How to answer the age-old question, “How are you?”

The Edge, November 4, 2006

A recent study has shown the question “How are you?” is clearly the most commonly asked question by humans. For animals, it was “Shall we sniff?” and computers, “When shall I randomly close this application?”
The “How are you?” question came in oodles ahead of second place “What’s the meaning of life?” and there was a tie for third, “Would you like fries with that?“ and “Do I look fat in this?”

While “How are you?” has many, many answers, here’s a list of the top 50 responses:
  • Good
  • Fine
  • Well
  • Terrible
  • Pleasant
  • Sick
  • Not telling
  • Do you really want to know?
  • Nifty
  • Novel
  • Nauseous
  • Better than you
  • Irritable, go away!
  • Because I am
  • Why do you ask?
  • Are you serious
  • Speak up
  • 65 per cent water
  • You tell me
  • Mind your own business
  • Did you hear that?
  • If only I knew
  • I have leprosy
  • Don’t bother me
  • Do I know you?
  • Don’t beat around the bush, just say it!
  • Who sent you?
  • Let’s take this outside
  • Not in front of the children
  • I beg your pardon
  • Do you really, really want to know?
  • I didn’t do it
  • 5 kg over my goal weight, you?
  • Still breathing
  • Open to suggestions
  • Fighting fit
  • Over it
  • I could tell you but I’d have to kill you
  • I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that
  • No speak English
  • Can you write that down
  • Interesting statement you make
  • What a ridiculous thing to ask
  • And you kiss your mother with that mouth?
  • That came out wrong, didn’t it!
  • Craving sweet potato ice-cream
  • Signed, sealed and delivered
  • Not interested
  • Like a duck in the mud
  • Do you really, really, reeeeeally want to know?
  • You definitely need a Tic-Tac or something because your breath STINKS!
The very first person to ask the question “How are you?” was Adam when he first met Eve. In the Edeenian dialect they spoke, “How are you?” is pronounced “Hubber hubber.” Keep that in mind the next time someone asks you “How you are”!

Did you know: if 6 billion humans said “How are you?“ only once in one day (taking 1 second to say it ), more than 190 years of time would be wasted from the small talk. in this time another billion people would have been born. This time could have been used far more productively playing solitaire. (though a billion births is pretty productive—hey, maybe if we all stopped saying "How are you" that would solve the population problem???)

Buckets of Trouble

A moment of gardening innovation for Scott Wegener led to an afternoon of scientific challenge—and a moment of enlightenment.
Signs of the Times, November 2006
Aussie Stories, 2010
Aussie Stories for Blokes, 2013

I had been scheming for weeks about how I could utilise some of the drain-bound water from our unit’s guttering system. There were several rosebushes stranded undercover— never feeling the wet of rain. To avoid the effort of having to water them by hand, I planned to divert some of our gutter water down a pipe and into a large bucket reservoir that would ultimately distribute the water of life to the needy rosebushes. It would be automatic, free and environmentally responsible.

Happy birthday, God!

 RECORD, October 21, 2006

I like having birthdays. You probably do too. Birthdays usually mean a party (I like going to parties). A party usually means presents (I like getting presents), party food (I like party food), birthday cake (I like cake) and games and activities (I like them too!).

Winner: Item or feature that shows most originality

The Australasian Religious Press Association awarded Scott's column, "Scott's Silly Answers" the 2006 "Item or feature that shows most originality"

Yes, we’re being serious here.
The Edge won the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) award for “Item or feature that shows most originality” for Scott’s Silly Answers, a column written by Scott Wegener that provides ridiculous answers to the pressing questions of life.
The award was presented at the annual ARPA Conference, held this year in Adelaide from August 11 to 13.
Scott’s Silly Answers was introduced in the 50th issue of The Edge and replaced the “My Opinion” section. So far, he’s answered questions like why God created mosquitos, how many Weet-Bix it takes to change a light bulb and why toast always lands Marmite-side down.
Mr Wegener says, “I question the merit in being deemed ‘most original’–isn’t that really the judges saying, ‘This has the least resemblance of all the quality work we have been judging’? I’m not sure if I should be offended or delighted. If it’s a good thing, then I am delighted to have been able to help The Edge stand out and be recognised in having gone where no religious publication has reasoned to be a rational place to go.
“However, if it’s a bad thing, then I am deeply offended by having this award hurled at me and The Edge and will gather the rest of my thoughts currently floating somewhere outside the proverbial square and shove them in a box immediately.”

