CYC Gets #Tagged

Our friends at (Don’t Quit Your Day Job) called us out in one of those infernal games of cybertag. They posed some zany questions and challenged us to answer them. The way this works, as is our understanding, is that after we do that we’re supposed to derive 11 questions of our own and continue the chain. This gives us a completely new medium in which to explain the CYC rationale for doing things, so let’s get started. But first:

Our reading comprehension being what it is, we started by mistakenly answering the questions that DQYDJ had answered, rather than the ones they posed to us at the end of their post. Our answers follow: first to the questions we weren’t supposed to answer, then to the ones we were. We finish with 11 new questions, posed to the next link in the chain.

Have you ever been ripped off and for how much?

Yes, by a crooked, sawed-off little photographer named Casey Wiesel of 4413 Carrier Dove, North Las Vegas, NV 89084-2661, (702) 953-9540. He refused to pay $1200 he owed for a job, got sued, lost in district court, and was ordered to pay a judgment. He still hasn’t paid, in violation of the judge’s order. Also, his new baby is funny-looking.

Do you have pets? Are they awesome?

(Question tabled for fear of starting a disagreement.)

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Great, a Monty Python joke. When do we start quoting The Simpsons and Office Space, too? Also, the question is retarded. Either “speed” or “velocity” is redundant.

Why are most children’s musicians terrible?

It’s not just children’s musicians. Most musicians, regardless of audience, are terrible. If a higher proportion of children’s musicians than “adults’” musicians are terrible, it’s because the former only have to appeal to young mommies, who have the worst taste in music of anyone on the planet.

Put it this way – if Jimmy Buffett didn’t sing the occasional song about pot, he’d be the greatest children’s entertainer of all time. He’s got it all – puerile wordplay, colorful costumes, easy-to-understand vocals. He even dresses like a kid.

What’s the most offensive thing about the $5 bill?

That Congress has never seen fit to emblazon it with the face of our greatest president, Calvin (“The Business of America is Business”) Coolidge.

Prior to Jeremy Lin’s current basketball greatness, he was staying on his brother’s couch because he didn’t have a definitive contract with the New York Knicks. Was the couch long enough to fit an out-stretched Jeremy Lin?

No. Jeremy Lin can probably reach 23″ above his head. That means a couch would have to be 8’4” long to accommodate him. The vast majority of couches are under 7’ long.

What’s the least you’ve purchased with $100?

A ticket to see Van Halen on their 2004 tour. Sammy sounded fine, Alex sounded fine, Mike’s bass didn’t appear to be plugged in, and Eddie gave an alcohol-fueled performance that, like music itself, can’t accurately be summarized in words. His tone was awful, his riffs were incomprehensible, and halfway through the solo he resorted to lying down on the ground and kicking his legs out like an indignant toddler. And not in the fun way that Angus Young does it, just in an inebriated way. The $100 wasted on that ticket took years of goodwill with it. Eddie has apparently sobered up, and the new album isn’t horrible, but you should donate $100 to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting before buying a ticket to see Van Halen on this upcoming tour. (That was sarcasm. If you have $100 to burn, spend $10 of it on our book and the rest here.)

What’s a reasonable amount of money to spend at a strip club?

Coming from a former strip club DJ, who was tipped out by the dancers every night, $12,000 is a good starting point.

How much do you tip the bartender? Really? That’s it?

A dollar a round, but that’s for club soda and Diet Coke.

How much would you pay for the perfect hamburger?

$2.29, apparently.

Is an iPad worth it?

We’d need the 64 GB, 3G one. Which costs $829 at

HOWEVER…there’s a guy with a 647 rating on eBay who’s selling new, in-the-box iPads 2 for $600, which is less than you’d pay for a new 64GB iPhone 4S.

But if you already have the latter, an iPad is thus less valuable to you, even with its larger screen and high-resolution pornography. And if you happen to have a MacBook Pro, for those times when you need to drink the Apple Flavor-Aid on a larger screen, that further diminishes the utility of an iPad for that particular consumer.  Throw in ownership of a Kindle, with its Methuselaic battery life and ability to be read in bright sunlight, and the iPad’s looking like a fancy paperweight right now. Plus you’d be looking at close to $1000 a year in data usage, guessing from what customers on AT&T and Verizon pay. So no, at this point it’s prudent to say that the price must to fall to -$200 or so before an iPad would make financial sense.



Okay, now the questions we were supposed to answer:

Would you rather be 8 feet tall and 100 pounds or 2 feet tall and 800 pounds?

