Go Ask Daddy About Antioxidants, British Claymation and a Guide to Changing Your Name


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We’ve got a new pet, and the best thing is – no litter box to clean.

Grace rounded up a few bucks of birthday money for a visit to Discovery Place recently and knocked off something from her wish list: A Venus flytrap. It’s pretty bad-ass. It started out with about five mouths (all of them named, in fact), and today has grown to 11.

Yes, 11! (Some haven’t been named.)

My cousin Ian used to catch bugs and sling them into our industrial-strength bug zapper when we were kids. Venus flytraps are 53,000 times cooler.

There’s one not-so-cool thing about a Venus flytrap. You have to feed them. Is it me, or is that wrong? You’re not supposed to give them meatballs. But you should catch gnats and ants and drop them in their waiting traps.

To me, a Venus flytrap ranks badder-ass (bad-asser?) than a pit bull. Any direct descendant of Audrey II ranks right up there with Amelia Earhardt, Lena Dunham and that girl from the AT&T commercials.

1. Are those bugs in there?

photo credit: Bug Light via photopin (license)
photo credit: Bug Light via photopin (license)

Yes, those are bugs.

I couldn’t bring myself to lean back in the pew and photograph the church’s dead-bug-riddled lights. (I saw a lady snap a selfie during communion once. “Church, biotches!” it says somewhere on the Instagram.) Anyway, what compels an insect to make like Carol Anne in Poltergeist and go into the light?

It’s called transverse orientation. Some bugs navigate with a distant natural light – the moon, for instance – as a beacon. But campfires, headlights, bug zappers and church lights whacks a bug out. They get roasted, mushed, zapped or suffer a slow, simmering death close to Jesus.

2. What does Vitamin C do?

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

Absolutely nothing for your farm-fresh Venus flytrap.

You, however …

It helps to build strong connective tissue. This refers not to the wadded up Kleenex in dad’s pocket (with the cough drops – damn, I’m old), but to blood vessels, bones and skin. Fruits and veggies are lousy with Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants combat free radicals by donating electrons.

Which is to say Vitamin C fights slow cell damage. (Free Radicals would be a kick-ass fantasy football nickname, wouldn’t it?)

3. Is Flushed Away made by the same people who made Wallace and Gromit?

photo credit: Wallace and Gromit via photopin (license)
photo credit: Wallace and Gromit via photopin (license)

No. But they’re all British Claymation films, and that’s why they look alike.

Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit series come from the same creators – Aardman Studios. Wallace is a hard-luck inventor and lover of cheese; his dog, Gromit, a graduate of Dogwarts University, plays chess and outshines his bald-headed owner intellectually.

Flushed Away details the plight of a high-society rat who finds himself flushed into a London sewer.

He adjusts to his new life, but how tough can it be when you team up with the rodent equivalent of Kate Winslet as your romantic interest?

4. Do referees have iPads on the sideline to review plays?

photo credit: Microsoft Surface 2 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Microsoft Surface 2 via photopin (license)

No – and apparently, they don’t have a PSI gauge to check footballs, either.

Referees duck under the hood to look at an instant replay screen for reviewable plays. They look like those old-time photographers who’d cover their heads with a cloth for every shot. Speaking of the NFL – the shield signed a five-year, $400 million deal to make the Microsoft Surface the league’s official tablet.

Cha-ching, right? Hardly.

During Week 1, at least two TV talking heads referred to the units as iPads – a freebie shoutout to Microsoft’s rival, Apple, for its tablet.

To remind fans – and sponsors, and probably commentators – of the Surface’s status as top tablet in football, the league slaps the logo on the instant replay booth.

Achieving household name for the Microsoft Surface? That’s as tough as making a Xerox of a Kleenex.

5. How do you change your name?

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

From Surface to iPad, or from Sabrina to Ida?

It’s not common to change your name except for legit reasons. You know, like being known as World B. Free or Meta World Peace. That said, the world’s your oyster, unless your oyster includes the following:

You usually can’t change your name to match someone who’s famous. Sorry, aspiring Art Garfunkels of the world.

You can’t change your name in order to commit a crime. Sorry, aspiring Ted Kaczynskis of the world.

You can’t change your name to include digits. If you want to be known as Trip-n-Fall Goat Smuggla 7, well, you gotta spell out that seven.

Rules is rules. Just download the form here, and don’t forget your new name when you’re waiting for your table in a busy restaurant.

