5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About DaVinci Paintings, Salmonella Spritzers and Fishy Sensory Issues

My kids are, like, worldly.

Not worldly, in the sense that they eat caviar and listen to NPR. They know stuff. Or at least, they know stuff to ask about. Heavy stuff, like, art. And things that lead to salmonella. And inquiries of arachnid origin.

OK, so maybe that doesn’t make them worldly. But Elise did almost invent the iPhone, Marie organized a stamp-out-school-lunch petition, and Grace learned to play the recorder with the wrong hands in the wrong places, and re-learned it all to put her right hands in the right places.

These are the kids who wondered about horses’ safety in water polo, didn’t know San Francisco was in California, and laid down with me to watch a movie on the couch, then asked, “dad, why is everything sideways?

“Because you’re sideways, lovey.”



Let’s get to questions.

1. Where is the Mona Lisa?

She’s all the heck over Pinterest, as a frazzled-haired teacher with bugged-out eyes, a toothy rendition titled “Mona Teetha,” and even a picture of her with milk jug in hand and milk mustache, captioned, “Got Milk?” The painting has been stolen and had acid thrown on it over the years.

Because this Leonardo Da Vinci painting is so famous, it’s often parodied and targeted. This is not unlike Beethoven’s ninth symphony, final movement, which has been used to pimp everything from Bruce Willis movies to fiber products for regular bowel movements.

The actual painting, oil on poplar, circa 1503-1519, is on permanent display at the Musee de Louvre in Paris. If you don’t want to mess with the French, you can always download this Mona Lisa pumpkin-carving pattern I found online.

2. How do people comment on your blog?

With disdain, disappointment and malice.

Not true. My commenters are very considerate, and I appreciate every single one. There’s widget thing I can add that creates a whole new set of fields for comments, but it seemed kind of complicated. I want to keep it simple. All they have to do is enter their name, their email address (which is never shared), and if they want, a link to their own blog or website.

Unless you’re the two Russian spammers who have subscribed to my blog. I know them by creative usage of the English language and lots of links to shady websites. Prevyet, comrades!

3. Do people put raw eggs in water, then drink it?

It’s a boneless chicken spritzer.

Get it? Boneless chicken?

OK. Eggs have lots of carbs, and are a good source of protein and good fat. When you cook an egg, it lessens those nutritional values. You know, like raw vegetables, which are better for you when you eat them raw. You get all the benefits that nature intended for the chicken embryo.

But because nature doesn’t care for those who eat chicken embryos, nature invented salmonella.

Let’s stick with scrambled egg burritos, shall we?

4. Are tarantulas poisonous?

I think most people don’t leave them on their skin long enough to find out.

When you have hairy legs and big fangs, you don’t make many fans. Luckily, I have no fangs. Tarantulas are disgustingly venomous: They stalk their pray, leap on it, and sink their hollow fangs into it. The venom liquefies all its prey’s guts. Voila: It’s bug stew, a la tarantula.

Tarantulas get a bad rep from being big and creepy, and liquefying bugs’ guts, but unless you’re allergic, a tarantula bite is no worse than a bee sting.

5. Do fish have ears?


Fish have ears inside their heads, which is sort of like having an umbrella in your car when it starts raining while you shop. Kinda useless. Fish instead use lateral lines on their sides to sense changes in water pressure. I kind of wish people had these too, or at least you girls did, when you play soccer.

Only, your lateral lines can tell you when a kid from Mt. Pleasant or Odell is bearing down on you with cleats high. Can you imagine? You’d be all ducking and weaving and making kids miss when you had the ball. Oh wait … you do that already. Maybe you already have lateral lines.

Just don’t grow any hollow tarantula fangs, and we’re good.

5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Kitty Doodoo, Hebrew Day School and Aye! Chihuahuas!

photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc
photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

Most of my Go Ask Daddy questions come from the most diminutive kid in the triumvirate. It’s that raising third-grade mentality, at work.

There’s a question in this batch, though, that came from the 12-year-old. And it came as a result of a second (or was it third?) go-through of a Redbox DVD – “Parental Guidance,” with Billy Crystal. (Well, not with Billy Crystal. He was just in the movie).

A restaurant host in a pan-Asian restaurant called Healthy Tiger spoke about what made him pan-Asian also.

