Go Ask Daddy About Device Diversions, Writing Weaknesses and Couponing Questions That Shall Never Be Asked

photo credit: v_mats D16B2649-1 via photopin (license)

A kid will call a dad out.

GAD GRAPHICThe younger the kid, the rawer (is that a word?) the call-out. I’ve navigated three daughters through the unfiltered years, without many stings. There was that day on the Barbie doll aisle with one daughter, who, noting Mattel’s plastic diversity, asked, “why would I want a black Barbie, dad?”

I sailed through that one with honesty, not damage control.

“I think little girls like to play with dolls, no matter what,” I explained. “But sometimes, we want toys that look like us. These dolls look like different people.” And it was true. I remember complaining that there were no Mexican kids on Peanuts.

Or, even a Chicano in Star Wars.

This kid called me out on toilet talk one day at lunch. We’d just settled into our table at CiCi’s Pizza. I’d strapped her into her high chair. Before I could wreak dad havoc on the buffet line (and to give civilization a head start), I headed for the restroom.

My girl waited until I was almost to the door to call out for me.

“Daddy!” she used her outside voice. “Are you going No. 1, or No. 2?” The eyes of CiCi’s Pizza’s patronage settled in on me. “Just No. 1, lovey, just No. 1,” I answered, and glanced around reassuringly to the lunch crowd.

I pushed it out fast and scarcely washed my hands, lest I be thought a liar by lingering longer than No. 1 should take. A few of today’s questions made think of that day, and ways the kids just ask what’s on their mind.

1. Why do you take your phone in the shower?

It’s not like that.

When she asked this, yes, I did take the phone in the shower. All did (mostly) is listen to Pandora. You know, a guy is in the shower for, what, 4 minutes? Long enough to croon along to Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down and get all the spots with dollar-store body wash.

More than once, I’d knock the phone off my shaving mirror while drying off. If the kids were near, they might have learned new cuss-word combinations. Now? Well, I’m much more mature. I can shower (I take 5 minutes sometimes) just singing AC/DC acapella.

Or Sarah Brightman. Either/or.

2. Do you still do Zumba?

Now that the prior image has been replaced by something more profane …

I’ve given up the Zumba. I disappointed the universe there, the same way I did when it was clear I was a Coloradan who couldn’t ski. A Latino man who had to count the eighth-note beats of a Gloria Estafan song to step back in sync with the white girls in his class?

In my mind, I could salsa, side salsa, and sambra right in step with Maricruz, the instructor, and yell “Mi gente!” to an adoring throng of fans, just like Marc Anthony. In reality … people in the class probably gathered around me like an armadillo freshly hit (but not killed) on a Texas interstate.

So, no, I don’t Zumba anymore. Guilty feet have got no rhythm.

3. What’s that squiggly red line under your sentences?

It’s dad season, apparently.

Microsoft Word notes misspelled words with a red squiggly line. That you asked why my sentences were so marked, says more about my writing than it does your sweet, obnoxious, sweet inquisitive nature, you little … darling.

Why would squiggles appear under entire sentences? Either dad’s a worse speller than a Zumba dancer, or … his documents were set to a different language. Pretty sure I couldn’t write something in French on accident, so if my default language is set to French …

Of course, dad will see red.

Now that I have Grammarly, also, (Grammarly is also marked with red squigglies, incidentally – as is the word ‘squigglies’ but not the singular ‘squiggly), words also get the red-line treatment. Only, these red lines are straight.

Just the universe’s way of screamed at me to get off the literary dance floor.

Lucky, I don’t listen.

4. What songs does Poison sing?

Today, you have dudes who sing like girls. Back then, dudes had hair like girls’.

Poison reigned the hair-band era from the mid-80s to mid-90s. They’re now classified as “easy going favorites,” right along with Michael Bolton and Bryan Adams (not the badass Summer of 69 Bryan Adams, but the watered down, sappy All For Love Bryan Adams.)

Poison, known for edgy rock songs such as Talk Dirty to Me and Nothin’ But a Good Time, spun the obligatory rock ballad, too, in Every Rose has it’s Thorn. They made up for the sappiness with a cool rendition of Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re An American Band.

photo credit: [SiK-photo] Day 29/365 – School. Work. Wings. via photopin (license)

5. Can you use two coupons at a time in Buffalo Wild Wings?

I really wanted to do some research on this.

