Q and A from the Geek’s Mailbox 20100514

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

As you know, I get questions from time to time about things.  I keep the best ones until I have enough to post them.  Some of them are serious, some are funny, and some do not quite make sense.

This is a followup to the hugely successful (for me, making the rec list) post from a couple of weeks ago.  You have Keith Olbermann to thank or to curse for stimulating me to write in the Thurber tradition.

By the way, Docudharma.com gets the scoop on this one.  I will not post it to the big orange until tomorrow because of the severe time restrictions on comments, and you all know that the comments are the best part of my posts.

Question  Mr. Translator,

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Mr. I. M. Aspen

Answer  Dear Mr. Aspen,

You are operating on the erroneous assumption that a woodchuck can not chuck.  Actually they are quite good chuckers, but not nearly as masterful of the art their cousins, the beavers, are.  Beavers are legendary chuckers, and the mature females, usually referred to as mother chuckers, have been observed chucking for over 12 hours at a time.  However, the woodchuck usually chooses not to chuck, just as most cats choose not to bark, although they are good at it.  From personal observation, I once saw a woodchuck chuck one my late dad’s okra plants (the stem of which becomes very woody late in the season).  My dad was most upset at this wanton chucking, and dispatched the offending creature from the barn loft with a single .222 calibre round.  That particular animal is no longer capable of chucking.

Warmest regards,


Question  Translator, help!  I was channel surfing the other day and came onto a television show wherein a fairly well dressed man was barking like a dog.  I did not know what to think about it, and quickly changed the channel.  Why would an otherwise normal person bark like a dog on television?  I do not think that this was a sitcom or a nature show.

Ms. F.R. Tend

Answer  Dear Ms. Tend,

You are, along with Mr. Aspen, operating under an erroneous assumption.  The television show that, by your great misfortune, you happened to encounter is called The Glenn Beck Program, proffered by The Fox “News” channel.  It is indeed a sitcom, so you have no need to be frightened.  All of the material on that particular program are attempts at comedy, and most fail badly.  I am heartened to know that you did not consider that program to be serious, but must take an extremely divergent view with you on one point.  You use the term “otherwise normal” to describe this person.  I assure you that there is nothing normal about this individual except his desire to accumulate wealth.  I hope that this helps.  I believe that this is the part that frightened you.

Warmest regards,


Question  Doc, I have trouble with my yard.  It grows so fast that I have to keep mowing it every week sometimes more than that.  It is a very large yard, and it is hot here, so mowing is a real chore.  I am thinking of buying a rider mower, or even one of those fancy zero turn radius ones to lighten the load.  I just do not understand.  I do everything that the adverts on the television say to do, but it keeps growing.  The costs for gasoline for the mower, the fertilizer, and the water keep going up and I can scarcely afford to keep doing this much longer.  I am now longing for winter.  What to do?

Mr. E. Z. Fluence

Answer  Dear Mr. Fluence,

The answer to your question is obvious.  Stop feeding and watering the darned thing!  And quit watching so much TeeVee.

Warmest regards, both to you and the questionable intellect on you part,


Question  Deer xxxxxx.  Why do yu rite stoopid drys?  Yur stuff is ooveer the heds of mee, and most off the oter peoples here at Cibercaste Noows Servise.  That sience stuf is to commplicatted, and the stufff about muzic is stopud, to.  The coking stuuf is stipid two, I gett al my fud frum drivthroughs.  Whi doo yu doo thes?  Palitics is whut yu shold covor.  Yu is wastin usses tim.

Mrr. T. E. Part

Answer  Dear “Mrr.” Part,

Where to start?  (By the way, since this is a family post, I had to x out the misspelled name that Mr. Part used for me.  It was supposed to rhyme with chucker, see above).  I do realize that politics are important, but there are certain cultural aspects that concern human existence that are not only older than politics as we know it, but more important.  Science, too, is incredibly important and it is my lot in life to try to be an advocate for good science.  There are many others who cover politics much more eloquently than I can, so I leave that to them, except upon occasion.

I do have a couple of suggestions for you, however, to make you understand things a bit better.  First, just quit Limbaugh cold turkey.  I know that it will hurt for a while, but it is for your own good.  Second, find a dictionary and learn to spell.  I am not the best of spellers, as folks who read my comments can see, but I strive to do better all of the time.  Finally, and this is both the most important and the most difficult concept, learn to think for yourself.  You will be surprised at how much clearer your thoughts become then.

I wish only progress for you, regardless of what you think of me.  I feel very blessed that I have outlets that, whilst predominately political, allow many people to read my views on other subjects, and I am grateful.

Warmest regards,


And finally,

Question   Translator, what gives with the leak in the Gulf of Mexico?  BP claims that it can collect up to 40,000 barrels per day, maybe more, by next month.  But the leak is only 5,000 barrels per day, so I do not understand.  Help?

Ms. S. T. Smells

Answer  Dear Ms. Smells,

I have addressed this issue before, but due to diary pimping restrictions I can not link to it, but if you access my profile you can find it.  You, like many others tonight, are operating under an erroneous assumption.  BP has made a technological breakthrough.  They have perfected the water to oil converter, and its efficiency has increased dramatically over the past several months.  If the efficiency of this device continues to improve, the entire Gulf of Mexico can be converted to crude oil, eliminating our dependence of foreign oil forever.  I encourage you to find my post on that one.

Warmest regards,


Well, folks, that is it for now.  I hope that you find this amusing and thought provoking.  I am just now getting my sea legs writing humor, and any criticism (constructive or otherwise) is welcomed.  The best parts of my posts are always the comments, so please comment liberally.  I would also solicit questions for this series that are “loaded” towards answers that promote our progressive cause, in a way that I can try to make humorous.

Warmest regards,


To be crossposted at Dailykos.com Tuesday evening


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  1. and criticisms for a rate attempt at humor from Translator?

    Warmest regards,


  2. page so soon.  Do you think that my writing skills are improving?

    Warmest regards,


  3. When your dad shot the animal with a 222 rifle, that was chucked up.

    Hi Translator.

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