Go Ask Daddy About Drippy Laundry, Creative License with License Plates, and Invite Etiquette

photo credit: DocChewbacca Merry Christmas via photopin (license)

Hello. Yes, it’s been a while. Not much. How ’bout you?

GAD GRAPHICSoccer and work and sleep and talking to representatives in call centers about cable and credit cards have monopolized me. I dream of writing. Actually, I dream of pizza and Star Wars prequels even Jennifer Connelly still. I write, but only for those organizations that compensate me.

I wish that weren’t the case.

Not that I’d not get compensated. Writing here is dessert. I love me some other writing, and just finished my first fiction work of any consequence. The writing reps are there. This, though, writing here and connecting with you … that’s home cooking, you guys.

When I started this post, I had a college kid home after a Florida trip got canceled because of Hurricane Matt.

I had one kid wearing a boot for an ankle injury and another who’s learning to play my old saxophone. It was old when I played it. And now, it’s actually the next calendar year. And for a minute, I got all wrapped up in a telenovela during a rainy weekend in Roanoke.

All stories for later, perhaps. Here’s what the kids have asked.

1. Isn’t it dumb to dry clothes on a line when it’s raining?

It’s almost as dumb as Maricruz going back to her Menudo-retro-looking boyfriend in Corazon Indomable. (Wait, was that out loud? She’s in this scene – mi novia enojada en las botas descarado. I digress. Of course, rainy days aren’t the best for line drying.

It’s like when you see automatic sprinklers on during a rainstorm, too.

Or people in line at Auto Bell when it’s raining. You won’t run out of dumb things to do when it’s raining – such as run through the street with a metal sign on your back.

[This girl just line dries in the crib.]

Here are other time-wasting – or logic-cancelling – pursuits, off the top of my head.

  • Ordering a double Big Mac, large fries, apple pie – and Diet Coke.
  • Turning on CNN or Fox News – and expecting logical discourse.
  • Cleaning out one’s car – when one has children (and a snacking habit.)
  • Asking off work for World Series dates – when you’re a Colorado Rockies fan.
  • Placing a box of delicious leftovers in the fridge – within 323 nautical miles of a related teenager.
  • Leaving your phone to charge overnight – and not expecting the cord to fall out.
  • Eating responsible oatmeal for breakfast – and not expecting to have a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit an hour later because you’re famished.
  • Changing lanes to the fast one before a traffic jam – and expecting for it not to become the lane that ends with 250 feet.
  • Expecting your pleas in English to a jailed, Spanish-speaking telenovela starlet to convince her to just say no to Menudo boy. (I’m not bitter.)
  • Asking off for the Super Bowl – when you’re an Oakland Raiders fan (yes, I said it.)

2. What if a princess was a lesbian? Would there be two queens?

That’s a great question. It’s 2017 and all.

Technically, when you marry into royalty, you become a consort, not necessarily a king or queen. Prince Adam, therefore, could bring home Prince Consort Steve, but Steve might not become king or queen when Adam takes the throne.

Besides, in the United Kingdom, only legitimate children of a monarch can assume the throne if the monarch dies. This is how the universe keeps Kardashians or Pachecos out of the royal palace.

Plus, in England, if you’re in the line of succession, you must be in communion with the Church of England. That church doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, by the way. So there’s that. It would make a great Hallmark movie, though.

3. How many letters do you get on a license plate?

liscense plate
photo credit: classic_film via photopin cc

Are there no easy questions this week?

It depends on the state you’re in – and even the type of plate you get. Standard-issue plates – you know, the ones that just say Keystone State or First in Flight, not the special ones for Ravens fans in Rhode Island or teachers in Tennessee – usually allow for seven characters.

That’s 7.5 – if you count hyphens or spaces.

Here in North Carolina, you can get as many as eight characters. That’s plenty of space for messages such as NOSUP4U, LUV2FRT or NOFKSGVN.

If you don’t get that last one, don’t ask mom.

