Go Ask Daddy About Noble Gases, Airplane Crashes and other Junk That Falls From the Sky


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photo credit: via photopin (license)

What’s your motivation?

GAD GRAPHICIt runs all over the place with kid soccer players. Some play for glory. Some play to get to the halftime and post-game snacks. Sadly, some play because their parents make them. Or they use soccer training sessions as elevated child care.

Each kid, though, can find motivation.

A girl I coached once – we’ll call her Aspen – was the cutest kid on the Sting Rays. The Sting Rays were composed of a handful of hotshots from earlier unbeaten teams, kids with a drive and acumen and love for the game. Aspen came in after much of that glory, and just wanted to play.

She struggled to score, even in training.

“Aspen,” I asked one afternoon at practice. “What’s your favorite snack?”

I want you to pretend that if you strike this ball hard enough, that a thousand strawberries will fly out of it.

(Don’t you know food isn’t far from coach’s mind. Ever.)

“Strawberries!” Aspen answered after .032 seconds of thought.

“I want you to pretend that if you strike this ball hard enough,” I said, from one knee, holding the ball between us, “that a thousand strawberries will fly out of it.”

Aspen reared back and seared a shot – right past our top goalkeeper.

This is why I pretend there’s an elevated grilled cheese waiting after I send in my taxes.

1. If you filled a soccer ball with helium, would it float?

When it talked, it would sound like Alvin the Chipmunk.

Sometimes, a pro’s incredible shot comes under fire from critics who’re convinced balls get doctored.

With Helium, you could bend it like Beckham and crush it like Carli. Sometimes, a pro’s incredible shot comes under fire from critics who’re convinced balls get doctored. Helium is lighter than air, but stuffed into the rubber and leather casing of a soccer ball …

It won’t matter. Your Adidas Brazuca will thud to the earth as if it had oxygen in it.

2. How many points is a dunk?

It’s two – just a noisy, crowd-pleasing two.

Or is it? A well-timed dunk can carry worth you can’t see on a scoreboard. Let’s say the Toronto Raptors lead the San Antonio Spurs 95-85. The Spurs’ Andre Miller hits a 3, then Matt Bonner blocks a shot, and Nanu Ginobli cans another 3. The fans rise to their feet.

After a shot-clock violation by crumbling Toronto, Kyle Anderson could tie it up with a fundamentally-sound layup. BUT … should LaMarcus Aldridge cut through the lane for a two-handed power dunk, well, we’re all knotted up at 95.

Yet, the momentum has shifted.

There’s a collective “oh shit!” moment, and you’ve nabbed a bit of their soul.

Points without points, I call them. It happens when a football team just misses a deep throw that could have gone for a touchdown. Or when one of you girls booms a shot that sails just over the crossbar.

There’s a collective “oh shit!” moment, and you’ve nabbed a bit of their soul.

3. If your plane crashed in the water, would it be best to stay on top of the plane until it sinks?

Thoughts that percolate during our annual trip to the tropics … how’d you know, kid?

Odds are a plane crashing into water won’t land lightly. It won’t be easy to get on top of the plane. The force of the crash will probably push it underwater. If it was bad weather, well, it’s going to be tough to stand on a wing anyway. Ocean water isn’t warm, either.

My best bet? Be near the exit door. I like to sit next to one, because I think I can manage to not lose my shit in the event of an emergency. I’ll get on that life raft, too.

It doesn’t hurt to have a guy like Sully Sullenberger at the helm of your plane, either.

4. Is Charles Schultz still alive?

Charlie Brown and Snoopy, lead characters for Schultz’s strip, gained a following of 355 million worldwide.

Cartoonist Charles Schultz died the night before his final Peanuts cartoon was published, on Feb. 12, 2000. His final strip was a farewell.

Charlie Brown and Snoopy, lead characters for Schultz’s strip, gained a following of 355 million worldwide. He did this for nearly 50 years. Joe Cool, one of several of Snoopy’s alter ego, is a hero of mine.

I had the coolest bed sheets in the neighborhood at age 5: Snoopy playing football.

I’ll use my favorite Charles Schultz quote at the end of this post.

