A Father’s Advice To His Son by Bill Nye
Story type: Essay
My dear Henry.–Your pensive favor of the 20th inst., asking for more means with which to persecute your studies, and also a young man from Ohio, is at hand and carefully noted.
I would not be ashamed to have you show the foregoing sentence to your teacher, if it could be worked, in a quiet way, so as not to look egotistic on my part. I think myself that it is pretty fair for a man that never had any advantages.
But, Henry, why will you insist on fighting the young man from Ohio? It is not only rude and wrong, but you invariably get licked. There’s where the enormity of the thing comes in.
It was this young man from Ohio, named Williams, that you hazed last year, or at least that’s what I gether from a letter sent me by your warden. He maintains that you started in to mix Mr. Williams up with the campus in some way, and that in some way Mr. Williams resented it and got his fangs tangled up in the bridge of your nose.
You never wrote this to me or to your mother, but I know how busy you are with your studies, and I hope you won’t ever neglect your books just to write to us.
Your warden, or whoever he is, said that Mr. Williams also hung a hand-painted marine view over your eye and put an extra eyelid on one of your ears.
I wish that, if you get time, you would write us about it, because, if there’s anything I can do for you in the arnica line, I would be pleased to do so.
The president also says that in the scuffle you and Mr. Williams swapped belts as follows, to-wit: That Williams snatched off the belt of your little Norfolk jacket, and then gave you one in the eye.
From this I gether that the old prez, as you faseshusly call him, is an youmorist. He is not a very good penman, however; though, so far, his words have all been spelled correct.
I would hate to see you permanently injured, Henry, but I hope that when you try to tramp on the toes of a good boy simply because you are a seanyour and he is a fresh, as you frequently state, that he will arise and rip your little pleated jacket up the back and make your spinal colyum look like a corderoy bridge in the spring tra la. (This is from a Japan show I was to last week.)
Why should a seanyour in a colledge tromp onto the young chaps that come in there to learn? Have you forgot how I fatted up the old cow and beefed her so that you could go and monkey with youclid and algebray? Have you forgot how the other boys pulled you through a mill pond and made you tobogin down hill in a salt barrel with brads in it? Do you remember how your mother went down there to nuss you for two weeks and I stayed to home, and done my own work and the housework too and cooked my own vittles for the whole two weeks?
And now, Henry, you call yourself a seanyour, and therefore, because you are simply older in crime, you want to muss up Mr. Williams’s features so that his mother will have to come over and nuss him. I am glad that your little pleated coat is ripped up the back, Henry, under the circumstances, and I am also glad that you are wearing the belt–over your off eye. If there’s anything I can do to add to the hilarity of the occasion, please let me know and I will tend to it.
The lop-horned heifer is a parent once more, and I am trying in my poor, weak way to learn her wayward offspring how to drink out of a patent pail without pushing your old father over into the hay-mow. He is a cute little quadruped, with a wild desire to have fun at my expense. He loves to swaller a part of my coat-tail Sunday morning, when I am dressed up, and then return it to me in a moist condition. He seems to know that when I address the sabbath school the children will see the joke and enjoy it.
Your mother is about the same, trying in her meek way to adjust herself to a new set of teeth that are a size too large for her. She has one large bunion in the roof of her mouth already, but is still resolved to hold out faithful, and hopes these few lines will find you enjoying the same great blessing.
You will find inclosed a dark-blue money-order for four eighty-five. It is money that I had set aside to pay my taxes, but there is no novelty about paying taxes. I’ve done that before, so it don’t thrill me as it used to.
Give my congratulations to Mr. Williams. He has got the elements of greatness to a wonderful degree. If I happened to be participating in that colledge of yours, I would gently but firmly decline to be tromped onto.
So good-bye for this time.