Friday, January 18, 2013

"Dear Abby" died, which made me think of John Prine

By Richard K. Barry 

Pauline Phillips, also known as "Dear Abby" in newspapers everywhere, advice-giver to the masses, has died at the age of 94. She died in Minneapolis on Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

As reported by The New York Times: 

Mrs. Phillips began her life as the columnist Abigail Van Buren in 1956. She quickly became known for her astringent, often genteelly risqué, replies to queries that included the marital, the medical and sometimes both at once.

Here are a couple examples of her work:

Dear Abby: Are birth control pills deductible? — Bertie

Dear Bertie: Only if they don't work.

And this one:

Dear Abby: Our son married a girl when he was in the service. They were married in February and she had an 8 1/2-pound baby girl in August. She said the baby was premature. Can an 8 1/2-pound baby be this premature? — Wanting to Know

Dear Wanting: The baby was on time. The wedding was late. Forget it.

Pretty clever, actually. And then I thought of John Prine's song "Dear Abby," also pretty clever. (And a young John Prine, too.)

(Cross-posted at Hogtown Hipster.)

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