Go ask daddy about grubbing, marathoning and butterflies. Gosh-darn butterflies

stormtrooper food chilies
photo credit: Reiterlied Seaside Lunch via photopin (license)

One surprising element of my time on the sideline is that I (mostly) stop thinking about food for the short term.

GAD GRAPHICWho am I kidding? I’m thinking about it then, too. Noon kickoffs are the worst, because that’s when I should be having lunch. And a big late breakfast and a big late lunch are the only remedy for a situation like that.

The girls’ first question got me thinking about snack food and even meal food on the playing field.

Although I don’t recommend the Cobb salad while playing catcher or the macaroni tuna casserole while playing midfield (ew – or any time), here are some ideas I dreamed up for food that ought to be kosher for a coach.

BURRITO | The key is to keep it to one-hand foods. You know, in case a chunk of steak slides out and you have to make a catch.

0713 asheville burger 4

CHEESEBURGER | No mustard or ketchup, just cheese. Keep it simple. And chew and swallow before you bellow at a ref.

pad thaiPAD TAI | Just kidding. Delicious, but not the right arena. Probably at halftime though.

GINGERSNAPS | A box right next to the water cooler.

STRING CHEESE | A Costco-sized box should sit between the benches, like a championship cup. The winning coach gets the entire thing.

Lance Armstrong
photo credit: Lance Armstrong cornering via photopin (license)

1. When do they eat in the Tour de France?

That would be my first question if I was a cyclist. About 93% of all kids questions deal with food or pee. Is that just my kids, though? Actually that would be my first question if I was a landscaper, aromatherapist or an historian.

Let’s be honest. (Just thinking about those jobs makes me hungry).

A cyclist has to do math to eat. I hate that. Unless the math is:

How many 200-calorie bags of mini Oreos will I need to eat before I feel full?

Like a goose who must continue to eat because they continuously poop (it’s true), a champion cyclist must nearly constantly consume calories because he’s expending so much on the course. Lots and lots of gluten. Pasta, rice, more pasta, more rice.

Busy as they are, they eat also during the race.

Which is like me, when I crunch gingersnaps when I blog. One post burns approximately 3700 calories. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Sometimes during a peloton – the vernacular for main group in a race – you’ll see a ham sandwich whiz by.

Which makes my daydream of destroying a cubano sandwich and salt-and-vinegar chips sound as reasonable as it ever has.

fish tongue
photo credit: Benson Kua via photopin cc

2. Can fish see us outside of the fish tank?

This is, like, deep.

There’s droves of science involved here, which is perfect for a former English major who once scored an 8 on a science test to explain. Refraction indices affect three critical factors when it comes to inner-tank vision:

  • Air
  • Glass
  • Water

The refraction of these create a critical angle. That is the circular window of sight that appears to a fish in water inside a tank. It looks like a circle, fisheyed, as it were. (So, this is where that comes from.) The rest of the wall of the tank looks like a mirror to a fish.

That has to be trippy.

I would feel like this circle was a hole in the tank and freak out. Here’s what it would look like:

3. How many Olympians run in the Boston Marathon?

No fewer than eight current or former U.S. national team runners competed in the Boston Marathon in April. And that’s not counting all the others from the rest of the world. It’s hard to find them all, because so many countries don’t even speak English.

The French, for instance. They have a different word for everything.

The race’s founder, John Graham, was an Olympian. He dug the Olympic race so much that he said, We should do that here in Beantown*. Fifteen runners competed in that first race, in 1897, otherwise known as my freshman year in high school.

The field seems stacked with runners who could smoke the field, but only four people have won both an Olympic gold and a Boston Marathon. Huh.

Fatuma Roba last did it, in 1997. Before her, Joan Benoit (Boston in ‘79 and ‘83, Olympics in ‘84), and Portugal’s Rosa Mota (Boston in ‘87, ‘88 and ‘90, Olympics in ‘88). Only one dude, Italian Gelindo Bordin, captured the double.

He won Olympic gold in ‘88 and in Boston in ‘90.

*He probably didn’t say Beantown. Just like people in New Orleans probably don’t say New Or-LEENS or folks in Vegas don’t call it Vegas.

4. What’s that game with the paddle things and the tubie thingies?

I was cruising. Really I was.

Also, 93% of kids’ questions are nearly impossible to answer. This also turns out to be a dad’s specialty, so there’s balance in the universe. This is what happens when you ask a question in 2008 and I answer it in 2017.

If I enter your question into a Google search, I get this:

That’s disappointing, when you consider the dearth of sports that include tubie thingies.

My guess is you saw the opening credits to Miami Vice, and the now lost art of Jai Alai. (Not to be confused with Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins running back currently occupying the flex position on my fantasy team, Mom’s Spaghetti.)

Jai Alai is like playing racquetball while dressed like a cricket player. The curvy, tubie thing is a cesta. You sling that ball fast as you can around the room with it. It looks like that plastic scoop-and-ball game I used to see white kids play.

Dang, I’m verbose today/last night/this morning.

Plus, hardly anyone plays Jai Alai anymore. It went out Don Johnson’s white jacket and T-shirt look from Miami Vice. (Or the Dolphins being any good.)

5. What’s up with the butterflies in Tomb Raider?

For my next trick, I’ll attempt to answer a question about a movie I have no recollection of. The senseless and meaningless are the bane of a dad’s existence at times. I embrace it.

