"Not necessary, Mom," said Mike cheerfully. "My 'miscellany' will fit right here in the old wallet."
"What do you mean?" I asked. (There I go, asking again!) "What kind of miscellany will fit in your billfold?"
"Your MasterCharge card!" said Mike confidently. "That will take care of everything I need. . . . Unless, of course, you'd rather give me cash?"
That noise you hear is my father in heaven, roaring with laughter.
Roy Blount Jr.
Generally my advice to young people is, Don't listen to advice. I say that not only because it is something young people will listen to. I say it also because questionable advice ("Hey, organic chemistry will take care of itself") is always so much more appealing than sound advice ("Worry about everything").
But this year I am a sophomore parent. That is, my daughter Ennis is a sophomore at Stanford. That is, I believe she is. Since Stanford's policy is not to send grades, comportment ratings, or even bills, as such, to parents, her only connection with the university may be that she has a room, a mailing address, and a number of college-age-looking friends there. Of these things I have personal knowledge. (One of the friends, Chuck Gerardo, a gymnast, feels that he has invented a dance step called the Goober, which entails moving exactly counter to the beat. In point of fact I stumbled upon a subtler and rather more complex version of that step myself, quite a few years ago, and by now it has become more or less second nature--give or take a half-sh'boom--to me. You young people today aren't necessarily the first people in history to be hup. Hep.) And every so often I receive word from Ennis that she has made five more A-pluses and needs another $47,000 for gasoline, incidentals, and felt-tip pens. (We didn't have felt-tips in my day. We improvised: