Go Ask Daddy About firewood, Kickass quarterbacks, and loooong shots

stormtrooper skateboard skater

We tell the kids stuff not to do all the time. Here’s 42.


  1. Don’t eat cookies in bed. Share them on the couch with dad.
  2. Don’t leave the door open!
  3. Don’t leave the fridge open.
  4. Don’t drink daddy’s soda.
  5. Don’t drink daddy’s rum.
  6. Don’t play your saxophone after eating a KitKat.
  7. Don’t run in the street.
  8. Don’t pick the cat up by the tail.
  9. Don’t text in church.
  10. Don’t quote Macklemore songs in church.
  11. Don’t use your tablet after you’ve eaten a rack of ribs.
  12. Don’t yell, “don’t listen to coach!”
  13. Don’t wear sweatpants with words across the arse.
  14. Don’t wrestle by the fish tank.
  15. Don’t leave your soccer ball at the bottom of the stairs.
  16. Don’t use a throw pillow as a placemat.
  17. Don’t spit sunflower seeds in the living room.
  18. Don’t retaliate for a foul.
  19. Don’t leave bubble gum in your pockets.
  20. Don’t talk to the refs.
  21. Don’t pick your nose if the Kiss Cam is going.
  22. Don’t grab a catfish around the fins when you’re taking the fishhook out.
  23. Don’t use the same hand to eat Double-Stuft Oreos as you do for baiting your hook.
  24. Don’t change the station if Electric Light Orchestra is on.
  25. Don’t sneak pizza slices into your jacket pockets at CiCi’s.
  26. Don’t fall down in the shower the morning of game day.
  27. Don’t try to call time out in a soccer game.
  28. Don’t pop more than three M&Ms, or any candy, in your mouth at once. Savor them.
  29. Don’t root for the Seattle Seahawks, externally.
  30. Don’t let go of the Wii remote.
  31. Don’t pass up a chance to watch soccer on TV. Or in person.
  32. Don’t walk barefoot in a dog park.
  33. Don’t disparage your president, the pope or Kesha.
  34. Don’t put an egg in the skillet, and go upstairs to paint your nails.
  35. Don’t pay retail for banana chips.
  36. Don’t forget to stand up for your friends. And even those who aren’t your friends.
  37. Don’t sing or cry with your mouth full. In church, at least.
  38. Don’t skimp on the cheese.
  39. Don’t forget mother’s day.
  40. Don’t say anything bad about Samantha Ponder within earshot of daddy.
  41. Don’t drink dad’s rum when it’s in his Coke (Thanks for this, John).
  42. Don’t burn crepe myrtle.

1. Why can’t you burn crepe myrtle?

crepe myrtleAt least to start out, there’s some debate on the subject.

“Heck, burn some and if that smells good,” a user named Squeezy said in a barbecue forum, “try it on a bit of chicken.” I couldn’t find a site that warned me against burning crepe myrtle. They’re majestic trees that thrive in the south, not unlike the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team.

Crepe myrtle is hardwood, meaning it’s dense and has more wood matter. It’s heavier than softwood trees, such as fir, pine, and spruce. (Softwood is good for kindling; you’ll want a hard wood such as beech, hickory or oak.)

Grace, you’re on a roll with these questions that open more debate than meets the eye.

2. Isn’t it bad for dogs to smell pot?

u is for underdogI found a video of a dog that had eaten marijuana. I don’t want to share it. Dogs get high if they eat weed. It could also kill them. The dog will get sleepy, its blood pressure will drop, and it might pee on itself. Not a good situation.

When a drug dog detects marijuana in an Oakland raiders jacket, or, you know, something, they don’t have to smell much to identify it. And it’s not usually lit. So a drug dog can just say, “yo! This cat has pot!” and that’s all they have to do. (Cats are notorious for the Devil’s lettuce.)

I came back one year straggly from Mexico, wearing a Rockies cap and a poncho. I carried a duffle bag full of more ponchos. The girls and their friends all wanted one. A police dog in the airport made a beeline for my bag, and the officer instructed me to drop it.

I did and raised my hands. I waited for the billy club. Someone probably slipped a roach in one of these ponchos, I reasoned. That’s why they call them Drug Rugs, right? I’m going down. Never even tried the stuff, and I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison in Guadalupe.

