was sold a bill of goods, and that the actual film has nothing whatsoever to do with retail operations. I think he's just upset because he paid full price. Who's right? Delbert Snockner, Wilburton, West Virginia

Dear Delbert: Your film is the real one. The Mummy has good reason to return things—look at his clothes, and his shoes too, all falling apart. And his barber should be ashamed of himself. I know it's hard to return a haircut, but he could strangle the barber or something.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why do they call the second hand on a watch by that name? Shouldn't it be the third hand? Holly Scrodfish, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Dear Holly: When they first started making watches, they had trouble getting it right. The first watch had only one hand, a year hand, which went around once a year. No one liked that, so for the second try they made a watch with just one hand that measured seconds. They called that hand the second hand because it was the second hand they invented (the year hand was the first). That watch wasn't too popular either. Then they finally made a watch with hands that measured seconds, minutes, and hours, but the second hand was still the second hand they had invented, so they still called it the second hand.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I chose this rat poison because it said the rats would go outside to die. But when I fed it to my husband he died without leaving the kitchen. He's there now. What should I do? Naomi Foodblender, Miami Beach

Dear Naomi: Confirm that your husband was in fact a rat. If he was a rat, you can sue the manufacturer of the poison. Otherwise, call the police and tell them there's been a murder in your kitchen and it was your husband's fault for impersonating a rat.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How much wood would a Wood-Chuck chuck if a Wood-Chuck could chuck wood? Andrew, England

Dear Andrew: The Wood-Chuck, like most wild animals, is efficient. So the Wood-Chuck would chuck only as much wood as it needs to chuck. But the original question was "How much wood would Chuck Woods chuck if Chuck Woods could chuck wood?" Chuck Woods was a boy with paralysed arms who lived in Glasgow during the nineteenth century. Chuck's dream was to chuck wood, and he always told everyone he met that he would keep trying and would someday chuck some wood. His determination became famous, and thousands of people all over Scotland started making bets about how much wood Chuck would chuck if Chuck could chuck wood. After years of hard work, Chuck was finally able to chuck some wood, and the amount of wood Chuck chucked was exactly the amount that Tommy Lipton bet Chuck would chuck. That's how Tommy Lipton got his money—not through groceries and tea, like most people think.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My friends asked me if I got up in the middle of the night last night to see the meat eaters. I'm a vegetarian, and I don't like to watch meat eaters, and if I did like to watch meat eaters I'd watch them in the daytime, not in the middle of the night. Why would my friends bother me with a silly question like that? Emma Leela Teller, New York

Dear Emma Leela: Meteors, not meat eaters. There was a big meteor shower last night.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why does my mind go blank whenever I sit down to ask you a question? Odd Baldevin, Randesund, Norway

Dear Odd: Maybe because you're tuning into my mind, which is blank.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What happened to our royalty checks? The Munchkins, Lollipopland, Over-the-Rainbow

Dear Munchkins: Sorry—your royalty money went into a fund to help build new pro basketball arenas.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Things keep jumping off my mantel and flying around the room. The UPS man says it's poultry geese. What's that? How can I stop it? Lou C. Borden, Salem, Ma.

Dear Lou: Poltergeists, not poultry geese. You can stop them by moving your home into a parallel universe.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: We want to file a class action lawsuit, but we can't think of a reason. Have all entities have been sued for everything possible? Heaven forbid! How about some help here? Charles Troutbox Merryweather, Valparaiso, Indiana

Dear Charles: A few hours after you eat food, do you get hungry again? That's not fair. Sue the food industry.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I took this thing here to the repair guy to get it repaired, but he said he couldn't repair it. Why not? Sally Beesmonger, Palm Bluff, Missouri

Dear Sally: I know you have the thing there, so you know what it is, but I don't know what it is. What is it?


Dear Uncle Eusebio: It looks a lot like that thing over there. I attached it to the email with krazy glue when I sent you the email. Didn't you get it? Sally Beesmonger, Palm Bluff, Missouri

Dear Sally: Sorry, I didn't get it. If you can pry it off your screen, send it to me by snail mail—I mean, through the Post Office. Maybe I can fix it.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: As a dabbler in all manner of pop culture I have become superficially familiar with the notion of multiple dimensions. Some scientists suggest that the number of dimensions is limitless. Some say that there are only five or six, even though we can only verify three. Do you have an opinion on this subject? T. Warley, Sydney, Australia

Dear T: I'd guess the following...

  • the three standard spatial dimensions
  • time
  • reverse time beyond the speed of light
  • the other sides of black holes
  • the entity beyond the limits of our universe
  • the space inside Justin Bieber's head
  • the space under the shuffleboard table at Goody's Bar in Beloit, Wisconsin

Dear Uncle Eusebio: My therapist told me that if I really wanted to get rid of my neuroses I'd have to deal with things as they are. In his words, I'd have to "step up to the plate and bite the bullet." Yesterday at the Little League game, I did exactly that and ended up shooting myself in the foot. I also ruptured both eardrums, blew out most of my front teeth, and scared the heck out of the kids and parents. Can I sue my therapist? Karrison Geillor, Canton, Ohio

