Go Ask Daddy About Fake Money, Fake Voices

photo credit: joeunrue via photopin cc
photo credit: joeunrue via photopin cc

Every man will face his own “What the hell am I doing?” moments.

Some, as they question their intelligence and purpose for existence. While they adjust the ornate belt on their white Elvis jumpsuit. While they fight the terror that the suit’s fit reveals more than the average passerby or coworker ought to know.

This was me, on Halloween, a few short years ago.

I stood in profile in the full-length mirror in the men’s room for my watershed moment. Should I switch from The King to The Guy Who Should Have Worn Something More Substantial Under His Costume?

tebow elvis
Yes. This is me Tebowing in an Elvis suit. Next to a paper mache Jaws. What?

The issue here isn’t embarrassment in the portrayal of The King, even in his more robust state. (I couldn’t pull off the young Elvis, I realize. I’m not … young.) When I strapped on the polyester Vegas duds and fluffed my hair for full effect, I became ready to roll, Elvis style.

My kids greeted me with moans and screams. Even the littlest one. Utter. Disapproval. Never mind that I’d serenaded them all those years with “Love Me Tender” and “Teddy Bear.”

My status as Cool Dad had taken a hit.

It happens to a lot of guys. A washed-up Johnny Unitas,  suited up to play for the San Diego Chargers. Or old Michael Jordan, schlepping along with the Washington Wizards. Frankie Valli, singing way too far into disco and the 70s.

Or Elvis Pressley, gyrating in a white jumpsuit. Trying to figure out how to earn cool points back.

Our Halloween edition of Go Ask Daddy is less scary. Unless you’re a bank teller, radio listener or prone to ill effects from fiber overload.

1. How do they tell if a bill is counterfeit?

photo credit: sixsixsixismoney via photopin cc
photo credit: sixsixsixismoney via photopin cc

If Elvis or Johnny Unitas appears in place of Jackson or Jefferson, you might have a fake on your hands.

The U.S. Secret Service gives telltale signs of counterfeit bills on its website. It implores us, the American people, to practice due diligence to keep funny money out of circulation.

The real deal is sharp and distinct. They print American currency on special paper with red and blue fibers embedded. For bills bigger than $1 or $2, there’s tricky strip you can see inside the bill if you hold it up to light.

Money also feels different than regular paper. It shouldn’t feel like a post-it, for instance, or toilet paper. I am not familiar with the feel of cash, at least not on the order of Johnny Football.

2. You’re not allowed to head-butt in football?

Nope. Not even if you’re a party-hard, brash rookie who has done nothing but rub air money between your fingers and roll like a pimp in Vegas.

Like many things in life, it depends on what the referee sees. Take this play in a Georgia vs. South Carolina game.

The NFL begins each season with a ‘point of emphasis’ that it won’t tolerate helmet-to-helmet contact. The first couple of games in the season, if a helmet grazes a helmet, flags fly. By midseason, it’s hit (ha!) or miss.

By the Super Bowl, helmet hits by Seahawks defensive players on defenseless Broncos receivers in the most ridiculous setting for an NFL title game go virtually unnoticed.

No, I’m not bitter.

3. How does AutoTune work?

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc
photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

Better than NFL referees, I hope. (Let’s face it, officials of all kinds give me hives and thyroid spasms. How badly do I have it? I won’t even go to Sports Clips because the women who cut your hair there wear referee shirts. I just can’t trust their eyesight with scissors.

As Grace says when she finds herself in trouble – nobody’s perfect!

This is where AutoTune comes in. Through something known as signal processing, producers can correct even MY voice. Every note makes a sound wave. The frequency determines the pitch. Producers kept AutoTune software around to tweak the occasional stinker note in the studio.

Then, someone left it out and Cher found it. This might have well been the day the music really did die.

4. Can you have the same license plate as someone in another state?

photo credit: classic_film via photopin cc
photo credit: classic_film via photopin cc

Yes. So, #$!-A-Ref could appear in all 50 states. Guam, too.

Because every state’s database is separate, you could have a, I don’t know, J-Law&E plate in North Carolina. Or PizzaMe.

Maybe BlogLife?

And someone else could have one in Florida.

And a third in Arkansas.

There are some clever ones out there, though. Check these out. (If you Google ‘cool vanity plates,’ make sure safe search is active. The more you know.

: – D (This one exists in North Carolina, for real.)

EW-ABUG (On a green Volkswagen bug in Hawaii)

And, on a Cincinnati Bengals Ohio vanity plate, the grand prize … PHKPIT. Take that, Pittsburgh.