I wanted to go to a Buffalo Wild Wings, maybe play the claw game there at the door. Smile at the hostess, probably a pretty young thing in that trademark black-and-yellow jersey I’ve come to disassociate from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I’d explain I was there on business, not to eat (although, I do have a coupon …), but that, for my blog – my blog about my daughters, I have three … yeah, three! Can you believe it? Aw, thanks. I don’t FEEL old enough to have a daughter in college. No, I don’t work out …

I’d explain to her that I needed to ask this question, JUST because you know, my kid asked. And it’s for my blog. Want me to write the address down for you? Tell you what – what’s your email address? I’ll email you this link. Oh yeah, it’s no big deal.

A server might walk to the hostess stand to see why the hostess is laughing so much. She’ll take a glance at her one high top in her section, a sweaty guy with no socks who drinks lite beer and had the audacity to say he really liked the view from his seat.

And he wasn’t even looking at the golf tournament on the big screen.

She’d come over, Lana’s her name, to talk with Cindy, who actually trained her back in the summer. And then Cindy would have to explain to Lana about the blog, and look! This guy even won a stuffed green buffalo from the claw game, and no one ever wins those!

Then maybe the bartender, Juliette, would walk over because of all the laughing, and think, “wow, I love your frames,” but then she’d see me and say, “wait, don’t you work at Red Ventures?” And it’ll turn out she used to be an agent there, but quit.

She quit because of the old guy who came to Zumba and really threw off the vibe, you know? Like you felt sorry for him, and hoped that a carnivorous cat would take him out like they did the old and slow wildebeest on an Animal Planet show, you know?

And hopefully, this will all play out just in my mind, my imagination taking off without me, leaving me at the claw game dropping dollars in pursuit of that green buffalo, and suddenly, the irony that a green buffalo even is elusive to me hits me.

And when Cindy comes out and asks how many are in my party, I’ll say, “just one, lovey. Just one,” it has nothing to do with the bathroom. But all the same, I’ll just use one coupon and not even ask about two, because who does that?





  1. Lyn says:

    LOL I feel your pain, Eli, I feel your pain. Being born with two left feet (on the wrong legs), I’ve never been able to dance. Red squiglie lines? I hate Word’s spell check. It will let one “it’s” (it is) pass, but woe betide if I happen to be writing dialogue and type, “It’s…it’s..oh, it’s not fair!” it will want me to change #2 and #3 to “its.”
    I remember when I was pregnant with child #3 and child #1 (4 at the time) asked loudly in a very full doctor’s waiting room, “I know the baby is growing in your tummy, but how did it get there in the first place?” Cue male also waiting to see doctor (no he wasn’t pregnant, it was an MD) “Get out of that one if you can.” Thankfully, the doctor called me in at that moment (phew). Kids…sometimes you wanna kill ’em 😀

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      See, I can dance when I’ve had a few drinks and I’m in Mexico, but Zumba class, with mirrors all over … no magic.

      I’m more concerned about the intuitive spellcheck on a smartphone. Yesterday, I tried to type “potential” and it auto-populated to “pendejo,” which isn’t a nice word in Spanish. So this tells me I’m more prone to use this Spanish slur than to celebrate one’s potential.

      That doc should have shown your child a slide show to explain how the baby got there. Then, you’d probably never have to answer it again.

      1. Lyn says:

        LOL I think she knows now…I hope so anyway; her daughter is 21 🙂

  2. stomperdad says:

    Brilliant! Hilarious, too. I can only imagine how many shades of red you were when asked #1 or #2 (that’s the old people symbol for number… remember when it used to mean that?). I can’t Zumba either. It’s more like dancing than exercise and I dance like an intoxicated June Bug.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Eric. I felt like I was on a drowsy roll when I wrote it. I surprisingly – or not so, given my dark complexion – didn’t turn any shades of red at being called out at the bathroom door that day.

      #1 and #2 aren’t AP style … oy, some things are tough to shake. But yes, kids call them hashtags and don’t probably know they had a purpose before social media.

      Zumba is dancing and exercise and I can’t even text and walk so what’s the point?

  3. I loved “Every Rose has it’s Thorn”! Good times.
    I recently joined Zumba. The class is full of experienced ladies, and then there’s me, like a bull in a china shop, but hey, I need to get my steps in…
    Did you finally get yourself a Latino Elf last Christmas season?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I prefer less sap in my hair-band noise, Tamara. And there’s no sap in a Zumba class, which is cool. But being in one just makes me want chips and queso, so there’s that zero net gain.

      No elves, Latino or otherwise, for us. The kids are beyond that. They’d be like “That’s $30. You could have gotten me a soccer ball for $30!”