Dear Karrison: I know how you feel. Last week I went to my doctor with a sore throat and he was so busy he almost didn't have time to see me. He said, "stick out your tongue, and step on it." I never did manage to step on it, but I sprained my neck and put my left hip out of joint.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Several weeks ago, I finished a meal at a local restaurant, and asked the waitress for a check. Shortly thereafter, she brought to my table a tall, gaunt middle aged man who spoke no English other than to tell me he was from Prague. Realizing that the waitress misunderstood my request as being one for a "Czech", I tried to flag her down. But she had gone off duty and I was told that now the Czech gentleman was my responsibility. It's been three weeks now, and although he's quiet and doesn't eat much, I'm not happy with the situation. What are my options here? Earl Throckmorton, Frisbane Falls, Iowa

Dear Earl: You have been chosen to join the elite Czech Bouncers, an underground humanitarian organization whose purpose is to find foster homes for retired Prague butlers. Your responsibility now is to take care of the Czech until you really can't stand it anymore, then open a restaurant and carefully assess all of your customers until you see a customer who is undoubtedly kind-hearted and of good character. When they ask for the check, give them the Czech, thereby "bouncing" the Czech to another good home. How long you take care of the Czech before bouncing him along to his next benefactor is not important; your sole duty is to find the right person.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Now that I'm retired, I plan to travel. I'm concerned about proper table manners in other countries. If I'm in a country where a burp after a meal is considered polite, what if I can't burp? Is breaking wind acceptable? Bob Aruba, Pez, Peru

Dear Bob: After dinner in some parts of Wales, breaking wind (called "Rolling a Royce") is de rigueur. For those lacking a ready command of natural expulsions, the old hand-in-the-armpit trick will do. Likewise in New Guinea, if you're unable to whistle through your nose after dinner, playing the bagpipes will get you by. Wherever you are, simply do the best you can—your hosts will appreciate any effort.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I don't like gravel. Sal Foop, Croton-on-Cuyahoga, Ohio

Dear Sal: OK.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Yesterday I was up a ladder putting screens on our windows. I dropped a screw into some leaves. When I tried to find the screw, a bee stung my wrist. I abandoned my search but I really want that screw back. I found a web site that has satellite photos of our neighborhood and am trying to contact them to see if they can identify the exact location of the screw. My question is this: Can I sue the manufacturers of the screw for the pain and suffering of the bee sting or should I settle for the cost of the satellite search? Jasper Schneerson, Oxnard, Connecticut

Dear Jasper: Yes, you can sue the screw manufacturer because the State Department's latest list of human rights includes the right to anti-gravity screws. The screw should not have fallen when you dropped it. You can also sue Isaac Newton, who invented gravity, and Albert Einstein, who improved it.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My grandfather insists that the worst thing ever heard is Nelson Eddy singing "Shortnin' Bread." I say it's Peter, Paul and Mary singing 'Puff the Magic Dragon". What is the worst thing you've ever heard? Nell Cennetti, Hollywoodland, California

Dear Nell: The worst thing I've ever heard is Charlie Rose. A close second is an easy-listening version of "Sympathy for the Devil" I once heard in an elevator.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: We bought some face powder from our Mary Kay lady, but it didn't look right. We had it analyzed and it turned out to be DNA from the Harlem Globe Trotters and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Should we call the cops or give it to our son for his science project? Ponce de Leon, St. Cloud, Florida

Dear Ponce: You could develop a great team of trash-singing ball players, but it might be easier to just sell the stuff on the black market in Copenhagen.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Dear Uncle Eusebio: Thank God Halloween is over for another year. I had kids dressed like goblins, ghosts, Osama bin Laden, Barbra Streisand, Orrin Hatch etc., and I handled it OK. But toward the end some kids showed up dressed like Peter, Paul and Mary and I panicked and called the cops. Am I getting old or what? Nell Cennetti, Hollywoodland, California

Dear Nell: Your fear of Peter, Paul and Mary might deserve closer attention. It's not hard to guess what Freud would say about your fear of Peter. Are you allergic to pollen, and are you afraid to get married? Perhaps you've been laid low by the triple whammy of peter/pollen/marry.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I am a photo retoucher, but I've yet to meet a photo toucher. What's going on? Steve Monosson, New York

Dear Steve: Photo touchers are hard to find because a photo toucher who touches a photo more than once, or who touches more than one photo, immediately becomes a photo retoucher. Your only hope is to find an infant who has never touched a photo, and then give the peewee a photo to touch, and make sure the peewee touches the photo only once. There's your photo toucher.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If sound can't travel in a vacuum, how come vacuum cleaners make so much noise? Millicent Morganstern , Flail Creek, Kentucky

Dear Millicent: You're hearing the noise from outside the vacuum, not in the vacuum. Try getting inside the vacuum and see how it sounds.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: One of my favorite words is "poltroon". Why don't you hear it used much nowadays and what does it mean? Lauren Sovarabia, Peck, Nevada

Dear Lauren: A poltroon is a coward. The word evolved from "poultry o' the dune," the ancient name for the Scottish links chicken. You don't hear it used these days because Joop Noortlop of Amsterdam filed a successful lawsuit claiming that he was distressed by his name being spelled backwards.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last weekend I set out to row across the Atlantic Ocean but I didn't do so hot. I never got more than two or three boatlengths from shore and I kept running up on the beach after just a few strokes. What was I doing wrong? Should I try again? Chickey Stravropoulis, Boston

Dear Chickey: Two things. First, when you row you have to face away from the intended direction of travel. So when you start rowing you should be facing the beach. Second, you have to sit in the boat when you row, rather than sitting in the water next to the boat and using the boat as a ruler to measure your progress. Good luck on your next try!


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I just went to the doctor because I'm having trouble fishing. He asked me how old I am and I told him 88. He said "you've fished enough" and threw me down the elevator shaft. Should I report him? Mike Wembley, Cornwall, Alaska

Dear Mike: Call the Guinness Book of World Records and see if they'll list you as the oldest person thrown down an elevator shaft by a doctor.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: On our honeymoon, my wife lost her wedding ring while cleaning fish on the dock. The same day, my pet hamster died. Exactly one year later my hamster was still dead and the wedding ring was still lost. Is there a scientific explanation for this? Clyde Rumpsteak, San Francisco

Dear Clyde: I know who you are, because I saw this story on the news—you've got it mixed up. While listening to Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, you put your wife down the disposal, wedding ring and all, because she squashed the hamster while cleaning the floor. Your pet fish witnessed the crime and turned you in, and exactly one year later you're still in the slammer where you belong. You've confused the details because you can't handle the guilt.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Every time I drink coffee I get a sharp pain in my right eye. Why is that? Gropius Farmalong, North Weston, South Carolina

Dear Gropius: There's a secret network of stealthy anti-caffeinists who try to discourage coffee drinkers by poking them in the eye. One of these must live in your town. Or else you're forgetting to take the spoon out of the cup.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My doctor made me stand by the window and stick out my tongue. What was that all about? Cary Mebacktue, Olde, Va.

Dear Cary: Either he was mad at his neighbor or he doesn't like tongues and he was hoping yours would fall out the window.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Can a bearded man tell a bald-faced lie? Gadfish Crubble, Kiev, Ukraine

Dear Gadfish: Only if he shaves first. If he tells a lie when he's halfway through a shave, that's a piebald-faced lie. If he lies after someone throws a pie in his face, that a pie-faced lie.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I ordered a Faberge egg from an antique dealer, and paid 2 million dollars for it, and when the egg came it was just an egg, like from a chicken. When I complained, the dealer said his chicken who laid the egg is named Faberge. What can I do? Richard Swirleybird, Coconut Bay, North Dakota

Dear Richard: Fry the egg for breakfast, then call the dealer and tell him he's not a nice person. If he laughs, find out where he lives and give him a good drubbing. A drubbing works best if you say "Drub, drub, drub" as you drub the rascal.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How can I determine how much water will fit inside a 2001 GMC Yukon? Nedley Distelfinck, East Berlin, Pennsylvania

Dear Nedley: Weigh a large container. Fill the Yukon with water, then empty the water into the container. Weigh the container full of water and subtract the weight of the container. Water weighs 0.99707 grams per milliliter.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'd like to have a teleology truck, like an ice cream truck, but I don't know what teleology is. What should I do? Squidburn Washington, Whipsniff, Arkansas

Dear Squidburn: Maybe if you get the truck you'll find out what teleology is.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I tried to throw away some gold bullion, but my trash pickup service said it was too heavy so they have to charge extra. I can't afford the extra charge. What can I do? Marty Graw, Shreveport, Lousiana

Dear Marty: Apply for a Genius Grant. When you get the grant, use the grant money to pay the extra charge.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Every time I'm near a post, I get nasal drip. Is that post nasal drip? Flomulina LoPresto, Seal Harbor, Nebraska

Dear Flomulina: Your problem is called post nasal post drip. When there's no post involved, that's post nasal drip. When your mailman gets post nasal drip, that's post post nasal drip. When your mailman, like you, gets post nasal drip from being near a post, that's post post nasal post drip. When he doesn't have it anymore, that's post post post nasal post drip. Then the post is a post post post nasal post drip post. If the post drips, that's post post post nasal post drip post drip. If someone posts a message on a message board about the post, that's a post post post nasal post drip post drip post. If the person who posts the message is a drip, that's a drip post post post nasal post drip post drip post.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why does pulling my finger relieve pressure in my bowel? Donkey Hootsberger, Numbnut, Massachusetts

Dear Donkey: The finger bone's connected to the arm bone, and the arm bone's connected to the chest bone, and the chest bone's connected to the back bone, and the back bone's connected to the hip bone, and the hip bone's connected to the bowel bone.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How far is "far enough"? Preble Krebs, Tuba City, Arizona

Dear Preble: If you're there, that's far enough. If you're not there but you don't mind, that's far enough too. If you were there and you liked it there but you're not there any more, that's too far, unless you don't mind. If you do mind, you can't go back—you have to keep going ahead until you get back to where you were, which is far enough.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What is the numeric value of red versus blue? Clay Madjuster, Yank Harbor, Michigan

Dear Clay: 6.626 x 10-34 plus the number of liters of fuel in your dragster.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: When were wooden nickels invented, and why were they spit? Dina Talley, Mustard, Ohio

Dear Dina: Some people believe wooden nickels were invented during the Potato Famine to save weight, when folks were too weak to carry metal nickels. When all the potatos were gone, some folks were so hungry they ate the wooden nickels, which their stomachs rejected. Thus the spitting.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: The only good thing about winter is the snow. The only good thing about snow is that I get to use my flame thrower to melt the stuff. The scorched patina looks pretty good on our gravel driveway. The only problem is that my wife objects to the smell. Got any suggestions? Lars Vegas, Franklin, New Hampshire

