Grace has had her eye on my dad’s pocket knife.
One of them, anyway. They’re in a box of some of his things I keep in my closet. My stepmom gave it to me the Christmas after dad died. There’s an Old Timer vintage pocket knife in there, a bit rusty and well loved, from years of stick whittling and fish gutting.
A couple of days ago, in the week before the 15th anniversary of his death, I gave it to her.
She makes me nervous with it. I’m sure I made dad nervous with mine. She’s used it to whittle sticks (we just whittle until there’s nothing left to whittle!), but also used it to cut the excess string off a bracelet she made me.
To see your kid use your dad’s knife? That’s kind of cool.
I miss you dad. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years today.
You wouldn’t believe the questions my kids ask.
1. Do we have a wireless password?
Yes! It’s ************.
Don’t give it to anyone, though. (It’s not ‘password,’ either, by the way.) We have one so the neighbors don’t leech off our signal. (I used to think when our Netflix buffered during Ghost Adventures, it meant someone in the neighborhood was hogging the web to watch Charlie’s Angels – the 2001 version.)
And it hasn’t happened since we had a password. Just saying.
2. How did they get that cat to lick itself on Psych?
I could find no evidence of training this cat – uncredited on Imdb, if you can believe it – gained classical training for the licky of the peepee. Because a cat will spend 20 hours of a 24-hour cycle licking its privates, it’s a safe bet they didn’t waste much film fixed on this feline before it began the grooming vacation.
Pet peeve about pets – when a cat plops its disgusting ass in the middle of the living room to clean its privates just as I’ve sat down with a slice of pizza and an episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
3. Why do we eat popcorn at movies?
The movie industry just got rolling in the late 1920s. But a real-life horror hit more than the big screen – The Great Depression. To quote Marketplace reporter Sabri Ben-Achour (NPRish folks have the coolest names), “movie theaters don’t make much money from movies. Movie studios do.”
At about 90 cents per bucket, popcorn’s cheap to pop. So you do the math: How much profit comes out of charging $8.15 for each bucket?
Movie studios bully theaters out of a chunk of ticket sales and place conditions on what they show and on how many screens. Popcorn’s a cheap way to keep the house afloat.
And it’s become a status symbol. The man who can afford to buy popcorn for all the kids is downright Rockerfellian. Me? I’ll smuggle Baconators in my cargo pants before I shell out 8 bucks for popcorn.
4. How many cards are in that box?
I’ve sorted my collection of sports cards – mostly football, but also baseball, basketball, hockey and even some racing – by team. I’ve stuffed small plastic bags about 30 cards strong to sell at yard sales for $1 each. I’d rather a cool kid have these cards from my childhood than for them to sit around in the dark.
And to think – I have two more boxes like that. I could be a hundred-aire someday.
5. Where is Oak Island?
It’s the site for a centuries-long treasure hunt that has cost six men their lives. Legend says a seventh must die for the mystery to be revealed. To date, the only significant finding in exploration of tunnels and booby traps has been a single Spanish gold coin.
No one’s been able to excavate the chamber thought to be a vault filled with treasure. Who put it there? Pirates? Captain Kidd? Blackbeard? Not even John Wayne and Franklin Roosevelt could crack this mystery. If it’s any consolation …
I have a treasure of baseball cards, just looking for a good home.