5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Storm Plans, Government Spending and Outer Space

photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc
photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc

There’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t think much about if it weren’t for these three kiddos who like to mill around and ask stuff. Quicksand. Piranhas. The world’s strongest dude. Stuff about Jennifer Lawrence movies. (I might think about that one).

I swear, though, if I had to come up with these questions every Friday, they’d excite you like a certified public accountant annual regional convention gala dinner might. They’d make plain vanilla taste like Neopolitan with cookie dough, cake icing and sprinkles.

And chocolate syrup.

In a waffle cone.


In fact, even though the local and national new casts include dastardly deeds in quick succession, it’s interesting to see what questions are spawned by natural disasters and political messes.

And the news hasn’t given them nightmares. Yet.

1. Do stores have places to go if there’s a tornado?

photo credit: Pro-Zak via photopin cc
photo credit: Pro-Zak via photopin cc

Some stores you walk into make you feel like you’ve been in a tornado. You lose your wallet, your house, many of your possessions …

Stores, especially where we live, don’t have storm shelters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advises us not to panic, watch for others, and move quickly to an interior bathroom, storage room or other small enclosed area, away from windows.

One former employer told us that if a tornado hit, we should sit with our backs to the base of an exterior wall.

And pray – hard – presumably.

2. How long does it take to put together a mattress?

photo credit: Camil Tulcan via photopin cc
photo credit: Camil Tulcan via photopin cc

Grace asked this as we hacked at a twin mattress with screwdrivers, hammers and box cutters.

Not for sport, although it was fun. It’s the only way it would fit in the trash can. MattressesMade4U.com says they’ll have your custom-made mattress ready the day you order it. I find that hard to believe, given all the staples and nails and fasteners Grace and I had to pluck and hammer and cut through.

Although, I bet the two of us could destroy a dozen or so by lunch time.

3. What should the government spend money on?

photo credit: SP8254 via photopin cc
photo credit: SP8254 via photopin cc

After an active day for my debit card, I exhaled and said to no one in particular (but in the presence of my kids), “we’re spending like Democrats today!”

As a beneficiary of EBT under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, I bought mostly staples and generics under one, and could afford (although it’s shameful to admit) crab legs and steak under the other. That’s my barometer for government spending.

What should government spend on? I’ll always favor programs that emphasis job training, assistance with resume building and interview skills, and helping those who want to reach for a higher rung on the ladder when they look for work to achieve their goals.

For that, I’d gladly pass on surf and turf and settle for a block of government cheese.

4. Do animals care if bugs bite them?

photo credit: giovzaid85 via photopin cc
photo credit: giovzaid85 via photopin cc

They don’t complain a lot, do they?

You’d think it’d be hard to find a spot to bite on a furry (or feathery) creature, but it happens. Dogs especially, with their noses everywhere they shouldn’t be, find bugs eager to get their bite on. Ticks especially seem to love a dog or a cat, and because dogs and cats can’t easily operate tweezers, they stay until they’re good and plump.

I wonder if bugs bite other bugs.

5. Where does space end?

photo credit: c@rljones via photopin cc
photo credit: c@rljones via photopin cc

This one’s cosmic.

I’ve always considered space infinite, but if Buzz Lightyear says “to infinity, and beyond!”, doesn’t that imply there’s another something to the universe?

Is there an edge to it, outside of which exists a vacuum, or possibly the capacity to expand space as we know it? Is space growing, or is it shrinking?

Where does space end?

My best guess is it ends somewhere just beyond government spending.

But only slightly.


  1. Teri says:

    Mind = Blown.

    1. Welcome to outer space.

  2. Chris Carter says:

    Oh my gosh Eli… you need to write a book. Nobody writes like you. Period.

    1. I think an English professor told me that once, just before giving me lunch detention.

      You’re sweet, CC. What would I write about, though?

  3. laurie27wsmith says:

    Good one Eli, kids ask the darndest things. Love your answer on space, you forgot to tell them about black holes where all the tax money goes. 🙂

    1. These kids’ questions keep me in business, Laurie. The only taxes these kids know are when daddy takes a chomp of their ice cream cone between the time he buys it and the time they eat it.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        That is one tax that should never go, same with chocolates. “C’mon, you know the score, one for me just for being Dad. I like your blog Eli, it’s a great concept and you can take it in any direction you want.