Super pup moved on, thankfully. Maybe drug dogs associated the course material that kept both Poncho Villa and dozens of undergrads at Appalachian State toasty with hasheesh. Regardless, I was safe. Thanks for asking.

3. How old is Kurt Warner?

Kurt Warner, you might be surprised to learn, is the same age as your pops.

Can you believe it? At 45, I could be in the hall of fame. There’s a timeline for a young man when he loves sports as I do. At first, he’s a boy, and grown men are his idols. Then, kids he goes to school are selected in the Major League Baseball draft, and that’s cool.

Then, he goes to college and sits in a lecture hall with the starting point guard. Awesome. Yo, Delano. Nice numbers against South Florida on Tuesday night. Can I copy your homework? Then, this young man starts his life, the same age as young pros, as a dad, maybe.

At some point, his classmates – for real or perceived, begin to taper off in relevance. Whatever happened to that dude? He asks. But it’s okay because it’s not long until that dude becomes receivers coach at Humbolt University or some such. Cool.

Eventually, he becomes a head coach, and suddenly, all the decisions you’ve made from the armchair are justified. Hey, dang right, coach! I’d have blitzed there, too. But maybe you want to use the two-tight-end set more in goal-line situations. Feel me?

Now, a not-as-young man will start to see those retired athletes his age fired from those coaching jobs, and get others. His name might get hall of fame consideration, kind of like Kurt Warner, who earned his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

I dig that you girls like this guy. He’s a former Walter Payton Man of the Year for his charity and volunteer work. He established the First Things First Foundation, which has helped people with everything from coat drives to house builds for 15 years.

I haven’t even mentioned his work on the field, where he went from grocery shelf stocker to Arena League quarterback to the man who helped lead the Arizona Cardinals within four points of a Super Bowl victory (after winning one with the St. Louis Rams.)

4. What if I went to school in booty shorts and a no-sleeve shirt?

Thanks, Grace, for making it necessary to search online for images of booty shorts – while I’m at work.

Your mom and I would be there early to pick your barely covered arse from school should you go like that. Both would be in violation of dress code. Booty shorts, for apparent reasons. Strange name for something that barely covers said body part.

It covers less than it should than health insurance does.

The shoulder thing is perplexing. Girls nationwide have been sent home from school for an exposed shoulder or collarbone – because of the distraction it would cause for boys. This is definitely a topic for a full-on post, which, I see the Kurt Warner entry approaches.

I feel like you’re testing me, kid.

5. What if you score a basket from the other side of the court?

It could wind up on SportsCenter. (And it’s worth three points.)

The best shots from the other side of the court happen at the buzzer. The best of those best (like a grilled cheese with Provolone best of those best) gives the team a win. I’ve seen two buzzer-beaters in games I covered, and from the floor, it’s pretty amazing.

There’s this moment when the ball’s in the air, when you think, Oh, hell, this one has a chance. The buzzer sounds, sometimes the backboard lights up, and the electricity hits both sides and their fans at the exact same moment.

One side puts hands to head, in disbelief it’s gone down this way.

The other side puts hands in the air, in jubilation.

As boys, we practice this in the driveway. 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … <horn!>

And we do it until we nail the shot, preferably all net.

Which means I probably should add a No. 43 to the list of things to not do, girls. And it’s a big one.

  1. Don’t pass up on your shot – no matter how long the odds.

half court quote


  1. John Holton says:

    You forgot, “Don’t drink Daddy’s rum and soda.” yeah, you have to tell them that, too.

    I knew a guy who actually did sink a shot from the other end of the court at the end of a game, and it was the game winner. That was in the days before SportsCenter, though.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I edited for exactly that, John. If you don’t tell them, they’ll say, “you never said not to drink your rum AND soda.” So right.
      Luckily, we’re still subject to legend if our feats occur pre-Instagram/pre-SportsCenter. It’s then, perhaps, that the legend can grow bigger than possible when there’s social-media evidence, then!

  2. Loving the new header – oh so COOL!!! Have a Great Weekend – Enjoy

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks – I try to change it up with the seasons, you know. Great to see you and here’s to a weekend full of sunshine, tacos, and good basketball.

