🌶️ Go Ask Daddy About Spicy Commercials, Reserved Parking and the Home of the Demon Deacs

I think I remember you from my teenage years …

Long before Kesha and Jennifer Lawrence, way back on the timeline before Ingrid Michaelson and Laura Linney, in a time Hope Solo, Sue Bird and Paula Creamer were just youth-league cuties … there was the MCI girl.

GAD GRAPHICGuys, this is Jean Louisa Kelly.

Her cute but creepy ad for the soon-defunct MCI became all sortsa Dream Weaver for me.  She resurfaced in Mr. Holland’s Opus, as star-dreaming Rowena Morgan in 1995. In 2000, you could see her in Yes, Dear, married to a dude even dweebier than yours truly.

I thought she’d disappeared after that feeble TV show.

Then I watched 1,000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story. I resisted, invoking my “No Movies That Star Kids From Disney Shows” clause. But … Cory’s mom looked, so sweetly familiar. The curls were now straight; her lipstick less pow than fire-engine red.

But … it was her.

So, 20-plus-year crushes on girls in commercials … that’s normal, right?


1. Did you see the Super Bowl ad from GoDaddy?

I wouldn’t have remembered if one had been on.

With my home-state team (Denver Broncos) battling the home team (Carolina Panthers), the super day could have been a super nightmare. Luckily, Von Miller saved the day.

I watched the game with Grace, the lone soul I could state with any certainty wouldn’t turn to me, if Carolina won, and say, “Aren’t you happy for the Panthers, though?”

Never, love, never. When it comes to street tacos and Super Bowls, there exists only win and win not.

GoDaddy (what dad wouldn’t love that name?) hosts web domains. The company burst on the scene with racy ads that left beer-guzzling fans woo-hooing, even if they had no idea who GoDaddy was. It was more, “who’s your daddy” than website domains.

GoDaddy made its splash, and now lives a kinder, gentler, less busty existence.

No puppies, no ladies. Fans noticed the absence more than anything. The company’s new CEO says the shift has been on a while. No need to shake your moneymaker during the biggest football game of the year anymore.

[See a GoDaddy ad by clicking here. Danica’s way cool and awfully swoony, which sometimes gets lots in the pole dancing and gyrating. This ad was banned.]

john lennon bathroom art winston-salem
John Lennon, in the Jon. Actually, above the bathroom sink, in a building, I went to a wedding in. I have a surprising number of photos of bathroom art. Surprising.

2. Why is John such a popular name?

Besides John the Baptist and the Apostle John and John Lennon, probably there are a lot of Johns because maybe Johns name their sons John.

If you type John enough times, it looks like a typo. Try any word. Fold. Fold. Fold. Fold. Fold. See? Johns often become popes. Mom365 ranks John at 31st for boys’ names, which for a college football team would land you in a crappy bowl game.

Even Jaxson and Noah (No. 1) ranked higher than John.

Old Johns outpace young. I almost became an Eli John. My mother defied the church and Caucasoid society as a whole. She wanted to name me after her father, Juan. The Catholic Church said my name had to be that of a saint. What of San Juan, then?

No, silly – an Anglo version of the saint’s name. She omitted the H out of defiance. Proud hippie, she.

photo of audi parked near trees
Photo by Vlad Alexandru Popa on Pexels.com

3. How do they know someone is supposed to park in a handicap spot?

Deplorable acts sometimes happen in parking spaces. Dogs left in hot cars. Kids left in hot cars. Pastrami-and-rye sandwiches left in hot cars. Also, there’s parking in a handicap spot when you’re not supposed to.

Drivers must display a handicapped placard on their rear-view mirror. Police can ticket those who park (sometimes double!) in those spots without a placard. Also, there’s public shaming. And this touching story.

me sunset 2019 beautiful im not sure

4. Are there two suns on Tatooine?

I’ve already won. I have kids who ask about Tatooine, the famous circumbinary planet on Star Wars, the birthplace of notable Jedi knights Anakin and Luke Skywalker.

Tatooine, a dustbin of a planet that makes Death Valley look like a spring afternoon in Savannah, is a lawless wasteland with sandstorms, plentiful criminals and krayt dragons. Not to mention the salty Tusken Raiders.

Tatooine stays hot and dry thanks to Tattoo I and II, its twin suns. It also has three moons. That’s a lot going on in the sky. And there’s a real-life Tatooine in our midst.

The exoplanet Kepler-1647b (which sounds like something from the Dewey Decimal System, not a solar system) is the biggest one we know of. It’s 3,700 light-years away, or roughly the same time it will take for the Buffalo Bills to win the AFC East again.

A Keplet-1657b year takes 1,107 days. You’d need, like, 40 months for that. That’s 40 months of Visa payments. Gross. It’s about as big as Jupiter, for scale, and resides in a zone that might support the presence of water. There are 11 planets in the circumbinary club.

