Monty’s Never Have I Ever – 1st Edition

This is my first foray into blogging games. We all know that Paul over at The Captain’s Speech is the OG in this area and I don’t expect (nor want) to impinge on his captaincy, but I would experiment a bit. March has proven a bit slow on my blog and my book sales are miserable, so I thought why not a competition where you folks get a chance to “win” (get stuck with?) a copy of one of my books? That’s right! There is a real prize to be won here: a copy of Monty’s Almanac 202x. According to Amazon this is a value of US$6.87 at the moment, although you are free to disagree. One thing I can guarantee is that if you walk away with this prize you will be one of very few in this world with such a treasure.

How this will work:

1) I will provide one “Never Have I Ever” question for you to answer. The question will be about me (Never Has Monty Ever…). There will be three correct answers and you will have five chances to select the correct answers.

2) Post your answers in your own blog (or optionally in the comments section of this post). Make sure to link your blog post to this post so I have visibility. The deadline for posting your answers is end of day, Saturday March 19th (per your local time zone).

3) For maximum points provide some type of commentary on your answers (there are no restrictions on the type of commentary but the goal here is to entertain – see below for further explanation on points).

4) Points: There are a maximum of 100 points available. 10 points for each correct answer (3 x 10 = 30 possible points). Up to 10 points for each of your answers commentary (points are granted based on the entertainment value of your commentary per my subjective assessment; it doesn’t matter if the associated answers are correct or not; 5 x 10 = 50 possible points). If you make me literally LOL there are 20 bonus points available as well (20 possible points). Total: 30 + 50 + 20 possible points.

5) Everyone is eligible to play unless you know my real (full) name.

6) The prize will be either a paperback or e-copy of Monty’s Almanac 202x. As long as the format is available in your region, the choice will be yours (if you win). Given the complexities of international shipping and such there could be some complications, but I’m sure I will find a way to make it work.

7) I’ll post the results on (or about) Monday, March 21st local China time.

8) This is just for fun and games (and a book of questionable value), so lets all just play along and enjoy!

The Game: Never Has Monty Ever…Been Paid To

(select five answers from below and provide commentary with each answer – there are a total of three possible correct answers)

A) Sell pop-corn

B) Remove a tree stump

C) Provide security

D) Dog-sit

E) Jack-hammer a cement floor

F) Paint a fence

G) Demolish a bath-room

H) Wait/buss tables

I) Cut the grass

J) Run a medical plastics extrusion machine

K) Be a teacher’s assistant

L) Do lab research

M) Be a cashier

N) Bag groceries

O) Mix paint

P) Cook

Q) Taste sexual lubricants

R) Watch babies bathe

S) Clean a movie-theatre

T) Distribute newspapers

U) Lick/stamp envelopes

V) Mix rubber

W) Provide voice-over for a video

X) Baby-sit

Y) Dig a ditch

Z) Give a speech


Remember, post your 5 answers in your own blog (or optionally in the comments section of this post). Make sure to link your blog post to this post so I have visibility. The deadline for posting your answers is end of day, Saturday March 19th (per your local time zone).

And

Have fun!


Be well,

Monty

The Blogger Games II – Week 5 (Finals)

Paul, over at the Captain’s Speech hosted the first ever blogger games last year during the Summer Olympics. It was a fun time. The competition was fierce and although I made the podium once during the five week games, I didn’t place in the end. Well, the time is nigh for that to change. Peckapalooza from The Confusing Middle, one of my fellow contestants in the first games, has negotiated organizing rights with Paul and is hosting The Blogger Games II just in time to coincide with the winter games.

The Blogger Games II – Week 5 (The Confusing Middle)

I tied for bronze last week, which I’m not going to complain about. I’m still very puzzled by Peckapalooza’s likes and dislikes. Now I understand why his blog is called The Confusing Middle. It’s not that I’m necessarily wrong with my answers, it’s just that the poor man is confused.

Ok, this is the last week. Let’s play!

THE 10 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. Growing up, Peckapalooza had a dog named Duchess. True/False?

Answer: False. I can’t imagine any child coming up with the name Duchess for their dog. Now it’s possible it was a family dog and named by an adult, but I’m going to stick with my gut and say false.

My first dog was named Peppie, which I just copied off of my Dad’s family who also had a dog named Peppie. In fact one Christmas when I was visiting my dad, my Christmas stocking had Peppie’s name written on the “back”. I was apparently borrowing his Christmas stocking. Very generous of him in hindsight, but I was a little put out at the time.

