What follows is the equivalent of a clips show of Ask Mitssob. I came up with a few categories of my favorite questions/answers, and then did a "Top 11" list to wrap it up. So without further adieu...
Busiest Year: 2009. 35 sets of answers takes the prize. I was newly single and Ask Mitssob helped distract me from what turned out to be a pretty lousy year.
Longest Answer: The Hunt for Red October vs. Crimson Tide. I loved every part of answering this question, from coming up with the categories to watching the movies and making notes to laughing out loud at some of the conclusions. My personal favorite revelation from the movies was the total lack of any female involvement.
Shortest Answer: On June 25, 2008 Gobe asked, "Can you cite your sources?" I didn't feel like getting into a long discussion so I just answered with "Yes." Which is true, I can (and often do) cite my sources.
Best Non-Question Question: Eric Carney's rambling incoherence about boxed wine. I still laugh when I read it. It has nothing to do with anything. Much like Carney himself.
Best Non-Answer Answer: Over the years I enjoyed not answering questions as much as I enjoyed answering them. My personal favorite came earlier this year on March 24, 2010 and is printed below in its entirety:
Q: Rani - On the topic of fire ... How does a person spontaneously combust?
A: By being not on fire one moment and being on fire the next.
Technically correct and completely unhelpful.
"Um Tim, you missed the reference there": On at least two occasions people asked me questions that flew right over my head. A couple examples are printed below.
- January 28, 2008: Eric Democko - What kind of bear is best? - This is from the hit NBC show "The Office" and because I don't watch it I didn't get the reference. I enjoyed answering the question in my ignorance, though.
- September 7, 2009: Jesse - what's the difference between peanut butter and jam? - This is from a joke that I won't bother repeating here, but needless to say I hadn't heard it before I answered the question.
Favorite Questioner: A tie between Bill Jeffers and Karyn Graves. Between the two of them I was always guaranteed a question to educate, amuse, and enlighten. Early on Bill asked a question about theoretical physics one week, then a question about breasts the next. Karyn always asked a question that made me think, do research, or both. Thanks to her I learned a few things about owning a home before I went out and bought one.
Best All Around Episode: June 25, 2008. Not to toot my own horn here but I hit the ground running on all cylinders with this episode.
Top 11 Questions/Answers: These were the answers I felt captured the spirit of what I was trying to do here. They were funny, maybe a little informative, but mostly they just made me laugh. They are printed below in chronological order.
August 29, 2006: Brett Gobe - Why does the cheese stand alone? - It wasn't the first rhetorical/silly question but it was the first that I really dove into.
10. January 12, 2007: Lisa Jeffers - Is Santa Real? - I enjoyed tackling this traditional question from multiple angles.
April 17, 2007: Jennifer Walden - In a mascot brawl - Who would win, the UMASS Minuteman, or the UMaine Bear? - Classic Ask Mitssob fare. Silly, funny, and a little informative. But only a little.
January 28, 2008: Bill Jeffers - Do YOU think it's Cayuga's waters? - I still think it's Cayuga's waters. No question. Move on.
October 2, 2008: Bill Jeffers - ANSWER MY QUESTION ALREADY! Why do we call chicken meat chicken, turkey meat turkey, but we call cow meat beef, pig meat pork, etc. Is it because there are so many different types of cow and pig cut? Or do birds get special treatment in the meat world? - A very informative question and an equally interesting answer.
November 2, 2008: Karyn Graves - Say a person doesn't particularly care for government run social programs, but really hates to see greedy execs getting away with handing out bad mortgages and then being 'laid off' with millions in severance. Which way should that person vote? Maybe you want to know which is more important? Let's say that having/keeping jobs that provide an income that is not exceeded by necessary expenses for the family is priority #1. - I know that most of my friends and readers don't share my political views so I appreciated the chance to do some writing on the subject just before the 2008 election. I don't know if I impacted anyone's decisions but I enjoyed writing the answer.
May 11, 2009: Bill Jeffers - Is there anything bacon can't do? I mean I'm sure it could even cure this silly swine flu in the proper dosage. - A surprisingly fun answer for the simple fact that when I googled "bacon" the first thing that came up was the bacon bra. With a start like that you know it's going to be an entertaining answer.
June 21, 2009: Nate - Where do babies come from? - A chance to laugh at an inappropriate story with a hilarious punchline.
August 16, 2009: Jesse - are puppies immune to bullets? - Possibly the single most disturbing question in Ask Mitssob history.
December 31, 2009: Matt - Since I'm both lazy and fed up with the pop-culture-obsessed society we are members of, I haven't really been following the Tiger Woods story. All I know is that he crashed his car after possibly being beaten up by his wife because he cheated on her with some skank, but it seems like there might be more details of the story that I haven't paid attention to. Could you give me/us a synopsis of what's been happening with golf's golden boy? - I'd like to think that if you knew nothing about the Tiger Woods Fiasco of 2009/2010 when you started reading my answer, then you knew a little less than nothing at the end.
July 23, 2010 - Jacob - Is The Room really a black comedy or did Tommy wiseau just fail miserably at making a romance drama? - I will never forget sitting through that movie. Having to do that made this the single most painful answer in Ask Mitssob history. By a long shot.
That concludes this little retrospective. Thanks for joining me. Next up, the answers to the (probably) final round of "Ask Mitssob".