Go Ask Your Father: Howling, Mia, Seasons, and Zero

They’re getting married! Bang and the neighbor’s 9 year old daughter are getting hitched April 5th. They’ve spent two days planning it, too. They’ve set a $60 budget and have planned a menu of grilled cheese and ice cream sandwiches with sticky hot fudge. The planned ceremony is to take place in the backyard where I’m the priest (I’m to end the ceremony by saying “You may not kiss the bride”), Crash is a watcher because he’s rude (though he might get to be the best man) and the bride’s sister will be a flower girl. The young couple will then honeymoon at one of two public pools here in town.

Then they’re going to get divorced. Why?
So they can get married again!

It seems they want a wedding, not a marriage.

1. What the difference between a coyote call and a wolf call?

The long distance charges. Those wolves call family to family and they’re always calling long distance collect. Coyotes howl as part of pack behaviour. If the howling is all at one high note, it’s for calling the family together. Coyote packs are usually smaller than wolf packs, usually with no more than half a dozen coyotes joining in the conversation. You can tell the pack has arrived when the howling gets higher in pitch, mixed in with high-pitched yelps and yips. Howling is also used to warn rival coyote packs away from a pack’s territory, like Jets and Sharks. There’s westside coyotes and Eastside Coyotes. Or maybe it’s the Greasers and Socials in coyote Outsiders.

Wolf howls are far more sophisticed. They speak proper, very unlike the slang those Westside coyotes howl. Wolf packs are rarely smaller than a dozen and can have as many as thirty six. They will harmonize with each other to bluff rival packs into thinking they’re bigger than they really are. Howling isn’t just for family calls, sometimes it’s for business. Hunting howls are the shortest and highest pitch of the wolf howls. While coyotes howl on one, high pitch, the wolves howl alternate between two pitches. When they’re very close to their prey it almost turn to a bark. I’ve kayaked with whales and dolphins but hearing a wolf howl would rank even higher in lifetime achievements for me.

2. When did Mia Hamm stop playing?

Ahh, Mia. I may have had crush on her in high school. I got all glassy eyed my freshman year in high school back in ’91 when Hamm played in her first World Cup in China. She was a powerhouse on the pitch. She’s done big things for women’s soccer and women athlete in general. And I’m not just talking about winning two Olympic gold medals and two women’s world cups. She’s helped bring women’s sports to the forefront. She helped shine light on the discrepencies in the pay scale between male and female athletes. She held the record for most international goals scored by a man or woman until 2013. Now she trails third behind teammate Abby Wombach and Canadian Christine Sinclair. Still respectable. She’s been inducted into four halls of fame. She is now co-owner of The Los Angeles FC and a global embassador for Barcelona FC. Her last game was August 26, 2004 where she led the team to a gold medal in the Olympic games in Athens. Now, if she’d just give me a howl call I’d mark that as a lifetime achievement even higher than kayaking with whales and dolphins.

3. Why do we have seasons?

Baseball season. Hockey season. Dear season. Christmas season. The dreaded tax season. Of course, these aren’t the right seasons. I think we all have a favorite. I like them all. Until the end of them, that is. I enjoy summer, but by September I’m ready for cooler weather and all the things of fall. Same goes for the other three seasons. There is a reason for all the changes, though. The Earth is tilted on its axis, like drunk trying stand. This creates times when the northern hemisphere is receiving direct sunlight and other times the south gets it. The way I liked to explain it to my fourth graders is to imagine a bon fire being the sun. You hold your hands up to it to warm them. However, if you hold your hands directly over it you’ll probably get burned. That’s the difference between summer and winter. If the Earth were not tilted it would be spring eternal. It has nothing to do with distance. The northern hemisphere is actually closer to the sun in winter. In winter, I snuggle a little closer to my little furnace, DW, too.

4. Is zero even a number?

There are imaginary numbers, which we use to do squares and square roots of negative numbers. There are real numbers, too. Those are all the numbers that have a home on a number line. There are rational and irrational numbers. Rational numbers can be expressed as a fraction, decimal, or whole number. Irrational number cannot be expressed as a fraction. Like pi, they are decimals that go on and on and on on an irrational rant. Zero is real, found on a number line smack dab between 1 and -1. It’s rational. You can add, subtract, and multiply by zero. You can divide zero (just don’t try to divide by zero, the universe will implode). So yes, zero is a number. It’s the exact amount of dessert you’ll get if you don’t eat your supper. It’s exactly how many f***s I give that your friends don’t have to do chores and get to stay up late. It also happens to be the number of times you’ll win an argument with me or your mother, young man.

Speaking of numbers, there are three more places you can stalk follow me: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Go Ask Your Father: Howling, Mia, Seasons, and Zero

  1. This was very informative to me. I only knew the answer to the last question. Only know football season (soccer), had to google Mia Hamm but had a silent bet she was a soccer player-world cup was the clue. Very interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: *Press it* Go Ask Your Father: Howling, Mia, Seasons, and Zero | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

  3. I remember playing “wedding” with my Barbie and Ken dolls. But I never went the divorce route. I would just reason that the marriage was a part of a particular play session and everything started fresh on the next one. But your Bang sounds like he has things all figured out!


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