This might be a good time for a history lesson.
Go Ask Daddy has been a Friday feature around here for years. My girls ask lots of questions. I know your kids do too. It felt derelict of daddy duty to answer with look it up or I dunno. I don’t feel right, not at least putting down my grilled cheese and giving fatherhood a good try.
I wrote the girls’ questions in a notebook, and then feared I would leave the notebook in the cafeteria and not have a thing to write on a Friday.
So I started a Word doc, on my work computer, and I try really hard and follow the rules at my job so I’m not fired and would lose the entire list. This motivates me at work to avoid criminal activity and also to try good like I would with being a dad.
I use random.org to choose five questions from the batch of around 300 I’ve cataloged.
It’s easy sometimes to answer the questions and string them together, and at other times, it’s downright impossible. There’s stuff on the list that includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Pro athlete bling
- Amphibian lifecycles
- Dinosaur dentition
- Higher education
- Cranial muscle capabilities
- Reality/illusion pertaining to common American fowl/identification of such
- Pain relief timelines
- Economics of spaghetti
- Physics of Mexican desserts
- Philosophy of Christ’s abilities
- Geographic particularities of thrift stores
- Construction of fast food bundles
- Voting rights of transients
This list is in no way exhaustive. But man, I can’t wait to get to some of these!
1. What is this on my Swiss Army Knife?
Maybe it’s got a hole on it in reverence for Swiss cheese.
More likely, it’s a punch/reamer. Sounds like something you’d want to have with you in prison, but it’s more of a functional character than a shanking device. You could thread something through with this tool, and push the thread through the hole, as in a pair of leather boots.
Or, stitch a bear hide into a camisole.
It’s like a super-sized needle and comes out of the knife only halfway. If you’re not sure how to use it or have no bear hide to fashion, you could always use it to clean your fingernails. Or slice a piece of cheese.
2. Do Canadians speak English?
There’s something there called a francophone. It’s not a horn shaped like a hot dog. It’s someone who speaks French. There’s load of them in Quebec. But the official language(s) of Canada are English and French.
(The only town they say Séries éliminatoires – the playoffs – in Canada during hockey season? Ottawa, where the only remaining Canadian NHL – the Senators – plays.)
Some Canadians don’t even think they have accents. (But most people don’t think they do.) Most commonly, Canadian English gets represented with frequent exclamations of “eh?” to end sentences. Or, pronouncing about to sound like a-boot.
I asked some of my whacky Facebook friends north of the border if they speak English. Here’s how they put it:
Yes, we speak English. Just as ‘eh’ to the end of sentence every now and then and be REALLY REALLY polite.
Some ‘funny’ words she can look up:
- Double Double
Editor’s note: I think a Toonie is a two-dollar coin, and a Loonie is whatever coin has that loon on it. Where we have eagles, Canadians have loons. That’s all you need to know, girls.
Oui, je parle l’anglais (Yes, I speak English).
Only English here. But, I can say ‘Can I have a beer please?’ in 6 languages.
Yes, but we very multi-cultural in Vancouver (French being our second official language) we also have a high population that speaks Chinese or Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi etc.
What’s that aboot?
3. What would you do if you needed the pharmacy for an emergency, but they were closed?
Get in line for free healthcare with the Canadians.
I kid, I kid. You know, things like this happen on a Sunday afternoon. That’s when I:
- Run out of meds
- My car breaks down
- I need a haircut
- I finish my audiobook
- I run out of cheese
Some pharmacies are open 24/7. Even on Arbor Day. If we’re not near the one there at the University, you know, right by Picasso’s Pizza and the 24-hour FedEx? We’d just go to the emergency room.
They won’t do a thing for my shaggy hair or cheese deficiency, unfortunately.
4. Will we be able to watch the World Cup this time?
That really sucked the time no games were on regular TV last time.
Now we get that rad soccer channel that makes us late getting ready in the morning (because any match is worth tuning in.) The women will play in France in 2019. The men, in Russia next year. Sports often get it wrong when it comes to TV. The national championship game in college basketball tipped off at 9 p.m. on a school night.
The World Series notoriously starts late, and the Super Bowl starts not-so-late – but with a four-hour halftime show (during which Lady Gaga and Tom Brady commiserate), some don’t get to see the end. If kids don’t fall in love with these events, these events will cease to be events.
We’re watching all the World Cup games from now until forever, dammit.
5. Where have the butterflies been all summer?
I’m so glad you recognized this last year.
Butterflies are iconic. Not only because all boys are supposed to categorically reject them, lest they appear less manly, but because of their life cycle. Who among us hasn’t wanted at some point to spin a cocoon and come out transformed and ready to fly?
Honeybees aren’t the only insect aloft facing troubling decline.
The monarch butterfly makes seasonal travel look easy – and pretty. As a kid, I remember how big a deal they were, in their trek to Mexico every fall. I saw a tree loaded with the orange beauties, resting along the route, in elementary school.
The gravity of their presence wasn’t lost, even on a kid who thought he could become a stormtrooper one day.
Deforestation is to blame, although Mexican conservation policies have slowed that habitat loss. A huge threat remains in the American Midwest, where herbicides on crops have wiped out millions of acres of milkweeds.
Monarch caterpillars are finicky eaters – they’ll eat only milkweed.
The migration route includes much of the American southeast, north to Pennsylvania, west to southeastern Colorado, south to Texas, and back east to Florida. Live here? Plant some milkweed!