It comes to our attention that we are probably a grave disappointment to a few people.
We strive to please, but over the year-and-a-few-months that Alien Onion has been around, a host of people have landed here by way of very specific Google questions that, to the best of our knowledge, this blog has completely failed to answer.
In the spirit of the new year we have decided to answer these questions as best we can, in case any of those poor lost souls ever make their way back this way.
So here we go...
Q: How does the story Mahalia by Joanne Horniman end?
A: Okay, so Matt and Emmy... Wait a minute... Are you asking this because you're supposed to have read it for class and you have to write an essay or do an exam or something and you're trying to fake it? Well then, Sir/Madam, we would never be party to such sneaky cheaterism. You're on your own. Plus, the book is really good so you should just read it.
Q: What does Nick sing at the end of Lirael?
A: We wouldn't want to be spoilery so we've make this text white. You'll need to highlight it in order to read the answer.
I'll sing you a song of the long ago -
Seven shine the shiners, oh!
What did the Seven do way back when?
Why, they wove the Charter then!
Five for the warp, from beginning to end.
Two for the woof, to make and mend.
That's the Seven, but what of the Nine-
What of the two who chose not to shine?
The Eighth did hide, hide all away,
But the Seven caught him and made him pay.
The Ninth was strong and fought with might,
But lone Orannis was put out of the light,
Broken in two and buried under a hill,
Forever to lie there, wishing us ill.
Although, technically, we're not sure it's really Nick who sings this. I mean, sure, he's the mouthpiece, but there is something else behind his eyes - if you know what we're saying. To our minds, the song has interesting parallels with Green Grow the Rushes, O - which at least one Onion used to sing on long family car trips (because it builds and builds in a long and satisfying fashion, like The 12 Days of Christmas).
Q: What is riz?
A: We assume here you are not talking about the inimitable Rizzo from Grease, but rather the riz that the grass is. Happily, we had an epiphany about riz in the spring of our discontent. (Well, it wasn't actually the spring we were discontent with - just the loss of riz as awesome. Sigh.)
Q: Who said: "My Kingdom for a horse?" And where?
A: Speaking of seasons of discontent... That oft-quoted chap by the name of Shakespeare wrote it. Many people have said it, most notably those who have been unhorsed at the battle of Bosworth field while playing Richard in the Bard's play Richard III. Despite the fact that we are anti-spoiler, we can say that it does end rather badly for poor old Richard...
Q: What do onions have to do with Christmas?
A: Is this a trick question? Perhaps you haven't been paying proper attention? This is what Onions have to do with Christmas. What's that? Oh, you mean actual onions? The foods. Oh, I see. Sorry about that, chief. Hmmm. Onions and Christmas. Nope. Nothing springs to mind. But the multi-talented Ms Lili Wilkinson can help you with other Christmas items, such as Turkey, Stuffing, Bread Sauce and Potatoes.
Q: Does Mr Edwards bring onions or potatoes for Christmas in Little House on the Prairie?
A: Potatoes! Lili and Mr Edwards both bring the potatoes. We don't know who brings the onions. Well, technically, Mr Edwards brings sweet potatoes. He also brings heart-shaped cakes and tin cups and candy canes and shiny new pennies. And let us take a moment to remember that he walked 40 miles from Independence, Kansas, and then swam the swollen Verdigris river so that Mary and Laura would have their Christmas gifts.
Q: Is there onomatopoeia in To Kill a Mocking Bird?
A: Hmm. We suspect another attempt to shortcut the actual reading of the book here and we do not condone it. This is one to read. And re-read. And read again. That said, there is at least one onomatopoeic passage in To Kill a Mockingbird that springs to mind:
"Jean Louise. Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing." Sounds exactly like weeping.
Q: Can I get there by candlelight book?
A: Well, it is perhaps an unusual way to travel, but then so is the Tardis, so if you close your eyes and concentrate very hard on the candlelight book, its magic may well transport you wherever you wish to go.
Q: Are we under a spell?
A: Yes. We are under the spell of the candlelight book.
Q: "Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. so... get on your way." Which book?
A: As Sam-I-am might say:
I will not box them here or there.
I will not box them anywhere.
Oops, wrong book reference. Your mountain is actually waiting in the pages of Oh the Places You'll Go! by Theodor Geisel aka Dr Seuss. So get on your way.
Q: What is a wilted onion?
A: Something that happens when Onions are exposed to a brutal Melbourne summer. Check back in next Monday, forecast to be 38, and we'll show you.
Q: Do you remember when you were thirteen?
Q: Can you kill an alien with onions?
A: You know what, we're not sure if it's ever been tried. Alien et al, Independence Day, Signs, District 9 - perhaps these could all have been shorter films if only someone had thought to try onions as the first line of defence. I mean, if garlic works on vampires... *rushes to stock basement with onions in preparation for inevitable alien invasion*
Q: How can a boy work on summer holidays?
A: Hmm, good question. Paper routes might be kind of on the way out. Summer jobs that are popular in YA fiction include: lifeguard at your local pool, working in the deli aisle at the supermarket, or serving in a coffee shop or bookshop. And if Empire Records is anything to go by, we strongly suggest you apply at the hippest indie record store you can find in your immediate vicinity.
Q: How do you pronounce hunca munca ?
A: We've always said hunka munka - like hunka hunka burning love. How else would you pronounce it? Surely not hunsa munsa?
Q: How do you spell 'marshions"?
A: Not like that.
Q: What's Mo Johnson doing these days?
A: Well, for one thing she's writing awesome books like Something More . Mo - if you care to further enlighten this curious soul, have at it in the comments.
Q: Can onions help with sickness?
A: Oh yes. Onions have many excellent medicinal qualities. *adds more onions to the Apocalypse-survival stash*
Q: What is the things that we use in water skiing?
A: Water skis.
Q: What's Bruno about?
A: You know, most of the time we have absolutely no idea. But whatever it is, it's working for us, so we hope he continues to be about it.
Q: Is there a banana-duck?
A: This is our favourite banana duck. In his biscuit form he is our avatar. (See top of page.) But here is another excellent one.
Q: What is YA?
A: Actually, the people who asked this question should have been well satisfied, as we've answered the heck out of it. Phew! Go Us!
Q: Are giant onions hotter and the compertition?
A: ... ... You know what, we got nothing. You're on your own with this one. Good luck, friend!
Q: What's so good about The Princess Bride? *
A: Everything. (Clearly we know something you don't know.)
*Okay. We confess. We made this one up. But, you know, as we have said before, when it comes to The Princess Bride: any excuse.