Go Ask Daddy About Dinero, Pantalones y El Raton Mickey


I’m lousy at this Spanish thing – and I get reminded all the time.

GAD GRAPHICIt doesn’t help a bit that I can order cheese enchiladas in Spanish. Or that I know enough to be flabbergasted at a kid’s word choice when he insulted a girl on Elise’s soccer team during a contentious road game.

No, my Spanish is so rudimentary I’d be better of acting out the sentence. The girls even have to help me out sometimes – with help from Dora.

It’s okay. I’m fine with the fact that a blue-eyed girl at work will have to translate pages I wrote at work from English to Spanish. She just knows more. I don’t get upset when girls outfish me or white people out-Spanish me. I’m confident enough to know my worth.

Hold me?

1. How do you say check cashing in Spanish?


Cambianos cheques.

I didn’t reference the Google Translator for that one. It helps that it was translated right there on the sign. There’s more translation going on in East Charlotte than there is in, say, South Charlotte.

It worries me when my people cash their checks and walk out in East Charlotte, though. Con quidado!

How do you say direct deposit in Spanish? (It’s deposito directo, it turns out.)

2. What would happen to a constellation if a star died out?

orionYou know those pictures people take, where they have the Eiffel Tower on their palm, or are smashing Oakland Alameda Stadium with their fist? (What? I’d do that.)

On a one-dimensional plane, it looks like you’re a giant up to no good. Same goes for the cosmos. Stars look like pinpoints on a great dome around the earth, but did you know the planet Mars and the red star Antares look about the same in the sky, even though Antares is tens of millions of times further away?

Stars die out and even move in the sky constantly, although the shift and disappearance take a long time to get to us. Light from Sirius, our nearest star neighbor, takes four years to reach us. Light you see from the Eagle Nebula left it 7,000 years ago!

So like me wearing carpenter pants and mid-90s baseball logo caps, it won’t really matter in the grand scheme of the universe. Some things move fashionably slow.

3. Why do they call it a pair of jeans, when it’s just one?

photo credit: Andrew At Work via photopin (license)
photo credit: Andrew At Work via photopin (license)

On a related but unrelated note, will your kids not understand the concept of rolling up or down a car window? Blows my mind.

Italian funnyman Pantalone made famous the wearing of trousers, then known as pantalones, in the 16th century. (You have to be hellaciously funny to have a garment named for you.) Pantalones were short and baggy, and put on one at a time, then fastened in the middle. Thus, you wore a pair of pants.

That’s not the only mono-pair in the universe.

We have your pair of scissors and pair of headphones. You also have your pair of headphones and pair of panties. I don’t think those items have ties to 16th century Italian funnymen.

Two pair of underwear aren’t four underwear, though. Yet, two pair of crutches are four crutches. Woah.

4. Do goldfish digest food quickly?

photo credit: Waiting for seperation via photopin (license)
photo credit: Waiting for seperation via photopin (license)

They do – because it runs right through them.

Not like blueberries through a goose, but close. Goldfish have no stomachs. They have specialized intestines that do the job of the stomach. This is why they poop a lot and why we have to clean the tank so often. A goldfish can’t sit back and chew a toothpick with a full belly of ribs, like dad can.

Goldfish intestines are twice the length of their body. That’s not all that impressive, though. Humans pack a total of around 25 feet of intestines!

5. How much does it cost to go to Disney?

photo credit: go find me another one via photopin (license)
photo credit: go find me another one via photopin (license)

As much as 994 29-cent goldfish.

Like medieval Europe, the wonderful world of Disney considers you, Grace, an adult, at age 10. This means a bump in ticket price of $28 to $288. That’s one park, on one day. You can get a meal plan for two quick service meals and a drink refill for $41.99. You can get old-school mouse ears for 14 bucks.

That’s just for one of you kids. I don’t even want to add it up. That’s a lot of cheese enchiladas.

Neccisito a cobrar un cheque grande!

disneyland quote


  1. I most certainly am not very good speaking Spanish either and thought I was the last person to have taken Italian over Spanish in high school back in the day. At least, I am in the best company though 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel like with my pigment and features, it’s false advertising. Let’s just worry about mastering English, shall we?