  4. Phone📱 IN the shower? Hmmm.. I listen to my iPad while I am getting ready. I have a cool little stereo thing it sits in so I can listen 🎧 to Napster (formerly Rhapsody) while I am in the shower. But putting my phone or iPad IN the shower is just an accident waiting to happen. 🚑
    I am a dancer💃 from back in the day… jazz, ballet, modern etc. So I CAN Zumba, I just choose not to. It is too hard at my age. Jazzercize is more my style but the class here is too much like a regular aerobics class and that is boooooooring *snore* 😫 to me, so I quit. I work out on a Elliptical machine 🏃and a treadmill which works great for me!
    I have A daughter who never really said anything to embarrass me in public as a child (thank you Jesus)! But she did have a knack for picking up inappropriate words at home that I was always terrified she would repeat at church!⛪ LOL! She didn’t (that I know of) 😎
    I use Word 📇 but I am so picky about my grammar and misspelled words that if those nasty little squiggle lines ♒ appear, I do everything in my power to get rid of them.
    I don’t particularly like Buffalo Wild Wings, although I do like buffalo wings🍗. Mine! I have an awesome recipe that my family loves and I am kind of spoiled to it now.
    Last but not least… I love the song “Every Rose 🌷 had It’s Thorn” by Poison. I went out and bought the Cassette📼! LMAO! 😂as soon as it came out and I still have it in my iTunes and on my phone. I like some of their other stuff but not as much. However, that song makes me VERY nostalgic 🎶 and I have to be in the right frame of mind to hear it.. otherwise when it shuffles through, I skip right over it! 😁

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It was just for tunes, Courtney (and the occasional check of Twitter, maybe.) I flooded my phone once or twice, but nothing permanent.

      I can dance (they say so on the company trip) but dancing in the dark wall-to-wall with others is starkly different from trying to follow a lithe Zumba instructor with mirrors and other lithe participants all around.

      It’s ballet with a bulldog.

      Is it the constant noise and sports fans that turns you off at BWW? I’m not actually a big fan of sports fans. That’s fodder for another post.

      I think you should post a recipe for those wings. Have you? If they’re good enough to spoil a family …

      Oh, cassettes. I have a few, still. Asia. Remember them? I thought I was so cool buying that one. And I did it because they were the first rock cassette alphabetically.

      Every Rose has it’s Thorn must have a sentimental value to you .. (again, a good idea for a post!)

  5. Eli Pacheco says:

    Glad you liked it! Parents often match or surpass those kids.

  6. LOL! I have two left feet too, Eli. Anyway, cats don’t dance. o(〃^▽^〃)o

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Dogs can’t either, but salamanders …

      1. LOL! (●♡∀♡))ヾ☆*。

  7. Kisma says:

    Oh the bathroom one is by far my favorite because I have been there only with my son who had to go with me to the ladies room during a time when, well ya know, Mother nature was visiting. Try explaining that to a 3 year old little boy. Everyone in the bathroom was informed that it was “my time”.

    Parenthood is awesome!

    always a blast around here Eli, thank you for the laughs.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Wow, Tiffany, that ought to be a blog post! So, this was news to him, too, to boot? I had no idea “my time” was the way you said it. Of course, I was the guy who didn’t know the difference between a pad and a tampon. Maybe *that* should be a post for another day.

      1. Kisma says:

        Lol- yea maybe a fun- “things kids say” post

  8. Sadly to say I still have a few cassettes lurking in a Cassette car case 💼somewhere in my house. I had or maybe still have Asia, along with about 40 more. I have about 600 songs on my phone but I only listen to about half of them…if that. And I listen to everything from jazz to bluegrass 🎻but I will always fall back on classic rock (didn’t we have that conversation)?
    Agree with your assessment of Zumba..ballet 👣with a bulldog is a good discrption. I just know at my age I would probably kill myself doing it and most likely embarrass 😱myself in the process. Dancer 💃 BACK in the day for sure!
    I will email 📧 you the recipe when I get a chance. (Out of town at the moment and not near my recipes) As for BWW..not crazy about their food or the atmosphere. 🍔🍺
    Every Rose 🌹 Has It’s Thorn is definitely a memory I could write about….hmmm🤔 Maybe?? 🙁

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The Smithsonian wants those cassettes, Courtney. The most impressive cassette collections get no love now.

      I’m a Pandora guy – let the algorithms and Jesus pick my tunes. I believe we’ve had the music conversation.

      You could probably write that Every Rose Has its Thorn post as a guest blog here. Or, you could list your 5 reasons you don’t like BWW!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.