5. When is the next meteor shower?

The Lyrid meteor shower runs April 16 to 25 – kind of like a county fair – but a coinciding full moon with blot out most of the fun.

The Eta Aquarids will fall May 4, but in the southern hemisphere. The Super Bowl of meteor showers, the Persieds, will rain down Aug. 11-14, when the Colorado Rockies will be entrenched in last place and you’ll be sick of Target’s incessant back-to-school ads.

This sucks, right?

It’s so worth it, though. Let’s plan on it. A blanket, snacks, and a good view. That’s enough motivation for me.


 

Do you wonder if boys come from outer space, too? Send your questions to me for the occasional feature, Ask A Boy. bloggingeli@gmail.com


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31 Replies to “Go Ask Daddy About Noble Gases, Airplane Crashes and other Junk That Falls From the Sky”

  1. I have to try that idea of strawberries, but with watermelon as my older daughter absolutely loves watermelon. Seriously need to see what would get with that one now! Happy Friday, Eli 🙂

  2. I like that quote. What are the worrying Aussies supposed to think, though?

    Snachs are always an excellent motivator, I agree. This month the very first Dunkin Donuts store opened in Switzerland. I took C yesterday for good behavior. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    1. It’s so true, Tamara. And I guess I don’t worry too much about the Aussies, being American, despite having Aussie friends. (It’s the American way.)

      Grace conned me into a trip to Dunkin Donuts just last week. Do you like them better than Burger King donuts?

      We don’t get Burger King donuts here. If I waited for good behavior, it’d be a while. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too – here, we drink green beer and act the fool, and call it culture.

      1. I have never had a BK donut, only Colin eats them. He thought the “Mr Happy Donut” was the BEST one he’s ever had in his entire life. Does this answer your question 😉
        PS: waiting may not be the most efficient way. I am all about “making it happen.”
        We had a great couple of green days. It’s all on the blog.

      2. How is it I remember the photo of him smiling eating a BK donut, yet I can’t find my car keys?

        We don’t have a Mr. Happy Donut that i know of here, which is an abomination. He should write a donut review on your blog, Tamara.

        I’ll be your blog soon.

  3. Adore the quote and Peanuts is my favorite comic!

    I bribe my teenagers with their favorite food to get painfully- annoying chores complete, is that bad?

    1. Pretty classic, isn’t it Tiff? I believe it’s not bad at all to bribe your teenagers with their favorite food to get painfully-annoying chores complete – it’s a transaction, and if they deem the task worth it, isn’t that just commerce?

  4. As an Aussie, that means I can breath a sigh of relief 🙂 It’s Saturday and the time is 10:32am. I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing day.

      1. Blessedly cool! Autumn has finally arrived. After almost an extra three weeks of 35-38c temperatures, it’s a very welcome relief to be able to leave all the windows and blinds open in the middle of the day 😀

  5. Pizza is motivation. Exit rows are the place to be. I remember crying when Schultz died the day before his last strip came out. The wind was knocked out like taking a soccer ball to the stomach. It would have felt that way even if the soccer ball was filled with a Noble Gas, like Helium. Cant remember when I saw a worthwile meteor shower. The most memorable one was shared with someone special. I’ll take your word for the dunk.

    Have fun on your trip, Eli and girls! 😀

  6. I love the exit row. Quick escape and extra leg room. While I’m slightly motivated by food, a nice cold Coke will get me to do pretty much anything. We love meteor showers (and all things space). And the Peanuts crew are all knotted up with Calvin and Hobbes.

    1. I never have to worry about needing extra leg room, Eric. Did it take a Coke to shovel the driveway?

      Space is so cool, even if Pluto’s been demoted. That’s messed up, right?

      1. I’m probably one of the few who okay with Pluto’s demotion. It’s smaller than our moon. It orbits on a different plane than the rest of the planets. Speaking of planes, my 5’6″ self doesn’t need extra leg room either, but it’s nice to have. And a cold Coke is the perfect motivation to shovel the driveway.

    1. Thanks Sandra. Glad you liked it! The quotes are fun to find. Please do let me know if the apocalypse strikes – I’ll want to make sure my last supper is a bacon double cheeseburger.

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