Answers for August 1999

We have two WINNERS this month and they both seem to come from Pomerania. And share the same surname!! Perhaps they are clones … Anyway – jolly good show

Rosalind and Wes Dalefield

Question 1

When Kerry Packer returned from his 8-minute death in 1990 what did he say about the “other side”?

More Or Less Correct Answer:

He is said to have claimed something like “I’ve been there and I can tell you there’s nothing there so you can do what you like here”. Given that he already did pretty much as he liked here before that, it doesn’t seem to matter. My wife did something similar and it’s probably the only time she’s ever agreed with Kerry Packer’s views on anything!

Better Things That Mr.Packer Should Have Said

  • “Stone the crows mate, I’ve lost most of me brain cells. Just as well I’m an Australian so no-one will notice.” [Thank you Wes]
  • “There is nothing there … that I could buy”
  • “There is nothing there … in the way of tax loopholes that we could use”
  • “I don’t care how many of those bastards are family or business acquaintances, it’s still to bloody hot to stay.”
  • “I wonder if I can somehow make a buck out of this place?”
  • “It’s a lie – you *can* take it with you, but they don’t take American Express.”
  • “Never again will I set foot in Channel Seven head office…”
  • “Satan said I must redouble my efforts in torturing humanity with my ideas on content TV”
  • “I’ve signed an exclusive deal with Beelzebub giving Channel 9 exclusive rights to telecast the end of the world in July, 1999…. or maybe August or September. This ‘once in a lifetime viewing experience’ would of course be hosted by Ray Martin with special geust commentary from Angry Anderson and Paul “Fatty” Vautin.”
  • “They didn’t have enough polo ponies, so I came back.”
  • “Been there, done that.”
  • “I’ve got dibs on Rupert’s harp!”
  • He was returned from the “other side” to settle with ATO by paying his taxes in full.
  • “I’ll take it – I love warm weather and the smell of sulphur.”
  • “No one reads my papers there.”
  • “It was a terrible place – no-one could be bought or sold, and the big guy wouldn’t accept bribes or inducements of any kind”
  • “Bugger.”

Question 2

What is unusual about the book Gadsby (1939) by Ernest Vincent Wright?

Correct Answers:

  • It is the only book to have appeared in this question.
  • The Angel may have said Noel, but …..
  • This book lacks a common part of words, which is frankly bloody hard to do! It is an amazing thing to do for a fifty thousand odd word book; although I must ask: why? I could go on and on, but I won’t! Didn’t do any word tricks to accomplish this. It’s difficult to do anything without it, mind writing a big book. If I had to valiantly scrawl collations of such words with omissions for infinity, I’d think I’d go nuts.
  • The 50,110 word novel, finished in 165 days is completely “e-less”. There is thus no mention of electronic mail, links, merchandising, hardware, software, etc.
  • It was both the first and only book that Ernest Vincent Wright wrote in 1939 titled “Gadsby”
  • It was written entirely without using the letters “e” or “splthbx”. So successful was it that the letter “splthbx” is rarely used today, and has even been left off computer keyboards since 1991.
  • It contains no “e”, or any other designer drugs.
  • It holds the record for copies sold to people who thought they were buying another book, in this case F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic.
  • A terrible misprint denied him international fame and fortune.
  • It was absolutely appalling, but that is not what’s so unusual. It was written entirely without the use of the letter “e”. To judge from the extracts I’ve read, leaving out the letters a,b,c,d,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y and z would have improved it even more.
  • It was the only enjoyable book written by someone whose first name was ‘Ernest’.
  • The silly bugger was living so poor he had to use a dodgy typewriter. And you try substituting for the word “feckless” when the ‘e’ is broken
  • Was the basis for a great 70s movie. What a shame the movie’s director was dyslexic.
  • It is not listed at
  • Damn, I guess I won’t win this month either.

Question 3

Where is Australia’s only active volcano?

Wrong Answer

  • In Australia

Dr Bob Boobs Again

  • Or more accurately where “was” Australia’s only active volcano before the discovery of a new active volcano within Australian territory on McDonald Island? The old one was Big Ben on Heard Island.
  • According to the Bureau of Mineral Resources we don’t have one (refer to However the Australian Antarctic Bureau says that we do have one called Big Ben at Spit Bay on Heard Island at 53°.06’S, 73°43E’. Obviously they don’t speak to each other much.

Alternative Locations

  • Australia has an active Volcano ? I guess it must be somewhere under water. [Yes … in fact the underwater part of Australia covers the rest of the planet and has several volcanoes]
  • Directly underneath the flag pole of Parliament House in Canberra. Every year this volcano emits tonnes of hot gas.
  • Gympie, Qld. It vents when the juxtaposed words ‘guns’ and ‘restrictions’ are uttered within 100km.
  • In Mal Colston’s bathroom after he’s eaten too many hamburgers.
  • Magic Mountain, Glenelg, SA. It’s usually very active, especially during weekends and school holidays.
  • In a senior governmental position in Canberra, but immune to prosecution as long as he behaves as if he’s only dormant.
  • Tracy Island, home of International Rescue.

Some Sage Advice from Pomerania:

  • You could have heaps of them if only you would let New Zealand become a state of Australia. You would also get some decent ski fields and racing yachts that don’t sink at the quayside in front of the cameras of the world.

Question 4

What happened on 25 December 1642?


