Go Ask Daddy About the Better Bobcats, Self-Generated Nicknames and Lunar Fly-bys

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

I’ve been in desperate need of some funny.

Like, withdrawal symptoms. Life is good right now. I’m back on the Couch to 5K, working out twice at the gym. I might have even gotten this Coke Zero addiction licked (if you own the stock KO, you might want to sell, sell, sell).

And I got this little notice that someone liked one of my posts.

I was ready today to take a rip at the produce industry for pesticides.

I wanted to tell about the swagger Elise is getting as the once reluctant goalkeeper. I could have gone on about Ingrid Michaelson. Or the day my girls kicked a hole in the soccer fence we put up for them.

Or even spouted off about the Colorado Rockies’ scorching start or Johnny Manziel going to Cleveland.

Instead, I’ll be serious for just a moment more.

I want to ask for collective prayers and vibes out to:

Ashlyn, who began a battle against leukemia this week

Rara, a beloved blogger facing unbelievable plight

Mary, a friend fighting to recover after a car accident

I’m going to try to be funny today with the girls’ questions, and I dedicate the energy to all three of you. So, here’s what my girls need answers about today.

1. Are the Charlotte Bobcats any better this season?

photo credit: James Willamor via photopin cc
photo credit: James Willamor via photopin cc

Better … than what?

They were better than the 2011-12 team that registered a historic low .106 winning percentage. But they weren’t better than fresh apple fritters. They were better than the team that missed the playoffs last season. But they weren’t better than Ingrid Michaelson in glasses.

The Charlotte Bobcats made the playoffs, but lost in four games to the Miami Heat in the first round. Next year, they’ll have a star returning in Al Jefferson and an awesome coach in Steve Clifford. They’ll have the Charlotte Hornets name and colors coming back … and they’ll be better than the Charlotte Bobcats.

2. Was that Auburn touchdown the longest one ever made?

It went for 109 yards and just about 19 seconds. Chris Davis’ winning touchdown run lasted just about as long as the Charlotte Bobcats did in the NBA playoffs.

Davis’ return of a missed Alabama field goal was the second touchdown in the final 32 seconds for No. 4 Auburn against its rival in last season’s Iron Bowl. It knocked the Crimson Tide out of title contention.

It  propelled the Tigers into the national-championship game, where they lost to Florida State.

At 109 yards, it’s the longest possible touchdown in American football. (The NCAA recognizes it as only a 100-yard score. Psh, only. And this is the only issue the NCAA has, amIright?)

Trent Guy, a kick returner for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, returned a kick 129 yards. But how? Canadian football fields are 110 yards long with end zones 20 yards deep, that’s how.

But that’s OK. The CFL also has like six teams and two called the Rough Riders. And they have a team named after a French song. And, Justin Bieber.

3. What was your nickname as a kid?

crush eliIt wasn’t Rough Rider.

Gosh, when I was a kid … well, I wanted my nickname to be Daddy Cool. And it worked. Kind of. It’s tough to make your own nickname stick. Unless you’re Shaquille O’Neal. I should’ve gone with Little Aristotle. This was as a preteen, too, and it got into my yearbook, so it had to work, right?

Plus it beats Tontito – which is what they called me as a little kid. Tontito, not as little version of the Lone Ranger’s sidekick but Spanish for little dummy.

4. Why do they put a towel in a bass drum?

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

So it’s handy for Bama fans to toss in?

That’s a low blow. Towels, blankets, kick drum pillows … they’re all in the name of resonance. It’s like tuning other instruments. You achieve it by tightening drumheads and placing a soft buffer item in the drum to muffle the sound and reduce the ring sound.

Some drummers claim they can tune without stuffing a drum. I don’t know if they can or not. But whether you stuff or don’t, you should have a great drummer nickname. Mine would be Cozy Expoding Wackerman. True story. Find yours, here, and for Alex Van Halen’s sake, put it in the comments.

5. In movies, why do they always fly across the moon?

photo credit: jurvetson via photopin cc
photo credit: jurvetson via photopin cc

Could it be product placement for Moon Pies? Nah.

The moon flyby is for dramatic effect. You know, like a parent calling his boy Tontito. Or a CFL rules committee making its field 110 yards. To preserve bogus longest-touchdown distinctions. Even the combination of Exploding and Wackerman in the same nickname.

I’ll leave you with my favorite movie moonby. Have fun with it. When I saw this as a kid, I believed anything was possible.

Today – especially as our friends need a little magic in their lives – I still believe.



  1. I think we have to believe in all the magic we can for Ashlyn, Rara, Mary and many more!

    My favorite moon scene is the boy who is fishing in the Dream Works intro

    E.T. ain’t bad either.

    Tontito is not doing you justice. The Voices of the Year judges know better. Congratulations on your award! In the heart category no less, very deserved! I’m so proud of you!