      2. Thanks, buddy. It seems like forever since I last wrote about soccer, too. These kids gave me plenty to write about! The youngest just gave me the go-ahead to write about a slight mistake she made with a few facts … funny stuff, but I wanted to get her approval first.

        I don’t know about you, but I was pretty conservative with my dessert tax, too. These kids ought to be grateful not to have a socialist pop!

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Yeah I wasn’t the Mussolini of Marshmallows, my old man used to steal our sweets as kids so I cut my lad some slack. The little blighter used to steal mine.
        Ah kids soccer, I hope you don’t mind the joke, I received it this morning.

        At a point during a football game, the coach called one of his 9-year-old players aside and asked,
        ‘Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?’
        The little boy nodded in the affirmative.
        ‘Do you understand that what matters is whether we win or lose together as a team?’
        The little boy nodded ‘yes’.
        ‘So,’ the coach continued, ‘I’m sure you know, when a penalty is given, you shouldn’t argue, curse, attack the referee or call him a dick-head. Do you understand all that? ‘
        The little boy nodded ‘yes’ again.
        He continued, ‘And when I take you out of the game so another boy gets a chance to play, it’s not good
        sportsmanship to call your coach “a dumb or shit
        head” is it?’
        The little boy shook his head ‘NO’.
        ‘GOOD’, said the coach … . . ‘Now go over there and explain all that to your grandmother.’

  4. I’m sorry, did you write something? I was looking at the dude flexing. I don’t think he’s the strongest dude in the world.

    1. Geez Jen – that’s me. My eyes are up here, thank you.

      (OK, not me. But my eyes are still up here).

    2. And also, I had a cartoon of a dude struggling with two dumbbells, but he looked creepy and had a phallic nose, so I took him down and put up Mr. Shaved-and-Toned.

      Maybe I’ll replace him with a tornado. What do you think? What does anyone think?

  5. Kids ask such amazing questions sometimes. I love the way they think.

    1. They ask the best stuff. We should have kids on every senate hearing.

  6. Rorybore says:

    I agree with the other poster: you should write a book about all these interesting questions your kids ask. For one thing, it shows kids to be so much more smarter and intuitive than we ever give them credit for. and of course, the “you’re smart and amazing writer” thing too. 🙂

    1. So, I could somehow monetize my kids’ questioning? Like, professionally?

      I’m so good at being an amateur, though.

  7. Totally just made me have a higher level of respect for my Dad. My sister and I have bombarded him with questions and then as you pointed out the things dads need to know cause they love their little girls.
    You are also an amazing writer.. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.
    -Brooke’s Sister

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      This is sweet. I wonder what ever happened to you.

  8. I’m impressed! Geez, when my kids were little and asked all these types of questions, I had just one answer: “Go as your father!” Great post–now can I have my neapolitan chocolate dipped waffle cone?

    1. Thanks! Dads are good for asking for permission for things moms would say no too, and important things, like what those cameras above the football field are.

      One Neapolitan ice cream cone – double dipped (and with one bite out of it. Dad tax, you know).

  9. Tamara says:

    You should definitely write a book! These questions scare me. I remember when I was 10 and started asking questions about eternity and that was haunting..my poor mom. I dread the day my kids are old enough to ask questions I can’t answer. Although it’s starting a little, but that’s just because I need a major refresher course in..everything.

    1. It would be a dream to write a book about the questions the girls ask. I wouldn’t even know where to start, but maybe I should find out, right?

      No doubt, there have been tough questions, like when Grace asked if I would die for her. I feel there are so many things a mom does for her child, that a dad can field a few tough questions. I love the challenge and opportunity to connect with my kid.

      You’ll find you will need a refresher course in everything, with their questions and when you have to help with their homework! Grace read through my list of questions she’s asked over the weekend – there’s an entire page, front and back, waiting for me to Google and blog about!

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