I was angry today. At lots of things.
Tree pollen. Terrorist brothers. A lost wallet. I internally cursed the olive-skinned man who parked his Mercedes in the fire lane in front of the Harris-Teeter today. Then I cursed myself, also of olive skin, as I rummaged through bags in my trunk looking for my wallet in that grocery store parking lot.
And for cursing the first olive-skinned man in the first place.
I’m not sure whether I cursed the lost wallet, my olive skin, or both.
I couldn’t answer the basic questions Gretchen at my bank asked to identify me to close my account. Account number? It’s on my card. Last withdrawal? Probably Taco Bell or Burger King.
How much does a kids’ meal cost?
I couldn’t give the right answers. A strange thing happened: Gretchen thanked me for being so nice. Me? I felt pissy. I hope “nice” is my default. I hope it’s not when I slammed my car keys on the floor when I couldn’t find my wallet.
Or when I questioned a man for who he was, then hoped I wasn’t going to get taken down because of who I was.
I hope that I can keep my humor as I hide this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated because of the graphic pictures of the Boston Marathon bomb scene they chose to run. There are questions from my kids to answer, y’all. And great blogs to read.
It’s a beautiful day.
1. Can metal catch on fire?
I told myself I’d never ask why you’re asking a question …
Some metal burns, some doesn’t. Magnesium happens to, with a spectacular white light. That said, don’t experiment with other metals in, say, a microwave. Or stove. I’m going to assume there is no magnesium in a microwave or stove, because wouldn’t it catch on fire?
At the right heat, any metal will burn.
I feel like I’m putting ideas in your head. Let’s move on.
2. What’s the average city?
Depends on how you measure averageness. Population? Rainfall? Crime rate? Pizza joints per capita? Average has such a negative connotation, too. “Oh, that place is pretty average.” See?
Average can be normal, too. A ham sandwich. That’s average. Not steak, but not dog food.
The Milwaukee Brewers. That’s your average baseball team. Not the Atlanta Braves, but also not the San Diego Padres. Being average isn’t bad. My nominee is Normal, Illinois. Even the name begets average.
There’s 52,000 Normalians (or Normalites?), Illinois State University, it was founded in 1854, it takes up 18.41 square miles. It’s home to the annual Sweet Corn Blues Festival.
They say Jake’s Pizza is the best in Normal. I’d like to try it. If I like it, we’ll have to find a new Normal. I mean a new average city.
3. What happens to the fall leaves in the springtime?
I should answer this in a cursive poem. What a beautiful question. I know what they do before they go missing: They conspire to cover my golf discs when I toss a wayward throw. And I wish I had a more poetic and dignified answer for you. Bacteria eats away at those brilliant autumn colors until the leaves are broken down to form leaf mold. This leaf mold enriches the
Bacteria eats away at those brilliant autumn colors until the leaves are broken down to form leaf mold.
Leaf mold enriches the soil and promotes growth through the summer. So, they die a slow death and become dirt. Unless we stuff them into trash bags and leave them on the curb.
4. Are there any girl popes?
John, Joan … what’s the difference?
The Roman Catholic Church calls it rubbish, but legend has it back in 855 (yes, before I was born), Joan disguised herself as a man, worked her way through the ranks as a cardinal, and became Pope John Anglicus.
Crocodile Dundee wasn’t on hand to administer a gender check, apparently.
Kind of like the dude in the song “Signs, Signs Everywhere Are Signs” by Five Man Electrical Band, who got a job at a place that discriminated against “long haired freaky people” after he tucked his hair under his hat and applied.
Only that guy wasn’t executed on the spot when he gave birth like poor Pope Joan was.
Legend has it.
5. Why do they have so many magazines with naked ladies on them?
Because at one time, there wasn’t the Internet for all this nudity.
Nudity sells. Not full-out nudity, always, but the appeal of it. You can sell websites and cars and bacon cheeseburgers with the right ads. Before the checkout-lane smut magazines of today, artists painted pictures of cherubish women in their birthday suits.
