Who do they think I am?

On the eighth(!) anniversary of [Ask Leo!](http://ask-leo.com) it’s time once again for “those questions” – the odd, bizarre and inexplicable that I get throughout the year.

Along with the answers I wish I could give.

As always, every question is a real question I’ve received via [Ask Leo!](http://ask-leo.com) within the last year, _presented exactly as I got it_ (except that any potentially identifying information will have been removed).

And as a reminder, [Ask Leo!](http://ask-leo.com) is a *tech* site where I answer *computer* questions. How or why these questions get asked I really have no idea…

So here they are, directly from my “WTF” folder as I collect ’em all year long:

*WARNING*: there may be will be foul language this year.

I want to know how to grow up my beard fastly? Im already 18 and still dont have a decent beard, I see people around me who are 16-17 year old and they have a much beard than I, why?

> Personally I think you’re hanging around with the wrong kind of … uh … “girls”.

will computers control the world one day?

> One day? Already happened, pal, already happened.

How do I get virtual girl off my pc?

> You sure you want to? I mean … what are the chances of your getting a real one? Besides, this is your computer-assigned girlfriend. Resistance is futile.

Why tanzania was poorest while we have natural wealth

> Apparently there’s little call for “natural” wealth.

Plz keep my bible

> OK. Whrizit?

Hello. How the fucking hell do i et the old msn back like 9.0 one i have the new new one and its fucking shit and i really want the old one back like AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. so can you like please fucking help me ?

> Do you have any fucking idea how much the word fucking makes me want to throw your fucking question in the fucking trash? You put the F in WTF, pal.

shut up there is not a way to do that i think oh yes there is

> I love it when multiple personalities argue.

Many people bedifes are having problems with Yahoo Stock Alerts. They no longer alert. I am running XP and using Firefox. Thanks

> Sorry, I’m not able to help bedifes people.

Is the message coming from the Shell World, which you have provided True or monument

> Monument. Definitely monument.

I write. Some of what I write goes into x’s and o’s and sometimes into another language (oreintal)

> So… you’re playing Tic-Tac-Toe and Mahjong at the same time?

the version of the operating system you are running,was deleted and i cant found,

> I cant found either.

Leo, I love you. you helpd me get rid of me tollbars. i want to have ur children

> You may want to hold off on that. We seem to be getting tollbars on the highways out here now.

how do I get a veggie oil/olive oil stain out of a dress shirt (50-50 cotton/polyester)?

> Dude, you’re asking a *computer* guy for clothes washing advice? (If you find an answer let me know.)


> Remember the rapture? It happened. Astrologers were taken. Who knew?

Hey Leo man, I was wondering the people that have gotten lawsuit, do you think the lawyers or whoever might have given them warning first to stop or they just lawsuit them out of nowhere. Can you reply to this man? Thank You so much

> I hate getting lawsuited out of nowhere.

what scientific hypothesis was tested at woods lake?

> I see you weren’t able to get answers.com to [do your homework for you](http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_hypothesis_that_was_tested_at_Woods_Lake) either. Too bad.


> HA! I fooled you. I switched cups with you. Look what urine did to your typing skills…

” what speed does the aurora spy secret aircraft go”

> It’s a secret. Duh.

dear sir , it s been a while when we were apart ..now my ex girfriend is hiding away from me but I want her back soon ..how can I know her new password if I know her email already .. am dying day by day without her ,

> If you’re trying to hack into her account, I know why she’s hiding.

is there a dick that you put in your lap top and it cleans it up like my screen is blank and i tryed from a to z.my next move is the carbage pail.help thanks artie

> Hey Artie. My experience is that putting a dick in your laptop only makes things worse. Don’t ask how I know.

pleseace can you give a leo of 2millon#

> Sorry, this Leo is only about 240 pounds. I’m a million and change short, it appears.

what the important of the information about financial and how the communities get the information about the finiacial to manage thier fanacial??