I don’t know what to tell you Madison said when I revealed to her I couldn’t find a dang-blasted thing online about any butterflies on Tomb Raider. Unless you count the sundry stories about the Tomb Raider who isn’t Angelina Jolie and her choice of hair accessory.

And that’s not even from Tomb Raider.

Alicia Vikander apparently is making waves not for being the next Lara Croft, but for wearing a banana clip in her hair in another movie. For real?

So, can anyone out there help me out on this one? What’s the deal with the butterflies?

croft quote party


  1. joyroses13 says:

    Yes pass me some Salt and Vinegar chips please! 🙂

  2. emmaandroseblog says:

    Love your posts. i always get a good laugh when reading them.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you! Glad you enjoy them.

  3. Beth says:

    LOL yes, all kid questions seem to deal with food or bodily functions of some sort! Loved the questions and answers, especially the fish bowl!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We living beings are all just walking (or swimming or crawling or flying) digestive donuts, after all.

      Glad you liked the selection this week, Beth – that fish bowl one was particularly cool.

  4. Kim Munoz says:

    Just the other day we were wondering what our Tortoise sees looking our from his terrarium. He sees us, and greets us when we get close but sometimes he just stares for so long I wish he could throw up a though bubble or something.

    And yes…my boys always have questions about poop. Usually when we are surrounded by people :-/

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wonder if the tortoise wonders what you see from outside of his terrarium. I think tortoises probably also have attention-span problems. (That’s speculation, not science.)

      Kids ask poop questions probably because we asked poop questions of our parents. Did we?

  5. I really, really love these posts. I feel so privileged to read them. Thank you for sharing, Coach Daddy. Hugs.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Annie. They’re a blast to put together. Glad to have you here!

      1. I feel honoured that you share with us here. thanks, Eli. Hugs.

  6. Lyn says:

    The only reference I can find about butterflies in Tomb Raider is about a “Butterfly Knife.” There’s a scene where Lara uses an ancient artifact to slow time so she is moving faster than everything else to save her boyfriend and get rid of the evil Powell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1PF2yAnotM
    Here’s an image: http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/68/lot/25358/LARA-CROFT-TOMB-RAIDER-THE-CRADLE-OF-LIFE-BUTTERFLY-KNIFE
    So no actual Lepidoptera. 😀

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yes, I saw that butterfly knife reference. Maybe I should just rent this sucker and see once and for all.

      1. Lyn says:

        LOL it’s a good flick – but then I like that style of movie. I even like Alex Rider books and movies 😀

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d give them a chance, Lyn.

  7. Lauren Becker says:

    hah I love kid’s questions. There are some good ones – like can a fish see us out of the bowl!


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They keep my brain squishy, Lauren, these questions. And the fish appreciate it.

  8. Joey says:

    I know nothing about Tomb Raider. I feel like maybe I took a nap while my husband watched it. Hard to say. Google indicates Lara Croft used something called a butterfly knife. So perhaps it’s a weapon and not a miraculous fluttering creature?

    I wonder how many calories were burned from writing this comment? I’d better go have some string cheese….

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Could these kids have planted a stinker question, Joey? I might have nodded off during this movie, too. It’s happened.

      I need to ask these kids now. It’s become more than a five for Friday, hasn’t it?

      Sometimes, I eat string cheese the *wrong* way. I might write about it someday.

  9. ksbeth says:

    yes, and always good to have a bag of flamin’ hot cheetos standing by at the ready, for most any sport. or just on a tuesday

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Cheetos should sponsor your blog, Beth. Flamin’ hot, of course.

  10. Fish totally know when someone is outside the tank. I’ve had fish tanks for most of my life, and I’ve noticed that some fish go to the top of the tank when I walk by. They know that I’m the bringer of fish food, so they start looking for the food whenever I’m around.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Fish have crushes, I think, Aj. That’s what I think. Because they do the same when i come around. (Wait, my kids do that, too, when they think they’re going to get fed.)

  11. Anthea says:

    The explanation to what fish see from inside the bowl is brilliant 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Anthea! I wouldn’t have thought of it until my girls asked. Have a good weekend, too.

  12. mimi says:

    You have to be from New Olreans to say it right, and if you ever come down to visit south Louisiana, you can learn how. Otherwise, it doesn’t translate to paper. Or printed words on a screen.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Oh, my mouth will be stuffed with gumbo and crawfish etouffee and beignets to practice no speech, Meems. That grub doesn’t translate to paper either, does it? I was in college last I was in New Orleans, and I can describe for you every dish I ate.

  13. Lindsay says:

    LMAO! Thanks for the chuckle, Eli, I needed it. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Always good to cause a good ass-falling-off, Linds. Chuckles are as certain as cheese sandwiches up in here.

  14. cricketmuse says:

    The butterfly is a metaphor representing her enlightened freedom of not having to be tied to the grief of her father’s death.
    Heh–remember, I’m an English teacher. We deal in deep, plausible (convulted) explanations of symbols.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Woah. I should have come to you for this one, friend. I need to ask you about the clouds I saw in my dreams the other night.

      1. cricketmuse says:

        Just teach poetry for awhile and suddenly you think you have the answers😏

  15. San says:

    Any food that can be eaten with one hand is a win in my book. Oh yes, and I’ll take some salt and vinegar chips, please.

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