Answers for September 2004

Well this was my best quiz ever! Several people said so; I hope you all got the cheques OK. I even got a sonnet –

So once again we find ourselves aquiz,
And Bob has set some great ones for September –
If you know what that music shop’s name is,
Please help – it seems the poor chap can’t remember.
He hasn’t seen a doctor for this scare,
(No, hasn’t seen a doctor – just these spots…..)
But still he has some trivia to share
(Some writ in squiggly lines and shapes and dots)
Like, “Who would pinch what reads, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”?
And Pushkin’s cleaners lose (no coins to throw),
And Matti, Hatti – myth? Or song? Or real?
(Icelandic names for Bill and Ben plus snow?)…..
I’d rather stick with haiku, Dr Bob,
It really makes a simpler writing job.

WINNER for Sept 2004 is the only person to get Q4 right –

Olav Rokne

Question 1

Which book is most often stolen from public libraries?


  • “The Penguin Book of ‘Trout Mask Replica’ Reviews”, edited by Philip Glass (in Finnish).
  • “Book Stealing for Dummies”
  • The most stolen book at the Great Falls Public Library in Montana is “Mystery Stalks the Prairie” about a wave of cattle mutilations in the 1970s. That’s a book worth stealing.
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records, the book that’s most often stolen from public libraries is: “The Guinness Book of Records”. I had to find this through Google, I couldn’t find my copy.
  • And for the prestigious entry into The Guinness Book of Records as the most stolen book from public libraries we have, drum roll please, …….
  • For a book to stolen more than once it would have to be returned. That means it would be excruciatingly boring. That’d be John Howard’s autobiogzzzzzz.
  • How to Get More From Your Taxes
  • I believe that is the “Cheque Book.” For some reason those who do return it have often torn out pages — which is why it is hard to find a copy of a cheque book in most libraries.
  • I can only say that the books most often stolen from bookshops are crime fiction (that figures) and lonely planet travel guides (presumably since the perpetrators are going to be leaving the country anyway).
  • Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Book.” [But you’d have to read it, and then return it so you could steal it]
  • Nudes Nudes Nudes by Starr K Neigh-Kid. My flatmate Andrew Simpson loves drawing clothes on the models and he then mails them to our local politician.
  • Please tell me it is not “Steal this Book” by Abbie Hoffman. That would be an infraction of the Obviuos Irony Act of 1961 [modified by the Trasnposition Refrom Cat of 1926]
  • Repair Manual for the Holden Torana
  • Since any given book can be stolen only once, the answer is “all of them”.
  • Something inspiringly erotic… ‘Candy’ by … Don’t remember the author. The copy I stole is missing. Someone stole it.
  • Something large with very soft paper – toilet paper isn’t cheap these days.
  • Sorry Bobby-boy. It is common for a book to be stolen only once. Different books with the same name may be stolen, but that wasn’t your question, was it?
  • Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman.
  • That depends on which public libraries. Here in Texas, the favorite targets are “My Pet Goat” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.
  • The Bible
  • The Bible used to be the book of choice. But these days its the Korma Sutralami by Dr Seuss
  • The Bible, especially the Marvel Comics version.
  • The Bible. I hope. This is one of those things that you hear once, and it just sticks in your memory, where the sequence of the alphabet used to be…
  • The Bible. Why they don’t just steal them from Hotels is beyond me…
  • The Bible … so they can learn a thing or two about misappropriation and proper repentance. Amen.
  • The borowers register? Er, um, the Bible, um The Skeptic mag’. (I wish.)
  • The DIY Guide to Library Security
  • The Guinness Book of Records, which is incidentally also the book most likely to be stolen from a public toilet.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records – however the Guinness Book of World Records edition I looked at doesn’t give this as a record so maybe I’m wrong. [You should have looked in the special stolen edition]
  • The ledger that records people who owe fines due to overdue books.
  • The newspaper. How else are you supposed to get the coupons to win the free Toyota?
  • The book that you want to borrow. [That would explain why I can’t find the Finnish edition of “The Penguin Book of ‘Trout Mask Replica’ Reviews”, edited by Philip Glass].
  • The phone book.
  • The Universal Laws of Irony dictate that it must be the bible (in which case apparently nobody ever reads it as far as the Moses up a mountain bit: ” ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’? Bugger, I’d better take this back to the library”), or the Guinness Book of World Records (being nicked by people who want to see what holds the record for being the most frequently nicked book, perhaps?)
  • These are the hardest questions you have ever asked, Dr Bob. One is technically unanswerable, except possibly by your wife, but I will bash on regardless. Surely, simply naming one book is not the answer. The whole issue of theft from public libraries is an important one. I have read the ordinances against theft from libraries of every American state except Alaska [which had been nicked from the library?], from a number of US cities and a 163 page PhD thesis from Sheffield University in England which shows how important it must be. It is traumatic for the librarians and bad publicity for the library. The punishment for mutilation of magazines, of course, should be an extended period in durance vile reading nothing but magazines in which every second page and the last page of every article and every picture has been torn out.
  • Until recently it was the Bible, but now it tends to be copies of “My Life” by Winona Ryder.
  • Well, The Guinness Book Of Records is the most published book except for the Bible, so because of the fact there’s more of them, they’re probably the most stolen from public libraries, too. Cause, if you wanted to steal a Bible, you’d just go to a hotel. You could get some towels while you’re at it.
  • Well, when I went to check the Guinness Book of Records at my local library, assuming this would hold the answer, I was shocked to learn that it had been stolen!
  • What, genuinely stolen, or stolen by Guinness Book of Records people trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records?
  • Who knows! They’re bloody gone, aren’t they! So you can’t mark the blinking book index to keep track of them!