      1. Agreed totally!!! 😉

  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    Ola! What an interesting post this week Mate. You’ll have to go and visit my friend Olga’s blog, she’s a Spanish psychiatrist who lives in England. She does two blogs one in Spanish and the other in English. The main thing is Mate that you look the part. One thing that used to give me a headache is this, where is here? What existed before the Universe came into being? How big was the nothing before there was something? It may be safer to ponder the intestines of goldfish. I remember reading a story about Errol Flynn as a boy. He lived in Tasmania on a farm. His favourite pastime was to tie several pieces of pork fat on a string and throw it to the geese. the first one would guzzle it down, then whooshka straight out the other end. Then another goose would grab it and… you get the drift. A flock of geese all joined together. Disneyland? Mate they could stick it up where goose fat hangs out. I might be a scrooge but those prices border on criminal. How on earth can you set an adult price at 10 years old? Crazy. Now about these panties……..

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re on fire, Fratello. I couldn’t have connected the dots any better! I do look the part, which I hope makes me intimidating in traffic and other situations. Probably not.

      Is that how geese fly in formation? I’m all for recycle, reuse, but there’s a limit, mate. Pork fat and feces lie just beyond that limit.

      Kid stuff is always so expensive. Just taking a kid to the circus or to see the Globe Trotters. I’ll never forget taking Elise when she was little, and the only thing I could afford after tickets, parking and lunch was a foam rectangle.

      I’m not even sure what it was for, but it said Harlem Globe Trotters on it. Holy hell, mate. Holy hell.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        I’m just burning up the atmosphere Mate. I’d suggest raising your voice and waving your arms like Desi Arnez used to, that could be classed as intimidating. The geese don’t seem to mind, especially when you think about what they syphon up from the bottom of ponds. In general kids are expensive, no matter where you take them. Although Disneyland is still off my list of places to go. A foam rectangle eh? That must have cost 3 cents to make. Have you asked Elise if she remembers the game? My Dad took me to the circus when I was about 6. There was never much money around but I remember him on the shooting gallery. Knocked every target down and cleaned them out of the cigarettes they had for prizes. What always comes up for me though is the overwhelming excitement of the high wire act, the motorbike in the cage of death, then: Whooping Indians on piebald horses and Davy Crocket and his men on horses chasing them around the ring. I think I nearly swooned. (Davy was big on the television at the time) I’ve never been to a circus since, don’t have to I had my fair share of wonderment then.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Elise says she doesn’t remember a thing about the game, and the foam rectangle is nowhere to be found.

        The Globetrotters won, though. I’m almost certain of that.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Memories are wonderful things mate, especially when they’re good ones. Are you sure they won?

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        The Globetrotters win so much it makes me wonder if their opposition isn’t my favorite team, the Denver Nuggets.

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        Go for the underdog mate.

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        I sometimes feel like the Washington Generals in life, Laurence.

  3. Kir Piccini says:

    Thanks for all the conversation fodder you just offered up.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Always plenty to take some to go, Kir. Happy weekend to you, too.

  4. A.PROMPTreply says:

    What funny facts about Disney….I had no idea it was larger than Monaco! Grace probably would’ve been better off just staying here!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I didn’t know it either. As a young boy, I used to think Princess Grace should have been born around the time I was.

  5. Shannon M says:

    Im happy (sad) to report that my kids know what rolling up your windows means because my car has crank windows. It also has lever locks. I think its the equivalant to having a rotory phone but it still gets us where we are going. 😕

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re a throwback, you know that Shannon? What is it, a ’57 Chevy? I kid. My kids barely know what a music CD looks like.

      1. Shannon M says:

        ’05 Saturn ion, base model.
        Some mornings I have to crank it to get it started. Just kidding, it doesn’t have a crank… That was the ’04.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        In 42 years, old fellas will stand around a restored Saturn Ion and say, “what’s that, an ’04? ’05? I had one of them.”

  6. And that one day at the park is worth every damn cent.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Only if I get to split a pizza with Cinderella – or at least one of her mice.

  7. mrsmariposa2014 says:

    I know only un pequeño espagnol muddled with a bit of francais from school, sadly. But its enough to wow my easily impressed kids. For now. Lol. Thanks for a fun read.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      As long as you know enough to order dinner, you’re fine. I knew enough to place out of foreign language in college, which is a bit of a miracle.

  8. I didn’t know that about the (pair) of pants!!

    Love the Disney Land / Monaco quote. At least Grace had a purse named after her. I don’t think the world will ever wear Mickey Mouse bags. Ears, yes. Purses, no!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s all about education and enlightenment around here, Tamara. You know that. Grace was definitely born too young.

      Disney’s bought most of the free world, so technically, our bags probably are Micky Mouse already.