Dear Lars: Put away the flame thrower. Every time you're expecting snow, put a lot of lawyers in your driveway all standing packed closely together so they cover every square inch of the driveway. Make sure they don't move at all until the snow storm is over, then ask them to all walk carefully in unison to your local ski area where they can shake off the snow.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How come my pants never fit? Eugene Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Dear Eugene: They're the wrong size.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I got a rowing machine for Christmas, but when I tried to use it, it sank. What good is that? Monty Zoomer, New York, Oklahoma

Dear Monty: With a little help from your neighborhood engineer, you can mount the rowing machine on a raft and link it to a propeller or another pair of oars in the water. Then you'll be able to tool around the lake very nicely with no fear of sinking.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My record company has been approached by a priest and a rabbi who have co-written a new Christmas carol called "Oy Vey Maria." My question is this: do you think Charlotte Church, Christina Aguilera, or Courtney Love would be the best vocal stylist to interpret this inspirational new song? Marlin Strombex, Trailmix, Utah

Dear Marlin: All good choices, but my first pick would be Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: People sometimes say, "That's like comparing apples to oranges." Who compares apples to oranges and what's wrong with comparing apples to oranges anyway? Johnny Orangeseed, Funcoland, Florida

Dear Johnny: In Washington there's a federal employee named Richard Kelp, who directs the Agency for the Comparison of Apples and Oranges. He compares apples to oranges, and also determines, when someone says "That's like comparing apples to oranges," whether in fact that is like comparing apples to oranges. His agency has a staff of 4,273 and a $9 billion annual budget. Mr. Kelp hopes to expand the agency's scope into comparison of grapes to bananas, peaches to buttocks, and brains to raspberries.

Finally, there's nothing wrong with comparing apples to oranges.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I met a really nice guy last month, and a friend of mine told me the guy is a corn artist, so I asked the guy to build me a replica of the LeaningTower of Pisa from corn, in my yard. I gave the guy $5000 deposit but I haven't heard from him. Do you think it's taking him longer than he expected to pick the corn? Or maybe he's eating the corn? Scylla Boop, Tar Lake, New Jersey

Dear Scylla: Perhaps he's in Paris or Rome looking for a new kind of corn.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Some guy broke into my house and he's telling me if I don't help him learn to speak better English he'll burn down my dog and rape my dishwasher. He's here now. What should I do? Poe Twombly, Oatmeal, Oregon

Dear Poe: Give him some Jujyfruits, then while he's busy trying to get his teeth unjammed, hit him on the head with a frying pan. But put a helmet on him first so you don't hurt him too badly. Then call Alan Dershowitz and tell him you found him a new client.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I tried to buy a sweater on the Web, but when I tried to download the sweater it didn't work and I had to wait for delivery instead. What good is that? William Nilly, Bagnols-en-Foret, Nebraska

Dear William: I guess that merchant isn't up to speed on transport service. Try taking a really long nap and maybe when you wake up they'll have their act together.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My landscaping service charges the same for leaf-blowing my yard as they charge for my neighbor's yard, even though my yard is three square feet smaller than my neighbor's yard. I counted and proved that there were 3,672,978 leaves in my neighbor's yard last week but only 3, 672, 941 leaves in mine, and they still refused to give me a lower price. Do you deem this fair? Might I call the Justice Department? Pritchard Gumwrother, Ivybower, Connecticut

Dear Pritchard: I try not to deem anything if I can help it. But the number of leaves is not the only factor. Size and weight make a difference, so before calling the Justice Department, measure and weigh each leaf.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is it true that when I watch a 90 minute movie in a theater I'm actually (due to the shutter on the projector) sitting in the dark for 45 minutes? Bobby Hotisblatt, Nyack, NY

Dear Bobby: Yes, it's true. Because of the way our retinas work, the image of each film frame lingers in your brain until the next frame appears, so you don't notice the darkness between frames. Recently, a lawsuit has been filed against all movie theaters demanding that they cut their prices in half, because it's not fair to charge full price for a 90 minute movie when you really get only 45 minutes of images.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'm going bald and I've heard that nose hairs can be trained to grow up through the inside of your head and out through your scalp. Do you think this will fix my problem? Lars Gank, Plumtown, Vermont

Dear Lars: That works well if there's no brain in the way. Otherwise, you can grow your eyebrows long and comb them back, or grow long ear hairs and swoop them over the top. Or use Chia Pet paste for good short-term results.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What is your secret? Archie Underwood, Topeka, Kansas

Dear Archie: My secret is that I was once struck by a meteorite but all it did was light my shoelaces on fire.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My hamster, Bucephalus, tried to ride my bicycle. At least I think that's what happened, because I found Bucephalus crushed dead under my bicycle on the sidewalk. How can I prevent Bucephalus from trying to ride my bicycle from now on? Dr. Strother V. Peebottle, M.D., Ph.D., B.V.D., B.Y.O.B, D.O.A.

