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

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32 thoughts on “Go ask daddy about grubbing, marathoning and butterflies. Gosh-darn butterflies

    1. 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.

  1. 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. 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?

  2. 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. 😀

  3. 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 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.

  6. 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.

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