How long is a piece of string?

The Edge, September 23, 2006

This question is usually thrown back at someone to indicate that something can’t be given a definitive answer. But some satisfactory response can actually be given. “Twice half its length,” “measure it and find out,” “don’t go avoiding the topic” and “I asked first,” to name a few.

Theoretically string does have the potential to be an infinite length. Once you reach the end of one piece you can always tie on another and the two become one (no, not in the biblical sense, although, where does string come from?).
This means the piece of string is limited only by the dimensions of the universe. Because the universe does not actually have an end, a piece of string therefore has no limit to its length.

Speaking of space and string, a Mr Ballast Ring once set out to connect the Moon with the Earth via a piece of string. After several years, he was almost there when his stepmother-in-law, Mrs T Wine, came over while he was at work and “most helpfully” rolled it up again—he was understandably ropeable when he got home!

His project, done on a shoestring budget I might add, had many purposes:

1. A cheap form of communication (with Nutolene cans on each end) so astronauts could call their wives to say if they’ll be home late.

2. To make sure the Moon no longer floats out into space (Earth gets a new moon every month—costs us a fortune!).

3. A clothes line for ET’s undies—should he buy some to wear (he could also use it to “phone home”).

Back in Old Testament times, string was used as a weapon of mass destruction (before cotton balls were discovered).

Later on, its use was better realised as an alarm clock—with one end of the string tied to your big toe, a length was unravelled according to what time you wanted to be alerted, then the end furthest from your toe is lit. You’ll know when time’s up!

And now for the definitive answer: string is 20 minutes long—give or take an hour.

Interesting fact: Earth’s first attempt to communicate with outer space was via carrier pigeon. It didn’t work.

Why does toast always land buttered side down?

The Edge, August 5, 2006

Scientists would have you believe it’s because there is not enough time for the toast to do a complete rotation when pushed off a waist-high bench.
Not enough time? Well, excuse me! It’s not like the toast has any other appointments to keep. Nor have I ever seen one looking at the kitchen clock then dash off. And how can you say there’s not enough time for a measly piece of toast when hundreds of millions and billions of years worth of “enough time” is claimed to have been available for atoms to grow brains and turn into humans?
It’s stupidity to claim that given long enough anything is possible, actually.
Would two parallel lines meet, given long enough to decide it’s pointless for them both to continue on simultaneously?
Would the moon turn to grated cheese and pop itself inside a snap-lock bag, given long enough?
How about a pencil turning into a live, dancing pink elephant, wearing a black glow-in-the-dark tutu?
I’ll give you as many years as you want—IT WON’T HAPPEN.
And another thing, while we’re on the topic of quillions of years: Scientists claim “between 100 and 200 million years” for this and that. Nice one guys! Imagine if a weather forecaster said, “Tomorrow’s top temperature will be between minus 25 million degrees and positive 75 million degrees.
Or one’s partner comes in and asks, “When will you buy me flowers?” “Oh, sometime between tomorrow and 100 billon years, Luv.” Really useful!
If scientists claim these hiddemungious time frames and think they deserve respect for every other “finding,” then I’m sorry, you’ve lost me!
Oh yeah, toast, Marmite, floor . . . almost forgot.
Basically Marmite, like all other spreads applied to crispy bread, become “floormatised” from the knife running over it. Simple as that.
It’s safest to leave your toast on your bench spread side down. Not only will the toast never hit the floor spread down, but it won’t slide off the bench either!

Interesting Fact: For some reason, a thick coating of honey is the only spread that will never land spread side down if knocked off a waist-high bench.

55 Words

Melbourne's Herald Sun - July 11, 2006
Barrels poised, ready to shoot, for one task we've been carefully planned.
Ensure the way for the commander is clear, we await the signalling hand.
Much distress when our ammo runs out, just when we're needed most.
It's hard to push forward when our windscreen's not clean, and no water to squirt from our post.

Why are there always carrots when . . .?