> Something tells me your finacial is it pretty bad shape.

what is evolution of computer architecture

> Now that computers have taken over the world it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

why i am not rich

> Grammar. It’s all about English Grammar. Well, that and knowing who to ask.

My grandma needs a cup of tea. Can you help me?

> I’ll email a cup right over.

Would you explain what and how Tags are used .

> Actually no, I can’t. All I know is that if you rip them off of your mattress you’re apparently in deep trouble.

is coffee harmfull for men pleasae tell me as you can

> If it is I am SO screwed. (Seriously, just fired up my 2nd pot of the day before reading this.)

send e-mail 28kB loose 11MB?

> No, no, no. The pattern of your Haiku is all wrong. Let’s try this: 28kb/how much will I lose this time?/11MB (PS: your math is all wrong too)

1 qt. = how many oz???????

> 0x20. Really. If you count properly, like a computer guy.

Hey, Leo. Quick question- I’m using a Dell 54 XPr-4 Laptop/phone and have been having quite a few problems with it. The software installed on it always crashes and your face appears for some weird reason. So, now my question, Leo, what is your name?

> You may call me [Colossus](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064177/)

how do I remove extra linksin my metal watch band?

> Tinsnips, wirecutter, hacksaw … they all work pretty well.


> It’s much too late. Computers have taken over and you have been assimilated. Resistance is … well, you know.

The govt rams my pc from the back door daily as soon as I connect to the internet making it stall, stick, and plain ol go’s so slow that it PMO… anything I can do?

> Tell the govt to stop ramming your computer, especially from the back door. That sounds downright painful.

What is Dark City Windows?

> Sounds like the title of a bad mystery novel involving Microsoft.

Help: how do I escape futile assimilation?

> We covered this already. *Resistance* is futile. If you’ve been assimilated, it’s much too late. (Well, unless you look [hot in Spandex](http://images.google.com/search?q=seven+of+nine&hl=en&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=nJk8Tvb8JKnhiALDpaHDBg&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1920&bih=1058), that is.)

do you need to be smart to learn a programming language? I’ve been learning programming for about six months and I often tend to forget the codes and I find it quite hard to remembering it and thinking logically. I usually learn things rapidly, but not remembering things in long-term, which is so irritating, and I am thinking about to give up programming. How can I increase my intelligence and has it something to do with smartness?

> Yes, smartness has something to do with intelligence. As for the rest … what was the question? I forgot.

Why is it that East coast Maine lobsters do not have claws, but West coast Baja lobsters do have claws?

> West coast lobsters have to defend themselves from undersea street gangs.

what is the telephone number of the chicago, il sec office?

> [Click Here](http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=chicago+sec+office)

How do prepare for my exam Networking 004

> Complete Networking 003?

i have a very technical question in my mind but didn’t find my answer anywhere…so please help me Sir Leo…my question is how to impress beautiful girls….so that they all become crazy for me….ahhh..i wish…it could be possible

> No you don’t. Sure, it’s all exciting at first, but after a while it turns out to be a huge chore. Don’t ask me how I know.

Why do AM/FM radios always have 6 preset stations? My car has 6 presets, my cheapo boom box has 6 presets, my Bose Wave Audio II that costs as much as a good used car has 6 presets. Is this a tradition? It couldn’t be the maximum memory, because my Bose could have 1,000 presets. But it has 6 for FM and 6 for AM. Why?

> It’s not common knowledge, but back when the radio was first invented most people had six fingers on their right hand, so they could select a station with a simple corresponding finger. A standard was born, and as with many standards we’re stuck with it, even though it no longer applies or makes rational sense.

could you tell me the name of the oldest bookshop in Britain which is in Lewes Sussex

> It’s old enough that it was created before bookshops had names, so … no, I can’t.

is ben {removed} of mediterranean or asian descent

> Probably.

meaning of SQUANDERED

> Visiting a tech Q&A site and entering a nonsense question.

I have need some roses pictures…..

