Dear Miss Pond,
I’m happy my daughter has taken an interest in history,
we must learn from it if we are going to make credible analogies
between dead dictators and presidential candidates,
but she has turned a little curiosity into a dangerous obsession.
She travels through time and switches accused witches
with mannequins seconds before the flames devour them.
There are 6 no-name 16th century women sleeping
on my daughter’s floor. She’s recently rescued Joan of Arc,
who says God does not approve of my television viewing
(which is B.S. God loves the NFL and she’s just a freaking
soccer fan.) I sympathize with my daughter’s feelings. It’s awful
that these women were tortured and killed. But as I keep saying
it’s none of our business. Why stick your neck out
for some woman who lived centuries ago?
How can I get my girl to listen? Get her to take a less
hands-on approach? Maybe interest her in becoming a librarian?
Frustrated and Concerned Father
Dear Frustrated Concern,
You are mistaken about responsibility:
every human life is the business of us all.
While I understand your worry for your daughter
(what parent wouldn’t want their child locked
in a closet where they’d never skin a knee,
break a bone, sleep with someone
who has a venereal disease?)
I must side with her.
You cannot keep a child
from risks. Even if you trapped her
in her room, there is still faulty wiring,
forest fires, sudden
You say you’d prefer if your daughter
was a librarian; but isn’t she
already doing that work?
I admit I am biased here; in my youth
I travelled back in time and whispered insults
in the ears of great scoundrels on their death beds.
(I particularly enjoyed
the face of Henry
the eighth when I told him
both his daughters
would sit on the throne
and that Elizabeth
ensured no Tudor
would rein after her.)
Time travel is dangerous
and your daughter
is in peril
of altering history, but unfortunately
that is the risk
of every single day lived.
Let her do her work,
though you should share your concerns.
P.S. Please remember that God
has never given a damn
about American football.