    1. That’s a good plan, TG.

      When that intro would play when the girls were little, they’d say, “stupid boy!”

      E.T. rocks. I wanted to be Elliott.

      Tontito was just a term of endearment, I think. Thanks for the kind words about the VOTY stuff. There’s some good links in that list. It’s an honor.

  2. Right, I’ll tell you but don’t tell anyone else Eli, okay? My nickname as a boy was LoL. Not laugh out loud but short for lollipop, from the song My Boy Lollipop, by Millie Small. My elder sister heard it once and said, ‘That’s your name from now on.’ And it stuck. So you should be happy with Tontito.

      1. That’s good Mate, let’s face it, a man in his 60’s being called Lol doesn’t look good. Oh can you go in and edit my original comment and put, tell in? Good man.

      2. Thanks Mate, you little beauty. I’d go as far as calling you a bonzer sort of a bloke.

      3. See, you’ve learnt something new. Having a bonzer mate, or a bonzer time of it is a good thing. It’s not as common these days, although I’ve been here 54 years and it was bandied around a lot.

      4. Bewdy, short for beauty. An exclamation of delight as in, ‘You little bewdy.’ Often used when goals are scored, the beer’s free etc.

      5. Bollocks is the word you want, it means balls and not the sporting ones. Good for political discussion, ‘It’s nothing but a load of bollocks.’ Yes it’s a English term.

      6. It’s my reason for being Mate. Now here’s another saying to increase your Ozzie vocabulary. ‘You’re nothing but a bloody Drongo.’ Drongo is the name of a bird and it means an idiot. It’s usually reserved for referees and bad drivers.

      7. I’d vote for something like a Viking, burning boat funeral. Oh, a chorus of whistles and don’t forget the cheerleaders for entertainment. Perhaps we could feature the Aztec ball game, Ōllamaliztli. A kind of racquetball, and in some instances the losing team was sacrificed. Boy, wouldn’t the ref be getting some kickbacks on those games.

      8. You advertise at College campuses for sports minded individuals who like a beer or two, want experience in conflict management and like crowds. Then tell them about the great death benefit scheme the job offers.

  3. Congratulations, Eli! I’m so happy for you! What a wonderful honor for a most-deserving blogger.
    love, your friend the drummer Keith “Damp-Patch” Colaiuta

  4. beth ‘ peaches’ reporting in and saying i loved the sound of tontito until i learned it’s meaning. your girls are lucky to have you to answer all these important questions and to be there for them.

    1. Peaches! I know, tontito sounds cute, almost! Hispanics are harsh, though. You’ll hear nicknames like Gordo (fatso), Cabeson (big head) or Odejon (big ears) once in a while. They tell it like it is!

      Although, I’m not such a little one any more. And I got smarter.

  5. Sounds like you have had one of those weeks full of major UPS and DOWNS. Congrats on your BlogHer nomination – well deserved!
    And, I hope that all 3 of your friends have lots of support as they go through different issues right now.

    1. A little blue and a little rose, right? And thanks on the BlogHer thing, although as a guy, it feels a bit like being the one Hispanic kid on the historically black college football roster. One of these things is not like the others …

      Those friends do have friends and prayers and good vibes, and I’m thankful for those that have come out of this space, especially.

    1. The girls keep me in business on Fridays, Cheryl. If anything, I have a tough time keeping up … they’re on my phone, in notebooks, written down my arm …

  6. I still believe too and I was so sad when Scarlet, who goes on roller coasters four times in a row, was terrified of the E.T. ride at Universal. She screamed! That ride is awesome!
    Anyway. My nickname as a kid was One Tooth Willy. Not my finest.

  7. Hey Eli – My nickname was Mouse. True. I’m a blond, white woman and still, the family said it like it truly was – small, fast, and just slightly terrifying.

  8. You did a fine job of bringing the laughter. Tontito? For real??
    I don’t know if this is a nickname but I got called Sarah Heartburn a lot. Apparently a spin on Sarah Bernhardt, the actress. I may have been a tad dramatic as a child.
    Rest assured that Ashlyn, Rara, and Mary are in my prayers.

  9. Technically, we HAD 2 CFL teams called Rough Riders, but the Ottawa one disbanded and has since returned and are known as the RedBlacks —- debuting this year. Um yeah, bonne chance to them. historically, the odds are never in their favour.
    I really dig my drummer name: Ringo Watts. it has a nice ring to it.
    see what I did there.
    and that is why you are a voice of the year, and I am not. 🙂

    1. Wasn’t one Roughriders and the other Rough Riders? RedBlacks is much better, right? I’m a Hamilton Tiger-Cats supporter myself.

      I did see what you did there, Ringo. Didn’t we also do our rapper names at some point?

      You’re a voice of a lifetime, Rore.

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