🏪 Go Ask Daddy About Store Blockers, Craft Store Monikers and the King of Pop

photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc
photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

Greetings from sunny, tropical Playa del Carmen.

I mean a window seat, above the Gulf of Mexico, en route to Playa del Carmen. I’ve just read two chapters of “The Sun Also Rises,” followed the mighty Mississippi River to its delta, and am reasonably sure to have spied a colony of Men O War drifting in the Gulf.

So, excuse me if I’m a bit full of it.

You’ll get a different version of Go Ask Daddy than had I written this from the reasonably comfortable Charlotte Douglas Airport, eating my $4 Burger King breakfast sandwich, unable to connect with airport Wi-Fi (100% operator error).

Instead, I’m looking down at clouds and one Miami Airplane wing.

By the time I hit publish on this post, I’ll be lousy in sand and sun, just enough rum, and ready to run – my bum ankle has been cleared to start over with the Couch to 5K program again, and I will take a turn on a Mexican shore Friday.

On Saturday, I’ll go on a short run too, in memory of a blogger and runner. A drunk driver struck and killed Meg Menzies, a mother of three, as she ran Monday morning in preparation for the Boston Marathon.

I’ll try to find someone with a functioning smartphone and post a picture of my run, with the hashtag #Megsmiles.

Do the same Saturday, if you get the chance.

Now, get a load of what the kids have asked lately.

store facade
Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

1. Do stores hire people who just put things away?

Specialists are everywhere.

Long snappers come in to spiral the ball between their legs on kicks. Hockey enforcers have rules with fists ever since the Original 8. Basketball used to have slow white guys who planted themselves on the perimeter to take 3-point shots at a high success rate.

There’s even such a thing as a burger stylist. (Where do I sign up?)

Our friend Alecia at Food Lion starts her night on the ethnic food aisle, armed with a milk carton and focus, and blocks the entire store. She lines up Jarritos soda bottles, two deep, and doesn’t stop until she’s fronted the bargain-brand toilet paper on aisle 13.

In an exclusive interview with the Coach Daddy staff, Alecia revealed the darker side of the life of a grocery-store blocker, and what she finds in the trenches.

“You are of course familiar with the eaten/half-eaten food tucked away behind the product … Ew,” Alecia said. “Because that’s the one that gets me the most, I’m going to have to say a bag of completely eaten chicken wing bones in their deli packaging has got to be the worst. It’s just wrong!”

close up photo of man wearing black suit jacket doing thumbs up gesture
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

2. Are thumbs fingers?

In the hand of life, I’ll always consider myself a thumb.

You can’t hitch a ride, give a thumbs up or thumbs down or even the OK sign, or presumably paint a picture. We go by the rule of thumb, twiddle our thumbs when we’re bored, and when we manage to not kill our plants, we attribute it to a green thumb.

There are no rules of pointer fingers, a green ring finger simply means cheap jewelry, and just try and twiddle your middle fingers in public and see what happens. That said, there are two schools of thought:


The thumb is a digit, and thus, a finger, for the other four fingers are also digits.


The thumb, composed of two bones and not three, is decidedly unfingerlike, and as such must stick out. Like a sore thumb, even.

The second theory feels awfully fascist to me. After all, in an oven mitt, fingers must share quarters, but the thumb – he gets his own room.

The thumb is sentimental. Did you hear what he said to the pointer finger, even after all this isolation?

“I’m in glove with you.”

ac moore
photo credit: CC Chapman via photopin cc

3. What does the AC in AC Moore stand for?

Awfully Crafty, I suspect.

Or maybe Arturo Caballo? Or Antonius Cornelius?

It’s actually just Arts & Crafts. And Moore. Get it? Because there’s a lot of it.

I’d hate to block aisles in AC Moore. All those stamps and wooden letters to paint and silk flowers. Not to mention the glass beads and sewing thread and bins of markers that girls named “Ashley” and “Heather” feel fit to write “Ashley was here!” on the shelves with.

I’d rather take my chances with half-eaten chicken thighs and tapped out My Essentials soda cans.

4. Do you have to pay for those little pokey things you use for your blood monitor?

Yes, because I have a job.