> Perhaps you can haz grammar lessons first?

what does the church of christ believe is the sabbath and when did sunday be a law

> Sunday became a **LAW**? Oh, crap. (As for the Church of Christ – sorry, no idea. I’m a strict, orthodox [Pastafarian](http://www.venganza.org/) )

Factory automation doesn’t put people out of work, it creates vast resources to be worked and enjoyed by everyone.

> Factory automation of spam creates vast resources to be worked around and cursed at by everyone, you mean.

list the changing social conditions and scientific discoveries that resulted in European voyages of discovery

> Ooo.. so sorry I couldn’t do your homework for you in time.

i need help with infomation/notes on the roles of an accountant in an organisation.

> In your case I suspect it works like this: you go to the grocery store and purchase a bag of beans … any kind will do, but make sure that they’re dry, and it’s a big bag. Now count them.

the tools in my inet losed

> I hate when that happens.

what is the meaning of x?

> y?

Hi leo this is the first time i am writing to my question is how togenerate a simple virus code! I mean to generate a code that restrats the system upon execution

> [These folks](http://fbi.gov) will help you. Contact them asap. They have special ‘courses’ for aspiring virus writers.

is triazolam the same as haldol?

> Nope. Don’t ask me how I know. But I do.


> DO I REALLY LOOK LIKE [BILLY MAYS](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Mays)?

Hi,im having a problem finding a code that will compute an angle between point1(x1,y1) and point2(x2,y2) and the positive x-axis.We must take into consideration a cartesian plane with 4 quadrants using trigonometry.

> OW! You made my head hurt & now I can’t sleep. Time for my Halcion. (aka triazolam)

how to my psswored

> Couldn’t have said it better myself. Whatever it is you said, that is.

I wish you hear me, or lend me your attention. Because I sincerely ask you to find this letter to Bill Gates personally, and I ask you not to neglect an email because it is so necessary to achieve this a message to Mr. Bill. I am not joking in this matter, if so what I insisted all this insistence on seeing him. This time I will be sure that you will follow to Mr. Bill personally, because this letter from the secretariat for you

> [Secretariat](http://www.secretariat.com/) has a letter for Bill Gates?! Wow! I’ll get right on that.

How do I fix Bok Choy? Cooked? Raw?

> I didn’t know it was broken.

what is the number which is divided by 7 remainder is 1, divided by 9 remainder is 2,and divided by 11 remainder is 3?

> 42. The answer is always 42. No? Crap.

I subscribe to Trade Station charts for commodities. One of the indicators that is available is called Moving Average Convergence Divergence. It is a momentum indicator. Can you tell me how to write that using a weighted moving average which gives more influence to the last prices?

> Trust me you don’t want my market advice, and you want my algorithmic experience for market analysis even less.

whts the purpose of john milton to write “paradise lost”?

> To give teachers of the future something to assign for homework. Now go read it.

how can i computer faster

> pedal harder

is There Bandh Tomorrow

> Bandh? That’s the day after. Bandg is tomorrow.

Plz help me, i want to work in porn industry as a porn star

> I’m flattered that you’d come to me for advice in this matter, but you really don’t want to participate in today’s porn industry; too many amateurs who think they can … uh … act. Don’t ask me how I know.
Want more? Here are the [previous year’s lists](https://leo.notenboom.org/topics/ask-leo-annual-wth-questions/).

All I can say is – welcome to my inbox. Yes, they’re real. All of ’em. Ain’t the internet grand?

Ah well. Let’s see what next year brings.

Onward to year 9…



  1. Thanks for posting these! Too funny!

  2. Leo – You’re brilliant!!
    As well as looking after computer idiots like me you are head of the asylum too!
    Are you sure you’re not one of them? (us)?
    Seriously – really look forward to reading your articles. If you happen to come to France I’d be delighted to buy you a beer.

  3. I would bet that some of those, at some point in time, were real questions. It’s amazing what people can come up with when left to their own devices… (or scarey!)