  • Santa came. I got a doggy and a scooter. Oops – sorry – that was last year.
  • It was the first Christmas for 78 years in the Galilei household without Galileo, and the last for 84 years in the Newton household without Isaac.
  • Christmas was cancelled due to a bizarre combination of droughts: a severe lack of coal, a total absence of oranges, and a low frequency of stockings.
  • Darryl Somers wondered if this year would be the final year of ‘Hey, Hey, it’s Saturday’.
  • Everyone wore badly knitted waistcoats and new socks and watched the play ‘Ye Greate Escape’
  • Mrs Newton had a wonderful, transcendent, spiritual experience of womanhood. Oh yes, and when they cleaned all the blood, amniotic fluid, sweat and shit out of the bed they found a baby boy, too.
  • People of non-sceptical inclination celebrated Christmas, I guess. Obviously there’s more or you wouldn’t have asked this question but I don’t know what it is.
  • Sir Isaac Newton was accelerated by an unbalanced force into a world dominated by gravity.
  • There was a celebration about a guy who tricks with bread and fish. They finally nailed him on a GST related issue.
  • Isaac Newton was born, and the midwife dropped him on his head. Years later he was to relive this profoundly traumatic neonatal experience when an apple fell on his head. Consequently he underwent an acute psychophysiological disinhibition crisis and became the first person to notice gravity. Odd really, you’d think the midwife might have noticed it first.

Aaargh – Can I Get Nothing Right This Month?

  • Under which calendar? England was still using the Julian Calendar while the rest of Europe had gone to the “modern” Gregorian. Isaac Newton was born on this date in England (Julian Calendar) but on January 4 1643 under the Gregorian Calendar. This probably accounts for him being twice as smart as most people – there were obviously two of him!

Question 5

What was the first word spoken from (a capsule standing on) the Moon?

Official Correct Answer

  • ‘Houston’, as part of the statement: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Not Quite Correct But Much Better Answer If You Know The Rest Of The Story

  • “Good luck, Mr Gorski”

Alternative Answers:

  • “In a perfect world, the door would open from the inside.”
  • “Bugger.”
  • “Is this another rehearsal Mr Kubrick, or Live?”
  • “I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque…”
  • “Oh, shit, I forgot to lock the garage.”
  • “Testing…”
  • “What do you mean, ‘This is a handicap spot’?”
  • “Are we there yet?”
  • “CUT!!”
  • “Damn … out of quarters!”
  • “Get that little green guy out of shot will you?
  • “Hi!” (to the aliens that greeted Neil and Buzz. A short but friendly conversation ensued, and the astronauts’ memories of this meeting were erased immediately after, and this was also wiped from memories of everyone watching the telecast by ESP).
  • “Hmmmmmmmmm cheese”
  • “Houston” (the “Thank f***ing Ch***t, we’re down” didn’t make it over the radio)
  • “I always said I could piss higher than you, and now I intend to prove it.”
  • I cannot tell you cos they‘ll kill me … NASA, that is. In fact, no-one can give you the answer unless they’ve asked for permission: “The corrected transcript, commentary, and other text incorporated in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is protected by copyright. No portion of the Journal may be reproduced or copied onto any medium (except as required by browsing software) without express permission from the author. Specifically, the unauthorized creation of personal copies, or of copies for sale is prohibited. Unauthorized commercial use of the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is prohibited; and the commercial use of the name or likeness of any of the astronauts without his (Eric M. Jones) express permission is prohibited. The United States Government retains a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, or to allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes.”
  • “I think its about a par 4 from here.”
  • “I’ve warned you about eating beans ‘n eggs in a cabbage and onion sauce before.”
  • “OK, whose idea was the parking meter?”
  • “Oomph. I think we’re down. Next time you park Aldrin. Is this mike on?”
  • “Peter, I can see your house from here.”
  • That’s silly, capsules can’t speak. But see
  • “This has got to be the most expensive fondue in history.”
  • “Whew!!”
  • “Yeeehaaaar!”

By The Way, Here Is What To Say If You Meet Other Life Forms

It’s not “Hello” or “g’day” but “Gnorts”. The full polite greeting is “Gnorts, Mr. Alien” … and try spelling that backwards.


  • Whats the Point of this quiz ? [I dunno – but you seemed to enjoy filling in the answers]
  • Am I the only person worried when my jokes turn up in ‘Correct Answers’? [No – I worried too – that I could be so desperate for material]
  • I should be studying, not answering quizzes. I will hold Dr. Bob personally responsible for my upcoming ‘fail’ mark. [But supposing they ask the same questions?]
  • Is this how I win the $100,000? [Yes – at least it’s one of many ways]
  • Keep it up, I don’t know what’s better, reading the answers or answering the questions! [Neither – there is something else better than both]
  • This is disappointing. I think I know all the answers. Perhaps I’ll send in a second entry with a set of alternative answers.
  • Where do you get these questions from? Dr. Bob, you need to get out more often! [I would love to, but they won’t unlock the cage]
  • Why is it that after reading all the answers others give, I laugh myself silly, and tell myself “I’m just as funny as them, I’ll write hilarious answers this month too, and be recognised for this fact!” but when I do get around to writing my answers, they’re all lame? [Look in the dictionary under “inferior”]

And finally … D.Hawley reflects on Spleens:

See – and it’s NOT teal, it’s a sort of purple colour as the diagram makes clear. Wait while I check mine … hmmm .. gosh you’re right! But then mine might be atypical. Better put it back in again before it leaks all over the desk. Maybe if someone started a Great Spleens of the World collection – a Spleen Hall of Fame, mine could be the centrepiece. Spleen fans would come from everywhere. Why not house it in a great concrete BIG SPLEEN in a quiet country town that has nothing else to offer. They could sell spleenburgers, barbeque Thai spleen, spleen-in-the-hole! Spleen paperweights, spleen-shaped phones, the list is endless! What a goldmine! And then for the gall-bladder we could…(fade to black)