5. What happens if you eat raw oats?

photo credit: Linda Jacqueline via photopin cc
photo credit: Linda Jacqueline via photopin cc

You’ll sound like Cher on crack.

Livestrong.com says it’s OK. Which is cool, because isn’t that Lance Armstrong’s site? And he’d give it to us straight. Right? The thing is, that’s a lot of fiber. And fiber has … effects. I thought I was all healthy when I ate a Fiber One bar and I felt like my innards morphed into a hot air balloon.

Cook a cup of oats, and it’s good for 166 calories, 28 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber – about 16% of what you should have in a day. Eat that same cup of oats raw, and you’re talking 307 calories, 55 grams of carbs and eight grams of fiber.

That’s a third of your daily allowance!

And I just realized I’m railing on against … fiber.

Not. Cool.

FiberDad on my license plate?

Not a good look.

oats quote


  1. I couldn’t get past Elvis. True story, I totally had a crush on young skinny Elvis circa Jailhouse Rock. I mean I remember seeing the movie as a kid and just swooning. Granted by that point he was already through the bloated phase and dead, but still long live the king and definitely would have loved to see your costume. Happy Halloween 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I have an Elvis story to email you, Janine! Young skinny Elvis had it all. But apparently he was pretty insecure. Even the swoon-worthy have issues.

      I don’t have any better pictures of me in that Elvis getup than the one with the shark. This year, I’m Indiana Jones. Maybe that’ll be a post someday! Happy Halloween, JH.

      1. Definitely email me it. And you better share a pic of you as Indiana Jones, too! Happy Halloween 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’ll get one, I promise!

      3. Awesome and can’t wait 😉

      4. Kim says:

        Indiana Jones should earn back lots of cool points!!!

      5. Eli Pacheco says:

        I even grew out the salt-and-pepper beard to become more accurate (for the final Indiana Jones movie).

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Um…nice shark? (Sorry, just not an Elvis fan.)

    How about CNCYSUX on a license plate? Virginia only gets 7 characters to work with, so y’all get to a better chance to actually spell things out. I have been told my plate has come up a few times on those sites but I don’t care enough to look.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well, I’m glad you at least liked the shark! Elvis has left the building, obviously.

      True steelers fans would argue that Cincy Sucks is redundant! Well, we Broncos fans would say that about the Raiders, anyway. Is that really yours??

      1. NotAPunkRocker says:

        No, that’s not mine! We hate Cleveland and Baltimore more anyway. And they aren’t worth having on my car, even in a disparaging way.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I feel the same way about the silver and black. In fact, I prefer for any player who comes from oakland to play somewhere else before they come to the Broncos.

        You know, to decontaminate.

  3. ProteanMom says:

    What always cracks me up is when you hand a cashier a $2 bill – and they look at you like you’re trying to con them.

    Then again, I’ve had people think that $15 bills were legit. Oy.

    Way to rock the Elvis costume, by the way.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Same way with dollar coins! I’d try to give them out when I worked in a hotel, and people acted like they were Chuck E. Cheese coins (which, duh – you can win PRIZES with.)

      So, $15 is fake? Wait, what?

      Thanks on The King. Elise called me Mexican Elvis, and I’m all, that’s racial.

  4. ieatyoumama says:

    OMG, the white jumpsuit!! I LOVE it! I don’t care what the girls said, I think you rocked that thing!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I had a red one, too! I always wanted to wear it on a random Tuesday in March, to the mall or something. Thanks MB!

      1. Kim says:

        I think you should – pretty sure that would count as one of the “stepping out of your comfort zone” things!!!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Spend a day as Elvis?

      3. Kim says:

        Yes, spend the day as Elvis. Maybe the red suit!!!

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        i feel like Elvis every day. I just have to add the jump suit.

  5. LOVED.EVERY.BIT of this!
    I got nothin’ clever to say.
    I’ve left the building 🙂

    (Happy Halloween, Eli and fam!)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you. Thank you very much, Michelle.

  6. Kim says:

    So cool that you dress up for Halloween – I’m way too lame for that kind of thing!!!
    The only time I eat oats is when I make apple crisp – to me that is breakfast food because it’s oatmeal and apples!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll never be too old Kim – well, I’ll never know it if I am!

      Apple crisp is the bomb. It’s 39 and rainy here today, and I could go for a bowl.

  7. Lyn says:

    Even as a rowdy teenager, I could never understand the fuss about Elvis. I know…wash my mouth out 😀 Halloween has only been on the agenda here in Australia for a few years–mainly because the stores realised how much money they could make. Rego plates here in Oz can only have 6 letters or numbers (or combos of both) so sadly, “SHUZBUTT” isn’t one of them 😦
    go easy on the candy Eli.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The King didn’t get *all* the girls. The Monkeys got some. So what did Australia do for free candy *before* Halloween? And, you’re welcome for the holiday, too.

