Answers for January 2011

ANSWERS for January 2011. I am saddened by the passing of Captain Beefheart in December 2010. But these entries cheered me up … and our WINNER has been trying on and off since 1997, and now he’s more trying than ever – take it away,

Glenn Brady

Question 1

Burma-Shave promised a free trip to Mars for 900 empty jars. Somebody heroically collected 900 empty jars, and was offered a one-way trip. So, tiresomely, he sent another 900 jars in. What happened then?


He was given a free return trip to Moers, Germany

Additional Answers

  • He was abducted
    By “Martians” no less
    Pictorial evidence
    Leaked to the press
  • After much wrangling, and another 900 jars, and a disdained trip to the Mars Candy Bar factory, eventually the claimant and his wife were sent to Moers, Germany [pron. ‘mahrs’].
  • Burma-Shave earned a staggering $90 when they took the jars to a SA recycling depot and collected 5 cents each. I bet they were thrilled. They also sent the pedantic gentleman, Arlyss French, on a holiday to Moers in Germany, although I have a hard time believing the Wikipedia entry claiming the locals often pronounce it “Mars”. “Moors” or “Mores” possibly.
  • He forgot to shave his moustache which was considered rude in Martian culture so he was not allowed to go.
  • It was still a one-way trip, but to Pluto. He rejected the offer, because as everyone knows, Pluto was a Mickey Mouse planet.
  • Someone cut him into 900 pieces and put him in the jar and mailed it to a town named Mars.
  • The Burma-Shave people were over the moon.
  • They got to send the politician of their choice. Actually I think they sent them to Moers in Germany which isn’t quite as much fun even if the souvenir stands are peopled by reptilian aliens in disguise. Actually there are quite a number of reptilian aliens working in the tourist industry as it makes for a great place to hide and their alien digestive systems can handle the astronomical amount of alcohol consumed.

Question 2

Who had the idea to serve meals in separate courses, instead of all the food arriving at once?


The Russians

Additional Answers

  • Any society with gatherers rather than hunters. But ‘Wealthy Ancient Romans served dinner in separate courses; gustatio (“hors d’oeuvre”): prima mensa (“first table” or “main course” ): secunda mensa (“second table” or dessert).’ Hey, I’m a prima mensa, too!
  • Ze Germans
  • Al A Russe, the first duke of earl
  • Gaius Julius Caesar. If his armies were to march on their stomachs, he didn’t want them wasting a whole meal at once if frightened by a horde of marauding Huns.
  • Henry VIII? Sheer guesswork there. Or possibly his kitchen staff, in sheer desperation.
  • I can’t remember her name, but didn’t she run the Mount Isa CWA in the 50’s
  • Penguins.
  • The now-defunct McDrongos hamburger chain. That’s why it’s defunct.
  • The waiters, as they couldn’t carry all the food in one go.

Question 3

Where did the original choice of age 65 for retirement come from?


Bismarck noted that 65 was the age when most retired soldiers die

Additional Answers

  • Ze Germans
  • Chermany; von Bismark decided an official age to start war pensions was needed, so used the average age when ex-soldiers died.
  • A marauding Hun, Otto von Bismarck, possibly because, as he was already dead, he wanted to get a retrospective Seniors Card. And he was never satisfied with the lousy pointed helmet he got when he turned 70.
  • Again penguins.
  • From Otto Von Bismark the Iron chancellor of Germany , Otto was a touch tricky back in the 1800’s since living to 65 wasn’t as common as many looking forward to retirement would have liked.
  • Most people (men, anyway) were dead by then so the original political proponents of the old age pension thought they could make electoral capital out of saying they’d pay pensions >65 in the full knowledge that they would have to fork out very little cash. But then longevity caught up with reality and federal budgets were soon stuffed. They still are.
  • Oh, it’s got to be something biblical, surely, since it’s so close to “three score and ten”. Work ’em until they’re nearly in the grave! I don’t actually know. Do I have to know the answers to enter the quiz?
  • Social Security or The Beatles song
  • The first Trade Union victory against early Protestant Industrialists, a significant symbolic victory over the previous four score years and ten.

Question 4

Ovid wrote a tragedy “Medea”, but only 4 words survive. What four words?


Even on this, there are two versions: ‘I wander here and there, as if full of the gods’ and ‘I was able to rescue you; do you ask if I can destroy you?’

