It’s that awkward moment you realize your kid knows more than you think she does.
Grace and I walked along the pond’s edge to a better fishing spot. On our way, the sun exposed an amphibian love tryst, right there in the shallow water. We caught Malik the boy turtle striking a pose in back of Harriet the girl turtle.
Even turtles do the wild thing.
“What are they doing, dad?” she asked.
“Wrestling,” I snapped back (I swear Harriet smirked before I turned away.) “That’s how box turtles settle scores and establish territory. It’s a long tradition, and we should give them privacy. It’s customary for them to play Marvin Gaye albums during the process.”
Grace nodded, and we cast our lines on the other side of the pond.
Later, a boy cardinal (I’m going to guess – Brett?) chased a girl cardinal (Tracie, for sure) across the pond surface and into the privacy of an evergreen.
“Dad,” the question machine said. “Are they mating?”
Maybe Disney Channel isn’t as dangerous as the Discovery Channel.
While we’re on the subject …
1. If your fish have babies, shouldn’t you put them in a separate tank?
Yes. And it helps if you can leave enough plastic plants that mom and dad fish (for sure Leland and Trixie) can, you know, wrestle like turtles. (Did you know baby fish are called fry? No wonder their parents eat them!) You should use a low-power filter with a protective sponge on the intake.
This is to prevent small fry from getting sucked in.
Put the fry in a small tank, or at least a breeding box. Trixie will look about to burst when she’s ready to give birth. She gets puffy and develops a dark spot (if only it were this easy for humans). It’s then time to put her in the breeding box.
(Ironic. She’s already … well, never mind).
Once she gives birth (it can take six hours!) remove her from the breeding box. Keep the fry separated until they’re too big to become a snack.
2. How do fish mate?
There are videos on YouTube. But I’m on a work computer and I like my job.
Live-bearing fish are easy to breed. The girl (let’s call her Aurora) is larger, and the guy? Lance, we’ll say, is smaller, and had a rod-shaped fin. (Insert pause for giggles and remarks). Lance’s junk is known as gonopodium, which I swore was what an OB/GYN stood behind when addressing the press.
OK, OK … I watched the video. See it here. I’m on the fence on this one. Clearly there’s no consent, and it’s clear this boy fish (Ignacio, for sure) doesn’t love Dianna. He’s just chasing tail.
3. Are there McDonald’s in Switzerland?
Hear that? That’s the sound of the sweat on my brow drying. Finally.
There are 157 McDonald’s in Switzerland. The first opened in Geneva in 1976. I was only 5, and the closest I’d come to Switzerland would be a hot cup of Swiss Miss hot cocoa. In Switzerland, they have a burger called The Prime, which costs 10.90 in Swiss Francs.
That’s $11.29 in American bucks. We could get, like, 10 McDoubles here for that. The Prime comes with traditional mountain cheese, bacon, coleslaw, arugula, and sauce. But also there in the land of watches and Tamara Gerber, a Big Mac costs $7.37 American bucks.
Did you know there’s a Big Mac Index to tell what they cost around the world? Why mess with the NASDAQ when you have the Big Mac Index?
4. How many people are in The Who?
The Who, part of the British Invasion of the 1960s, began with four members, and currently have four. Other endeavors for them included the banjo and French horn. They were known as The Confederates and The Detours, and became The Who in 1964.
The band’s iconic lineup included four men: Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums). My favorite song by The Who is “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and not just because it’s the CSI Miami theme song and Emily Procter and everything.
5. Is there a law for how much space you should leave between you and the car in front of you?
Q: What’s obscure and gets ignored more than a Jacksonville Jaguars season-ticket billboard?
A: Any law about how much space to leave between you and the car in front of you.
Bastards Folks trail me so close I can tell what they had for lunch from their breath. I’ve had cars so far up my tailpipe I swore they were there to steal my catalytic converter. I’ve had someone ride my bumper so hard I felt they should have cuddled me afterward.
(Hear me, Harriet?)
There are two-, three- and four-second rules for safe following distance. It states that you should find a fixed object on the side of the road, and count two, three or four seconds until you reach that object.
(Adjusted, of course, for road conditions, visibility, tonnage of your vehicle, and whether you wear a slick pair of cleats while driving.)
But how likely is it you’ll rear-end someone while you’re trying to figure your tonnage and count seconds between the car in front of you and you. You’ll wind up right up behind that car, all up in the tailpipe. Just like a pair of turtles.
You know … wrestling.
Or, mating. Whatever.