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Dear Alex: Conversations on the way to school

May 31, 2016

This post is based on a genuine conversation I had on a walk to school with my son (he is 4). I’m posting it here because I think it is as good an advert for having children as anything. Children are amazingly original thinkers even if their view of reality is not always (if ever) quite right. I hope my son keeps his current enthusiasm for finding things out.  Here goes:

Dear Alex:

Our trip to Madame Tussauds clearly made quite an impression on you, judging by our conversation on the walk to school. I feel I need to clear a few things up:

The guy with the feather was William Shakespeare. The guy who looked like a scarecrow in the bit that smelled of poo was a plague doctor. The plague is not “The Black of Death” as you keep saying (you’re close though), and you can’t get it because you sneeze a lot. We have drugs and sanitation now, so doctors don’t need to dress like scarecrows.

The guy with the eye patch and the “pirate hat” was Lord Nelson. He has an eye patch because he hurt his eye in the Battle of the Nile. He is NOT a pirate. In answer to your other question, I don’t know what his friends called him but it was probably something like “Horatio”. He definitely wasn’t a pirate. I know that I wasn’t born when he was alive, but that does not increase the probability that he might have been a pirate just because you think he was. And you don’t win this argument by saying that you know he was a pirate because “Lord Nelson is my brother’s dad”. Even if you had a brother, this would be chronologically and biologically implausible. Whilst he has an eye patch and a hat that makes him look like a pirate HE IS NOT A PIRATE. Nelson has a column too, but that doesn’t make him a journalist.

If you want to continue this line of reasoning, I am quite happy to set up an anonymous Twitter account and sign you up to a few internet forums. You’d excel at trolling.

Love
Daddy.

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