Dear Dumb Guy: How did the Oakland Raiders get away with all that illegal stuff in the 70s? And, is it just me, or did their coach John Madden – circa 1976 – look a whole lot like Danny on the Partridge Family? - Bitter Vikings Fan
Dear Vikings: One question at a time, my man, one question at a time! So let’s take your second question – coincidentally the morally simpler of the two – first.
In 1976, the Madden NFL video game franchise was just beginning to stand up on its wobbly legs. Not much you can do with a few pixels and a controller that amounted to nothing more than four buttons and a rubber tube that you had to blow into, as hard as you could. So Electronic Arts was hard up for ideas, having already sunk millions of dollars into this burgeoning “video game” concept.
That led to the one video game imbroglio that would rival the 15 million copies of “E.T.” buried in the Mojave Wasteland in terms of its sheer notoriety – the decision to make Danny Bonaduce the public face of “Madden 1978.” I will leave the documenting of the details to the VH1s of the world, but suffice it to say, make-up can only go so far.
As for your first question: Those were different times, and protocols were different, and “bittorrent” was never whispered on your neighbor’s lips. So the illegal stuff the Raiders got away with? Take a long hard look and realize that maybe, just maybe, your children are “getting away with” those very same things today.
Dear Dumb Guy: What is the origin of the Albanian language? I asked my highly educated Albanian friends here in Las Vegas, but they say they don’t know for sure. Also, did you know that ‘toes’ translates into Albanian as ‘leg fingers’; and ‘big toe’ – as ‘leg thumb’? - Lost in Las Vegas
Dear Lost: I did a little bit of research on this question – something I don’t normally need to do – and discovered that in a strange and roundabout way, you’ve answered your own question. You see, it’s the second part of your email that’s the clue …
Your whole “big toe/leg thumb” thing sounded strangely familiar to me, and when I started poking around, I realized why: It’s from Esperanto, the “universal language,” where this construct originates. It’s not just toes, but it extends to all sorts of other parts of the body. Knuckles are “finger knees,” eyes are “head cameras,” bellies are “back fronts.” And it goes without saying, of course, what a “front butt” is on a lady.
So there you have it: Esperanto came first, developed by the United Nations in the 1970s, and the Albanian language derives from it – a fork, if you will. Or, in Esperanto, “food fingers hand-stick.”
Dear Dumb Guy: Hating on the British is a global phenomenon. Americans, Australians, the Irish … so many people dislike the Brits. Yet they keep coming at us with the best entertainment on the small-screen. So I guess my question is, how can the British be so lame, but consistently make such awesome television programming? - The not-so-mighty Boosh in Louisville
Dear Louisville: Well, boy, are you opening a can of chutney-infused worms right there. I’m gonna take the high road and ignore all of the stereotypes that your question hints at – the British have bad teeth, their music hasn’t evolved significantly since the 1970s, they started World War II when they invaded Poland.
Those are all incontrovertible facts, but I’m going to leave them be at this time and instead focus on the real answer to your question: We are envious of their cuisine.
British food is synonymous with flavor, style, cutting-edge technique, and the use of the freshest and most appealing ingredients available. French chefs routinely make trips to London to sample the latest innovations in pub fare, taking notes under the table and bringing them back to their bistros where they attempt (in vain, usually) to replicate the magic.
How could we not be resentful of all that?
Dear Dumb Guy: How do camels have intercourse? – Mike Hunt
Dear Mike: VERY CAREFULLY! BWWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!
No, seriously, what’s wrong with you? Did you skip middle school biology? Ordinarily I don’t like to call people out for asking dumb questions, but this one takes the camel-shaped cake! Every person over the age of 10 knows that camels reproduce asexually by dividing into two every seven years. (Take my advice: don’t go on Jeopardy. Waste of your time, bright boy.)
But even though you may not be a source of light, at least you reflect it, because you’ve given me a great idea. Camel-shaped cakes! This would be the most popular thing at any kid’s birthday party ever. It could be a beige cake with peanut butter frosting, and I would eat the hell out of it.
Dear Dumb Guy: What is the difference between a non-linear second order homogeneous differential equation and an overclocked doggie? And why do the underclocked ones keep trying to repair people’s bottle caps? - ssj4Gogeta in Seattle
Dear Seattle: Let me answer the first part of your question first: Forty bucks, same as in town.
Now, the bottle caps thing. I know, I know. Dogs LOVE Bottle Caps. Mine will eat them right out of the palm of my hand. They prefer the red and green ones – they always leave the orange ones for me, even though they’re all covered with slobber by the time I get them. They also really love Nerds and those chewy Spree things.