5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Cheap Textiles, Roman Bloodsports and Crooked Letters

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc
 photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

It’s Friday. Yes, that means Pizza Friday (for lunch and dinner, as it turns out this week), but it also means it’s time to answer the kids’ questions, great and small.

GAD GRAPHICYou ought to see the lineup. I have a couple that have inspired posts of their own.

I want to take a paragraph to thank everyone who contributed to, read or shared my first “6 Words” project this week. The response was incredible. It helped Coach Daddy to its best day, best week and best month for page views. I feel like making a cake, or something.

I feel like the city that just hosted the Olympics, or the Super Bowl, or the Bacon Festival. I hope you enjoyed your stay, and I hope you’ll stick around after the festivities are over. Or at least come back on vacation.

If you’ve brought snacks today, just leave them at the front table. After I take my 20 percent snack tax, I’ll share most of the rest of it. I smell bacon, by the way.

1. Are there $5 stores?

photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc
photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc


OK, there are. Five Below sells things from $1 to $5. The closest one is in Winston-Salem, 61 miles away. So when you factor in gas and automobile wear and tear, we’d have to spend $726 to justify the trip.

It looks cool, though. You can get hula hoops ($2), the Katy Perry DVD diary ($5), and tons of spring duct tape ($3).

Remember when I could take you to the dollar store and declare “you can have anything you want in this store! Anything!”

And then you picked out a plastic gun, and it all changed.

2. Can you write with your right hand?

Sometimes, people think I am (I’m left-handed).

I can write with my right, but it looks like doctor’s handwriting. I always thought that was an unfair stereotype, until I watched a doc hold his pen between his middle and ring finger to write me a prescription.

Maybe this cat was cursed with the impeccable penmanship of a teacher while he was at Chapel Hill, and they put him a course called Scrawling Illegibly 101.

You can, by the way, learn to write with your non-dominant hand.

3. What is a gladiator?

photo credit: Masked Builder via photopin cc
photo credit: Masked Builder via photopin cc

It’s not a dude in a leotard wielding an enormous Q-tip, I can tell you that.

The TV show “American Gladiators” was to true gladiators what tofu is to Angus burgers. Just a travesty. (Gina Carano aside).

The original Roman gladiator fought in an arena against other men, or animals. And we’re not talking the Muppet or manatees. More like lions, crocodiles and zebras.

I don’t think they used humongous Q-tips, either.

4. Why do hoodlums drive old cars?

photo credit: myoldpostcards via photopin cc
photo credit: myoldpostcards via photopin cc

The street cred you lose if you roll up to your drug deal in a Ford Fiesta just can’t be regained, honey.

Maybe hoodlums in East Charlotte aren’t the upper-tier of hoodlumosity. Maybe hoodlums in South Charlotte roll in BMWs and Lexuses. Maybe it’s a reflection of the economy.

Or the cars depicted in some music videos. The ’62 Buick Skylark I drove in college was unfairly dubbed the “Ghetto Cruiser” by a former member of your family.

But yeah, you’re more likely to see a hood in an Olds than a Prius, aren’t you?

I’ll chalk it up to tradition.

5. Do any other languages use different letters?

photo credit: quercus design via photopin cc
photo credit: quercus design via photopin cc

I knew this dunderhead in college who placed out of Spanish as a foreign language, and then, although he wasn’t required to take another language course, signed up for “Ancient Greek.”

Wait, what? (You may or may not share DNA with this fool).

Besides Greek, you’ll find some funky characters in writings in Arabic, Chinese and Hebrew, to name a few. I’m not sure how they write Zulu, Tagalog or Urdu, but I’m guessing their letters don’t look like ours. The Greek I learned came in handy, though, as symbols I’d use to keep notes during basketball games when I was a sports writer.

My editor picked up my notebook one day and said, “what the heck is this?” for all the Greek letters jotted down to represent rebounds, 3-pointers and 3-pointers missed. “I can’t read it!”

“That’s the way I like it,” I told him, noting the missed opportunity he had to use the phrase “it’s all Greek to me.”

So yes, in Greece, China, the middle east … different alphabets are used to communicate.

Oh, and in the doctor’s office. I bet even Plato had a hard time reading Hippocrates’ prescription for athletes foot cream, too.

greek quote


  1. mandyisgr8 says:

    congrats on all the record breaking!