Dear Strother: Hamsters don't really like to ride bikes; they just like to ring the bell. So to be safe, remove the bell from your bike—though it seems unlikely that Bucephalus will try again.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is this website some sort of a joke? If so, what sort? Butch Manly, Queens, NY

Dear Butch: This website is the sort of joke that is not a joke. If I were trying to make money with this website, then it would be a real joke.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Could you give me a rough estimate on the number of separate things there are in the world? A sheet of paper is a thing, but when it's a page in a book, the book is the thing. A glass is a thing, but when it breaks, the pieces are separate things. Maybe this question is too hard. How about if you figure out how many separate atoms there are in the matter that make up the separate things (that way when the glass breaks or the page leaves the book the number of atoms won't be affected). I'll bet it's going to be a very large number.Thanks, Charles Darwon, Candlestick, CT

Dear Charles: There's only one thing, and everything is part of it. But you asked for the number of separate things. If there is such a thing as a separate thing, there is only one separate thing, and that thing is the Squirrel Nut Zipper.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: A good friend of mine has a birthday rapidly approaching. I'm sure that if there's one person who knows how to party on their birthday, it's you. What sorts of fun activities would you recommend he do to make his birthday extra special? Andre Thompson, Charlestown, Masachusetts

Dear Andre: Here are a few games that seem very popular lately, though I can't say I enjoy them much myself:


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last night in a restaurant I ordered the pan-fried fillet of Capetown mini-bison sputter-coated with caramelized bee-barf pomade, on a bed of Alsatian swamp cress. Now I don't feel too good. Where did I go wrong? Carl Zapp, New York, New York

Dear Carl: I know that restaurant. Go back, ask for Emilio, tell him I sent you, and ask for the Gastro Blast special. That should fix you.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have a very good friend at work who smokes like a chimney. I'm trying to get him to stop, but nothing is helping. Do you have any ideas? Throckmorton Q. Lounsbury, Charlestown, Massachusetts

Dear Throckmorton: It's not easy to stop smoking, and it's even harder to get someone else to do it. But here are a couple of approaches:


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I've been practicing my fast draw and I'm looking for a gunfight, but every time I go into a salon it's full of ladies getting their hair done, and there's no cowpokes or whiskey or piano or anything. Please help! Billy LeJeune, Reno, Nevada

Dear Billy: Try a saloon instead of a salon, or better still, try a place that says "Police" on the front.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: When did Cyrus McCormick invent the Grim Reaper? Wes Krinkle, Quartzite, Arizona

Dear Wes: Cyrus McCormick's father Robert invented the Grim Reaper in 1818, but Cyrus figured he could do better. In 1831 Cyrus successfully demonstrated his new mechanized reaping machine. The Grim Reaper knew he was beaten, and got so mad he started reaping people. Some historians claim that the Grim Reaper wasn't really grim at all until after Cyrus's success.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I heard a couple at Dunkin Donuts talking about their son, Serapist. I never heard that name before. Do you know the origin of the name Serapist? Asa Metrecal, Honker, Wisconsin

Dear Asa: Perhaps they were talking about their son's therapist, and you mis-heard it.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Ben Franklin said, "A stitch in time saves nine." Nine what? Kreb Struby, Hawaii, Ohio.

Dear Kreb: Nine lives, for the cats. When two black holes are close together, their interacting gravity waves create eddies, some of which become a so-called "tear in the fabric of time." If you throw a dead cat through the tear and then immediately stitch the tear closed, the cat goes back in time to when it was born, so it gets nine new lives.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My little sister Weesie pushed a bean up her nose, and we can't get it out. What do we do now? Zillah Kornhauser, San Francisco, California

Dear Zillah: Wait a week or so until the bean starts to sprout. When the sprout grows out of Weesie's nostril, grasp the sprout and pull slowly but firmly. The bean will come out with the sprout. If you then plant the sprout, in a couple of months you can harvest some new beans to have fun with.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My grandmother never sends me money for my birthday. Is it because she's genetically engineered? That's what my friend Ray says. Ruby Boboli, Kamchatka, Nebraska

Dear Ruby: She's probably not genetically engineered, but she might be forgetful. Try sending her an invoice as a reminder.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: For twelve years our dog Oscar brought in the newspaper every morning from the end of our driveway. Now we read the news online instead of getting the paper delivered, and Oscar is heartbroken - no paper to bring in. What can we do? Molly and Lance Van Houten, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Dear Molly and Lance: Get up every morning before Oscar is awake, fire up your laptop computer, then open your online news site and put the computer at the end of the driveway with the screen facing the house. When Oscar runs down there looking for the paper, he'll see the onscreen news and bring the whole thing up to the house.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'd love to try water skiing, but I can't find a lake with a hill on it. Help! Danny Pookwelder, Spence Grove, Illinois

Dear Danny: Go to a lake during the winter when the lake is frozen and covered with snow—take a shovel with you. Shovel lots of snow into a big hill in the middle of the lake. In springtime the snow hill will turn into water.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I almost got a really good job, but then they turned me down. Do you think they turned me down because of dandruff, Swamp-Foot, BO, Ring Around the Collar, or The Heartbreak of Psoriasis? Also, my dog has bad breath. Cy Coe, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Dear Cy: Perhaps a combination of those factors did the damage. I don't think your dog had much to do with it, unless you brought him to the interviews.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Now and then I hear folks refer to a piece of art or furniture as a "period piece." What is a period piece? Lomax Bezema, Tossa de Mar, Spain

