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Q:  Dear Zeus,

Did Adam have a bellybutton?

Shannon Jacobs     San Antonio, TX

A:  You might be wondering how a Greek God could know the answer to this question.  After all, Greek mythology doesn't recognize Adam per se.  To put it simply, the accuracy of Greek mythology is sketchy at best, Jehovah's a good friend of mine, and I'm omnipotent.  The answer's yes.  Adam had a bellybutton.  And you should have seen the umbilical cord!  Whoa!

Appendix Troubles:
Q:  Dear Zeus,

My tummy hurts. Is my appendix about to implode?

Jen from Adelaide

A:  No, of course not, sweet girl.  Your appendix is about to explode, not implode, you big silly.   In order to implode, you'd need an intense vacuum in your belly.  You'll find that humans generally have excess gas in their digestive tracts, not the reverse.  As for your appendix, it looks like last month's steak tartar has gotten lodged in there, where it has been rotting and festering.  Your body has sent massive amounts of white blood cells to combat this infection, which has led up to a huge build-up of pus in your rather small, vestigial organ.  In plain English, that baby's about to go off like a hand grenade in a foxhole.  Time to get yourself to a hospital or at least tell your family to duck for cover.

Q:  Dear Zeus-

Where can I get the best deal on a new/used car?

Margie,     Argyle, TX

A:  There's good news and bad news.  Bad News:  The last honest car salesman went belly-up back in '84.  Good News:  You really can get cars for super cheap nowadays.   Bad News:  They're all in Mexico and the great majority of them are stolen property.  These vehicles are hotter than Reese Witherspoon, and that's saying something.  Good News:  You won't ever get caught with said stolen property if you choose to buy one.  Bad News:  Your conscience will bother you so much that you'll slip into a deep depression.  Good News:  There's always Prozac.  Bad News:  You'll be so stoned on antidepressants, you won't be able to drive.  Bummer.

Q:  Dear Zeus,

Which celebrities are going to hell?

Jonas Goldman     Burbank, CA

A:  There's too many to mention in one answer.  Here are a few:  Billy Ray Cyrus, for one.  Any man evil enough to write "Achy Breaky Heart" deserves endless torment.  Most country singers are in danger of hellfire, actually.  They cause so much pain, so much suffering!  Next, most everyone involved in the program "Felicity" is going to be damned to watching the show's reruns for eternity.  How many seasons can this thing go without any plot progression?  Waaaaaaay too many.  Now, let's not forget Tom Cruise.  The second he filed for divorce with Nicole Kidman, he literally gave up heaven in this life, so he doesn't deserve it in the next.

Q:  Oh Great One!

Why did you ever let Bill Clinton become president?

-Disgruntled Dave

A:  Dear Disgruntled,

I allow it for the same reason I let earthquakes shake the ground beneath your feet, let floods sweep away cities, and allow Macy Gray to record albums--as punishment.  Let's face it.  Any nation stupid and licentious enough to vote a man like Clinton into office deserves him, his policies, and his little wife, too.  So quit your griping and be thankful you weren't an intern.

Q:  OK Zeus-I go years, literally, without a single date, or even any signs of interest from the opposite sex.  Then out of the blue, I run into the biggest dork from my high school.  You know-the dork that even the band nerds made fun of.  He works in fast food now.  And he starts flirting with me.  So is the cosmos sitting back and laughing it's bum off right now?  Am I just a big joke to you Gods or what?  And what did I do that was so bad I deserve such punishment?  Eh?  I expect answers.

-Endofthelineformyfamilyname from Anonomousity

A:  Heaven loves and is very protective of instrumentalists.  These "band nerds" as you call them, are sheltered by powerful forces that have obviously cursed you.  Although lesser in strength than the Gods, these same forces have been proven to be wise time after time.  Due to your attitudes towards band students, I support them wholeheartedly in this matter.  If you do not appease them soon, you are doomed to a life of abject misery.  After a while, even this "dork" is going to start looking fine, and I mean with a capital F, Fiiiiiiiiiiine.  Change your attitudes now.  Better yet, take up playing the oboe.  It's the only way out.

Dorks and Instruments:  (follow-up to the Dorks question.)
Q:  OK Zeus, I've been thinking about this alot.  You said I need to learn to play the oboe to please the powers that be and release me from this curse.  But the oboe sounds like a goose that's being strangled.  Can't I play the bass or something cool like that?  And I was in acapella choir, doesn't that count for anything?


A:  No.  It doesn't.  As a choir member, you obviously felt superior to "the band nerds", or you wouldn't be in this mess in the first place, you condescending diva wanna-be.  The bass?  Not just no, but HELL NO!  This is an act of contrition, remember?  Any instrument that can even be remotely considered cool by someone just won't cut it as penance.  That means no drums, guitar, flute, keyboard, trumpet, baritone, trombone, and definitely no sax.  You can even rule out the french horn, because trekkies recognize it as the instrument that does the Star Trek: Voyager theme.  Now, playing the tuba or clarinet will score you a few points, but it'll take the oboe to bring you all the way back to ground zero.  There is another option:  Bassoon.  Take up this most humble of instruments, and by the time you play "Swanee River" at your first public recital without any mistakes, the aforementioned powerful forces will have adopted you as their long lost love-child.  It's up to you.

Q:  Dear Zeus,

It's time to end the debate.  Is Elvis still alive?

Tara Gallegos     Nashville, TN

A:  As James Sheets, Elvis' coroner, once said:  "He was dead the last time I saw him."  Yep.  "The King" died on his white, ceramic throne.  His terrible eating habits made him so constipated that he had an aneurysm while straining to take a poo.  What a horrible way to go.  Not only that, but having led a life of legendary debauchery, his spirit now resides in a locked room found in the Underworld.  In said room is a vast array of perfect looking doughnuts that all taste like vomit or Drew's armpits after calisthenics...not Drew Barrymore.  Drew Carey.  So why are people always seeing Elvis?  Think about it.  Where do they always report finding him?  At 7-Eleven.  You got it.  It's a publicity stunt!  Every time you hear of an Elvis sighting, 7-Eleven scores some free advertising.  Not that they need it.  Those @#*! Slurpees are more addictive than crack cocaine.

Q:  Zeus,

What is the secret to happiness?

Rachel Evens     Syracuse, NY

A:  Why, an endless supply of chocolate, of course.  Now, I'm not talking Sixlets or stale Hershey's bars here.  Spend a little cash and buy Godiva, Ghirardelli, or something European.  If you're really hard up, Dove chocolate will do in a pinch.  The second that sweet, tantalizing substance hits your taste buds is the moment that all your problems fade to black.  So great is the rapture of this, as of yet, uncontrolled substance, that many are immobilized for a time, their bodies writhing in a seizure of ecstasy.  Chocolate can even replace personal relationships.  It's well known that the chemical reaction chocolate causes in the brain is similar to having sex, especially in women.  As for men, well...even chocolate can't replace the internet.

Lost Items:
Q:  Dear Zeus,

Where's my hat?

nathan,   victoria bc

A:  Contrary to popular belief, most items are not lost due to scatterbrained forgetfulness, children who move things arbitrarily, or even theft.  It'll take some explaining, so bear with me.  Creating matter can be compared to writing a computer program, well, a MASSIVELY BIG, super-complex, intensely intricate computer program, anyway.  Once the matter is created, you can put it into different formats.  Handy, that.  To save space when nobody is using said matter or even looking at it, it is compressed into a much smaller, but unusable format that can best be compared to a zip file on your hard drive.  Then, it is "unzipped" when you or anyone else approaches.  Now, the beings that the Gods created to manage all this are the equivalent to your computer geeks.  I call them cosmonerds.  They're intelligent and anal-retentive, but they're also socially deficient and certainly aren't infallible.  Sometimes, not all the matter gets "unzipped" when it's supposed to.  That's why you often find a lost item in the same exact place you looked for it at the very beginning.  It was there all the time.  It was just too small to see in its altered format.  When you weren't looking, they expanded it.  Sometimes, cosmonerds lose track of the compressed matter altogether.  For example, they have a really hard time keeping tabs on any one part of a pair of socks.  This, of course, explains why so many people have drawers full of socks that don't match.  Does that answer you question?, not really but it answered a lot of other people's.  Go look in the mirror.  Your hat's on your head.

Q:  Dear Zeus,

I am in love. At least I think i am. I need u to tell me if I really am in love.

H. V. Rhymes

A:  Oh brother.  Tell me, do you need a doctor to inform you that you're sick?  Do you need a mechanic to tell you your car won't start?  Do you need a master chef to tell you the food at Taco Bell sucks?  Do you even know what I'm talking about?  *sigh*  Nope, guess not.  Let me put this more directly.  Either you are a complete moron who needs everything, no matter how obvious, spelled out, in no uncertain terms, or you are NOT in love.  Take your pick.  Good!  You've realized you're not in love, because if you were, you wouldn't be asking for a second opinion.  When you love someone, you know it.  It burns inside you like the hotwings at Hooters, and it radiates from your soul like the survivors of Chernobyl.  Don't worry.  You'll fall in love soon enough and be very happy...but I suggest you don't piss your soulmate off by asking stupid questions.

Meaning of Life:
Q:  Dear Zeus,

What is the meaning of life?

Rachel    Provo, UT

A:  Why, to appease me in every way, of course.  Man was made to grovel before my magnificence, serve my every whim, and generally kiss my immortal toosh.  Duh.

Monty Python:
Q:  Dear Zeus,

What is the average wing span of a swallow?

Margie   Argyle, TX

A:  DON'T GIVE ME THAT, YOU SNOTTY-FACED HEAP OF PARROT DROPPINGS.  SHUT YOUR FESTERING GOB, YOU TIT!  YOUR TYPE REALLY MAKE ME PUKE, YOU VACUOUS, COFFEE-NOSED, MALODOROUS PERVERT!  YOU...oops wrong sketch...nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean, know what I mean?  Although your question isn't a direct quote from The Holy Grail, it definitely bears pythonesque overtones.  So, to respond to your question in the words of King Arthur:  "What do you mean?  An African or European swallow?"  hehe  And now for something completely different...

Q:  So What's up with mosquitos, anyway?  Is it some kind of blood sacrifice or something?

Celeste     Salt Lake City, UT

A:  Mosquitos are nature's smallest vampires.  When a skeeter bites a fly, the fly dies and you get another blood-sucking mosquito.  Sunlight doesn't kill them, but they don't like it much, which is why so many of them come out at night.  As for the reason you itch after a mosquito bites you, well, most people are allergic to the unnaturalness of the undead.  If you ever meet a full-on zombie, you're gonna be bathing in calamine lotion for weeks unless you're something akin to a Marilyn Manson groupie--They've developed an immunity due to excessive exposure.  Ok.  Back to mosquitos.  When you get bitten next, relax.  They're not going to turn you into a vampire.  Only one individual has ever done so via mosquito.  This drunk wandered into northern Minnesota, of all places, without any insect repellent and passed out.  (FYI:  The active ingredient in Deep Woods Off! is really holy water.)  Anyway, the little vamps sucked the poor ba***rd clean dry.  It was kind of like a mosquito keg party.  What happened to him?  Up until a month ago, he wandered the Earth, rejected by humans (of course) and even vampires because of his bizarre origin.  Extremely depressed, he staked himself.

Mythical Creatures:
Q:  Dear Zeus,

Are faeries, dragons, unicorns, and any other creatures associated with these, real?

Butterflygurl     Muscatine, IA

A:  Most all of them are (or were) real.  Sadly, natural selection took care of the unicorns.  In 1969, the last unicorn was eaten by a bridge-dwelling troll.  Virginhood lost a great deal of its desirability that day.  *Note to self:  Make more unicorns.*  Dragons can still be found today, although I don't suggest you go looking for them.  Those who do, never come back, and that explains why no one thinks they exist.  Most nymphs evolved into prostitutes, most dryads became environmentalists, and most giants now make a living playing in the NFL.  With all that in mind, do I really need to explain what happened to the faeries?

Perfect Man:
Q:  Dearest Zeusie-pooh,

Is the perfect man put there anywhere?  If so, what's his name, where does he live, and what are his stats?  Thank you.

Margie,   Argyle, TX

A:  Ah.  The elusive, perfect male specimen.  More women by far have frivolously wasted away their youth and beauty searching for this than even the fountain of youth.  Of course, they never found him, mostly because they never asked me.  There IS a perfect man living in the world today.  He's intelligent, well-read, funny yet manly, kind, and good with children.  Right now you're thinking, "What's the catch?  Is he gay?"  Nope.  He's so straight he makes arrows look like boomerangs.  "So he's married?"  Nuh-uh.  Single.  "WHAT'S THE CATCH?!"  Ok, ok.  He's your brother.  "!@#$%&*!@#$^&!"  tsk.  tsk.  Such language!  Your brother would never approve.

Powers of the Gods:
Q:  Mighty Zeus,

So, tell me. Do you really have massive, unexplainable powers that are omnipotent, inconceivable by mortalmen, and completely unique to you and your god-kin; or do you simply manipulate natural laws in ultra-complexways that then SEEM supernatural to ignorant men? If the latter, can anyone learn these "tricks of the trade"? Can *I* become a god by study and/or practice?

Is there some kind of tranfiguration/transmogrification that one must go through in order to become a god? Is godhood completely blood oriented? And if so, having read that many of the gods cast their "seed" all about, what are the chances that I, or someone like me, could in actuality be a latent god figure. Any information would be greatly appreciated, as godhood would greatly improve my chances of getting a date.