2. Peckapalooza’s first roller coaster was Busch Garden’s Loch Ness Monster. True/False?

Answer: True. So I went against my own policy and did some research on this. This is a big classic coaster from 1978 with loops. Not for the feint of heart. My first instinct was too say false if it was a big coaster as I think most kids will try something smaller first, but this is Peckapalooza and he doesn’t do things normal.

I don’t remember the name of my first coaster but it was at Disney World in Orlando, FL and it was a kiddie coaster.

3. Peckapalooza’s been successfully doing his own laundry since he was a freshman in high school. True/False?

Answer: True . Again, I’m going against my instinct which is nobody is that consistently successful. There has to be at least one disaster story with a chewed up sweater or missing sock. But hey, magic is real.

I did the laundry in a laundry mat since very young. At first with my mom, but later during HS she would drop me off and I’d do my homework while doing the laundry. Now I avoid it whenever I can.

4. Peckapalooza once at an entire Pop’s Sundae (for 4) on a bet and won. True/False?

Answer: False. Ok, so I fully believe that a Pop’s Sundae was consumed and Peckapalooza is the one that did it. I’m guessing it wasn’t on a bet though.

I’ve definitely eaten four servings of ice-cream on my own more than once or twice and never needed a bet as incentive. I can’t recall any food related bets, but I always wanted to do one of the curry rice challenges I saw in Japan. I love me some Japanese curry!

5. Peckapalooza’s first ever flight was to Istanbul in 2017? True/False?

Answer: False. That would be a doozie of a first flight, but I have a hard time thinking that Peckapalooza waited so long to get his wings.

My first flight was around 1979 to Florida at age six. The smoke on the plain was absolutely awful.

6. Peckapalooza was asked to help edit a book about the James Bond franchise. True/False?

Answer: True. Why not?

My mom is my editor for my books. She is a professional. I’m absolutely horrid at spelling and grammar. I’m working on it but it’s hard. Please forgive my errors.

7. Peckapalooza’s picture made the papers at age 5. True/False?

Answer: True. Part of me thinks that this is one of those stories that is true but it happened at the ripe old age of six or something. But…going with True.

I’m thinking I made the paper the first time by name in 7th or 8th grade for soccer. I definitely remember a picture in the paper during high school also for soccer.

8: Peckapalooza’s had over two dozen roommates throughout his life. True/False?

Answer: False. 24+ would be a lot of sharing for anyone.

Aside from sharing my room with my brother for awhile as a kid and with my wife now, I’ve only had three roommates in my life (I had the same roommate both Freshman and Sophomore years in college).

9. Peckapalooza celebrated two adult birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese. True/False?

Answer: False. Please, please be false!

I’m still recovering from the one time I visited Chuck E. Cheese for one of my kid’s friend’s birthday.

10) Peckapalooza only bone breaking experience was cracking his ribs due to coughing too hard in a fit of bronchitis. True/False?

Answer: True. Bronchitis is a rough sport.

I had a bad case of bronchitis. It was brutal but I didn’t crack any ribs. I’ve broken my wrist and my toes ( a couple times), but no big stories.


Well, that is a wrap. Thanks to Peckapalooza for hosting the fun. Despite my snarky comments, I think your a pretty cool dude and it’s been good to get to know you.


Be well,

Monty

The Blogger Games II – Week 4

Paul, over at the Captain’s Speech hosted the first ever blogger games last year during the Summer Olympics. It was a fun time. The competition was fierce and although I made the podium once during the five week games, I didn’t place in the end. Well, the time is nigh for that to change. Peckapalooza from The Confusing Middle, one of my fellow contestants in the first games, has negotiated organizing rights with Paul and is hosting The Blogger Games II just in time to coincide with the winter games.

The Blogger Games II – Week 4 (The Confusing Middle)

Well. Well. Well. I came into a lil’ touch of gold last week. It certainly felt nice. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’ve got no idea on how to tackle this week’s games. I’ve been trying different strategies and I got one that worked last week…but there is no way to apply it to this week. Ah well, perhaps my strategy this week will just be “dumb luck”. Let’s get to it and see how this works out.

THE 10 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. What score did Peckapalooza want to play trumpet for in 7th grade band? A) Superman: The Movie B) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves C) Back to the Future

Answer: B) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I don’t know any of these scores off the top of my head, but in my imagination Robin Hood would have some good trumpeteering.

2. Peckapalooza’s all-time favorite book? A) The Stand by Stephen King B) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz C) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Answer: C) A Wrinkle in Time. Because in my humble opinion it’s the superior option.