Additional and Better Answers

  • Knock knock. Who’s there?
  • Only four words survive
  • He’s not the messiah
  • Don’t mention the war
  • Hell hath no fury
  • Lorena Bobbitt’s role model
  • “Knock knock. Who’s there?” followed by the finest, and most witty knock-knock joke ever written, but now sadly lost. It’s thought that G J Caesar was the butt of the joke, and he had a very poor sense of humour.
  • I shall live forever.
  • (Kissing but not really meaning it) ‘with half a lip’
  • Copyright IV BC, Ovid

Question 5

The Duke of Monmouth at his execution in 1685 heavily bribed the axeman to make a clean job of it, and whinged that the axe was rather blunt, before kneeling at the block. And indeed, the axeman’s first blow failed to achieve much. What happened next?


I love this factoid, with its British reserve, sang-froid, understatement and gentlemanly behaviour: Despite a bribe of gold coins to the executioner whom Monmouth had seen botch a beheading, ‘The first blow dealt by Ketch inflicted only a slight wound after which the Duke struggled, rose from the block, and looked reproachfully at the executioner before sinking down once more.’ After four or six more blows with the axe, Ketch finally took a butcher’s knife from his hip and severed the last sinews and flesh. Ewww.

Additional Answers

  • The axeman was deported to …Germany?
  • They realised that a feather duster doesn’t make an efficient cutting implement.
  • The duke turned and looked at the axeman. The axe man then proceeded to stuff it up, offered money to the crowd to do it for him then ended up using a knife. Basically the main reason why we don’t let work experience kids play with sharp things.
  • The Duke turned, looked up at the axeman and said, “No, no, no. Your grip is all wrong, link your fingers and cock your wrists, relax your stance and bend the knees. And for crying out loud, use a 4-iron axe, no one can hit a 1-iron through this ruff.” [Groan…..]
  • The executioner carefully re-sharpened the basket.
  • The incompetent axeman had another go. And another. And another. And another. Poor bloke just couldn’t get ahead.
  • They let him off. Because in such modern and forward thinking times, it was possible to live a full and productive life with one’s scalp hanging off.

Question 6


Where is this?


It’s in Eger, Hungary. The Valley of Beautiful Women is actually a marketplace where they sell the local wine in bulk. The more wine you drink, the more beautiful the women are said to become. I picked an amazingly ugly peasant woman, who sold me some really good win for $1 a litre.

Woops, I meant WINE. One would not wish to, er, succeed with that woman. Except with regard to wine sales.

Additional Answers

  • Sudetenland, wait, sorry – Czech Republic…..
  • About 300 kilometers south of Naughty Strumpet Mountain.
  • Why, Doctor Bob! Just south of our eyes. Also in northern Hungary, near the Eger.
  • Eger, Hungary, apparently there are a lot of wineries there which I must say seems strange since all that wine tends to lead to people doing very naughty things even though they do tend to feel very nice.
  • Just south of Szépasszony-Bli?niacze szczyty
  • Not precisely sure, but I suddenly feel very HUNGARY!!!! Ahahahahahah! Hahahah! Hah.*ahem* Er, sorry. I’ll remember to take my meds before answering the quiz next time. Actually, I initially thought it was somewhere in the Czech Republic (the German and mangled English subtitles threw me off).
  • Paradise, but contrary to popular belief, there is nowhere you can find “72 virgins”. You won’t find an apple tree, a serpent, or any fig leaves either.
  • Speaking of Hungary, it’s dinner time!


  • Am i too late to enter?? The form is still up, so i figured I must still be a chance!
  • Does Iceland have a Hungarian quarter?
  • If they shortened February at the start of the month instead of at the end it would still be January …. really
  • It must have been breakfast that caused the previous hiatus in quiz entries because, look, here I am answering it again a mere two years later rather than eight! Also, please note name change (Going back to maiden name – all good things must come to an end, they say. And sometimes bad things come to an end too, and there is general rejoicing.) I am still reliving my former glory as a Dr Bob’s Skeptical Quiz winner. Hope you are well! Kind regards. No virus found in this message.
  • It wasn’t me, no one saw me do it, you can’t prove a thing
  • Mickey Mouse and Pluto got lost playing a round, and ended up over Pars instead. Gaius Julius Caesar also invented golf, but had the great foresight of NEVER telling anyone. Bismarck sank a hole-in-one on one memorable occasion. I think it was HMS Hood. The Duke of Monmouth was executed by James II as he (Monmouth) was a better golfer. Ovid never played golf. He was more into archery. He did introduce the shout “Fore”. Usually after the arrow had flown. And stopped. Being in Paradise, the Nice Woman Valley has no golf course.
  • Politically Incorrect Joke of the Year for 2010: “Two women were sitting quietly together, minding their own business.”
  • That was fun

Have a go!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s