They don’t cost much. You wouldn’t know it by how I once used them. I used each more than once. I did. It’s my own blood, after all. Having disclosed that, I shall never again poke fun at Gigi when she runs a dishwasher of plasticware and Solo cups. Like, ever.

michael jackson
photo credit: ANDY LEDDY via photopin cc

5. How long ago did Michael Jackson die?

Michael Jackson, the tiny kid with the humongous voice in the Jackson 5 who went on to become an innovative solo artist recognized as the King of Pop, died June 25, 2009.

His doctor gave him a lethal combination of drugs to try and treat him for anxiety and a sleep disorder. The circus atmosphere after Michael Jackson’s death overshadows what a brilliant artist he was. When he took over the pop scene in the early 80s, I wasn’t a fan. Unlike every other kid on the planet, I was buying Daryl Hall & John Oates albums, Not Thriller.

Later in life, I’ve come to appreciate Michael Jackson, especially the old-school stuff, Pre Thriller and Bad, stuff from Off the Wall, such as Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough and Rock With You.

I’m honored to say Michael probably would have classified himself as a thumb, too.



  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    That accident happened 20 minutes from where I live. Very tragic.

    What a place to restart your program! Enjoy the sun, we got snow for five minutes and dropping temps. Again.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yes, it is. We can’t take a single day for granted. My greatest fear is leaving my kids too soon.

      My ankle still hurts, but I think the setting will help. Plus, I want to be part of this. I expect the outpouring will be incredible.

  2. Tricia says:

    I’m totally going to tell my daughter that thumb joke. Love it 🙂 have fun in the sun!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Take all the credit for it, Tricia.

      I’m definitely feeling Hemingway-esque on this getaway. I’m even sitting at the same table at the same cafe. I think I feel a novel coming on.

  3. Ann Koplow says:

    Thanks for taking us so many places today. I enjoyed every one.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks for coming on the journey, Ann.

  4. Teri says:

    I heard about the accident in my runners group but didn’t know about Saturday’s plan. I’ll be getting out there and doing a few miles in her honor.

    Don’t get too much sun.

    No, I’m not the least bit jealous. (if I could write that in green, I would).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you’re taking part, Teri. I’ll hobble a mile, at least, I hope! Now to find someone to snap a shot of it.

      I usually don’t have to worry much about too much sun. The thing i’m dealing with here is everyone speaks to me in Spanish, even the white folks, and I answer with “hey!”

      Don’t be jealous. It’s 70 and clear this morning. Dreadful. Any colder, and my rum and coke would be uncomfortable.

  5. Thank you for spreading the word about #megsmiles & dedicating a few miles to her tomorrow. As you soak up the sand & sun, be grateful you have another day to run and to tell your kids how much you love them.

    Enjoy your time in Mexico! And make sure you write another inspiring post for us on the return flight. This edition of Go Ask Daddy has swagger! Of course, you might be feeling the effects of the rum-n-sun combo on the return trip! Safe travels!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m honored to do it. The song “One More Day” always reminds me of that fact … just gratitude that even with a bum ankle, I have much to be thankful for.

      So far so good here in Mexico, although it feels like a sheltered version of it compared to what we saw on the drive in to the resort. I’ll take the shelter, though.

      I never ever get hung over, and know when to say when. Unless it’s churros.

      1. I just realized I severely abused the exclamation point in my first comment. Obviously, my jealousy that you’ll be running on the beach while I’m trying to keep all of my digits – thumbs included – warm on a chilly trail run is clouding my judgment.

        One More Day is a great song. I also love Beautiful Mess. This life really is a beautiful mess.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        You were a good six usages from true abuse, Nicole. I’m trying to get up the gumption to change into my running gear and hit the beach right now … it’s such a dreadful 72 degree day.

        I haven’t heard a whole lot of country music in the past two days.

  6. stephrufa says:

    Sorry to hear about that accident, very sad.

    Hope you enjoy your vacation. Loved reading those questions and I’m with you on the AC Moore thought, just reading about the potential mess gave me anxiety – I couldn’t handle it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      As parents, we’re used to cleaning others’ messes.

      As a mom, you’re used to cleaning *everyone’s* messes, right?

  7. Ashley T. says:

    What are you doing in Mexico? If it is work related can you get me a job?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You know, the ol’ grind. We just had an awesome annual meeting. They have a way here of taking you to paradise, and simultaneously making it so you can’t wait to get back to work on Monday.

