James Explains Rubber Duckies Amongst Other Things

James Explains

ducks-452485_640Hello and welcome back to ‘James Explains’, the bit of my blog where I explain stuff.

This is the first proper ‘James Explains’ after last week’s introductory post. And the response to this new feature has been absolutely whelming. Which is to say neither underwhelming (which would’ve been no questions at all) nor overwhelming (which would’ve been more questions than I can possibly answer).

Still, I won’t be answering all the enquiries I’ve received on the basis that I don’t know if anyone will bother asking anything ever again, so I’m saving some of the queries until next week.

Obviously if the response to this feature moves up a notch from whelming to overwhelming then I’ll reconsider that policy, but there is a definite and distinct possibility that we’re more likely to head in the other direction towards underwhelming and I’d regret it if I’d put all my metaphorical eggs into this particular basket.

Nonetheless, it would remiss of me not to explain anything today so, without further ado…

Glen from Australia asks:

What is the name of the space between the teeth of a comb?

Well Glen, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question I’d have exactly one dollar. Which would be completely useless to me because I live in the UK and I couldn’t spend that here. Not even to buy a comb.

Still, it got me thinking and, after about twenty seconds of that I still didn’t have an answer. So I googled it and the interweb did not let me down. Two suggestions I discovered were umpernater and combdrum,  but neither of these words appear to be in the dictionary so I’m not sure if they’re real or made up. Feel free to use either of them though.

A less comb-specific word is interstice, which does have the advantage of being in the dictionary. It is defined as being “space that intervenes between things; especially : one between closely spaced things”.

I hope that answers that particular question for you Glen.

Pete from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to me asks:

Why are you called James, James?

A great question Pete and one I ask myself regularly. I can’t be certain but I may have alluded to this issue on my blog before. In case I haven’t though, ‘James’ is one of the given names that appears on my birth certificate. It was chosen by my parents for reasons that only they could answer, but, controversially, it is not the first name that appears on the aforementioned certificate. It is the second one. But, even more controversially perhaps, it is the name they then elected to call me in daily life, causing much confusion and often hilarity during my school days whenever I got a new teacher and they read the first of my given names out when calling the register. I’m still working on the script for the sitcom but I understand that the BBC are very interested commissioning a pilot episode of ‘James or Not James’.

I hope that answers that particular question for you Pete.

Haylee from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to either me or Pete asks:

Who would win in a fight, bear or lion?

A superb question  Haylee and not an easy one to answer. I suppose the problem is that there are many kinds of bears and animals that aren’t bears but take the name bear. For example a Koala Bear is, I believe, actually not a bear, which is just as well, because that little fella is not beating any lion in a fight, not even a mountain lion, which isn’t really a lion.

If we consider lions and bears in popular culture, then I wouldn’t fancy the chances of the Cowardly Lion off of the Wizard of Oz against many a bear, but he might have shot against Yogi Bear.

Lion-O from eighties cartoon Thundercats is pretty handy in a fight, although I’m not sure how he’d cope against BraveStarr, eponymous hero of different eighties cartoon BraveStarr when he is using his fabled ‘Strength of the Bear’ powers.

Basically the only way we’re going to find out the answer to this is to organise a fight between a lion and a bear.

I hope that answers that particular question for you Haylee.

Finally, gigglingfattie from Canada asks:

What, precisely, is the function of a rubber ducky?

I’m really glad you asked that gigglingfattie. Fortunately I’m a long time viewer of Sesame Street so I know the answer to this.

Quite simply the function of a rubber ducky is to make bath time lots of fun. If you’d like a more detailed explanation then why not consult this lecture on the merits of the rubber ducky as delivered by Professor Ernie from the University of Sesame Street.

Be careful though because incorrect use of the rubber ducky can impede the playing of the saxophone as demonstrated below:

I hope that answers that particular question for you gigglingfattie.

Well that’s enough wisdom for one week. Tune in next week when I imagine I’ll be explaining even more stuff.

If you’ve got a question that you need James to answer then why not ask it in the comments below?

  18 comments for “James Explains Rubber Duckies Amongst Other Things

  1. January 9, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I am reasonably certain that somewhere in time, the Romans must have organised a fight between a lion and a bear. It seems like an obvious animal gladiator match waiting to happen. Since I hate to think of the consequences of such a meeting though I will choose to believe the following version of the story:

    They both arrived in the arena, looked around them, and then looked at each other for a moment before the bear broke the silence.

    ‘Wut we even doin’ ‘ere mate?’

    The lion flicked his tail and yawned.

    ‘I presume we are expected to duel, good fellow.’


    ‘To the death.’

    ‘Fuck that. Let’s eat ’em instead.’

    ‘Capital idea,’ said the lion.

    And then the two of them climbed the walls and started mauling people.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. January 9, 2018 at 11:47 am

    I have three rubber duckies. The one time I invited them into the bath they all turned upside down in the water, which made me sad. I think I got ripped off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      That is sad. Doesn’t sound like those three made bath time lots of fun.


  3. January 9, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Really liked it, also loved the Sesame Street cartoons at the end, al;so found The Muppets Mah na mah nah. Brilliant keep it up.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Tragically Uncool
      January 9, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      So. THAT tune is stuck in my head now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 9, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        It won’t leave either. It’s there forever now.


    • January 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      They are rather catchy aren’t they?


  4. gigglingfattie
    January 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Omg this is just fabulous. Brilliant!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tragically Uncool
    January 9, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Here’s my question: Will American corporations figure out they’re in a race to the bottom (in terms of product quality, financial ethics and overall social responsibility) before they actually reach the bottom or only after they’ve completely decimated the country?

    Or, if you prefer: What is the correct way to use the three seashells?

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      I think both of those questions might be a bit out of my league, for very different reasons. I’ll do my best though.


      • Tragically Uncool
        January 9, 2018 at 5:39 pm

        I have total faith in you.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. January 9, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Exceptionally well thought out answers sir – I thank you! I handn’t even considered the angle of bears and lions in pop culture but I feel, reading between the lines, that you are more inclined to be Team Lion. Good choice. Please don’t correct me on my assumption as we all know there is only one side that is correct and a falling out after such research would seem rude 😉

    Bravestarr though? Never heard of it. Braveheart, yes. But he was too fuzzy to take on a lion.

    I’m also rather partial to umpernator, regardless of authenticity. Made-up words are much more fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. January 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    I must admit, umpernator is my preference. And if you never saw BraveStarr then worry not, it was mostly forgettable. And wasn’t Brave Heart actually a lion anyway? I think he was a Care Bear cousin rather than an actual Care Bear. Am I demonstrating too much knowledge about Care Bears?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. January 9, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Oh my goodness, he was a lion! A lion bear. This revelation has surely broken some spacetime continuum. Or my brain at least. My go-to question will never be the same 🙈 (and yes… waaay too much knowledge!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. January 9, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you James for answering my question “Why are you called James, James?” It was very kind of you James, and very informative.
    For some future James Explains I wonder if you could perspicaciously answer my question “What is the point?”

    Liked by 1 person

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