"Is it simply unattractive, perhaps an opalescent brown-green that blinds all to its delicious flavor?"
April 1, 2006 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever wondered why we don't harvest milk from pigs? Or why the Amoco Corporation is always leaving all the lights on in their building in such an energy-inefficient fashion? What the hell is the Grimace anyway? What does Ruth Bader Ginsburg think of the legal problem of Siamese twins, when one is retarded and the other commits a felony? What are the qualifications of the buzzer-pressing "judge" on "$100,000 Pyramid"? Can you crash on the Sultan of Brunei's sofa when you're in town? For many years, Guy Petzall attempted to get answers to questions like these. Sometimes he succeeded.
posted by Gator (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pig milk? I'm offended.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:13 PM on April 1, 2006

And sometimes, his connection keeps timing out.
posted by malaprohibita at 2:41 PM on April 1, 2006

Huh, what a neat find. Some of these are pretty amusing to read through. Just browsing through them makes me really want to start doing something similar.

The site seems to be running very slow at the moment, but that's not really a problem since it loads up so many letters at once.
posted by Stunt at 2:42 PM on April 1, 2006

grimace is a tastebud, but i guess that's probably written in the article if i bothered to read it.
posted by wumpus at 2:49 PM on April 1, 2006

Awesome - the kinds of things I've often wondered about but never bothered to make the proper inquiries.
posted by unmake at 3:03 PM on April 1, 2006

A few were really funny (of what I have read so far.) He could use an editor I think, both in the individual letters and the site as a whole.

Some good reading, but not as funny as "Letters from a nut" and not as impressive as Henry Root.
posted by fire&wings at 3:36 PM on April 1, 2006

Funny how he noticed the aroma of Fruity Pebbles in a cinema washroom in Chile. There's a movie theater here in Toronto that has the same problem/blessing. Anyone know what's up?
posted by greatgefilte at 3:38 PM on April 1, 2006

Wow. This guy is kind of annoying. There are so many letters. ... I did enjoy the reply to his question about Sainsbury's Spring Bliss Washing Up Liquid, though.
posted by blacklite at 3:43 PM on April 1, 2006

greatgefilte, most washrooms have either an air freshener that mists every X minutes, or little containers (much like a pudding container) that contain a scented gel. Often they use overpowering fruity scents in these, to mask the smell of crap. These can sometimes smell like other fruity things, like cereal.

IWAJ (I was a janitor)
posted by Loto at 4:18 PM on April 1, 2006

Some were meh. Some just a bit too kooky to get taken seriously. But some were classics.

The requests to the Sultan of Brunei. Then the subsequent phonecall saga while in Brunei. Ballsy.

Did find it depresseing that he never seemed to get a real answer from any sort of public service official. Totally stonewalled by the office of the president. Form lettered by the VP. No response from the DOD, nor Justic Ginsberg. The Post Office did provide a good lesson on ZIP codes though.
posted by C.Batt at 4:59 PM on April 1, 2006

The FPP, 'tis very cool.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:12 PM on April 1, 2006

Re the Verrazano Bridge: Due to thermal expansion/contraction of steel, the bridge roadway is 12' lower in summer than its winter elevation.

12 feet? Is this really correct?
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:40 PM on April 1, 2006

posted by gubo at 5:44 PM on April 1, 2006

Re: the big question of why not pig milk, I loved this kissoff:

I encourage you to think about developing a pig milking machine as you eat your bacon in the fixture. (sic)
posted by chrominance at 5:49 PM on April 1, 2006

Awesome find, Gator.
posted by jmhodges at 5:50 PM on April 1, 2006

posted by Bugbread at 5:53 PM on April 1, 2006

fantastic post.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:04 PM on April 1, 2006

That was great. Thanks.
posted by evoo at 7:30 PM on April 1, 2006

some random thoughts here. ever think about meds? the focus could help....
posted by susanann at 7:32 PM on April 1, 2006

This site kinda reminds me of that guy who'd write hundreds of letters to all sorts of companies asking for freebies. It was an FPP a few months ago, I think.

Can't find it, though.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 8:02 PM on April 1, 2006

Awesome post.

I spent a couple of days in college researching what sort of passport a pair of siamese twins would need (do they need one with two names or two separate passports?). I started by calling the reference desk at the Cornell Law Library, which advertised its willingness to answer any legal question. They helped up to a point, suggesting that I call the INS. I called several people at the INS, but no one knew the answer to my question. Turns out that I'd have to call a toll number ($1 / minute) to ask something with more resources. At that point I turned to a friend who works in the Luxemburg foreign consulate in SF. Her boss, the consule general, said that some countries in the Middle East issule passports with more than one name (the husband is the primary name, his wife is added to his passport... of course she'd never travel without him!), and maybe the US has a similar policy in rare cases. I was satisfied with that answer, since I couldn't go any further without spending a bunch of money.
posted by pkingdesign at 8:30 PM on April 1, 2006

Pigs unlike cows cannot become pregnant while lactating and therefore possess a severe economic problem to producers. while pigs consume less feed per day, economics does not allow pigs to be a viable source of dairy products.