  4. I got stuck on the math problem. Assuming the answer would no longer be useful (at least I should damn well hope so), I bothered to write the stupidest possible algorithm to solve it (source included, bottom of the page) at http://narc.ro/isstupid.php

    Clearly, the correct answer is: there is not a number whose mod 7 is 1, mod 9 is 2, mod 11 is 3 — there is a whole series of numbers with those properties, and the series starts: (344, 1037, 1730, 2423, …).

    I can’t say it took me longer to write this comment than to write the code, but it’s definitely close.

    • Each number, obviously, is 7911 from the previous one.

      • Great, it removed the asterisk in between the numbers for formatting: 7 times 9 times 11.

    • Really? Is it that difficult? The answer is 36.

    • Vere Nekoninda says:

      However, if you divide the first item in the series, 344, by Leo’s answer, 42, you get 8 with a remainder of 8. Which proves Leo’s lightning-quick intuitive insight in extending the question, and the additional information value (or “hint”) provided by his answer.

  5. Roger & Cyndy says:

    Oh my… we laughed so hard…
    And we thought we got goofy spam… your folks appear to be sincerely “serious”… or “scary” !

  6. I really wish you wouldn’t have made fun of me and my question!

    • Pierre Ontario Canada says:

      But Steve! Which one was yours?????
      Hang in there, if you ask Uncle Leo again, politely, I am sure he will help this time.
      FYI: I think you are supposed to send him a Snickers bar before he answers questions.

  7. Jarvis White says:

    An unfortunate thought came to mind as I read the above; these people probably breed…

  8. AnnSometimesY says:

    Leo, that was just so much fun and entertainment. I have several things that I should be doing right at this moment, but, when I started reading them, I just couldn’t stop! Thanks for the laughs.

  9. You have a hellofa sense of humor.

    “Where’s the Any button?” I took some Whiteout and a Sharpie and made the Ctrl button on the right the ANY button.

  10. I can’t believe you got all these in 1 year!!

  11. Richard Berman says:

    Leo, for the life of me, I can’t understand why you would waste your time saving and archiving all these nonsense comments and questions…don’t even have entertainment value…love your letter, but these archives are ridiculous and not worthy of your skills.

    It’s very simple really … I have to laugh. Besides it taking very little time (it’s a button-click as I process comments and questions), if I didn’t laugh at these kinds of questions then their frequency – and that of many other kinds of illegible and unanswerable questions – might well depress me to the point of quitting. And as you can see by the other comments, many other people find them humorous as well.

    • I found it INCREDIBLY entertaining. Not the questions, but your answers were GREAT!

    • That Richard Berman. Sigh. He has no sense of humor. Just because Leo is a computer genius doesn’t mean he has to be a stick in the mud. I was laughing out loud reading some of these. And a good laugh is hard to come by. Here’s one for you: One minute you’re psychologically balanced, and the next you’re seeing HD footage of Morgan Freeman eating raisins. I don’t know what’s so funny about that but it cracks me up.

    • I agree, I picked poor timing reading these as I kept busting out a good laugh and
      nearly woke the baby up! Wifey kept busting a gut when I read them to her and
      then she’d scold me not to wake the baby!
      Funny stuff Leo!!

  12. Malcolm Bradshaw says:

    Hi Leo
    From a fellow UK techy, who sits at a desk resolving ambiguous customer problems everyday (Stops banking head on wall to finish writing) well done for lasting so long, love the emails and love the ‘who am i bits’.
    My input is ( From a few years ago) dont ask a non IT literate client from a Blue Chip company to send you a COPY of their floppy containg a very heavy duty Excel speadsheet laden with formulas ,so we can investigate the problems here in our own office.
    BECAUSE the photocopy of the floppy that arrives in the post gets awfully creased when pushed throught he letter box. ???
    I am sure you have many more like it too.

    • wayne kroncke says:

      why were you banking your head on the wall? do you work in a bank? was it a pool shot that went horribly wrong? is banking on the wall some new kama sutra position – or was the ‘a’ supposed to be an ‘o’?

      i’ll bang my head against the wall awaiting your re-reply.