All of my Gratitude to the God of Gods,

Joshua - Denton, TX

A:  My powers are beyond your reckoning, puny one.  The concept that an insignificant organism such as a human can bring about his or her own divinity through education is ludicrous.  Look at the most educated and talented among you.  Stephen Hawking is brilliant for a mortal, but let's face it, god-like?  I don't think so.  He can't even talk without that fancy Speak&Spell of his.  Godhood is strictly genetic.  Dogs have puppies, people give birth to little people, and gods produce gods.  It's the way it works.  You'll be pleased to know that you are endowed with the genomes of a deity.  Technically, you are 1/342,669ths god, stemming from an unfortunate but pleasurable incident one of your ancestors had with Dionysus, the God of Wine and Reveling.  All I'll say about that party is it involved three adders, a cask of brandy, two goats, twelve togas, and a whole heap of soldiers on leave.  Anyway...your genetics are diluted to such a magnitude that as a God in the classic sense, you'd be more impotent than Bob Dole sanza Viagra.  You're pretty much like any mortal, with one notable exception.  You have a singular and unique ability that borders on god-like.  With such a talent, I have no choice but to hereby dub you Joshua, the God of Overly Verbose and Analytical Questions.  Good luck with that whole date thing.

Q:  OK Mr. All Knowing...

Why do some people say 'nucular/nuculus' instead of 'nuclear/nucleus'?  (ONE of my pet peeves--along
with 'aks' instead of 'ask' and 'foilage' instead of 'foliage')

Denise Poling (still Plano, TX)

A:  Good Lord, woman! You're living in the south!  What did you expect?  When you combine the poor educational system with the horrific inbreeding rate, it's almost surprising their utterances don't more closely resemble monkey screeches than human speech.  There are actually college professors teaching English there that pronounce the word 'poem' as 'poim'.  Poim?  What the hell is that?  What you get when you write poitry?  Now let's factor in the southern drawl.  When you get right down to it, the best definition of a drawl is "really crappy pronunciation."  Answer your question?  I thought so.

Tootsie Pops:
Q:  Oh mighty one:

How many licks *does* it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?

Denise Poling      Plano, TX

A:  Ah!  Finally a supplicant who knows how to address a God!  You have my blessing.  As for your question, it all depends on the length and roughness of your tongue, now doesn't it?  Denise, with your tongue being average in length but exceptionally soft, it's going to take you a whopping 362 & 1/3 licks.  By way of comparisn, it would take the typical cow only 45.5 licks, should the cow be inclined to lick a tootsie pop.  Gene Simmons, lead singer of the band KISS, however, can get to the center of one those babies in ten licks flat.  That monster tongue of his deserves to be registered as a lethal weapon.

Zeus rants about Jack Balls:
Ok, Jack in the Box has gone too far.  Their original Jack Antenna Ball was cute and led to some of the more amusing commercials on tv.  Now, however, they offer holiday jack balls during the different seasons and have even come out with a bunch of different baseball team Jack Balls for the sports enthusiast who can't control his buying compulsions.  It's getting sickening.  With all this in mind, here's some new Jack Ball ideas that you should (but won't) see in the future.

The Michael Jack(son) Ball:  Spontaneously changes color and comes with interchangeable noses.

The Madonna Jack Ball:  "Like a virgin, eaten for the very first time..."

The Porn Star Jack Ball:  "Oh, this burger is soooo juicy!  Oh, yes.  Oh, yes!  Oh!  Ooooooooooh!"

The Jack (Nicholson) Ball:  "You know what would go great with that burger?  Some RED RUM!  RED RUM!"

The Pusher Jack Ball:  "Come on.  One burger won't hurt you.  Try it out.  First one's free.  You'll like it."

The Britney Spears Jack Ball:  Idolizes the Madonna Jack Ball.  Comes with two inflatable parts.

The Trekkie Jack Ball:  "Live long and eat much Jack in the Box."  Has never had relations with a Jackette ball.

The Borg Jack Ball:  "Resistance is futile.  You will assimilate burgers."  Comes with metal attachments.

The Black Jack Ball:  Keeps getting eyed suspiciously by the Cop Jack Balls.

The Cop Jack Balls:  While they like food from Jack in the Box, they crave Krispy Kreme.

The WorldCom Jack Ball:  Overestimates the number of burgers sold by several billion.

The Harry Potter Jack Ball:  Comes with scar on forehead.  Thought to be evil by overzealous protestants.

The Bill Gates Jack Ball:  Plans to overtake Jack in the Box and then the world!

The Benedict Jackold Ball:  "Dude, you should try this Sourdou...Oh, screw it.  I'm going to McDonald's."

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