Go Ask Daddy About Oafs, Sponge Years and Celebrity Breakups

“Laterz, Barack. Let’s kick it again sometime.”

“How in the world was I ever a student?”GAD GRAPHIC

In the midst of a work post, the utter stubbiness of my attention span – and ability to comprehend anything not about food, soccer or Star Wars – couldn’t be ignored. “They didn’t have as much stuff for you to learn back then,” Grace piped up.

“And they didn’t have all the ways we could learn stuff back then.”

Immediately I saw myself in my sabre-toothed tiger jumper, all Paleolithic-like in a schoolhouse like the ones on Little House on the Prairie. Oh, these kids.

A dad must find spots to teach them a little, or at least, stay the heck out of their way so they can do some learning on their own. This week, I got to write a post on ways I try and incorporate history into teaching my three daughters. My three book-allergic daughters.

I’ll add the link to the end of this post. Promise to go. Check out Diana Tierney’s blog too. She writes brilliantly on women in history and I just can’t wait for the day she winds up writing about my girls. You might remember her awesome guest post here on the CD.

Now that the nice stuff is out of the way, let’s explore insults, to lead off this week’s Go Ask Daddy.

1. What is a lummox?

It sounds like it ought to be an air-conditioning unit, or some healthy spreadable agent that you can get in a health-food store. Alas, no.

If you’re a clumsy, stupid person, you’re a lummox. It’s an early 19th-century insult of unknown origin. Stats show its heyday in probably the 1940s, or roughly my junior year in high school. No, my college mascot wasn’t the Lummoxes, but it could have been.

I’m a firm believer you can be clumsy without being stupid.

Stupidity doesn’t guarantee clumsiness or lummoxocity. I find endearment in the clumsy. Like the lady at work who kicked over a guy’s drink in the airport terminal in Cancun, then proceeded to side-swipe his face with her bag as she tried to help clean it up.

So attractive, that.

2. Aren’t there giant apples, like this big?

apple core
photo credit: The Core via photopin (license)

It’s impossible to Google anything apple without getting iPhone, iPad or iSomething.

The biggest apples probably come out of Texas. They’re not always awesome, huge apples. It’s tougher to take a bite out of something the size of your head, unless it’s a giant brownie. Can you imagine that? Let’s get back to apples, though, because you didn’t ask me about brownies this time.

Meet the Hokuto apple. It’s a Japanese hybrid of Fuji and Mutsu apples, all hyped up.

It’s got to be tough to bite, so think about it: Maybe if Eve had run across a Hokuto apple in the Garden of Eden, mankind could have been spared the pains of childbirth, serpents biting at our children’s ankles and probably the Steelers’ throwback unis.

Back to the Hokuto. A man in 2005 found one that weighed in at more than 4 pounds, a Guinness Record. That could feed an entire soccer team at halftime.

3. How old is Spongebob Squarepants?

photo credit: SpongeBob via photopin (license)

S2 just turned 30 on July 14.

A screenshot of Spongebob’s Bikini Bottom driver’s license reveals his date of birth. At 30, he’s living la vida millennial: On his own (living at 124 Conch Street), but still in boating school. The cartoon’s illustrator, Stephen Hillenburg, said Spongebob is 50 in sponge years.

Three other things you might not know about the absorbent one:

  • Spongebob’s character is a melding of Jerry Lewis, Pee-Wee Herman and Stan Laurel.
  • Hillenburg, the mastermind behind Spongebob, once taught Marine Biology.
  • You won’t believe who’s guest-starred on S2: Victoria Beckham, Johnny Depp, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, LeBron James, P!nk, Amy Poehler, and Robin Williams.

4. Do they sell Mexican pizza at Taco Bell?

Taco Bell sells Authentic Mexican pizza, in fact.

There’s even an interactive web page, where you can customize with the toppings you want. Forget the Whopper. Add nacho cheese sauce, Mexican rice (authentic Mexican rice!), and extra nacho cheese sauce for just 90 cents more.

Although I like to stand with arms folded in clear view of the kitchen in my best judgy look, I’m not at all opposed to Taco Bell. It’s cheap, it’s cheesy, and it’s easy. There’s a lot of appeal in that.

5. Is Jason Derulo married?

jason derulo
photo credit: Jason Derulo @ AB via photopin (license)

Oh, he’s a singer. I thought he played right field for the Miami Marlins.

He’s not married. He dated Jordin Sparks, another singer who really does spell her name like that, for a long time. On On Air With Ryan Seacrest, Jason said the couple started to fight a lot over stuff, and it wasn’t fun anymore. Jason said rumors that someone cheated weren’t true.

