Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I include your [funny item / picture / trivia / etc.] in our [company newsletter / website / magazine / TV commercial / etc.] ?
A: If we created it, or we own the rights to it, then yes, you can reproduce it. All we ask is that you include a easily visible note stating that it came from The Manbottle Library at www.manbottle.com.
If we didn't create it, but the author or creator is mentioned with the item, then the answer is "maybe". Contact us and we will put you in touch with them.
For most everything else, the answer is this: You can probably reprint it, but we can't give you permission, because it is not ours to give.
We try to identify the creators of the items we publish here, however, many of the items we feature come our way via email, often after being forwarded multiple times, obscuring the original author.
We generally assume these items to be given over to the public domain, or at least that the owner is okay with them being freely distributed on the Internet. However that is only our assumption, we cannot represent that to you as fact.
If you like, you can contact us and we will pass on your request to the person who sent us the item. (Most of the time though, they will have no better of an idea who the author is than we do.)
Q: I got a different answer to the Einstein's Riddle question, what gives?
Q: There's not enough information to come to an answer to the Einstein's Riddle problem
A: There is indeed one, and only one, correct answer. There are, however, a few critical pieces of information that are implied by the problem rather than stated explicitly:
1) When the question states that someone lives "next to" someone else, it means immediately next to, or adjacent to. Unless otherwise stated, this can mean either to the right or the left.
2) When the question states that someone is "on the left of" someone else, again it means immediatly to the left, as in adjacent to on the left side.
Q: Einstein could not have concocted his riddle "early in the 19th century", inasmuch as he was only born LATE in the 19th century. You must have meant early in the 20th century.
A: Personally I doubt Einstein had anything at all to do with this riddle. It is a fairly straightforward logic problem, although somewhat long, it is not nearly as difficult as it would first appear.
Q: In Harry Potter, the word muggle means "non-wizard", not "mortals".
A: Quite right. Strictly speaking "mortal" is not really the right word. I was using the word "mortal" with the more casual meaning of "non-witch", or "non-magical being", i.e. a "mere mortal". I blame repeated childhood exposure to too many episodes of "Bewitched".
Q: Did you guys took me out of the mailing list?
A: No, your are still on the list, unless you asked us to take you off. You haven't received anything lately because the mailing list is on hiatus while it undergoes a MAJOR retooling. (More major than we initially imagined.)
There are also some unresolved issues to be resolved with the mail administrators at AOL (a.k.a. those bastards over at AOL. Hey, we hate spam as much as anyone, but blocking legitimate email in the process is NOT the answer.)
Q: Love to read and send your jokes, but for some reason unknown to me I have been having trouble forwarding your jokes on to my friends.
Note: this refers to the "mail-a-joke" feature available under the previous version of The Manbottle Library. The feature is not currently available, but will return in some form in the future. The reasons are more social than technical, as this feature occasionally created the false impression that we were sending unsolicited email. (See the next question.) There is also a certain potential for abuse there that we need to address before we turn the "mail-a-joke" feature back on again.
A: Two issues may be preventing you from sending mail...
1) Some mail clients do not handle HTML formatted email. When sending from the "Mail This Joke..." page, try selecting "plain text" as the "Mail Format" option instead.
2) Spam filters are more popular than ever now. Lately, a growing percentage of "Mail-a-Joke" mail from The Manbottle Library has been getting trapped in corporate and personal spam filters. Sometimes this is due to the unknown "from" address, sometimes due to content. We don't recommend contacting your company's IT department about their spam filter, but for your friends who have personal filters, you could ask them to allow mail from the firstname.lastname@example.org address.
Q: Hello and get me the hell out of this group ASAP please!
A: Your Manbottle Community account has been removed. However, you should know that 1) This account is NOT related to the mailing list, and 2) Your email address is NOT on the mailing list. Rest assured you are not receiving any email directly from The Manbottle Library.