It could be the same machine that makes us want to supersize our French fries and buy loud mufflers for cars with bright paint schemes.
I thumbed through with starry eyes pictures of Kim Alexis and Cathy Ireland in swimsuit issues when I was a teenager. And never bought a single swimsuit. Plus, naked is forbidden, like lots of salt or glass bottles at the pool.
The forbidden nature makes them somehow more desirable. But we can resist.
Just the way we can resist trying to set fire to metal or doing something outlandish in Normal, Illinois. Or even overreacting to a car parked outside a grocery store. Makes me want to get everyone together at Jake’s and celebrate Pizza Friday the right way.
You know, fully clothed. Even we olive-skinned ones.
You’re such a great dad. I’m going to email you some of the questions my boys ask me. I love your technical, fact-based stance. I get too emotional and flustered.
I just have awesome kids – I feel like Chucky Brown winning an NBA title because of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
How about you send me five questions your kids have asked, and I’ll do a guest post Go Ask Daddy?
I try to balance the facts with a good bit of bluster, so that the kids don’t think it’s like school.
I would agree that the reason why nudity sells comes from the same machine that makes us want super size fries. My kids will fight each other to the floor over the last candy bar in the house since that’s sort of the forbidden fruit in my neck of the woods. And salt..don’t even get me started on salt. I’d put salt on everything, if I could. Even Jake’s pizza.
Thank you for not calling my beloved Yankees average. That would have hurt. Especially after yesterday.
And sorry about your wallet. That’s no fun. That’s worse than the corrosive leaves covering your golf discs. Way worse.
It’s the animal gluttony gene – I think it’s also responsible for us playing music too loud and wearing sweatpants with words across the butt.
I think I might sell candy bars to your kids for $5 a pop. Hey, where there’s demand …
There are a lot of things I’d call your beloved yankees. Average isn’t one of them. This *is* a family blog. (We’ll see how they fare against my first-place Rockies in May, won’t we?)
I found the wallet! I put it on a saucer in the bedroom. Right where it belongs.
As long as I don’t lose my wallet in the corrosive leaves, we’re good.
I’ve been to Normal more than an average number of times.
That, in itself, makes it an above-average city. Time for a new average city. How about Nashville, Ill.?
Always so fun to read!
Thanks for dropping by!
Why have I never thought of making a blog post out of my children’s questions? Brilliant! Not to mention fun to read. 😀
Because I have the idea patented. Kidding. You should definitely do this! I’m amazed I haven’t had more reproduction and poop questions.
LOVE this. You are my Friday joy. Meanwhile, as I’m reading blogs, I’ve been getting SPAMMed all day — as someone hacked into my Facebook account. So my big question is: Why am I STILL on Facebook when it is clearly out to get me?
Thanks Renee! Pizza Friday is actually *my* Friday joy.
Facebook is quickly becoming that run-down mall no one wants to go to anymore because everyone there is smarmy. If I get any posts for cheap pharmaceuticals from you, I’ll know what time it is.
AH…. I just love soaking in your words!!!! You never cease to entertain me and educate me all at the same time. Love that about you! You always tie it all together in a perfect clever bow. I have pissy days too… where I lose my wallet and throw my freak on a bad driver and can’t for the life of me muster up a clear thought. I used to think it was hormones, but clearly if it happens to you- estrogen is not the reason. I dunno. 😉
Thank you Chris! 5 for Friday isn’t educational enough to be school, not entertaining enough to be entertainment, but we’ve found that spot smack dab in the middle. You’re sweet, but I don’t wrap up anything in a perfect bow. You should see my hair. And I get a lot of freak thrown on me by angry drivers. It helps to think they might be a lot like you.
I get really ticked off once every 17 months or so. I yell at soccer practice – really yell – once every two or three seasons. I can get raw if I need to!
Good answers, good answers! Have a great weekend!