Dear Lomax: A period piece is a piece that was made during the period during which it was made. Such pieces are worth a lot more money than ordinary pieces.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My friend Dunkirk wants to pursue a career as a henchman. I told him he'd be better off as a clam digger. What would you tell him? Larz Makem, Kissimmee, Florida

Dear Larz: Henching isn't what it used to be. Very few people want a henchman anymore; everyone wants a posse. Clam diggers get to see those little water plumes that the clams squirt up through the sand. I'd say you're right. He'd be better off as a clam digger.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is blue cheese sad? Gar Pulsifer, Topeka, Kansas

Dear Gar: Yes, blue cheese is sad. In the old days, blue cheese used to sing the blues because it knew that singing the blues is the best antidote for the blues. But people thought it wasn't right for cheese to sing. So it doesn't sing anymore. You can help remedy this injustice by contacting The Coalition for Cheese Rights, in Santa Fe.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Our son Lispenard took his first step yesterday. My wife and I are concerned because he led with his left foot and we are right foot people. How can we train little Lispenard to start walking with his right foot? Myrtle and Reginald Pfister, Narwhal, Connecticut

Dear Myrtle and Reginald: Two ways...


Dear Uncle Eusebio: In my favorite diner I ordered flapjacks with grits on the side, and I asked them to put the grits on the left side, but they put the grits on the right side. This happened two different times. What can I do? Elvis Bullwinkle, Gas Rock, New Mexico

Dear Elvis: Rotate the plate 180 degrees.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have two questions. Scientists estimate that the age of the universe is 15 billion years (that is, the big bang happened 15 billion years ago). What was there (here) 16 billion years ago and what color t-shirts go with blue jeans? Strom Burkholtz, Mahwah, New Jersey

Dear Strom: Some people think that 16 billion years ago there was a single point, called a singularity, which took up no space at all but which contained all the matter and energy in our present universe. There was also a guy there selling t-shirts that said "My brother saw the singularity and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." Those t-shirts look good with blue jeans.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Our prairie dog, Tanster, keeps burrowing under our wall to wall carpeting, so we brought in a yard of loam. Now the loam gets caught in the treads of our sneakers. Should we start wearing penny loafers or plant grass in the playroom? Fred and Wilma Flumox, Boxtopster, MA

Dear Fred and Wilma: Get rid of the loam and reinstall the carpeting ten inches above the floor. Then Tanster won't be able to burrow under the carpeting—he'll only be able to walk around under it. When he wants to burrow he'll have to go outside.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If big fat airplanes can fly, voices can be recognized over the phone and light can transform little grooves into beautiful music, why can't people be invisible? Bart Linkletter, Marvin Hole, Wyoming

Dear Bart: People are invisible. But because we can see them, we find that hard to believe.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I've noticed that the all automobile tail lights are the identical color of red. How can I obtain stock in the patent holder of that hue? Curtis Causeway, Happenstance, Pennsylvania

Dear Curtis: Try the following address: http://www.stockinthepatentholderofthathue.com. If that doesn't work, buy biotech.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have a terrific recipe for inch worm chutney. However, the phlegmish color is a little off-putting. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might change it to a more appetizing hue? Jeramaine Smithfish, Smoothslope, Vermont

Dear Jeramaine: Try adding some orange cheese powder from Kraft macaroni and cheese, one packet per cup. If that doesn't work, add three ounces of melted grape popsicle per cup.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is the hypotenuse of the hippocampus greater than or equal to the rectangle of a seagull in a mangle? Benson Magoon, Canarsie, New Jersey

Dear Benson: If the seagull is right-brain dominant, greater than. If the seagull is left-brain dominant, equal to. If you replace the seagull with a pelican, the hippo leaves campus and hitchhikes to Mill Valley.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: If six turned out to be nine, would you mind? Jimi Hendrix, Afterlife, the Universe

Dear Jimi: No, I wouldn't mind. But I minded when you died.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: An hour ago I was 50 miles away from here. Now I am here and not where I was. On the way here I saw many people in the process of becoming somewhere else. What sort of sorcery is this? Kevin Phase, Crankburgh, Montana

Dear Kevin: It's all a dream we lived one afternoon long ago.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is it true that too many cooks spoil the broth, or are they using too many fish? Alan Ahab, Nantucket, MA

Dear Alan: The original saying was "Too many CORKS spoil the broth." This saying originated in the Dark Ages when some folks didn't have much to put in their soup-pots, so they sometimes put in their used corks. These stewed corks were fun to chew and provided good roughage, but too many corks caused the stew to jell into one big cork which worked nicely as a milking stool but was not good to eat.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Three out of four of the cutting boards we have in our kitchen are missing one of their "feet". What the heck is going on around here? Samantha Shuttlecock, Stratford on Saco, NH

Dear Samantha: I suspect that you have mice and mouse traps in your home. When a mouse loses a foot in a trap, he'll grab the first replacement foot he can find. With four cutting boards in your kitchen, the mice have a reliable source of feet. You can simplify everyone's lives by removing all the cutting board feet and leaving the feet next to the mouse traps.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: The Incan calendar says that the world will end on December 28, 2014. Should I spend all my money by then? Wesley Bullwinkle, Moot Point, Maine

Dear Wesley: Hang onto your money.The Incans failed to predict the human population explosion and weight-gain trend. This additional load is slowing the earth's rotation and orbit, so we won't reach 2014 until 2193.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Sometimes a clown commands my might and makes me kill some fish. The bodies that are left behind are not my favorite dish. What should I do with the fish? Alan Ahab, Nantucket, MA

Dear Alan: Dip them in liquid nitrogen and smack them against the sidewalk. They make a whole bunch of cool shards that skitter all over the place.

p.s. You might want to try the same trick with the clown.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Two of my sea monkeys got married last week, but now they want a divorce. How do I find them a lawyer? Jenny Marino, Washington, D.C.