      • Sure, be hard on him for “banking his head on the wall” but I’ve gotten the crumpled copy of a
        floppy disk before!

  13. DJ Kimball says:

    OMG! Love it! So funny!

  14. Ken McInnes says:

    i was laughing so hard at your funny emails, then i remembered that you never emailed me back when i asked you about that bricklayer and his dancing chickens… ..C’mon Leo!! I been waitin over four years already!!!

  15. Hysterical. There’s some kind of insane genius at work here. Just try to make up one up yourself. It’s not easy.

  16. Michael W. Moseley Sr. says:

    Too much engrish for me.

  17. steve hoog says:

    I hope you don’t look like Billy Mays. He’s probably a little yucky by now…thanks to Arcie for this link.

  18. Oooh…if I think of a really good one can I be on next year’s list? Please?

  19. Shirlee-Ann says:

    Leo, You amaze me with your wit and charm. Only you could take these moronic questions and use them to entertain the rest of us. Thanks for the laughs.

  20. Love the Colossus mention. Great movie.

  21. Pierre Ontario Canada says:

    Thanks Leo. You have a wild sense of humor.
    Some of your answers actually make sense.
    But seriously! You would not help that poor kid delete Virtual Girl from his desktop? I found VG once, accidentally while searching for something legitimate. It was an education, let me tell you. I left without installing, as Noella would not like that sort of thing.
    Keep up the good work.
    Now, then, will you help me get that $245 million out of Nigeria? We could split it even $122 each, and give the left over $1m to Randy!!!!
    Hang in the Leo. Your real answers are useful. Your fake ones too.

    • I always wondered, how does “Puget” sound?
    • If the Space Needle were forced up your backside, would you be taken aback?
    • Is there still a 13 Coins restaurant at Sea-Tac? I haven’t been there for 20 years, but used to love those high-backed leather chairs at the counter.
    • Times have changed. When I started in what people now call “IT,” it was 1968. We’d hunt the mastodons then use the tusks to punch IBM cards. I needed to enter a “4” to select from a menu on my wife’s new iPhone & couldn’t figure out how to do it.

    Be well.

  22. Leo, your balance of sarcasm, wit and charm is perfect. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  23. Pierre Ontario Canada says:

    Leo, in a previous year, somebody sent you the question:
    “On USA today ‘photo gallery’ – ‘This week in space’ page 2 it shows a supernova. It is in the Cassiopeai A system which is 10,0000 light years away. The artical states that the star went supernova 325 years ago. Question – isn’t it unusual for light to travel 10,000 light years in 325 years?”
    “You’ve clearly never watched Star Trek, have you?”
    Now really…. Leo… Surely you DO know that ALL such questions, by law MUST be forwarded to Randy to be answered???! It has something to do with “national insecurity”. So be good, and send it off to him. I’d say more, but my security rating is too high.
    Very few queries about gayness, beards, or romance, lately. Still, you are qualified to discuss beards, and well, as for dating and romance, just reply with what worked when you were courting your wife…..

  24. Gotta love it Leo!! Thanks

  25. ROTFL!!

    “My computer won’t do anything.”
    “What do you see on the screen?”
    “Wait a minute, let me get a flashlight to look.”
    “Why do you need a flashlight?”
    “Because the power is out and the room is dark.”

    First heard that one about 25 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same. 😉

  26. Got this link from “This is True” and I’ve been laughing out loud for quite a while now. Thanks for posting this.

  27. Even I make an occasional typo, but these are amazing!
    I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time… Oh, I mean LOL.

  28. In case you two are keeping score, i got this link from”this is true”.
    If you ever think you are the only one getting these questions, check out “YAHOO answers”.

  29. I laughed at some of these, but the rest made my head hurt attempting to read. I guess there’s probably more than 1 million monkeys with keyboards nowdays!
    Thanks Leo

  30. OHHHHHHHH MAN!! This had me absolutely CRACKING UP! Literally, laughing out loud, sitting here, just me, you, and the idiots! Gotta love it!