3. Peckapalooza’s fav vampire slayer? A) Kristy Swanson as Buffy Summers B) Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy Summers C) Eliza Dushku as Faith Lebanese

Answer: C) Eliza Dushku . I’ve no idea. I did a quick google search with the plan on picking the most attractive (I know it’s shallow but without watching the show, what criteria should I use). Anyway, none of them seemed particularly attractive to me…although if they are kicking-ass in the show that can add a significant degree of sexiness so it’s very possible that their headshots didn’t do them justice. Pure guess.

4. Peckapalooza’s fav Hitchcock flick? A) Rear Window B) Psycho C) Vertigo

Answer: A) Rear Window. Gosh, entertainment isn’t my category. I’ve, maybe scene snippets of these movies but never watched any of them fully through. Another call for pure luck.

5. Peckapalooza’s fav mainline Final Fantasy ? A) IV B) VII C) XII

Answer: A) IV. Never played Final Fantasy so…

6. Which of these films outperformed their respective books according to Peckapalooza? A) The Shining B) A Walk to Remember C) The Hunger Games

Answer: A) The Shining. I’m only confident that its not The Hunger Games. 50/50 shot in the dark.

7. Which film’s actress has a Twitter crush on Peckapalooza? A) Blades of Glory B) Step Brothers C) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Answer: B) Step Brothers. This would take a LOT of research to figure out. Research I’m NOT going to do.

8: Which love birds are most believable to Peckapalooza? A) Rocky and Adrian B) Han and Leia C? Neo and Trinity

Answer: A) Rocky and Adrian. I’m thinking their gritty love story is the right one.

9. Which concert did Peckapalooza snub? A) Black-Eyed Peas B) Tim McGraw C) Miranda Lambert

Answer: B) Tim McGraw. I’m projecting on which one I would have snubbed, but it’s still a 50/50 shot. I’d likely only have seen the Black-Eyed Peas.

10) Who did Peckapalooza and his college friend make fun of? A) Steve Urkel B) Samual “Screech” Powers C) Angus MacGyver

Answer: B) Samual “Screech” Powers. Nobody makes fun of MacGyver…but, his name was Angus?…seriously?!


After this quiz I feel like I must have tuned out of the entertainment industry. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a rural area that had virtually no TV reception and even radio was severely limited? I’ve got nothin’.


Be well,

Monty

The Blogger Games II – Week 3

Paul, over at the Captain’s Speech hosted the first ever blogger games last year during the Summer Olympics. It was a fun time. The competition was fierce and although I made the podium once during the five week games, I didn’t place in the end. Well, the time is nigh for that to change. Peckapalooza from The Confusing Middle, one of my fellow contestants in the first games, has negotiated organizing rights with Paul and is hosting The Blogger Games II just in time to coincide with the winter games.

The Blogger Games II – Week 3 (The Confusing Middle)

So last week I took a bold turn on my strategy by guessing against my intuition on every question. How did this work out? Not so well. I got only 4/10 correct, just slightly ahead of random chance and slightly worse relative to the first week. My KPI for the strategy was minimum 6 correct answers. So back to the strategic drawing board.

As soon as I saw this week’s questions (all about preferences) and that they were somewhat consistent with first Blogger Games hosted by Paul, which Peckapalooza also played, I knew that I needed to make a critical decision. How to best use this data? Here’s the thing, I think it’s human nature to assume that other peoples preferences are the same as ours if we like them (and different if we don’t like them). So, if Peckapalooza likes Paul, I should choose the same/similar answers that Peckapalooza chose for Paul in the original games. If he hates Paul, then I should go with the opposite answer. Make sense? Of course, Peckapalooza could be indifferent or indecisive about liking Paul, but where is the fun in thinking that?

My answer: Paul is Peckapalooza’s best (virtual) bud.

Why? Because Paul is so darn likable! Nuff’ said!

THE 10 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. Which way does Peckapalooza like the toilet paper roll to hang? A) Over B) Under

Answer: A) Over. Peckapalooza guessed (wrongly) that Paul prefers over, so that is what I’m going with. I got this one wrong about Paul too. This could be a tough one as some, like me, don’t really have a strong preference. I don’t care how it hangs myself as long as it’s there when I need it.

2. Sandwiches taste better when they are…? A) Not Cut B) Cut Diagonally

Answer: B) Cut Diagonally. Peckapalooza and I both guess this correctly for Paul and frankly there is no other right answer anyway.

3. When it comes to watching shows on TV, does Peckapalooza like to watch them…? A) Week to Week B) Binged All At Once

Answer: B) Binged All At Once. This question varies from the original where Peckapalooza guessed “Later (recorded)” correctly about Paul. I didn’t. I was thinking about sports and assuming Paul would want to watch them live, but I should have focused on “shows”. Anyway, I figure Binged is the closest answer here to “Later”.