Thank you thank you Jamie – when my girls ask about valances and area rugs, I’m definitely turning to you.
It’s just never fair when that kind of day happens on a Friday. Hope the day ended on a high note and that you find your wallet! Awesome questions – I especially love the one about fall leaves:)
Luckily, the crappy day didn’t see the light of lunchtime. Honestly, I wonder how many of my bad days get chased away by a good lunch …
I did find my wallet! After I cancelled my debit card, of course.
At least it’ll keep me from spending freely on Nilla Wafers and Coke Zero.
Cool dads are awesome. Good job. 🙂
And awesome dads are cool. I just hope I can have 10 percent of both.
Ugh. Sorry, I meant that “good” dads are awesome.
And very important to girls in a society that insists on reducing women to objects, valuing them primarily for how pleasing they are to the eye. This continues to be a problem as girls grow up and have to decide what kind of women they will be. And then of course, later in life as they age, they must be able to draw upon a sense of self that is unrelated to exterior beauty—as many in our culture give us a shelf life of about 30 years.
“Cool” is a loaded word that can be interpreted in various ways, and in this case, maybe wasn’t what I meant. Cool isn’t always good.
Such are the downfalls of the short message.
Maybe it wasn’t necessary to clarify all that. But, I do appreciate that you are doing a good job, and my admiration goes out to you.
I think we dads want to be cool, but, there’s a whole different blog in what that word should mean.
I’ve seen dads who think wearing all the stickers their kid put on their ball cap was cool.
I’ve seen dads who think they’re too cool for their kids.
One’s endearing. One’s a problem.
The issue you bring up with image could be a blog in itself! It’s an issue that hasn’t really come into play with my girls. They think they’re pretty because I tell them they are; I tell them more often their smart and strong and athletic and funny.
Dads have a unique role in shaping how our daughters see themselves, and also how they see other women. I hope dads are aware of this.
Love that you came back to clarify. You add to the post so much when you do that.
no naked girl magazines in this house.
but, I have drank a margarita by the pool in a martini glass.
salt AND glass.
Such a rebel.
I think I have a Playboy with Melissa Joan Hart on the cover tucked in a drawer somewhere. But I’d never put mud flaps with those little naked ladies on them on my car.
(I even told the girls never to date a boy who had naked ladies on his mud flaps.)
You ARE a rebel. You didn’t even try to hide it in a water bottle or anything. Hard-core.
Wait. Your fall leaves disappear? I’m still raking those darn things out of my garden. That’s what I get for living in a state where it starts to snow before you can properly get rid of those suckers. They, however, make a nice mulch.
Oh yeah. Here in the Carolinas, we get lots of warm weather for soccer and disc golf during and after the fall. It’s all goodly God-made fertilizer and mulch by now – well, most of it. There’s still plenty to cover my golf discs.
And hide snakes. It’s an adventure.
I hope you found your wallet!
Great post, like always. And I see that you did integrate food into it, w/the mention of pizza…which is not bad, I like pizza. I’m just saying. 🙂
I did! It was on a saucer in the bedroom. Perfect place for it! I should look for anything that is missing near an empty plate. There’s an 88 percent chance that’s where it is.
If I didn’t integrate food into my post, would you worry about me?
Nooooooo, now I have “Signs, Signs Everywhere Are Signs” going through my mind. OK it’s a short journey but still! Great post. I’m looking forward to following.
Thanks Nelson! There are far worse songs to have in your head, you know. Nine out of 10 that my kids like to listen to on the local hit station, for instance. Let’s both think of something by Roy Orbison if “Signs” isn’t a good fit!
I’m seeing a pattern with you and ham sandwiches beginning to develop after reading this and the baby duck post. Both posts are great, by the way.
PS….I hate the “Signs, Signs” song. Much.
I could start a ham sandwich category, for sure. Now I’m hungry.
P.S. “Do this, don’t do that … can’t you read the siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiign??”