The biggest challenge facing the porcine dairy industry is collecting the product. Pigs on average have fourteen teats as opposed to cows that have four teats. Pigs also differ from cows in their milk ejection time, a cows milk ejection is stimulated by the hoimone oxytocin and can last ten minutes, where as a pig's milk ejection time only last fifleen seconds as the suckling pigs stimulate the release of oxytoc in. The technology of a 14 cupped mechanized milking machine that can milk a pig in 15 seconds is not available to pork producers.

I hope I have answered your questions and I encourage you to think about developing a pig milking machine as you eat your bacon in the fixture.
For this alone, I declare this FPP awesome. MeFi enriched my life today.
posted by Aknaton at 8:51 PM on April 1, 2006

The Gaylon Brothers had two SSNs, and shared a passport.
posted by unmake at 8:53 PM on April 1, 2006

I would've posted earlier, but the link wasn't working. This is an AWESOME post.
posted by rollbiz at 8:58 PM on April 1, 2006

FYI, jalan-jalan is Indonesian (or Malaysians) and is an idiom meaning "to wander around".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:06 PM on April 1, 2006

Incidentally, the author of that response letter about porcine lactation has since received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Animal Science and the 2001 National Pork Producers Council award for Innovation in Applied Swine Research. Not quite the Sultan of Brunei, or Justice Ginsburg, but still quite respectable.
the previous winner
posted by Aknaton at 9:40 PM on April 1, 2006

Probably the most valuable fact I took from this link is that NAMBLA is an actual organization, and not some sick idea thought up by the South Park guys.

And the other stuff on this website is pretty cool, too.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 10:44 PM on April 1, 2006

A guy once called me at work asking me the very same question about pig milk. He had just retired from some office job (insurance) and wanted to start a business making "diet" dairy products, using sow milk. I asked him if he had previous experience working with pigs (he didn't), then I proceeded to describe what would happen to him if he tried to wrestle down a 200-kg (440lb) sow in order to milk her, a pratical problem he clearly hadn't foreseen. My colleagues (all animal science researchers) were ROFLTAO during that phone call, which didn't help me finding the right words.
posted by elgilito at 12:15 AM on April 2, 2006

elgilito : "ROFLTAO"

Rolling on floor laughing the ass off.
posted by Bugbread at 3:35 AM on April 2, 2006

I can't believe no one's mentioned " Gentlemen.... My anus is very important to me."

I think I'll start my next public speech that way.
posted by rusty at 5:05 AM on April 2, 2006

Metafilter: The biggest challenge facing the porcine dairy industry
posted by blue_beetle at 10:14 AM on April 2, 2006

...wanted to start a business making "diet" dairy products, using sow milk.

Did he confuse the y and the w?
posted by Hal Mumkin at 11:59 AM on April 2, 2006

Grimace is a semi-retarded cave mutant. This is vaguely disturbing, until I remember that Mayor McCheese is an unspeakable human-hamburger hybrid abomination, which not only brings instant resolution to Micky D's "I'd hit it" advertising train-wreck, but has literally sapped me of all remaining will to live.
posted by dgaicun at 12:37 PM on April 2, 2006

Fun link!

Somewhat related reading.
posted by ktoad at 1:35 PM on April 2, 2006

unmake - The Gaylon Brothers had two SSNs, and shared a passport.

Wow, thanks for posting that! After years of infrequent wondering, my question has now been answered!
posted by pkingdesign at 4:08 PM on April 2, 2006

I thought this was a fantastic post. I've got a paper due tomorrow and its distracted caused me to waste 30 minutes reading through most of his letters.

Anything that can make me waste time when I've got a paper to finish is worth it.
posted by sotonohito at 4:34 PM on April 2, 2006

Not as good as "The Lazlo Letters" by Lazlo Toth (a pseudonym for Don Novello, who also did Father Guido on SNL.)
posted by neuron at 11:25 PM on April 2, 2006

Purplesaurus Rex! yum.

I didn't know brits didn't rinse their dishes. I wonder if my Spanish house moms did that.
posted by lampoil at 8:35 AM on April 3, 2006

Why does he sound so articulate in most of his letters yet make spelling errors in almost all of his "red" rebuttals to the letters?
posted by agregoli at 12:21 PM on April 3, 2006

Great post. Some of the letters are wickedly funny. The one advocating Simpsonday is one of my faves.

Agregoli, I suspect he re-typed all of his letters (they don't look as though they've been pdf-ed) and didn't spell check.
posted by Azaadistani at 12:38 PM on April 3, 2006

There are numerous typos in the letters, too.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:17 PM on April 3, 2006

Enough so that I suspected they'd been OCRed.
posted by Aknaton at 3:44 PM on April 3, 2006

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