Dear Jenny: If either of your sea monkeys has substantial assets, just walk out your front door and ask the first person you see wearing a tie.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: You helped Jenny's sea monkeys. I hope you can help mine. He wants to put a card in his bicycle spokes to make a motor noise, but he can't find a card small enough. Elston Gunnn, Hibbing, Minnesota

Dear Elston: NanoMed, Inc. developed excellent synthetic heart valves for protozoans, but then discovered too late that protozoans don't have hearts. One of these valves (which are now marked down from $40,000 to 49 cents) will do the trick nicely for your little chum.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last night I had a dream that my pet alligator turned into a history textbook, so I flushed it down the toilet. Will it grow? Simon Fargunkel, Gumption Bay, Alaska

Dear Simon: Yes, it will grow into something quite unusual. In fact this is the way most elementary school history texts are created.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I was eating spaghetti last night when my brother told me a joke about Wendy and I laughed so hard it came out of my tear ducts. Do you want to hear the joke? Fuzzy Brumbalino, Helena, Montana

Dear Fuzzy: I'd love to hear the joke, but I'd rather see a video of the spaghetti coming out of your tear ducts.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Wendy was videotaping when the spaghetti came out my tear ducts, but she dropped the camera and broke the cassette. How should we repair the duct tape? Fuzzy Brumbalino, Helena , Montana

Dear Fuzzy: I think you forgot to mention a step or two, but you can repair your duct tape with a poultice of cheesecloth soaked in a 40/60 mixture of Hamburger Helper and Dax hair pomade.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I was practicing my tuba this morning, when I thought, Hey, I could make a million bucks if I could turn ordinary lead into gold. So, I went down to my basement and did it. I just bought my second Ferrari, and my children now have shoes. Millions of shoes. My question is, what issue of Popular Mechanics had the blueprints for making a shoe rack out of used coat hangers? Ward Ladderstraddler, Putney, Vermont

Dear Ward: The same issue that showed how to make a moon rocket from a can of aerosol cheese.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My grandpa has lots of hair in his ears. Is it flammable? Pard Scrodwater, Pong,Utah

Dear Pard: Yes, it's flammable. Please keep Grandpa away from candles, crack pipes, and live volcanos.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Guess what kind of sandwich Charlie's wife handed him "through the open window, as the train came rumbling through," in our song about the Boston MTA? The Kingston Trio

Dear K3: The song lyrics don't say what kind of sandwich, but since the song was written in 1949 you can bet it wasn't avocado and sprouts. My guess is corned beef.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What are your qualifications for being an answer man? I mean, do you have a licence, or anything? If your answer to the first question tends toward the affirmative, please answer the following question. What is the meaning of life? Moikman, Tarbox, Pennsylvania

Dear Moikman: I have no licence, or anything. I live every day with the risk of unlicenced question-answering. For me, the meaning of life is in this risk.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What can you tell me about the Legend of the Gilded Dictionary? Samantha Sobriquet, Alantown, PA

Dear Samantha: I'm afraid it was a hoax. The real story is that the four-year-old daughter of a Sung dynasty ruler ate too much banana-flavored Bonomo Turkish Taffy and barfed on her dad's lexicon. So the famous "gilding" was actually something less valuable than gold.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: What's a lexicon? Lucky Doveburd, Steakknife, Texas

Dear Lucky: A lexicon is a little guy in Ireland who wears a green hat and jumps around in the woods.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How did the lexicon get from Ireland to China, and if he's so good at jumping around, why didn't he jump out of the way when that little girl hurled? Fischlin Carrothers, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Dear Fischlin: He got from Ireland to China by stowing away on an opium boat, and the fumes slowed him down so he was too sluggish to dodge the spew.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: The following question came to me last night as I tossed and turned abed: Should I vacillate more? Murchison Ballard, Louisville, Kentucky

Dear Murchison: Think hard about that for a while, and carefully weigh all factors.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have a question about the rules of English grammar. I was taught that the vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y. This 'sometimes y' loophole worries me. What can we do about spellers who use y as a vowel whenever the heck they feel like it? Martin Lynx, Bobcat, Montana

Dear Martin: In the Middle Ages in England, these people were called "y's guys" and were routinely dunked, stoned, pilloried and put out with the cat. We now call them wise guys and must live with them in peace, for the good of all.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: It seems that my face is too big for the front of my head. How can I rectify this situation? Manny Lakawana, Ridgemountain Valley, NJ

Dear Manny: Read James Redfield for an hour to soften your skull, then stick a tire pump in your ear and pump until your head is big enough for your face.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have a lobster in my tool box. What's it for? Chucky McChesney, Cantelope, Colorado

Dear Chucky: The lobster holds pipe joints while you solder them. Or you can train it to crimp wire terminals. By the way, if you can't elope, why not get married in Cantelope?


