Here and there I’ve started collecting bits and pieces of Q*bert memorabilia. Some of the things I’d really like to have are prohibitively expensive, but some things are surprisingly cheap.
You can’t tell from looking at it, but the way I’ve used the word “surprisingly” there is meant to be sarcastic. I love Q*bert (as you know), but there’s no getting around how silly some of the stuff is. The 80s were a crazy time, kids, and it’s reflected in things like wind-up hopping Pac-Mans and boardgames based on videogames and Q*bert riddle books.
“A riddle book?” you say. Yes. “Q*bert’s Quazy Questions” is a book full of riddles. And since you will likely never get your hands on a copy (unless you visit me and I deem you worthy/interested enough), I have decided to list every riddle in the book for you here. I’m sure this skirts copyright law just barely, but you’ll see in just a moment that most of these riddles are older than the 1983 copyright on the book, and I won’t reproduce the artwork (by one Mr. Al Moraski) here (even though I really want to because it’s wonderful).
Remember: Sam, Slick, Coily, Ugg, and Wrongway are all characters from the game.
Q: What does a vampire wear over his pajamas?
A: A bat robe.
Q: What kind of a truck did Sam call for when he dropped the brick on his foot?
A: A toe truck.
Q: What does a witch ride when she’s in a hurry?
A: A vroomstick.
Q: What’s 102 stories high, wears a black cape, and has very sharp teeth?
A: The Vampire State Building.
Q: What do tarantulas drink?
A: Apple spider.
Q: What’s the best present for a deaf goldfish?
A: A herring aid.
Q: What’s the last thing Q*bert does before he goes to sleep?
A: Qloses his eyes. [Yes, the Q is how it’s spelled in the book. You will see this a few more times.]
Q: To what question can Slick never answer, “yes”?
A: Are you asleep?
Q: Why did Sam take a ruler to bed?
A: To see how long he slept.
Q: What has 1,00o legs and no feet?
A: 500 pairs of pants.
Q: What are King Kong’s favorite cookies?
A: Chocolate chimps.
Q: What’s the first thing that Q*bert does when he jumps in a lake?
A: He gets wet.
Q: Where is a sneeze usually pointed?
[This one is accompanied by a very disgusting picture that shows Q*bert sneezing, with water droplets coming from his nose/snout. Gross.]
Q: Why should you never punish a cat?
A: Because it’s already purrfect.
Q: How is a cat on a beach like Christmas?
A: The both have sandy claws.
Q: What do you get when you cross a kitten with a pickle?
A: A sour puss.
Q: Why is Slick trying to get a suntan like a small bucket?
A: They’re both a little pale.
[Slick is actually green, so I’m not sure what the “writers” were thinking here.]
Q: What’s a cat’s favorite dessert?
A: Mice pudding.
Q: Which side of a grizzly bear has the most fur?
A: The outside.
Q: How much fur can you get from a skunk?
A: As fur as possible.
Q: When is Coily not a snake?
A: When he’s a little cross.
Q: Why wouldn’t Coily use toothpaste?
A: Because his teeth weren’t loose.
Q: What kind of dot can dance?
A: A polka dot.
Q: Who’s bigger? Mr. Bigger or Mr. Bigger’s baby?
A: Mr. Bigger’s baby. He’s a little bigger.
Q: What’s the worst season of the year for tightrope walkers?
A: The fall.
Q: What kind of qlock sounds like a bird?
A: A Q. Q. clock
[This one baffles me. Why use “qlock” in the question, but “clock” in the answer, especially if the joke hinges on the “Q. Q.” part?]
Q: What happens when a giant walks through your garden?
A: All your vegetables turn into squash.
Q: What do you call a very, very young robin?
A: An egg.
Q: What bird is always sad?
A: A blue jay.
Q: Where does a dog keep its car?
A: In a barking lot.
Q: What kind of dog can tell time?
A: A watch dog.
Q: What does Ugg say when he hears his stomach rumble?
A: “Oh, I have a stomach quake.”
[This… this isn’t even a riddle. This is just mockery of poor stupid Ugg.]
Q: If it takes ten minutes to cook one lamb chop for Ugg, how long does it take to cook two lamb chops?
A: 10 minutes.
Q: What kind of train has a head cold?
A: Achoo! Achoo! train.
Q: What are quispy and qunchy and sail the ocean blue?
A: Potato ships
[Okay, these random Qs are just too much. The joke has nothing to do with Q*bert at all, and they didn’t stick to the “Q for C- or K-sounds” all the way through the book. I fear the editor on this one was not taking his/her job seriously.]
Q: Where did Q*bert see a man eating fish?
A: A restaurant.
Q: Why did Sam cut a hole in his umbrella?
A: So he could see when it stopped raining.
Q: How does Q*bert look at Ugg’s teeth?
A: Very carefully.
[Why is Q*bert even looking at Ugg’s teeth? Q*bert is not a dentist.]
Q: When is the worst time to build a snowman?
[This is not a riddle. This isn’t even informative. I don’t know what this is.]
Q: Why did Slick go out with a pineapple?
A: He couldn’t get a date.
Q: What letter is the opposite of me?
Q: What’s the most dangerous letter in the alphabet?
A: The killerB.
Q: ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. Why is this alphabet like Christmas?
A: Because there is no L in it.
Q: Besides Z what’s the only letter you can’t find on a telephone dial?
[Again, not a riddle. This one at least is a bit of semi-interesting trivia. Also, “dial.” Hahaha!]
Q: What letter of the alphabet is a question?
Q: What do you call a carpenter who can’t find his tools?
A: A saw loser.
Q: What carries 2,000 pounds of trash, has four wheels and says quack?
A: A garbage duck.
Q: What does Q*bert say when he bumps into Sam?
A: Well, X Qs me!
[Hey, a Steve Martin joke!]
Q: What does Q*bert say when someone gives him a present?
A: Than Q.
Q: How do you make a hot dog roll?
A: Tilt your plate.
[Perhaps “hot dog roll” was a culinary dish in 1983? I don’t remember ever hearing the term.]
Q: What’s the difference between a nickel and a penny?
A: Four cents.
Q: Which month has 28 days?
A: All of them.
Q: How many mice can Q*bert put into an empty cage?
A: Only one, then the cage isn’t empty anymore.
I bought the book because it’s one of three Q*bert books available. We’ve already talked about one of them, and I do have JPEGs of the coloring book, but I’m still looking for an actual copy of it. I didn’t know what the book would be, but I assumed it would be riddles associated with Q*bert or making puns associated with the letter Q or the other characters in the game. Instead, this weirdly random selection of sorta-riddles shows up, but each page has a wonderful drawing that usually includes Q*bert or another character, but is sometimes a cat or a vampire. The subtitle of the book is “A Riddle Book to Make You Laugh” and I have no further comment about that.
Still, I was 11 years old in 1983. If I’d gotten a copy of this book back then, I would most likely have committed it to memory and quoted it all the time.
Written by: Mark