4. Is Peckapalooza a…? A) Night Owl B) Morning Person

Answer: A) Night Owl. Peckapalooza got this right about Paul and I got it wrong (what does that say about whether I like Paul?! I suggest, let’s not overanalyze this strategy!). I myself like to wake up early (5am everyday). I’m a serious morning person.

5. Which fries does Peckapalooza like more? A) McDonald’s B) Burger King

Answer: A) McDonalds. Almost everyone got this wrong about Paul. Probably because Paul got this one wrong himself. Now, Peckapalooza switched out Wendy’s with Burger King on this question, which would hint at the fact that Burger King might be the correct answer, but I think it’s a red herring and I’m sticking with MickyD’s (because it’s the right answer whether it’s correct or not!).

6. Peckapalooza likes to sleep on his…? A) Side B) Back

Answer: A) Side. This question almost threw me as it wasn’t binary in the original games, but I did some extra digging and confirmed Peckapalooza guessed (wrongly) side for this one. Personally, I’m most often on my stomach (like Paul).

7. When ordering a beverage at a restaurant does Peckapalooza…? A) Use a Straw B) Drink from the Glass

Answer: B) Drink from the Glass. Peckapalooza and I both guess this wrong for Paul. Paul had framed this question around drinking from a small milk carton…Paul is still a kid at heart and we weren’t thinking straight. Who even still drinks from milk cartons after grade school? I prefer drinking from the glass to avoid the “plasticy” flavor of the straw.

8: Peckapalooza would rather be…? A) Hot B) Cold

Answer: B) Cold. Ok, so this one wasn’t on the original set of questions so I’m flying blind on this one. I’ll take my 50/50 chances. I personally prefer to be cold because there is something that I can do about it (put on more layers), but there are only so many layers that I can take off before I become an indecent exposure, so…

9. Peckapalooza would rather live…? A) On a Lake B) At the Beach

Answer: A) On a Lake. This is another new question so I’m projecting my own preference here. If there was an option to live on a rocky ocean shore I would have gone with that as I love the waves, but I’m not a fan of sand.

10) Which young adult book series does Peckapalooza like more? A) Percy Jackson B) Harry Potter

Answer: B) Harry Potter. Another new question and another projection of my personal preferences. Harry Potter is a much better crafted world/story than Percy Jackson.


I’ve shared my own preferences in most of the questions above, so I’ll just jump to predictions. This week I fully expect to score 7/10 correctly (considering that some of the questions were new and I wasn’t able to directly apply my strategy). Let’s see how this works out!


Be well,

Monty

Oh Captain, My Captain (‘s Quiz)

Paul, over at the Captain’s Speech has been hosting the preeminent blogging quiz awhile now. I was a slow starter, but I created the ultimate underdog feel good story by taking the Captains’ Championship Crown in the last round. It’s a strange feeling to be defending the golden podium. I’m not sure I like having such high expectations of myself. I’m much more comfortable flying high and loose without a real care. I’m going to try and channel my underdog energy and let’s see how this turns out. All I’m truly confident about is that this will be a fun time. Paul has a way of making things interesting.

Captain’s Speech – The Captain’s Quiz 7 “Well That’s New”

THE 10 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. In the first High School Musical movie, Troy and Gabriella sing a song called, “Start of Something New”. What are three things you would tell kids before they start high school?

The future tense of this question throws me since both of my kids have already finished high school and I’m completely over and done with the whole educating teenagers thing (not just physically, but emotionally). With that said, here is my advice:

1) Be unapologetically yourself. Peer pressure is overrated.

2) Have fun (safely). This is the time to experiment and discover yourself…but don’t be stupid about it.

3) Get the Taco Salad for school lunch. You’ll never find it on the menu again for the rest of your life. Don’t live to regret this important decision.

2. The first iPhone came out in 2007 and thousands of people lined up to get one. What is the longest you’ve ever stood in a line? What was it for? Was it worth the wait?

Shoot. I hope I don’t lose the whole quiz based on this question. I don’t think I have any epic line waiting stories. I’m struggling to recollect. The longest line I’ve ever waited on, based on how long it felt, was probably at the DMV trying to get my driver’s license changed from Vermont to New Jersey. Boy that was painful (but I’d be facetious if I said it wasn’t worth it). I’d say the wait was probably 2 hours in total.

Darn. I really think the points are going to favor those that have fanatically waited overnight to get into a concert or something, but I gotta stay true to the facts.