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Was that you in the bushes at Juan-Les-Pins in '04 serenading me with a bassoon, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a pineapple for a hat? Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley: No.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Have you ever died and come back to life again? If so, what was it like? Feniston Loonigan, Town of Hoops, Ontario

Dear Feniston: For me it was the other way around: I was born and went back to death, which was OK with me, considering the tomfoolery life seems to involve. Death is great - I get to eat burgers with Tabasco all day and watch the politicians ski barefoot on a lake of fire.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I met some guys from Iowa the other day, and they were talking about some gray thing called a nellivator. What is that? Bo Broomall, Paterson, New Jersey

Dear Bo: I think they were talking about a grain elevator.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: When people walked across the Bering Strait into the United States, did they have to check in at Ellis Island? Obley Kangle, Monte Rio, California

Dear Obley: They didn't have to, but they did it anyway, because they felt it wasn't fair that others should have all the fun. And they were such good walkers, they figured what the heck—we can handle another three thousand miles.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Did you write "The Cow that Ate the Blanket"? Clara Dice, East Berlin, Pennsylvania

Dear Clara: No, that was my mother (the writer, not the cow). She (my mother, not the cow) crocheted the blanket - I raised the cow, and it was my blanket the cow ate.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Is it true that sneezing on the surface of Venus will trigger an atomic explosion? Asterionella Mandrake, Shreveport, Louisiana

Dear Asterionella (what a euphonious appellation): Only if you've been drinking Green Chartreuse.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Did you used to be the Shell Answer Man? Bill Zulius, Healdsburg, California

Dear Bill: I was his understudy.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: You said "Ask Uncle Eusebio a question. You'll make his day." If no one asks a question, do you still have a day? Why can't you make your own day? Gloria Munoz, Taos, New Mexico

Dear Gloria: I don't mind making my own days—I've never complained about it, and this column is not a ploy to avoid the responsibility—but it's nice now and then if someone else makes one for me. So, one way or the other, I always have a day. Also, I keep track, so if I ever see that more days have been made for me than I've made for myself, I'll make some days for other people to offset the deficit. It doesn't matter who you make them for, as long as you make them. In the beginning, God made a day and didn't worry about who it was for.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I have heard that Tumbolia is the place the characters of books go when you aren't reading them. Where do the characters in movies go when the film ends? Clark Lamb, Camden, South Carolina

Dear Clark: They go into the Cheez Whiz jar in your kitchen cabinet.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Last week I threw out an old Cheez Whiz jar that had been turning green in my kitchen cabinet. After reading yesterday's comment, I am now beside myself for throwing out all those characters. The problem is, there is someone else that is also beside myself. How do I tell which of us is me? Clark Lamb, Camden, South Carolina

Dear Clark: No worries. When mold develops in the Cheez Whiz, the characters automatically transfer to the Land where the Jumblies live. With that good news, you should no longer be beside yourself, so your identity problem is solved. But if there is still "someone else" beside you, don't be surprised : when movie characters move from your Cheez Whiz jar to the Land where the Jumblies live, the Jumblies—who like meeting new friends—show their appreciation by sending one of their cousins to you as a golfing partner for two weeks. That "someone else" beside you is your Jumbly golfing partner.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: My Grandfather used to say, "He'd squeeze a dollar until the eagle grins." Do eagles have elastic beaks like Donald Duck's, that permit more advanced facial expressions than ordinary fowl? Is there any historical record of a chicken grinning? "Live Bait" Jorgensen, Madison, New Hampshire

Dear "Live Bait": Eagles do not have elastic beaks, unless they drink from the Cuyahoga River. And it is a well-known fact in Indiana that during Bill Monroe's performances at his Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, most chickens within earshot had smiles on their faces.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a skunk roosting on top of my ant farm. How can I make him stop? Packy Runcible, Weekapaug, Rhode Island

Dear Packy: Put a sign on your ant farm that says "No Skunks Please." If this doesn't work, try asking your ants to use hair spray. This should deter the skunk.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: How many times a day am I supposed to iron my pet snake? My mom says three, but I had a dream that Martha Stewart said five. Who is right? Sally Peaslee, Dogtown, California

Dear Sally: Look at the label on your snake for directions. If your snake has no label, get your money back and call the police.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: We made a bike jump from an old space shuttle hangar. We can't do any jumps because it's too hard to ride up the jump. What should we do now? Skip Toomaloo, Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

Dear Skip: Put a space shuttle engine on the back of your bike. This should provide the boost you need.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: Why won't Dad let my pony eat dinner with us at the table? Betsy Fotheringhampton, Corkfosters, Pennsylvania

Dear Betsy: Your Dad is afraid your pony will eat too much and throw up on the rug.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: We put an Opinion Pole in town and now we ring all the doorbells and ask how they like the Pole. Is this the right way to do it? Ricky Pellington, Washington, D.C.

Dear Ricky: Yes, you're doing well. I believe you'll have very little trouble attracting grant money and probably a Nobel Prize also.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I made a painting. How can I tell if it's real art? Eunice Pillsbury, Cazenovia, New York

Dear Eunice: Pick up the painting and hit it against your shin. If it hurts, it's real.


Dear Uncle Eusebio: I'm 107 years old. Can I still ask a question? Joe Balfour, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Dear Joe: Is that your question?


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