Go Ask Daddy About Shark Dentition, Piranha Fangs and the Hulk’s History

Tonight, I’m the one with questions.

  • Who was the better Darrin in “Bewitched” – Dick Sargent or Dick York?
  • Which is truly better – Chicago or New York style pizza?
  • What in the name of Levi Strauss are the Hulk’s pants made of?

No one’s around to answer my questions, though. At least not tonight.

So, on the eve of opening day of our fall soccer seasons, let’s see what’s on the kids’ minds.

1. Why do sharks’ teeth turn black?

Every oceanic dentist I know – every single one – has a thing against seeing sharks as patients. That’s so racist, isn’t it?

A shark’s pearly whites are made of calcium phosphate. Bacteria and oxygen break that down pretty easily, so if you find a white shark’s tooth, it’s rare, and probably fresh. (Look out for an angry shark with a gap nearby). When a shark’s tooth gets buried, it absorbs the minerals of the sand around it, turning it black, grey or tan, as it is fossilized.

This takes only about 10,000 years, or, roughly the amount of time it will take the Oakland Raiders to make the playoffs again.

2. What is prosciutto?

I think it’s shark jerky.

Prosciutto, also called Parma ham, is the stuff you see in those real cool Italian restaurants. It’s dried and cured and sliced paper thin. It kinda looks like bacon, but the word prosciutto means “ham” in Italian. I don’t know what the Italian word is for bacon, though.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand … now I’m hungry.

3. How do you get pet piranhas?


That little net we use to scoop up dead goldfish? It would actually work OK. Real piranhas don’t buzz everything down in sight, like on cartoons. I still wouldn’t put my hand under a net with a piranha in it. Those teeth are no joke – they’re sharp as razors, and a captured piranha can be quite nasty.

They’re also supposedly delicious, probably even with prosciutto.

4. Is there a version of Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla” that isn’t live?

Yes, it’s on the 1970 album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” and it was initially a bit of a flop – but the real story is in the woman behind the song, Pattie Boyd.

Eric Clapton fell in love with Pattie, and wrote the song about her. Problem is, she was married to another legendary guitarist: George Harrison, who played a few gigs with Clapton. Pattie divorced George in 1974, Eric wrote “Wonderful Tonight” about Pattie in 1977, and Eric and Pattie married in 1979. It’s largely believed George wrote a song, “Something,” about Pattie.

But wait, there’s more.

Pattie said in her autobiography “Wonderful Today,” that Eric challenged George to a guitar duel, which lasted two hours. No words were spoken, but Pattie wrote that she felt Eric had come out on top. And then Eric and Pattie divorced in 1989.

5. How did the Hulk come to be?

Is there any doubt? Eric Clapton hit on Bruce Banner’s wife, and he went all green and monstrous.

The Hulk, a Marvel Comics Fantastic Four favorite, is the alter ego of physicist Bruce Banner. Banner took in tons of gamma rays during an experimental mishap. This exposure, whenever Banner becomes angry, triggers a transformation from mild-mannered scientist to raging green humanoid whose pants seem to magically grow with him, while everything else rips to shreds.

Why is that? Why do the Hulk’s pants go from size 32 waist to 92 when he transforms, then go back to 32s? Is The Hulk the posterboy for jeggings for big angry green dudes?

I might have to wait until shark’s teeth fossilize to find out. Or when the raiders make the playoffs. Whichever comes first.


  1. Lisa says:

    Omg great post! Thanks for the laughter!! I shall have to see if I can come up with some funny answers to your questions! Hugz Lisa

    1. Yes, please … it seems as if I do all the question answering, and never get answers to mine! Thanks Lisa.

  2. Dana says:

    The Incredible Hulk (TV show) always made me so sad as a kid…seeing Bruce walk off into the sunset, alone, forever wandering from place to place. Unlike your post, which made me smile with its total random questions and answers. Happy soccer season, Eli – I’m off to the start of field hockey season!

    1. I know, between the horror of him becoming Lou Ferrigno and always ending the show that way, it was a bit much for us kids, wasn’t it? (Today, kids have other monsters, like Zach and Cody, to deal with).

      Random questions are the best, and I have a ton in my notebook. Every time the kids ask one, I jot it down (or try to remember).

      I’m so ready for the season – good luck in field hockey, Dana!