3. On the game show, The Price is Right, they often give away a brand new car and most contestants jump up and down in excitement. If you won a new car on TV, how would you feel?

I’d be happy about winning a major prize. That just doesn’t happen to me. I’m never a winner at even small types of prize give-aways. But, honestly, my happiness would be a bit muted as I’d be wondering about how much tax I would owe on this thing and whether there would be an option to take a cash alternative. A car is a very personal and long-term choice. It’s very unlikely the prize car would be something that I would actually want to own and drive myself. I guess I could give it to my kids. But the tax thing is still bothering me. I know. I know. Boring answer. But again, I’m stuck with being an honest bloke.

4. Four teams in the NFL have the word “New” in their name: New Orleans, New England, and New York (x2). What are three words that have “new” anywhere in the word.

Newt. Knew. Anew.

5. In what year did your favourite artist/band put out their latest album? How many songs are on that album and how many of them do you like?

Current favorite band is twenty one pilots. Their last album release was in 2021: Scaled and Icy which included 11 songs. This album is quite a bit different from my earlier favorites (Vessel and Blurry Face), but I still enjoy it considerably. I just re-listened to the album from beginning to end and can confirm that I like 8 of 11 songs (the other three are ok, just neutral).

6. Many items (books, cars, video games, clothes, etc.) can be bought used, instead of new. Tell me about some used items you’ve purchased.

Hmm. Purchased, huh? I’ve acquired plenty of used items for free over the years (isn’t that how we all furnished our first apartments before IKEA existed?). But actually handed cash over for? Let’s see. All I can remember is the Nintendo NES game system I bought from a co-worker at my part-time job in a movie theater back in high school for about 60 bucks. A great deal. It came with a number of games including Super Mario, which I eventually played to completion.

7. What foods are just as good, if not better, as leftovers?

Spaghetti and most pastas are just as good as left-overs. Leftover spaghetti is a super comfort food for me as it reminds me of my childhood when all spaghetti was overcooked. Lasagna is particularly amazing 2nd day. Stews and Chilies are better as leftovers as the flavors really come together and the texture thickens deliciously.

8. You need a new pair of shoes. Describe the process of finding the perfect pair.

Aesthetics come first. Pick out some choices that look good for the purpose you need. Then comes fit and comfort. Here it’s critical to try on both the left and right shoe and walk around a little bit (make sure to bring socks that are representative of what you would wear with this type of shoe). Each foot is different so don’t make the mistake of buying based on trying just one. Last is price. If they look good and feel good, then you just need to assess if they are within your budget. I’m inclined to spend more on shoes than other articles of clothing as quality is so critical to comfort and durability.

9. Would you rather have a new friend, a new book, or a new TV show to watch? Explain your choice.

New friend. I’m an introvert living in a foreign land so friends are rare and precious. Becoming friends with someone is a mutual affair. A new book or show just requires my individual effort to find something I’m interested in. I recently ‘acquired’ a new friend. A fellow American living in my neighborhood and we’ve been hanging out some. It’s been a blessing.

10. The Newlywed Game is a game that married couples, as well as friends, play to see how well they know each other. The last person you texted/sent a message to, is your partner. How well would you do at this game?

My Mom. I sent her my wordle results for the day. Ok, mom as partner is a bit awkward in the context of a newlywed theme, but we’ve got this! Mom and I grew up together and we speak weekly now, so I think we would rock this game.

BONUS QUESTIONS

1. You just got a new job and must introduce yourself by sending a group email to your new co-workers. Write your introductory email as if you’re typing it while riding a rollercoaster.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. A new restaurant is opening in your town. You decide to go there for dinner a month after they open. Write a review of your experience. (All the details: name of restaurant, food, layout, etc., are up to you).

Curtis’ BBQ (Shanghai) is a dream come true. A true-to-original recreation of this southern Vermont treasure was established by Curtis’ daughter, Clarissa, who learned to BBQ under her father’s guidance. The only restaurant in all Shanghai serving food from an old school bus, and with a pet pig overseeing the pit as bonus. I ordered the full menu for old times sake and not a single regret. Five Stars! Highly Recommended!

originally published in Monty’s Very Short Shorts
originally published in Monty’s Almanac 202x

3. You are the creator of a new social media platform. Tell me about it.

One is the transformative new social platform that allows every community member one post per 24 hours. One post like per 24 hours. One post comment per 24 hours. Make them count!

(Inspired by Wordle’s limit of one game per day creating more lasting engagement and interest. In this world of too much of everything sometimes less is more).


Be well,

Monty