Hi, Mr. Answers!
What does D.O.A. mean? It’s mentioned in theme song of the TV show, “Friends”: “…Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.”— Jess
Finally, an easy one! D.O.A. stands for “devoid of acrobatics.” It’s a way of saying that you’re bored with your sex life. (Ha, ha, ha. Mr. Answers is just being hilarious—and a little regretful, actually, now that’s had to picture Chandler assuming unfortunate postures. But—on the off chance that you’re actually asking this question—what D.O.A. really stands for is “Dead on Arrival.” It’s a term used by medical professionals to indicate a patient they found, upon first arriving on the scene, to be beyond resuscitation. It’s also commonly used as slang to describe anything that was dead from the get-go. Like, say, the “Friends” spin-off series, “Joey.”)
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Today’s question was sent to me from a reader with the fun and pretty name of Latoya. Latoya is from Jamaica.
Latoya: Without you having told him that you are from Jamaica, Mr. Answers would have known anyway that you were from some country that definitely wasn’t America. Because in America there are actually certain towns where you can be arrested for suggesting that famous people are … how did you so quaintly put it? … “just like” other, non-famous people.
Oh, to laugh! The very idea! Thank your lucky stars, Latoya, that you didn’t mutter such blasphemous nonsense in Hollywood, California, U.S.A. In that most illustrious place, expressing aloud the idea that famous people are just like non-famous people—if you do it in public, where three or more people could reasonably be expected to have heard you say it—is grounds for the LAPD to shoot you.
Did news of the Rodney King incident make it to Jamaica? If so, then you are aware of what happens to people in Los Angeles who suggest that famous people are like non-famous ones. Safe to say that Mr. King will never again wonder aloud in public about why he shouldn’t be a guest on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”
The reason, Latoya, that famous people are profoundly different from non-famous people is because no one has ever heard of non-famous people. What does that tell you? That’s right: that non-famous people never do anything anyone really cares about. And why is that? Who really knows? Perhaps the un-famous lack imagination. Perhaps they don’t own a TV, and so have no idea how society is properly ordered. Maybe they’re just lazy. So often people are simply too lazy to get up, do their hair right, and go get their own network show.
The point is, Laytoya, that un-famous people are no more like famous people than zombies are like gold-medal winning Olympic athletes. Gold-winning Olympic athletes have awesome bodies and look fantastic on cereal boxes and other consumer goods. Zombies can’t even flip their hair without their whole head flying off. There’s just no comparison.
So the next time you find yourself wondering why non-famous people “go nuts” over famous people, Latoya, remind yourself that you’re not an American. And though that’s certainly no fault of your own, I’m afraid it does mean that, when it comes to questions of fame and human worth generally, you lack the perspective to understand so much of what makes America the caliber of country it is today. How unfortunate for you.
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A reader named Jess wrote to ask, “Mr. Answers, do pigs sweat?”
Good question, Jess! I’m preferring not to wonder why you’ve asked it—but good question!
Since time immemorial the worlds’ greatest philosophers, scientists, and artists have pondered the eternal question of porcine perspiration. As the inimitable William Shakespeare put it in his famous Love Sonnet 99:
The forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love’s breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
I wonder if pigs sweat?
The question persists to this day—and reaches into all areas of culture. In a recently aired PBS documentary entitled, “Perspiration and Sus Scrofa Domesticus: Now Give Us Money,” Bob Clampett, the originator of the cartoon character Porky Pig, said, “The public was so keen on this whole question of whether pigs sweat that finally Friz Freleng asked me to come up with a cartoon pig. ‘Put him in a blue coat and little red shorts!’ he told me. ‘Put a bow-tie on him! See if you can make him sweat!’ Freleng was an idiot. But dang if that little pig didn’t become pop-pop-pop-pop a hit.”
A lack of conclusive evidence on the matter has left modern researchers divided into two camps: SAIPP (Scientists Against the Idea that Pigs Perspire) and BSLP (Babe Sweat Like a Pig). Scientists outside that particular realm of inquiry are unanimous in their conviction that those within it should consider getting real jobs and stop embarrassing themselves.
So you see, Jess, that there really is no clear answer to your question. Why not try doing your own research? Have you considered asking a pig questions to which you know he’s likely to lie? Pigs are terrible liars; even fudging the truth a bit makes them very uneasy. I once asked a pig, “You wouldn’t ever eat your own dung, would you?” and you should have seen Porky the Evader pretending to not even hear me. If that pig’s owner wouldn’t have returned that very moment and begun trying to hit me with a shovel, who knows what I might have discovered?