  31. GREG JACKSON says:

    Really, really funny. These WTF questions always floor me. Just reading some of these doozies do indeed cause “brain-ache”. Some tech sites get the dooziest questions, but they never answer them. Instead, they write 100-300 word comments as to why they’re such dumb questions (and each one is an overseas IT guy ultimately asking how to bypass passwords, security, etc)
    Ignorance is bliss.

  32. Who are all these strange people and how did they get into my computer??? Please tell me they will go away..

  33. Bill Majurey says:

    Great stuff Leo. Best entertainment I’ve had from my PC for a long time.. Keep up the good work.
    Bill M.

  34. 42……………… That’s the meaning of life!

    … and everything.

  35. Nobody asked whether you were gay or not this year? 🙂

    I like the math question. I’m borrowing it for my students’ programming exercise 😀

    Thanks for the laughs, and for the helpful answers in the other site.

  36. I couldn’t decide if I should laugh or cry, so I wound up doing both! Oh. My. Gosh. Those are so terrible! Thanks for sharing…

  37. Leo, this is the first year I read these questions, even though I’ve been a subscriber for years. The reason: I get questions like this almost every day. To make it worse, I receive them by phone. I run a PC repair shop from my home and some of the calls resemble these questions. Yes, in case you were wondering, people talk the same way they type, unintelligible. Yet, since I am in a service industry, I “try” to remain nice and attempt to decipher their problems. The ones that seem like crack pots or idiots, I give them the old, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you clearly, you’re breaking up.” and hang up. If they call back, I send it to voicemail. Too bad you can’t do that! Thanks for the laughs! J.

  38. Leo,

    These are hilarious. I can believe these are real because I just heard on TV that this woman called 911 because she couldn’t find her remote and thought someone broke in her house and stole it! C’mon people.

  39. I love the one about the would-be virus-writer whom you sent off on a link to the FBI! (Ooooo! But how truly nasty  of you — and deservedly so!!!)     🙂

  40. Pastor Charlie says:

    Dear Leo,
    My concepts of “High Tech” still include when the operator went from “Operator, may I help you/” to “Number please”. I’m still plexed by the dial tone… My computer only works because JAHOVEH loves me. Love your WTF File … Let HIM Bless you as much as HE wants to!

  41. Once, nearly 20 years ago while working at the store withthe big red R, I had someone run in with his turntable, klonk it down on the floor, grab me and pull me down to it’s level and told me that “Someone was tapping his phone through the record-player!” This, in the middle of a Christmas rush Saturday. The reason he thought so was the color-coded wires for the magnetic stylus catridge at the end of the tone arm. I was only able to really convince him that no one was tapping his phone through the tonearm of his turntable, only because the colors of red/black/green/blue were not the same as the red/green-yellow/black of the phone company wires.

    A manager of a store in Boulder, CO had this opinion: “5% of everyone walking through that door realy needs to be locked up for their own protection.”

    My manager added: “If they don’t come in, they’ll call you.”

    My corollary (citing Chaos Theory): “and they’ll all decide to do so on the same day.”

    Keep up the good work, Leo.


    • And, despite proofing, I still let some typos through. ‘… with the …’, … ‘really …’ and overuse of ‘really’ & ‘only’.
      Oh, and he had largely ripped all the wires away from the cartridge in his haste to stop the ‘phono-wire-tappers’. A Quixotic Quest at best to try to repair what he broke.


  42. It scares me that these people will be running this world shortly. If they can’t read, write or know simple math problems . . . just plain scary.

    • Actually there’s no “shortly” about it … these people span the range of ages and other demographics. Some may very well be running the world right now. Scary indeed.

  43. I like the one about the letter to Bill Gates. I think that was the same person who wrote the installation instructions for the car alarm that I bought “on line”…(from china).
    Love your sense of humour Leo it’s on par with at least one of your Aussie readers.

  44. Hi Leo

    I just came across this website and I have to tell you, I have not laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks.