Go Ask Daddy About Flashy Feathers, Stray Bullets and College Jobs

photo credit: Sony RX1 sample 1 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Sony RX1 sample 1 via photopin (license)

There’s a rooster on the loose at work. I’ve seen him.

GAD GRAPHICThat’s a comfort to one co-worker. She struggles to convince those within earshot that, yes, there’s a rooster among us.

I slowed my car and rolled down the window next to him. His emerald feathers glittered, his comb flopped on his handsome head like a pompadour.

He’s the Elvis Pressley of farm animals – in a business park.

If he were a she – if the rooster were a hen – we might have missed her. She’d cluck by, head down in search of grain. She’d settle on a nest to tend to eggs rather than preen roadside, she of understated earth-colored plumage. It reveals the nature of nature.

Flashy males of all species – with glossy feathers and proud mains and enormous red asses – represent the ultimate in vanity.

Maybe we miss nature’s intent. Maybe it’s nature’s call for the green mallard and red cardinal to divert attention. To attract the enemy, the predator, the threat. To butt heads with other rams to defend our mates and mothers and daughters.

The day men stop spending more than $13.99 for a haircut?

Maybe we’ll be that noble, too.

1. Is the boy or girl cardinal red?

photo credit: Sony RX1 sample 1 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Sony RX1 sample 1 via photopin (license)

It’s the boy.

The mom cardinal sports feathers of light brown with flecks of red. She’ll stay in the nest and protect the eggs. She might sing when she’s hungry, and the dad cardinal brings her take-out. That’s not sexist. It’s chivalrous. It’s also chivalrous that a boy cardinal’s red feathers protect his nest.

He’s potentially a quick lunch for a hungry hawk. Say there’s a hungry hawk around, and you’re a boy cardinal. You’ll raise a ruckus to draw that hungry hawk to hone in on you, not your family. Maybe the boy cardinal can lead that hungry hawk away from the nest.

And maybe even that boy cardinal can disrupt the food chain for another day.

Probably the mom cardinal has picked that boy cardinal for those bright red feathers. If you’re a boy cardinal and you’re bright red and can sing? It’s like being Ryan Reynolds with Bruce Hornsby’s voice.

2. Why does the world have different languages?

photo credit: Sony RX1 sample 1 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Sony RX1 sample 1 via photopin (license)

So that we can say cardenal (Spanish), kardinali (Swahili) and shuji zhujiao (Chinese).

The bible says we once all spoke the same language. That makes arguments in a World Cup match between a Columbian defender and a Korean forward with a German referee in the middle much less interesting. Speaking the same language wasn’t healthy for mankind, though. They fraternized and built a monument to their own awesomeness. This displeased God.

So he afflicted us with 6,500 languages, not including dialects of southern Georgia. That’s tons of translation books and Google searches to unite the people again. Let’s hope Esperanto-speaking geeks don’t mix in with architects. We’ve seen that movie.

3. If someone shot a gun in our window, and it hit our fish tank and ruined our TV and everything, who would pay for that?

photo credit: IMG_3467 via photopin (license)
photo credit: IMG_3467 via photopin (license)

It depends, says Amy of Independent Insurance Associates in Fort Mill.

“Did you catch the guy who did it?”

If not, you still can file a claim for damage incurred. A stray bullet in our window would anger me for a couple of reasons. You girls, of course. (This question came after we heard gunshots close to the house one night.) And second, the gun-toting jackass would have killed innocent goldfish.

“You could give the fish a proper burial, and start a new tank in their memory,” Amy says. Good call. I’d like to donate our TV to the Smithsonian. It’s old as Elise, and has a tube and everything.

4. What does the purple on the weather map mean?

photo credit: I'm not saying it's cold around here but... via photopin (license)
photo credit: I’m not saying it’s cold around here but… via photopin (license)

Rockies fever!

(Rockies fever could be a bitmapped square in the middle of Weld County, Colorado. My poor Rockies. It’s just Spring Training, and already it feels like the Dog Days of Summer. Rockies Fever is just a scratchy throat and runny nose.)

Like theories of why animal males strut like Rudy Galindo at the Ice Capades, it depends on your map. Colors on a weather map represent decibels of Reflectivity, or Dbz. That’s how much power reflects back to the radar receiver.

Check accuweather.com. Shades of green represent rain intensity. It deepens from 1970s Oakland A’s green to old-school Milwaukee Bucks jersey green. Light snow is like Grand Valley State blue. The heavy stuff looks like Kansas City Royals blue.

Ice starts at Breast Cancer Awareness cleats pink for the light stuff. Texas Christian Horned Frogs deep purple means heavy ice. Light mixed precipitation is a periwinkle unfit even for nebraska or the red wings.

The heavy mixed stuff? That’s the beautiful Rockies purple.

5. What was your part of the job at the pizza place?

photo credit: Pizza time via photopin (license)
photo credit: Pizza time via photopin (license)

I worked for two pizza joints when in college – Pizza Two Go (see what they did there?) and Sambino’s (I worked there two weeks before I realized it wasn’t Bambino’s.)

I worked with a budding comedian at Pizza Two Go. We spent Friday nights smacking each other in the head with pizza shovels. At Sambino’s, I worked with dudes from a band that never made it. (They shouldn’t have quit their day jobs.)

At each place, I took orders and built pies. Beautiful pies. Me making pizza was like having Shaggy work at Subway.

Love shows in pizza. No matter what language you speak.

pizza box


  1. Lyn says:

    I love Accuweather! It gives health forecasts for asthmatics, migraine sufferers, and pollen, dust and dander readings. Pizza? I love BBQ meat lovers pizza. I’m sure glad we have strict gun laws over here. The only people who have bullets through their windows are those involved with gangs, drugs or have already “come to police notice” through gangs or drugs. Languages? I’d love to learn Welsh…or Russian. I know, I’m strange 😀

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      When the local stations muck it up, I can always count on accuweather. Plus, Molly Cochran and Heather Waldman.

      I’m a pizza purist – I feel like there are only eight or 10 traditional toppings acceptable on a pizza.

      In spurts, there are enough people who have “come to police notice” in this neighborhood. I’ve stopped calling 911 when we hear gunshots. It’s not like the shooters stick around and wait for cops.

      Welsh and Russian isn’t weird, Lyn. Know what’s weird? Taking Ancient Greek your final year in college. When you don’t even need a foreign language course!

      (Who does that?)

      1. Kim says:

        Ancient Greek, huh?

        I almost minored in Spanish. Until I realized how absolutely useless my 16th century Spanish literature classes were to every day life. That and I was apparently getting a different story out of the book than was the teacher…. oops.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Yes, with the funny alphabet, even. My prof was probably the best one I had in all six years of college.

        Whose story was better – yours or the teacher’s? My money’s on you, Kim.

      3. Lyn says:

        Who does that? LOL wouldn’t have been you by any chance, Eli?

  2. Yvonne says:

    I’d like to see photos of the different keyboards folks use rather than the plain boring ones we English speakers use. I guess I can look on the internet, but it would be fun to see real keyboards used by bloggers and readers who read and write in other languages..

  3. I think my new favorite line is “love shows in pizza”! Seriously, how can you ever go wrong with pizza? Just saying 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It probably should go in the unreleased and unrealized line of Coach Daddy T-shirts.

      1. I think that would be perfect and would totally buy one!! 😉

  4. laurie27wsmith says:

    I’ll start from the end Mate and say this, warm Pizza is the second best thing. It’s a family blog so I’ll leave it at that. I hear you about working in take aways. One of my first weekend jobs was peeling potatoes and making chips (fries) at a burger shop. Yep, I felt like Shaggy in subway. Although I ended up making great burgers. Love is a perfect burger with the lot. I don’t think it matters what language we communicate in, men can still get into trouble with women no matter what they say. I kind of dislike idiots who spray bullets willy nilly around the place. Of course insurance companies would always try to weasel their way out of paying up.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I know where you’re going with this, mate, and it’s OK to mention that a cold pint is better than warm pizza.

      Love *is* a perfect burger with the lot, isn’t it Laur? We musn’t ever forget burgers, even on a Pizza Friday.

      Men can get into trouble for not even saying a word. You know this.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Oh very good Mate, you shot that one through to left field. I’m something of an aficionado when it comes to burgers, I’ve had a few over time. But when it comes to Pizza then there’s always room for another slice.
        If a man is alone in a forest and makes a decision, and a woman isn’t there to here him. Is he still wrong?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Not only that, but even if he doesn’t make a decision, that’s still the wrong decision, you know? (woah, this is getting deep.)

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Yeah Mate we’d better back off on this one, someone may be listening.

  5. 1jaded1 says:

    Thanks for the questions, ladies.

    This week, senseless drive by cost a grandpa his life. Reporters interviewed the son, who thought his dad was ducking until he turned dad over. Senseless and sad.

    While eating my mushroom laden pizza from Jet’s (yum!), LC came on with a commercial for Bacon wrapped deep dish pizza. Pizza is love.

    Coincidence not that the cardinal and the Red Wings are both majestic. *waits till you recover*. The rooster and I have issues in the forms of cornfalke boxes and abusive ex with that nickname.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      These girls’ questions keep me in business.

      Isn’t it amazing how these idiots rarely hit what they’re shooting at?

      Pizza IS love. I know it. Bacon is the happily ever after. what about breakfast pizza with bacon and cheese and sausage and gravy sauce?

