Go Ask Daddy About Shark Dentition, Piranha Fangs and the Hulk’s History

Tonight, I’m the one with questions.

  • Who was the better Darrin in “Bewitched” – Dick Sargent or Dick York?
  • Which is truly better – Chicago or New York style pizza?
  • What in the name of Levi Strauss are the Hulk’s pants made of?

No one’s around to answer my questions, though. At least not tonight.

So, on the eve of opening day of our fall soccer seasons, let’s see what’s on the kids’ minds.

1. Why do sharks’ teeth turn black?

Every oceanic dentist I know – every single one – has a thing against seeing sharks as patients. That’s so racist, isn’t it?

A shark’s pearly whites are made of calcium phosphate. Bacteria and oxygen break that down pretty easily, so if you find a white shark’s tooth, it’s rare, and probably fresh. (Look out for an angry shark with a gap nearby). When a shark’s tooth gets buried, it absorbs the minerals of the sand around it, turning it black, grey or tan, as it is fossilized.

This takes only about 10,000 years, or, roughly the amount of time it will take the Oakland Raiders to make the playoffs again.

2. What is prosciutto?

I think it’s shark jerky.

Prosciutto, also called Parma ham, is the stuff you see in those real cool Italian restaurants. It’s dried and cured and sliced paper thin. It kinda looks like bacon, but the word prosciutto means “ham” in Italian. I don’t know what the Italian word is for bacon, though.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand … now I’m hungry.

3. How do you get pet piranhas?


That little net we use to scoop up dead goldfish? It would actually work OK. Real piranhas don’t buzz everything down in sight, like on cartoons. I still wouldn’t put my hand under a net with a piranha in it. Those teeth are no joke – they’re sharp as razors, and a captured piranha can be quite nasty.

They’re also supposedly delicious, probably even with prosciutto.

4. Is there a version of Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla” that isn’t live?

Yes, it’s on the 1970 album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” and it was initially a bit of a flop – but the real story is in the woman behind the song, Pattie Boyd.

Eric Clapton fell in love with Pattie, and wrote the song about her. Problem is, she was married to another legendary guitarist: George Harrison, who played a few gigs with Clapton. Pattie divorced George in 1974, Eric wrote “Wonderful Tonight” about Pattie in 1977, and Eric and Pattie married in 1979. It’s largely believed George wrote a song, “Something,” about Pattie.

But wait, there’s more.

Pattie said in her autobiography “Wonderful Today,” that Eric challenged George to a guitar duel, which lasted two hours. No words were spoken, but Pattie wrote that she felt Eric had come out on top. And then Eric and Pattie divorced in 1989.

5. How did the Hulk come to be?

Is there any doubt? Eric Clapton hit on Bruce Banner’s wife, and he went all green and monstrous.

The Hulk, a Marvel Comics Fantastic Four favorite, is the alter ego of physicist Bruce Banner. Banner took in tons of gamma rays during an experimental mishap. This exposure, whenever Banner becomes angry, triggers a transformation from mild-mannered scientist to raging green humanoid whose pants seem to magically grow with him, while everything else rips to shreds.

Why is that? Why do the Hulk’s pants go from size 32 waist to 92 when he transforms, then go back to 32s? Is The Hulk the posterboy for jeggings for big angry green dudes?

I might have to wait until shark’s teeth fossilize to find out. Or when the raiders make the playoffs. Whichever comes first.