However, you may be receiving mail from a friend or acquaintance (or perhaps an enemy?) via the “mail-a-joke” feature of the The Manbottle Library website. This feature allows visitors to the site to forward pages to others they think may enjoy them. On very rare occasions, this is used to harass and annoy. If you cannot determine who is mailing you these items, or if you cannot persuade them to stop it and leave you the hell alone, let us know and we will do two things. First, we will block your email address from the “mail-a-joke” feature. Second, we will also take steps to identify the offending party and ban them from the Manbottle Library website.
Please check the email address in the "from" field. Mailing List emails are always from email@example.com. If the "from" address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com the email was sent to you by a friend using the "mail-a-joke" feature. The first line of the email should identify the name and email address of the person who sent you the email. If you do not wish to receive email from that person, please contact them directly and make your wishes known to them. If you are unable resolve this issue with that person, or you cannot identify that person, please let us know and we will block your email address from the "mail-a-joke" service.
Despite the light-hearted nature of our website, we do take this type of complaint very seriously. We will do everything in our power to resolve this situation. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience you have experienced.
Q: What is it? What is the site exactly about, anyway?
A: What is it? Interesting question - it is many things. It is a collection of humor, jokes, pictures, audio, video, and other artifacts culled from a variety of email inboxes over the past several years. It is a place to share a new joke, story, or discuss current events. It is a place to publish original work. It is a new trivia question every week, if you care to play along. For many it is simply a place to kill time at work while your boss isn't looking. (Although we certainly don't condone that type of behavior. Well, not openly anyway. We do believe a happy, entertained, stress-free employee is a more productive employee.)
Q: I mean if I have a joke or something I can put it on the site?
A: Yes, you can put a joke or other humorous item on the site, either through the Message Boards section of the website, or by email to
Q: I have a great picture to share with you but can't figure out how to send it to you!
A: Best way is to email it as an attachment to
We have had plans for an "upload" feature for some time now. One of these days it will become a reality. Until then, just email it to us.
Q: How can I download [video item / audio item]?
A: We generally use streaming media for bandwidth purposes, but if you would like to download a specific item send us an email at and we will send you a link you can use to download it.
Q: I stumbled across your website and its vast plentitude of random trivia, and wanted to know what the rules behind entering an answer were. That is, can anyone who happens to find the website enter an answer? Is one allowed to use any research materials, even internet? And can more than one guess be entered?
Note: Trivia will return soon (see the question above about mailing lists).
A: 1) Anyone can play. Questions are posted weekly (currently every Monday night). There is also a mailing list, which will give you about a 15 minute head start.
2) Any research material is allowed. It would be fun if we could do it
without the use of the Internet, but that's just too hard to enforce. So,
most people do use the Internet (We do have one reader who occasionally enlists the aid of former colleagues at NASA. While some of the questions are difficult, generally speaking you don't have to be a rocket scientist to play along.)
3) Most questions allow multiple answers. A few, however, have a limited number of possible answers. For those your first answer is final. (In these cases it will be stated with the question that your first answer is final.)
Q: Do people get to enter those random quotes that appear at the sides of the webpages, or are those the doings of the original creator of the site?
A: Those random quotes are mostly from a collection of pre-world-wide-web email and usenet signature lines. They are the doing of the site's creator in as much as someone was kind enough to forward them to him by email. If you have any additional ones, feel free to send them in.
Q: I got the Trivia answer right! What do I win?
A: Tell him what he’s won, Johnny…
- A spot on the always prestigious “Wall of Fame”
- The admiration of your peers
- The envy of your friends
- Cute chicks will dig you (well, maybe)
- And a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat (not really)
Note: The always popular "Wall of Fame" will return shortly.
Q: I am creating a website and would like to use your random comments box, to add a bit of humor.
A: Complicated. We don't mind if you use it, but currently that may be difficult from a technical standpoint...