Question 2

What did Matti tell Hatti?

Only four people got this! You are all so L7!

  • ……..bout a thing she saw, had two big horns and a woolly jaw, wooly bully, etc, etc. God save us from the rest of the lyrics. (I hope we’re on the same wavelength here?)
  • Hey Hatti, pity poor Sam the Sham is a one-hit wonder…
  • Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw – Had two big horns and a wooly jaw – ah, the 60s – sex, drugs and mammoths. And just think, this generation now rules the White House.
  • Something regarding something she saw. Apparently, it had two big horns, as well as a woolly jaw. She identified it as a woolly bully. Woolly bully, woolly bully, woolly bully.

As usual, Dr Bob is upstaged by a better answer:

  • “I wanna be dead instead”. I beg to differ, BTW; it seems that Mattie told Hattie “about a thing she saw” in Wooly Bully back in 65 but when F Zappa referenced them a little later the next line is “I wanna be dead instead” which is the hit I found:

Other Answers

  • “Getti the catti to the vetti, you fatti.”
  • “Hatti, if you loved me, you’d swallow”. No, hang on, that was Bill and Ben, wasn’t it?
  • “Hatti, you know what? I’m really annoyed that Dr Bob decided to put something I said to you as the answer of his quiz. I think he’s stalking me.”
  • “Iceland’s in again-oh dratty! Those questions just make me batty!”
  • “You’ve gotta be honest. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
  • “You’re batti, and catti, and that’s thatti!”
  • (Sidenote: Possibly the worst trade ever – a daughter of the conquering king given to the losing king in exchange for total conquest of a nation). “I never did like dad.” (he could have killed his father or it could have been another son) Or “Give me political asylum or give me death.” Matti was the last king of the (independent) Mittanni people. The nation was handed over to the Hittites (sometimes referred to as Hatti’s) in a treaty circa 1350 BC. Seeing as I don’t have a copy of Readings from the Ancient Near East, by Arnold and Beyer, I can’t look up pgs97-98 to find out about the specifics of the treaty between Suppiluliuma (Hittite king) and Mattiwaza (Mittanni king). Those specifics would probably tell me what was said (besides there being some gods as witnesses to the treaty).
  • A Finnish question! Good on ya, Dr. Bob. About time, after all that Islandic stuff. Too bad I have no answer, and I’m too proud to Google.
  • A great tip for the forthcoming Melbourne Cup.
  • Aha! Trick question, Matti couldnt tell Hatti anything, as she is mute! However, she signed to him many many things.
  • Akkah, Guinness is gullaullad fullar yullau [This is Umberto Eco’s method of translating into Finnish: a->akka and o->ulla. Any word can become obfuscated into Finnish so easily … Akkany wullard cakkan becullame ullabfuscakkated intulla Finnish sulla eakkasily]
  • Are we now finished with the Iceland questions and on to Finland ones, Dr Bob? I don’t understand Finnish. Or English, for that matter.
  • Bork bork bork schmootie wootie bork.
  • Don’t do that interminable monthly quiz on the Australian Skeptics Website!
  • Get the Fatti out the Patti!
  • Hello!
  • I am assuming you are referring to the infamous conversation between Matti Pikanen the quantum philosophy theorist and Hatti Bridges the country music musician. After attending a show of Hatti’s, Matti was overhead pleading for sound to act as particles (aka light) so at the next country music jamboree she was invited to attend she could set up an interference pattern and sit in the silent area.
  • I don’t know, But it seems to be a common set of names for twin girls. One pair I found were in an obituary so maybe “did you know granny died”?
  • I got ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ from the library. It was the last Dr Seuss book they had on the shelves. [The rest had been stolen]
  • I happened upon a link related to Hatti Jahusen – “The Bedsitterman” and “Inventions that Don’t Exist”! You might enjoy this link tremendously as it is right up your alley. References in this site are Finnish and within the site he refers to Swedish translation.
  • I know longer care what Matti told Hatti. The only references I can find which are not in Finnish, and lets face it, my Finnish is pretty rusty these days, after Paavo Nurmi and Jan Sibelius I am struggling (all right, Lasse Viren, Essa Pekka Salonen, Robert Kajanus and a few others), are to a song by Lee Diamond and the Settlers and even that might not be the right name. It sounds like the punch line of another joke. I am still recovering from last month’s. Way up high! Sheesh! Only an undergraduate would appreciate a joke like that. It must be why you like it Dr Bob. Fortunately I was never an undergraduate, so I can fain superiority.
  • I love you
  • I scrawled: “That Grandma was dead! As in ‘Can I go and play with Grandma ….'” after my first round of googling. Now I can’t even fin, let alone remember, why I would have scrawled that. So, I have to say: “I don’t know!”
  • I think this was in the Hittite version of the film “When Hatti met Matti” and it was “I’ll have what she’s having”
  • I thought at first this was another Icelandic question but decided it was Finnish. Matti Nykanen won multiple gold medals in the Olympics for ski jumping at Sarajevo and Calgary. Hatti Hautamaeki is the world record holder in ski flying which is a sort of extended ski jump. I presume Matti told Hatti how to do it.
  • I’ve lost your copy of Trout Mask Replica … aaaaah … ouch!
  • Keksintöjä joita ei ole – Hatti Jahusen olemattomat keksinnöt … Vitsit – Tampereen akkuna SVS: Venäjä-vitsit Eläkeläiset : humppaa Matti Kyllösen parhaat Katti Katti Fo Fatti Mi My Mo Hatti
  • Matti, like any good Nordic lad, is quite keen on impressing a local beauty with his charm, good looks and brains. He therefore fixes a winning smile upon his face (with optional plasticene nose) and tells Hatti all about the relative merits, or lack thereof, of the polarity of the water molecule. After half an hour of this, Hatti is ready for anything else and becomes quite free with her charms in a frantic attempt to shut him up.
  • Matti and Hatti went out drinking one night. When they got their drinks, Hatti lifted his and said “Skol”. Matti told Hatti: “Did we come hear to talk, or did we come here to drink?”
  • Memes.
  • Nice legs, shame about the face
  • Now if I answered that one I would be an eavesdropper or, worse still, some kind of spy and we all know that neither is a nice thing to be – Dr Bob didn’t your mum teach you that
  • She’d gone batti!
  • That when she went to the library to check on a record from the Guinness Book of records it had been stolen.
  • That he had a Fatti?
  • that she is a fatty, tatty, catty ratty excuse for a human being
  • That their brother, Benjamin Franklin, had just become president…or that she was going to Sydney for Australian idol. Hopefully the former, as she couldn’t sing for nuts!
  • The catti sat on the matti….
  • The catti satti on the matti – the catti in the hatti most likely.
  • the fatti catti satti on the matti
  • To never focus on the path because in the end … the path itself becomes an obstacle and the goal lies beyond.
  • Well, my friend Matti (Mathew) has told several things to his girlfriend Hatti (Hariet) — no joke that’s what they call each other — you’re going to have to narrow down the parameters of your question.
  • Why are you seen to be on top of things while people just walk over me?