  3. Laura says:

    #3, 13, and 41 (“that’s a grownup drink, kid”). Preach.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Word ’em up! I’ll be here next week, same time, same place, Laura.

  4. Kathy G says:

    Kurt Warner still comes back to St. Louis to do a lot of charity work. That’s real class.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m not a bit surprised, Kathy. Dude’s aces in my book.

  5. stomperdad says:

    Great list! I’d never heard of not burning crepe mertle. Having lived in VA, we saw the stuff everywhere. Never thought of burning it, though. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, too. 5…4…3…2…1… He shoots *buzzer* he wins the gaaaaaaaammmmmme!!!!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Eric! It’s everywhere here, too. That’s why Grace seems to find its twigs everywhere when she wants to make a fire pit.

      Remember the old Washington Bullets?

      1. stomperdad says:

        Can’t say I remember the Bullets.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Maybe before your time. They changed the name to Wizards because Bullets was such a loaded name. Especially for DC.

      3. stomperdad says:

        Ahh.. those Bullets. The Bullets were before my time. I always knew them as the Wizards, but knew they had changed their name. Bullets is a killer name though.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        It is – and because it’s killer, I think some people took exception.

  6. A lot of great “don’ts” on the list. One of the things I have told people (which I had heard from a great pastor ⛪ once) when they ask about the Bible 📖 being a book of “don’ts”. Answer: Well if you are focusing all of your time doing the “do’s” you don’t have time to do the “don’ts”!! LOL! That was the first thing I thought of when I read the first part of your post…
    1. I can’t find anything that says you can’t or shouldn’t burn Crepe Myrtles🌷. There is all kinds of great info on NOT burning other bushes and trees 🌴 that can be toxic like Oleander. I love the smell of Hickory and Pecan personally..
    2. Anyone who would intentionally get a dog 🐶 high should be shot! 😠 It is dangerous and there is nothing funny about it! Same goes for giving them alcohol…
    3. LOVE Kurt Warner… saw him play ball 🏈 when we had season tickets to the team (who shall remain nameless) that used to be in St Louis. No respect for the owner who would take them away from STL… Did you hear about the Oakland Raiders going to Las Vegas?? 😅
    4. If my child went to school in booty shorts and no sleeve shirt 👕, I am afraid she wouldn’t be the only one in trouble! I would be arrested for killing her!! 🚓
    5. There was some pretty incredible basketball 🏀played during the March Madness this year. Tournaments can be very unpredictable. I cannot lie… I DID NOT want to see NC win! I wanted South Carolina to take it all because I am a sucker for the underdog.. lol! But when the Ref 😈TOTALLY caused the defeat of UK by his bad calls, I had a little revenge though going on, It wasn’t fair! NC has a good team and they clearly know how to play ball.. but let’s make it fair shall we??? They may have won without the ref’s interference but at least they would have won fair and square. That guy is a douche! 👎I think it would have been the coolest shot ever if UK had made that half court shot at the buzzer against NC!!!! 🏀🙌

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Here’s the thing with kids, Courtney: If you don’t specifically tell them *don’t*, they might!

      Those were glory years for Kurt Warner. I still remember the other Kurt Warner, who played running back for the Seattle Seahawks.

      Oh, I was rooting against North Carolina all the way. As a UNC Charlotte alum, I have a vendetta with the Tar Heels that goes way back.

      They do seem to get some ‘home cookin’ even when they’re on the road! So goes life.

      1. OHHH Trust me!! I know you HAVE to tell kids the “don’ts” because if you DON’T they can say.. “Well you never told me NOT to!” WHAT? Mine used that excuse many times. I didn’t try that with my mom too often because I knew better and my daughter did too *sometimes*. I would catch her when she did something she shouldn’t do.. I always got the question “How did you know?” I said “Because I just think the way you do AND I have done it, know someone who has done it or thought about doing it! So there ain’t much you can do that I won’t think of! All I have to do is ask myself ‘what would I do?'” LOL! Worked like a charm! 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Yes, I think legalese got started by someone who got stiffed by a kid. Gotta watch them!

        We used to just get popped in the head. That was our deterrent.

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