  3. laurie27wsmith says:

    Great post Eli. back in the day I used to wear a shark tooth on a thong around my neck. Looked pretty cool, until I wore it to bed one night, I rolled over in my sleep and it sliced into my chest, yes it hurt. Threw the bloody thing out. I believe Piranhas are tasty – they think the same about us. As for the Hulk, I can only imagine that his pants are made out of spandex. Keep them coming Eli.

    1. Thanks mate. Glad it wasn’t a tyrannosaurus rex tooth you wore. They say piranha’s kinda bony. I don’t have time for that – there’s way too many tasty fish out there to waste time with bony ones.

      I need those spandex pants when I visit the buffet!

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        The fish to eat Eli is the Barramundi, an iconic Australian fish. it’s like Angels crying on your tongue when you eat it. That’s when you need the spandex pants.

      2. I need to pay you a visit and see about these angels. Just don’t give me a side of vegamite.

  4. Letizia says:

    I didn’t know sharks’ teeth turned black (I learn so much from your blog!). On a side note, my mother (for whom English is her third language) confuses the word “hunk” and “hulk” and jokingly told me that someone was a “hulk”. When I pointed out the difference, she said, “oh, it’s the same thing really!”

    1. I learn lots because of the kids! If unkempt hair, furrowed brows and green pigmentation were hunkish, yeah, I could see it!

  5. You know what I always found interesting? In the “Concert For George” that was organized for Harrison in 2002 (a year after his death, maybe?) was musically directed by Clapton. At least partly. Paul started singing “Something” in a somewhat cutesy way, then gave way for Clapton to give the performance of a lifetime of his old friend’s song. The song that was theoretically written for the woman Clapton also loved! That always blows my mind.
    Anyway. Sorry. Back to your Saturday night!

    1. I had no idea about that, Tamara. I was tempted to copy and paste it into the post, and just delete your comment. Pattie was cute. The face that launched a thousand ships.

      Wouldn’t you love to be at the duel between Eric and George? Amazing.

      1. haha! That cracked me up. Copy and paste and delete away.
        Yes, I would love to be at the duel. Or in the middle of it. I read Clapton’s autobiography and I read Pattie’s, just for posterity’s sake. And because she’s cute, you’re right.

      2. Squatters rights, or something like that. Law of the West, maybe?

        Maybe we could see Ringo Starr and Phil Collins duel on drums. Or Eminem and Pink just, duel.

        Yeah, Pattie. Back then, she’d be, like, Elizabeth Banks in cuteness.

  6. Your questions:

    1) DIck York.. duh
    2) New York Style Pizza … come on dude, DOUBLE DUH!
    3) Magic.. His pants are MAGICAL… only explanation I have EVER come up with for that one

    oh and PANCETTA… Italian word for bacon… 😉

    1. Thank you for answering my questions!

      1. Dick York was definitely the more memorable face – he was all tight-wound (we won’t get into a conversation about my childhood crush on Serena, Samantha’s evil cousin).

      2. I could go either way, seriously. I’ll take Milwaukee-style pizza, and I don’t even know what that means, but it’s PIZZA.

      3. What’s magical (or disturbing?) is the amount of time we’ve spent on Hulk’s pants, and not Jennifer Lawrence’s.

      4. PANCETTA – I’ll take some on my pizza, please. Chicago or New York style. You pick.

      1. New York Style Pizza with Pancetta? Oh damn… how about we had some spice to it too? Hot peppers?

        I’m already in NY… so hop in the car… you can get here… EVENTUALLY!

      2. Sounds kind of like heaven. Add the spice too. I’m game. I once drove 8 hours for a Cajun catfish sandwich, so …

  7. This post is AWESOME. Also I am happy to say that I’m here providing service today. You can scratch one of your questions off the list. New York style pizza is infinitely better than Chicago style. Oh. Somebody else already told you. Whatever. I’m still helpful. Also, no clue that shark’s teeth turn black. Hope I never see them connected to an actual shark up close in real life. I think my younger brother found a white one once though. Probably it was broken off while the shark was eating proscioutto-smelling swimmers. Because mmm. Also I don’t know if I spelled proscioustto right and neither does spell check so I give up.

    1. Thanks Kristi! I appreciate your service, but I must conduct a few taste tests to be sure. You understand. But that’s two votes for New York so far.

      Where are you, Chicago?

      Black sharks teeth are nothing to worry about. That’s 16,000-year-old fish. It’s the white bloody ones you have to worry about.

      Because mmmm is right. Proscuittio on a pizza? Hell, I can’t remember how to spell it.

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannd … I’m hungry again.

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