Question 3

Tossing coins at a statue of Pushkin in the foyer of Moscow’s Pushkin Institute was believed to bring good luck. Why don’t people do this any more?

Only One Person Found the Unique Web Page That I Got This From, And That Had To Be Dave Hawley –

  • “Down in the foyer there was a chance to (literally) throw money away. Here stood a bronze statue of Pushkin, the sort of rough-edged stick figure fashionable in the 1960`s. It is said to be a tradition to throw coins at the statue, to bring luck to the students, or at least wealth to the janitor. Since there are no coins in common circulation nowadays, those that were there were just for show.”

Other Answers

  • Because the increased wealth of Russians has led to the situation where they do not need to bother with coins any more.
  • Let’s see now – Pushkin quarantined on numerous occasions during cholera epidemics, arrested 3 times by the secret police, exiled twice, shot to death in a duel… AND THAT’S LUCKY ? ?
  • Ah here is an easy one. because a 10 Ruble bank note is worth about 48 cents Australian. What on earth would you want coins for? Oh yeah to throw at statues. Sorry. Anyway they don’t, ‘cos they havn’t got any in their pocket.
  • Because coins are no longer in circulation, and even if they were most of the populace could not afford to waste them enriching the Pushkin’s cleaning staff. Anybody who thinks that chucking money away is ‘lucky’ needs a bit of poverty as an object lesson, be it throwing money at statues, poker machines or psychotic inbred quadrupeds goaded into running fast.

  • Because Pushkin vodka kills hundreds of Russians every year so maybe he wasn’t so lucky!
  • Because someone tossed a coin and Pushkin’s willy fell off – now anyone who throws a coin is risking certain penile amputation
  • Because the statue is gone – or because the people are gone – or because the coins are gone – Bingo!
  • Because there are no coins in circulation in Russia. Wow. I wonder if they have their notes in pretty colours like we do? [Well I was there once, long ago, and the notes had originally been printed in pretty colours but in circulation they were all the same colour – a sort of filthy brown]
  • Because there are no coins in common circulation — inflation has devalued them to the point of irrelevance.
  • Because there are no coins now in use in Russia. They were all used up buying flowers for Stalin’s funeral and drinking Guinness at the wake.
  • Coins aren’t in circulation anymore – but what do Russian ladies use to stop their pantyhose twisting on the washing line? [Rrrussian pantyhose is of special heavy grade rrrussian canvas. And does not twist on washing line. Also: not many russians have washing line. Nyet]
  • Coins, what coins? Wadding up notes & tossing them doesn’t have the same ring to it (actually they won’t ring at all).
  • Coins? What coins? There be no coins! You crazy capitalists and yer friggin’ coins….
  • Due to inflation mere coins didn’t bring luck any more and the notes just didn’t give the same sense of satisfaction.
  • Everyone who had done it found they were inexplicably short of a coin next time they needed small change, which isn’t very good luck.
  • Good luck? In Moscow? Hurr, hurr, pardon my mirth – the Russians must be nuts to have EVER chucked coins at an effigy in the hope of improving their miserable lot. Maybe they’re more sensible these days so they don’t bother tossing any more. Tossing coins, that is.
  • Haven’t you heard, communism made everyone rich so there is no need for coins anymore. Either that, or, inflation has taken over and they don’t make coins, but only paper money as coins are worthless. I vote for choice two.
  • In 1998, a tourist from Iceland hurled a coin across the foyer which ricocheted off the statue and hit one of the building’s load-bearing Corinthian columns. Being of Russian construction, it collapsed and the building was closed for months.
  • In June 1991 the Institute had the statue removed for remedial restoration work when it suffered a freak workshop accident resulting in the statue being auctioned on E-Bay as a replica of George Dubya’s brain
  • It’s illegal to throw money in Moscow, Idaho, and through some silly mix up over the internet, the Moscows were mixed up and the law ended up on the records over in Europe. Very unfortunate as this was how the Pushkin Institute paid their janitorial staff.
  • Luck runs out…
  • No coins. Paper airplanes aren’t accurate enough.
  • Not only do Russians no longer believe it brings good luck, but now realise that throwing currency away is just stupid! However, a good quantity of potatoes can usually be found at his feet.
  • Not that lucky – the statue never threw money back
  • Putin’s monetarist policies make this act particularly difficult. The money supply is down and inflation is high. The statue, however, in sound Keynesian fashion, has found a job.
  • Russians cant afford to throw money away anymore.
  • The government took away the statue. If people have money to throw away, it should be taxed.
  • The sceptical answer to this one is that the Russians have realised that the way to achieve fame and fortune and a beautiful wife is not by tossing coins at a statue, but through hard work, making oneself indispensable and sleeping with the boss’ daughter. The real answer is probably more prosaic. Either the statue of Pushkin no longer exists (somebody pinched it), or the Pushkin Institute no longer exists (somebody pinched it. My preferred answer), or in the new Russia, coins no longer exist, having been rendered irrelevant by inflation.
  • The statue, tired of years of being pelted, starting flinging them back!
  • There are no coins in circulation
  • There are no coins in common circulation any more.
  • There are no coins in common circulation in Russia.
  • there are no coins in common circulation nowadays
  • There are no coins in common circulation there now.
  • There are no coins in general circulation in Russia. The ones near the statue are there for decoration. Foreigners still throw coins and the janitor has a good collection of lire, pfennigs and francs
  • They all saw the error of their ways and became skeptics. (And pigs might fly.)
  • They challenge you to a duel.
  • They realised it didn’t bring good luck, only the true Pushkin could deliver real luck.
  • They still live in Russia.

Question 4

What was the name of the tiny second-floor discount record shop in Oxford St, London where Dr Bob bought “Trout Mask Replica”


  • It was ” Virgin Records ” a little shop with only 3 or 4 staff and very cramped premises, and it was the cheapest record shop in London. But the business grew and then they moved and later changed the name. Maybe my purchase was what nudged them over the line. Oh my god – what have I done?

Other Answers

  • Bizarre Music Tragics Warehouse
  • Discount Record Store Replica
  • “Curios Regarding Hitler & The Finns,” which is what I would name my store if I wanted Dr. Bob to visit. [I’d be more likely to visit “Buy My Fcuking Records You Losers”]
  • “Tiny Second-Floor Discount Record Shop”
  • After thorough searching, I found only one discount record shop in Oxford St and it is called HMV. Just off Oxford St is a small street called Berwick St which has umpteen discount record shops. Are you sure you were in Oxford St?
  • Bad Taste Records
  • Chauncy Rummage’s Apartment Everything’s For Sale So I Can Buy Drugs is the name, unofficially … Dr. Bob, no one would buy “Trout Mask Replica” in the first place, lest they were on drugs…and I’m sure you must’ve been drinking at a local pub with Chauncy when he convinced you to pop over to a great little discount shop he knew of to get your own copy of “Trout Mask Replica” which he convinced you held a message when played backwards as to why the Beatles left Liverpool.
  • Dark & Cold, or Mash, or MODA. (My best guesses) Fun with online London phone books…
  • Dark and Cold
  • Dixie Dick’s Discount Records
  • Dr. Bob, I thought we were going to keep our little rendezvous to London a secret. Oh my, I can’t remember which location, try HMV at 150 Oxford St. or the location at 363 Oxford St. or Fish Records Darlinghurst or Folkways or Soul Central Records or …., but certainly not Virgin as that is a rather large shop (and neither of us is one). I thought we went to all of them.
  • Either Music Man or The little-shop-of-albums-to-smoke-weed-to.
  • Errol, although nowadays it likes people to call it Gladys (after the last renovation).
  • Fast Eddie’s Music Emporium Specialising In Appeasing The Wierd Tastes Of Visiting Aussies and Neil Diamond bootlegs.
  • I bought my copy of “Paris Trout” from a tiny second-floor discount shop, but that was a book shop. I’ve been to Passion Records on Oxford Street in London, but that’s not tiny (nor is it on the second floor). So, I have to say: “I don’t know!” Again!
  • I guess it was HMV, apparently “the oldest record shop in the world”.
  • It used to be called “Madame Jenny’s French Lessons For Gentlemen of Repute, Hand Relief a Speciality”. I believe that it had a different name when you were there.
  • Just down the street from there you can probably buy the soundtrack to “Spider Man 2” at the Virgin Megastore. [Replace with Italicized comment]. And I have to say I wish the Spiderman series does spend time on its music! Decent action and a killer soundtrack compensate for a too-many- subplot plot. A good lightweight, fun summer movie.
  • Look, if I tell you, you’ll have evidence in that trial where you’re trying to convict me of stalking you.
  • Marks and Spencer? The way they’re going they may well be a tiny discount record shop by now.
  • Maybe Daddy Kool. By the way did you know that Captain Beefheart was originally supposed to look like Mick Jagger. I read it on the Internet so it must be true.
  • Mike’s Bikes and Kitchen Utensils
  • More to the point, WHY did Dr. Bob buy TMR???????????? Sorry, some of my music is probably held in similar esteem by you. [I dunno, I have not heard you play. Actually, however badly you play any instrument, it will still never sound quite like TMR]
  • Offally Good Records? (Sorry about the Beefheart pun there)
  • Oh damn, I’ve forgotten it too, Dr. Bob. Aren’t we both forgetful little monkeys?
  • Oxford St Discount Records
  • Passion Records.
  • The Compleat Angler
  • The Guinness Shop of World Records?
  • The Guinness Book of Discount Records Shop
  • The Plain Brown Wrapper.
  • The Tiny Second-Floor Discount Record Shop in Oxford St, London. Now available, “Trout Mask Replica”.
  • The Tiny Second-Floor Discount Record Shop In Oxford Street, London. (But which London? Ontario? England? One of several U.S. states?)
  • Trout Mask Original Fishing Gear
  • Trout Mask Replicas ‘R’ US.
  • Vinyl Valhalla…I was there…they saw you…they see everything…
  • Virgin
  • Virgin
  • Virgin Records … I wonder what ever happened to that tiny little store?
  • Virgin. No, this is a REAL virgin, hence its diminutive stature.
  • Was it my mother’s dress shop ? OK maybe not……
  • Well, I’ll identify some of the graffiti; it reads: “Dr Bob was here” – who left that there is anyone’s guess.
  • What is Trout Mask Replica? Is it music? [Er … um … well, there is considerable controversy over this topic]
  • Ye Olde Mr X Adult Antiquitarian Shoppe
  • Ye Olde Trout Mask Replica Shoppe.
  • Yeah, I’ve forgotten, too! I think it’s a butcher shop now. [That might explain some of the music on T.M.R.]

Question 5

If you have spots in front of your eyes, should you see a doctor?


No, only spots. Boom Boom. I’d better run now ….

More Answers

  • But seriously, folks. I went to the doctor, and I said, “Doctor, it hurts when I move my arm like this!” And he said, “Don’t move your arm like this then!” Thank you, thank you, you’ve been a wonderful audience. Don’t forget to tip your server.
  • At 3am on a Saturday morning with a 90% empty flask of Vodka still clutched in your trembling hand … probably not. If they are anything like an emergency ophthalmologist “my friend” had to see under similar circumstances, the ophthalmologist ordered them to be tucked into bed in the emergency ward and said they would assess “my friend” in the morning when they could make some serious attempt at reading the eye chart. But seriously, these are likely to be benign unless they stay in one place or you also see flashes of light.
  • Concentrate… What DOES he mean with this question? There must be a trick… If you SEE spots without having spots in front on you, you should see a doctor (a spotted one, in this case). Merely having spots in front of you is ok. Ask anyone with a Dalmatian.
  • Depends – if he’s young it could be that you ARE seeing a doctor. Could be that you’re looking at a Dalmation, or fairy bread, or polka dots, or… Alternatively, if you blink they usually go away – in this case, no. If the spots are followed by passing out for no reason, yes. Actually it is the flashing points of light to get really worried about, that and the little purple men. Look, why don’t you just make an appointment and come in and see me like everyone else? I don’t like giving out diagnoses over the internet – that’s how you can tell I’m a real medical doctor, not just someone with a PhD.
  • Depends – if they were leopard spots it might be a bit late for the good doc – if they were on your husband’s boxers probably best to leave the doctor out of it
  • Depends, one moment you might see a doctor, the next a rhinoceros, the next a golf club… Depends on where you put the lines between the spots.
  • Good luck seeing him or her through all the friggin’ spots.
  • I hope not, I got spots looking up things at another Dr Bob website (there is more than one???). According to, no, they are a fact of aging.
  • If drifting spots — OK. If stationary spots — bad, see doctor. If Seurat painting — move on to post-modernists immediately.
  • If the spots were big enough, you couldn’t anyway.
  • It depends entirely on the spots, their shape, colour, texture etc. If they are ordinary floaters, clumps of cells floating around in the aqueous humor, I wouldn’t worry. If they were attached to a leopard running towards you, you might need a doctor if you survive. They could also be impressions on the retina from bright lights that linger after the light source is removed. These are not a problem either unless they persist in which case you should have them checked. The simple answer to the question therefore is that it depends on the spots. [If on a spotted polar bear, jump to the left]
  • It sounds like another joke. Way up high? I suppose if the spots are big enough, you may not be able to see the doctor at all. The spots, of course, may belong to a Dalmatian (dog!) or a leopard or an ocelot or a spotted snake……..
  • It’s more likely you are seeing either a leopard or an adolescent at very close range. Either way it is best to move quickly away.
  • My Health Plan’s manual says ‘floaters’ aren’t generally dangerous. [Good, so you can safely go to Adelaide then] But, since I don’t have a copay on office visits . . . Yes, <u>I</u> should see the doctor.
  • Nah, a Great White Hunter loaded for leopard is much more beneficial to one’s health in these situations.
  • No an optician
  • No I’d be stuck in the middle of an outback road, waiting for the impact.
  • No you should see spots (tsk tsk silly question).
  • No, just clean your glasses
  • No, just spots. Fool me once shame on you. fool me twice . . . Weigh a pie indeed!
  • No, just spots. Boom Boom. Sorry, but it had to be said by someone.
  • No, you see a doctor when you can’t see those spots – at which time you can’t see the doctor due to blindness. I’m sure he’ll see you though.
  • No, you should be seeing spots
  • No, you should just turn your head so that you might view something else. Since you were not specific, Dr. Bob, about whether these spots are external or internal, I have assumed they are external as there is no fun is discussing spots that might be in front of your eyes that are internal.
  • No, you should see spots.
  • No, you should see spots.
  • No, you should take your dalmations to the vet.
  • No. When I have spots in front of my eyes, I go to my optometrist. Well, I make an appointment to see him (his name’s Mark). They’re usually gone before I get there. He says that it’s to do with getting older (or working too hard, but even he doesn’t believe that one).
  • No. If you have spots in front of your eyes, then you should see spots. If you see a doctor, then you should see a doctor, because you should be seeing spots, because there are spots in front of your eyes.
  • No. Just remove them and be on your way
  • Not if you’re looking at a Dalmatian!
  • Not necessarily, but if you see stripes in front of your eyes you should see a zebra.
  • Only if a) the spots aren’t actually there, or b) the spots are actually there and are attached to an angry leopard; yep, you’re going to need to see a doctor very shortly after that. Otherwise, I’d just change the wallpaper or tell the dalmation to get off the couch. (And if anyone DARES to do the “I see spots!” “Have you seen a doctor?” joke, I shall SHRIEK SHRIEK SHRIEK.)
  • Probably not. This is merely a sign that you have a terrible taste in interior decoration (or you are looking at a clown’s pants, which is far more disturbing).
  • Shouldn’t that be “Can you see a doctor”? Medical advice seems to be no, you don’t need to see a doctor, unless the spots are getting worse. But surely the first time you see them is worse than when you couldn’t? To sum up: Take two Guinness and call me in the morning. [Or in the afternoon, if you sleep in]
  • This isn’t going to be “no, just spots”, is it? But, in truth, it depends. I mean, it might be images burnt into your retina like what always happens in Physics when Mr Richardone lets us use convex mirrors to burn leaves.
  • Well, it the spots are attached to a leopard, you may not have time to see a doctor. If you start seeing plaid too, the fashion police will pick you up.
  • Yes – but only if you suddenly see lots of them
  • Yes- but realistically you probably couldn’t see one even if you wanted to. More importantly, if you can’t see him can he still see you? Or would he even want to, given that you are a spotty little man…
  • Yes! Because if you see spots, you’re very likely to be Ageing, which is a terminal disease.
  • Yes, to have the dice removed from your eye sockets. But you should probably have someone else drive you.
  • You won’t have a chance to, the leopard or cheetah will have eaten you already.
  • No, it is just another picture question from Dr Bob’s quiz (reference Q6 below).