They were together for three years, I learned. That’s, like, 17 sponge years, I think.

Don’t forget to check out my guest post on Diana Tierney’s blog, Creating Herstory, now!

derulo quote


  1. Lulu says:

    So, I have a funny Taco Bell story for you. A friend of mine from my days in DC liked to share the tale of her parents first Mexican dining experience when they moved to the US from India. It went something like this… her dad didn’t know much about American culture, or Mexican culture, but he and her mom wanted to try something new, so he phoned the Mexican embassy to ask them where he could find a Mexican restaurant in DC. And they told him to go to Taco Bell. I never did find out if they actually went or not!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      All good friends should have a funny Taco Bell story. The great thing is, when that friend finally got to go to a place where they say “is hot plate!” when they’re served, it’ll feel idyllic.

      1. Lulu says:

        I’m not a big Taco Bell fan, but when I was much younger, my friends and I used to stop there for lunch sometimes during the summers when we all worked at the town pool because it was cheap and quick. I thought it was the funniest thing in the world to walk in with the ashtray from my friend’s clunker in our hands, tip a mountain of loose coins on the counter, and ask how many tacos we could get with the change. I guess I was easily amused. Fortunately, the graceful employees had a high tolerance for teenage antics.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Cheap and quick is the name of the game there, Lulu – unless you get a slow crew and have to wait eons for a simple five-layer burrito. We’ve all been there.

        Now, they have those games at the counter where you try and land the coin on the little ledge. Know what I’m talking about? Elise is a hustler at that game. I think her picture is posted behind the counter because she wins every single time.

        You deal with tortillas every day when you work at Taco Bell. Why not be graceful and gracious?

  2. amommasview says:

    Jason Derulo makes me shake my head… Although… I kind of like that quote…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I know nothing about the cat. What’s his deal? I thought that quote did the job!

  3. stomperdad says:

    Back then there wasn’t as much history or technology for us Gen Xers to learn.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Without us, these kids today would still be playing Simon and Seek N Say.

  4. ksbeth says:

    okay, okay, you’ve uncovered my taco bell fetish! stop torturing me with these descriptions! ) plus, i love the word lummox.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d really love to coach a team named the Lummoxes, beth. We’d celebrate wins at … Burger King. (You thought I was going to say Taco Bell, didn’t you?)

      1. ksbeth says:

        Yes that would be perfect if it just ended with a run to the border)

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        … which could be added to the end of just about any sentence ever uttered, or to be future uttered.

  5. Hey Eli! fun to read your post on this Saturday morning – with coffee of course. Did you know that Taco Bell now sells “healthy” food, who knew? My fav is the cheesy bean burrito.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hey Sandra, good to see you. I like that Saturday blog routine (sub in Pepsi Max in the coffee cup and I’m good!)

      That healthy Taco Bell menu? I just can’t pull the trigger when there’s a nice bean burrito calling my way.

  6. Kisma says:

    I have already revealed I am very clumsy, I trip over nothing daily, literally. Taco Bell truly scares me! Jason Derulo was jamming out in the hair salon yesterday and I couldn’t help but laugh because my daughter asked for a song of his (Talk Dirty) about 3 years ago and I made her swear on my life that she would never EVER play that in her Meme’s presence. Today, my daughter questions her own tastes. Youth is a beautiful thing.

    Have a great Sunday Eli!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s so attractive, Tiff. The clumsy, not the Taco Bell. Why so scared? I still don’t know what the hell Jason Derulo sings, but his song is really Talk Dirty?

      I told my kids I feel sorry for them because their oldies stations are going to suck.

      1. Kisma says:

        My nephew worked at Taco Bell for 10 years and the stories he shared made me never, ever want to eat there again. I wasn’t a Bell fan early on. Taco Bueno or Del Taco is one must eat “fast food” bad Mexican food.

        Your last statement made me laugh and cry all at once because its soo true!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        My buddy in college, John, said if I knew more about that meat, I wouldn’t eat it. I say, I’m glad I don’t know. Do you guys still have Taco John? That place rocked.

        Did you laugh and cry like that emoji that confuses the hell out of me?

  7. mocadeaux says:

    I was kicked out of ballet at age 6 because the teacher told my mom I was too clumsy (thankfully not invoking the term lummox). I’d resent that characterization but I can’t because it’s true. It’s also true that Taco Bell was recently named one of the healthiest choices for fast food. Cheap and “healthy”. Not bad. I loved your post on Diana’s site, too.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked the post on Diana’s site, Mo. I’d say your teacher best deserved the lummox tag.

  8. Wow… enjoyed reading this one😂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hey thanks. I enjoyed writing it.

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