There’s a lot of stuff in the sea.
I sat on a Mexican beach a couple of months ago on the sugar-soft sand under the moonlight. I thought about pirates landing at that same cove. I imagined barrels of rum. I could almost see chests of Spanish gold coins and bejeweled chalices.
(If I were a pirate, I’d fill a bejeweled chalice to the brim with Coke Zero).
I looked out into the ocean and thought about all the life out there. Jellyfish, angelfish and whales. Sea horses, orcas and smelts. Sea turtles, pelicans and sharks. I also thought about the stuff these creatures do in the water.
Like, everything. I tried not to think about that too much.
It helped to think of all the things out there that are delicious.
The animal in the first Go Ask Daddy question has never been on my plate, though.
And for good reason. They’re endangered. Endangered animals are less delicious. A guy with the blog Cooking Sebastian ate one, but didn’t give the recipe, because, as he said, “don’t think anybody will need it.”
Here’s what the kids asked:
1. How does a huge stingray live?
Any way it wants to.
Manta rays can grow to 23 feet long. They have a 15-inch poisonous steak knife of a barb as a weapon connected to their arses that can penetrate bone. If street cred exists under water, he’d be the dude the bloods and crips run from.
They lurk in the murk of rivers in Australia, Borneo, New Guinea and Thailand.
And not in Carolina, I’m glad to say.
2. How much is an engagement ring?
It can be expensive – even those bubble gum machines are 50 cents now.
Glamour magazine says if a dude likes it, he should put a ring on it – to the tune of $5,200. That’s enough to get two season tickets to the Colorado Rockies. In the midfield box. With enough left to buy Colorado Queso Nachos for all games against the Padres, and Brewers and Marlins. And probably Interleague games, too.
The old rules said a fellow should spend about three month’s salary on the rock. Unless you’re Justin Theroux, and the rock is for Jennifer Aniston. Then, you should get in for about $500,000.
That’s enough to buy a middle infielder from the Colorado Rockies.
3. How did Food Lion get its name?
For all y’all not in the south – Food Lion is the people’s grocery store.
Three good ol’ boys started Food Town in 1957 in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Belgian grocer Delhaize, whose logo featured a lion, stormed the south and bought Food Town. To use the lion logo and save money on new letters, the chain changed its name to Food Lion – which required just two letter changes.
Efficient, but not as cool as Food Loon. How cool would that be?
4. Were Johnson & Johnson brothers?
We’re not talking NASCAR’s Junior Johnson and former NFLer Keyshawn Johnson. Or Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and receiver Chad Johnson. Or even Miami Vice’s Don Johnson and the Rock, Dwayne Johnson (right). Right?
Johnson & Johnson makes consumer packaged goods, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Three brothers – Robert Wood, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson, founded Johnson & Johnson more than 100 years ago.
Imagine the money they saved because they didn’t have to print Johnson & Johnson & Johnson on all those bottles of baby powder. That’s more than Food Lion saved on signs.
5. What is a curmudgeon?
That guy who bought Colorado Rockies tickets instead of an engagement ring.
Right around July 10, it feels like an awful decision.
Merriam-Webster tells us it’s a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man. (So, women can’t be curmudgeons?)
They’re also referred to as crosspatch, grump, or complainer. Dictionary.com says they’re bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous. A grouch. A crank. A bear. A sourpuss.
I can’t tell you how to survive a manta ray attack. Or get that man to put a ring on it. Or even how to name a grocery store something appealing with only two Scrabble tiles to spare. But I can show you this Wiki How called How to Be A Curmudgeon.
But I bet if you watch this Johnson & Johnson ad first, you’ll find it tough to live the curmudgeon life for long.