The Kepler mission launched in 2009 and will wrap up next October. It’s racked up 1,284 exoplanets, and nine of those are in spots that make them potentially earthlike.

college clothes
photo credit: 08-30-06_1413 via photopin (license)

5. Is this a college?

(Grace asked this on a trip to Wake Forest University for a soccer clinic. She’s since identified it as her future school.)

We use college and university interchangeably. For undergrad, there’s little difference. Colleges offer undergraduate degrees, generally; universities also offer advanced degrees. Wake Forest, the place Grace fell in love with during soccer visits, is a university.

You can’t beat that mascot – the Demon Deacons. It’s basically a possessed pastor. (They got the nickname after the school paper in 1924 credited a win against Duke (then called Trinity) to the football team’s “devilish fighting spirit.”

It’s where Tim Duncan and Arnold Palmer and Carroll O’Connor, the dude who played Archie Bunker, matriculated. The sports teams wear black and gold, and theirs is the only press box I’ve been to that implements a “one meal limit” for sportswriters.

We’re a gluttonous bunch.

When the day comes that you play for Wake Forest, Grace, and you find Columbia University, alma mater of Jean Louisa Kelly, on your schedule, you know who I’ll be rooting for, right?

Kids trump crushes. Every.single.time.



  1. John Holton says:

    I forgot about her… I think MCI (which is also the airport code for Kansas City, where they were based) was taken over by Sprint (also based in KC).

    John was the second most popular name the year I was born (James was #1). And, as you probably guessed, I come from a family of Johns (grandfather, two uncles, a couple of cousins, etc.). Funny how it’s fallen out of favor these days… I was supposed to be William, after my father, but he allegedly stormed up to the desk in the nurse’s station and tore up the paperwork. He didn’t want a Junior…

    1. John Holton says:

      By the way, Wake Forest always reminds me of Steely Dan, as in “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blue(s?)”…

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Boz Skaggs … man, those were the days, John. Those were the days.

      2. John Holton says:

        Remember when Jeff (Skunk) Baxter and Michael McDonald joined the Doobies when Steely Dan quit touring, and the Doobies ended up sounding like Steely Dan?

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        I didn’t notice that John – but I sure would like to put on 70s music for an entire day and see if I can.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      You made out okay, John – I also was almost named Leslie.

  2. pilch92 says:

    I had forgotten all about the show Yes Dear, I never realized she had been in anything prior to that.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My dreams. Oh, and those TV ads.

  3. ksbeth says:

    i just wonder why jack is used as a nickname for john?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Turns out the English called commoners “John.” The Normans added -kin to any name to make it diminutive (as in munch-kin), and they called Johns Jens. So diminutive Johns were called Jenkins, which became Jakin, which became Jack. Because, of course.

  4. stomperdad says:

    You know you’ve succeeded when they ask Star Wars questions. The force is strong with them. And according to Neil DeGrass Tyson, there are countless double sun systems. Tatooine is totally possible.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think they should make the dodgers play home games on such a planet.

      1. stomperdad says:

        That would be a good place for them. I’d like to send the Yankee there too. Wonder what that kind of gravitational pull would do to the ball…

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        There’s probably room for the giants there, too. Gravity be damned.

  5. Lulu says:

    I guess I never really thought about the fact that I do know a lot of Johns. My grandmother was supposed to be named Bernadette, but the French Catholic priest in her little town of French Canadians insisted that all the girls be given the first name of Marie and all the boys be named Joseph, so she became Marie Bernadette, but everyone called her Bernie.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Bernie’s a sweet name for a grandmother, Lulu. Fight the power!

  6. mocadeaux says:

    Quite the comprehensive answer to the Tatooine question. Well done! I took both of my kids on college visits to Wake Forest and we loved the place. I have two north-of-middle-age friends named Nancy who lament the dearth of young Nancys in the world.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Mo – sometimes, when I play disc golf, I imagine I’m on Dagobah or Endor. Wake Forest is pretty cool, isn’t it? She’s already made up her mind, at age 12!

      There’s one young Nancy who sits next to me at work – she’s officially on the endangered species list.

  7. Rorybore says:

    We have so many “Johns” in the family (okay, that sounded weird read outloud) that we started having to use Jr, Jack, Jay, JJ (John Jr.) and then others just gave up and went with their middle name. The next common name is Aaron… what the heck do you do with that one?
    I love that your girls ask about Star Wars. My daughter asked me who was smarter – Tony Stark or Bruce Banner – the other day and I gave her a whole chocolate bar. Positive behaviour needs rewarding, right?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      White people – y’all are so cute with your Johns. Of course, we counter with Juans. Aaron can be … Aa? ‘ron? aro? I’m at a loss.

      (Jack. You could call Aarons Jack.)

      The world needs to know your answer to the Bruce Banner vs. Tony Stark debate!

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