Go Ask Daddy About Cinematic Symbolism, Steve Martin Stunts and Retail/Dining options for Dec. 31

Do you know where that water’s been, brother?

NPR just made rain kind of gross.

GAD GRAPHICA show promo pointed out that water we drink today has passed through the kidneys of a brontosaurus. Japanese freestyle swimmer Shigeo Arai probably swam through it in the 1936 Olympics.

It might have lived in a water pitcher on the set of the Dominican telenovela Tropico, too. I try not to think of that, but it’s true. Water’s the original repurposed thing.

Sure, rain’s kind of nasty, but it’s also beautifully poetic. It made up puddles my girls stomped in walking into the grocery store with dad. It helped soil uniforms – school and soccer – and locked in stories and memories and history.

Rain becomes the heavens’ tears and prayers answered for places that desperately need it.

Rain ought to be its own post, really. I have memories of each of you on soccer pitches during downpours and lightning delays, championships and training sessions. On drives to the playing grounds with these girls, and back home again.

It’s what happens after a rainstorm, too. This happened during Elise’s first college soccer game. The rainbow’s beauty wasn’t lost on players and fans there that day – nor did the significance of the symbolism on a particularly diverse and liberal campus!


1. Why does it rain for funerals on movies?

By Victorian superstition, rain and thunder signify a spirit on its way to heaven.

Life and nature chime in to give life a dash of drama. Mother Nature doesn’t operate on demand, though, unless it’s cinematic. When we lay someone we love to rest, part of our world crumbles. It stands to reason that nature itself should weep too.

It didn’t rain the day of my dad’s funeral. The sun that day illuminated someone else’s scene, and I’m glad for that. The universe did give me a moment, though, I’d like to share.

After the service, I walked back along a road in the cemetery to the car. Those who came to the burial parked along an access road. I walked the narrow channel that remained between cars as people waited to drive away.

I had the chance to make eye contact and thank them all.

I walked slowly, partly because I’d gotten so sick just after dad died, partly because I wanted those moments.

I wanted to thank them for being there. I wanted to console them for the loss on the level they felt it. One of dad’s close friends who made it through dry-eyed let down a bit as he sat in his truck.

In a way, nature did weep that day, too.

2. Is it just a layer of air under an air hockey game?

photo credit: I’m gunna puck you in the face! 121/365 via photopin (license)

I just watched a video on a DIY air-hockey game. They turned on a weed blower and that’s where my understanding of the physics ended for that video, anyway.

Thousands of tiny holes cover an air-hockey table. A fan below the table (not the face-painting kind of fan – that would be weird) blows air through this network of tiny holes. It creates an air pocket on the smooth surface on which the puck floats.

It’s the same physics as a land speeder on Star Wars, and only a fraction less cool.

I did learn these things in official U.S. Air Hockey rules:

  • Players can use only one mallet on the table at a time. I’d love to know what action led to this rule.
  • Conduct warnings will be issued for players who speaking loud and vulgar obscenities (I’d love to see the list of banned words), destruction of property, or “actions that discredit the sport.”
  • Tables with a long overhead light aren’t sanctioned for tournament use.

3. Could you swing on a fire hose like Clouseau in Pink Panther 2?

Baby doll, daddy can do anything.

That’s not true. I can’t jump very high anymore. Not that leaped out of the gym as a pup. I struggle to eat and not generate crumbs. For that matter, I struggle to determine what constitutes “snack sized.”

I associate with Inspector Clouseau. He’s considered a bumbling idiot who finds success through accidents. Others see the brilliance in what he does. Life gives us an abundance of both, it just depends on how we use that blessing.

Some of us give too much credit to the brilliance and not enough to circumstance. Others people pass off success as dumb luck. We should do better to accept the universe’s gifts to us, both serendipitous and in our innate talents.

4. Is it the same if you dissolve your pill in water and drink it?

Not always. Always ask your pharmacist.

Some pills have time-release mechanisms. They’re in capsules. When I was a kid, there was a commercial that showed a capsule opened and all the little balls bounced around. It tripped me out. Is that what stuff does inside you when you take a capsule? Dude …

People who have trouble swallowing a pill can ask for meds in liquid form.

I inadvertently told one of the girls she could chew a pill once. It wasn’t supposed to be chewed. I’m lucky it wasn’t a huge problem (some pills can be dangerous or fatal if crushed), but it wasn’t exactly Christmas candy for her, I’ll say that.

And she still lets me know it.

5. Will things be open on New Year’s Eve?

Things don’t shut down that night like they used to.

Family-owned joints tend to close early on holidays and open late the next day. Most places can find workers who don’t observe certain holidays (or don’t care) and can keep the doors open.

Chick-fil-A should hire some non-Christian kids to sling sandwiches on Sunday, but that’s just me.

Walmarts open 24 hours are in business on New Year’s Eve. Can you imagine ringing in the New Year stuck in line behind some dude buying a wheelbarrow, orthopedic socks, and Mylanta? That has to forebode ill things in the new year.

I’d probably walk outside with my bag of Vanilla Wafers and Coke Zero, and the snow would turn to rain.



  1. ksbeth says:

    with regard to where my water may have been, i try not to think about it and just think how wonderful it is, exactly when i buy from the drive-through at taco bell.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I consider we’re all just filthy beasts eating and drinking filthy things, and I automatically feel better, Beth.

  2. amommasview says:

    Love the double rainbow and what you said re your father’s funeral touched me… It wasn’t raining either when we had my Dad’s funeral. It was a really bad winter for the ski resort he grew up in and lived in his entire life. My son asked me that night, where I think his grandpa would go now and my husband told him that he is most probably somewhere up there, looking for the person in charge of snowing to tell that person off. The next day it was snowing. Thick flakes of snow. And it didn’t stop for days. My son’s response: I guess Grandpa found that guy…

    1. stomperdad says:

      Love that story! Glad he found that guy 😀

      1. amommasview says:

        Oh, my Dad would have made sure he’d find him… He was a very determined, motivated person. 😔❤️

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Maybe snow is a popular dad trick in heaven, Sandra. It snowed uncharacteristically in Greensboro, N.C., on Elise’s first birthday, Nov. 19, after my dad died.

      3. amommasview says:

        Wow… Seems like it… 😘

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        You know he would!

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Sandra – the cool thing about that rainbow is that the left side actually touched down on the practice field next to the game. It was my one chance to find the pot of gold and I let it slip away.

      I love your husband’s explanation and the follow through!

  3. Kisma says:

    The rainbow is beautiful!
    I filter my water and like to live in my bubble of its clean because of it. Don’t tell me otherwise😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The fans got as excited for the ‘bow as they did for the game!

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