The original Perl version of the random thought generator (http://www.manbottle.com/cgi-bin/thought.pl) is no longer enabled. Although it will give you a nice, friendly link back to The Manbottle Library.
The newer ASP version (http://www.manbottle.com/mb100/manbottle_thought.asp) is still enabled -- feel free to use it for the time being, but... it will eventually be disabled as well, as it is no longer used on the current Manbottle website.
The newest ASP.NET version is not implemented as a stand-alone page that can be integrated into a site using an inline frame, as was the case with the older versions.
We are considering various options for providing this again, either as a stand-alone version of the ASP.NET implementation, or possibly as a web service. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let us know. Unfortunately this is a very low priority, so it may be a while before this is available.
Q: I was wondering if you guys were the ones who originally created "Every time you masturbate God kills a kitten" and if it was you who created the picture.
A: No. In fact it's something of a mystery as to who created the original version of that picture. Our best information so far is that it was "someone on Fark", most likely one of the regular participants in the photoshop contests there.
Q: While I am flattered that my artwork was used to illustrate a page on your Web site I am not pleased that no credit line or even a link to the original article was included. Please correct this oversight at your earliest opportunity.
Q: I work for [author], the creator of [humorous item/audio/video/etc.] that you have posted on your website. You are currently posting this item, which has become a highly sought after. In doing this, you are stealing traffic from our website by posting our copy-written material on your site. People are looking for this and they are coming to your site to get it. We are not asking you to remove the item, but we would like you to put a link to our site right next to the item.
Q: I was wondering who sent you [humorous item]. I wrote that for friends about 6-7 years ago as a substitute for a holiday card. Nobody is in any trouble; in fact I'm pleased to find I'm a published author at last.
Q: I have come across one of my copyrighted works on your website. I would like to assure you that I am not and was not upset, in any way,
by finding my work on the above mentioned site as I have found the
same work on hundreds of other sites as well. Unfortunately, if I
knowingly allow the work to remain on web sites that haven't been
granted permission, I risk losing my copyrights to the story. I'm sure
you understand my concern of having the story lost to the public
domain. For this reason I respectfully ask that you remove the work from the above mentioned site.
A: Thank you for contacting us! It is always a pleasure when we discover the original author for an item in our collection. (Or the original author discovers us.) As you might imagine, most items come to us by email, after being forwarded countless times, making it very difficult to ascertain the original source.
We have a policy of never intentionally infringing upon the intellectual property of others. In light of that, we have removed the item immediately, and kindly ask your permission to continue publishing this item on The Manbottle Library website. Also, if you have no objection, we would like to include your name as the author of this piece and/or a link to your website. We look forward to hearing from you.
NOTE: If you are the author of an item on our site, or you know who the author is, PLEASE contact us. We believe in credit where credit is due. And more importantly, while most of the items here of no financial consequence to their creators, there are professional writers out there whose depend on their work product for their livelihood. We want to do everything we can to avoid interfering with that.
Q: What's the deal with the KFC picture and the disclaimer
A: Don't ask. (Let's just say, Somebody needs a hug.)
Q: What type of frog is Phineas?
A: Phineas Frog, not to be confused with Phineas T. Manbottle, was the main character in a children’s book by Paul Adshead. Unfortunately, I do not know what type of frog he is. There was also Phineas Phogg, purveyor of a fine dining establishment in Pensacola’s Seville Quarter, and for a time in Orlando’s Church Street Station. (Both creations of Florida entrepreneur Bob Snow.) Both characters were undoubtedly inspired by Phileas Fogg, the hero of the Jules Verne novel “Around the World in 80 Days”. Other famous Phineas’s include Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum of Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus fame; and Phineas Gage, railroad worker and unwitting discoverer of the lobotomy when he had a large iron bar accidentally driven through his skull by an explosion. That’s a lot of useless information, and unfortunately, it does not answer your question.
Q: Is that REALLY a frequently asked question?
A: No, not really.
Q: So... what, you just made that up?
A: No, it was a real question.