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.
You 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?
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?
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?
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?
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.