4. What is a rotary?

Finally, one with a difficulty level lower than 323.

It’s a traffic circle. It’s also … wait, did I say this one was easy? I’ve never, in this, the sixth year of Coach Daddy, bypassed a question. I’m not about to start. I wondered if you meant a notary, like a notary public. And really, any of you, go search for “what is a rotary?”

The results? I was underwhelmed by the underwhelming nature of it.

Here’s the thing: I thought the question was, “what is a notary?”, as in, notary public. But no. A rotary, as in those traffic circle things that are cropping up all over town. You know, the ones in which the person who is supposed to yield to traffic speeds up to beat you?

This might be the worst Coach Daddy answer of all time.

5. What does RSVP stand for?

The French. They have a different word for everything, as Steve Martin says.

RSVP stands for répondez, s’il vous plait. That translates to “respond, please.” Or as they might say in Gaston County, “say.” You should answer when you get an invitation to something, so they don’t order too many or too few chimichangas.

Although, if I’m throwing a party, I’ll want more chimichangas than are necessary. There’s sometimes a card to send back, to say how many are coming. Or, they’ll ask for “regrets only.” That’s tricky.

If I sent them my regrets, they’d require 17 hand trucks and extra postage.

I do have an RSVP for you, though. For here, in this space. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Like the good old days. I feel like I’ve got a momentary grip on stuff, and can finally make it here, when I want to.

The universe needs a place where food, Jennifer Connelly and Star Wars can live in harmony, after all.


52 thoughts on “Go Ask Daddy About Drippy Laundry, Creative License with License Plates, and Invite Etiquette

  1. You and Jennifer Connelly, me and Nic Cage- always good to put it out there in cyberspace. I keep hoping through 6 degrees of separation, I will get to meet Nic. I hope you get to meet Jennifer.

    1. I can’t complain much, Lyn – I’ve told them what’s mine is theirs! I’ve seen one of those rotaries. That question was funny, because I had no idea when it was asked – it was on the huge list, though.

  2. good to see you, eli. yes, i’m guilty of the ‘diet coke’ thing. i could have eaten a 7 pound trough of stouffer’s frozen mac ‘n cheese, but damn it, i need my diet coke to watch my weight!

    1. Oh yeah, I forgot about the phones! My kids just watched “Phenomenon,” starring John Travolta. We had to tell them about phones with the buttons on the base and tethered by chords.

      You’re ageless, so no damage, C.

  3. Doh, Cricketmuse beat me to it… the old rotary phones with a cord and no speed dial or texting or apps. Thanks for the laugh! And I’m partial to Soleil Moon Frye… formerly known as Punky Brewster.

  4. What do you have against diet coke? I don’t do McDonald’s (husband is there now with the kids as I am home alone!!!), but when I’m out somewhere and don’t want water or alcohol – and don’t much want the extra 100+ calories of soda, what’s a gal to do?

    Enjoyed that list – and loved the post. And I thought rotary phone. My parents refused to ditch theirs for years so they had it until the early 2000s when the phone company finally offered to come and replace it for them at no cost. How’s that for determination not to buy into all those new-fangled passing trends? Just channelling my dad for a moment as he wept over his Beta player and how wrong it was that VHS won that war.

    1. Nothing at all against Diet Coke, Louise. I try not to pretend that a Diet Coke makes two Big Macs and a Filet O’Fish acceptable at one sitting, though! Usually.

      Beta made so much more sense. I also miss making mix tapes and strapping on a Walkman.

      1. Mixed tapes were the best! As for Big Macs – I can’t imagine eating quite that much to begin with, but point taken…

  5. Hey Eli! Congrats on your first fiction piece “of consequence.” Your love of telenovelas brings me back to junior year of high school, when our Spanish teacher taught us from episodes of “Los Destinos” (it was a made-for-high-schoolers educational telenovela). Our final for the year was to create “Los Destines – The Lost Episode.” All I remember is my friend Louisa jumping out from a pile of wedding dresses at JC Penney screeching, “HOLA!” while we covertly filmed her. As for the RSVP – Glad you’re back to the writing you love the most! Can’t wait to see more on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays… as long as I’m not trapped in a rotary. 😊

    1. Thanks, Lulu. We’ll see how it does – I’ve already started the first step of my next work. I haven’t seen my telenovela since, but I will always wonder about my girl.