  9. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    Well, I took Spanish in high school and don’t remember much of it. My oldest is now taking Latin and I know absolutely NONE of that! My kids have actually asked me the pants question, too. Now I have an answer, so thanks!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I don’t even remember where my high school is, Lisa. (Not true. But still.) Latin’s all Greek to me. You don’t even have to cite me when you give that brilliant pants answers, Lisa. It’s on the house.

  10. ksbeth says:

    yeh, i can’t even do the disney math. i think you would need a pair of banks to finance a family trip there.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      college is beginning to look like a bargain if i compare it to a trip to disney.

  11. Letizia says:

    I’m studying Spanish these days, mainly in the car on the way to and from work. But the funny thing is that it’s one of those audio programs designed for tourists going to Mexican beaches so I’m mastering the art of ordering beer or tequila but I’m not exactly sure how far that will get me in the rest of life, haha!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      At least you won’t be thirsty, Letizia. I kept Spanish soap operas on TV while I got ready in the morning in Cancun, which made my limited Spanish overdramatic and highly charged.

      (In Dominican Republic, I got to watch Phineas and Ferb in Spanish! That was stellar. I learned a lot.)

      1. Letizia says:

        Phineas and Ferb in Spanish- great! I like the image of you conversing in telenovela Spanish while in Cancun. I imagine you with the matching overly dramatic gestures and facial expressions. And even the dramatic music in the background.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Don’t forget the closeup of my face with one eyebrow up!

  12. And now I know why I refused to take my kids to Disney World. Why would ANYONE want to take little kids to a place where you have to walk kids across 30,000 acres?!!! I would much rather let them take their kids and suffer through it. I did go to Disneyland when I was a kid, not long before my parents divorced…that trip may have been a contributing factor. That, and me getting sidetracked watching the sidewalk artists and getting left behind.

    I didn’t know that about the pantalones thing. Or the goldfish thing. Being a nurse, I did know the 25 ft intestine thing. This post messed with my mind a little Eli and I had to read it twice for it to stick and gel to understanding in my brain. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Magic, though, I suppose. My girls have had friends all their lives who spend a week there. Doesn’t sound like it was much of a magic kingdom to you, Cathy! (I’d rather go to Coca-cola World and a Braves game for 1/16th of the cost.)

      Maybe posts like this are like those Pokemon cartoons that gave kids vertigo.

      1. cathy says:

        Amen to Braves games and $5 hot dogs!
        You definitely had my head spinning for a minute there…myabe not such a bad thing. 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Take me out to the ballgame, for sure. If we can blow a little carbon out of our brains with a bit of challenging read now and then, I think our engines run smoother.

  13. Rorybore says:

    30,000 acres!!! oh my goodness, it’s just as well we can’t afford to take all 3 kids either. I guess I’ll have to make them all run a marathon, and which ever child finishes – Without Whining or Puking!! — gets to go the biggest park of them all! A dream is a wish your feet make! LOL

    that’s all big talk though. If I could, I’d go in a heartbeat and stay until they kicked me out.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s roughly the size of two Wal-marts, Rore. Instead of giving out Obama cellphones here, maybe they should give American families vouchers for Disney.

      That wouldn’t help you I realize. Just thinking out loud.

      They ought to at least let us work off the price. I think a day and a half dressed as one of Cinderella’s mice should do the trick, right?

      1. Rorybore says:

        oh my gosh… I would totally be one of the Dwarfs or even Hook’s pirates for a day. like, I’d go JUST for that. LOL

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I might even do it for free.

  14. tamaralikecamera says:

    Disney World is insanely big. I still have the calf muscles to prove it. And I always figured that if we could really afford going there (as in, not just going on the good grace of free passes), we’d probably go.. to Monaco.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Some people can’t get around in Walmart without a scooter, yet you hike three time zones within Disney.

      Isn’t Monaco more dangerous than Disney? And I wonder which city has better pizza joints: Monte Carlo or Orlando? That would ice it for me.

  15. Raquel says:

    Oh I too have a very limited knowledge of Spanish. My grandmother only spoke Spanish and she passed away when I was 10, so we stopped speaking it. Cheese enchiladas sound good right now. Want to know something funny? I have been to Monaco more times than Disney World – so there you go!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We know what we need to, right? When my grandma and I spoke Spanish to each other, I understood much more.

      Cheese enchiladas sound good even for breakfast, don’t they? I heard breakfast in Monaco is light, but they make up for it in colossal lunch and dinner.

      I can get on board for that. I bet I’d eat better than if I was at Disney.

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