Try asking a pig such questions as, “Have you ever tried to escape?” or, “Do you have self-esteem issues?”—and then watch that pigs brow and upper snout for signs you’ve made him sweat! Best of luck to you!
It shouldn’t be any sweat to join my Facebook fan page!
Tags: medieval times, middle ages
Thanks for the question, Daniel Gurtner!
“Echo Rand” was a favorite game of children in medieval times. Especially popular throughout Northern Europe and for some reason in what is now Laos, it consisted of one blindfolded child being surrounded by many of his or her playmates and the occasional village idiot. The blindfolded child was the “rand” of the game; “rand” being how people used to say “grand” before, in 1632, the letter “g” was invented.
“I’m rand!” the child would cry out as the blindfold was put upon him. (The crying part was usually real; the only cloth available in those days was rough burlap.) Once the rand was securely blindfolded, he would call out any single word he chose. The other children would then have to repeat that word; they would have to “echo rand.” Once the rand heard where the others were at, he would try his darnedest to stab them with the large pointed stick he was holding. What fun would ensue as the other children scrambled and hid behind one another in a desperate effort to avoid being lanced.
The “(0,5)” is more properly written “(0-5),” and indicates the number of children the rand was allowed to spear. At five, even the village idiot undertood it was time to give someone else have a chance.
The game of Echo Rand is acknowledged by many historians to be a big reason why during the Middle Ages so many children grew up dreaming of the day they could wear a suit of full-bodied armor.
Tags: dominatrix, dominoes, Freud, lab rats, mice, sex experiments
Herewith I launch “Mr. Answers,” a new regular feature of this blog wherein I answer readers’ questions, whatever they may be. Send in virtually any question of your own today!
Q. I once heard that if an electrode stimulator is run from a bar in a mouse’s cage to the sexual response area of the mouse’s brain, the mouse will continue to press that bar until it dies of exhaustion. Is this true?
A. It is not; that’s a common misconception. What will happen is that the mouse will press the bar until a small fire breaks out on the top of his head. Soon he is nothing but a bald, sexually frustrated mouse who, at least, has forearms like Popeye. Many mice, however, never get that far, preferring instead to voluntarily stop pressing the bar the very moment they notice all the lab technicians standing around laughing at them.
Q. Who was Sigmund Freud?
A. Sigmund Freud invented sex as we know and fear it today. Be fore Freud, couples had sex in order to stay warm and/or produce more farm hands, and afterwards went to church. After Freud, couples had sex in a feeble attempt to ward off death, and afterwards snuck into the other room to phone their mothers. Freud’s most influential books were: “Psychology: Good Luck Spelling It,” “Your Libido: Like A Monkey On Cocaine,” “Civilization And Its Incontinence,” and “Oedi pus: The Wreck of the Rex.” Al though famous, Freud died penniless, having in his later years invested his fortune in the Hands Away Electric Diapers company. He was survived by an elder daughter, Medusa, and a son, Oscar Meyer.
Q. Recently my wife and I got a cute puppy. The problem is now my wife spends more time petting the dog than she does me. Help!
A. Have you tried addressing your concerns with your wife? Have you tried walking around the house on your hands and knees barking? How much cuter than you is the dog? Why don’t you try being cuter? Maybe you just need bigger ears. A lot of people try to achieve cuteness by stretching their ears—but forget to stretch their ears UP, not down. For adorable Snoopy ears, attach a couple of clothes pins to either end of an elastic strap: clip the pins to the top of each of your ears, and pull the strap across the top of your head. Do not remove for eight months. Alternatively, have you considered making your puppy uglier? Try shaving it, for instance. Bald puppies aren’t nearly as cute as hairy ones. Once you have the fur, try gluing some of it onto your own belly. Then roll around on the carpet, with your back arched and your limbs adorably kicking about. This is certain to bring you all the attention you could possibly want.
Q. The other night at a party I heard someone use the word “dominatrix.” I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know what exactly that is. Can you help me, Mr. Answers?
A. I sure can; I’m never embarrassed to in any way increase anyone’s knowledge of anything! A dominatrix is the person Dominoe’s sends to deliver your pizza if it’s going to be more than thirty minutes late, and they think you might try getting it for free.
Q. Did you make up these questions just so you could answer them in a funny way?
A. No. Okay, yes.
Q. Do you want people to send you any real questions they might have?
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