      That’s kind of a brilliant way to teach Spanish, actually. Look at how it engaged you and your classmates!

      I’m already behind, Lu. I have a post I wanted to have up by today (actually, a Monday three months ago!) but I’ll get to it. Looking forward to more words from you, too. #stayoutoftherotaries!

      1. I applaud you for your stick-with-it-ness! I have been running into some very un-fun writer’s block (as attested to by the novel adjectives I’m using here). Blargh! Just on my way over to your blog now to read about spray paint! (The excitement is not feigned, trust me!)

      2. Thanks, Lu. Un-fun might be one of the new words of 2017. If you need some ideas for writing and/or to treat writer’s block, let me know. The only blocks I want a part of are cheese.

      3. I sure hope that un-fun doesn’t become a hallmark word of 2017! At this point, I would welcome an hour on the carpet with a pile of little kids’ blocks and no deadlines or demands.

    1. It’s okay to age ourselves, Deb – we the proud Gen Xers have seen a lot and know a lot, don’t we? I hope to see you consistently, too. I’ve missed your place.

  6. Finding time and space to write is difficult. ✒ I don’t get to write as many posts as I once did because my life is not suitable to taking that time right now. There are more important things to do… school, husband, groceries, school, dogs, move kids from one state to another, school, taxes, school… etc (maybe there is a dominating theme??) 😎 But I still read every day and try to comment on the ones I follow faithfully. Once in a while I will post something just so people know I am still around💃 . There are days when I am overwhelmed, and there are some I am underwhelmed… but most of the time I am just whelmed.. *sigh* 👀 ❤

    1. It’s the most difficult, Courtney. I want to be able to carve out the time and do it efficiently. I don’t want to miss out on things – I remember a watershed moment when I told my kid I didn’t have time for a project she was taking on, because I was writing a blog about being a dad.

      Reading is just as important. I read before I write. I feel like why should people come read my words, if I’m not reading others’?

      i know the feeling of feeling whelmed! Constant state. I look forward to reading your words again soon, too.

  7. I’ve missed your wit! So wonderful to see you back again ❤

    Uhm, yes to this: "Eating responsible oatmeal for breakfast – and not expecting to have a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit an hour later because you’re famished." <Except I'm a veggie so I'd skip the sausage but I'd probably have more cheese because I never said I was vegan and everyone loves more cheese. The hell was the point of the oatmeal in the first place??

    WOW, so uhm, this is embarrassing… I didn't know what a Rotary was (also thought you meant Notary). Well, you learn something new every day, don't you? 🙂

  8. I have a personalized plate. It has 7 characters. I had to get the regular plate and not a special interest one though. Also, it may be dumb to dry your clothes on a line when it’s raining, but it’d be dumber to go out in the rain to take them down, right?

    1. Yes, those special-interest plates take up some real estate! I think that if it starts raining on my bloomers, it’s not like I can rescue them, Rabia. Wonder what they did back in the day.

  9. Man, I would definitely want an invisibility cloak in the palace to listen in on negotiations over Prince Consort Steve. My late, great sister taught me how to navigate the plethora of rotaries in Boston. “You have to be confident and fearless.”, she would say. And that she was!

  10. I immediately thought of the rotary phone! Now that’s reaching way back. So annoying – if you put your finger in the wrong hole, you had to start all over again. Wait…. wtf did I just type???!! *hasty retreat blushing*

    1. My kids still think it funny that we had cords hanging on phones, Les.

      Is that the rule? You have to start over? I think you have to touch that button on top first.

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