I always hope for a book deal or to finally get that appreciation check from Ingrid Michaelson for inspiring her love songs. If not, I won’t have much of a nest egg to bequeath my girls.
I can leave them something. Thanks to Julia Tomiak, author of Diary of a Word Nerd, I can leave my girls a little of me. Things that inspired me in life and helped to shape the dad I became. Three books. Three CDs. Three quotes. Read about what I picked.
Next time you struggle to find a writing prompt? This. Try this.
Let’s not pussyfoot around anymore this week. What’d the kids ask?
1. Do people eat whales?
A whale burger is more controversial than a day at Seaworld.
Whale filet was once deemed Lent-friendly, being from the sea and all. The rich and affluent eat the tongue, which is soft and delicious; poorer folk are left to do their best with the blubber. The tail meat is prized, though. And yes – there is such a thing as whale bacon. How about a cartilage salad?
Whaling is a controversy in itself. Someday, ask me about that. For now, just know dad has never eaten whale. But he’d wear a Hartford Whalers jersey if you bought him one.
2. Does your car have a name?
Yes, she does.
Her given name is Gabrielle. I call her Gabi. Yes, G-A-B-I. Gabis seem a little more carefree and ready for the open road than are Gabbys. Don’t you agree? During a particularly trying time in which my 1993 Pontiac Grand-Am couldn’t seem to stay out of the shop, my friend and former colleague Stacey suggested Gabi might have a better prognosis if she had a name.
We agreed it couldn’t be a famous name, so no Kesha. It couldn’t be someone we worked with, so no Sara, Beth or Summer. It had to be a name that stood on its own. And it fits.
(Although, I once had a favorite Harris-Teeter cashier who wore checkered Vans. Her name was Gabi. Yes, G-A-B-I. Gabis seem a little more carefree and ready for the open road than are Gabbys.
Don’t you agree?
3. What is e-surance?
It’s “Insurance for the modern world.” And they’re not even paying for this advertising space.
The E makes it sound high-tech though, doesn’t it? E-mail. E-VIC card at Harris-Teeter. (Hi Gabi). It’s kind of space-age. E-surance sells auto insurance. The space-age E part comes in its shopping/comparison site for car insurance. E-surance is also more green than most of its competitors. They give away reusable grocery bags and everything. (I could use one in Harris-Teeter).
I miss Erin Esurance, the retired, punky mascot. She got a little too sexy for insurance.
4. Did you play lacrosse when you were a kid?
Oh, no. I was dangerous enough as a kid with a toy land speeder in my hands, no less a lacrosse stick.
It feels like lacrosse wasn’t even invented when I was a boy, but the Iroquois played it way before even my dad was born. We’re talking 1100 AD. And our Canadian friends had to change the rules to suit them, as usual. Their game had from 100 to 1,000 players on a field 500 meters to 3 kilometers long.
Games went sunup to sundown, for two or three days. It was meant to symbolize warfare. I lasted 2 minutes into my first karate lesson. I’d have ridden the pine in lacrosse, for sure.
5. Is there offside in basketball?
There is not. Which is odd, because being offside is illegal in soccer, football (American and Canadian), rugby, ice hockey, field hockey (since 1998), and bandy (wait, what?).
(Bandy is like hockey with a rubber ball. Amazingly, it is NOT Canadian).
In basketball, you have only five players per team. If someone has less gumption to run back up court and play defense, they could lollygag around the bucket and wait. We used to call the kid they planted by our team’s goal a ‘cherry picker,’ although that kind of sounds beneficial to mankind.
If you can’t get back up court on a 94-foot-long playing surface … I’d advise against giving Canadian aboriginal lacrosse a try.