Kids, and news cycles.
They’re strange bedfellows, for sure. They catch glimpses of a political candidate saying this or a tropical storm doing that. Shootings and scientific breakthroughs. Sometimes, they ask stuff. Sometimes, they act something out.
Elise celebrated her fourth birthday two months after the Twin Towers fell.
Her young mind tried to wrap around it just as my old mind did. She suggested George W. Bush should fly a helicopter over Osama Bin Laden, and, with a coat hanger on the end of a really long pole, scoop him up and arrest him. Mission accomplished, indeed.
The story evolved, as did Elise’s understanding of it.
On the day U.S. forces captured Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in Operation Red Dawn, I found Elise, by then 6, hunkered between the couch and ottoman. “What’s up, punky doodle?” I probably asked. “Guess who I am, daddy,” she said. I couldn’t figure it out.
“I’m Saddam Hussein, hiding in a hole for a hundred years!” she said, popping up.
When Teletubbies meets CBS Evening News … this is what happens.
1. Will that boy who stabbed people in Pennsylvania go to real jail or juvie?
That boy, 16 at the time, stabbed 20 fellow students and a security guard. He was charged with 21 counts of attempted homicide and aggravated assault. He brought two kitchen knives to school and stabbed and slashed people before school a couple of years ago.
That’s the birthday of Eric Harris, one of the shooters from the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.
They tried him as an adult, but sent him to a juvenile detention center until he turned 18. A judge last year refused to set bail, and the boy is still at Westmoreland County Prison.
2. What’s Elise’s ghetto name?
You know I love random generators. I use them all the time. Embarrassingly often.
There are random generators for writing prompts and baby names, and yes, ghetto names. Some sites will furnish a ghetto name (or gansta or any of a multitude of other qualifiers) if you answer a few questions. I quit one site after about three questions.
They were geared to high school girls, and I don’t have that much in common with high school girls.
Rumandmonkey.com has one that you enter your gender and name in. So I did this for Elise, at your request. You don’t believe what happens next. (How’s that for click bait?)
Hers was Margaritay Compton. Mine? Jovantay Macavelli, which is dope. Marie is Lalaqueesha Hennesy and Grace has probably the best one: Flaminga Foshizzle!
3. What if Johnny Football played soccer?
When you asked this, Grace, Johnny Manziel sat atop the football world.
In his own mind, anyway. I loved this dude at Texas A&M. He possessed an elusiveness that reminded me of former Vikings scrambler Fran Tarkenton. You could see then, though, he might be too big for his britches. The whole money fingers gesture didn’t seem to jive.
If Johnny Football played soccer, he’d be a forward. His frat-boy routine might not register on the radar in some soccer nations. He’s definitely, on the field (and off, unfortunately) the show-stopper, the play maker. I could see Johnny breaking down a defense for a deft pass or crafty shot on goal.
Everyone’s quick to bash the kid for his decisions. I missed my chance to interview Manziel when the Browns came to Charlotte last season. He got hurt early in the game and didn’t talk to reporters.
I could tell that locker room had soured on him, even as the starting quarterback.
I feel for him. It’s easy to spin a reputation with questionable actions. It’s tougher to portray yourself in a different light after that. He probably trusts few people. I’ve read that Manziel tried several times to reign in his life, and failed.
Who among us hasn’t been down that road?
4. Is that the guy who plays Manny the mammoth on Ice Age: The Meltdown?
That’s one Ray Romano, comedian and star of Everybody Loves Raymond.
His show mirrors my perception of life and family closely enough to make it all at once hilarious and too close to reality! He’s one dude I can impersonate a little, too. I stopped watching after Ice Age: The Meltdown. Did you know there are SEVEN Ice Age movies?
The curmudgeon in me can’t take it. It’s all yelling and running and sliding now.
Which isn’t far from Everybody Loves Raymond, minus the sliding.
5. How does lotion work?
Skin’s kind of important – it keeps germs out of our guts, and it’s an aesthetic cover (mostly) for our muscles, tendons and intestines.
I rarely have this problem, but some folks get dry skin. That’s why I keep a bottle of four-year-old parade-issue lotion in my car. For y’all. Lotions fall into three camps (not really camps, but if they were, they’d be moisturized at least.)
EMOLLIENTS | It’s not lotion for emos. Emollients smooth the flaky dry skin cells. They’re similar to agents you have in your skin naturally.
HUMECTANTS | These are glycerins, and are cheapest. It’s probably what’s in my car. They draw moisture from below your top level of skin. They often feel tacky on your skin.
OCCLUSIVES | These shield your skin against moisture loss. Petroleum and wax agents are occlusive, and they sometimes fell heavy on the skin.
Likely, your lotion has some combination of these agents. People use oatmeal, olive oil, honey, milk as moisturizers … which just makes me hungry, you know?
And a snack is a perfect wrap-up to a Go Ask Daddy day with heavies such as school attacks, ghetto names and Johnny Football.
SELFIE CONTEST UPDATE: I’ll extend the contest for another week. Get your kid-snapped kid selfies in for a glorious prize. Send entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.