The Edge, June 17, 2006

An interesting phenomenon to digest indeed. For years, many theories of the origin and intent of being able to emit carrots have been thrown up.
These theories ranged from the carrots being an indication that you need stronger glasses to them being a sign of the curse of Cain (remember his downfall was sparked by an incident with carrots).
It wasn’t until Jonah that the actual origin and intention of these carroty cubes was discovered.
While Jonah was in the belly of the whopper, no doubt bored with playing “eye spy” and “go fish” with himself, his internal wonderings brought forth several intriguing discoveries.
One was the ability to make a fish burp if you jump up and down in its stomach. Another was the discovery of a mouthwash that did wonders for the teeth, but not the breath.
What we’re interested in though is the little door he found labelled “In case of swallowing, open door.” Upon opening this compartment (and whether it was really an emergency or not, we can ask him in heaven), Jonah discovered a bowl of steamed, diced carrots.
It seems there is a special gland, what we know now as the swollowden starven gland, in the stomachs of living creatures for those who are, for whatever reason, swallowed alive.
Such glands have since been found in the stomachs of sharks, crocodiles, dinosaurs and leaches.
(Note: the dinosaur’s allergic intolerance to carrots ultimately played a part in their extinction—you can read about that here.)
Scientists have since found that to keep the carrots fresh the reserves are emptied daily into the stomach, where they digest as normal food does.
This means that if you happen to find yourself bowing down to your bathroom facilities in the hours after your gland has been cleansed, then there is a high possibility you will find the orange morsels materialising.
My apologies for the unpleasantness of this topic but there are many things in life we have to deal with on earth until we get home—just like bellybutton lint.

Interesting Fact: A carrot takes 70-80 days to grow to maturity—then they stop teasing the leeks about their name.

The Fruit of Love

Surely we aren't expected to have to go to such an extent.

CQ May 15, 2006
Which path to salvation? (Ephesians 2:8; John 3:16)
Throughout the Bible we are given laws and instructions on how to live our life in favour of the Lord: things to do, things not to do. However verses like John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8 appear at the surface level to make those rules optional. According to these verses we are saved by grace and through our belief and faith in our loving God…and that’s it! No mention of any conditions or of having to do anything else after accepting the grace God gives us, having faith and believing in him. Could it be that we’re saved and that’s it. It sounds like this path is much easier then the other option of trying to keep all those rules. But what if we are saved by grace and not work? At what point do we know we have enough faith to be considered saved?

How can I have an effect on world hunger?

The Edge, May 13, 2006

First, I assume you mean positive effect—that is, trying to reduce world hunger (or should that be negative effect, taking it away . . . hmmm?).
It’s overwhelming to think of the entire world’s hugenormous hunger problem but here’s an example of how one boy’s actions led to a great result.
While playing kick-to-kick with himself, Leo accidentally booted the ball into a duck flying past (yes, this animal was harmed in the making of this story), which sent it to a spiralling death, landing on the helmet of the front rider of a tandem bike.
They steered to a wobbly stop, leaving the back of the bike hanging over a train line.
The approaching train breaks with emergency and causes Mavis, in seat 2G of carriage three, to lose control of her reading dentures, which shot down the aisle, causing the ticket inspector to slip and throw his tickets in the air.
The resulting scramble for free tickets, as they fell like snow, caused a businessman, who was sitting in the middle of all the commotion, to lose his job, as he was on the phone insisting to his boss that he was sick in bed.
His replacement turned up to work the next day with a pen in his pocket, which happened to leak ink in the shape of a pig—unbeknown to him.
Plagued all day with mysterious small talk about pigs from other employees, who innocently thought he liked pigs due to his shirt’s insignia, he took offence (being a larger man) and reported the business to authorities for harassment.
The harassment claims officer, in his submission of the complaint to the employer, sent the letter to 1 / 20 Cecil St instead of 120 Cecil St, where one very confused self-employed toothpick whittler vowed to represent himself in court.
On the way to court his car broke down on the on-ramp to the freeway, causing one very animated Mr Winterbottom, in the car behind, to miss the official opening of duck season, which only he could declare open, thus many ducks’ lives were saved.

The moral: One duck had to die to save the rest? Nice, but no. If you make the effort to get the ball rolling, you can make a difference!

How did Moses cross the Red Sea?