    1. Thanks – Mail 4 Rosey’s readers and Reddit were big players in the big numbers!

  2. Oh to have thought of a way like yours to stop the boss from knowing what I was writing. Good thinking.

    1. All you have to do is learn a foreign language in a foreign alphabet, friend.

  3. laurie27wsmith says:

    Well done on the big day Coach, it gives you that fuzzy feeling to know people are actually reading your stuff. I can’t see the sense in spending $10 in fuel to buy a $2 piece of whatever. I like the one about Hoods driving crap cars, the only decent car I saw driven/owned by a crim was a doctor in on tax evasion from the brothel he owned, his ‘housekeeper’ used to drive his Rolls Royce up to the jail on weekends to visit him. The old saying rings true, ‘Crime doesn’t pay but the hours are good.’

    1. Yes, it does, friend. Nice as it was to have a little attention, life’s back to normal, and it’s just me and my friends left here, and that’s A-OK with me.

      Crims also get a break in taxes, but I hear the dental insurance is awful.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Back to normal is good, although it’s a bit like falling asleep at a party and waking up and everybody has left. Love the insurance one.

  4. Dude, I can’t believe you dissed American Gladiators. OMG! Seriously, I don’t think Hubby and I would have married were it not for American Gladiators — the one that aired in the 90s. We shared a magic moment between us. You may have just inspired an anniversary post. Should I schedule our 20th anniversary post now? We’re going on 17. Or is it 18? Hmmm. I hate math. Can we just agree it’s coming up?

    1. I think the traditional anniversary gift for 20 years is a humongous Q-tip. Or maybe that’s 17.

  5. Letizia says:

    Pizza for lunch AND dinner, now THAT’s the way to start a weekend 🙂

    1. I wish I’d thought of it in time for breakfast, too …

  6. Rosey says:

    LOL, I was thinking ‘it’s all Greek to me,’ while reading your last paragraph. Too bad the editor missed the primoooo opp. 🙂

    1. I know, what a missed opportunity! But, he probably didn’t know it was Greek. Makes me think of that music they play on Price Is Right when someone doesn’t win.

  7. LOL! Love your answers and the mental image of a gangster pulling up in a Prius–definitely loses the street cred!

    1. I should start a gang of more environmentally-aware thugs, shouldn’t I? We’d use biodegradable ammo, use renewable energy to power our meth labs, and carpool for drive-bys to cut fuel costs.

      Ah, what’s the use? Electric cars will never replace a beat-up Cadillac for cool points.

  8. Congrats to you on the big day! That is awesome!! And we’ve done pizza for lunch and dinner plenty of times…I’ll even eat it for breakfast. 🙂 I can cover most of the food groups with toppings!

    1. Thanks! It’s real quiet here now, but I’m surrounded by friends. Marie would be content to have a slice of cheese pizza to start every day if she could.

      I do like a lot of veggies on my pizza – it feels like the more slices I eat, the more salad I’m getting. That’s good, right?

      1. Definitely! One of my favorites is broccoli and garlic on a white pizza!

  9. For the record, I almost couldn’t read this entire post because of all the bacon talk in the beginning. Pace yourself!

    I am also left-handed. Another notch in the good column for you. Not that you have any notches in a bad column. Unless you make me pie. That would be bad.

    1. I know – I go a little wacky with bacon. I don’t, however, have images of bacon on my blog sidebar. Like some people I know.

      We left-handers don’t live as long, they say, but we do a lot more damage with the time we have. And that’s worth tons of notches.

      Even if it was a bacon pie?

      1. Only if the pie crust is made of bacon (I hate crust) and the filling isn’t sweet.

      2. I see a recipe forming right before our eyes. I can see the filling being cheese and egg, almost like a quiche … mushrooms? onion?

  10. Lanaya says:

    This had me laughing! Now you are just missing the pizza for breakfast!

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    1. I just never know what the girls will ask me about, but I’m ready. Honestly, I’m finishing off a slice of pizza as I type this. I’m so living up to the hype.

  11. Rorybore says:

    I am one of those sorts who had their left hand held behind them when I was young. (did I just actually date myself or what?), so for awhile, I used both, but eventually learned to write with my right. I can throw and catch with both hands, but I shoot pool, hockey and golf left, but bat right. I eat with my right – unless I have to cut food, in which case I cut with the right and eat with left. and my water glass is on the left. it’s all very confusing. kinda like Greek. LOL

    1. Didn’t they do this so that you wouldn’t use your left (and evil) hand primarily? Instead, they’ve created this two-handed blogging batting golfing foot-cutting monster, haven’t they?

      You didn’t mention how you’d eat Greek food.

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