      I think you should move to a nation that will accommodate your SHUZBUTT. And that’s the first time I’ve ever given that advice.

      I’ve been … reasonable with the candy. So far.

  8. ksbeth says:

    i love the costume and that you wore it with pride and that your daughters were appalled, but secretly so proud. i know it. and maybe your plate should say – fiber1 ?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      maybe. i tell them all the time they got lucky in the daddy lottery. not all popses will wear elvis costumes or grill chicken wings in the rain or drive to walgreens at 2 a.m. for maxipads. (ok, i don’t do that last thing.)

  9. tamaralikecamera says:

    There was a wonderful Elvis at our Halloween parade yesterday but it was a little kid.
    When I got dressed yesterday, Scarlet said I was the prettiest Snow White she had ever seen. Can I get another decade or two of that, please??
    I’m not familiar with cash either. I never carry it, because it’s soon gone. I’m notoriously horrible at having cash. What is cash? Where am I going with this?
    Cher + AutoTune = the day I stopped turning on the soft rock stations.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Little kids make better Elvises than 40-something dudes. I have to concur with the Scarletinator on that one. I think you have 27 more years with that title.

      Cash has lots of germs. And isn’t money the root of all evil? If so, I’m a !@#$-damned saint.

      I do believe in life after love, but I don’t believe in love after AutoTune.

  10. Rorybore says:

    my hubby eats cooked oats every single morning. like clockwork. yep – you can set your clock by him, if you know what I mean.
    I think it’s awesome you dressed as Elvis! I love it when parents get into the spirit of the holiday. I actually found one Captain America when I was dressed as Black Widow on Halloween. We had a good laugh.
    You have to pay extra money for the vanity plates up here. Meh. I’m not that keen on having FANGIRL anyway. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      So now I know what time oatmeal time in Canada is. Kind of. And the only deficiency he seems to have is the concept of hermit life. That’s not much to worry about.

      I dressed as Indiana Jones and only felt like an ass a small percentage of the time. Did you find any Hawkeyes on your Halloween? Possibly that’s a story you wouldn’t share, I realize.

      Vanity plates are extra here, too, and I will never understand why people choose a vanity plate that is tougher to decipher than the dead sea scrolls.

      1. Rorybore says:

        you know what? I did see a Hawkeye!! And it was a child that is actually hearing impaired, which is Awesome!! (the character is partially deaf in the comics) Truly made my fangirl heart go thump-thump.
        Indy Jones is good. I need more of those movies in my life and I think they should recast Chris Pratt in the role. Someone in Hollywood needs to listen to me and make that happen.
        Our most popular vanity plate? various numbered versions of this: “hkymom”

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I read a post recently about how the Hollywood hero isn’t the rough and gruff guy anymore. He’s softer, kinder. I know that part is important, but so is the other for heroes.

  11. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says:

    This was a great one, Eli – I laughed at every single part. That Elvis and Shark pic is the best I’ve seen – OK, the only one I’ve seen, but you get it. My Husband and I were just talking about AutoTune the other night. I keep telling him he needs to come over here and read you – I know he would enjoy the fun here.
    Two dollar bills were awesome – my Grandmother (a bank manager once upon a time) used to give them to us in birthday and holiday cards. I wonder if she thought they would be worth more than two bucks one day because they never did quite catch on or if she just thought they were cool. I still think they are cool. And I thought Susan B. Anthony dollars were awesome!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Lisa. There has to be more photos of Elvis Tebowing with Jaws, there just has to be. I don’t get a whole lot of husbands over here … you might just have to relay the stories. Preferably not when you’re in the bathroom.

      Old folk love them some two-dollar bills. I remember as a kid getting them as gifts, and thinking, “great. Money I can’t spend. I could get R5-D4 with this!” But now, I think dollar coins are the bomb.

      Does this mean I’m old?

      Susan B. Anthony dollars had the angled sides, didn’t they?

  12. jennifermccullough says:

    Baby Jesus is nice and all, but at Christmas time, Elvis rules, atleast in my car that is. You’re one cool cat for having the guts to don that white jumpsuit, Eli. Especially after Labor Day. I’m still laughing at why you don’t go to Sports Clips!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Are we talking “Blue Christmas,” Jennifer? I felt strangely natural in the Elvis garb. I didn’t even think about Labor Day! I should have gone with the red suit and dark shoes.


      Oh, refs. How I loathe thee. I finish my soccer matches, then come home and gripe at the stripes in college and NFL games on TV.

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