One can ask why Moses crossed the Red Sea (because chickens can’t swim? to retrieve his Aerobie? . . . ) but most people, however, only worry over how he did it—a question that has divided Sabbath school teachers and kids through song for years.
The song, which has various sets of words depending on which church you attend, asks, “Did he walk?” and answers, “No, no!” This demolishes the commonly believed concept that the waters parted and Moses walked across, one foot in front of the other.
Did he jump across? Not unless he had a trail bike and a 200 m ramp. YEEEEEEHAAAAAA!!!!
Maybe he hopped? There’s no mention of empty potato sacks being utilised for this mode of transport either. No? No? No! NO!
Maybe he ran—being excited and all . . . nope. An old knee injury prevented that.
Did he use a giant papyrus glider to fly across? No. Scholars say Moses was probably the type to get air- and seasick—resulting from his bulrushes experience. An ark had been “so done before” anyway and probably wouldn’t have made the Bible as a story.
So how did he get across?
According to the ancient song, “God blew with his wind (puff, puff, puff, puff . . . just enough nuff nuff) and through the sea He made a path.” but the song pretty much ends its helpfulness there.
Exodus 14:22 says there was a wall of water on each side, kind of like a half-pipe. Maybe Moses wakeboarded up and down the walls all the way across?
Actually, according to Exodus 13:19, Moses was carrying the bones of Joseph around. As with trying to carry an armful of firewood, dropping one piece causes two more to drop while picking up the first. Moses must have had the same problem with old Jo’s bones, so couldn’t have been frivolous in his crossing.
Tunnelling is not a possibility. You can imagine the cost of the tolls to take all the Israelites through. Oh, and the emissions from all the sheep in the tunnel . . . phewff, no thanks!
The only reasonable explanation left is teleportation, which funnily enough doesn’t work over water, hence the parting of the sea. It was a common form of travel back then, spoken as, “to ‘tell’ someone to go somewhere.” Check out Exodus 14:15, 16.
Whatever the actual answer, it’s a truly remarkable story that demonstrates God’s power to get people out of a tricky situation.

But I didn’t do anything . . .

"I decided to keep silent and see what happened next." 
 RECORD, March 4, 2006

I feel a little guilty. I’m not sure if I should; you be the judge.

Why do some words have silent letters?

First of all, this question is technically flawed. All letters are actually silent—that is, unable to speak, or dumb. Therefore all words actually have silent letters (or dumb letters, as I call them).
This question, however, is referring to the inclusion of letters in words that, when read out loud, have no bearing on the final way a word sounds when read.
The inventor of dumb letters was H B Pencille. After creating the first commercial lead writing implements, he nearly went broke while waiting for customers to return and purchase a replacement.
After a brainstorming session with his then associate, H I Lighter, who went on to be a brilliant success, several ways were drawn up to increase the frequency of a customer needing to repurchase a pencil.
One method used was the intentional creation of random cracks in the leads so that they would keep breaking, and therefore require sharpening several times a day, until whittled away to nothing.
Another method used, for a short while, was the hiring of bandits to storm into buildings, demanding their pencil cases be filled with writing implements.
Probably the sneakiest method ever used, and undetected for years, was the subtle invention, and gradual introduction, of dumb letters. By introducing dumb letters into the English spelling, and this is the point, pencil usage went up 7.623% per paragraph, which in turn increased the return rate of customers the same percentage due to their higher use of lead in their pencil.
H B Pencille later did go broke after overspending in the development of a left-handed pencil. It never drew many sales, probably due to the lack of left-handed erasers.
One wonders if we will have silent letters in heaven. What about pencils also: are they required in heaven? One thing I think we can all be certain of, there will be no left-handed people in heaven, I mean, no-one will be left handed in heaven, I mean, ‘cause you know, everyone will be right and perfect . . . um . . . just forget I said any of this last paragraph, lefties. *blushes.*


All items on this site are written by Scott Wegener, a multi award-winning Australian creative writer, specialising in fun Christian dramas and articles. He believes in looking on the lighter side of life while still valuing the eternal seriousness of life's decisions. This site is essentially a place Scott stores his works, sometimes without much copy-editing (do forgive any spelling/grammar creativity you spot on this site that comes free of charge due to his slight dyslexia).