Question 6

What language is this?

I Nu It all along:

  • Nunavut

Mark Roberts used Google to discover that this was Canadian Aboriginal Syllabic. “I started by looking at your gif image and went looking for something similar. I did a Google Image Search for “script +language” and stipulated medium sized gifs b&w or something like that. I quickly found similar images which helped me to refine the search – and just kept going (10 or so pages of hits) until I came across the Unicode website. Then I immediately knew I had the motherlode (although FWIW Unicode doesn’t seem to have all of your characters.)”

Other Answers

  • A language yet to be invented that only robots can read- it’s a message inciting violence be very afraid
  • An encrypted English-language description of the shower/Iceland photograph that usually features at this point in the quiz.
  • Arabic
  • Bobbish (Bloody Old Boring Bob’s Incomprehensibly Silly Hieroglyphics).
  • Captain Midnight’s Secret Decoder Ring !
  • English
  • English- ask any pharmacist. This clearly says take 100 mg of oxycodone 30,000 times daily or as needed.
  • Extremely foul, you !%&*#^%?
  • Hey! that’s what the penguin said to the Eskimo. Written in Inuktitut syllabary. Nunavut, is the first word it’s a territory in Canada. Which is mostly where they use the syllabary. It was derived from Pittman short hand about 1894 by Edmund Peck. The Inuit in other places use different writting. In Greenland for example they use the Latin alphabet instead and in Siberia Cyrillic.
  • I don’t know, but it seems to get spraypainted on a lot of walls…
  • I have no idea, but these are clearly words Man was not Meant to Know. I suspect you of channeling Cthulhu. Do you have any strange dreams about sunken cities with horrible, sleeping things in them? Visions of Elder Gods? Tentacled beings coming out of nowhere?
  • I was going to be all serious and try to find out, but I’m more lazy than serious – so I didn’t. I like the idea of a language that uses things that look like snails going in all directions and little things that look like sperm and funny angly thingies though. But, I have to say: “I don’t know!” I do know what ‘agene’ means though.
  • Icelandic?
  • Intuitively I suggest Inuit, but looks more like a computer code
  • It is the language of love… What? No one know what that looks like, so it could be…
  • It is the language spoken (and written) by Canada’s northern people who are often (and erroniously) called Eskimos, but are more correctly known as Inuit. The language is called Inuk.
  • It looks like a computer language. Microsoft, no doubt. Or one of those Word Symbol fonts. It also looks like the language of the little known Caoutchunga people of Guatemala. They were discovered in the early 18th century by Captain Algernon Habighorst, RN. He had been sent by the Admiralty to fight the Spanish main, or at least the Spanish mizzen, but missed it and fetched up on the Central American coast. Having spliced the mainbrace rather too vigorously, he not only thought that he could understand the local natives’ language perfectly, but also could read their writing. Upon his return to England, he persuaded the Admiralty to equip another expedition for him, but unfortunately, he was drunk before he left Plymouth (Ho!) and only reached Ushant, which he thought was Ushuaia, before running aground. His crew, taking advantage of the fact that he was permanently pissed, took him back to Guatemala, put him ashore amongst his beloved Caoutchunga people, or a thousand miles away and headed off to the Bahamas for six months before returning to England mourning the tragic loss of their heroic captain, eaten by cannibals. No trace of him was ever found. Except one ship searching for Sir John Franklin, turned left at Barrow Point instead of right, sailed to Guatemala via the Caribbean and claimed to have seen a race of pale- skinned natives…(This last sentence was not in the original, but I thought a bit of gratuitous cliché was called for.)
  • It’s a language? Well it aint one of the ancient Egyptian or Aramaic languages cause it’s got normal numbers in it. I dunno, I just don’t know, sob, what it is, sob, sob… You rotten thing you.
  • It’s English. Written in one of the shorthands – Pitman?
  • It’s Inuit, written in the Inuktitut syllabary which is only used in Canada, although Inuit is also spoken in Greenland, Alaska and Siberia [but they have to shout because everybody is so far away]. And it’s talking about Nunavut, Inuit and right at the end, the 30,000 inhabitants (and that’s as far as I can be bothered trying to work it out tonight.)
