Authors: David Feldman
WHY DO CLOCKS
Illustrated by Kassie Schwan
For Michael Leo Feldman
WHY is the telephone touch-tone key pad
arranged differently from the calculator key pad?
WHAT is the difference between a “kit” and a
WHAT is the purpose of the ball on top of a
WHY does Wayne Gretzky wear a ripped
WHY is there always pork in cans of pork and
HOW do military cadets find their caps after
tossing them in the air upon graduation?
WHY does American electricity run on A.C. rather
WHAT is that sniffing noise boxers make when
WHY, in any box of assorted chocolates, are the
caramels square, the nougats rectangular, the nuts
oval, and the creams circular?
WHEN a pothole is formed on the road, why
don’t we see the displaced concrete?
WHY do most cities in the United States put a
maximum-height restriction on a fence a
homeowner may put around his residence?
viii / DAVID FELDMAN
WHY do golfers yell “fore” when warning of an
errant golf shot?
WHY are all executions in the United States held
between midnight and seven A.M.?
WHY do American cars now have side-view
mirrors on the passenger side with the message,
“Objects in the mirror are closer than they
WHAT are those large knobs between sets of
escalators in department stores?
WHICH side gets the game ball when a football
game ends in a tie?
WHY do ketchup bottles have necks so narrow
that a spoon won’t fit inside?
Ivory Soap advertises its product as 99 and
44/100 percent pure—99 and 44/100 percent
? And what is the impure 56/100 percent of
WHY DO CLOCKS RUN CLOCKWISE? / ix
WHO was the Emmy that the Emmy Award is
WHY don’t dogs develop laryngitis, sore throats,
voice changes, or great discomfort after barking
WHY are there eighteen holes on a golf course?
WHAT does each one-degree increment in the
Fahrenheit scale signify?
WHY doesn’t rain come down the chimney into
the fireplace when smoke can get out the
WHY do Curad bandage wrappers sparkle in the
dark when you open them?
WHY do garment labels often say “
WHAT is the difference between “flotsam” and
WHY does a newspaper tear smoothly vertically
and raggedly horizontally?
WHY are the Netherlands also called Holland and
the Low Countries? And why are its people called
WHAT are those twitches and jerks that
occasionally wake us just as we are falling asleep?
x / DAVID FELDMAN
WHY are there twenty-one guns in a
WHY do women tend to have higher voices than
men? Why do short people tend to have higher
voices than tall people?
Washington, D.C. streets are named
alphabetically. Why is there no “J” Street?
WHY do whips make a cracking sound when
DO batteries wear out faster if you turn up the
volume of a radio?
WHY do some ranchers place old boots on
WHY do bananas, unlike other fruits, grow
WHY is there a black dot in the middle of
otherwise white bird droppings?
DO toilet-seat covers really protect us against
WHY do nurses wear white? Why do surgeons
wear blue or green when operating?
WHY DO CLOCKS RUN CLOCKWISE? / xi
WHY doesn’t a “two-by-four” measure two inches
by four inches?
WHY is an acre 43,560 square feet?
WHY do men’s bicycles have a crossbar?
WHY is royalty referred to as “blue-blooded”?
WHY are people immune to their own body
WHY are the outside edges of the pages of many
paperback books colored?
HOW do they shell pine nuts?
HOW can owners of small cemeteries make
money? How can they plan their finances when
they have to wait for people to die before they
WHY are most homes painted white?
WHY is one side of Reynolds Wrap aluminum
foil shiny and the other side dull?
WHY do superficial paper cuts tend to hurt more
than grosser cuts?
WHY does the brightest setting of a three-way
light bulb always burn out first?
HOW do three-way light bulbs work? How do
the bulbs “know” at which intensity to shine?
WHY do snakes dart out their tongues?
xii / DAVID FELDMAN
WHERE do they get that organ music in skating
WHAT do Federal Express delivery people do
after 10:30 A.M.?
WHY do so many mass mailers use return
envelopes with windows?
WHY does the skin on the extremities wrinkle
after a bath? And why only the extremities?
WHAT happens to the razor blades that are
thrown down used-blade slots in hotels?
WHY doesn’t evaporated milk have to be
WHAT causes the ringing sound you get in your
HOW did chocolate bunnies for Easter come
WHAT are the criteria for the placement of a
“Dangerous Curve” or “Dangerous Turn” sign?
WHY do all packaged bakery goods seem to be
registered by the Pennsylvania Department of
WHY DO CLOCKS RUN CLOCKWISE? / xiii
HOW do they keep all the raisins in cereal boxes
from falling to the bottom?
DOES putting women’s hosiery in the freezer
WHY do traffic signals use red, yellow, and green
lights? Why is the red light on top, green light on
the bottom, and yellow light in between?
WHY are cows usually milked from the right
WHY do many merchants ask customers to put
their addresses and phone numbers on credit card
ON airplanes, why do our ears pop and bother
us more on descent than on ascent?
WHY are ancient cities buried in layers? And
where did the dirt come from?