8′, 100 lbs. Assuming that you’d still be able to move around, and wouldn’t break with your first step. Either way, you’d have a chance to be mobile, which a 2′, 800-lb. person would not.

Pick one: Canada, United States, Mexico.  Explain why it is superior to the other two.

Come on, how about a hard one? Having lived a couple of decades in Canada, only to move to the United States, this humble blogger will give an informed answer.
Canada US Mexico
Capacity for a private citizen to have discreet deadly force at his disposal no yes no
English-speaking women in revealing clothing for more than 6 weeks of the year no yes no
Little Beach, Maui no yes no
Some autonomy in medical decisions, at least until 2014 no yes no
30-minute flights to the Bahamas no yes no
Cannibal women walking the streets freely yes no unknown
No official language with gendered articles no yes no
Football as de facto national sport no yes no
Lacrosse as de jure national sport yes no no
Soccer as national sport no no yes


What is the best type of Personal Finance Writer?  (Think of writer archetypes – Investor, Debt Blogger, Wild-card, Contrarian…)

Aside from uncategorizable us? The debt bloggers blow chimp, we’ll start with that. The investors seem to know what they’re talking about more than most do.

Lump sum investing versus dollar cost averaging…Which is better?

Dollar-cost averaging. We’re all in this for the long term, right?

In the Led Zeppelin song Stairway to Heaven, what does the lyric “to be a rock and not to roll” mean?  Bonus points if you can somehow work Boleskine House into your answer.

Thanks for clarifying that you meant the Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven”, and not someone else’s. Like Far Corporation, for instance. Which is just a cover of the Zeppelin song. Consider that the line follows “And if you listen very hard/The tune will come to you at last/When all are one and one is all”. Which is a reference to the infamous backward masking in that song. “To be a rock and not to roll” means nothing, but it’s the closest you can come to “Satan is my master” when spoken in reverse and still sound like English.

What’s your favorite dinosaur?

Triceratops, because it was the last one standing.

Paper or Plastic?

Plastic, and don’t get us started.

This question is being answered in Maui County, Hawai’i. Last year the county banned plastic bags from grocery stores, because Hawai’i is a state full of idiots. There’s a supermarket across the street, and now they give you those giant 1970’s-style paper bags, the ones without handles. This severely limits how many groceries you can carry at once. With plastic bags, carrying 8 at a time is no big deal. With paper bags, you’re limited to 2, and you have to use your entire upper body, not just your hands.

Did we mention that the supermarket is right across the street? It used to be easy to walk a few hundred yards, buy groceries and walk home. Now it’s a car trip, because otherwise we’d have to carry the bags home in shifts. So for whatever fossil fuels the geniuses in the county government tried to save by banning plastic bags, we’re now burning far more than that by taking a 40-second drive across the street. Also, whoever imposed this ban has clearly never owned a pet. But the paper bags are reusable! It says so right on the front panel. That is, when they don’t rip or soak through, something plastic bags rarely do.

If you had to pick, would you consider yourself a dog-person or a cat-person?

(Question tabled for fear of starting a disagreement. See above.)

What would you do with an extra $100,000?

Buy 2 cash-flowing single-family residences. This isn’t dollar-cost averaging, but the question is a hypothetical. The previous one was not.

What’s the best thing you ever purchased?

A $99 annual gym membership, perpetually renewable. That question just inspired a blog post, so we’ll leave the answer there.

Would you rather lose your phone or the internet for a week?

Phone, easily. Last month’s talk time totaled 7 minutes.


We’re supposed to forward this to 11 people, but we’re breaking the chain right here. Or shortening it, at any rate. Control Your Cash is at least in the 3rd series of links in the chain, which means that 1,453 people have received this even without our help. There aren’t enough questionnaire recipients to go around, and the only one whose answers we’re interested in (and who hasn’t already been called out by anyone else) is Paula Pant of Afford-Anything. Por Mlle. Pant:

Your next international trip will be paid for (standard, non-luxury accommodations.) One country only. Where do you go?

Which will happen first: Dow 11,000, or Dow 15,000?

Okay, Dow 10,000 or Dow 16,000?

Oxford comma: yes, or no?

Isn’t it time we stopped minting pennies? 

Can you teach people to change their financial habits, or is it like asking them to change their eye color? 

Have you ever bought 89-octane gas? If so, why? 

Which is the best national park in the system? 

Do women seriously not care about looks? 

Have you ever bought an IPO? If so, why?  

White grits or yellow?