The questions never cease.
The girls are on to me, and know that I’m busy jotting down what they ask.
So sometimes, I don’t jot. I just answer.
Other times, I jot, and I research, and I answer. Maybe it’s no coincidence that this happens to happen with the coolest of questions, such as …
1. Does an animal’s horn bleed?
I’ve done a lot of brave and stupid things, girls.
Stopping traffic to move a turtle. Talked Arizona Cardinals pre-Super Bowl smack to a table full of Pittsburgh Steelers fans at a Cracker Barrel. Wrote about losing my pants on a soccer field.
I won’t slug a rhino to answer this one, though (although I promise to write about the time I wrestled that dern longhorn at Lazy 5 for head-butting our van door).
An animal’s horn is like our fingernail, if our fingernail could rip through the roof of a train car like that rhino’s did in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and is made up of keratin, just like our fingernails.
I suppose if you cut the rhino’s horn really short – like daddy might or might not have done to any of your fingernails at some point in your lifetimes – it would bleed, but I wouldn’t want to stick around to find out.
One day, ask me who would win in a fight, a rhino or a hippo. That could be fun research.
2. Are some flowers green?
All flowers are green, sweetheart. What’s more environmentally sound than a flower? They recycle. They don’t fill landfills. They leave the tidiest of carbon footprints. When have you ever seen one use a plastic grocery sack?
Green milkweed is green. Ginseng’s green. So is wild sarsaparilla, alumroot, and Jack-in-the-pulpit (which the Meskwaki indians used to mix with meat, leave it out for their enemies, then sit back and watch as pain and death set in. According to legend.)
Let’s not forget Black Snakeroot, Smooth Solomon’s Seal, and the Ragged Fringed Orchid. Elise, seeing these green flowers reminds me of when you used to color when you were little, taking care to stay in the lines on each and every part – but using only one color on the whole picture.
How can you have started high school already? That was just yesterday.
Enough waxing nostalgic. To see some cool pictures of green roses, click here.
3. What happens if a baseball player gets hit in the stomach?
Well, I imagine there’s an element of embarrassment. Followed by, if he’s smart, an appreciation that the shot didn’t make its impact a foot lower on his anatomy.
Of course, there are those who purposely make contact with a baseball using their bellies, as you can see here (notice the uniform the kid is wearing. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.)
Catchers are the only players with God-approved apparatus to protect their bellies. And God should approve such things. I mean, there’s a flaw in the whole skeletal system.
We get a skull to protect our brain, a nice rib cage to encase our heart and lungs, even knee caps to protect all those ligaments athletes tend to tear. But when it comes to our intestines and stomach and pancreas, you’re on your own, vital organs.
And that’s just wrong.
This is not a campaign for male protection of the danger zone. This isn’t because I don’t wish for it, but just imagine – shows such as America’s Funniest Videos wouldn’t exist without the backyard ritual of dad taking one in the cods when he’s trying to teach his kid to “keep and eye on the ball and keep your swing level.”
It’s a rite of passage, really.
4. Why do girls carry their mobile phones in their back pocket?
I’ve noticed this phenomenon. There’s a demographic: Young women seem to think the best spot for their mobile is in their back pocket.
(I disagree. The change pocket on jeans is ideal. A lot of modern slacks have a pocket within a front pocket that seems tailor-made for just this purpose. I bet you women didn’t know that.)
Back-pocket mobile-phone storage seems a key ingredient for Cellphone in Toilet Soup. I know of one girl, indirectly, who has actually done this, but I won’t write anything that could link her as a friend of one of my daughters.
This possibility is precisely why fellows cannot carry them back there. We’d drop them in the loo, and probably not even notice until we get home and everyone wonders why we didn’t answer.
I talked to a girl named Rebecca coming out of the supermarket the other day. She was tiny, like a loaf of Italian bread. She’d just bought beer and a candy bar, and her phone was sticking out of her back pocket, so I asked her why she carries it back there, expecting the most fruitful of knowledge nuggets to come from her sunburned and slightly baffled face.
“It don’t fit in the front,” she said, pulling the phone from her back pocket and demonstrating her six-word explanation in actions, too. Sometimes, it’s just that easy. It.don’t.fit.
5. Why is gold so valuable?
Well, you get gold only if you 1) win first place; 2) get proposed to; or 3) receive a lucrative music/athletic/acting contract, that allows you to afford gold medallions, rings and grills.
Pirates dig it. So do conquistadors and pioneers.
It’s shiny, inert (doesn’t corrode, degrade, or rust, which is what they’d yell several times if there were an infomercial for gold); extremely malleable (you can twist it, stretch it, shape it, and it won’t break or crack, which is another thing they’d holler on that infomercial); and conducts energy like a champ – although, I don’t think NBA stars and Aztec warriors roll into jewelry stores and battle with the thought, “Onward, in the name of the most efficient means of conducting energy!” (This doesn’t even take into account the percentage of non-Earth visitors who are said to want to colonize our planet to mine its gold – but really, tariffs would be a pain in the asteroid).
And as a girl named Bree pointed out on Yahoo Answers, “Gold is so pretty. That’s why.”
Even funnier than a rhino vs. hippo fight.