There aren’t many Goat Smuggla 7’s, party of six, out there.

name quote

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26 thoughts on “Go Ask Daddy About Antioxidants, British Claymation and a Guide to Changing Your Name”

  1. I think badder-ass is the correct form. 😀
    Venus fly traps…I remember seeing the commercials on TV when I was a kid (dating myself…much like your tissues and cough drops) and thinking they were completely gross.
    Vitamin C is a rock star. Period.
    My advice to anyone who would change their name? Make sure it’s damn good and worth it. Such a pain.

    1. I think you’re right, Lisa. I wonder what the biggest Venus flytrap in the world would eat. A rhino?

      Speaking on experience with the name change, Lisa?

  2. As long as the Venus fly traps don’t get huge you’ll be okay. *has visions of Eli’s feet sticking out of hungry trap* I guess they’d be a better pet because you wouldn’t have to take them on walks, pick up poop, get them registered, worry about them biting visitors, *refer to vision* or whining and barking all night. Then again they can’t fetch and catch frisbees, although you could sit at a distance and flick flies at them.
    I’m a fan of Vitamin C and Wallace and Grommit, The Wrong Trousers had me in stitches. Great post Mate.

    1. I don’t think Venus flytraps crave Mexican food, so I should be safe, mate. The mouths of the flytrap sometimes turn black and you have to cut them off, which just feels wrong, but if you don’t , the whole plant dies.

      Who ranks higher: Wallace and Gromit or Benny Hill?

      1. I mean Mexican food may be an acquired taste for the flytraps. Ouch, snip that mouth. It has to be Benny Hill Mate, especially his chase scenes at the end of the shows. All those busty girls in short skirts etc. *sighs.*

  3. When I hear Venus Flytrap, I think of WKRP in Cincinnati. If the girls want to change their name to piratey type names, then the Vitamin C will come in handy for preventing scurvy too.

    1. I was the only boy in middle school who didn’t want to marry Lonnie Anderson. I was more of a Jan Smithers boy.

      Scurvy – I wonder if that’s covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

    1. you’re jealous of the actual plant, beth? he/she/they are well-taken care of, although grace had to be reminded to water him/her/it just today.

    1. it’s one plant with 11 mouths! Just like a soccer team. You have to catch millipedes and ants and such and feed them. I’d rather see them pluck a fly right out of thin air.

      Glad you liked it, Tania!

  4. If that Venus flytrap catches mosquitos I want one!

    Otherwise I’m disappointed. I thought Grace’s new pet was going to be a hamster!

    I don’t care what gadget refs use. If they come back annulling Switzerland’s goals, the gadget is useless. Happened twice this hockey WC. *grumble*

    1. I just wonder what they do in the wild, you know? They can’t be as unable to defend themselves as, say, pandas.

      Does the home team get better hockey officiating there? We refer to that as ‘home cookin” here.

      1. Switzerland had two goals disallowed following a lengthy review, one against Sweden, the other against Canada. I wouldn’t say it was a case of home cooking, just of overly eager “refereering”. I wanted to send those refs to the penalty box for delaying the game 😉

        I will still be rooting for Canada tonight!

      2. Just Saturday I had an issue with officiating, Tamara. A goal was disallowed because the ref said it went in the side of the goal.

        After the game, before I even talked to my team, I marched over to the goal (I did actually march) and inspected it for holes. Nothing!

        I informed him of this, even a tad theatrically (the parents wondered what in the world I was up to) and he just said, “it didn’t go in, coach.”

        Maybe he was at the WC before …

        And yes, go Canada!

  5. Venus Flytrap, now that is a MOST interesting pet! Does bring to mind all those shows back in the day that had Venus flytraps….Flintstones, Aadams Family, and of course, WKRP with the human form. I had no idea you actually had to feed these things though…how very strange. You’re teaching me something new all the time!

    1. It’s cool to watch one eat a bug. It’s kind of throw-back, too, isn’t it? I think we’ve domesticated the damned things so much we now have to feed them, too.

      Trust me, I learn lots of stuff every week just trying to keep up with these girls’ questions!

  6. Yeah, you gotta feed those Venus fly traps. They look pretty miserable when they die of starvation…

    This is why we don’t have plants in the house. Outside, they at least stand a chance.

    1. Specifically they’re not supposed to eat beef or Froot Loops. I’d hate to find out the wrong way. If your plants spoke to you like Audrey II, I bet you’d remember to feed them.

  7. I think a Venus Fly-Trap would be the perfect addition to the family:)
    And, those bugs in the lights – I have so many bulbs in the old-school lights at our venue that I need to take down and clean – ONE DAY!!!

  8. I have always wanted to change my first name just never did it. I thought my name is too short and too common! Great post sweetie! Happy weekend! Hugz Lisa and Bear

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