      Majestic, or pathetic? Oy vey. The wings will never be majestic in my world. It’s a wheel with wings, for Patrick Roy’s sake. It’s a show emblem, basically.

      Isn’t that corn flakes rooster named Cocky?

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        I think he is named that. You said that in a cereal comment. I have too many ick associations…sorry rooster.

        Yeah, the bleeps shouldn’t be shooting at anyone. Morons.

        We will never agree on hockey greatness. Wings rule.

        Breakfast pizza is SO good. Pizza is a slice of heaven(no pun) no matter what time of the day. I’m glad we can agree on that! :0)

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Pizza’s so good, even a red wings fan can appreciate it! (If we can be friends, world peace can’t be far behind, can it?)

    2. 1jaded1 says:

      I’m sure you meant to say even an Avs fan can appreciate it…even if you didn’t….pizza. I’m happy to call you a friend.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I like that you capitalized Avs though.

  6. Kim says:

    Interesting that you worked at a pizza place and still love it – I always wondered if I ever worked around a certain food if I would start not liking it. Hmm…maybe I should test it by working at a vineyard – maybe I would stop liking wine so much:) Or I might just find more that I love!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think if I worked in a cauliflower farm, I’d hate cauliflower. Wait, I already do.

      How’d you like a job just testing wine? Do you think you’d ever get tired of it? I wonder this about several occupations.

  7. Pizza Two Go? “Pizza To Go” was probably already taken. Or just too plain boring. Is the pun that the pizzas are so delicious you want to go for seconds?
    I didn’t know that you used to be a pizzaiolo! That explains a lot actually.

    Interesting explanation on why male animals are the colorful and pretty ones. Makes me wonder whiy it is the other way round with humans 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It was a clever play on words, and they used to give two pies for the price of one. I got a ‘taste’ of the good life as a pizzaiolo! (I love that word.)

      Maybe you ladies are supposed to keep the hungry hawks from eating us.

  8. There is nothing like fresh, hot pizza from a really great pizza shop on a Friday night. Nothing.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Anytime the girls and I go on the road, we always – always – find a local pizza house. It’s never – never – the wrong choice.

  9. ksbeth says:

    i love your pizza experiences and i love kevin james and i love warm pizza on my lap. a hat trick!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d split an extra-large pie with you and kevin james, beth.

  10. Rorybore says:

    Hugh Jackman would be the king of all the birds!!!! 🙂
    My TV has taken a few stray Nerf bullets, but thankfully nothing more serious. And I can proudly say mine doesn’t belong in a Smithsonian anymore because that’s what I bought hubby for his birthday: 40 inches of HD and I don’t know what the heck it’s called but it does sound really cool when the jets take off in Top Gun of awesome. Now, tell me I’m a good wife — even if I am less colourful. ha 🙂
    (and yes, it may also be that the females can use the art of distraction because my master bedroom may or may not be getting a reno.)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Think Hugh Jackman could take a hungry hawk? Our TV has been cursed at too – usually during a Super Bowl.

      It doesn’t sound great either. It vibrates when the girls have their Disney shows playing too loudly. Or is that my head?

      You’re a good wife even without acres of HD, Rore. Flamboyance aside.

  11. kismaslife says:

    One can never go wrong with pizza. It is a household stable in our home with two teenagers, one being a boy who will and has eaten an entire pizza pie by himself. Sigh… the big butt TV’s!! We have one we can’t give away. Put it out on the curb with “Free to go home” – sat there for a few days before I had to call a service to come pick it up because the HOA was sending me hate mail. Technology…. even those with less don’t want them.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Don’t you think if Obama and Putin shared a pizza, this whole Crimea thing would get resolved? Worth a shot.

      I tried to a big-butt TV in my car, with the windows down, and hoped someone would come along and ‘steal’ it.

      I came back to the car only to discover someone had put another one in my backseat! (*Not a true story, but couldn’t you see it?)

      Maybe you could bust out the screen and plant something in your TV.

  12. tamaralikecamera says:

    Excellent to see a Bruce Hornsby reference, always. Ryan Reynolds maybe too. I guess I don’t even know right now. What do I want for dinner anyway?
    I worked at two pizzerias in college too! Maybe we worked together.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I thought you might see the wisdom of Bruce Hornsby. I’m not the one to ask about Ryan Reynolds, though.

      Maybe we did, although I think I’d remember you from the band members and comedians and that one dude who, on his first pizza delivery, tucked the pie box under his arm like a book.

  13. reocochran says:

    I still love all the food I served at over 20 different places over my lifetime. It helped pay for most of my Master’s degree working at Cracker Barrel. Fun post, Eli!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Robin! I also learned how to toss pizza dough in the air. It barely got me out of undergrad studies in six years!

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