  8. tamaralikecamera says:

    AC Moore! It all makes sense now! Or..not at all.
    I used to work at Trader Joe’s and it was a lot of putting things away. Another trick I loved to do was to use my handy dandy box cutter to “spoil” a bag of snacks. By “spoil”, I mean open a perfectly good one, eat it, and then claim it came that way and must be thrown away. And by “thrown away”, I mean put into my purse.
    Have fun in the sun!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s quite a racket you had going on the snacks. Did you wear the wacky-ass shirt, too? I think I’d like to work there, because you get to do lots of stuff.

      Sampling snacks too, apparently.

  9. ksbeth says:

    that is so sad.it was always my fear too, that i wouldn’t make it until my girls were grown. luckily i did. or at least i think so. also happy you are flying away to the sun, you’ve earned it and happy you are recovered. ps. do monkeys have thumbs ?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Awful. Apparently, her husband is an excellent police officer who works to eliminate drunk driving. So tragic.

      I’d better hit the sand while the ankle isn’t aching … can’t wait.

      Monkeys most definitely have thumbs. My children are proof. (Apes do too. Their daddy is proof).

  10. Kim says:

    Wow – enjoy Mexico!!! I’m sure it is warm and sunny and awesome!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And not a mention of “crunchy” or “soft” tacos to be heard! Ah, paradise.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I like what you did there, Tony!

  11. Rorybore says:

    Oh! What a senseless, useless tragedy! Her poor kids. Thumbs down to the asshat drunk driver. Are people ever going to learn? Please stop leaking stupid people!!
    Of course you know I am completely jealous of your sunny vacation. Sitting up here in sub zero temperatures. Also, the rum is gone. 🙂 Suppose I need my own handy shelf stocker.
    But I do hope you enjoy your time in the sun. No sense all of use just twiddling our thumbs in the snow. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I have to check in on the responses to #Megsmiles on Saturday. It felt like the whole world wanted to run for her that day. So glad I got to, too.

  12. As my lil miss would say, I am super jelly of your 70 degree and sand and sun! It is 18 in my neck of the woods, yuck! LOL! Enjoy your time in Mexico for all of us stuck in the freezing temps! And as always give the kids an extra squeeze and an extra kiss each day, because those are the things that will stay with them.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Absolutely. On the ride home from the airport, Grace must have hugged me 17 times. I missed those buggers.

      I had a cool drink in my hand, and the next day, I was scraping ice off my windshield.

  13. laurie27wsmith says:

    Enjoy your vacation Eli, I hope you don’t have to answer questions like, “What is Montezuma’s revenge Daddy?”

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      No problems to report, chief.

      As our tour guide remarked, “why do you have to call it Montezuma’s revenge?” If I get sick in diarrhea in America, I don’t call it George Washington’s revenge! Let my ancestor rest in peace!”

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        I guess if I were Montezuma I would be looking to get my own back after my country was savaged by gold seeking adventurers, sorry explorers.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        They … ran away with it, presumably.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        With quite a percentage of it on the bottom of the sea.

  14. Enjoy your holiday and don’t burn the tender bits.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I kept them covered the entire time, brother.

  15. Have a fantastic time in Mexico! Of course, the mother in me wants to tell you to wear your sunscreen. And if you’re there without kids, the mother in me also wants to tell you to have a fruity drink and a nap on the beach for me.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m the kind of renegade who goes without sunscreen. Then again, I didn’t spend much time in the rays on the beach, and always had a hat and shirt on.

      I forgot the fruity drink and nap on the beach, but I did lay out under the stars one night and I saw a shooting star. With a rum and coke. So that’s almost as good.

  16. I hadn’t heard about that accident. I’ve kind of been a little off the grid this weekend. That is just horrible! My heart goes out to her family. Here people swing around blind corners at ridiculous speeds…I always worry it’s going to happen. I got my husband a road ID for Christmas because he usually runs by himself, where I usually run with a partner. Hope you had a wonderful time in Mexico. It’s very cold here. Enjoy the sun!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I used to fear for my life every time I rode my bike. Apparently, seeing where I’m going is nothing compared to the content you can see on a smartphone while driving.

      I wonder if Playa del Carmen misses me as much as I miss her right now.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.