“I’m Chinese,” he proclaims with arms wide, “my wife’s Japanese, my kids are Korean, and they go to Hebrew Day School! Oy!”

I guess you’ll recognize her question below. Sorry for outing you, Marie. At least I don’t take you to Healthy Tiger, where everything is gluten-free, fat-free, and … taste-free.

1. How do cats know how to go in the litter box?

Do they? The evidence against it: The occasional dusty Tootsie rolls we find on the carpet.

Most cats don’t have such issues. And most kitties don’t have mama around to show them the secrets of the sand. It’s the same force of nature that lets a flying squirrel fly, a Chihuahua annoy, and a dodgers fan … act like a Chihuahua. Humans aren’t nearly as adept at this as the rest of nature.

(I’m sadly pleased with myself for referencing litter boxes and the dodgers in the same post.)

2. If you ran over a box of matches, would it catch on fire?

Grace, I know you wanted me to answer this question in the real world when you saw that box of matches spilled on the road – and I should have peeled out on them to see for myself.

Because the match would simply mush between the tire and road, it’s unlikely it would light on fire. Plus, unless you’re in the tread of the tire, you wouldn’t have oxygen, a key agent in fire. I envision a peel-out, all Starsky & Hutch style, our only bet for fire. And not a very good one.

If we see any more matches on the road, we’re so going to find out.

3. What is a Hebrew Day School?

Weren’t they on your school’s soccer schedule this season? Pretty sure we beat them 7-0.

A Hebrew day school is a Jewish school, first of all. Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School celebrates in 2013 50 years of excellence. You know how you girls excel when you’re in a comfort zone, with kids you share a lot in common with? That’s the idea behind a school like this, and it seems to work.

Even, cinematically, if you’re pan-Asian.

4. What does the heart on your license mean?

It means I get free steak every Friday.

I wish. It means I’m an organ donor. This is a one-time deal. And you might have to help me on this one. I hope you don’t ever have to. Or, if you do, it’s in 2113. Here’s the plan: If I should die in such a way that doctors could transplant my organs to save someone else’s life, they have my permission.

It’s only for life-saving operations, in my case. I choose not to donate my body to science. Although, there will probably be interest in my brain, to compare to other early primates. Hope they don’t get them mixed up.

5. Is there such a thing as a nice Chihuahua?

Depends on how far I can throw it.

I kid, I kid. Although, the little bugger who decided to snap at me just as I wound up to throw on No. 17 at the Eager Beaver disc golf course recently – and made me toss my disc into the thicket – could probably sail 30, 40 feet with the right crosswinds and a healthy windup. Theoretically.

Just like on the movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” these little yippy dogs get along best with their own kind, which is fine with me. They can colonize in the Mazatlan peninsula, far away from the disc golf course. They won’t bother you, me, or any of the nice kids at the Hebrew Day School.

If your cats leave any more dusty Tootsie rolls around, they might wind up joining them.

5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Storm Plans, Government Spending and Outer Space

photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc
photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc

There’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t think much about if it weren’t for these three kiddos who like to mill around and ask stuff. Quicksand. Piranhas. The world’s strongest dude. Stuff about Jennifer Lawrence movies. (I might think about that one).

I swear, though, if I had to come up with these questions every Friday, they’d excite you like a certified public accountant annual regional convention gala dinner might. They’d make plain vanilla taste like Neopolitan with cookie dough, cake icing and sprinkles.

And chocolate syrup.

Continue reading “5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Storm Plans, Government Spending and Outer Space”

5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About World Wonders, Holiday Traditions and Foul Language

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

I’ve got to do better at this, y’all.

These girls ask great questions. Sometimes, though, it’s not at the most opportune time. Like, in the waning moments of a tense NFL playoff game. Or, while the grill is in full flame. Or, I’ve got both hands on a gorgeous slice of pizza.

I try to jot them down on anything I can get my hands on, but I’m looking at a pile next to my laptop that includes a 2012 Carolina Panthers media guide, a cardboard box of crap I cleaned out from my car on Saturday, and an ESPN the Magazine with a jinxy cover of Colin Kaepernick.

Continue reading “5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About World Wonders, Holiday Traditions and Foul Language”