  • It’s Inuktitut, Dr. B. Reminds me of my youth, when my dear old dad would take us out clubbin’ harp seals around the family ice fields in Nunavat. Brings tears to my eyes just thinkin’ about it.
  • It’s probably English, and you have been playing with the fonts in MS Word again, haven’t you, Dr Bob! I’m going to guess it’s a mathematical symbol font. Of course, I COULD analyse the symbol frequencies to deduce the plaintext, but I’ll leave that to the swots.
  • Kindergarten
  • Klingon. And this is actually and excerpt from a Klingon Karaoke Klassic loosely translated in English as “Wipe Out”.
  • Martian.
  • Mittanni of course. It is their mathematical equivalence to 100 and 30,000. Of course it is slightly off. We know that the empire lasted more than 100 years and more than 30000 were enslaved due to the treaty mentioned in Q2 above. Perhaps they were rounding down.
  • None–this are glyphs that allegedly appeared on the supposed alien space craft wreckage at Roswell, New Mexico, USA.
  • Not sure, but it makes as much sense as the political opponents in the lead up to the federal election.
  • Nunavut — translated as “Nunavut Inuit bla bla bla something um, thingy-if you lived in Canada, you’d grow facial hair too 100 to catch the snot – can’t afford to lose protein. Inuit airship wall hit just could but ouch now squid over my mounted police 30,000.”
  • Oh boy…once the FBI no you are onto this, you are like SOOOO going to be gassed and sent to an island with bouncy white weather ballons! Don’t say you weren’t warned!
  • Old Icelandic?
  • Symbolic
  • Tamazight, spoken in Northern Africa by at least 100 and at most 30,000 Berbers
  • The language of “Triangles, Circles, and Lines” (Combined in different fashions of course)
  • The language of the Ancients.
  • The original untranslated Karma Sutra from Laos. Which is why it’s a picture book rather than an academic reference book. Notice the reference to 30,000 positions, as opposed to the 576 in the abridged Indian version.
  • This is a poem “A Paean to the number 30,000” written in the Klingon version of APL by Bork the Boring, a Klingon captain of industry who was always a concern because of his incapacity to deal with real numbers. [Yes he was fixated on the integers – He intended it to be “a paean to the number 30000.0”]
  • This is either Ojibwe or Cree, in a syllabary invented by a Wesleyan missionary. It is based on Pitman shorthand. Ojibwe is “an Algonquian language spoken on by about 50,000 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and by about 30,000 people in the US states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota.” www.omniglot.comMind, it would be just like Dr Bob to transcribe a paragraph from an Icelandic sex-toy catalogue into the Ojibwe syllabary … depending on how bored I’m feeling I might try to translate it. [and don’t forget to warm the pieces up]
  • This is the ophthalmology chart presented to “my friend” at 3am one Saturday morning … (see Q5) All ophthalmologists have an evil streak in them.
  • Whatever language it is, you’ve written it in the alphabet of the Cree or the Ojibwa people. That is, if you wrote it at all. I would venture to guess that this piece was actually written by someone else and that you haven’t the foggiest what it says. [Ah. Ummm … cough … shuffle…]
  • Yangamilian, an ancient Mesopotamian dialect used today only by Mr & Mrs Vladistova of # 42b Gabalavana Way, Ventabarossa, North Caspian Sea District 27 because it’s fun.
  • You’ve heard of Speaking In Tongues? Well, this is the little-known phenomenon of Writing In Tongues, in which someone suddenly starts transcribing messages from the aether in a language that they’ve never learned, and which may or may not actually exist. I managed to translate some of this during my last bout of possession; apparently, it’s a lost gospel. “The LORD thy GOD forbids the wearing of camels as jewellery, limbo dancing on pebble beaches whilst wearing odd socks, and the eating of…” but it was fading, and that last bit means either “… unseemly amounts of deep-fried food” or “… sandals from which no amount of scraping will remove the dung”.

Correct Comments:

  • The quiz looks diabolical this month. Great stuff.
  • You are a genius, Dr Bob, the best questions ever.
  • Thank you Dr Bob. Probably your finest achievement.

Inferior Comments:

  • Are you by any chance related to the Dr Bob made famous by the Muppets? I think I see some resemblance in the ears… [Indeed so. We both have the remarkable attribute that if you look in one ear you can see out of the other]
  • Catch U later uncle Bob! [I hope not, I would prefer to remain at liberty and keep doing the things I enjoy so much]
  • crap
  • Dr Bob – I have discovered you – watch out I’m here to stay
  • Dr Bob’s quiz is for the followers of Monte Python and perhaps Mel Brooks. If you go into the quiz expecting serious answers, or conventional humor you’ll be disappointed. If you go in expecting clever smart asses to show off – then you’ll give the quiz a thumbs up!
  • Entropy isn’t what it used to be.
  • First visit to the site. Spontaneous answers.
  • From Oscar Wilde: “People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately.”
  • Haven’t looked at the quiz for about two years. Pleased to see that it is as bizarre as ever.
  • Hi! How have you been? I’ve been a bit poorly lately, but on the road to recovery. Mum says “Hi”, and sends her best. Missed you at the family picnic a few months ago. [It was a very old gun]
  • I am cut to the quick by your barb last month about Celsius 487.8 being 910.04°F. My conversion table says that C=(F-32)x0.555 when I guess it should be 0.5551 or something. [Or 0.5555 – or better 0.5555555 – anyway, up there in Queensland it’s always so hot that it does not matter much]
  • I cannot answer any of these (except that Q.6 looks like one of those symbolic computer fonts) and I only have four weeks to find the answers. Golly! I suppose I had better start Googling. Better than work anyway.
  • I completed this in less than 3 minutes, too!
  • I just filled in Qs 1,2,3,5 and 6 quickly so I could send in my answer for Q4. Trout Mask Replica?? I mean honestly, what your family must have to put up with.
  • I learned much more about ancient Middle Eastern empires than I cared to. Heck, I thought the only kid on the block back then were the Egyptians. I guess someone had to keep them in check.
  • I must know…are you paid to do this? Or is this just your life’s calling, but it doesn’t pay the bills? Independently wealthy?
  • I was inspired by the picture question and I’m going to go invent my own alphabet now.
  • I wish Kylie Minogue would come and live with me.
  • “If your answers are the best, they will stand out from the rest. If your answers are the worst, be sure to send them on the first!” -Dr. Bob Contestant 9/1/2004
  • I’m getting worried. A few months without entering and the questions get ever more bizarre – or am I just out of practice. Ah well, I’ll put this lot of dumb answers in & go and research even dumber correct ones…
  • “I’ve got spots in front of my eyes” said Matti “It’s the spots on my trout mask” said Hatti. “I’m going to hide in the river and catch a bear”. “Why?” said Matti “it’s a record and I want to be in the book” said Hatti. “I’ll bet you 10 rubles you get killed” said Matti, “why do you think it will work?” “I got the instructions from my friend in Nunavut, see” (shows text). “Looks like Cree to me”, said Matti.
  • In these troubling times, it’s important to remember that if you truly cannot believe it’s not butter, then it’s probably better to keep that sort of information private.
  • Just got in at the last moment; nearly forgot you! Why won’t you make it easy for a change? All this quiz does is get me frustrated to a degree that would drive any normal person to their wits end. (Luckily I’m already there!)
  • Just love the quiz. I have been a lurker for some time, but now am hooked. Even printed out the membership forms and the seminar info yesterday … just have to get coordinated enough to fill them in, find a check, send them off …
  • No entry from my brother this month – he’s on a holiday in Nebraska (this is the sad truth).
  • Ok, so I’m pretty confident with two of my answers, and the other four are complete bollocks, but it’s my best result ever, so here’s hoping I win!
  • Q: What do you call an attractive woman in Moscow? A: A tourist.
  • Questions 1,2,3,6 are simple factual questions which were easy to Google… 5 seems pointless, maybe there is some subtlety I have missed… 4 also
  • Realised it wasn’t a multiple choice test.
  • So what’s the obsession with permafrost? Got a fur fetish?
  • Why I should love being belaboured about the head by your infernal questions beats me. Perhaps it is because I occasionally get one or two of them right. Keep up the good work. I don’t even know how you reproduce all those symbols. Cut and paste I suppose. [No, I draw them on the monitor with a felt pen, then I get my friend to send me a blank JPG and try and burn the screen into that]
  • Thank you once again for not having pictures of naked ladies in the quiz. [Hmmm… obviously you did not understand what that Nunavut web page was really about]
  • This is great. After happening across your August 2004 results in a google search, I just had to come and add my own blather to this curiosity.
  • This reminds me of the old Jewish/Armenian (choose one) joke. Q: What is green, sings and hangs on the wall? A: A herring. ?? You paint it green and you hang it on the wall. But why sings? I put that in to make it harder.
  • Turnips – collect them all! [Well, I married a Swede]
  • Well, I’m sick as a dog, so I thought doing your quiz might take my mind off the mind numbing nausea.
  • Why so many questions about Guinness this month, Dr Bob?
  • Why would you buy the “trout mask replica”? Unfair question, although I could have telephoned London and asked my nephew. [Good heavens, how can one NOT buy it? This amazing feat, this pinnacle of 20th-century musical mayhem, this baffling but enigmatic masterpiece shines resplendent as a unique cultural icon … splutter splutter … it’s only about the best LP of all time. Well, the most, er, unusual LP of all time. You can download all the tracks from the Web of course. Just don’t play them when there are humans nearby. Better still, don’t play them at all.]
  • So your wife’s Swedish – ah, hence the surstromming questions ….. has she ever tried retro-importation of Vegemite? Many non-Australians are completely unable to eat it, but if Swedes can eat, nay, crave and enjoy rotting fish then Vegemite should be a doddle for them. They could probably put Vegemite on rotting fish and enjoy it. Hey, that could be the next big cultural cross-over hit! All it needs is a saturation advertising campaign. You could always set a bonus question and get your Fabulous Quizzees to write a jingle (in a language of their choice). “It’s brown and smells disgusting, the tin is puffed and busting, your tastebuds will be lusting for….. VEGESTROM! <ya ta tah, ya ta tah, ya ta tah> then we get Jana Pittman to plug the stuff, explaining how it’s a delicious sandwich spread that can also double as a poultice for bung knees, then I see all these little midget Janas in a kickline alternating with dancing herring, scrolling across the bottom of the screen. I’ll work on it. [Yes I think you should, Sam … Have you thought of the ‘delete’ key?]